Memphis Bleek Prepares To Hit The Rap Battlefield With Jay-Z

Rapper says other factions are jealous of the Roc.

NEW YORK— Memphis Bleek says it’s time to fade to black once again — he’s hitting the battlefield with Jay-Z.

Last week Hov went on New York radio station Power 105.1 and said he was declaring war on some rappers who have been sending jabs his way and would address them during an October 27 concert (see ” ‘I Declare War!’ Jay-Z Says He’s Going To Air Some Rappers Out Onstage” ). On Monday Bleek said he would be right there beside Roc-A-Fella’s general.

“Yeah, it’s war,” said Bleek, wearing a baby-blue shirt and matching cap. “This is the last day you gonna see me in something colorful. From here on out it’s all black. They think we ain’t got the Smack DVD, the [On the Come Up at the Source Awards] DVD. Remember, Jay is in the president’s seat, Bleek is in the streets. We see everything. When I see it, he sees it. We’re coming. Like Jay said, ‘Be our friend.’ ”

Memph was tight-lipped about which artists Jay is planning to air out at the upcoming concert, but he said other rap factions throw barbs at the Roc out of jealousy.

“I think it’s because people try and try so long to outdo us instead of just doing them,” he said. “Maybe if they just try to do them, they would be bigger than us. They gotta understand this is not a fad here. We ain’t going nowhere. No matter how much the game changes, I am the game. I change with it. You see certain artists, when the game changes, they outta there. You know what that is: The lies run out and so does their career.”

Bleek is already taking the next step in his own career, working on a new album. His 534 dropped earlier this year (see ” ‘Retired’ Jay-Z Releasing New Track Via Memphis Bleek LP” ), coming and going with just one single and meager sales. Bleek says it was because he didn’t fully express himself.

“I really didn’t get my point across on the grit and the grain,” he said. “I ain’t express [myself].”

“The music is still aggressive,” he said of his next album, which he wants to drop in early 2006. “I had to take it back to the old Bleek. I ain’t gonna lie: They had me confused for a minute. I had my smooth face — I had my game face on for the ladies. Now I gotta thug them out too.”

Bleek just recorded a bevy of freestyles and has handed them out to DJs Clue and Kay Slay. Jay-Z’s “I Declare War” show will be held at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey.