A New York rapper affiliated with the Wu-Tang Clan has pleaded guilty to a manslaughter charge stemming from a fatal car accident on New Year's Day (01Jan14).
Shyheim Franklin, 35, surrendered to police in January (14) in the days after the crash on Staten Island, New York which killed Felipe Avila Olea, 29. He was accused of driving into the victim's car after ignoring a stop sign, and hitting a parked vehicle before fleeing the scene on foot.
Franklin has now pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter and a weapon possession charge relating to a gun which police officers found in his apartment last year (13).
The rapper has recorded music under the stage names Manchild, Little Shyheim and The Rugged Child, and worked with stars including the Wu-Tang's RZA, Tupac Shakur, and the Notorious B.I.G., who he once shared a stage with.
Rap group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony will split for good next year (15) after releasing a final album and completing a farewell tour, according to a U.S. report. The band, which has been part of the music industry since 1991, will reportedly bow out in 2015 after 23 years.
Editors at TMZ.com report the five original members will head into the studio to record one last album, before going on a world tour which will mark the end of their time together.
The report also suggests they will follow in the footsteps of Wu-Tang Clan by auctioning off one copy of the record for at least $1 million (£588,235).
The tour is said to be slated to start in December (14).
Rapper/actor Rza had to call in a stuntman for his driving scenes in new TV police drama Gang Related, because he couldn't operate the classic car he handpicked for his character. The Wu-Tang Clan star plays a New York detective who is transferred to Los Angeles in the gritty show, and he decided his character would drive a 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner.
But he couldn't drive the vehicle.
He tells WENN, "I thought about it and after about a week, I said, 'He would get one of those cars that the gangsters drive. I think my character would like that kind of car.
"It was actually hard for me to drive that car as an actor. When we were on set they wanted me to do a stunt and I did it frontwards but I couldn't do it in reverse. I had to get out and let a stuntman do it because I'm more of a Jeep driver!"
Rihanna has been accused of cyber-bullying a teenage fan after appearing to mock the youngster for recreating a winged outfit the R&B star wore to a music prizegiving in 2010 for her prom. Alexis Carter was inspired by the Alexandre Vauthier jumpsuit Rihanna donned at the 2010 Echo Awards in Germany and had a family friend help her design a similar ensemble for her Hollywood-themed school dance.
The proud Baltimore, Maryland teen posted snaps of herself in the black one-piece online, but the reaction she got on social networking sites like Twitter and Instagram.com was not quite what the 16 year old had expected.
She was left even more distraught by the negative feedback from Rihanna, who appeared to laugh at her efforts by posting a side-by-side shot comparing the Diamonds hitmaker's red carpet outfit to Carter's, alongside a caption which simply featured a sad face.
In a second tweet, Rihanna compared the teen's ensemble to the logo of rap crew the Wu-Tang Clan.
The upset youngster tells Fox News in Baltimore, "I was very offended. Why throw shade on it when you had on the exact same thing. The poses was (sic) different but the outfit wasn't. She doesn't love her fans like she says she does."
Pussy Riot stars Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina are to host an interactive panel discussion at this year's (14) Riot Fest 10th anniversary event in Chicago, Illinois in September (14). The Russian rockers will join The Cure, the National, the Flaming Lips, Wu-Tang Clan, Weezer, Jane's Addiction, Patti Smith, Slayer, Billy Bragg and Paul Weller on the bill.
Wu-Tang Clan stars Rza and Raekwon appear to have ended their rift and are working together again on the rap collective's much-anticipated new album A Better Tomorrow. Raekwon recently insisted he would not be part of the album because he disagreed with RZA's vision for the project, prompting the producer to warn fans that he was considering dumping the whole thing if his bandmate refused to be a part of the recording process.
Last month (Apr14), RZA told Sports Illustrated, "The album is slated to come out in July. If we don't come to terms in the next 30 days, then this will either be an album without Raekwon or an album that never sees the light of day. That's a strong potential, because I would not want to put out a Wu-Tang album without every live member available."
But the project has been given a boost thanks to a new post on the group's website, which reads, "Raekwon scheduled to hit studio to complete verses for album."
A Better Tomorrow will be the Wu-Tang Clan's first album release since 2007's 8 Diagrams.
Singer Cher will be an unlikely Wu-Tang Clan guest on the rap collective's much-anticipated new album. The Believe hitmaker's vocals will be included on the group's upcoming record The Wu - Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.
Her representative has confirmed the news to RollingStone.com, stating, "She recorded her parts separately, so I don't believe there was direct interaction." Last year (13), the group hinted about the collaboration during a webchat, writing, "(The record) includes special guest appearances by Bonnie Jo Mason."
That's the pseudonym Cher used when she released Ringo, I Love You in 1964. The hip hop collective will sell one copy of the exclusive double-album to the highest bidder later this year (14) after it tours art exhibitions around the world in "a hand carved nickel-silver box", designed by British-Moroccan artist Yahya.
Wu-Tang Clan leader Rza has given bandmate Raekwon a 30-day deadline to end his recording "strike" with the group or risk the wrath of fans when a much-anticipated album is potentially scrapped. RZA brought the collective back together to record tracks for A Better Tomorrow, which he started working on last year (13), but now the release is in jeopardy because Raekwon has refused to be a part of it.
In a new interview with Sports Illustrated, RZA insists there may be no new album if his former rap pal insists on staying away from the studio.
RZA says, "The album is slated to come out in July. If we don't come to terms in the next 30 days, then this will either be an album without Raekwon or an album that never sees the light of day. That's a strong potential, because I would not want to put out a Wu-Tang album without every live member available."
In a recent RollingStone.com interview, Raekwon explained he was "on strike" from the Wu-Tang Clan because he's unhappy with the direction of the group's new music.
He told the publication, "We created something that wound up being so big, it has to sit on a certain kind of podium. It has to be sitting up there shining... I love my fans. I would never give them something that I feel is not a hit or a win..."
Raekwon insisted he will never leave the group, but he will not be involved in new recordings, stating, "I'm in a limbo situation... I am on strike. It ain't (sic) the fact that I don't want to be there. Because of course I want to be there. But if we're there, we gotta do the best everything."
U.S. President Barack Obama has paid a special tribute to club music icon Frankie Knuckles by penning a letter to his grieving family and friends. The top producer, known as the Godfather of House, died at the age of 59 in his adopted home of Chicago, Illinois on 31 March (14) after suffering complications related to diabetes.
Tributes have poured in from musicians including DJ Roger Sanchez, members of rap group Wu-Tang Clan, British DJ Pete Tong and hip-hop star Questlove, and now a note personally sent to Knuckles' loved ones by former Illinois Senator Obama and his wife Michelle has been shared online by his DJ pal David Morales.
The letter, which is dated 17 April (14) and signed by both the President and the First Lady, reads: "We were deeply saddened to learn of Frankie's passing, and we extend our heartfelt sympathies as you mourn his loss and reflect upon his life.
"Frankie's work helped open minds and bring people together, blending genres to capture our attention and ignite our imaginations. He was a trailblazer in his field, and his legacy lives on in the city of Chicago and on dance floors across the globe.
"While he will be dearly missed, we trust Frankie's spirit will remain a guiding force. At this difficult time, please know we are holding you all in our thoughts and prayers."
Knuckles' memory has also been honoured by his friend Sir Elton John, who this week (begs21Apr14) announced the establishment of new HIV awareness charity the Frankie Knuckles Fund.
Wu-Tang Clan leader Rza has broken his silence about the group's affiliate who chopped off his penis in an alleged suicide attempt earlier this week (beg14Apr14). Andre 'Christ Bearer' Johnson was found on the pavement outside the North Hollywood apartment building where he lived after cutting off his manhood and leaping from a second-storey balcony.
A statement posted to the Wu-Tang Clan's website appearing to dismiss links to Johnson was quickly removed and now RZA has spoken to XXL in a bid to clarify the rap collective's connection to the Northstar member, who was signed to his record label.
RZA, who also produced North Star's 2004 album as Bobby Digital, says, "Christ Bearer is a part of the West Coast Killa Beez, a bunch of young guys that was signed to our company 10 years ago... We did invest in some young guys to try and help any hood. He was a guy from the hood that we gave a shot. I don't make music with him nowadays.
"(But) I liked those guys. I liked what they stood for, young guys trying. I can't wait to really hear the whole story. It's sad that it's Wu-Tang affiliated. It's like dirty press in a way. I want to know what the f**k moved him to do those things... What he did is incredible. That s**t sound mythical (sic)."
RZA reveals Johnson recently called him after spending time behind bars, adding, "I feel sad for his family first and foremost; I know he has children. I thought he was a smarter guy than a guy who would do something crazy like that. But at the same time, he's been in jail recently, he's been in trouble. Maybe he's mentally unstable. Maybe the mental health system should have took a look at him (sic) and said, 'You know what? We got to hold on to this guy for a little longer'.
"Even if you high (sic), this s**t don't sound sane. This sounds more than high. It sound (sic) like mental problems or something that was bothering this man's mind, and he needed help. It's sad. I send my respect out to his family."