The Beats, Rhymes and Life section is in full effect. Big ups must go out to Buddah M.A.C. for some of the news shown here. Plus we do get news from Sohh.com, MTV.com and Sonicnet.com.
- Check the new video, only online from the Smut Peddlers. 'Bottom Feeders' featuring RA The Rugged Man (who also directed the video) is available for viewing online at easternconferencerecords.com
- From Rolling Stone: A Los Angeles Superior Court found that Death Row Records and its co-founder Marion "Suge" Knight defrauded rapper Kurupt's former management, consequently granting a $4,344,000 judgement against the label and the gangsta rap mogul on Tuesday. The damages result in Knight being held responsible for more than $1 million of the verdict, and Death Row the remainder, with more punitive damages that could still be handed down on
Monday as the case moves into its next phase. "We're very pleased with the outcome," said Pamela Koslyn, co-counsel for Lamont and Ken Brumfield, the former managers and producers for Ricardo E.
Brown, Jr. (a.k.a. Kurupt). "We're hoping that there will be more further down in regards to the punitive part of this civil matter. There's a psychological and moral basis for this, and we may settle, that's what we're discussing right now. We expect that [the punitive phase] will be
handled expeditiously, since the jurors are restless and hoping to get out of this as soon as possible."
In a complaint dating back five years, Lamont Brumfield's management company Rapp Central Productions and Ken Brumfield's Hoodsta-4-Life Publishing originally filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against Interscope for allegedly conspiring with Death Row to induce Kurupt to breach his contract with the Brumfields. The complaint, alleging several counts of breach of contract and conspiracy, also named Death Row principals Knight, Andre Young (a.k.a. Dr. Dre) and Calvin Broadus (a.k.a. Snoop Doggy Dogg).
According to the Brumfields' complaint, they began managing Kurupt in 1990, when he was still a minor, providing him with a place to live and expenses after he was kicked out of his family's home. From there, Kurupt signed exclusive recording, songwriting and management agreements with the Brumfields once he reached the age of eighteen. The Brumfields claim they introduced Kurupt to Knight, Dre and Snoop in mid-1992, when the rapper was hired to perform and write for Dre's first solo album, The Chronic.
Things soured when Death Row promised Kurupt "wealth and fame through defamation" of the Brumfields in order to get the rapper to enter into exclusive recording, songwriting and management agreements with the label, according to the complaint. Kurupt signed a recording contract with Death Row, a publishing contract with Suge Music and a management company with Knight's ex-wife Sharitha Knight, who ran Knightlife Management -- despite his existing contracts with the Brumfields. When Kurupt went bankrupt in 1996, he voided all of his contracts. By then, he had appeared on Snoop's
Doggystyle and had emerged as a part of Tha Dogg Pound, appearing on seventeen albums for Death Row, with the Brumfields receiving no compensation.
One possible settlement option Koslyn said she would be willing to accept is if Death Row releases a Kurupt album of unreleased material, with the proceeds going mostly to the Brumfields. Death Row, which is claiming it has no assets, is now required to reveal its financial situation, Koslyn said, and is expected to open its books in court Friday.
Knight testified via a videotaped deposition (he is currently in his fourth
year of a nine-year sentence for a 1996 probation violation, for charges of assault). Dre was dismissed from the case before it went to jury, while Snoop was released from the case earlier. Interscope, which had been named in the suit due to its distribution of Death Row, settled with the plaintiffs before the verdict.
- On December the 19th Rawkus Records will be distributing the new single "Uhhnnh" by up and coming MC, The Bad Seed who can be heard on the new Funkmaster Flex volume 4, as well as plenty of underground classics such as Pumpkinheads "Dynamic Remix)" and His own BLAZING single, "Shit is Hot". He is also destroying the airwaves in NYC with the hit "For The Kids". The 12" Sinngle, "Uhhnnh" also features the hot joints "Would u Luh Me" and " War & Peace". For a limited time Rawkus will be issuing this soon to be classic recording on CD with a bonus track "For The Kids". It also has 3 tracks produced by Nottz
- Check out my boy Pete's online radio show here. Also, check out the new Masterminds site, my boy Opus hooked up the design and it's the first official artist site affiliated with Platform.
- The hip-hop soundtrack to the gritty HBO prison drama "Oz," which features the Wu-Tang Clan, Snoop Dogg and Cypress Hill, won't be released until next month, but it's already generated some revenue for a charity that aims to help real-life prisoners. In a ceremony held Wednesday at Manhattan's Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, the soundtrack's creators donated $10,000 to the school's Innocence project, which provides free assistance to prisoners who are attempting to
prove their innocence through DNA testing. Pharoahe Monch, who attended the ceremony, said that the soundtrack's charitable focus helped convince him to contribute a track. "First of all, I'm a fan of the show." "It's a good thing to lend a contribution to something that gives prisoners a fair shake, in terms of just giving them a voice, because once you're convicted, your voice is limited." Avatar Records President Larry Robinson presented the donation Wednesday to lawyer Barry Scheck, co-founder of the Innocence Project. Scheck, also a former member of O.J. Simpson's legal defense team, promised that "every nickel" donated from the soundtrack will go toward aiding prisoners. Each track on the album focuses on some aspect of the criminal justice
system. For his track, Pharoahe Monch decided to write from the perspective of a racist white cop. "It's his imaging of how he sees things — he's vocalizing it in the squad car and he's vocalizing it to his partner," the former Organized Konfusion rapper explained. "It's just his perspective and his twist on what's going on as he patrols." Brand Nubian rapper Lord Jamar, who is also a cast member on "Oz," raps over samples of the show's brass-driven theme music on his contribution to the soundtrack, which includes lyrical references to the show. "Within my personal rhyme, I had some of the show references on there. ...From reading scripts every week, I had a real understanding of the show," Lord Jamar said. His track also includes contributions from Kool G Rap and Talib Kweli. The soundtrack's first single will be "Behind the Walls," a lean, West Coast-style track that finds Kurupt and Nate Dogg rapping about "living life behind the walls" of prison. The album, due January 9th on Avatar Records, also includes new songs by Master P, Krayzie Bone, Three 6 Mafia and others.
- Pioneering hip-hop group N.W.A have shelved plans to release a reunion album anytime soon, after early sessions for the LP yielded disappointing results, Dr. Dre said Thursday. "We got a couple things down, nothing that I'm happy with, so they don't mean anything," the superstar producer and rapper said. The group was unable to continue working on an N.W.A album, because its members were all due on other projects, Dre said. "The status of N.W.A right now remains in limbo, because everybody that's supposed to be a part of this record has their own careers, and they're out doing their things. [Ice] Cube is working on a big special-effect movie, Snoop [Dogg] has a record coming out and is gonna promote that, and I'm working with my new artists, trying to do my thing. I have no idea when that record's gonna happen, or if it's gonna happen." With this incarnation of N.W.A sidelined, Dre is busy working on new projects for his Aftermath label, having recently signed hip-hop vet Rakim, as well as newcomer Shari Watson, who calls herself Truth Hurts. Dre is helping the St. Louis songstress ready her debut album, 'Ain't That the Truth?'
- TVT Records is fighting a copyright-infringement lawsuit by saying the cover of Doggy's Angels' "Baby If You're Ready" single is a parody of the "Charlie's Angels" movie and television show, and thus exempt from such attacks. The "Baby If You're Ready" cover features a silhouette of the group's three members — Big Chan, Coniyac and Kona — in a pose similar to poses on
"Charlie's Angels" movie posters. "We feel the name and imagery of Doggy's Angels clearly pokes fun at a classic of American pop culture, but does not confuse the public with the real thing," the label said in a statement Thursday. Columbia Pictures filed the suit December 1 in United States District Court, Central District of California. A spokesperson for Columbia had no
comment on the suit. "The girls in the group are as far away from Farrah Fawcett and Jaclyn
Smith as can be," read the TVT statement, referring to two of the stars of the 1970s "Charlie's Angels" series.
- According to a story printed by the World Entertainment New Network, Lil Kim is in need of some cash. Apparently, the rapper is near bankruptcy after spending large amounts of money on hair and makeup, using the top stylists. Sources close to Kim say that the amount of money spent on her
hair and makeup could "float a third world country." Kim is currently selling her New Jersey home and doing some lucrative PR stunts across the US to bring in some cash. She is currently on tour with the Jingle Ballers Jam which also features the Cash Money Millionaires, Nelly, Philly's Most Wanted and others.
- From Manhunt: In an exclusive live webcast on Y2G.COM, FUBU's urban lifestyle web site, LL Cool Jay stated he expects to part company with Def Jam Records - ending a relationship that lasted 15 years. During Y2G.com's live and exclusive webcast, LL Cool J indicated his strong intentions of parting ways with Def Jam by saying, "Right now Def Jam and I are figuring out where we're at. My contract is basically up. And we plan
on just seeing what's going on. It looks like I'm going to be moving on. Where I'm going to go I don't know. How it's going to work out I don't know. It's not any bad blood. It's not negative. It's not like I hate them or they hate me. We did what we did for a very long time. It's time for us to change the sheets on the bed. Nothing like crisp sheets to make you feel fresh again. That's part of it. You gotta grow. Def Jam is a great label and they'll continue to have success. I plan on having success, god willing….As long as people know that it's nothing negative. It's positive. We plan on seeing what we're gonna do. They've agreed to let me go and I've
agreed that I would like to leave. I've expressed that wholeheartedly."
- The next single from Jay-Z will be "Change The Game." Jay is shooting the video for "Change The Game" this week in LA. The video features Memphis Bleek and is directed by Dave Meyers. Also, Jigga will appear on Saturday Night Live Christmas Special Dec. 13th, 2000.
- Memphis Bleek is filming the video for "Do My..." featuring Jay-Z and directed by Dave Meyers this week. His sophomore album "The Understanding" hits stores December 5th. He will also be going on a short promotional tour soon after the album is released.
- This week, Ja Rule is shooting the video for "Put It On Me" featuring Lil Mo & Vita in Miami and Atlanta.
- 'Kingdom Come,' a film starring LL Cool J and Whoopi Goldberg is slated for theatrical release April 27th, 2001.
- Non Phixion recorded a song with Screwball for their new album, 'The Future Is Now'..To Be In Stores March 2001. Big ups to "DJPRemier81" for the info.
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