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Jay-Z gives back to NY
While cleaning out the closets of the house in the Hamptons he sold earlier this summer, Jay-Z gathered more than 50 boxes of his old clothing and donated them to charity last week. Two New York City charities will distribute the items to poor children and homeless people throughout the city. Meanwhile, Jigga is set to drop a new single and video from the "Blue Streak" soundtrack, called "Girl's Best Friend." He also has been in the studio working on a collaboration with Mariah Carey for her next album, due out in November. The track, called "Heartbreaker," is being produced by DJ Clue and the remix will feature Missy Elliott and Da Brat.


Hammer starts over
M.C. Hammer, a staple on the Falcons sideline during Deion Sanders' heyday in Atlanta, is close to signing a deal with the flagship radio station of the Dirty Birds' most-hated NFC West rival, the San Francisco 49ers. KGO Radio reportedly wants the former Oakland A's batboy to interview players and fans for a "man on the street" segment of its pre-game show this fall.


Hip-hop invades Cuba
Common, Fat Joe, the Terror Squad, Mos Def, Black Rob, Talib Kweli, Bahamadia and others will travel to Cuba later this month as part of the Second Annual Black August Hip-Hop Benefit Concert and the Fifth Annual National Cuban Rap Festival. The event, which will take place Aug. 27 in Havana, also will feature several top Cuban acts in an effort to raise money for the creation of a public hip-hop library and studio in Havana and an emergency fund for political prisoners in the United States.


Foxy Brown cancels show
According to Davey D and the Electronic Urban Report, Foxy Brown ended a recent concert in San Francisco early after the crowd became somewhat violent. First, Brown stopped her performance to go off on a man in the crowd whom she saw smack a woman. After starting up the show again, Brown was hit in the head with a water bottle thrown by a fan. The concert was stopped again, the lights came up and she left the stage for good.


Turning the dial
Popular radio hosts on both coasts are reportedly calling it quits. In New York, Ed Lover is leaving Hot 97's morning show to reunite with former partner Doctor Dre, who was fired from the station last year. The duo, which also hosted "Yo! MTV Raps," is planning to join "The Beat" (KKBT 92.3 FM) in Los Angeles and take over the morning slot. There had been speculation that Tha Baka Boys were leaving crosstown rival Power 106 for that spot, but it turns out they'll probably be on in the afternoon. The hosts of the popular "Friday Night Flavas" show are making the move because Power 106 plans to back off its hip-hop format.


ODB arrested again
The Associated Press reported that ODB was arrested early Saturday in Queens. The arrest comes just days after he was jailed in Los Angeles for failing to pay bail he owed from a previous arrest. Police stopped Ol' Dirty on Linden Boulevard at about 2:45 a.m. after he allegedly ran a red light in his 1994 Mercedes convertible. Officers arrested ODB when they learned he was driving with a suspended license. He also was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of marijuana after a search of his car allegedly turned up several bags believed to contain crack cocaine and marijuana, police said. ODB was sent to jail earlier this week after failing to pay the bail he owed after he was arrested for making terrorist threats at the House of Blues in West Hollywood, Calif., last year. When Ol' Dirty showed up for his court date in Los Angeles on Wednesday, the judge ordered that he be sent back to jail and then reset the bail at $100,000. The incident in question took place during a Des'ree concert at the club last September. ODB was ejected after acting drunk and disorderly, but returned and allegedly threatened to shoot security guards. A new court date has been set for Sept. 10.


Busta gives some more?
Busta Rhymes has been named in a paternity suit in North Carolina. Busta has been making child support payments since January, when tests showed he was the father of Mariah Elizabeth Miskelly. Currently, his payments are $1,250 a month, but Mariah's mother, Jill Miskelly, filed suit earlier this month to increase the payments to an unspecified amount. She claims that her daughter is the result of a one night stand in January 1998.


Treach & Pepa tie the knot
Treach and Pepa made their marriage official Saturday, July 24, in a ceremony attended by more than 350 guests at their home in New Jersey. Reverend Run of Run DMC performed the ceremony while Salt and Spinderella served as bridesmaids. One of Pepa's sisters was maid of honor and Treach's brother was best man. Queen Latifah and Foxy Brown were among the famous faces in the crowd. Before making it official, the couple held a mock-wedding ceremony at a tattoo parlor in Lawrence, Kansas, in April.


Is FBI targeting Master P?
Former No Limit recording artists Kane and Abel have asked that a federal drug indictment filed against them in May be dismissed, charging that the FBI was trying to build a case against No Limit CEO Master P and prosecuted the twins after they refused to help. Kane and Abel were indicted on May 6 as part of an ongoing investigation of New Orleans narcotics kingpin and convicted killer Richard Pena. According to a motion brought before a New Orleans federal judge on July 21, federal agents asked the twins on March 24 to be their "eyes and ears" and cooperate in an investigation against Master P or face indictment.


Mysonne faces jail time
Violator recording artist Mysonne faces up to two years in jail after being found guilty of robbing two cab drivers at gunpoint in the Bronx. His lawyer insisted that police arrested the wrong man, saying that the rapper's profitable music and songwriting career would give him no reason to commit the crimes, but both cab drivers testified and identified Mysonne as the robber. The jury found him guilty of three counts of robbery, weapons possession and possession of stolen property.


Dogg gets his "Bones"
The director who gave 2Pac his first shot at acting wants to make a star out of Snoop Dogg. Ernest Dickerson, who directed "Juice," the 1992 film that launched the late rapper's acting career, has offered the lead role of his next film, "Bones," to Snoop. The film would star Snoop as a ghost who is awakened 20 years after his murder in order to seek out revenge on his killers.


Woodstock heats up
Before the 225,000 fans at Woodstock decided to set fire to anything they could get their hands on, Ice Cube, Mack 10 and DMX heated up the weekend with performances at the event celebrating the 30-year anniversary of the original. DMX took the main stage Friday night, bringing the crowd to life with "Where My Dogs At" and "Ruff Ryders' Anthem." The explosive response from the crowd, which followed along with every lyric, seemed even to surprise X. Cube and Mack 10 took the west stage Saturday night, ripping through "Natural Born Killaz" and "Bow Down," as well as N.W.A classics, "F--- tha Police" and "Straight Outta Compton."


De La album delayed
According to Tommy Boy Records, De La Soul's highly anticipated album, Artofficial Intelligence, which was scheduled for an October release, has been pushed back to at least January 2000. The group decided that they wanted to add even more music to the year-long, three-disc project and hit the studio with Busta Rhymes.


Dr. Dre sues Death Row
Dr. Dre filed a lawsuit against Priority and Death Row Records for an unspecified amount last week for "false designation of origin and false description, federal trademark dilution, state statutory unfair competition, statute common law trademark infringement and unfair competition, state statutory and common law trademark dilution, constructive trust, fraud, and breach of contract." In other words, who's got the rights to The Chronic? Dre released the album in 1992 and owns the common law trademark to the name, but his former label released The Chronic 2000 after rumors that Dre was considering that title for his next project. In an effort either to stay one up on the competition or simply to allow more time for the notoriously meticulous producer to complete the album, Dre has since renamed it The Chronic 2001.


Eve robbed at video shoot
Eve was robbed of three pieces of jewlery in Long Island City, New York, on Monday night during a video shoot for her upcoming single, "Gotta Man." According to police, two assailants, one of which was armed, took a diamond necklace, a diamond bracelet, and a white gold bracelet that had an estimated value of $137,000. Eve wasn't injured in the incident.


Foxy looks for a boost
In an effort to resurrect sales of her sophomore album, Foxy Brown launched a solo tour on Monday, July 19, in Vancouver that will hit 22 cities before wrapping up Aug. 15 in Washington D.C. Her album, Chyna Doll, debuted at No. 1 in February but recently dropped off the Billboard Top 200 albums chart. Brown originally was scheduled to tour with R. Kelly as part of the "Get Up On a Room" lineup, but left early on along with Busta Rhymes. The tour travels through California and Texas before hitting the Midwest at the beginning of next month.
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MTV films 2Pac movie
A film based on the life of Tupac Shakur is among three movies MTV is currently developing that will run commercial-free on the network. Shakur's mother, Afeni, will serve as producer. A budget of $3 million-$3.5 million has been set for each film, which are expected to debut after the first of the year. In the other two movies, R&B singer Monica will follow in her "Boy is Mine" partner Brandy's footsteps and make her acting debut in "Love Song," while "Hip-Hopera" will be a new twist on the classic opera "Carmen."


Luke pleads not guilty
Luther Campbell pleaded not guilty to a count of aggravated battery in Miami-Dade County Court. Campbell was arrested July 5 after allegedly hitting a man in the face with a bottle of Jack Daniel's whiskey. Campbell's lawyer denied the charge in Entertainment Weekly, saying, "They arrested the wrong guy." Luke will appear in court July 26 for an unrelated felony case and again on Aug. 10 to answer to the misdemeanor battery charge in the same incident.


Nas show a hoax
UPI is reporting that 200 tickets were sold for a Nas concert in Gainesville, Fla., that turned out to be a hoax. The show was advertised on a local radio station and tickets were selling for $25 each before it was discovered. UPI reported that Gainesville Police are investigating promoter Duck Down Entertainment. A spokesperson for the radio station told UPI that it would be researching its ads more thoroughly in the future.


JD faces jail time
The Atlanta Journal and Constitution is reporting that So So Def CEO Jermaine Dupri was sentenced to three days in jail for skipping jury duty. Fayette County Superior Court Judge Chris Edwards found Dupri, whose legal last name is Maudlin, in criminal contempt of court. Both declined comment for the newspaper's story, which appeared in Friday's editions, but the judge was quoted at a hearing on May 13. "It doesn't matter to me if Mr. Maudlin was a brain surgeon ... If somebody doesn't show up for jury duty then everybody is deprived of justice," Edwards said. Dupri is appealing the conviction.


Master P stays busy
Master P, who began filming his latest movie earlier this month in Santa Fe, New Mexico, will take some time off in August to tour the country with his No Limit soldiers, including Snoop Dogg. The schedule so far: Aug. 6, Dallas, Texas; Aug. 7, Denver, Colo.; Aug. 13, St. Louis, Mo.; Aug. 14, Detroit, Mich.; Aug. 15, Cleveland, Ohio; Aug. 27, Philadelphia, Pa.; Aug. 28, Charlotte, N.C.; Aug. 29, Tampa, Fla. More dates are expected to be added for September. The movie, Lock Down, is due to be released in early 2000.


EPMD plans Troutman tribute
Parrish Smith told MTV recently that he and Erick Sermon are working on a tribute track in honor of Roger Troutman, whose work supplied many of the samples for EPMD classics. The song will be called "Focus" and will feature yet another Troutman sample on the hook. Troutman was gunned down in April outside of a Dayton, Ohio, recording studio.


D&D releases compilation
New York's D&D Studios, which has been home several top hip-hop tracks - most recently Sporty Thievez' "No Pigeons," which hit No. 1 on Billboard's rap singles chart - has launched a record label, D&D Records. The label will kick things off with a compilation, "Best of D&D Studios, Hip-Hop Volume 1." featuring classic tracks by Jay-Z, Notorious B.I.G., Gang Starr, Lost Boyz, KRS-One and Nas, as well as new tracks from some of the label's upcoming artists.


Showing California love
Mack 10 and several other artists have agreed to participate in a conference on Aug. 19 in Los Angeles celebrating the contributions that west coast MCs have made to hip-hop. The event, called "A Day in the West," also will feature DJ Quik, Ice-T, King Tee, Yo-Yo, Snoop Dogg, Xzibit, MC Hammer, Tone Loc, and the Alkaholiks. The conference hopes to conclude with a Cali version of XXL's "The Greatest Day in Hip-Hop History." The magazine's seventh issue featured a cover photograph of more than 200 MCs gathered together in Harlem on Sept. 29, 1998.


Chuck D demands apology
Public Enemy's Chuck D has demanded that the Anti-Defamation League apologize for its recent accusation that the lyrics in "Swindler's Lust" are anti-Semetic. However, ADL national director Abraham Foxman blew off the demand, suggesting in an interview with SonicNet that Professor Griff's anti-Semetic comments in 1989 to the Washington Post give the ADL grounds to be cautious. "I don't think there's anything to apologize for. Unfortunately, (Chuck D) comes with some baggage. It's not that we come out of the blue or that he is a total innocent in this area." Of course, Griff was kicked out of the group shortly after the comments, but returned for the group's last two albums.


Eminem expands horizons
Eminem told MTV that he is heading right back into the studio with Dr. Dre once the Warped Tour ends to work on his sophomore album. However, the project might sound a little different than his debut, The Slim Shady LP, if the varying styles of the artists he's touring with are rubbing off on him. "It's a chance for me to expand a little bit ... perform in front of different crowds," he told MTV. "It's a more diverse crowd. You've got people here to see Suicidal Tendencies; you've got people - their favorite rapper is Ice-T; you've got people here to see Eminem or you've got people here to see Pennywise. So everybody's coming together. It's a chance for everybody to spread, expand their horizons to different crowds, so it's cool."


Ice-T sets a date
As we reported earlier, Ice-T has followed in the footsteps of Public Enemy and signed on with online label Atomic Pop. His album, 7th Deadly Sin is slated to be released Sept. 14 on Zip disk, A2B, MP3 and CDs. Ice, who consulted with Chuck D before making the move, abandoned plans to distribute his label, Coroner Records, through Motown after that label merged with Universal. He also hopes to release a compilation featuring Big Daddy Kane, King Sun and Oran "Juice" Jones as part of his new deal.


DMX arrested in Trinidad
The Associated Press reported Sunday that DMX was arrested on obscenity charges during a concert in Trinidad on Saturday night, prompting the audience to throw bottles in protest and forcing police to fire their guns in the air to maintain control. Obscene language in public is illegal in Trinidad, but it was unclear what words DMX was charged with using. Concert officials said that he had been warned before the concert that the use of profanity could lead to his "arrest and removal." DMX was taken to a Port-of-Spain jail, faced a judge Monday, apologized, paid a $24 fine and was released.

This is not the first time a hip-hop concert in Trinidad has been interrupted by authorities. Police stopped a concert by Foxy Brown on July 3 over similar allegations, but no charges were filed.

It is the latest in a series of recent brushes with the law for the 28-year-old rapper. Last month, he was charged in New Jersey with possession of illegal firearms and ammunition. He is also free on bail in connection with an assault charge in Yonkers, New York.


Master P's suite deal
According to The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, Master P has agreed to lease one of two double-occupancy suites that overlook the 50-yard line at the Superdome. The other one belongs to New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson. The No Limit family will take in Saints games in style along with the family of their sports management firm's premier client, Ricky Williams, who was drafted by the team earlier this year. The suite holds up to 76 people and costs at least $150,000 a year to lease. The other 135 luxury boxes - all single occupancy - range from $35,000 to $90,000 a year.


Ja Rule hits No. 1
Ja Rule took over the top spot with "Holla, Holla" on Rap City's Top 10 Countdown this weekend. The rest of the countdown: 2. "Quiet Storm," Mobb Deep; 3. "Breaker, Breaker," GZA; 4. "What You Want," Ruff Ryders; 5. "Word on the Street," Inspectah Deck; 6. "The Anthem," Sway & Tech; 7. "Street Talkin'," Slick Rick; 8. "Watch It Now, Turn It," Beatnuts; 9. "Play Around," Lil Cease featuring Lil Kim; 10. "Neck Uv Da Woods," Mystikal featuring Outkast.


Luke charged with assault
The Miami Herald reported in Tuesday's editions that former 2 Live Crew front man Luther Campbell was charged with felony aggravated assault and misdemeanor battery after he allegedly struck a man in the face with a whiskey bottle at a Miami nightclub early Monday. According to police, Campbell was angered when a group of people blocked his view of a show at Club Zen. Luke began arguing with one of the men, Mathieu Fabrice, then allegedly smashed a bottle of Jack Daniels whiskey against his face. Fabrice, an 18-year-old college student, suffered deep facial cuts and a possible broken nose. Campbell, 38, also was charged with domestic battery stemming from an arrest warrant dated May 8 before being released on $9,000 bail. "They're out to get me," Campbell told the Herald.


Ali Shaheed hosts benefit
Ali Shaheed Muhammed, the former DJ of A Tribe Called Quest, hosted a benefit concert in an effort to raise funds for the Kosovo refugees. "A DJ Saved My Life" took place Thursday, July 8, at Tramps in Manhattan and featured appearances from DJ Tony Touch, Black Moon's Evil Dee, De La Soul's Mase and J-Live. All proceeds will go to CARE and War Child.

More news on DMX, Public Enemy and more


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