Diddy Says 'Hip-Hop Is In A Recession': Mixtape Monday

Plus: Busta Rhymes talks Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II; OJ Da Juiceman teams with Gucci Mane for tape.

Artist: OJ Da Juiceman

Representing: ATL

Mixtape: The Otha Side of the Trap

411: Don't confuse him with Orenthal James Simpson — that O.J. is in jail. The new OJ is Da Juiceman. Otis Williams Jr. is the new cat from Atlanta you need to look out for (he's been called Da Juiceman since he was 6).

"The Otha Side of the Trap is coming from me being a street artist venturing out in the rap game, giving the ears and peers listening to my music a taste of OJ Da Juiceman, a taste of my music from the street game to the rap game."

The Juice has been rapping for 10 years and has 15 street CDs under his belt.

"I always had a name for myself being in the street," he said. "By the buzz now being in the rap game, everybody is still talking. It's a beautiful thing. I'm just gonna keep working."

The Juice's indie album is out now, and he's in the studio recording another LP for Asylum to be released sometime in late spring. Between then, he'll put out two mixtapes.

Joints To Check For

» "I'm Getting Money." "That record is about a street cat coming up in the game," OJ said. "His whole focus is getting money from standing on the corner to selling clothes to selling CDs to doing whatever it takes to get money."

» "Make Tha Trap Say Aye" (featuring Gucci Mane). "It's more on the street level," Juice said. "When you make the streets scream, everybody knows you. The song features Gucci Mane. Me and Gucci been friends since we was little. We're gonna continue to be friends. He'll be home soon. I talked to him about a week ago. He's doing good. He's straight."

» "Bouldercrest." "Bouldercrest is the 'hood I came up in," OJ said. "The east side of Atlanta, GA. It's a street name. I'm repping it to the fullest. That's about it."

Don't Sleep: Other Notable Selections This Week

» DJ Dolla Sign - The Auto-Toons

» DJ Kool Kid, Jadakiss and 50 Cent - Striking Distance

» The Empire and Gucci Mane - Bird Flu Part 2

» J-Love - Legends Vol. 8 (KRS-One)

» J-Love and LL Cool J - The Icon, the Legend

» Yo Gotti - Live From the Kitchen

'Hood's Heavy Rotation: Bubbling Below The Radar

» DJ Sus One (featuring Maino, Red Cafe and Uncle Murder) - "Who Shot Ya '09"

» Fat Joe (featuring Akon) - "One"

» Raekwon the Chef (featuring Ghostface Killah) - "Criminology '09"

» Young Jeezy (featuring Jay-Z) - "My President" remix

» Lil Wayne - "Hot Revolver"

» Papoose - "Amnesia"

» Q-Tip (featuring Busta Rhymes, Raekwon the Chef and Lil Wayne) - "Renaissance Rap" remix

» The-Dream (featuring DJ Khaled, Fabolous, Ludacris, Rick Ross and Juelz Santana) - "Rocking That Sh--" remix

» Maino (featuring T-Pain) - "All of the Above"

» Lil Mama - "Diva"

The Streets Is Talking: News & Notes From The Underground

Diddy doesn't like the game right now. Not Game the rapper — the rap game. He's going to experiment heavily on his new LP and thinks his peers should get onboard with his thinking.

"Right now, I'm working on my record, and it'll be out in the end of summer," he told us recently in NYC. "It's feeling good. It's different. I'm creating a new sound. It doesn't sound like anybody else's stuff out there. With that comes a risk. I'm excited about the risk. I do have a beef a little bit with the game right now. I think hip-hop has lost its risk-taking quality. Everybody goes to the comfort zone. It doesn't have that risk anymore. You're not like, 'What is that?' when you hear that record anymore."

Mr. Combs said the record-spinners are as much to blame as the people making the music.

"People have figured out the formula when they make records for radio, and DJs ain't DJs no more," he declared. "DJs don't break records no more. DJs don't play album cuts. DJs play what is going to move the crowd. DJs, they don't expose you to the newness. That was the DJs' thing. Hip-hop is in a recession also. It's not dead, it's definitely way better than where it was at, as far as with 'Ye, T.I. and with Jeezy. It's so much great stuff out there, the responsibility has to come with the DJs. I'm about to call the DJs out. 'Cause they are the future, and they gotta step it up. I can't keep turning on the radio no matter where I'm at and can't tell who's who.

"DJs used to have a style," Puff continued. "The hottest DJ in the game right now is Q-Tip. That right there is a DJ playing, taking you on a mind-travelling experience. Playing something and you're like, 'What's that?' " ...

Busta Rhymes told MTV News that the Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II campaign has finally started. Last week, Raekwon the Chef dropped "Criminology '09," and Mr. Rhymes said more music is coming soon — so is the album.

"I saw that purple casing of the cassette," Busta remembered about the day he bought the first Only Built 4 Cuban Linx LP in 1995."I ain't never seen that before."

Cuban Linx has been heralded by fans and critics as one of the greatest contributions to the hip-hop catalog — not only because of RZA's cinematic soundscape, but because of the descriptive lyrical play between Rae and Ghostface Killah.

"I went in the car and played that," Busta continued of the purple tape. "I got to the intro, and I couldn't get pass the intro, because in the intro, it sounded like they were sniffing coke. I was like this sh-- is crazy, because this ain't cool. In the traditional fashion of hip-hop or just [in society], we looked at somebody like if you sniffed coke, you're a fiend. But they was so gangsta."

Rae and Ghost's opus was heralded as a musical page out of "Scarface," in which they showed the consequences of dealing with drugs. "I was like, 'This sh-- is so movie, before I even get to the first song,; " Busta thought back excitedly. "I was like, 'This is something I wish was mine.' "

Rhymes said executive-producing Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II is an opportunity he's waited for his entire life.

"The opportunity presented itself overseas," he explained about how the new LP started. "I forget what country it was in, but me and Rae was backstage I think Mobb Deep was there. Rae, I was like, 'Yo, man, I respect Immobilarity and R.A.G.U. and all them other albums, but why won't you ever go back and do another Cuban Linx?' He said, 'You think we should do it?' I was like, 'You have to do it! You owe it to so many people, B. You owe it to us. I don't care what you feel, what you think, what you say. Whatever I need to do to facilitate that, let's just start, see where it goes.' "

Bus and Rae went back to New York and started recording. Busta got the beats together, and Rae went in hard with his armory of rhymes.

"He was touching them beats like an unbelievable seven-star general of live-wire MCing," Bus said. "At the time, I was at Aftermath. We had put together enough songs. And when Dre heard it, he was like, 'Here.' Dre gave him five beats. RZA came to the table and started giving him the traditional classic, grainy foundation of Wu-Tang sound. J Dilla, I had that relationship. Got some joints from Ma Dukes. Hit him off with joints. [Rae] had a collection of bangers and started to sew it all together."

Although Linx II doesn't have a release date yet, Bus said it will give the "seventh-seal stamp on hip-hop" when it does drop.

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