- Name: DJ Envy
The Queens-bred record spinner/producer wastes no time on the R&B-flavored Paradise, leading things off with a remix of R. Kelly's hit single "Ignition." Taking a cue from Donna Summer of all people, Kells continues equating lovemaking and driving vehicles before commanding, "Give me that toot-toot/ Let me give you that beep-beep/ Rubbing her hands through my 'fro/ Bouncing on twenty-fo's" in a sing-songy rap flow reminiscent of Nelly.
Nelly himself is featured on the CD via the remix of Whitney Houston's "One of Those Days," on which the Grammy-nominated MC does his best to execute a reggae chat.
Later in the mixtape, Envy gives newcomers a chance to shine. Jonelle -- who we last heard in 2001, telling Method Man she had it up to here on the remix of "Round and Round" -- resurfaces with Tical's partner Redman on "So Wassup." And just like his co-star in "How High," Red is causing the singer to croon about kicking him out the house. Then Althea, who's signed to Foxy Brown's Ill Na Na imprint, gets her big introduction to the masses, displaying her pipes on "So Damn Fine," on which she sings about following attraction rather than her instincts ("All my friends think I'm crazy/ They don't think he treats me like a lady").
And while Paradise is all about how good you blow, The People's Choice Part 2 focuses on rappers' dexterity in spitting. You can't get any more gutter-entrenched than the groups CNN and M.O.P. The two factions collaborate for the crassly titled concrete anthem "Stomp the Sh-- Out of You." Take cover when they play that one in the clubs. The Mash Out Posse come back later with their vintage rhythmic menacing on "It's That Simple," on which they warn all those who oppose them on the mic.
In February, Envy will be trying his hand at delivering the goods to the store, putting out the album The Desert Storm Mixtape: DJ Envy Blok Party Vol. 1.
"With mixtapes, you just get a song and put it on the mixtape and put it out and sell 20 or 30,000 copies," Envy said, explaining the difference between making an offering for the street and putting out a legit LP. "The album, you gotta get this artist, you gotta get this beat. [It involves] kissing a lot of butt. Now the album's done, you gotta do your radio shows, your videos."
Jay-Z, DMX, Busta Rhymes, 50 Cent, Jagged Edge and 3LW (when they still had Naturi Naughton) are among the who's-who cast donating new material to the project.
"I thought it would be crazy to have a block party where you get everybody from your own 'hood, your own area," explained Envy, who grew up in the same Queens neighborhood as Clue and produced four songs on the album. "We got Jagged Edge from Atlanta, 50 Cent from Queens, the L.O.X. from Yonkers. Everybody came together to this big party, which is the album."
For other artists featured in Mixtape Mondays, check out Mixtape Mondays Headlines.