For The Record: Quick News On Lil’ Kim, Foxy Brown, Madonna, All-American Rejects, Usher, Swizz Beatz & More

Kim hit with copyright-infringement suit; Foxy pleads guilty; Russians protest Madge concert.

Lil’ Kim‘s legal problems aren’t over yet — though the rapper is out of jail after serving 10 months on perjury charges, she’s now facing a copyright-infringement lawsuit. The suit, which also names Kim’s record label Atlantic and was filed last week in a New York federal court, claims that Kim stole her song “Durty” nearly word for word from a 1997 track by Jamaican reggae singer Tanya Stephens called “Mi and Mi God.” In response, Kim’s lawyer L. Londell McMillan claims the song wasn’t stolen, but interpolated, “which happens all the time in hip-hop.” Stephens claims in her suit that she was shocked to hear her words in Lil’ Kim’s song — even though Kim had flown her out to New York in 1999, asked her to sing on one of her albums, and sang “Mi and Mi God” to Stephens to demonstrate how much she liked her music. Kim counters, however, that Stephens never objected to the use of her song until after she failed to get more money for it being licensed. “This matter should have been resolved, but it appears to be another money and media play at Lil’ Kim’s expense,” her lawyer said. Stephens claims she should receive all past and future royalties on the song. …

Foxy Brown (real name Inga Marchand) pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault charges Monday (August 28), but then quickly tried to retract her plea, The Associated Press reports. The charges stemmed from her notorious nail-salon fight in 2004, and the plea deal will result in three years of probation and anger-management classes — but no jail time, according to a Manhattan, New York, district attorney spokesperson. She is due to be sentenced October 23. Brown’s plea has wavered since the incident: In April 2005, she pleaded not guilty to the charges, but was then expected to make a deal in December. On Monday, after entering her guilty plea, she returned to the courtroom claiming she had been rushed into the decision. “The plea stands,” the judge told her. …

Protests have prompted concert promoters in Moscow to change the venue for Madonna‘s long-awaited concert there on September 12, AP reports. City officials feared police would not be able to monitor the originally scheduled venue in Vorobyovye Gory, and now it will be taking place at Luzhniki Stadium instead. … The All-American Rejects have no intentions of returning home anytime soon. In late October, the band will launch its Tour-Nado run with openers the Gym Class Heroes, Starting Line and the Format on the first half of the tour, with the latter two bands plus Motion City Soundtrack warming up the audience on the second half. The trek kicks off in Poughkeepsie, New York, on October 27, with 26 dates scheduled through December 19 in Chicago. …

When he’s done working on new music with Britney Spears and Jennifer Lopez, Swizz Beatz plans to move on to the next Usher album — which the singer can’t really record until he finishes up his current Broadway stint in “Chicago” on October 1. “He’s a music man, so he’s probably studying his lines and coming up with hooks at the same time, multitasking,” Swizz said. “I’ve been in the background working on the album, so when he spins the wheel and it stops on me, I deliver.” Don’t worry, Swizz — Usher promises he’s thinking ahead: “You got to stay tuned,” he teased. That’s good news for label head Clive Davis, who Usher claimed disrupted his Broadway debut with his Cassie ringtone (Clive swears it wasn’t him). “Get off your cell phone and make a great album 10 weeks from now,” Davis teased. “That’s an order!” …

Now that he’s showed off his rhyming skills, Kevin Federline is setting out for triple-threat territory. The singer/dancer is scheduled to appear on an episode of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” on CBS this fall. The 28-year-old — whose previous TV series experience came with the widely panned reality show “Britney & Kevin: Chaotic” — started shooting his part in Los Angeles on Thursday night. He plays a menacing, arrogant teen who harasses two investigators on the show. The episode is tentatively scheduled to air in October. …

John Mayer will also appear on “CSI,” but he’s sticking with what he does best. Mayer will have a cameo on the series’ two-part season premiere (airing September 21 and 28 on CBS) in a scene set in a Las Vegas club. He’ll perform the tracks “Waiting on the World to Change” and “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room” from his latest album, Continuum, due September 12. In other John Mayer news, the singer missed a concert in Hartford, Connecticut, on Saturday due to “sudden onset” of laryngitis, according to a press release. The show went on with co-headliner Sheryl Crow and opening act Mat Kearney. Ticket holders who did not enter the gates are eligible for a refund. …

Teddy Geiger is playing a benefit show at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center in New York on Wednesday. The concert will help support the Stella Maris Regional School Music in Education program, which provides keyboards, guitars and music lessons to students. For more information on the show, visit WHBPAC.org. … Guitarist Jesse Pintado, a founding member of grindcore/ death-metal specialists Terrorizer and the man who replaced Bill Steer in Napalm Death back in 1990, died over the weekend in a hospital in Holland, a spokesperson for his label has confirmed. The pioneering metal guitarist left Napalm Death in 2004 to revive Terrorizer. Century Media Records will be releasing further details on Pintado’s passing later this week. …

A Broadway-style musical based on Michael Jackson‘s biggest hits, “Thriller Live,” made its debut in London’s West End theater district on Sunday, according to BBC News. The show features more than 80 performers singing and dancing along to the ’80s pop star’s most memorable tunes — from the early Motown years as part of the Jackson Five, to his success with Thriller and other solo albums — alongside a gospel choir and a children’s ballet troupe. While Jackson was not involved with the production, he has given it his blessing, according to the show’s producer. … And it may no longer be his home, but Jackson was likely watching intently on Friday as a wildfire came within a quarter-mile of his Neverland Ranch in California, scorching more than 40 acres but not harming any of his zoo animals or amusement park rides, The Associated Press reported. The cause of the blaze is being investigated. …

High School Musical” took two of the six Emmys it was nominated for — scoring Choreography and Children’s Program honors at last week’s presentation of Creative Arts awards — while “American Idol” was shut out after receiving seven nominations. The winners of the big prizes at Sunday night’s 58th annual Primetime Emmy Awards were “24″ and “The Office,” while “The Daily Show” took two trophies. (Click to see red-carpet shots of Eva Longoria, Randy Jackson, Stephen Colbert and more .) … When they’re not using their MySpace page to post diatribes against Paris Hilton or Danger Mouse, long-idle British trip-hoppers Portishead are posting material from their much-anticipated third album on the site. They’ve just posted two selections that are really just beats — an ominous, jittery number called “Greek Jam,” and a chiming piece called “Key Bored 299 03,” reminiscent of a Boards of Canada tune. There is still no title or release date for the band’s new album, their first since 1997′s Portishead.

08.25.2006

Eminem has teamed with Nike to auction off a limited-edition series of Air Max sneakers to benefit the rapper’s Marshall Mathers Foundation and NineMillion.org, an agency dedicated to protecting refugees worldwide. The partnership will see the Shady Records CEO design eight models of the popular shoe, and they will be available to bid on at Nike stores and via eBay. “We’re always looking for new ways to try to raise money and awareness for the foundation, so when Nike approached us we jumped at the chance,” Eminem said in a statement. “When we got the info on NineMillion.org, it made even more sense. Who wouldn’t want to design their own line of Nikes? And to do it for charity makes it that much better.” Only 64 pairs of sneakers will be made available, with each set autographed by the multiplatinum star. The four-week auction begins Thursday. …

A candlelight vigil for Aaliyah will be held Friday night (August 25) in New York’s Central Park at the weeping willow tree that was planted in the singer’s memory. The memorial, being held five years after her tragic passing, will take place at 7 p.m. Services took place earlier in the day at Ferncliff Cemetery, where Aaliyah is buried. The Aaliyah Memorial Fund recently partnered with Zingy, which is devoting 100 percent of the proceeds from sales of Aaliyah ringtones and wallpaper to the nonprofit organization. Fans who want to make a direct donation to the fund or send letters can do so at MemorialFund.Kintera.org. …

Panic! at the Disco frontman Brendon Urie got a rather rude welcome to the stage at the Reading Festival on Friday: a bottle to the face. The band had just launched into the opening chords of its first song on the main stage at Reading — one of the U.K.’s oldest summer festivals — when someone in the crowd launched a bottle that clocked him square in the kisser. Urie immediately collapsed and was surrounded by his bandmates and roadies before getting back on his feet. Urie was OK, and Panic finished their set without further bottle-related hijinks. …

DMX has done it again. The unpredictable rap star, who was scheduled to perform for troops in Kuwait and Iraq on a United Service Organizations tour this week, failed to arrive for his flight on Wednesday, the organization announced Thursday. “We are extremely disappointed that DMX decided not to complete the tour he asked us to arrange for him,” a USO spokesperson said in a statement. “[He] let a lot of people down.” X was initially scheduled to depart on Tuesday, but the rapper’s representatives asked to postpone the flight by a day. The next morning, however, X was a no-show. “DMX missed the flight,” his management responded via e-mail. “[But] we did not anticipate that this would lead to the entire tour being canceled. He was extremely disappointed and saddened. This trip was planned with the greatest of intentions. He admires these soldiers and wants the troops and the USO to know that he will do anything to make it up to them.” …

If you like Beyoncé‘s “Ring the Alarm,” you ain’t heard nothing yet, says the track’s producer, Swizz Beatz. “That’s just one of the many presents I gave her for her B’Day,” he said. “I have the most tracks on her album as a single producer, and just wait till you hear the other three. I’ve never heard a singer singing on tracks like this. It hasn’t been done in R&B yet, and if she can pull this off, it’s going down. We’re taking stuff to the next level.” … Swizz promises something just as groundbreaking for the new Britney Spears album, which he’s currently working on with songwriter Sean Garrett. “That’s my partner in crime right there,” Swizz said. “The Britney stuff, we’re creating just for her. It’s a lot of tempo, a lot of hard drums, a lot of sonic changes. It’s just something that when you hear it, you get goose bumps. She’s back for real.” … Also keeping Swizz busy with his beats is Jennifer Lopez, who’s working with the producer on her upcoming ska-pop album. “It’s coming out incredible,” he said. “We’re putting together some great things, and not what everyone’s expecting. Think a little Jamiroquai, a little Sade. It’s real feel-good music.” …

Beck has decided on “Cell Phone’s Dead” as the first single from his new album, The Information, due October 3. Michel Gondry directed the video … Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton will be on the sidelines when the band begins its Route of All Evil Tour with Mötley Crüe on September 14 in Holmdel, New Jersey. Hamilton, who just finished a seven-week course of radiation treatment for throat cancer, will be with his family until he rejoins the band in mid-October. David Hull, who played with Aerosmith’s lead guitarist in the Joe Perry Project, will be filling in. … Plenty of “American Idol” top-10 finishers have released albums, but a 13th-placer? Make way for Ayla Brown, 18, the basketball-playing almost-finalist from the most recent “Idol” season who announced Thursday — just hours after her “Idol” obligation lapsed — that she is releasing her debut, Forward, on October 17 on the Double Deal Brand Records label. According to the singer’s Web site, the first single, “Know You Better/ I Quit,” will be released on September 12. The album is slated to feature songs written by Grammy winner Diane Warren, David Eriksen (Clay Aiken, Lindsay Lohan), Ruby Amanfu, singer Jonatha Brooke and Phil Thornalley (Natalie Imbruglia‘s “Torn”). …

A man who claimed to be the illegitimate son of producer/singer Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds pleaded guilty on Thursday to a misdemeanor intimidation charge for his role in trying to extort millions from the singer. According to the Indianapolis Star, John Travis Clark will spend three months in a work-release program and be on probation for six months after threatening to go on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and announce he was Edmonds’ son unless he was paid $20 million. Edmonds did not attend the hearing, but said in a statement, “I want to make it emphatically clear that John Clark is not my son. I do not know his mother. [He] sought to ruin my reputation by broadcasting his lies to the entire country, which would not only destroy my family but would resonate loudly in the music industry.” … Moby and John Digweed will headline Ultra.NY, a live DJ event scheduled for September 22 at Rumsey Playfield in New York’s Central Park. Soulwax Nite Versions, Junkie XL, Benny Benassi, Boris and David Waxman are also on the bill. … “I Trust You to Kill Me,” a documentary following Kiefer Sutherland as a tour manger for Rocco DeLuca & the Burden in a jaunt through Europe, will hit select theaters beginning September 8 in New York and a week later in Los Angeles. Rocco DeLuca is the first act on Sutherland and Jude Cole‘s Ironworks label.