Screwston, Texas

Turning the Screw: Archie Lee & Coota Bang, R.I.P. Michael, Lil Jon, Jae Millz, Drake, 50, Tupac, Chris Brown and More

Welcome back to Turning the Screw, Rocks Off's weekly rap post. It probably won't rhyme, at least most of the time. E-mail tips to [email protected]. Thanks, homies.

Single of the Week: "Down For My Block," Archie Lee and Coota Bang

Wire To Wire

Michael passed. Three thoughts: 1. Michael was one of the greatest, most innovative musicians of all time, loved immensely by (it seemed) the entire world for the better part of his youth. So we're very curious to see how much the molestation allegations will taint his legacy. He was never found guilty - he settled out of court for $22 million, which does seem a curious thing for an innocent man to do- but O.J. wasn't found guilty either, and things didn't work out very well for him. Then again, O.J. couldn't moonwalk.

2. Shortly after the news of his passing was announced, we received several emails with the same basic premise: how did Z-Ro outlive Jackson? It's a valid question. Michael passing before Ro does seem counterintuitive on the surface, sure, but you have to remember that Z-Ro is less an actual human and more of an amorphous entity sent here to drop bomb-ass albums. He descended upon us from Hell's birth canal. Mark our words: Z-Ro will outlive your children's children.

3. Were we the only ones a little disappointed with the manner in which Michael passed? We mean, cardiac arrest? We don't want to sound insensitive, but doesn't that seem a little too pedestrian? When we started seeing reports that he was dead, our brain immediately concocted these off the wall death scenarios with white tigers and swimming pools filled with ping-pong balls, Chris Tucker and a wrestling ring. There will be no such disappointments when Jim Gordon passes, we assume.

Lil' Jon won an award for that Chardonnay he made. That does not seem very crunk.

Diddy may start shilling Red Stripe and/or Guinness. !?

Jae Millz is saying that the rumors about him getting robbed while on the set of Drake's "Best I Ever Had" video shoot are untrue. We hope so. If you get robbed at DMX's video shoot, that's totally acceptable (and even a little expected), but getting robbed at Drake's video shoot is like getting robbed outside the Gap in Rice Village. That shit should never happen.

Since we're talking about him, go back and listen to Drake's Comeback Season mixtape. It is way better than anything of his they're playing on the radio.

50 Cent's forthcoming album is nearly perfect, says 50 Cent. By the way, if you haven't heard his mixtape, War Angel, grab it here. It is fantastic. Easily his best work since Get Rich...

Speaking of, check out the digital album 10,000 Apples from Gotta Be Karim. We stumbled across it and it is just super. (Fans of Freeway, Dead Prez, Little Brother and, more locally, H.I.S.D. will enjoy it.) You can download it for free here.

Will.I.Am allegedly socked Perez Hilton in the face. We have placed a six-week moratorium on all "Black Eyed Peas are lame" jokes.

Scott Storch has a reality show. Bleccchh.

Thirteen years after his death, Death Row continues to exploit Tupac.

Not going to jail after all: Chris Brown.

Plies apparently does got plenty money, throws $50,000 into the audience at a recent show.

Riker's Island denies claims the prison is treating rapper Foxy Brown more favorably than other convicts. Said a representative of Riker, "That is absolutely untrue. We give every inmate back rubs and Godiva chocolates twice a week, not just Foxy."

Houston Rap Video of the Week

Because you either missed it or forgot about it.

Paul Wall and Chamillionaire, "N Luv Wit My Money"

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Shea Serrano