Billboard Bits: 'Two Cops,' Ice Cube, Gabriel & More

News on 'Two Cops,' Ice Cube, Rocktoberfest, Peter Gabriel

DreOutkast's Dre and fellow rapper Kurupt have joined the cast of "Two Cops," has learned. The movie, starring Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnett, is about two police officers investigating hip-hop-related murders in Los Angeles. The Sony Pictures film is due in theaters next year. Rapper Master P is also part of the film's cast.

In related rapper/actor news, Ludacris, Lil' Kim, and Mystikal are among the artists who will have voice parts in the Columbia Pictures animation flick "Lil' Pimp," set for release in 2003. Pharrell Williams of the Neptunes and N.E.R.D. has been tapped to create the film's music.

-- Carla Hay, N.Y.

Kelly ClarksonSources say Ice Cube is in talks to sign with former N.W.A cohort Dr. Dre's Aftermath/Interscope imprint. Ice Cube was most recently on Priority Records, for which he released seven albums, including 2001's "Greatest Hits," which bowed at No. 11 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums tally.

"["Greatest Hits"] is like the end of an era," he told Billboard last December. "It's time for me to go with a bigger label and do the kinds of things my career deserves. When you've been with an indie and see the money that goes into an Interscope or a Def Jam, you realize there's no way to compete [at a smaller label], in terms of spending those kinds of dollars."

As an actor, Ice Cube is currently enjoying the box-office success of the film "Barbershop," which was the most popular movie in U.S. theaters last weekend.

-- Rashaun Hall, N.Y.

Kelly ClarksonAlong with its traditional retail availability on Tuesday (Sept. 24), Peter Gabriel's forthcoming Geffen album "Up" will be offered for purchase as a 5.1-channel surround sound download playable on new Windows Media Audio Professional 9 Series player. Fans who do not have a computer equipped with surround sound hardware can download a stereo version of the album; both are being offered as a free 14-day trial with the option to purchase later.

The electronic versions of the album, as well as a free download of first single "The Barry Williams Show," are available via the Buzztone Web site. The Windows Media Audio Professional 9 Series player can be downloaded directly from the Windows Media Web site.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

Kelly Clarkson1980s pop-metal and 1970s hard-rock icons will be on display Oct. 19 at Lakeland, Fla.'s Fantasy of Flight, when the one-day music festival Rocktoberfest settles in to roost. David Lee Roth, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Meat Loaf, Ace Frehley, Joan Jett, Vince Neil, Warrant, Firehouse, Quiet Riot, and Dokken will headline the event, which will also feature a performance from Florida's Julliet.

Rocktoberfest will showcase the performers on two stages, combining for more than 12 hours of music starting at 11 a.m. The Fantasy of Flight park is located between Tampa and Orlando on Interstate 4.

Tickets are currently on sale for the festival, including a VIP ticket package that includes special parking and seating as well as unlimited food and beverages. For more information, please visit the event's official Web site.

-- Troy Carpenter, N.Y.