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"I love Detroit, despite some of the people that have come out of here."
—--Everlast
ULTRAVIOLENT MUSIC ROUNDUP
Puff Daddy, LeAnn Rimes and Everlast Kick Up Some Dust
PUFFY PROSECUTION COMING UP SHORT
There's smoke but no smoking gun as the trial of Sean "Puffy" Combs enters its second week. According to AP, witness Natania Reuben, who was injured by one of the bullets fired in the infamous nightclub melee, testified on Monday (2/5) that she saw Puffy fire a gun just prior to being hit. Even so, she admitted she didn't know who fired the bullet that struck her. Reuben's $150 million suit against the defendants in the case compromises the veracity of her testimony, according to the defense. The prosecution's previous witness, Tarnisha Smith, testified to seeing not only Puffy's protege Jamal "Shyne" Barrows fire a gun, but also to seeing the hip-hop mogul holding a firearm of his own. Under cross-examination, Smith wavered and had to cite her grand jury testimony to refresh her memory, stating, "It was a long time ago." Smith then admitted to mixing her own recollections with what her friends told her. Puff attorney Benjamin Brafman further questioned Smith's physical ability to have witnessed anything in the crowded club, as she is only five feet tall. Meanwhile, Puffy's bodyguard Leonard Curtis Howard claimed his boss was never packing. Said Howard: "If he is going to carry an illegal firearm, there is no reason for me to be there… I'm not going to put my job in jeopardy for Mr. Combs." Howard claimed to have seen the rap impresario being unsuccessfully searched for weapons at nightclubs, which contradicted his grand jury testimony. The defense moved for a mistrial on the basis of Howard's testimony, but was denied, as was the request for the hunky Herbal Essences shampoo boys to lather up the jury.

WHITEY FORD SINGS SOME SMACK
The white-boy rapper battle heats up, as Whitey Ford launches an attack on Slim Shady's home turf. According to MTV.com, Everlast provoked a riot Friday (2/2) during a concert at St. Andrews Hall in Detroit by verbally assaulting hometown hero Eminem. "I love Detroit, despite some of the people that have come out of here," said Ev, before slamming Em and his side project D-12, along with Limp Bizkit and Smash Mouth. Everlast challenged Em-affiliated audience members to take the mic. Several men then rushed the stage, prompting Everlast to pick up a guitar in self-defense. Audience members hurled bottles and chairs, forcing the show to end. Eminem's next concert stop is Tuesday (2/6) in Poughkeepsie, NY, where he plans to dis the co-eds of Vassar College, in hopes of being pelted with sports bras and soccer jerseys.

"I NEED" A LAWYER
While country princess LeAnn Rimes is urging fans to shun her latest release, her record label and producer are speaking out on their own. Last week, the singer posted a message on her website apologizing for "I Need You," which she claims was released by Curb Records without her input. Said Rimes: "It consists largely of unfinished material and songs that didn't make other albums... I want to make abundantly clear to you that this album is not a reflection of myself as an artist, but is solely the conception of Curb Records, and for that I am truly and deeply sorry." In a counter-release on Monday (2/5), Curb Records said: "We believe that Le Ann Rimes' newly released ‘I Need You' album is the best album that she has ever recorded." In addition, Rimes' father/producer, Wilbur, refutes his daughter's dismay, stating: "This album has great sentimental meaning to me because it was the last project that my daughter and I worked on together, and I am so proud of all of my daughter's accomplishments." Rimes had previously filed suit against the label, her manager and her father. In a related story, "Coyote Ugly" is an accurate reflection of the cultural moment.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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