Hip-Hop Beat: Cypress Hill, Limp Bizkit, Eminem ...

Rappers resurrect online tour diary for Napster-sponsored trek.

Rappers Cypress Hill have resurrected their online tour diary for their current Napster-sponsored free tour with Limp Bizkit. "Soldier Stories," which most recently appeared on www.cypresshill.com during the band's 1998 appearance on Smokin' Grooves and subsequent run of Japan, is updated daily. ...

The hip-hop festival tour Smokin' Grooves likely will sit out for the second year in a row, after hopes of securing chart-topping rapper Eminem as the headliner fell through. "It doesn't look good, but you never know," said Kevin Morrow, a vice president at House of Blues, which puts on the tour. ...

"Soul Assassins," a two-hour hip-hop radio show hosted by Cypress Hill's B-Real and Eric Bobo, has been nationally syndicated by NBG Radio Network, according to publicists for NBG. The program, which has aired on Los Angeles' KPWR Power 106, plays rap-rock mixes and sketches and features in-studio interviews with hip-hop and film stars. ...

Ice-T is keeping his acting career rolling with appearances in several upcoming films, including "3,000 Miles to Graceland," staring Kevin Costner and Kurt Russell; "Agent of Death," with actors Eric Roberts and Michael Madsen; the John Turtleski–directed "The Guardian"; and director Abel Ferrara's "R Xmas," according to an Atomic Pop publicist. There are no release dates available for the films, label spokeswoman Amy Welch said. ...

Rap-metal group Insane Clown Posse plan to launch a tour in November with the Bloodhound Gang, Three 6 Mafia and the

Kottonmouth Kings, according to ICP's Violent J. Dates for the outing have not been announced. ...

Performances from Gang Starr, Mos Def, Tony Touch, GZA and others, along with classes, competitions and a celebrity basketball tournament, will highlight the weeklong Rock Steady Crew 23rd Anniversary party, July 24–30 in New York. The organization, which preserves the various elements of b-boy culture, has hosted annual parties since 1991. ...

Dead Prez, Xzibit, Gang Starr, Redman and Erick Sermon are among the 40 artists joining Cypress Hill at their third Smoke Out Festival, to be held Oct. 7 in San Bernardino, Calif. For a full lineup for the 14-hour show, check out the festival Web site (Smokeout.net). ...

Beat box rapper Rahzel, on tour in Europe, will return to the studio in August to start work on his second album, according to a spokesperson at MCA Records. Rahzel, who is also a member of the Roots, released his solo debut, Make the Music 2000, last year. ...

Da Brat will make her cinematic debut cast as a friend of the lead character in the upcoming Mariah Carey film, "All That Glitters," according to the Hollywood Reporter. Carey stars in the rags-to-riches flick, which director Vondie Curtis-Hall will begin filming Monday (July 24) in Toronto. ...

New Zealand actor/musician Russell Crowe, who stars in the film "Gladiator," will play a series of shows next month at the famed Stubb's Bar-B-Q in Austin, Texas, with his band Thirty Odd Foot of Grunts. The group tackles everything from rap to country, and tickets for the Aug. 4, 11 and 18 shows are being auctioned for more than $300 a pair on eBay.com. While in Austin, Crowe and his bandmates also will begin recording their next album. ...

A U.S. District Court has given the green light to a lawsuit by five black-owned concert promoters against some of the nation's most prominent white-owned promoters and agents alleging that concert bookings in the United States are racially tainted. Thirty-four companies, including SFX Entertainment, the William Morris Agency and CAA, attempted to quash the suit, which alleges that they have a monopoly over major concert venues that amounts to a civil rights violation. Judge Robert Patterson wrote in his ruling "that the booking agency defendants have not allowed plaintiffs to bid to promote concerts by any white performers or major black performers gives rise to a plausible inference of racially discriminatory intent." ...

A Brooklyn, N.Y., teenager has sued Sean "Puffy" Combs, Lil' Kim, Lil' Cease and producer Lance "Un" Rivera for $200 million, claiming that a telephone conversation between her and Lil' Cease was used without her permission on the rapper's hit song "Play Around," according to the New York Daily News. Danyella Rogers, 18, is charging invasion of privacy. The song, from last year's The Wonderful World of Cease a Leo, was produced by Combs, Lil' Kim and Rivera.

— sonicnet.com and MTV News Online staff report