Apple Computer Inc. beat The Beatles in court in their dispute over the tech giant's entry into the music biz. The Fab Four's legal team said the computer company violated an agreement that Apple would stay out of music in order to avoid market confusion with The Beatles' Apple label/corporation. The case has been appealed, but that isn't the only thing Steve Jobs' company is worried about today. Microsoft and MTV have teamed up for a new music downloading service which some say will threaten Apple's dominance in the field. Experts have given high marks to the service, dubbed "Urge." Like Apple's iTunes, downloads are available for 99 cents, but "Urge" also offers all-you-can-eat subscription services akin to Napster. Give it a try now — we predict that, in true MTV style, all music will be stripped from the service and in six months you'll only be able to download reality TV shows about annoying teenagers.
Can writing a jingle for Coca-Cola not be a sell-out? Jack White thinks so. When news surfaced several months ago that The White Stripes/Raconteurs singer/guitarist was penning a song for a Coke commercial, the obligatory uproar ensued.
He reportedly turned down a Gap ad campaign a few years ago and some say he claimed he would never sell his music for use in a commercial (something he now denies). No one flinches when Usher or Madonna sign huge deals to hawk products, but White's affinity for vintage gear and old bluesmen apparently led some to believe he'd never accept a paycheck. The surrealistic ad (which has aired internationally, but not in the States; for a peak, check youtube.com) features a trippy, not-watered-down Pop number from White, set to visuals akin to some of the Stripes' more unusual videos. White reportedly responded to the critical fans recently by saying that money wasn't the issue and that he simply saw the ad and was inspired to write the song, "Love Is the Truth," for it. We say more power to him, but naming his newborn child "Diet Coke with Lime"? That was a little overkill.
Oprah Strikes Back
News flash! Oprah doesn't hate Hip Hop! After getting called out by Ludacris and 50 Cent for her alleged distaste for rappers, Oprah dispersed her crew and is seeking to spill some blood, saying "Those motherfuckers don't know who they're fucking with!" OK, actually, she played nice when she appeared on Ed Lover's radio show. Addressing recent criticisms, the talk-show host said, "I listen to some Hip-Hop. I've been accused of not liking Hip-Hop and that's just not true. I got a little 50 in my iPod. I really do. Love that, love Jay-Z, love Kanye, love Mary J. Mary J. is one of my friends." Translated: "I don't hate Hip Hop. Some of my best friends are Hip Hop." Housewives around America will now start wearing dreads and gold fronts as Oprah starts her new "Crunk CD of the Month Club."
Lord Giveth, Lord Taketh Away
After winning a contest to have new R&B star Ne-Yo perform at their school, students at a Detroit Catholic girls academy are upset after the show was cancelled due to the singer's sexually explicit lyrics. It's the nuns' call, of course, but what we don't understand is the contest. Sponsored by a local radio station and Takata Corp., a Japanese company that makes seat belts and other car parts, the contest was to see how many student signatures could be collected on a petition that promised the students would wear their seatbelts. Celebrity endorsement deals/community service just ain't what they used to be.