2017 BET Awards
Billboard Bits: Virginia Tech, Eminem, 'People Take Warning'
Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer, Phil Vassar and Nas will band together Sept. 6 for a free concert event at Virginia Tech University's Lane Stadium. A Concert for Virginia Tech is an initiative craftedDave Matthews Band, John Mayer, Phil Vassar and Nas will band together Sept. 6 for a free concert event at Virginia Tech University's Lane Stadium. A Concert for Virginia Tech is an initiative crafted to aid the local Blacksburg, Va., community in the wake of April's deadly on-campus shootings.
The artists are performing free of charge and tickets are being offered solely to students, faculty and staff associated with the university. Proceeds from the sale of commemorative memorabilia and corporate sponsorships will go toward the expenses of the concert, organized by the college's Hokies United association.
-- Katie Hasty, N.Y.
Contrary to various Internet reports, Eminem will not be resurfacing in October with a new studio album supposedly named "King Mathers." An Interscope spokesperson tells Billboard.com "there is no new Eminem record on the schedule right now."
The Detroit rapper hasn't released a new project since 2004's "Encore," but has appeared on recent tracks by T.I. and Ca$his. He also guests on 50 Cent's upcoming album, "Curtis," due Sept. 11.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
Tom Waits is no stranger to doom and gloom when he puts pen to paper, and he recently did the duty of writing up an essay introduction for "People Take Warning! Murder Ballads & Disaster Songs 1913-1938." Due Sept. 25 via Tompkins Square, the 3-disc set is a collection of 70 recordings themed around topics from the Great Depression to serial murders to the Titanic disaster.
The anthology features newly remastered songs from folk artists like Charlie Patton, Ernest Stoneman, Furry Lewis, Charlie Poole and Uncle Dave Macon, plus 48 pages of photos and notes on the time period.
"In the late 1920s and early 1930s, the Depression gripped the nation. It was a time when songs were tools for living. A whole community would turn out to mourn the loss of a member and to sow their songs like seeds. This collection is a wild garden grown from those seeds," Waits writes in the intro.
-- Katie Hasty, N.Y.