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Tour gets back on schedule
Despite fears that violence at a recent Oakland concert might hurt the already-delayed Ruff Ryders/Cash Money Tour, promoters have released a schedule with updated tour dates. When it was first announced in December, the tour was supposed to start Feb. 9, but now the launch date is set for Feb. 23 in San Antonio. DMX, Eve (pictured), The Lox and Drag-On will team up with Juvenile, The Hot Boys, Lil' Wayne, B.G. and The Big Tymers to hit 33 cities in less than two months.

The revised schedule: 2/23 - San Antonio, TX @ Alamodome; 2/24 - Rochester, NY @ Blue Cross America; 2/25 - Uniondale, NY @ Nassau Coliseum; 2/26 - Auburn Hills, MI @ Palace of Auburn Hills; 2/27 - Chicago, IL @ Allstate Arena; 3/2 - Buffalo, NY @ Marine Midland Arena; 3/3 - Philadelphia, PA @ First Union Center; 3/4 - Hampton, VA @ Hampton Coliseum; 3/5 - Hartford, CT @ Hartford Civic Center; 3/8 - Albany, NY @ Pepsi Arena; 3/9 - Washington, DC @ MCI Center; 3/11 - Nashville, TN @ Gaylord Entertainment Center; 3/12 - Memphis, TN @ Mid-South Coliseum; 3/16 - Cincinnati, OH @ Firstar Arena; 3/17 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Civic Arena; 3/18 - Atlanta, GA @ Lakewood Amphitheater; 3/19 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ National Car Rental Arena; 3/22 - Houston, TX @ Compaq Center; 3/24 - New Orleans, LA @ New Orleans Arena; 3/25 - Dallas, TX @ Starplex Amphitheater; 3/26 - Kansas City, MO @ Kemper Arena; 3/29 - Minneapolis, MN @ Target Center; 3/31 - Raleigh, NC @ Raleigh Entertainment and Sports Arena; 4/1 - Baltimore, MD @ Civic Arena; 4/2 - Boston, MA @ Fleet Center; 4/5 - East Rutherford, NJ @ Continental Airlines Arena; 4/7 - Cleveland, OH @ Gund Arena; 4/8 - Charlotte, NC @ Charlotte Coliseum; 4/9 - St. Louis, MO @ Kiel Center; 4/13 - Seattle, WA @ Key Arena; 4/14 - Sacramento, CA @ Arco Arena ; 4/15 - Anaheim, CA @ Arrowhead Pond Arena; 4/16 - Phoenix, AZ @ Desert Sky Pavillon.

Heir to the throne
The father of Def Jam Records is now the father of a baby girl. At 6 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 21, Russell Simmons' wife, Kimora Lee, gave birth to Ming Lee Simmons. Simmons, the co-founder and current chairman of Def Jam, and his wife, a model and host of a syndicated hip-hop television show, "One World Music Beat," were married in December 1998. It is their first child. T-Boz of TLC has signed on to sub for Kimora while she is on maternity leave. "T-Boz is A-List talent," Mr. Simmons said in a statement, "and has enormous credibility in the hip-hop community. She is a perfect fit for the show."

Coming soon to a theater near you
Jay-Z has just signed a two-picture deal with Miramax, which will release the long-awaited backstage documentary of the "Hard Knock Life" tour. The film will include footage of Jay-Z, DMX, Method Man, Redman and others and will be accompanied by a soundtrack, which will feature music from and inspired by the tour. The movie is expected to hit theaters at the end of March. For those of you who can't wait that long, you can reminisce a little by checking out Jigga's
Streets Is Watching. This imaginative collection weaves the first half-hour of videos into a storyline before traveling back in time to showcase some early Roc-A-Fella joints. Jay-Z's Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter stumbled a bit last week on the Billboard chart, falling from No. 2 to No. 6. DMX, meanwhile, maintained his No. 3 spot with And Then There Was X, and Dr. Dre's double-platinum 2001 held strong at No. 7 for the second straight week.

LL: Good news, bad news
LL Cool J is getting some respect for the acting skills currently on display in "Any Given Sunday." Not so much that he received a Golden Globe nomination, but he did get invited to the party. In fact, LL will join Harrison Ford, Steven Spielberg and others as a presenter at this year's Golden Globe Awards, which will be broadcast live on NBC on Sunday, Jan. 23, at 8 p.m. EST. However, not all is well in Cool J's camp, or more specifically, Camp Cool J. LL's cousin, Cynthia Cooper, was arrested for allegedly stealing more than $150,000 from his camp, a non-profit organization she helped run while serving as executive director of LL Cool J, Inc. and Rock The Bells Entertainment, a position she held until Nov. 1998. Cooper was charged with grand larceny, scheming to defraud, falsifying business records and petit larceny and faces up to 15 years in jail if convicted. She pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Tone-Loc on verge of comeback
More than 10 years after making a name for himself with crossover hits like "Wild Thing" and "Funky Cold Medina," Tone-Loc is making a comeback in both music and television. Loc's cover of a popular '70s tune, Gary Wright's "Dream Weaver," will serve as the theme song of a new TV series of the same name that Loc will star in. The series has not yet been picked up by any network, but Loc is hopeful that it will be at next week's meeting of National Association of Program Executives in New Orleans. In an effort to help the cause, Loc will perform the theme song at the convention on Jan. 26 at 3 p.m. EST.

ODB kicked out of rehab
SonicNet is reporting that ODB faces up to two years in jail after being kicked out of the drug rehabilitation program he was enrolled in. Ol' Dirty was discharged from the Impact House live-in drug-treatment program in Pasadena, Calif., and transferred to the program's jail facility in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday after he allegedly got drunk following a New York court appearance on drug charges. He allegedly arrived in L.A. with a bottle of alcohol in his possession. ODB will stay behind bars at least until a Feb. 25 hearing for the alleged violation. One Queens prosecutor that was considering a plea bargain on a drug charge now plans to push for two years of jail time because of ODB's recent courtroom behavior and this incident. Ol' Dirty's New York lawyer, Peter Frankel, says his client was not in contact with alcohol. "I think that there is a lot of speculation, much of which isn't true," Frankel told SonicNet.

DMX named artist of the year
Only one hip-hop award was handed out at this year's American Music Awards, but DMX wasn't the only hip-hop artist to walk up to the podium Monday night to accept an honor. X was named Favorite Rap/Hip-hop Artist, Will Smith was named Favorite Male Pop/Rock Artist and Lauryn Hill took home two awards -- Favorite Female Soul/R&B Artist and Favorite Soul/R&B Album. Also taking the stage for performances were Eve and Faith Evans, Dr. Dre and Eminem, and Nas with Mariah Carey.

"Next Friday" is No. 1
"Next Friday," the sequel to 1995's hit "Friday," is the No. 1 movie in America. The film, which was produced and written by Ice Cube, who also stars, collected an estimated $14.5 million to take the top spot over "Stuart Little" ($9.7 million) and "The Hurricane" ($9.1 million).

Oakland concert ends in riot
Juvenile and the Hot Boys never took the stage for the 12,000 hip-hop fans in attendance Friday night at the Oakland Coliseum Arena. Instead, the show was cancelled when fights broke out that left 17 people injured, three highway exits closed and more than 170 police officers called to the scene. Several fights broke out around 9 p.m., shortly after opening acts Eve and Ginuwine completed their sets. Comedian A.J. Johnson had taken the stage in an effort to calm the crowd, but he and the arena security lost control as several separate fights broke out, eventually resulting in a mad scramble to the exits. Many of those fleeing returned after hearing at least four shots fired outside. One eyewitness told The 411 Online he saw a man fall "from the nosebleeds all the way down to the lower section." The eyewitness also saw one fan get hit by a folding chair, another get attacked by at least five other fans and one stabbing. "Someone pulled out some scissors and stabbed someone, that's when I and everyone else bolted out of there and just ran, jumping over chairs just trying to get away," the eyewitness said, echoing similar reports in area newspapers. Damage was estimated at $2,000 to $5,000 and included sinks in some restrooms, a broken metal detector and a broken door, according to the San Francisco Examiner. There's no telling what kind of effect this might have on the upcoming Cash Money-Ruff Ryder tour, which originally was scheduled to start Feb. 9, but was pushed back to Feb. 24 last week.

Meth and Red escort Jones
Method Man and Redman escorted undisputed boxing champion Roy Jones Jr. into the ring while the duo's "Da Rockwilder" blared in the background. Jones Jr., known for his extravagant entrances, spared no expense this time either, dancing with the Rockettes before beating David Telesco in a 12-round decision. It was the first boxing match to take place at New York City's Radio City Music Hall.

Eve, DMX perform at awards show
Eve, DMX, Eminem and Dr. Dre will perform Monday, Jan. 17, at the American Music Awards. Eve will be joined by Faith Evans for a performance of her current single, "Love Is Blind," while Eminem will join Dre for a live rendition of "Forgot About Dre." DMX might do a medley or his current single, "What's My Name?" L.L. Cool J also will participate in a special tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. The show will be broadcast on ABC.

Erick Sermon becomes Erick Onasis
After two EPMD reunion albums, Erick Sermon is returning to his solo career. Well, sort of. Actually, Sermon is working on an album that he will release under the name Erick Onasis, according to MTV. No explanation was given, but the album is expected to contain two songs that Sermon recorded with Keith Murray before Murray went to prison in late 1998 for second degree assault.

Puff Daddy indicted
A grand jury in Manhattan indicted Sean "Puffy" Combs on two charges of weapons possession stemming from a December argument that ended in gunfire at a the Club New York dance club. Combs' bodyguard Anthony "Wolf" Jones was indicted on the same charges. Johnnie Cochran, of O.J. Simpson fame, and Benjamin Brafman, who represented Mafia informant Sammy "The Bull" Gravano, have joined Combs' legal team. No date was set for arraignment for Combs, who could face up to 15 years in state prison if convicted. "The decision to indict me is wrong," Combs said in a statement released by his publicists. "I'm innocent and we will prove it. I am putting my faith in God, and I know my name will be cleared." The Detroit News also is reporting that police are investigating an Aug. 10, 1999, incident in which three members of Combs' entourage allegedly assaulted Roger Mills, host of the Comcast cable talk and entertainment program "The Roger Mills Show" at WCHQ (105.9) radio station in Detroit. In the alleged Detroit incident, Mills and his crew said they were assaulted when they refused to hand over a videotaped interview with Combs, according to a police report. They said members of his entourage also destroyed the videotape outside the radio station. "The host asked Sean Combs what he thought about a rumor that Mr. Combs was in some way responsible for Notorious B.I.G.'s death," said Anthony Wichowski, a cameraman, in a statement to Detroit police. Combs allegedly shouted some vulgarities and ended the interview and his public relations representative asked for the tape of the interview. When they refused, several men allegedly attacked Mills and his crew.

Violators perform at Super Bowl
Busta Rhymes, Rah Digga, Q-Tip and Mobb Deep will perform a pre-Super Bowl concert at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta on Jan. 28. "I'm a one-of-a-kind performer, so it just seemed natural to have my NFL debut at the biggest sporting event in the world; the Super Bowl is going to get a little Busta Rhymes flava," Busta said in a statement released by the league. Parts of the shows might be broadcast on the NFL's "Under the Helmet" television series, which airs on the Fox network. Super Bowl XXXIV is Jan. 30 at the Georgia Dome.

Puffy facing another lawsuit
According to the Associated Press, Sean "Puffy" Combs has been sued by another victim of the shooting that took place at the Club New York last month. Robert Thompson of Danbury, Conn., filed the $50 million lawsuit, which names Puffy, Jamal "Shyne" Barrow and a security company. Julius Jones, a bouncer at the club, sued Combs, Bad Boy Entertainment and the club for $100 million last week. Both Jones and Thompson were shot in the shoulder. A third victim, Natanya Ruben, was shot in the face, but so far has not filed suit. Meanwhile, Puff Daddy's driver on that night is cooperating with investigators looking into Puff's possible involvement in the dispute that led to the incident, according to the New York Post.

Juvenile makes movie debut
Juvenile is set to make his acting debut in a straight-to-video feature called "Baller Blockin'." The movie took about 10 weeks to film and was shot on location in New Orleans. "The movie is basically about me," Juvenile said in an interview with Launch. "I'm acting the role, but I'm using my real nickname, which is Ta-Nook. It's like my daddy got killed and police is on my back because they know I'm hustling; and my partner Deatrus, he's got some coke that one of the police is trying to get his hands on, and we're trying not to let him have it." "Baller Blockin'" will have a soundtrack featuring the Cash Money Millionaires. Both the soundtrack and movie will be released this spring.

Cube explains Tucker's absence
The most obvious thing missing from "Next Friday," which hits theaters Jan. 12, is Chris Tucker, who stole the show as "Smokey" in the original "Friday" back in 1995. Since then both Cube and Tucker have starred in commercial hits, but apparently Tucker wasn't down with reprising the role. "He just said he didn't wanna do it," Cube told Vibe. "I heard later that he doesn't use profanity anymore and he doesn't condone weed smoking. That's what I heard on television, when he was asked the question, that's what he said, but he didn't tell me that. To each his own."

Never a dull moment with ODB
If every one of ODB's court appearances are as action-packed as Monday's, we're in for an entertaining year. During a hearing at a Queens Criminal Court, ODB made lewd comments to a female district attorney, ignored the judge and at one point fell asleep during the proceedings. Ol' Dirty was in court to answer drug possession charges related to an arrest last year in which police found 20 vials of crack cocaine on him after being pulled over for a traffic violation. The case was adjourned until Jan. 19, but during the hearing ODB reportedly asked the prosecutor if she found him horny before calling her a "sperm donor." He currently is enrolled at a drug rehabilitation program at the Impact House in Pasadena, Calif., as part of a plea bargain for several West Coast incidents.

More money, more problems
Could it be that Jay-Z has a ghostwriter? Washington D.C.-based Go-Go band Rare Essence has accused Jigga of copyright infringement and plagarizing lyrics on "Do It Again (Put Your Hands Up)," the first single off
Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter. While most controversies of this kind involve samples, one listen to the hour-by-hour account of a night out on Rare Essence's "Overnight Scenario" and you can see where they're coming from. But is it outright plagiarism or just a similar concept? Listen to a live version and decide for yourself. The group has been performing the song for most of the late 1990s and wants an undisclosed amount of money in addition to writing and production credit. Meanwhile, the parent company of Roc-A-Fella Records, Seagram, is waiting to see if Jay-Z is convicted of a felony in connection with the stabbing of Lance "Un" Rivera before deciding whether to cut ties with the company.

And although it's been said that no publicity is bad publicity, BMG executives might not release Shyne's album because of his indictment last week for attempted murder. Shyne's boss, Sean "Puffy" Combs, is not in the clear, either. The New York Post reports that a gun (originally reported to be found in the Bad Boy company car fleeing the scene of the shootings) allegedly was thrown from the right rear window, which is where Puffy was sitting. In a sign that there might be more bad news to come, Puff Daddy allegedly is seeking the services of O.J. Simpson lawyer Johnnie Cochran in case he is indicted on felony gun charges. If convicted, Puffy could face up to 15 years. Current lawyer Harvey Slovis maintained his client's innocence when confronted with the newspaper's story. "He didn't throw any gun," he said.

Flesh-N-Bone arrested in L.A.
EUR reports that Bone Thugs-N-Harmony's Flesh-N-Bone pled not guilty to weapons and terrorist threat charges in Los Angeles Municipal Court last week. He was arrested after relatives called police during an argument at a South Los Angeles residence. According to investigating officers, Flesh (Stanley Howse) was armed with a loaded shotgun and initially refused to leave the home after officers arrived. He has been charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, illegal possession of a shotgun, illegal possession of a short-barreled shotgun, resisting an officer, and making terrorist threats -- all felonies. Flesh-N-Bone is due back in court on Jan. 28 and remains in police custody. His bail has been set at $95,000.

Kobe enters new arena
Los Angeles Lakers guard
Kobe Bryant has been signed by Columbia Records and is wrapping up his debut album, which will feature Tyra Banks, Destiny's Child, Beanie Sigel and The Roots' Black Thought. Banks will contribute some sort of vocal on the R&B-flavored first single, "K.O.B.E.," and also will appear in the video, which will be directed by Hype Williams. The single comes out Jan. 25. Bryant previously dropped a verse on the remix of Brian McKnight's "Hold Me."

Eminem finishes up album
Eminem will head into the studio with Dr. Dre later this month to wrap up work on the follow-up to his triple-platinum album, The Slim Shady LP. The album, which has not yet been named, is expected to drop this spring, with the first single arriving in March. Em and Dre recently finished shooting the video for "Forgot About Dre," the second single from Dre's 2001, and the duo is looking into the possibility of a tour with Snoop Dogg.

Snoop's greatest hits... already?
Despite the fact that there weren't many hits to be found on the two albums between Doggystyle and Top Dogg, Snoop Dogg is preparing to drop a collection of his greatest hits. Snoop's Greatest Hits is scheduled to hit stores Feb. 22 on Death Row/Priority. If it's only Snoop's stuff from the Death Row era, they might as well just re-release Doggystyle with a few bonus tracks from his guest appearances on The Chronic and the various soundtracks ("Deep Cover," "Murder Was the Case," "Above the Rim") the label produced and leave Tha Doggfather out of the picture. Do we really want to reminisce about the good ol' "Snoop's Upside Ya Head" days?

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