Lil Wayne Appears In Court On Drug-Possession Charge; Plus Tony Yayo, Game, 50 Cent, Britney Spears & More, In For The Record

Mother of alleged victim in Yayo trial speaks out; Game jokes about dressing up as 50 for Halloween; Spears calls recent media coverage 'sad.'

Lil Wayne made a brief appearance in an Atlanta courtroom on Wednesday (October 31) for an arraignment in connection with the year-old drug-possession charge that recently landed him in an Idaho jail on a fugitive warrant. According to Wayne’s lawyer, William Head, the rapper was only in court for about 20 minutes during the nearly three-hour preliminary hearing and will return on November 20, when a judge could rule on defense motions questioning whether the hotel search that originally resulted in Wayne’s arrest on drug charges was legal. The defense also filed a motion requesting to examine the evidence in the case in order to have a fingerprint analysis done on the objects, which Head said were found in a room that the rapper was not staying in. …

Cynthia Reed, mother of the 14-year-old son of Game manager Jimmy “Henchman” Rosemond, spoke out Tuesday about Tony Yayo‘s pending trial, in which he is accused of having roughed up the boy. “I am looking forward to a trial, and it is important that justice be done,” she said in a statement. “Trials bring out facts, and I know the facts will expose the cowardly act of G-Unit‘s member Yayo of assaulting my 14-year-old son.” Leemon responded to Reed’s statement by saying, “At trial, I am confident the evidence will show that Tony Yayo did not hit anyone. These baseless allegations against Yayo are nothing more than an attempt by a bitter business rival to disparage and embarrass him. Our investigation has uncovered more than one witness to the incident who will testify that Yayo did not hit ‘Lil Henchmen.’ This is nothing more than an attempt at legal extortion.” The trial begins January 10. …

In yet more legal-oriented rap news, Game went to court Wednesday for a brief pre-trial hearing, according to TMZ. The hearing pertained to allegations that the rapper (real name: Jayceon Taylor) threatened a person with a gun during a pickup basketball game at a park in Los Angeles earlier this year. Game’s spirits were high, according to a TMZ video in which he rants about everything from dressing up like 50 Cent for Halloween to helping out Britney Spears — “I’ll shampoo your hair, rub your feet, watch your kids and be your bodyguard,” he said. He’s due back in court November 14. …

Britney Spears hasn’t had much to say to the media lately — save some choice words for the paparazzi, that is — but she broke the brief silence by going on Ryan Seacrest‘s radio show Wednesday morning. When asked about the recent media coverage of her child-custody battle with ex-husband Kevin Federline, Spears replied, “People say what they want and do what they do. It’s sad how people … how cruel our world can be. But at the end of the day, you gotta know in your heart that you are doing the best that you can.” When Seacrest asked Spears if she is in fact doing the best she can with her kids, she reassured him: “Oh God, yeah, yeah.” Spears also talked about the Tuesday release of her new Blackout LP, saying she spent the day watching movies. Seacrest also asked her about her rumored romance with Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. Spears, who was on a speakerphone with Alli Sims and Sam Lufti, replied, “Who?” …

Ashley Tisdale, Good Charlotte, Jordin Sparks, Corbin Bleu, the Jonas Brothers and more will hop aboard the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade when it snakes its way through the streets of New York on November 22. Catch the show from 9 a.m. to noon in all time zones on NBC. … The American Music Awards are shaping up to be a night for the ladies — Alicia Keys, Avril Lavigne and Nicole Scherzinger have joined previously announced performers Fergie, Rihanna, Celine Dion (and Daughtry) for the ceremony, which will air live November 18 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. …

The new season of “American Idol” is still a few months away, but that’s not stopping the juggernaut’s presence on TV. Former contestants Clay Aiken and Kellie Pickler will be celebrity contestants on “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” on Thursday and November 15, respectively, while judges Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul will crop up in animated form in the November 11 “Family Guy” episode, in which Stewie auditions for the judges. And in yet more TV news, the “Simpsons” episode featuring Jack Black — who voices the owner of a new comic book store — will air November 18. …

The ink has dried on Radiohead‘s deal to distribute its In Rainbows album — well, outside North America, at least. Billboard.com reports that the band has finalized a deal with XL Recordings — which released Thom Yorke‘s solo album, The Eraser, last year — that would entail the international distribution of the album but allow the band to cut a different deal in North America. The New York Times previously reported that the band had been planning to sign with Coran Capshaw’s Side One Recordings to distribute Rainbows domestically, although Radiohead’s U.S. publicist, Steve Martin, later told MTV News he could “neither confirm nor deny” the story. The album doesn’t have an international release date yet, but according to Billboard.com, it will likely coincide with the Radiohead.com deluxe Discbox release on December 3. Sales figures for the album — for which the band allowed fans to name their own price — have not been released, but Radiohead manager Bryce Edge recently said reports of 1.2 million being sold were “exaggerated,” according to Billboard.Lupe Fiasco and industry heavyweight Steve Stoute were on hand at the Bowery Hotel in New York on Tuesday night as Bitter: Sweet performed as part of a T-Mobile Shadow launch party. …

A Maryland couple have dropped their lawsuit alleging Wal-Mart deceived customers by selling copies of Evanescence‘s Anywhere but Home LP containing explicit lyrics without parental-advisory labels. Trevin and Melanie Skeens had sued the department-store chain back in 2004 after they purchased the album for their daughter’s 13th birthday. The news comes nearly 22 months after a judge refused to certify the complaint as a class action, which would have allowed anyone who bought the record in Maryland to hop onboard and collect compensation. … Van Halen have booked their first gig of 2008, which could be an indication of a second leg being added to the band’s current reunion run. The only show that’s confirmed for next year so far will go down March 30 in St. Louis. …

Coldplay have been teasing fans in recent months with updates on their next studio album, and now, in a new post on their site, they say they’re almost done with the effort. The band revealed that two new songs, “Famous Old Painters” and “Glass of Water,” have come into play for the album, which was already poised to include “Cemeteries of London,” “Poppy Fields,” “42,” “Yes!,” “Lost,” “Violet Hill,” “Rainy Day” and “Leftrightleftrightleft.” “It feels like a very dense record,” read the post. “There are so many melodies and colors packed into a relatively short space (42 minutes).” Regarding the album’s producer, the post continued: “As you’d expect with Brian Eno, there’s experimentation and exploration. But the music still has integrity. It’s real and honest. There’s no posturing or bombast. When the deadline comes and the work is done, this will be the album I always dreamed we’d make.” Coldplay were more specific about the yet-untitled 2008 album in a previous post, saying the effort would have a “Hispanic theme.” …

Want to party with Ozzy Osbourne? Want to get arrested? Approximately 40 of his fans in Fargo, North Dakota, got a very unpleasant surprise on Monday when they received invitations to a supposed pre-gig bash that turned out to be a police sting operation, according to The Associated Press. Fans — who happened to have outstanding warrants — were reportedly told about a party to be held at the Venue at Playmakers before the metal legend’s show with Rob Zombie at the Fargodome. The bash was sponsored by PDL Productions, a fake company made by Cass County Sherriff Paul D. Laney as part of an effort to crack down on scofflaws who had ignored court summons and failed to pay fines. “It was more of a warrant party,” Laney told AP. “Some actually thought it was pretty funny. I think they were upset with themselves for being had.” The security staff, which wore PDL Productions shirts, turned out to be deputy sheriffs, North Dakota probation and parole agents, and members of the local drug-enforcement task force. Laney got even more creative with the sting by adding a subtle clue into the mix — each “security” T-shirt also featured a festive Halloween skull, and the image of a sheriff’s-badge star could be seen in its right eye socket. …

Lordi‘s manager was shot at following their Friday gig in Louisville, Kentucky, according to EscToday.com, Web site for Eurovision. (The monster-themed Finnish metal outfit created a stir when it won the broadcasting group’s famed Eurovision Song Contest in 2006.) Rikk Scholvinck was reportedly with his bodyguard at the time of the incident, and although neither was struck by gunfire, one of the band’s fans was robbed at gunpoint. According to Scholvinck, after the gig, a van appeared next to Lordi’s bus, and four or five teens jumped out. “One of the men with a gun took a fan, a girl, put the gun to her head and forced her to lie down on the ground,” said band frontman Mr. Lordi (real name: Tomi Putaansuu), according to the site. “Also, one of the boys froze on the spot while the others fled away, including Rikk and the bodyguard, while another man started shooting at them. Luckily, he missed and no one was hurt. Rikk ran to the bar and called the police, who arrived soon. In a moment we were surrounded by like five police cars, but the guys managed to escape. They were a group of drug addicts that had stolen the [van] earlier that night, and police were already looking for them but have still not managed to catch them.” Lordi handed the assaulted fan a lifetime all-access pass to their shows worldwide. …

Iron Maiden have announced a pair of shows in the U.S. as part of their Somewhere Back in Time world tour. The metal gods will play at the Forum in Los Angeles on February 19 and at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on March 14. … Speaking of Iron, Iron and Wine only played four shows in the U.S. after releasing their latest album, The Shepherd’s Dog, in late September — but thirsty fans shouldn’t worry, as more Stateside gigs are on the way. After finishing a two-week run of shows in the U.K. on Sunday, the band will return to America, rest a little, and then head out for another string starting November 27 in Tucson, Arizona. That tour will end December 11 in Austin, Texas, and will be followed by another European trek starting January 14. …

According to a statement from Earache Records, two members of Polish death-metal band Decapitated were seriously injured in a car accident involving their tour bus and a truck carrying wood in Gomel — which is on the Russian-Belarus border. Frontman Adrian “Covan” Kowanek and drummer Witold “Vitek” Kieltyka sustained serious head injuries as a result of the accident and were taken to a hospital in Moscow for treatment. No additional information on the accident has been made public. …

The Mars Volta-affiliated indie punk label Gold Standard Laboratories shut down this month, according to a letter founder Sonny Kay posted on the GSL site. Over its 14-year span, GSL released material by the Rapture, !!!, the Locust, Melt-Banana, the Faint and Mars Volta guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, who co-owned the label. The post reads: “We’ve experienced the onset of factors that have seriously limited our ability to maintain what we feel is the essence of the label; the experimental attitude and artistic freewheeling of times past are simply no longer sustainable. Rather than compromise our goals and beliefs, or allow our course to be charted by financial constraint and an industry in flux, we’ve decided the time has come for GSL to cease releasing new music, and to close this chapter of our story.”

10.30.07

Vincent “Don Vito” Margera‘s fate on two counts of sexual assault is in the hands of the jury. Tuesday saw the presentation of closing arguments, during which Pamela Mackey, an attorney for Margera — Bam’s uncle — argued that he had been in his “goofy, outrageous and vulgar” persona during his August 2006 Colorado mall autograph signing, during which he is accused of having groped three young girls. …

Tony Yayo will stand trial beginning January 10 in connection with the case in which he is alleged to have roughed up the 14-year-old son of Game manager Jimmy “Henchman” Rosemond in March. According to Yayo’s lawyer, Scott Leemon, the judge combined the cases of Yayo (born Marvin Bernard) and a man known as an “honorary” member of the G-Unit, Lowell “Lodi Mack” Fletcher, who was also allegedly involved in the assualt, but whose relationship to Yayo Leemon declined to discuss. …

Big brother and little brother teamed up Monday night: Jay-Z made a surprise guest appearance at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston during Kanye West‘s set at the JAMN 94.5 Monster Jam Concert. Kanye also brought T-Pain — who played his own set earlier in the night — for “Good Life.” Lil Wayne, Fabolous, J. Holiday, MIMS and Akon also performed at the concert. …

Fall Out Boy‘s Pete Wentz broke his foot during the band’s performance Sunday night at the Voodoo Music Experience festival in New Orleans. Wentz uploaded a gory close-up photo of his severely bruised and swollen foot to his profile page on FriendsorEnemies.com. “For anyone who was at the Voodoo Fest in New Orleans, you got to see me jump around,” he wrote. “Ended up breaking the bone that connects my shin to my foot; no shows will be cancelled. I am currently trying to get a ‘rocker’ boot so I can have a walking cast. Currently, my foot is the size of a small car. If you see me at a show, come sign my cast.” …

Don’t expect to see Britney Spears gracing the cover of Maxim anytime soon — the magazine has ranked her #5 on its list of the Five Unsexiest Women Alive. One slot ahead of her is Madonna, who Spears seems to be emulating these days, and they’re followed by Sandra Oh, Amy Winehouse and the list-topper, Sarah Jessica Parker. … Some people might not find Madge too sexy these days, but according to a new tome, “Madonna: Like an Icon,” Tupac Shakur was more than just hot for her in the past — they actually dated. The book’s author, Lucy O’Brien, claims the Material Man dated ‘Pac for one year in her mid-30s before the rapper’s untimely death. O’Brien quotes a friend close to the singer, saying ultimately, the rapper’s friends quashed the fling. “She was going out with him,” one of Madge’s friends said. “But homegirls were saying to [2Pac], ‘I can’t believe you’re going out with a white girl.’ ” Madonna was then subsequently dumped, according to the book. …

Linkin Park‘s outreach project, Music for Relief, has set its sights on a new challenge: helping Southern California recover from the devastating wildfires. The band has contributed $50,000 to Direct Relief International — a Santa Barbara nonprofit that has been providing medical supplies to victims — and the donation was matched by SanDisk Corporation, a flash-data-storage-card company. “The wildfires are an unfathomable tragedy,” LP bassist Dave “Phoenix” Farrell said in a statement. “Being able to help victims of a natural disaster like the wildfires is exactly why Music for Relief was founded.” The band is also encouraging its fans to make their own contributions through the Music for Relief Web site.

Common‘s still riding strong with his latest album, the recently released Finding Forever, but while he’s looking forward, his former label is looking backward with a new compilation of early cuts. ThisIsMe Then: The Best of Common, being issued by Relativity/ Sony Legacy, compiles 15 songs from 1992-’97 — but the enhanced disc has four video extras too: for “Take It EZ,” “I Used to Love H.E.R.,” “Retrospect for Life” (featuring Lauryn Hill) and “Invocation.” It’s set to street November 27. … The Roc is in the building: Freeway hosted a listening session at S.O.B.’s in New York Monday night for his sophomore set, Free at Last, due November 20. The Philadelphia rapper previewed collaborations with 50 Cent, Rick Ross and Jadakiss, before Beanie Sigel hit the stage with him to perform their Just Blaze-produced classic, “Roc the Mic.” …

Reggae singer Beenie Man was released from a Kingston, Jamaica, jail on $21,000 bail on Monday after appearing in court on tax-evasion charges, according to The Associated Press. Authorities say the singer (born Anthony Moses Davis) owes about $661,000 in overdue taxes in Jamaica. He’s due back in court December 3. … The estate of late rapper Notorious B.I.G. filed a federal court motion on Monday claiming that prison inmate Waymond Anderson, who once implicated a former police officer in the killing of the rapper, was lying when he recently recanted his testimony. AP reports that the motion seeks access to phone and prison visitation records for Anderson, who is serving a life sentence for murder in a separate case. In an August 20 deposition Anderson said he lied about the alleged police involvement as part of a scam involving the slain rapper’s family members and attorneys to win a monetary settlement from the city. The estate argued in its filing that the records will discredit Anderson’s story and reveal who was behind his “wholesale assault on the truth.” …

A 20th-anniversary edition of the A Very Special Christmas album — featuring performances by No Doubt, Wyclef Jean, Sting, Run-D.M.C., Jon Bon Jovi, Stevie Wonder, Sheryl Crow and U2 — will be released November 20. The package benefiting the Special Olympics will also feature the first-ever DVD collection of videos in the series’ history, including performances from the 1998 and 2000 Christmas at the White House specials. … Two anti-poverty groups co-founded by Bono, the ONE Campaign and Debt AIDS Trade Africa, will merge their operations in the U.S. to create a single organization that will be known as ONE. Reuters reports that the organization will continue to focus on poverty-relief efforts in Africa and the U.S., according to a statement from Bono, in which he said, “ONE and DATA are two organizations with the same outrage: Extreme, stupid poverty in the 21st century makes no sense when the resources and technology exist to do something about it. … What makes sense is to harness these two forces into a single organization and redouble our efforts. One goal. One team.” And in yet more U2 news, National Geographic Cinema Ventures will release a new film, “U2 3D,” in late January. The movie will play in 3-D only, in select theaters worldwide. Filmed in South America during a series of U2 concerts on their Vertigo Tour, the film is the first live-action movie ever shot, produced and exhibited in digital 3-D, and strove to capture the intimacy between the band and its audience. …

Slayer and Halloween are a match made in hell, and this year the metal titans have partnered with MySpace to spook fans into buying their new concert DVD, “The Unholy Alliance – Chapter II: Preaching to the Perverted,” which also features performances by Lamb of God, Mastodon and more. One of the clips from the DVD, Slayer’s performance of their Grammy-winning song “Eyes of the Insane,” will stream all day on MySpace TV on Wednesday. … SoLow.com, which rewards visitors for making the lowest unique bid for prizes it offers, is giving one lucky fan a chance to spend Thanksgiving with the Osbournes. The winner will also get tickets to Ozzy Osbourne‘s concert in San Diego, as well as a few hundred bucks in cash and a hotel room in Los Angeles. … Tom Cruise, meet the Sex Pistols. The actor and the notorious punk-rock legends are both slated to appear — and perform, in the case of the Pistols — on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” on Tuesday night (October 30). Republican presidential hopeful Representative Ron Paul rounds out the odd lineup. … Forbes has released its list of the top-earning dead celebrities, and Nirvana‘s Kurt Cobain no longer sits at #1 — that spot now belongs once again to Elvis Presley — the King’s estate generated $49 million in the past year, while Cobain’s name doesn’t even make the list. At #2 is John Lennon, whose drew $44 million in 2007, while fellow Beatle George Harrison takes #4 with $22 million. Other musicians on the list include Tupac Shakur at #8 with $9 million and James Brown at #11 with $5 million. Bob Marley is at #12, having made $4 million this year. …

In the end, nobody at the University of Florida got zapped. Andrew Meyer, of “Don’t tase me, bro” fame, will not face any criminal charges for disrupting an appearance by Senator John Kerry at the university, according to AP. And the two police officers suspended while state officials investigated the incident — which became an instant viral phenomenon that spawned remixes, T-shirts and a short-lived cultural catchphrase — have been reinstated after the Florida Department of Law Enforcement concluded that they acted properly when they tased the 21-year-old. … If it’s good enough for Radiohead, it’s good enough for Paste. For the next two weeks, the music magazine will be offering one-year subscriptions to readers for whatever price they decide to pay. There’s a minimum payment of $1, but anyone who ponies up more than the $19.95 the magazine typically charges for a year will be thanked in print in a future issue. …

It’s a long way from “Gangsta’s Paradise” to “Oh!” but Coolio is willing to make the trip. The rapper has signed on to appear in a reality show called “Coolio & the Gang” for the women’s cable network Oxygen that will begin airing in the second quarter of 2008, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The program will follow the Grammy-winning MC as he raises six teens by himself while trying to maintain his rap career and launch a clothing line in what is described as a real-life version of “My Three Sons.” … The Who are about to launch a subscription service for serious fans, who will get access to a huge library of video and audio content for $50 a month. According to a post on the band’s Web site, beginning Monday, superfans will get a free, exclusive double-CD (View From a Backstage Pass) of live performances from 1969-’76 that will not be available in stores, a personalized Who e-mail address, discounts in the Who store, exclusive full-length videos, and streaming and paid download access to every Who song ever recorded.

Pierce Brosnan is being investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for alleged battery stemming from an incident that happened at a mall in Malibu, California, on Friday, TMZ reports. Robert Rosen, a photographer, claims that after he complimented Brosnan on his James Bond films, the actor began cursing and hit Rosen in the ribs. In response, Rosen kicked the actor, he claims.

Entertainment legend Robert Goulet died Tuesday morning in a Los Angeles hospital, AP reports. Goulet, who was 73, had been awaiting a lung transplant after discovering last month that he had acquired a rare form of pulmonary fibrosis. The self-deprecating Goulet was a Broadway star, Grammy Award-winning singer, TV show host and actor, appearing toward the end of his career in films like “The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear,” “Beetlejuice” and “Toy Story 2″ (he voiced Wheezy the Penguin).