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November 20, 2006

As Jay-Z recovers from jet-lag after his whirlwind, seven-city, daylong Saturday tour, the hip-hop kingdom counts the seconds until Hovie’s (re-)takeover. Likewise, the mixtape world recovers from a week of ad-libbing to America’s Favorite Trapper, Young Jeezy, courtesy of another iPod-keeper from DJ Drama.

With Def Jam about to make a killing this winter, the ATL was snowed in before Thanksgiving (thaattt’s riiiggght!!) with the Snowman’s 4th mixtape, I Am The Street Dream. Giving a couple sneak peeks at his upcoming 2nd album Thug Inspiration, due in stores December 12, Jeezy left the streets shivering again with trap anthems like “Sing Along” (a CHOPS production) and “All I Need.”

But Jay wouldn’t stay out of the mixtape spotlight for long. Days before embarking on his Hangar tour, he sent mixtape DJs scrambling as he “let the games begin” with “Brooklyn,” Hova’s beat-jacking, mixtape address to Jim Jones and Dipset. Leaving DJs sleepless and forcing them to cancel their weekend plans, Jay-Z’s last-minute diss to the Dips has had the mixtape world up in arms ever since.

Chanting ‘Brookllyyyynnnn’ to the cadence of Jim Jones’ recent mixtape smash “Ballin,” Hova smirks ‘the Joneses can’t keep up…/ Well…Maybe my nigga Nas – but I got strong after ‘Ether’” and ends his silence on one of the mixtape buzz tracks of the week, along with, of course, the Dipset’s immediate response.

With Jim recruiting Juelz to have a little fun with Jay-Z, the Capo jabs (possibly at Ms. Hovie, too) “You say 30’s the new 20 / but you’re 40, and I’m 30, so who’s 20?”
“Brooklyn” was actually Hova’s second mixtape heat-seeker of the week, after his “Black Republicans” collabo with Nas popped up on Big Mike & Statik Selektah’s The Sun Still Rises In The East. Said to be on Nas’ forthcoming Hip-Hop Is Dead Def Jam debut, the track showcases the once arch-enemies exchanging verses over a beat from Nas’ faithful producer L.E.S. (who’s roots with Nas date back to Illmatic).

It’s not likely that any of this material would have made the Presidential Invasion mixtape DJ Green Lantern and Jay were putting together. The bad news is that it doesn’t look like that mixtape will be invading anything any time soon. After leaking one track and talking the CD up on the radio, best guesses are that Jay didn’t want to squeeze it in before the album. The good news is, that will only give more time for The Evil Genius and Jigga to give it a classic twist for when it does come out.

Along with Jay-Z pushing back his mixtape (yep…even MIXTAPES get pushed back!), The Game and his mixtape partners-in-crime, DJ Skee and Nu Jerzey Devil, were rumored to be dropping the sequel to Black Wall Street Journal but that’s definitely on hold as Game awaits his Soundscans for Doctor’s Advocate. Up next might even be the Ya Boy mixtape the BWS camp is currently working on – West Coast headz stay tuned for more info on that.

Eghcck! This Thanksgiving, the Thornton brothers – better known as Malice and Pusha T (two halves of the Clipse, two fourths of the Re-Up Gang!) – will definitely have something to be thankful for around the Thornton table. With their long overdue album only five days away at that point, Malice and Pusha T will be on their way to Star Trak heaven after their release from what they consider hip-hop purgatory.

The mixtape heavyweights are also finished with the re-mastered release of their classic ‘05 mixtape We Got It 4 Cheap, Vol. 2 (which will include 4 new songs + a freestyle) with DJ Clinton Sparks. The Virginia dopeboyz will be slipping the re-releases inside a DVD case however, as Malice and T show the fans their New York City We Got It 4 Cheap concert at the Knitting Factory. The Clipse’s new joint “Momma I’m Sorry” first touched down on the Big Mike & Statik Selektah joint and all we can say is that accordion is bananas. Hell Hath No Fury – In stores November 28.

On the creative side of the mixtape map, DJ Swindle remixes another incredible mash-up mixtape, putting Em-J (Marshall Meets Michael) into rotation. Stringing Eminem verses together over reproduced Michael Jackson instrumentals, the DJ who figured out a way to mash up Mobb Deep & Bob Marley on Bobb Deep and brought 50 Cent back to the future with 80 Cent, creates an incredible pop effect with this latest dish. Favorites are Em’s remix over “Wanna Be Starting Something” to kick the mixtape off, and “The Real Slim Shady” blended over “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough.”

In other mash-up, mixtape remix-pairings, CT’s DJ Semi puts together the South’s biggest names to remix together tracks from Lil’ Wayne and T.I. On the other side of PA, Joey Fingaz follows up his XL-rated mixtape with Ray Cash and The Kickdrums with a Southern specialty re-mixtape featuring Weezy & Jeezy.

Worth noting, G-Unit and ringleader 50 Cent have been notably silent on the mixtape front since the release of Lloyd Banks’ sophomore LP Rotten Apple. With something likely up his sleeve with the approaching release of NasHip-Hop Is Dead album, 50 has been laying back on music, recently accepting a role alongside Robert DeNiro in the upcoming police drama New Orleans. On the G-Unit side of things, Hot Rod is rumored to have a mixtape in the works, as well as Mase, although both mixtapes are not currently slated for release from the currently vacationing G-Unit DJ Whoo Kid.

G-Unit has also been in the news recently after Young Buck went on SHADE 45 last Monday and announced he had his sights on signing Philly’s Major Figga leader Gillie Da Kid to G-Unit South. After clearing the air about the whole Baby and Lil’ Wayne situation and before calling out The Game for “bipolar” attitude, Buck Marley declares “Shout out to Gillie, I’m trying to sign you” and says he’s got a lane for Gillie over at G-Unit/Cashville Records.

Gillie has been anything but a stranger to the headlines with his constant barrage of insults flung at Lil’ Wayne, Baby and Cash Money Records. Apparently Buck and Gillie share the grudge, and the background goes like this: Buck was 16-years-old when Baby called him down to New Orleans for an impromptu audition. When Baby disappeared for several days, Buck was left stranded – and the G-Unit South general hasn’t forgotten. Anxious to start a war, Buck’s offer to Gillie is a reminder that G-Unit beef never dies, it only multiplies.

GDK has been so popular in the hip-hop world recently that MTV’s Sucka Free with Cipha Sounds has invited him back for his second appearance in two months. Not bad for an unsigned artist. His upcoming mixtape with Superstar Jay and his recent release with fellow Philadelphian Cosmic Kev are sure to be at the center of discussion for the reincarnated rapper.

In other news, DJ Drama’s newest mixtape hits the streets this week. And no, it has nothing to do with Snowmen or the Dirty South. His own artist Willie The Kid puts it down for The Aphilliates Music Group, Drama’s Asylum imprint, as Grand Rapids lands on the map with Divide & Conquer. The brother of Wu familia La The Darkman, WTK is finally polished and ready for his close-up. With his Gansgsta Grillz family in place, Willie picks a collection of classic and recent instrumentals and makes his mentor proud. Watch out world, Drama’s cosign is stronger than ever.

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