Artist: Soulja Boy Tell'em
Representing: Atlanta/ Hip-Hop's Next Generation
Mixtape: Teen of the South
411: Soulja Boy hears the flak he catches for his lyrical deficiency on songs such as "Crank That" and "Yahhh!" However, the 18-year-old says he can really spit if he wanted to. He's not gonna let his detractors knock him off his grind while making his second LP, iSouljaBoy, which is due later this year. He's going to keep his music geared toward the party.
"If I wanted to, [I could] go that route and be respected [not for] my success ... respected [for] my music and my lyrics or whatever," he said about switching up his steez. He's not going to do that officially. But Soulja did say that he put more emphasis on his wordplay while making his new street CD.
"That's why I did the mixtape that I did," he said. "I did a mixtape called Teen of the South with DJ Scream. And I did that just to step my game up a little bit on that [lyrical] side. But I wasn't really going into no album and just full-fledge trying to switch my swagger and try to get respect from the game. 'Cause why would I show love to the game? The game don't show you love back. So I wasn't gonna do that and come back out and mess up my image and mess up myself. I was going on the strength that I want respect from people who probably don't like me anyway. So I'm gonna stick to what I do and stay being successful and I'll do some mixtapes and some futures, something like that."
The first single from iSouljaBoy is coming soon. He expects it to be just as big as "Crank That."
"I ain't giving away nothing," he responded when asked for details. "Polow Da Don did the beat. That's all I'll say. Polow did the beat. I ain't saying who's featured on it or nothing like that. I'm just saying when it comes out. We ain't doing no leaks, we ain't doing nothing. When it comes out, straight video, straight radio, all in the same day."
Joints To Check For» "Gucci Bandana" (featuring Shawty Lo and Gucci Mane). "All of us, we from Atlanta, Georgia," Soulja said. "I'm from South Atlanta. Shawty Lo from West Atlanta. Gucci Mane is from East Atlanta. And basically, you know, it's swagger. It's all about your swag. Dudes going Louis. Dudes going Gucci. Dudes going Prada. So I was like, 'Let me go Gucci real quick.' We hooked up, went into the studio, knocked the song out. And basically, it's like three 12-[bar] verses. We just spittin' about how swagged-out we are, basically. Just a swag record. I went in, I did the beat."
» "iDance." "That was gonna be my first single leading into my second album," Mr. Tell'em told us. "It was a hot record. Three million views on YouTube. Two million plays, all that. But I didn't wanna go back that route no more. Like, I was already successful with a big dance song. This record was incorporated with a dance. It was another big dance. And it was about to take over again. I told the record company, I was like, 'Stop. I don't wanna come back dancing.' 'Cause the question that everybody's asking is, like, 'What am I gonna come back with?' So I could have took back over with that record, but I think dancing is starting to get a little corny. So I was like, 'Man, I'm gonna hold off on that tip.' So I just threw it on the mixtape. It's heavy in the streets. We gonna shoot an underground video to it."
» "Shopping Spree" (featuring Yo Gotti and Gucci Mane). "Basically the record is just talking about [the fact that] I'm successful in the industry, so I got a lot of cheese," the young millionaire said. "[I made] $6 mil at 16. So basically I'm just saying I'm on a shopping spree. Just talking cash money, that's all."
Don't Sleep: Other Notable Selections This Week
» The Commission - Rock the Bells '08
» DJ Blazita and Cassidy - Philly Renegade
» Ice Cube and Redman - "Street Bangaz Vol. 1" DVD
» Lil Wayne - The Leak 4
» Superstar Jay - Born Ready
'Hood's Heavy Rotation: Bubbling Below The Radar
» Freeway - "Will I Ever Be Free"
» Lloyd Banks - "718 N---a"
» Re-Up Gang - "My Life's the Sh--"
» Rhymefest (featuring Jadakiss and Chamillionaire) - "What's Up"
» Sauce Money (featuring Jadakiss and Busta Rhymes) - "Get That Paper" remix
» UGK (featuring Akon) - "Bad as Hell"
» Young Jeezy (featuring Jay-Z) - "Put On" remix
We had Ludacris and DJ Drama on Mixtape Monday Video a few weeks ago telling you about their collaboration, Gangsta Grillz: The Preview. As predicted, the tape is causing a stir. Luda is as entertaining as ever with his metaphors and flows, and as you've heard, the tape is being talked about from the 'hood to presidential-campaign tour buses. Now, despite Barack Obama's camp saying they weren't amused with "Politics as Usual," you can bet that the Illinois senator is getting Luda's vote come November. They had a chance to meet and chop it up some time ago.
"I went to Barack Obama's office right before he started running for president," 'Cris told us. "So, you know, we went in and talked and everything. People were wondering what we talked about — it was confidential. But I was a firm supporter of Barack even before he decided to run for the presidency. So I'm all for it, man. We're making history, and we're still going strong. So make sure you vote Obama, believe that. '08!"
The Streets Is Talking: News & Notes From The Underground
50 was just joking. He doesn't really want the songs he did with Dre back, but he does want some material the Doc just has laying around.
"He has the music. It's right there in the computer," Fif divulged. "I stop by [his studio] every time and get something that adds something significant to my project each time [I'm about to put a record out]. And I spend three or four days there. To me, he's the best producer in the game.
"When I walk in the studio, I record the first [beat] that comes on regardless if I think it's a hit record or not," he added. "We get in work mode, get comfortable and go through the material that's in the computer. Dre always has hit records. Sometimes, artists that need producers, they need someone to create a direction for them musically. I need the jewels he's just got laying around. He don't gotta tell me what to do with it. All he has to do is say, 'Track six.' Or, 'Go to track eight.' He'll have hits playing there. You just have to get in and get them."The G-Unit's team captain doesn't know when the album is coming out, but he's anticipating it just as much as everybody else.
"Hopefully he'll get it done and put it out," 50 said. "I'm waiting for the Detox. All I can say is, Dr. Dre is the best producer in my eyes. Just the consistency over the years. ... He knows what he wants. He's such a perfectionist that it becomes difficult for him to put it out." ...
"I loved the Bo Jacksons/ The orange and blue." N.O.R.E.'s "I Love My Life" is 10 years old, but it can still give you the chills as it glides out of your speakers. Smooth-thug reflections! While Noreaga's solo debut is heralded as a classic, back then he didn't really catch on to the accolades. Recently in Miami, he told us how it was difficult for him to put out his brand of hardened, street-basher music during a time when Puff Daddy and the family dominated with sleek party joints — especially in New York.
"When we came out, I can say it now, I actually hated Puff Daddy," Nore said in his studio, sitting next to Capone. The duo were in the lab recording their next LP, Channel 10. "I can say that now, 'cause Puff is my man. I was disgusted at what they was doing with the shiny suits and the blow-up dolls and looking like Missy. I didn't agree with that. I felt the shiny-suit movement was destroying the grimy movement. As I got older, I learned to respect people for doing different things. At that time, 'Pone was actually locked up. I was on the streets, and I would turn on BET and MTV, it would be the shiny-suit dudes. It was a messed-up time.
"Mase was killing them," he added. "Y'all can say what y'all wanna say about Mase, but he was killin' them. You almost wanted to throw on something shiny. They caught Jay-Z. Remember Jay with the 'Sunshine' [video]? He had the Ferris Wheel, the Cyclone, whatever. It was real hard."
Capone and Nore were just off a night from recording two songs for their LP. One is an untitled record featuring Mobb Deep.
"First time it's just Mobb Deep and CNN [Capone-N-Noreaga]," Nore said. "We got Prodigy. We got him in jail on the phone call. We got him before jail, after jail. That's it. We don't know the name of it."
They didn't know the name of the other track either. "The record is about surviving," Nore said of the second track," Nore said.
"We letting them know we relevant, we survived the storm," 'Pone jumped in. "Nothing's changed. We always gonna be relevant as long as good music is relevant."
CNN also have the mixtape Back on That Q.U. Sh-- out in the street. Their original DJ, Whoo Kid, helped them put it together.
" 'Hollywood' signifies a lot," Capone said of the record we should check for. "People think Capone and Nore, we haven't lived in the 'hood for the past 12 years. So they think we may be in Hollywood or La-La Land. The record is basically Nore telling me, 'I never should have went there, but I had to do it.' 'Hollywood' is not Hollywood as you know it, though."
Channel 10 comes out in September. The title pays homage to where you can catch the television network CNN on the dial in their hometown of New York.
For other artists featured in Mixtape Monday, check out Mixtape Mondays Headlines.