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Fire Starter: Anthony Poz and Crossover Watches

Back in the pre-"Hawaiian Sophie" days, jeweler Anthony Poz was selling Jay-Z grills. He's stepped up his game to watches now, and with his Crossover timepieces he has attracted the likes of Lil' Flip (pictured with Poz above), the Young Gunz and Lil Scrappy. In the game since '83, the New Jersey-based Poz says his watches are stainless steel and, of course, diamonded out, but he can specially design different colored stones and the watch dial.

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— by Shaheem Reid and Jayson Rodriguez, with additional reporting by Rahman Dukes

Artist: Eminem

Representing: Shady/ Aftermath/ G-Unit family

Mixtape: Eminem Presents: The Re-Up

411: We've been telling you about this one for a few months now, so it's only right we see it through, since the album is finally here. Eminem has assembled his Shady Records roster — 50 Cent (who throws another jab at the Game on the title track, a duet with Slim Shady), D12 (Em's deceased best friend Proof has a solo cut on here as well), Obie Trice, producer/ DJ / part-time MC Alchemist and the newcomers to the family: Cook County, Michigan-born Ca$his and ATL's Bobby Creekwater and Stat Quo.

"The Re-Up joint, we're kinda putting out a mixtape and doing it as an album," Trice explained. "It's kinda like a compilation/mixtape, it's something different for hip-hop. You get to see the whole Shady roster showcase they skill. I'm looking forward to it on [December] 5th."

Look for a revitalized Em to stand out on the solo cuts "No Apologies" and "Public Enemy #1" while the rest of the gang drop solo tracks and collaborate on group efforts as well. Here is some scoop on Em's crew, told by, well, Em's crew.

Joints To Check For:

  • "Pistol Pistol" remix by Obie Trice. "The remix was recorded like I did 'Cry Now' and a few other joints after I was shot on New Year's Eve of last year," Obie said. "I felt like I wanted to vent. D12 was in the studio with me. Proof was there. They was letting me go for it. I was doing my thing. I just wanted to express myself. You feel like you been repping your city for the longest and this is the muthaf---in' thanks I get? It's a lot of haterism going on here, 'cause there ain't that many stars here in Detroit. So you see me or Proof at the time, it's a love/hate type of situation. If you're having a bad day and don't feel like being bothered, some people get offended."

  • "Everything Is Shady" by Ca$his. "I did that record the day after Proof's funeral. I was feeling like I was listening to how everybody was saying our camp was puttin' out flops," Cashis recalled. "I talked with Em and Obie and Creek, I don't like that bullsh--, so I made a record expressing how we felt. Like the hook say, 'We took a break for a minute, now we bangin'/ We been listening to every thing you been sayin'/ And now we comin' for everybody who been hatin'." I sent it to Eminem and he was feelin' it."

  • "There He Is" by Bobby Creekwater. "Yeah man, I hooked up with Alchemist," Bobby Creek said. "We was at his spot in New York. That particular beat hit me. I caught the hip-hop Holy Ghost for a minute. I had to stop for a minute and pick up the pen and pad. I vibed out. It turned out be a great cut."

Don't Sleep: Other Notable Selections This Week
  • DJ Swindle Presents Em-J - Marshall Meets Michael
  • Mick Boogie, Lil Wayne and Currency - Dirty Work 14: The Color of Money
  • DJ Smallz - Southern Smoke: PS3 Special Edition
  • DJ Rhumble - Celebrity Trappers
  • K. Sparks and DJ OB - The Future Problem: Volume 3
  • ThoroBredz - You A Customer S.V.
  • Tapemasters Inc. and Nas - The N ... The Resurrection of Hip-Hop
  • DJ Kool Kid - Enemy of the State

Click here for more of Mixtape Monday ...

'Hood's Heavy Rotation: Bubbling Below The Radar
  • Common (featuring Will.I.Am) - "I Have a Dream"
  • Eminem - "No Apologies" and "Pubic Enemy #1"
  • Lil Wayne - "All Alone"
  • Nas - "Where Are They Now?"
  • Styles P. (featuring Gerald LeVert) - "Real Sh--"

Celebrity Faves

Unk, who had a #1 rap single with "Walk It Out," said he's bumping the "Idlewild" soundtrack. Outkast are loving him too because both of them jumped on the remix to the track with Jim Jones. "It's a blessing, man," Unk said. "We was in St. Louis at one of the shows. ... I hooked up with Jim and I rapped to him. Jim is a good dude, and he said he was already with it. He dropped his verse that night. Then a week later, I heard that Andre [3000] wanted to get on it. Big Boi later got on it."

The Streets Is Talking: News & Notes From The Underground

  LL Cool J
If you haven't guessed it, LL Cool J said his days of recording with Def Jam are numbered. He owes the company one more LP, then it's a wrap. He said Jay-Z's presidency is the main reason he doesn't want to come back.

"How am I gonna re-sign with competition? I'm not a idiot," LL said of his label boss. "I can't depend on that man to promote my record while he's somewhere writing rhymes. ... I'm LL Cool J. I ain't doing that, B."

LL said he hasn't decided what his next home may be, but he joked that he might even come back to Def Jam for the right paper. "I would rock with Def Jam if they wrote a big enough check," he said before breaking out into his trademark hearty laughter. "Me and Jay would be on that yacht like, 'Hov! Hov! Write that check, homie.' "

Uncle L's LP, as you might have heard, is being executive produced by 50 Cent, and LL said it will live up to the hype (see "50 Cent, LL Cool J Team Up To Prove NYC Reigns Supreme On Todd Smith Sequel").

"I'm absolutely going to pulverize these cats," he said, still chuckling. "It's going to be hysterical. It's like a Mama Said Knock You Out type of record or Mr. Smith type of record. It's a very good record. My last three records were R&B and more of me getting kinda into the emotional side of what I do. This is the aggressive side. Just ego. I'm getting into the party free, regardless. We unlocking the back door and sneaking 50 people in. This album, I'mma do a little street-corner joint. Smack them around, turn 'em upside down and shake the change out their pockets."

LL said 50 reminds him of himself. "My man has a great sensibility. He knows what I like," he said. "We're from Queens. We're seven years apart in age. He knows what I'm into. We come from the same experience, so the music reflects that. And let's face it, 50 reminds me of a place I was in awhile ago. I have been running around on tours. I have been in the suites, and I haven't been on the blocks smelling like Guinness lately. It's fun to work with somebody who rekindles those flames and makes me hungry again. It's definitely working."

LL said he'll be putting out a mixtape soon. Expect DJ Whoo Kid to have a hand in it as well. ...

  Ghostface Killah
Figuring out why Ghostface Killah wasn't with his Wu-Tang Clan brethren at VH1's Hip-Hop Honors special in October was proving to be as difficult as deciphering one of Ghost's colorful rhymes (see "Lil' Kim, MC Lyte Put Female MCs Center Stage At Hip-Hop Honors"). Word spread that he was out of town touring, then Raekwon had some comments on a Web site about the incident, and fans were left scratching their heads at Tony Starks' absence. But what really went down?

According to Starks, a scheduling conflict occurred between him and the organizers of the event. "They were supposed to do that in, like, August, and we switched our tour dates," Ghost explained. "But come to find out, when October came, they wanted to shoot [then], you know what I mean? And I was gone. I already made commitments [overseas] and got paid half of the money to do what I had to do. It wasn't good. They wanted me to come back, but if they sue me, what's gonna happen? I was just stuck in the middle, and that was that. I would have loved to have been there."

Ghost now has his hands full with next month's More Fish, which features his son spitting alongside him on a couple of tracks (see "Ghostface Killah Warms Up Leftover Fish For Second 2006 Album"). But if Wu-Tang fans are anticipating a Baby Wu offshoot with his son and GZA's son, who also spits, don't hold your breath. "Nah, I wouldn't call it that," Ghost insisted. ...

  Rich Boy
Rich Boy may be from the A, but he's not necessarily a Down South Georgia boy. The Mobile rapper/beatsmith happens to be holding down the other A: Alabama. And on his country street heater, "Throw Some D's," Rich holds fast in boasting about his 'Bama way of life.

"It's a lot of different flavor in Mobile," said the former University of Tuskegee engineering major who dropped out after learning how to make beats in his dorm. "Everyone has a different style."

To be sure he stood out, Rich noted how he and his producer/ label head Polow Da Don spent countless hours in the studio avoiding any snap tunes or crunk concoctions. Rich wanted to work on his style until he narrowed down his own sound, which he felt was filled with unlimited star potential. Now, the Cadillac Don ("Throw Some D's" is a reference to diamond-style rims on Caddies) hopes his grindin' will pay off on his forthcoming debut, Product of the Hustle, scheduled to feature production from Timbaland, Jazze Pha and J.R. Rotem, among others.

"This album is exactly what it is: All the hustlin' we put in to make it and make this product to serve to the people," Rich said of his Interscope-backed project. ...

Here are some real quickies to close out: Styles P. said the new release date for Time Is Money is December 19. We'll see. In the meantime, he's working on a mixtape with DJ Clue, Big Mike and DJ Drama separately. ... Daron Jones has left 112, and the group may be done altogether. ... No word if Jagged Edge have broken up, but twins Brian and Brandon are working on a secret project with Jazze Pha. ... We've also heard the last of the Youngbloodz album — at least for a while. Sean Paul is working on a solo album for next year. He has to turn it in in March, so he anticipates an April release date. "I been in with Jazze Pha. I had to get my A-Town east-side homeboy Gucci Man. I'm still working. It's the early stages. It's called Watch Me Do My Thing."

For a full-length feature on the role of mixtapes in the music industry, check out "Mixtapes: The Other Music Industry."

For other artists featured in Mixtape Mondays, check out Mixtape Mondays Headlines

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Photo: MTV News

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