DJ and Artists: DJ Green Lantern with Royce Da 5'9" and Grafh
Representing: Street-level lyrical tyranny
Mixtapes: The Bar Exam 2 and The Oracle 2
411: It's been awhile since we doubled up, but your boy Green Lantern has been a workhorse. Not only has he been touring the world with Nas and holding down his Sirius Satellite Radio show, he's also been producing and obviously in the lab creating mixtapes. Two scoops this week.
First off, Grafh's sequel to The Oracle. Three years ago, Green and Grafh went in for part one, and the result was definitely a creative fireball that should have gotten more recognition. The second main pick this week is The Bar Exam 2. The first Bar Exam, made by Royce Da 5'9", DJ Premier and Statik Selektah, was labeled a classic.
Green was supposed to be involved in the first B.E. but couldn't make it happen due to scheduling conflicts. The two did carve out time and created a ton of chaos for Bar Exam 2. "I will do to your momma what the KKK wants to do to Obama," Royce raps on "Heat to the Streets." As you can imagine, nothing is sacred on this disc.
Joints To Check For
» "Gun Music" (from The Bar Exam 2). "Can we talk about that song in America?" Royce asked with a grin. "That song is gonna be banned in 73 states. I'm sure that's not possible, but 73 states. I don't care. Basically what I'm doing on the song is saying whatever I wanna say. Hopefully, nobody gets offended, because most of the time, I'm just playing. I'm just a fun-loving guy. Green Lantern produced it. He sent me five records. I sent him five records back in one day. That's how I do."
» "Ignorant Sh--" freestyle (from The Bar Exam 2). "It's basically over the 'Ignorant Ish' beat," Royce said. "I had my man pull up the beat, and I rapped for the entire length of the beat. That's standard for Bar Exam projects. The first Bar Exam, I had seven-minute freestyles, five-minute freestyles. I just go off from beginning to end. The entire project, once Green came in and put his stamp on it, his pullbacks and his scratches, it made it epic. Thank you very much."
» "Reservoir Dogs Freestyle" (from The Oracle 2). "I got a joint, I spazzed on the 'Reservoir Dogs' beat," Graf bragged. "Bodied it. Nobody can rap on that again. Jay-Z, no. Say goodnight. Classic."
» "Climb Up Again" (from The Oracle 2). "That's a tribute to my dudes," the Queens MC said. "One of my guys gotta go in and do a lot of [jail] time. I really addressed that scenario on the record. It's a lot to my joints."
Don't Sleep: Other Notable Selections This Week
» DJ Diggz , DJ Rated R and Ty Nitty - The Nitty Files
» DJ Drama and Ron Artest - Kings of Queens (Gangsta Grillz)
» Evil Empire and Gucci Mane - Gucci La Flare
» DJ Lazy K - Street Treats 8
» DJ Nice , Kingpin and Max B - Slave to the Wavvve
» Lloyd Banks - Return of the PLK
» Tony Yayo - S.O.D.
'Hood's Heavy Rotation: Bubbling Below The Radar
» 112's Slim (featuring Ryan Leslie) - "Good Lovin' "
» 50 Cent - "Get Up"
» Beyoncé - "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)"
» Cam'ron - "Come See Killa"
» M.I.A. (featuring Jay-Z) - "Boyz" remix
» Plies - "Put It on Ya"
» Statik Selektah (featuring State Property) - "All 2gether Now"
Last week in London, Will.I.Am said he was confused. In this day where music has just as much (or even more) play online as on the radio, the producing MC said he wasn't sure exactly what an album or a song is anymore. He's definitely trying to come up with his own definition, though.
Will was in the U.K. working on the new Black Eyed Peas LP, as well as showing up to address reporters during an event called Nokia Remix. Nokia launched their new all-in-one phone, the 5800 Xpress Music. The device makes calls, plays music and videos, sends texts and surfs the Web, among other features. The company also announced its digital-music service, Comes With Music.
"We need a different type of digital store," the BEP founder said. "iTunes isn't enough. Nokia stepping up is fresh. Nokia got lock on — how many phones in the world? I travel the world. Everywhere I go, there's more Nokia phones than anywhere else."
As far as the path he's taking on his group's next project, the Los Angeles native said, "It's gonna be BEP stuff. A little more punk-meets-dance-meets-electronic."
The Streets Is Talking: News & Notes From The Underground
Last week, Common gave his stamp of approval on Kanye West's singing throughout the upcoming 808s and Heartbreak. This week, we have the King of the Auto-Tune himself chiming in. T-Pain said he's been working with West on the project, and he also gives it a thumbs-up.
"I co-sign his whole album. I just flew in last night from Hawaii, working," Pain said recently on the set of Ciara's "Go Girl" video. "His whole album is crazy, and it's definitely a different kind of Kanye. I mean, as far as 'Love Lockdown' goes, he did that whole thing himself. He just had me in mind. 808s is really all Kanye. I'm just here to keep it from [sounding] adult contemporary." ...
Fat Joe isn't thinking about any hip-hop verses — new or old — coming at him. He's been out in Africa and other parts of the world on tour, trying to stack his bread. When he gets back to the States, Crack is going to be working on his new album.
"I'm doing something rare," he said with a smile while visiting MTV News last week. "I'm taking my time with this album. I'm just picking beats. So far, it's crazy, man. I'm just walking my dogs, making sure I'm picking these beats right, and I'm gonna go for it in a super-major way. I'm trying to come out with four smashes. I got eight songs for the album already. Two of them are those outta-here joints. Nothing you can do. You know when you hear a song on the radio and the first time you hear it, you be like, 'This guy might have one'? When you get that first reaction? I got some of those sitting, waiting. I feel like it's survival of the fittest. I've been around so long — 'What could Fat Joe do that he hasn't done yet?' It's about chasing history for me. Putting up these hits.
"Right now, it's hard," he added. "Akon did something for me. I teamed with these producers called the Incredibles. Ron Browz gave me a phenomenal joint. The kid Infamous from [Lil Wayne's] 'Mr. Carter,' he gave me a joint. These producers are going in that treasure chest, like, 'Let's give Joe this one.' I hear 'em, and I'm like, 'Wooooooo!' "
Joe's last LP, The Elephant in the Room, featured his hip-hop idol, KRS-One. So where will Joe go after rapping alongside his hero? For the new LP, he's amped to have his good friend Weezy F. Baby along for the ride.
" 'Who dat said they gonna beat Lil Wayne?' " he began rapping. "Ain't no magic like working with Lil Wayne in the studio. Ain't nobody seeing this guy. He's a rock star."
The Terror Squad Don has heard some of Tha Carter IV and is so proud of his brother in arms.
"Lil Wayne, don't bet against him right now!" Joe cautioned. "Don't bet against this guy ever right now. He calls me in the middle of the night: 'Come to the studio.' I get there, this n---a pressed play, and everything he played was super-duper phenomenal, number-one [smash]. He's singing, 'So I went to get her in my spaceship.' Craziest thing you ever heard in your life. They compared him a lot to Jay-Z, and you could see where he was influenced. But after this next album — I'm not saying he's the best rapper of all time, [but] you can't compare him to any rapper in the world. Because no rapper has done what he's about to do. That's crazy! He's a rock star, man. Hit mania!
"His new album, he's a rock star," Fat Joe continued. "He has rock hits. You won't understand what I'm saying till you hear it. Coldplay, Fall Out Boy, everybody gotta get outta here." ...
A collaboration that seems almost as improbable as Beanie Sigel and Travis Barker (the two did some work together before Barker's recent plane crash) is Sig and Mos Def. On the low, we heard that the duo are making a mixtape together.
Beans wasn't too forthcoming when we asked about it, though.
"It might be," he said with a smile. "I learned in this business to just keep your mouth shut and do what you supposed to do. If you give people too much, they tend to hold onto it. But we gonna do some things. Expect some things from Beanie Sigel and Mos Def.
"Mos, that's my man," Mack Mittens added. "We're talking about a few things. We've been talking about some album stuff, some movie stuff."
Meanwhile, Beanie's State Property sibling, Peedi Crakk, has officially shot down rumors that his first solo album (released solo album, that is — he recorded two while signed to Roc-A-Fella) will be dedicated to dissing Jay-Z. Peedi put up video blogs saying that the title of his record would be referring to Hov in a very disrespectful manner.
"The Camel Face Hunting Season joint?" Peedi said. "I would never name my album Camel Face Hunting Season. It was something on the Internet that somebody said was gonna be my album [title]. I found it amusing, started to toy with it. But we was just playing around with it. Fans don't look forward to me beefing. They look forward to the uptempo party joints. The album is A Night in the Life, on Amalgam Digital. I'm gonna invest more energy into what I really do. I smoke Camel cigarettes."
For other artists featured in Mixtape Monday, check out Mixtape Mondays Headlines.