The rapper's eagerly awaited new album is put on hold again...

[/a]’s eagerly anticipated second solo LP has been delayed again – this time because the rapper is to star alongside MARK WAHLBERG in a remake of cult British movie’THE ITALIAN JOB’.

In the 1969 original, Michael Caine played the roguish Charlie Crocker, who led an audacious attempt to steal gold bullion in Turin after paralysing the city’s traffic system. The film is famed for its elaborate chase scenes, as Caine’s gang make off in Minis through Turin backstreets.

The remake, directed by F Gary Gray (‘Friday’, The Negotiator), relocates the action to Los Angeles and, in what threatens to be one of the largest product placement deals of all time, the gang will use the newly redesigned Mini Cooper as their getaway vehicle of choice. The new Mini, launched last year in Britain, will make its debut on American streets next year, which is when the movie will open.

[a] will play Half Ear, a member of the Crocker’s gang who has a hearing aid. Mark Wahlberg, brother of New Kids On The Block’s Donnie, plays Crocker. The remake is also due to star Ed Norton, Charlize Theron and British actor Jason Statham.

[/a]’s second solo LP, as yet untitled, and the follow-up to the

influential and highly regarded 1999 album ‘Black On Both Sides’, has been subject to numerous delays already. [a] put the project on hold last year to take over from Don Cheadle in the Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway theatre production, ‘Topdog/Underdog’. Further complications have arisen following boardroom machinations at Universal, where he is now signed as a recording artist.