Hip-Hop Beat: Q-Tip, Will Smith, Chuck D ...

Former A Tribe Called Quest member pleads guilty to assault charge, pays $120 fine.

Former A Tribe Called Quest rapper Q-Tip pleaded guilty Monday (June 26) to a third-degree assault charge, according to the Manhattan District Attorney's Office. The rapper, born Kamaal Fareed, was ordered to pay $120 in court costs before his unconditional release. ...

Members of early rap crew the Furious Five filed a lawsuit Friday (June 23) against rapper Will Smith, co-writer Morgan Robinson, Sony Music and Treyball Music, according to a clerk at U.S. District Court in San Francisco. The case, assigned to Judge Charles Breyer, claims that Smith unlawfully used a portion of the 1979 song "Superappin' " in his song "Will 2K" (RealAudio excerpt).

Confrontation Camp, the new rock outfit headed by Public Enemy rapper Chuck D, has decided not to play their eight planned shows with the Vans Warped Tour, according to Artemis Records. The group, which recently signed with Artemis, expects to release its debut album, Objects in the Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear, on Aug. 8. The band is planning to tour later in the summer. ...

Police haven't arrested the man they suspect stabbed an 18-year-old man Wednesday (June 21) outside a Manhattan nightclub where Busta Rhymes held a record release party, said Detective Caroline Chew of the New York Police Department on Friday (June 23). Police witness accounts indicate that the victim and the suspect were on the "street team" staffs for Tommy Boy and Elektra, but the record labels have refused to comment on the incident. ...

An attorney for four producers and songwriters who sued acclaimed singer/rapper Lauryn Hill confirmed that the Fugees member will testify via deposition this week. Drum programmer Vada Nobles, guitarist Johari Newton, pianist Tejumold Newton and vocalist Rasheem Pugh sued Hill in 1998, alleging they were denied co-songwriting and co-production credits for the Grammy Award-winning The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. ...

Rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard is scheduled for sentencing in Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday (June 23) for violating probation on his 1999 convictions for making terrorist threats and wearing body armor. Judge Marsha Revel will receive a diagnostic report on the troubled Wu-Tang Clan MC to help her determine a sentence. ODB has been in jail since he was caught with alcohol in January; his probation forbade him to use or possess alcohol. ...

Two fifth-graders from the Bronx, N.Y., have collected 3,000 signatures in a campaign to rename the borough's 163rd Street "Big Pun Avenue" in honor of the late Puerto Rican rapper Big Punisher, according to The New York Times. Born Christopher Rios, Big Punisher died of a heart attack Feb. 7. ...

Rap group 504 Boyz are featured on WestSideTV.com with an X-rated version of the video for their chart-topping single, "Wobble, Wobble." The site also includes uncut videos from hip-hop artists Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mos Def and Q-Tip, according to a spokesperson from the site, who asked not to be named. ...

The rapper who helped make platinum wigs, skimpy designer threads and X-rated rhymes de rigueur for female MCs will begin a series of appearances to push her new album, Notorious K.I.M. Lil' Kim will be at the HMV outlet June 28 in Harlem, N.Y., for an in-store appearance and will perform her single "No Matter What They Say" before July 6 on "Live! With Regis & Kathie Lee," according to an Atlantic spokesperson. ...

Israel's Ex-Centric Sound System, who mix electronic music with Ghanaian chanting, will open for rapper Common on Saturday (June 24) in New York's Central Park, as part of the SummerStage Concert Series. (The SummerStage series is sponsored in part by sonicnet.com.) ...

— sonicnet.com and MTV News Online staff report