When Dr. Dre, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, and Ice Cube announced that they would hit the road together, some predicted controversy would follow, but no one guessed that the tour's seven-minute intro video would stir up most of it.
Police stopped the video (a very R-rated affair depicting topless women and bloody gunfights) at last Thursday's "Up In Smoke" show at Detroit's Joe Louis Arena, prompting Dre to announce that he plans to file a civil-rights suit against the city of Detroit. Dre's camp says that the rapper acquiesced after Detroit police threatened to cut off power to the venue if the video was broadcast during the show.
"I just think that it was wack that everybody in Detroit that has been buying our records for the last decade couldn't see a real Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, 'Up In Smoke' show," Dre told MTV News' Kurt Loder immediately after the performance. "Hopefully these people
can check out another show that we put together. It won't be at Joe Louis Arena. I would never in my life perform at Joe Louis Arena again, straight up, because it's too much bullsh** that goes on." [RealVideo]
The rapper's lawyer, Howard King, told MTV News on Tuesday that the suit will likely be filed either Wednesday or Thursday, and that he and his client will seek "tens of millions" of dollars in damages. King said that he will ask for actual and punitive damages, because Dre feels that the Detroit police and the city displayed "outrageous behavior under the guise of law." King went on to call the case a "a no-brainer" and charged that the city and the police of Detroit came to them two hours before the show's scheduled start because they knew it was too late to obtain a court order.
"It's unconstitutional to deny public expression without a court order," said King.
Apparently airing the video isn't a litigation-free move either, as the "Detroit
Free Press" reports that police have filed a complaint against the Palace Of Auburn Hills for allowing the footage to play during the tour's stop there last Friday. Police reportedly claim that the use of the video violated the venue's liquor license, which prohibits live or televised nudity. The "Free Press" reports that the venue could face fines and could see its license revoked or suspended.
Officials had tried to block the airing of the video during the Auburn Hills performance, but a U.S. District Judge reportedly intervened, ruling that the city could not pull the plug on the video.