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Snoop is leaving No Limit
Snoop Dogg plans to leave No Limit after one more album, according to an interview with 88HipHop. After his third album on No Limit, The Last Meal, drops in July, Snoop plans to release future albums on his new label, Dogghouse Records, which is off to a good start. Its first release, Snoop Dogg Presents Tha Eastsidaz, had a strong debut at No. 8 on the Billboard chart, selling more than 100,000 copies. In the meantime, Death Row is releasing his greatest hits sometime in the near future, but Snoop is telling fans not to pick it up. "I don't do business with Death Row," Snoop said in the interview, "and I'd advise fans not to buy that bullsh--."


Funeral set for Big Pun
Family, friends and fans of Big Pun are invited to a public viewing tonight and Friday at the Ortiz Funeral Home in the Bronx for those that wish to pay their respects. "We want all his fans to come out and behave orderly," Fat Joe told MTV. "Please come and pay your respects, but like I said, pay your respect. We do this respectfully. No 40s or all that type of stuff out there. If you want to come through to pay your respects, let's do it with some real pride. Let's do it in a real positive way. He would definitely want the whole town to come out and support him." Pun is scheduled to be buried over the weekend in a private service.


Chi-Ali wanted for murder
"Chi-Ali" Griffith, best known for his collaborations with Black Sheep as part of the Native Tongue family, is wanted by New York police in connection with the shooting and murder of Sean Raymond on Jan. 14. According to the New York Daily News, police allege that Griffith fired multiple shots at Raymond, who owed him $300. Apparently, Chi-Ali had approached Raymond with his gun drawn, and Raymond opened his coat and challenged him to shoot, asking, "What? You gonna blaze me?" Chi-Ali made his first appearance on Black Sheep's 1991 album, A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing, on the posse cut "Pass the 40." His only album, The Fabulous Chi-Ali, was released in 1992. Chi-Ali also made an appearance on former Black Sheep Dres' comeback album last year.


Q-Tip, Common might tour with D'Angelo
After baring it all in his latest video, D'Angelo should have no problem getting the ladies to come out and support his upcoming tour. And now that there's talk of Q-Tip joining up, the fellas just might have to check it out as well in the hopes that Tip brings along all of his female costars from the "Vivrant Thing" and "Breathe and Stop" videos. Actually, Q-Tip is just one of many acts being considered for the tour, which kicks off March 1 in Los Angeles, but the move apparently is to add some hip-hop to that smoothed out R&B. "We're looking at Mos Def, Common, and Q-Tip, and different squads," D'Angelo told MTV. "?uestlove, Roy Hargrove is gonna be there, Pino Palladino, we're gonna have the whole squad out there, The Soultronics." D'Angelo has tentative plans to play multiple nights in L.A., Atlanta, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Chicago, Oakland, Los Angeles, Houston, and Detroit while hitting 17 other cities along the way. No word on whether BET's Hits might join D'Angelo on stage for a duet performance of "Untitled."


Fat Joe remembers Big Pun
While the entire music world mourns the death of Big Pun, no one in the hip-hop community was closer to him than Fat Joe (pictured). A longtime collaborator with Pun in the Terror Squad who was often called his twin, Joe took time out to remember his friend. "Pun was many things," Joe said in a statement. "To me, he was my brother. To the hip-hop community, he was a living legend. To Latinos everywhere, he broke down barriers in the entertainment industry. But most importantly, he was a man, a husband, and a father. He will be missed but never forgotten." Pun reportedly was between 450 and 600 pounds when he died Monday of a heart attack, and some sources claim that his weight was near 700 pounds and that his heart was enlarged to three times its normal size. Fat Joe says the weight issue is a catch-22. "He made a lot of people feel proud of themselves, feel handsome," Joe told MTV. "I see a lot of fat guys out there maybe trying to look like Pun, trying to look like me. They look up to us. On the other hand, we've got to raise consciousness. We've got to take care of our health, because Pun was too young to go like that. It's the same thing with me, same thing with everybody. We need to take care of our health. It's very important. You ain't got your health, you ain't got nothing. For real."


Big Pun dies from heart attack
Christopher Rios, better known as Big Punisher, suffered a heart attack and was pronounced dead Monday afternoon at the age of 28. A hospital spokesperson declined to discuss details of Pun's condition, but told MTV that he was dead on arrival at the hospital at approximately 4 p.m. EST Monday. Pun was supposed to join Jennifer Lopez and longtime partner Fat Joe for a performance of "Feelin' So Good" on last weekend's edition of "Saturday Night Live," but he did not appear. Pun had his biggest success in 1998 with the hit single "Still Not A Player" off of his platinum Capital Punishment album, and released a group project with the Terror Squad last year. Pun was preparing to drop his sophomore album, Yeeeah Baby, in April. Pun is survived by a wife and three children.


Puff Daddy pleads not guilty
Sean "Puffy" Combs was formally arraigned at a hearing Monday in New York City and officially entered a plea of not guilty to charges of criminal possession of a weapon in the second and third degree. The charges stem from a shooting incident at a Manhattan nightclub in December. The hearing was moved up a week from the scheduled Feb. 14 court date, so maybe now he'll be able to line up those Valentine's Day plans with Jennifer Lopez. That is, if she's taking his phone calls yet. Puffy's next court date will be on Thursday, Feb. 10, for a bail application hearing that might affect his ability to leave the country. Puff's first European tour is scheduled to begin March 14 in Dublin, Ireland.


DMX named Entertainer of the Year
DMX will be named Entertainer Of The Year at the 14th Annual Soul Train Music Awards on March 4. His current release, And Then There Was X, sits at No. 7 on the Billboard albums chart, while both of his 1998 albums, It's Dark And Hell Is Hot and Flesh Of My Flesh, Blood Of My Blood, still rank among the top 200. There will be plenty of chances to catch X on TV between now and the awards show. On Feb. 12, he will be the musical guest on "Saturday Night Live," and he also will appear on Queen Latifah's talk show, "Moesha" and BET's "Live From L.A." Meanwhile, the Humane Society of the United States has issued a press release denouncing the video for DMX's "What's My Name" because it "glamorizes dogfighting and perpetuates the stigma that all pit bulls are dangerous and, therefore, unfit to have as pets." Representatives for DMX, who raises pit bulls, emphasized that the dogs never engaged in fighting in the clip or on the set and were not harmed.


Vote in the Online Hip-hop Awards
L.L. Cool J., the Goodie Mob, Nas and DMX are some of the stars scheduled to perform at the 2000 Online Hip Hop Awards, which will take place in New York City on April 12. The event also will be webcast. Since Feb. 1, fans have been nominating their favorite web sites, artists and albums at
www.onlinehiphopawards.com. Say, as long as you're headed that way, maybe you can put in a nomination or two for The 411 Online, huh? The awards site also will host a series of chats during the voting, including one with Ghostface Killah on Monday, Feb. 7, at 9 p.m. EST.


Biggie hits 10 million
Notorious B.I.G.'s Life After Death continues to reach milestones. The 1997 album has sold more than 5 million copies, but since it was a double album the RIAA recognizes it as a diamond album (10 million). Meanwhile, Faith Evans, Mary J. Blige and Carl Thomas are planning to join Biggie's mother, Voletta Wallace, for the second "B.I.G. Night Out," a benefit gala paying tribute to the fallen star. The event is scheduled for March 28 at New York City's Chelsea Piers. Last year's celebration raised more than $250,000 for the Christopher Wallace Foundation.


Master P injures ankle
Master P has been placed on the injured reserve list of the San Diego Stingrays after pulling a tendon in his ankle. P is expected to be out for several weeks. The break will give him some time to promote his lastest project, the 504 Boyz, a group consisting of P, Mystikal and Silkk The Shocker. Goodfellas, which you might remember being hyped in the inside cover of Snoop Dogg's first No Limit album, finally will drop on March 21.


Fat Joe gets his own sandwich
The Stage Deli in New York has bestowed its highest honor on Fat Joe by naming a sandwich after him. Joe created the triple-decker sandwich, which is a combination of grilled turkey, fried eggs over easy and American cheese on twin rolls. The Terror Squad frequented the restaurant during recording sessions. Several entertainers and sports stars have had sandwiches named after them at the Stage Deli, but Fat Joe is the first hip-hop artist to be honored.


JD, Kris Kross back together
Jermaine Dupri and Kris Kross are putting the finishing touches on the duo's first album since 1996's Young, Rich and Dangerous. The album, Kris Kross' fourth overall, will be released on former Ruff House executive Joe "The Butcher" Nicolo's new Judgement Records. Kris Kross first gained attention as 13-year-olds by wearing their clothes backward while riding to No. 1 with their debut single, "Jump."


Dre, Snoop file lawsuits
Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg recently filed separate lawsuits against their former accounting firm, Pricewaterhouse Coopers. Dre's lawsuit claims "fraud and breach of contract of fiduciary duty in connection with the alleged looting of millions of dollars from his accounts." Suge Knight and Death Row lawyer Dave Kenner are all pleading the fifth amendment and are refusing to testify because they might incriminate themselves. Snoop Dogg's lawsuit makes similar claims.


Puffy donates to Clinton campaign
Sean "Puffy" Combs recently donated $1,000 to Hillary Rodham Clinton's New York Senate campaign fund. When the New York Daily News asked if Puffy's recent legal troubles might prompt the First Lady to return the money, a Clinton campaign spokesperson stated that "we believe in the presumption of innocence." In other words, money is money, especially to a politician. In fact Puff's donation is just a small part of an $8 million total the campaign has raised so far.


Jay-Z indicted on assault charges
On Monday, a Manhattan grand jury indicted Jay-Z on two assault charges stemming from the Dec. 1 stabbing of Lance "Un" Rivera. Jay was charged with one count of first-degree assault for criminal possession of a weapon and one count of second-degree assault for intent to cause physical injury by means of a dangerous instrument. Jigga next will appear in New York State Supreme Court on Feb. 22 to be arraigned. Meanwhile, his fourth album, Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter, continued its crawl to platinum status last week, dropping to No. 10, while Dr. Dre's 2001 rose to No. 3 thanks to a second single, "Forgot About Dre," that has caught fire. Jay-Z's next single probably won't help boost Vol. 3's sales, though. Jigga recently wrapped up a video for "Anything," which is only available on the European and bootleg versions of the album. It also has been added to Beanie Sigel's debut album, The Truth, which is due to hit stores Feb. 29.


Lil Kim makes impact at Super Bowl
Lil Kim is probably the last person you'd expect ABC to invite to help out with the Super Bowl's pregame festivities. But there she was only a few minutes before the kickoff of the most watched sporting event of the year (which, by the way, the St. Louis Rams won 23-16). Kim was among a diverse group of musical celebrities that performed a special version of the "Monday Night Football" theme song, "Are You Ready For Some Football?" Neither her appearance or outfit were particularly memorable (at least by her standards), although ABC did wrap up the segment with an outtake of Kim asking to start over. But with 30-second Super Bowl ads going for an average of $2.2 million, Kim ought to give her agent a raise for lining up the free airtime, especially for someone who hasn't dropped an album since 1996.


Hip-hop kicks off Super Bowl weekend
Busta Rhymes, Rah Digga, Q-Tip and Mobb Deep will perform at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta Friday as part of the NFL's "Under the Helmet" concert series, which airs on the Fox network. "I never imagined doing anything like this, but it just comes with the game," Mobb Deep's Prodigy told LAUNCH. "It feels good that our hard work is paying off." Tickets can be purchased at Ticketmaster outlets and are $35 each. There also is a limited number of $45 VIP seats remaining. Super Bowl XXXIV is Sunday at the Georgia Dome. In other news, Busta will be one the many new action figures that "Spawn" creator Todd McFarlane will unveil in mid-February at the American International Toy Fair in New York. McFarlane Toys also is trying to get the licensing deal for "Shaft Returns," which stars Samuel L. Jackson and Busta.


Lucy Pearl reunites Q-Tip, Ali
Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad will reunite on the debut album of Lucy Pearl, the former A Tribe Called Quest producer's new supergroup featuring Dawn Robinson (formerly of En Vogue) and Raphael Saddiq (formerly of Tony Toni Tone). Tip lends his vocals to a track on the album, which is set to drop May 16.


LL is an All-Star
LL Cool J will perform with Mary J. Blige and Kenny Wayne Shepherd at halftime of this year's NBA All-Star Game. The game will be played on February 13 at the Arena in Oakland, Calif., home of the NBA's Golden State Warriors and site of the recent violence at a Cash Money Millionaires show.


Foxy Brown gets her own TV show
According to BRE Magazine, Foxy Brown will star in her own television show, set to air in the 2001-2002 season. Foxy described the show as a "dramedy" -- a combination of a comedy and a drama. According to the report, the show has not yet been picked up by a network, but all of them have shown interest.


Puff Daddy will tour Europe
Puff Daddy will be launch his first-ever European tour March 14 in Dublin, Ireland. Hoping to leave his legal troubles behind him in the U.S., Puffy also will hit Belgium, Switzerland and Austria in between seven stops in Germany before closing out the tour with three dates in the U.K. The complete schedule: 3/14 - Dublin, Ireland, @ The Point; 3/18 - Frankfurt, Germany @ Festhalle; 3/19 - Stuttgart, Germany @ Schleyerhalle; 3/21 - Brussels, Belgium @ Forest National; 3/23 - Hamburg, Germany @ Sporthalle; 3/24 - Berlin, Germany @ Max Schmeling Halle; 3/26 - Basal, Switzerland @ St. Jakobshalle; 3/28 - Vienna, Austria @ Stradthalle; 3/30 - Rotterdam, Netherlands @ Ahoy; 3/31 - Oberhausen, Germany @ Arena; 4/1 - Bremen, Germany @ Stadthalle; 4/2 - Munich, Germany @ Olympia Halle; 4/4 - Birmingham, U.K. @ NEC Arena; 4/6 - Manchester, U.K. @ MEN Arena; 4/7 - London, U.K. @ Wembley Arena.


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