FEDS PROBE RAP SLAYINGS
The New York Post reports federal prosecutors are investigating several major rap figures for criminal conspiracy and may expand the investigation to include last week's slayings in New York of pioneering DJ Jam Master Jay and rap promoter Kenneth Walker. Though local police officials say the two cases appear unrelated, the Post reports the feds are investigating them.
"They look at all rapper-related cases, which is why they're going to be looking at these two," a law enforcement source told The Post. The article maintains the feds are looking at links between rapper-related crimes, including homicides in the Bronx and New Jersey, and shootings, assaults and extortion in New York.
"We started looking at different crimes, and it just started to snowball," the source told The Post. "A lot of the same names were overlapping in different crimes."
JUSTIN DUMPS ON BRITNEY
Justin Timberlake, the N'Sync heartthrob whose first solo album, "Justified," is out Tuesday, dumps all over former girlfriend Britney Spears in his interview with Barbara Walters. During the segment Timberlake sings a song about the Pop Tart, "Horrible Woman."
"So let's skip the drama," Timberlake sings. "Call your mama and tell her she better just come get you -- 'cause frankly baby you ain't worth the gas in my BMW."
STERN RETURNS TO HIGH SCHOOL
Howard Stern has secured the remake rights to "Rock 'N' Roll High School" and "Porky's."
Stern currently is looking for writers to update the scripts on these raunchy comedies and he plans to act as executive producer for the films, which he will develop and then shop to major studios.
"If I say to an audience, particularly my audience, this is 'Howard Stern Presents,' it means something to them," Stern told the Hollywood Reporter. "It means that it's going to be crazy. It means that it's going to be different, and they know I'm not going to be giving them any schlock."
"Rock 'N' Roll High School" featured punk rock pioneers the Ramones as characters. "The musical aspect of it turns me on," Stern said. "It would be really interesting to take an unknown band and put them in it and see where it goes. So it could go either way. But right now, I'm leaning toward an established band."
MCCARTNEY TOUR WRAPS
Paul McCartney finished his 50-date North American tour last week with a bang, grossing in the neighborhood of $100 million, which is likely to make it the biggest money maker of the year, averaging around $2 million a show.
"Nobody goes out (on tour) to lose money, but the main thing is the audiences are having fun," McCartney tells Billboard in the Nov. 9 issue. "In some ways, (the response) has reminded me of the early Beatles tours."
McCartney broke the tour into two parts, a spring and fall leg.
"This tour (was) the ideal size," said the former Beatle. "After the first leg, we said, 'What we need is a nice holiday,' so we took some time off; I got married (to Heather Mills) and had my honeymoon -- a wonderful time."
McCartney's band for the tour included Paul "Wix" Wickens on keyboards, guitarist Rusty Anderson, guitarist/bassist Brian Ray, and drummer Abe Laboriel Jr.
The shows balanced material from the Beatles, Wings and McCartney solo projects. "I've played with most of these guys before, and we have a nice selection of songs," McCartney said. "This band has really taken off."
JOE SATRIANI ON TOUR
Guitarist Joe Satriani began a tour in support of his latest album, "Strange Beautiful Music," over the weekend in San Francisco. The tour will continue until mid-December when it wraps up in Michigan. Satriani, who first gained commercial success in 1987 with the album "Surfing With The Alien," has sold 7 million albums worldwide. In August Satriani was named the sixth greatest guitarist of all time by English guitar magazine, Total Guitar, finishing behind Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page.