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— by Shaheem Reid, with additional reporting by Rahman Dukes

Artist: DJ Vlad and Roc Raida

Representing: The lab

Mixtape: Rock Phenomenon

411: DJ Vlad (a.k.a. the Butcher) teamed up with Roc Raida to deliver a mixtape in the same vein as Vlad's Rap Phenomenon series ... except that rap verses from the likes of Tupac, Jay-Z and M.O.P. are mixed with tracks from rockers like Nirvana, AC/DC, Korn and Ozzy Osbourne. Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda hosts. Read on to hear from the Butcher about his almost two-year production.

Joints To Check For:
  • "Tupac Vs. Talib Kweli Vs. Rush." " 'Tom Sawyer' was the Rush record we used," Vlad began to explain. "It's really a DJ's type of song. Talib Kweli actually came in the studio for this one. That's an original verse from him. He heard it and was juiced, like, 'Let's do it. Yeah, that's the one.' Talib really didn't know the Rush beat, but he was into what Tupac was saying. Kweli started rapping like, 'It was the night before Pac died and all through the 'hood/ Ain't a n---a was sleeping, and they wanna know what's really good/ Did we lose a soldier and gain a angel?/ Streets quiet down and let me express my anger.' Pac's verse was from, I believe, 'One Day at a Time.' "

  • "DMX Vs. Nirvana." "That one was crazy," Vlad yelled. "We used 'Smells Like Teen Spirit,' then we used the DMX 'No Love 4 Me.' DMX is kinda a rock singer. He always has been. When you're mashing up rock and hip-hop, it's not the same as doing a hip-hop blend. You have to throw all that sh-- out the window. Hip-hop is cool, mutha----as got a swagger. Rock is more aggressive and emotional. You gotta find them certain artists that have that anger and emotion in their music. Tupac was one of them, DMX is one as well."

  • "Eminem Vs. the Eagles." "We used the Eagles' 'Hotel California' with Em's 'Cleaning Out My Closet.' That's probably the one record that gets the most reaction. We really tried to use a lot of songs that cross over — big, big songs that are multigenerational."

    Don't Sleep: Other Notable Selections This Week

    • "All Access DVD: Dip Set Edition"
    • Chops & Paul Wall's It's Going Down Pt. II
    • DJ Chuck T's Noize Ordinance
    • DJ Diamond Kuts' I Love the 90's Pt. 1
    • Mick Boogie's The 95 Drive
    • Mick Boogie & Kanye West's Kanye Essentials Part 2 (Second Semester)
    • DJ Smallz's Dirty R&B 10
    • DJ Swindle's 80 Cent
    • Statik Selektah's Empire Strikes Back




    'Hood's Heavy Rotation: Bubbling Below The Radar
    • Joe Budden - "Better Off Without You"
    • Pharrell featuring Jay-Z - "Young Girl"
    • Saigon - "Contraband 2"
    • Saigon - "Welcome to Saigon ... Gangsta Grillz"




    Celebrity Favs

      Bobby Brown
    He's not only "the original king of R&B" (just ask his wife if you want to debate) and probably the only person that likes to breakdance to the sound of Christmas carolers singing, he also loves the place he migrated to: the ATL. In true B-Brown fashion, though, Bobby says he thanks himself for the city being so large in status. "The hottest thing about Atlanta is me, my brother Tommy and [Jermaine Dupri]," Brown determined. "I was the one who made Atlanta hot, but now it's time for me to move on and make another place hot."

    The Streets Is Talking: News & Notes From The Underground

      Jamie Foxx and Diddy
    We all know that artists on mixtapes are some of the most competitive people on the planet. But one artist who's not normally featured on mixtapes says he's just as competitive. Oscar winner Jamie Foxx released his second LP, Unpredictable, last Tuesday, the same day as new albums from Mary J. Blige and Notorious B.I.G. (the latter executive-produced by his good friend Diddy) dropped. "It's great company," he said. "Music is back."

    Foxx said he and Diddy do joke a little bit about which album is coming in at #1 this week. "That's all healthy," Jamie said. "When you look at three African-Americans who are really at the top of their careers, it's great to see not that just [all the albums] are out, but it's all winning. But I wanna sell as many records as I can. I wanna go quadruple-platinum. It's great company. At the same time, we wanna win. We wanna say, 'Yo, man, all that heat came out and we still rose to the top.' "

    Foxx hasn't forgotten to bring the heat to the silver screen as well. He's currently working on "Dreamgirls" with Eddie Murphy, Danny Glover and Beyoncé, and next summer he has "Miami Vice" coming out with Colin Farrell. "Nuts!" he said of the film. "When I tell you 'Miami Vice' is nuts ... they played the trailer before 'King Kong' and people were yelling at the screen."

      Swizz Beatz
    Last week we told you that DMX had left Def Jam and signed to Sony Music. Turns out he almost inked a deal with Swizz Beatz's Full Surface imprint before finalizing his latest deal. Does the producer of virtually every big DMX hit feel slighted by the snub? Not at all. "He felt like the situation wasn't complementing him," Swizz explained of X not coming to Full Surface. "He just wasn't comfortable with the situation. ... It was just a whole mix up." Despite the currently incarcerated X going to Sony, he and Swizz are going to continue to work with each other. "We're doing his whole album over," Swizz said (DMX was supposed to release his Here We Go Again on Def Jam this summer, but the record has yet to see the light of day; X says he left the label because they didn't know what to do with him). "He's been writing to tracks while he's locked up, and we've got a first single for him that's crazy. I'm talking about hip-hop is back. I'm bringing that New York sh-- back. You're gonna remember what I said. Next month you're gonna understand what I'm saying. I got the anthem of anthems."

      Cassidy
    With Swizz's friend and the current Full Surface franchise player Cassidy in jail for murder, the label is definitely in a transition period. Beatz, however, said he's coming out swinging in 2006. He's going to release two never-before-heard Cassidy records over the holidays ("Cassidy Anthem" and "All in the Game") and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony are his newest signees. Their album is done (Kanye West makes a guest appearance) and due sometime in the second quarter. Swizz has two singles he's going to put out from them in the next few months.

    Outside of his immediate Full Surface circle, Swizz — who produced the current radio bangers "Touch It," "Check on It" and "Spit Your Game" for Busta Rhymes, Beyoncé and Notorious B.I.G., respectively — is currently working with his other fam, the Ruff Ryders' LOX, Eve and Drag-On. From there he has four tracks on the new T.I. disc The King.

    "This year was fun for me with the exception of Cassidy going to jail," said Swizz, who also worked with the Young Gunz, Memphis Bleek, Remy Ma, Jae Millz and Grafh. "I was working with [a lot of] artists that didn't go over platinum. Especially for New York, there's no producers with my status that's going out of their way to keep New York on the map.

    "I tried to work with artists like Jae Millz, because they've got the potential to be the next thing moving," he continued. "It's easy to get with a cat that's already established and make a major hit. But it's hard to take a risk with an artist that's from the mixtape circuit or didn't sell millions of millions of records."

    Lastly, the Raekwon album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2 is really coming. It has a tentative March release date and is being co-executive-produced by Busta Rhymes and the RZA. Dr. Dre is doing some production. You've all heard his underground song "State of Grace," well the Chef has already done a remix and is in Atlanta recording even more material. The Chef has a mixtape dropping in the next couple of weeks called The Vatican.

    For more on the role of mixtapes in the music industry, check out the feature "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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