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No million, but Jay-Z is No. 1
Jay-Z fell short of his goal, but the 462,000 copies that his fourth album, Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter, sold in its first week still will be good enough to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, according to figures released by SoundScan on Wednesday. Jigga had hoped to do what no hip-hop artist had done before -- sell 1 million albums in one week -- but his Hard Knock Life tour counterpart DMX actually came closer one week earlier. X, who sits at No. 2 this week with And Then There Was X, accomplished the feat in two weeks, eclipsing platinum status by adding 398,000 copies to his first-week sales of 698,000. Both artists were expected to make a run at the million mark, but bootlegging and slow post-holiday sales might have hurt Jay-Z. Meanwhile, Dr. Dre's 2001 made a surprising rally to take the No. 5 spot in its seventh week in release and quickly is nearing double-platinum.


Master P facing mass exodus?
Winston Salem-Journal reporter and Sporting News correspondent John Delong predicts that Master P's sports agency is about to lose many of its clients because P continues to focus on his own attempts at a basketball career instead of concentrating on theirs. In a recent column on the Charlotte Hornets, under the heading of "Fearless prediction," Delong writes, "(Hornets guard) Ricky Davis will fire his agent, Master P, shortly. Davis is one of several players around the league, including Denver's Ron Mercer, who apparently feels the rapper is more worried about himself than about their careers. You'll see a mass exodus from the P camp soon."
P was cut by the Toronto Raptors in training camp and has since caught on with a minor league team in San Diego. P tried out with the Hornets before the strike-shortened 1999 season, a gig Davis and his dad helped him land.


Busta, Eminem lead Grammy nominations
Busta Rhymes and Eminem each were nominated in all three of the Grammy Awards' hip-hop categories, while The Roots got nods in two. And the nominees are... Best Rap Solo Performance: "Gimme Some More" -- Busta Rhymes; "My Name Is" -- Eminem; "Vivrant Thing" -- Q-Tip; "Wild Wild West" -- Will Smith (featuring Dru Hill & Kool Moe Dee); "Changes" - 2Pac. Best Rap Album: Extinction Level Event -- Busta Rhymes; Da Real World -- Missy Elliott; The Slim Shady LP -- Eminem; I Am -- Nas; Things Fall Apart -- The Roots. Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group: "What's It Gonna Be?!" -- Busta Rhymes featuring Janet Jackson; "Satisfy You" - Puff Daddy featuring R. Kelly; "Still D.R.E." - Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Dogg; "Guilty Conscience" - Eminem & Dr. Dre; "You Got Me" - The Roots featuring Erykah Badu.


Puff Daddy testifies
Sean "Puffy" Combs testified before a Manhattan grand jury on Tuesday and contested allegations that he played a role in a Dec. 27 shooting at a New York nightclub that wounded three people. The grand jury will decide if Puffy is to be indicted on felony charges. Four eyewitnesses also testified, including a female security guard hired by the club, that Combs did not have a gun and hit the floor when shots rang out. Meanwhile, a bouncer injured in last month's shooting at Club New York has filed a $100 million lawsuit against Combs. Julius Jones filed the suit against Puffy, his bodyguard, his chauffeur, Club New York, its owner Michael Bergos, and Bad Boy Records even though police have not charged Puff with the shooting. Jones allegedly was shot in the shoulder during the incident. And as if that isn't enough, Jennifer Lopez, who was on standby to testify before the grand jury Tuesday, reportedly is being advised by peers (as well as newspapers and magazines) to break up with Puffy before he damages her career. Her publicist denies rumors that Lopez has any career concerns, but the relationship might be on the rocks anyway. One source told MTV that Lopez is not returning Puffy's phone calls.


Meth, Red team up with WWF
Apparently Method Man and Redman enjoyed their taste of professional wrestling. The duo, whose video "Tear the Roof Off" featured their best tag team impression, have joined several other hip-hop notables on the latest WWF compilation, tentatively titled WWF Raw. It will feature new tracks from Snoop Dogg, Run-DMC, Cash Money Millionaires, ODB, Mobb Deep, Mystikal, Kool Keith, Slick Rick, Dana Dane, Mack 10, C-Murder and others. The artists on the album, scheduled to drop Feb. 29, will take theme music from the stars of the WWF and turn it into original recordings. The subject matter won't necessarily revolve around wrestling.


DMX debuts at No. 1
The third time isn't any less of a charm for DMX. X's third album, And Then There Was X, will debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 after selling 698,403 copies. While those sales fall short of the 1 million Def Jam hoped for, the album has become DMX's third straight No. 1 debut and it's the second straight year he will own Christmas week. Last year, DMX also topped the chart with It's Dark And Hell Is Hot and Flesh Of My Flesh, Blood Of My Blood. Other debuts include 2Pac + Outlawz's Still I Rise at No. 7 and Goodie Mob's World Party at No. 56. Jay-Z takes his shot at 1 million this week with Vol. 3... Life And Times of S. Carter.


Jay-Z causes uproar in NYC
While visiting MTV's "Total Request Live" Tuesday afternoon to promote the release of Vol. 3... Life And Times Of S. Carter, Jay-Z tried to cross the street to the Virgin Records Megastore for an unplanned meet-and-greet session with fans. But because of the large amount of people that "TRL" draws and the pre-New Year's Eve crowd assembling already, Jigga was mobbed as he made his way to the store. The fans followed him into the store, causing a little ruckus before Jay-Z eventually was asked to leave.


Dr. Dre goes platinum
As with all albums touched by his talent, Dr. Dre's latest, 2001, has reached platinum status. The album, which was released Nov. 16 and reunites Dre with the likes of Kurupt, Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg sold more than 500,000 copies in its first week, debuting at No. 2, and has steadily climbed to the 1 million mark. Dre released the instrumental version of the album Tuesday.


Mack 10 connects with TLC's T-Boz
According to EUR, TLC's T-Boz has revealed her ongoing romance with Mack 10. During an interview with Launch, T-Boz let loose. "You know what? First of all, he had the real approach. You can't come with all these games, because I'm not checking for all of that. Actually he wasn't even gonna try to talk to me because he thought I was stuck up. 'I don't talk to that heifer in TLC, she probably think she's all that.' Well, when we met -- being that we're both kind of ghettofab -- I'm outspoken and so is he. He's my twin. He's a boy version of me and I'm a girl version of him. So naturally, as people we were meant to meet and be friends, anyway."


Puffy denies involvement
As prosecutors release details surrounding the shootings at a New York nightclub that left three people injured and up-and-coming rapper Shyne charged with three counts of attempted murder, Bad Boy CEO Sean "Puffy" Combs continues to maintain his innocence. According to Reuters, prosecutors claim trouble broke out when Puffy got into an argument with other patrons, one of whom threw money at him. Prosecutor Matthew Bogdanos said Puffy and Shyne (a.k.a. Jamal Barrow) pulled out weapons and Shyne repeatedly fired at the person who had thrown the money. "Under no circumstances whatsoever did I have anything to do with a shooting," Puff said at a news conference Tuesday. "I do not own a gun, nor did I possess a gun that night. I had nothing to do with a shooting at that club. I want to make this 100 percent clear. I had nothing to do with a shooting at this club and I feel terrible that people were hurt that night." Bogdanos said at least one witness claims Combs pulled out a gun at the club but police said Combs is not a suspect in the shooting. He was arraigned on weapons charges which carry sentences of up to 15 years in prison. He faces a court date Feb. 14.

Puff Daddy, Jennifer Lopez and two others were charged with illegal possession of a firearm on Monday after police said they found a stolen gun in a vehicle the entourage was riding in after a shooting at a New York nightclub. Bad Boy recording artist Shyne was arrested and charged with three counts of attempted murder and criminal possession of a weapon after he was found outside the club with a pistol. Police said the 19-year-old Shyne, who is best known for sounding similar to the late Notorious B.I.G., fired the shots that injured three people. Prosecutors dropped charges against Lopez late Monday afternoon after the evidence was reviewed. Puff Daddy was released late Monday night after posting $10,000 bail. Police stopped Puffy, Lopez and two others as the group was driving away from midtown Manhattan's Club New York where three people were shot at 2:20 a.m. on Monday. Authorities charge that when they stopped the vehicle, they spotted a gun and then took the group in for questioning. Police continued to question Puff and Lopez throughout the morning and into Monday afternoon, when they were officially charged. The couple and the two others were charged with criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of stolen property. A spokesman for the couple said that they unwittingly got in the car in an effort "to escape a life-threatening situation." None of the four in the car face charges related to the shooting.

New York news channel NY1 first reported that three clubgoers were injured in a shooting at Club New York. Police then questioned Lopez and Puffy about the shooting at New York's Midtown North precinct after stopping the couple as they attempted to leave the area. After questioning them for much of the morning, police then transported them to Midtown South for further questioning by mid-morning. While one victim who was grazed in the shoulder reportedly walked away from the scene without medical treatment, NY1 is reporting that two other victims (one woman who was shot in the face and another man with a shoulder wound) are reportedly in stable condition in New York's St. Claire hospital.


Noreaga arrested on drug charges
Noreaga's holiday weekend came to a less-than-festive close when he was arrested Sunday night on drug charges. New York's NY1 reports that Noreaga was arrested in the borough of Queens Sunday night and charged with possession of marijuana. Four other men were also reportedly arrested at the time, and Nore's Mercedes was impounded by authorities. Noreaga recently was in Queens to shoot his latest video, "Blood Money Pt. 3," with L.L. Cool J, Fat Joe and Foxy Brown.


Reward offered for 2Pac info
More than 83 percent of participants in a recent survey on Tupac.com still believe that 2Pac might still be alive. That's why the site is offering
$10,000 for information on his whereabouts. The site points out many suspicious details about the rapper's departure that contribute to this, ranging from potential mob involvement to Suge Knight's ability to dodge a bullet. Since his death, there have been numerous reports of 2Pac sightings.


Eminem in trouble with family again
Eminem apparently has upset another family member. The Associated Press is reporting that Eminem's grandmother, Betty Kresin, is concerned about his plans to use a recording of his late uncle on an upcoming track. Kresin believes that Eminem plans to sample from a tape that he made 13 years ago with his uncle, Ronnie Polkingharn who died in 1991. "He's changed for the worse. He talks filthy to me and is angry and disrespectful. I don't know what's gotten into him,'' Kresin told the AP. "It gives me the creeps to think about it. I will not let my grandson destroy my dead son with this garbage. He's a bitter boy with sad songs who wants to make fame. Ronnie was a Godly person."


Common's "Sixth Sense"
For those that can't wait for
Common's next album to drop, The Roots' Okayplayer.com is offering fans a pretty good taste of it. You can check out the Chi-town product's collaboration with DJ Premier, "Sixth Sense," for free right now at the web site. Common is finishing up his long-awaited fourth album, Like Water For Chocolate, which is due to hit stores in February. Other guests on the album include The Roots, D'Angelo, Slum Village, Erykah Badu and Cee-Lo of Goodie Mob. Okayplayer also will be hosting Common's new web site, which is scheduled for launch soon.


DMX drops third album
DMX's third album in less than two years, And Then There Was X, hit record stores Tuesday, Dec. 21. Def Jam hosted an exclusive online listening party Monday night on its web site to give fans an early taste. The first single, "What's My Name," is already in heavy rotation on both radio and television. Over the weekend, DMX celebrated his birthday at the Children's Village foster center in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., where he lived from 1983-1985. Both of his 1998 albums, It's Dark and Hell Is Hot and Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood went multi-platinum. Meanwhile, one of the newest members of the Ruff Ryder camp, The Lox, just recently had their Bad Boy debut, Money, Power and Respect, certified platinum. Jadakiss, Sheek and Styles' sophomore album, We Are the Streets, is due Jan. 25, featuring appearances by Eve, Drag-On, Swizz Beats, Timbaland and Kasino.


East meets West at thepalace.com
Chuck D will continue his role as hip-hop's world ambassador by engaging in hip-hop's first official online East-meets-West chat today. He and DJ Yutaka of Japan will sit down and engage in a true meeting of the minds at thepalace.com from 6-8 p.m. EST. Folks who tune in will have opportunities to win Rapstation.com sweatshirts and DJ Yutaka's t-shirts.


Queen Latifah launches label
According to Launch, Queen Latifah is launching a new record label with Warner Bros. that will be known as GhettoWorks Records. The first project will be a compilation album called The Takeover, scheduled for release in early 2000 and featuring Channel Live, Nikki D (now Nikki Strong), Big Bub and others. "We are smarter, more experienced and understand how to make things work," Latifah told Launch. "We never lose our ear for talent and we have a strong staff of people who know how to take a project from A to Z. We have no doubts that GhettoWorks will be successful."


Missy, Lil Kim plan tour
Missy Elliott announced her plans for an all-female tour in a recent interview with Launch. The tour will feature Elliott and a few of her close friends, namely Lil Kim, Mary J. Blige and 702. "We're trying to do a tour together... the Where My Girls At? tour," Elliott said. "First, we were gonna do a b---- tour, but then we said that might be a little strenuous for the ear, for little kids to be saying, 'I'm going to the b---- tour.' So we said, either Ladies Night or Where My Girls At?...We gonna try to get that going on."


Biggie comes back on top
The legacy of Notorious B.I.G. lives on as his second posthumous album, Born Again, will debut at No. 1 on next week's Billboard album chart. According to sales figures released by SoundScan, Biggie's latest sold more than 485,000 copies in its first week to bump Celine Dion from the top spot. Not surprisingly, it was Bad Boy Records' strongest debut of the year -- beating out Puff Daddy's Forever, Mase's Double Up and the label's R&B stable -- due to strong street promotion and warm radio and video reception for "Dead Wrong." Meanwhile, a new video is being shot in New York City for the track "Notorious B.I.G." that will feature cameos from Missy Elliott, Lil Kim and Lil Cease.
Click here to read The 411 Online's review of Born Again


Bring in the new year with hip-hop
Several concerts are being planned to help hip-hop fans bring in the new year. Jay-Z and Puff Daddy will be among several acts performing at MTV's New Year's Eve bash in New York City's Times Square, while Eminem will be across town at The Tunnel. The legendary Run DMC and De La Soul will team up for a show at Roseland Ballroom in New York City on Dec. 28, while Foxy Brown and Busta Rhymes will start the new year off right with a Jan. 1 performance at the New York Coliseum.


More news on Jay-Z, Biggie and Eve


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