R. Kelly Saved By Judge, Trial Set For May '08
R. Kelly was dealt another break this morning (Dec. 21) with the judge ruling on keeping the singer's bond in tact.
As previously reported, Kells narrowly escaped being arrested yesterday, after missing a court appearance in his child pornography case.
Judge Vincent Gaughan had warned Kells yesterday that he'd consider revoking the singer's bond and throwing him in jail. The judge also said earlier that he was "very disappointed" that Kelly, currently on tour, missed his hearing. But today, the judge gave him another chance.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, while the judge said he didn't want to put Kelly's employees out of work during the holiday season and disappoint fans who'd already purchased tickets to his concerts, he ordered Kelly to cancel a Jan. 13 appearance in Hampton, Va., so he doesn't miss a Jan. 14 court date. Gaughan also admonished Kells for his tour bus getting pulled over for speeding through Utah, one of the reasons cited by Kell's attorney for missing his Dec. 19 hearing.
Kelly apologized and promised to fly into town for his next court date, though he has a fear of flying.
"I'd like to say I'm sorry for this whole incident, and next time, I would get a plane," he said
Gaughan also set a trial date for the singer's five year-old case for May 9. Kelly is facing 14 counts of child pornography stemming from a video tape that allegedly features him engaged in sexual acts with a teenage girl. He was charged in 2002 and has pleaded not guilty.
According to the singer's website, he's scheduled to perform in Chicago tonight.
Shooting Victim Sues Remy Ma, Universal Records
The woman who says Remy Ma shot her in the abdomen in front of a Manhattan pizzeria last July, filed suit against the rapper and Universal Records on Friday (December 21).
According to Reuters, Makeda Barnes-Joseph’s suit, filed today in Manhattan federal court, claims that Remy “wilfully, wantonly and maliciously” shot and injured her, causing “severe physical harm and mental anguish.”
The suit also names Universal Records and Sure Shot Recordings, two of the rapper’s record labels, claiming that they encouraged her to engage in violence as part of her image. Barnes-Joseph is seeking $10 million in damages.
Just yesterday, the judge in Remy’s criminal trial denied her request to travel outside of the country for a European tour.
Her attorney argued that his client desperately needed the $35-40,000 that the trip would have earned her.
Yung Berg Arrested In Miami
Yung Berg was arrested for marijuana possession.
He is being held at Dade County Correction Center, awaiting release. The writer behind the hit single "Sexy Lady," was apprehended at the "Sexy Can I" video from friend and singer Ray J.
Yung Berg is presently working on his sophomore album Look What You Made Me.
DMX Collapse Rumors "100% False," Say Reps
Rumors that rapper DMX collapsed at the Sony recording studios yesterday (Dec. 20) and was rushed to the hospital have been swirling all over the net, but his lawyer and label say the story isn't true.
"I just spoke to X the day before yesterday, he's at home in Arizona so it really doesn't make any sense to me how they're saying he was at Sony studios," said X's label rep at Bodog Music, his new label home. "It's definitely 100 percent false."
The rep added that X hasn't even been in the studio and is not scheduled to work on his debut release under the label for another week.
"He's at home with his wife for Christmas," he said.
X's entertainment lawyer, Scott Mason, also said his client has not been at Sony and he even called X this afternoon after hearing the rumors, to learn the rapper was asleep in his bed.
X's rep thinks the story was just created to go along with a sketchy video circulating around the net that, according to New York's Daily News gossip section, shows DMX "looking nervous and acting erratically while working on an album."
"This video that leaked on the net has got people thinking that he might be on something, that's what kind of made them wanna make up a story like that," he said.
Mason said the video was recorded at least two weeks ago while X was recording in Miami.
Beanie Sigel Joins Bill Cosby for Anti-Violence March in Philadelphia
Beanie Sigel teamed up with an unlikely partner for an anti-violence march in his hometown of Philadelphia on Thursday (December 20): comedian Bill Cosby.
According to the Philadelphia Daily News, Sigel joined Cosby and activist Bilal Qayyum, co-chair of the Men United for a Better Philadelphia organization, for the march down Susquehanna Avenue as part of his continuing efforts to stem the rampant violence that has plagued Philly in recent months. Cosby, who has been publicly critical of the influence of Hip-Hop culture on inner city youth in the past, had positive words for the sometimes controversial MC.
“Here is a young man from the streets who came back to the streets as a man,” Cosby said of the rapper. “This is what we want from our young boys, to go from boys to men.” Beans, who shot an anti-violence public service announcement with Philly’s Fox 29 last week, believes that, as an artist who hails from the same mean streets that are now under siege, he is uniquely suited to reach at-risk youth.
“I come from these things, the streets,” Beans told the crowd outside of M. Hall Stanton School. “I’m at a time in my life where I’m trying to make the transition from something negative to something positive.”
Men United for a Better Philadelphia seek to keep the number of murders in the city this year under the 400 mark, and the march closed out their “Peace Week 2007” initiative.
Lupe Fiasco Talks Retirement
After Jay-Z declared him "a breath of fresh air" and his debut album received three Grammy nods, Lupe Fiasco went back into the studio to create his sophomore offering, The Cool.
Though he has no personal goals for first week sales, Lupe does agree that his album may be one of the best of 2007. "Yeah, I wouldn't say best, but good. Definitely in the running even outside of hip-hop."
On The Cool Lupe touches on various taboo subjects. On "Intruder Alert" he addresses the subject of rape, and on the highly criticized "Gotta Eat" he rhymes from the perspective of a cheeseburger.
"It's called imagination," he says in defense of the songs premise. "You should use it. The song is really about health. The hook is 'My man says feed me feed me when @#*$%s gotta eat that's when sh-t gets greasy.' You look at the health situation in the hoods and it's just bad. There's no Whole Foods. There's no nutrition. Nobody is vegetarians. It's cheeseburgers and steak sandwiches. We're slowing killing ourselves of heart disease and all that. If the bullets don't get you the diabetes will. It was basically just making that statement so that people can start having the conversation."
Lupe is already looking towards the release of his third and final LP. "One more... LupEnd is what it's actually called," he said. Im'a always perform until the day I die. It's just the industry of recorded music doesn't appeal to me. That dream of getting a record deal and all that is lost. I woke up from it. But in between time, in the meantime, you'll probably get a CRS album. But yeah, one more full length solo debut LP."
CRS, which stands for Child Rebel Soldiers, refers to the group that Lupe formed with fellow rappers/producers Kanye West and Pharrell Williams.
"We had the one record," he jokes. "The US Placers record with Tom Yorke and actually my girl Vashtie just did a dope video for that. It's pretty fresh. We're about, like, no songs deep. One song deep, a lot of ideas, a lot of conversations about how we want to roll out and what we want it to look like, what we want it to feel like. So we're in discussion right now but hopefully end of 08, we'll have something proper."
With so much talk of retirement in rap these days it's easy to question whether or not LupEnd will actually be the end for Fiasco. He assures us that it will. "Nah, if I go I'ma go. I just want to make sure I leave behind a legacy."