Seven Stories You May Have Missed While Staying Away From The Computer

noah | December 29, 2008 9:00 am

A little light reading for those of you stuck at work, or in front of your computer, today (some stories may even give you anecdote material for your New Year’s socializing):

• Stephen Holden recalls the career of Eartha Kitt, who passed away at age 81 on Thursday. [NYT] • Kelefa Sanneh emerges from the depths of The New Yorker‘s TV-reviewing beat to profile Will Oldham. [TNY]

Rap battles’ origins, Moby, and Madonna after the jump!

• An American professor is claiming that hip-hop’s birthplace isn’t the streets of late-’70s New York, but the even meaner Scottish pubs of the 16th century. And the criticisms of the 16th-century edition would seem to bear out at least some sort of relation—”The Flyting Of Dunbar And Kennedy,” one of the earliest recorded instances of “flyting,” has been called “just over 500 lines of filth” by people who critique that sort of thing. [Telegraph]

• Moby can still command $100,000 an appearance. Just think about all the cash he’ll rake in when he starts licensing tracks from the 10th-anniversary edition of Play. [LAT]

• Among the YouTube content being eradicated by Warner Music Group’s snit fit over making money from streaming videos: “amateur content using songs from its publishing arm such as ‘Happy Birthday To You’.” Way to get the public on your side, guys! Also, Madonna’s channel has been mostly wiped out by this corporate dick-swinging, although a few kinda-convincing impersonators remain. [FT]

• Timbaland’s sequel to Shock Value will feature a track that didn’t make the cut on Madonna’s Hard Candy. Oh, this should work out well. [Perez]

• Surely it’s only a matter of time before some bands start throwing shows at the makeshift skate parks that are being thrown up in the abandoned pools of foreclosed homes. (Warped Tour, this could be a great way to get some pre-summer publicity!) [NYT]