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Bits & Bytes

October 31, 2001

Jermaine Dupri Finds Time To Preach About The Peach

A funny thing happened on the way to putting Atlanta on the map. Despite Hotlanta representatives like TLC, Outkast, Ludacris and the Goodie Mob infusing ATL's slang, dress code and rhythmic sensibilities into hip-hop music and videos through the years, according to Jermaine Dupri, nobody has made the perfect ode to the Big Peach. So the producer has taken the task upon himself.

"This is the first theme song Atlanta ever had," Jermaine said of "Welcome to Atlanta," his new single featuring Ludacris. For a video shot at various Atlanta landmarks and hot spots - including Club 112 and the Cheshire Bridge - Dupri arranged for cameos by celebrity locals ranging from former Atlanta Hawks all-star Dominique Wilkins and boxer Evander Holyfield to artists Usher, Monica, Too Short and the aforementioned MCs.

"This is gonna be the official jump-off theme song where the whole city is involved," he said. "I don't talk about nothing but what's going on in Atlanta, how I do it out here, what used to go on in my life down here."

Dupri's life nowadays is chaotic. With the goal of launching a So So Def tour early next year, he wants to make sure the members of his camp all have albums out no later than February. He's wrapping up work on Lil' Bow Wow's next LP, continuing his work on Da Brat's next album and starting on projects from newcomers ROC and Tigah. Not to mention he's trying to lock down Bubba Sparxxx and Beenie Man for a remix of Jagged Edge's "Goodbye" and he's overseeing Monica's next disc.

Spending all that time on other's people's albums, he's had barley enough time to breathe, let alone worry about his own LP, Instructions, which hits stores Tuesday.

"I do focus and I don't," Dupri said of his album. "I ain't gonna pay no attention to it after it's out. I'll pay attention to my record right now. After that, ain't nothin' much I could do except continue to promote it, pray and hope everybody likes the album."

And hope that Michael Jackson's Invincible, released the same day, doesn't live up to its title?

"He don't really scare me," Dupri said of his idol. "He ain't on the radio as much as I am. If you want people to know about you, then come out on the most popular day in record stores. October 30 should be one of the biggest days in record history because [of] Michael Jackson's new album. A lot of people are gonna be in the store and happen to see this rap guy by the name of Jermaine Dupri. I'm sure I got at least 100,000 fans out there."

Some of those fans as well as people at his label's distributor, Sony Music, were taken aback by Instructions' proposed first single, "Hate Blood," which features Jadakiss and Freeway. After saying in August how excited he was about shooting a big-budget, high-concept video for the cut, he later was swayed to go in a different direction and put out a video for "Ballin' Out of Control."

"A lot of people were thrown by 'Hate Blood' because it was a rougher-type record than everybody is used to me doing," J.D. said. "It's interesting because when I don't do the bling bling, people act like they miss it. When I do it too much, people act like, 'Jermaine, don't you think people get tired of that sh--?' I don't know if people want me to do it or not."

J.D. said he knows what the people want of his close friend Da Brat on her new album - sexy party songs.

"We're just picking it up from where we left off," Dupri said. "The interesting thing with Da Brat is that she don't want to be a commercial artist, but [on] the last record (2000's Restricted) we basically found a home for Da Brat with 'That's What I'm Looking For' and 'What'chu Like.' Those type of records."

He's taking a slower-paced approach with Monica.

"We did a ballad last week," Dupri said. "I'm having a lot of success with Jagged [Edge's 'Goodbye'] and Usher's 'U Got It Bad.' I figured I'd shoot down that road one more time with Monica. I'm the executive producer of the record - I have to make sure we got the right [songs]."

Which means pulling out all stops, right from the start.

"When she comes out, it's important that she comes out with a record that really shocks and amazes people," he said. "When you've been gone for a long time, you just can't get back in trenches and come with something regular, then come with your best down the line. You gotta come with the 'Oh sh--, I like that!'

"This time she wants to talk about a lot of things in her life," Dupri continued. "You will see a change. She's been like the little girl of R&B so much. She's been in a lot of relationships. I'm trying to put some of these situations in her records."

- By Shaheem Reid


DMX, Diddy, Busta Rock Philly; Beanie/Jada Beef Takes Center Stage

While DMX, P. Diddy and Busta Rhymes headlined radio station Power 99 (WUSL-FM)'s annual star-saturated concert, PowerHouse, on Friday, neither dog nor dancing machine nor dread could overshadow the drama surrounding the apparently ceaseless feud between Jadakiss and local hero Beanie Sigel.

Jada - who had been involved in a war of words with Beanie earlier this summer, then later disclosed the friction was over  - took to the First Union Center stage after sets by Mr. Cheeks, Fabolous and Noreaga. Jadakiss' set started off without a hitch as he rocked the crowd with cuts such as "Show Discipline" and "Dirty Riders," which featured an appearance by Fiend.

"I'm curious," he said after the song was over. "Do y'all still got love for me?" After being answered with mostly cheers, he performed "Knock Yourself Out." "Check this out, ma," he rapped, with the crowd finishing his rhyme: "I'm running out of my patience!"

It was all good for the Yonkers, New York, MC until he decided to reference Philly's hip-hop ambassador. "Send Sigel a message that I'm ridin' again," he said in a freestyle that ignited jeers. Almost immediately after the line, the spectators started booing, with many throwing water bottles, paper and glow sticks.

Though Kiss' words were inaudible, he stood his ground like a villainous wrestler trying to get a rise out the crowd, continuing with the rap and going on to perform "We Gonna Make It" before exiting the stage.

A surprise appearance from Beanie Sigel, who was not on the bill, would come after Busta Rhymes' set. The dreadlocked rhyme-thrower, accompanied by his hypeman Spliff Starr, set things off with his verse from M.O.P.'s "Ante Up (Remix)." Busta then previewed some of Genesis, scheduled for a November 27 release, with the frenzied "As I Come Back" and the jazzy "Everybody Rise."

Now it was time for the hits. With his voice often fluctuating from a roar to whisper, Busta launched into a flurry of his most famous tunes, including "Tear Da Roof Off," "Everything Remains Raw" and the Leaders of the New School's "Case of the P.T.A."

"Let's keep it at the same pace," Busta commanded after a rapid-fire rendition of "Gimme Some More," going into his current single, "Break Your Neck." Legs bent, he stood bouncing, arms flailing, banging his head like a punk rocker as he encouraged the crowd: "Break your neck!" The banging didn't stop there, as he and Spliff sat down at the tip of the stage, playing imaginary bongos as the beat for "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See" kicked in.

During his set, Bussa Buss seemed most amped to perform his newest material. He closed with two straight performances of "What It Is," switching up the chorus a little to "Philly/ What it is right now."

The next act, P. Diddy, came out with an expected bit of pageantry: he was silhouetted against a white curtain by a huge light. "Philly, make some noise!" he exclaimed before commencing his stage time with his verse from Usher's "I Don't Know."

Dressed in a purple leather jacket, a Stephon Marbury Phoenix Suns home jersey, and purple leather pants, he took a break from performing to bring out Beanie Sigel, who bounced to the beat of Jay-Z's "Takeover" with the crowd chanting "Beanie, Beanie, Beanie." He then sought retribution on Jadakiss.

"Give a n---a 80 bars and he's still talking?" Beans rhymed over the beat before telling the DJ he wanted to spit without music. He must have danced a little too much earlier, though - he was out of breath, but he persisted through his verse. "He's a bitch without the pocketbook and wig," he ferociously declared, ending with "I'm a made man, you couldn't bake a Bean in Boston."

Beanie wasn't Diddy's only guest. He brought out Loon, Mark Curry, G. Dep and Black Rob - all dressed in Marbury home jerseys - who assisted on songs such as "Been Around the World," "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down" and "Let's Get It."

Faith, who performed her own set of cuts earlier, made the most heartfelt cameo in Diddy's set during "I'll Be Missing You." Before the song, Diddy let the crowd know how much love he and the Notorious B.I.G. had for Philly and said he was concerned about the hip-hop community and the rest of the country in these turbulent times. He dedicated the performance of "I'll Be Missing You" to everybody lost in the events of September 11 and to the Notorious B.I.G.

DMX, whose The Great Depression dropped on Tuesday, wasted no time - he started into "We Right Here" the instant he ran onstage. With his eyes closed, standing at an angle, X barked through a medley of "What's My Name," "Get at Me Dog" and his verses from "Pull It," his duet with Cam'ron, and LL Cool J's "4, 3, 2, 1."

Grimy as he is, Dark Man is still a heartthrob. Submitting to ladies' orders to take his shirt off, X stripped down to his bare chest and made them swoon. The First Union Center stayed revved up as he went from the bedroom ("It's All Good") to the streets ("Ruff Ryders Anthem" and "Who We Be") to the club ("Party Up").

As with all his shows, X ended on a sobering note with a reflective prayer. "Father God, I am just learning how to pray, so bear with me," he said. "... Guess what I'm asking is, show me how to stand for you/ And I will rap for you, sing for you, preach for you, teach for you, reach for you/ I will love you like you love me, unconditionally."

- By Shaheem Reid


October 30, 2001

Ice Cube, Xzibit Join Gangsta-Rap Vet The D.O.C. On Latest Solo LP

It's been 13 years since the D.O.C. became one of rap's most acclaimed lyricists, ghostwriting for Eazy-E on Eazy-Duz-It and later penning rhymes for Eazy and Dr. Dre on N.W.A's N---az4life. The D.O.C. then got help from his mentor Dre on his groundbreaking debut, No One Can Do It Better, in 1989. Today the D.O.C. believes that album's title is still the case.

"If you've been listening to rap music the last 10 years, you've been listening to me," he said Wednesday.

For example, last year Shyne's "That's Gangsta" featured the track that helped make the D.O.C.'s "It's Funky Enough" a hit in 1989.

"I was quite honored that the young cat called me and invited me to come to New York City to be a part of his [video for the song]," he said of Shyne. "That showed he had a lot of respect for the guy who put it down on that instrumental before he did. I hate the f---ing position he got caught up in. I wish him all the best."

The D.O.C., who's been appearing on and writing on all of Dr. Dre's albums, said he still feels his best days are ahead of him. He's getting ready to release his "real" second album (he's apparently not too fond of his 1996 release, Helter Skelter) early next year, titled Deuce.

"I'm used to being on top when I do what I do. ... If I can't be on the team that's #1, I'm 'a try to figure out something else. I have a very competitive nature."

Lately the D.O.C. - who's been uncomfortable with his voice ever since suffering a crushed larynx in a 1989 car accident - has been playing general manager. The past couple of years he's been assembling a squad of hungry young MCs from Texas to team up with in the studio. His #1 draft pick was Six-Two, who also appeared on the Dr. Dre 2001 LP.

"I met this young boy, Six-Two. He had all the elements I had," the D.O.C. said. "Then I found another guy around the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, area, and things started to come together."

The D.O.C went from GM to coach when putting together Deuce, which features production by his camp as well as Organized Noise and Jazze Pha with his crew.

"I'm the guy that cusses everybody out if your sh-- is wack," he said. "I wouldn't care if you were Quincy Jones. [The album] is dirty, it's [reminiscent] of the old N.W.A days when n---as didn't give a f---. I haven't found all the other pieces I need, so I had to go back to my friends on the West Coast to make the formula complete."

MC Ren, Ice Cube and Xzibit will appear on Deuce, and Nate Dogg has recorded a track that may also make the cut.

Whether the album, which will be issued by his own Silverback Entertainment label, is a sales success doesn't cause any anxiety for the legendary MC. He's finding salvation with his music.

"I wanted to let God and everybody else know I understand the mistakes I made, and I'd like to do good by them mistakes."

One of his painful miscues was taking his early success for granted and not counting his blessings.

"You don't play with God like that," he said. "He will sit you down [and say], 'I gave you enough time to talk, I gave you a hell of a voice to talk with, but you don't seem to understand. Let me just pull you back and sit you down - you're gonna spend these next 10 years learning.'"

After the D.O.C.'s car accident his life went into a downward spiral. His once distinct baritone was shattered into a raspy whisper. He had to deal with his career being in limbo and the possibility of it ending for good.

"It was the hardest thing I ever had to deal with in my life," he said. "It had me doing things that weren't me. A lot of excess drinking, experimenting with a lot of drugs. It took nine, maybe 10 years before I could see light at the end of the tunnel."

Now he's ready to remind people who may have forgotten him. "I'm damn near better than I used to be. When they said, 'No one can do it better' on that record, they were not playing, man."

- By Shaheem Reid


Snoop Taunts Cops, Missy Elliott Strips, Tool Host Circus Act At Voodoo Fest

Snoop Dogg could have had his mind on any number of things Saturday evening when he took the stage at the third annual Voodoo Music Festival in New Orleans' City Park. He could have had his mind on his money, certainly. It could have been on Kate Hudson or Tool vocalist Maynard James Keenan, who were standing at the side of the stage during the show. It could have been on the row of law enforcement officials occupying the media photo pit. The one thing that Snoop's mind was definitely on, though, was the time.

Taking the stage at approximately 5:15 p.m., right around the time he was supposed to be finishing his set, Snoop wasn't about to let a 45-minute delay due to a broken turntable deny his fans for even a minute. Rather, he eased his way through popular numbers like "Murder Was the Case," "Gin and Juice" and his tweaked take on the Doug E. Fresh and the Get Fresh Crew classic "La Di Da Di."

His interaction with the crowd was second only to Missy Elliott, who had the stage before him and who, followed by security and police, not only took a detour off the stage into the ecstatic crowd, but was big on giving away personal souvenirs. She got her own freak on by throwing her shoes out to fans, saying "Y'all can have my socks, too, 'cuz they're dirty." She then started taking apart the patriotic red, white and blue leather-decorated denim outfit she was wearing, handing off a jean jacket vest to one fan (who eventually had the good fortune of having it signed), then cutting off the matching leather bottoms of her jeans, too. Not to be completely outdone, Snoop had posters for his new movie "Bones," T-shirts and CDs flying over fans' heads. Fearlessly leading the crowd in a chant of "F--- the police," one of Snoop's crew handed a female officer a promo copy of the movie soundtrack, and she was happy to get it.

When he got the signal that his time was up, Snoop addressed the crowd. "They said five minutes. They can just wait 'til we finish. If someone comes to take me off, who's gonna come up here and kick their ass?" The predominantly white audience didn't hesitate to show the mellow rapper that they'd have his back.

Event organizers tried decreasing equipment change times, but by the time the next act, Atlanta rockers Gov't Mule, hit the stage, the damage had been done. Less than half the crowd remained and part-time bass player Dave Schools had only 30 minutes to play before heading to his full-time job with Widespread Panic, who were concurrently playing a three-night run at UNO Lakefront Arena. Luckily the band had flown in fellow part-timer Oteil Burbridge of the Allman Brothers Band as a surprise guest. He ended up taking Schools' place for that last half-hour. In the end, the Black Crowes were the ones who ended up with the short end of the schedule stick. Restricted to about 45 minutes from an hour and a half due to the city's curfew laws, the band played twice as hard (but not "Twice as Hard") in half the time to compensate. Gov't Mule singer/guitarist Warren Haynes joined the group for its finale, "Oh Well."

Meanwhile, with a five to 10-minute walk (depending on traffic), a Voodoo Village marketplace and a tree-lined lagoon between them, the second main stage hosted some very different performers.

One of the last acts added to the lineup, Bush's rare appearance - one of only four in the United States of late - was a feast for the packed audience. The set list featured only a couple of songs from their new album, Golden State,, including the first single, "The People That We Love." The band primarily stuck to crowd-pleasers like "Glycerine," "Chemicals Between Us," "Little Things" and "Everything Zen," which inspired a nearly deafening call and response between singer Gavin Rossdale and the crowd of "No sex!"

While they were eating up the enthusiasm, Rossdale was forced to ask the fans to take two steps back. "Everyone's so packed together it's a beautiful thing, but down in front it's f---ing things up." The sentiment would soon be repeated by a crew member as the stage was being set for Tool.

Tool brought their entire production to the stage and put on a two-hour show that fell completely in line with what fans had been seeing in the band's arena sets. Among those features were the twisted, disturbing video accompaniment the band had been using on its last tour, including the full-length video for its latest single, "Schism," and a circus-like pre-encore performance by a seemingly nude couple. (No one was able to get close enough to see for sure, and with a "no photos/no journalists" policy in strict effect, nobody could get close enough to ask, either.)

Keenan also asked the crowd to move back, fearing for the safety of those up front after only the opening song, "The Grudge," and the Aenima-era interlude "(-) Ions." With neon blue on his finger tips, the area around his eyes, nose and mouth spookily blacked out and a gradual stripping of layers - shoes, socks, shirts - the barefoot and bare-chested frontman who hates to be up front quietly got into the Voodoo vibe.

- By Robin Rothman


October 29, 2001

Method Man & Redman Video Mimics Their Movie High Jinks

Clip for 'Part 2,' like their movie 'How High,' features duo causing chaos on a college campus. Keeping with the pot, er, um, plot of their upcoming film "How High," Redman and Method Man caused chaos on a college campus last weekend during a video shoot for "Part 2."

"It's a fish-out-of-water tale," Method Man said Saturday of their big-screen comedy. "You have these two guys, Silas and Jamal. One is a street scientist, he makes his own plants. The other lives with his momma."

Silas invents some mean green - marijuana, that is. It enhances the duo's brainpower, and the mayhem starts when they apply to and get accepted into Harvard. Unfortunately, the effects of the stimulus wear off during the school year.

The "Part 2" video, shot by Chris Robinson at a community college in Brooklyn, captures some of the MCs' antics, like getting pulled over by campus police because of smoke coming from their car (and the billows have nothing to do with a faulty tailpipe).

The song was produced by Erick Sermon and features Toni Braxton singing on the chorus. "She was in the studio," Redman said. "We was like, 'Wow, Toni Braxton,' she was like, 'Wow, Red and Meth,' and we put her on there."

They also put Cypress Hill on the movie's soundtrack on the posse cut "Cisco Kid." Meanwhile, newcomer Jonell sings on a remix of "Round & Round," which was originally on Hi-Tek's solo debut, Hi-Teknology. The majority of the album features the greatest hits of Red and Meth as a duo and as solo acts, like "Da Rockwilder," "Bring the Pain" and "All I Need."

"How High," which also stars Lark Voorhies ("Saved by the Bell") and Mike Epps ("Next Friday"), hits theaters on December 26. The soundtrack comes out December 11.

"How High" soundtrack's track listing, according to Def Jam:

  • "Part 2" - Method Man & Redman
  • "Round & Round (remix)"- Jonell & Method Man
  • "Cisco Kid" - Method Man & Redman featuring War and Cypress Hill
  • "America's Most" - Method Man & Redman
  • "Let's Do It" - Method Man & Redman
  • "We Don't No How 2 Act" - Redman
  • "N 2 Gether Now" - Limp Bizkit featuring Method Man
  • "Party Up" - DMX
  • "What's Your Fantasy" - Ludacris featuring Shawna
  • "Da Rockwilder" - Method Man & Redman
  • "Bring the Pain" - Method Man
  • "How to Roll a Blunt" - Redman
  • "All I Need" - Method Man featuring Mary J. Blige
  • "Big Dogs" - Method Man & Redman
  • "How High" - Method Man & Redman

- By Shaheem Reid


Prince Makes Rainbow Connection On New Album

Race, religion covered on The Rainbow Children, due November 30, downloadable Wednesday. After making a name (or symbol) for himself by singing about Corvettes and cream, Prince will once again use his royal platform to tackle more serious subjects, namely religion and race.

The Minneapolis singer hopes The Rainbow Children will be less a typical pop album and more a conversation starter, according to his spokesperson.

The album - "Last December" and "The Everlasting Now" in particular - hints at Prince's religious beliefs. The latter track, for example, asserts that, "Accurate knowledge of Christ and the Father will bring the everlasting now."

Although The Rainbow Children, which follows 1999's Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic, is due in stores November 20 on his label (distributed by Red Line Entertainment), members of Prince's NPG Music Club can download it beginning Wednesday.

Premium membership in the NPG Music Club (www.npgmusicclub) also includes tickets to Prince concerts and parties.

Prince released one track from the record, "The Work - Pt. 1," on Napster in April. His spokesperson said a radio single from The Rainbow Children has yet to be selected.

The Rainbow Children track list, according to Prince's spokesperson:

  • "Rainbow Children"
  • "Muse 2 the Pharaoh"
  • "Digital Garden"
  • "The Work - Pt. 1"
  • "Everywhere"
  • "The Sensual Everafter"
  • "Mellow"
  • "1+1+1 Is 3"
  • "Deconstruction"
  • "Wedding Feast"
  • "She Loves Me 4 Me"
  • "Family Name"
  • "The Everlasting Now"
  • "Last December"

- By Corey Moss


October 25, 2001

DMX Denied Permit To Bring Hoodstock To New York

One of rap's top dogs was muzzled this week in his own backyard. New York City officials denied DMX a permit to bring his Hoodstock tour to his hometown for a Monday or Tuesday show due to "security reasons," according to a spokesperson for Def Jam, his label.

DMX has been on tour since October 12 to promote The Great Depression, which dropped Tuesday. He has thrown a free outdoor concert at each stop along the way, rapping for winners of radio station-sponsored contests from atop an 18-wheel flatbed truck.

The Department of Parks and Recreation, which denied the permit, could not be reached for comment at press time.

DMX performed the single "Who We Be" Tuesday afternoon on MTV's "TRL." A few hours after the show, he planted his paws in Harlem to sign autographs at an HMV record store.

"X is the man," said 29-year-old Harlem resident Rafael Rodriquez, who brought his "wifey" and two preteen daughters to meet X. "My family loves him. To have prayers on every album is real right there. That touches the parents that don't even like rap."

Rodriquez has no qualms about letting his kids hear X's raw raps. "I don't have the albums without the curses, so they have to listen to them," he explained. "I'd rather they listen to it with me than with anybody else."

Eighteen-year-old Nikeyna Henry of Antigua is old enough to bypass parental advisories. "DMX isn't like any other rapper who talks about hos, money and cars," she said while waiting on line. "I cannot relate to hos, money and cars, but I can relate to his style. Meeting him is a dream come true. I don't know if I'm gonna cry or what."

Some of X's fans cried hysterically while meeting their hero. With The Great Depression playing loudly throughout the store, fans ascended stairs up to a small stage where DMX sat and signed album covers, posters, T-shirts and other paraphernalia.

One woman was so moved by being in the presence of the Yonkers, New York, native that she fell to the ground in tears, overturning Snapple bottles on X's table during her plummet. The dog stayed all smiles, however. "Bring her back, bring her back," he said to members of his entourage as they helped her away. X gave her a hug, demonstrating once again that a dog is a fan's best friend.

"He must have know I been here for a long time," 27-year-old Bronx resident Neosom Thomas said. He'd arrived at HMV five hours before the signing began. "They said 'no pictures' but he let me take a picture. I told him I loved him. He said, 'Thanks a lot, dog.'"

"This is a blessing," DMX said with a smile to longtime collaborator Dame Grease. "This is what it's all about."

DMX performs in Philadelphia on Friday. Rather than rap outdoors, he'll perform his Hoodstock set onstage as part of radio station Power 99's Powerhouse concert. P. Diddy, Fabolous, Busta Rhymes, Bubba Sparxxx, Mr. Cheeks, Noreaga and Jadakiss are also on the bill, according to the station.

- By Shaheem Reid


Brian McKnight Tours With Tyrese

Superhero Brian McKnight has found a sidekick in Tyrese, who'll open up for him when his tour kicks off in Seattle on Wednesday (October 24).

The outing, which was originally set to start on September 19, was rescheduled after the events of September 11, according to a spokesperson for McKnight's label. McKnight's album, Superhero, featuring duets with Justin Timberlake, Nate Dogg and gospel superstar Fred Hammond, was released on August 28.

Tyrese, who just signed to Clive Davis' J Records, is still promoting his latest RCA release, 2000 Watts, which came out in May.

Brian McKnight/Tyrese tour dates, according to Tyrese's publicist:

  • 10/24 - Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theatre
  • 10/26 - Oakland, CA @ Paramount Theatre
  • 10/27 - Oakland, CA @ Paramount Theatre
  • 10/28 - Universal City, CA @ Universal Amphitheatre
  • 11/1 - San Diego, CA @ Copley Symphony Hall
  • 11/4 - Phoenix, AZ @ Celebrity Theatre
  • 11/7 - Denver, CO @ Paramount Theatre
  • 11/9 - Houston, TX @ Aerial Theatre at Bayou Place
  • 11/10 - Dallas, TX @ Bronco Bowl
  • 11/11 - New Orleans, LA @ Saenger Theatre
  • 11/13 - Birmingham, AL @ Boutwell Auditorium
  • 11/16 - Atlanta, GA @ Atlanta Civic Center Theatre
  • 11/17 - St. Louis, MO @ Fox Theatre
  • 11/18 - Kansas City, MO @ Midland Theatre
  • 11/21 - Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre
  • 11/23 - Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre
  • 11/24 - Columbus, OH @ Palace Theatre
  • 11/25 - Cleveland, OH @ Cleveland Music Hall
  • 11/29 - Washington, DC @ DAR Constitution Hall
  • 11/30 - Norfolk, VA @ Chrysler Hall
  • 12/1 - Upper Darby, PA @ Tower Theatre
  • 12/2 - Boston, MA @ Orpheum Theatre
  • 12/6 - Greensboro, NC @ Events Center
  • 12/7 - Myrtle Beach, SC @ House of Blues
  • 12/8 - Lake Buena Vista, FL @ House of Blues
  • 12/9 - Sunrise, FL @ Sunrise Musical Theatre

- By Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen


October 24, 2001

James Brown's Ex-Security Chief Sentenced

A former security chief for James Brown pleaded guilty to forgery, property damage, and stealing $75,000 from the singer. Richmond County (Ga.) Superior Court Judge Albert M. Pickett sentenced Richard Glenn to 15 years on Friday. Prior convictions make him ineligible for parole.

Glenn was arrested in May 2000 after a fire destroyed a business office for James Brown Enterprises. He initially faced a charge of arson but that was reduced to criminal damage to property.

Damages to the building and furnishings totaled about $400,000, but master tapes of never-released recordings that also were destroyed in the fire were estimated to be worth $1 million, Assistant District Attorney Bobby Christine said.

Attorneys told the judge that Brown had asked for leniency because he still cares deeply for Glenn.


Mariah Carey Lights 'Matches' For 'Ally McBeal' Role

Even fabulously big superstars like Mariah Carey need the help of a dating service ... if you can believe what you see on TV.

In "Playing With Matches," an upcoming episode of the Fox TV show "Ally McBeal," Carey will play the client of a matchmaking business who testifies at the company's trial.

The singer will also take the stage at McBeal's nightclub hangout to perform "Lead the Way," according to a representative for David E. Kelley, the show's creator. The song is featured on the soundtrack to Carey's big-screen venture, "Glitter."

Carey, who follows in the guest-role footsteps of Elton John, Sting and Chubby Checker on the show, will shoot her part in Los Angeles this week.

Set to air January 7, "Playing With Matches" will also mark the debut of Jon Bon Jovi in a recurring role as a potential love interest for McBeal.

- By Teri vanHorn, with additional reporting by Jon Wiederhorn


October 23, 2001

Ludacris Moufs Off

Rapper wraps follow-up to last year's breakthrough. Ludacris' life was forever changed with last year's 2.7-million-selling Back for the First Time, and the Atlanta rapper is ready to celebrate with the follow-up album, Word of Mouf, due out November 6th. But Ludacris isn't about to forget the long struggle that got him here. The track "Cold Outside," he says, was written with that idea in mind.

"No matter how much money I ever get," says Ludacris, "I'm going to want to provide for my family and never have to go back to really struggling. You don't ever want to go outside, you don't ever want to be left in the cold. You want to be safe."

Recorded at studios in Atlanta, New York and Los Angeles during breaks from touring, the album also features Timbaland, Mystikal and Nate Dogg. The tracks include the rowdy "Move Bitch" and the uptempo "Saturday," with party lyrics that Ludacris compares to Ice Cube's classic "It Was a Good Day."

"It's about what people do on their best days, whether it's getting their car washed, smoking weed, going to a club and wildin' out, drinking alcohol, chillin' with their friends and families," says the rapper, who also has a small role in the upcoming film The Wash, starring Dr. Dre and Eminem. "My work is like my vacation, so in a way every day is like Saturday."

- By Steve Appleford


LL Cool J, U2's Edge, More Join 'What's Going On' Project

Brian Eno, Neptunes, Fabolous, Noreaga also sign on for fund-raising remakes. More producers have hopped aboard Bono's "What's Going On" benefit project, and they've brought artists from their respective musical worlds along with them.

A Neptunes-produced hip-hop mix and a Brian Eno-produced British rock mix will be among the nine versions available when the Marvin Gaye remake is released October 30.

The Neptunes recruited LL Cool J, Fabolous, Da Brat, Mobb Deep, Noreaga, Royce Da 5'9", Queen Latifah, Sonja Blade and Angie Martinez for their "This One's for You Mix."

Bono, his U2 bandmate the Edge, and Coldplay singer Chris Martin are featured on the "London Version" by venerable producer/performer Eno, whose past clients include U2 and David Bowie.

Other mixes include the "Pop Rox Mix" by Mike Mangini (Extreme, Baha Men), along with previously announced dance remixes by Moby and Junior Vasquez, a rock mix produced by Fred Durst, an R&B mix by Jermaine Dupri, and a pop mix by Mick G (Christina Aguilera, 'NSYNC).

The original all-star remake, produced by Dupri, includes Christina Aguilera, Backstreet Boys, Mary J. Blige, Destiny's Child, Eve, Nelly Furtado, Nona Gaye, Savage Garden's Darren Hayes, Ja Rule, Alicia Keys, Staind's Aaron Lewis, Jennifer Lopez, Nas, Nelly, 'NSYNC, P. Diddy, Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani and Michael Stipe.

The Roots' ?uestlove and Wyclef Jean play drums and guitar, respectively, on Dupri's original and R&B versions.

Proceeds from the single will be divided between the original cause of the Global AIDS Alliance and the United Way's September 11th Fund.

Leigh Blake, founder of Artists Against AIDS Worldwide, organized the "What's Going On" project with Bono.

AAAW is dedicated to raising funds and awareness to stop the spread of AIDS, especially in Africa, Blake said recently. The organization's goals include making anti-AIDS drugs cheaper and more available to the poor in Africa, giving debt relief to the poorest affected countries, and encouraging rich nations to donate to the international fight against AIDS.

Specifically, the organization has asked President Bush and the U.S. Congress to implement a $1 billion emergency supplemental appropriation to the Global AIDS Alliance on or before World AIDS Day, December 1.

The Global AIDS Alliance is asking music fans to call or write the president or their congressional representatives to encourage them to implement the bill. More information is available at www.globalaidsalliance.com. AAAW's official Web site, www.aaaw.org, launches Tuesday and will also have information about the fight against AIDS.

- By Corey Moss


October 19, 2001

Cash Money Goes To Hollywood With 'True To The Game'

The people who head Cash Money Records announced Wednesday that they have another outlet with which to make their much-bragged-about millions - they're going from the 'hood to Hollywood with a film division called Cash Money Pictures.

Cash Money CEOs Ronald "Slim" Williams and his brother Bryan "Baby" Williams will serve as executive producers of the company's films, and Charles S. Dutton, best known for playing the title role in the television series "Roc," has been hired to consult on their projects.

The brothers, whose label's artists claim to be hip-hop's biggest ballas, won't be spending too much of that Bentley and platinum-teeth money. They say they're only going to shell out between $3 million and $5 million for each of the three to five theatrical releases they plan to make each year.

Tyger Williams, who wrote the screenplay for "Menace II Society," has adapted Teri Woods' 1999 novel, "True to the Game," for Cash Money Pictures' first project. Native Pictures Productions, which is behind the upcoming Redman and Method Man comedy, "How High," will also produce the flick.

According to Cash Money, the Williams siblings are still searching for a cast and director for "True to the Game," though they plan to commence shooting within the next couple of months in New York and Philadelphia.

"True to the Game" centers around a group of women in the late '80s who date some notorious drug dealers.

" 'True to the Game' is an exciting page-turner about love and the choices people make that will transfer perfectly to the big screen," Ronald Williams said in a statement. "We are confident that this film will be an impressive debut."

There has not been an announcement as to who will distribute the company's movies.

Cash Money released the straight-to-video flick "Baller Blockin' " last year. That starred their record company roster members the Hot Boys and Big Tymers. The soundtrack spawned the hit "Project Bitch."

One of the label's newest additions, Mack 10, will release his fifth album, Bang or Ball, on December 4.

- By Shaheem Reid


Snoop Dogg Busted For Marijuana Possession

Snoop Dogg was charged with marijuana possession after state troopers stopped his tour bus in Amherst, Ohio, Wednesday.

Officers pulled over Snoop's two tour buses for speeding on I-90 west of Cleveland Wednesday afternoon, and smelled "burnt marijuana" on the rapper's bus, according to a statement from the Ohio State Highway Patrol. With the help of a drug-sniffing dog, they found six bags of marijuana weighing about 200 grams in the bus' cargo area, the statement said.

Snoop (real name Calvin Broadus) was charged with criminal possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor that carries a maximum $100 fine, and possession of drug paraphernalia, which could bring up to $250 in fines and 30 days in jail. Representatives for Snoop Dogg were unavailable for comment.

Two other passengers were charged with similar crimes. All were released, and no court date has been set.

- By Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen


October 18, 2001

Jay-Z Pleads Guilty To Stabbing, Faces Three Years' Probation

Jay-Z pleaded guilty Wednesday morning to stabbing record producer Lance "Un" Rivera in December 1999 and is expected to be sentenced to probation.

He faces up to three years' probation for the third-degree assault charge, according to a spokesperson for the Manhattan district attorney's office.

The incident took place December 2, 1999, at the Kit Kat Club on West 43rd Street in Manhattan, at a listening party for Q-Tip's solo album Amplified. Jay-Z, who had performed earlier that night at a separate party for his own then-new album, The Life and Times of S. Carter, had denied any wrongdoing from the start.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for December 6.

Defense attorney Murray Richman had no additional comment, and prosecutor Joan Illuzi-Orbon didn't return calls by press time. Spokespeople at Island Def Jam and Roc-A-Fella, the label Jay-Z co-founded with Damon Dash, couldn't comment by press time, and a spokesperson for Rivera's label, Untertainment, did not return calls.

Before the plea, Jay-Z faced up to 15 years in jail on charges of felony assault in the second degree if found guilty at trial.

Rivera had drafted a civil suit against Jay-Z following his arrest but didn't file it after they settled the matter out of court for between $500,000 to $1 million, according to the Associated Press.

The criminal case had been rescheduled numerous times since Jay-Z's arrest on December 3, 1999.

A day before the guilty plea, a separate gun-possession charge against Jay-Z was dropped, according to a Manhattan district attorney spokesperson. The rap star, bodyguard Hamza Hewitt and two other men were arrested April 13 when New York police found a loaded .40-caliber Glock in Hewitt's waistband.

Hewitt admitted sole ownership of the firearm, and Judge Charles Solomon dismissed the charges against the other three men. Hewitt will be sentenced for criminal possession of a weapon on December 4.

Jay-Z's latest album, The Blueprint, will be #4 on next week's Billboard 200 albums chart, according to SoundScan figures released Wednesday (October 17). It has sold more than 1.1 million copies since its release five weeks ago.

- By Joe D'Angelo


Michael Jackson To Join Jay-Z On 'Girls' Remix

Jay-Z and Michael Jackson won't stop 'til they get enough (remixes).  Since Jigga rhymed on a hip-hop version of the Gloved One's single "You Rock My World," Jackson plans to return the favor by singing the hook on a "Girls, Girls, Girls" remix.

"My mom likes it because she gets to see how successful her son is. 'You're working with Michael Jackson, you must be all right; you must be pretty good,' " Jay-Z said while lounging in a Beverly Hills hotel suite Saturday. He had just returned from working on the track at a nearby studio.

The "Girls, Girls, Girls" remix, produced by Kanye West, will be released around Christmas, Jay said.

The Jay-Z/Jackson alliance became public when the rapper brought M.J. onstage during a Long Island, New York, festival concert last summer. "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)," the first single from Jay-Z's recent The Blueprint, samples the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back."

Jay said he and Jackson haven't discussed shooting videos together but said he's open to the possibility. "I'm working on my dance moves, so we'll see. No, I'm joking - no dancing. I have rhythm, but I'm cool to leave that to Mike."

The Roc-A-Fella clique was in Los Angeles to wrap up Jay's Blueprint Lounge tour Saturday at the House of Blues. The rapper opened every show on the trek with a freestyle about the September 11 attacks; one of his live raps appears on DJ Clue's mix album, Stadium Series Pt. 3.

Jay said he didn't take any extra security precautions on the tour in response to the attacks. "Faith has to be in the right place," he said. "I'm not gonna walk around every day in fear. It's just not me. It's just not cool.

"We're trying to show strength," he continued. "We're trying to show that we as Americans have to keep moving on and not harp on this. We really got to be strong. We have to keep on moving 'cause if we don't, it's not America, you know what I mean?"

Jay plans to donate money from the sale of Roc-A-Wear shirts and $1 from each ticket sold to relief efforts.

- By Teri vanHorn, with additional reporting by Tina Johnson and Shaheem Reid


October 17, 2001

8Ball Is Tired Of Being Almost Famous

Don't get it twisted, Premro "8Ball" Smith is very grateful to his core audience, largely made up of hip-hop fans in the South. Those fans have helped him and his partner, MJG, accumulate plaques ranging from gold to double-platinum for their group and solo efforts since they came on the scene in 1993.

After eight years of putting in work, getting props from critics and collaborating with peers such as Jadakiss, Redman and the Dungeon Family, though, he just wants to get some love from a broader audience. He doesn't feel he's become a star just yet, hence the name of his fifth solo LP, Almost Famous.

"I ain't just mocking the movie title 'cause it sounded good," 8Ball said Monday from his Houston home. "It is what it is. From my eyes, I'm on the fence. I'm there but I'm not there."

Ball's been working on building up his moniker by putting in work with two of music's most well-known names via Almost Famous' first single, "Stop Playin' Games." P. Diddy chimes in with his vintage ad-libbing on the club-friendly song and Fred Durst directed the video.

" 'Stop Playin' Games' is just one of them terms we be using," Ball nonchalantly explained in his Memphis twang. " 'Be serious about the situations.' It's not a real serious song but you know, 'Stop playing games, stop hating.' For the groupie chicks, stop playing games how they do. It's got a bunch of different meanings."

Ball - who, along with MJG, appeared on "Roll With Me" from P. Diddy's latest album - said he and Diddy have been cool ever since former Bad Boy artist Mase asked him to appear on 1997's Harlem World LP.

"He hollered at me and MJ for his thing, and I hollered at him for this," he said of P.D. "We're usually able to get in contact for things like this."

Fred Durst asked 8Ball to appear, along with E-40, on the Timbaland-produced remix of "Take a Look Around" for the upcoming Limp Bizkit remix album.

"[I'm rhyming about] motherf---ers hatin'," Ball said. "He sent me a copy of the original, I felt the song and I wrote some sh-- that just sounds like it could have been on the original. He let me get in there, do what I wanted to do."

Ball said the vibe with Limp's frontman was so tight that their collaboration "exploded into a whole bunch of different sh--." Durst directed the video for "Stop Playin' Games" on October 10 and 11 at Universal Studios in Los Angeles.

"I don't want people to get me wrong, I'm not a video director," Durst said the day before the shoot. "I direct videos for people who are in my family and people close to me. I became close with 8Ball, he asked me to do his video and I said 'I'd love to do it.'

"He's really dirty and from the South," Durst added. "He just hangs. He has this real raw style. I couldn't think of a concept to go with the song so I decided, why don't we go to the soundstage at the movie studios and film what it's like when you have to [shoot a video]."

"We makin' fun of how hip-hop sh-- is so serious now," Ball said a week after the clip was shot. "Pat O'Brien from 'Access Hollywood,' his scene is actually the funniest part of the video. We got like 100 girls lined up on one of the walls of the studio, and I'm riding past them on a Rolls-Royce golf cart inspecting them. I pull up, and Pat O'Brien jumps out of the line, he's dancing or down South bouncing. Fred jumps up and grabs him.

"One of the more serious scenes, we got a big ass monster truck," he continued. "A big truck where the tires are taller than me. And we got some chicks with some Tennessee Titans cheerleader outfits on and I got a Tennessee Titans jersey on. The [camera] angles are real crazy. We got the [camera on a] crane going all around me."

For his album, Ball said he worked with a mix of newcomers and established stars. Along with Koncrete and Cl'che, who are signed to his independent label, 8 Ways Entertainment, MJG checks in, as do Keith Murray, Ludacris and Carl Thomas. The latter two appear on the songs "Witcha' Lookin Ass" and "Holla Back," respectively.

"It's a mental adventure, a virtual parade," Ball said of the album. "It ain't a whole bunch of dance sh--, a whole bunch of party sh--. It's just me."

Ball said it won't be just him on future albums. He plans to record with MJG again, after his partner's solo project drops in February.

"People love us as a group," he said. "We feel that to not give that up to the people who want that, we'd be trippin'. [Plus] we like working together."

But will people like 8Ball's album enough to propel him to new heights of stardom? Maybe, but he knows he'll stay a favorite with his core following.

"It all depends on the public," Ball said. "I know it's gonna be a hit down South though. I can't speak for nothing else but I know it's gonna be a hit down here."

- By Shaheem Reid, with additional reporting by Ryan Kroft


India.Arie, Mystic, More Touring As 'Sisters'

India.Arie and Mystic have been tapped to headline the Sisters for Hip-Hop & Soul Tour, set to kick off November 8 in Philadelphia.

The outing, presented by MTV2 and Vibe magazine, will also feature DJ Jazzy Joyce and other guests to be announced.

Eleven dates have been announced so far and more are expected, according to a spokesperson for the tour.

India.Arie, fresh from touring with Sade, is promoting her debut album, March's Acoustic Soul. She was nominated for the MTV2 Award at the 2001 VMAs and appears on the new John Mellencamp single, "Peaceful World".

Mystic is also supporting her debut release, Cuts for Luck and Scars for Freedom, released in June.

A portion of the proceeds from the outing will be donated to the United Way's September 11th Fund, which benefits victims and families affected by last month's terrorist attacks. MTV2 will match the money raised by the tour.

Sisters for Hip-Hop & Soul Tour dates, according to a tour spokesperson:

  • 11/8 - Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory
  • 11/9 - New York, NY @ Roseland
  • 11/10 - Washington, DC @ Nation
  • 11/12 - Boston, MA @ Avalon
  • 11/15 - Chicago, IL @ House of Blues
  • 11/17 - Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart's
  • 11/18 - Detroit, MI @ State Theatre
  • 11/19 - St. Louis, MO @ The Pageant
  • 11/21 - Indianapolis, IN @ Egyptian Room
  • 11/24 - Denver, CO @ Fillmore Auditorium
  • 11/28 - Los Angeles, CA @ Wiltern Theatre

- By Corey Moss


October 16, 2001

Timbaland, Magoo Have 'Another Classic' Ready With Jay-Z, Ludacris

Timbaland has been making noise on the CEO/producer side of things lately with the first act off of his Beat Club imprint, Bubba Sparxxx. Next month, the world will finally get to hear more fruits of his labors as an MC.

On November 20, Indecent Proposal, the second LP by Timbaland and his partner in rhyme, Magoo, will finally see the light of day after accumulating dust on the shelf.

"I did it a year ago," Tim said, somewhat flatly, of the album last month. The production impresario, who handled all the work behind the boards for the LP, confided that while he has lost a little enthusiasm for the album, his fans shouldn't.

"It's another classic. Another classic with the beats," said Timbaland, who infused elements of reggae, garage, funk and R&B in the tracks. "It's real good for Magoo, 'cause he shined on it. He's totally different from the last one [1997's Welcome to Our World]. A [180 degree turn] from the last one. He was bustin' on this one."

Aside from Magoo's mic improvement, Tim is also excited about a collaboration he has on the album with Aaliyah called "I Am Music." Before the MTV Video Music Awards in September, he revealed that Beck worked on the song as well. He has since said that a version featuring Beck may not come out.

"The song I have with Aaliyah. ... It's me, really. It's me, Aaliyah and Static from Playa," Timbaland said. "Beck did his verse, but I haven't put it on there because ... I fell in love with how it originally sounded."

"I Am Music" isn't the only project featuring the late R&B songstress that Timbaland plans to let the world hear.

"I've got, like, a couple of songs that aren't even on the album," he said. "I've got a lot of unreleased stuff on Aaliyah. So some of the stuff we'll put out, but it's not gonna be the sad Baby Girl. You can't grieve but so much. The grief can kill you.

"I will not add to my grief by putting a song out about 'How much I love you, how much I miss you' and all that," he explained. "I will put a song out about 'This is the Aaliyah we know.' She was a happy girl." The jovial mood is perpetuated on Indecent Proposal's first official single, "All Y'all." (The party song "Drop" was released to radio earlier this year without a video.) "Live life to the fullest/ Drive cars, eat hot food/ Live in a mansion next to Hanson," Magoo rhymes on the track while Timbaland raps about the love he gets around the world. The pair will shoot a video for the song this week in Miami with director Nick Quested (G. Dep, Trick Daddy).

"It's one huge, long take," Quested said of the clip's concept. "Purely a one-take video. It's gonna focus on every line of the lyrics."

Lyrical king Jay-Z pops up on the song "Party People," as does Chicago motormouth Twista. The two let their lips sprint around Timbaland's radar bleeps and bounce-creating drum taps.

Members of the Beat Club, Petey Pablo and Ludacris all make appearances on the album as well.

Timbaland and Magoo's debut, Welcome to Our World, spawned hits with "Up Jumps Da' Boogie" and the remixes to "Clock Strikes" and "Luv 2 Luv U." A year later Timbaland put out the solo LP Tim's Bio: From the Motion Picture 'Life From Da Bassment,' where he introduced Ludacris to the masses with "Fat Rabbit."

- By Shaheem Reid


Thriller, Other Jackson Albums Reissued With Bonus Tracks

Invincible won't arrive in stores until October 30, but you can still hear a handful of new Michael Jackson songs before then.

Epic Records will re-release remastered versions of Jackson's Thriller and Bad on Tuesday (October 16), according to a label spokesperson. Each album will contain previously unreleased tracks.

Thriller will include a 1981 demo version of "Billie Jean" as well as the debut of "Carousel" and "Someone in the Dark." The latter track was written by Alan and Marilyn Bergman, known for soundtrack hits such as 1973's "The Way We Were," and produced by Rod Temperton, who co-wrote "Thriller" with Quincy Jones. A second spooky "Thriller" verse rapped by Vincent Price will also appear.

Thriller, released in 1982, made Jackson the world's biggest entertainment attraction. It broke the world record for album sales with more than 50 million copies sold, according to Epic.

Bad will add the previously unreleased songs "Street Walker" and "Fly Away," as well as a version of "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" sung by Jackson in Spanish.

Off the Wall and Dangerous will also be re-released Tuesday. The former's bonus material includes demos of "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" and "Working Day and Night," and interviews with producers Quincy Jones and Rod Temperton.

- By Shaheem Reid


October 15, 2001

Destiny's Child, P. Diddy Added To D.C. Benefit Concert

Destiny's Child, Mariah Carey and P. Diddy are among the latest acts added to the lineup of a Washington, D.C., benefit now titled United We Stand - What More Can I Give, the Concert for Washington, D.C., and America.

Usher, Train, the Goo Goo Dolls and Rod Stewart have also been added to the October 21 concert's roster, which already included Michael Jackson, 'NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, Ricky Martin, Aerosmith, Kiss, James Brown and Al Green.

The event will be held at RFK Stadium and will raise funds for the American Red Cross Liberty Relief Fund, the Salvation Army Relief Fund and the Pentagon Relief Fund. Tickets went on sale Friday (October 12) and were nearly sold out at press time.

More artists will be announced, according to a spokesperson for the event. 'NSYNC's Lance Bass said organizers have also contacted Britney Spears, Bruce Springsteen and Matchbox Twenty about performing

- By Corey Moss


Prince Hands Out New Album To Online Members

Prince is further utilizing the power on the online media by offering his new album "The Rainbow Children" exclusively to members of his online community.

The album will be available for download for his NPG Music Club fanbase from this Wednesday.

The Artist had already sampled the first single from the album "The Work Part 1" free to fans via Napster.

Members of the NPG Music Club pay $100 a year and receive preferred seating at ALL Prince concerts as well as VIP passes to all after shows/parties. Club members are also guaranteed 3 new songs ever month as well as the videos and a free one-hour radio show hosted by NPG members including Prince featuring music, commentary and original skits.

The Rainbow Children album is adorned with challenging lyrics like, ``accurate knowledge of Christ and the Father will bring the everlasting now''. According to Prince "The Rainbow Children'' was not created to neatly fit into today's limiting guidelines, but instead was created as a conversation piece that will incite thought, discussion and ultimately revelation among its listeners.

Discover The Rainbow Children at www.therainbowchildren.com

- by Paul Cashmere


October 10, 2001

De La Soul Go Bionic, Write Ode To Ladies' 'Hug Muscles'

MCs are sort of like pro football players - the career span of most isn't expected to be long. Toward that six or seven-year mark, signs of aging start to show and skills diminish.

With a 12-year tenure in the rap game, though, not only can De La Soul boast that they've beaten the odds, but according to group member Posdnuos, their next album, AOI: Bionix (the second in their Art Official Intelligence series), sounds like the trio sipped from the fountain of youth.

"Personally, I know I'm better than what I was," he said last Tuesday. "Certain parts of my early years, creativity meant more than just sharp rhymes. You could just kinda disguise where you lacked by just putting something creative in pocket with a concept. On an MC level, I would rate myself like a seven, and I feel I can get better.

"That's why we subtitled this particular album Bionix - we're trying to play off the whole 'Six Million Dollar Man' joint," he said. "We're just trying to be bigger, better and faster than what we were doing. We're still pretty much in the same vein of what we were doing in the last album, but this album to me is better."

"Baby Phat," featuring Devin the Dude, is the first release off the album, which is due December 4.

" 'Baby Phat' is just a dedication to the large percentage of women in the world who do not get picked to be in videos," he said of the track, which should be released in the next couple of weeks. "They are the everyday real women you talk to. They're doing their thing, they're out here and they got the little inches on the side, the hug muscles.

"That's just the reality, everybody ain't some skinny little anorexic girl in the video," he added. "A brother be talking to his girl and he says, 'Yo baby it ain't like that, it's just a little baby phat, that's all.' "

In addition to Devin, the Grammy and MTV Video Music Award-nominated group has guest spots from Cypress Hill's B-Real, on "Peer Pressure"; the Goodie Mob's Cee-Lo, on "Held Down"; Latin singer Pariquo Fernandez, on "Watch Out"; and one of the album's main beat contributors, Dave West, on "Simply." Slick Rick joins in on the playful tale of chasing the opposite sex, "It's What We Do (For Love)."

"We always wanted to do a joint with the brother. We're fans of hip-hop, so how could we not be fans of Rick?" Pos said. "The track itself has trumpets and harpsichords and was brought to us by Megahertz. I told [De La Soul member] Dave, 'This is really reminiscent of a song you would hear Rick do. We should grab him up.' "

Besides West, the group itself handled most of the production on the LP, which includes the songs "Pawn Star," "Watch Out," "Special," "Am I Worth You," "Trying" and the title track.

De La, who toured last year with Common, Biz Markie, Pharoahe Monch, Hi-Tek, and Talib Kweli, will be rehashing the outing in support of their album starting on October 19 in South Hadley, Massachusetts, and ending November 21 in New York. While their spokesperson said all the dates have been confirmed, some of the venues and cities have yet to be solidified.

"What we're doing right now with it, instead of putting all of us combined on it, we're breaking it up into little series," Pos said. " 'Spitkicker Presents the De La Soul Bionix tour.' We're going to do our dates and follow right up into the early part of the year going into the [Talib] Kweli new album. 'Spitckicker Presents Talib Kweli' and Pharoahe Monch will be with him. Then go into next summer as a whole full-fledged tour, with new people added and people that were down from the beginning."

Spitkicker Tour dates, according to De La Soul's spokesperson:
  • 10/19 - South Hadley, MA @ Mt. Holyoke College
  • 10/27 - Detroit, MI @ Majestic Theater
  • 10/29 - Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
  • 10/30 - Lawrence, KS @ The Granada
  • 11/4 - Anaheim, CA @ The House of Blues
  • 11/5 - West Hollywood, CA @ The House of Blues
  • 11/6 - San Diego, CA @ Belly Up
  • 11/8 - Phoenix, AZ @ Celebrity Theater
  • 11/9 - Las Vegas, NV @ The Rialto
  • 11/10 - Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater
  • 11/11 - Denver, CO @ The Fillmore
  • 11/14 - Dallas, TX @ Gypsy Tea Room
  • 11/15 - Austin, TX @ Stubbs
  • 11/17 - New Orleans, LA @ The House of Blues
  • 11/18 - Atlanta, GA @ The Tabernacle
  • 11/20 - Washington, DC @ The Nation
  • 11/21 - New York, NY @ Hammerstein Ballroom

- By Shaheem Reid


Destiny's Child Confirm Track List For Holiday Album, Shoot Video

Destiny's Child have firmed up the track list for what they hope will be a popular stocking stuffer this holiday, 8 Days of Christmas, due October 30.

The trio frolic around a toy store with a bunch of kids in the video they just completed for the title track, according to group manager Mathew Knowles. Their dolls also appear in the clip, stacked on shelves and ready to be swept up by Christmas shoppers - much as they are in every tot shop in the country.

While the song brings to mind the classic "12 Days of Christmas," Knowles stressed it is "conceptually, musically and lyrically" different thanks to Beyoncé Knowles.

Beyoncé also penned "Winter Paradise," "Spread a Little Love" and album-closer "Opera of the Bells," which features the threesome singing a cappella.

Each of the ladies has her own power ballad, with Michelle Williams singing "O Holy Night," Kelly Rowland crooning "Do You Hear What I Hear?" and Beyoncé belting out "Silent Night". Beyoncé's younger sister, Solange, guests on "Little Drummer Boy."

The album also features a medley of holiday classics, including "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," "Frosty the Snowman," "Jingle Bells," "Holly Jolly Christmas," "Deck the Halls" and an upgraded version of "Silver Bells" titled "Platinum Bells."

8 Days of Christmas track list:

  • 8 Days of Christmas
  • Winter Paradise
  • Destiny's Child Christmas Medley
  • Silent Night
  • Little Drummer Boy
  • Do You Hear What I Hear?
  • White Christmas
  • Platinum Bells
  • O Holy Night
  • Spread a Little Love
  • This Christmas
  • Opera of the Bells

- By Teri vanHorn


October 9, 2001

Lil' Troy, Free From Prison, Is Back To Ballin'

For Lil' Troy, "Wanna Be a Baller" was more than his most popular song. It was his mandate, one that landed him an 18-month stretch in prison as his single and Sittin' Fat Down South album were flying off record-store racks in 1999.

While the album went on to sell more than 1.5 million copies, Troy was incarcerated during its peak after being charged in a drug case. Now free, the Houston rapper and businessman (he releases his albums on his own Short Stop Records) is gearing up for the release of his second album, Back to Ballin'.

Although he was imprisoned as his album outsold the likes of Puff Daddy's Forever, Lil' Troy looks at his situation matter-of-factly rather than bitterly, as you might expect.

"I walked the walk, talked the talk and got caught up in what I believe in," Troy said. "I had to go pay my debt to society. Now that I've paid my debt, I'm back to ballin' again."

Troy expects his "We Gon Lean" single to reestablish him as one of the Lone Star State's premier acts. Houston rapper Lil' Flip and Short Stop artist R-Dis join Troy on the club-ready cut, which is more hyper than much of Houston's other hip-hop.

Unlike some of the songs from Down South, which were culled from 1980s recording sessions, "We Gon Lean" has a decidedly contemporary feel. "I had to make something happen for the new era," Troy said of the songs from his new collection. "My new song, 'We Gon Lean,' it's nothin' like 'Wanna Be a Baller.' I did a whole different concept to show that there's versatility to this here. There's a concept about it, 'Lean to the left, lean to the right,' about giving us some room. We wanted to let them know that I'm back and that they needed to give us some room. Plus, down South, we drink this stuff called Syrup, so we be leaning to the left and to the right all the time, just leaning."

Other tracks sure to make fans lean are second single "Mo Money," the controversial "Lesbian Night" ("The lesbian thing is real big down here in Houston and a lot of other areas I've been in," Troy said), the cautionary "Keep My Name Out Your Mouth" and the chest-thumping "For Years."

Four years could have been the amount of time Troy was in prison. Troy said he funded his music business with drug money, even though he had a late '80s recording contract with eventual Geto Boy and president of Def Jam South, Scarface.

Without a hit, Troy continued working the streets. In 1998, he caught a massive drug case, which was eventually resolved with Troy serving 18 months for the use of a communication device to commit a felony. Down South arrived in stores in March 1999. In November 1999, he went to prison, much to the surprise of his legions of fans.

"Everybody was saying when I went to jail, 'Man, why you selling drugs and getting in trouble when you're all on TV selling records and stuff?' Man, that happened before I done sold nann record," Troy said. "I had to get the money to put the music out. I couldn't go to a label and say, 'Loan me the money, I'll put a record together and it'll be the bomb.' They wouldn't have did it. I had to get it, put it together myself and show them."

Considering the platinum-plus success of Down South, Lil' Troy proved his point. On Back to Ballin', he raps on 14 of the album's 19 tracks. Although it is his album, he's not concerned with appearing on each song. After all, he only rapped on six of Down South's 14 songs.

"I own the company, so I'm just showcasing the other groups that I have," Troy said. "I'm more like a coach. I like to get the groups together, coach them and come up with songs and let them do it. That's what they do. I like to run the company, and the money's in the company. You can have all the fame you want. I've got bills to pay, so I need the money.

"I was ballin' before I went in the penitentiary, and everybody knows me for that," Troy continued. "I'm back and I'm already doing it again. I'm picking up where I left off at."

- By Soren Baker


Timbaland, P. Diddy, Neptunes Do It Their Way On Bizkit Remix LP

As Fred Durst says, the title tells it all: New Old Songs.

The Neptunes do it all for the nookie, Timbaland tries a mission impossible and P. Diddy shows his way on Limp Bizkit's upcoming remix album, due in December.

Also among the hitmakers who are contributing versions of Bizkit's songs are DJ Premier and William Orbit - in addition to Limp's own DJ Lethal, guitarist Wes Borland and Durst.

"The remixes are like brand new songs," Durst said Thursday. "We're writing our new record, so this is something you can put in your stereos and bump to."

E-40 and Eightball roll in on Timbaland's version of "Take a Look Around," the theme song to "Mission: Impossible 2." Limp Bizkit are eyeing Bubba Sparxxx and Eve to make guest spots on other tracks.

The album may feature multiple remixes of some songs. Lethal and P. Diddy have done different versions of "My Way," while Lethal, Borland and Madonna producer William Orbit each tackled "Break Stuff."

"The most drastic is Wes' remix of 'Break Stuff,' " Lethal said Wednesday. "It's kind of like Squarepusher, Aphex Twin - just loud and really crazy. Mine's more just club."

The same remixer also may turn up more than once. Production duo Neptunes remade "N 2 Gether Now," the Significant Other hit featuring Method Man, in addition to tackling the sex ode "Nookie." "The 'Nookie' remix is ridiculous - super bangin," Lethal said.

Though he declined to name the culprits, Lethal admitted that not all of the remixes have been keepers.

"We've gotten a couple that are just awful," he said. "Sometimes when the rap guys try to get into the rock stuff, they just don't get it. It gets kind of cheesy and they overdo it and get too grimy and start screaming on tracks. Since it's rock, most of the songs are not to a certain tempo, so when you remix you have to align the vocals maybe sometimes word by word, sometimes sentence by sentence. You have to break it up so it fits. And some of them, it sounds like they didn't even listen to the songs because the vocals are in a different place."

Also in time for Christmas, Limp Bizkit plan to release a DVD featuring home movie footage and music videos.

- By Teri vanHorn, with additional reporting by Corey Moss and Heather Parry


October 8, 2001

Hardest Part Of Kane & Abel's Sentences May Be Separation

Kane & Abel have been together ever since the womb, but next week that will change.

The identical twin rappers will report to separate federal prisons in Texas on Wednesday to begin serving three-year sentences in a cocaine case.

"We've never been apart, ever," Abel said Friday (October 5). "We've just gotta hold out and stay strong."

Though the brothers are appealing the sentence, they say they're thankful it isn't worse - they had faced life imprisonment if convicted of the initial drug conspiracy charges. Born David and Daniel Garcia, the rappers each received a three-year sentence after their attorney struck a deal with prosecutors in which they admitted to lying to federal agents about the activities of jailed drug kingpin Richard Pena.

"They're not taking us out in a courtyard and shooting us," Kane said. "We're not dying. We're going to jail. We're going to be incarcerated for a short period of time. ... As far as [our] family, you just let 'em know that this is temporary and this is a blessing. I don't think you can count how many people are locked up for life for the charges we were facing."

The day before they are scheduled to surrender, Kane & Abel will release their fifth album, Most Wanted Boys. The LP features Juvenile on the track "Say That Then" and Snoop Dogg on "Down South" in addition to a host of obscure acts from the twins' Most Wanted Records label, including 5th Ward Weebie and Box & Royale.

"Being able to let that creative energy go was good for us," Kane said. "We were always optimistic, we never were thinking, 'Let's put it down because we're about to go away for life.' We were thinking, 'Lets do what we always do - make good music for the fans.' "

In the weeks since they were sentenced, Kane & Abel have kept busy promoting the album, shooting a video with Juvenile for the fellow New Orleans rapper's new single and adding to a massive vault of unreleased tracks. "We've been preparing for this for two years," Kane said. "We have about 60 to 65 songs."

The pair are pulling material from that collection for an album titled The Last Ones Left, to be released in February along with a novel of the same name. The book traces the life of a Houston heroin dealer who becomes the first person publicly executed in modern times, with CNN broadcasting the event. Kane & Abel released their first novel, "Eyes of a Killer/Behind Enemy Lines," in 1999.

The brothers will say goodbye to their friends at a party in New Orleans on Sunday night and plan to spend Monday and Tuesday with their family.

- By Teri vanHorn, with additional reporting by Shaheem Reid


Foxy Brown Recording Hard On Heels Of Broken Silence

The middling sales and mixed reception of 2000's Broken Silence haven't slowed down Foxy Brown's quest to stake her claim to hip-hop queendom. The Brooklyn bad girl is so focused on ruling again that she's back in the studio in hopes of releasing her second album in less than a year in early 2002.

"BK Made Me," the first song from the project, is already surfacing on mixtapes. It finds Brown rapping about depression and a tragedy-filled life over a soulful piano-fueled beat.

"Got dreams of ending this bitch/ My life is miserable/ Make me end this sh--/ Find my ass in critical," she rhymes on the single. "No/ My nightmares come frequent like they rituals/ But my words come swift/ Divine like the pinnacle."

"Broken Silence was for the streets," Brown's brother and co-executive producer Anton Marchand said Thursday. "This album, we want to keep the streets as well as take the mainstream, make big radio songs."

Anton said it was too early to disclose any guests who might appear on the untitled project. He did say his sister plans to record with the Trackmasters and some of the other producers she worked with on her platinum-plus 1996 debut, Ill Na Na.

Broken Silence, her third album following 1998's Chyna Doll, isn't selling nearly as well as Brown's debut. Released July 17, the gold-certified LP has already slipped off the Billboard 200 albums chart.

On Wednesday, Foxy announced on New York radio station WBLS that her next album would be out by Christmas. Marchand, though, said an early-2002 release is more realistic.

Foxy is scheduled to shoot the video for "Candy," a single from Broken Silence, within the next couple of weeks, a Def Jam spokesperson said.

- by By Shaheem Reid


October 5, 2001

Snoop Dogg's Paw Prints All Over 'Bones' Soundtrack

Although Snoop Dogg is currently headlining the Puff Puff Pass tour, his moonlighting gig as a thespian is starting to rival his day job as an MC.

Snoop has a small role as a crippled thug in "Training Day," which opens Friday, and he teams up with Dr. Dre as the mischievous half of a ghetto odd-couple in "The Wash" on November 14. His most meaty role, however, may be that of a vengeful ghost in "Bones," which opens October 26.

The D-O-double-G, who contributes to the soundtracks of "Training Day" and "The Wash," appears on eight tracks on the "Bones" disc. He also uses the album, due Tuesday, to promote some of his homies, such as Butch Cassidy, whose albums Snoop is helping put out.

"Bones" soundtrack track listing, according to Priority:
  • Snoop Dogg - "Birth of Jimmy Bones"
  • Snoop Dogg, MC Ren and RBX - "Legend of Jimmy Bones"
  • Lost Angels and Kokane - "Lost Angels in the Sky"
  • Latoya Williams - "Ballad of Jimmy Bones"
  • Snoop Dogg and Trey Dee - "Dogg Named Snoop"
  • Kedrick and CPO - "This Is My Life"
  • Kurupt and Roscoe - "It's Jimmy"
  • Kokane - "Raise Up"
  • D12 - "These Drugs"
  • Snoop Dogg, Bad Azz, Big Chan and Coniyac - "Death of Snow White"
  • Snoop Dogg, Tha Eastsidaz and Kola - "If You Came Here to Party"
  • Kurupt, Tray Dee and Xzibit - "F--- With Us"
  • Snoop Dogg and Soopafly - "Jimmy's Revenge"
  • William DeVaughn - "Be Thankful"
  • FT (**** That) - "F-It-Less"
  • Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg and Butch Cassidy - "Gangsta Wit It"
  • Cypress Hill - "Memories"
  • Fredwreck - "Endo"
  • Snoop Dogg and Outkast - "So Fresh, So Clean" (remix)

- By Shaheem Reid


DMX To Party Up At Free Outdoor Shows

Like DMX always says, the dog is going to roam.

X chose "We Right Here" as the first single from his upcoming album based on the response it received when he drove around in his truck playing it for people, and now he's getting ready to hit the road again and bond with the public some more.

During his Hoodstock promo tour for the October 23 release of The Great Depression, X will perform a series of free outdoor shows from October 12 through November 1, according to Def Jam. And since he gets around so well in trucks, he'll be using one as his stage - a flatbed 18-wheeler.

The DMX appearances will be co-sponsored by local radio stations, and the time and location of the performances will not be announced until the day that X wags his tail into town.

The rapper recently shot a video for the second Great Depression single, "Who We Be," with director Joseph Kahn in Los Angeles. On that song, the Yonkers, New York, MC growls about surviving through wretchedness.

"The projects, the drugs/ The children, the thugs/ The tears, the hugs/ The love, the slugs," he ferociously rhymes. "The funerals, the wakes/ The churches, the coffins/ The heartbroken mothers/ It happens too often."

DMX tour dates, according to Def Jam:

  • 10/12 - Washington, DC
  • 10/13 - Washington, DC
  • 10/14 - Baltimore, MD
  • 10/15 - Baltimore, MD
  • 10/16 - Boston, MA
  • 10/17 - Hartford, CT
  • 10/18 - New York, NY
  • 10/19 - Chicago, IL
  • 10/20 - Detroit, MI
  • 10/21 - Houston, TX
  • 10/22 - New York, NY
  • 10/23 - New York, NY
  • 10/25 - Philadelphia, PA
  • 10/26 - Philadelphia, PA
  • 10/27 - Richmond, VA
  • 10/28 - Norfolk, VA
  • 10/29 - Raleigh, NC
  • 10/31- Atlanta, GA
  • 11/1 - Atlanta, GA

- by Shaheem Reid, with additional reporting by Elon D. Johnson


October 4, 2001

P. Diddy Heading To Atlantic City For Player's Ball

New York's Hot 97 has taken the Notorious B.I.G. lyric "True playa for real/ Ask Puff Dad-dy" to heart. The media Goliath now known as P. Diddy will perform as part of the radio station's Player's Ball on November 8, Hot 97 (WQHT) announced.

A spokesperson for the mogul could confirm only P.D.'s participation at the event, though a Hot 97 spokesperson said Diddy will also bring Black Rob and G. Dep to perform at the show and wouldn't be surprised if more members of the Bad Boy family came along.

Taking place at the Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the Player's Ball is the latest step in Diddy's stage workout regimen. In September, he took everyone by surprise by performing "Bad Boy for Life" on top of an 18-wheel truck as part of his arrival at the MTV Video Music Awards in New York. He also made an impromptu onstage appearance with 112 in August when they opened a New York date on Janet Jackson's All for You tour.

Of his scheduled appearances, he performed with other rap luminaries in a segment dedicated to hip-hop at MTV's 20th birthday party (see "MTV's B-Day Party: Stars From Aaliyah To ZZ Top Celebrate Channel's 20th") and rapped a two-song medley as part of the Source Awards show in Miami. He also broke out the bells and whistles for a full-scale concert in Jamaica as part of the Sashi Experience charity event. All of those events took place in August as well.

Diddy laid down his game plan in late June, saying he would be popping up at clubs, small venues and surprise appearances to warm up for a tour he hopes to launch in January. His last series of U.S. outings, the No Way Out tour, broke box-office records in 1997 and 1998.

Hot 97 said no acts outside of Diddy's camp are scheduled to be involved in the Player's Ball other than Funkmaster Flex, who will spin records throughout the night.

The Player's Ball is a swanky two-day, one-night fiesta where contest winners (who must be at least 21 years old) are put up in the Taj Mahal and given a pass to the evening's performance.

For fans who aren't able to cop free tickets from Hot 97, they go on sale Friday through Ticketmaster outlets.

- By Shaheem Reid


Mary J. Blige, Roger Daltrey, Sisqo To Play City Of Hope Dinner

Mary J. Blige, Sisqó and Who frontman Roger Daltrey are among the artists lined up to perform classic Motown songs at a Los Angeles benefit dinner next week.

The dinner, dubbed a Motor City Revue and also set to feature Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora, India.Arie, Melissa Etheridge, Bilal, Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Ronan Keating, Jonny Lang, Shelby Lynne, Smokey Robinson and the Temptations, will be held October 11 at Universal Studios.

More artists will be announced, according to a spokesperson for the event.

The City of Hope Spirit of Life Award dinner will raise funds for the City of Hope National Medical Center and Beckman Research Institute. A research fellowship will be established for the organizations in honor of Edgar Bronfman Jr., executive vice-chairman for entertainment giant Vivendi Universal.

The dinner, now in its 28th year, has honored past music industry moguls such as Clive Davis and Quincy Jones.

City of Hope's research lead to the discovery of Herceptin and Rituxan, two drugs that have revolutionized cancer care, according to a City of Hope spokesperson. The music and entertainment industries have raised more than $30 million for the center in its 27-year history.

For ticket information, contact City of Hope at 800-260-HOPE or visit the Web site at www.cityofhope.org.

- by Corey Moss


October 3, 2001

Eve Gets Snarky At Two-Timing Ex On New Ruff Ryders Track

On her new single, "You, Me, and She," Eve turns a deaf ear to the sentiment shared by John Ritter and his classic sitcom crew that three's company. She strikes back at a boyfriend who, while he was dating her, was still putting in bedroom time with the mother of his kids.

On the track, produced by Murder Inc. Records CEO Irv Gotti, Eve rhymes, "Did it to myself," referring to her naiveté about her boyfriend. She goes on to recount how she confronted her ex's so-called ex and how the two women started "comparing notes," realizing that the guy was giving both of them many of the same empty pledges of devotion.

Eve's label, Ruff Ryders, is leaning toward releasing the song as the next single from its new compilation LP, Ryde or Die Vol. 3, according to a Double R spokesperson. The single would drop in the next few weeks. The remix to Jadakiss' "We Gonna Make It," which features Eve and Kiss' LOX groupmate Styles, is already in rotation as the first offering from the album.

Although Ruff Ryders said the LP - which is scheduled to be released November 20 - is only seven songs into production, the label has confirmed that DMX is going to be on the compilation, as will the rest of the Ruff Ryders camp. As on the previous two volumes in the Ryde or Die series, outsiders will also be making contributions.

MCs Ludacris, Xzibit and Bubba Sparxxx have already laid down vocals, and producers Timbaland, Mike City, Scott Storch, Irv Gotti and the Trackmasters have supplied beats for the album.

Ruff Ryders is also gearing up for the releases of debut solo albums by the remaining two-thirds of the LOX. Styles' A Gangster and a Gentleman is due at the top of 2002 and Sheek has been in lockdown working on his album, which the label says is dropping sometime next year.

Their partner, Jadakiss, who released his gold Kiss Tha Game Goodbye in August, is set to begin production on the video for his next single, "Keep Ya Head Up." That begins rolling next week in New York under the direction of J. Jesses Smith.

- By Shaheem Reid


Little Richard To Help Chuck Berry Celebrate 75 Years Of Reelin' & Rockin'

Rock and roll royals to perform at St. Louis nightclub October 18. Not just anybody can get Little Richard to play at their birthday party. When you're Chuck Berry, though, and you're turning 75, it only seems fitting that you be attended by another rock and roll royal.

Both artists will play at a celebration on October 18 - Berry's birthday - at the Pageant nightclub in St. Louis. Berry, one of the founding fathers of rock and roll, rarely tours anymore, though he plays monthly at his Blueberry Hill club and restaurant in St. Louis.

More guests will likely be added to the lineup, according to the event's publicist. Missouri governor Bob Holden and St. Louis mayor Francis Slay will be on hand to honor Berry.

Born in San Jose, California, Berry had become a top St. Louis-area attraction by 1955, when he met blues great Muddy Waters, who introduced him to record executive Leonard Chess. Later that year, Berry had his first top 10 hit with "Maybellene," a supercharged reworking of the country swing classic "Ida Red." Berry's witty lyrics and distinctive guitar licks landed him chart hits throughout the '50s, including "Johnny B. Goode," "Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Roll Over Beethoven," and his music was a principal influence on the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Beach Boys and Bruce Springsteen, among many others.

- by Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen


October 2, 2001

Janet Jackson Cancels European Tour

Citing air safety concerns in the wake of the September 11 hijackings, Janet Jackson has called off a European tour that was set to begin on November 2, according to her label.

"If anything happened to anyone on this tour, I could never forgive myself," Jackson said in a statement issued in London on Monday (October 1), according to Reuters. "My European fans are among the most loyal, and I was very excited to share this show with them. I have agonized over this decision."

Jackson "decided the risk to her large group of tour personnel is too great to proceed comfortably," the statement said, according to the news service.

The singer's North American tour wraps up October 29 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with the second of two shows she postponed the week of the attacks in the U.S.. The remaining concerts include several shows that Jackson postponed in July and August due to illness.

- By Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen


Kim Basinger In Talks To Be Eminem's Movie Mom

Oscar winner Kim Basinger is negotiating to star as Eminem's mother in a film loosely based on his life.

In the still-untitled flick, slated to begin shooting in Detroit later this month, Eminem plays a character named Jimmy - a young man who learns to express himself through music and struggles to transcend his bleak circumstances (i.e., the trailer parks of Michigan).

Brittany Murphy ("Girl, Interrupted") and Mekhi Phifer ("Shaft") have been cast as Jimmy's girlfriend and best friend, respectively, according to a Universal Pictures spokesperson. Eugene Byrd ("Whiteboys") will play a black rapper named Wink, a role originally written as a white character and considered by Giovanni Ribisi.

Dr. Dre and Eminem are composing music for the movie and its soundtrack. The picture is expected to hit theaters next year.

Basinger and the film's director, Curtis Hanson, previously collaborated on 1998's "L.A. Confidential" 1998. Her performance in that film earned her a supporting actress Oscar, and Hanson won for best adapted screenplay.

- by Teri vanHorn


October 1, 2001

Dr. Dre Comes Clean Concerning 'The Wash'

Soundtrack album reunites the producer with Snoop Dogg on (at least) two tracks, November releases scheduled. Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg team up for the first time onscreen in "The Wash," scheduled for November release. According to Dre, though, if the two had had enough time, they would have parlayed the movie's soundtrack album into their first full-length LP together.

"Me and Snoop originally wanted to make the soundtrack album to this movie our reunion CD," Dre explained during a May interview on the Los Angeles set of "The Wash." "But an October release slot came up, so we didn't have enough time to put that in place. We're going to try to do as many songs as possible for the soundtrack album and get other people to submit tracks."

The scheduled mid-October releases of both movie and album have been pushed back, however. "The Wash" gets its chance to clean up at the box office November 14, while the soundtrack album arrives November 6.

As Dre continues to tweak the album's lineup, a spokesperson for the project (a joint release by Dre's Aftermath label and Snoop's Doggstyle Records) confirmed that he and Snoop would be heard together on at least two tracks. Dre, whose Aftermath label will release the disc, also performs with Bilal, Xzibit and newcomer Knoc-Turnal, who sings with Dre on the album's first single, "Bad Intentions."

Busta Rhymes and Bubba Sparxxx have solo cuts on the album, as does singer Truth Hurts. "Her album is just about done," Dre said of his latest protégé. "We recorded 40 songs with her." Beside Dre, Mel Man, Rick Rock and Hi-Tek check in behind the board.

Although Dre hopes to soon begin work on Detox, his next solo album, he might push the start date back if he gets another Hollywood gig (he also has a part in the upcoming Denzel Washington drama, "Training Day").

"It makes it real easy if you know the person you're acting with," Dre said about working with his co-star, Snoop. "I've done some acting before, and I kinda sucked at it. But I think I'm catching the knack. I think I have a talent for this."

- By Shaheem Reid, with additional reporting by Liane Su


Rapper Erick Sermon In Intensive Care After Car Accident

Best known for his work with influential rap duo EPMD, rapper Erick Sermon remains in critical but stable condition in the intensive care unit of an undisclosed New Jersey hospital after flipping his Mercedes Benz in inclement weather on Tuesday (Sept. 25), according to a spokesperson for the rapper at J Records.

Sermon was returning home from the video shoot for his latest single, "I'm Hot," on Route 80 in New Jersey around 2:30 a.m. when his car slammed into the right side wall and flipped. It was raining at the time. The car was totaled in the accident and the brake pedal had to be removed from Sermon's foot.

Sermon broke his jaw, ribs, nose, shoulder blade, and leg in the accident. Family members are hoping to transfer the rapper to a New York hospital as soon as possible.

"I'm Hot" is the first single from Sermon's upcoming Def Squad/J Records effort, The Sermon, due Nov. 30.

- by Kevin Raub

July 01, 2022  
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