For The Record: Quick News On Jay-Z, Common, Mary J. Blige, Dave Matthews Band, Neptunes, 311, C-Murder & More

Jay-Z started work on his next album, The Blueprint 2: The Gift and the Curse, before he left for a vacation in the south of France. Jigga recorded seven songs and hopes to finish up when he returns at the end of July. ... Chicago rapper Common, of "The Light" fame, is currently wrapping up production of his fifth album, Electric Circus. The MC recently mixed what is expected to be the first single, "Close to You," which features a guest appearance by Mary J. Blige and was produced by the Neptunes. ... Dave Matthews Band will reach new heights on July 15 when they perform their new single, "Where Are You Going," 140 feet above Manhattan on the roof of the Ed Sullivan Theater for "The Late Show with David Letterman." The program will be taped between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. and broadcast at 11:35 p.m. on CBS. ...

Due to a scheduling conflict, the motions hearing in C-Murder's upcoming second-degree murder trial did not take place on Thursday (July 11). The hearing has been postponed until July 19. ... Metallica are auctioning off the opportunity to spend a day with them and producer Bob Rock in their private studio in San Francisco, with proceeds going to the T.J. Martell Foundation for Leukemia, Cancer and AIDS Research. Fans can place bids on eBay until July 19 to win two roundtrip tickets to San Francisco, a two-night hotel stay, a three-day car rental and dinner with the band. ... 311 will embark on a brief club tour beginning August 10 at the Rainbow Ballroom in Fresno, California, and ending at the Promowest Pavilion in Columbus, Ohio, on August 18. The band will then jump right into the Sprite Liquid Mix Tour on August 20 at the Jones Beach Amphitheater in New York with Jay-Z, Hoobastank, N.E.R.D. and others. ...

Jimmy Eat World will headline the second Plea for Peace/Take Action Tour beginning September 13 in Worcester, Massachusetts and running through October 28. Other confirmed participants are the (International) Noise Conspiracy, Common Rider, Le Tigre, Thursday, the Promise Ring, Anti-Flag, the Bouncing Souls, Lawrence Arms, Cave In, Poison the Well and Cursive. ... JEW will also join Filter, Default, the Pharcyde, the Kickovers and Pennywise, among others, to perform on various dates of the fourth annual Molson Snow Jam tour. The music and extreme sports outing, which intends to truck in more than 100 tons of snow at each venue, will make two-day stops in nine North American cities, kicking off July 19 at the HSBC Arena in Buffalo, New York, and ending September 28 at the Bayside Expo Center in Boston. ...

Due on September 24 through Small Stone Records, the double-CD compilation Sucking the '70s will feature covers of '70s tracks by the likes of Fireball Ministry, Halfway to Gone, Unida and Puny Human, featuring our very own Iann Robinson. ... Boston's Milligram found a replacement guitarist in Mario Travers (ex-OHM). The band is rehearsing right now and has no word on how permanent the appointment will be. ...Carlos Santana, Elton John, Dennis Miller and Martina McBride, among others, will perform at the Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation's sixth annual Grand Slam for Children benefit September 28 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Last year the event raised more than $4.2 million for underprivileged, abused and at-risk children in the Las Vegas community. ...

07.10.02

DMX is heading into a Chicago studio on July 16 to work on his next album, according to a spokesperson. No word yet on who X will be working with on the record, which is scheduled to drop in November; his book "E.A.R.L.: The Autobiography of DMX" is scheduled to hit shelves on October 8. ... Enrique Iglesias will release his first all-Spanish-language album in five years on September 17. The as-yet-untitled LP will feature the single "Mentiroso" ("Liar"), which will hit radio waves on July 22. ... R&B singer Glenn Lewis will be featured on the soundtrack for Jennifer Lopez's upcoming movie "The Chambermaid" and will also appear as himself in the film. Lewis hopes to hit the road with Donell Jones and Raphael Saadiq next month. ...

Jermaine Dupri and Ray Charles will be honored by the Atlanta Chapter of the Recording Academy at the Heroes Award ceremony on July 18. Janet Jackson and Arista Records CEO Antonio "L.A." Reid will be among the presenters at the ceremony, during which Usher will perform "Georgia on My Mind." ... Will Smith gave a free 10-minute concert in downtown Stockholm, Sweden, on Tuesday before a private screening of "Men in Black 2," according to the Associated Press. Accompanied by Biz Markie, Smith performed "Black Suits Comin' (Nod Ya Head)" and a medley of his previous hits. ...

The "XXX" soundtrack, slated for an August 6 release, will feature new tracks by Mr. Cheeks featuring Missy Elliott and P. Diddy (a remix of "Lights, Camera, Action!"), and Drowning Pool ("Bodies [Chris Vrenna XXX Remix]") and Bush's Gavin Rossdale ("Adrenaline"). The album will also include Moby ("Landing"), Queens of the Stone Age ("Millionaire"), N.E.R.D. featuring Kelis and Pusha T ("Truth or Dare"), and a slew of others. ... Ja Rule has been confirmed for International Night at this year's Reggae Sumfest in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Along with Ashanti, Damian "Junior Gong" Marley, Rayvon and a host of others, Ja Rule will perform on the final day of the festival, which runs from July 21-27. ...

Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds currently has his hands full working in the studio with Whitney Houston, Toni Braxton and Backstreet Boys. Babyface also worked with TLC on their new album, which will be out later this year. ... R&B legend Bo Diddley, 73, canceled his performance at the Fleet BluesFest on Saturday following his doctor's orders after suffering chest pains, according to the Associated Press. Jimmy Vaughan will perform in his place at the event, which will take place at the Empire State Plaza in Albany, New York. ... Gnutella developer Gene Kan's death was an apparent suicide by a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to CNET News. Kan, 25, died on June 29 in his Northern California home.