T-Pain Proves His Rap Skills On Pr33 Ringz; Andre 3000 Wants You To Say He's Wack: Mixtape Monday

Plus: M.I.A. has a fan in Kanye West.

Artist: T-Pain

Representing: Naaaappppyyyy Booooyyyy!

Mixtape: Pr33 Ringz

411: T-Pain wants it all. He's sung on everybody's hook, and now he's coming for that MC money. Now that the world is jockin' his melodies, he wants them to sweat his rhymes.

"Pr33 Ringz is just a warning before the Thr33 Ringz,," he said of his street CD, which lands October 28, a couple of weeks before his third official album hits stores. (Pain's slogan for his official album is "Four Ones, Thr33 Ringz," in a nod to its November 11 release date.) "It's not so much letting you know what you need to get ready for. It's letting you know what you need to know about. A lot of people don't know me as a rapper. I'm rapping a lot on there. I got a couple of R&B tracks on there, all original beats. None of the beat-jacking or remixing. None of that. All brand new stuff. Twenty-one songs I'm just giving away."

Pain — who recorded all of his material in just four days — got beats from a few of his friends (he only produced one track) and said he's just as passionate about being an MC as he is about being a singer.

"I been doing it ever since," Pain said of his raps. "It's just that a lot of people haven't been accepting it. I do everything. I always rapped, I always sang. People are more attracted to the singing part than the rapping part. I'm forcing the issue. Free songs — here it is."

He's still writing and producing for a slew of artists, including Ciara, and just might have more on his plate now that Pr33 Ringz is circulating.

"A lot of my people been calling me asking for the actual songs," he explained. "They wanna put my mixtape song on their album. I'm like, 'How you gonna solidify that? How you gonna take a mixtape song and put it on your album?' They don't even care. A lot of people just say, 'I'll figure out a way to do it. Just give me something. Give it to me.' "

Joints To Check For

"Up & Down." "It's so different," the dread-head said, describing the song. "It was so strong. It's one of two R&B songs on the mixtape. I did it on my tour bus. I was in a different environment. The other R&B song is nothing but a verse and hook. It's one of one and a half R&B songs. 'Up and Down' is the emotions of this girl that keeps confusing me. It's a relationship — that's how it goes."

"Like I Outta." "I'm going in. It's a rap track," Teddy said. "It's pretty much me doing everybody else like how everybody is doing me. On the second verse I rap like E-40, Soulja Boy, Shawty Lo. I rap Jeezy, Ross, Wayne. I go in on everybody.

"Ain't no dissing occurring, but it's me going in, showing people I can do more than Auto-Tune," the 23-year-old continued. "I can do more than rap. I can do their people too. Y'all could do me — let me do somebody else."

"Somebody Tell Em." "I want people to know the truth," Pain demanded. "How things go. It ain't easy doing all these records. When people come and get these records, they don't know the drama behind them. Managers fighting — I may get into an altercation with another artist because my hook is overpowering his verses. It's not just doing a hook and somebody puts it out and it happens. It's a lot going on behind the scenes. I need you to know."

Don't Sleep: Other Notable Selections This Week

» DJ Woogie, DJ Ian and Freeway - Freeway Is Back

» Big Mike and Maino - Maino Is the Future

» DJ Kool Kid - That Hard White

» DJ Warrior, DJ Muggs and Planet Asia - Pain Language

» DJ Barry Bee - Hood Legendz 17

» DJ Skee and Charles Hamilton - Death of the Mixtape Rapper

» DJ Papa Smirf and Rain - Freestyle Kronicles

'Hood's Heavy Rotation: Bubbling Below The Radar

» Ne-Yo (featuring Fabolous and Jamie Foxx) - "She Got Her Own" ("Miss Independent" remix)

» E-40 (featuring Akon) - "Wake It Up"

» Stat Quo - "Dear Summer Pt. 2"

» T.I. (featuring Usher) - "My Life, Your Entertainment"

» DJ Kay Slay (featuring Papoose, Tony Yayo, Jim Jones, Junior Reid, Uncle Murda and Sheek Louch) - "Don't Take It There" remix

» Ciara (featuring T-Pain) - "Go Girl"

The Streets Is Talking

The hottest chick in the streets right now isn't from New York, Philadelphia or L.A. She wasn't even born in the U.S. Yet, everyone from 50 Cent to Jim Jones to Kanye West is so in love with her music, they've jumped on her track or sampled her voice. Guess what? Her popularity is finally resonating in the mainstream as well, thanks to the "Pineapple Express" trailer.

"Um, I wasn't paying attention when it happened," M.I.A. said last week via phone from her native London about the rise of "Paper Planes." The record is more than a year old, yet it's still popping up daily on mixtapes. 50, Jones, members of State Property and others have inserted their verses on unofficial remixes. Meanwhile, Kanye West sampled her vocals while making the track for T.I.'s "Swagger Like Us."

"I think it's cool when you bring all these rappers and artists like the Clash together," she said. "It's cool that they support it. It's so many people that be like, 'I don't know what you're talking about.' It's kind of like 'This is the sh--, and we think it's hot.' It's great, especially coming from London.

"The song wasn't ... made with marketing blah, blah, blah," the spunky performer added. "It was something organic. It's nice to make something creative and have people like it. Somebody told me it was #3 or 4 on iTunes. iTunes! I beat the Jonas Brothers. I was like, 'What's going on?' Charts don't really compute with me. It's an interesting thing I'm learning. It's kinda nice to have the support."

M.I.A. told us that one of her big supporters has been the Louis Vuitton Don.

"Kanye e-mailed me back in, like, Christmas and told me he listens to 'Paper Planes' every day," she said. He recently hit her up with an early version of "Swagger Like Us."

"I thought it was really hot. He e-mailed the demo version to me. I think T.I. rewrote his verse. It sounded even better once it was done. Kanye just took one sentence and made a whole thing out of it. I'll probably end up doing something with Kanye one day. We have a lot of respect for each other."

M.I.A. also said she was interested in working with Jones' Byrd Gang. The pretty Brit also just started her label, N.E.E.T. (Not in Education, Employment or Training). The first artist is Baltimore rapper Rye Rye. If you want to hear more about M.I.A.'s label and her thoughts on retirement, come on back to MTV News later in the week. ...

Andre 3000 is trash! C'mon, everybody, repeat it. Three Stacks is gah-bage! Truck juice.

Obviously no one in their right mind believes that, but if it will inspire the musical great to give us that album, hey, let's put it on billboards. Just don't say he can "save hip-hop."

"To be honest, man, I really appreciate that people appreciate what I do, but I don't like that type of pressure," he said last week of the assertion. "Like, I hate it, to be honest. ... I cannot save no whole rap game. I mean, the rap game has to save itself. Everybody's saving it. I mean, people like Lil Wayne is saving it. He's bringing energy to it.

"You cannot put that all on one man," he added. "Especially me. I write a verse every year. You can't do me like that. To be honest, I work best when people doubt me. Our whole Outkast career has been built on people doubting us. [Hip-hop fans] up North hated on us from the get-go. We wouldn't be Outkast if people didn't understand what people would call weird. You know, none of that would've happened. Actually, if you see me, tell me I'm wack. That's the best thing you can do for me. You know, if you want a greater album, say that. Say that!"

'Dre's solo album doesn't look likely to materialize soon; he still says he's "early on" in the production of it. But Mr. Benjamin did say he's going to be amping up Big Boi's Sir Luscious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty album whenever he gets the chance. With such long stretches between LPs, 'Dre credits his portable and home studios for keeping his phone ringing.

"I just did a cut with a new Pussycat Dolls single," Stacks divulged. "And I think it's called 'Baby,' so check it out. I've been doing remixes here and there, and let me tell you, thank God for remixes. I wanna tell everybody who's been checking out the remixes and things like the John Legend song "Green Light": In this day and age, those are the things that have kind of been keeping me alive. Because it takes me a while to record albums. I have to kind of build up something to say."

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