June 30, 2000

Nate Dogg Arrested on Assault Charges

Rapper Nate Dogg was arrested on Saturday for kidnapping his former girlfriend. SWAT team officials arrested the 30-year-old rapper at approximately 12:30 p.m. Saturday at his home in Pomona, California. Nate Dogg, whose real name is Nathaniel Dwayne Hale, was charged for investigation of kidnapping, making terrorists threats, domestic violence, and arson. He was released after posting a $1 million bail.

Hale allegedly held his ex-girlfriend against her will at a home in Lakewood, California, assaulted her, and then set the woman's mother's car on fire. The women identified as Rhoda, reportedly ended her seven-year relationship with Nate Dogg several days before the incident. Nate Dogg is currently part of the "Up In Smoke Tour," which features Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Dr, Dre, and Eminem. Nate Dogg is also currently featured on Dr Dre's hit single "The Next Episode".

Limp Bizkit Announces Tour Dates

Limp Bizkit recently announced the dates to their "Back to Basics" tour. The free concert will be sponsored by Napster. Cypress Hill will also be featured on the tour. The tour will kick off on July 4th and 5th with two shows in Chicago. The concert will also stop in Los Angeles, Detroit, and New York.

In related news, Cypress Hill placed 27th this week on Soundscan this week with their latest album, Skull & Bones. Limp Bizkit will release their new albumChocolate Starfish & the Hot Dog, later this year. The band will also appear on the album Take a Bite Outta Rhyme: A Rock Tribute to Rap. The album will feature rock musicians covering hit hip hop songs. Here is the tour itinerary:

July 4-5, Chicago
July 6, Indianapolis
July 8-9, Minneapolis
July 11-12, Detroit
July 14-15, Boston
July 17-19, New York
July 22-23; Dallas
July 25-26, Denver
July 28-29, San Francisco
July 31, Seattle
Aug. 3-5, Los Angeles

June 29, 2000

The Ronettes Vindicated After 40 Years

R&B 60's group, the Ronettes, have been awarded $2.6 million in back royalties. A Manhattan Supreme Court judge ruled on Friday that famed producer Phil Spector used the group's music in ways not authorized by the contract, including licensing their music for television, movies, and compilation albums. The Ronettes were however denied ownership of their master recordings, which they sought in their lawsuit. They were seeking $11 million in their lawsuit.

The Ronettes are Ronnie Spector, Nedra Talley, and Estelle Bennett. Lead singer, Ronnie, was previously married to Phil. The couple divorced in 1974. The Ronettes' hits included "Be My Baby" and "Walking in the Rain."

Ronnie Spector told Reuters, "I worked very, very, very hard making those records in the '60s. I just didn't know I'd have to wait 37 years to get paid for my efforts."

Shaft Shuts Down Competition

Shaft blew up the box-office this weekend coming in at number one with a box office intake of $21.1 million. Based on the 1970s Blaxploitation series about a Black detective, the gun-toting, black leather-wearing, Samuel L. Jackson, stars as Shaft himself alongside Vanessa L. Williams, Busta Rhymes, Jeffrey Wright, and Christian Bale. Gone in 60 Seconds starring Nicolas Cage and Robert Duvall came in second with $14.7 million and features the two as leaders of a band of stolen car rings. Martin Lawrence¹s Big Momma¹s House, placed third and grossed $11.3 million. The comedy co-stars Nia Long and Paul Giamatti and of course, Martin as a detective going undercover as an obese grandmother. Mission: Impossible 2 starring Tom Cruise and Anthony Hopkins grossed $10.9 million as it placed fourth. The computer generated animation flick Titan A.E. debuted at five this week. The movie features the voices of Matt Damon, Drew Barrymore, and Tone Loc. Titan A.E. garnered $9.5 million. Here is the list of the top ten movies this week at the box office:

* 1. Shaft $21.1 million
* 2. Gone In 60 Seconds $14.7 million
* 3. Big Momma¹s House $11.3 million
* 4. Mission : Impossible 2 $10.9 million
* 5. Titan A.E. $9.5 million
* 6. Boys and Girls $7 million
* 7. Dinosaur $5.8 million
* 8. Gladiator $4.9 million
* 9. Shanghai Noon $3.6 million
* 10. Road Trip $3.1 million

June 28, 2000

Snoop's Tour Bus Up in Smoke

On June 16, at approximately 12:30 a.m., rapper Snoop Dogg's tour bus was stopped at the Temecula border by the border patrol outside of San Diego, California. The incident occurred shortly after a performance of the "Up In Smoke" tour. Apparently the border patrol smelled a high dose of marijuana and went to investigate. Upon investigation, the officer's discovered 300 grams of marijuana. One of the men traveling with Snoop plead guilty to possession. He was released and cited with misdemeanor possession of marijuana. Snoop's latest project,Snoop Dogg Presents Tha Eastsidaz is currently at number 98 on Soundscan. The "Up In Smoke" tour kicked off on June 15th in San Diego, California. The tour also features Dr. Dre, Eminem, Ice Cube and Warren G. Here is the itinerary:

* 6/30 - Indianapolis, IN - Conseco Fieldhouse
* 7/1 - Columbus, OH - Schottenstein Center
* 7/2 - Cleveland, OH - Gund Arena
* 7/3 - Pittsburgh, PA - Mellon Arena
* 7/4 - Toronto, ON - Molson Amphitheater
* 7/6 - Detroit, MI - Joe Louis Arena
* 7/7 - Auburn Hills, MI - Palace Of Auburn Hills
* 7/8 - Rosemont, IL - Allstate Arena
* 7/10 - Minneapolis, MN - Target Center
* 7/13 - Rochester, NY - Blue Cross Arena
* 7/14 - Albany, NY - Pepsi Arena
* 7/15 - East Rutherford, NJ - Continental Airline Arena
* 7/19 - Uniondale, NY - Nassau Coliseum
* 7/20 - Worcester, MA - The Centrum
* 7/22 - Hartford, CT - Hartford Civic Center
* 7/25 - Buffalo, NY - HSBC Arena
* 7/27 - Baltimore, MD - Baltimore Arena
* 7/29 - Charlotte, NC - Charlotte Coliseum
* 8/1 - Fort Lauderdale, FL - National Car Rental Center
* 8/2 - Tampa, FL - Ice Palace
* 8/4 - Atlanta, GA - Lakewood Amphitheatre
* 8/5 - New Orleans, LA - New Orleans Arena
* 8/6 - Houston, TX - TBA
* 8/7 - Dallas, TX - Starplex Amphitheatre
* 8/10 - Phoenix, AZ - America West Arena
* 8/11 - Las Vegas, NV - Thomas & Mack Center
* 8/12 - Fresno, CA - Selland Arena
* 8/13 - San Jose, CA - San Jose Arena
* 8/15 - Tacoma, WA - Tacoma Dome
* 8/18 - West Valley, UT - E Center
* 8/20 - Englewood, CO - Fiddler's Green Amph.

Spike Lee Taps Stevie Wonder for "Bamboozled" Soundtrack

Spike Lee has begun constructing the line-up to the soundtrack for his latest film Bamboozled. Among the artists set to contribute to the soundtrack are Stevie Wonder, Erykah Badu, the Goodie M.O.B., and Gerald Levert. Rage Against the Machine, Angie Stone, and Mos Def are also slated to make contributions to the project.

Bamboozled will star Damon Wayans, Tommy Davidson, and Michael Rapaport. Jada Pinkett, Savion Glover, and Mos Def are also featured in the film. The film will be released through New Line Cinema and is scheduled to hit theatres next year. The film's plot evolves around a television show with a predominately black television cast, and is written by white writers. The drama unfolds when a new black writer, played by Wayans, comes aboard.

June 27, 2000

Officer Convicted in Abner Louima Assault

Officer Francisco Rosario was convicted last Wednesday of conspiring with his partner, Rolando Aleman, to lie about his involvement in the Abner Louima assault. A federal jury found Rosario guilty of lying to investigators about what he saw at the 70th Precinct police station on the night Abner Louima was sodimized with a plunger by fellow officer Justin Volpe. Rosario was also convicted of lying when he stated in September 1997 that he was outside the police station when a handcuffed, half-naked Louima was pushed into a jail cell by Volpe.

Rosario, however, was acquitted of a third count of lying, when he said that in November 1997, he had been in the police station but saw another cop, not Volpe, put Louima in a jail cell. His attorneys plan to appeal the conviction on the basis that the acquittal of the third count "vindicated" Rosario's assertion that he ultimately told the truth. Rosario was not involved in the assault but was present at the station the night it happened. He is the sixth police officer convicted in the Abner Louima case.

Volpe plead guilty to the assault and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Officer Charles Schwarz was convicted of holding Louima down during the assault. Thomas Bruder, Thomas Wiese, and Schwarz were also convicted of conspiring to conceal Schwarz's role in the assault. The three officers will be this week. Rosario could receive five years in jail for each count.

U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said, "It is every officer's sworn obligation to assist truthfully. This is the result of what happens when they take the other path."

Hendrix Rocks the Box

A four CD box set of legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix is scheduled to be released on September 12th on MCA's Experience Hendrix imprint. The Jimi Hendrix Experience features a 56-track ensemble and includes alternative versions of his hits "Spanish Castle Music" and "Purple Haze." Live performances and recordings from his last studio sessions before his untimely death in 1970 are also featured on the project.

The anthology was compiled by Hendrix's sister Janie, music historian John McDermott, and Hendrix producer Eddie Kramer. Kramer said in a statement that, "We kept finding stuff that was really good and putting it aside for the box. I am extremely pleased with the music we have chosen. Jimi is at the top of his game throughout. It is a representation of how one can express one's self to the fullest, using every technique known to man and more."

The Jimi Hendrix Experience will also be available in a special eight record vinyl edition. The collection will be packaged in a velvet purple box. Unreleased photos, detailed liner notes, and an essay by rock critic Dave Marsh will also accompany the anthology.

June 26, 2000

Eminem to Face Civil Suit by Alleged Assault Victim

John Guerra, the victim who was allegedly assaulted by Eminem, has filed a civil suit against the rapper for assault and emotional distress for a yet to be disclosed amount. On June 4th, the rapper, apparently in a jealous rage, pulled out a gun in front of the Hot Rocks Café in South Detroit on Guerra for kissing his wife, Kimberly Mathers. Guerra told the Detroit Free Press that it was the "scariest moment of his life" and implies that he is still emotionally and psychologically distressed. Guerra implied that the rapper misunderstood his intentions with Eminem's wife and told the The Macomb Daily, "We're just friends. I barely know her." Conversely, Guerra also admitted that the kiss between him and Mathers was "rather intimate." Eminem was acquitted of the weapons charge and is scheduled to report to court on July 11.

Magic Johnson's Mid Summer Weekend

The Magic Foundation is hosting its 15th Annual benefit titled "A Midsummer's Night Magic Weekend." The benefit will be held on the weekend of August 4th in Los Angeles, California. The events for the weekend include a Mardi Gras Gala Party at Paramount Studios and a celebrity basketball game at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion. Athletes scheduled to play in the game include Joe Smith, Steve Francis, Gary Payton, and Magic Johnson among others. The Magic Johnson Foundation was founded in 1991 with the intent of raising money for organizations whose primary goals are to raise awareness and educate the masses about HIV/AIDS. Since then, the Magic Johnson Foundation has prospered into an organization that not only raises money for HIV/AIDS awareness groups, but has developed programs of their own that work to educate inner city youth in under-represented communities. Some of the programs that have evolved from the MJ Foundation are the Funding for Non-profit Charitable Organizations/Grants, National Breast Cancer Initiative, and The B.R.E.A.T.H.E. Program (Bringing Education on Asthma to Homes Everywhere). The "Midsummer's Night Magic Foundation" is actually a benefit to raise money for another one of the MJ foundation's program, The Magic Johnson Foundation Taylor Michaels Scholarship Fund. Stacey Garcia, director of public relations for The MJ foundation, said, " We are working diligently to make a critical difference in the lives of our youth and education is key. Magic Johnson and Tom Joiner are providing the resources, training, and leadership direction for today's young people so they can become contributing citizens to society." For more information call (310) 338-8110 or go to www.magicjohnson.org. Here is a list of the weekend's scheduled events:

Wednesday, August 2, 2000 Corporate Reception (not open to public)

Friday, August 4, 2000
Children's Mardi-Gras (not open to public)
10a.m-2 p.m -Magic Johnson Recreation Center
7 p.m. -Benefit Concert-@ The Greek Theater

Saturday, August 5, 2000
Corporate Reception & Dinner
6:30 p.m. -Paramount Studios
8 p.m. -Mardi Gras Gala Party Paramount Studios

Sunday, August 6, 2000
Magic Johnson's All-Star Charity Basketball Game
6:00 p.m. UCLA Pauley Pavilion

June 25, 2000

Jazz Musician Blasts Kenny G

Jazz guitarist Pat Metheny recently had some harsh words for saxophonist Kenny G. During a Polish television special, Methany asked an audience of children to honor jazz legends like John Coltrane over pop-friendly Kenny G. He elaborated more on his website www.patmethenygroup.com, telling fans "not to get confused by the sometimes overwhelming volume of music that falls under the jazz umbrella ... I went on to say that I think, for instance, 'Kenny G plays the dumbest music on the planet' - something that all 8- to 11-year [old] kids on the planet already intrinsically know."

He also attacked Kenny G's album, Classics in the Key of G - in particular the song "What a Wonderful World." "What a Wonderful World" is an electronically engineered duet between G and jazz icon Louis Armstrong. Metheny called the song "musical necrophilia."

He then said, "When Kenny G decided that it was appropriate for him to defile the music of the man who is probably the greatest jazz musician that has ever lived by spewing his lame-ass, jive, pseudo bluesy, out-of-tune, noodling, wimped out, f*cked up playing all over one of the great Louis's tracks (even one of his lesser ones), he did something that I would not have imagined possible. He, in one move, through his unbelievably pretentious and calloused [sic] musical decision to embark on this most cynical of musical paths, sh*t all over the graves of all the musicians past and present who have risked their lives by going out there on the road for years and years, developing their own music inspired by the standards of grace that Louis Armstrong brought to every single note he played over an amazing lifetime as a musician. By disrespecting Louis, his legacy and by default, everyone who has ever tried to do something positive with improvised music and what it can be, Kenny G has created a new low point in modern culture - something that we all should be totally embarrassed about - and afraid of."

Methany concluded his statement by promising Kenny G a few words and a beat down if he ever sees him in person. "Everything I said here is exactly the same as what I would say to Gorelick (Kenny G's real last name) if I ever saw him in person. And if I ever DO see him anywhere, at any function - he WILL get a piece of my mind and (maybe a guitar wrapped around his head.)"

Methaney has since toned down some of his statements on his website after receiving various responses to his message board. He later said, "I underestimated the impact/interest that a negative public comment, even on an obscure corner of the Web, can manifest."

Metheny has won 13 Grammy Awards for his instrumental works.

Toni Braxton to Star in "Kingdom Come"

Toni Braxton makes her film debut in the forthcoming movie, Kingdom Come. The film co-stars Vivica Fox, Whoopi Goldberg, LL Cool J, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Darius McCrary (most recognized for his role as Eddie in the sitcom Family Matters.) Kingdom Come centers around the way the family members cope with the recent death of one of their relatives. As the family in the film agree to meet over a three-day weekend drama unfolds as the family grudgingly begins to straighten out their differences. However, the transition to film is no hard task for Braxton. She previously starred as the character Belle in the Broadway production of Beauty and the Beast in 1998. After a short respite, Braxton has recently made a sultry return with her provocative third album, The Heat.

June 24, 2000

Black Rob Returns Home

Hip hop star Black Rob was arrested on Tuesday morning after turning himself into a Manhattan Criminal Court and jailed on weapons charges. As previously reported, a bench warrant was issued for Black Rob after he failed to appear in a Manhattan court on May 26th to answer charges for drugs and weapons possession. Black Rob was arrested on May 21st on gun and drug charges stemming from an impromptu autograph signing. The rapper allegedly was in Manhattan signing autographs when two undercover cops allegedly saw him hand his friend Kwamie Thomas a .22 caliber handgun to put in the vehicle. After an arrest team was called to the scene, they searched the vehicle and allegedly found the gun and tablets of the drug Ecstasy. Black Rob, born Robert Ross, and Thomas were both charged with criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a controlled substance. Thomas showed up for his court hearing.

The weapons charge is a third degree felony. Black Rob was originally released on $10,000 bond. His bond was denied for his latest arrest. Black Rob will remain in jail until his next court appearance on August 29th. In related news, his gold-selling debut album, Life Story, placed at 100 on Soundscan this week.

Vivica A. Fox to Star in "Juwanna Mann"

Vivica A. Fox recently signed on to star in Juwanna Mann. The movie will also star Miguel Nunez, Tommy Davidson, and Ginuwine. The movie plot evolves around a basketball star, played by Nunez, who is banned from the NBA for his outlandish behavior on the court. The hoop star still wants to play the game so he tries out for the WNBA dressed as a woman, and makes the team. The drama then starts as he has to keep up the facade and play basketball with a full team of female teammates. Ginuwine will play Romeo, a pop singer who has a thing for Nunez's female alter-ego.

Juwanna Mann is scheduled to start filming in August. The movie will be distributed through Warner Brothers and is expected to hit theatres in September 2001. Jesse Vaughan is slated to direct the film.

June 23, 2000

Sinead O'Connor Comes Out the Closet

Irish pop singer Sinead O'Connor recently told Curve magazine that she was a lesbian. The article cites the singer saying, "I'm a lesbian - although I haven't been very open about that. Throughout most of my life I've gone out with the blokes because I haven't necessarily been terribly comfortable about being a lesbian. But I actually am a lesbian."

O'Connor, who recently appeared on the Howard Stern show on June 9th, also said, "I don't believe in gay or straight. I have sometimes been with women, and it took me a hard time to come to terms with that as an Irish woman. It's something that I've now decided."

O'Connor will release his latest album, Faith and Courage on Tuesday. In 1990, she scored a number one U.S. hit with the remake of Prince's "Nothing Compares 2 U." She is the mother of a 12-year-old son and a three-year-old daughter. The July/August issue of Curve magazine hits newsstands on June 27th.

Sisqo to Make Acting Debut

R&B singer Sisqo recently added actor to his resume. Sisqo will be featured in the film Getting Over Allison. The film's plot tells the story of a high school senior whose girlfriend breaks up with him as he then falls for his best friend's sister. The film will star Kristen Dunst and Ben Foster. Tommy O'Haver will direct the film.

Sisqo's album, Enter The Dragon, placed at nine on Soundscan this week. The remix to his hit "Thong Song" features Foxy Brown and will be featured on the Nutty Professor II: The Klumps soundtrack. Sisqo is currently opening for pop group N'Sync. Here are their remaining tour dates:

* 6/13 - Tacoma, WA - Tacoma Dome
* 6/23 - Minneapolis, MN - Target Center
* 6/25 - Joliet, IL - Route 66 Speedway
* 6/26 - Lexington, KY - Rupp Arena
* 6/27 - Columbus, OH - Schottenstein Center
* 6/28 - St. Louis, MO - Kiel Center
* 6/30 - Cleveland, OH - Gund Arena
* 7/1 - Cleveland, OH - Gund Arena
* 7/2 - Buffalo, NY - Marine Midland Arena
* 7/4 - Greensboro, NC - Greensboro Coliseum Complex
* 7/5 - Raleigh, NC - Entertainment & Sports Arena
* 7/11 - Albany, NY - Pepsi Center
* 7/12 - Albany, NY - Pepsi Center
* 7/14 - Cincinnati, OH - Cynergy Field
* 7/16 - Pittsburgh, PA - Three Rivers Stadium
* 7/18 - Pontiac, MI - Silverdome
* 7/20 - Philadelphia, PA -The Spectrum
* 7/21 - Philadelphia, PA - The Spectrum
* 7/23 - Foxboro, MA - Foxboro Stadium
* 7/25 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden
* 7/26 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden
* 7/27 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden
* 7/28 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden
* 7/29 - Cincinnati, OH - Riverfront festival
* 7/30 - Hershey, PA - Hershey Park Stadium

June 21, 2000

Bruce Springsteen Protests Diallo Shooting

Rock singer Bruce Springsteen is under scrutiny for his song "American Skin." The song addresses the murder of African immigrant Amadou Diallo, who was fired at 41 times and hit with 21 shots by New York police officers. Diallo was unarmed and the song speaks about racial profiling. The officers were acquitted of murder.

Patrick J. Lynch, president of the New York City Police Benevolent Association is asking for members of the group to boycott Bruce Springsteen & the E. Street Band's ten stop tour at New York's Madison Square Garden.

The letter on the website, http://www.nycpba.org, reads:

Singer Bruce Springsteen has begun performing in concert a song called "American Skin," - the title seems to suggest that the shooting of Amadou Diallo was a case of racial profiling - which keeps repeating the phrase, "Forty-one-shots." I consider it an outrage that he would be trying to fatten his wallet by reopening the wounds of this tragic case at a time when police officers and community members are in a healing period, and I have let his representatives and the press know how I feel about this song.

I strongly urge any PBA members who may moonlight as security or in any other kind of work at rock concerts to avoid working Springsteen concerts. He is scheduled to appear at Madison Square Garden for a 10-day stand beginning June 12, and the PBA strongly urges you not only not to work this or any other Springsteen concert but also not to attend.

Let's stick together on this important issue.


Patrick J. Lynch President

Springsteen first performed the song at a concert in Atlanta, Georgia on
June 4th. The New York Daily News printed the lyrics to the song on Friday.
The lyrics read:

41 shots / 41 shots / 41 shots
41 shots / 41 shots / 41 shots
41 shots / 41 shots and we'll take that ride
41 shots / 41 shots / 41 shots

Lena gets her son ready for school
She says now on these streets Charles
You got to understand the rules
Promise me if an officer stops you'll always be polite
Never ever run away and promise mama you'll keep your hands in sight

Cause is it a gun? / Is it a knife? / Is it a wallet?
This is your life / It ain't no secret / It ain't no secret
The secret my friend
You can get killed just for living in your American skin

(41 shots-3 times)

Across this bloody river to the other side
41 shots they cut through the night
You're kneeling over his body in the vestibule

Praying for his life
(41 shots-3 times)
(Repeat Lena verse)
(41 shots-3 times)

41 shots and we'll take that ride
Across this bloody river to the other side
41 shots my boots caked in mud
We're baptized in these waters and in each other's blood

It ain't no secret / Is it a knife? / Is it a wallet?
This is your life / It ain't no secret / It ain't no secret
The secret my friend
You can get killed just for living in
You can get killed just for living in
You can get killed just for living in your American skin
(41 shots-8 times)

Black Women Uplifted in "Colored Girls"

The famous all-Black-women cast play "For Colored Girls who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf" has returned with a current revival in New York City. Written by Ntozake Shange and first opening in 1976, "Colored Girls" focuses on five Black women and their personal anecdotes regarding their thoughts and feelings about men, themselves, and society. An unmistakable homage to Black women, the play manifests itself through the seemingly "ordinary" lives of the characters. Although all of the women inhibit distinct personalities that are represented by their names, (woman in green, woman in brown etc,) the characters exemplify women universally. This makes "Colored Girls" accessible to all women regardless of race or age because of the way in which it transcends these boxed categories. The play is a cumulative work of the women's monologues that reveal themselves primarily through poetry and dance. For more information, call 212-239-6200.

June 20, 2000

O.J. Opts for the Defense

O.J. Simpson, infamously known for the 1994 trial acquitting him of the murder of his wife Nicole Simpson and friend Ron Goldman, is out to clear his name. In an attempt to convince the public that his acquittal was a justified and impartial decision, Simpson has decided to air his story via the internet in a pay-per-view plan urging society to hear his side of the story. According to Fox News, Simpson claims he's ready to stop "playing the defense"-- the double entendre bringing up memories of his former esteemed football career and his current desire to protect his claimed innocence. Simpson's anger and frustration became apparent in a live on-air Fox news interview between anchor Shepard Smith and Denise Brown, sister of Simpson's deceased wife. Simpson proceeded to argue with Shepard and Brown, denying he ever took a lie-detector test and informing Brown about his deceased wife's fear that her sister possibly wanted to seduce him. Brown retaliated by saying "you [Simpson] are a pig, you are pathetic." The back and forth tirade went on for much of the show and so did Simpson's newfound offensive approach during which he verbally expressed by calling Smith a "liar." Simpson's Internet video is scheduled for release sometime next month.

Kim Mathers Sends Open Letter

As previously reported, Eminem was involved in a physical altercation in a nightclub when he hit John Guerra on the head with a gun for kissing his wife. What follows is the open letter that Kimberly Mathers, Eminem's wife, sent to the Detroit Free Press.

To whom it may concern,

First and foremost, I would like to start off by saying that just because my husband is an entertainer, that does not mean that our personal business is for everyone's entertainment purposes, but since the press seems to think that it is, then they should get their story straight.

My husband came up to Hot Rocks to check up on me, why is still unknown to me because if I was to cheat on him it wouldn't be in a neighborhood bar where he knows I am. Had he asked any questions before he flew off the handle, he would have realized that everyone with me (both male and female) were only friends. The fact that he just jumped to conclusions has gotten him and myself in trouble.

I would also like to state, since my husband has had no problem trying to make me look like an unfaithful wife, that every time I find a picture of him with other women, or read in magazines that he's involved with 'groupies,' I don't go and show up where he is making a huge scene and getting our faces put all over the TV and papers. I have always taken his word on things and stood by his side. Even after the whole situation up at Hot Rocks, I tried to defend him.


Kim Mathers

June 16, 2000

Universal Sues Mike Myers

Mike Myers, former cast member of Saturday Night Live and the creator of the Austin Powers series of movies is being sued by Universal for breach of contract. Myers was set to star in a movie based on his character "Dieter" from his Saturday night live sketch "Sprockets." The lawsuit states that Myers "announced that he was abandoning the project in midstream and was not going to honor his commitments to Universal." Myers' attorneys have said that he was to have final script approval and if it didn't meet his standards, he would not be involved in the movie. Universal is expected to counter that since he was involved with the writing of the script and he submitted it to Universal, implying that he approved of it. Myers said in a statement that "the question from the beginning has always been, can Sprockets move from beyond a sketch into being a full-length feature film, and, despite my greatest efforts, I have yet to achieve that."

Universal Records Announces Summer release Schedule Universal records has just released its summer and fall release schedule for the ladder part of 2000. Miracle's self-titled album Miracle, and Big Tymers I Got That Work debuted in May. Nelly will release Country Grammar on June 27th while Canibus is set to release his sophomore album, 2000 B.C on July 25th. The Kings of Comedy soundtrack, will also be released on July 25th.

August proves to be a prolific month with the release of three artists including popular down South rappers Cash Money's Baller Blockin' and Ram Squad's Random Access Money both scheduled for release on August 22nd. Tommy Sims will release Diary: Peace & Love on August 8th. Boyz to Men fans will also be pleased to know that the group's third album, Nathan, Michael, Shawn, Wanya will finally be released on September 12th. Also scheduled to be released in September is Tracey Lee's sophomore album, Live from the 215, and Monifah's third album, Home on October 17th . Sticky Fingaz, formally of the rap group Onyx will also release his solo album, Black Trash (Autobiography of Kirk Jones) on October 31st.

Spike Lee to Direct "Kings of Comedy"

Spike Lee attempts to make the transition from stage to screen with the advent of "The Original Kings of Comedy" his new feature film based on the highly successful Comedy tour the "Kings of Comedy". With the directorial help of Lee, the film follows the comedic talents of Cedric "The Entertainer", Steve Harvey, Bernie Mac and D.L. Hughley. The movie chronicles the successful tour coupled with a behind -the-scene in-depth look at the comedians. Lee, infamous for his focus on issues relevant to the Black Diaspora, explains his interest and involvement in the making of the film. " I wanted to see this on film because it has to be documented. It's the best comedy tour ever but it's been under the radar." The film explores the dynamics of Black comedy in a way that is accessible to all races, ages and sexes.

June 15, 2000

Whitney Refuses Drug Rehab?

According to Us magazine, pop star Whitney Houston rejected her family's pleas to enter a drug rehab program after a drug crisis last summer in Beverly Hills, California. The alleged intervention took place last July at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The article claims that the counseling occurred after her husband Bobby Brown had been ranting and raving in the hotel lobby at 3:30 in the morning. After he was taken to the hospital, Houston's family approached her. Concerned about the singer's health, they summoned at least two drug specialists to talk to the star and convince her to get help.

In the article, Cissy Houston, Whitney's mother, reportedly said, "Whitney, you have to have standards. If you don't, people won't respect you."

Us said Houston was polite about the situation but the results were "disastrous." She refused to get help.

Houston's representatives had no comment on the alleged situation. Brown is currently in Broward County, Florida jail for a probation violation stemming from a drunken-driving charge in 1996. The latest issue of Us hits newsstands on Friday

Mary J. Blige Donates to Aids Charity

Mary J Blige's will kick off her summer tour on June 10th in Los Angeles, California at the Universal Amphitheater. She will celebrate the start of the tour by presenting a donation of $5,000 to Project Angel Food, a Los Angeles HIV/AIDS charity, on behalf of the MAC AIDS Fund. The donation will be the first of eleven made to several charity organizations across the country.

Blige and rapper Lil' Kim are spokeswomen for MAC's Viva Glam III lipstick. The sales of Viva Glam III will be donated to charity. As of date, more than $650,000 has been raised. MAC is also sponsoring Blige's summer tour. The tour will also stop in New York, Georgia, Illinois, and Texas. Here's Mary J. Blige's tour itinerary:

* 6/10 - Los Angeles, CA - Universal Amphitheater
* 6/15 - Oakdale, CT - Oakdale Music Festival
* 6/16 - Boston, MA - Fleet Center/Harbor Lights
* 6/17 - New York, NY - Radio City Music Hall
* 6/20 - New York, NY - Radio City Music Hall
* 6/21 - Buffalo, NY - Marine Midland Arena
* 6/23 - Chicago, IL - Arie Crown Theater
* 6/25 - Memphis, TN - Mud Island
* 6/28 - Sunrise, FL - Sunrise Theater
* 6/30 - Savannah, GA - Civic Center Arena
* 7/1 - Atlanta, GA - Chestain Park
* 7/2 - New Orleans, LA - Essence Music Festival
* 7/6 - Augusta, GA - Richmond County Civic Center
* 7/7 - Birmingham, AL - Boutwell Auditorium
* 7/8 - Raleigh, NC - Alltel Pavilion Walnut Creek
* 7/9 - Richmond, VA - Landmark Theater
* 7/11 - Vienna, VA - Wolf Trap Theater
* 7/12 - Westbury, NY - Westbury Music Festival
* 7/14 - Newark, NJ - Theater Performing Arts
* 7/15 - Camden, NJ - East Center
* 7/16 - Rochester, NY - Brown Square Park
* 7/18 - Saginaw, MI - Windler Arena
* 7/20 - Columbus, OH - Palace
* 7/21 - Cleveland, OH - State Theater
* 7/22 - Detroit, MI - Fox Theater
* 7/25 - Huntsville, AL - VBC Concert Hall
* 7/27 - Charlotte, NC - Independence Arena
* 7/28 - Greensboro, NC - Greensboro Coliseum
* 7/29 - Hampton, VA - Hampton Coliseum
* 7/30 - Columbia, SC - Township Auditorium
* 8/1 - Minneapolis, MN - Orpheum Theater
* 8/3 - Nashville, TN - Grand Ole Opry
* 8/4 - St. Louis, MO - Fox Theater
* 8/5 - Milwaukee, WI - Marcus
* 8/6 - Pittsburgh, PA - Light Amphitheater
* 8/8 - Kansas City, KS - Municipal Auditorium
* 8/9 - Chicago, IL - Chicago Theater
* 8/12 - Washington, DC - Constitution Hall
* 8/13 - Indianapolis, IN - Murat Centre
* 8/15 - Jackson, MS - Coliseum
* 8/16 - Lafayette, LA - Cajun Dome
* 8/18 - Austin, TX - Frank Erwin Center
* 8/19 - Dallas, TX - Coca-Cola Starplex
* 8/23 - Oakland, CA - Paramount
* 8/25 - Temecula, CA - Pechanga Entertainment Center
* 8/26 - Las Vegas, NV - Mandalay Bay
* 8/27 - Los Angeles, CA - Universal Amphitheater

June 14, 2000

Naomi Campbell Accused of Attacking Employee

Naomi Campbell has been accused of attacking another one of her employees. According to the British tabloid, The People, Campbell hurled Vanessa Frisbee against a wall seriously enough for her to be treated for shock and bruises at a hospital.

The alleged incident stemmed from Campbell hiding her affair with Shakespeare in Love star Joseph Fiennes. According to Frisbee, Campbell was trying to keep her affair with Fienness a secret from her boyfriend Flavio Briatore. Briatore is the founder of the Benetton Formula One racing team. Frisbee claims that Campbell confided in her about her affair. She said, "I was expected to lie for her, organize her meetings with Fiennes and listen to her about what a wonderful lover he was." Campbell reportedly flipped because Frisbee refused to continue helping her with her scheme. Frisbee said, "Naomi is a complete control freak. She has a vile temper."

Representatives for Campbell said the charges are untrue and may consider an extortion suit against Frisbee. Campbell was charged two years ago for assaulting her personal assistant Georgina Galanis. The charges were later dropped but Campbell reportedly paid a settlement and agreed to under go anger management therapy.

Common and De La Soul Ready to Tour

The Spitkicker concert tour dates have been announced. The Spitkicker Tour will feature Common, De La Soul, and Pharoahe Monch. Biz Markie and Reflection Eternal featuring Talib Kweli are also part of the tour. The tour will kick off on June 28th in Seattle, Washington at the Paramount Theatre. The tour includes stops in New York, Virginia, California, and Georgia. It will wrap up on July 31st in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at Club Laga. The concert will feature a collaborative performance between all the acts instead of separate performances.

In related news, De La Soul will release their new album Art Official Intelligence on July 18th. The album features collaborations with Chaka Khan, Redman, and the Beastie Boys. Common's latest album, Like Water for Chocolate placed at 148 on Soudscan this week. Here is The Spitkicker Tour itinerary:

* 6/28 - Seattle, WA - Paramount Theatre
* 6/29 - Portland, OR - Roseland
* 6/30 - San Francisco, CA - Maritime Hall
* 7/2 - San Diego, CA - 4th & B
* 7/3 - Irvine, CA - Oak Canyon Ranch
* 7/4 - Los Angeles, CA - House Of Blues
* 7/6 - Las Vegas, NV - The Joint - Hard Rock Hotel
* 7/7 - Phoenix, AZ - Celebrity Theatre
* 7/8 - Albuquerque, NM - Sunshine Theatre
* 7/9 - Denver, CO - Fillmore Auditorium
* 7/11 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
* 7/12 - Milwaukee, WI - The Rave
* 7/13 - Chicago, IL - House Of Blues
* 7/14 - Chicago, IL - House Of Blues
* 7/15 - Cincinnati, OH - Bogart's
* 7/16 - Detroit, MI - State Theatre
* 7/18 - New York, NY - Roseland
* 7/19 - Boston, MA - Avalon
* 7/20 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory
* 7/21 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
* 7/22 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
* 7/23 - Atlanta, GA - Tabernacle
* 7/24 - New Orleans, LA - House Of Blues
* 7/27 - Miami, FL - Sunrise Musical Theatre
* 7/28 - Orlando, FL - House Of Blues
* 7/29 - Myrtle Beach, SC - House Of Blues
* 7/30 - Norfolk, VA - Norva Theatre
* 7/31 - Pittsburgh, PA - Club Laga

June 13, 2000

Black Rob Skips Court Appearance

A bench warrant has been issued for Bad Boy rapper Black Rob after he failed to appear in a Manhattan court on Friday to answer charges for drugs and weapons possession. As Vibe Online previously reported, Black Rob was arrested on May 21st on gun and drug charges stemming from an impromptu autograph signing. The rapper allegedly stopped in Manhattan to sign autographs for some fans when two undercover cops allegedly saw him hand his friend Kwamie Thomas a .22 caliber handgun to put in the vehicle. An arrest team was then called to the scene when they searched the vehicle and allegedly found the gun and tablets of the drug Ecstasy. Black Rob, born Robert Ross, and Thomas were both charged with criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Black Rob's next scheduled court appearance today (June 13, 2000). Thomas showed up for his court hearing.

Oprah in Search of New Editor-in-Chief

Oprah Winfrey's magazine, O, is replacing its editor-in-chief after only one issue. Ellen Kunes confirmed her resignation to the New York Daily News saying, "I felt someone who could be more involved on a day-to-day level would be better."

Kunes will however help in the search for her replacement and will remain at Hearst, publisher of O magazine. Candidates include InStyle managing editor Martha Nelson and Time Inc. parenting group editorial director Janet Chan. Michelle Burford, who Oprah recruited from Essence magazine, has been named deputy editor and is also in the running for the editor-in-chief position.

The premiere issue featured an interview will Camille Cosby. Cosby discussed various topics including the death of her son Ennis.

June 12, 2000

Johnnie Taylor Suffers Fatal Attack

Singer Johnnie Taylor died on Wednesday at his home in Dallas, Texas after suffering a heart attack. Taylor was born in Crawfordsville, Arkansas in 1938.

The legendary singer whose career spanned over fifty years recorded in a variety of styles including gospel, doo-wop, soul, disco, and Rhythm and Blues. He first started recording in the 1950s as a member of the doo-wop group, The Five Echoes and the gospel group Highway Q.C.'s. In 1957, he replaced Sam Cooke as lead singer of the gospel group, The Soul Stirres. Cooke went on to pursue a career in secular music. Taylor soon followed in his footsteps and went on to become "The Philosopher of Soul" music. Taylor's hits included "Who's Making Love (To Your Old Lady)" and "Disco Lady." Taylor released his last album, Gotta Get The Grove Back on Malaco Records in 1999.

He is survived by his wife Gerlean and four adult children. Taylor was 62.

LA Reid Seeking Columbia Promotions Vet

Arista Records' new president Antonio "L.A." Reid wants to hire Jerry Blair as his second in command. Blair, a music industry promotions veteran has helped launch such stars as Mariah Carey and Ricky Martin. However, music insiders are saying that Sony Music head Tommy Mottola and Columbia Records President Don Ienner want a huge sum to let Blair go.

According to the New York Daily News, Blair has been told to leave his Columbia position while Sony Music Entertainment works out a settlement deal with BMG. BMG is the parent company of Arista Records. Sources told the New York Daily News "He's stopped working at the company. The question now is whether Sony releases him from his contract."

LA will officially become president of Arista Records on July 1st, replacing Clive Davis. LA Reid is the co-founder of LaFace Records along with Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds. The company is distributed by Arista is the home of such artists as TLC, Toni Braxton, Usher, and Outkast.

Davis is responsible for the careers of premiere artists like Santana and Whitney Houston. Several Arista artists including Prince, Santana, and Whitney Houston have expressed interest in leaving the label after Davis' departure. Davis is currently on an extended vacation and in negotiations to form a new company. BMG is reportedly in talks with him to house his new venture and to keep some of their heavy hitters from leaving the fold.

June 10, 2000

Janet Jackson to Divorce

Janet Jackson's husband Rene Elizondo filed for divorce yesterday in L.A. Superior Court citing irreconcilable differences. Shocking many, Elizondo stated that they were married in March 1991 at their home in San Diego, California. He said, "We decided early on that we wanted to keep our private life private. I'm as surprised as you are that we managed to keep it a secret."

According to Reuters, Janet said in a statement that she hoped her fans understood the concealment of the marriage saying, "I tried to keep my marriage private in an effort to have a normal family life." She also said, "It pains me greatly that despite my sincere efforts, my marriage to Rene did not work out."

The couple also had a prenuptial agreement, which is now being questioned. Elizondo has directed many of Janet's video and claims to have co-written at least 30 of her songs. Elizondo also claims that he conceptualized her Rhythm Nation and Velvet Rope albums.

In related Janet Jackson news, she will costar along side Eddie Murphy in the film Klumps: The Nutty Professor II. Jackson will play Murphy's love interest and has also recorded a song for the soundtrack entitled, "Doesn't Really Matter." The soundtrack will also feature Jay-Z, DMX, Sisqo, and Foxy Brown. The film is scheduled to be released on July 28th and the album will hit stores on July 11th.

Ice Cube to Star in "Stray Dawgz"

Ice Cube has signed on to star in the New Line Cinema film Stray Dawgz. Ice Cube will play a newly released convict who discovers that he is the next in line of a long ancestral tradition of werewolf hunters. He then has to save the city of San Francisco from the terrorizing beasts. The film will be directed by Gregory Dark. Cube is schedule to start filming Straw Dawgz this fall after wrapping up production on Ghost of Mars, which also stars rock singer Courtney Love. Both films are scheduled to be released in theatres some time next year.

In related Ice Cube news, the rapper is preparing to embark on the "Up in Smoke Tour" with his N.W.A. cohorts, Dr. Dre and MC Ren. Eminem, Snoop, Warren G, and Xzibit are also among some of the featured performers. Here is the scheduled tour itinerary:

*	6/15 - San Diego, CA - Coors Amphitheater 
*	6/16 - Anaheim, CA - Arrowhead Pond 
*	6/19 - San Jose, CA - Sa Jose Arena 
*	6/24 - Portland, OR - Rose Garden 
*	6/30 - Indianapolis, IN - Conseco Fieldhouse 
*	7/1 - Columbus, OH - Schottenstein Center 
*	7/2 - Cleveland, OH - Gund Arena 
*	7/3 - Pittsburgh, PA - Melon Arena 
*	7/6 - Detroit, MI - TBA 
*	7/8 - Chicago, IL - Allstate Arena 
*	7/10 - Minneapolis, MN - TBA 
*	7/13 - Rochester, NY - Blue Cross Arena 
*	7/14 - Albany, NY - Pepsi Center 
*	7/15 - Boston, MA - Fleet Center 
*	7/18 - Philadelphia, PA - Spectrum 
*	7/20 - Uniondale, NY - Nassau Coliseum 
*	7/21 - East Rutherford, NJ - Continental Airlines Arena 
*	7/22 - Hartford, CT - Hartford Coliseum 
*	7/25 - Baltimore, MD - Baltimore Arena 
*	7/26 - Buffalo, NY - Midland Marina Arena 
*	7/27 - Washington, DC - MCI Center 
*	7/29 - Charlotte, NC - Charlotte Coliseum 
*	7/30 - Atlanta, GA Š Lakewood Aphiitheater 
*	8/1 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL Š TBA 
*	8/2 - Tampa, FL Š Ice Palace @ Lakewood Amphitheater 
*	8/1 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ TBA 
*	8/2 - Tampa, FL @ Ice Palace

June 9, 2000

Master P's Got the Hook Up

Master P is set to start, No Limit Communications and place his hat into the telecommunications industry. No Limit Communications will offer a wide range of services including the Internet, prepaid calling cards, cellular phones, paging, and e-commerce services. Master P will partner with Alliance Network. Alliance Network is a communication company that offers long distance services, wireless, paging and Internet services including web design, hosting and e-commerce solutions.

No Limit Communications will launch an eight city promotional tour that will kick off in New Orleans. The tour will also stop in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, Newark, Miami, and New York City. Following the tour, No Limit Communications will launch a multi-million dollar radio and television advertising campaign in support of the company. For more information, log on to www.nolimitcommunications.com.

In related Master P news, the 504 Boyz album, Good Fellas placed 15th on Soundscan this week. The 504 Boyz consists of P, Silkk The Shocker, and Mystikal. His next solo album, Ghetto Postage, is scheduled to hit stores in September.

Brian McKnight to Perform a Tribute to Curtis Mayfield

The National Academy of Popular Music/Songwriters' Hall of Fame have announced some of the performers that will be performing the works of the inductees at the 31st Annual Songwriters' Hall of Fame Induction Awards and Dinner. The tribute line up includes Hanson performing a Beach Boys' medley honoring Brian Wilson and Carole King performing some of the works of James Taylor. Brian McKnight will pay homage to Curtis Mayfield while Aaron Neville will perform songs penned by Johnny Mathis. Other performers will be announced later.

The artists being inducted into the Songwriters' Hall of Fame this year include James Brown, Don Henley and Glenn Frey, Curtis Mayfield (posthumously), James Taylor, and Brian Wilson. Special recognition awards will also be given to legendary songwriters Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller, who will receive the Johnny Mercer Award. Neil Diamond will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award and Johnny Mathis will receive the Hitmaker Award. The 31st Annual Songwriters' Hall of Fame Induction Awards and Dinner will be held on Thursday, June 15th.

Hal David, Chairman of the Songwriters' Hall of Fame, said, "We are very excited with the way things are shaping up for this year's ceremonies. The inductees and other honorees are top notch, and the talent signing on is fresh and exciting. Yet the program is still remaining true to our goals of celebrating the songwriter. I'm honored to be a part of it."

June 8, 2000

Mobb Deep's Prodigy Hospitalized

Infamous Queensbridge Murderer Prodigy of the hip hop group Mobb Deep is expected to be released from the hospital this weekend after suffering a sickle cell anemia crisis. He has been in the hospital since May 31st. T-Boz from TLC also suffers from the disease. It affects many African-Americans.

Sickle Cell Anemia is an inherited disorder of the red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen to all parts of the body by using a protein called hemoglobin. Normal red blood cells contain only normal hemoglobin and are shaped like doughnuts. These cells are very flexible and move easily through small blood vessels.

But in sickle cell disease, the red blood cells contain sickle hemoglobin, which causes them to change to a curved shape (sickle shape) after oxygen is released. Sickle cells become stuck and form plugs in small blood vessels. This blockage of blood flow can damage the tissue. Because there are blood vessels in all parts of the body, damage can occur anywhere in the body.

In related Prodigy news, he is expected to release his solo album, H.N.I.C. on August 22nd. The album features production by his Mobb Deep cohort Havoc, The Alchemists, and Hangmen 3. Havoc also appears on two cuts on the album including "Live Through It." Noreaga is featured on the track, "What U Rep," while Bounty Killer joins him on "Murderer." Hot Boy B.G. also collaborates with Prodigy on the cut "Young Black Entrepreneurs." He also addresses his sickle cell anemia problems on the track, "You Can Never Feel My Pain." Mobb Deep will also release a straight-to-video movie entitled Murder Muzik later this year. Snoop Dogg is scheduled to appear on the soundtrack.

Michael Jackson to Launch HollywoodTicket

Michael Jackson has signed on as an investor for a new Internet company, HollywoodTicket.com Inc. The site is scheduled to launch this summer and offer "insider Hollywood news, merchandising, ticketing, and auctions." Jackson will also secure deals for "major figures in movies, TV, music, and other entertainment fields" to appear on the site.

In a press statement, Jackson said, "The Internet allows us to bring fans together with top talent in creative new forms of entertainment that provide fun, adventure, and meaningful interactive experiences for everyone. "

He also said, "Through HollywoodTicket.com, talent professionals have a business and artistic opportunity to get involved on a much more active level in the creation and distribution of innovative entertainment for our fans."

The site will also feature a contest called "Dream Sweepstakes." Dream Sweepstake will allow fans to win lunch with their favorite celebrities, concert tickets and movie premieres. Prior to launching, HollywoodTicket.com will host a contest for fans to attend a concert and win backstage passes to personally meet N'Sync before their June 9th concert at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

June 7, 2000

Kirk Franklin Sued by the Family

Gospel artist Kirk Franklin is being sued by five former members of his group, the Family, for alleged fraud and breach of contract. The suit is for $5.5 million. The five singers, John Gray, Terri Pace, LaKeisha Grandy, Dalon Collins, and Carrie Collins, members of his former back up group, filed the suit against Franklin and his label Gospo Centric Records on May 2nd in Los Angeles Superior Court. The singers claim that they were not paid for work on Franklin's 1998 album, The Nu Nation Project. The album has been certified double platinum.

Peter Haviland, attorney for Gospo Centric Records', said, "I have never seen a more frivolous lawsuit. These individuals don't represent The Family. We understand that other members want absolutely nothing to do with this suit."

Carl Thomas & Santana Unite for Oneness

According to the Hollywood Reporter,Carlos Santana, Brian McKnight, and Ricky Martin are several artist who have agreed to lend their support to the Oneness Project. The Oneness Project is a non-profit organization whose mission is to combat racism and promote cultural unity through music and the arts. Carl Thomas, Montel Jordan, and Chaka Khan are also part of the project.

The Oneness Project's first mission includes producing a compilation album with artist of all different backgrounds under one banner. Carlos Santana has already recorded a song for the project. Santana remade the Bob Marley classic "Natural Mystic." Proceeds from the Oneness Project album will be used to set up youth workshops, create racial unity campaigns, and fund educational programs

June 6, 2000

Teddy Riley Sues Chauncey Black

Teddy Riley filed a $2 million lawsuit last Friday in Virginia Circuit Court in Virginia Beach against his former Blackstreet bandmate Chauncey "Black" Hannibal. The suit was filed in response to Hannibal's song "Shame on You," on which Hannibal accuses Riley of stealing from him and using unethical business practices. The song also takes a punch at R&B singer Sisqo, which questions his sexuality and calls him a "drag queen."

Riley's suit also claims that Hannibal defamed him by promoting the record on MTV and on radio stations. The lawsuit says, "The lyrics...imply that Riley is an unethical and dishonest person, that he engages in unethical and underhanded business practices." Riley wants the court to order Hannibal to stop playing the song and making further accusations about him. Hannibal replied to the suit saying, "I never said his name in that song. If you want to take it like that, OK. The truth hurts. But I never said his name."

Blackstreet recorded three albums and won a Grammy award in 1998 for the hit single "No Diggity" from the album Another Level. The group disbanded last year.

Martin Lawrence to Star in Black Knight?

Martin Lawrence is in talks to star in the film Black Knight. Black Knight was originally set to star Chris Tucker and was scheduled to be directed by F. Gary Gray. Both walked away from the film, which is still in search of a director. The film will feature Lawrence as a struggling restaurant worker who gets transported back to the Middle Ages.

Lawrence's film, Big Momma's House, will hit theatres on June 2nd. Big Momma's House also stars Nia Long and Terrance Howard. Lawrence plays an undercover cop sent to Georgia to protect a single mother (Long) and her son. Martin adopts the identity of a Southern grandmother known as "Big Momma."

He will start filming What's the Worst That Could Happen next. The film will star Danny Devito. Martin will play a thief who burglarizes the home of Devito. During the burglary, Devito captures Martin's lucky ring. From there, the two try to outsmart each other to retain their respective possessions. The film is scheduled to be released in Spring 2001

June 5, 2000

O.J Simpson Attacked in Lovers' Quarrel

O.J. Simpson was recently involved in another domestic dispute. Miami, Florida police were called to the Wyndham Hotel at about 1 a.m. on Wednesday when an argument between Simpson and his 25-year-old girlfriend, Christine Prody, turned violent. According to police reports, Prody became enraged during the argument and "slapped and kicked" Simpson.

Miami-Dade Police Spokesman Ed Munn, said, "The security guards from the hotel saw her strike Simpson a few times and called police." Simpson refused to press charges after the incident. The couple later downplayed the altercation as a misunderstanding. No arrest were made and police gave Simpson a brochure on dealing with domestic violence.

Simpson and Prody have been dating since 1996. The couple previously had an encounter with police last October when Simpson called 911 saying that he wanted help for Prody, who had gone on a cocaine binge.

Mary J. Blige Endorses Dark & Lovely

Mary J. Blige has signed on to be a spokesmodel for Dark & Lovely hair coloring. Her signature shade will be called "Red Hot Mary." Blige will appear on new packages of Dark & Lovely hair coloring, too.

Blige is also a spokesperson for Viva Glam III lipstick along with Lil' Kim. MAC Cosmetics, which produces Viva Glam III, will also sponsor Mary's summer tour. The tour will kick off in Los Angeles, California on June 10th at the Universal Amphitheater. Mary is also scheduled to release her fifth album, Mary Vol. II, in September. Jagged Edge and Carl Thomas will be Blige's opening acts. Here is Mary J. Blige's tour itinerary:

* 6/10 - Los Angeles, CA - Universal Amphitheater
* 6/15 - Oakdale, CT - Oakdale Music Festival
* 6/16 - Boston, MA - Fleet Center/Harbor Lights
* 6/17 - New York, NY - Radio City Music Hall
* 6/20 - New York, NY - Radio City Music Hall
* 6/21 - Buffalo, NY - Marine Midland Arena
* 6/23 - Chicago, IL - Arie Crown Theater
* 6/25 - Memphis, TN - Mud Island
* 6/28 - Sunrise, FL - Sunrise Theater
* 6/30 - Savannah, GA - Civic Center Arena
* 7/1 - Atlanta, GA - Chestain Park
* 7/2 - New Orleans, LA - Essence Music Festival
* 7/6 - Augusta, GA - Richmond County Civic Center
* 7/7 - Birmingham, AL - Boutwell Auditorium
* 7/8 - Raleigh, NC - Alltel Pavilion Walnut Creek
* 7/9 - Richmond, VA - Landmark Theater
* 7/11 - Vienna, VA - Wolf Trap Theater
* 7/12 - Westbury, NY - Westbury Music Festival
* 7/14 - Newark, NJ - Theater Performing Arts
* 7/15 - Camden, NJ - East Center
* 7/16 - Rochester, NY - Brown Square Park
* 7/18 - Saginaw, MI - Windler Arena
* 7/20 - Columbus, OH - Palace
* 7/21 - Cleveland, OH - State Theater
* 7/22 - Detroit, MI - Fox Theater
* 7/25 - Huntsville, AL - VBC Concert Hall
* 7/27 - Charlotte, NC - Independence Arena
* 7/28 - Greensboro, NC - Greensboro Coliseum
* 7/29 - Hampton, VA - Hampton Coliseum
* 7/30 - Columbia, SC - Township Auditorium
* 8/1 - Minneapolis, MN - Orpheum Theater
* 8/3 - Nashville, TN - Grand Ole Opry
* 8/4 - St. Louis, MO - Fox Theater
* 8/5 - Milwaukee, WI - Marcus
* 8/6 - Pittsburgh, PA - Light Amphitheater
* 8/8 - Kansas City, KS - Municipal Auditorium
* 8/9 - Chicago, IL - Chicago Theater
* 8/12 - Washington, DC - Constitution Hall
* 8/13 - Indianapolis, IN - Murat Centre
* 8/15 - Jackson, MS - Coliseum
* 8/16 - Lafayette, LA - Cajun Dome
* 8/18 - Austin, TX - Frank Erwin Center
* 8/19 - Dallas, TX - Coca-Cola Starplex
* 8/23 - Oakland, CA - Paramount
* 8/25 - Temecula, CA - Pechanga Entertainment Center
* 8/26 - Las Vegas, NV - Mandalay Bay
* 8/27 - Los Angeles, CA - Universal Amphitheater

June 3, 2000

The Beastie Boys Respond to Lawsuit

Jazz flutist James W. Newton, sued the Beastie Boys for using a sample of his music on their song "Pass the Mic" from their album, Check Your Head. "Pass the Mic" uses a six second flute solo from Newton's 1982 song "Choir" from the album, Axum. The suit was filed on May 9th in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

The Beastie Boys obtained permission to use the sample from ECM Records, which released Axum. However, Newton said he owns the publishing rights and that the label didn't have permission to allow usage of the song.

Beastie Boys' member Mike D. said in a press release, "We obtained and paid for all necessary clearances for this sample. We dealt directly with ECM Records, the owner of the master recording, and lived up fully to the agreement we made with them."

Newton acknowledges this fact but claims ECM did not have the right to grant permission. The suit also names producer Mario Caldato Jr., Capitol Records, Grand Royal Records, Brooklyn Dust Music, and Universal Polygram International Publishing. Newton's lawsuit seeks $150,000 for each alleged infringement including remixes and videos.

Kelly Price Prepares New Album

Kelly Price recently spoke about her new album, Mirror, Mirror. She talked about three of her favorite cuts on the album including the remake of the Shirley Murdock classic, "As We Lay." Price described working with Murdock saying, "I got to talk with one of my idols about the industry and Shirley shared some of her experiences with me." Price also recently shot a video for the song, which included Murdock. She added, "The video to the song provided closure for Shirley who wasn't able to shoot a video for the original version."

Kelly is also family oriented and dedicated two songs to her family members including a gospel song entitled "Many Things About Tomorrow." She said, "'Many Things About Tomorrow' was one of the songs that my mother-in-law loved to hear in church. Before she died, she asked me to sing it at the funeral and not break down." Kelly's mother-in-law passed away from breast cancer.

The proud mother of a son and a daughter, Kelly also has a track for her kids. Price said, "'The Lullaby' is personal and special because I wrote it for my children. It was a gift from me to them so when I'm gone on tour and stuff, I'm still there with them. They also sang on the song."

Mirror, Mirror also includes collaborations with Gerald Levert, K-Ci Hailey, R. Kelly, and Method Man. It is scheduled to be released in June. Kelly will also tour in September with Gerald Levert and K-Ci & Jo Jo Hailey.

June 2, 2000

Bobby Brown Denied Bond

R&B singer Bobby Brown was ordered on Monday to remain behind bars in Fort Lauderdale, Florida until his hearing is held on June 19th. Brown is being held on a probation violation stemming from a drunk driving charge. Circuit Judge Leonard Feiner denied Bobby his bond considering him a flight risk. Brown told his lawyer, "It's not fair. It's not right. They're not judging me as a man. I'm covered in blood."

The 31-year-old singer is the husband of pop diva Whitney Houston. Houston wasn't present during the hearing but her representative, Nancy Seltzer said "She was with him in spirit." In 1998, Brown spent five days in jail and was placed on probation for a year after he was convicted of a drunk driving incident in 1996. A warrant was issued on Bobby last June when his probation officer said he tested positive for cocaine use. Bobby was arrested on May 10 in a Newark, New Jersey airport as he was coming back from the Bahamas. Brown has a home in Medham, New Jersey. He was then extradited to Broward County jail in Florida where he has since been held.

Stevie Wonder to Perform at United Nations

Stevie Wonder and Dionne Warwick are scheduled to perform at the United Nations gala to honor the humanitarian efforts of the Children Uniting Nations campaign on June 4th. Children Uniting Nations is a progressive organization whose mission is to bring support and attention to the 30 million child environmental refugees throughout the world who are dying at a rate of 7,000 per week.

Woody Harrelson, Don Henley, Ed Begley, Jr., and Arnold Schwarzenegger are also scheduled to attend the event. Larry King will be the Master of Ceremonies. Other music acts scheduled to perform include Francisco Casanova, Jose Carreras, and Aprile Millo. Senegalese musician Baba Maal will also perform. His latest album is Nomad Soul. Maal is currently a spokesperson in Senegal, West Africa, who speaks out against the historic, cultural rite of passage of female mutilation, and continues to be involved in children's issues.

June 1, 2000

James Brown Faces Sexual Harassment Suit

Lisa Agbalaya filed a $1 million sexual harassment lawsuit against the "Godfather of Soul" James Brown on Friday. Agbalaya was the President of West Coast Operations of The New James Brown Enterprises from April 1993 until February of this year.

The lawsuit alleges that Brown smoked marijuana in the office and presented her with a pair of zebra print underwear and demanded that she wear them while he massaged her with oil. The suit also claims that Brown told Agbalaya that she was "built like a stallion, just right for riding." The suit also specifically states that "In November 1999, only a short time after James Brown had surgery to treat his prostate cancer, Agbalaya attended a dinner party with Brown and defendant's employees. While eating dinner, Brown told Agbalaya that the government gave him 'bull testicles' so he could come 'harder and stronger than ever.'"

Agbalaya said she took the matter to superiors and was told that was "simply how James Brown was." She claims thereafter Brown started reneging and rejecting several dates booked by her, leading the way for her firing. Agbalaya is suing the singer, The New James Brown Enterprises, and James Brown West for wrongful termination in violation of public policy, sexual harassment, emotional distress, and sex discrimination. Agbalaya's attorneys attempted to resolve the matter out of court but were met with no satisfaction. Deborah Opri, Brown's attorney, claims that Agbalaya's suit is an extortion scheme and said, "the allegations of the lawsuit are baseless and Mr. Brown denies them in their totality."

In related James Brown news, his cousin Richard Glenn was arrested in suspicion of starting the fire at James Brown Enterprises in Augusta, Georgia earlier this month. The fire destroyed a lot of the singer's memorabilia including gold records and concert robes.

R. Kelly & Isaac Hayes Headline Shaft

The soundtrack to the motion picture Shaft will be released on June 13th. The album features appearances by Donnell Jones, Too Short, Carl Thomas, and OutKast. The soundtrack's first two singles are a regrooving of Isaac Hayes' original "Theme from Shaft" and R. Kelly's "Bad Man." Mystikal, Parle, Jadakiss, and Eve are also featured on the project.

The movie will hit theatres on June 12th. The film stars Samuel L. Jackson, Vanessa Williams, Busta Rhymes, and Richard Roundtree. The film is directed by John Singleton whose other projects include Boyz 'N The Hood and Poetic Justice. The film is based on the novel "Shaft" by Ernest Tidymen and the original 70's blaxploitation flicks which stared Roundtree. Here is the album's track listing:

* Isaac Hayes - "Theme From Shaft"
* R. Kelly - "Bad Man"
* Donell Jones - "Do What I Gotta Do"
* Big Gipp from Goodie M.O.B. - "We Servin'"
* Outkast featuring UGK - "Tough Guy"
* T.I.P. featuring Beanie Sigel - "2 Glock 9's"
* Alicia Keys - "Rock Wit U"
* Carl Thomas - "Summer Rain"
* Sleepy Brown featuring Backbone and Big Rube - "Automatic"
* Too Short - "Pimp Sh**"
* Liberty City - "Cheatin'"
* Parle featuring Jadakiss and Eve - "Fix Me"
* R. Kelly - "Up And Outta Here"
* Mil - "How You Want It?"
* Mystikal - "Ain't Gonna See Tomorrow"
* Angie Stone - "My Lovin' Will Give You Something"
* Fulanito - "Serenata Negra"

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