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Hear And Now

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— ICE STORM To the exceedingly short list of hip-hop artists who’ve written and directed feature-length films add the name Ice Cube: The rapper/actor’s directorial debut, The Players Club, is set to open in theaters April 8. Cube describes the film as a low-budget ”dramedy” set in a black strip club. ”It’s not just about T&A,” says Cube. ”It’s really a story about the girls who live that kind of life and the characters who hang out in strip clubs, who provide the comedy.” The soundtrack is set to be released March 17 on Cube’s new label, Heavyweight Records; the first single from the album, Cube’s ”We Be Clubbin’,” will ship to radio Feb. 16. The dour-faced rapper also plans to release his first solo album in four years, a double CD tentatively titled War and Peace, this June. As for that long-rumored N.W.A reunion? ”Everybody wants to do it except Dr. Dre,” says Cube. ”If he said yes, I’d be there.” Now, that’s the attitude.

— DO THE BBC On the heels of Led Zeppelin’s successful BBC Sessions comes news that BBC archivists have discovered a reported 23 long-lost Rolling Stones tracks recorded for British radio between October 1963 and August 1965. The earliest songs, which document the Stones’ debut performance on the BBC, hail from an Oct. 5, 1963, session during which the group served as Bo Diddley’s backing band. What are the chances the tapes will be released as an album? It’s too early to tell, says BBC Worldwide international publicity head Mary Collins, ”but we are talking to the Stones about the possibility of releasing [the songs], which we own jointly with them.” Diddley says he has no recollection of the session but remembers touring with the Stones that year and offering them some advice: ”They were threatening to break up, and I told them to stick with it and they’d be bigger than the Beatles, and look at them now. Say, is there any way you can get me a copy of those tapes?”

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