For The Record: Quick News On 50 Cent, Kanye West, Irv Gotti, Beyonce, Zack De La Rocha, Alice In Chains & More

50 calls Bush 'a gangsta'; Gotti nods off in court; Beyoncé shoots a video.

50 Cent and Kanye West are the only ones selected to be GQ‘s “Men of the Year” who have no false modesty about it — both of the hip-hop stars justify their big egos in the mag’s pages. But they also have more on their minds than just themselves. Like George W. Bush, for one. 50 thinks the president is “incredible … a gangsta.” “I wanna meet George Bush, just shake his hand and tell him how much of me I see in him,” 50 told GQ. If the rapper’s felony conviction didn’t prevent him from voting, 50 said he would have voted for Bush. Meanwhile, Kanye basically called Bush a racist on national television, and has since rethought his strategy for speaking out. “When NBC edited it out on the West Coast, that was a wakeup call,” West told the magazine. “It let people know how censored we still are. This is supposed to be America, but you can’t get your opinion out. There’s all kinds of things I want to say, but I need to pace myself, to make sure my opportunities to say these things aren’t taken away too abruptly.” Kanye says after giving us entertainment, his next goal is to give us “inspiration.” 50′s next goal? He wants to market a condom. …

(Click here for photos of 50 Cent and Kanye West in GQ‘s “Men of the Year” issue.)

Canada’s immigration minister, Joe Volpe, has reportedly been asked by Parliament member Dan McTeague to bar 50 Cent (born Curtis Jackson) from coming to Canada for an upcoming tour. According to The Canadian Press, McTeague said, “I don’t think people in Toronto or any urban center need or want to hear Mr. Jackson’s message right now.” 50, who filmed parts of his recently released “Get Rich or Die Tryin’ ” in Toronto, is slated to begin his tour on December 3 in Vancouver, British Columbia. In making his request, McTeague noted that there was a shooting in Toronto the last time 50 played there in 2003. A spokesperson for 50 could not be reached for comment at press time. …

On Tuesday, prosecutors took one final stab at persuading Judge Edward Korman to admit evidence about the May 2000 shooting of 50 Cent into the federal money-laundering trial of the Inc.’s Christopher and Irv Gotti. But Korman wouldn’t budge, killing the prosecution’s hopes to introduce text-messaged transmissions and other documentation the government claims illustrates the strong bond between the record executives and Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff — the convicted drug pusher whose cash the Gottis stand accused of laundering. Defense lawyer Gerald Shargel accused the government of trying to connect the Gottis to “an ambiance and aroma of gangsters” as well as “violent acts” to distract jurors. Later, the prosecution called a handful of FBI and IRS agents who were involved in the January 2003 search of the Inc.’s offices; Irv nodded off at one point during the proceedings. One of the documents seized from Christopher’s office, which itemized the label’s overhead budget, showed McGriff was on the payroll, as were two of the dealer’s underlings — both of whom federal witness Jon Ragin had testified the day before helped carry out the attempt on 50′s life. In addition, agents found a shopping bag filled with $35,000 in cash inside a safe in Christopher’s office. The prosecution is expected to rest on Monday. …

Beyoncé shot a video on Tuesday for “Check on It,” the next single from Destiny’s Child‘s #1′s. Hype Williams directed the clip and fellow Houstonians Slim Thug and Bun B co-star. … Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes haven’t set a wedding date yet, but they may not be married before Holmes pops out her little Cruiser. They announced she was pregnant in October after first acknowledging the romance in April, but they’re thinking of getting married “next summer or early fall,” Cruise told Barbara Walters for her upcoming special “The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2005.” The special airs Tuesday at 10 p.m. on ABC. …

“Boss’n Up,” the musical drama starring Snoop Dogg and inspired by R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece, is due December 6 on DVD. The movie, the first release from Snoopadelic Films, co-stars Lil Jon. … Zack de la Rocha made his second public appearance in as many months on Tuesday in a benefit to save a community farm in South Los Angeles from demolition. Ozomatli and Quetzal also performed. …

If Busta Rhymes looked a little funny sitting in a barber chair recently in New York, it was for good reason — he’s not used to getting a full-blown haircut. Obviously Busta has gotten his hairline edged up over the past 16 years, but since coming into the music industry, his long dreads have been as much a part of his persona as have his growls, colorful outfits and unorthodox rhyme flows. But Busta has chosen to shed his locks, and actually cut most of his hair off. “I started growing these sh–s in December ’89. I was 17. I signed my [record] deal and said I ain’t combing my hair no more. I don’t have to,” he said. Busta isn’t totally bald, though — he’s rocking a dark Caesar hairstyle. You’ll get to see Busta and his new ‘do in his video for “Touch It” in just a couple of weeks. “My head isn’t ugly, is it?” he asked with a smile after his cut. …

(Click here for photos of Busta Rhymes getting his hair cut.)

Mariah Carey‘s getting in the holiday spirit a little early — she recorded a new version of “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” for a re-release of the classic TV special by the same name. Previous versions of the 1934 song were recorded by Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and Bruce Springsteen. Carey’s take is being released as a CD single with the collector’s edition of the DVD. …

The surviving members of Alice in Chains will perform with Heart on February 17 at the Trump Taj Mahal Resort & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The concert will be taped as part of a new episode of VH1 Classic’s “Decades Rock Live!” series. Look for the show to air in the spring. Tickets go on sale Monday through Heart’s online fan club. … Velvet Revolver will perform at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey, for the venue’s “Rockin’ F’n New Year’s Eve” show. Tickets are priced at $100, and go on sale Saturday at noon via Ticketmaster. The show will feature an open bar for the first hour and a half, a champagne toast at midnight (for those of drinking age) and a continental breakfast. …

Another day, another lawsuit for Michael Jackson. This time a former adviser to the pop star has filed a $64 million suit alleging breach of contract and fraud, according to a Reuters report. Dieter Wiesner filed a civil suit against Jackson on Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court claiming he paid Jackson millions of dollars for the rights to merchandise his name and likeness even though the rights were not Jackson’s to sell because he’d already sold them to someone else earlier. That person ended up suing Wiesner, who, between settling the suit and lending Jackson more money to secure the rights, claims he ended up spending $9 million. After all that, the rights ended up being useless when Jackson allegedly refused to cooperate and actually interfered with Wiesner’s merchandising efforts. … On Tuesday, the Warner Music Group became the second major label to settle with New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer in his ongoing payola probe. The home to Green Day and My Chemical Romance agreed to pay $5 million in fines as a result of the investigation, which alleged that Warner illegally gave radio-station employees trips, laptop computers and tickets to the Super Bowl and other major events in exchange for airplay of songs by its artists. In July, Sony BMG agreed to pay $10 million in a similar case. …

11.22.2005

Mariah Carey could never forget about Jermaine Dupri — they make the hits together. JD just finished producing a remix of MC’s current single, “Don’t Forget About Us,” with guest raps from T.I., Bow Wow and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. …

Nicole Richie‘s losing weight because she’s a “nervous wreck,” her father, Lionel Richie, told “Access Hollywood” on Monday. “She’s like her father,” he said. “You can either blow up or you can shrink away, and right now, she’s feeling a little bit of the pressures of her new business. Dad is on the case, so she’ll be all right.” … Collect all things Madonna? No matter what the price? Then you won’t mind that three collectible framed pieces of art featuring the singer at Z Gallerie cost $700 a pop. One is called “Madonna Confessions,” another is an iconic image by Jean-Baptiste Mondino where the singer’s wearing her Jean Paul Gaultier bustier from her Blonde Ambition Tour, and the third of the limited-edition canvas pieces is called “Madonna Face.” You can buy (or just see them) at zgallerie.com…

You may not know it, but beneath those matching striped shirts the guys in Franz Ferdinand have some pretty big hearts, as evidenced by a special concert they put on Monday night for young patients at the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital in their home country of Scotland. Franz played a three-song set and then presented the hospital with a check for £10,282 (more than $17,000) on behalf of the charity Kidney Kids Scotland. The money will be used to purchase beds, dialysis scales and a part-time dietician to assist children with renal disease. … Texas singer/songwriter Chris Whitley died of complications from lung cancer on Sunday. According to posts on his Web site from his daughter and brother, the 45-year-old rocker died peacefully surrounded by friends and family. Whitley debuted in 1991 with the blues-influenced album Living With the Law and experimented over the years with a series of albums that mixed his sexually charged lyrics with a sound that veered between spare blues and grungy rock. …

Phantom Planet recently entered the studio with sample-masters the Dust Brothers (they of the Beastie Boys‘ landmark Paul’s Boutique album and Beck‘s Odelay disc) to record a few tracks. In the band’s studio blog on PhantomPlanet.com, guitarist Darren Robinson wrote, “We are heading back into the studio with the Dust Brothers to record a few more songs. … We will be working on ‘Too Much Too Often’ and ‘Leader’ … ‘Movin’ Out 2006′ is yet another option.” Phantom Planet’s new album is due sometime next year. … Uncle Kracker guests on an upcoming episode of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” where a recently widowed father of three girls gets his damaged home in Boardman Township, Ohio, rebuilt and renovated. Chef Bobby Flay pops by to teach the father how to cook, while Uncle Kracker performs a special song for the family after their new home is revealed. The episode airs December 4 at 8 p.m. on ABC. …

A day after Vietnamese authorities arrested him at Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat airport on charges of sex with underage children, British glam rocker Gary Glitter has denied the allegations. The 61-year-old singer, who moved to Vietnam more than a year ago for what he said were tourism investment opportunities, told reporters that he was just teaching English to young girls who told him they were in their 20s. According to a Reuters report, one of the girls who admitted having sex with Glitter is 12 years old. The age of consent in Vietnam is 16 and sex with minors is punishable by up to 12 years in jail. … A three-DVD set commemorating musical performances and interviews from late-night talk-show host Tom Synder‘s 1970s-’80s program, “The Tomorrow Show: Punk & New Wave,” is due January 24. The discs feature performances and/or interviews with Elvis Costello and the Attractions, the Ramones, Iggy Pop, the Jam, Plasmatics, Split Enz, Paul Weller, Joan Jett, Patti Smith and John Lydon. …

Chan Marshall, a.k.a. Cat Power, will release her seventh album, The Greatest, on January 24. Recorded in Memphis, The Greatest (which is not actually a greatest-hits album) features a ’70s Southern soul sound, thanks to the all-star cast of studio legends — including Al Green‘s guitarist and songwriting partner Mabon “Teenie” Hodges — that plays on it. Tracks on the new LP include “Lived in Bars,” “Living Proof” and “Willie.” …