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Pop: As you Likwit

Hip hop drunkies Tha Alkaholiks are making a name for themselves on the gig circuit and still find time to pick up new talent for their own record label

Music: Pop - Ringmaster General

He's the Dolly Parton of hip hop, a tough talking Jamaican giant in crushed velvet. Emma Forrest admires the glamour that adorns the talent of the hugely cool Busta Rhymes.

Bath sneak home

Bath 27 Borders 23

Pop: Lil' Kim makes a BIG noise

The death of Notorious BIG hit hip-hopper Lil' Kim very hard. But now she's back, joining Puff Daddy at Wembley

EYE CATCHING

West London is bracing itself for the biggest party of the year at this weekend's Notting Hill Carnival. The 32nd annual event, the spirit of which is captured in Marcel Knobil's picture (above), is expected to attract more than 2 million people. The event kicks off at 6pm tonight with the Steel Bands Panorama at Horniman's Pleasance in Kensal Road, but the proceedings really come to life from 2pm tomorrow, when the 15,000 members of the massed and steel bands weave a three-mile course from Ladbroke Grove to Westbourne Park on a fleet of floats. Headliners on the live stages at Portobello Green and Horniman's Pleasance include Spearhead and Soul II Soul, with Wyclef Jean of the Fugees appearing on the Kiss 100 stage on Monday.

The Clansmen

Method Man, U-God, Ol' Dirty Bastard, InspektahDeck, Genius, Raekwon, RZA, Master Killer and Ghostface Killer are... Mad, bad - but awfully nice when you get to know them. Emma Forrest travels Europe with American rap stars the Wu-Tang Clan. Photographs by Steve Double

Pop: 'This is the bleakest sound in modern music; for rap, the future starts here'

Wu-Tang Clan Wu-Tang Forever RCA 74321457682

Rugby Union: Rowell calls up Redman

Rugby Union

The Notorious BIG

ANDY GILL ON ALBUMS: Life After Death Bad Boy/ Arista 78612-73011- 2

Pop Albums: Spearhead Chocolate Supa Highway Capitol CDEST 2293

You have to admire Michael Franti's gift for surfing the successive waves of hip-hop style without diluting his polemical ardour. In the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, he offered fierce Public Enemy-style lectures on neo-colonialism and cultural decay; with Spearhead's 1994 debut, he shifted more towards a blend of funky didactic soul; and now, with its follow- up, he makes another subtle but significant shift in direction, with swingbeat, ganja and basketball more to the fore.

De La Soul: The Forum, London

Pop Music

POP / The Fugees Kentish Town Forum, London .

The greatest hip-hop circus on earth comes to town

Pop: New box-sets: the gospel truth

Two shopping days to go. Your only hope is a box-set. Let Andy Gill be your guide

OBITUARY: Darren Robinson

The current popularity of Public Enemy, Cypress Hill and the more militant and sensationalist end of the rap scene has rather overshadowed the work of the genre's more populist performers. But the Fat Boys were one of the first rap acts to cross over in a significant way to appearances on television, in movies and in the charts.
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US comedian Bill Mahr
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Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
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Rowan Atkinson at the wheel of his McLaren F1 GTR sports car
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The artist Grayson Perry in an example of his trademark headgear
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Tangerine Dream Edgar Froese
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peopleRob Lowe hits out at Obama's snub of Benjamin Netanyahu
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Davies (let) says: 'Everybody thought we were having an affair. It was never true!'
people'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
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Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
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Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us