Run-DMC's album is on hold and Big Punisher's ''Yeeeah Baby'' will be his last

By Tom Sinclair
Updated February 25, 2000 at 05:00 AM EST

They’re the kings of rock/There are none higher/But label suits/Are making life dire…. Run-DMC‘s star-studded album, Crown Royal, is on indefinite hold, due to unsuccessful negotiations between their label, Arista, and those of guests Kid Rock and Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst (Atlantic and Interscope, respectively). Atlantic and Interscope have declined to grant Arista permission to release the Run-Rock and Run-Limp collaborations as singles, fearing they might divert attention from Rock’s and Limp’s own recent albums. ”It’s not normal to let somebody work a conflicting single when you’re in your current record cycle,” says Peter Katsis, an exec with Limp’s management. ”We tend to agree with Interscope.” Arista’s Pete Ganbarg admits to ”some issues in terms of single rights,” but says he hopes they’ll be ironed out in time for a spring release. ”We’re trying to get Run-DMC back into the studio to record more songs where single rights aren’t a concern.”

In this age of cobbled-together posthumous rap albums, it’s heartening to learn that Big Punisher (who died Feb. 7 of an apparent heart attack) can rest in peace without folks mucking with his legacy. According to Sean C, an A&R exec at Pun’s label, Loud, the artist’s second record, Yeeeah Baby (due April 4), will be his last: ”No one wants to exploit his memory — not the label, not [Pun mentor] Fat Joe. We’re just going to try to make everything good for Pun’s family.” Hip-hop hooray.