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Judge blocks Slick Rick's deportation
A federal judge blocked the deportation of Slick Rick on Friday, one day before the jailed MC was expected to be sent back to England. Judge Kimba Wood's decision allows Slick Rick, whose real name is Ricky Walters, to fight a deportation order stemming from his attempted murder conviction more than a decade ago and gives him renewed hope that he will be able to stay in the United States. Slick Rick is a legal resident but not a United States citizen. He served more than five years in prison for shooting a cousin and a bystander in 1990 in New York, and U.S. law requires the deportation of any non-citizen who serves more than five years in a U.S. prison. Rick, 37, was arrested by immigration officials in June aboard a Miami cruise ship that had hired him to perform. He has been held at Manatee County Jail in Bradenton, Fla., since his arrest. Wood said that there was a substantial possibility that Rick could show he should not be deported, but he will remain in the custody of the Immigration and Naturalization Service until a final decision is made.

Jam Master Jay killed in New York
Jam Master Jay, the DJ for hip-hop pioneers Run DMC, was shot and killed at a New York City recording studio Wednesday night. Jam Master Jay, whose real name was Jason Mizell, was shot once in the head and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police. He was 37. A second man, identified by police as 25-year-old Urieco Rincon, was shot in the leg and was taken to Mary Immaculate Hospital. The shooter remains at large and police have no information on a motive. Run DMC, who recently wrapped a tour with Kid Rock and Aerosmith, were scheduled to perform Thursday at halftime of the Washington Wizards game. The trio debuted in 1984 with their self-titled album, but achieved mainstream fame and helped introduce hip-hop to the pop world for the first time in 1986 with a remake of Aerosmith's "Walk This Way" -- one of several hits off their classic third album, Raising Hell. Run DMC dropped their first album in eight years in 2001 and released a greatest hits compilation earlier this year. Click to view our tribute page...

L.L. Cool J the entertainer
L.L. Cool J has been in the spotlight for most of hip-hop's public life, and even though it's constantly changing he's been able to stay in the game. His longevity will be extended with the release of his latest album, Ten, which will hit stores Oct. 15. "There's just more opportunity to get in, but it's harder to be seen and be noticed because there's more competition," L.L. told The 411 Online. "I mean, there used to be a time when people were excited to hear their records in the daytime, but now whole stations are based on the music." Not only has L.L. been able to enjoy success in music, but he was also one of the first to make it in movies, something that he is equally proud of. "They're both a tremendous accomplishment. Neither one is easy. I'm proud of both. I enjoy both equally. I love the music and I love the films and it's very enjoyable. I just love what I'm doing as an entertainer in general." Read the complete interview.

Pepsi drops Ludacris TV ad
After coming under public attack by the national news media, Pepsi has decided to take a television ad featuring Ludacris off the air. Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly criticized Pepsi for hiring a "thug" to represent their product, calling Ludacris "controversial" Tuesday on his show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and reciting lyrics that he felt encouraged "intoxication and the degradation of women." O'Reilly went on to say that in protest he would drink only Coca-Cola in the future. Instead of coming out in support of Ludacris, Pepsi released a statement Wednesday announcing that the entire campaign was being pulled immediately: "We have a responsibility to listen to our customers -- and we've heard from a number of people that they were uncomfortable with our association with this artist. We've decided to discontinue our ad campaign with the artist, and we're sorry that we've offended anyone. There are many different types of talented celebrities and artists, but not all of them are compatible with our brands and what consumers have come to expect from us."

L.L. shoots for perfect Ten
While adding to his list of credits in films such as "Any Given Sunday," "Deep Blue Sea" and "Rollerball," L.L. Cool J strayed away from the music scene, with no concerts and just one album to speak of in the past four years. But all that is about to change. L.L. returned to the road in June and started getting to know his audio audience again in preparation of the Oct. 15 release of his new album, Ten. "I think that's the perfect way to describe it -- getting reacquainted with everyone out there," L.L. told Reuters. "It's just a clean, positive... very smart record." As always, the styles will be diverse, but L.L. isn't jumping on the latest trends just to debut at No. 1 (although his 2000 album, The Greatest Of All Time, did just that anyway). His goal is longevity. "This is my 10th album... I didn't get into this for a quick hit and then I'm gone. I'm around for the long haul, I promise you." And his film career isn't going away, either. Next year, L.L. stars alongside Gabrielle Union in "Deliver Us From Eva" and with Val Kilmer and Christian Slater in "Mindhunters."

Nelly runs the pop charts
If there was any doubt that hip-hop truly has gone pop, all it takes is one look at this week's Billboard charts to erase it. Nelly not only is No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart with "Dilemma" featuring Kelly Rowland, he's got a lock on the No. 2 spot still with "Hot in Herre." Meanwhile, Nellyville returned to the top of the Billboard 200 albums chart by edging Eminem's The Eminem Show by about 5,000 copies, 183,000 to 178,000. However, over on the R&B/Hip-Hop chart, Scarface maintained his hold on the top spot with The Fix. "Dilemma" received 40 percent more airplay than any other song in rotation last week, increasing its audience to more than 163 million and breaking the record that "Hot in Herre" set earlier this summer. Nelly's 20-city tour kicks off in Virginia Beach, Va., on Oct. 3, and he also has a track on the new "XXX" soundtrack, so don't expect him to disappear from the spotlight anytime soon.

Biggie's drive to success
Notorious B.I.G.'s climb to fame is the subject of VH-1's latest installment of "Driven." The episode, which debuted Tuesday, features footage of Biggie rapping at age 14, exclusive audio from his first studio sessions a year later and video of him energizing crowds on the street corners of Brooklyn. The show portrays Biggie as one of the hardest working MCs in the business, revealing that Biggie often did concerts for as low as $1,000 -- during his prime -- and made cash deals for guest appearances just to stay in front of the mic. Through interviews with Lil' Cease and other members of Junior M.A.F.I.A., Easy Moe Bee, Damion “D-Roc” Butler and Biggie's mother, Voletta Wallace, the hour-long program follows Biggie's rise to stardom up until his untimely death in 1997 that cut short plans for a clothing line, restaurants and a music empire of his own. "Driven: Notorious B.I.G." airs again Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, twice Friday and several other times during the next month.

Round 2 for Angie Martinez
Hot 97 on-air personality Angie Martinez is celebrating the release of her second album Tuesday with an in-store appearance and live remote broadcast from 3-6 p.m. at The Wiz on West Fordham Road in the Bronx. The follow-up to last year's Up Close And Personal, Animal House already has spawned one hit single. "If I Could Go," featuring Elektra labelmate Lil' Mo and newcomer Sacario, isn't only receiving steady airplay on Martinez's home station, it's making noise on Billboard's rap and R&B singles charts. And the video is in regular rotation on the MTV family of channels, especially BET and 24-hour digital cable rookie of the year MTV Jams. Animal House also includes appearances by Missy Elliott, Fat Joe, Petey Pablo, Kelis and Tony Sunshine.

Chuck D switches up on Elvis
You remember the lyrics: "Elvis was a hero to most/ But he never meant sh-- to me, you see/ Straight up racist that sucker was simple and plain/ Motherf--- him and John Wayne." Chuck D delivered that shot with an assist from Flavor Flav on Public Enemy's 1989 anthem, "Fight the Power." But it seems Chuck has softened his stance on the rock 'n' roll icon as Elvis' fans reflected on the 25th anniversary of his death last week. "As a musicologist -- and I consider myself one -- there was always a great deal of respect for Elvis, especially during his Sun sessions. As a black people, we all knew that," Chuck said in an interview with Newsday. "My whole thing was the one-sidedness -- like, Elvis' icon status in America made it like nobody else counted. My heroes came from someone else. My heroes came before him. My heroes were probably his heroes. As far as Elvis being 'The King,' I couldn't buy that." Chuck also had some thoughts on the similarities between Elvis and one of today's most popular MCs. "Eminem is the new Elvis because, number one, he had the respect for black music that Elvis had. I think he's courteous and sympathetic to black music, and, unfortunately, he's more sympathetic to black music than many black artists themselves." Public Enemy's latest album, Revolverlution, was released July 23.

L.L. Cool J concert shut down early
L.L. Cool J's performance at Los Angeles radio station The Beat's Summer Jam event in Irvine, Calif., was cut short Sunday when members of rival gangs took over the stage at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre and began striking people with metal bars. Police told Reuters that security guards lost control of the crowd of 15,000 people, and three people received minor injuries after being crushed by the crowd as it rushed outside. About 30 people were taken in custody to face possible charges ranging from drug possession to parole violations. L.L.'s set initially was interrupted by a disturbance in the crowd between the two groups. What started as screaming escalated into violence and the groups eventually stormed the stage with metal bars they obtained backstage. After the show, L.L. called the incident "appalling" in an interview with a local TV station. "I think that it's just a prime example of how much we as black men really need someone around us who can guide us in the right direction and how we are so in desperate need of attention that we should ruin an event just to feel important." Earlier acts that were able to perform during the day-long event without incident included Snoop Dogg, Trick Daddy, Trina, Nelly and Mystikal, who debuted a song addressing his rape charges.

Smith, Def Jam: Free Slick Rick
Will Smith has added his support to the cause of Slick Rick, who is facing deportation because he was convicted of attempted murder 11 years ago. "I have known Rick for over 15 years," Smith wrote in a letter to the Immigration and Naturalization Service. "While I'm aware of his past problems, I've also had the pleasure to watch him develop into a good person." Slick Rick is a legal resident but not a United States citizen. He served more than five years in prison for a 1991 shooting in New York, and U.S. law requires the deportation of any non-citizen who serves more than five years in a U.S. prison. Rick was arrested by immigration officials last month in Miami aboard a cruise ship that had hired him to perform. He is in custody in Florida pending an immigration hearing. "I don't believe I'm a bad person," Rick said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. "The whole incident was years ago. I've been out and six years crime-free. All this now seems like an extreme measure." Slick Rick's label, Def Jam Records, is asking fans to support his release by signing a petition on its web site.

DMX, Jamaica target Ja Rule
After numerous subtle disses in tracks such as "Do You" and "We Don't Give a F---" DMX is ready to go all out on Ja Rule. "I got some sh--, man," X said in an interview with MTV. "They trying to stop me from doing this song called 'Ruled Out.' Everybody in here don't want me to do it -- they whining -- but I'm gonna do it. I've been thinking about it for a minute. I bit him lightly, on the second album. But I see he didn't get the point." When asked if he thought Ja's recent crossover success had gone to his head just a bit, X responded, "A little? One thing I can't really f--- with is how a n---- change up. If I could stay the same, why can't you? Even if you do change up, don't change up to your n----- before all this. We was broke together, man." If DMX doesn't catch him first, the Jamaican authorities just might. Police in Montego Bay put out an arrest warrant for Ja Rule after he failed to appear in court to face charges of violating local antiprofanity laws during a performance last summer. Ja was served a summons on Sunday while visiting and was told to appear in court by Monday. When he failed to show up, the warrant was issued for his arrest.

Cam'ron arrested in New York
Cam'ron was arrested in Manhattan on Monday on drug and weapons charges. Cam, who earlier this year released Come Home With Me, was pulled over for a traffic violation while on his way to the set of Roc-A-Fella's latest film, "Death of a Dynasty." Police allegedly spotted marijuana from outside of the Range Rover, proceeded to search the vehicle and found a .22-caliber handgun. Cam'ron was charged with criminal possession of a firearm, criminal possession of marijuana and criminal possession of a forged fire department placard, which he allegedly used for increased parking and toll privileges. Cam spent the night in jail, was arraigned on Tuesday, and was released after pleading not guilty and posting bail. Roc-A-Fella released a statement in support of Cam: "All of us at Roc-A-Fella Records, as well as his family and fans, are fully behind him. We believe that when the truth of what happened comes out, Cam'ron will be vindicated."

Mystikal arrested on rape charge
Mystikal has been accused of raping a 40-year-old woman with two other men at his home and committing extortion, and police say much of the alleged attack was videotaped. Mystikal, whose real name is Michael Tyler, surrendered Thursday and was booked on an aggravated rape charge. He was released on $250,000 bond. The extortion charge accuses Mystikal of demanding sex in exchange for his agreement not to turn the woman over to police for using checks from his bank account without his permission. Mystikal denied the allegations as police led him from headquarters Thursday, and his agent, Tivester Scott, said: "We have no comment, but are 100 percent sure he is innocent of these charges." If convicted of the aggravated rape charge, Mystikal would face a mandatory life sentence, while the penalty for extortion carries a prison term of one to 15 years. According to the arrest warrant, Mystikal ordered the woman to go into his bedroom and undress, then made her perform oral sex on him while he called his friends on the phone. The woman told police that when his friends arrived she was forced to have intercourse with one and perform oral sex on the other while being videotaped. Among the items detectives confiscated from Mystikal's home was a videotape, and it "confirmed that the accused and two co-defendants had sexually assaulted the victim," the warrant alleges.

Project Pat wants new trial
Project Pat, convicted last month on federal weapons charges, is seeking a new trial, claiming that the judge and jury were improperly influenced by his lyrics. In a filing to the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, defense attorneys argue that Judge Robert H. Cleland, a visiting federal jurist from Detroit, allowed images of guns in Project Pat's music to be used unfairly. During the trial, Pat's lawyers tried to limit questions about rap music or his lyrics on a claim of "protected speech." The defense also objected to using the term "gangsta rap," which prosecutors argued referred specifically to Pat's style of music. The judge sentenced Project Pat, whose real name is Patrick Houston, to four years and three months in prison. "We contend ... (Cleland) increased the sentence as a result of the lyrics of some of Mr. Houston's songs," defense attorney John E. Herbison of Nashville said this week. "I have some concerns ... as to whether that violates the First Amendment." Project Pat, a state felon convicted of aggravated robbery, was arrested in January 2001 when Memphis police looking for stolen sport utility vehicles pulled him over and found two loaded revolvers under a front floor mat in his Cadillac Escalade.

Nelly knocks Eminem from top
Thanks to Nelly, Eminem's The Eminem Show will come up three weeks short of matching the record eight-week run at No. 1 of his 2000 album, The Marshall Mathers LP. Nelly's second album, Nellyville, sold more than 716,000 copies last week and will replace Eminem at the top of next week's Billboard 200 albums chart. The Eminem Show didn't fall far, dropping one spot to No. 2 after moving more than 307,000 units for a grand total of 3.6 million. Noreaga's God's Favorite sold more than 118,000 copies to check in at No. 3, while Will Smith's Born to Reign will debut at No. 13 after selling only 60,000 copies. Smith's might at the box office will be tested by another hip-hop upstart as "Men In Black II" goes head-to-head with Lil' Bow Wow's "Like Mike," which somewhat surprisingly has earned critical praise so far. Chances are Smith's July 4 movie throne is safe, but don't underestimate Bow Wow, his legions of young fans and the marketing power of the NBA.

Trick Daddy, Trina talk album
Trina has been dropping hints around Miami that she and Trick Daddy might collaborate on a full-length album in the near future. If they're able to pull it off and it doesn't go the way of Dr. Dre and Ice Cube's Helter Skelter, it would mark the first time one of hip-hop's power couples doubled down on a disc. In the meantime it's first things first for Trick, whose Thug Holiday will arrive in stores on Aug. 6. The first single is called "In Da Wind" and features Outkast's Big Boi and the Goodie Mob's Cee-Lo. Two versions of the track are planned for the album, which will also have guest appearances by Scarface and the Big Tymers' Baby.

Nas rips Hot 97, several MCs
Nas backed out of a scheduled headlining performance at Hot 97's Summer Jam on Wednesday because he felt the organizers of the event were trying to control too much of his stage show. "I've been bamboozled, hoodwinked and the whole nine," Nas said while venting in an interview on rival station Power 105. "I'm here to let my people know -- all my hip-hop community people know -- that I was dissed this morning by Hot 97 and told what I couldn't do on the show." Hot 97 reportedly did not want him to perform "Ether," his response to the dis Jay-Z unveiled at last year's Summer Jam, "Takeover." The station also was uncomfortable because Nas planned to stage some sort of hanging during his performance.

"You're gonna tell Nas what I cannot do on a Summer Jam stage when the same acts have been done four or five years in a row and last year it happened to be a dis toward me by Jay?" Nas continued. "And he was all high and mighty. Then I dropped the 'Ether' napalm bomb and their whole crew was running like roaches. And now you got this station over there crying because he lost." Nas went on to say he was tired of hearing rhymes about "record sales and rims" and called out a few MCs by name: Cam'ron ("the album is wack"), Noreaga ("step your rap game up") and Nelly ("you're trying to battle KRS-One? ...don't follow Nas unless you're going to be creative").

Eminem's run at No. 1 hits five weeks
For the fifth straight week, Eminem's The Eminem Show will top the Billboard 200 albums chart. After moving more than 500,000 units in each of its first three full weeks on the chart (the album's Sunday release created a short first week), The Eminem Show's sales slipped to 381,000 copies, which is still more than the next two albums combined and brings its total haul to more than 3.3 million. Wyclef Jean's Masquerade will debut at No. 6 after selling more than 81,000 copies, while P. Diddy's We Invented the Remix drops three spots to No. 8.

Khujo loses leg in car crash
Khujo of the Goodie Mob (pictured, far right) is in stable condition after crashing his car in Atlanta on Tuesday. Cee-Lo told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday that doctors had to amputate Khujo's right leg below the kneecap. "Khujo is still in very good, strong spirits," Cee-Lo said. Several news outlets prematurely reported that Khujo lost both legs. Cee-Lo said Khujo was returning home from the Dungeon Family's famed studio in southwest Atlanta between 3 and 4 a.m when he fell asleep while driving north on Interstate 75. While accepting the BET Award for best group Tuesday, Outkast's Big Boi asked fans to pray for Khujo, while Andre reportedly skipped the show so he could stay at the hospital.

Outkast repeats at BET Awards
Outkast made it two-for-two Tuesday night at the second annual BET Awards. Andre and Big Boi took home best music group honors for the second straight year at the show, which switched venues but not hosts. Steve Harvey and Cedric the Entertainer once again presided over the ceremonies, which moved from Las Vegas to Hollywood's Kodak Theatre. Ja Rule, who performed with Charli Baltimore and Ashanti, was named best male hip-hop artist, while Missy Elliott won for best female hip-hop artist. Busta Rhymes' "Pass The Courvoisier Part II" featuring P. Diddy and Pharrell was picked as video of the year. Winners were determined by record label executives, media and fans. Nelly and Lil' Bow Wow also were among the performers. Click here for a list of all the winners...

More news on Nelly, MC Lyte and Foxy Brown...

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