Let's do it bigger than we ever have this time, shall we? Since we're knee-deep in our five-day celebration of Miami, we decided to make Fire Starter extra-special this week and give you five MCs from the city to look out for. Everybody promises they're hot, and unlike some cities, these cats aren't hating on one another; they're showing unity.
"It's well-strategized and well-planed," Cash Money's Brisco explained. "We watched a lot of cats get up and make a lot of money. We're happy to get our time to shine. It feels good to have cats at that high caliber we can rhyme and spar with and take this music to a whole 'nother level from the 305."
Fire Starter: Bound To Blow
Gunplay is a "goon with an attitude," his homie Rick Ross said.
"That's self-explanatory," the Carol City, Florida, native said of his moniker. "I'm just loose with it, man. I'm just trying to calm down thanks to the music industry. It saved me. It's the old ways, but new money. That's what I'm about: new money."
The pursuit of that green has made Gunplay see he can't always be physical to solve problems, especially when you're dealing with executives in the music industry.
"I know how to get business done," he promised. "At the same time, I know how to be me, which is street. I have to turn that on and off now, dealing with this industry, when I wanna get a check. I separate both worlds and try to get money."
As a youngster, Gun's mother moved the family to Miramar, which is one county up from Carol City, but all of 'Play's friends, including Rick Ross, were in the two C's.
"I bumped into Ross. We were doing the little rap stuff. We was taking it serious, we were hustling. But after time, people started going to prison, we just said to ourselves, 'We're gonna take music serious,' and we did. We're here now."
OK, maybe Gun didn't take it as serious as Ross — you know, there's that line in "Magnificent": "I always had a vision, I would always tell my n---as, but ain't nobody listen."
Trust, once Ross' "Hustlin' " hit, he was a believer. Gun got his bars up and definitely surprised many with his appearance on Deeper Than Rap's "Gunplay."
"I had a lot of built-up tension," he said of his aggression on the track. "I tried to let it out in 16 [bars]. I was just letting you know what it really is. I didn't even know I was rhyming. It came out in my heart. It's for the streets. The street felt it. They wanna hear that from Gunplay. That's what I'm gonna give you."
Gun's next step is alongside Ross for a full-length album: the Carol City Cartel LP. Then he has solo aspirations.
"I'm emulating the great," Gun said. "I'm watching all his moves. I took notes. Three years in this game now, I'm seeing exactly how to be a boss from behind the scenes. Naturally, that's just gonna be what I' gonna be. It's gonna come natural."
A Few Others You Should Definitely Be Aware Of
Nicknames: Mr. Grammy Nominated and the Opa-Locka Goon
Affiliation: Poe Boy Entertainment (management) and Cash Money Records (recording home)
Big Things Promised: Brisco started out hustling, and before he gets to balling too hard, he's trying to be a hip-hop household name like his homies Lil Wayne and the Birdman. "I been around the world and ran through two passports," he told us. His favorite trip has to be to this past year's Grammy Awards. Featured on Lil Wayne's "La La," he got a nod for Weezy's Carter III.
"I'm sharp and I'm ready," he promised. "The caliber of music we're doing is speaking for itself."
Brisc's debut is called Street Medicine, and he's proud of his versatility.
"I'm portraying something I really lived."
Moniker: Ball Greezy
Nicknames: Mr. Shone (as in act-shone!) and the Baby Mama's Favorite
Affiliation: Ball is currently unsigned, but he's been getting big co-signs from Flo Rida, as well as Rick Ross, with whom he has several collaborations.
Big Things Promised: Ball grew up being called "Ball Grim," but the homies gave him the name "Greezy" because he's "swift with everything." True to his name, his rise in the streets this past year has been moving pretty quickly. First came the banger "Shone," then he hit the circuit with "I'm the Sh--," featuring Brisco." "Juk Wit Me" followed, and now the clubs are eating up "Where They Do That At." BG believes teamwork makes the dream work.
It's Miami Week on MTVNews.com! Stay locked here for all we have to offer from the city's heavyweights.
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"Everybody got their own circle, the big dogs," Ball said of his city's established stars and the new generation of MCs. "But down here, we got our own circle too. You're standing with the best. Dade County. We're beating down the streets. If you ain't hearing Brisc, you hearing [Ice Billion] Berg. If you ain't hearing Berg, you hearing [Billy] Blue. If you ain't hearing Blue, you hearing Ball. You hearing somebody. We're doing it."
Moniker: Billy Blue
Nickname: Mr. 36 Reasons
Affiliation: Poe Boy Entertainment (management) and a joint production venture with Timbaland and Akon, through Interscope Records
Big Things Promised: "It's about being you. Spitting what you lived," Blue said of his debut, which will be helmed by Timbo and 'Kon. "Telling people, 'I'm just like you. I'm an ordinary n---a. Had a 9-to-5. I sold drugs, went to jail, been on parole, [have] f---ed up baby mamas. I been through it like everybody in the world been through it. This world is ours. Let's make it happen.' "
Billy is eager to have his fellow up-and-comers get shine as well.
"We're the young generation bringing you what you ain't heard," he promised. "We're the kids of the streets. We were birthed on this concrete. ... We're the young generation that came out the crevice of the concrete. When you 'hood, you good. You know that."
Moniker: Ice Berg
Nickname: Billion Berg
Affiliation: Trick Daddy's Dunk Ryders
Big Things Promised: Berg got his first real taste of glory rapping on Trick's "F--- the Other Side." But, when you roll with an O.G., you have to come correct.
"With him, it's pressure," Berg admitted. "That's the big homie. He's gonna put a lot of pressure on you, whether you're in the studio or not. I love him to death, though. I been around him three or four years now. You still get the heebie-jeebies working with him, but that's him. He's the legend." Look for Berg to drop after Trick releases his Finally Famous in the next couple of months. Until then, Billion has a string of mixtapes circulating through the underground.
For other artists featured in Mixtape Daily, check out Mixtape Daily Headlines.