For The Record: Quick News On Ja Rule, Nelly, Jessica Simpson, Bright Eyes, Jam Master Jay, Chris Rock & More

Ja Rule and Cam party with the Roc, Bright Eyes' Oberst wilds out in Texas, Ozzy's box set coming in March.

The Roc rocked New York's Fashion Week Wednesday night when Damon Dash teamed with famed designer Patricia Field to launch their House of Rocawear collection. Held at Ono at the Hotel Gansevoort, the party celebrated the 30-piece limited-edition collection, created by Field for fall. Ja Rule, Lil' Kim, Cam'ron, Naomi Campbell, Irv Gotti, Sugar Ray's Mark McGrath,Michael Imperioli, of "The Sopranos" and others danced alongside models and fashionistas to the sounds of DJ Clark Kent. ...

Missy Elliott, Kid Rock, DMC, Chuck D and a host of others will be on hand February 25 for the JMJ: Superstar gala benefit in New York, celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Adidas Superstar sneaker and honoring the life of late Run-DMC DJ Jam Master Jay. The event will raise funds for the Jam Master Jay Foundation for Music, a nonprofit organization that provides funding and resources to support free, public school music education programs. Taking place at New York's Skylight space, the event will feature surprise performances and multimedia installations. For information and tickets, check out www.jmjfoundationformusic.org. ... Nelly and Ryan Cabrera will join a host of other celebs for the McDonald's NBA All-Star Celebrity Game in Denver, airing live February 18 on ESPN. The players, who also include Jermaine Dupri, Brian McKnight and rocker-turned-TV-host Mark McGrath, will hoop it up alongside WNBA star Lisa Leslie and others in the league. R&B songstress Ciara will provide the halftime entertainment. ...

Hey, do you live in Texas? Were you at the Bright Eyes show in Fort Worth on Monday? If you weren't, then you were probably busy lassoing steers and forcing yourself upon Native Americans — at least according to Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst, you were. According to a review of Bright Eyes' show at the Ridglea Theater in The Dallas Morning News, Oberst "drained another bottle of beer" and then began bashing the Lone Star State before a shocked audience. "I don't know about you, but I hate your f---ing state," Oberst announced. "I'd put a f---ing gun to my head before I'd live in your state." Later on in the show, he continued the verbal assault, noting that "if you came to this show tonight, you're not a normal Texan. If you were a normal Texan, you'd probably be roping steers and ..." Well, we'd rather not even reprint the rest. ... The second edition of the Plug: Independent Music Awards was held Wednesday night at New York's Webster Hall, with rockers TV on the Radio winning Album of the Year for Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes and Interpol taking both Indie Artist and overall Artist of the Year awards. The Arcade Fire won New Artist of the Year, rapper Jean Grae was named Female Artist of the Year, and Tom Waits won Male Artist of the Year. Also winning awards were Madvillain, Dillinger Escape Plan and Death Cab for Cutie, among others. ...

Chris Rock isn't scared of Lil Jon or George W. Bush either, and he proves that on his new album, Never Scared. Due Tuesday, the album — Rock's fourth — also features this year's Academy Awards host's commentary on marriage, sex and child-rearing. The material, taken from Rock's 2004 HBO comedy special of the same name, also includes a DVD with behind-the-scenes footage. ... Jessica Simpson will introduce her new lifestyle brand at industry trade show MAGIC next week in Las Vegas. The singer will meet with top retailers to sell her lines — Sweet Kisses, the JS Collection and Princy (also Simpson's nickname) — which will include sportswear, shoes, sneakers, jewelry, hair care, perfume and even accessories for the home. Simpson said in a statement, "Now with the launch of my own brand I will be able to share my love of fashion and my lifestyle with my fans ... I am loving this new part of my life." Simpson's products will be available this fall. ...

Ozzy Osbourne's Prince of Darkness box set, originally set for release on February 8, will now hit shelves on March 22. The four-disc compilation, which is composed mainly of Ozzy's solo hits, will also feature newly recorded covers of songs by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, and duets with such unlikely collaborators as Miss Piggy and the Wu-Tang Clan. ... Motörhead and Corrosion of Conformity are heading out on the road together this spring for a 14-date trek that starts March 9 in Sayreville, New Jersey, and ends April 12 in Spokane, Washington. "Corrosion of Conformity are a fine band as everybody knows," Motörhead's Lemmy Kilmister said in a statement. "Also, they must be one of the few bands who have been going as long as Motörhead! Still, we'll give them a run for their money. Glad to have those boys along." ...

After hosting a symposium last year at New York University, De La Soul have decided to take their act to other universities. The hip-hop trio have slated a series of March dates at such schools as Howard University, Morgan State University and Clark Atlanta University. At some schools, the group will speak to students in the day and then perform on campus that night. ...

02.09.2005

Brooklyn Mint, a clothing line the Notorious B.I.G. started almost a decade ago, will finally come to life this year. T-shirts from the collection will debut at the Magic Fashion convention on Monday in Las Vegas and hit stores on March 9, the anniversary of Big's murder. The late MC's mother and managers are now spearheading the project and received help from Jay-Z to get the company off the ground. Jay and Big will appear together on a Brooklyn Mint tee called "Brooklyn's Finest." ...

Ever the entrepreneur, Jessica Simpson launched yet another fragrance product line on Wednesday in New York, what she calls the "fun and flirty kid sister" of her Dessert line. "Treats" are more affordable, simpler, single-note scents, coming in six varieties: bubble gum, lollipop, creamsicle, cotton candy, butterscotch toffee, and Jess' favorite, banana split. Her husband, Nick Lachey, was on hand to test out the "kissability" of the lip gloss, which, like the body lotions, shimmers, mists and creams, will be available at drugstores and Sephora. ... Nicole Richie is partnering up with someone other than Paris Hilton for her next reality role: Richie will star alongside DJ Adam Goldstein (a.k.a. DJ AM) in her upcoming gig as ... a wife. The pair, who have been dating for a year, have gotten engaged, according to The Associated Press. A wedding date has not been announced. ...

Longtime Doobie Brothers drummer Keith Knudsen died of pneumonia on Tuesday at age 56, according to a band spokesperson. Knudsen, who played on such Doobie hits as "Takin' It to the Streets" and "Black Water," joined the band in 1974 and played with the group on its 1982 farewell tour. He rejoined in 1993 after releasing four albums with his side project, Southern Pacific. ... Nas has teamed with filmmaker Spike Lee for his latest endeavor, "Miracle's Boys." Nas wrote and performed the theme song for the miniseries, which will premiere on the N on February 18. The six-part series chronicles the lives of three biracial orphaned teenage brothers living in New York's Harlem neighborhood. ...

In celebration of Black History Month, rapper Cormega will take over teaching duties for a "Black Culture/ Hip-Hop" class at Philadelphia's Temple University. The class, taking place February 18, will also mark the kickoff of Cormega's brief promo tour in support of his upcoming album, The Testament. ... Given the triumphant return of leg warmers and Mötley Crüe, it was only a matter of time before more '80s staples came out of hiding. Enter Warrant, who have announced that they began recording a new album on Friday with producer/engineer Pat Regan (Kiss, Mr. Big). The band hopes to release the album in the summer and tour behind it later this year. Good news for Warrant fans hoping to hear another "Cherry Pie": The band says on its Web site that the album will have "the classic hard rockin' Warrant sound that we all want to hear." ...

Ex-Libertines frontman Pete Doherty finally made bail on Tuesday after spending the weekend in jail on charges of robbery and blackmail, according to The Associated Press. His manager lent a hand by paying $185,000 of the $280,000 bond that Doherty had been unable to produce. The singer's label had already given the court the rest of the bond money. Doherty, arrested on February 2 after he reportedly fought with a man in a London hotel, was jailed on Friday. Now that he's out, Doherty has to attend drug rehabilitation, follow a 10 p.m. curfew, and be accompanied by a security escort whenever he leaves his home. He is scheduled to appear in court on February 21. ... As they prepare for the final weeks of shooting on their long-awaited feature-film debut, "Christmas on Mars" (due, naturally, at Christmas), the Flaming Lips are also gearing up to film the first video for their upcoming album, At War With the Mystics. The clip will be for the song "Mr. Ambulance Driver." Speaking of outer space, the band's bassist/guitarist, Michael Ivins, longtime Lips manager Scott Booker and Booker's wife have all snagged cameos in an upcoming episode of the soon-to-be-canceled "Star Trek: Enterprise." Booker, a huge "Star Trek" fan, said the trio will play miners. ...

The San Diego Padres may have finished six games out of first place in the National League West last season, but they're determined to at least have the best theme music in the Majors. So they launched "Rock the Padres," a call to musicians to pen the official theme for the 2005 season. Fans can go to Padres.com and choose from more than 120 submissions, from acts like the Buckos, Atomic Groove Featuring Carrie Weiland and, um, Gary Hoey (who scored an actual radio hit in 1993 with the song "Hocus Pocus"). Voting ends on Sunday. ... Apparently there's only room for one Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame in Cleveland filed suit against the online Jewish Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Monday alleging that the Web site, due to launch in March, infringes on the Rock Hall's name, according to The Associated Press. The suit — which comes one month after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office denied the Jewish Hall's application for a name trademark — asks the Jewish Hall to cease using its name and asks for unspecified damages. ...

The Beastie Boys are joining Al Sharpton's call for KFC to enact reforms, and have sent a letter to the fast-food chain asking that it make its suppliers improve the lives of the chickens they raise for slaughter. "You need to require that your suppliers stop chopping off the beaks of birds and require that they stop breeding and drugging chickens to grow so big that they can't even walk," the letter reads. The rappers suggest that if KFC does as they ask, it will improve its business in the process, calling it a "win-win situation." ... Elton John's been called the "Rocket Man," but now, it's more like the "Jet Man." A colorful rendering of the singer sporting his trademark glasses adorns about 20 of AirTran Airways' planes as part of a promotion to demonstrate that those Boeing 717s feature complimentary XM Satellite Radio service on certain flights. ...