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Snoop Dogg as Huggy Bear?
According to a report on the Internet Movie Database,
Snoop Dogg is in discussions to play the role of Huggy Bear in a film adaptation of "Starsky and Hutch." Ben Stiller will star as Starsky, while Owen Wilson will play Hutch in the remake of the popular 1970s television show. "It's going to be cool," Stiller told IMDb. "There hasn't been a really good buddy cop movie since the Lethal Weapon series." Snoop has had movie-star aspirations since the early days, launching his acting career in the extended video for "Murder Was the Case" in 1994 before moving on to starring roles in small, independent films and numerous cameos and bit parts. But Snoop truly has emerged on the scene as an actor this year, appearing in John Singleton's "Baby Boy" and in "Training Day" with Denzel Washington. Snoop currently is starring in two high-profile releases: "Bones," in which he plays a '70s pimp back from the dead, and "The Wash," a comedy also starring Dr. Dre. "Starsky and Hutch" debuted on TV in 1975 and had a run of 88 episodes. Antonio Fargas played the role of Huggy Bear in the original series.


Jay-Z pulls the plug on MTV
L.L. Cool J pioneered it. Can
Jay-Z perfect it? Jay-Z became the latest artist to pull the plug on MTV, performing with an acoustic band and a string quartet Sunday night for a taping of MTV2's revived "Unplugged" series. "Welcome to Jay-Z's poetry hour," Jay joked at the start of the taping. "Hark, who goes there?" MTV producers, concerned that an active audience might block cameras, asked the audience of about 150 people to remain seated throughout the performance, but once the band started playing "I Just Wanna Love U," Jay encouraged the crowd to stand up and surround him. "Everybody, you gotta get up for this one!" he said. Most of the performance was a self-edited version, but Jay finished with an onslaught of an encore. The show also featured surprise guest Mary J. Blige, who joined Jay-Z on stage for a rendition of the first track from his first album -- "Can't Knock the Hustle" off the 1996 classic, Reasonable Doubt. Jay-Z's "Unplugged" is scheduled to air on MTV2 on Dec. 15. MTV will broadcast it later.


Dr. Dre settles lawsuits
An attorney for
Dr. Dre told the Associated Press on Wednesday that Dre's lawsuits against the cities of Detroit and Auburn Hills have been settled. Dr. Dre filed the lawsuits in July 2000, accusing the cities and their officials of censorship by threatening to arrest him and organizers if he aired a sexually explicit video at a concert that month. The settlements include written apologies from Mayor Dennis Archer and the City of Auburn Hills, and First Amendment training for police officers in each city, attorney Herschel Fink said. The settlement also requires the cities to reimburse Dre for legal fees. Detroit will pay $25,000, and Auburn Hills will pay $28,000. Detroit mayoral spokesman Greg Bowens, who also was named in the lawsuit, said the mayor was pleased with the settlement. Bowens said the city was not admitting guilt, and the monetary settlement was much lower than the multimillion-dollar award that Fink originally sought. Detroit officials, complaining about obscene imagery that included exposed breasts, successfully barred the seven-minute video from playing during the "Up in Smoke" show at Joe Louis Arena last year. A federal judge ordered the City of Auburn Hills not to block the video at the next night's performance at the Palace of Auburn Hills. The video aired, but police seized a copy of it and issued a citation to the arena minutes afterward.


Snoop Dogg charged with possession
Snoop Dogg was charged with marijuana possession in Amherst, Ohio, after officers stopped two of his tour buses for speeding and found several bags of marijuana. State Highway Patrol troopers said the bust occurred after a traffic stop on Interstate 90 west of Cleveland on Wednesday. In one bus, they found Snoop Dogg and said they smelled burnt marijuana. Drug-sniffing dogs found six bags of marijuana weighing about 200 grams in the cargo hold of the bus. Snoop Dogg, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, was charged with possession of marijuana, a minor misdemeanor with a maximum $100 penalty, and possession of drug paraphernalia, which carries a maximum sentence of $250 and 30 days in jail. Two other passengers also were charged. Lt. Gary Lewis said Snoop was "very cooperative" with the troopers and was released. A Snoop tour bus might be considered an easy target for police, especially since the name of his current trek is "Puff, Puff, Pass." In June 2000, a member of Snoop Dogg's entourage admitted ownership of more than a half-pound of marijuana found on a tour bus after the "Up In Smoke" tour stop at Coors Amphitheatre in Chula Vista, Calif. In that incident, Border Patrol agents stopped the bus for an immigration inspection and reported smelling marijuana smoke when stepping aboard.


Jay-Z pleads guilty to assault
Despite numerous declarations of innocence on wax,
Jay-Z pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges of stabbing a record producer during a fight in a nightclub and was sentenced to three years probation. Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault, admitting he stabbed Lance "Un" Rivera on Dec. 1, 1999, at a party for Q-Tip at Manhattan's Kit Kat Klub. "I stabbed Lance Rivera," Jay-Z stated softly as he pleaded guilty to third-degree assault before Justice Micki Scherer in Manhattan's State Supreme Court. The statement was in direct contrast to those that he has made on several tracks on recent records, including "Guilty Until Proven Innocent," a single from his 2000 album, The Dynasty, and his current hit, "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)" Jay-Z accused Rivera of making and selling bootleg copies of his fourth album, Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter. According to a police account of the attack, Jay-Z pulled a 5-inch knife and stabbed Rivera at least twice. The judge will sentence him on Dec. 6 to three years probation. Rivera prepared a lawsuit against Jay-Z but didn't file it after they settled out of court for between $500,000 and $1 million. The victim later told prosecutors he was not interested in pursuing the case. On Tuesday, a weapons charge against Jay-Z was dismissed after his chauffeur admitted ownership of a gun found in a sport utility vehicle in which Jigga was riding on April 13. The chauffeur, Hamza Hewitt, 29, of Teaneck, N.J., pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a weapon in the third-degree and was sentenced to a year in jail.


ODB gets 2 years for fleeing rehab
A Los Angeles Superior Court judge on Friday sentenced
ODB to two years in prison for a probation violation stemming from his escape from a drug rehab center last October. However, the Los Angeles sentence will run concurrently with the time he is currently serving in New York for crack cocaine charges. Ol' Dirty was sentenced to two to four years in that case in July, but it's possible that he could be paroled in both cases as early as next year. ODB was arrested by Philadelphia police in the parking lot of a McDonald's restaurant last November, ending his month-long flight from justice after escaping from a Los Angeles rehab center. Shortly after escaping, Ol' Dirty had performed with the Wu-Tang Clan at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York. ODB's latest album is a collection of tracks from his two solo albums that was put together by Elektra after it became apparent that ODB wouldn't be spending much time in the studio anytime soon. The Dirty Story: The Best of ODB was released last month.


Ja Rule knocks Jay-Z from top spot
Ja Rule's Pain Is Love sold 361,990 copies in its first week of release to knock Jay-Z from the top spot of the Billboard 200 album chart. Jay-Z's The Blueprint, which had been No. 1 for three straight weeks, sold 147,858 copies and dropped to No. 2. Jigga did move enough units to pass the 1 million mark and secure another platinum plaque. Ja Rule still is riding the success of his appearance on the remix of Jennifer Lopez's "I'm Real," which returns to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart next week, 16 weeks after its release. Rule's first single from Pain Is Love, "Livin' It Up" featuring Case, sits at No. 14.


Label disputes Sermon suicide attempt report
Erick Sermon's label and manager are disputing published accounts that the injuries he suffered recently were the result of a suicide attempt from a third-story window. "We can confirm Erick Sermon was indeed in an accident but in no way should it be made to appear as a suicide attempt," J Records said in a formal statement. "Any statements or random assessments made prior to this statement should not be considered official statements of J Records." In a separate statement, Sermon's manager and Def Squad Records general manager Bernard Alexander said, "As his manager and personal friend for over 20 years, I must say the idea of a suicide attempt is completely ridiculous and just plain wrong to report." The Associated Press reported last week that police in Paterson, N.J., were investigating the incident as a suicide attempt. Sermon, who suffered broken bones and internal bleeding, was reported in fair condition in a New Jersey hospital. His new album, Music still is scheduled to be released Oct. 30.


Eminem's divorce is official
After months of wrangling over child support,
Eminem's divorce is finally official. Eminem and his ex-wife, Kim Mathers, will share custody of their 5-year-old daughter. "It's always been Marshall's desire that whatever happened would happen in the best interest of the child," said Harvey Hauer, the attorney who represented Eminem. In a divorce decree issued Friday, Macomb County Circuit Judge Donald G. Miller ordered Eminem to pay $1,000 a week -- or $52,000 yearly -- in child support to his ex-wife, the Detroit Free Press reported Tuesday. The settlement is far less than the $2,740 a week -- or $142,480 annually -- recommended by the Macomb County Friend of the Court. "Now they can carry on with their lives and with being the kind of parents they want to be," Hauer told The Macomb Daily. Eminem, 28, and Kim Mathers, 26, were married in June 1999. They legally separated in August 2000, two months after Eminem was charged with using a gun to pistol-whip a man he said he saw kissing his wife outside a nightclub. The couple reconciled right before the end of last year but Kim Mathers filed for divorce in March.


Sermon incident called suicide attempt
Erick Sermon was critically injured when he plunged from a third-story window in Paterson, N.J. last week, and police said Tuesday they are investigating the incident as a suicide attempt. Late last week, Sermon's record label, J Records, reported that the 32-year-old member of EPMD was injured in a car crash Sept. 25 on a rain-slicked road. But police said Tuesday they were called to the scene Sept. 25 to investigate a report of an attempted suicide. A woman told police that Sermon was in her apartment that night. She left the room and returned to find him gone and a window open. The woman said she looked out the window and saw Sermon lying on his back in the parking lot, bleeding from the head. Sermon was listed in fair condition Tuesday. Sermon is being treated for head and facial injuries at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center and has been unavailable to speak to authorities or the press. A Sept. 28 Associated Press report quoted a J Records representative named Biff Warren saying that Sermon had suffered broken bones and internal bleeding after he slammed his Mercedes-Benz into a highway cement divider on his way home to Long Island after a video shoot in upstate New York. "He apparently just fell asleep behind the wheel and he skidded and ran into a wall," said Warren in the report. But Yusef Gomez, another publicist at the label, told The Record of Hackensack that he does not know where the original information came from. "As far as we knew and what was sent to us, he was in a car accident," he said. Sermon's latest hit "Music" features the late Marvin Gaye, and his album of the same name is scheduled for release on Nov. 30.


Chuck D isn't sure war is answer
During a speech at the University of Georgia on Monday, Public Enemy's
Chuck D cautioned against rushing to war without first considering what it will cost Americans. According to the Associated Press, "all this rah, rah, rah, let's go get 'em" reminds Chuck of when his father was summoned to fight in Vietnam and returned from war deeply disturbed. Chuck called the recent hijackings a reality check for a country that had become complacent in an era dominated by entertainment and sports. "The biggest news in this whole country before Sept. 11 was whether Michael Jordan would come back," he said. But now, he says "we need smart people. We need to listen to smart people." Chuck D has been touring the country for quite some time now, speaking at colleges, high schools and prisons, and promoting his autobiography, appropriately titled "Fight the Power."


Jay-Z debuts at No. 1 again
Having a No. 1 album never seemed as insignificant as it did for
Jay-Z last week. Although The Blueprint sold 427,000 copies to claim the top spot on the Billboard 200 albums chart, it was a hollow victory because the album -- his sixth in six years -- was released on Sept. 11 -- the same day as the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington D.C. "It's weird, 'cause as an artist you look forward to your release date, then something tragic like that happens and then it's the last thing on your mind," he told MTV the day of the attacks. Jay was in Los Angeles that day shooting a video for his second single, "Girls, Girls, Girls," and because he was stranded there for several days he was forced to delay the start of his club tour. Despite being leaked several weeks early, each of Jay-Z's last three albums debuted at No. 1. Last year, The Dynasty sold more than 557,000 copies in its first week last November. In 1999, Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter moved 462,000 units to claim the top spot. And in 1998, Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life outsold higher profile releases from Outkast and A Tribe Called Quest to take the No. 1 spot. That album set a hip-hop record for most consecutive weeks at No. 1.


Dr. Dre donates $1 million
Dr. Dre contributed $1 million to Los Angeles radio station Power 106's fund-raising campaign for the victims of last week's terrorist attacks. The station is hoping to raise $1.6 million for the American Red Cross. Dr. Dre joins a growing list of hip-hop artists that have pledged money to the cause, including Swizz Beatz, RZA and Fat Joe. The Arsonists have pledged 50 percent of the royalties from the sale of their sophomore album, Date Of Birth, which was released the day of the disaster, Sept. 11.


Mack 10, Ja Rule shook by attacks
The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have forced every American to have second thoughts about flying in airplanes. Mack 10 is no different. In fact, shortly after the attacks he told MTV that he would never take to the air again. Instead, he plans to buy a tour bus and travel across the country on the open road from now on. Mack 10 had been scheduled to come to New York on Tuesday but was stranded in California with the FAA halted all air traffic. Ja Rule, who lives in New Jersey, was much closer to the attacks on the World Trade Center's twin towers and understandably was just as nervous. "To be honest, I've been scared to come through the Lincoln Tunnel," Rule told MTV. "When I came through the tunnel today, I saw a whole thing of Army trucks. It shook me up."


The Coup changes album cover
For the
album cover of its new CD, Party Music, The Coup pictured its two members, Boots Riley and DJ Pam the Funktress, in front of the exploding twin towers of the World Trade Center in a scene that looks eerily similar to the actual events of Sept. 11. In a picture that looks as if it was taken the day of the attack, DJ Pam is holding two sticks while Riley holds what appears to be a detonator. The artwork was designed in July, and the album is not due to be released until Nov. 6. Riley was shocked and expressed great regret when the image came true. "All life is precious and this tremendous tragedy is by no means taken lightly by The Coup," he said in a statement. "This is a very unfortunate coincidence and my condolences go out to the families and friends of the victims." The intent, he said, was to use the World Trade Center to symbolize capitalism "and was not supposed to be realistic in its depiction." The group's independent label, 75 Ark, echoed Riley's statement. "The Coup are deeply saddened by this horrible tragedy," Toni Isabella, general manager of 75 Ark, said in a statement. "The Coup advocates change, but change through peaceful means, never through violence." Daria Kelly, director of sales for the label, told Reuters the artwork was pulled from the label's Web site by 12:30 a.m. ET Wednesday.


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