Artist: Flo Rida
Mixtape: Freestyle Kronikles 3
411: One thing to get out there before we start: DJs, no disrespect to any y'all out there. (What up, Dram? We gotta go to Grand Luxe again soon!) We know the competition to get the music out there first is at an all-time fever pitch. But if you're going to leak a record, at least wait until the person doing the song gets a chance to lay his vocals. Reference tracks don't mean anything, if you really think about it.
Now, let's get down to business. We're keeping it all Miami this week. Flo Rida (sorry for keeping you out in the snow) is our main pick this week, then later, Ricky Ross has some lofty goals for himself. Look out for that.
When you're selling records at Flo Rida's pace, you can make fun of yourself. "I guess they can call me a two-hit wonder," he joked, standing in New York's Times Square last week. Flo had just received the news that his new single "Right Round" broke iTunes' singles record for digital downloads in one week — more than 635,000 sold, topping 50 Cent, Eminem and Dr. Dre's record for "Crack a Bottle."
"Don't say that; you're giving me goose bumps," Flo said of the track's success. "Right Round" is the first single from his March 31 LP, R.O.O.T.S. (Route of Overcoming the Struggle). Rick Ross, Brisco, Ne-Yo, Akon and Pitbull are all featured.
No matter how much pop love he gets, he's not leaving his rap roots. Flo and DJ Kronik connected thoughts for the mixtape Freestyle Kronikles 3.
"I'mma be putting out tapes for a long time, but this Freestyle Kronikles 3, it was hard to do a mixtape on the road, overseas," Flo Rida said. "A lot of times, they didn't even use the same voltage, so it's kind of hard to hook up the U.S. connections to the overseas connections, but at the same time, I had to put out a tape."
Joints To Check For
» "Who Hotter Than Me" freestyle. "That's the Plies beat. I'm from the M.I. Yayo, the state of Florida, the Sunshine State," Flo declared. "I had to jump on that record and put a little freestyle on it. That beat has that 'hood knock, that bass, that bottom."
» "Live Your Life" freestyle. "I recorded this when I was in London," Rida described. "We went in the closet [to lay the vocals]. I had my studio on the road. I felt like, you know, I'm definitely living life by being Mr. International. I'm traveling to places like Africa, Sweden, doing 50,000 in Denmark. That's where the inspiration came from. You'll hear some versatility. A lot of times I do the party records, but this time I'm giving you straight 'hood. Like when I first came out with the 'Birthday Cake' record, when I pulled out the 'Everybody Gotta Eat.' People know I'm well-rounded, still doing my thing in the 'hood. But it's a little different now. I got the Maybach, the mansion. I'm blessed. Thanks to my fans."
» "Just Know Dat" street mix (featuring Brisco and Lil Wayne). "Just know that I'm here to stay," Flo Rida said. "Brisco put it down very lyrically. That's my twin. Every time he do something, I always wanna do the remix, or vice versa. Shout-out to Weezy. He always lets me know: 'Flo, you got something.' I know I always have to bring my A-game when I jump on the track with him."
Don't Sleep: Other Notable Selections This Week
» Don Cannon and Derty Den - Heatwave
» DJ Young Cee and Nas - Queensbridge Chronicles
» Dutty Laundry and Project Pat - Back 2 Da Hood
» Evil Empire and Young Jeezy - "The American Dream" DVD
» Trae Tha Truth and Rob G - Both Sides of the Fence (Black N Brown Sounds Vol. 1)
'Hood's Heavy Rotation: Bubbling Below The Radar
» Fonzworth Bentley (featuring Anthony Hamilton) - "Greener"
» Jay Rock (featuring the Game, Busta Rhymes and Gorilla Zoe) - "All My Life" remix
» Maino (featuring Busta Rhymes, Red Cafe and Uncle Murda) - "Murdergram 2009"
» Naledge - "I'm in Chicago Bi---"
The Streets Is Talking: News & Notes From The Underground
Rick Ross says if you judge him on making music, then his Deeper Than Rap LP (due March 24) should make a bigger splash on the SoundScan charts than 50 Cent's Get Rich or Die Tryin'.
"That's for sport," Ross said about his dis raps aimed at 50. The Miami monster said his underground records won't overshadow the hits on his album. "My freestyles as you could hear them, 'Kiss My Pinky Ring,' I do them in 20 minutes and put them out there. Those crumble empires. People listening to how potent the music is. That's all this really is for me. I'm not really excited yet. All this is a platform for me to show people how talented I am. How much better of a lyricist I am. So if  sold 10 [million], my next album should sell 12."
All the extra aside, Ross is spitting on all the Deeper Than Rap records that have leaked so far. The album is sounding like it will definitely be one of the premier offerings of 2009. "On Top of the World" came out Friday, and a week before that, he dropped "Cigar Music."
" 'Cigar Music,' that song is, after you release a song like 'Mafia Music,' it's like playing chess," he said. "Once you clean the table, once you make your moves, once you're satisfied with your result, once you understand the opponent, at some point you gotta sit back and fire up your cigar. That's what I did that record for. It's the calm after the storm. It's timeless music and a preview to let than fans know how much my music has matured. Shout-out to Bink [who produced the track]. I think it's a record that can be appreciated by people who really love clean music."
Deeper Than Rap has guest spots from Nas, Mary J. Blige and Lil Wayne, and last week on "106 & Park," Kanye West revealed he will be featured on "Maybach Music 2."
For other artists featured in Mixtape Monday, check out Mixtape Mondays Headlines.