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Outkast certified double-platinum
Just a month after its release,
Outkast's Stankonia was certified gold, platinum and double-platinum by the Recording Industry Association Of America. The album debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and currently sits at No. 8 on the chart. The RIAA also announced that Dr. Dre and Eminem each surpassed new platinum milestones for their 1999 albums. Dre's 2001 was certified for 6 million units shipped, and Eminem's debut on Aftermath, The Slim Shady LP, just hit the 4 million mark. Ja Rule's Rule 3:36, which was released in October, also was certified platinum, while Trina's Da Baddest B---- and Scarface's The Last of a Dying Breed both reached gold status within the last month.


Wu-Tang Clan debuts at No. 5
After a three-year layoff, the Wu-Tang Clan celebrated their return by debuting at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Their third group effort, The W, moved 301,000 units last week to top a busy week of hip-hop debuts. Cash Money's B.G. was the next highest entry at No. 21 with Checkmate, Capone-N-Noreaga's The Reunion was good for the No. 31 spot, and Eightball & MJG came in at No. 39 with Space Age 4 Eva. 2Pac tribute album The Rose That Grew From Concrete, inspired by his poetry that was released in a book of the same name, debuted at No. 89, while Snoop Dogg's Doggy's Angels premiered in the lower half of the chart at No. 138.


Scarface resumes tour
Scarface begins his invasion of the Midwest and South on Thursday night in Memphis. The tour, which started in Cincinnati last week, just finished its southeastern leg with stops in Greenville, S.C., and Miami Beach, Fla. The current trip has Scarface traveling in circles before finally heading West to Los Angeles on Dec. 21 for a show at the House of Blues. Among the stops are St. Louis (Dec. 1), Dallas (Dec. 3), Oklahoma City (Dec. 9), Kansas City (Dec. 11), Chicago (Dec. 13) and Milwaukee (Dec. 15).


2 albums in 2 months from Nas
You can count on hearing a lot from
Nas in the coming months if all goes as planned. The artist formerly known as Nasty Nas, who dropped two solo albums in 1999 (I Am and Nastradamus), will release albums in both December and January. The first is actually a compilation titled Q.B.'s Finest, the debut record from Nas' recently formed Ill Will Records. The disc will feature Mobb Deep, Capone-N-Noreaga and other artists from New York's Queensbridge housing projects and is expected to hit stores Dec. 19. Then on Jan. 23, Nas will release his fifth solo project, which originally was titled Stillmatic 2001 but now is being referred to as The Lost Tapes of Nas. Nas probably backed off that title for the same reason he chose it -- because it echoes the title of his classic 1994 debut, Illmatic. Nas has been haunted by criticism of being too commercial since his sophomore album, It Was Written, was released in 1996. Its tales of the mob and the good life were a far cry from the raw street content of his debut, and he's been trying to find a middle ground between the two ever since -- with mixed results.


ODB arrested in Philly
ODB was arrested by Philadelphia police Monday afternoon in the parking lot of a McDonald's restaurant, ending his month-long flight from justice after escaping from a Los Angeles rehab center. According to police, the manager of the McDonald's, who claimed not to recognize ODB, became worried when a large group of fans started to gather outside the restaurant to see the celebrity fugitive and called police. When police officers arrived, Ol' Dirty initially thought they were among the autograph-seekers, but when the cops began to draw their guns, he allegedly jumped in his car and tried to escape. Police blocked the parking lot's exits and when they finally arrested him, they claim he presented them with a fake ID card before admitting his real name. Ol' Dirty was not immediately charged with any new crimes and was awaiting extradition to either New York or California in a cell at a Philadelphia police station. In addition to possible charges connected to the escape, he also faces outstanding drug warrants in New York. ODB helped get the trail hot for police again when he performed with the Wu-Tang Clan last Tuesday at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York.


Naughty tops hip-hop's pop
Due to their tendency to release anthem after anthem,
Naughty By Nature has long been labeled as a group whose albums rarely live up to the strength of their singles. While The 411 Online's reviews of Naughty's last two albums don't support that theory, MTV and Rolling Stone's list of the 100 greatest pop songs does. Treach, Vinnie and Kay-Gee's debut single, "O.P.P.," was by far the highest rated hip-hop single on the list at No. 37. Eminem no doubt was thrilled to have "My Name Is" (No. 67) listed among pop's greatest hits, while his mentor, Dr. Dre, made the list with his cameo on Blackstreet's 1996 hit, "No Diggity" (No. 91). Other hip-hop entries included L.L. Cool J's "I Need Love" at No. 80, Wyclef Jean's "Gone Till November" at No. 88 and Biz Markie's "Just A Friend" at No. 99.


AWOL ODB performs with Wu in NY
ODB, a fugitive from justice since fleeing a Los Angeles rehab center in October, came out of hiding for a surprise performance at the Wu-Tang Clan's album release party Tuesday at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York. "I can't stay on the stage too long tonight -- the cops is after me," ODB told the crowd after being introduced as a "surprise guest" by the RZA. Ol' Dirty participated in "Shame on a N----," "Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nothin' Ta F--- Wit" and his own "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" before exiting. ODB's stints in rehab and jail prevented him from participating in much of the Wu's latest effort, The W. He appears on only one track, "Conditioner." In addition to being wanted by Los Angeles police for his escape from rehab, ODB also faces bench warrants in separate drug cases in Brooklyn and Queens. To read more on ODB and his troubles with the law over the past two years, visit The 411 Online's artist profile page.


Puffy, Cash Money give thanks
Earlier this week, The 411 Online reported on how B-Legit, Richie Rich and Busta Rhymes were giving something back to their fans as the holiday season started to hit full swing. Well, the holiday cheer must be spreading thoughout the hip-hop nation, because now Puff Daddy and the Cash Money Millionaires are getting into the act. On Tuesday, Juvenile, BG, Lil' Wayne and Mannie Fresh were among those who gave away free turkeys for the needy at a New Orleans park. Meanwhile, Puff Daddy announced that he would help feed the homeless in Atlanta on Thanksgiving by making a donation to the late Hosea Williams' Feed the Hungry and Homeless campaign. The program, started by the civil rights leader who died last week, hosts an annual Thanksgiving dinner that is expected to feed 30,000 people at Turner Field in Atlanta. "I am honored that I am able to help in Reverend Williams' mission this Thanksgiving," Puffy said in a released statement. "Every year I give food to the hungry and underprivileged in New York through my charitable fund, Daddy's House. It's never enough and we all need to do whatever it takes to stop the disease of hunger."


Wu-Tang throws up The W
The Wu-Tang Clan released their first album in three years, The W, on Tuesday, and members of the group say they're taking hip-hop back to 1993 on this one. Using their debut from that year, Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers, as a guide, Inspectah Deck told MTV that this album gets "back to the essence of hip-hop -- just beats and rhymes." "We're just saying, 'Yo, the era of the real live hip-hop is back,'" Deck said. "They're about to bear witness to a change, and the whole change is gonna come from breaking through the illusion. It's not all about the money, the cars, the jewelry, the fame." The W, the Wu-Tang Clan's first since the 1997 double album, Wu-Tang Forever, and third overall, features all nine original members as well as guest appearances by
Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, Redman and Nas. Although ODB appears on just one track, longtime Wu associate Cappadonna blesses several. Meanwhile, the RZA is being sued by Gee Street Records, which claims that he breached his 1996 contract that gave the label exclusive rights to his work and seeks $75,000. The label says the RZA's involvement in The RZA Hits, Ghostface Killah's Supreme Clientele and the soundtracks to "Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai" and "Black And White" violated the deal. Eightball & MJG's Space Age 4 Eva, B.G.'s Checkmate and Capone-N-Noreaga's long-awaited reunion album, appropriately titled The Reunion, also hit stores Tuesday.


B-Legit, Busta have holiday spirit
As the holiday season approaches, some of hip-hop's finest are getting in the spirit of things by giving back to their communities. B-Legit and Richie Rich were among those who participated in KMEL's Hip-Hop For Hunger on Saturday at Bay Fair Mall in Oakland. Turkeys, canned food and donations were collected throughout the day and distributed to food banks to ensure that Bay Area families can have a happy Thanksgiving. Meanwhile,
Busta Rhymes spent an evening last week with a young fan who requested to meet him through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. In town for a concert, Busta stopped by to see the fan before and after his show in Syracuse, N.Y. "Fatherhood has changed me in so many ways," Busta said in a released statement. "It's opened my eyes to how important it is to protect and nurture our children, because they are who will lead us into the next millennium. I felt blessed to have an opportunity like this to make a child's dream come true."


Snoop prepares The Last Meal
Snoop Dogg is putting the finishing touches on his final album for No Limit Records, The Last Meal. The album, which has been pushed back to Dec. 19, will feature a guest appearance from No Limit CEO Master P as well as the production talents of Dr. Dre, who also will contribute tracks for P's own Ghetto Postage (due Nov. 28). The Timbaland-produced first single from The Last Meal, "Snoop Dogg," already is starting to get heavy airplay. M.C. Ren, Nate Dogg, Eve, George Clinton, Tha Eastsidaz, Lady of Rage and Kokane also will appear on the album. Meanwhile, Snoop is considering an offer to join the cast of John Singleton's "Baby Boy," the sequel to "Boyz N The Hood" that features Tyrese, Ving Rhames and Omar Gooding, the younger brother of Cuba Gooding Jr., whose big break came in the original.


Method Man, Redman albums delayed
The next installment of "The Month of the Man" is coming, but it won't be happening in December. The latest releases from
Redman and Method Man originally were scheduled to drop next month, but now the albums probably won't see the light of day until we're a couple of months into 2001. Redman's Where Is Reggie Noble?, originally scheduled for a Dec. 12 release, is now scheduled for late January or early February. Method Man's Tical 0: The Prequel, originally slated for Dec. 19, has been pushed back to March due to conflicts with the Wu-Tang Clan's latest joint, The W, which drops Nov. 21. It seems Meth has been focusing all of his efforts on that project and has spent little time working on his third album. If everything works out, 2001 could be a big year for Redman and Method Man. In addition to their solo albums, the duo tentatively plan to release another joint venture next November. Their first, Blackout, went platinum.


Rage talking to Chuck D, B-Real?
Public Enemy's
Chuck D and Cypress Hill's B-Real are among the artists rumored to be in the running to join Rage Against The Machine. Former frontman Zack De La Rocha left Rage last month to pursue a solo career. Short of Ice-T, it seems these two would be the most likely replacements among MCs since both have dabbled in rap-rock crossovers before. P.E. remade their 1988 hit, "Bring The Noise," with Anthrax in 1991, and Chuck obviously is political enough. Given that background, Chuck would seem like a perfect fit, but he also has his own group, Confrontation Camp. As far as B-Real, Cypress Hill released a double album, Skull & Bones, earlier this year that contained one rock disc and one hip-hop disc. He also has shown an interest in magazine interviews.


Prodigy overcomes obstacles
After countless delays, squabbles with his label and a hospitalization, Prodigy finally has dropped his solo debut, H.N.I.C. "I won't allow Loud to put it out until they get their sh-- together," Prodigy announced on his web site back in July. "We made that company who they are, and we see crumbs from it. So basically I'm on strike." Apparently, Loud got it together, because the album hit stores Tuesday. Prodigy, who was hospitalized in September due to complications with his sickle cell anemia, still will have plenty of assistance on the mic and behind the boards from Mobb Deep partner Havoc, but he insists the album will have a different feel. "Mobb Deep is still Hav and me," he said. "My solo album is just a whole different project we got comin' out... I decided to put out some solo sh-- because I was writing so many rhymes." H.N.I.C. also will feature guest appearances by Noreaga, Cormega, Cash Money's B.G. and Prodigy's proteges, Bars & Hooks.


Loud will release Big Pun's greatest hits
Loud Records has announced that it will release a third album from the late Big Pun on Feb. 6, 2001, just one day short of the first anniversary of his death. The album, titled Endangered Species, will be a collection of Pun's greatest hits from his first two albums, 1998's Capital Punishment and this year's Yeeeah Baby, but also will feature previously unreleased material and some of his collaborations with other artists. Capital Punishment went platinum, while Yeeeah Baby was certified gold.


Chi-Ali: America's Most Wanted
As The 411 Online
first reported in February, Chi-Ali Griffith, who is best known for his collaborations with Black Sheep, is wanted by New York police in connection with the Jan. 14 shooting and murder of his girlfriend's brother. Well, apparently they still haven't found him, because the 23-year-old was featured on the latest episode of "America's Most Wanted." Police allege that Chi-Ali shot Sean Raymond five times over a $300 debt and a rare collection of about 60 CDs. According to the show, police tracked him down in Atlanta in May, but missed him by about ten minutes. 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. A single from that album, "Age Ain't Nothin' But a Number," became a top ten hit on the Billboard music charts. Chi-Ali also made an appearance on former Black Sheep Dres' comeback album last year. Meanwhile, the 5th Ward Boyz' Andre "007" Barnes turned himself in to Houston authorities in connection with three bank robberies that occurred in October.


Too close to call?
The presidential election between Republican candidate George W. Bush and Democratic candidate Al Gore wasn't the only race to the top that came down to the wire.
Jay-Z and Outkast were separated by less than 35,000 votes, er, albums in the battle for the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200. Jay-Z's The Dynasty: Roc La Familia sold more than 557,000 copies and will debut at the top of next week's chart, while Outkast's Stankonia moved nearly 523,000 units to take the second spot. There was no word on who won Florida. The only other significant chart debut came courtesy of Death Row Records' latest Snoop Dogg album, Dead Man Walking. The collection of early material checked in at No. 24 after selling more than 44,000 copies.


Bank One sues Master P
The Associated Press is reporting that a Louisiana bank has sued No Limit Records CEO Master P, claiming he owes $739,000 on a line of credit. The lawsuit, which was filed in October by Bank One, claims that P has fallen behind on repaying a promissory note made by the bank in 1999. Bank One spokesman Chris Spencer said the bank could not comment on the lawsuit. New Orleans-based No Limit is a multimillion-dollar business that includes the record company, a fashion line, real estate and sports management. According to the report, Master P began restructuring No Limit in 1999 due to financial problems. No one at the label could be reached for comment. Master P's next album, Ghetto Postage, is scheduled to drop Nov. 28.


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