For The Record: Quick News On Kanye West, Clay Aiken, Prince, Ying Yang Twins, Zack De La Rocha & More

Just a couple of weeks after his debut album blasted its way to #2 on the albums chart, about 15 unreleased Kanye West songs have leaked onto the Internet. Included in the set is a song called “Hey Mama,” which finds Kanye writing a thank-you love song to his mom over a Donovan-like ’60s folk vocal loop. In previous interviews, Kanye said the song would appear on his third album. Also amongst the tracks are original versions of “All Falls Down” and “Family Business” and various instrumentals. … Meanwhile, Kanye and the Young Gunz will headline the first benefit for the Heart & Voices concert series March 11 at New York’s Show club. The bi-monthly performances will raise awareness for HIV prevention in the black community and funds for LIFEbeat: The Music Industry Fights AIDS. …

Claymates are flocking to the North Carolina Museum of History. On Tuesday (March 2), the museum debuted a new exhibit featuring a white shirt, black pinstriped pants and shoes Clay Aiken wore on “American Idol” last March. “Today’s popular culture often becomes tomorrow’s history,” curator Elizabeth F. Buford told reporters. … Forget about the Artist or other monikers, Prince is happy being called Prince. “There’s a new song on the new CD called ‘Call My Name’ and the song basically talks about the fact that no one had really said my name for a long time because I changed it,” the singer said recently. “My friends respected my wishes and they didn’t use the name Prince. They just called me ‘friend’ or ‘sir’ or something like that. It was interesting being called ‘sir’ for so long. So anyway, look for that track ’cause I think it’s one of the best ones I’ve done.” …

The Ying Yang Twins are trying to keep the ladies shaking through the spring with two remixes of their hit single “Salt Shaker.” The first one features Lil Jon, Murphy Lee, Juvenile and Fat Joe. The second boasts appearances by all the same players, in addition to B.G., Fat Man Scoop and newcomers Pitbull and Jacki-O. … Snoop Dogg has a couple of songs recorded for his next solo album, Snoopafly, but admits to being a long way from completion. “It’s like a movie,” he said recently. “You can shoot a whole bunch of scenes but you don’t know how you’re gonna cut the movie up until you really get it all done.” …

DJ Vlad will follow up his award winning Rap Phenomenon mixtape series with the first Rock Phenomenon mixtape, due later in the month on www.djvlad.com. Ex-Rage Against the Machine frontman Zack de la Rocha, Everlast, M.O.P. and Cypress Hill are some of the collaborators who worked on the project with Vlad in DJ Muggs‘ studio during NBA All-Star weekend. … Danger Mouse will be the keynote speaker at the M3 (Miami Music Multimedia) Summit Sunday in Miami. The hip-hop producer behind the now infamous Grey Album will also be headlining the M3 Sunset Sessions that night at the Surfcomber Hotel, where he will be spinning sections of his Jay-Z vs. the Beatles experiment for the first time, along with tunes from Ghetto Pop Life, his new album with rapper Jemini. …

Story of the Year, Sugarcult, Reel Big Fish, Atreyu and My Chemical Romance are among the bands slated for the 9th annual Extreme Thing sports and music festival, set for March 27 at the Desert Breeze Skate Park in Las Vegas. … Something Corporate and Yellowcard are teaming up for a co-headlining tour beginning March 18 in San Francisco and wrapping April 30 in Kingston, Rhode Island. Afterwards, Yellowcard will hit the road again, with the Vans Warped Tour. …

The sequel to Rob Zombie‘s directorial debut, “House of 1000 Corpses,” will be called “The Devil’s Rejects,” according to a post on his Web site. The film, which features all of the original cast members, is expected later this year. … Mathew Knowles, a.k.a. Beyoncé‘s father, has signed old-school soul crooners the O’Jays to a new multi-record deal. The group’s new music is to be released on Sony via Knowles’ own Music World Music label before the end of the year. …

British rapper Mike Skinner, better known as the Streets, has set a May 18 release date for his second LP, A Grand Don’t Come for Free. The concept album tells a story from song to song (with two different endings) and features Coldplay‘s Chris Martin on “Dry Your Eyes.” … Melancholic New York quartet Interpol are looking to begin working on their second album at the end of the month. A late 2004 due date is expected. …

While Kittie work on their third album, Until the End, due this summer, lawyers for the female-fronted metal band have settled a lawsuit with former label Artemis Records. The terms of the suit, filed in April and alleging the withholding of royalties, were undisclosed. … With a new single, “Sister Savior,” hitting the airwaves, the Rapture will launch a North American tour Friday at the Winter Music Conference in Miami. The outing wraps up May 4 at Coachella in Indio, California. …

03.01.2004

Audioslave guitarist Tom Morello is gearing up to protest at the Irvine, California, headquarters of Taco Bell by performing there on March 5 with his side project, the Nightwatchman. Morello and others will be protesting the restaurant chain’s perceived exploitation of farm workers. At the event, Morello will take the stage with the Coup rapper Boots Riley, who will also perform solo … Meanwhile, Morello’s grassroots political organization, Axis of Justice, has scheduled a benefit concert that will take place March 31 in Los Angeles and feature acoustic performances by the Nightwatchman, Riley, System of a Down‘s Serj Tankian, ex-MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer and other special guests. …

Beyoncé Knowles‘ little sister Solange has beat her to the altar. The 17-year-old singer/actress married college football player Daniel Smith in the Bahamas last weekend in a ceremony attended by her sister, parents and Destiny’s Child‘s Kelly Rowland. “I am excited about this new phase in my life,” Solange said in a statement Monday (March 1). “I am very happy and feel truly blessed to have the unconditional love and support of my parents and my entire family.” … If you’ve got dreams of Diddy, a fancy for 50 or want to be like Wyclef, Diddymite might have your ticket. A hip-hop music and talent school founded by Ms. Dynamite, Diddymite is scheduled to open in England in June, with classes to be held on weekends and holidays for students age 7-19. Despite the name, P. Diddy and Bad Boy have no affiliation with the school. … Big Tigger, host of BET’s “Rap City,” will serve as main-event MC in the upcoming boxing video game “Fight Night,” due in the spring. Tigger is also a playable character that can be unlocked by virtual pugilists. …

Former Black Crowes singer Chris Robinson and Public Enemy rapper Flavor Flav will be among the artists to play this year’s Jammy Awards on March 16 at the Madison Square Garden Theater in New York. Other artists scheduled to perform include Slick Rick, Dr. John, Dickey Betts, Gov’t Mule, Soulive, the Disco Biscuits and the String Cheese Incident. Awards will be handed out between artist jams. Voting is open to the public at jammys.com, jambands.com and relix.com. … Jet will join the Who, David Bowie and others at this year’s Isle of Wight festival, which will take place June 11 to 13 at Seaclose Park in Newport, England. Other acts on the bill include British Sea Power, Snow Patrol, Groove Armada, the Electric Soft Parade, the Manic Street Preachers and the Charlatans UK. …

Randy Rhoads, former guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne, is being inducted posthumously into Hollywood’s Rockwalk, the sidewalk gallery on Sunset Boulevard. His induction takes place March 18 at 1 p.m. and is open to the public. … Mötley Crüe‘s Vince Neil, who lost his daughter Skylar in 1995 to stomach cancer, is holding his annual charity golf tournament in her name on May 6 in Malibu, California. Proceeds benefit the Skylar Neil Memorial Foundation, which donates funds to organizations that help children suffering with cancer, AIDS, Down Syndrome and leukemia. …

Morrissey‘s first studio album in seven years, You Are the Quarry, is set to drop May 18. The former Smiths frontman worked with producer Jerry Finn (Blink-182, AFI) on the project. … Gary Jules, who recently scored the #1 single in Britain with a cover of Tears for Fears‘ “Mad World,” has set a March 23 release date for his latest album, Trading Snakeoil for Wolftickets. The Los Angeles singer/songwriter will promote the record with an eight-city tour including a March 19 show at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. …