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Dr. Dre leads Grammy nominations
Dr. Dre, along with Beyoncé of Destiny's Child, tops the list of nominees for this year's Grammy Awards with five. Dre was nominated for producer of the year and best rap album, and received two nods in the best rap performance by a duo or group category. Dr. Dre also was nominated in the album of the year category for his work on Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP. Dre's 2001 will go up against that album as well as DMX's And Then There Was X, Jay-Z's Vol. 3 ... Life and Times of S. Carter and Nelly's Country Grammar in the best rap album category, while "Forgot About Dre" (featuring Eminem) and "The Next Episode" (featuring Snoop Dogg) will take on De La Soul's "Oooh" (featuring Redman), Jay-Z's "Big Pimpin'" (featuring UGK) and the Beastie Boys' "Alive" for best rap performance by a duo or group honors. Besides album of the year, Eminem also was nominated for best rap solo performance despite following Public Enemy's lead and dissing the Grammys on record. "The Real Slim Shady" will compete against Common's "The Light," DMX's "Party Up," Mystikal's "Shake Ya Ass" and Nelly's "Country Grammar" for the honor. The only other hip-hop-related nominee was Busta Rhymes' "Fire," which is up for best short form music video. The 43rd annual Grammy Awards will take place Feb. 21 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Outkast plans double album
Outkast's Andre 3000 and Big Boi are still enjoying the success of their two-month-old album, Stankonia, but that doesn't mean they aren't thinking about their next joint. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Big Boi revealed that the duo plans to release a double album in late 2001 or early 2002. "One disc will be all my music; the other will be all Dre. I don't think anyone's ever done that before. We've got a lot of songs -- maybe 40. When we finished Stankonia, we just kept on recording." Stankonia, which already is certified double-platinum, currently sits at No. 13 after eight weeks on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

Mystikal misses L.A. show
Mystikal was supposed to bring in the new year on stage at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, but instead he arrived an hour and 20 minutes late and fans had to settle for Destiny's Child, Ideal and Jon B. Mystikal was supposed to perform between Destiny's Child and Jon B. to allow time for a set change, but by the time he arrived at 1:20 a.m., both had performed and the concert had been over for 20 minutes. A promoter of the event told MTV that one of Mystikal's representatives showed up at the show between 11 p.m. and midnight and said that Mystikal was resting at a nearby hotel after arriving in L.A. late because of weather-related flight delays, but that he planned to perform as scheduled. The Staples Center was less than half full for the event -- approximately 7,000 people were in attendance.

Salt ties the knot
Salt and longtime boyfriend Gavin Wray were married at their home in Melville, N.Y., on Christmas Eve. The two, who also own a record label, GavFam, have a 10-year-old daughter and an 18-month-old son together. The first album on GavFam, which is a joint venture with Rap-A-Lot that will be distributed by Virgin, will be Salt's solo debut, Salt of the Earth. The album will feature production by Rockwilder and is expected to drop this spring.

Furious Five sues L.L. Cool J
Four of the Furious Five have filed a lawsuit against L.L. Cool J for copyright infringement. In the suit, Melle Mel, Kid Creole, Mr. Ness and Rahiem claim that L.L. used a sample from their 1979 song, "Superappin'" in "4,3,2,1" without their permission. The cut, which was released on L.L.'s 1997 album, Mr. Smith, featured Method Man, Redman, DMX and Canibus, and is best known for starting the rivalry between L.L. and Canibus. "Superappin'" was the first single released by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. The group also is considering a similar lawsuit against Will Smith for an unauthorized sample of the same song on his 1999 album, Willennium.

The Best of 2000
Depending on your point of view, the first year of the new millennium is either behind us or just under way. Either way, 2000 was another big year for hip-hop.
Eminem hit the million mark that Jay-Z had set out to break at the beginning of the year with an album that dropped just a few days before the end of 1999. Jigga's Vol. 3...Life and Times of S. Carter came up half a million short with 462,000 copies sold, but Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP shot well past the mark with 1.7 million sales in its first week, not only setting the standard for hip-hop artists, but also for solo artists in general. That album spent eight weeks at No. 1, while the consensus pick for newcomer of the year, Nelly, delivered an album that debuted at No. 3 but eventually made it to No. 1 and stuck for five weeks. Jay-Z made his presence felt later in the year as well, dropping an album on the same day as Outkast for the second time in three years. Both Jigga and Outkast received four nods each from The 411 Online's writers as the best album of the year. Because each member of our staff has different tastes, it's impossible to pick one choice and have it truly represent the entire staff, so instead The 411 Online brings you each staff member's picks in 15 different categories for "The Best of 2000." See all of our picks...

Xzibit closes out 2000 on MTV
Xzibit will wrap up one of the best years of his career by performing on MTV's New Year's Eve special. MTV also has tapped him to be the co-host of their Golden Globe Awards coverage. X, who has spent most of 2000 on tour as part of both the "Up In Smoke" and "Anger Management" lineups, will head overseas early in 2001 to promote Restless in Europe. The album dropped to No. 31 on the Billboard 200 after debuting at No. 14 last week, and fell from No. 1 to No. 8 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop albums chart. The highly anticipated album sold 204,000 copies in its first week, and the first single, "X," is getting steady airplay on MTV, BET and radio stations.

2Pac movie in the works
Consolidated Motion Pictures has announced that they are working on a new 2Pac documentary. The film, called "2Pac Vs.," will feature one of the late rapper's last live performances as well as other previously unreleased material. The movie is scheduled to be released on Sept. 6, 2001, the fifth anniversary of the night 2Pac was shot in Las Vegas. He died seven days later, on Sept. 13, 1996.

Dr. Dre delays Eve's album
Dr. Dre's touch can turn an album to platinum, but it will come at a price. For Eve, it means that her sophomore album, Scorpion, will be pushed back a couple of months. Apparently, Dre put in a call to his former Aftermath employee at the last minute, saying that he wanted to contribute a couple of cuts to the album. Not one to turn down a genuine opportunity, Eve headed west to hit the studio with the legendary producer, despite the fact that her album was finished. Eve's first single now is scheduled to drop the first week of February, with Scorpion to follow later in the month.

Snoop Dogg debuts at No. 9
Despite selling close to 400,000 copies of The Last Meal,
Snoop Dogg will debut at No. 9 on the Billboard 200 albums chart next week. That's because the Beatles sold 1.2 million copies of their latest album to take the No. 1 spot and emerge as the big winner in a week filled with holiday shopping that fueled incredible album sales. In fact, 29 of the top 30 albums posted sales gains of 25 percent or more. Lil' Bow Wow's Beware Of Dog was one of those popular stocking stuffers, nearly doubling its sales figures from a week earlier by moving 268,000 units. Beware Of Dog rose from No. 23 to No. 17 on the chart. Lil' Wayne secured the second-highest highest debut of the week, coming in at No. 24 with his new album, Lights Out. Meanwhile, Nas' new compilation, QB's Finest, debuted at No. 90.

Report: Foxy has drug problem
The New York Post is reporting that
Foxy Brown has been hospitalized at least four times in the past six months for a drug problem. The report, which cited one of Foxy's representatives as a source, said that she most recently was treated for addiction to painkillers at Cornell University Medical College about a month ago, but also sought treatment three times this summer. One of Foxy's publicists, Marvet Britto, told the Post that she is being treated as an outpatient. Rumors of alleged drug abuse have been circulating since June, when Foxy was admitted to a New York hospital. Radio stations in New York reported that she had overdosed on ecstasy, but her publicist said she was hospitalized as a result of food poisoning.

Mos Def: 2 albums, 2 films in 2001
With Christmas behind us, the focus now shifts to the new year. And Mos Def, for one, has big plans for 2001. First up is his sophomore solo album, Hated By Them, Loved By Those, Respected By All, which is due to hit stores in the spring. His 1999 solo debut, Black On Both Sides, went gold. While there are no publicized plans to reunite with Black Star partner Talib Kweli, Mos Def is working on a group project. His funk-rock band, Jack Johnson, which also features Parliament/Funkadelic's Bernie Worrell and Living Colour's Will Calhoun and Doug Wimbish, also will release an album in the upcoming year. In addition to the musical projects, Mos Def is slated to appear in a movie called "Civil Brand" with Da Brat and Monica as well as MTV's upcoming "Carmen Jones." Meanwhile, "Oh No," a track from Lyricist Lounge 2 featuring Mos Def, Pharoahe Monch and Nate Dogg, is getting heavy rotation and currently sits at No. 2 on the Billboard rap singles chart.

Suge Knight gets in holiday spirit
Despite being ordered to pay $15 million in court last week, Death Row Records CEO Suge Knight donated $21,000 to rebuild a playground in Sacramento, Calif. Knight, who is serving a nine-year sentence on a probation violation, donated the money to help replace the swings, carousels and monkey bars that were destroyed by vandals who set the playground on fire last month. "I saw a report about it on local TV," Knight said in a statement. "A playground is the only safe place for kids to play and then somebody comes along and destroys it. A senseless crime that hurts little kids. I called Death Row Records in Los Angeles, told them to find out the cost to rebuild the playground and cut a check to cover it."

Nelly, Cash Money cut tour short
Nelly and the Cash Money Millionaires ended their Jingle Ballers Jam tour three days early, canceling shows scheduled for San Jose, Sacramento and Los Angeles. According to a spokesperson for Nelly, the tour was cut short because of fatigue, but slow ticket sales also were believed to be a factor. A message at the San Jose Arena blamed poor weather and travel conditions for the cancellation. Tickets were priced at $45, but only half of the announced roster actually showed up for the tour, which started Nov. 10 in Miami. To help offset the departures of Lil' Kim, Lil' Cease, Junior M.A.F.I.A., Trick Daddy and Trina, Ja Rule was added to the lineup, but apparently that wasn't enough.

Bizzy Bone takes a lot of legal action
Bizzy Bone is suing four record companies, a video company and one CEO because he wasn't given the $1 million advance he was promised for his second solo album and because he thinks a recently released Bone video portrays him in a negative light. Officially, Bizzy Bone is suing Sony Records, Loud Records, Compton Records, Epic Music Video, Ruthless Records and its CEO, Tomica Wright, for breach of contract, violation of right of publicity, false designation of origin, unfair competition, interference with prospective economic advantage, conspiracy, demand for accounting, constructive trust and permanent injunction.

Xzibit debuts at No. 14
Xzibit scored the highest debut of the week on the Billboard 200 albums chart with his fourth album, Restless. The album moved 204,000 units to take the No. 14 spot on the chart. Restless features guest appearances from hip-hop veterans like KRS-One, Erick Sermon, the Alkaholiks, DJ Quik and King Tee in addition to contributions from his "Up In Smoke" family -- Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem and Nate Dogg. Elsewhere on the chart, The Source's fourth installment of Hip-Hop Hits debuted at No. 70, while Cypress Hill's first live album, Live at the Fillmore, checked in at No. 163.

Eminem rumors are dead wrong
For the record,
Eminem is not dead and he is not Time magazine's "Man of the Year." Numerous reports have surfaced over the past week or so claiming that Eminem would be named Time magazine's "Man of the Year." The story, which first was reported by a little-known online music site's "news desk," came complete with a quote from the magazine that claimed he "challanged our ideas of what's acceptable." Apparently he didn't challenge them enough to be admitted into a club that consists mainly of world leaders and newsmakers, because George W. Bush was named "Man of the Year" when the honor was announced earlier this week. Eminem was among those on Time's "Persons Who Mattered" list, and also was the No. 3 Entertainer of the Year in Time's sister publication, Entertainment Weekly. As far as the reports of Em's early demise, those apparently started as a hoax e-mail. The 411 Online has received numerous e-mails asking if it was true that Eminem had been killed in a car accident. Rest assured that if he or any other MC died or were given an honor such as Time's "Man of the Year," The 411 Online would have the story. If a story or rumor of this magnitude arises and you don't see it here, it didn't happen.

Snoop Dogg serves up Tha Last Meal
Snoop Dogg, whose fifth album, Tha Last Meal, arrived in stores Tuesday, will hit the road for the rest of the year in support of it. The brief tour starts out in Boston on Wednesday before traveling to Washington, D.C., on Friday. After taking some time off for the Christmas holiday, Snoop gets going again with stops in Dallas (Dec. 28), Austin (Dec. 29) and Denver (Dec. 30). Tha Last Meal is the final No Limit album from Snoop, who will record for his own recently renamed Doggystyle Records in the future. The album features guest appearances by former 213 partner Nate Dogg, Eve, Master P, Lady of Rage and George Clinton, while Dr. Dre, Battlecat, Timbaland and Swizz Beats take turns behind the boards.

ODB will return to New York
ODB is expected to waive extradition proceedings at a hearing Tuesday morning in Philadelphia, clearing the way for police to transport him to New York to face drug charges. Ol' Dirty has been held without bail in a Philadelphia jail cell since being captured at an area McDonald's. His arrest came less than a week after his performance with the Wu-Tang Clan at their album release party in New York, and more than a month after he escaped from a Los Angeles drug rehab program. ODB faces four to seven years in prison if convicted of drug charges in both Queens and Brooklyn. He also will have to answer to charges of making terrorist threats, failing to pay child support, driving without a license as well as charges in California connected to his October escape.

Nas responds to Memphis Bleek
Nas has fired off the latest shot in a war or words that has gone back and forth between him and the Roc-A-Fella camp for more than a year. Both of the Roc's comments came on Memphis Bleek tracks, but it was Jay-Z who triggered the subtle beef in 1999 on "What You Think of That?" off Bleek's debut album, Coming of Age, with the line, "I'm gonna ball till I fall/ What you think of that?" That inspired Nas to respond on the title track of Nastradamus: "You wanna ball till you fall?/ I can help you with that/ You got beef? I can lit a slug/ Melt in your hat." Memphis Bleek shot back on the original version of "My Mind Right," but a remix version without the lyrics appears on his sophomore disc, The Understanding. Nevertheless, Nas addresses Bleek on "Da Bridge 2001," a cut off of Q.B.'s Finest, which hit stores Tuesday. The compilation album features Mobb Deep, MC Shan, Capone-N-Noreaga, Roxanne Shante and Marley Marl.

Gang Starr hits the slopes in Vermont
Gang Starr will headline the third annual "Brooklyn, Vermont" snowboarding festival. The event, which will take place Jan. 19-21 at a ski resort in Killington, Vt., also will feature performances by Tony Touch and DJ Evil Dee. Pharoahe Monch, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Eminem and the GZA are among the emcees who have performed at the event in the past. Meanwhile, Guru, who recently released the third installment in the Jazzmatazz series, Street Soul, and DJ Premier will be heading into the studio in the summer of 2001 to work on their first album since 1998's Moment of Truth.

Def Jam confirms L.L.'s departure
Lyor Cohen, co-president of the Island Def Jam Music Group, released a statement confirming what L.L. Cool J had revealed on a live webcast last week. "L.L. Cool J is clearly one of the most important artists of his generation," Cohen said. "He created a valuable brand for himself, catapulted Def Jam into the finest urban brand, and proved once and for all rappers can have sustainable careers. I deeply appreciate his tenacity and artistic creativity. It is true that L.L. Cool J is coming to the end of his contract with Def Jam. With one more album left to deliver, it is Def Jam's intent to deliver L.L.'s next release to his millions of fans. Def Jam cannot survive without great artists like L.L., and we appreciate the love and support we enjoy from our artists over the course of their careers. I wish L.L. success and happiness as he continues his journey, wherever that may be." L.L. is expected to follow the footsteps of Snoop Dogg and release future albums on his own label, Rock The Bells Records.

Run DMC gets release date
After being delayed for more than a year, Run DMC's long-awaited comeback album, Crown Royal, finally will be released on Feb. 13. The first single will be "Rock Show," a track co-written and produced by Third Eye Blind's Stephan Jenkins that can be heard on Arista's official web site. Besides Jenkins, the album will feature several other rap-rock crossovers with artists such as Kid Rock, Everlast and Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst as well as guest appearances from Method Man, Nas, Jermaine Dupri and Mobb Deep's Prodigy. Jagged Edge, who had Run drop a verse on the "Let's Get Married" remix, will bring some R&B to the album on "Let's Stay Together," which samples Al Green's song of the same name. Crown Royal is the first album from Run DMC since 1993's Down With the King.

More news on Ja Rule, N.W.A and Lil' Kim

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