DETROIT RAPS It’s legal reckoning week for Motor City rock stars. First, Kid Rock (né Robert Ritchie Jr.) has finally reached a settlement in his 10 month custody battle with ex girlfriend Kelley South Russell. The multiplatinum rapper will permit Kelley, an auto worker for Ford Motor Co., to spend more time with their 7 year old son — but only if she pays $25 per week in child support, according to the Detroit Free Press. ”He was absolutely, positively insistent that she pay child support,” Kelley’s lawyer Kathy Vogt told the Press. ”His position is that she needs to assume responsibility…. My opinion is that this is punishment,” she said. Last month a Macomb county court official recommended that Rock retain full custody of the kid…. And guess who else is off to court this week? Eminem will face charges stemming from his now notorious confrontation in a nightclub parking lot. Prosecutors say the rapper isn’t getting any special treatment — and if he’s convicted, he should face up to five years of jail time. ”He’s like any other defendant for us in terms of the economic consequences of his actions,” prosecutor Carl Marlinga told AP. ”He’s charged with a felony, and we intend to go to trial with this case as a felony.” Em’s lawyer could not be reached for comment. Oh good! The politicians have another kids and violence issue to thrash out this week.
DEATHS Oscar nominee Richard Farnsworth took his life in his New Mexico home on Saturday. The actor, who has nominated for an Oscar for his performance in ”The Straight Story,” shot himself, according to police. He had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Farnsworth’s lengthy career included memorable roles in ”Misery” (1990), ”The Getaway” (1994), ”The Natural” (1984), and ”Comes a Horseman” (1978), for which he received a best supporting actor Academy Award nomination. He was 80.
TOURS Nelly may soon be joining forces with Lil’ Kim. The St. Louis rapper will launch a 27 date tour in Houston Nov. 12 — and Kim is in talks to join him, according to MTV.com. For now, Nelly will travel with the Cash Money Millionaires and R&B acts Joe and Profyle. If Kim comes along, she’ll be promoting ”No Matter What They Say,” the second single from her raunchy duet with Sisqó on ”Notorious K.I.M.”
CRIMES Busta Rhymes got busted. The rapper (né Trevor Smith Jr.) was sentenced to five years’ probation for gun possession on Friday. Smith pled guilty before a Manhattan Supreme Court Justice to charges stemming from a 1999 incident in which police found a loaded pistol in his Mercedes Benz, according to Reuters. He would have faced up to seven years’ imprisonment if he had been convicted in a trial. Good thing he didn’t. The rapper has an awfully busy slate: He is now promoting his platinum release ”Anarchy” with a 9 date tour beginning Oct. 18. After that, he’ll appear in Gus Van Sant‘s next effort, ”Finding Forrester.” And finally, he’s set to play the Cowardly Lion in Fox TV’s update of ”The Wizard of Oz.” Hip hop down the road.
MUSIC BIZ All those who simply can’t get enough of seeing meat on a mat will soon have cause to rejoice. The World Wrestling Federation plans to bow a music label entitled SmackDown! Records, with former BMG exec Ron McCarrell as its prez. The new label will focus largely on releasing the anthemic hard rock and hip hop tunes that make up the background for its Thursday night UPN show SmackDown! We can’t wait.
SKIN SHOTS Alas, our lengthy respite from Paula Jones headlines has ended. The woman whose sexual harassment suit helped lead to President Clinton’s impeachment will appear in the upcoming edition of Penthouse. According to New York’s Daily News, the photos of a seminude Jones will also be accompanied by the unheard of — an article! The title of the story is ”Paula Jones Uncovered! She shows all, she tells all: How the Far Right used and abused her to destroy Clinton.” The follow-up piece? ”How Penthouse uses and abuses presidential notoriety.”
OBIT Dennis Sandole, jazz guitarist and mentor to John Coltrane, died in his home on Saturday. Sandole’s 60 year career included performances with some of the biggest swing band acts of the time such as Charlie Barnet and Tommy Dorsey. The guitarist taught Coltrane from 1946 until the early 1950s, introducing him to music theory and music from other cultures. He was 87.