Hip-Hop Beat: Rap Pages, Kobe Bryant, Bloodhound Gang ...

Hip-hop magazine to be reinstated; basketball star/rapper to release debut LP; groups respond to pop band's "Yellow Fever.

Hip-hop magazine Rap Pages will return to newsstands this June, after being shut down in December by Larry Flynt Publications. The magazine was bought by Timaj Publications, a black-owned Los Angeles company, which also is rebuilding the publication's Web site (www.rappages.com). ... Basketball star Kobe Bryant's debut album, Visions, has been postponed until Aug. 22, according to Columbia Records. Bryant's team, the Los Angeles Lakers, is still competing in the NBA playoffs. ...

Members of Chicago's LuvJones Productions and Pacifics have recorded two anti– Bloodhound Gang songs — "Dear BHG" and "Dear BHG Part 2" — in response to the band's racially motivated song "Yellow Fever." The protest songs, which can be heard in MP3 form, kick off a contest for artistic responses against the Bloodhound Gang, hosted on the Yellow Fist Web site (www.2tongues.com/yellowfist). ...

Sean "Puffy" Combs settled out of court Wednesday (May 24) with Nicole Levy, according to Luke Pittoni, Combs' lawyer. Levy sued the rap superstar after she was hurt during an ill-fated 1991 charity basketball tournament in New York at which nine people died. Another victim, Benjamin Andrews, settled for $15,000 in his suit against Heavy D, who helped Combs promote and provide security for the event. ... Pam Grier, star of the Quentin Tarantino film "Jackie Brown," and Snoop Dogg have wrapped up production in Vancouver, British Columbia, for a New Line Cinema horror flick called "Bones," due in time for Halloween. Snoop portrays a man who was killed in 1979 and returns 20 years later to take revenge. ...

Troubled rap artist Flesh-N-Bone, occasional member of Cleveland's Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, is scheduled to appear in a Van Nuys, Calif., courtroom on June 2 to face charges of assault with a firearm. Once that trial ends, the performer must appear in Los Angeles Superior Court and face allegations that he possessed a loaded shotgun and made terrorist threats. ...

Lil' Kim will kick off a monthlong promotional tour for her long-delayed album Notorious K.I.M. (June 27) on Tuesday (May 30). After a sneak media preview in Philadelphia, public shows are planned for several cities including Washington, D.C. on June 4, Miami on June 9, San Francisco on June 20 and New York on June 21. ... A partial Wu-Tang Clan reunion surprised Los Angeles on Sunday (May 21) when rappers Raekwon, Ghostface Killah and Inspectah Deck showed up at the concert of their longtime producer, RZA. The surprise guests contributed several performances to the House of Blues show. ...

Flesh-N-Bone, sometime member of Cleveland soul-rappers Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, will go to trial Wednesday (May 24) in Van Nuys, Calif., on charges of assault with a firearm. The troubled MC also faces allegations that he possessed a loaded shotgun and made terrorist threats, but a Los Angeles Superior Court judge agreed Monday (May 22) to delay proceedings in that case until the Van Nuys matter has been resolved. Flesh-N-Bone (born Stanley Howse), who served a 120-day jail sentence in 1998 for assault and possession of illegal fireworks, is forbidden to possess a firearm because he is a convicted felon. ...

Eighties rap acts LL Cool J, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, Run-D.M.C., and Afrika Bambaataa are among the artists featured on OldSchoolRapTV.com, a streaming video Web site. The channel, dedicated to classic rap and hip-hop, allows users to choose which videos they wish to view, with new ones added weekly. ...

Jay-Z, Redman, Method Man, DMX, Foxy Brown and Eve will be joined by R&B stars Sisqó, Montell Jordan, Janet Jackson, Brian McKnight, Case and R. Kelly on the follow-up to the multiplatinum soundtrack to "The Nutty Professor" (1996). The soundtrack to "The Nutty Professor II" boasts production by Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Rocwilder, Timbaland and Tim & Bob. The album will be released in early July, according to Zuhairah Khaldun at Def Jam Records. ...

Rapper, producer and former InterFace Records CEO Scarface was named president of Def Jam Records' new office in Atlanta. The label opened the branch to support the exploding hip-hop scene in the South. ...

Eminem, Killah Priest, Rah Digga and Mobb Deep will appear in "Da Hip-Hop Witch," a spoof of last year's hit movie "The Blair Witch Project." The straight-to-video movie, which also features Vitamin C, Pras, Ja Rule, Rass Kass and Vanilla Ice, is due Aug. 15. ...

DJ Quik joins Talib Kweli, De la Soul, Spooks and R&B acts Dwayne Wiggins, Mary Mary, Sean Paul and others on the lineup for the Urban Focus Music Conference on June 24–25 in Los Angeles. The event will feature discussions, lectures and a screening of "Welcome to Death Row," a documentary about the rise and fall of the controversial L.A. rap label. Avant, Ametria and Boomshaka also will perform at the outdoor concert. ...

— sonicnet.com staff report