AHH Stray News: Rick Rubin, The Streets, Rap in Rhode Island, MXGM

Pioneering producer

Rick Rubin has signed a deal with Warner Bros. Records to distribute his American

Recordings label, according to the New York Post. Rubin, who founded Def Jam Records

in his NYU dorm room alongside rap impresario Russell Simmons, will bring several

acts including the Jayhawks into the partnership. Rubin recently returned to his

Hip-Hop roots as he laid down tracks for Jay-Z and Lil Jon & the East Side

Boyz in the past year. The move reunites Rubin's American label with Lyor Cohen,

who brought the label into the Island Def Jam music fold before departing for

Warner Music Group.

Garage rapper The Streets

aka Mike Skinner and Eminem were triumphant at the 2005 Brit Awards held last

Wednesday (Feb. 9) as the two walked away with the British Male Artist and International

Male Artist honors, respectively. Eminem defeated Kayne West and Usher to capture

his victory, which was awarded by the British Phonographic Industry Ltd., an

industry association. Other winners included songstress Joss Stone and Gwen


Fourteen high school students

in Johnston, Rhode Island were suspended from school last week for recording

a hip-hop album that administrators deemed vulgar and violent, according to

the Associated Press. The students each received a five-day suspension and are

required to perform community service and receive in-school sensitivity training

once they return from their punishment. The group sold 50 copies of the album,

which featured lines like “I just wanna grab the Glock and cock it back

/ kill everyone here, how ... is that,” before concerned parents contacted

school officials. A first amendment attorney said of the situation: “School

officials have a much stronger claim to jurisdiction even though the materials

were created off-campus.” A report by the school superintendent is due

this week.

Three members of

the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM) were arrested by NYPD officers last

Wednesday (Feb 9) while patrolling the streets of Brooklyn as a part of the

group’s Copwatch Program. The trio was videotaping a scene on a Bed-Stuy

street after being altered by residents of unusually high police activity in

the area. While approaching the scene, Djibril Toure, Lumumba Bandele and Dasaw

Floyd were confronted by an official who arrested and charged the men with assault

and obstruction of governmental administration, according to Toure. "This

arrest is outrageous," the group’s attorney Kamau Karl Franklin said

in a statement. "They were involved in completely legal activities, and

the irony is that their treatment by police underscores the very need for a

program such as Copwatch.”