Nelly, the Game, Good Charlotte's Joel and Benji Madden and producer Jonathan "J.R." Rotem have signed on as judges for Music Nation's previously announced online video competition for a global record

Nelly, the Game, Good Charlotte's Joel and Benji Madden and producer Jonathan "J.R." Rotem have signed on as judges for Music Nation's previously announced online video competition for a global record deal with Epic. Winners in the urban, rock and pop category will also be featured on the Clear Channel Radio series "Stripped."

MusicNation.com has been accepting entries since mid-November; starting yesterday (Jan. 29), entrants must pay a $25 for their submission to be considered. The contest will wrap up in mid-May.

Additional competitions are planned for next year in Asia, with Typhoon/EMI as a partner, and Europe and Latin America, with Mercury Records signed on for those regions.


-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.







Not even a year on the heels of its last album, Tha Dogg Pound will return March 27 with another new effort, "Dogg Chit," Due March 27, the set will be led by the single "Vibe With a Pimp" featuring Snoop Dogg.

"Dogg Chit" is tentatively expected to include collaborations the Game ("Anybody Killa"), Too $hort ("Can't Get Enuff") and Bad Azz ("Where U From"). Snoop is also featured on the songs "Pull Ya Drawz Down" and "Bucc'm."

The new release follows 2006's "Cali Iz Active," which debuted at No. 4 on The Billboard 200.


-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.







Funk outfit Galactic has recently logged studio time with several rappers as it works on its as-yet-untitled new album. Among the guests that have contributed so far are Mr. Lif, Jurassic 5's Chali 2na, Blackalicious' Gift of Gab, Lateef the Truthspeaker, the Coup's Boots Riley and Digable Planet's Ladybug.

The set is due in late summer; Galactic is still mulling whether to self-release it or pact with a label. "Everyone in the band listens to a lot of hip-hop," saxophonist Ben Ellman says. "We have always felt there is a natural connection between the New Orleans funk and brass band music that has inspired our sound and the rhythmic aspects of hip-hop."


-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

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