Artist: Young Jeezy
Mixtape: The Prime Minister
411: Who inspires hip-hop's great inspirer? Young Jeezy says it is undoubtedly Senator Change himself, Barack Obama.
" 'I know it's a problem, but how can we work it out?' " Young said of what he perceives Obama's philosophy to be. "Barack, he has a lot of things going for him. He's ahead of his time. Given the right chance, he'll make some type of change. We'll feel it. I really feel that. John McCain is cool, but he looks like a fraud to me."
Jeezy says he has some issues with how the country is being run, and his take on the 'hood's state of affairs will be heard all over his August release, The Recession. He thinks McCain is the wrong person to be the country's cleanup man, especially since he had a chance to talk to the senator after a taping of "Saturday Night Live," during which Jeezy performed with Usher.
"I told him the 'hood was f---ed up, and he was like, 'How you doing?' " Mr. 17.5 recalled. "Real talk. They know entertainers, so they shake your hand [and say], 'I'm your friend.' But my mama is about to have surgery that I gotta pay for out of my pocket because she can't get insurance. I don't really feel McCain. It ain't just because Barack is black; he can make change. Just like Bush equals recession, Barack equals progression. I really feel that, all bullsh-- aside. He's gotta come in and keep it right.
"I be in the 'hood every day, and I motivate the thugs. [Barack] motivates me," he added. "To see somebody taking that extra mile ... like, 'OK, I can make some change.' That's how I felt when I got in the rap game. I felt I could make change. I did."
Jeezy recently dropped his new mixtape The Prime Minister with DJ Infamous.
Joints To Check For» "Prime Minister." "I'm the Prime Minister, for real. I run things," the Snowman said. "I am the streets. If anybody tells you differently, they lying. I know every aspect [of the streets]. I know every crack, crevice. Everything on the mixtape is original. Only song that's not mine is the 'Lollipop' remix and the DJ Khaled record, 'Out Here Grindin'.' It's all me, all original music. I don't have any problem giving away music, because I got good music."
» "Put On." "My album is called The Recession," Jeezy said. "Even if you ain't got it, you can do it. You can put on. Wear your best clothes if it's in your closet and just from the cleaners and it's clean. That's what putting on is. Wear your watch. It might not be the iciest, but it's yours. You may not have no 26s, you got 24s, but you putting on. There might not be nobody standing next to you who has 24s on at the time.
"It's a drought and recession at the same time," he added. "The Prime Minister is coming to show them hope. 'Put On' was 'OK, I know we all here going through it, but let's still go to the club and have good time.' The Prime Minister is saying, 'That's cool. Y'all follow me, I'mma show y'all how to get this money.' "
» "I'm Here." "The intro is sick," Jeezy assured. "If you listen to the intro, it's the whole mixtape. You can listen to the intro, then take the tape out. Trust me. I explain everything [on 'I'm Here']. Everything you been hearing about, speculating about, I put it on one song. It might be 92 bars. I'm the truth."
Don't Sleep: Other Notable Selections This Week
» DJ Life and Max B - Upstate Threat Vol. 1
» DJ Teknikz - No Bitch Ass Ness
» DJ Woogie and DJ Man Dog - Sippin Southern 6
» Lil Wayne - Lil Wayne & Friends 4
» Rick Ross, Young Jeezy, Lil Wayne, Lil Boosie and Gucci Mane - The Usual Suspects 2
'Hood's Heavy Rotation: Bubbling Below The Radar
» The Game (featuring Travis Barker) - "Dope Boys"
» G-Unit - "No Days Off"
» Jazmine Sullivan - "I Need You Bad" remix
» Memphis Bleek - "No Drought"
A million first-week sales — so what? The SoundScan showing for Lil Wayne's Tha Carter III isn't having any effect on his torrent of collaborations. A T-Pain song called "Can't Wait" and the David Banner record "Shawty Say" leaked last week. Both songs feature Weezy. You can expect a video to air soon featuring Wayne's prettiest collaborator of late, Cassie, called "Official Girl."
"That was perfect," Weezy said of teaming with Cass. "She's beautiful. Her voice, she's sounding like an angel right now. So it was great. I'm glad we got to do this. I'mma get a whole lot more female fans from this. My whole thing is, 'Never say no.' That easy. I do it. Whoever that artist is, as far as they wanna push it [on the song], we push it."
The Streets Is Talking: News & Notes From The Underground
Props to Busta Rhymes for not wanting to get involved in the tomfoolery of hip-hop beef. Bus is cool with rivals Game and 50 Cent, partly due to his unwillingness to insert himself in their never-ending feud.
Way back when Game was really going hard at G-Unit, Busta gave his West Coast friend some tough love."We were both going to New York once on a flight," Game recently remembered about being ignored by Bus. "It was in the midst of the scuffle when I was just brain-dead in hip-hop, doing whatever. Not listening to nobody. Just going in [like a] chicken with his head cut off. Busta stopped me [in the airport]: 'Son! I don't like what you're doing. I don't!' Just walks off. Ironically, me and Bus were sitting next to each other on the flight. Me, I'm joking, punching him the whole time. 'Son, stop punching me. I'm reading my book!' "
Game said that Busta just sat there and read XXL magazine the entire time and wouldn't engage in a conversation with him. In fact, he barely acknowledged that Game was there. "It was a five-hour flight to New York," Game added. "I was mad. Five-hour flight. It don't take five hours to read XXL. 'This is me, Bus.' He just stared at me, didn't say nothing."
Finally, once the flight landed, Rhymes left his friend with some parting words: "Be safe out here. I don't like what you're doing!" According to Game, Busta just walked off after that and that was the last time they spoke to each other for quite some time.
"He didn't talk to me for a year," Game elaborated. "I calmed down. Seen Busta at the BET Awards in Atlanta. He said, 'Son! I like what you're doing. "One Blood"! You back.' I got a hug from Bus. The reunion."
Busta and Game are tight now, and the New York hip-hop legend appears on Game's new L.A.X. LP.
"Me and Bus are friends. Bus is 100 [percent honest]. I'm 100," he described. "It's about friendship. You can't change friends, no matter what. Before he does anything [with me in the studio], he asks me, 'Where's my mind at? What am I on?' [He tells me,] 'Busta Rhymes is not gonna be a part of no negative stuff.' All right." ...When Ludacris drops his Theater of the Mind album in the fall, he wants the world — including the MTV News Hip-Hop Brain Trust — to realize one thing: "I'm top five, dead or alive, and MTV, y'all must be out your muthf---ing mind. That's the statement I'm trying to make."
Cris didn't take too kindly to being left off of the "Hottest MCs in the Game" list two times in a row, but one thing the Mixtape Monday family can agree on is that Luda has been one of the most consistent lyricists for years. And despite his sometimes jolly demeanor and outrageous eye candy in videos, you have to take the ATL giant seriously when it comes to ripping that mic.
"I surprise myself sometimes," he told us when asked what surprises he'll unveil on his album. "I don't know when it's coming. It's like when you go to the mall to buy some clothes and you don't know what you want until you see it. We'll know when it comes out. I definitely have everything planned, but the man who knows he has everything planned knows he don't have sh-- planned."
'Cris is still a month out from completing the project (he won't reveal any collaborations until he turns the project in to Def Jam), and a single should be out in a couple of weeks.
"Timing is everything," he noted. "When it came down to putting everything into a cohesive body of work, it came at the right time. Everything started flowing at the right time. The beats came at the right time. [Three 6 Mafia's] Juicy J and DJ Paul produced the 'Let's Stay Together' joint. You see where that is going. I feel this album is all of Ludacris' albums put together. So this is album number six. I've had so much material I've talked about, but it's just creativeness on a whole 'nother level. You've got some of the fun-loving, funny Ludacris; you've got some of the serious Ludacris; some of the ill, slit-your-throat Ludacris; some of the highly competitive Ludacris — all wrapped in one."
For other artists featured in Mixtape Monday, check out Mixtape Mondays Headlines.