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From Cypress Hill to De La Soul, Hip Hop Honors 2008 Celebrates Old School Heroes

Roll through hip hop’s old school and you quickly get goosebumps: the array of innovative artists that helped establish the music is daunting. Our annual salute to the masters who gave rap its early achievements has become a great tradition. This year, VH1′s Hip Hop Honors is saluting five wildly creative acts, Cypress Hill, De La Soul, Naughty By Nature, Slick Rick, and Too $hort. Each brought a wealth of ideas to the table, guiding the music to the next level.

The show is hosted by Tracy Morgan. It premieres on October 7 on VH1.

Watch videos by all the honorees!

Cypress Hill

“Hummin’, comin’ atcha…” B Real and his buds Sen Dog and DJ Muggs put asses in gear and had dudes glancing over their shoulders when they busted out of L.A. in 1991 with a wildly aggressive debut. They were weed-smoking bangers who loved all sorts of funk. Sometimes rapping in Spanglish, sometimes letting their anger dominate, and always explaining their frustrations, they made tracks like “How I Could Just Kill a Man” sound like chilling reports from the ‘hood.

Slick Rick

A Brit raised in the Bronx, Slick Rick had MCs all around him during his teenage years. He’d bang beats on the school desks and freestyle through the afternoons. The borough was rap’s Mesopotamia, of course, and superhero Doug E Fresh help Rick get a leg up. Almost instantly the party people were constantly shouting one of his improvised refrains. Hip-hop, most assuredly, would be a lesser place without “La Di Da Di.” Turns out the MC had compelling way with a narrative, too, and “Children’s Story, from 1988′s The Great Adventures of Slick Rick is one of rap’s masterpieces.

De La Soul

If everyone’s zigging, maybe it’s best to zag. De La Soul’s 3 Feet High and Rising sounded like nothing hip-hop had heard before when the Long Island trio dropped it in 1989. Nothing. If rap had fashioned itself into a music that was perpetually hard, Trugoy the Dove, Posdnuos, and Pacemaster Mase came on like flower children. Indeed, with their iconoclastic debut declared hip-hop’s “daisy age” to be in full effect. Oddball samples, unusual flow, giddy subject matter – the guys brought a sense of frolic to the foreground, and it was utterly refreshing.

Naughty By Nature

They took a Jackson 5 sample, turned it inside out, layered some glib sex talk on top, and came up with one of hip hop’s catchiest tracks, 1991′s “O.P.P.” Three Jersey kids – Treach, Vinnie, and Kay Gee – knew how to make party music, no question. They came up under Queen Latifah, and in no time had New York bobbing its head to some dope beats. There was a tough side to the Naughty boys, but by the time they dropped “Hip Hop Hooray,” everyone knew they destined to celebrate, not intimidate.

Too $hort

“I met another girl/her name was Ann/all she wanted was to freak with a man/when i met Ann, I shook her hand/we ended up freaking by a garbage can.” Too $hort was just telling it like it was when stepped out of Oakland onto the national scene in 1987. He let everyone know he was born to mack, and his rhymes were filled with the action of dope fiends, sex freaks, and pimp problems. Radically stark, the music behind his performances was woozy and ominous. But something about it was addictive, and it remains so to this day.

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Britney Back At the VMAs?

Britney Spears, VMA host Russell Brand, and a 900-pound “elephant in the room” filmed a promo for the MTV awards show, creating further buzz that the pop star will return this year in an attempt to redeem herself after 2007′s lackluster performance. In the promo, Russell suggests there is sexual tension between them, but Britney shrugs, “I didn’t feel any tension.”

Britney’s “Piece of Me” has been nominated this year for “Moonmen” statues in the Best Female and Best Pop Video categories, but her attendance has not been confirmed.

Tune in to the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards on Sept. 7 at 9PM ET. [Photo:Getty Images]

Read the rest of this post and get other Britney news at Scandalist.

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Team Miley: The 15 Biggest Disney Stars

Some stars are born, some stars are made. Those in the latter category probably worked for Disney. No other entertainment conglomerate has an equal knack for nursing young talent until they ripen into mega-selling cash cows. With Miley Cyrus in mags, TV and radio these days, we thought it was time to catch up with the most prominent grads of Disney U. See who made the list, which stretches from Britney to The Jonas Brothers.

The 15 Biggest Disney Stars

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Pink’s New Song: Pissed At Ex-Husband

The lead track from Pink‘s upcoming album proves one thing: never date a rock star. Pink crafted “So What,” which leaked online today, to show that she’s slowly getting over ex-husband and motocross biker Carey Hart. In the song, Pink (real name Alecia Moore) uses her beefy voice to taunt Carey (a.k.a., the “tool”) by spewing playground-sounding rhymes over anthem-rock instrumentals — and we’re guessing teenage girls will eat it up.

“I guess I just lost my husband. I don’t know where he went. So I’m going to drink my money. I’m not going to pay his rent. I got a brand new attitude and I’m going to wear it tonight. I’m going to get in trouble. I’m going to start a fight.”

Then, the chorus, “So what. I’m still a rock star.” Later in the song, she helps explain the reason the two divorced last February after two years of marriage by directly addressing him: “You weren’t there. You never were.”

Read the rest of the story and see photos of Pink making her video at Scandalist.

by (@katespencer)

Usher Rehires Mom, Hides From Wife

Usher has gone crawling back to his mama like the baby that he is. The singer, who was last heard cooing about banging us in a club, has booted celeb manager Benny Medina and rehired his mother Jonnetta Patton, who helped her son sell 1.1 million copies of his album Confessions in its first week. Full story at Scandalist.com

[Photo: Getty Images]

by (@katespencer)

Wino Hospitalized For Mixing Pills

Amy Winehouse headed back to her home away from home last night – the hospital. The singer was packed up in an ambulance and whisked off as her dad looked on and friend Remi Nicole freaked out. The doctors released Amy this morning, and her dad summed up the drama, saying, “She’s fine, she just mixed up her medication.’

Translation: she’s high on crack. [DailyMail]

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The 10 Most Controversial CDs Ever


Let’s face it: a little controversy never hurt record sales. Nas knew that when he announced that a certain racial epithet would be the title of his ninth record, polarizing the hip-hop community and igniting a firestorm of commentary on the appropriateness of the name. After pressure from his record label, he relented, changing the title to simply Nas. It is now the number one album in the country (listen to it on Rhapsody).

He, of course, isn’t the first artist to push people’s buttons with an album or a song. Check our list of other performers who have clashed with the masses in the name of art.

Here are 10 of the most controversial albums ever.

by (@katespencer)

Brangelina Likes Bono Better Than You

Sorry, regular peeps. There is absolutely no chance you’ll be considered for the role of god-father to the new golden gods, Knox and Vivienne Jolie-Pitt. Super famous kids need super famous godparents, and Bono‘s getting the job, soley for the reason that it’s pretty f*cking cool to get money on your birthday every year from the dude who sings “With Or Without You.” Also, Brad and Angie are star f*ckers. Need examples?

1. A source says: “They have been friends for years. Brad is a massive U2 fan and told Bono how much he admired him when they were introduced at a party a few years back.”

2. The same source reveals: “Angelina is inspired by Bono’s humanitarian work and gets on with his wife Ali Hewson. Ali’s given Angelina some clothes from her ethical clothing range Edun.”