News

'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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