Hip-hop pioneer and graffiti artist Rammellzee has died.
The New York artist passed away on Tuesday (29Jun10), although further details about his cause of death had not been revealed as we went to press.
Born in 1960 in Queens, Rammellzee began his career as a graffiti writer and artist, before turning his attention to a rap career.
He established himself as one of the leading voices of New York hip-hop in the 1980s and has influenced acts such as The Beastie Boys and Cypress Hill.
He was a member of the Death Comet Crew with pals Stewart Albright and Michael Diekmann and the trio reunited in 2003 for a rare gig in the Big Apple, prompting the re-release of their work from the early 1980s.
Rammellzee released his debut album, Bi-Conicals of the Rammellzee, in 2004.
Knight Slapped With Restraining Order
Hip-hop heavyweight Marion 'Suge' Knight has been slapped with a permanent restraining order after allegedly putting a hit on a Los Angeles area.
According to Los Angeles County Superior Court documents obtained by TMZ.com, Knight's accuser claimed the former Death Row Records CEO "had 8 guys come to my house and told them to get me or kill me" on 21 May (10).
The alleged incident came one day after Knight was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon. It is unclear if the two incidents are connected.
Knight was ordered to stay 100 yards (91 meters) away from his accuser's home, car and workplace for three years.
Max B 'Wasn't Prepared' For Court Battle
Incarcerated rapper MAX B is convinced he could have escaped his murder conviction if he had been better "prepared" when the case went to court - insisting he was too busy working to focus on the trial.
The hip-hop star was last year (09) found guilty of killing of a hotel guest in a botched robbery in New Jersey in 2006.
The Harlem rapper, real name Charly Wingate, was charged with felony murder and handed a heavy jail term.
But he is adamant he could have won the case if he had spent more time with his lawyers instead of working on his debut album, Vigilante Season.
The star tells MTV.com, "I was working, not focusing on the case at hand that mattered. And (in) the end, when I had to go in that courtroom, I wasn't prepared. I just let my lawyer do whatever. That's a lesson. You got be on top of lawyers, you gotta do your own studying when you get situations like that. You can't put your faith in his hands. They're only human. Humans disappoint people. You gotta put your faith in God. You gotta work hard."
Wingate has also cleared up reports he was handed a harsh 75-year jail term and insisted he is hopeful his appeal will be successful, telling Vlad TV, "Let me straighten this out, I didn't get sentenced to 75 years, I got 40, they sentenced me to 40. I was a little devastated, it was excessive. My time was excessive, my charges were excessive, I got total faith in my appeal."
And the rapper hopes other stars who have found themselves in jail recently, including Lil Wayne who is serving a year-long sentence on weapons possession charges, and recently-freed T.I., count themselves lucky to have had a "second chance" at life.
He adds to MTV.com, "They should feel grateful. They should be thankful they got another chance."
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