Puff Daddy and HEAVY D have been told they are to share responsibility with the state of New York for a stampede at a 1991 rap concert that left nine people dead and 29 injured. Judge Louis Benza announced in the US Claims Court on January 11 that both rappers could be sued by survivors and relatives of the dead.
Trouble started when thousands of people turned up to the gig at New York City College but were not allowed in because the venue was already full. They started to smash their way in, causing the stampede in which people were trampled under foot. The judge said the disaster could have been averted if better security staff had been employed by Puff Daddy and Heavy D, who were promoting the event.
A statement from Puff Daddy said: “There is not a day that passes that I do not regret the fact that I was a promoter of this tragic event at City College. I have lived with the horror of that night for the last seven years. But my pain is nothing compared to what the victims’ families have had to face. Yesterday’s ruling represents another step towards a resolution of the legal proceedings. I just keep praying that God will give the families the strength to bear the suffering.”
MIGHTY WAH! frontman Pete Wylie could go to jail after admitting making a series of threatening phone calls to his ex-girlfriend and her new partner. Wylie, 40, had denied threatening to kill Michelle Bass and John Mitton on February 5 last year but pleaded guilty last Wednesday (January 13) at Liverpool Crown Court to an alternative charge of causing them fear of violence. The singer has now been remanded on bail for the preparation of reports and sentence on February 3.
GANG STARR‘s Guru was beaten and robbed outside the studio where he is recording new material at Queens, New York, on January 8. Guru, 37, real name Keith Elam, was approached by three men, one armed with a handgun, who made off with his ‘pound;4,000 Rolex watch and ‘pound;1,000 gold chain. They fired a shot as they ran off. The rapper, who was pistol-whipped during the attack, was treated for cuts and bruises in hospital.
DEADLY AVENGER aka Damon Baxtley who is about to release a new EP for Illicit Records and who has just completed a remix of The Stereophonics’ ‘Just Looking’ is recovering from burns sustained in an explosion at his home in Leicestershire on Monday night. Damon was stripping wallpaper in his home studio when the steamer exploded, scalding him with boiling water.
“It was fucking nasty, but I will survive,” he said, describing his just completed album as “steamin'”.
FOXY BROWN teams up with BUSTA RHYMES and DMX on her second album, ‘Chyna Doll’, released on January 25 through Mercury.
3 COLOURS RED will be autographing copies of their second album, ‘Revolt’, at record shops across the country. The band appear at Glasgow HMV and Edinburgh Virgin (February 8), Newcastle HMV and Leeds Virgin (9), Altrincham’s Omega Records and Birmingham HMV (10), Leicester HMV and Jay’s of Cambridge (11). ‘Revolt’ is released on February 8 through Creation.
GODFLESH release a new album, ‘Us And Them’, on April 26, through Earache, and are due to launch a European tour. Full details will be announced soon.
JIMI TENOR releases a new album, ‘Organism’, on February 22, followed by a single, ‘Year Of The Apocalypse’, on March 8. The ten-track album is his second on Sheffield’s Warp label and follow-up to March 1997’s ‘Intervision’. Tenor is also due to play at London W1 Improv Club (February 25).
AXL ROSE is in the studio recording the long-awaited new Guns N’Roses album. The singer is working with Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails producer Sean Beavan. The new-look Guns N’Roses include former Nine Inch Nails guitarist Robin Finck, former Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson and former Vandals drummer Jose Freese. Rose is the only original member left. He is said to be keen to play his new material live sometime this summer.
WU-TANG CLAN‘s Ghostface Killah, who releases his new solo album ‘Supreme Clientele’ on May 10 on Epic, faces a six-month jail sentence after he pleaded guilty to attempted robbery. Ghostface, real name Dennis Coles, is due to be sentenced on February 2 for the attempted robbery outside New York’s Palladium nightclub in August 1995. Coles also appeared at New York’s Supreme Court last week for possession of a handgun and a bulletproof vest following his arrest on December 10, 1997, for a traffic violation. That case has been adjourned until February 9.