Odds & Ends

Late last Wednesday afternoon, a call came to the office from a rapper named Dow Jones: He was performing that night at the Starck Club on McKinney Avenue. Oh, and also--he was opening up for Nas.

Wait a minute: Did he just say Nas?!?

Apparently the sharp-tongued New York City rapper was in town promoting his new album Street's Discipline and planned to perform along with locals Steve Austin, Headkrack and Dow Jones. Sounds great, right?

"It was a total disaster," Dow Jones said when I called him later in the week. "He never showed." Nas was clearly in town, having made an afternoon appearance at 97.9 FM.

"His management hadn't really scheduled the appearance in," said Nikki Green, who handles marketing for the Starck Club. "They apologized for the inconvenience. It just didn't work out as planned. It was really last-minute."

"Nas or no Nas, though, we still made history based on the energy in that room," Jones said. That's how we like our Dow Jones--staying on the positive.

The rap on Lil Flip: On April 1 (no joke), Dallas lawyers Scott Hemingway and Raymond Mbala will go to trial against Lil' Flip and Sony Records, hoping to prove copyright infringement on three songs from his CD Undaground Legend: "Texas Boys," "Make Mama Proud" and "What I Been Through." In August 2003, the attorneys filed suit against the Houston crunkmeister on behalf of Louisiana songwriter and music producer Tommy L. Granville. The suit claims that Granville wrote melodies for those songs but was never paid, despite an agreement to do so.

"This is just a typical case of the little guy getting taken advantage of," Hemingway says. "Tommy's not a star. He's not supported by a big company like Sony. [Lil' Flip's company] Sucka Free Records is living up to their name--you're the sucker, 'cause we're gonna take your music for free."

This is one of two copyright infringement suits Lil' Flip is facing. The second comes from NamCo America, who alleges he included samples from the games Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man in his song "Game Over" without permission. Presumably, Lil' Flip will discuss neither case when he performs at the Gypsy Tea Room on November 24.

Does it seem like this week's And Another Thing is all about rappers? Wait, here's something completely different: There's a terrific (and free!) Spune showcase Thursday at Good Records with performances from Comet, Midlake, Record Hop, Tree Wave and John LaMonica. Show starts at 7 p.m. Be there and drink free beer! On Saturday, Reno's Chop Shop hosts the Hotrod Hellride Benefit for kids with cancer, with a lineup that includes Slick 57, the Atomic Fiends, Rock DeVille and Zombilly. The event is from noon to 2 a.m. Also on Saturday, the Dam Jam at the Granada Theater, with a lineup that includes Minority, Fallen From the Nest and Monkeyshyne. The event starts at 4 p.m.

Whew. That was a close one. Now we can go back to talking about...

What to say about the passing of rapper ODB, aka Ol' Dirty Bastard, aka Big Baby Jesus, aka Dirt McGirt? Never as brilliant as his Wu-Tang debut promised, always a little crazier than was comfortable, ODB led a storied life, even for a rapper. ODB will undoubtedly be remembered for his near-delusional incoherence--which included such greatest hits as bum-rushing Shawn Colvin's acceptance speech at the Grammys and having more than a dozen children with different women. But he was uncensored and unscripted, and in an industry prone to blaming lip-synching on acid reflux, that's practically a revolutionary act. ODB was influential musically as well, with his nonsense verses of half-rap and half-song. His 1999 album Nigga Please introduced us to the Neptunes, who would become one of the most powerful industry forces so far this century. ODB was an original. Pour a capful out for him. And for God's sake, kids, stay off the crack.

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Sarah Hepola

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