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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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment