Lil Wayne Isn't Inspired By Today's Music; Rick Ross Borrows Beats From Jay-Z, T.I., M.I.A. For New Tape: Mixtape Monday

Plus: Plies reps for pant saggers; Kid Cudi gets a boost from Jim Jones, Kanye West.

Artist and DJ: Rick Ross and DJ Infamous

Representing: Maybach Music/ C.C.C.

Mixtape: Still the Trillest

411: Masspike Miles, what up? We see you doing your thing with the cameras. Send that music over.

Miles' homie/mentor Rick Ross is inspired more than ever. Really. Talking to this guy, it feels likes he's a brand-new artist ready to sink his teeth into the music industry. He doesn't seem to be getting lazy, even with back-to-back #1 albums. The Boss' next album, Deeper Than Rap, comes out next year with a single possibly coming before 2008 is a wrap.

"Ross is consistent," Aphilliates member DJ Infamous said. "The material gets better and better. Ross is doing his thing. He's definitely one of the heavy hitters. He's not letting up. This shows you, there's no sleep. He's making these mixtapes while he's working on his album."

"I feel that I can do both," Ross explained. "I yell, 'Trilla,' everywhere I go. Mixtapes, I do it for the love. That ain't for the money. We having fun. It's a lot of hot music right now. It's a lot of stuff to hop on right now. I look at it like a sport. I call up Inf, he's playing all the hot records in the background: 'That sounds appropriate for the Boss.' "

Just like his LP title says, it's deeper than rap music with Ricky. He's getting his business on and alluded that all his future music is coming out through his own Maybach Music imprint with Def Jam.

"I'mma make a big announcement," he said. "We got some negotiations going on. I got love for Slip-n-Slide [Records]. We did a lot of positive things over there. They gave the boy his big break, but I'm bossin' up right now. It's most definitely one of the biggest and bossiest moves. You gotta think big."

Joints To Check For

» "Swagger Like Ross." "I felt like [the song 'Swagger Like Us' was reminiscent of 'Luxury Tax' for me," the Boss explained about rapping over T.I. and Jay-Z's beat. "A Down South 'Reservoir Dogs.' The best of the best. That's the record of the year right now. Classic. When I heard it, I said, 'Wow, that's a piece of history. That's a memory.' So I wanted to be a part of it. I got the instrumental and did what I had to do. The streets are feeling it. That's what's important, to say what up to Tip, Jay, Kanye, Weezy."

» "Paper Planes" freestyle. "What's funny about that record, I was up one night eating a Hot Pocket," he remembered. "Like 4 in the morning, watching one of them video shows. The [M.I.A.] video came on. This was two or three weeks ago. I had never heard the record. I was like, 'What's this? It's dope, whatever it is.' The next morning — I must have been late — when I got up, it was the phenomenon. I had to boot that up. One of my favorite lines from my freestyle is I when I mention my chick: 'She's around a lot of pot smoke/ Gucci down and not allowed to rock Coach.' Them bags with the C's on it, we'll fix that. Holla at your boy."

» "Jockin' Ross." "That beat, that's Jay, the big homie," he said about jacking "Jockin' Jay-Z (Dope Boy Fresh)." "That's the biggest inspiration in the game for me, for a lot of reasons. Other than him signing me to Def Jam Records, what he's done for being a young, black entrepreneur — it's deeper than rap. If you think that big, it lets you know your potential. Shout-out to Jay-Z and his new label. It's love."

Don't Sleep: Other Notable Selections This Week

» Cashus C.R.E.A.M. - GameTime

» DJ Cashis Kay - Blends for That Ass 6

» Joe Budden - Halfway House

» Lloyd Banks - Shine Through

» Rick Ross - Maybach Music Pt. 2 (Deeper Than Rap)

'Hood's Heavy Rotation: Bubbling Below The Radar

» Bishop Lamont - "Missile Testing (Death to Infidels)"

» Dres - "The Choice Is Yours (Obama '08)"

» EPMD - "Listen Up"

» Ghostface Killah - "Computer Love"

» H-Town All-Stars - "Obama '08"

» T-Pain (featuring Kanye West) - "Therapy"

The Streets Is Talking: News & Notes From The Underground

Lil Wayne continues to fascinate fans. It's more than his music. Wayne has a baby, you guys write to to speak on it. He goes to court, you guys write in. He gets a new piercing, everybody talks about. You guys asked us, so we asked him: What is the story behind the lip piercing he debuted at the 2008 Video Music Awards?

"No story behind it," he said nonchalantly. "I'm human like you. Average like everybody else. You want it, you get it. I wanted it, I got it. No story behind it. That's what's wrong with the world now. Everything has to mean something. You're doing things for that meaning and not for you. I have no reason to do it. I did it because this is Wayne and this is what I wanted. Now that I got it, you can get it today or tomorrow, and you know who you trying to be like, right?"

OK, back to the music. Wayne and DJ Drama are almost done with Dedication 3, and Mr. Thanksgiving said we'll be hearing something very soon. Outside of his own projects, though, Weezy said there isn't too much — by "too much" he means nothing — that's exciting him.

"Everybody's doing their thing, but they're not exciting," Wayne said. "Everybody is doing the same thing. That's terrible. Do I love the music that's out right now? I love it with a passion. Does it motivate me? Not one bit. That's because 808s & Heartbreak isn't out yet.

Wayne is one of the few guests on Kanye West's upcoming album. ...

With an album title like Da Realist, of course Plies would be one of the few MCs to speak out against a law in some Southern cities that bans men from wearing their jeans with a sag. "Pants Hang Low" was his loud response.

"For me, being where I'm from, understanding the legal system and the culture I'm a part of, I felt it was a statement record," he said. "We got a lot of cats ... they had a situation in Riviera Beach, Florida, not too far from my hometown. It was a group of guys that were harassed and arrested and incarcerated for a fashion statement. I'mma always stand in the forefront and do what I feel is right. The record had a lot of sentimental value to it."

His December 16 LP features nothing less than good ol' Plies spitting from the heart.

"Still hitting on issues that's important to me," he said of his second LP in less than a year. "I got another record, called 'Family's Straight.' It's me talking to God, asking him that before he takes me, before he calls my number, give me the opportunity to get my family in order. I'mma continue to make music that's true to who I am. I still got the over-the-top radio records. To have that good collage of what I call street-accepted music, I couldn't ask for it in no better way."

The lead cuts from Da Realist are "Heard of Me" and "Put It on Ya."

"The record is on pace in two weeks to be another certified #1 record," he said of the latter. "God has his hands on me right now." ...

Jim Jones definitely blessed Kid Cudi's underground hit "Day 'n' Nite," giving the record exposure it hadn't gotten in the year and a half since Kid first released it.

While Cudi is thankful to Capo for unofficially remixing it, he is a little salty that his song didn't start to pop until a known artist rapped on it. Give an up-and-comer a shot, would ya?

"[Jim] jumping on it opened up a lot of people's eyes to it, like, 'Oh, word, this kinda is a dope record,' " Cudi said. "It's kinda wack that somebody established with a big name has to jump on your record before mutha----as start to feel it. That's my problem with the game. I think that's the lamest part of the game, of the industry."

If you think Cudi is going to capitalize with a remix of the remix, you're wrong. He declined. He's focusing on new material with Kanye West. 'Ye signed him about a month ago.

"I just established a whole G.O.O.D. Music situation," Kid explained. "Kanye reached out, and my manger, Plain Pat, works with him on the A&R tip. He's always been a fan of my records, I guess. He liked the joints, and it just made sense. It came together. The fact he supports what I do and he sat there and listened to my vision and he got it, that was the dopest moment for me."

And, oh, what a vision it is. The homie from Ohio has planetary hopes.

"Man on the Moon: The Guardians," he said, revealing his album title. "It's about my rise, my birth until now, present day. Me growing up, not knowing that this would be my destiny. All my hardships growing up and kinda becoming one with myself. Finding inner peace, being comfortable in my own skin, becoming an individual. And coming from the moon, which would be my own little world, it starts off from there and goes to a whole 'nother level.

"To my birth up to present day," he reiterated about the LP's timeline. "My guardians, all my features on my album, don't play themselves. They play characters in my story. Each feature plays an angel. They play a certain part of my personality as a guardian angel. It's all story format, and it's gonna be dope to see 'Kid Cudi features so-and-so as ... .' They can get into a character and vibe out."

Besides Kanye, Cudi wants to work with Ryan Leslie, Organized Noise, Will.I.Am, 88 Keys, the Alchemist, Emile and Dr. Genius, who produced "Day 'n' Nite."

The album isn't due until the spring, but until then, Cudi would love for you to give his record — the version with or without Mr. Jones — some play.

"I was worried about how people would view the original version of 'Day 'n' Nite.' It was my first song out to the public that we were pushing. As an MC ... I wanted people to know I'm a rapper, not a singer. Then I was like, 'F--- it.' Nowadays, artists think too much instead of doing records with pure feelings."

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