July 18, 2005

RAP NEWS

HE MELTED IN OUR MOUTHS NOT IN OUR HANDS
On Eminem's new summer tour, a tense video storyline is woven through the Detroit rapper's show. Following a montage of visuals encapsulating his vast celebrity -- magazine covers, TV footage, limos, crowds -- the star is seen alone backstage, aiming a loaded pistol at his image in a mirror before turning it toward himself.The climax is abrupt: With the gun to his temple, Eminem pulls the trigger. The screen goes black.
When the dressing room eventually fades back into view, the audience sees that the rapper sits unharmed; the gun has misfired. Eminem looks into the camera.
"This is how you go out with a bang, baby!"
At a casual glance, it might come off like the latest shock attack in a career defined by controversy. But dig a bit deeper and you'll come upon a revelation even more startling, one that has been known only to the artist's closest friends and associates.
Marshall Mathers is ready to get rid of Eminem.Eminem plans to make his last solo performance in Ireland in September, the Detroit Free Press, his hometown newspaper, said on Friday. "Em has definitely gotten to the level where he feels like he's accomplished everything he can accomplish in rap," said rapper Proof, Mathers' right-hand man onstage. "He wants to kick back and get into the producing thing."

THE GAME EMBARASSED ABOUT HIS 50 CENT BEEF
The Game tells Radio 1 he's embarrassed for going back on his word after calling a truce with former G-Unit mate 50 Cent. "I am very upset with myself, and ashamed, to have participated in the things that have been going on," he said. "I'm definitely not the person who started it. I had my back against the wall and was forced to defend myself - I'm ashamed and am really apologetic. When I say it I say it with the sincerity of my heart and also with my grandmother who passed right after I graduated from high school. She was the only person in my life at that time who ever believed I'd be anything. I'm looking forward to a more positive and productive future."
LIONS GATE LOVES COOL JAMES
Lions Gate Films is trotting out rapper LL Cool J as eye-candy to attract black female moviegoers. The first piece of bait under a multi-year deal between both parties will be a black version of "Fatal Attraction" in which the rapper/actor stars as an everyman who gets into serious trouble when he cheats on his wife.
"What we are looking to do with LL is to get high-quality material that will attract talent," says Michael Paseornek, president of production at Lions Gate. "We are not looking to develop gimmicks but make real movies. LL has a huge following and is very credible with women.”
Under the multiyear deal, LL Cool J will get a producer's credit on each film.
"This is the perfect transition for me as I can now pour all my energy and creative juices into this fresh and exciting producing venture," says LL.
Lions Gate has two more LL projects in the pipeline in addition to the urbanized “Fatal Attraction.” The films -- budgeted at less than $10 million, similar to Lions Gate's deal with actor/playwright Tyler Perry ("Diary of a Mad Black Woman") -- are looking to appeal to the black female market, which Lions Gate thinks is an underserved and often ignored segment.
"We'd love to make two of these a year," Paseornek said. "And we'll keep them coming if the marketplace responds."

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