With all the hype about violence and murder in hip-hop, sometimes you forget that ordinary, run-of-the-mill tragedies happen too. One such was the death, at age 32, of producer James Yancey (aka Jay Dee and J Dilla) from the autoimmune disease lupus this weekend. Yancey was a member of Slum Village, but did some of his best work for other artists: As Pitchfork notes, Pharell Williams once called him his favorite producer. The Village Voice has a nice list of some of Yancey's greatest cuts, including such all-time classics as "Runnin" by the Pharcyde, "Breathe and Stop" by Q-Tip and "The Light" by Common. Pitchfork, meanwhile, devotes its track review section to Jay Dee's genre-defining production skills.
As the Guardian reports, the Rolling Stones are gearing up to perform one of the biggest rock concerts in history in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Saturday. Some numbers: More than 1 million people are expected to attend the Copacabana beach show, along with a production crew of 1,500, a guest list of 4,000 and 10,000 police officers. The event is likely to cost the city around $750,000: "How is it that they can spend all this money on one show and not have hospitals that work?" asks Fernando Cerdeira, a music promoter, reasonably enough. And even with all that, the Stones concert won't be the biggest of all time. That honor goes to a 1994 show on the same site -- by Rod Stewart, no less -- watched by 3.5 million.
Fresh from alerting the world to the pressing issue of Jay-Z's dress sense, rapper and parole violator Cam'ron has announced his intention to tackle the problem of pedophilia, VH1 informs us. Inspired by NBC's "Dateline" shows involving "vigilante" Web site Perverted Justice, Cam promises to film himself tricking "predators" into meeting with him: "When they get there, it's gonna be me and [my manager] Big Joe like, 'What the hell are you doing, you damn pervert? What the f--- is wrong with you, coming to meet a 13-year-old boy?'" And how is Cam going to deal with the sensitive psychological troubles of these would-be child abusers? "We're gonna talk to them and not let them leave until we find out what's wrong with them." Obvious, really, when you think about it.
-- Matt Glazebrook