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Rick James may have died of “natural causes,” as his label announced the day after his death, but a Los Angeles county coroner’s report released Thursday confirms the singer’s last few days may have been anything but homeopathic.

The coroner’s office officially ruled James’ Aug. 6 death “accidental,” but also noted that no fewer than nine drugs were found in his system, including methamphetamine and cocaine.

As E! exclusively reported Aug. 7, James was spotted just days prior to his death at a Hollywood party using cocaine, and many of his friends privately were concerned that the former “Superfreak” was back to his partying ways before his untimely death.

James and his family had maintained that the R&B/funk star successfully kicked his cocaine habit and was sober after years spent battling a crack addiction.

The “Give It to Me Baby” singer spent time in a Los Angeles jail during the mid 1990s for a 1991 crack-fueled assault and had said in past interviews that his time behind bars had convinced him to stay clean.

In addition to cocaine and crystal meth, the Los Angeles county coroner’s report noted the presence of seven other drugs found during the autopsy–specifically Xanax, Valium, Wellbutrin, Celexa, Digoxin, Chlorpheniramine and Vicodin. No single drug was found in quantities that would establish lethal quantities, hence the accidental death ruling.

WASHINGTON (AP) — CBS was fined a record $550,000 by federal regulators Wednesday for Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction,” which exposed the singer’s breast during the Super Bowl halftime show.

The Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously to slap each of the 20 CBS-owned television stations with the maximum indecency penalty of $27,500. The total penalty of $550,000 is the largest fine levied against a television broadcaster. Most of the FCC’s bigger fines have been against radio stations.

The agency’s five commissioners decided not to fine CBS’ more than 200 affiliate stations, which also aired the show but are not owned by the network’s parent company, Viacom.

MTV, a Viacom subsidiary, produced the Feb. 1 halftime show, which featured Jackson and singer Justin Timberlake performing a duet. At the end, Timberlake ripped off a piece of Jackson’s black leather top, exposing her right breast to a TV audience of about 90 million.

Timberlake blamed a “wardrobe malfunction,” and CBS was quick to apologize to viewers. The breast-baring song generated a record number of complaints to the FCC — more than 500,000.

“While we regret that the incident occurred and have apologized to our viewers, we continue to believe that nothing in the Super Bowl broadcast violated indecency laws,” CBS said in a statement. “Furthermore, our investigation proved that no one in our company had any advance knowledge about the incident.”

Lil’ Kim’s bodyguard was sentenced to 12 years in prison for his involvement in a 2001 shootout outside the office of a New York radio station.

Suif Jackson (a.k.a. C-Gutta) was sentenced on Wednesday for firing a gun at least 20 times during the shootout. Jackson, who admitted to his involvement, was handed the lengthy sentence because of a series of prior convictions for gun-related crimes, according to The Associated Press.

Kim is scheduled to stand trial on February 28 on charges of lying to a grand jury about the same incident (see “Lil’ Kim Pleads Not Guilty, Released On $500,000 Bail”). The rapper was indicted in April for telling the jury she was not present at the time of the shooting and did not know at least one of the suspects involved. She pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court in New York.

The shootout took place in February 2001 when Kim and her entourage left the office of radio station WQHT-FM (Hot 97) as Capone, of rap duo Capone-N-Noreaga, and his companions were arriving (see “Shooting Rattles Radio Station After Lil’ Kim Visit”).

One man, Efrain Ocasio, was shot in the back by Jackson during the altercation. Jackson’s lawyer reportedly claims his client believed he was firing in self-defense against a member of Capone’s group.

Jackson will finish a state prison sentence which ends August 7, 2006 for an unrelated incident before beginning the federal sentence.

Sep. 7, 2004 – Chicago rapper Twista, known for hits such as “Slow Jamz” and “So Sexy,” was hurt in a van crash that killed a member of his security staff, state police said.

Twista, whose real name is Carl Mitchell, was treated and released from a hospital in Erie after the van in which he was riding veered off Interstate 90 just after 4 a.m. Monday and rolled over in the median, police said.

Another man in the van, Arthur Dixon of Chicago, died after he was taken to a hospital, authorities said. Five other men in the van were hurt, none seriously, police and hospital officials said.

The van was headed from Syracuse, N.Y., to Chicago when the crash happened, said Erie County Coroner Lyell Cook.

Police were investigating how the van veered off the road in a construction zone and into the median, where it rolled over.

A decision on whether to file charges won’t be made until at least Wednesday, said county District Attorney Brad Foulk, who declined to say what caused the accident.

“It’s a miracle that any of them survived because all of them, except for the driver, were ejected onto the medial strip,” Foulk said.

The driver, identified by police as Otis Bankhead of Chicago, was the only person in the vehicle wearing a seat belt, Foulk said.

Mitchell, 30, was originally known as Tung Twista and was listed in Guinness World Records in 1992 as the fastest rapper in the world. His “So Sexy” was eighth on Billboard’s latest list of hot rap tracks; “Slow Jamz” went to No. 1 on the Billboard chart earlier this year, and the album “Kamikaze” sold more than a million copies.

Twista had been scheduled to appear in Albany, N.Y., on Monday, but the show was canceled so another rapper on the bill, LL Cool J, could be with his wife after surgery, according to the Web site for Albany’s Pepsi Arena.



Seven years ago, a vain and jaded baseball star (Bernie Mac) retired from the sport as soon as achieving his 3,000th base hit, and his place within the select group who have achieved that distinction. Now, however, after three of those hits during his time with the Milwaukee Brewers have been disqualified, the Hall of Famer returns to the game, playing once again for the Brewers, to play a few more games and get back to the 3,000 mark, but along the way, he discovers that the experience renews his love for the sport, reminding him what it was like to be a young boy obsessed with the game, as he finds himself imparting some of this knowledge to a young rookie he mentors.

Opens: September 17, 2004

Rated: PG-13

The Cookout

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When Todd Anderson (Storm P) is chosen as the #1 professional basketbal draft pick and signs to play for his home team, the New Jersey Nets, for $30 million, he finds that his newfound wealth means his relationships with the people in his life is bound to change. This becomes evident when he decides to throw the sort of family/neighborhood cookout his family has always had during the summer at his new house in a stuffy white neighborhood, which means that there’s going to be more than one type of culture clash, between his new and old friends, and those who like him for him, and those who like him for his money. The event is timed to coincide with Todd’s first endorsement deal announcement, which only accentuates the difference between his roots and his newfound fame. Watching over the proceedings is the neighborhood association’s security guard (Queen Latifah), who’s there to make none of their rules get broken… although that is certainly guaranteed with Todd’s rowdy family and friends in attendance.

Dancehall star Beenie Man, who has recorded anti-gay songs in the past, was yanked from a concert associated with the MTV Video Music Awards this weekend after gay groups planned a protest, the network said Wednesday.

MTV pulled the Jamaican singer from the roster Tuesday after South Florida gay activists announced plans to protest Saturday’s concert in Miami over some of his past lyrics, including “I’m dreaming of a new Jamaica, come to execute all the gays” and “Queers must be killed.”

Jet Li Hero

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The story of the soon-to-be First Emperor of China who is on the brink of conquering a war-torn land during the violent dawn of the Qin dynasty over two thousand years ago.

In a distant war torn land, a ruthless emperor is rising to power with an iron fist and his massive armies. To control everything, he will stop at nothing. International action star Jet Li is a fearless warrior with no name on a mission of revenge for the massacre of his people.

Movie looks GOOOOOOD

Watch the trailer: CLICK HERE

The days of a hip-hop fest have come and gone at Paramount’s Kings Dominion.

Black Entertainment Television and the theme park have discontinued their annual College Hip-Hop Fest, which featured big-name rap, hip hop and music talent and drew students from historically black colleges up and down the East Coast.

According to a news release, a decline in attendance was the primary reason for the spring event’s demise after seven years.

“We are disappointed but unfortunately, the number of students participating has declined to the point where it doesn’t make sense for us to host it,” said Richard A. Zimmerman, executive vice president and general manager of Kings Dominion.

The statement made no mention of two fatal shootings in the past two years related to after-concert partying.

Last year, three people were shot – one fatally – after the daylong festival.

Two men were shot in the Kings Dominion parking lot during a fight as thousands of people were leaving the theme park in Hanover County.

Later that night, 20-year-old Ka-Mel Loftin of Chesterfield County was fatally shot in the head in the 300 block of East Broad Street. He was one of thousands of people who drove from the theme park to downtown Richmond for late-night partying.

This year, Hanover assigned 100 deputies to work inside the theme park and in its parking lot. And in Richmond, police were out in droves with three or four times the regular number of patrol officers.

In addition, event planners made admission more difficult by requiring a valid college ID to purchase tickets at the theme park.

But even with the extra security, another man was killed in Richmond after the event.

Jose Andujar, 21, a Virginia State University student from New York City, was fatally shot in the head at about 1:10 a.m. as he sat in the driver’s seat of a red Ford Explorer. The vehicle came to a rest against a stop sign at Pine and Broad streets, across from a Virginia Commonwealth University student apartment complex.

No charges have been filed in either homicide.

Richmond authorities did not comment on the festival’s cancellation.

Lt. Doug Goodman, Hanover Sheriff’s Office spokesman, said, “This is just a example of how Kings Dominion is a good corporate citizen.”

Officials from BET and the theme park said they would “continue to seek opportunities to partner on future projects.” Although declining attendance was cited as the main reason for canceling the event, the park refused to release attendance numbers.

“The relationship with our sister Viacom company Paramount’s Kings Dominion has been a mutually successful one, and we’re grateful for all of the hard work and dedication shown over the years,” BET President Debra Lee said in a statement.

During Kings Dominion’s seven-year hosting of the event, the festival raised $250,000 for black colleges and universities, plus an additional $50,000 for “Rap-It-Up,” BET’s campaign for HIV awareness in the black community.

“Because of BET’s support and promotion of this event,” Kings Dominion’s Zimmerman said, “we have been able to provide a fun-filled day of quality entertainment for a group of college students.”

James died in his sleep at his residence near Universal City, said publicist Sujata Murthy. James lived alone and was found dead by his personal assistant, who notified police, she said.

I can still remember my pops raving about Rick James when I was a kid. Even though Rick died early at 56, no one can deny that he lived a full life. He had plenty of ups and downs to last a normal person a lifetime. His constant struggle with substance abuse was the only thing that kept him in the headlines as much as his music did.



Rick James leaped back on the scene with the help of comedian Dave Chappelle. The “I’m Rick James Bitch!” phrase propelled James back into daily conversations instantly.



It was everywhere!

As recently as the 2004 BET Awards Rick James stole the show… He had me rolling.



Sadly, he is no longer with us… R.I.P. “Super Freak”

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