Lil' Wayne

There's no question about it. The Bayou is the birthplace of the new hip-hop. Rap for the next millennium. And now Blaxuede (pronounced Black Suede) comes out of New Orleans spitting lyrics so hard they'll verbally slay any contender, a flow so smooth it lulls a baby to sleep, and beats so tight they make an Expedition hop. Blaxuede's self-titled debut album IN STORES DECEMBER 14TH, on Avatar Records, showcases a style that will make even rap veterans sweat.

"Bring Da Pain" is the first single of the LP's 17 cuts to hit the streets. Featuring Lil' Wayne and Young Turk of the hit-making Hot Boys, "Bring Da Pain" puts all fake MCs on alert. Blaxuede rhymes: "Now I Done Warned You/ Not to Battle Me/I Leave More Casualties Than the Dolla Bills in Your Salary...Ain't No Stoppin' The Black."

Produced by Infamous and executive produced by Ray Vincent, Blaxuede, will appeal to hip-hop fans beyond the South. "I have songs for the East, West, Midwest, North and South. I want my album to reach everyone," says Blaxuede. Track after track, Blaxuede, spans regional tastes. B.G., also of the Hot Boys, hooks up with Blaxuede on the defiant "Don't F**K Wit Us." "I liked what I had heard from the Hot Boys and thought it would be great to work together," says Blaxuede.

Blaxuede slows down the pace with "Da Sheetz." Utilizing the Isley Brothers' classic, Blaxuede romances his girl on the track. The cut's more about love than lust, a novel sentiment in contemporary rap. "I don't go around calling women bitches and hoes," says Blaxuede. "I don't talk like that in real life, why should I on records? That's not how I was raised." Of course, Blaxuede had to include a shout out to his hometown. "N.O. Be Da City" flows with full Southern flavor while "Dreaming" takes you on a jazzy, surreal journey. "Dey Don't Kno" warns fans and critics to sleep no longer on the "504" a.k.a. New Orleans.

Blaxuede's favorite track, however, is "The Only Lady." Following 2Pac's lead, "The Only Lady" is an ode to Blaxuede's mother. "She means the world to me," he says. While Blaxuede admires the success and style of Louisiana's other hip-hop movers-and-shakers, the No Limit and Cash Money clicks, he wants to make a distinction between his music and theirs. "I rap about different subjects. I can rhyme fast. I can rhyme slow. I can flow with anybody," he says.

Growing up, Blaxuede's household was filled with music. "Everyone in my family listened to the radio. We rarely watched TV," recalls Blaxuede, who counts Public Enemy as a major influence. "One day I was bored and I just started writing and fell in love with it." So the sixth grader started penning rhymes. By high school he began rapping and entering local talent shows. "I never lost one," says Blaxuede. Although Blaxuede was into sports, having played basketball and football in high school, rap was his main interest. He performed with several crews before going solo. Along the way, he picked up the tag Blaxuede, "because of my smooth delivery," says the tall, dark and handsome 21-year-old master of word-play.

His big break came while working at the Winn-Dixie grocery store where, between bagging, he'd battle his friend Ray Vincent. The two had goals of making it in the rap world. Vincent, now CEO of 504 Entertainment, executive produced the album and hooked Blaxuede up with Avatar Records. Their dreams would soon became a reality.

Now Blaxuede, whose friends call him "Suede" for short, is out to change the course of hip hop. "No one has stepped up to the plate to take rap to the next level. I'm going to be the one."