MTV's Mixtape Monday 11-21-05

DJ: Kay Slay

Representing: Harlem, New York

Mixtapes: Celebrity Status 4 and Grafh Classic

411: DJ Kay Slay has teamed up with two of hip-hop's brightest prospects: Grafh and Chamillionaire (the host and featured guest on Celebrity Status 4). While the mixtape from Grafh (a joint effort with Slay and Clinton Sparks) focuses mainly on him, Celebrity Status features all the big heads, including Biggie, Jay-Z, Mobb Deep, 50 Cent and the Diplomats.

So when can you hear albums from these spitters? Chamillionaire's official debut, The Sound of Revenge, comes out on November 22, and Grafh, who is inked to Queens, New York-based (and Dame Dash-affiliated) Black Hand Entertainment, has an LP slated for early next year.

Let's take a look behind the mixtapes:

Joints to Check For:

* "Rain" (featuring Scarface) and "Picture Perfect" (featuring Bun B), both from Celebrity Status 4. "Both of these records are on my album as well," Chamillionaire noted. "I hit Scarface on the cell and told him that I would be honored if he would feature on my album. He came to the studio on short notice and laid the verse down. The song is special to me because, not only is Scarface a living legend, but the song has a lot of depth and a sincere meaning behind it. I came up in the world of mixtape freestyles, and most of the songs in that world don't have purpose or real substance. With all the real-life situations like Hurricane Katrina happening nowadays, a song like 'Rain' is a message to keep your head up, because the sunlight always comes after the rain."

* "Picture Perfect." "Bun B is one of my favorite Southern lyricists, and on 'Picture Perfect,' me and Bun paint the picture of life in Texas lyrically. We are basically saying that we are proud of how we live here in Texas, and our lives sometimes seem picture perfect."

* "Ain't No Telling," from Grafh Classic. "It's crazy," Grafh said. "Me and my man Swizz — he made the beat, he's on the hook and he's the one that actually made the record. We made it up at his studio, and BET actually filmed it for the 'Ultimate Hustler.' He made the beat live on the spot and I wrote the rhymes in my head. We came up with the hook, and history-in-the-making was recorded right there, man. The record came out nuts. The video is crazy — the streets is lovin' it."

Don't Sleep:Other Notable Selections This Week

* Tapemasters Inc.'s The Inc Files #6
* The Diplomats' The Title Stays in Harlem
* Kings of the Game's Don Omar Volume 2
* DJ Irie & Shaquille O'Neal's The Season Opener
* DJ Chuck T's Down South Slangin' Vol. 19.5: Purple Reign and Top 25 Countdown Vol. 2: Nuttin' But Da Hitz
* DJ G-Spot's Inspired by the South, Volume 4
* DJ 31 Degreez's South Star Generals
* Animal Click's Don't Feed Da Animals

'Hood's Heavy Rotation: Bubbling Below The Radar

* "What You Want" by the Notorious B.I.G. (featuring Jay-Z)
* "Diamonds on My Neck" remix by Smitty (featuring Lil' Wayne and Twista)
* "Black Stacey" remix by Saul Williams (featuring Nas)
* "The Most Shady" by Notorious B.I.G. (featuring Diddy, Eminem and Obie Trice)
* "License to Kill" by Papoose (featuring Prodigy)
* "Shoulder Lean" by Young Dro (featuring T.I.)
* "Fire" by Ghostface (featuring Trife)
* "I Ain't No Joke" by Saigon (featuring Grafh)

The Streets Is Talking: News & Notes From The Underground

With his New Hope construction company, T.I. has been giving people in the 'hood a place to live — now he's giving them a place to party. Tip is putting the finishing touches on his new nightclub, Crucial, which he's opening next week in Atlanta.

"It's going to be a real nice place where you can come and hang and party," he said last week in ATL while giving a tour of the establishment. When T.I. talks about keeping it 'hood, he's not lying: Crucial is located just minutes away from where the King of the South used to live and hustle in the trap. Crucial's grand opening is going to be on November 28 and T.I. says he expects plenty of his friends to be walking the red carpet.

The day before T.I. was showing off his club, he was partying in another, Visions — one of the most poppin' places in Cold-lanta (it was 40 degrees there last week). The CEO of Grand Hustle was partaking in a celebration for one of his playa partnas, DJ Drama. Drama — T.I.'s personal DJ — and his crew, the Aphilliates, were hosting a party for the release of the new "Gangsta Grillz" DVD, "Respect the Game." Ludacris, Chamillionaire, Lil Jon, Pharrell, Nelly and Pitbull are among the subjects on the DVD.

Of course, Drama is also DJing on the Georgia Power Tour for T.I., Young Jeezy and (in some cities) Lil' Wayne. "Jeezy and Tip intertwine the show [perform together]," Drama said. "They got a backdrop that's like Magic City. They're going set-for-set: When 'Bang' comes on, they do it together. That's what everybody wants to see — them onstage together. A tour of this caliber means so much because both of them dudes is on top of their game."

During the party, you could see the celebrities like Chingy stroll in. Later, as DJ Don Cannon was spinning records, MCs like Lil Scrappy, T.I., Juvenile and Skip got on the mic and started to perform some of their hits. (Cannon is also the producer of Young Jeezy's "Go Crazy," and upcoming tracks by Busta Rhymes and Trick Daddy.) ...

Atlanta's legendary spinner DJ Jelly is staying on his grind, working on his on his next, currently untitled mix DVD.

"It's real different," Jelly said. "I'm taking R&B like John Legend and Mariah Carey and putting some crunk beats under it." Other new Jelly mixtapes include That Hard, Trapville USA and Jigga: On Top of the Game, where he blends Jay-Z songs with strictly southern beats. Jelly's crew, the Big Oomp DJs, are also in the production game — they've already supplied beats to the PSC and Lil' Flip, and are in the studio with Baby D.

For more on the role of mixtapes in the music industry, check out the feature "Mixtapes: The Other Music Industry."