March 31, 2000
Oscars Blow Pass The Hurricane
The 72nd Annual Academy Awards was held this past Sunday bringing out some
of the best in Hollywood. Denzel Washington came up short for his bid as
"Best Actor in a Lead Role" despite his acclaimed performance in The
Hurricane. Kevin Spacey ended up walking away with the honor for his
performance in American Beauty. Russell Crowe (The Insider), Sean Penn
(Sweet and Lowdown, and Richard Farnsworth (The Straight and Narrow () were
the other actors up for the award.
Michael Clarke Duncan also was disappointed but you sure couldn't tell by
the smile on his face. His role as John Coffey in The Green Milelost in its
bid for "Best Supporting Actor." Michael Caine won his second Oscar in this
category for his work in The Cider House Rules. Jude Law (The Talented Mr.
Ripley), Haley Joel Osment (The Sixth Sense and Tom Cruise (Magnolia) were
also nominated in that category.
Erykah Badu made her Oscar debut as a presenter this year and made her film
debut in The Cider House Rules. Other presenters included Angela Bassett and
Samuel L. Jackson. Jackson was nominated in 1994 for his role in Pulp
Fiction and is currently filming the movie Shaft. Here is complete list of
this year's Academy Award winners.
ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Kevin Spacey American Beauty
ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Hilary Swank Boys Don't Cry
SCREENPLAY - ADAPTATION
THE CIDER HOUSE RULES
THE RED VIOLIN
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER
SOUND EFFECTS EDITING
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Michael Caine The Cider House Rules
ONE DAY IN SEPTEMBER
DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
SHORT FILM - ANIMATED
THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA
SHORT FILM - LIVE ACTION
MY MOTHER DREAMS THE SATAN'S
DISCIPLES IN NEW YORK
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Angelina Jolie Girl Interrupted
March 30, 2000
Whitney Houston a No Show at Oscars
Whitney Houston recently said that she decided not to perform at this year's
Oscars due to sore throat, but according to the New York Post, things aren't
always what they seem. According to the Post, Burt Bacharach, one of the
Academy Awards' musical directors got frustrated with her during rehearsal.
Sources say he was heard saying, "Just leave. It's not going to work out."
Country singer Faith Hill was called in to fill the void. The pop diva was
originally scheduled to perform in a tribute medley with Ray Charles, Queen
Latifah, Garth Brooks, and Isaac Hayes. Houston's initial rehearsal on
Thursday only lasted fifteen minutes and was "totally out of it." On
Friday's rehearsal, she reportedly missed cues and seemed "discombobulated"
according to the Post. Bacharach removed Whitney from the performance
shortly thereafter, just two days before the ceremony. Houston's publicist
released a statement saying, "Whitney Houston arrived in Los Angeles with a
sore throat. After participating in rehearsals for the 72nd Academy Awards
show both Thursday and Friday nights, she was unsure that she would be
better by Sunday. She therefore regretfully withdrew from the performance."
An Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences spokesperson said, Houston
"had a hard time singing because of her throat. She was upset about the
whole thing and didn't want to leave."
March 29, 2000
Santana Remains at Number One
Santana continues to dominate the Billboard Top 200 with Supernatural, while Sisqo
jumps four spots to number two this week with his solo debut, Unleash The Dragon. Dr. Dre
and Macy Gray round out the top five at the third and fourth spots and Bone
Thugs-N-Harmony hold tight at number five.
Black Rob's debut, Life Story, slips three to number six this week. Destiny's Child and
Kid Rock slowly climb to the seventh and eighth spots and George Strait received this
week's biggest blow dropping from the number two spot to number nine. Christina Aguilera
continues to ride her Grammy success rising one spot to finish out at number ten.
Usher Set to Take The Tube and Screen by Storm
R&B sensation Usher is currently in Toronto filming an episode of "The Famous
Jett Jackson" for the Disney Channel. Usher will portray a villain named Zander
"The Z-Ride" Hall for the season opener of the three year-old program. Zander
Hall is described as a world-class skateboarder and computer hacker who has been stealing
the nation's security codes. The episode, titled "Step Up," will be filmed from
March 20-22. The new season of "The Famous Jett Jackson" is scheduled to begin
airing on the Disney Channel this summer.
In related Usher acting news, he will also be featured in this summer's western film,
"Texas Rangers." Mr. "Nice & Slow" will play a sharpshooter
alongside James Van Der Beek and Dylan McDermott. The film is scheduled to hit theatres on
August 25th. He will then appear in the made-for-TV film "Gepetto," which stars
Drew Carey and Brent Spiner. His previous acting credits include the films "Light It
Up," "The Faculty," and the television shows "Moesha" and
"The Bold and the Beautiful."
Queen Latifah Turns 30
Queen Latifah had on her show an all-star cast as well as a horde of her friends and family as they celebrate her 30th birthday. Pepa, of Salt-N-Pepa,
joined her husband Treach and the rest of Naughty By Nature will deliver the Queen's
birthday serenade. The rapper/actress turned talk show host was also visited by former
"Living Single" co-stars Kim Fields, T.C. Carson, and John Henton. Latifah will
also receive birthday wishes via videotape from such celebrities as Angelina Jolie, Mary
J. Blige, Chris Rock, and Vivica A. Fox. The show itself has attracted many celebrities in
the past and has been renewed for a second season. Viewers should check local listings for
the time and channel.
March 28, 2000
Rapper DMX's Woes
An arrest warrant is out for rapper DMX, whose real name
is Earl Simmons, after he failed to appear in a New York court on Wednesday
to face charges of speeding, possession of marijuana, failing to signal a
lane change and driving with a suspended permit. DMX also was arrested last
year after police going through his Teaneck, N.J., home found an illegal
weapon, ammunition and 14 pit bulls (whose keeping were in violation of a
Eve to Head Back to the Studio
Ruff Ryder's first lady, Eve, more than halfway through the Cash Money/Ruff
Ryders Tour, has announced that she will soon be heading back to the studio
to cut some new tracks, one of which will appear on the second installment
of the Ruff Ryders compilation album Ryde Or Die Vol. 2. Eagerly awaiting
her studio time, Eve will also begin to lay down tracks for the follow up to
her multi-platinum debut, Eve: The First Lady Of Ruff Ryders, which she
hopes to have out later this year. If that wasn't enough her third single,
"Maniac," is slated for release in the up coming weeks.
Mariah Carey Drops Joe
R&B singer Joe has recently been dropped as the opening act for the Asian
leg of Mariah Carey's "Rainbow Tour." While trying to squeeze in a set by
rapper Da Brat, Joe's management learned his set was to be shortened from 45
minutes to 25 minutes. Since an opening act is only given a certain amount
of time and choreography and technical difficulties wouldn't allow a change,
he was pulled from the line up. Joe, who had been travelling with fellow R&B
hit maker Chico Debarge, was told of the news by his manager Kedar
Massenburg during a stop in San Francisco. Both Joe and DeBarge then flew
back to New York. Joe's management stated that although he was disappointed
to miss out on opening for the pop princess, he has no animosity. However,
rumors have been circulating that both Joe and DeBarge were very frustrated
and upset with what went down.
Joe lent his vocals to the late Big Pun's hit "Don't Want To Be A Player,"
and most recently sang with Mariah on her single, "Thank God I've Found
You." His solo album My Name Is Joe will be released on April 18.
March 27, 2000
Former Black Panther Sought in Police Shooting
Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, the former Black Panther previously known as H. Rap
Brown, was captured Monday night in White Hall, Alabama, after an exchange
of gunfire with law enforcement officials. The former Black Panther was
being sought in Atlanta after allegedly shooting two deputies on Thursday as
they went to arrest him for failure to appear in court on a theft case.
Officer Aldranon English was listed in serious condition at Grady Memorial
Hospital while Officer Ricky Kinchen later died. According to Police Chief
Beverly Harvard in a news conference on Friday, Officer Aldranon English
"has positively identified Al-Amin as the person who fired upon the two
According to AP reports, Al-Amin began firing shots after he was discovered,
then ran into nearby woods. Federal and state agents then proceeded to
circle him and released attack dogs. He was then arrested uninjured. Several
other suspects have been detained for possibly harboring a fugitive, though
no charges have been filed. No officers were injured in Al-Amin's latest
The officers were shot on Thursday when they were issuing an arrest warrant
to the 56-year old Al-Amin, who failed to appear in court in January on
charges of theft by receiving stolen property, impersonating an officer and
having no proof of insurance, according to the Cobb County sheriff's
department. In the 1960s, Al-Amin was a leader of the Student Non-Violent
Coordinating Committee and Justice Minister of the Black Panthers. Known
then as Brown, he once exhorted blacks to arm themselves, saying, "violence
is as American as cherry pie."
Al-Amin is expected to make a court appearance in Montgomery, Alabama today
and then will be extradited back to Atlanta. In recent years, Al-Amin, a
Muslim spiritual leader of a community mosque, has operated a small grocery
store in Atlanta's West End. He has worked at trying to clean up drugs and
prostitution in the neighborhood. In 1995, he was accused of aggravated
assault, carrying a concealed weapon and possessing an unlicensed pistol
after a man claimed he was shot by Al-Amin. The man later recanted his story
and said he was pressured by authorities to identify Al-Amin as the shooter.
Comic Tom Green Suffering From Testicular Cancer
Tom Green, MTV's premiere practical joker and host of The Tom Green Show,
recently announced in an interview with Entertainment Tonight that he has
testicular cancer. Green, who is known for playing lewd practical jokes on
his parents and friends, announced his battle with the disease during an
interview with E.T. The 28-year-old comedian said that he had been feeling
ill and initially thought he injured himself while performing a stunt for
his show. Green was diagnosed on March 9th following a doctor's exam. He has
halted production of "The Tom Green Show" while he undergoes treatment. His
doctors said the disease is curable and he could return to work within a few
months. In the meantime, MTV will air repeats of his show.
In related testicular cancer news, reports state that it kills about 300
American men each year. The first sign of the disease is a mass within the
scrotum that grows gradually. Monthly self-exams for testicular cancer are
effective in catching this disease at an early and curable stage. A
self-exam for testicular cancer is best performed after a warm bath or
shower. Heat relaxes the scrotum, making it easier to spot anything
abnormal. The National Cancer Institute recommends following these steps
* Stand in front of a mirror. Check for any swelling on the scrotum skin.
* Examine each testicle with both hands. Place the index and middle fingers
under the testicle with the thumbs placed on top. Roll the testicle gently
between the thumbs and fingers. Don't be alarmed if one testicle seems
slightly larger than the other. That's normal.
* Find the epididymis, the soft, tubelike structure behind the testicle that
collects and carries sperm. If you are familiar with this structure, you
won't mistake it for a suspicious lump. Cancerous lumps usually are found on
the sides of the testicle but can also show up on the front.
* If you find a lump, see a doctor right away. The abnormality may not be
cancer, but if it is, the chances are great it can spread if not stopped by
treatment. Only a physician can make a positive diagnosis. His or her
examination will include a physical exam.
March 26, 2000
Hendrix and Gillespie Among Class of 2000 Grammy Hall of Famers
The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences has released the latest list of
records and artists inducted into its Grammy Hall of Fame. Among the Grammy's Hall of Fame
elite are Jimi Hendrix, Sam Cooke, Dionne Warwick, Ella Fitzgerald, The Beatles and Dizzie
Gillespie. "Purple Haze" by Hendricks, "A Change is Gonna Come" by
Cooke, and "The Twist" by Chubby Checker were among the 49 recordings inducted
into the Class of 2000. The Grammy Hall of Fame was established in 1973 by NARAS to honor
recordings of enduring quality and relevance or historical significance. There are
currently 498 recordings in the hall of fame. To be selected, recordings have to be at
least 25-years-old and are selected by a panel from the recording arts field that includes
musicologists and historians. Here's the complete list of The 2000 Grammy Hall of Fame
* "Amazing Grace" The Dixie Hummingbirds (Apollo, 1946) Gospel
* "Bells Are Ringing" (Album) Original Broadway Cast (Judy Holliday, Sydney
Chaplin) (Columbia, 1958) Musical Show
* "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" Andrews Sisters (Decca, 1941) Traditional Pop
* "A Change Is Gonna Come" Sam Cooke (RCA Victor, 1965) R&B
* "Cheek To Cheek" Fred Astaire With Leo Reisman And His Orchestra
(Brunswick, 1935) Traditional Pop
* "Chega De Saudade" Joao Gilberto (Odeon, 1958) Pop
* "Conversations With Myself" (Album) Bill Evans (Verve, 1963) Jazz
* "Copland: Appalachian Spring" (Album) Aaron Copland Cond. The Boston
Symphony (RCA Victor, 1959) Classical
* "Desafinado" Stan Getz & Charlie Byrd (Verve, 1962) Jazz
* "Desperado" (Album) The Eagles (Asylum, 1972) Rock
* "Don't Make Me Over" Dionne Warwick (Scepter, 1962) Pop
* "Early Autumn" Woody Herman And His Orchestra (Capitol, 1949) Jazz
* "Ella Fitzgerald Sings Cole The Porter Song Book" (Album) Ella Fitzgerald
(Verve, 1956) Traditional Pop
* "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield (Atco, 1967) Rock
* "Frenesi" Artie Shaw And His Orchestra (Victor, 1940) Jazz
* "The Girl From Ipanema" Stan Getz & Astrud Gilberto (Verve, 1964) Pop
* "Groovin' High" Dizzy Gillespie & His Sextet (Guild, 1945) Jazz
* "A Hard Day's Night" (Album) The Beatles (United Artists, 1964) Rock
* "Hello Walls" Faron Young (Capitol, 1961) Country
* "I Loves You, Porgy" Nina Simone (Bethlehem, 1959) Jazz
* "I'm Movin' On" Hank Snow (RCA Victor, 1950) Country
* "The King And I" (Album) Original Cast: Yul Brynner, Gertrude Lawrence
(Decca, 1951) Musical Show
* "La Bamba" Ritchie Valens (Del-Fi, 1958) Rock & Roll
* "Lady In Satin" (Album) Billie Holiday (Columbia, 1958) Jazz
* "Layla" Derek And The Dominos (Atco, 1971) Rock
* "Lush Life" John Coltrane With Johnny Hartman (Impulse, 1963) Jazz
* "Mustang Sally" Wilson Pickett (Atlantic, 1967) R&B
* "My Way" Frank Sinatra (Reprise, 1969) Pop
* "Night At Birdland" (Album) Art Blakey Quintet (Blue Note, 1954) Jazz
* "Nuages" Django Reinhardt And Stephane Grappelli With The Quintet Of The
Hot Club Of France (Decca, 1946) Jazz
* "Pistol Packin' Mama" Al Dexter (Okeh, 1943) Country
* "Porgy And Bess" (Album) Miles Davis & Gil Evans (Columbia, 1958) Jazz
* "Puccini: La Boheme" Sir Thomas Beecham Cond., Soloists: De Los Angeles,
Bjorling, Merrill, Tozzi, Amara (RCA Victor, 1956) Classical
* "Purple Haze" The Jimi Hendrix Experience (Reprise, 1967) Rock
* "Rollin' Stone" Muddy Waters (Chess, 1950) Blues
* "Rubber Soul" The Beatles (Capitol, 1965) Rock
* "The Sidewinder" (Album) Lee Morgan (Blue Note, 1956) Jazz
* "Songs For Swingin' Lovers!" Frank Sinatra (Capitol, 1956) Traditional Pop
* "Stormy Weather" Lena Horne (RCA Victor, 1942) Traditional Pop
* "Stravinsky: Petrouchka, Le Sacre Du Printemps" Igor Stravinsky Cond.
Columbia Symphony Orch (Columbia, 1961) Classical
* "Sweetheart Of The Rodeo" The Byrds (Columbia, 1968) Rock
* "The Beatles" ("White Album") The Beatles (Apple, 1968) Rock
* "Theme From A Summer Place" Percy Faith And His Orchestra (Columbia, 1960)
* "(They Long To Be) Close To You" Carpenters (A&M, 1970) Pop
* "The Twist" Chubby Checker (Parkway, 1960) Rock & Roll
* "Unchained Melody" The Righteous Brothers (Verve, 1965) Pop
* "Unforgettable" Nat "King" Cole (Capitol, 1951) Traditional Pop
* "What'd I Say (Part I)" Ray Charles (Atlantic, 1959) R&B
* "Wichita Lineman" Glen Campbell (Capitol, 1968) Country
March 25, 2000
Steve Harvey Reaches Syndication Milestone
The WB network has resigned the The Steve Harvey Show for 22 more episodes for the
2000-01 television season. The Steve Harvey Show is the network's highest rated sitcom in
the 18-49 household demographic. The show averages 3.2 million viewers during its time
slot. With the renewal, the number of episodes produced is now at 110, putting it in
syndication status. The Steve Harvey Show now joins Sister, Sister, The Wayans Bros. and
Unhappily Ever After as the WB's only four syndicated programs. Prior to the show's
renewal, Steve Harvey had signed a talent holding deal with CBS to develop a half-hour
sitcom because the network didn't have any options on the show beyond 1999-2000. The
latter deal will probably be put on hold. The show stars comedians Steve Harvey and Cedric
"The Entertainer," along with Wendy Raquel Robinson, Terri J. Vaughn, William
Lee Scott and Merlin Santana. The show received this year's NAACP Image Award for
"Outstanding Comedy Series, while Harvey and Cedric received the "Outstanding
Actor in a Comedy Series" and "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy
The Saga Continues Between Dr. Dre and Death Row
Dr. Dre has filed another lawsuit against his former label Death Row Records and
Musicmaker.com, seeking all gross earnings of the sale or distribution of downloads of
material containing his performance. Musicmaker had announced last week that it signed a
3-year licensing deal with Death Row Records to sell the companies catalog of past and
future releases on the internet. Most of Dre's signature work was with his former label
including Dre's classic, The Chronic, LP, which Musicmaker is selling in it's entirety for
digital download. An attorney representing Dr. Dre has sent a letter to Musicmaker.com
demanding that the custom-compilation and download site immediately remove material by
Dre. Howard King, Dr. Dre's lawyer has stated that the contract Dre signed with Death Row
does not include a clause to sell or license any individual tracks except only in the same
configuration that it was previously released, which means Musicmaker.com cannot sell
individual songs. King said that he would be sending a Cease and Desist letter to
Musicmaker. According to Billboard, Musicmaker vice chairman Irwin Steinberg, said,
"The documents that were made known to us show that they [Death Row] have the rights
to give us the rights." Representatives for Musicmaker have announced that they would
not remove the tracks until a court decision ordering them to do so was issued. At press
time, 27 of Dre's tracks were still available for custom compilation at musicmaker.com
Academy Awards Tossed out With Yesterday's Trash
Willie Fulgear found the missing Oscars late Sunday while rummaging through a trash bin
searching for boxes for his planned move. The awards were still wrapped in plastic, padded
with plastic foam and in individual white boxes. Fulgear said, "My foot hit one. It
was heavy and I opened it up. Everybody knows who Oscar is." He stuffed the trunk of
his car with the boxes and called his 22-year-old son to help him find out what they were
doing in the trash. The son called police. Fulgear stated that he not heard the Oscars
The fifty-five gold-plated statuettes disappeared on March 10 from a Roadway Express
Inc. loading dock in LA. Roadway Express had issued a $50,000 reward for information
leading to the arrest and conviction of the thieves. Company spokesman John Hyre declined
to say whether Fulgear would be offered the reward for finding the Oscars. He said,
"This is still an open investigation, so I think it would be inappropriate for me to
comment now." Fifty-three Oscars were recovered. A special mark proved they were the
true awards, which were found in pristine condition. The Academy placed an emergency order
last week for replacements after the theft was discovered. The original statuettes will
probably remain in police custody until after the ceremony on March 26th. The thieves who
stole the Ocsars were captured by police today. More details will be released in a news
conference later by LA police Chief Bernard Parks and Robert Rehme, president of the
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Madonna Expecting another Baby
Madonna announced today that she is pregnant with her second child after several months
of denying maternity rumors. The 41-year-old pop diva said she is carrying the baby of
31-year-old film director Guy Ritchie. Madonna and Ritchie met two years ago at a luncheon
given by rock singer Sting's wife Trudie Styler. In a press statement, the couple said
they "are happy to confirm the rumors that they are expecting a child at the end of
this year." "We would be grateful if the media would kindly allow us some
privacy at this special time and we thank you all for your good wishes." She already
has a 3-year old daughter, Lourdes from her former relationship with actor Carlos Leon.
Ice Cube Set To Release Vol. 2
Ice Cube will be in Manhattan, New York on March 20th at the Virgin Megastore in Times
Square for an autograph signing in support of his new album, War & Peace Vol. 2: The
Peace Disc. The album includes appearances by Dr. Dre, MC Ren, Mack 10 and Chris Rock. Ice
Cube will also appear on MTV's TOTAL REQUEST LIVE at 3:30 p.m./EST. "Until We
Rich," Cube's first single off the new LP, features Krayzie Bone. Vol. 2 was released
on March 21.
March 24, 2000
Everything's Coming Up Divas
Despite an avalanche of emails from VH1.com users begging for Janet Jackson and, er,
Teena Marie to perform at Divas 2000: A Tribute to Diana Ross, it appears Mariah Carey,
Donna Summer and Faith Hill have elbowed their way to the front of the line to honor the
sole Supreme. All three will be appearing at the Divas 2000 show broadcast from Madison
Square Garden on VH1 on April 11 at 9 PM ET.
Producers are planning for the artists to perform their own hits; songs made famous by
Ms. Ross like "I'm Coming Out" and "Upside Down;" and also team up
with the diva of divas herself for a series of duets.
The show will be something of a return engagement for Carey and Hill, who have both
performed at previous Divas events. Carey brought the house down when she opened the first
VH1 Divas Live in 1998 with her song "My All." Faith Hill officially arrived in
diva-land in 1999 when she performed her hit "This Kiss."
Since then, Hill has topped the charts with her latest album Breathe. In other good
news for Faith Hill, this week she was nominated for eight different TNN Music Awards,
including Female Artist of the Year and Album of the Year. In the category of Entertainer
of the Year, she will be competing against her own husband, Tim McGraw. The awards will be
presented on June 15 in Nashville.
It's the first time Donna Summer has played Divas, but to her fans, it's about damn
time. Tony emailed us saying, "Donna has always respected Diana and it should be a
great show. Don't mess this good thing up! April 11th could be a history making moment if
you can get an original Donna/Diana duet and release it as a single."
Curtis had other ideas. "Let me tell ya, if Mariah's really going to be there,
you've gained yourself a million viewers!!!! It would be so awesome if Diana Ross, Donna
Summer, and Mariah did a Supremes song together like, 'Stop in the Name of Love' or
whatever. That would be the highlight of the night. I bet Mariah will sing her powerful
rendition of 'Do You Know Where You're Going To' from the movie, Mahogany." Well, you
Fans of Janet and Teena - and who knew there were so many of you out there - are best
advised to have a little lie down and be sure to tune in on April 11. Because you never
know who might drop in to pay their respects... Accompanying Divas 2000, or rather
gritting their teeth and reeking of Brut, will be the Men Strike Back show. Scheduled to
perform are the swoonsome Backstreet Boys, a fully clothed (maybe) D'Angelo, an
emotion-drenched Enrique Iglesias, a nearly bald Sting, and a priapic Tom Jones. And maybe
a partridge in a pear tree. No, we don't mean David Cassidy. It was just a joke.
By C. Bottomley
March 23, 2000
The Spirit Of N'Dambi
As people hurriedly dart in and out of the hotel lobby like worker ants, one vibrant
young woman sits peacefully as the inviting comfort of the couch swallows her tall,
shapely frame like quicksand. Much like the glow of the sun gliding down a sturdy country
oak tree one early fall evening, her serene radiance mutes the buzz of surrounding
activity. But beneath her calm demeanor lies a myriad of emotions and experiences that
color this singer/songwriter, record label owner and mother, Chonita Nicole Gillespie,
more commonly known as N'Dambi.
"It means the most beautiful," says the Dallas, Texas native breaking her
silence to explain her name. "My God brother gave it to me. I think when he gave it
to me, he meant internally," she draws her hands to her heart, "like my spirit.
So, I find it befitting."
The spirit N'Dambi speaks of commands attention almost as quickly as her eight-inch
afro. But for those who are not able to bathe in the warmth of her presence, her debut
album, Little Lost Girls Blues, is more than a viable substitute. Not only does her album
provide open minds with a portal to her spirit-filled world of dramatic instrumentation
and heartfelt lyrics, but her moody vocals capture the emotional peaks and valleys
traveled by music greats like Nina Simone and Chaka Khan.
"The album in and of itself is what I feel," says the former backup singer
for Erykah Badu. "It's what I like. It's sincerely me. And I hope that because it's a
sincere project, those people who it needs to affect, it gets to them. It may not go
platinum, but those are not necessarily goals of mine."
But while a great deal of today's performers lust after precious metal, N¹Dambi's more
concerned with how she plays the game - maintaining creative control is her primary
objective. As one-half of Cheeky-I Productions, she initially released Little Lost Girls
Blues independently with her business partner. Since the record has been a runaway hit,
she has since attracted the attention of major record labels and is in the process of
negotiating a spot as the opening act on the Texas leg of D'Angelo's tour.
"I have a problem with putting restrictions on albums because that forces a person
to have a limit on their imagination," says N'Dambi. "I think that being able to
get up everyday knowing that I'm working for myself and this is the path I chose... it's
wonderful. I wouldn't have it any other way. I don't care how hard it is."
However, while putting out her album proves to be one N'Dambi's biggest challenges,
it's nothing compared to what she's been through.
"Even when I went to college, I went after being divorced and a single parent. I
had to figure out how I was going to go to school, work full-time and take care of my
After earning a degree in creative writing, it was off to tour the world with long-time
friend Erykah Badu. "We were like whoever gets a deal first, we'll take the other one
on the road. It just so happens that she got her deal first and I went on the road with
her. Touring was a good experience anyway because it opened my eyes to the whole industry
and just being able to watch and be an observer was a good thing."
N'Dambi is still watching, but this time from a different vantage point. With the
release of Little Lost Girls Blues, the cost of creative freedom has forced her to walk
the road less traveled. But that shouldn't be a problem for the rising star because her
neo-soul sistah Badu has proven there is still a pot of gold - and platinum - at the end
of the journey
March 22, 2000
Puffy, Busta, Missy, Nas Come Out For Big Pun Video
An all-star cast of hip-hop and rap stars have been added to the lineup for Big
Punisher's posthumous video for "It's Hard," as Busta Rhymes, Sean
"Puffy" Combs, Nas, Missy Elliott, L.L. Cool J, and Noreaga have all filmed
sequences for the clip.
Those artists, along with DJ Premier, Mack 10, Xzibit, Angie Martinez, and Melle Mel,
recently came out for the four-day, multi-city shoot, with director Chris Robinson
traveling to Miami, Los Angeles, and New York City to capture all the cameos for the clip.
The special video tribute also features guest spots from Lil' Kim, Fat Joe, the Terror
Squad, Mobb Deep, Funkmaster Flex, and the Wu-Tang Clan's Raekwon, among others according
to Loud Records. Principal photography for "It's Hard" was shot in Los
Angeles earlier this month during the same weekend as the 14th Annual Soul Train Music
The concept for the clip centers around the global radio premiere of "It's
Hard" and features each of the guest artists performing one of the lines delivered by
Big Pun, who died of a heart attack on February 7. A rough cut of the video is
already being screened for industry insiders, and Loud Records says that it hopes to
deliver the final edit of "It's Hard" to various TV outlets possibly as early as
this week. "Yeeeah Baby," the second album from Big Punisher, is due out on
March 21, 2000
Luke's Freak Fest
Luke Cambell will celebrate the release of his new film and soundtrack, Luke's Freak
Fest 2000 with his "Freak Fest 2000 Weekend Bash" during spring break weekend
from Thursday, March 23 Saturday, March 26. The highlight of the weekend is an all star
concert paying tribute to the late Big Punisher. Artists scheduled to perform include
Luke, Raekwon, Mobb Deep, LV, M.O.P., dead prez and the Goodie Mob. The concert will also
be webcast on UBO's Lukeworld.com. The film is scheduled to be released on pay-per-view in
May and DVD shortly thereafter. It chronicles a three-day beach party weekend where three
young male college students get together with three female college students. The friends
are from Chicago and haven't seen each other since they were kids and reunite in South
Beach, Miami. BET's Rap City Host Tigger and world-renowned pimp, Bishop Don Juan, from
"Pimps Up, Hoes Down," make their acting debuts in the flick. The soundtrack was
released on Tuesday and features Big Pun, Quad City DJ's, Krayzie Bone and 95 South.
March 20, 2000
N.W.A. Reunites For TV Performance
Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, and MC Ren, three original members of the groundbreaking gangsta rap
group N.W.A., have agreed to perform live together for the first time in over ten years.
The performance will take place Saturday, March 11 for a taping of the weekly USA
Network series "Jimmy And Doug's Farmclub.com." The three original N.W.A.
members will be joined by Dre protégé and new N.W.A. associate Snoop Dogg for the
episode, which will air on Monday, March 27 at 11:00 p.m. (ET).
Dre, Cube, and Ren recently reunited in the studio for the "Next Friday"
soundtrack on the cut "Chin Check." Snoop Dogg appears on the track in place of
former N.W.A. member Eazy-E, who died of complications due to AIDS in 1995.
March 19, 2000
Toni Braxton Bringing The Heat In April
Toni Braxton will deliver "The Heat" when it releases on April 25. It has
been four years since she released "Secrets," her last LP. "He Wasn't Man
Enough," The first single from "The Heat," was produced by Rodney Jerkins.
Braxton will kick off a promotional radio tour in the weeks to come. LaFace
Records says that Toni intends to perform live throughout the summer, but
the dates have not yet been not confirmed. During her four-year break,
Braxton performed as Belle in the Broadway production of Beauty And The
Beast, while in contractual dispute with her label LaFace. The dispute was
resolved in early '99.
Music Retailers Go High-Tech To Compete With The Internet
In an attempt to appeal to a younger audience, several traditional music
distributors unveiled digital kiosks at a recent record store trade show.
This will allow music fans to preview, purchase, and created custom CD's in
the stores. Software company Liquid Audio developed the software for the
kiosks. Reuters quotes Liquid Audio spokesman Richard Fleishman saying,
"Consumers have higher expectations and want a customized product and
satisfying retail experience. . . . This kiosk lets traditional retailers
leverage Internet music to expand their product line while maintaining their
current storefront real estate.'' Others heading into the kiosk market are
music distributors Valley Media Inc. and Alliance Entertainment Corporation.
Valley Media Inc. intends to introduce their kiosks this summer. Chris
Bartow, marketing manager with Valley Media, said, "Major record companies
would be resistant because of piracy questions."
March 18, 2000
TLC's Left Eye Looks Forward To Solo Project
TLC has been firing on all cylinders supporting its hit album, "Fanmail," but
with its U.S. tour wrapped up, the group's Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes is gearing up
for a solo LP.
"I would like to have Lenny Kravitz on my project, as well as Prince," Lopes
told the MTV Radio Network of the guest stars she hopes to line up for the album.
"I'd also like to have Chris Gaines [Garth Brooks] on it... Madonna, maybe a song
with Michael Jackson... and of course Lil' Kim. I love Lil' Kim.... There's so many people
that I want to work with that I think I'm going to have to put out a double CD."
Lopes said she hopes to have her solo effort out around Christmas time.
LaFace Records, which handles TLC, said that details of Left Eye's solo debut have yet
to filter back to them and could not confirm any details of the project.
D'Angelo's Throat Woes Postpone Shows
Perhaps D'Angelo gave too much of himself when his tour rolled into New York's Radio
City Music Hall on Thursday night.
The day after the show, the R&B singer's record label announced that D'Angelo would
not be able to perform Friday night at the same venue citing a severe throat infection.
Virgin Records notes that the hitmaker has badly swollen vocal cords, laryngitis, and
tracheaitis, and has been ordered by his doctor to rest his voice for at least 24 hours.
D'Angelo has now moved Friday night's show at Radio City to March 30, bumping a show in
Boston originally scheduled for that day to a date to be determined. The rest of the
singer's itinerary is expected to go on as scheduled.
The news comes after D'Angelo lit up the historic New York venue Thursday night with a
performance that saw D'Angelo explore his rock side, smashing instruments during his
rendition of "S**t Damn Mother F***er." The singer closed his set with a version
of his hit "Untitled" that saw each member of his twelve-piece band leave the
stage throughout the song, leaving D'Angelo to finish the song solo.
Here's how D'Angelo's tour looks now:
3/20 - New York, NY @ Radio City Music Hall
3/21 - Philadelphia, PA @ Tower Theatre
3/22 - Philadelphia, PA @ Tower Theatre
3/24 - Washington, DC @ Constitution Hall
3/25 - Washington, DC @ Constitution Hall
3/26 - Washington, DC @ Constitution Hall
3/28 - Cleveland, OH @ Palace Theatre
3/29 - Toronto, ON @ Massey Hall
3/31 - Chicago, IL @ Arie Crown
4/1 - Chicago, IL @ Arie Crown
4/3 - Denver, CO @ Paramount Theatre
4/5 - Oakland, CA @ Paramount Theatre
4/6 - Oakland, CA @ Paramount Theatre
4/7 - Los Angeles, CA @ Universal Amphitheatre
4/8 - Los Angeles, CA @ Universal Amphitheatre
4/10 - San Diego, CA @ Open Air Theatre
4/11 - Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint/House of Blues
4/12 - Phoenix, AZ @ Celebrity Theatre
4/14 - Dallas, TX @ TBA
4/15 - Houston, TX @ TBA
4/16 - Houston, TX @ TBA
4/18 - Nashville, TN @ T-Pac
4/19 - Kansas City, MO @ Midland Theatre
4/20 - St. Louis, MO @ Fox Theatre
4/22 - Detroit, MI @ Fox Theatre
4/23 - Detroit, MI @ Fox Theatre
4/25 - Newark, NJ @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center
4/26 - Washington, DC @ Constitution Hall
4/28 - Richmond, VA @ Landmark Theatre
4/29 - Greensboro, NC @ Special Events Center
4/30 - Charlotte, NC @ Ovens Auditorium
5/2 - Miami, FL @ Chrysler Hall/Knight Center
-- Robert Mancini, with additional reporting by Elon Johnson
Sisqo Ponders Ballad, Preps "Thong" Remix
Even though Sisqo's "Thong Song" is still on the rise and a remix version is
also on the way, the Dru Hill member has very different plans for his next single.
"I'm thinking about going with a ballad, mainly because Dru Hill's career, we're
pretty known for the ballads," Sisqo told the MTV Radio Network of the next offering
from this "Unleash The Dragon" album. "I think I owe that to the fans,
because those two million [who bought 'Unleash'] probably was the two million who bought
the last two Dru albums. So I definitely need to give them that ballad sensation, because
I gave them 'Got to Get It,' and they really ate that up. That took the album to a
million, and now the 'Thong' has taking it to another million, so I think to satisfy the
fans I'm probably am going to go with a ballad."
Sisqo's label, Island/Def Jam, notes that the next single from the singer's solo album
has yet to be selected. However, a remix of Sisqo's "Thong Song" featuring Foxy
Brown is on the way. The track will appear on the soundtrack to the upcoming "Nutty
Professor" sequel and will hit stores on July 11.
-- Roger Coletti, with additional reporting by Robert Mancini
March 17, 2000
Pryor Seeks Restraining Order Against Son
Richard Pryor has taken out a restraining order against his 38-year-old
son and namesake in a battle over the 59-year-old comedian's estate.
"Unfortunately, because of Richard Jr.'s unwelcome and aggressive efforts to seek
audience with his father, it was necessary to prepare requests for restraining
orders," says Pryor's lawyer, Lynda Larsen.
The younger Pryor wants to become guardian of his father's estate and went to court
last month arguing that his father, battling multiple sclerosis, cannot care for himself.
The son also accused Pryor's former spouse, Jennifer Lee, of draining the comedian's
assets without consent.
The senior Pryor recently denounced those allegations with a statement: "Richard
has been and is fully in control of his own circumstances and voluntarily employes
Jennifer Lee on a full-time basis as his agent and personal manager.
March 16, 2000
Goodie M.O.B.'s Cee-Lo To Tie The Knot
The Goodie M.O.B.'s Cee-Lo Green plans to get married to his longtime girlfriend,
Christina Shanta Johnson, at a private ceremony in Atlanta. The 24-year-old rapper met
Johnson, who hails from Charlotte, North Carolina, at an Atlanta nightclub in 1997 as the
band was working on its "Still Standing" LP and have been close ever since. The
couple is also expecting its first child in the fall.
"This marriage is a fulfillment of prophecy," Cee-Lo said in a statement
announcing the marriage, "so in that sense I feel a calm and an assurance ... about
my love and my choice in a woman and a soulmate. "Christina reassures me that true
love exists along with compatibility and having a genuine open-minded relationship in our
age and time. She is the other half of my whole and has filled a void in me personally,
spiritually, mentally, professionally, and emotionally."
Green and Johnson will exchange their personalized wedding vows on March 18 at
Southwest Atlanta Church, with a reception to be held at a downtown ballroom with such
guests as Jermaine Dupri, Outkast, Erykah Badu, L.A. Reid, Kenny "Babyface"
Edmonds, and boxer Evander Holyfield. As for Goodie M.O.B., the band has just shot a video
with TLC for "What It Ain't/Ghetto Enuff," the second single to be issued from
March 15, 2000
Da Brat Arrested For Battery
Da Brat was arrested on Wednesday, March 8, and charged with aggravated battery for
allegedly pistol-whipping a woman at a Buckhead club. Da Brat, who is slated to open
Mariah Carey's North American tour this month, is accused of attacking the unidentified
woman at Chili Peppers, following an argument with Da Brat's entourage, wherein the victim
attempted to force her way into the nightclub's VIP area. The woman was also charged with
a count of battery for her role in the altercation.
The woman was taken to Grady Hospital, where she received six stitches for a head
wound, while Da Brat was taken into custody and released at 4:00 PM that same day, after
posting $1,000 bond.
According to an MTV News article, Da Brat's manager, Lucy Ryans, called the incident a
terrible misunderstanding, and said that although the rapper was definitely involved in an
argument with someone at the club, Da Brat did not have a weapon and was not responsible
for the woman's injury. Ryans went on to say that Da Brat was confident that the charges
would be dropped, and that the incident would not affect her opening spot on Mariah
Da Brat is next scheduled to appear in an Atlanta Municipal Court to face the assault
and battery charges on Thursday, April 13, two days after her third album, Unrestricted,
is due to be released on So So Def Records, and one day before Da Brat's 26th birthday.
Happy birthday Brat!
Attempt On Da Brat
Late Saturday night, around 3:40 AM, March 11, two unknown assailants in a silver Ford
Thunderbird fired 10-15 shots at a stretch limousine while it was returning five of Da
Brat's friends and relatives to her Buckhead apartment. All five were injured and taken to
Grady Memorial Hospital. Two of the unnamed victims were released after being treated,
though all five are said to have sustained non-life threatening injuries. The two
suspects, identified by the witnesses only as two black males, remain at large. According
to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, even though Da Brat was in Cancun, Mexico filming the
video for "What You Like," during the shooting, the victims told police that
they believed this attack was motivated by the previous week's incident at the Chili
Peppers club in Buckhead.
Da Brat had been arrested on Wednesday, March 8, and charged with aggravated battery
for allegedly pistol-whipping a woman named Reszue Robateau when she attempted to force
her way into the nightclub's VIP area. Robateau was also charged with a count of battery
for her role in the altercation and was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital to receive six
stitches for a head wound, while Da Brat was taken into custody and released that same
day. Police are still investigating as to whether these two incidents are related
March 14, 2000
Kelis To Hit The Road With Wyclef Jean
Rising R&B starlet Kelis will hit the road in support of her Virgin debut
"Kaleidoscope," beginning with a March 21 date in Atlanta and wrapping with two
shows April 23-24 at New York's Bowery Ballroom. Ten of the dates feature double bills
with Wyclef Jean, including a March 30 date at the University Of Michigan.
"Kaleidoscope" peaked at No. 144 on The Billboard 200, and features the single
"Caught Out There," which peaked at No. 9 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop
Singles & Tracks chart. Kelis was also prominently featured on Ol' Dirty Bastard's hit
single "Got Your Money," which peaked at No. 33 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Brandy and Countess Reunite
Brandy and Countess Countess have apparently made amends since the singer/actress paid
Vaughn a surprise visit on her television set, "The Parkers." After embracing,
Brandy gave Vaughn a bouquet of flowers, a plaque and a congratulatory letter from
"Moesha" costar Sheryl Lee Ralph, thanking Countess for her contributions on
"Moesha" which recently taped its 100th episode and is now ready for
syndication. "The Parkers" is a spin-off from Moesha. Rumors had been
circulating that the stars weren't getting along, causing Vaughn to leave the show.
Brandy's appearance on the set marked her first visit to "The Parkers
Black Rob: Bad Boy's Ace In The Hole
The Bad Boy Entertainment camp comes out in full force on the debut from hardcore New
York rapper Black Rob, "Life Story." The set, described as a gritty look at
street life, features guest appearances by label chief Sean "Puffy" Combs, his
girlfriend Jennifer Lopez, the late Notorious B.I.G., the Lox, Lil' Kim, Mase, Mario
Winans, and others. Bad Boy is hoping the album might draw attention away from a number of
recent public-relations fiascos. The label has been suffering of late from the mushrooming
legal woes of founder Combs, as well as the exodus of several executives and the release
of certain albums that haven't lived up to sales expectations. "Life Story"
looks to be on its way: First single "Whoa!" is No. 11 on Billboard's Hot Rap
Singles chart this week.
March 13, 2000
R. Kelly Offers U.K. Audiences Three Sides
R. Kelly Offers U.K. Audiences Three Sides
The double-sided hit single has come back into favor in the U.K. singles
market of late. But R&B kingpin R. Kelly is about to go one better with the
British release of a triple A-side. The single, due March 27 on Jive, is
tailored to the musical requirements of three different niche formats at
contemporary British radio, containing two tracks from Kelly's current album
"R." and one that was a major pop and R&B hit in the U.S. as far back as
The latter, "I Can't Sleep Baby (If I)," featured on his self-titled third
album, reached No.1 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles Sales chart and No. 5 on
the Hot 100, but never charted in the U.K. It will now be aimed at adult
The two other tracks on the three-sided single are "When A Woman's Fed Up,"
with which Jive hopes to woo local commercial radio, and "Only The Loot Can
Make Me Happy," earmarked for dance formats. Kelly's last U.K. single, "If I
Could Turn Back The Hands Of Time," has just completed a 19-week run on the
U.K. charts and is certified platinum for U.K. sales of 600,000 copies.
"R." debuted at No. 2 on The Billboard 200 upon its Nov. 1998 release. "If I
Could Turn Back The Hands Of Time" peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard Hot
-- Paul Sexton, London
March 12, 2000
If rap mogul Master P had a "Mini Me," it would be Lil Wayne. In fact, the
high school drop out has seen more places and earned more money than your local
congressman. A diamond-studded Rolex watch hangs from his wrist. Precious jewels pepper
his fancy necklace. And let's not even talk about the pinkie ring. Lil Wayne's debut disc
Tha Block Is Hot (Universal), currently sits defiantly a top Billboard Music Charts like a
hungry eagle carefully eyeing other recordings that wander to closely to his lofty
position. You may not have heard of Lil Wayne before today, but the name Master P was once
foreign to you too. And if this "Mini P" has anything to say about it, his
anonymity is about to end. "People want autographs when I go to the mall," Lil
Wayne says, when asked how success has changed his life. "Three years ago people
wouldn't want autographs. People [recognize me], but that's about it. I still maintain my
thug composure." He wasn't exaggerating the "thug composure" bit. Listening
to Tha Block Is Hot is like riding a rollercoaster without a safety harness.
Songs like "High Beamin' " and "Remember Me" highlight the
youngster's talent, and help to clarify the appeal he has with fans nationwide. Yet, the
16-year-old wasn't always a hot commodity. "Cash Money [Records] had a rapper Lil
Slim from Hollygrove," Lil Wayne says. "He used to say 'I'm going to tell [Cash
Money Records founders Bryan Williams and Ronald Williams] about you.' [At an autograph
session] Baby told me to rap and I did. He gave me a card with his numbers. I started
blowing up his pager and calling his office everyday until Baby saw that I really wanted
to be down." In hindsight, it appears that Lil Wayne's tenacity paid off. He made his
first appearance as a member of the short-lived group The B.G.'z, and in 1993 appeared on
B.G.'s album True Story. Four years later, Wayne collaborated with Juvenile, B.G. and
Young Turk to from the Hot Boys, and released the debut, Get It How U Live. The project
sold over 400,000 copies in the South alone, and helped Cash Money Records secure a
precious multi-million dollar distribution deal with music conglomerate Universal Records.
Lil Wayne soon appeared on recordings released by the Big Tymers, Juvenile and B.G. With
Tha Block Is Hot, Lil Wayne shows that his emergence into the funk-laden pits of rap music
was no fluke. After listening to Wayne spew adult-oriented rhymes that all but demand a
parental advisory sticker on the front of his CD, some fans are left feeling a bit
squeamish - which is understandable considering Lil Wayne's tender years. Not many adults
are comfortable with youngsters spitting rhymes about war and playerlistic lifestyles.
"A lot is made about my age," Lil Wayne explains. "I came up so young and
raw, [people] can't [mess] with it. I'm from the 'hood, not the suburbs. This is how I am,
baby. Come down [to New Orleans] and spend a day with me and you'll see." Raised in
the impoverished section of 17th Ward's Hollygrove community, Wayne says that he stayed
away from serious trouble. And while he did drop out of school, Wayne believes that
everyday experiences helped him better understand what life is about. "I look at life
like an older person," he says. "I think five or ten years older because of who
I've been with all my life." Those experiences helped shape Tha Block Is Hot, a
meticulous selection of music resulting in a collection of grit, grime and despair -
images that make Lil Wayne appear more grown-up than life has made him. While Lil Wayne
speaks excitedly about his latest musical manifestation, life didn't always find him so
optimistic. Unlike other kids, Wayne never wanted to be a working professional. He just
wanted to be rich. "Nope," Wayne says, when asked if he ever had dreams of
becoming a white-collar worker. "[Kids] in school be like 'I wanna be a doctor when I
get old. [Kids] talking about what they want to do to be rich, but I wanna be rich now
man." Produced by Cash Money Records' Mannie Fresh, Tha Block Is Hot displays some of
the most creative tunes of the year. The title track features Lil Wayne and rappers B.G.
and Juvenile in a lyrical game of kick ball, while "Fresh" features an eerie set
of stings over a syncopated beat. "High Beaming" is a jazzy song that offers
jingling sleigh bells accented by funky timbales. It's a disc Lil Wayne says is filled
with "surprises because I'm always surprised. I always had great expectations, but
I'm definitely surprised [at the project's popularity]. It still surprises me
everyday." Lil Wayne fans, however, may be surprised to discover that his life has
never been a "normal" one - normal by suburban life anyway. Besides the fact
that the wealthy teen has never held a regular job, he once shot himself while playing
with a loaded gun, and recently fathered a child. Still, Lil Wayne insists that the
trappings of success won't change him from a down-home fellah into a Hollywood hustler.
"I don't even like Hollywood," he says. And just what is it about Hollywood that
Lil Wayne doesn't like? "It ain't New Orleans," he says. Spoken like a true
March 11, 2000
Big Pun Video To Be Shot
With the untimely passing of Big Punisher last month, friends of the Latino
hip hop star are coming to show support by appearing in his new video for
the single "It's So Hard." The video will be directed by Chris Robinson and
will include appearances from Jennifer Lopez, Fat Joe, the Terror Squad,
Lil' Kim, Mobb Deep and Raekwon among others. Donell Jones, who appears on
the song with Big Punisher, will also be featured in the video. The video
will include footage shot in New York, Los Angeles and Miami. A mural
dedicated to Pun will also be seen in the clip. Punisher's long awaited
sophomore album, Yeeeah Baby, is scheduled to be released April
Lil' Wayne's Girl Problems
Cash Money Millionaire Lil' Wayne is in the hot seat as he is receiving
backlash from females in the hip hop community for his comments in the March
issue of The Source magazine. The uproar stems from his response to the
questions, "What's the first thing you do after performing a show?" and
"What's Lil' Turk doing now?" Wayne's responses were "Fuck a ho, slang d*ck"
and "That's my *igga; he chillin'. Probably f**kin' a ho or somethin." With
the success of the Cash Money and Ruff Ryder tour, the teens must be getting
their fair share of action with groupies. Tha Block Is Hot, Lil' Wayne's
debut album has been certified platinum.
Da Brat Set to Tour With Mariah
Da Brat has signed on to be the opening act for Mariah Carey's sold out U.S.
tour. Carey and Da Brat previously worked together on the singer's
"Heartbreaker" remix from her current album, Rainbow as well as the remix to
"Always Be My Baby" from the Daydream album. Da Brat will release her third
album, Unrestricted, in April. The first single, "That's What I'm Looking
For," is currently riding a wave on BillBoard's Top 20 Rap Singles Chart.
Mariah and Da Brat can be found on the following sold out tour dates:
DJ Rob One Hospitalized
3/16 - Los Angeles, CA - Staples Center
3/18 - Las Vegas, Nevada - Thomas & Mack
3/21 - San Jose, CA - San Jose Arena
3/25 - Chicago, IL - United Center
3/29 - Miami, FL - American Airlines Arena
4/1 - Atlanta, GA - Phillips Arena
4/4 - Boston, MA - Fleet Center
4/7 - Toronto, ON - Air Canada Center
4/11 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden
Shapeshifters' DJ Rob One (also a graf writer with The CBS Crew), who
co-pioneered the "FLY id SHOW" on 88.5 FM, has been hospitalized with
cancer. According to an article at VinylExchange.com, he is suffering from
non Hodgkins lymphoma. Lymphoma refers to a variety of usually malignant
tumors that arise in the lymphatic system, the circulatory system in which
lymph (a colorless fluid which contains white blood cells needed to fight
disease and infection) is collected and carried to the bloodstream. The
cancer cells multiply, travel anywhere in the lymphatic system - even to
other bodily organs - and cripple the immune system.
Rob 1 hopes to move to a hospital that specializes in his type of cancer.
Benefit concerts are being held in the Los Angeles area, but donations can
also be sent directly to:
525 South Ardmore Avenue, Ste. 151
Los Angeles, CA 90020
March 10, 2000
Method Man And Redman Set Dates For Tour
DMX, Eve, and Juvenile are currently out on the Cash Money/Ruff Ryders Tour,
a Chronic 2000 Tour featuring Dr. Dre, Eminem, Snoop, Warren G, and Xzibit,
is shoring up, and now Method Man and Redman have announced dates for their
own spring tour.
Opening for Meth and Red will be New Jersey's Outsidaz, who have just
released a six-song EP on Ruff-Life Records titled "Night Life" and
featuring guest appearances from Eminem and Rah Digga.
As for Method Man and Redman, they have just released the video for
"Y.O.U.," the new single from the rap duo's joint album, "Blackout," which
has sold more than 1.12 million copies so far, according to SoundScan.
The itinerary for the upcoming North American Method Man and Redman tour:
3/22 - Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle
Whitney, George Michael To Team For Duet
3/23 - Myrtle Beach, SC @ House of Blues
3/24 - Orlando, FL @ House of Blues
3/25 - Jacksonville, FL @ University of North Florida
3/27 - Roanoke, VA @ Radford University
3/28 - Washington, DC @ Nation
3/29 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Laga
3/30 - Detroit, MI @ State Theatre
4/1 - Milwaukee, WI @ Rave
4/2 - Chicago, IL @ House of Blues
4/4 - Denver, CO @ Boulder Theatre
4/6 - Seattle, WA @ Paramount
4/7 - Portland, OR @ Roseland
4/8 - San Francisco, CA @ Maritime Hall
4/10 - Los Angeles, CA @ House of Blues
4/12 - San Diego, CA @ 4th & B
4/13 - Phoenix, AZ @ Celebrity Theatre
4/15 - New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues
4/18 - Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall
4/19 - Philadelphia, PA @ TBA
4/20 - Rochester, NY @ War Memorial
4/21 - New York, NY @ Beacon Theatre
4/22 - Worcester, MA @ Palladium
4/26 - Orono, ME@ University of Maine
4/27 - Vancouver, BC @ House of Blues
4/28 - Philadelphia, PA @ University of Pennsylvania
4/28 - Rutgers, NJ @ Rutgers University
4/29 - Buffalo, NY @ SUNY Buffalo
4/30 - Ithaca, NY @ Cornell University
Professional diva Whitney Houston has a greatest-hits album in the works,
and the project promises to include a handful of new and reworked tracks,
including a pairing with a diva of another sort... George Michael.
The song featuring the duo will be "If I Told You That," which already
appears in solo form on Houston's 1998 LP "My Love Is Your Love."
Handling the production duties on the duet will be Rodney Jerkins, who gave
the details to MTV News' John Norris backstage at last week's Grammy Awards.
"It's supposed to be a duet between her and Michael Jackson," Jerkins began.
"We couldn't get the Michael Jackson thing to happen, so George Michael was
the next pick. I think he's gonna nail it. I can't wait to do the vocals,
and everything's gonna be incredible."
Other duets planned for the Houston package are one with Deborah Cox as well
as "Could I Have This Kiss Forever" with Enrique Iglesias, a song which can
be found on his "Enrique" album. The collection is due out in May.
TLC Joins Goodie M.O.B. For New Video
After taking the stage at the Grammy Awards last week, the ladies of TLC met
up with Goodie M.O.B. in Los Angeles last weekend to shoot a video for the
hip-hop quartet's new single.
Goodie M.O.B.'s cut "What it Ain't" sees the group get some help from their
fellow Atlantans, and the ladies rejoined Goodie M.O.B. on Saturday and
Sunday for the shoot. Director David Meyers presided over the on-set
proceedings, while producer Dallas Austin manned the boards for the track.
"We had to solidify ourselves," Cee-Lo told the MTV Radio Network of the
song. "Now is just the right time. We laid a hell of a foundation as far as
groundwork is concerned, and our underground respect and notoriety is
incomparable. We're ready to make that move."
"What it Ain't" is the second single from Goodie M.O.B.'s third album,
"World Party," which has already reached gold sales status (after selling
more than 500,000 copies). The video for "What It Ain't" should surface in
about three weeks.
March 9, 2000
Clive Davis, President of Arista Records, recently told MTV News that the
long-awaited Whitney Houston anthology will be out in May. Spanning 15 years
of her career, it will include songs such as "I Will Always Love You,"
"Saving All My Love For You," and "Greatest Love of All." It will also
include at least two new tracks, one of which is said to be a duet with
Deborah Cox, and the second, co-written by Q-Tip and Raphael Saadiq. Houston
recently won a Grammy for her current release, and is set to receive the
Artist of the Decade Award at the 14th Annual Soul Train Awards. This
compilation is set to further solidify Davis' exit from Arista with a great
MTV.Com to Finish Lucy Pearl's Album
Newly formed Lucy Pearl, along with Beatnik, Inc., the leader in interactive
audio for the Web, and Pookie Records/Beyond Music, have come together to
create the first ever "Lucy Pearl Finish the Album Contest" hosted by
MTV.com (runs Feb. 23 - Mar. 26). The Beatnik GrooveGram contest invites
visitors to the site to download Lucy Pearl's song "La, La," then remix it
and have it placed as the final version of the song on the group's debut LP.
The winner's name will appear on the LP, and the winner and a guest will be
flown to the opening night of Lucy Pearl's tour. MTV.com is a unit of the
MTVi Group, the world's leading Internet music content company featuring a
comprehensive collection of music destinations on the Web."
Mistic Meets Def Jam to Produce Hit Drinks
While hip-hop is the hottest in music trends right now, Mistic is moving in
quickly to take advantage of a unique opportunity. In a collaboration with
Def Jam Recordings, a division of Universal Music Group and Rush
Communications, Mistic is set to produce and market herbally enhanced
flavored natural energy drinks. The product line will consist of four
flavors that will be packaged in fully wrapped collectible 20-ounce glass
bottles featuring biographies of Method Man and Redman. The launch of the
product will be supported with the traditional marketing plan that supports
urban records today.
The Charts Reflect the Grammys This Year
Traditionally, the Grammys Awards is a place where the old vanguard of the
music business reminds the new young folk of the business that they are not
taking over. This theory seems ironic when talking about popular music. This
year, however, truly demonstrated the newest trend in popular music today.
As growing acceptance of world music dominates the North American music
scene, and more specifically the fusion of Latin music onto the Top 40
Charts, 52-year-old Santana took home eight statues for his album
Supernatural. Although music novices might have thought that Santana was a
new artist, he has been in the business for 30 years. Other winners included
Christina Aguilera, Sting, TLC and Whitney Houston.
Jumpin & Jivin
Reported in a business exclusive to the New York Post, industry insiders are
talking about Jive Records' possible jump to Warner/EMI. Zomba Group's Jive
is in preliminary talks with Warner/EMI to make a deal once its distribution
contract with BMG expires at the end of the year. Sources told the Post that
Warner/EMI are trying to lure Clive Calder's Jive into the expected merge
between the two by offering either a distribution deal or an out-right
acquisition. It is rumored that the new music powerhouse will make a $900
million offer for Jive which has been taking over the pop charts with such
acts as Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, and NSYNC.
March 8, 2000
Halle Berry Cited
by Stephen M. Silverman
Prosecutors are deciding whether or not to bring formal charges against
actress Halle Berry, who was accused by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's
Department on Tuesday of fleeing the scene of a hit-and-run car accident.
Both Berry and the other driver were injured in the Feb. 23 collision that
took place on Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood. The criminal complaint by the
Sheriff's office alleges that Berry, 33, was behind the wheel of a rented
car that ran a red light. The woman driving the other car was treated for a
broken wrist, while Berry's spokesperson told Reuters that the actress
cut her forehead and required 15 to 20 stitches. In a statement, Berry, who
won a Golden Globe for acting in the HBO TV movie "Introducing Dorothy
Dandridge" and who recently announced that she was engaged to marry R&B
singer Eric Benet, said she is "taking this situation very seriously."
March 7, 2000
The Latin Explosion
by Kenji Jasper
The "Latin Explosion" is a lot like The Matrix. All your senses tell you
it's real, but when you look a little deeper, you'll find that the only
thing explosive about Latin music in recent years is its marketing. To best
illustrate my point, let's take a look at Carlos Santana, who won nine
Grammies last week for his Supernatural LP, which to date has sold more than
7 million copies. Entertainment media has practically painted him as a new
artist who just appeared on the musical radar, when in fact he's sold more
than 28 million records worldwide and has been recording for more than 30
years. The success of Supernatural was not as much due to the public's
newfound infatuation with Latin culture as it was the attempt of Santana and
the more than 30 artists and producers who worked with him to create an
album that appealed to the mainstream. Working with pop A-list talent like
Matchbox 20's Rob Thomas, Wyclef Jean, Lauryn Hill, Everlast and others,
Santana's guitar solos were a melody of instant platinum to record execs at
The same dynamic can be applied to ex-Menudo heartthrob Ricky Martin, whose
recent self-titled LP has also moved more than 7 million units by moving
away from a traditional Salsa sound in favor of the pop production of
"Livin' La Vida Loca," which neglected many of the horn and percussion
elements of Martin's earlier music. The same can be said for Lou Bega's
triple-platinum Little Bit of Mambo. Other artists like Christina Aguilera
and Jennifer Lopez can also churn out pop hits and ride the "Latin
Explosion" to multi-platinum status without worrying about style and/or
But we've seen all of this before, haven't we. Almost 40 years ago, Berry
Gordy, Jr. and Motown led black music down a similar path with clean-cut
artists and clean-cut music that transcended the color barrier due to its
universal vibe. The same can be said for the beginnings of jazz 40 years
before that. In neither of those cases was there a "Black Explosion." Nor
was there a "Caribbean Explosion" with the success of Bob Marley in the '60s
and '70s. All of the hype this time around has more to do with America's
attempt to cash on the rapidly-growing Latino population in the US. A
multitude of records by Latin artists comes on the market annually, but
their limited marketing and distribution (not to mention the language
barrier) hasn't allowed them to break out of Spanish-only radio. A poll
through Spanish Harlem, East LA or Adams Morgan, Washington DC, will result
in a long list of artists you've probably never heard of, and won't, until
their labels start paying for spins on Top 40 radio like the labels of
artists in most other genres.
But the point isn't that the "Latin Explosion" is the latest bandwagon to
somersault on top of. The point is that we've seen this happen before. Now
that a handful of Latin artists have broken into Billboard's top 10,
everyone is going to want a piece of the action. As we speak, majors, indies
and labels in between are scouring the earth for music to face off against
the current heavyweights. A label needed another Aaron Hall, so they signed
R. Kelly. Island needed a Jodeci, so they got Dru Hill. But in the midst of
all of this madness, the art and its artists are always the ones who get
caught up. Shady contracts and mismanaged publishing are waiting in the
wings for young cats who want a taste of Lou Bega's bankroll. And that's
when the cycle starts all over again.
People of color have fueled America's cultural flame for more than 100 years
and have always been the ones with the least to show for it. Today, Latin
women grace the frames of music videos like newfound treasures and
enrollment at salsa classes in Middle America is at an all-time high. But
that's just today, and US Latinos, whether they be artists and producers,
lawyers and label-owners, or the fans themselves, have their work cut out
for them in making sure that their art form is here to stay and free of the
tribulations that plagued those before them. The late Big Punisher was the
first Latino rapper to go platinum. Who will come next? Jennifer Lopez was
the first Latina actress to break the million-dollar mark. Will her success
fling the door open for others? Only time will tell. But as Latin culture
continues to "explode", anyone who wants to protect the art form has to
watching for the flying debris.
March 6, 2000
No Limit Soldier Mac Arrested
No Limit Soldier Mac, 22, was arrested at his home and charged with
first-degree murder on Tuesday, February 22, in Baton Rouge, LA. Mac, aka
McKinley Phipps, is accused of fatally shooting 19-year-old Barron C. Victor
as he attempted to break up a fight at Club Mercedes in Slidell, Monday
Mac, also known as Camouflage Assassin, was there to perform in the "World
War Party," a concert named after his second and latest album, World War
III, when members of his entourage allegedly assaulted a club patron. When
Victor tried to intervene on the patron's behalf, at about 1:30 AM - just
minutes before he was to go on - the Camouflage Assassin shot Victor in his
upper-left side and then fled the scene. Paramedics rushed Victor to Slidell
Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
"Witnesses identified Mr. Phipps as the gunman. Based on that information,
we acquired warrants for Mr. Phipps' arrest." said, James Hartman, a
spokesperson for the local sheriff's office.
Thirteen other men who were found at Mac's residence were also brought in;
one of whom - Larnell Warren Jr., 28 - was arrested. According to Hartman,
Warren will be charged with obstruction of justice for lying to deputies and
providing a false alibi for Mac during the shooting.
Edwin Hawkins, general counsel for No Limit, issued a statement saying, "We
would like to extend our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of the
victim, Barron Victor. We know it is a very difficult situation for any
family to be involved in; however, we stand behind Mac's plea of innocence
in this matter and we are certain that once the truth is revealed, Mac will
be completely exonerated."
Mac is presently being held without bail at St. Tammany Parish Jail in
Covington, pending a grand jury hearing, scheduled for Tuesday, March 21. If
convicted of murder in the first degree, Louisiana law dictates that he face
the death penalty.
March 5, 2000
JD Appeal Denied
The man who brought us Silk Tymes Leather, Kriss Kross, and Whodini's
comeback album, Jermaine Dupri, was sentenced to three days in jail for
skipping out on jury duty in his hometown of Georgia. JD was scheduled to
appear in court on March 1-3 of last year, and, after turning up for the
first day, was excused with the rest of the jury pool from the second.
Assuming he'd been excused from the third day, too, Dupri left for a
scheduled performance at the Meadowlands in New Jersey. Fayette County
Superior Court Judge Chris Edwards saw this violation as contempt and
sentenced JD to three days in jail last May, despite Dupri's offer to
perform a benefit concert, as a community service, instead.
This sentence was just upheld on Tuesday, February 15, by The Georgia Court
of Appeals despite Dupri's attempts to contest the decision. The Fayette
County District Attorney showed his support of the judge's decision by
telling a local newspaper, The Atlanta Constitution, "If they let this guy
disregard his jury summons, what will stop other people from doing the same
Dupri's attorney, Michael Tyler, says he will continue to appeal the court's
decision, however, stating that it was never Dupri's intention to disrespect
March 3, 2000
Will Smith Leads Nickelodeon Nominees
Will Smith is up for four Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards, including
favorite male singer, and favorite song for "Wild Wild West." Among the
artists earning multiple nominations include Britney Spears, N 'Sync,
Jennifer Lopez, Smash Mouth, and Christina Aguilera, who is up for favorite
new music artist. Aguilera won the Grammy for best new artist earlier this
The awards show, now in its 13th year, will be broadcast April 25 from the
Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Beginning March 10, fans can vote for their
favorites at Nickelodeon's Web site, including 10 online-only categories.
March 2, 2000
Return of Grand Mixer Q-bert
The Return of Grand Mixer Q-bert proves a reluctant turntablist hero
in his NYC show
Q-bert hadn't played in New York in three years, but his headlining
appearance at the Fourth Annual Turntablist's Festival was much more than
just the return of a celebrated DJ. The event, held at Manhattan's Symphony
Space as a fundraiser for John Carluccio's turntable music documentary
Battlesounds, featured brief appearances by more than a dozen scratchers
from across the U.S. and Canada. When he took his place behind the
turntables at center stage, Q stood both alone and in the center of a crowd
-- in this case, a line of peers, friends and filmmakers armed with video or
16mm movie cameras. Stretching up or around each other to capture the action
at the turntables without blocking the view of the audience, these observers
formed the rings of a target with Q-bert as the bulls-eye. While more than a
dozen other turntablists would follow Q-bert's thirty-minute performance
with often thrilling -- yet undeniably familiar -- five-minute sets of their
own, it was clear from the start that the greatest sense of anticipation
centered around this returning hero. Looking pleasantly serious in a
backward tweed cap and blue sweatshirt, Q-bert licked his fingers and stood
almost motionless, before splashing out an initial salvo of scraping,
whispering sounds from the record pressed under his precisely splayed
fingers. His left hand rattled, possessed, flickering with impossible speed
over the fader knobs on the mixer, each finger knocking the volume down one
step in blinding succession to produce bursts of sound disappearing into an
echoing distance; his right hand pressed with manic precision on the
turntable, spinning or shaking or catching the disc to vibrate a pinpoint
sound under the needle, reminiscent of the way B.B. King's finger detonates
a guitar string. Q-bert's cuts would often come to a more graceful end than
the blunt, sudden stop that concluded every other performer's work for the
day, but it was still an informal magic show, with the tricks coming in
loose bunches. Over and over, Q smiled and shook his head as he changed the
records, silently bidding the roaring crowd not to applaud the performances
that had seemingly disappointed him. The M.C. shouted a joyous "Fuck it up,
Q!" as the second turntable played a vigorous rhythm track and the humble
celebrity wandered out of the spotlight and toward the wings to find a
misplaced disc to play next. Whether he loved the spotlight or hated it was
unclear; his focus was on the turntable. The evening opened with a
screening of an early edit of the Battlesounds documentary -- a rough,
homemade seventy-five-minute video describing a patchy, oddly engrossing
history of turntable music through shaky-camera interviews and footage of
turntablist competitions. Interviewed extensively in the video, Q-bert
demonstrated his techniques and described his early championships, noting
that he only seemed to lose when his pumped-up ego convinced him that he
would win. Recently Q-bert began emulating Miles Davis' use of silence and
spare phrasing and has borrowed the sounds and traditional tools of hip-hop
music to find his own voice. Soon the music was over, the door prizes given
away, and a special guest was introduced with an announcement. Grand Mixer
DST -- who brought turntable music to the masses on Herbie Hancock's
"Rockit" seventeen years before -- took the mike. DST told the tale of his
having been "knighted" as the Grand Mixer, and to celebrate Q-bert's skill,
he passed along the honor. Yet as DST built up the praise, Q awkwardly
gestured "No...", finally, reluctantly, accepting the mike to be honored as
Grand Mixer Q-bert. "I don't deserve it," declared the world champion
turntablist. "I still need practice...thanks, and I love you guys."
Whatever it was Q-bert displayed, it was more than just a hard-won modesty.
Q-bert is a world-class musician in a world overwhelmed with the novelty of
celebrity and the distraction of success. No longer a kid, Q-bert the artist
seemed only wary of the spotlight -- as if he knew it might somehow take
away the one thing he's learned is most important.