For The Record: Quick News On Snoop, Brandy, DJ Drama, Wu-Tang Clan, Coachella, Chris Brown & More

Snoop pleads not guilty; Brandy involved in fatal crash; DJ Drama's mixtape hearing postponed.

Snoop Dogg’s attorney entered a not-guilty plea for the rapper Wednesday (January 24), answering a possession-of-a-deadly-weapon charge from the rapper’s fall arrest at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, California. Snoop, who has said the baton found in his luggage was a prop for a video, remains free on $150,000 bail. Meanwhile, he has yet to be charged in connection with two other arrests in Burbank in October and November. …

Brandy was involved in a four-car freeway crash on December 30 that left a 38-year-old woman dead, according to a California Highway Patrol report released Wednesday. Brandy, driving at about 65 mph, allegedly hit the back of a 2005 Honda, which spiraled out of control and was then hit by an oncoming car. The driver was taken to a hospital, where she died of blunt-force injuries. The coroner’s office ruled her death an accident. “I wish to publicly express my condolences to the family of the deceased,” Brandy said in statement. The singer was not injured and not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time, her spokesperson told The Associated Press.

A hearing scheduled for Wednesday in the DJ Drama/ DJ Don Cannon mixtape bust has been postponed. Officials at Atlanta’s Fulton County Superior Court did not announce a rescheduled date as of press time. Each DJ faces five years in prison and fines of up to $100,000 if convicted. …

Beware of the Swarm: The Wu-Tang Clan announced Wednesday that they will reunite to release 8 Diagram later this summer. The effort is the first by the eight-man collective in six years and also marks the first Clan reunion on CD since the passing of founding member Ol’ Dirty Bastard. RZA confirmed that ODB’s vocals will be featured on the album, as well as “Life Changes,” a dedication track to the late rapper. “People want something that gives them an adrenaline rush,” RZA said in a statement. “We’re here to supply that fix.” …

The long-dormant Jesus and Mary Chain have been added to the lineup for this year’s Coachella fest, to take place in Indio, California, in April. Day-to-day lineups for the now-three-day gala have also been unveiled: Björk, Interpol, Jesus and Mary Chain, Arctic Monkeys, Sonic Youth, Peaches and We Are Scientists are on for April 27; Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Arcade Fire, Ghostface Killah, the Nightwatchman — a.k.a. Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave — and the Decemberists anchor the following day; and the reunited Rage, Lupe Fiasco, the Roots, Tapes ’N Tapes, Kaiser Chiefs and revived vets Crowded House will convene for the April 29 show. …

Producer Rodney Jerkins will finally release his much-discussed all-star remake of “We Are Family,” a benefit for Points of Light Foundation’s Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, February 27. Chris Brown, Ciara and Ray J are among those who guest on the song, which reunites Sister Sledge for the first time in two decades. … G-Unit and Sha Money XL are also recruiting some big names. The two are helping pull together a star-studded panel for the One Stop Shop Conference, a two-day workshop geared toward music producers. Swizz Beatz, DJ Premier, Hi-Tek and others will participate in the event, taking place February 10-11 at the Hyatt Regency in Phoenix. The workshop will conclude with the One Stop Shop Beat Battle Final Round, with G-Unit members, Sha Money and others acting as judges. …

Not sick of Paris Hilton yet? Fans of the celebutante can get even more Paris via a new pay Web site called ParisExposed.com. The site launched Tuesday, according to to AP, and promises subscribers Hilton photographs, home videos and diaries, along with love letters from former beau Nick Carter, recorded phone conversations and phone numbers of friends and celebrities, which were all left behind at a Los Angeles storage facility. The site charges $40 a month for access and claims to also have several Hilton sex tapes and nude photos. The items were sold to an unidentified buyer after a third party failed to make payments to the facility. “We certainly are going to explore all of our legal options about this matter,” Hilton’s spokesperson Elliot Mintz told the wire service. …

The National Restaurant Association is flipping out over Kevin Federline flipping burgers, Reuters reports. The restaurant organization is demanding that Nationwide Insurance yank an ad — slated to air during the Super Bowl — that features K-Fed as a failed rap star who is instead working in the fast-food industry. “An ad such as this would be a strong and a direct insult to the 12.8 million Americans who work in the restaurant industry,” NRA Chief Executive Steven Anderson told the outlet. A Nationwide spokesperson said the ad was designed to be entertaining and that it reflects the company’s goal of meeting the insurance needs of its consumers. … Stolen Babies drummer Gil Sharone has been summoned to fill in for Travis Barker on (+44)’s current European tour, according to Sharone’s MySpace page. Barker was forced to drop off the tour after he re-injured his broken arm. “I played my first show with them [Saturday] after learning the whole record on the plane ride over to Germany,” Sharone wrote. “I’m glad to help the band out and fill in for a drummer that I have a ton of respect for.” …

TV on the Radio multi-instrumentalist/producer Dave Sitek has ganged up with electro-pop buzz band the Knife to remix their latest single, “Marble House.” The single — the fourth one from the Swedish band’s third album, Silent Shout — will hit stores February 20 and feature five additional remixes, as well as a video for the track. … Eddie Van Halen is joining forces with Fender for a new guitar, amp and product line called EVH. Among those items being offered is the striped “Frankenstein” guitar the icon has used throughout his career. That replica — which copies everything down to the cigarette burns — will be limited to 300 instruments. Megadeth axeman Dave Mustaine is following a similar route, teaming with Dean Guitars for the guitar line Vehement: VMNT. The initial model, a flamed Mustaine V autographed by the musician, is limited to 150 instruments. … The Prodigy are currently recording a new album, which the group will release on their own Ragged Flag label through a worldwide distribution deal with Cooking Vinyl. “They are sounding big and mean,” frontman Liam Howlett said of the new songs. …

Kaiser Chiefs will return to North America in April for a tour in support of their forthcoming sophomore LP, Yours Truly, Angry Mob. With the Walkmen lined up as the support act, the trek hits the U.S. starting April 6 in Philadelphia and concludes April 29 at Coachella. … Manchester, England’s James are re-forming for their first live shows in six years. According to a post on the band’s newly launched site, WeAreJames.com, the Laid-era lineup of the band will be touring with “a back catalogue to die for and a bunch of new songs.” Tickets go on sale Friday for six U.K. shows scheduled for April. … Auditions for the sixth season of “American Idol” just wrapped up, but if you’ve got a yearning to perform and an ogre inside hoping to break out, “Shrek” might be your ticket to the stage. A Broadway production of the animated film is hosting an open call at New York’s Chelsea Studios on Thursday for performers to play Shrek and Donkey in the musical. The producers describe ideal Shrek candidates as singers in their 20s or 30s with “a powerful presence and strength with rock or R&B voices” (no word on fake Scottish accents), while Donkey hopefuls should have “urban edge and great humor,” with performers from the hip-hop and poetry-slam worlds preferred.

01.23.2007

Alicia Keys is lending her voice to Beninese singer/songwriter Angelique Kidjo’s new album, Djin Djin. The collaboration is also titled “Djin Djin,” which refers to the sound of the bell ringing in the beginning of the new day in Africa. Carlos Santana, Joss Stone, Ziggy Marley and Josh Groban are also featured on the album, which is due May 1. …

Two Tampa Bay, Florida, concert promoters filed suit against Lil Wayne on Friday, claiming that he missed an October 29 show at a club and then refused to reschedule it. According to The Associated Press, Nunoise Entertainment and Jahfari Promotions claim Wayne (real name: Dwayne Carter) signed a contract in September to perform, then missed the event and returned a $15,000 deposit. The suit claims that he still owes the promoters $45,000 in damages for canceling the show on top of the $200,000 they are seeking in lost profits. …

Gnarls Barkley’s Cee-Lo, Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy and producer Dallas Austin are converging for the “How I Wrote That Song” panel discussion, to be held February 10 in Los Angeles. The event, held in celebration of Grammy week, will be hosted by BMI and feature performances of hit songs by the panelists, followed by a Q&A on music, the business and songwriting. Kara DioGuardi, Butch Walker and Jeffrey Steele are also participating. … Bono will be honored at the 38th annual NAACP Image Awards with the Chairman’s Award. The U2 frontman “has been an inspiration to many people around the world through his music and humanitarian efforts,” NAACP Chairman Julian Bond said in a statement. Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige, “Dreamgirls” and “Everybody Hates Chris” lead the nominees for the Image Awards, which will air March 2 at 8 p.m. on Fox. …

David “Disco D” Shayman, best known for collaborating with 50 Cent on the rapper’s multiplatinum LP The Massacre, committed suicide early Tuesday morning (January 23). He was 27. The Michigan-born producer caught a career-changing break when his publicist passed along his beat CD to G-Unit’s Sha Money XL and 50 selected the track that would eventually become “Ski Mask Way.” The budding beatsmith — who proliferated Detroit’s “ghettotech” sound, a blend of electronic music and hip-hop — suffered from depression and was diagnosed as bipolar. DJ Vlad, who met Shayman during a trip to Brazil, remembered his friend as being “fearless.” “He was a good friend of mine,” Vlad told MTV News via e-mail. “I just talked to him a couple days ago. He was telling me that he was going through some rough times. I tried to cheer him up. I wish I realized how bad it was. I’m devastated right now.” …

Mandy Moore digs deep in the February issue of Jane magazine — on newsstands Tuesday — admitting that she’s been dealing with a “really crazy time” in her life. “It’s what I imagine people fresh out of college go through,” Moore said from rural New York, where she’s been writing new music. “I’m asking myself life-altering questions, like ’Who am I? Where do I fit in this world? What am I doing, what do I want to do? Am I living to my full potential?’ ” Moore says fans can expect more questions — and maybe some answers — on her next album. “Sometimes things hit you and you want to write about them.” … Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz is a little less forthcoming in his five-question interview with Jane, though he does reveal that he believes frat guys and 13-year-old girls are the “same people” — only 13-year-old girls are less likely to call him unrepeatable names. …

Velvet Revolver guitarist Slash will appear in the forthcoming video for Paulina Rubio’s “Nada Puede Cambiarme,” the second single from the Latin artist’s Ananda LP. The clip was refilmed earlier this month in Los Angeles with Dago González, who directed Madonna’s “Paradise (Not for Me).” … Want to quench your thirst? How about a “Purple Haze,” “Fire” or maybe even a “Foxy Lady”? Los Angeles drink company Beverage Concepts and Authentic Hendrix are launching a line of Jimi Hendrix specialty drinks that carry the exclusive licensing rights to the late guitar icon’s name and likeness. Named “The Liquid Experience,” the line features non-alcoholic energy drinks, herbal teas and nutraceuticals themed after Hendrix. “The Liquid Experience” will launch in late April at the Experience Music Project’s Hendrix exhibit in Seattle. …

Jamie Foxx is teaming up with Sirius Satellite Radio to launch the Foxxhole, a comedy station featuring the actor/singer as both executive producer and on-air host. Foxx said in a statement that he expects the radio network, which will launch in the spring, to “break new ground in comedy, blurring the lines between stand-up, sketch and music.” … The official Motörhead Mobile Store launched this week online, where fans of the legendary thrashers can download band-themed ringtones and wallpapers to their mobile phones. …

Snow Patrol drummer Jonny Quinn has pulled out of the band’s upcoming European tour after breaking his arm. Quinn sustained the injury while snowboarding in the Alps. Former Therapy? drummer and Cranberries collaborator Graham Hopkins will stand in for Quinn when the band’s European trek kicks off February 4 in Offenbach, Germany. … Keane have recruited Rocco DeLuca and the Burden as the opening act for their upcoming U.S. tour, which starts Friday in Los Angeles. DeLuca’s band has been generating buzz with its new single “Colorful.” The group is signed to Kiefer Sutherland’s Ironworks label. …

Placentia, California, authorities identified Brent Liles, the former bass player for influential punk act Social Distortion, as the bicyclist who has been killed in an accident on the Orange Freeway on Thursday, The Orange County Register reports. He was 43. Liles contributed to Social Distortion’s groundbreaking 1983 effort, Mommy’s Little Monster, and later went on to play with other well-known punk groups, including Agent Orange. Liles had been riding a small dirt bike on a side road and was struck by a big rig carrying a trailer as he approached a crosswalk intersecting the freeway, according to police. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the truck has not been cited. An investigation into the accident is ongoing.