AHH Stray News: Dave Chappelle, Ashanti, Hip-Hop Association, Pharrell, BEP

Dave Chappelle will

make his first television appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show this Friday

(Feb. 3) to explain his sudden disappearance last year after announcing a $50

million dollar deal with Comedy Central. Chappelle gained headlines worldwide

when he suddenly disappeared from the set of The Chappelle Show last year

and reemerged in South Africa, in the middle of production for the show's third

season. In related news, Dave Chappelle's Block Party will open in theaters

Mar. 3. The movie was shot in Brooklyn, New York in 2004 and is produced by Rogue

Pictures. It features new stand-up material by Chappelle and exclusive performances

by Kanye West, The Roots, Mos Def, Erykah Badu, Wyclef, Kool G. Rap, Big Daddy

Kane, Lauryn Hill and others. Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michel Gondry directed

the film, which is Rated R.

The Inc.'s Princess

Ashanti has filed a lawsuit against various companies, claiming they are releasing

and marketing an album of old material without her permission. Can't Stop

features material Ashanti (born Ashanti Douglas) recorded in 1997. The tapes

were unearthed in Sept. 2004 and re-mixed and mastered by Genard Parker and

Ernie Lake using Pro Tools equipment. Big Records Australia, Farm Records, Unique

Corp., Simply Vinyl, Team Entertainment, ZYX Music and others are named as defendants

in the lawsuit. The album has a street date of Feb. 21, 2005. The lawsuit is

the latest in an ongoing battle over rights to the material Ashanti recorded

when she was 16-years-old. She claims she recorded the material for demo-shopping

purposes and never intended the recordings to be released to the public. Parker

won a $630,000 judgment last year, after a judge ruled that Ashanti breached

a production agreement she signed while a teenager. Ashanti is seeking an injunction

to block the release and damages in excess of $1 million.

The Hip-Hop Association

has teamed with Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum to present

"Elevate!: Using Hip-Hop To Educate" to teachers around the country.

The four-day forum brings K-12 teachers together with historians, performers,

activists, and educational specialists to learn how to utilize Hip-Hop music

to teach today's youth. "The education and activist communities have truly

appreciated our Hip-Hop Education Summits," said Martha Diaz, President

of the Hip-Hop Association. "They have provided the opportunity to learn

and share about Hip-Hop and its legacy of empowerment. The Summer Teacher Institute

is a great occasion to bring this dialogue to a larger platform. We're excited

to be in a position to aid in this process." The Summer Institute is also

being presented by Cuyahoga Community College and the Center for the Study of

the Arts at Cleveland State University. For more information log on:


After a successful

collaboration designing luxury sunglasses, rapper/producer Pharrell Williams

will enter into the jewelry designing business with Louis Vuitton. Williams

was originally approached by Louis Vuitton designer Marc Jacobs and a deal was

announced with the company in Oct. 2004. Williams, along with Nigo, founder

of the clothing line, A Bathing Ape, designed a luxury line of sunglasses for

the fashion company. Williams created a sunglass line for Louis Vuitton that

included names like "Elvira," "Havana," and "Lady Tiger."

Williams described his new Vuitton jewelry designs as "super regal."

No in-store date was available at press time.

Tour dates for

The Black Eyed Peas' Honda Civic Tour were announced today. The tour kicks off

on March 23rd at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California and will hit 35

cities before winding down in Denver, Colorado on May 21. The high profile tour

is the group's first headlining tour in North America to promote their multi-platinum

release, Monkey Business. "We are excited to be going out on the

Honda Civic Tour because it allows us to keep the ticket at a low price so that

kids can come out and see us play and not have to worry about breaking their

backs to pay for a ticket," said group member will.i.am. Fans can log on

to www.hondacivictour.com

for more information.

Tour dates are


March 23 Save Mart Center Fresno, CA

March 24 Arco Arena Sacramento, CA

March 25 Reno Events Center Reno, NV

March 26 Bayside Concerts San Diego, CA

March 28 Gibson Amphitheater Los Angeles, CA

March 29 Gibson Amphitheater Los Angeles, CA

March 31 Dodge Theater Phoenix, AZ

April 7 Smirnoff Amphitheater Dallas, TX

April 8 Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion Houston, TX

April 9 Verizon Wireless Amphitheater San Antonio, TX

April 11 USF SunDome Tampa, FL

April 13 Bank Atlantic Center Sunrise, FL

April 14 UofF O'Connell Center Gainesville, FL

April 15 Chastain Park Amphitheater Atlanta, GA

April 18 Booth Amph @ Regency Park Cary, NC

April 21 Theater @ Madison Square Garden New York, NY

April 22 Merriweather Post Pavilion Columbia, MD

April 23 Tweeter Waterfront Camden, NJ

April 25 Mullins Center @ UMASS Amherst, MA

April 26 Sacred Heart Univ/Wm. Pitt Center Fairfield, CT

April 28 Turning Stone Casino Verona, NY

April 29 Agganis Arena Boston, MA

April 30 Bryce Theater @ Bryce Jordan Ctr State College, PA

May 2 Value City Theater Columbus, OH

May 4 Fox Theater Detroit, MI

May 6 Aragon Ballroom Chicago, IL

May 7 Xcel Energy Center St. Paul, MN

May 12 Oakland Arena Oakland, CA

May 14 Theater in the Clouds Portland, OR

May 15 Everett Events Center Everett, WA

May 16 Star Theater @ Spokane Arena Spokane, WA

May 19 Idaho Center Theater Boise, ID

May 20 E Center Ford Theater Salt Lake City, UT

May 21 Universal Lending Pavilion Denver, CO