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Xzibit embarks on tour
Xzibit must enjoy life on the road. After spending most of 2000 traveling with the "Up In Smoke" and "Anger Management" tours, X is heading out as a headliner on Tuesday. The tour, which features Tha Liks and Eminem's D-12, kicks off Tuesday, Feb. 27, with the first of two dates at the House of Blues in Chicago and ends April 11 with the last of three at the House of Blues in Los Angeles. The tour also will hook up with Outkast, Ludacris and Slimm Calhoun for a few dates, including two stops at L.A.'s Universal Amphitheater. Xzibit recently received his first platinum plaque for Restless, which was released in December. A DVD titled "Restless Xposed," which chronicles Xzibit's experiences on previous tours, will hit stores on May 22.

The complete schedule: 2/27 -- Chicago, House of Blues; 2/28 -- Chicago, House of Blues; 3/1 -- Detroit, Majestic; 3/2 -- Hampton, Va., Coliseum (with Outkast); 3/4 -- New York City, SOB's; 3/5 -- New York City, SOB's; 3/7 -- Washington D.C., Patriot Center (with Outkast); 3/8 -- Boston, Avalon; 3/10 -- Detroit, St. Andrews; 3/13 -- Atlanta, Tabernacle; 3/14 -- New Orleans, House of Blues; 3/16 -- Dallas, Russian Tea Room; 3/18 -- Denver, Gothic; 3/19 -- Boulder, Fox Theatre; 3/21 -- Las Vegas, House of Blues; 3/22 -- Anaheim, House of Blues; 3/23 -- San Diego, Open Air Theatre; 3/24 -- Los Angeles, Universal Amphitheater (with Outkast); 3/25 -- Los Angeles, Universal Amphitheater (with Outkast); 3/26 -- San Jose, San Jose Events Center; 3/28 -- Seattle, Showbox; 3/29 -- Portland, Pine Street Theatre; 3/31 -- Fresno, Fresno State; 4/1 -- San Francisco, Maritime Hall; 4/9 -- Los Angeles, House of Blues; 4/10 -- Los Angeles, House of Blues; 4/11 -- Los Angeles, House of Blues.


Dr. Dre: "We were robbed"
Eminem won three of the four Grammy Awards he was nominated for on Wednesday night, but it's the one that got away that has Dr. Dre upset. "To be perfectly honest, I think we were robbed," Dre told "Access Hollywood." Dre was named Producer of the Year, Eminem won Best Rap Album and Best Rap Solo Performance, and the duo shared the Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group for "Forgot About Dre." But the 13,000 voting members of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences chose not to make The Marshall Mathers LP the Album of the Year. "It was probably something the Grammys had to do because of the backlash that they were going to get from giving him the award," Dre said. Michael Greene, President and Chief Executive of NARAS, disagreed in an interview with Reuters. "I don't think the content of Eminem's album had anything to do with it," said Greene, who during a speech at the show asked Dre to stand up and be recognized since neither of the awards he won had been broadcast. "Otherwise he wouldn't have been nominated or won the other Grammys. The voters truly don't care what the critics think or how they're perceived. They're very independent."


Puffy's lawyers begin defense
Puff Daddy's lawyers opened their defense Thursday with testimony from the Bad Boy CEO's personal assistant and a security guard who disputed previous witnesses' claims that both Puffy and Shyne fired guns during a Dec. 1999 incident at Club New York. Trenton Stewart, who was working security at the club that night, said that he heard the sound of two distinct guns firing. Puffy and Shyne both have been accused of firing 9mm handguns in earlier testimony. On Wednesday, prosecutors revealed that they had located Matthew "Scar" Allen, the man who allegedly argued with Puff Daddy at the club just moments before the incidents that led to Puff, Shyne and bodyguard Anthony "Wolf" Jones' arrests. Allen, who will serve as a rebuttal witness after the defense closes its case, prepared a sworn, handwritten statement on Jan. 3 that prosecutors released Wednesday. "Puffy was saying goodbye and high-fiving everybody," Allen wrote in the statement. "At one point he reached over me and knocked me and the glass I was holding into the bar. At the time I didnít realize who it was that had just knocked me and so as I turned around I pushed him off of me and realized it was Puffy. He started saying, 'What's up, what's up' and I said, 'F--- you.'" After the well-documented money-throwing incident by one of the men at the bar, Shyne allegedly pulled out a gun and began firing. "At that point, Puffy had a gun in his right hand as I was running out," Allen's statement continued. "I could see both Shyne and Puffy firing guns -- the reason I know both Shyne and Puffy fired is because I saw the fire coming out of their guns." Three people were injured by the gunshots.


Lil' Kim helps raise $4 million
Lil' Kim and Mary J. Blige's advertising campaign for M.A.C. Cosmetics has raised $4 million for the company's AIDS Fund. The pair is featured in print ads modeling Viva Glam III lipstick. M.A.C. donates every cent of the lipstick's selling price to support men, women and children living with HIV and AIDS. The M.A.C. AIDS Fund has raised nearly $20 million since its launch in 1994. Earlier this month, M.A.C. unveiled the 2001 Viva Glam ad campaign, which begins in April and once again features Kim and Blige. In order to help promote the cause, you can check out both the old and new versions of the ad campaign in The 411 Online's photo gallery.


Pioneers take time to honor hip-hop
A couple of pioneers have set aside some time to celebrate hip-hop. First off, KRS-One announced that May 14-21 will be designated Hip-Hop Appreciation Week. "Our theme this year is charity," KRS said in a released statement. "The purpose of Hip-hop Appreciation Week is to decriminalize hip-hop's public image... This, we believe, is the beginning of hip-hop's preservation and further development." Earlier this week, the Universal Zulu Nation and its founder, Afrika Bambaata, announced plans to celebrate Hip-Hop History Month in November as a tribute to what they recognize as hip-hop's date of birth, November 12, 1974. "When we made hip-hop, we made it hoping it would be about peace, love, unity and having fun so that people could get away from the negativity that was plaguing our streets," Bambaata said in a statement on the Zulu Nation's web site. "Even though this negativity still happens here and there, as the culture progresses, we play a big role in conflict resolution and enforcing positivity."


Eminem, Dr. Dre win Grammys
Eminem, whose Grammy nominations sparked a nationwide controversy that overshadowed the event itself, won awards for Best Rap Album, Best Rap Solo Performance and Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group, but The Marshall Mathers LP failed to take home the Album of the Year honor at Wednesday night's 43rd Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. "I want to thank everyone who can look past the controversy and see the album for what it was... and for what it isn't," he said after appearing from backstage to accept his Best Rap Album award with D-12. In awards presented prior to the live telecast, Eminem's "The Real Slim Shady" won Best Rap Solo Performance and his collaboration with Dr. Dre, "Forgot About Dre," won Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group. Dre also won Producer of the Year for his work on his 1999 album, 2001, N.W.A's "Chin Check" and "Hello," and six tracks from Eminem's Grammy-winning album -- "B Please II," "I'm Back," "Kill You," "The Real Slim Shady," "Who Knew" and "Remember Me?" Although the award was not presented during the show, the president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences took time out to have Dre stand up and be recognized before presenting the lifetime achievement awards. Lil' Bow Wow, who was announced as a performer by some news outlets, got more airtime in a Twix ad during the first commercial break than he did on stage. The 13-year-old MC chauffeured the limo that brought Madonna on stage for the performance that opened the show. For all of the hip-hop nominees and winners, click here...


Grammys focus on Eminem, Dr. Dre
The day of controversy is upon us.
Eminem, nominated for four awards at Wednesday night's 43rd Annual Grammy Awards, will be met by protesters when he steps onto the red carpet outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles. It was no surprise that Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP was nominated for Best Rap Album. After all, he's the defending champion, winning the honor last year for The Slim Shady LP. But once his follow-up album blew by the sales milestones of hip-hop and set a record for best first-week numbers by a solo artist of any genre, the Grammys had no choice but to put The Marshall Mathers LP and its heavily criticized lyrical content up for Album of the Year honors as well. But will he win, or will his Grammy diss on "The Real Slim Shady" prove to be prophetic? Boycotts have brought good luck for MCs in the past. Of course, the artists involved, Jay-Z in 1999 and DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince in 1989, were protesting the show itself and its lack of respect for hip-hop. Nevertheless, Jigga won Best Rap Album despite his absence, and the man now known as Will Smith won the first-ever hip-hop Grammy while protesting outside the event. Smith has become a Grammy favorite, winning four overall, and Lauryn Hill swept through the 1999 show with her brand of hip-hop, but the respect still doesn't seem to be all the way there. In fact, only one of last year's three hip-hop awards was presented during the live broadcast. (Ironically, the two that weren't shown were won by Eminem.) There's no chance of that happening this year, with Em being the so-called star of the show and his mentor, Dr. Dre, leading all nominees with five. For all of the nominees, visit The 411 Online's Hip-Hop at the Grammys special section and while you're at it, reminisce about the eclectic, confusing and sometimes ridiculous list of past winners. Then head over to RapSheet.com's annual "tribute" to the Grammy Awards to let out your frustrations.


Too Short, E-40 are making History
As The 411 Online reported
last March, Too Short and E-40 are working on a joint album called The History Channel that's scheduled to be released before the end of the year. DBA's Bosko, who has produced tracks for E-40 since the days of "Sprinkle Me," confirmed the pairing in an interview with Launch. "They're doing a collaboration album, kind of like the Method Man and Redman thing," said Bosko. "It's gonna be big. You know, if you look back, some of their best cuts have been together as a group. So they figure, 'Why not do a whole record of it?'" The first and most successful of Too Short and E-40's collaborations was off 40's 1996 album, Tha Hall of Game. "Rapper's Ball" was released as a single and climbed up the charts with the help of Jodeci's K-Ci on the hook. Since then the Bay Area duo have practically put together an album's worth of guest appearances on each other's solo offerings. A reunion with K-Ci and Jo Jo on E-40's 1998 album, The Element of Surprise, was followed by pairings on 40's The Blueprint of a Self-Made Millionaire (1999) and Loyalty & Betrayal (2000), and on Too Short's Can't Stay Away (1999) and You Nasty (2000).


Run DMC drops MCs from album
During the course of two years, Run DMC's comeback album has gone from highly anticipated to practically an afterthought. Why? For starters, VH1's "Behind the Music" exposed the internal rift that led to DMC's virtual absence from the project. The constant delays haven't helped, either -- Crown Royal recently was pushed back once again from Feb. 27 to April 3. Now comes word that tracks with guest appearances by Slick Rick, ODB and Ja Rule were dropped because, as Arista's Pete Ganbarg explained to Entertainment Weekly, "they didn't fit with the rest of the record," while cuts featuring Sugar Ray, Kid Rock, Everlast, Fred Durst and Third Eye Blind's Stephan Jenkins survived. Now, it's understandable that MCs like ODB and Ja Rule, who came into their own after Run DMC's prime, might not be necessary additions to Crown Royal, but an old school collaboration with Slick Rick would be welcomed by any hip-hop fan, especially when the rock-rap theme started by Run DMC and Aerosmith more than 15 years ago appears to be dominating the album. For those fans that still will pick up the album despite the obvious attempt to cross over and the fact that DMC is M.I.A., you might find the guest spots by Nas, Mobb Deep's Prodigy, Method Man, Jermaine Dupri and Fat Joe to your liking -- unless of course they decide to drop those hip-hop pairings from the lineup before April 3.


Chuck D will speak at conference
The Consumer Electronics Association has announced that
Public Enemy's Chuck D will deliver a keynote speech at "The Digital Download: Public Access to Content in a Digital World," a conference taking place March 6 in Washington, D.C. The CEA chose Chuck D because he has "redefined rap music and hip-hop culture" and has been "a major proponent of music on the Internet" through his sites, Rapstation.com, public-enemy.com and bringthenoise.com. "Chuck D leapt to the forefront as one of the first artists to truly use the Internet as a way to bring a wider audience into the music community," said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CEA. "With his web sites and multimedia messages, he is a leader among artists who are embracing technology to empower themselves and revolutionize the music business. We are thrilled he will be speaking at The Digital Download, and add to the debate surrounding today's battles over the Internet, copyright and public access to digital content." Public Enemy also released There's A Poison Goin' On, the first major album to be released over the Internet, in 1999.


Kool Mo Dee gets "The Last Word"
Kool Mo Dee joined Super Bowl XXXI MVP Desmond Howard and four-time NBA champion and "BET Live" host John Salley as a panelist Friday on Fox Sports Net's "The Last Word." The host, Jim Rome, while noting that the MC officially had dropped the 'e' from the "Moe" in his name, engaged the panel in discussions about NASCAR and the Westminster Dog Show, Kool Mo Dee still managed to get in another shot at L.L. Cool J. While on the topic of "talking smack," Howard reminisced about his youth. "I remember when I was a kid I used to listen to Kool Mo Dee battle with L.L. Cool J on record, but it was just friendly competition," he said. "No one ever shot at each other and they're both still alive today." When the topic shifted to Michael Jordan and how he handled himself on the court, Mo Dee made the point that the NBA's greatest player couldn't visibly berate his inferior competition or else he'd be viewed in a negative way, much like "I was always perceived as the bully in the battle with L.L. Cool J, because I was superior."


DMX will turn himself in
DMX plans to surrender to authorities and begin a 15-day jail sentence as early as next week, according to the Associated Press. "He has every intention of honoring the court's mandate and plans to turn himself in immediately upon his return to the East Coast," attorney Matt Middleton told the AP. DMX has been nominated for two Grammys this year -- best rap album for And Then There Was X and best rap solo performance for "Party Up" -- but his publicist said that he won't be attending the Feb. 21 awards show in Los Angeles. "This is the first year he is nominated in two categories but ... he understands he's a person that is admired by millions and he wants to set the proper example," Angelo Ellerbee said. DMX was sentenced last May for driving without a license, and a warrant was issued last week for his arrest after he failed to meet the court-ordered deadline to begin his jail term.


Puffy confirms split with Lopez
Sean "Puffy" Combs admitted Wednesday that he and Jennifer Lopez have ended their two-year relationship. "Mr. Combs confirmed that he and his love Jennifer Lopez have in fact broken up," publicist Nathalie Moar revealed Wednesday. "Mr. Combs is confirming this today as he wanted to put all the rumors surrounding their relationship to rest. At this difficult time we ask that you respect his privacy." Rumors of a split began circulating
a few weeks ago, but both parties publicly denied it. Apparently, a couple of last-ditch efforts to save the relationship fell flat. Puffy gave Lopez a private performance by Luther Vandross as an early Valentine's Day gift, since the singer-actress was traveling to Australia to promote her hit movie, "The Wedding Planner," and album, J.Lo, during the holiday. Puff also dedicated a Saturday fashion show in New York to Lopez, using many of her songs while showcasing his latest Sean John line. Things aren't looking any better for Puff Daddy on the legal front. The New York Post reported Wednesday that prosecutors in Puff's gun possession trial are investigating possible witness tampering. The witnesses in question are Tarnisha Smith, Leonard Curtis Howard and Foxy Brown's brother, Gavin "Pretty Boy" Marchand. Each allegedly changed their grand-jury testimony when questioned in court. Puff's lawyers disputed the report in court, but were unable to publicly address the issue due to a gag order. On top of all that, Puffy is suing a man he paid to help write his autobiography, claiming that the writer, Mikal Gilmore, dropped out after accepting $325,000 to do the job. Puff is seeking to get the money back plus legal fees.


Eminem pleads guilty to weapons charge
Prosecutors announced Wednesday that
Eminem has agreed to plead guilty to a charge of carrying a concealed weapon. Eminem will face up to five years in prison when he is sentenced April 10, but his attorneys expect him to receive probation. Since he has no prior criminal record, it's likely that the maximum sentence he would receive is 17 months in jail. Macomb County assistant prosecutor David Portuesi agreed to drop a charge of assault with a dangerous weapon in exchange for the plea, but the sentence will be left up to the judge. The charges stem from an incident outside a nightclub last June. Eminem allegedly attacked a man who was kissing his wife, Kim. Eminem still faces charges of carrying a concealed weapon and brandishing a firearm in public in nearby Oakland County.


DMX out, Fiend in?
Former No Limit soldier Fiend reportedly will sign a deal to join the Ruff Ryders, a move seen as insurance in case
DMX decides to bail. X has expressed his frustration about not having a bigger piece of the Ruff Ryders' ownership pie, and has started his own label, Bloodline Records, which is a joint venture with Def Jam. Fiend's first role as a Ruff Ryder is to drop a verse on the upcoming solo debut of The Lox's Jadakiss. Meanwhile, a warrant has been issued for DMX's arrest after he failed to show up in Cheektowaga, N.Y., to serve a 15-day jail sentence for driving without a license. Instead, X was in Los Angeles shooting promos for his upcoming movie with Steven Seagal, "Exit Wounds," which arrives in theaters on March 16. A federal judge denied a request for a stay of sentence last Thursday after a motion to appeal to the New York Court of Appeals was denied.


Lauryn Hill settles out of court
Lauryn Hill has settled a lawsuit over the production credit on her 1998 Grammy-winning debut album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed. New-Ark Entertainment, consisting of Vada Nobles, Rasheem Pugh, Tejumold Newton and Johari Newton, claimed in the suit that Hill had promised to give them credit for their production work on the album, but when the album came out, Hill was listed as the only producer. Hill's lawyers claimed that the musicians from New-Ark were simply hoping to cash in on the album's success. New-Ark was seeking co-writing and co-production credits, as well as one-third of the profits from The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which has sold more than 7 million copies.


Busta makes move to J official
In a move
rumored for months, Busta Rhymes has left Elektra Records, and he's taking the Flipmode Squad with him. Their destination is Clive Davis' J Records, which is also home to Wyclef Jean's Clef Records. "The legacy of Clive Davis' leadership is undeniable and I respect him tremendously," Busta said in a statement. "What intrigued me most about going to J was that Clive believed in my vision as a whole. It wasn't about being in the Busta Rhymes business -- for him it was about being in business with Busta Rhymes. What more could I ask for?" Davis founded Arista Records in 1975, but left the label last year and was replaced by L.A. Reid.


Redman sets release date
Def Jam Records has announced plans to release
Redman's fifth solo album, Malpractice, on April 17. The album, originally titled Where Is Reggie Noble?, was scheduled to be released in December, but was pushed back indefinitely along with the latest offering from his regular partner in rhyme, Method Man. Meth and George Clinton are among the contributors to the album, while Erick Sermon and Rockwilder will handle some of the production duties. Redman first enjoyed platinum status in 1998 with his last solo joint, Doc's Da Name 2000, and repeated the feat with Meth in 1999 on the Blackout! collaboration. His first three solo albums -- Whut? The Album (1992), Dare Iz a Darkside (1994) and Muddy Waters (1996) -- went gold. Meth and Red also currently are working on a movie, appropriately titled "How High," in Los Angeles.


Luke plans his retirement
Luther Campbell plans to release one final album, Somethin' Nasty, on March 27, and then retire as an artist. "I'm really trying to make a decision whether I want to go into politics," Luke told Launch. "I'm really trying to make a decision if I want to go into that... I just really want to concentrate more on my business, you know, developing new artists, and pretty much doing these movies. That's what I really want to do now. I really can't do movies, produce movies, and rap at the same time." Among the artists he will develop is Indianapolis Colts running back Edgerrin James. Luke attempted to bring 2 Live Crew back together for the sendoff, but Lil' Joe Records would not grant Brother Marquis and Fresh Kid Ice permission to appear. However, Mr. Mixx produces several tracks on the album. Marquis and Kid Ice, meanwhile, launched a tour in San Antonio on Feb. 9 that runs throughout the month in a variety of western, southern and Canadian cities. The next show is Feb. 14 in San Bernardino, Calif. There's no better way to spend Valentine's Day than to take your date to a 2 Live Crew concert, huh? The group's most recent album, a greatest hits collection titled Private Personal Parts, was released in April 2000.


ODB's court date is pushed back
During a hearing last week, a judge granted a lawyer's request to push back
ODB's next court date to March 15. The court appearances stem from Ol' Dirty's arrest for possession of crack cocaine in July 1999. Originally, the Queens County Supreme Court date was set for Aug. 13, 1999, but that date now has been reset eight times due to ODB's other arrests, his stays in rehab and his brief escape. ODB's lawyers will use the extra time to attempt to convince the Los Angeles Superior Court to have any sentence stemming from a probation violation out west to run concurrently with whatever ODB potentially will receive as a result of a conviction in New York.


Eminem will perform at Grammys
In a move designed to silence critics of
Eminem's Grammy nominations, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences announced that the controversial MC will perform with Elton John at this year's awards ceremony. Eminem was nominated for four Grammys, including album of the year. Since the nominations were announced, several groups, including the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the Family Violence Protection Fund, protested his "homophobic" and "violent" lyrics. However, the NARAS hopes that the pairing of Slim Shady and John, who is openly bisexual, will keep some of the critics at bay. The duo will perform Em's hit song "Stan," with John filling in for Dido on the hook. "We view this moment not only as musically significant, but also as an opportunity to help tear down some of the unfortunate walls of division that Eminem's lyrics have built," NARAS president and CEO Michael Greene said in a statement. However, both GLAAD and FVPF released statements after the announcement was made expressing their disappointment. The Grammys will take place Feb. 21 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.


More news on the Trick Daddy, Tha Liks, and Public Enemy...


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