Rapper Ice Cube's new film documenting the connection between his seminal rap group N.W.A and the then-Los Angeles Raiders premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival last Friday. Cube told the Associated Press that the film, Straight Outta L.A., is about "the L.A. Raiders coming to L.A. and how their image and persona, in a lot ways, changed the trajectory of hip-hop." Raider Managing General Partner Al Davis, compared by Cube (favorably) to Yoda, probably wonders if rap can return the favor and find a way to change the trajectory of his once-proud team.
At least eight girls were taken to the hospital in Sydney, Australia, after a crowd of about 5,000 rushed the venue when doors opened for a Justin Bieber concert Monday. Most had hyperventilated. Shades of rabid Beatlemania on one hand, and tragedies such as trampled fans at a 1979 Who concert in Cincinnati on the other. On Wednesday, Bieber tweeted about arriving at a New Zealand airport: "Not happy that someone stole my hat and knocked down my mama." Both incidents do serve as further proof that, though slightly injured in this case, music fans are alive and well and as engaged in music and its stars as ever.
GRAMMY-winning guitarist Jeff Beck recently took out an insurance policy on his hands as a result of an unfortunate kitchen mishap involving cutlery and carrots. Beck, whose legendary 10 fingers are now worth a lofty $10.7 million, recently showed off his newly insured digits during a special performance at the GRAMMY Museum. His policy joins the ranks of other notable insured body parts, including Bruce Springsteen's voice ($6 million), Tom Jones' chest hair ($7 million) and Rihanna's legs ($1 million). Reportedly, Ke$ha is working to insure her dollar sign for an undisclosed amount.
The Billy Corgan/Courtney Love feud continues unabated into a new decade. Corgan told Rolling Stone that he had not given permission to Love to use songs he had written on her new Hole album Nobody's Daughter. He then went the Twitter route to disparage Love as a mother. For her part, Love lived up to her name, taking the high road with a Facebook post to Corgan that read in part: "I love you, I love your strong and eternal heart…I hope you will take my sincerest apologies for all the thousand ways I sometimes offend you, because I know you are a king, a prince, and my beautiful noble boy."
In related feud news, songstress Joni Mitchell had some cutting words for former tourmate Bob Dylan. "Bob is not authentic at all: He's a plagiarist, and his name and voice are fake. Everything about Bob is a deception," she told the Los Angeles Times. Mitchell did not cite a specific reason for her remarks, but it is possible she could be referring to Jack Frost, the production pseudonym Dylan used for his Love And Theft (2001) and Modern Times (2006) albums. One thing is for certain, Dylan and Mitchell have won a very real combined 17 GRAMMY Awards.
On a less combative note, artists were also in the news this week for their good works. Country star Alan Jackson said he will donate profits from an upcoming May 22 West Virginia show to families of those killed in the Upper Big Branch mine disaster on April 5. Meanwhile, Shakira paid a visit to Arizona Thursday to meet with local authorities over her concerns about the state's new illegal immigration law, while Ricky Martin criticized the law at the Billboard Latin Music Awards.
Is Twitter over? According to John Mayer, it is. "I just think Twitter as a form of communication, I think it's over to be honest with you," Mayer said.
Rapper B.o.B. holds the number No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 spot with "Nothin' On You" featuring Bruno Mars. Meanwhile, iTunes gets a new No. 1 with Usher's "OMG" featuring will.i.am.
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