Album: Busta Rhymes, Back On My B.S. (Universal Motown)

It's not been a good century for Busta Rhymes who is struggling to repeat his early successes with his optimistically-titled Motown debut Back On My B.S. Frequently, when an album appears a 18 months behind schedule, it sounds dated and desperate, however loudly Busta proclaims himself "emperor of every round table in the house". British hip-hop was once the poor relation to its American cousin, but one searches in vain here for something with the spark and invention of a "Bonkers", or a Slime & Reason; instead, it's the usual tired celebrations of thug life and bling culture, with the usual parade of lazy guest spots. Lil Wayne turns up to brag about his cash on "Respect My Conglomerate", Akon and T.I. bring a little commercial polish to "Don't Believe Em", Busta's Flipmode Squad buddies get their taste on the aptly titled "We Want In", while the conscious crew of Jamie Foxx, Mary J. Blige, John Legend and Common sound like an afterthought on "Decision". Busta's best line is his boast in "Give Em What They Askin For" about how "I'm throwing money down just to please myself/I'm into self-preservation so I'll freeze myself"; but his career's cold enough, by the sound of it.

Spotlight on Ray Charles

You wouldn't necessarily picture Ray Charles, blues pianist and singer, engrossed in a game of chess. But a new book of previously unseen photographs taken by his manager and friend Joe Adams between the 1960s and the 1980s offers intriguing insights into the man.

Chess: the film of the music label

The latest musical biopic may be flawed, but the story it tells of a legendary blues and rock'n'roll label is compelling, writes Pierre Perrone

Mother of ‘Dreamgirls’ actress found murdered

The mother and brother of the Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson were found murdered at their home in Chicago yesterday.

The Kingdom (15)

The Kingdom (DVD)

Retail & Rental, UNIVERSAL

How do I look?: Ozwald Boateng

Designer, age 41

England face gamble in rushing return of Harmison

England's cricketers have predictably rallied behind their captain, Andrew Flintoff, after the team's failure to defeat Sri Lanka in the first Test at Lord's. Flintoff received some criticism at the conclusion of the drawn match but he will be hoping to call on Stephen Harmison, his closest friend and staunchest ally, during the second Test which starts at Edgbaston this Thursday.

West's failure over climate change 'will kill 182m Africans'

The poorest people in the world will be the chief victims of the West's failure to tackle global warning, with millions of Africans forecast to die by the end of the century, Christian Aid says in a report out today.

Theatre: Do we believe in this Godot?

Waiting for Godot Royal Exchange, Manchester Collateral Damage Tricycle, London The Importance of Being Earnest Festival Theatre, Chichester The Late Middle Classes Richmond, London

Music: In concert: The one and the only...

Marc Cohn, Camden Dingwalls, London

Barely bobbing above the surface...

Head Above Water (15) Directed by: Jim Wilson. Starring: Harvey Keitel, Cameron Diaz.

Film: `Microcosmos': it's definitely got legs

Edgar Allan Poe tagged one of his macabre fables with a quotation to the effect that there is no truly exquisite beauty without some admixture of strangeness. He might well have been entranced by Microcosmos (U), which offers some incomparably strange and exquisite visions. The glistening liquid ballet of a couple of mating snails, for example, which squirm and ripple and pulse in unison, locked surface to luminous white surface in what the mammalian onlooker can only assume to be mollusc ecstasy, especially since the sound-track graces their coupling with a soaring aria. Unless you already dote on slime, you'll need to conquer mild feelings of disgust to relish the sight, but the effort is easier than you might have believed. Every frame of this gorgeous journey down into the insect world puts its idiosyncratic spin on the old maxim that small is beautiful.

A jump-cut above the rest

What is it about the hyperactive US cop series `Homicide' that makes it, and not the conspiracy-obsessed `X-Files', the true expression of Nineties malaise. By John O'Reilly

Damages for son who killed father

A DEVOTED son who battered his father to death while mentally unbalanced after a boating accident, was awarded pounds 225,000 agreed damages in the High Court yesterday for the psychological injuries that turned him into a killer.
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Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen