AHH Stray News: Public Enemy, Ecko, Busta Rhymes, Jada Pinkett-Smith

Public Enemy performed

twice last week in Arizona for the first time, since the group launched a boycott

of the state. The socially conscious group imposed the ban on Arizona with the

controversial release of “By the Time I Get to Arizona," taken from

their classic 1991 album Apocalypse '91: The Enemy Strikes Black. The song

and the boycott of the state that followed came after Arizona officials refused

to recognize Martin Luther King Day as a paid holiday. “It’s over and

done with,” Chuck D. told the Arizona Daily Star. The state voted

to formally recognize the Dr. King Holiday in 1992, because of the national attention

that the legendary group brought to issue. Public Enemy recently launched its

56th tour and decided to take the show back to Arizona as part of the West coast

leg of the outing. Fashion

designer/entrepreneur Marc Ecko and Airborne Entertainment recently announced

a new union that will produce an exclusive suite of mobile products from Ecko's

various businesses. Under the new deal, Marc Ecko, with the help of Airborne Entertainment,

will release new ringtones, ringbacktones, message alerts, screensavers and wallpapers

from his lifestyle brands including ecko unltd., Zoo York, Avirex and Cut &

Sew. "Airborne Entertainment is the perfect partner as we look to bring a

broad array of branded content to the mobile entertainment space," Marc Ecko

said in a statement. "We look forward to working closely with their team

and anticipate quickly emerging as a force in this rapidly expanding direct to

consumer marketplace." In addition to the new mobile content scheduled to

be released in early 2007. As the youngest member to serve on the Council of Fashion

Designers of America's board of directors, Marc Ecko oversees Marc Ecko Enterprises

which include fashion brands Marc Ecko "Cut & Sew," G-Unit clothing

and accessories, Zoo York and Avirex Sportswear Collection. Busta

Rhymes is facing a new weapon charge in an assault case, which stems from an incident

in August, where the rapper allegedly assaulted a fan. Police claim Rhymes, born

Trevor Smith, kicked and stomped Roberto Lebron in the head and body, after Lebron

allegedly spat on Rhymes' Maybach, as the luxury vehicle was passing by in mid-town

Manhattan. Lebron filed a formal criminal complaint and Rhymes was arrested and

hit with various assault and weapons charges. When Rhymes was arrested, police

searched his SUV and found a machete and a smaller, 10-inch blade. In October,

the charge of possession of a weapon pertaining to the machete was dropped, but

according to Reuters, prosecutors recently filed a new charge of misdemeanor criminal

possession of a weapon over the 10-inch blade. The rapper refused a plea deal

in October regarding the assault and will strand trial on the various assault

charges. Lebron, a former John Jay College of Criminal Justice, is also planning

a civil lawsuit against Busta Rhymes. Jada

Pinkett Smith donated $1 million dollars to her former high school, the Baltimore

School for the Arts. Pinkett-Smith attended the art school with legendary rapper

Tupac Shakur and developed a close friendship with Shakur, who was gunned down

by unknown assailants in 1996. The monetary gift was donated by the Smith's Will

and Jada Smith Family Foundation, which is based in Baltimore. Pinkett-Smith,

who hails from Baltimore, hopes to have the new school theater named after Shakur,

the best-selling rapper of all-time.