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Early Kanye Leaks, Homme Joins Monkeys + More

  • Early Kanye West beats, reportedly from his pre-Def Jam days, have leaked online. Jensen Karp of hip-hop website The Hypemen discovered a CD labeled “Kanye West Beats” while rummaging through storage bins in his garage; the tracks are reportedly from 2001. A second disc of beats will be released on April 4. [DJ Booth]

  • Arctic Monkeys tapped Josh Homme to sing on their upcoming June album Suck It and See. The Queens of the Stone Age frontman, who produced the Monkeys’ last album Humbug, contributed backing vocals to the track “All My Own Stunts.” [NME]

  • Chris Brown has beat out the Strokes in sales of new albums on this week’s Billboard chart. The singer’s latest LP F.A.M.E. came in at No. 1 with 270,000 copies sold, while the Strokes’ latest Angles notched the No. 4 spot with 89,000 copies sold. Adele’s 21 continues to sell briskly: the British singer scored the No. 2 spot with 96,000 units sold. [Billboard]

  • The Decemberists, Wanda Jackson, Middle Brother, Gillian Welch, and Emmylou Harris are set to perform at this year’s Newport Folk Festival, which takes place July 30-31 in Newport, RI. Tegan and Sara and Gogol Bordello are also scheduled to play unplugged sets at the iconic summer festival. [Newport Folk Festival’s Official Site]

  • Death Cab for Cutie are planning to broadcast the making of their music video for “You Are a Tourist” online on April 5. The band is teaming up with director Tim Nackashi (Radiohead, TV on the Radio) for what they say is the “first-ever live, scripted, single-take music video.” [Death Cab for Cutie’s Official Site]

  • After reports surfaced yesterday that Willie Nelson would be able to have marijuana possession charges dropped if the singer performed a song in court, a Texas judge has now come forth to say those reports got out of hand. Nelson, who was arrested last November, was presented with an offer to only pay a small fine if he performed “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” before a judge, but another official has said the prosecutor in the case only meant it as a joke. Nelson will be able to plead guilty via mail and won’t have to appear in court. [Wall Street Journal]