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MUSIC NEWS

United we stand,

divided we...?

A lot of talent brewing in one pot does not mean messy overspill. This week Money Mark, otherwise known as the fourth member of the Beastie Boys, pushed most reviewers' buttons with the release of Push the Button. And, before you can say Wyclef Jean, another member of the Fugees - Lauryn Hill - is hard at work on The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. With Carlos Santana, D'Angelo and Mary J Blige slated for cameos, it seems that "collection" no longer means a triple album with three hits, available only on cable.

Smells like unfair spirit

Stories about rappers' troubles are often unsympathetic, but Snoop Doggy Dogg's recent brush with the law tugs at the heart strings. Last week he had just graced a comedy concert with an impromptu performance, when he was apparently slapped backstage by five or six guys. When the Dogg alerted the police, the Sheriff had a nose for something else: the marijuana smell emanating form the Dogg's body had him booked for a misdemeanour.

Fantastic festivals

A brilliant line-up and a great location have tempted the Prodigy to join the festival fraternity - but airmiles are needed; the gig, on 1 and 2 August, is at the base of Mount Fuji. Other festival faces are Sonic Youth, Garbage, Elvis Costello, Nick Cave, Ian Brown, Primal Scream and Asian Dub Foundation. Prodigy will also be the first major band to play Beirut on 9 May. Who says they don't care about appearances? They'll be performing with a backdrop of Ottoman Empire remains.

Jennifer Rodger

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