Big Boi Isn't Sweating His 'Hottest MCs' Exclusion; Shawty Lo Proves 50 Cent Wrong: Mixtape Monday

Plus: Ice Cube says Nas' album will still be 'bangin' ' without controversial title; Bishop Lamont lashes out at DJ Strong for leak.

Artist: Bishop Lamont

Representing: Aftermath/ the West Coast

Mixtape: The Confessional

411: Produced by Dr. Dre and Oprah Winfrey? That is going to be one album we have to hear.

"Don't just check out Oprah's Book Club," Bishop Lamont advised, sitting in the studio with DJ Quik not too far in the background. "Holla at her for beats too."

You can never get a totally straight answer from Lamont. His latest mixtape, The Confessional, landed last week, and it's been a highly controversial journey. In an online video, Bishop claims that DJ Strong basically stole the masters and sold them to bootleggers. The video shows their confrontation, and while Strong doesn't admit to the atrocity, he says, "I f---ed up."

"DJ Strong caused an uproar and made Bishop look crazy and also gave mixtape DJs a bad rep," Whoo Kid said in a statement to Mixtape Monday. Whoo Kid is the official DJ helping Lamont drop the mixtape in the name of coastal unity.

"Your wife knows you're a bi---," Lamont said, addressing Strong. "It's DJ Thong. Right now, he's extra miserable. But thank you, 'cause you gave us extra publicity. Bless DJ Thong."

Strong released a statement in the aftermath. "Contrary to what my normal ethic is, in regards to my artists and my mixtapes, there has been a confusion about the latest mixtape's release, with great respect to all concerned. I apologize that this has gotten to such a point and that it has affected a lot of people. I am very sorry that this all happened, and in my excitement to make this project a big success, one miscommunicated mistake was made. A special apology goes out to Bishop Lamont. I would never do anything out of spite to hurt the very artists we've been wanting to see so successful out here on the West Coast for such a long time."

Bishop said he came up with the Confessional title because "I'm testifying in the booth. This is the last of the mixtapes before the album. Me and Whoo Kid got together. We been cool for a long time. I wanted to go all out for the fans."

Lamont's upcoming album, The Reformation, will now drop in October. He said the LP is just about done and features work from some of his favorite producers of all time: Quik, Lord Fines, Dr. Dre, Hi-Tek and a bunch of new guys.

"I've never felt so free and able to create what needs to be created — not only for myself, but for the world," Bishop said.

BL wouldn't say when exactly Dr. Dre's Detox LP is coming but promised that the Doc is putting in time on his grind. "He been working like crazy," Lamont said. "He's charged up. It's crazy. He's buffed for you. He's scuba diving for you. When have you seen Dre have this much fun? He's buffer now. So the 'hell yeahs' are deeper!"

Joints to Check For

"City Lights." "It mixes hip-hop and rock together," Lamont said. "It's just raw; it's bustin'. It has an energy to it. It makes hip-hop evolve again. It feels right. I feel like how Run-DMC did with the Aerosmith jump-off when they did ['Walk This Way'] over. I'm talking about the union to the Pearly Gates."

"Send a N---a Home." "It's just a fly record," Bishop said. "It goes back to that tongue-twister stuff, 'cause I love Big Pun so much. It's got elements of Lords of the Underground in it. It's just about bustin'. That Canibus sh--, where you're not thinking about bar structure, you're not thinking about concept. It just gives you that energy that makes you wanna crash your car or smack a [wack] DJ."

"The Greatest Trick." "My background comes from church, and my auntie's a minister," Lamont said. "I have to still touch the Gospel realm but make it so it can be accessible to kids and still speak the truth — speak about topics and social issues we're confronted with but not [push it]. It's a history lesson and deals with a lot of stuff."

Don't Sleep: Other Notable Selections This Week

» Clinton Sparks and Kardinal Offishall - Limited Time Only (Hosted by Akon)

» DJ Green Lantern and Charles Hamilton - Outside Looking

» DJ Nice and Legend - Joell Ortiz: Brooklyn Bomber

» DJ Whoo Kid and CNN - Back on That Q.U. Sh--

» DJ Woogie - Streets on Beats

'Hood's Heavy Rotation: Bubbling Below The Radar

» Fat Joe (featuring Lil Wayne and the Game) - "You Ain't Sayin' Nothin' " remix

» G-Unit - "Down"

» LL Cool J (featuring The-Dream) - "Baby"

» Mariah Carey (featuring Akon and Lil Wayne) - "Bye Bye" remix

» Soulja Boy (featuring Yung Joc) - "Donk" remix

Celebrity Faves

Bigger than Ringling Bros.! Get your top hat. 50 Cent admits that he was wrong about Shawty Lo. The G-Unit General initially wrote off L.O. and his D4L crew as one-hit wonders, but he changed his mind after hearing "Dey Know."

"I've had records that came out and they were hit radio records, and I didn't understand them," 50 told us. "I said D4L would probably never have another record after 'Laffy Taffy.' Shawty Lo proved me wrong. If you don't know nothing, you know 'Big up to all my haters!' That was exactly where it was supposed to be on that record. 'Bankhead been pullin' capers.' Those parts! I'm not from Bankhead. He makes me say, 'Bankhead, been pullin' capers.' It's done right. He may have made a million records to make that one record. And he may have to make a million more to get it again. I'm sure he's willing to do the work he has to do to get it in."

The Streets Is Talking: News & Notes From The Underground

Big ups to Big Boi for letting Andre 3000 rap. Dre has one of the best verses of the year on "Royal Flush." The record is still buzzin', cousin.

"[We] came in the studio, actually New Year's Day," Big remembered. "Came in the studio, his verse is maybe 190,000 bars, but I just told him to go for what he know. When people ask me, 'Why is Dre's verse so long?' Because he's bustin'! We was recording, I was like, 'OK, cool.' As long as it's not too long to play it and it gets broadcast, I was like, 'Let's run it.' "

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like we'll see a video for the song, which also features Raekwon the Chef. Outkast's schedules haven't been able to sync up because of Dre being in Japan working on his clothing label. Meanwhile, Big Boi is looking to launch a new single from his Sir Luscious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty album.

"It's more extreme," Big said about the record. "All me. All the concepts. [For] Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, me and Dre kinda had to stew the pot together. This, I'm doing it all my way. Speakerboxxx was my official solo album. We packaged [our albums] together, but this one is the real-deal, standalone Sir Luscious Left Foot album.

Obviously, Big Boi's raps have remained incisive through the years, but his partner has gotten most of the shine. Andre 3000 even landed on our "Hottest MCs in the Game" list for the past two years. So does Daddy Fat Stacks think he's being slept on?

"I don't know if it's an underestimation," Big replied. "I just don't really put myself out there like that. I draw enough attention to myself when I step in the room. Lyrically and as being an artist, I have nothing to prove. Me and Dre have done everything there is to do. We've won the Super Bowl of music. Hip-hop artists won Album of the Year at the Grammys. After that, what can you do? All the rhymes are definitely vicious. Once people get the whole Big Boi album and put it under a microscope, they'll see." ...

If anybody knows about making people "Bow Down," it's Ice Cube. The West Coast legend said that is definitely not what Nas did in dropping the controversial title Nigger from his upcoming album.

"It's a business at the end of the day," Cube said on the set of his latest video. "A lot of people invest money in the record, and they want to sell it. If they can't put it on the shelves, it's hard to sell. I don't think he bowed down to pressure. I think he, more or less, had to look at the reality that if he called the record that, it would hold the record back more than if he didn't.

"We do this music for it to be heard," Cube continued. "Not for it to be sitting around somewhere and be this niche thing. I love Nas, because he's kind of like the East Coast version to what I do. He don't just do 'hood records. He tries to put some knowledge in it. His record is gonna be bangin'! I don't care what he calls it. It's still gonna be bangin'." ...

Last week, two of the survivors from the Sean Bell tragedy, Joseph Guzman and Trent Benefield, stopped by the MTV offices and met one of the artists who has been supporting their crusade for justice.

"Yeah, we met the brother Game today," Guzman said. "You know, he showed a lot of respect. Shouted my boy out, good look."

Game is one many who have addressed the Sean Bell situation in their music. Jay-Z, G-Unit, Nas, Swizz Beatz and Cassidy are also among those who have responded in song.

"All that's a good look," Benefield said. "All that feels good. It's good to know that everybody's on. The Sean Bell case — it's a tragedy. We need everybody lookin' at it."

"They are putting light to it, and light needed to be put to it," Guzman added. "So it's the way it should be. We're ready to hear from anybody. Y'all going to rep him, tell people what it really is. We there. The family is day-to-day. They hangin' in there."

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