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Traxploitation
Dust off your fly fedora, Shaft is back: On June 16, the John Singleton-directed update of the 1971 blaxploitation classic hits the big screen, complete with Isaac Hayes’ new score and ”Shaft 2000,” Hayes’ reworking of his classic theme song. The rap- and R&B-heavy soundtrack (out June 13 from LaFace/Arista) will feature new songs from Outkast, Parle (with EVE and Jadakiss), Donnell Jones, Beanie Siegel, and Angie Stone. ”The movie is very musical, very funky. It’s not going to be one of those s—-y ‘music from and inspired by the movie’ things,” says Singleton, who cast Samuel L. Jackson in the title role and rapper Busta Rhymes as his streetwise sidekick. LaFace chief L.A. Reid (who was just tagged to head Arista, too) acknowledges they’ve got some mighty big platform shoes to fill: ”The pressure! I mean, no one can touch Hayes’ original, but we’re going to have a great record and hopefully there will be a few surprises.” Rumor has it R. Kelly and TLC’s Lisa ”Left Eye” Lopes are close to getting in on the action — and there should be plenty, if this private dick’s still up on his game.

Prom Queen
Studies show high school seniors are getting more Vitamin C than ever…in the form of the act’s easy-to-digest pop hit, ”Graduation (Friends Forever).” More than 100 radio stations nationwide are reediting the track to include personal messages from local graduates. The idea came to C singer Colleen Fitzpatrick when she first recorded the song with the students of the Big Apple’s All-City Chorus: ”It was about giving it a sense of realness. Saying the phrases myself wouldn’t be the same thing as having [a student wonder] ‘What’s going to be in my future?”’ Apparently, C struck a chord: Her debut disc jumped from 91 to 46 on Billboard‘s album chart in three weeks, fueled by heavy radio rotation. Says senior Alex Corby, whose Bronx High School of Science is one of the schools with a tailor-made version: ”I’m pretty sure students from now on will be using this as their graduation hymn.” As for the 26-year-old Colleen, although she missed her own prom, she’ll finally get her corsage June 9, when she performs at the big event at New Jersey’s James Caldwell High School.

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