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Bits & Bytes

December 22, 2000

The Visit

Writer-director-producer Jordan Walker-Pearlman’s moving drama The Visit is actually structured around a series of visits made by family and friends to Alex Waters (Hill Harper), a steely-eyed, recalcitrant young black man serving 25 years in prison for a rape he says he didn’t commit. That Alex also has AIDS lends an urgency to the difficult exchanges he has with his middle-class brother (Obba Babatundé), his troubled parents (Billy Dee Williams and Marla Gibbs) and a childhood friend (Rae Dawn Chong). The substance of their conversations and much of the film’s emotional rhythms, however, remain centered on Alex’s struggle to take responsibility for his life. Walker-Pearlman based his script on a play by Kosmond Russell, and so risks a degree of staginess to give ample space and time for his actors to breathe life into their roles. They pay him back ten-fold with performances that are natural yet weighted with history and frequently heart-wrenching. At times, the film’s pace can slacken to the point of drift, and its jazz-and-gospel score can be too intrusive in quieter moments, but it hardly matters. With a sharp eye for the ironies and indignities of state institutions, Walker-Pearlman and his cast deliver a searching and searing — but never preachy — film about a family in crisis who are all the more determined to pull together for the height of the walls that divide them.

December 21, 2000

'Pops' Staples Dies At 84

Roebuck "Pops" Staples, patriarch of R&B group the Staple Singers, died December 19, 2000.  He would have been 85 on Dec. 28. Staples had suffered a concussion recently in a fall near his home in Dalton, Illinois.

Staples, along with daughters Mavis, Cleotha, and Yvonne, is best known for the hits "I'll Take You There" (No. 1) and "Respect Yourself" (No. 12), which garnered the family act their first mainstream success after years of gospel acclaim. In 1976, the Staples moved even further into mainstream R&B music after signing with Curtis Mayfield's Curtom label. There they landed another No. 1 hit with the Mayfield-written and produced "Let's Do It Again," the theme from the Sidney Poitier/Bill Cosby film of the same name.

In the mid-80s, the group returned to the scene with a cover of the Talking Heads' "Slippery People," while Pops and Mavis concentrated on solo projects. Pops' 1992 "Peace To The Neighborhood" garnered a Grammy nomination, and in 1994 he released the Grammy-winning "Father, Father."

Staples in survived by his children, including a son Pervis, who helped found the group. His wife preceded him in death.

Police Hunt K-Ci For Allegedly Exposing Himself Onstage

Police are searching for K-Ci & JoJo's Cedric "K-Ci" Hailey, who allegedly exposed his genitals at a Los Angeles radio station concert Saturday night before fleeing the scene.

Several concertgoers at KIIS-FM's annual Jingle Ball stormed out of the Shrine Auditorium and alerted officers on patrol outside the venue of the alleged act, demanding they arrest the R&B singer, Officer Danielle Lee of the Los Angeles Police Department said. Police arrived backstage just after Hailey was seen exiting the building in a limousine, Lee said.

"We haven't been able to make any contact with [Hailey] yet," Lee said. "But we are still pursuing him."

Hailey is being charged with indecent exposure, a misdemeanor crime, Lee said.

Sgt. John Pasquarielio, also of the LAPD, said most of the complaints described Hailey's actions as "grabbing himself," though some said he was "playing with himself." Pasquarielio said the police report filed was for "grabbing himself at different stages of erection."

K-Ci & JoJo were performing when Hailey allegedly exposed his genitals at approximately 7:20 p.m. The R&B duo were allowed to finish their performance, though KIIS personality Valentine apologized to the audience immediately following the incident.

Christina Aguilera, Third Eye Blind, Bon Jovi, Macy Gray and 98 Degrees were also performing at the concert, which drew about 4,000 people, many of whom were young women and girls, according to Associated Press reports.

AP also reported that at least a dozen angry parents notified the LAPD, though Lee could not confirm that number.

"KIIS-FM apologizes to all of our listeners and fans for K-Ci's actions. We do not condone such behavior," a statement issued Saturday by KIIS-FM general manager Roy Laughlin said. KIIS-FM said another statement would be released late Monday (December 18).

K-Ci & JoJo's spokesperson at MCA Records said the duo had no comment.

X, the latest album from K-Ci & JoJo (Joel Hailey), was released December 5 and is at #21 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. The brothers are expected to reunite with their original group, Jodeci, next year.

Rock and pop musicians have a long history of getting into trouble for showing a bit too much onstage.

The most famous case was Doors singer Jim Morrison's arrest for allegedly simulating masturbation and oral sex during a Miami concert in 1969. The court case dragged on for nearly a year, and though charges were eventually dropped, the arrest has been credited with turning concert promoters against the Doors.

The late Lynn Strait of the hard-rock band Snot was arrested at an Ozzfest stop in Massachusetts in 1998, after emerging naked from a prop toilet — part of fellow Ozzfest performers Limp Bizkit's stage set. Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong paid $141.85 bail after he was arrested in Milwaukee in 1995 for exposing his buttocks, something Armstrong said he tended to do at mediocre shows.

Other rock acts, including Iggy Pop, Blink-182 and Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland, are notorious for stripping down during performances.

December 20, 2000

Tommy Hilfiger to Give Away College Scholarship

Fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger has partnered with Colleges.com to launch the "Full Ride Sweepstakes." Under the contest, one winner will be awarded a four-year college scholarship which also enables the winner to room and board, Tommy Jeans clothing, Hilfiger dorm and bathroom gear, shower & body products, and a four-year car lease. The complete prize structure including additional first, second and third prizes, has a face value of more than $120,000.

The "Full Ride Sweepstakes" is eligible for U.S. residents aged 15 years and older. Contestants can register by logging on to www.tommy.com and www.colleges.com by December 30th. The offer is also open to students wishing to apply to graduate school.

Hilfiger stated about the contest, "A good education is extremely important. I'm excited to launch this program because it's offered to every American, and will make an enormous impact on the lives of the winners. We are literally opening doors for these people."

Colleges.com is an Internet destination for college information, e-commerce, and financial aid. John Carrieri, Chairman and CEO of Colleges.com., said, "College years can be the best years of our lives. The "Full Ride Sweepstakes" offers the opportunity to experience college life free of financial pressures. We are thrilled to have Tommy Jeans as our partner in this promotion, making our winners the best dressed students on campus." The final deadline for entries is midnight on December 30th, 2000. Sweepstakes winners will be selected by random drawing on January 15, 2001.

Ol' Dirty Bastard Set To Be Extradited To Queens

Rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard waived his extradition to Queens, N.Y. in Common Police Court in Philadelphia on Tuesday (Dec. 19), paving the way for his transfer to the New York borough where he faces drug charges, according to a spokesperson for the Philadelphia County District Attorney's office.

O.D.B. will remain in Philly's Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility until representatives in Queens can arrange for his transfer to New York. The Philly D.A.'s office also withdrew its prosecution of fugitive of justice charges for which the rapper was held in Philly after he was nabbed by local police . O.D.B. had escaped a Pasadena, Calif. drug rehabilitation center in October.

O.D.B. will now face the music in Queens as well as Manhattan and Brooklyn, where charges of illegally operating a motor vehicle and similar drug charges have been lodged against him, respectively.

December 19, 2000

KRS-1 Speaks on Hip Hop Summit

Blast Master KRS-1 is asking for members of the hip hop community to begin preparing for Hip hop Appreciation Week (May 14 -21) and The First Annual World Wide Hip Hop Summit. He's also asking them to think about how to erase some of the negative stereotyping and profiling infringed upon the hip hop community. He recently sent out a letter defining hip hop culture and talked about the recent hip hop summit that was held on October 30th, which featured such dignitaries as Al Sharpton, Sean "Puffy" Combs, Master P, Russell Simmons, Chuck D, and Conrad Muhammad. VIBE Online will keep you posted as more information about the summit is released. Here is the official letter by KRS-1:

As a follow-up to our October 30th, 2000 Hip hop Summit held at Rev. Al Sharpton's "House of Justice," we are requesting your participation in the unity and image building of Hip hop Kulture and its elements. The participants, organizers and speakers of the Hip hop Summit agreed through applause and attendance that Hip hop must take itself to the next level. The negative stereotyping and profiling of Hip hop Kulture must end!

Our meeting on October 30th, 2000 opened up with Dave Mays (Source Magazine) calling for more social responsibility amongst Hip Hop as James Mtume spoke about the gap between old and young people, as well as the importance of Hip hop as a strong political movement for social change. Reverend Al Sharpton echoed the longtime vision of Afrika Bambaataa with a call for "Hip hop's Unity!" He also spoke about entertainment companies supporting the communities they make their money from; and the fact that, "who defines you, confines you." Hip hop must define itself for itself. With an agreed upon identity, Hip hop begins the political, social and spiritual work needed to enhance the quality of all our lives.

Conrad Muhammad (the Hip hop Minister) said it best "...Hip hop is a Kulture...." Followed up by Sean "Puffy" Combs (Bad Boy) who said, "Who I am today, is not who I will be in the future." These are truths. Hip hop will be different in the future, but how much different? Who will define it in the future? What will Hip hop turn out to be? Will it help or hinder our children? Will Hip hop Kulture go down in history in shame or in victory? The choice is ours, for real!

As Chuck D (Public Enemy) put it at the Hip hop Summit, "...We are in an industry where we don't own shit!" We must begin the great work of defining and establishing our Kultural identity in the world. This begins with the participants of the Hip hop Kulture creating a document that outlines Hip hop's Elements, meaning and general purpose. As Lyor Cohen (Def Jam) put it "...Hip hop is in need of a code of honor...a national agenda." It would be very difficult to achieve the "union" Master P spoke of at the Hip hop Summit without first establishing this "code of honor" and "national agenda."

Just as the black police officers of New York, also at the Hip hop Summit, pledged to protect the youth of Hip hop Kulture, all of us must adopt the same attitude. In order to achieve Hip hop's unity and longevity, it is important that Hip hop publicly expresses it's unity on paper. Please review the "Refinitions" then sign your Hip hop name on a blank piece of paper and fax it to 201-227-9639 so that we may include your signature in a larger "Refinitions" document. We shall reveal this document to the public during Hip hop Appreciation Week™, May 14th - 21st, 2001 at Al Sharpton's "House of Justice."

If you have any revisions, markups or suggestions, please fax them with your signature to the above fax number. Your signature proves your commitment toward the creation of a legitimate Hip hop Kultural union. Call 201-521-9742 to find out how you can contribute to this historic event.

This, we believe, is the first step in establishing Hip hop's kultural identity, meaning and purpose. Remember, you are not just doing Hip hop, you are Hip hop!

The Teacha





R-10 BREAKIN: (The study of Martial Arts). Commonly called "Breakdancing," it's origins lay in the James Brown dance moves of the early seventies. It now includes up-rocking, pop-locking, jailhouse or slap boxin', Double Dutch, Electric Boogie, and Capoiera martial arts.
1 Breakin moves are commonly used in aerobics and other exercises that refine the body. Its practitioners are called "B-Boys," "B-Girls," and "Breakers." It is also commonly referred to as "freestyle street dancing." Break-dancing -- acrobatic style of street dancing. Popularized by the Rock Steady Crew, The New York City Breakers, and others.

R-11 EMCEEIN: (The study of Divine Speech). Commonly referred to as "Rappin" or "Rap." The Emcee is a mass controller who directs and moves the crowd by rhythmically rhyming in spoken word.
1 The word "Emcee" comes from the abbreviated form of "Master of Ceremonies" (M.C.). In its traditional sense to "Emcee" (M.C.) meant to host an event.
2 Early Hiphoppas transformed the traditional character of the M.C. to include crowd participation routines. Today, the Emcee seeks to be a master of the spoken word, not just the best Rapper.
3 Emcees also deliver poetry readings, lectures and other forms of public instructions. Most Emcees pride themselves on the ability to tell a good story. Its practitioners are known as "Emcees" or "Rappers.". Popularized by Grandmaster Caz (Cold Crush Four), Cowboy. Melle Mel (Furious Five) and others.

R-12 GRAFFITI ART: (The study of Color, Light and Handwriting). Commonly called "Aerosol Art," "Life Art," "Pieces," "Burners," and "Urban Murals." Other forms of this art include "Bombin" and "Taggin."
1 Today, Graffiti artists seek to be masters of handwriting, not just great artists. Graffiti artists pride themselves on the ability to write, and/or draw, a good story. Its practitioners are known as "writers" and "Graffitist." Graffiti -- writing or drawing that is scribbled, scratched, or sprayed on a surface. Popularized by Phase Two, Seen, Cope2, TAT's cru and others.

R-13 DEEJAYIN: (The study of Music production and Radio Broadcasting). Commonly refers to the actions of a disc jockey. Hiphop's disc jockey doesn't just play vinyl records, tapes, and compact discs. He or she interacts artistically with the performance of a recorded song by "Cuttin," "Mixin," and "Scratchin" the song in all of its recorded formats. Its practitioners are known as "Turntablists" "Deejays," "Grandmasters," "Mixologists," "Mixmasters," "Jammasters," "Funkmasters" and "Blastmasters." Disc Jockey -- presenter of recorded pop music. Popularized by Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaataa, Jam Master Jay, Kid Capri, Red Alert, Marley Marl, the Awesome Two and others.

R-14 BEATBOXIN: (The study of Mind and Body Health). Commonly refers to the act of creating rhythmic sounds with various parts of the body, particularly the throat, mouth, and hands.
1 Philosophically, Beatboxin is about seeing the body as an instrument. Earlier versions of this expression included "Handbone" or "Hambone." It is the act of imitating early electronic drum machines.
2 These machines were some of the original beat boxes and imitating them was called "Beatboxin." Its practitioners are known as "Human Beatboxes" or "Human Orchestras." Popularized by Doug-E Fresh, DMX (Just-Ice), Biz Markie, Emanon.

R-15 STREET FASHION: (The study of Human Behavior). Commonly refers to the clothing trends of the inner-city. However, Street Fashion deals with all trends and styles of Hip hop Kulture, what's in and what's out regardless of the expression.
1 Self-expression through Street Fashion is an important way to present Hiphop's identity and ideology to society. Street Fashion also represents the presentation of all Hip hop kultural codes, forms and customs. Its practitioners are known as "Hiphoppas," "models" and "role models." Popularized by Dapper Dan, Ron 125th, Karl Kani and others.

R-16 STREET LANGUAGE: (The study of Communication). Commonly referred to as "Black English," "Urban Slang," and "Ebonics." It is Hiphop's language and linguistic codes, the verbal communication of the "streets."
1 Advanced Street Language includes the correct pronunciation of ones native and national language as it pertains to life in the inner-city. Its practitioners are known as "Hiphoppas." Popularized by Hiphoppas.

R-17 STREET KNOWLEDGE: (The study of Universal Law). Commonly refers to the basic common sense and accumulated wisdom of inner-city families. It consists of techniques, phrases, codes and terms used to survive and the ability to reason soundly with or without the ideas or validation of the mainstream. Its practitioners are known as "Sister," "Brother," "Goddess," "God," "Earth," "Mother," "Father," "Teacha," "Queen," "King," "Princess," "Prince," "Lord," and "Divine." Streetwise -- knowing how to survive modern urban life. Popularized by Chuck D (Public Enemy), KRS-ONE, Rakim Allah, Poor Righteous Teachas and others.

R-18 STREET ENTREPRENEURIALISM: (The study of Trade and Business Management). Commonly referred to as "having game," "The Natural Salesman," "the smooth diplomat who creates business opportunity." It is the readiness to engage in the creation of a business venture that brings about grassroots business practices. Many of Hiphop's kultural apprenticeships are included here as well. Its practitioners are known as "Hustlers," and "Self Starters." Entrepreneur -- person who undertakes a commercial venture. Popularized by Russell Simmons, Sean "Puffy" Combs, Luther Campbell and others.

R-19 HIPHOP: In its true essence, Hip hop cannot be (and should not be) interpreted or described fully in words. It is a feeling. An awareness.
1 Intellectually, it is an alternative behavior that enables one to transform subjects and objects in an attempt to describe and/or change the character and desires of ones being.
2 Hip hop is a unique inner-city awareness that enhances ones ability to self-create. It is a "sight."
3 In the past Hip hop was spelled "hip-hop." True Hiphoppas are advised to spell Hip hop with a capital "H," as it is the name of our collective consciousness and our kulture.
4 Hip hop, spelled "hip-hop," means (hip) trendy, (hop) jump or dance. We are not just a "trendy dance" however, those that spell Hip hop like this (hip-hop) usually approaches Hip hop like a trendy dance or music.
5 In addition, Hiphop's kultural unity is established by spelling Hip hop as one word, "Hip hop," unless the term "Hip hop" is being displayed as art or in public advertisement.
6 Those that spell Hip hop, "hip-hop" are undermining Hiphop's kultural unity and demeaning the importance of what Hip hop really is.
7 Know this. Hip hop spelled "Hip hop," is not only the code for writers that participate in Hiphop's preservation, generally it is a matter of respect!

R-20 HIPHOP KULTURE: Hip hop Kulture is Hiphop's character. Hip hop is the consciousness, Hip hop Kulture is the collective character of the Hip hop consciousness. It is the consciousness in action.
1 There is Hip hop, Hiphop's kulture and Hiphop's elements. For the sake of convenient conversation, Hiphoppas are allowed to use the term "Hip hop Kulture." But in reality, it is Hiphop's kulture that is called "Hip hop Kulture." True Hiphoppas spell culture with a "K" signifying the "self-aware" Hip hop Kulture.
2 Hip hop Kulture spelled with a "c" (culture) represents those that regard Hip hop as a product (the "hip-hop" culture).
3 Hip hop Kulture spelled with a "K" also represents Hip hop after the year 2000. Hip-Hop culture spelled with a "c" represents "hip-hop" culture before the year 2000.

R-21 HIPHOP ELEMENT: A Hip hop element is one of the contributing factors that express Hiphop's kulture. It is an aspect of Hiphop's kulture.
1 By itself it is not the totality of the kulture, it is a representation or an introduction to Hiphop's kulture. It is a skill that reflects the character of Hiphop's kulture.
2 An "element" is usually created when the Hip hop "sight" is applied to a subject or object. Presently Hiphop's elements are: Breakin, Emceein, Graffiti art, Deejayin, Beatboxin, Street Language, Street Knowledge, Street Fashion, Street Entrepreneurialism.




DEF JAM/DEF SOUL Opens in the UK

DEF JAM, home of artists such as DMX, JAY-Z, LL COOL J and METHOD MAN, are set to open DEF JAM/DEF SOUL UK offices at the beginning of the New Year, in a bid to break new talent on this side of the Atlantic.

Company president, Lyor Cohen, officially announced the news this week during a visit to London.

The news follows similar expansions into Germany and Japan in the year just gone.

Jaha Johnson, responsible for the worldwide success of Sisqo, will move to London in January 2001 to take up the role of Vice-President of the venture. Based initially in the Mercury Records London headquarters, the label looks set for its official launch sometime in late spring. Def Jam told NME.COM they believe the UK has a hardcore hip hop scene with its own identity.

Def Jam UK also announced its first official signing is Aaron Soul.

"We want to use the experience that we have gained working the US repertoire from Def Jam and Def Soul and actually intensify what we are doing, while making ourselves the obvious home for any UK urban act," Howard Berman, Mercury Managing Director told industry magazine Music Week.

December 18, 2000

Lil' Wayne Set to Turn the "Lights Out"

Cash Money Millionaire Lil' Wayne is scheduled to release his sophomore solo album, Lights Out, on December 19th. Fueled by the lead single, "Get Off the Corner," the album features production by Mannie Fresh and collaborations with the Hot Boys and the Big Tymers. His 1999 LP, The Block Is Hot was certified platinum and featured the title track and smash single, "Respect Us." In related news, The Cash Money Millionaires will be wrapping up their "Jingle Baller Jam" tour on December 22nd at Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, California. The tour also features Nelly, Lil' Kim, Profyle, and Joe. Here are the remaining tour dates and the track listing for Lil' Wayne's Lights Out:

Track Listing
1. Intro
2. Get Off the Corner
3. On the Grind
4. Hit U Up
5. Everything
6. Fuck Wit Me Now
7. Lil One
8. Break Me Off
9. Shit
10. Wish You Would
11. Grown Man
12. Shine
13. Jumbo Jiggy
14. Realized
15. Tha Blues
16. Let's Go
17. Biznite
18. Act a Ass
19. Beef

Tour Dates:

12/19 - Tacoma, WA - Tacoma Dome
12/20 - San Jose, CA - San Jose Arena
12/21 - Sacramento, CA - ARCO Arena
12/22 - Anaheim, CA - Arrowhead Pond

Patti LaBelle

R&B diva Patti LaBelle released her latest album, When A Woman Loves, in October. The album was penned by songwriter extraordinaire Diane Warren and co-produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Patti recently spoke about some of her favorite new jacks in the industry and addressed the rumor about her dating R&B singer Keith Sweat. Patti said, "I don't play a lot of music, but I do listen to Jill Scott and Musiq. I'm really impressed with the talent coming out of Phili. I would really like to work with them." And as far as Mr. Sweat, "No, No. No, that was a big newspaper rumor. I don't even know where Keith Sweat lives, but we're friends. He's sweet and a real nice person."

Patti also stated that fans may see a reunion tour with her and former LaBelle band mates, Sarah Dash and Nona Hendryx in the future. In addition, she revealed that when she recorded the 80's hit "On My Own with Michael McDonald, the two were in separate cities during the recording and shot the video in separate cities as well. She also expressed her delight with the progress that women have made in the music industry, stating, "There are more women running the charts than when I started, especially black women. I love the progress." Patti also has a cooking television show in the works similar to Martha Stewart's that may air next year. For more information on Patti and her new album, When A Woman Loves, log on to www.pattilabelle.com. Also check for hit single "Call Me Gone," which is currently receiving major airplay on contemporary R&B stations and her forthcoming single, "Why Do We Hurt Each Other."

December 17, 2000

L.L. Cool J Leaving Def Jam?

Hip hop's self-proclaimed "Greatest of All Time" recently speculated that he might be severing his ties with his longtime label Def Jam Records. In an exclusive live webcast on Y2G.COM, FUBU's urban lifestyle website, LL Cool J revealed that he expects to part ways with the company after a successful 15-year relationship. During the webcast, LL Cool J stated, "Right now Def Jam and I are figuring out where we're at. My contract is basically up. And we plan on just seeing what's going on. It looks like I'm going to be moving on. Where I'm going to go I don't know. How it's going to work out I don't know. It's not any bad blood. It's not negative. It's not like I hate them or they hate me. We did what we did for a very long time. It's time for us to change the sheets on the bed. Nothing like crisp sheets to make you feel fresh again. That's part of it. You gotta grow. Def Jam is a great label and they'll continue to have success. I plan on having success, God willing…As long as people know that it's nothing negative. It's positive. We plan on seeing what we're gonna do. They've agreed to let me go and I've agreed that I would like to leave. I've expressed that wholeheartedly." L.L. Cool J released nine albums on Def Jam. His latest release, G.O.A.T., was released in September and has been certified gold.

TVT Answers to "Doggy's Angels" Lawsuit

TVT Records, the home to Snoop Dogg's proteges, Doggy's Angels, issued a stement in response to Columbia Pictures lawsuit for alleged trademark infringement. The statement read: "We feel the name and imagery of Doggy's Angels clearly pokes fun at a classic of American pop culture, but does not confuse the public with the real thing. The girls in the group are as far away from Farrah Fawcett and Jaclyn Smith as can be. In the end Doggy's Angels will succeed based on their music and their music alone. The new single "Baby If You're Ready" has been the #1 selling hip-hop single three weeks running because hip-hop fans love the song -- end of story."

Doggy's Angels debut album, Pleezebaleevit, was released two weeks ago and is currently ranked at number 163 on Soundscan. The album features collaborations with Snoop, Tha Eastsidaz, Soopafly, and Layzie Bone. Columbia filed the lawsuit on December 1st in United States District Court for the Central District of California. The 12-count lawsuit cites federal trademark infringement, unfair competition, and false and misleading advertisement.

December 15, 2000

Jailed Knight Ordered to Pay Up

As if being stuck in the jailhouse wasn't bad enough, now it looks like Marion "Suge" Knight might be headed for the poorhouse.

A Los Angeles jury on Tuesday ordered the 300-plus-pound hip-hop mogul and his Death Row Records to cough up $10 million in punitive damages to Ken and Lamont Brumfield. The verdict comes after Knight was found guilty of hijacking the record contract for rap artist Kurupt from the brothers.

The Brumfields sued Knight after Kurupt signed with Death Row in 1993, despite the rapper already being under contract with Ken Brumfield's Hoodsta-4-Life Publishing and Lamont's Rapp Central Productions since 1990.

Knight denied that he knew anything about Kurupt's contract with the Brumfields, saying he never recalled any request from the siblings to meet with him to talk about the conflict of interest. However, Brumfield attorney John Smith testified under oath that he tried to contact Knight numerous times.

Apparently, the jury bought the Brumfield's case because it awarded the brothers $4.34 million in compensatory damages last week. In this week's punitive phase of the trial, the jury decided to punish Knight where it counts--his pocketbook.

As for Kurupt, he was dropped from the suit after declaring bankruptcy in 1996, effectively nixing his contractual duties to his record company.

Death Row attorney David Kenner slammed the jury's decision as "inappropriate" and vowed to file an appeal.

The label issued a statement on its Website blasting the court action. "Death Row is extremely disappointed that the jury chose a grossly excessive amount that is clearly not related to the facts of the case," the statement reads.

"Death Row also feels that the publicity surrounding Suge Knight and Death Row Records, both being from the street, adversely affected the jury's decision."

The 34-year-old Knight, a former University of Las Vegas football player, is currently serving a nine-year prison sentence for violating probation in 1996 after being busted for allegedly kicking a man in the head in a Las Vegas hotel brawl. The incident occurred just hours before Death Row rapper Tupac Shakur was killed in a drive-by shooting while riding in Knight's car down the Vegas strip.

Ironically, Ken Brumfield won't be able to enjoy any of the money for a long time. He's also stuck in the slammer, currently doing 20 years on a drug-related offense.

Eminem, Wife Reconcile
by Brian Hiatt

Couple whose rocky relationship is fodder for rapper's music have abandoned plans to divorce. Eminem and his wife, Kim Mathers, are getting back together.

The couple — whose tumultuous relationship is a constant theme in the Detroit rapper's music — have abandoned their plans to divorce, Kim Mathers' lawyers said Thursday (December 14).

Eminem (born Marshall Mathers) and his wife signed an agreement to dismiss their divorce claims on Wednesday, and plan to live together in their Michigan home with their daughter, according to a statement from lawyers.

"Mrs. Mathers is pleased that she and her husband have been able to set their differences aside, particularly for the sake of their daughter, Hailie Jade," the lawyers wrote in their statement. "Kim strongly believes that it is best for Hailie to be raised in a two-parent home."

Eminem's spokesperson and his lawyers did not immediately return calls for comment at press time.

The rapper filed for divorce in August, and his wife responded a week later by filing suit against Eminem for a share of the couple's joint marital estate. She also demanded an additional $10 million in damages, claiming that Eminem's lyrics about their personal life constituted intentional infliction of emotional distress. The couple settled that lawsuit later that month, agreeing at the time to give Kim Mathers custody of their daughter.

In June, Eminem allegedly argued with his wife outside a bar in Warren, Michigan, after he saw her kiss another man. That incident, in which Eminem is alleged to have struck the man with a gun, led to weapons and assault charges against the rapper.

Eminem has frequently addressed the couple's on-again, off-again relationship, and the anger it apparently sparks, in his lyrics. The rapper's "'97 Bonnie & Clyde", from his The Slim Shady LP, fantasized about disposing of Kim's body after slitting her throat, and his song "Kim", from The Marshall Mathers LP, imagines an argument between the two that leads to her murder.

Most recently, Eminem addressed this year's events — including a July suicide attempt by Kim Mathers — in his guest rap on "Don't Approach Me," a track from Xzibit's just-released new album, Restless.

"Every day I wake up, another drama/ It's a wonder I'm alive surviving this karma/ If I can hold onto my private life for five minutes longer I might get my wife to let go with this knife," he raps. "Just got in a feud in some parking lot with a dude over Kim and she just slit both of her wrists over this shit."

December 14, 2000

Sammy Davis Jr. and Bob Marley to Receive Life Time Achievement Awards

The Recording Academy has announced the recipients of this year's Lifetime Achievement Awards. The Academy will celebrate the careers of the Beach Boys, Tony Bennett, and The Who with the prestigious honor, while Sammy Davis Jr. and Bob Marley will also be bestowed the award posthumously. Producers Arif Mardin and Phil Ramone will receive Trustees Awards. The artists and producers will be formally recognized in a ceremony the week of the 43rd Annual GRAMMY Awards in February.

Recording Academy President/CEO Michael Greene, said, "The recipients of these awards are among the most important architects and builders of many of the most distinctive and seminal recordings of this century. Their outstanding achievements have left a timeless legacy of innovative and powerful music that has changed the world socially, politically, and given a voice to our cultural condition. They exemplify the highest creative and technical standards by which we all must measure our own personal and professional contributions."

The Lifetime Achievement Awards honor lifelong artistic contributions to the recording medium while the Trustees Awards recognize outstanding contributions to the industry in a non-performing capacity. Both special awards are voted upon by the Recording Academy's National Trustees during meetings held in May. The 43rd annual Grammy Awards will be held on February 21, 2001 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

Busta in Talks With J Records

According to The Hollywood Reporter, hip hop star Busta Rhymes is in negotiations to sign with Clive Davis' J Records. The rapper/actor has reportedly been unhappy with the way his present label Elektra has been promoting his latest album, Anarchy, which was released in June. Although, Busta has released three platinum albums for the label so far, his latest work struggled to go gold. Busta recently spoke  about his perspective on the growth of hip hop. "Hip hop is the most powerful entertainment aspect in the world right now," said Busta. "Economically and corporately over all, it's just growing and growing. We kind of created some monster shit that we didn't realize at first. We had no idea that this was gonna become this much of a beast as it is and time has motherfuckers realizing their worth and value, allowing motherfuckers to finagle themselves into positions corporately that allows us to grow and demand and command that much more of our growth. Hip hop is only getting better and more productive, more beneficially financially as far as profits are concerned. It's a lot more young motherfuckers that's gonna be rich that ain't necessarily gonna just be white dudes." Busta is scheduled to officially sign with Clive Davis' J Records by the end of the month. J Records' roster already includes Q-Tip, Luther Vandross, and Deborah Cox.

December 13, 2000

Memphis Bleek Set to Roc the Block

Roc-La- Familia cohort Memphis Bleek is gearing to release his sophomore album next week entitled The Understanding. After riding high this year on various tracks with Jay-Z, Bleek recently took time out to speak to VIBE Online about his new album, The Understanding. "It's straight up about how I understand the game of the world, this industry, my life," said Bleek. "I understand me, so now I want everybody else to understand me, too. I've grown. I'm not trying to come up no more. I'm here. I'm making moves. I ain't playing. Holla at me!"

The "Memph Man" also talked about carrying the weight on his shoulder when Jay-Z designated him the "heir to the throne." Bleek said, "If I'm gonna be heir to the throne, then it's gonna happen. It's not like I'm in the crib writing to be like 'Yo, I'm gone be heir to the motherfuckin' throne.' Fuck that. I do me. If it happens, it happens. If it don't, it don't. I could care less as long as I'm successful."

Bleek's first single, "Is That Your Chick," features Missy Elliott and Jay- Z. The album also features collaborations with Amil, Beanie Sigel, and Carl Thomas. The Understanding hits stores on December 5th. Here is the album's track listing:

1. Intro - U Know Bleek
2. Do My (feat. Jay-Z)
3. I Get High
4. We Get Low
5. Change Up (feat. Jay-Z and Beanie Sigel)
6. My Mind Right (Remix) (feat. Jay-Z, H. Money Bags and Beanie Sigel)
7. Hustlers (feat. Beanie Sigel)
8. All Types Of S***
9. PYT (feat. Jay-Z and Amil)
10. Bounce B****
11. They'll Never Play Me
12. Everyday (feat. Carl Thomas)
13. Is That Your Chick (feat. Jay-Z, Twista and Missy Elliott)
14. In My Life

Michael Jackson, Queen, Aerosmith To Be Inducted Into Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

Aerosmith, Michael Jackson, Queen, Paul Simon, and Steely Dan head the 16th class of inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In an unprecedented move, the HoF announced its 2001 list of inductees for the first time ever. The announcement aired live on VH1 Tuesday (Dec. 12) morning from its New York studios.

Also named to the 2001 class are Solomon Burke, the Flamingos, and Ritchie Valens. Every 2001 inductee could have been inducted in previous years had they not been passed over in the nomination process or had not make the final cut.

Paul Simon and Michael Jackson will now be enshrined twice. Simon, as a member of the folk-rock duo Simon & Garfunkel (1990) and Jackson, as part of the R&B family group the Jackson 5 (1997). Although both were eligible in 1997 as solo artists, this marked the first time that each appeared on the ballot.

Meanwhile, both Aerosmith and Queen were first nominated last year. This was Steely Dan's third nomination. Burke gained admittance after his ninth try, making him the most nominated artist to date; Flamingos made it on their fifth try, and Valens, on his third.

Honored as sidemen, now in its second year, are guitarist James Burton (Elvis Presley, Ricky Nelson) and pianist Johnnie Johnson (Chuck Berry). (Incidentally, Johnson is now suing Berry for some writing royalties). There were five sidemen inductees last year.

In the non-performer category is Island Records founder Chris Blackwell (Bob Marley, the Wailers, U2, Steve Winwood, Grace Jones, Tom Waits, and reggae music in general). There were no nominees in the early influences category this year.

Ballot nominees who didn't make this year's class are AC/DC (first time), Black Sabbath (fourth time), Brenda Lee (twice), Lynyrd Skynyrd (twice), New York Dolls (first time), Lou Reed (twice), Bob Seger (first time), and Patti Smith (first time) .

The 2001 class, which had to have released an album in 1975 or earlier, had a few noticeable exceptions: no female artist, no first-time eligible nominees (Smith), and a continual backlash of metal. This year's performers were picked from a nomination ballot of 16.

The induction ceremony is scheduled for March 19 in New York at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, and will air on VH1 at 9 p.m. EST.

Written by Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen

December 12, 2000

David Sanborn Leaves Elektra

Jazz saxophonist David Sanborn recently signed a new contract with the Verve Music Group. Sanborn's new contract entails a three-album deal with an option for three more. The jazz saxophonist was previously signed to Elektra Entertainment. In a statement, Sanborn said, "The nature of our business has changed significantly in the last five to six years. I don't think what I was doing -- and where I wanted to go -- was compatible any longer with what Elektra was after as a label. There were a lot of great people there. I'll miss them." He also added that the decision to leave was mutual. Sanborn's most recent album, Inside was released in 1999. He has also worked with such great musicians as Stevie Wonder, David Bowie, and James Taylor.

"The Grinch" Continues to Rule the Box Office

Ron Howard's big screen adaptation of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas starring Jim Carey took top honors again for the fourth consecutive week at the box office grossing another $18.5 million. The mountain adventure Vertical Limit starring Chris O'Donnell and Bill Paxton came in second followed by Meg Ryan's suspense thriller Proof of Life.

Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis' suspense thriller Unbreakable placed fourth grossing $7.5 million as Dungeons and Dragons rounded out the top five. The medieval adventure film, which stars Marlon Wayans and Thora Birch, grossed $7 million.

Disney's 102 Dalmatians placed sixth this week as the children's animated film Rugrats in Paris: The Movie came in seventh. Meet the Parentstook the eight spot followed by Charlie's Angels. The action-packed detective flick stars Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy Liu, and is a big screen version of the popular 70s television series. The romantic drama Bounce starring Ben Affleck and Gwyneth Paltrow rounded out the top ten at the box office this week grossing $2.7 million. Here are this week's gross figures:

1. Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas $18.5 million
2. Vertical Limit $16 million
3. Proof of Life $10.4 million
4. Unbreakable $7.5 million
5. Dungeons and Dragons $7 million
6. 102 Dalmatians $6.3 million
7. Rugrats in Paris: The Movie $4 million
8. Meet the Parents $3 million
9. Charlie's Angels $2.7 million
10. Bounce $2.6 million

December 11, 2000

Erykah Badu
by Gary Graff

Erykah Badu hasn't done a lot since the 1997 release of her debut album, Baduizm — she's just toured, won a pair of Grammy Awards, released a live album (Live), had a baby, broke up with her lover, and turned in an impressive and moving performance in The Cider House Rules. Oh, yeah; she made another album, too. Mama's Gun, on which Badu moves to Motown after two releases on sister label Kedar/Universal, finds the singer and songwriter fully loaded and taking aim as a self-described "warrior" who's survived some personal battles and emerged wiser for them. She celebrates herself as "an analog girl in a digital world" but mitigates the fossil connotations by delivering potent, old-school vibe across the 15 songs on Mama's Gun, which were recorded with help from ace collaborators such as James Poyser, Jay Dee, Roy Ayers, Stephen Marley, Betty Wright, Roots drummer ?uestlove, trumpeter Roy Hargrove, trombonist Frank Lacy, and guitarist Pino Palladino. As on Baduizm, Badu is both tough and vulnerable on Mama's Gun; you can hear and feel her heart breaking on the suite-like "Green Eyes," her heat rise on the instructive "Kiss Me on My Neck," and her anger swell on the Lothario-bashing "Booty." She's cool but not aloof, laid-back but hardly disengaged — and most importantly, Badu remains as distinctive and individual a talent now as she was when we first met her three years ago.

What was the experience of Baduizm's success like for you?
Oh, it was a big ego boost. As a child, I always knew that I was different from everybody, and I'm sure most artists will tell you that, because it's a true story. You're different. You know people don't accept you. You don't really fit in too much, and you know there's something wonderful if you continue to be an individual. I think the world has lost so much respect for the individual; there's a lot of individuals walking around, but they don't know that they're individuals because the world doesn't want to let them be. Some people are just stronger, especially when you have a mother, a grandmother, other people in your life that encourage you. That's my blessing that I had that. A lot of people don't.

Did you feel a lot of pressure in making Mama's Gun?
Nah, because there will never be another Baduizm. I didn't know it would be that big. I thought I would have a core following, like The Roots and Common and Mos Def. I didn't think that everybody would understand [my music] right away. With this album, I didn't have any of that in mind. I think I'm over the whole stardom thing. I'm more concerned now with the music being wonderful. And, of course, I never underestimate the audience's ability to get it. They're the ones I do it for.

What does the title mean?
Most of the time you don't even know your mama has a gun; when she pulls it out, something very serious has to be going on. When she pulls it out, she's going to use it; she's not gonna pull it out just to wave it. Mama has more sense than that. What this means is that with everything that goes on in our society — children are dying, parents are killing themselves, people's spirits are just broken — then how about putting this in your holster? Stick this on your lap while you drive. Put this in the seat. Put this in the small of your back. That's why it's called Mama's Gun.

What was the first of the new songs that you wrote?
"Bag Lady." I wrote that maybe a couple of years ago, right after I finished Baduizm. It was just a point in my life where I felt like, "Wow, I'm so tired of feeling heavy," and I went through my life and thought about it and took out a few happy things and shared that. As a result, "Bag Lady" was created. Then I had writer's block for a little while after "Bag Lady," for about a year or so. I had a son immediately after that, and I couldn't give anything attention but him. I don't know how to separate that creativity; my creativity went into molding his brain, breast-feeding, finding ways to keep myself afloat.

Were you ever worried that your muse might not return?
No, not really. Sometimes you have to get off for a minute in order to see who you really are. And it's OK. You just have to learn really quick and get back to it.

You work with a lot of people on your records — producers, co-writers, musicians. How do you filter through all the ideas and opinions to settle on what you really want to do?
That's when you shut down, kick everybody out, and make a good record. Everybody believed in me; they don't know what the hell I'm talking about half the time, but they tell me, "Just do it." They figure "she knows what she's doing" because I'm very confident. It's very hard for me to express my art, music, in words. I can't explain, so I have to just tell people, "Come back in a week, and you'll see what I'm trying to do," because I don't know the theory of music or anything. I just know how it feels.

So how do you ultimately communicate that?
I come ahead of time with the melodies or the guitar line or the chord or the lyrics, and we build it from there. I lay out the fabric, and everybody else is the thread or the yarn or whatever we're going to use to put it together. Sometimes it's staples, sometimes it's raffia. Whatever we use to put it together, they provide me with that — the musicians, the background singers, the producers, the people that are really responsible for this thing. But all of this is my ideas; without them, it's nothing, nothing at all. I will be very honest with you: It's nothing I work real hard at, but it's hard work. Being in the music business, being a recording artist, that's what's hard, trying to keep your sanity as a human.

Are you a perfectionist, too?
[Laughs] Oh, man … every song on this album has been recalled at least once or twice, because I decided to fit the music together, like a puzzle. As a result, some of the songs were taken off the album, most of the songs were shortened, because we only had 74 minutes to tell the story. We changed the order around several times until I was comfortable, until it was a convincing album to me. The [release date] was set back a couple of times. But I have faith. I know I did a good job. I worked very hard; so did everybody else.

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson is set to play a rarer than rare live show in New York before Christmas.

The King of Pop will take to the stage as part of a charity concert - organised by radio station WKTU FM, entitled ‘Miracle on 34th Street’- on December 19.

The radio station announced that Destiny’s Child, Christina Aguilera, Ricky Martin and Sisqo would support Jacko at the Madison Square Event.

Tickets for the show are only available via online competitions and radio stations.

Meanwhile, Jackson is set to release his first album since 1995’s ‘HIStory’. Touted for release in March 2001, the new album has allegedly induced record executives to “walk on air”.

December 9, 2000

Dre Says N.W.A Reunion Album Off For Now

Early sessions were disappointing, members now working on other projects, rapper says.

Pioneering hip-hop group N.W.A have shelved plans to release a reunion album anytime soon, after early sessions for the LP yielded disappointing results, Dr. Dre said Thursday.

"We got a couple things down, nothing that I'm happy with, so they don't mean anything," the superstar producer and rapper said.

The group was unable to continue working on an N.W.A album, because its members were all due on other projects, Dre said.

"The status of N.W.A right now remains in limbo, because everybody that's supposed to be a part of this record has their own careers, and they're out doing their things. [Ice] Cube is working on a big special-effect movie, Snoop [Dogg] has a record coming out and is gonna promote that, and I'm working with my new artists, trying to do my thing. I have no idea when that record's gonna happen, or if it's gonna happen."

Dre, Cube and M.C. Ren are holdovers from the original N.W.A lineup, while Snoop Dogg was subbing for the late MC Eazy-E, who died in 1995 of complications from AIDS. The revamped group made its debut at a Farmclub.com taping in March.

Founded in 1986, N.W.A provided a template for gangsta rap with 1989's Straight Outta Compton. The group fell apart when Dre left for a solo career in 1992. With this incarnation of N.W.A sidelined, Dre is busy working on new projects for his Aftermath label, having recently signed hip-hop vet Rakim, as well as newcomer Shari Watson, who calls herself Truth Hurts. Dre is helping the St. Louis songstress ready her debut album, Ain't That the Truth?

"I've been looking for a female singer for about eight years now, and I finally found [her]," Dre said. "We've been working really hard to make her stuff come out proper, and we're gonna change the course of music again. I can't even call it R&B, cause R&B is rap's bitch. It's some other sh--. It's somethin' else. It's singing to my rhythm, and it's definitely gonna make everybody that's out there doing R&B music go back in the studio and rethink and do their sh-- over — press erase."

Dre said he's equally excited about Rakim's Aftermath debut, which they'll likely begin work on in January. The LP will be called Oh My God.

"I've always been a fan of Rakim; I've always bought every record twice," Dre said. "He's been one of the reasons why I'm still in hip-hop today. So for me to be able to work with him is a straight-up blessing. I'm just grateful. I'm gonna step into the studio and make this the best record that I've ever made."

Dre celebrated the upcoming DVD/VHS release of "Up in Smoke: the Concert Film" (Dec. 19) at a party in Santa Monica, California, on Thursday night. The film features live footage from the summer's Up in Smoke Tour, which featured Dre, Cube, Snoop and Eminem, among others.

"A lot of people were saying we'd do one or two shows until the violence comes in and shuts it down," Dre said. "We kept it well-organized and professional, and at the end we proved everybody wrong. I think that was a big accomplishment for hip-hop, because it was no more, no less than a hip-hop show. That's all we set our minds to do — do straight-up, hardcore hip-hop, sell out arenas and keep it peaceful. That's a very difficult thing to do, and we pulled it off."

Destiny's Child Solo CDs Won't Compete With Group, Each Other

The trio said they'll drop simultaneous solo albums next year, but first, they expect to release Survivors in February.

The three members of Destiny's Child might be independent women, but they're hoping their upcoming individual projects will further their already stellar interdependent career.

Beyoncé Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams say that in the coming year, they'll drop solo albums simultaneously, which they hope will boost interest in Destiny's Child.

"We are negotiating solo projects for all three of us," Beyoncé Knowles said earlier this week. "They're all going to come out at the same time. We're going to all do different types of music and support each other's album. Basically, they're not going to compete with each other. And we'll come back and do another album for Destiny's Child, and hopefully it will broaden our audience, so it will help us all out."

No solo deal has been signed yet, said Knowles, who added that she was surprised to read a recent report that she'd inked a three-record contract for herself.

The trio are recording their follow-up to the multi-platinum The Writing's on the Wall (1999). Though the members originally planned to call the album Independent Women, after their #1 "Charlie's Angels" theme song, Knowles said they have settled on an even more fitting title.

"The next album will be called Survivors, because we believe we are survivors," she said, referring to the turmoil that has coincided with Destiny's Child's success in 2000. The Houston group began as a quartet, but earlier this year, members LeToya Luckett and LaTavia Roberson were replaced by Williams and Farrah Franklin. Franklin lasted only five months.

Knowles said she believes that "nothing that happens is negative," and that the changes have only made Destiny's Child stronger.

The group is considering a February 13 release for the album, while the LP's first single, titled "Survivor," will appear in January. Knowles wrote and produced the song.

"She's been writing the majority of the album," Williams said. "She's the hit-maker."

Destiny's Child are working on such a tight schedule to complete the album, they'll only have one day to celebrate the holidays.

"We'll be working until the day of Christmas, and then the day after we're back in the studio," Knowles said.

December 8, 2000

Ol' Dirty Bastard Denied Bail

Hip hop star Ol' Dirty Bastard was considered a flight risk and held without bail on Tuesday pending a December 8th extradition hearing. Ol' Dirty Bastard, whose real name is Russell Tyrone Jones, was arrested on Monday when he was trying to place an order at a McDonald's restaurant in Philadelphia. He had been on the run for a month after a bench warrant was issued for the rapper on October 17th after he ran away from a drug treatment facility. He escaped while he was being transported from the Impact House rehabilitation facility in Pasadena, California to the Los Angeles Criminal Courthouse to discuss his treatment program with the judge. A "no bail" warrant was issued for the rapper who had been living at the Impact House since June after serving six months for a probation violation. Police had already intensified their search for him after he appeared with his group, Wu-Tang Clan, recently at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom. The hearing will also determine whether he is extradited back to California or New York, where he also has four warrants out for him.

"Pimp Up Ho's Down" Comes to Video

The critically acclaimed documentary Pimps Up Ho's Down is now available on home video. Previously viewed by million of viewers on HBO, Pimps Up Ho's Down: The Director's Cut takes a close look at the art of pimping and the day-to-day activities of pimps, hos, and tricks. The documentary by director Brent Owens features interviews with several legendary macks including The Bishop Don "Magic" Juan, Big Lex, Pimpin' Ken, and Mr. Whitefolks. The director's cut also contains over 30 minutes of never before seen footage. Owens also produced and directed several other "America Undercover Specials" for HBO including Hookers at the Point (1996), its sequel Hookers at the Point: Going Out Again (1997), and Hookers & Johns Trick or Treat. Pimps Up Ho's Down: The Director's Cut was released by Delta Entertainment and costs $14.95.

December 7, 2000

Wyclef Announces Carnegie Hall Benefit Concert

With his charity work, artist, performer and producer Wyclef Jean has raised money for his birthplace Haiti while establishing his non-profit Wyclef Jean Foundation in 1998. On Tuesday, December 5, Jean held a press conference to announce a special star-studded benefit concert that would be held next year at the world-famous Carnegie Hall

At the morning press conference, Jean spoke of the significance of being able to play at Carnegie Hall and the importance of music education, which his foundation supports. The Wyclef Foundation's latest endeavor is "Clef Kids," a performing arts sponsorship program in which NYC children-- chosen for their gifts in music and the performing arts-- receive a new instrument and private lessons in their field.

During the conference, Jean stated that, "this is probably the first time ever in history at Carnegie Hall that you get a kid from a hip-hop background whose headlining, so it took a lot of politics." However, he would later explain that they let him come and perform, because they saw him as being very musically-inclined.

Then he voiced his concern over the decrease of music programs in schools. "I think that's where a program [Clef's Kids] like this comes in." Jean stated. "To cut music education out in the schools is not the way to go. There's a lot of money that they are spending on other things and they are cutting back budgets on music programs. Music is very important."

"It's one of the artforms that if it's lost," he continued, "a portion of the kids won't really know where to turn to, like myself. If I didn't have the music program-- being able to go to my chorus class or my jazz class-- I probably wouldn't be here today."

Jean also announced the line-up that would join him at the January 19th event. The scheduled performers include Eric Clapton, Whitney Houston, Destiny's Child, Charlotte Church, Third World, and his young musicians from "Clef Kids." He hopes to raise $250,000 with the benefit

Kids in the "Clef Kids" program range in age from about 14-15 years-old, and hail from New Jersey and New York. Philip McKinney, 16, an accomplished upright bass player who just got off of an European tour with Guru and Angie Stone, is one of the kids involved in the program.

McKinney found out about "Clef Kids" through Wyclef's former high school music teacher Valerie Price. "Well, Ms. Price saw me at one of the competitions we had in Newark a year or two ago," the young musician told Platform, "and earlier this year she contacted me about the foundation and told me to come down for auditions. So after auditions, they called me back and told me I was in."

"The music is definitely a tool, it's an avenue," Jean told Platform after his speech. "The kids learn [music] so much quicker than they learn their exams. I think it's the perfect tool to use. I know the kids. We have real creative conversations."

In the future, Jean mentioned that he'd like to build a center for kids. "A Wyclef center, much like a YMCA-- where kids can go swimming, play music, play basketball and stuff like that."

Jean's "Clef Kids" may be onto something, as McKinney, who finally was able to own a upright bass because of the program, gave it his stamp of approval. "It's [the program] real cool. he said. "It's real comfortable. Usually I get into a situation and it's real nervous. But it seems like everything is real. Everybody has the same goal basically. So I guess that this is a stepping stone."

Sisqo Reigns Supreme at Billboard Music Awards

Sisqo R&B star Sisqo took home six trophies at the 2000 Billboard Music Awards last night (Dec. 5) at Las Vegas' MGM Grand Arena, while Destiny's Child, Dixie Chicks, Faith Hill, and 'N Sync corralled four each. Sisqo's six-pack included honors for male artist of the year and top new artist, as well as three R&B/hip-hop trophies.

In another impressive crossover performance, Hill was named female country artist of the year, and her song "Breathe" was the Hot 100 single of the year. Destiny's Child earned honors for artist of the year, while Dixie Chicks won top country artist. 'N Sync's "No Strings Attached" was named the year's top album; the group also won a special award for achieving the biggest one-week sales of an album ever, at 2.4 million units for the Jive set "No Strings Attached."

'N Sync co-hosted the live telecast on Fox with TV's Kathy Griffin, with each member "wrestling" for Griffin's affections at various points throughout the broadcast. The group also opened the show with a performance of "Just Got Paid," from "No Strings Attached."

Britney Spears Britney Spears was named top albums artist and also received a special award for biggest one-week sales of an album ever by a female artist, with 1.3 million units for her Jive set "Oops! ... I Did It Again." At one point, Spears "rescued" her boyfriend, 'N Sync's Justin Timberlake, from Griffin, who had handcuffed herself to him.

Also enjoying a big night was 3 Doors Down, which came up with three awards, including best new group, and performed its hit "Kryptonite," complete with a costumed "Superman" who "flew" across the Vegas skyline.

Creed went to great heights -- literally, the top of a neighboring hotel -- to perform their anthem "Higher." Female trio Destiny's Child were pictured in a spoof of "Charlie's Angels" before performing a medley of hits, including "Independent Womrn Part I," their No. 1 pop hit from the soundtrack to that film.

Barry Williams, who played Greg Brady on TV's long-running "The Brady Bunch," spoofed Eminem's MTV Video Music Awards performance of earlier this year with his own "The Real Greg Brady," accompanied by an army of Greg Brady lookalikes from the street and into the arena.

Randy Newman was presented with Billboard's annual Century Award for creative achievement by fellow singer/songwriter Don Henley. Among other winners: Christina Aguilera (female artist of the year), Creed (rock artist), Son By Four (Latin tracks), Vertical Horizon (adult top 40), and the Baha Men (world music).

The awards are based on the Billboard year-end charts for the period December 1999-December 2000.

December 6, 2000

Master P

From a Richmond, California, record store founded with a $10,000 inheritance, Master P went on to build a New Orleans-based hip-hop empire. In the mid-'90s, when everyone else was writing off gangsta rap -- and even Dr. Dre was proclaiming it dead -- Master P paid no mind. Instead. he and his No Limit Soldiers -- Mystikal, Fiend, Kane & Abel, Mia X and Young Bleed among them -- stayed on course and proceeded to sell (and make) hardcore millions.

With his brothers Silkk the Shocker and C-Murder, Master P put out platinum solo albums (and LPs as the family trio TRU) alongside other No Limit discs, released end over end and selling hand over fist. He began making movies, and in true corporate style his domain soon encompassed everything from clothing to real estate. But as No Limit's reach grew, its sales -- while still impressive -- fell off; some of P's high-profile soldiers defected, leaving some to wonder if Master P's platinum tank was running out of gas.

But No Limit has learned to adapt to the unpredictability of the industry, and as Master P (joined by his brother Silkk) explained in a recent interview with MTV News' Elon Johnson, rappers come and go while the smart label goes with the flow. With albums on the horizon from Silkk, Snoop Dogg and others -- as well as Master P's newest, Ghetto Postage, -- No Limit plans to remain true to its name.

Mos Def's Rock Band Debuts

I like cross-genre pollinating. Especially when it involves people like Chuck D (who recently formed the hard rock outfit, Confrontation Camp) and Mos Def. Mos Def also recently formed his own rock 'n' roll side project, Jack Johnson, featuring Living Colour members Will Calhoun and Doug Wimbish. And Mos Def will be debuting some of his new band's songs this Friday during his headlining slot on the Lyricist Lounge gig at New York City's Roseland Ballroom. According to sources close to Mos Def, the rapper and his touring band will be joined on stage at the show by Calhoun and Wimbish for a little Jack Johnson rock set, including the tracks "Ghetto" and "War." Friday's gig marks the belated final gig on the Lyricist Lounge tour in support of the album, Lyricist Lounge Vol. 2, released last month on Rawkus Records. The tour, which had its original run this October and November, was designed to bring New York's Lyricist Lounge tradition, a small open mic gathering founded by Danny Castro and Anthony Marshall in 1991, to those across the country who do not have the privilege of living in New York. Also performing at Friday's show are Talib Kweli, Pharoahe Monch, and Cocoa Brovaz, with Biz Markie on the turntables. In related Mos Def news, the rapper is currently filming a new movie in Nashville. More info on that when we get it. He also appears on The Rose That Grew From Concrete, Volume 1, a collection of readings and interpretations of the late Tupac Shakur's poetry, alongside Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Danny Glover, Quincy Jones, and Q-Tip. The disc was released Nov. 21. You can also check Mos Def in Spike Lee's most recent film, Bamboozled.

December 5, 2000

Snoop Dogg Barks Back

Snoop Dogg has issued his first, albeit brief, statement about the illegal posting of his forthcoming album, 'THA LAST MEAL', on the website of his former record label more than two weeks before its commercial release.

In a statement delivered exclusively to NME.COM, a spokesperson for the rapper said: "This use of the Snoop Dogg/Priority masters is both unauthorised and illegal and we are looking into appropriate legal action."

'Tha Last Meal' is to be Snoop's third and final album for No Limit. Nineteen tracks from it appeared on www.deathrowrecords2000.com at the beginning of last week. Fans who went to the site were greeted with the message: "You Decide! Take the Snoop Dogg challenge and choose between 'Dead Man Walkin'' and 'Tha Last Meal'. Listen to both albums and choose song for song which album is better!"

'Dead Man Walkin'' was Snoop's last album for Death Row recorded before he left in 1998. It was finally released this year, peaking at number 24 on the Billboard 200 in the US.

At present www.deathrowrecords2000.com is inaccessible. It is unclear if this due to a fault on the site or because No Limit have acted to block downloads.

The album, due for release in UK on December 18 and December 19 in the US, includes guest appearances from George Clinton, Nate Dogg and Master P, as well as production from Dr. Dre, Timbaland and Swizz Beatz.

Eminem and Everlast: The Whining Continues...

Eminem has thrown another punch in his ongoing war of words with Everlast, recording a song in which he calls on fans to physically attack the former House of Pain MC.

While adding to previous swipes on Everlast's music, age, and heart troubles, Eminem asks fans to "whip his ass" and threatens to kill Everlast himself. The brutal "Quitter," recorded last week with his group D-12, has turned up on radio and Napster.

"Hit him with sticks, bricks, rocks, throw sh*t at him, trip him, spit on him, treat him like a 'ho, b*tch slap him," Eminem orders in a rapid-fire flow. "Do it for me, do it for Fred, do it for Limp, do it for rock, do it for rap, do it for Kid, do it for Ice-T, do it just to do it. F*ck it - he's a b*tch. He ain't gonna hit you back - he's nuthin.'"

"Quitter" is the latest in a series of songs the rappers have aimed at each other, and it follows Everlast's blistering "Whitey's Revenge," which also surfaced on radio and online recently.

Eminem's Interscope spokesperson, Dennis Dennehy, said there are no plans to release "Quitter" commercially. He had no comment on the song's content.

"Quitter" features an ominous backdrop of timpani drums before eventually moving into a funky breakdown. It samples Tupac Shakur's "Hit 'Em Up," in which the late MC bragged that he had sex with rival rapper Notorious B.I.G.'s wife, Faith Evans.

Eminem echoes Everlast's suggestion in "Whitey's Revenge" that they make their battle physical. "F*ck you, fat boy, drop the mic, let's fight," Eminem raps in the song.

The chorus, sung in the same melody as that of The Marshall Mathers LP's "Marshall Mathers," includes the lyric: "If you talk about my little girl in a song like that again, I'm gonna kill you."

While working on "Quitter" in a Los Angeles studio, Eminem told MTV News that "the only thing that makes me salty" in "Whitey's Revenge" is Everlast's reference to his daughter.

"You better check your kid for DNA," Everlast suggests in the song.

"Battle, fight, you said my little girl's name in a song, and that's enough to make me do things that I can't talk about right now," Eminem said.

He said he had hesitations about releasing the song. "I don't even want to give him any more press. I wish him the best with his career and his heart ... If I put it out I don't want to be arrested for murder 'cause he'll have another heart attack."

Everlast suffered a heart attack while recording his solo breakthrough, Whitey Ford Sings the Blues (1998), which featured the hit "What It's Like."

Everlast could not be reached for comment at press time because he was traveling from New York to Los Angeles, according to his management office. His Tommy Boy Records publicist had no comment.

The rappers' beef first emerged on record when Everlast appeared on a remix of Dilated Peoples' "Ear Drums Pop." Everlast rapped, "I'll buck a 380 on ones that act shady/ You know you ain't the one that repped peckerwood status."

Eminem responded with "I Remember," the B-side to the "Sh*t on You" single he released with D-12 in October. Everlast swiped back with "Whitey's Revenge."

Both Eminem and Everlast say the feud stems from when they crossed paths before a concert in early 1999. Eminem says he didn't greet Everlast because he didn't recognize him right away, and said Everlast didn't acknowledge him. Everlast's version is that he tried to congratulate Eminem on his success, and Eminem blew him off.

"It was no disrespect, but then he goes and disses me on an underground record thinking I'm not going to hear it," Eminem said. "I'm like, I'm an MC, and ... I'm not gonna let someone else diss me on a record and not say something back. It's in my blood; it's a competition thing."

By Teri VanHorn

December 4, 2000

K-Ci & JoJo Return With 'X'

K-Ci & JoJo With 10 years under its musical belt, MCA's sibling duo K-Ci & JoJo has wrapped up its third album on MCA Records and is reconnecting with another sibling duo, Dalvin and Donald "DeVante" DeGrate, for the long-rumored Jodeci reunion album slated for release in 2001.

K-Ci & JoJo's aptly titled "X" arrives in stores Dec. 5. The follow-up to 1999's "It's Real" leans heavily toward powerful R&B and crossover ballads produced by such heavyweights as Babyface ("All The Things I Should Have Known"), Teddy Riley ("Wanna Do Right"), and Timbaland ("Game Face"). Also lending their production talents were DeVante and Delite, the latter of whom helmed the first single, "Crazy."

"The first time I worked with Babyface [on the pair's first album, 1996's "Love Always"], I was scared," admits K-Ci (ne Hailey). "I didn't know if I could do his style of music. JoJo could, but I didn't know if my raspy, soulful voice could work with smooth songs. However, it's gotten better every time we've worked with him. And Guy was a big influence on us early on. So the song we did with Teddy is a mixture of Guy and Jodeci." (Both groups were originally signed to Uptown Records.)

Although he's a vocalist from the hip-hop generation, K-Ci takes after classic soul singers in both his vocal style and musical tastes. For example, he describes another of the new album's retro-flavored tracks, "Can't Find The Words," as a "mixture of the late Johnnie Taylor and Bobby Womack. It's my mother's favorite song, and she doesn't even listen to R&B, just gospel."

"This isn't just another cookie-cutter R&B record," says Hakim Abdal Khallaq, MCA's director of marketing. "Because of the diversity and magic that these big-name producers have brought to this album, we believe it can make an impact on many levels. Despite the different production styles, it holds well together overall and flows naturally. It's not forced."

K-Ci & JoJo will be heading out on an extensive radio tour from Dec. 4 through Jan. 27, in support of the album and noncommercial single "Crazy," which was sent to radio Sept. 13. The duo's official live tour commences in mid-February 2001 with three other to-be-confirmed acts. Two major in-store appearances -- San Francisco's Warehouse Dec. 5 and New York's HMV on 125th Street Dec. 7 -- coincide with the album's national release, while the duo will be Pepsi.com's home-page-featured act in early December.

The duo has already appeared on BET's "106 & Park" and the ABC-aired "Radio Music Awards," and guest stints on "Rosie," "The View," "Late Night With David Letterman," and other shows still being scheduled. In addition, "Crazy" will be featured in the new Paramount/MCA movie "Save The Last Dance," which hits theaters Jan. 19.

Certainly, the smoothed-out nature of K-Ci & JoJo's recent albums is a departure from the grittier hip-hop/R&B sound they championed as part of Jodeci, with whom they recorded three albums: "Forever My Lady" (1991), "Diary Of A Mad Band" (1994), and "The Show, The After-Party, The Hotel" (1995). But K-Ci promises the group will pick up where it left off.

"I can't wait," he says. "We've been talking to each other every other day and DeVante's already pre-produced 40 to 45 songs. We've never really been away; we just took a break. But we're coming back with an album that's going to be funkier than ever."

By Jeff Lorez

Johnnie B. Litigating: Pianist Sues Chuck Berry


Johnnie B. Goode just went bad on Chuck Berry.

Legendary pianist Johnnie Johnson--the artist immortalized on Berry's classic "Johnnie B. Goode"--has filed a federal lawsuit against the rock 'n' roll legend, claiming he cowrote and is entitled to royalties on many of Berry's early hits, including "Roll Over Beethoven," "No Particular Place to Go" and "Rock and Roll Music."

The suit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, seeks unspecified damages and "all of the profits realized" by Berry and his publishing company, Isalee Music. All told, Johnson claims to have written the music on 52 songs, while Berry wrote the lyrics.

Johnson also claims Berry "took advantage" of the sideman during his struggle with alcoholism and led him to believe Berry was entitled to sole ownership of the songs. Berry, now 74, copyrighted all the songs for himself.

Johnson's suit comes just four days before Berry was slated to receive a Kennedy Center Honor from President Clinton.

"berry" Johnson and Berry's relationship traces all the way back to 1952, when Berry joined with Johnson's Sir John Trio in St. Louis. The group became the house band at the Cosmopolitan Club in East St. Louis, and Johnson's piano style helped shape Berry's guitar-playing. Soon, Johnson realized people were coming to see Berry, and the band was soon renamed the Chuck Berry Trio.

Johnson's subsequent slight led Rolling Stone Keith Richards to spearhead a hitherto fruitless petition drive to get Johnson into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. A musician isn't eligible for the Rock Hall until 25 years after his/her first credited album.

"[Johnson] ain't copying Chuck's riffs on piano," Richards once said. "Chuck adapted them to guitar and put those great lyrics behind them. But without somebody to give him those riffs, voila!, no song, just a lot of words on paper."

With Richards' encouragement, Johnson released a Grammy-nominated solo album titled Blue Hand Johnnie in 1987. Although he won't be eligible for Rock Hall induction as a solo artist until 2012, he may be inducted sooner into the newly created "sideman" category.

Meanwhile, Berry's camp is questioning the timing of Johnson's legal action.

"I'm so surprised that a lawsuit could come down 45 years later. I just find it mind-blowing," Berry's booking agent, Dick Alen, tells Billboard. "When I spoke to Chuck, he said, 'I'm just disappointed that Johnnie would do something like this.' "

by Mark Armstrong

December 3, 2000

Dr. Dre Talks 'Up In Smoke' DVD

Dr. Dre Eagle Vision and Aftermath Entertainment's DVD/VHS of this summer's "Up In Smoke" tour, which featured Dr. Dre, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, and others, will arrive in stores on Dec. 12 -- just in time for the holidays. "There is something really different about this video and DVD -- it's edgy with amazing sound and incredible concert footage and behind-the-scenes footage from director Phillip Atwel," Dr. Dre tells Billboard's Ian Percival.

The film combines the best of Dre and the greatest names in hip-hop during onstage performances together with provocative backstage footage and high-tech 3D graphics.

"There is a lot of hysterical stuff that the fans will love," Dre says. "I have several favorite parts of the film, but I think fans will be most interested in some of the behind-the-scenes footage and interviews. I am sure that everyone who went to the concerts will want to relive it on film, and it will also appeal to some of our fans who weren't able to come to a show."

Dre says he's most proud of the fact that the tour opened the hip-hop genre to a wider, more pop-driven audience. "It was so beautiful out there to see 50/50 blacks and whites in the crowd and there be no arguments," he says.

Meanwhile, Dre reports that he is currently busy with three new projects, including a movie and a new discovery, Truth Hurts, who he says is the female singer for whom he has been searching eight years.

Death Row Scoops Snoop's Rival Album

Old grudges apparently don't die easily for Snoop Dogg and his former label, Death Row Records. And now the label is trying to prove the Dogg has lost his bite.

In a publicity-stealing diss, Death Row has posted the equivalent of a "Snoop Dogg Taste Test" on its Website--prematurely leaking the rapper's new album for Master P's No Limit label and inviting listeners to compare it to Death Row's own recently released Snoop Dogg collection, Dead Man Walkin'.

Snoop's official new album, Tha Last Meal, isn't due until December 19, and it marks his third release for the Doggystyle/No Limit label after jumping ship from Death Row in 1998.

But Death Row's official Website, www.deathrowrecords2000.com, features links to tracks from both albums, asking listeners to "take the Snoop Dogg Challenge" and decide "song for song" which disc is better.

On Friday, links to MP3 files of Tha Last Meal's 19 tracks were posted on the site, but none was working. And it's still unclear whether No Limit has taken any legal action to remove the posting. Representatives from Priority Records, No Limit's distributor, couldn't be reached for comment.

As for the reasoning behind Death Row's Snoop challenge, spokesman Jerry Brown said, "We have absolutely no comment."

Still, it seems the label may just be trying to get under the skin of its former star protégé. Snoop and Death Row haven't been on the best of terms since he left the label two years ago--part of an unraveling that began after the departure of hitmaker Dr. Dre in 1996 to form his own label, the slaying of Tupac Shakur that same year, and the subsequent incarceration of Death Row chairman, Suge Knight.

Death Row released a Snoop Dogg rarities collection on October 31. But prior to its release, Knight told the Los Angeles Times that he wasn't trying to intimidate Snoop Dogg with the disc. He just wanted the fans hear some of his best work.

"It's a great album," Knight told the Times, during an interview from prison. "To me, it's him at his best. I think the fans are entitled to hear the great work. It was recorded when he was hungrier. You can hear it in his voice."

"doggys_angels" Perhaps Snoop is just too busy in other legal battles to start another skirmish with Death Row. The rapper also has found himself on the other side of a copyright battle with Columbia Pictures over his "Doggy's Angels" project for Doggystyle Records, Inside.com reports.

The studio filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday claiming the "Baby If You're Ready" CD single features art that infringes on its now highly bankable Charlie's Angels logo, featuring the familiar silhouette of three women, with "Doggy's Angels" written across the picture.

Columbia's suit names Doggystyle and TVT Records as defendants, and it claims the CD cover art could cause confusion for shoppers who are looking for the official Charlie's Angels soundtrack. Columbia also claims the song's "explicit lyrics" and the music video's "violent content" are "likely to tarnish and disparage the reputation and good will associated with the Charlie's Angels mark and logos."

No word on whether Drew Barrymore is willing take the Snoop Dogg Challenge to fight this one out.

December 2, 2000

Naughty by Nature Member Graduates from Hip-Hop to R&B

DJ Kay Gee, one-third of the hip-hop group Naughty by Nature, has left the group to concentrate on producing up-and-coming R&B talent.

“I’ve graduated from that,” Kay Gee (born Kier Gist) told Sonicnet.com.“[Naughty by Nature] is where I come from and I appreciate it, but that’s not where I plan on being and growing old. You can’t do that. You can’t grow old out on the stage, not in hip-hop. Hip-hop is for the kids.”

“Right now, it’s all about Divine Mill,” Kay Gee, 31, said, referring to his production company, which has worked with groups such as R&B trio Next. The company has produced two number one R&B singles: “Too Close” and “Wife” in the summer.

“How hard is it to give a platinum, or double-platinum or multiplatinum artist a mediocre track?,” Kay (born Kier Gist) asked. “But it’s definitely hard to break a new artist, and I take pride in doing that. What I set out to do is, when you look down the road 20 years later at your favorite artist, and you look at who was behind them, I plan on being the one who broke them into the game.”

In addition to Next, Kay Gee also produced the R&B female duo Zhane, who scored a top-10 pop hit with “Hey Mr. DJ” in 1993.His latest discovery is New Brunswick, N.J., singer Jaheim, who has just released the mid-tempo soulful single “Could It Be” on Divine Mill/Warner Bros. Jaheim’s debut album, “Ghetto Love,” is scheduled for a Feb. 13 2001 release.

Terry Dexter, Lil’ Mo and Ms.Jones contribute performances on Ghetto Love. Darren and Cliff Lightly, Next’s R.L. and Blackstreet’s Eric Williams helped out on the songwriting end.

“Jaheim is a new millennium Teddy Pendergrass or Luther Vandross,” Kay said. “One of the sultry, sensual voices. A voice that can capture the ladies straight off the top.”

Jaheim (born Jaheim Hoagland) said he’s grateful for Kay Gee’s guidance. “In the music game, you have tobe on your toes and have to have the right people around you to guide you through,” the 21-year-old singer said. “I had a lot of wolves around, and it’s hard out there in the streets. It’s good to have people who love you; they take care of you.”

Never one to stay idle, Kay Gee is working on Luther Vandross’ upcoming album for the new J Records. “It’s a very happening sound,” Vandross said of Kay Gee’s work on his record. “It’s very fresh and very good for me.”

Kay Gee described his formula for success as, “Hard work, dedication, understanding music as a whole, never burning bridges, being nice to people as a whole.

“Now, it’s full circle,” he continued. “The same people that you see on the way up, you’re going to see on the way down. It’s just covering all grounds, all the way around.Keep everything positive and never let anything come down to a negative. Just maintain the hard work — people appreciate that.”

Words: Chris Richburg

The Grinch Steals the Box Office

Ron Howard's big screen adaptation of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas starring Jim Carey took top honors at the box office this week again, grossing $73.8 million. Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis' suspense thriller Unbreakable came in second, grossing $47.2 million. The romper room set Rugrats in Paris: The Movie came in third followed by Disney's 102 Dalmatians. Charlie's Angels closed out the top five, pulling in another $14 million. The action-packed detective flick stars Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy Liu, and is a big screen version of the popular 70s television series. The romantic drama Bounce starring Ben Affleck and Gwyneth Paltrow came in sixth this week followed by Arnold Schwarzenegger's action-packed thriller The 6th Day. Cuba Gooding, Jr.'s Men of Honor placed eighth followed by Meet the Parents, which grossed another $9 million. Adam Sandler's hilarious comedy rounded out the top ten at the box office this week grossing $2.7 million. Here are this week's gross figures:

1. Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas $73.8 million
2. Unbreakable$47.2 million
3. 102 Dalmatians$26.8 million
4. Rugrats in Paris: The Movie $22.8 million
5. Charlie's Angels $14 million
6. Bounce$11 million
7. The 6th Day $10.2 million
8. Men of Honor $ 9.3 million
9. Meet the Parents $9 million
10. Little Nicky

December 1, 2000

Lil Zane's Worldwide Movement

Hip hop star Lil' Zane is riding high off the success of his debut album, Young World: The Future and his hit single, "Callin' Me," which features R&B sensations 112. He recently spoke about his next video and single "None Tonight." Zane described the video saying, "The video is about me trying to have fun and what guys have to go through to get a little love or attention from a girl. It's definitely a club song because the fellas are telling the girls that they just want to have some fun tonight and the girls are telling them that you're not getting none tonight."

He also spoke about his click Worldwide, which consists of him, the Angennetta Boys and Da Howg, and Worldwide Entertainment CEO Kevin Wells. "K. Wells is grooming us," said Zane. "That's what our whole movement is about. This whole thing is like a movement. You can't look at it as just a rap group or just a click. It's a movement. That's why we called it worldwide. Our motto is united we stand, and together we ball. It's a bunch of young people. They calling me the future, we the new era, we're Generation X. It's up to us. They know what K. Wells is capable of. They learning what Lil' Zane is capable of. They know it's no boundaries for us. They seeing. It's like watching the NWA, Death Row, or Bad Boy movement in progress. It's something to see. All young people, a wrath of young people. And when these people come out, y'all gone start to notice slowly by slowly and be like, 'Damn, that's Worldwide, that's Worldwide.'"

Lil' Zane also addressed negative criticism of him sounding a lot like the late Tupac Shakur. Lil Zane said, "I've heard people compare me to Pac a couple of times, but nobody can be Tupac. I'm a fan, I grew up listening to him, Biggie, Jay. When I started writing, that's when Snoop, Dr. Dre, Eazy, Warren G and all them niggas was hot. That's the era I came up in. I really didn't grow up on Run-DMC or DJ [Grandmaster] Flash and all them. If they were hot now, then I probably would have been influenced by them. If they were hot before the last ten years, then they were before me. But I respect it. Now I go to old school concerts like Run DMC, Frankie Beverly and Maze and learn different things. But, I feel Pac. I feel that we stand for a lot of the same things. I just did a song with the Outlawz called "Turn the Lights Off" just to show everybody that it's no beef, it's all love."

Zane will also be appearing in the forthcoming film Finding Forrester. The movie centers around an African-American athlete studying at an all-white prep school who dreams of becoming a writer. It also focuses on the relationship he shares with his mentor, a reclusive author whom he meets on the Internet. The film also stars Busta Rhymes and Sean Connery and hits theatres on December 20th. Lil' Zane also said that he is in talks to be featured on a "down south- mid west tour," which will kick off next year. The tour is also scheduled to include Scarface, Ludicris, Three Six Mafia, Nelly, Mystikal, Trina, and the Geto Boys. Redman, Jay- Z, Jermaine Dupri, and Lil' Bow Wow are also scheduled to appear on several spot dates. For more information on Zane and the upcoming tour, log on to www.lilzane.com.

Eminem Cops Plea?

According to the Detroit Free Press, hip hop star Eminem may receive a break on his gun possession charges. The paper reported that the rapper might see one charge disappear if he pleads guilty to one of the felonies on December 8th. Eminem is charged with one count of assault with a deadly weapon and one count of carrying a concealed weapon. Prosecutor Carl Marlinga stated, "Whether we go to trail or whether he pleads, we are going to be asking for significant jail time."

Eminem was arrested in June after allegedly hitting John Guerra over the head with an unloaded gun after he saw Guerra kissing his wife, Kim. Eminem and Kim are presently separated and in the middle of divorce procedures. The 27-year-old rapper, born Marshall Mathers, could face up to five years in prison. Prosecutor Marlinga stated that the rapper should get jail time if he is convicted. "He's like any other defendant for us in terms of the economic consequences of his actions," said Marlinga. "He's charged with a felony, and we intend to go to trial with this case as a felony." Eminem is also scheduled to appear in Oakland County, Michigan Circuit Court on December 18th where he faces another unrelated gun charge. The charge stems from a June 3rd incident outside a stereo store in Royal Oak, Michigan where he was allegedly involved in an altercation with a member of the Insane Clown Posse's entourage.

May 26, 2022  
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