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The Twinkie Defense
Just as the Empower America/Bob Dole manufactured "furor" over gangsta rap dies down in Washington, rap lyrics are taking the heat again here by the bay. In Hayward last week, Jeffrey Alan Hohn, a 19-year-old Caucasian and self-described rapper, blamed Richmond's Master P for a string of robberies at liquor stores and an ATM machine. Hohn cited Master P's words to "211" (the police code for robbery) from the rapper's The Ghetto Is Tryin' to Kill Me release: "We need the cash, we rob a liquor store." Now what about that $120,000 bail, kid?

"I don't know why he blamed my tape out of all of them out there," says Master P, whose CD cover for 99 Ways to Die features him with a gun in each hand. "Look at what Tupac or Spice 1 say. I feel bad that he was misled by my lyrics. Even if my songs sound negative at first, they always turn into a positive message by the end." If it seems odd for a "rapper" to scapegoat the genre for a crime spree, it comes as no surprise that anti-rap activists are already capitalizing on this story, which was picked up by wire services across the country.

Hotel California
On June 24, the Brave New World is no more. Things have been shaky these past two years for the Western Addition dive, which once packed 'em in for acts like Steel Pole Bathtub, Tsunami, and Mecca Normal. Now rumor has it that none other than former Eagle Don Henley bought the bar, with plans to invest over $1 million to remake it into a tony jazz club. Sources say that the "boy of summer" asserted ownership by plugging some of his CDs into the Butthole Surfers-heavy jukebox. Now what was that business about a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac?

Band Search
Conan O'Brien's antics may leave many of us stone-faced, but Late Night does get some impressive musical guests. So local groups may be interested in the 10th Annual College Band Search (actually, it's the second): Winners get a shot at performing on the show and the chance to record one song for a huH magazine compilation. Get a copy of the rules from PO Box 1616, Bensenville, IL 60106-8616. ... As for you postgrad geezers, bands itching to get their music out beyond the bay should contact Luminous Flux Records. The New York distribution group is seeking independents with releases on any format for inclusion in its Summer '95 catalog, which will be promoted to college radio stations, stores, and the music press. Mail off bios and photos by June 30 to: PO Box 419, Glenwood Landing, NY 11547. Call (516) 674-3229.

By Sia Michel

 
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