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'Drop it like it's hot' rapper will feature in a television advert as part of the price comparison website's You’re So MoneySuperMarket campaign

Huggy bares all

The decade that taste forgot has come back to haunt us. We are again being submerged in the 1970s. Stage shows such as Saturday Night Fever and films like Boogie Nights and The Ice Storm have transported us back to the era of flares and flapping collars. It's like dress sense never happened.

Books: Paddy Clarke, no no no

ABOUT A BOY by Nick Hornby Gollancz pounds 15.99

Pop: Andy gill on albums

Propellerheads, "Decksanddrumsandrockandroll"

Pop: The golden wonder of Omar

Omar Lye Fook ignores the labels and categories that the music industry tries to foist upon him. His new single, a superbly orchestrated version of The Stranglers hit `Golden Brown', confirms his ability to stand out from the crowd. But, as James McNair d

Rap's off

Death Row, the late Tupac Shakur's record label, is going down in a blaze of gunfire, drug-trafficking and money-laundering. And that's not just the songs.

Travel: The slow boat to - Shanghai

Kate Weidmann travelled from Hong Kong aboard a Chinese container ship

Arts: RECORDS

CLASSICAL

Records: Rock: Spice Girls: Spice (Virgin, CD/LP/tape)

Spice Girls: Spice (Virgin, CD/LP/tape). So how come Take That passed on their boy-band crown to a bunch of girls? It could be because of the hummable choruses (each song has several). It could be because the Spice sisters show more cleavage than Peter Andre. It could even be because of their "girlpower" manifesto, careful as it is not to put off the chaps. But mostly, it's because the Spice Girls go for primary- coloured, raucous, stick-out-your-tongue-and-have-a-laugh-with-your-mates fun. No wonder they're the pop sensation of the year. It's just a shame they sometimes spoil things by languishing in tedious swingbeat, or by swapping spice for all things nice on the execrably drippy "Mama". Spice Girls, good; Mummy's girls, bad. Nicholas Barber

Cultural revolution

The study of popular culture is booming. After all, the Spice Girls are sexier than Spinoza. If only universities took the subject seriously

Looking down the barrel of a loaded gun

Last month the rapper Tupac Shakur was killed. Now his record label Death Row is under FBI investigation. Is gangsta rap about to self- destruct?

The decade that taste remembered

In different murky venues in London, they are tottering along on platform soles and in leatherette car-coats to dance their way back to the Seventies. This isn't a safe form of sado-masochism, this is Starsky and Hutch night, and it outcools cool. Photograph by Andrew Buurman

Obituary: Johnny "Guitar" Watson

When Johnny "Guitar" Watson joined the archdevil of dada- istic rock, Frank Zappa, on the road, it was a bit like Muddy Waters joining Karl-Heinz Stockhausen (or, to mention a similarly unlikely teaming that actually happened, when the Chieftains joined John Cage on stage). But Watson was said to have been the seminal influence on Zappa's own guitar playing, and anyway Zappa's admiration for the more hard-core blues players was well known, as witness his hiring blues fiddler Sugarcane Harris to play with the Mothers of Invention in the early Seventies.

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.

Rapper witness changes his tune

Los Angeles (AP) - A prosecution witness in the murder trial of the rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg changed his story and said he could not have seen the crime clearly because he was high on marijuana and was not wearing his glasses.

The Dogg has his day in court

Edward Helmore reports from New York on the opening of rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg's trial for murder
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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee