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Suge Knight Pleads Not Guilty, Has Panic Attack

He's taken to the hospital

(Newser) - Marion "Suge" Knight pleaded not guilty this morning to murder and attempted murder, and it was apparently a stressful experience: TMZ reports that the former hip-hop music mogul suffered a panic attack and was rushed to the hospital. It's the second time he's ended up hospital-bound while... More »

New Yorker's Pop Critic Leaves for Lyrics Startup

Sasha Frere-Jones joins annotating site Genius

(Newser) - After 11 years at the New Yorker, the magazine's pop music critic is departing to join a startup. Sasha Frere-Jones' new job is as executive editor for Genius , a startup that annotates lyrics and other material online, the New York Times reports; he will focus on annotating lyrics. Genius,... More »

US Secretly Riled Cubans Against Gov't—Via Hip-Hop

Agency infiltrated music scene to spark change among country's youth

(Newser) - For more than two years, a US agency secretly infiltrated Cuba's underground hip-hop movement, recruiting unwitting rappers to spark a youth movement against the government, according to documents obtained by the AP. The idea was to use Cuban musicians "to break the information blockade" and build a network... More »

'Achy Breaky Heart' Gets Hip-Hop Remake

You cannot un-see this: Billy Ray Cyrus teams with rapper Buck 22

(Newser) - Here's a sentence you probably never thought you'd read: The world now has a hip-hop version of Billy Ray Cyrus' 1992 country hit, "Achy Breaky Heart." The video for "Achy Breaky 2" involves Larry King, nearly-nude aliens, twerking, and of course, Cyrus singing the familiar... More »

Hot New Minor at U. of Arizona: Hip-Hop

But don't expect to just sit around listening to music

(Newser) - Who needs those overrated, underpaying MBAs ? At the University of Arizona, you can now minor in hip-hop. The school, which has been offering courses on hip-hop since 2004, recently made the subject available as one of the concentrations of its Africana Studies program, the Los Angeles Times reports. "... More »

Killer of DJ Megatron Pleads Guilty

Rising hip-hop star was gunned down in New York City

(Newser) - William Williams, the man who fatally shot radio and TV host DJ Megatron in New York City in 2011 has pleaded guilty to manslaughter and will serve 21 years in prison, reports the Daily News . Megatron, real name Corey McGriff, was beginning to establish a presence in the hip-hop world... More »

Translators: Psy Didn't Really Say 'Kill Those Yankees'

Bad translation fuels controversy

(Newser) - If you've had trouble enjoying " Gangnam Style " ever since hearing that Psy once urged people to kill Americans , well, we've got some good news. It looks like the lyrics to "Dear American"—which was a cover from a band called NEXT—may have been... More »

Hip-Hop Mogul Dead in Apparent Suicide

Chris Lighty worked with 50 Cent, Diddy, Mariah Carey

(Newser) - Hip-hop lost a huge figure today, even if he's not a household name. Manager Chris Lighty apparently shot himself at his Brooklyn apartment after an argument with his ex-wife, reports the Daily News . The 44-year-old had managed the likes of 50 Cent, Sean "Diddy" Combs, and Mariah Carey,... More »

Odd Future Singer: My First Love Was a Man

Frank Ocean marks hip-hop milestone with sexuality revelation

(Newser) - Frank Ocean, member of the rap group Odd Future, revealed today that his first love was a man—making him, TMZ notes, "the first hip-hop star to publicly address a sexual attraction to men." Ocean, who has collaborated with Kanye West and Jay-Z, told the story in a... More »

RIP Beastie Boy Adam Yauch

'MCA' will be missed

(Newser) - The tributes are rolling in for Adam "MCA" Yauch of the Beastie Boys, who died at 47 after a three-year fight with cancer.
  • Mary Elizabeth Williams, Salon : For Gen-Xers, Kurt Cobain's death "represented the darkness of rock 'n' roll," but years later, Yauch's "
... More »

Georgetown Prof Teaches Jay-Z Course

Class takes sociological view of rapper's work

(Newser) - He’s already a hip-hop superstar, a big-shot exec, and married to Beyonce; now, Jay-Z is also the subject of elite academic discourse. Georgetown students are flocking to a sociology course on hip-hop and Jay-Z’s rise, taught by author and radio host Michael Eric Dyson. “Sociology of Hip-Hop—... More »

Sean Combs Ordered Tupac Murder: LA Cop

And Suge Knight had Biggie Smalls killed in revenge, says book by former LAPD detective

(Newser) - Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls were murdered by the order of rival record company bosses, according to an LAPD detective who investigated Tupac's slaying in 1996. Gang informant Keffe Davis claims Sean Combs—then known as Puff Daddy—offered him $1 million to kill Tupac and Death Row records... More »

NYC Rapper's Burned Body Found in SUV

Kampane shot before body dumped, police say

(Newser) - The badly burned body of up-and-coming Brooklyn rapper Kampane has been found in an SUV abandoned on a New Jersey street. Police say the 33-year-old rapper, whose real name was Rhian Stoute, had been shot at least once. "Everybody loved him," Kampane's cousin tells the New York ... More »

Outkast's Big Boi Busted With Ecstasy, Viagra

Border Patrol nabs rapper on cruise ship

(Newser) - Outkast rapper Antwan “Big Boi” Patton was arrested while getting off a cruise ship today in Miami, after border patrol dogs caught him allegedly carrying drugs, law enforcement sources tell TMZ . He was charged with three counts of drug possession and one count of drug paraphernalia possession, all felonies.... More »

Rapper Lupe Fiasco: Obama's the Real Terrorist

He says US foreign policy helps foster terror

(Newser) - Conservatives slammed President Obama for hosting Chicago rapper Common at the White House. Now Obama is taking criticism from a different Chicago rapper. "To me, the biggest terrorist is Obama, and the United States of America,” Lupe Fiasco told CBS in an interview noted by the Huffington Post... More »

Musician Gil Scott-Heron Dead at 62

'The Revolution Will Not Be Televised' performer inspired hip-hop

(Newser) - Gil Scott-Heron, the spoken-word artist and musician often hailed as the godfather of hip-hop and made famous by "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised," has died at age 62, reports NPR. Scott-Heron was held up as a major influence by many in the hip-hop community, including Kanye West,... More »

Rapper Nate Dogg Dead at 41

Gangsta rap legend started out with Snoop Dogg, Warren G

(Newser) - West Coast gangsta rap star Nate Dogg has died at the age of 41, reports his hometown newspaper, the Long Beach Press-Telegram . The cause of death is not yet known, but the rapper—real name Nathaniel D. Hale—had battled health problems in recent years and suffered strokes in 2007... More »

13 Years Later, Notorious BIG Investigation Back On

Task force investigating new leads, say sources

(Newser) - Thirteen years later, the murders of rappers Notorious BIG and Tupac Shakur remain two of the music industry’s highest-profile unsolved mysteries—but that could soon change. Police “reinvigorated” the Notorious BIG murder case months ago, sources tell CNN , and they are actively looking into leads and new information... More »

'Dougie' Is This Year's Sports Dance of Choice

Even if the NFL isn't a fan

(Newser) - It takes awhile for these things to become official, but the Wall Street Journal says it looks like this is the "Year of the Dougie" in sports. For the uninitiated, the dance involves some limb flailing and, crucially, running fingers through the hair. It's been a staple on college... More »

Stopping Suicide No Publicity Stunt: T.I.

Rapper slams claims he was trying to look good ahead of court date

(Newser) - After T.I. talked a man threatening suicide out of jumping from a downtown Atlanta building, some are calling the move a publicity stunt—but that couldn’t be further from the truth, the rapper tells CNN . The video he made, which police played to the man and is credited... More »

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