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Jay-Z adds tracks to new album
Jay-Z is taking on bootleggers by adding tracks to his new album, Vol. 3... Life And Times Of S. Carter. The first of the new tracks will be "I Think There's Been A Murder," while a second new song, "Watch Me," features a guest appearance by Dr. Dre. Jigga said that the bootleg copies that he's seen were made from the international versions of the album, which were released overseas this week. Bootlegging has also been linked to the altercation between Jay-Z and record executive Lance "Un" Rivera earlier this month. The latest rumor in that incident comes from the New York Post's "Page Six" column, which reported that the stabbing occurred because of a love triangle between Un, Jigga and Biggie's former girlfriend Charli Baltimore, who is an artist on Un's Untertainment label. How tabloid is that? Obviously, both parties deny the rumor. But just to prove there's no such thing as bad press... Jay-Z's Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life re-entered the Billboard album chart at No. 190. If people are running out to buy the old album, maybe that first-week, million-sales mark is within Jigga's reach after all.

The Roots branch out
The Roots plan on taking a six-month break in order to explore individual projects after playing a New Year's Eve concert in New York City. "We're gonna take a little break from the road," ?uestlove told MTV. "And a break for us is anything that's over three months not working, because we still do about 250 (shows) a year... I'm gonna be taking it easy, because I'm gonna start drumming for D'Angelo. Black Thought has a movie out called 'Brooklyn Babylon, and he wants his solo project to come out. Malik B wants to do a solo project, Hub is going to score some films, and Kamal is going to do production. And Scratch is gonna do like a beatbox quartet thing, so we'll all be busy, but we don't want to wear out our welcome. I think it's time we just chilled for like, maybe, six months, 'cause we've been working straight since 1992, with no set time off for stopping."

Eve launches radio station
The newest deejay at is the Ruff Ryders' first lady. The next one could be you. Eve is featured as one of the web site's "guest deejays." Any visitor to the site easily can set up a station and dictate its programming, but guest deejays have stations fueled with interviews that reveal the artists' influences and inspirations. Just for fun, The 411 Online launched a station of its own, which you can
check out here. For some reason, our deejay seems to be partial to classic Whodini and L.L. Cool J's 14 Shots to the Dome. But unlike most radio stations, this virtual deck comes equipped with a skip button. Eminem and Kurupt are listed among the upcoming guest deejays.

Jay-Z calls for instant replay
According to the New York Daily News, Jay-Z's lawyers have a videotape which proves that Jay-Z was nowhere near Lance "Un" Riviera's stabbing earlier this month at New York City's Kit Kat Club. "This tape will show that he wasn't near the scene," Def Jam's Lyor Cohen told the paper. "It shows that others were involved in the incident. Right now the lawyers are examining the tape and deciding what to do with it." But one source who saw the tape wasn't so sure. "The tape doesn't show clearly who did the stabbing," the source told the newspaper. "There was too much confusion." The source said it was shot by a guest at Q-Tip's record-release party, where the stabbing occurred on Dec. 2. At any rate, Jigga's recent run-in with the law won't keep him from sharing airtime with Billboard artist of the decade Mariah Carey. Carey invited Jay-Z, Da Brat and DJ Clue to be among her guests on her upcoming television special. Fox will air "Mariah Carey's Homecoming Special" on Tuesday, Dec. 14, at 9 p.m. EST. Carey taped the performances a few weeks ago at the gymnasium of her former junior high school, located in Greenlawn, N.Y.

DMX hopes to steal the show
Jay-Z has been talking for quite some time about his next album becoming the first in hip-hop history to sell more than 1 million copies in its first week. Now, Def Jam is predicting that label-mate DMX will beat him to the punch. The recently retitled And Then There Was X is due out on Dec. 21, one week earlier than Jay-Z's Vol. 3... The Life and Times of S. Carter, and will feature Dru Hill's Sisqo, Regina Belle, The Lox, Drag-On and other members of the Ruff Ryders. The first single will be "What's My Name?"

L.L., Nas focus on movies
Hip-hop continues to make its presence felt in movies. After recently releasing his second album of 1999, Nas is showing no signs of slowing down. He currently is hard at work on his next project, a hip-hop-flavored remake of the classic opera, "Carmen," that he is writing and starring in. The television movie, titled "Hip-Hopera," will be aired on MTV. Nas also will perform live on the Columbia Records web site on Wednesday, Dec. 15, as part of their Online Holiday Concert Series. Meanwhile, L.L. Cool J recently wrapped a video for his latest film, "Any Given Sunday." L.L. shot the video for "Shut 'Em Down," which will appear on the movie's soundtrack, at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. L.L. stars along with Al Pacino, Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz in "Sunday," which hits theaters Dec. 22. The soundtrack won't reach stores until early next year.

Hip-hop helps Toys for Tots
GZA of the Wu-Tang Clan, Black Thought and ?uestlove of The Roots, Rah Digga from the Flipmode Squad and Talib Kweli will perform at a special invitation-only benefit for Toys for Tots, scheduled for Monday night at the Exit club in New York City. Tyson Beckford will host the show, "Hip-Hop Holiday '99," and Q-Tip and other members of the Wu-Tang Clan are expected to come out in support. Toys For Tots was started in 1947 by the U.S. Marine Corps, which works with local groups to help collect and distribute new toys to needy children across the U.S. at Christmas time. Last year, the Marines collected and distributed over 11 million toys.

Suspect in Biggie murder had 2Pac shrine
The Los Angeles Times is reporting that a former L.A. police officer already behind bars for bank robbery is one of the suspects in the 1997 shooting death of Notorious B.I.G. Biggie was gunned down March 9, 1997, after leaving a music industry party at the Peterson Automotive Museum. Former officer David Mack is under suspicion for allegedly hiring longtime friend Amir Muhammad to attack B.I.G., the Times reported, citing confidential police documents and sources that include a former detective assigned to the case. A witness placed Mack at the scene of the slaying, and another man who was in the same vehicle as Biggie picked Mack out of a photo lineup of six men, according to police documents. Mack is serving a 14-year prison term for a 1997 bank robbery. Police have been unable to locate Muhammad. Detectives who searched Mack's house in connection with the bank robbery found what a police source called a "shrine" to 2Pac, the Death Row star gunned down in Las Vegas six months before Biggie was killed. Investigators reportedly are examining whether Mack conspired with Death Row Records founder Suge Knight to arrange the contract killing of Biggie, whose real name was Christopher Wallace. Detectives previously have identified Knight as a suspect in the Notorious B.I.G. killing, alleging he may have ordered it while in jail on a parole violation. He is serving nine years for a 1992 attack on two rappers in a recording studio. Mack's attorney, Donald M. Re, said any link between his client and Wallace's killing "sounds absolutely ridiculous." Knight's attorney, Robin Yanes, said Thursday that his client doesn’t know Mack. "He’s not a friend, not a business associate, nothing. A year ago it came up, and now they're recycling it to cover their butts. They have nowhere to go. They are at a standstill," Yanes said. "They went up to the prison and tried to get people to snitch out Suge, and they got nothing."

On top of the Billboard charts
Jay-Z was named rap artist of the year at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas on Wednesday night. Jigga beat out J.T. Money, Busta Rhymes and Solé for the honor, which is pre-determined based on sales and airplay. Jay-Z's only reference to his recent trouble with the law was after witnessing a pair of female WWF retirees duke it out in front of presenter Lou Bega. "I hope they don't charge me for what happened just now, too," he said when he stepped to the mic to accept his award. J.T. Money and Solé didn't go home empty-handed, either. "Who Dat" won rap single of the year. Other winners included an emotional DMX, who was named R&B albums artist of the year and dedicated it to a fallen friend with a prayer, and Juvenile, who won R&B album of the year and also performed "Back That Thang Up" with the Cash Money Millionaires crew.

The right to remain silent
Scarface has taken a vow of silence. The multi-platinum Geto Boy, who recently was named the head of Def Jam South/Universal, has decided not to conduct any more interviews and will step out of the spotlight entirely, despite having an album due in March 2000. The decision surprised his label, Rap-A-Lot, which apparently isn't up to the challenge of promoting an album without its artist. But Scarface's mind isn't playing tricks on him, he simply wants to "find himself," an effort that also has convinced him to sell some of his more lavish possessions.

Kim had her cape on
Lil Kim is at it again, gaining more publicity for her outlandish outfits at awards shows. Despite living up to expectations by wearing a revealing getup at the VH1-Vogue Fashion Awards, this time the focus was on her head, where she wore some sort of rhinestone mask with a big "QB" on it that pretty much defies description. But we'll let EUR give it a shot: "Lil Kim, the caped crusader, can get away with anything. After this x-rated "I Dream of Jeannie" number, and the MTV open-breasted ensemble, this "avant garday" MC will raise an eyebrow only if she's NOT wearing something ridiculous. Hurry up and drop that new album." Nuff said. If not, peep the style here.

Hollywood goes hip-hop
Master P and Russell Simmons are no strangers to movies, but both successful hip-hop entrepreneurs are taking their careers in new directions with recently signed deals. After releasing several independent films, P has joined forces with Trimark Pictures to finance no less than five upcoming projects. Trimark also will market and distribute the projects, while No Limit will provide the soundtracks. For Simmons, the cameras will be focused a little closer to home. According to Variety, Fox is developing a TV movie on the the Def Jam co-founder's life story that also will follow the history of hip-hop. Master P's first project is scheduled to begin in February, but no air date has been set for the Simmons bio.

Hip-hop's all-star tour
The Cash Money Millionaires and Ruff Ryders were two of hip-hop's most prominent crews in 1999. For Y2K, they've decided to come together and hit the road for an all-star tour. Ruff Ryders DMX, Eve, Swizz Beats, Drag-On and The Lox will join Cash Money's Juvenile (pictured), B.G., Hot Boys, Lil' Wayne, Turk and the Big Tymers starting Feb. 9 in Providence, R.I., The tour, sponsored by The Source, is scheduled to make more than 30 stops from coast to coast before wrapping up April 15 in Sacramento, Calif. According to a representative of the Ruff Ryders camp, more dates might be added. Hip-hop had its most successful year on the road in 1999 with Jay-Z's Hard Knock Life Tour, which also featured DMX, so expectations are high for this collaboration.

The complete schedule: 2/9 - Providence, RI @ Civic Center; 2/10 - Rochester, NY @ Blue Cross America; 2/11 - Boston, MA @ Fleet Center; 2/12 - TBA; 2/17 - Hartford, CT @ Civic Center; 2/18 - Worcester, MA @ Centrum; 2/19 - Amherst, MA @ Mullins Arena; 2/20 - Albany, NY @ Pepsi Arena; 2/23 - Baltimore, MD @ Arena; 2/24 - Pittsburgh, PA @ E-Center; 2/25 - Uniondale, NY @ Nassau Coliseum; 2/26 - Philadelphia, PA @ E-Center; 2/27 - Washington, DC @ MCI Center; 3/1 - Buffalo, NY @ Marine Midland Arena; 3/2 - Cleveland, OH @ Schottenstein Center; 3/3 - TBA; 3/4 - Dayton, OH @ Nutter Center; 3/8 - Columbus, OH @ Schottenstein Center; 3/9 - Chicago, IL @ Allstate Arena; 3/10 - Indianapolis, IN @ Market Square Arena; 3/11 - Louisville, KY @ Freedom Hall; 3/15 - Montreal, Canada @ Molson Center; 3/16 Toronto, Canada @ Air Canada Center; 3/17 - Detroit, MI @ Joe Louis Arena; 3/22 - Knoxville, TN @ Thompson Bowling Arena; 3/23 - Atlanta, GA @ Phillips Arena; 3/24 - Nashville, TN @ Municipal Auditorium; 3/25 - Birmingham, AL @ Jefferson Coliseum; 3/29 - Charlotte, NC @ Coliseum; 3/30 - Jacksonville, FL @ Coliseum; 3/31 - Miami, FL @ Arena; 4/1 - Tampa, FL @ Ice Palace; 4/5 - Houston, TX @ Compaq Center; 4/6 - Austin, TX @ Frank Erwin Center; 4/7 - Dallas, TX @ Reunion Arena; 4/8 - Oklahoma City, OK @ Myriad; 4/12 - San Jose, CA @ Arena; 4/13 - Las Vegas, NV @ Thomas & Mack Arena; 4/14 - Ingelwood, CA @ Forum; 4/15 - Sacramento, CA @ Arco Arena.

Spike Lee disses Master P
According to, Spike Lee dissed hip-hop mogul (and fellow filmmaker) Master P during a recent visit to P's home state. "Uhhh," Lee said during a presentation before a standing-room-only crowd at Tulane University. "I never thought I'd see the day when that would sell records. Uhhh, uhhh. I know we're in Louisiana, but I know we have something better to offer than that." Meanwhile, Master P has completed his first week as a member of the San Diego Stingrays of the International Basketball League. The Stingrays are 1-3, and P, seasoned by
his stint with the NBA's Toronto Raptors, has proven that he is not afraid to take a shot, hitting nine of 44 from the field and only two of 18 three-point attempts. However, he is 14 of 19 from the free throw line, so he's got the edge over Shaq there. Wouldn't it be interesting to see Master P somehow, some way make the Knicks so Spike would be forced to cheer him on from his courtside seat? (You know he'd be rockin' that Percy Miller jersey the day it came out.)

The odd couple
Apparently, Ja Rule and the Fugees' Pras joined teen pop star Britney Spears and her friends from Kentwood, La., at Greenwich Village's Halo club to celebrate her 18th birthday last week. MTV reports that Ja and Pras were among the celebrity guests who "helped Britney devour a huge chocolate birthday cake with raspberry filling that featured a picture of Britney atop its buttercream frosting." Not a whole lot of news value in that, but it's just too strange to ignore.

Image Award nominees announced
The nominees for the NAACP Image Awards have been announced, and Eve has been nominated in the outstanding new artist category.
Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliott, Q-Tip, The Roots and Will Smith will battle it out for outstanding rap artist. The outstanding music video category also has a touch of hip-hop: the nominees are Lauryn Hill ("Everything Is Everything"), R. Kelly ("If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time"), TLC ("No Scrubs" and "Unpretty") and Will Smith ("Wild Wild West"). The awards show, which will air in February from Pasadena, Calif., honors significant achievements in the fields of music, film, television and literature.

Jay-Z charged with felony assault
Add another chapter to the life and times of Shawn Carter. Jay-Z was arrested and formally charged with two counts of felony assault by New York police Thursday night for allegedly stabbing record executive Lance "Un" Rivera the night before during Q-Tip's album release party at the Kit Kat Club. Jay also faces two additional charges in connection with an alleged assault at the Kit Kat on Nov. 26 and an incident alleged to have occurred in April 1998 at another New York nightclub. However, lawyer Harry Slovis maintained that his client was innocent of the charges. "To think that this guy, who is as gentle as can be, has anything to do with this is crazy," Slovis told MTV, adding that the timing couldn't be worse. "He has a new album coming out... of course he's upset." Jigga was arrested after turning himself in for questioning. He was released at approximately 2:15 a.m. EST Friday on $50,000 bail. A court date has been set for January 31. Police say Rivera was stabbed in the lower back and shoulder inside the club around midnight. Rivera, who runs Untertainment and is responsible for the careers of Cam'ron and Charli Baltimore as well as Undeas Records, which he founded with the late Notorious B.I.G., was treated at New York's St. Vincent Hospital and released early Thursday afternoon. In addition to the stabbing, another victim was punched in the face in a separate scuffle. Earlier in the evening Jay-Z performed his new album, Vol. 3... The Life and Times of S. Carter, in its entirety at a listening party in New York City's Urban Plaza. MTV is reporting that the dispute could be related to the rampant bootlegging of his new album, which isn't due to hit stores until Dec. 28.

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