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Bits & Bytes

October 31, 2000

Bernie Mac to Star in "Ocean's Eleven"

Funny man Bernie Mac is in negotiations to star in the Warner Bros.' film Ocean's Eleven. The film is a remake of the 1960 movie, Rat Pack, which starred Sammy Davis, Jr., Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, and Peter Lawford. The new film stars Don Cheadle, George Clooney, Julia Roberts, and Matt Damon. Ocean's Eleven is scheduled to hit theatres in December 2001. Bernie Mac is also scheduled to appear in Martin Lawrence and Danny Devito's film, What's the Worst That Could Happen, which hits theatres in April. He also recently signed with Fox Broadcasting to star in a family comedy series scheduled to air next fall. He has had recurring roles on the television sitcoms Moesha and The Wayans Bros. Bernie Mac is also part of the highly successful comedy tour and movie, The Original Kings of Comedy, along with D.L. Hughley, Steve Harvey, and Cedric "The Entertainer."

Flesh-N-Bone Hit With Two More Years

Bone thugs-n-harmony member Stanley "Flesh-N-Bone" Howse was sentenced to serve two more years in prison on Monday. The sentencing stems from Howse pleading no contest as part of a plea bargain in September to the felony charge of possessing an illegal gun. The charges stem from an incident that occurred on January 3rd when Flesh arrived at the home of several family members allegedly carrying a shotgun. He was arrested after he refused to leave the house and was accused of making terrorist threats. He was also arrested because he was a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. The sentence will run concurrent with his 11 year stint, which was rendered on September 22nd.

The aforementioned charges stem from a December 26th incident in which the rapper brandished an AK-47 out of a baby crib, inserted a magazine, and pointed the gun at his "friend" Tarrance Vickers after an argument ensued between Howse and Vickers' brother, Fred Nelson. Flesh then ordered the two to leave the house. Howse was convicted on June 15th of assault with a semi-automatic firearm and being an ex-convict in possession of gun. He was sentenced to ten years for assault and weapons charges and one year for a probation violation.

After the sentence, Flesh addressed the court, stating, "I am sorry for my wrongdoings and accept responsibility for these crimes. I understand that the nature of these crimes makes me appear to be a violent person but I am not a violent person." In related news, Flesh-N-Bone's sophomore album, Fifth Dog Let Loose, is currently ranked at number 114 on Soundscan. The album's photos were taken while he was incarcerated.

October 30, 2000

Kim Mathers Receives Probation

Kimberly Mathers, the wife of rapper Eminem, was sentenced to serve 11 months probation and fined $50 after she plead guilty to disorderly conduct on Tuesday in the 37th District Court in Warren, Michigan. The charges stem from her arrest on June 4th when she verbally assaulted police officers as they took her husband into custody after he allegedly assaulted a man that he witnessed kissing his wife. Kim was charged for interfering with authorities, while a disturbing the peace charge was dropped. As part of her probation, Mathers was ordered to attend an Alcoholics Anonymous orientation meeting on Wednesday night and to stay away from using drugs and alcohol. Eminem has since filed for divorce from Mathers. He was charged with one count of assault with a deadly weapon and one count of carrying a concealed weapon in the incident. Eminem is currently awaiting trial for the two felony charges.

Ol' Dirty Bastard Skips Rehab

A bench warrant was issued for hip hop star Ol' Dirty Bastard of the Wu-Tang Clan 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 whose real name is Russell Jones. The rapper had been living at the Impact House since June after serving six months for a probation violation. Los Angeles Deputy District Attorny said, "He's probably looking at prison time. We're looking at whether he is suitable for probation, and based upon his actions thus far, in my opinion, he's not. We don't have many choices left."

In related news, Wu-Tang Clan will release their third album, The W, on November 21st. The album features collaborations with Snoop Dogg, Redman, Nas, and Isaac Hayes. Here is the album's tracklisting:

1. Intro (Jah World)
2. Chamber Music
3. Careful (Click, Click)
4. Hollow Bones
5. Conditioner (featuring Snoop Dogg)
6. Intermission (Jah World)
7. The Monument (featuring Busta Rhymes)
8. Do You Really (Thang, Thang)
9. One Blood (featuring Junior Reid)
10. Let My Niggas Live (featuring Nas)
11. Gravel Pit
12. Shaolin Finger Jab
13. Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off)
14. Redbull (featuring Redman);
15. I Can't Go to Sleep (featuring Isaac Hayes)

October 28, 2000

"Ali" Recovers from Knockout Blow

Ali, the feature film based on the life of former heavyweight boxing champion, Muhammad Ali, is up and fighting after nearly being cancelled. The film, which will star Will Smith, exceeded its $105 million budget. Michael Mann, director of the film, and producer Jon Peters, were in negotations last week with Sony's Columbia Pictures to save the movie. Under the latest agreement, Columbia will now cover less than half of the budget, while the Initial Entertainment Group will finance $65 million of the project in exchange for foreign rights to the film. According to Daily Variety, Smith, Mann, and Peters also agreed to cover cost overruns and cut several days of the film's shooting in New York. Columbia Pictures issued a statement saying, "We are pleased that we could successfully work with all involved--Will Smith, Michael Mann, Jon Peters and our foreign partner IEG--to reach an understanding that will allow a great actor and a talented director to team up and tell the story of one of the best-known men in the world." The film is scheduled to start filming in January. In related news, Smith has also signed on to star in the sequel to his blockbuster film, Men in Black.

Limp Bizkit Rocks Soundscan

Limp Bizkit took control of Soundscan this week as their latest album, Chocolate Starfish and the Hotdog Flavored Water, debuted platinum, selling 1,054,511 copies. Ja Rule's sophomore album, Rule 3:36, came in second, followed by Nelly's Country Grammar. Ludacris placed fourth as his debut album, Back for the First Time, sold 133,528 copies. The album features UGK, Pastor Troy, Foxy Brown, and Trina. Creed closed out the top five this week with their album, Human Clay.

Baha Men's Who Let the Dogs Out came in sixth, while Mystikal's Let's Get Ready placed seventh, selling another 110,133 units. 98 placed eighth this week with their fourth album, Revelation, followed by Madonna's Music. 3 Doors Down closed out Soundscan's top ten with their album, Better Life.

October 27, 2000

Spike Lee Set to Bamboozle Television

Director Spike Lee has signed a one-year development deal with Studios USA to create several television programs. The agreemnt calls for Lee to develop and executive produce drama series as well as comedies. He is also expected to direct pilot episodes of any scripts greenlit for production. Lee's latest film, Bamboozled, harshly criticizes the negative stereotypes of African Americans on television. He told the Daily Variety, "I've always wanted to do television. It's a frontier I've never been able to crack. There's a whole wide world outside of the sitcom, and it seems like African-Americans are ghettoized in (TV sitcoms). I don't think sitcoms should be blown off, but I'd love to go in a different direction.''

Lee's first project will probably be a drama. He stated that the general paucity of black-themed dramas and black drama stars on network TV stems from a fear by network executives that such projects won't appeal to the mainstream. "Executives in television, and in the feature business, think that the white masses are more accepting of black people in comedy roles than in something a little more challenging," said Lee. "There's a vast underestimation of the audience.''

Studios USA programming president David Kissinger said he applauded Lee's stern opposition of how African-Americans are portrayed in television. He told the Daily Variety, "I think the criticism of our business is richly deserved. While Bamboozled paints a portrait that's intentionally extreme and brutal, its point is well taken. What I admire about Spike is the statement that he made upon signing with us: He's willing to put himself in the arena and not just stand on the sidelines carping. It's no coincidence here that Spike is very publicly turning his attention to TV right after putting out a movie that excoriates us.''

Lee will also remain heavily involved in whatever projects that emerge from the deal. "Anything that has my name on it I care deeply about, and I'm not going to phone it in,'' said Lee. Kissinger added, "He knows there's an enormous amount of talent at work in this medium. He wants to be a part of that." Studios USA is the company behind such shows as "Law & Order'' and "Jerry Springer.''

Scary Spice Involved in Custody Dispute

Spice Girl Mel B/Scary Spice is currently engaged in a child visitation dispute with her estranged husband Jimmy Gulzar. The couple initially agreed that Gulzar would be allowed to visit their daughter, Phoenix Chi, every other weekend. However, Gulzar's lawyers are now trying to obtain visitation privileges for every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and at all times when the singer is away. Justice Coleridge of Britain's High Court's Family Division is expected to make a decision next week, while the couple's divorce is scheduled to be finalized in November.

In related news, Melanie B's solo album,Hot, debuted in the U.K. this week at number 28. The Spice Girls will also release their third album, Forever, on November 7th. The album's lead off singles, "Holler" and "Let Love Lead the Way," will be released next week. Here is the track listing for Forever:

1. Holler
2. Tell Me Why
3. Let Love Lead The Way
4. Right Back At Ya
5. Get Down With Me
6. Wasting My Time
7. Weekend Love
8. Time Goes By
9. If You Wanna Have Some Fun
10. Oxygen
11. Goodbye

October 26, 2000

Babyface Signs to Arista Records

Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds has just signed an exclusive multi-year, multi album recording contract as a solo artist with Arista Records.   Babyface previously inked a deal with Arista president and longtime friend and collaborator Antonio "L.A." Reid to form his own label, Nu America Music. L.A. and Babyface formed the successful label, LA Face in 1989, which spawned such stars as Toni Braxton, TLC, Usher, and OutKast. Reid expressed his happiness with the deal by stating, "Having worked alongside Kenny for all these years, I know that an artist of his substance comes along once in a musical generation. The successful track record he has built up to this point is just a prelude of what's to come as he joins the Arista Family." Babyface previously recorded on Sony's Epic Records. He released the following statement as a reason for the departure. "The freedom to pursue my musical interests, in whatever directions they may take me, has always been and continues to be extremely important to me. L.A. is both an intuitive businessman and a rare executive who understands how to nurture a comfortable and productive environment for the artists he works with, and I have always treasured his sensitivity." In related news, the renowned balladeer will release Babyface: Collection of His Greatest Hits: on November 14th. The collection will be his last release on Epic Records and will include such hits as "Whip Appeal," "Where Will You Go," and "For the Cool in You." The album also features three new songs, "Reason for Breathing," When Men Grow Old, and "Change the World." An accompanying DVD of his video collection will also hit stores on December 5th. Here is the track listing for Babyface: Collection of His Greatest Hits:

1. For the Cool in You
2. It's No Crime
3. Whip Appeal
4. Never Keeping Secrets
5. Every Time I Close My Eyes
6. When I Can See You
7. Reason for Breathing
8. This Is for the Lover in You -- featuring LL Cool J and former Shalamar members Harold Hewett, Jody Watley, and Jeffrey Daniels
9. How Come, How Long -- featuring Stevie Wonder
10. Change the World -- with Eric Clapton
11. I Love You Babe
12. Soon as I Get Home
13. Where Will You Go
14. When Men Grow Old

Natalie Cole to Release Autobiography

Songstress Natalie Cole is scheduled to release her autobiography, "Angel on My Shoulder" on November 14th. The book details the singer's life growing up as the daughter of legendary crooner Nat King Cole and becoming a star in her own right. It tells of the soulful singer's Grammy Award-winning accolades as well as her triumphant overcoming of drug abuse and bankruptcy. NBC is also shooting a television movie about the diva entitled, "The Natalie Cole Story." The movie will be based on "Angel on My Shoulder" and is scheduled to air on December 10th. Actress Theresa Randle will portray the younger Natalie, while Cole plays herself in the later years. She is also executive producing the film. Diahann Carroll will play her mother and James McDaniel plays her "Unforgettable" father. "The Natalie Cole Story" will be directed by Robert Townsend.

October 25, 2000

Radio Personality Frankie Crocker Succumbs to Cancer

Legendary radio personality Frankie Crocker died on Saturday at the age of 63 in Miami, Florida. He had been sick for several weeks and was previously diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Crocker, who was also known as "Hollywood," "Chief Rocker," and the "Love Man," is credited with introducing the "urban contemporary" format to radio by playing R&B, jazz, disco, and adult contemporary. The veteran DJ was highly responsible for making WBLS the number one radio station in New York during the 70s and 80s. Crocker also previously hosted the television music programs "Solid Gold" and "Friday Night Videos." In addition, he was one of the original VH-1 veejays and a former host at the Apollo Theatre. Crocker appeared in several movies as well, including Cleopatra Jones and Five on the Black Hand Side. He was working for WRKS in Miami, Florida at the time of his death. He is survived by his mother Frances.

T-Boz Delivers Baby Girl

TLC's Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins gave birth to her first child on Friday. The singer married rapper Mack 10 in August. The couple named their daughter Chase. Chase is T-Boz's first child while Mack 10 also has a son and a daughter from a previous relationship. In related news, Mack 10's fourth album, The Paper Route, is currently ranked at number 103 on Soundscan. The album's first single, "Tight To Def," also features T-Boz. T-Boz also has two solo singles that are currently tearing up the airwaves. "Wanna Take Me Back" is featured on the Backstage soundtrack while "My Getaway" is the first single from the film soundtrack Rugrats in Paris The Movie.

October 24, 2000

Al Sharpton & Dave Mays to Host Hip Hop Summit

Political Activist Rev. Al Sharpton and Dave Mays, CEO of The Source magazine, will host a hip hop summit on October 30th at the National Action Network (NAN) Headquarters in Harlem from 9 a.m. 1p.m. The forum will be attended by hip hop luminaries Russell Simmons, Master P, and Queen Latifah. Music executives Sylvia Rhone, Jimmy Iovine, and Steve Rifkind will also take part in the meeting. The meeting seeks to mend fences that were broken after violence erupted during The Source Awards in August. According to a press release, the summit seeks to "develop a formal code of conduct to be embraced by the global hip-hop community. Together, the participants will establish a national initiative to address typecasting and profiling of the hip-hop community. Organizers of the summit are concerned with the current climate of hip-hop, and believe that media typecasting of the culture is taking away from the positive power that hip-hop possesses to influence both social and political change."

Who Else Will Capitalize on the Deaths of Pac and B.I.G.?

Jon Sheinberg and Beaux Carson are putting together a feature film on the lives of slain hip hop legends Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. The movie is scheduled to be called Record Wars and will be based on two books, "The Killing of Tupac Shakur" and "The Murder of Biggie Smalls." The books were written by Cathy Scott. The project will be developed under Sheinberg's newly formed management, packaging, and production venture, the Machine. Carson was added to the project as a senior partner. "The Killing of Tupac Shakur" was published by Huntington Press, while "The Murder of Biggie Smalls" is scheduled to be published by St. Martin's Press. The books allegedly contain extensive research into the lives and deaths of both rap artists. Scott was an investigative reporter for the Las Vegas Sun when Shakur was killed and covered both murders for the newspaper.

October 23, 2000

Jay-Z Prepares the World for "The Dynasty"

Jay-Z is gearing to release his fifth album, The Dynasty, on Halloween. The album features production by The Neptunes, Just Blaze, Rick Rock, and Rockwilder. With two singles from the project already commanding the airwaves, "Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)" and "Parking Lot Pimpin,'" Jigga recently hollered about his latest opus. "It's one of the most personal and powerful albums for myself," said Jay-Z. "I don't like to compare my albums, but I'd say it's a Reasonable Doubt Part 2. It's a trip back there. Instead of one "Regrets," we got four. The only thing that it doesn't have that Reasonable Doubt has is the pure rawness of being directly in the street. Reasonable Doubt was told from the aspect of being directly from the street. But this one here has better songs, better structure, and hotter beats."

The Dynasty also features collaborations with Scarface, Snoop Dogg, and R. Kelly as well as members of the "Rock La Familia," Beanie Sigel, Memphis Bleek, and Amil. Jay also pointed out that the album's title had nothing to do with the 80's television show bearing the same title. "I don't want people to think because I named this album The Dynasty, that I'm talking about Blake Carrington, a bunch of suits, and things like that. I'm talking about having a business, a strong business that's gonna be around for years and years to come, so my kids' kids will have something, a company left to them."

Here is the tentative track listing for The Dynasty:

1. Intro
2. Change the Game
3. Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)
4. Streets Is Talking
5. This Can't Be Life (feat. Scarface)
6. Get Your Mind Right Mami (feat. Snoop Dogg)
7. Stick 2 the Script
8. You, Me, Him and Her
9. Guilty Until Proven Innocent (feat. R. Kelly)
10. Parking Lot Pimpin'
11. Holla
12. 1-900-Hustler
13. The R.O.C.
14. Soon You'll Understand
15. Squeeze 1st
16. Where Have You Been

Ja Rule Murders Soundscan

The hip hop world showed its dominance over the music industry this week as it took the top three spots on Soundscan. Ja Rule debuted at number one as his sophomore album, Rule 3:36, sold 275,985 copies. Nelly came in second, teaching musical courses in Country Grammar, while Mystikal placed third as Let's Get Ready, sold another 134,210 units. Creed's Human Clay placed fourth as 98 closed out the top five with their fourth album, Revelation.

Madonna placed sixth with her latest album, Music followed by Baha Men's Who Let the Dogs Out. 3 Doors Down took the eighth position as their album, Better Life, sold 94,320 copies. Eminem came in ninth with The Marshall Mathers LP, while Radiohead closed out Soundscan's top ten with their album Kid A. E- 40, M.O.P, and Changing Faces also made impressive debuts this week. E-40's Loyalty & Betrayal placed at number 18 while M.O.P.'s Warriorz came in at 25. Changing Faces' Visit Me charted at number 46.

October 21, 2000

Muhammad Ali Battles Clothing Company

Former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali filed a lawsuit against a New York City-based clothing company on Tuesday. The lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court and claims that Active Apparel Group Inc. used his name and signature to market and sell athletic clothing without his consent. Ali is asking for all gross profits made by the sale of the unauthorized merchandise as well as punitive damages. He is also asking the court to bar Active Apparel from using his name and likeness without his approval. Ali has a licensing deal with a Michigan-based company, G.O.A.T. Inc., which is a -co-plaintiff in the case. The lawsuit is asking for more than $1 million in damages.

In related news, Ali, the biopic about the former heavyweight champion was indefinitely put on hold this week. The film, which is scheduled to star Will Smith, has reportedly exceeded its $105 million budget. Michael Mann, director of the film, is currently negotiating with the movie's executives to see if the film can be saved.

MP3.com Makes Amends

MP3.com is scheduled to resume its online music distribution services after reaching a licensing agreement worth up to $30 million with the National Music Publishers' Association and its licensing subsidiary, the Harry Fox Agency. Under the three-year proposal, MP3.com will pay $30 million for digital access to about 80,000 compact discs for subscribers who want to listen to their music collections while online and away from home. MP3.com will then collect royalties of one quarter cent from customers for each song they listen to by using the service. The customer must also pay a one-time fee per track for each song they add to their file.

If the 25,000 members of the National Music Publishers' Association approve the agreement, the deal would settle a copyright infringement lawsuit case that is pending in Manhattan Federal court. The pact would also allow MP3.com to resume its online music service, which was suspended in April. Edward Murphy, CEO of the National Music Publishers' Association, said, "It's extremely important. We're hopeful that we're able to set aside the lawsuit and set up a pattern of payment from an industry that we haven't had any payment from with regard to this type of use."

October 20, 2000

Jive Records to Release a "Platinum Christmas"

Jive Records is scheduled to release the album, Platinum Christmas, on November 14th. The album will feature Christmas songs sung by such artists as R. Kelly, Britney Spears, N'SYNC, and the Backstreet Boys. The album includes such Christmas classics as "Silent Night" sung by Christina Aguilera and "This Christmas" by R&B sensation Joe. Original recordings include Monica's "My Grown Up Christmas List" and N'SYNC's "I Don't Want to Spend One More Christmas Without You." The album also features Arista Records' artists including Whitney Houston, Pink, and Donnell Jones. Platinum Christmas also includes TLC's "Sleighride" and Toni Braxton's "The Christmas Song," which were previously featured on the 1993 Yuletide compilation A La Face Family Christmas. In related news, R. Kelly is scheduled to release his fifth album, TP-2.Com, on November 7th. Here is the track listing for Platinum Christmas: Britney Spears - "My Only Wish (This Year)"

N'SYNC - "I Don't Want to Spend One More Christmas Without You"

Backstreet Boys - "Christmas Time"

Christina Aguilera - "Silent Night"

Whitney Houston - "Who Could Imagine a King"

TLC - "Sleighride"

Toni Braxton - "The Christmas Song"

Santana - "Posada (Pilgrimage to Bethlehem)"

Monica - "My Grown Up Christmas List"

Joe - "This Christmas"

R. Kelly - "World Christmas"

Pink - "Give Love on Christmas Day"

Dave Matthews Band - "Christmas Song"

Donell Jones - "My Gift to You"

Dido - "Christmas Day"

Steps - "Merry Christmas Everybody"

U.S. Senate Approves Work for Hire

The U.S. Senate passed the Work for Hire and Copyright Corrections Act of 2000 in a unanimous vote on Thursday. The passing of the act now removes "sound recordings" from the list of "works made for hire" under 1976's Copyright Act.

Musicians from various organizations including the Artist Coalition, The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, and the American Federation of Musicians, started a campaign before Congress in May to thwart efforts to change copyright laws from allowing them to reclaim their master recordings after 35 years. In 1999, the The Recording Industry of America (RIAA) inserted provisions in the Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act passed by Congress that made sound recordings, which are classified as "works for hire," the property of the employer (record company), instead of the employee (artist). The artists claimed that the amendment would prevent them from reclaiming their master tapes beginning in 2013 and would have cost them millions.

The RIAA and representatives from the various artist groups came to an agreement over the reclaiming of ownership of master tapes in August. Both sides agreed upon "neutral language" that will "resolve the issue without prejudice." The RIAA then recommended that sound recordings be excluded as one of the categories in "works for hire" or delete the original amendment all together. Since Congress has now approved the bill, it now awaits President Clinton's signature.

October 19, 2000

Caz Brings "Hoodsterism" to the Hip Hop Game

Crenshaw Boulevard's Caz recently dropped his debut album, Thundadome. The deep-voiced MC has been sparking heads with his hit single "Pop Pop," which features fellow Los Angeles native Jayo Felony. Thundadome features collaborations with Ice-T, Kurupt, and Layzie and Krayzie Bone among others. Caz recently spoke about his new project and working with such highly established MCs. "A lot of artist feel as if LA is theirs', but you can't mention Crenshaw without mentioning Caz. You can't mention South Central without mentioning Caz. I mean when you look at my album and you see all the heads that's on there. That's Caz! Not Money! That's Caz!

"I wanted my first joint to shake the industry up," added Caz. "I wanted it to be Caz and Glass House Records in partnership with Serchlite presentsŠ It wasn't so much a Caz album the first go round, but folks are realizing this kid Caz ain't no joke. I'm swinging with the best of them. If it's Krayzie Bone, we going word for word. If it's Kurupt, we going word for word. I'm a new kid. You normally gotta spend a million dollars to get all them on an album like this."

Caz's album was distributed in partnership with Warlock Records and Serchlite Records, which is owned by MC Serch from the hip hop group 3rd Bass. Caz said, "Serch sent me a check to do two songs. I looked at the check and was like man, somebody's smoking some dope. I can do three albums with this. And we literally ripped a whole album in a half. Seventeen joints mixed and mastered for two songs."

MC Serch, who is also credited for signing Nas, added, "When see you that Serchlite imprint on the back of an album, you know that shit is quality. That candle stands for hot wax, which is what I always try and put out."

Caz also stated that he wants to change the title of "Gangsta" rap to "Hoodsterism." "I ain't seen no gangstas rapping," says Caz. "I know some gangstas, but they just ain't gone platinum. I see some rappers talking about they gangsters. Rappers use to could say we only rapping about what we live. You can't use that no more, dog. Look, we got Eminem rapping right along with us now. You got backpack rappers that are now gangsta rappers now cause one thing didn't work and they cut their dreads and talking, ŒWe only spitting about what we seeing, what we know, and what we live through.' This game has changed. News bulletin to the world. We cannot use that title anymore. I ain't hating though. Make your money. But at the same time. If we don't get a handle on this, there ain't gonna be no realism left."

Not one to rest on his laurels, the West Coast rider is already working on his second project, although Thundadome was only released last month. "The first thing we're gonna do is a compilation called Cali's Finest," said Caz. "I was real surprised that Warlock gave me the pass right away and I ain't even sold a record yet. Cali's Finest is strictly for the brothers born and raised here. Not if you was born in Detroit and then you coming over here throwing up the "W." We want some folks that's been planted here. We gonna take it up a real serious notch, not just brothers saying whatever. We did the whole deal in a month. We did a whole album in a week and a half with all new guest artists. So what folks should be worried about is this album sitting in the freezer just chilling."

Thundadome is laced with 16 tracks and also features collaborations with Bad Azz, Rappin 4-Tay, and Shade Shiest. Battlecat also laced the project by supplying production for several tracks. Here is the track listing for the album: Intro
1. Thundadome
2. Headnockas (featuring Layzie Bone)
3. Pop Pop (featuring Jayo Felony)
4. Look Out (featuring Sticky Fingaz and Rappin 4 Tay)
5. Nobody Luvz You (featuring C-Bo)
6. Big Caz (featuring Shade Shiest)
7. Money (featuring O and Gold)
8. Bring It (featuring MFS)
9. U a Thug (featuring Layzie Bone, Ice-T, and MFS)
10. All Nite (featuring Baby S)
11. Chedda (featuring Krayzie Bone and LV)
12. Flossin (featuring Battle Cat)
13. My City
14. Talking Loud (featuring Bad Azz)
15. Ride Wit Me (featuring Kurupt)
16. Take Me Home

Madonna Wins Domain Name

U.N. arbitrators announced Monday that they awarded pop superstar Madonna her domain name. Madonna filed the complaint in July at the Geneva-based World Intellectual Property Organization against businessman Dan Parisi, who was the first to register the Internet address, madonna.com. Madonna argued that the site, which initially carried pornography that was later removed, tarnished her name. A three-member panel at WIPO, the United Nations copyright and intellectual property agency which runs an arbitration system that evicts cybersquatters, ordered Parisi to transfer the site to Madonna. The panel said Parisi, who is a Web site developer, had no trademark right to the name "Madonna" and failed to prove legitimate interest in the Internet domain name, which he had registered, in bad faith. WIPO noted that the singer had used her name and trademark "Madonna" professionally since 1979. WIPO also said that this was not the first cybersquatting case involving Parisi, who had registered domain names including wallstreetjournal.com. A Cybersquatter is a person who registers famous names as domains in the hopes of making a lucrative profit. WIPO's fast-track arbitration system allows firms and individuals to avoid costly lawsuits in cases when mischief is obviously involved or large amounts of money is at stake. WIPO has received more than 1,000 cases related to disputed domain names since its arbitration system began last year. Decisions have been made in more than half of the cases, some 80 percent of which went in favor of the plaintiffs.

October 18, 2000

Wyclef to Host 2000 MTV Europe Music Awards

Wyclef Jean will host the 2000 MTV Europe Music Awards on November 16th at The Globe in Stockholm, Sweden. British sensation Robbie Williams was nominated for five awards including "Best Pop Act," "Best Video," and "Best UK & Ireland Act." Eminem received three nominations including "Best Album" for The Marshall Mathers LP and "Best Hip Hop Act." The Backstreet Boys, Robbie Williams, and the Spice Girls are among the artists scheduled to perform. The Backstreet Boys were also nominated for "Best Pop Act" and "Best Group." The 2000 MTV Europe Music Awards winners will be chosen by MTV Europe viewers. Here is the complete list of nominees:

Best Album :
Bon Jovi - Crush
Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP
Macy Gray - On How Life Is
Moby - Play
Travis - The Man Who

Best Pop:
All Saints
Backstreet Boys
Britney Spears
Robbie Williams

Best Female:
Melanie C
Janet Jackson
Jennifer Lopez
Britney Spears

Best Male:
Ronan Keating
Ricky Martin
Robbie Williams

Best New Act:
Bomfunk MC's
Melanie C

Best Group:
Backstreet Boys
Bon Jovi
Red Hot Chili Peppers

Best Rock:
Bon Jovi
Foo Fighters
Limp Bizkit
Red Hot Chili Peppers

Best R&B:
Destiny's Child
Janet Jackson
Jennifer Lopez

Best Hip Hop:
Busta Rhymes
Cypress Hill
Dr. Dre
Wyclef Jean

Best Dance:
Artful Dodger

Best Song:
Melanie C featuring Lisa "Lefteye" Lopes - "Never Be the Same Again"
Madonna - "Music"
Sonique - "It Feels So Good"
Britney Spears - "Oops ... I Did It Again"
Robbie Williams - "Rock DJ"

Best Video:
Blink 182 - "All the Small Things"
Foo Fighters - "Learn To Fly"
Moby - "Natural Blues"
Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Californication"
Robbie Williams - "Rock DJ"

Best UK & Ireland Act:
Craig David
Robbie Williams

Best Dutch Act:

Best French Act:
Bob Sinclar
Laurent Garnier
Saan Supa Crew

Best Nordic Act:
Bomfunk MC's
The Ark
Thomas Rusiak

Best German Act:
Die rzte
Die Toten Hosen
Fnf Sterne Deluxe
Guano Apes

Best Italian Act:
Carmen Consoli
Paola E. Chiara
Piero Pelu

Best Polish Act:
Reni Jusis

Best Spanish Act:
Enrique Iglesias
Monica Naranjo

Limp Bizkit Debuts New Album

Limp Bizkit will release their third album on Tuesday entitled, Chocolate Starfish and The Hot Dog Flavored Water. The new album continues to successfully fuse the band's energetic merger of rap and rock as shown by their well-received first single, "Rollin'." The album also includes collaborations with Xzibit, Redman, Method Man, and DMX. In addition, the band will also appear at The Virgin Mega Store in Times Square tomorrow to sign autographs for their eager fans. Limp Bizkit kicks off their "Anger Management Tour" on October 19th at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The tour will also include performances by Xzibit, Eminem, Papa Roach, and DMX. In related news, Xzibit is scheduled to release his third album,Restless, on December 12th. The album features appearances by Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, King Tee, and Dr. Dre. Dr. Dre also supplied beats for the album as did DJ Quik, Erick Sermon, Mel-Man, Battlecat, and Rockwilder. Here is the current itinerary for the "Anger Management Tour:"

10/19    East Rutherford, NJ Continental Airlines Arena
10/20    Rutherford, NJ Continental Airlines Arena
10/21    Buffalo, NY HSBC
10/23    Worchester, MA Centrum Arena
10/24    Albany, NY Pepsi Arena
10/26    Toronto, Canada Skytent
10/27    Montreal, Canada Molsen Center
10/29    Detroit, MI Palace of Auburn Hills
10/30    Chicago, IL Allstate Arena
10/31    Milwaukee, WI Bradley Center
11/2    Champaign, IL Assembly Hall
11/3    Indianapolis, IN Conseco Field House
11/5    Moline, IL Mark of the Quad Cities
11/6    St. Louis, MO Kiel Center
11/8    Minneapolis, MN Target Center
11/10    Denver, CO Pepsi Center
11/13    Tacoma, WA Tacomadome
11/14    Portland, OR Rose Garden Arena
11/15    Vancouver, Canada Pacific Coliseum
11/17    San Francisco, CA Cow Palace
11/18    Sacramento, CA ARCO Arena
11/20    San Diego, CA Las Vegas Sports Arena
11/21    Anaheim, CA The Pond

October 17, 2000

Rap-A-Lot President Speaks out Against the DEA

James A. Prince, President and CEO of Rap-A-Lot Records, recently released a statement responding to being under investigation by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) for over twelve years. The statement also details the reason he enlisted the services of California Congresswoman Maxine Waters to write a letter on his behalf to Attorney General Janet Reno to stop the investigation. According to a publicist for Prince, Texas police have tried to set the rap mogul up on trumped up drug charges several times, which were "laughably" thrown out of court. Prince accuses the DEA of using "Gestapo-type methods, creating crimes, and using criminal tactics" to denigrate his multi-million dollar empire.

Further fueling the standoff between Prince and the DEA, Waters' letter caused Agent Jack Schumacher, the lead investigator of Prince's case, to be demoted to a desk job for using questionable procedures. In addition, Prince's letter states that the agent has killed at least six people in the "line of duty." Most of the victims were people that Schumacher was investigating, which causes Prince to fear for his life also.

Hip hop veteran Scarface who records for the label, further infuriated the DEA when he mentioned several agents' names on his latest album, Last of a Dying Breed. He proceeds to talk about the investigation on the track, "Look Into My Eyes." Excerpts from the song read, : "But I can't get no peace / &#'40;Cause Schumacher's been chasin' me / Tryin' to set me up, bustin' down my streets / Lockin' up my dog, to see if he can catch me / But I don't sell no dope Š / Fuck the DEA / Fuck these undercover that lock me up for weed / You can search me all you want to / But you won't find no seeds / And I ain't fitting to snitch / Cause I don't know a thing / Don't ask me shit about Steve / Don't ask me shit about J / I know you crackers pissed off / I can see it in your eyes / I'm down with Rap-A-Lot Œtill the day that I die."

Scarface also spits, "But now I must expose you / Tell my boys the truth / Listen up my niggas / The FBI's been watching you / Especially if you Black and try to leave the streets / And get off in the music / You see the way they doing me."

Last of a Dying Breed debuted at seventh on Soundscan last week and is believed to be Scarface's retirement album. The album features collaborations with UGK, Too Short, Daz, Kurupt, Jay-Z, Redman, and Devin The Dude. It is also believed that the issue made its way into the press by law enforcement officials to hinder the sales of the album. Scarface also recently became President of Def Jam South. Here are the letters written by Prince and Waters:

Rap-A-Lot Records

James Prince, owner and president of the Houston's Rap-A-Lot Records, has issued the following statement in response to the fact that law enforcement officers have recently contacted members of the media for the purpose of attacking Mr. Prince and Congresswoman Maxine Waters (Dem. CA). Among their claims, the officers say they are concerned that the morale of all police officers in Houston is being negatively effected as the result of their allegation that they have been forced to stop investigating Mr. Prince. In their media campaign, the officers also are expressing anger, as they allege that one of their own, Agent Jack Schumacher, was transferred from heading an investigation of Mr. Prince to a lower-ranking desk job.

I would like to begin this statement by saying to the DEA agents who have integrity, not those who are gangsters, that if there is one thing we have in common it's that we both hate drugs that harm people. But I do not hate people who have fallen prey to drugs. My God won't allow that kind of hatred in my heart.

As you know, after twelve years of investigating me, I am a successful black business man, and far from a fool. I will be damned if I'll start dealing drugs, which would jeopardize my family, business and embarrass my church. I have worked hard, sometimes two and three days straight, with no sleep, for years to accomplish what I have. So don't hate on me for what I drive, or how I live, hate on God because he afforded me these blessings.

Once again, I ask all people to use their common sense. I have more money than I can spend in my lifetime, so I have no motivation to be affiliated with drugs. I support the war on drugs with both my money and my time. I have built a million-dollar facility in Houston's Fifth Ward to uplift my community where drug rehabilitation meetings are held daily. As you know, I hire ex-drug users and ex-dealers who are sincere about making a positive change in their lives and taking care of their families.

Over at least a twelve year period, law enforcement officials have investigated me and subpoenaed all my financial records on at least two occasions. After such extensive review, they have found nothing inappropriate and can only resort to producing innuendo and propaganda. How much of the taxpayers' money has been wasted over this twelve-year period? Were they motivated to set up crimes and create situations to entice individuals to break the law in order to justify their lack of progress in the war against drugs? In the real business world, they would simply be fired or asked to resign. They would not be allowed to hide behind red tape, bureaucracy and manufactured progress to maintain their taxpayer-financed jobs. We must stop this fleecing of citizens' taxpayer dollars. Law enforcement must be held accountable for real progress in the war against drugs.

The facts, which law enforcement agencies well know, are that I pay millions of dollars in taxes each year, and I have contributed millions to numerous community and charitable organizations. So why do they continue to harass me? What is their motive? If this is not another investigation that is motivated by racial profiling, then what kind of investigation is it? Many companies have former employees who were involved in illegal activities. Should their actions condemn the entire company? By the way, have any members of the DEA or the Houston police department been arrested for committing crimes concerning drugs? As numerous media reports have concluded, the obvious answer is an overwhelming "yes." Does this mean that the entire DEA and HPD should be condemned for the actions of a few rogue officers?

I thank God for Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who was not afraid to alert the United States Justice Department about information relayed to her about the wickedness and corruption in high places. Records clearly show that Agent Jack Schumacher has killed six people and is suspected by former high ranking law enforcement officials of having killed even more. It is highly unusual to have an officer or agent to justify killing this many American citizens. I firmly believe that we have a man in Agent Schumacher who has no respect for the rights of individuals, and who also feels he is above the laws of the Constitution of the United States of America. Once again, I am thankful for Congresswoman Waters, who did not turn her back on me when I felt Agent Schumacher was setting me up to be murdered.

God has allowed me the opportunity to achieve the American dream and be a positive example to black youth about what is right in our country. But, the specter of racism perpetrated by extremist individuals negates progress and racially divides our country. This infectious disease must be uprooted and eradicated so that all American citizens have an equal opportunity to pursue the American dream.

I am living right, and I have no fear of extreme elements or of any investigation. The problem begins when those investigating me are not held accountable for run-away expenditures, employing Gestapo-type methods, creating crimes and using criminal tactics. I know that God is for me and that no evil can stand against me. This includes rogue officers in the DEA, HPD, IRS and all other criminals.

The following is the text of the letter that was sent by
Congresswoman Maxine Waters to Janet Reno on August 20, 1999.

August 20, 1999
Ms. Janet F. Reno
Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
Constitution Avenue & 10th St, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530

Dear Attorney General Reno,
Pursuant to our telephone conversation this morning, I am writing to request your assistance on what I believe to be an urgent matter. Mr. James Prince, owner of Rap A-Lot Records, believes his life to be in danger at the hands of rogue officers from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in Houston, Texas.

James Prince is a 34 year old, African-American entrepreneur who has created a very successful business producing and managing rap artists. It is my understanding that Mr. Prince has amassed sizeable assets from his business which is operating out of Houston, Texas. Mr. Prince believes that he is being harassed and intimidated by the DEA officials in his hometown of Houston because of their assumption regarding the legitimacy of his business finances.

Mr. Prince alleges that the DEA has accused him of earning the profits from his business illegally. In addition, he alleges that he has been subjected to racial slurs, the illegal search of his automobile and that his customers are stopped and questioned without provocation by the DEA. Mr. Prince also has raised concerns about the interference in his right to travel and he has been stopped numerous times on dark stretches of Texas highways. Simply put, Mr. Prince believes strongly that the Department of Justice must intercede into the questionable practices of the DEA and provide him with the necessary protection to ensure that his life and livelihood are not subjected to ongoing harassment and intimidation. Attorney General Reno, Mr. Prince has contacted me out of desperation. While in Houston, Texas, I had the opportunity to visit Mr. Prince's buildings and I spoke to his workers.

After listening to Mr. Prince's concerns and that of his customers, I suggested that he document his torments at the hands of DEA agents and send it to you for your perusal. Please understand that Mr. Prince has asked me to assist him because of my work surrounding the intelligence community, police harassment and brutality, and the reported incidents of "driving while black/brown."

I am often contacted by African Americans who feel helpless when confronted with the incidents as described by Mr. Prince. The harrowing details of Mr. Prince's allegations and my reputation in vigorously pursuing such matters warrants that I assist him to the best of my capabilities. Will you please give this matter your immediate attention? I anxiously await your response.

Maxine Waters,
Member of Congress

"The Ladies Man" Opens at the Box Office

The Ladies Man starring Tim Meadows hits theatres this weekend. Meadows plays "Leon Phelps," a horny, politically incorrect host of a late-night love advice TV show. After being fired from his job for one too many vulgar and inappropriate comments, Leon unsuccessfully seeks employment from every radio station in Chicago. Out of options, he receives a mysterious letter from his "true love" asking him to return to her - and her money! However, Leon has to figure out who she is. While he actively back tracks through his book of ladies, a posse of scorned husbands band together to hunt down the mysterious lover of their wives. The movie is based on a series of sketches featured on Saturday Night Live starring Meadows. The film also stars Karyn Parsons and John Witherspoon.

October 16, 2000

Kobe Bryant Gets Benched by Columbia Records

Columbia Records cut the musical career of basketball star Kobe Bryant short yesterday as the label dropped the hoopster from their roster. Kobe's debut album was titled Visions and was scheduled to be released in June. It featured appearances by Destiny's Child, Nas, Black Thought of the Roots, 50 Cent, and Beanie Sigel. The Trackmasters also supplied beats for the project.

The first single "K.O.B.E.," was released in January and never quite lived up to the hype. The song also featured the vocals of supermodel Tyra Banks. His fellow L.A. Laker teammate Shaquille O'Neal recently announced that he was retiring from the hip hop game also. Shaq, however, released four semi-successful albums. Columbia Records also dropped singer Pat Benatar from their roster.

TLC's Chili to Co-Star in "A Christmas Carol"

Chili, of the R&B group TLC, has been added to the cast of VH-1's adaptation of the holiday classic, A Christmas Carol. R&B singer and former Miss America Vanessa Williams was cast in the leading role. Williams will star as Ebony, a former member of a girl group, who is also a female version of Ebenezer Scrooge. Chili will play Marli Jacob, Ebony's former singing partner, and the female version of Jacob Marley. John Taylor, of the legendary rock group Duran Duran, has also been added to the cast as the "Ghost of Christmas Present." Brian McNamara has been cast as "Bob Cratchit" and Kathy Griffin will play the "Ghost of Christmas Past." Williams will also perform several songs in the movie, which is scheduled to air in December. VH-1's A Christmas Carol is currently being filmed in Montreal, Canada.

October 15, 2000

Puffy Hit With Another Lawsuit

Sean"Puffy" Combs was hit with another lawsuit on Wednesday relating to the shooting that occurred last year on December 27th. Michael Bergos, owner of Club New York, filed the $1.8 million suit against the record mogul and three other men, claiming that the negative publicity caused attendance to drop and corporate clients to cancel events. Bergos said, "I'm just disgusted. There were damages to the club, but the main thing is my name."

The alleged shooting occurred when a man allegedly insulted the rap mogul and threw money in his face. Bad Boy Records rapper Shyne, whose real name is Jamal Barrows, then allegedly opened fire hitting three innocent victims. The entourage, which included Puffy's girlfriend Jennifer Lopez, bodyguard Anthony "Wolf" Jones, and limousine driver Wardel Fenderson, then fled the scene. Bergos' lawsuit also names Barrow, Jones, Fenderson, and Bad Boy Entertainment.

A spokesperson for Puffy released the following statement regarding his latest lawsuit.

"It is unfortunate that a great many people are looking to unjustly capitalize on Mr. Combs' wealth and celebrity status in an attempt to falsely link him to an incident that everyone knows Mr. Combs had nothing to do with. Mr. Combs will respond to this latest groundless lawsuit as aggressively as he intends to defend all other baseless charges that have arisen since the episode at Club NY. If Mr. Bergos and everyone else has honestly looked at the facts they know full well Mr. Combs did not cause the incident at Club New York, he was not armed with any weapons and [is] in no way responsible for the events that unfolded."

Fenderson also filed a $3 million lawsuit against the rap mogul. Fenderson's suit claims that Jones forced him to drive through red lights after the shootout last year and disobey police orders to pull over.

Puffy previously plead not guilty to charges of criminal possession of a weapon in the second and third degree and bribing a witness for his involvement in the mele. Shyne was charged with attempted murder in the incident. According to New York District Attorney Matthew Bogdanos, Puffy's bribery charge stemmed from the rapper offering Fenderson a pinky ring, estimated to be worth between $40,000-$50,000, as collateral to take the charge. The incident is alleged to have happened in the squad room of a police precinct surrounded by officers. The gun charges stem from Puffy and Jones allegedly trying to stash guns in a hidden compartment that they couldn't open when Combs tossed the guns out of the window. A trial date for Puffy, Shyne, and Wolf is set for January 2, 2001, at which time jury selections will also begin.

Arista Set to Release DVD Singles

Arista Records will release its first batch of DVD singles on November 21st. Artists featured include OutKast, Whitney Houston, Toni Braxton, and Pink. The DVDs will feature videos as well as interview, concert, and backstage footage. OutKast's DVD will feature their current hit "B.O.B" and "Ms. Jackson" as well as concert footage from their recent performance at S.O.B.'s in New York. DVD's by Usher, Dream, and Joy Enriquez will be released in the following months. The discs will be sold for $9.98. In related news, OutKast will release their fourth album, Stankonia on October 31st.

October 14, 2000

Ray Benzino Sentenced to 40 Day Jail Stint

Ray Benzino of the hip hop group Made Men was sentenced to 30 days in jail last Thursday after being convicted of disorderly conduct precluding a one-day trail. Judge Mark Coven gave the rapper the option to avoid jail time by serving probation for a year and undergoing anger management therapy, but the rapper, whose real name is Raymond Scott, chose instead to serve his stint in the Dedham House of Correction in Massachusetts. According to Scott's lawyer Martin Leppo, the MC chose jail because the probation conditions would have hindered his ability to travel at sudden notice for concert appearances. The charges stem from Scott being accused of assaulting a bouncer at a nightclub after he had been asked to stop drinking champagne while on the dancefloor. According to the Boston Herald, Scott took the stand in his own defense and denied hitting the bouncer. Two other defense witnesses backed his story in contradiction to the testimony of Randolph police officer Alfred Handy, who was working a paid detail at the club. Coven stated that the prosecution did not prove its case on the assault-and-battery charge, but he found Scott guilty of disorderly conduct. The 30-day sentence will run concurrent with a 10-day sentence Scott received on Thursday for driving with a suspended license in 1997.

Master P & Snoop Sentenced to "OZ"

Avatar Records will release the soundtrack to HBO's prison drama OZ on January 9th. The soundtrack will feature performances by Master P, Method Man, Snoop Dogg, Cypress Hill, and Kurupt. The Goodie MOb, Trick Daddy, the LOX, and Devin the Dude are also scheduled to record new tracks for the album. A portion of the proceeds from the album's sales will be donated to the Innocence Project. The Innocence Project is a prisoner's rights organization that works to free wrongfully accused prisoners through DNA testing. It was founded by criminal defense attorney Barry Sheck. OZ kicks off its fourth season on January 7th. Method Man and Master P are also scheduled to appear on the show this year.

October 13, 2000

Teddy Pendergrass Hosts Spinal Chord Injury Fundraiser

The Teddy Pendergrass Alliance will hold its First Annual Celebrity Gala on October 14th at the Grand Hyatt in New York. The Teddy Pendergrass Alliance is a non-profit organization founded by the R&B legend to help individuals with spinal chord injuries enhance the quality of their lives. Pendergrass was paralyzed in 1982 after an automobile accident. The organization's goal is to assist individuals with spinal chord injuries and maximize their career and education through specially designed outreach and scholarship programs. The black tie affair will include a private VIP reception, general reception, and banquet. A silent auction will also be held featuring items donated by Pendergrass and other celebrities. Acclaimed soul duo Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson will serve as Honorary Chairs of the Gala alongside Pendergrass. For tickets to The Teddy Pendergrass Alliance First Annual Celebrity Gala or more information on spinal chord injuries, call (410) 255-3257.

Denzel Leads the Titans

Denzel Washington's latest film, Remember the Titans, hit theatres this past weekend. Washington stars in the true story that tells how coach Herman Boone led one of the first integrated football teams, in Alexandria, Virginia in 1971, to victory. Boone became coach of the football team when three high schools (two black and one white) were integrated. When the former coach, who was white, stepped down, Boone took over much to the chagrin of many local people with lingering racist tendencies. Under the leadership of Boone, the team rallied against its adversities and went on to achieve great success. Critics are already saying Washington turned in an Oscar-worthy performance. The film also stars Will Patton, Nicole Ari Parker, and Kate Bosworth. The soundtrack for Remember the Titans features such classics by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terreil, Cat Stevens, Ike and Tina Turner, WAR, and Creedence Clearwater Revival. Here is the complete track listing for the soundtrack:

1. Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terreil
2. Spirit in the Sky - Norman Greenbaum
3. Peace Train - Cat Stevens
4. Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye - Steam
5. Long Cool Woman ( In a Black Dress) - The Hollies
6. I Want to Take You Higher - Ike and Tina Turner
7. Up Around the Bend - Creedence Clearwater Revival
8. Spill the Wine - Eric Burdon & WAR
9. A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall - Leon Russell
10. Act Naturally - Buck Owens
11. Express Yourself - Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band
12. Titans Spirit (Score) - Trevor Rabin

October 12, 2000

Kid Rock Custody Battle Levels Off

According to the Detroit Free Press, Kid Rock and his former girlfriend, Kelley South Russell, have reached a tentative agreement regarding their dispute over their 7-year-old son. Russell, who is an autoworker at Ford Motor Company, will now pay Rock $25 a week in child support payments and provide medical coverage for her son through her benefits package. Rock, born Robert Ritchie, was awarded full custody of the boy, while Russell is only allowed to spend four weeks during the summer with him. Under the agreement, Russell is required to give Rock 30 days notice prior to arranging a visit with their son. Russell will now be allowed to spend more time with her son, also. Macomb Country Circuit Judge Donald Miller previously ordered the parents to produce a satisfactory visitation time schedule before he intervened. He stated, "There's no question in my mind that both parents love this little guy and both parents deserve time with this little guyŠbut you're going to have to communicate back and forth. I don't want to get involved in this." Kid Rock's last album History of Rock was released in May and is currently ranked at number 71 on Soundscan.

Kelly Rowland of Destiny's Child Injured Backstage

Kelly Rowland of the R&B group Destiny's Child recently suffered two broken toes on October 5th. The incident occurred backstage during the group's concert with Christina Aguilera at Denver's Magness Arena. According the group's manager Mathew Knowles, the singer was struggling to change in the dark when she fell over a ramp and broke the second and third toes of her right foot. As their tour slowly wraps up, Rowland will perform on the remaining dates sitting in a chair. Solange Knowles, the 14-year-old sister of fellow group member Beyonce, and daughter of Matthew, will step on stage for Rowland during their choreographed dance moves. Destiny's Child will not perform on the last two remaining dates of the tour.

Destiny's Child's sophomore album,The Writing's on the Wall, is already six-times platinum and is currently ranked at number 22 on Soundscan. Their current single, "Independent Woman Part 1" is featured on the Charlie's Angels soundtrack. The group is also scheduled to perform at the 2000 VH-1/Vogue Fashion Awards on October 20th at the Madison Square Garden Theatre in New York. Here is the remaining itinerary of Christina Aguilera and Destiny's Child's tour:

10/10 - Chula Vista, CA - Coors Amphitheatre
10/11 - Universal City, CA - Universal Amphitheatre
10/12 - Universal City, CA - Universal Amphitheatre
10/14 - Marysville, CA - Sacramento Valley Amphitheatre
10/15 - Concord, CA - Chronicle Pavilion @ Concord
10/18 - Portland, OR - Rose Garden Arena
10/19 - Seattle, WA - KeyArena at Seattle Center (w/o Destiny's Child)
10/21 - Honolulu, HI - Blaisdell Arena (w/o Destiny's Child)

October 11, 2000

Busta Rhymes Gets Five Years Probation

Hip hop star Busta Rhymes was sentenced to five years probation on Friday by a Manhattan Supreme Court judge. The charges stem from a December 1998 incident, in which the rapper and his manger Gerald Odom, were pulled over for driving erratically. During the incident, police searched the vehicle and found an unregistered, loaded .45 caliber pistol, after which they arrested the rapper. Busta, whose real name is Trevor Smith, previously plead guilty to the gun possession charge in May 1999, but sentencing was postponed for a year to allow him time to resolve an alleged protective order violation involving his former girlfriend Joanne Wood. Wood is also the mother of his 7-year-old son, T'ziah. Busta could have been sentenced for up to seven years in prison if he had been tried and convicted of the gun possession charge. He stated that he carried the gun because he had been robbed twice. Judge Herbert Adlerberg agreed with the rapper's reasoning as he said the case involved "very strong mitigating factors."

Time Warner & EMI Deal Axed

The proposed merger between EMI and Time Warner was terminated by the companies today after the speculated fear that the European Commission would veto the deal. The $20 million merger would have created the world's largest record company. The deal would have brought Virgin, Capitol, EMI, and the Warner Music Group under one umbrella. Regulators were fearful that the combined music companies, along with the America Online merger, would create a monopoly on the online music business. America Online is scheduled to purchase Time Warner for a proposed $150 billion.

The companies are still, however, trying to find a solution to appease European and U.S. regulators. Eric Nicoli, Chairman of EMI, said in a statement, "The withdrawal of our application allows additional time to reassess regulators' concerns and to pursue solutions simultaneously in Europe and the U.S. We have been, and will continue to be, flexible in responding to the European Commission's concerns."

Richard Parsons, Chairman of Time Warner, added, "Our proposed joint venture with EMI would bring together two of the most creative and complementary organizations in the worldwide music industry. We will continue to explore ways to structure a combination that will make sense for the two companies and be acceptable to the Commission."

October 10, 2000

Puffy's Limousine Driver Files Lawsuit

Wardel Fenderson, Sean "Puffy" Combs former limousine driver, has filed a $3 million lawsuit against the rap mogul. Fenderson's suit claims that another one of Puffy's employees, Anthony "Wolf" Jones, forced him to drive through red lights after a shootout in a New York nightclub last December. The suit states that Wolf screamed at him "not to stop and to continue driving" despite the fact the police had ordered them to pull over.

Puffy pleaded not guilty to charges of criminal possession of a weapon in the second and third degree and bribing a witness. The charges stem from the shootout, which left three people wounded. Bad Boy rapper Shyne, whose real name is Jamal Barrows, was charged with attempted murder in the incident. Puffy, Wolf, and Jennifer Lopez fled the scene after the shooting, though charges were dropped against her.

According to New York District Attorney Matthew Bogdanos, Puffy's bribery charge stemmed from the rapper offering Wardel a pinky ring, estimated to be worth between $40,000-$50,000, as collateral to take the charge. The incident is alleged to have happened in the squad room of a police precinct surrounded by officers. The gun charges stem from Puffy and Wolf allegedly trying to stash guns in a hidden compartment that they couldn't open when Combs tossed the guns out of the window. A trial date for Puffy, Shyne, and Wolf is set for January 2, 2001, at which time jury selections will also begin.

OutKast Disappointed Over Leak of "Stankonia"

OutKast is said to be furious over the internet leakage of the their new album, Stankonia. The group recently released the following statement about the unauthorized released of their new album: "As artists, we appreciate the anticipation our fans have for our music, however it is also very important for us to present the music in a creative format that is representative of our personalities, as our fans expect nothing less. We should have control over how our music is presented to our fans, and we feel that it is a creative invasion to spread our unfinished album over the net, without our knowledge. We feel musically and personally offended." Stankonia's official release date is scheduled for October 31st. OutKast and their turntabilist, Mr. D.J., recently launched Aquemini Records with Elektra. Slimm Calhoun, the label's first artist, will drop his debut album, The Skinny, on November 7th. Slimm's first single, "It's O.K.," also features Dre from OutKast. Here is the tentative track listing for Stankonia:

1. Intro
2. "Gasoline Dreams" - featuring Khujo Goodie from Goodie Mob
3. "So Fresh, So Clean"
4. "Ms. Jackson"
5. "Snappin' & Trappin' featuring Killer Mike & J-Sweet"
6. "Spaghetti Junction"
7. "I'll Call Before I Come featuring Gangsta Boo & Eco"
8. "B.O.B."
9. "Xplosion" - featuring B-Real
10. "We Luv Deez Hoez"- featuring BackBone & Big Gipp from Goodie Mob
11. "Humble Mumble" - featuring Erykah Badu
12. "Red Velvet"
13 . "Gangsta Sh*t featuring Slimm Calhoun, C-Bone & T-Mo Goodie from Goodie Mob
14. "Toilet Tisha "
15. "Slum Beautiful" - featuring Cee-Lo Goodie from Goodie Mob
16. "Stankonia (Stanklove)" - featuring Big Rube & Sleepy Brown

October 9, 2000

Coolio Hit with $1 Million Lawsuit

Hip hop star Coolio, whose real name is Artis Ivey, was hit with a $1 million lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday. Dominic Aldridge, Coolio's former producer, filed the breach of contract lawsuit, claiming that the rapper is withholding fees and royalties based on production work on three songs, "Wild Wild West," "Money," and "The Winner." Aldridge claims that they had oral contracts in which he was to be paid $7,500 for "Wild Wild West," and $10,000 each for "Money" and "The Winner." He also claimed that he was supposed to receive a percentage from the album sales, which contained the songs, as well as royalties for promotional merchandise and foreign sales.

The suit reads, in part, "Each of the aforementioned agreements also provide that Ivey will render an accounting to [Aldridge], in the form of a royalty payment, and pay any royalties, as described in the agreements to [Aldridge] as reasonable twice per year. Ivey is obligated to render said accounting and royalties to [Aldridge] within 90 days after June 30 and December 31 of each year during which units embodying the master recordings are sold, or within 30 days of Ivey's receipt from Tommy Boy Records, Priority Records, or Atlantic Records of its accounting statement."

The suit also claims that Coolio hasn't paid Aldridge any royalty payments. Aldridge worked with Coolio on 1995's Gangsta's Paradise and 1997's My Soul.

Coolio recently severed ties with his former label Tommy Boy Records. He is scheduled to release his fourth album, Coolio.Com, later this year on Crystal Dragon Entertainment.

Ray Charles Celebrates His 70th Birthday

Ray Charles celebrated his 70th birthday on Monday at the House of Blues in West Hollywood, California. Several artists paid tribute to Charles including Ashford & Simpson, Willie Nelson, and Billy Preston. Charles also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Blues Foundation at the banquet. Producer Quincy Jones, who has known Charles since they were children growing up in Seattle, Washington, said, "I cherish my relationship with Ray more than anything I've ever done in my life. We got to do every dream we dreamed about."

Charles replied saying, "I think he likes me. The things he said to you is very true." The Blues Foundation is a non-profit group that aims to promote and preserve blues music around the world. Country and Western singer Willie Nelson was also honored at the banquet for his work with the charity organization, Farm Aid. Charles' actual birthday was on September 23rd.

October 7, 2000

Scarface Does Battle with DEA

According to the Associated Press, Southern hip hop legend Scarface has infuriated the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency. The agency claims that Scarface taunts them on his new album, The Last of a Dying Breed, and mentions several DEA agents by name. The album peeked the FDA's interest because it will be released on Rap-ALot Records. The agency has been investigating the label's owner, James A. Prince, on drug trafficking allegations. The Dallas Morning News also claimed that California Congresswoman Maxine Waters sent a letter on behalf of Prince to Attorney General Janet Reno to stop the investigation. However, Waters told The Associated Press that she made no such attempt to stop the investigation.

Last of a Dying Breed was released on Tuesday. The album features appearances by UGK, Too Short, Daz, and Kurupt. Jay-Z, Redman, and Devin the Dude also collaborate with the O.G. of southern hip hop. Eric Sermon, Mike Dean, and N.O. Joe laid down some of the beats for the album. Scarface also recently signed on as President of the recording label Def Jam South. Here is the track listing for Last of a Dying Breed.
1. 110970 (Intro)
2. Last of A Dying Breed / Visiting the Shrink (Skit)
3. Look Into My Eyes
4. It Ain't Shit to Me
5. Down With Us
6. Sorry 4 What?
7. O.G. 2 Me
8. The Gangsta Shit/ The Snitch
9. Conspiracy Theory
10. Watch Ya Step
11. Get Out
12. In & Out
13. And Yo
14. In my Time
15. Outro

Mystikal Brings Catastrophe & Destruction

New Orleans' hip hop pioneer Mystikal took Soundscan by storm this week as his long-awaited fourth album Let's Get Ready fought its way to number one. The hard-hitting album features collaborations with OutKast and Da Brat. Mystikal recently talked about the new album and working with the Neptunes and OutKast on some of the production. "Working with the Neptunes was a "creative catastrophe," said Mystikal. "They coming with it, I'm coming with it. I just sound real good over their tracks. They bring it out in an artist."

As far as OutKast goes, the braided up pimp stated, "I went and got my hot sauce from them. I'm already cayenne pepper and jalapeno, but I went and got that hot sauce from them. That fire, fire. It was a mixture of different flavors and we came out with something delicious. It's was beautiful." Mystikal did three songs with Dre and Big Boi while The Neptunes supplied the beat to his number one single "Shake Ya Ass."

Mystikal also said that he loved the comparison to James Brown and described Ready to Rumble as bringing "destruction and danger." He also talked about being on a pop label like Jive whose roster includes Britney Spears, N'SYNC, and the Backstreet Boys. He said, "I'll be the black Backstreet Boys rapping. That don't mean I'm gonna compromise my style, so if I can get them kind of numbers doing what I'm doing by being over here, so be it."

As many know, the Louisiana native was recently released from No Limit Records and is now signed strictly to Jive Records. Mystikal spoke on the separation, saying, "P and them still gone do their thing regardless. It was real cool of him to let me go as easy as it was because I didn't even know I wasn't on No Limit no more. He called me up and was like, 'Man, go ahead and sign these papers so you can go ahead and get your roll on dog. Get your hustle on. I done showed you all this stuff. You don't owe me nothing. We done succeeded. We knocked out everything that we even attempted to do. It's time for you to stand up like a man.'"

"It was stuff going on between him and Jive and he (Master P) wasn't about all that. So to make that better, it would be easy for me to go ahead and do my thing and cut all ties of that. But it didn't matter cause I'm still gon' work with him (Master P) anyway. You still gonna hear me on No Limit shit. See me in movies and shit and doing things cause it's like that. You feel me? I still wear my tank charm and rings. They my championship trophies."

October 6, 2000

DMX Sells Life Story

Hip Hop star DMX recently signed a deal with Harper Entertainment for the rights to his autobiography, tentatively titled, A Dog's Life. The book will chronicle young Earl Simmons' troubled youth growing up in a Yonkers, New York housing project, which included several arrests and bouncing around to various group homes, to his rise as a multi-platinum rap superstar, DMX. DMX will co-write the book with Smokey D. Fontaine, a former music editor of The Source magazine. The book will also include poems written by DMX and is expected to hit stores next fall.

In related news, Dark Man of the Unknown, is currently in Toronto, Canada shooting a film with Steven Seagal. DMX will play Seagal's sidekick as they rid a police precinct of corrupt cops. The film will be directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak, who also directed Romeo Must Die, in which DMX was featured. Exit Wounds is expected to be released in spring 2001.

Quincy Jones Brings South Central to South Africa

The Quincy Jones Listen Up Foundation recently awarded $25,000 endowments to five South Central Los Angeles youth organizations. The donations were made last Wednesday at the Creative Artists Agency in Beverly Hills, California. The endowments were made in the names of five teens Martha Gonzalez, Je Juana Johnson, Megan Yaleh Meaway, Hector Sanchez, and Omari Trice. The five teens recently traveled to the Orange Farm Township, outside of Johannesburg, South Africa, to build homes for three South African families as part of "The From South Central to South Africa Project." The township is one of the country's poorest communities. "The From South Central to South Africa Project" was part of the commitment Jones made to former South African President Nelson Mandela to build 100 homes for disadvantaged citizens of the country. The Listen Up Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports projects to further the welfare of children and inspire youth to reach their full potential. The endowments were made to the following organizations on their behalf: A Place Called Home, the Community Self Determination Institute, Kaos Network, the Community Coalition, and St. Elmo's Village.

October 5, 2000

Flesh-N-Bone Hit With 11-Year Bid

Bone thugs-n-harmony member Stanley "Flesh-N-Bone" Howse was sentenced to serve 11 years in prison on Friday. The charges stem from a December 26th incident in which the rapper brandished an AK-47 out of a baby crib, inserted a magazine, and pointed the gun at his "friend" Tarrance Vickers after an argument ensued between House and Vickers' brother, Fred Nelson. Flesh then ordered the two to leave the house. During court proceedings, Vickers denied nearly everything he initially told the police including seeing the gun. He also stated that he and Flesh got into a scuffle and both ran when the police came. However, Nelson testified that the rapper did indeed pull the gun during the dispute over Flesh's girlfriend.

Howse was convicted on June 15th of assault with a semi-automatic firearm and being an ex-convict in possession of gun. A judge in a Los Angeles Superior Court in the suburb of Van Nuys, California sentenced Flesh on Friday to ten years for assault and weapons charges and one year for a probation violation. Flesh is also scheduled to appear back in court for another sentencing on October 24th. That sentencing stems from Howse pleading no contest as part of a plea bargain earlier this month to the felony charge of possessing an illegal gun. The charges stem from a separate incident that occurred on January 3rd when Flesh arrived at the home of several family members allegedly carrying a shotgun. He was arrested after he refused to leave the house and was accused of making terrorist threats. He was also arrested because he was a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

Mexican Artists Turn Down Latin Grammys

Three Mexican recording artists refused the Latin Grammy Awards they won last month claiming that the awards were biased and against traditional Mexican music. Los Tigres del Norte ("Best Norteno Performance"), Los Temerarios ("Best Group Performance"), and Los Palominos ("Best Mexican Performance") were the groups who turned down the awards on Friday. The 1st Annual Latin Grammy Awards were held on September 13th at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The awards were hosted by Gloria Estefan, Jennifer Lopez, Andy Garcia, and Jimmy Smits and were televised in more than 100 countries. The Latin Grammys established 40 categories for Latin Music expanding on the seven that are only offered in the traditional Grammys. All three artists currently record for the Spanish label Fonovisa Records. Guillermo Santisa, president of Fonovisa Records, said in a statement, "We support our artists in this decision. We firmly believe that these awards should not exist because they segregate Latin music."

Other winners at the 1st Annual Latin Grammy Awards included Carlos Santana who was honored with three awards. Santana won "Record of the Year" and "Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group" for his collaboration with Mexican rock band Mana on the hit single "Corazon Espinado" and "Best Pop Instrumental Performance" for his hit "El Farol." Colombian pop singer Shakira won "Best Female Pop Vocal Performance" for "Ojos As" and "Best Female Rock Performance" for "Octavo D'a." while Marc Anthony won the "Song of the Year Award" for "D'Melo (I Need to Know)." The Latin Grammys also paid tribute to mambo legend Tito Puente who died in June. Puente also won "Best Tropical Performance" for his last album, Mamo Birdland. For the complete list of winners, log on to www.grammy.com.

October 4, 2000

White Parents Compare FUBU to the Confederate Flag

A group of white parents in Hamilton, Georgia recently requested that a ban be placed on the clothing brand FUBU, which is designed by African-Americans. The call for the ban stemmed after parents of several eighth grade girls at Carver Middle School became angry when their children were suspended for wearing shirts with the Confederate flag. The children were previously warned not to wear the shirts, but defied the warning. They even bought additional shirts for other students to wear. Susan Andrews, Harris County Superintendent, stated, "It was enough to cause a disruption. They were suspended for defying authority."

The parents then claimed that if white students were not allowed to wear the shirts with the Confederate flag emblem, then African-American students shouldn't be permitted to wear the FUBU brand because it stands "For Us, By Us." On Friday, Andrews banned both clothing apparels, but after meeting on Monday with a group of peeved African-American parents who were unhappy with the ban, she agreed to let students wear FUBU after this week if it didn't cause a disturbance. No problems have been reported yet and Andrews stated that she didn't consider the FUBU brand comparable to the Confederate flag, but decided to ban both to help ease tensions. Harris County, which is located near Columbus, has a 30 percent African-American population. FUBU was launched in 1992 and is endorsed by rapper LL Cool J.

T-Boz Addresses Rumors on "BET Tonight With Tavis Smiley"

T-Boz, lead singer of the R&B group TLC, will be the featured guest on "BET Tonight With Tavis Smiley" on Tuesday, October 3rd. She will discuss the group's future and her recent marriage to rapper Mack 10. The TLC member will also address the rumors about her pending retirement from concert performances, her pregnancy, and her recent solo stints. Her recent solo efforts include "Wanna Take Me Back," which can be heard on the soundtrack to the concert documentary Backstage, and "My Getaway," the first single from the soundtrack to the forthcoming animated film Rugrats in Paris. T-Boz is also featured on "Tight to Def," the first single from Mack 10's fourth album, The Paper Route. Rugrats in Paris, the movie and the soundtrack, are both scheduled to be released in November. Mack 10's album was released in September and is currently ranked at number 59 on Soundscan. "BET Tonight With Tavis Smiley" airs Monday through Friday at 11:30 p.m. EST/PST.

October 3, 2000

Arista Denies T-Boz Tour Rumor

Arista Records is denying rumors that T-Boz of the R&B group TLC will cease touring with the group in the future. According to The Associated Press, the singer stated that she would stop touring because of health problems related to her blood disease sickle cell anemia. Although the group is currently on hiatus, all three members are working on various solo projects. T-Boz's most recent solo effort, "Wanna Take Me Back," can be heard on the soundtrack to the concert documentary, Backstage. She also recorded the first single, "My Getaway," for the soundtrack to the forthcoming animated film Rugrats in Paris. The movie and the soundtrack are both scheduled to be released in November. T-Boz recently married rapper Mack 10 on August 19th. The couple is expecting a baby in November.

Destiny's Child to Perform Concert for Breast Cancer

Destiny's Child will perform for LIFETIME Television's "Women Rock!: Girls & Guitars" on Thursday, October 12th in Los Angeles, California at the Wiltern Theatre. The concert will be an awareness and fundraising event benefiting the National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations (NABCO) and the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC). The concert will also feature Sheryl Crow, Melissa Etheridge, Amy Grant, Heart, Cyndi Lauper and Wynonna. The concert is scheduled to air as a two-hour telecast on LIFETIME Television on Sunday, October 22 at 8 PM (ET/PT). Destiny's Child's multi-platinum sophomore album, The Writing's on the Wall, is currently ranked at number 19 on Soundscan. The album's current single, "Jumpin, Jumpin," features Jermaine Dupri, Da Brat, and Lil' Bow Wow. The ladies are also tearing up the radio with their single, "Independent Woman, Pt. 1," which is featured on the soundtrack to the forthcoming movie, Charlie's Angels.

October 2, 2000

NYPD Crack Down on Bootleggers

Manhattan police put an end to two bootleg CD operations last month with the help of the anti-piracy unit of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Fifteen arrests were made and nearly 60,000 counterfeit CDs were confiscated on August 30 and 31. The locations were used as a distribution center and source of counterfeit CD-Rs to street vendors throughout New York City and the surrounding area. The seized materials contained performances of artists such as Whitney Houston, Enrique Iglesias, Mariah Carey, and Ricky Martin. All 15 defendants were charged with Failure to Disclose the Origin of a Recording in the 1st Degree and Trademark Counterfeiting in the 1st Degree. Both crimes are considered felonies and can carry a maximum penalty of up to seven years imprisonment. Frank Creighton, senior vice president the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit, said, "We were pleased to work with the New York City authorities to shut down these substantial distribution points of counterfeit compact discs."

Nelly Makes Acting Debut

Hip Hop's reigning prince, Nelly, is preparing to star in his first feature film, Snipes. In the film, Nelly will portray a "Prolifik," a rising rap star who is kidnapped as part of a business dispute involving his record label. The movie will also star Dean Winters (O'Riley on Oz), and rap veterans Fat Joe, Schooly D, and Kool Moe Dee. Snipes will be directed by video director Rich Murray. The film will be produced by Chris Schwartz through his Ruff Nation Films company. Schwartz first gained notoriety as co-founder of Ruff House Records along with Joe Nicolo, which launched such careers as The Fugees, Cypress Hill, and Kris Kross. Snipes is scheduled to begin shooting in Philadelphia on October 2nd and is expected to hit theatres sometimes next year pending Ruff Nation locking down a distribution deal.

October 1, 2000

Prodigy Suffers Another Sickle Cell Crisis

Prodigy of Mobb Deep was recovering in the hospital after suffering another sickle cell crisis. Sickle Cell is blood disease that affects many African- Americans. T-Boz of TLC also suffers from the disease. Prodigy even addresses the subject on the track "You Could Never Feel My Pain" from his forthcoming solo album, H.N.I.C. He also spoke to one of his fans recently who also has the disease. An excerpt taken from Mobb Deep's website, infamousstores.com, reads:

"Listen. First off, you're body is not supposed to digest meats. We are not carnivorous people. That means we are not meat eating people, our teeth are flat and are made to eat vegetables, not sharp like animals who's teeth are made to tear flesh. Threw the years we have been misguided from our original way of living, diet, etc.

Secondly, things like white bread, white sugar, soda, candy, milk, and cooking oils. Are filled up with chemicals, and substances that will eventually destroy your body, and mind. That's why people die of heart attacks, cancer, and other diseases. These substances can also give you colds, cavities, blood problems, skin problems, and many other things.

When you change your diet you will feel the difference in your energy, and the way you think. It makes you a sharper, more alert individual.

You're a young buck so I don't know how you're gonna take all this shit I'm telling' you, but I want you to know all of this while you're still young and got a chance to avoid these things.

Most of the problems that I spoke of won't come over night, they will hit you 20- 30 years later. Please just try the diet shit for me.

Then once you do that you will think it is stupid to smoke and drink, cause why would you do all that diet shit then go use drugs and alcohol? It wouldn't make sense. Believe me, fuck what your friends is doing, you gotta be a man and do your own shit. If they don't understand, then that's they problem. It don't mean they can't still be you're friends.

Like me, all my niggas drink and smoke heavily. Yo my niggas wake up in the mornin' and go get drunk and high, no lie. And I be wit them every day. But just because I'm there wit them don't mean I do what they do. Understand? One love." H.N.I.C. is expected to be released in November. For more information on sickle cell anemia, log on to www.emory.edu/peds/sickle.

Phife Dawg Ventilates on New LP

With the success of Q-Tip's solo album, Amplified and Ali Shaheed Muhammad's project with Lucy Pearl, Phife Dawg, the third member of the critically acclaimed hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest, is gearing to release his solo album, Ventilation: Da LP. The album includes production by Pete Rock and D.J. Hi-Tek. Phife addressed the current state of hip hop on the album with the single "Flawless." He said, "Flawless" is talking about the state of hip hop and why I ain't fucking with Jive and that type of shit. Hip hop is a circus right now. Everyone is taking the easy way out, cloning, duplicating, and bitingŠAnd there's only one issue that everyone is talking about, which is materialism. And my whole take is that there's more to life than just materialism. A lot of people smoke blunts, love clothes, and jewelry, but at the same time, there's a lot of people that go to the library everyday and try to learn different things. That's also a part of life. It's more to life than that little simplistic shit."

Phife also stated that his new album is filled with "conscious, battle, and party lyrics." I didn't reach to go commercial or get radio play," said Phife. "By me going the other route, if I get street credibility off of it, that'll be cool. My street credibility and the work I put in should speak for itself. Everybody's being the same. I want to come different and prove that you don't have to be a follower and can come with something different. It's already unfortunate that kids would rather listen to us kick something in a verse than their own teachers at school, but being that is the case, we need to use our own voices to the best of our abilities. I just want people to know after they listen to this album that there are real MCs as well as artists still out there who care about their work."

Phife's new album will be released on the overseas label Groove Attack Productions/Superrappin. Phife sated that he chose the overseas label because he was tired of the "bullshit" and " because I'm impatient. On the last two Tribe Called Quest albums, Jive showed their ass by not caring. They was preparing for Britney Spears, N'SYNC, and the Backstreet Boys. But by the time that they get to their fourth and fifth albums, they'll see the same shit." He also said that Groove Attack Productions/Superrappin, "told me that they would release the album this year and drop it simultaneously overseas and in the states. Plus they gave me freedom."

November 14, 2019  
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