Billboard Bits: Lil Jon, Boost Mobile, Deep Dish

News on Lil Jon, Boost Mobile, Deep Dish

JonWith his new TVT album, "Crunk Juice," due for release Tuesday (Nov. 16), Lil Jon is now looking to give more attention to his label, BME, and its roster, which includes Lil Scrappy, Trillville and recent addition E-40.

"I'm going to lay back on producing for all these outside artists so I can focus more on getting our acts right," he tells Billboard.

However, he already has made two exceptions: Too Short and Ice Cube, the latter of whom guests on Lil Jon's new album. "Short was the first artist that ever really looked out for us in a major way," Jon says. As for Ice Cube, "we grew up as fans of N.W.A, and Cube got down with us on the album for nothing, really. He just respected what we were doing. So, I will probably do half of his album."

-- Rashaun Hall, N.Y.

WestSignaling the potential of the fast-growing ringtones market, Boost Mobile has raised more than $20,000 for three youth organizations through sales of its "Anthem" master ringtone. The track, produced exclusively for Boost by Kanye West, features original lyrics by Ludacris and Dr. Dre protege the Game.

"Anthem" doubles as the soundtrack for Boost Mobile's TV ad campaign, which incorporates the tag line "Where You At?" Customers can download the ringtone from the company's Web site for $1. Proceeds benefit United Negro College Fund, the Ludacris Foundation and Chicago State University Foundation.

"This is a fully integrated campaign," Boost Mobile VP of marketing Darryl Cobbin says. "Our desire was to create content that doesn't just compete in wireless but in any [format] that targets young people. And instead of just marketing to these young people, we also wanted to give something back."

-- Gail Mitchell, L.A.

DishDJ/production outfit Deep Dish has signed with Thrive Records. The deal calls for three studio albums and two DJ-mixed sets. The pair's hotly anticipated sophomore studio album, due in March, has been preceded by the global dancefloor smash "Flashdance," which arrives in January. The single was available for a short time from the duo's own label, Yoshitoshi Recordings.

With majors no longer an integral part of the dance music equation, independent labels can spend less money to get the acts they want. "Then, it was difficult to compete with the big monsters," says Thrive founder/president Ricardo Vinas. "You needed a huge wallet. Now, you can get more with less."

Next year will also see several releases from Paul Oakenfold's Perfecto imprint via Thrive, including DJ Skribble's "Perfecto Presents ... Skribble: Spring Break 2005" and the Oakenfold-helmed
soundtrack to the Spike TV reality show "The Club."

-- Michael Paoletta, N.Y.