Billboard Bits serves up the best bite-sized nuggets of music news and gossip every afternoon.
Hip hop pioneer Apache has died, according to an AllHipHop.com report. An original member of Queen Latifah's Flavor Unit, Apache best known single was "Gangsta Bitch" which hit No. 11 on Billboard's Hot Rap Singles chart. "That's my g, r.i.p in peace big homie, you will be missed, shout out to his family naughty by nature, I just did a show with them, god bless," DJ Kid Capri said via Twitter.
Pixies frontman Frank Black has announced the details of his next solo album, "NonStopErotik," which is due on Apr. 5. The album contains a cover of the Flying Burrito Brothers' "Wheels," and was recorded in Brooklyn, Los Angeles and a "haunted studio in London," according to Black's self-compossed announcement. "I wrote many a couplet by candlelight in the studio accommodation, slept very little, and only felt the need to get the f--- out of there fast on the last night. The spirits had not ever bothered me, other than low drama moral support, but I was informed that they had heard enough and it was time to move on."
Wilco is doing its part for the haitian cause too. The band has made two full live show recordings available for free on its website, and asks fans in return for downloading to donate at least $15 to Oxfam or Doctors Without Borders. The live recordngs include performances at New York's Keyspan Park from June 2009 and a London show from November of last year.
The Apollo Theater's legendary "Amateur Night" talent competition will return Jan. 27. Comedian Capone is the opening night host, which will also feature a performance by hip-hop pioneer Doug E. Fresh. "Amateur Night" had been on hiatus since last fall's production of "Dreamgirls" at the famed Harlem, New York venue.
A reunited Dru Hill has signed with Kedar Entertainment and will release a new album, "InDRUpendence Day," on April 13. "Love M.D." is the project's lead single. In addition to original members Sisqo, Nokio and Jazz, the group includes new member Tao. Later this year, the group will star in the reality TV series, "Sweat's Platinum House," produced by labelmate Keith Sweat and airing on Centric. Future projects include solo releases by Sisqo and Nokio's rock group, Black Angel Down. Dru Hill is best known for such No. 1 hits as "In My Bed," "Never Make a Promise" and "How Deep Is Your Love."
(Contributions from Gail Mitchell, Monica Herrera and David J. Prince)