AHH Stray News: Pastor Troy, Pharrell, Sqad Up, 'Rap Canterbury Tales'

Atlanta rapper

Pastor Troy is preparing to release his next studio album By Choice or By Force

later this month. Troy, who has sold over 1 million records in his career, released

his major-label debut Face Off in 2001. The album was followed by 2002's

Universal Soldier, which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Rap Albums chart.

The first single from By Choice or By Force is "Pop a Few Bottles."

The new album hits stores July 25 on Koch Records and features Rasheeda, Bootleg,

and Criminal Manne, among others.Pharrell

Williams and Prince William are reportedly collaborating on an unknown project

in the near future. The two met during The Audi Polo charity tournament. "I

spoke to William before he played polo," Williams told reporters. "We

spoke about doing something. I can't say what it is, except it's going to be big."

Williams added that it was premature to speak on the pair's venture because "the

paperwork isn't done," but the Virginia producer added that Prince William

was a hard worker and that the two shared the same views on charitable issues.Sqad

Up has announced a deal with indie label Money Yung'n Records. The group will

release the new album and DVD We Here Now on August 8. Best known for their

dealings with Lil' Wayne and Cash Money, Sqad Up toured with the New Orleans rapper

but their deal went sour after the label reached an impasse over their contracts.

Shortly afterward, the group signed with Money Yung'n Records. "We saw their

drive and sheer determination to overcome the obstacles that were put in front

of them," said Money Yung'n executive Jay Exclusive. "We knew right

then and there we could work together to take Sqad Up to the next level."

We Here Now features production by Manny Fresh, David Banner and others.Students

in the UK were given a Hip-Hop lesson on the writings of Geoffrey Chaucer, author

of the literary classic The Canterbury Tales. Last week, students visited

New College Nottingham to witness Canadian Hip-Hop artist Baba Brinkman perform

"The Rap Canterbury Tales." Brinkman, who is also a medieval scholar,

taught the course to introduce the young students to Chaucer's classic novel and

The Miller's Tale, as well as other works from the world of medieval literature.

Brinkman, who holds a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Medieval and Renaissance

English Literature, explained the origins of the unique course. "'The Rap

Canterbury Tales' started in 1999 as an experiment, an attempt to adapt Chaucer's

stories into a rap style to make them accessible," Brinkman said. "Comparing

Chaucer's poetics to those of rap artists was the subject of my thesis at the

time and this seemed a natural extension. Since then the project has snowballed

into a successful one-man theatrical performance, a series of educational presentations

and workshops, and a CD recording. It is designed to bring the Tales to a wider

popular audience, as well as assist educators to communicate Chaucer's themes

and narratives easily to students."