DENIAL Rap diva Lil’ Kim denied reports that she and her associates were involved in a New York City shootout that struck one man in the back. ”Lil’ Kim and her security had nothing to do whatsoever with the incident,” Kim’s manager Hillary Weston said in a statement released Monday afternoon. ”Kim had no knowledge of any argument nor what instigated the gunfire.”
More than 22 bullets were exchanged Sunday afternoon in front of the hip hop radio station Hot 97, WQHT, located in Greenwich Village. According to the Daily News, the shootout began 15 minutes after Lil’ Kim left the radio station, where she was making an appearance at a rap party. Police detectives are investigating reports that the shots came from Lil’ Kim’s entourage who clashed with associates of the rap duo Capone-N-Noreaga, who had included a critical song about Lil’ Kim on their last album. The actual duo was not at the radio station.
The Associated Press reports that detectives are verifying reports that groups from both rappers’ camps exchanged angry words, which led to the gunfire. One man, Efrain Ocasio, 31, (a Capone-N-Noreaga follower) was shot in the back and placed in serious condition at a local hospital Sunday before being released Monday. ”The man was shot in the back by a group of unidentified men,” the NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner of Public Information office told EW.com. ”There’s no mention of Lil’ Kim or anyone else in this report.”
X MAN Rapper Bigg Snoop Dogg produced and stars in a XXX rated straight to video movie called ”Doggystyle” (natch), released Tuesday, Feb. 27. The video features Snoop in six original music videos that prelude five hardcore sex scenes. According to Launch.com, Snoop, who included 11 previously unreleased songs for the video, explained: ”We’re rapping about it when we’re doing records. We’re in the studio doing it, we’re making hardcore, and we should be able to put out hardcore.”
Snoop enlisted adult film stars India, Obsession, Farrah, Mark Anthony, Tony Eveready, and Anna Malle for the film, which was shot in Snoop’s mansion. Hustler magnate Larry Flynt‘s company Flynt’s Hustler Video, is distributing the film. And guess what? Plans are already in place to shoot ”Doggystyle 2.” Now that’s a sequel worth seeing.
AWARDS ALERT The 13th annual Chicago Film Critics Awards honored ”Almost Famous” and ”Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” Monday night. Each film nabbed four awards. ”Almost Famous” won for best picture, screenplay (director Cameron Crowe), supporting actress (Frances McDormand), and promising actor (Patrick Fugit). Ang Lee‘s martial arts epic picked up trophies for best foreign language film, cinematography (Peter Pau), original score (Tan Dun), and promising actress (Zhang Ziyi). Other winners included best actor Tom Hanks (”Cast Away”), best actress Ellen Burstyn (”Requiem for a Dream”), and best supporting actor Benicio Del Toro (”Traffic”). Speaking of ”Traffic,” it earned Steven Soderbergh another best director award from the critics organization.
MUSIC AWARDS Eminem and Robbie Williams won big at London’s pop music awards ceremony, the Brits, held Monday night. Elton John coincidentally presented the Best International Male Artist prize to Em, who joked in his acceptance speech: ”And the winner is Steely Dan.” Madonna, who left empty handed from the Grammys, won the Best International Female award, while U2 added to their trophy collection with two more accolades: the Best International Group and a special award for their outstanding contribution to music. Meanwhile, English rocker Williams swept the hometown categories, including best British male solo artist, best British single, and best British video for ”Rock DJ.”
TOURING Teenage girls, get your mom’s credit cards ready: ‘N Sync has announced their schedule for their first full stadium tour this summer. The fivesome start their 36 city tour May 12 in Miami and finish it August 18 in Memphis.
Oasis is teaming up with the Black Crowes to tour the United States this summer. According to Reuters, the two groups will kick off the 16 city ”Tour of Brotherly Love” on May 11 in Las Vegas, with each band playing a full set. And if the tour doesn’t work out, the bands could enter group therapy for hostile siblings together.
CASTING Reese Witherspoon (”Election”) will tackle a British accent in the costume drama, ”The Importance of Being Earnest,” for writer – director Oliver Parker (”An Ideal Husband”). The Oscar Wilde adaptation also stars Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, and period piece fixture Judi Dench. Production starts in London this April.
Woody Harrelson will play the latest man to woo Grace (Debra Messing) on NBC’s sitcom ”Will & Grace”. Harrelson’s character will be a resident of Will and Grace’s apartment building whom Grace meets in the laundry room. The guest appearance, of course, will take place during May sweeps.
TUBE NEWS CBS especially loves ”Raymond.” The network has struck a $140 million plus deal to keep ”Everybody Loves Raymond” on the air for another two seasons. The contract ensures the top 10 sitcom will stay on the air through the 2002 – 2003 season (its seventh), at a price tag of nearly $3 million per episode. According to Variety, CBS CEO Les Moonves said of the deal: ”Without a doubt, it is the crown jewel of television comedies and a major source of pride for everyone at CBS.”
SPECIAL RELEASE The Boss has spoken: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will release a double CD with 19 songs recorded live at two of their Madison Square Garden concerts last June and July. ”Live in New York City,” due in record stores April 3, will include the controversial political anthem ”American Skin (41 Shots)” and another new song, ”Land of Hope and Dreams,” according to Reuters. The double disc comes out four days before HBO’s concert special April 7 featuring a 13 song version of the New York concerts.