MTV's Mixtape Monday - April 3rd '06

Artist: DMX

Ruff Ryders

Street DVD:
"We in Here!"

DMX has never been the most press-savvy artist: Some reporters have had a field day writing about his exploits, and stories about X showing up two hours late — or not showing up at all — for interviews are legendary. But in his defense, the King of Yonkers has always been a man for the fans and the streets, and he's telling his own story with his new street DVD "We in Here!," which finds him teaming with street-DVD maven Smack (renowned for Smack DVD magazine).

We don't have much info about when this DVD will hit the streets, but we got a sneak preview — and it's wilder than you might think. Grrrrrrr!!!

Joints To Check For :

* "DMX Gets Out of Jail." With all we read about X going into the clink, it's pretty darn cool to see him getting out. X's videographers head straight to Rikers Island [penitentiary] with his wife and other loved ones and catch him as he heads out from behind the walls. You'll never see X more gleeful.

* "Driving With DMX." With all the ghost-riding in the hyphy movement, it's easy to forget that the Ruff Ryders were really the first hip-hop family to wild out on bikes. X speeds through the streets and pops wheelies on four-wheel bikes, but the true gem is watching him cruise in his truck, singing Michael Jackson's "Remember the Time." "Do you remember, girl?" he sings, faking a high-pitched M.J. cadence.

* Preview of DMX's reality show, "Dark Man X." When the show comes out in the spring (as it's been advertised, anyway), X is probably going to be the most captivating reality-TV star since Bobby and Whitney. He takes the viewer to his home in Arizona, where talks with a couple of kiddie cowgirls about keeping it gangsta, gets joked on by his neighbor Buddy (a middle-aged Caucasian cowboy) about being such a terrible shot — and we even see X break down and cry because of his legal problems.

Don't Sleep: Other Notable Selections This Week

* Young Mase's Young Mase Presents the Detroit Takeover
* Superstar Jay's The Mixtape Heist
* DJ Fade's Wu-Tang Clan Forever and Five Star Generals
* Mike Love's Mike Love Presents Psychodrama
* Bossman's This Is a Warning and Yellow Tape

'Hood's Heavy Rotation: Bubbling Below The Radar

* "It's My Thang" by Daz (featuring Kurupt)
* "Cali Is Active" by the Dogg Pound Gangsta Clique
* "Pourin' Up" by Mike Jones (featuring UGK)
* "Chunk Up a Deuce" by Swishahouse (featuring Lil' Keke, Paul Wall and UGK)
* "I Love My Bitch" by Busta Rhymes (featuring Kelis)
* "Me Too" by Clipse (featuring Pharrell)
* "Do It" by Keith Murray

Celebrity Faves

Mary J. Blige says she's just gotta get in the lab with Kanye West: She's feeling his beats and raps. "I would love to work with Kanye, and I would love to have him even do a rhyme on one of my joints," she said on the set of her new "Enough Cryin" video. "That's something that I would love to do — I just love his work. What I'm feeling about Kanye is that he does not go against what's in his heart, and you can tell — from the way his videos look and the way his music sounds — he absolutely follows what is in his heart. Not many rap records get under your rib cage because people don't choose the right songs, but Kanye does, and he chooses the right topics. And he's not frontin' for the world: He's Kanye, and you gotta respect that."

The Streets Is Talking: News & Notes From The Underground

In one of the stranger collaborations of the year, Hasidic reggae star Matisyahu wants to slow things down: He wants his music to get screwed and chopped by Michael 5000 Watts.

"Yeah, we gonna take it to another level," Watts said of the project. "I found out he was a fan of my work. He reached out and said he wanted me to chop up the record, and we're gonna do it. His music is nice. I like reggae music. [He brings it] from a different twist, but I like it."

Just about everyone down with Watts' label, Swishahouse, is in the studio right now, so there'll be a slew of albums coming out later this year. In August, Watts and company will release the third installment of their Day Hell Broke Loose LPs.

"It's not really like a compilation record, it's like a group album with everybody we got in our camp," he said. "Every once in a while we get some outside people on it, but it's mostly people in our camp."

So far, the only outsiders rhyming with Swishahouse members — Mike Jones, Paul Wall, Coota Bang, Archie Lee and R&B singer Cristal — are Scarface, Z-Ro and extended Swishahouse family member Lil' Keke.

"No telling who we gonna have after we finish," Watts added. "We're still working on the record."

Watts says even though he basically has no input on the next Mike Jones album, Jones is still under contract to the label and will probably release his next LP, The American Dream, sometime this summer. Paul Wall's next album, Ain't No 401K for a Hustla, should be dropping in the fall.

"Paul Wall's record is going along pretty good," 5000 noted. "Wait until you hear what he's got — you'll really hear how much he's advanced and evolved as an MC."

Although Watts says he's basically letting Wall decide who he wants to work with, he's hoping that the Snowman will pop up on the album. "I would love to see him work with Jeezy," Watts said. "Jeezy is one of my favorite artists today, but Paul does a great job with everybody."

Other LPs coming from the Swishahouse fam this year include Coota Bang's Big Bang Theory and Archie Lee's Hollyhood. Before the records though, Watts says he's putting out a Swishahouse mixtape called Playing With No Rules to heat up the streets. That mixtape should be finished this week and released soon. ...

Bye-bye, birdie: Ghostface's blinging sidekick has been put out to pasture. After years of grabbing eyes with his golden eagle arm-piece, Tony Stark has decided it's run (or flown) its course and is replacing it with a globe.

"The eagle piece was gettin' to be too much," Ghost explained last week in L.A. "It was too heavy, really. So I had to just change it around, get it melted down. That's why the switcheroo. Plus it was bangin' a few cats — I might be in a crowd and poke you real quick with one of the wings. But it was all good, though. It was out of love."

Ghost says he picked a globe because he wanted something more meaningful. "I ain't gonna give it away," he said, "when you see it, you gonna know what I mean. It's just that a brother got a lot of weight on his shoulders — it's like I'm carrying the world. I think that's what suits me best."

Ghost says his fetish for dookie chains was influenced by years of watching hip-hop's original king of gaudy gold, the legendary Slick Rick.

"I like a lot of big jewelry," he said. "I been a fan of it since back in the '80s. I don't care how much platinum you got, you could have five million [dollars' worth of jewelry on], but when you got a bunch of truck jewelry on, it looks crazy!"