Though they're nothing more than kiddie karaoke, one of our great joys in life is seeing the TV commercials for the latest Kidz Bop album, if for nothing else than to see what weird Pop songs producers make the tykes redo. Though not necessarily inappropriate, odd selections have included Modest Mouse's "Float On," Black Eyed Peas' "Pump It" and Len's "Steal My Sunshine" (innocuous enough, except it's a bit unnerving to hear an elementary schooler ask, "What do you think she got up to last night?" unless the answer is "a glass of milk."). Perhaps hoping to build a new army of future stars, Beyoncé's dad, Matthew Knowles, is getting into the children's music market, recently announcing the launch of a series of kid-friendly Rap compilations, Kids Rap Radio, featuring squeaky-clean versions for Lil' Jay-Zs and Lil'er Kims across the country. The two-disc set is due next month and will feature scrubbed-up renditions of tracks like "Right Thurr" (teaching the next gen proper spelling and pronunciation), "Grillz" (an oral hygiene masterwork), "Shake Ya Tailfeather" (teaching young girls about their most important physical feature — dat azz) and "Laffy Taffy," one of the most overt oral-sex anthems ever released in popular music history. Guess we'll have to wait for the next collection to hear "Hug Tha Police" and "Me So Hungry."
Beck Gets Crafty ... and Banned
Musical weirdo Beck's new album, The Information, falls in line with what many artists are doing today to get fans to actually go to a store and buy their CD instead of just downloading it, loading his new set with extras like a DVD of low-budget videos for every song and a truly unique cover concept that lets the consumer create their own design with an included sticker package. What does he get for his creativeness? Banned from the U.K. charts, of course. Apparently, the chart lords in England don't permit CDs with certain special features to enter the charts because they feel it gives them an unfair advantage. There goes Beck's idea of putting a fruit roll-up in every copy of his next CD.
He shouldn't feel too bad — the British charts seem to have no problem with inconceivably bad music. David Hasselhoff's horrendous (what, you thought it'd be good?) single "Jump In My Car" entered their singles charts at an astonishing No. 3.
Jay-Z = The Devil?
Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez got some groans and chuckles from his comments to the U.N. calling President Bush the devil (on the bright side, it is a step up from being compared to Hitler). But turns out, Bush isn't the antichrist at all — Jay-Z is. That's what obscure female rapper Lucy Diamonds called the modern day Hip Hop legend in an interview with xxlmag.com recently. The Atlanta-based MC/apparent head-case started getting attention when she allegedly suggested Jay-Z's mother was a lesbian. Diamonds is milking the controversy for all it's worth (which, hopefully, ain't much), posting an "interview" on her MySpace site (where she conveniently posts her publicist's phone number, despite her consistent claims that this is not a publicity stunt) explaining her side of the story, which seems to just be making the situation worse. Among other confusing statements, including claims that Jay-Z wanted to sign her initially, she calls for Mr. Z to "just retire." The 22-year-old MC digs the hole deeper in the XXL interview, saying she feels as though God has called on her to point out that Jay-Z is "lead by the devil" for glorifying murder and drug dealing, coming off like a mix between Oprah, Pat Robertson and a very confused teenager who desperately wants to be prom queen.