- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 2, 2005

50’s sense

How’s this for a hip-hop feud?

Rapper 50 Cent says he disagrees with Kanye West’s inflammatory post-Hurricane Katrina statement that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.”

“I think people responded to it the best way they can,” 50 Cent told ContactMusic.com. “What Kanye West was saying, I don’t know where that came from.”

He adds: “The New Orleans disaster was meant to happen. It was an act of God.”

Burt’s beef

Count Burt Bacharach in Mr. West’s camp.

The 70-year-old pop composer is so incensed by the war in Iraq and the Bush administration’s Katrina response that he feels compelled to shed his apolitical skin.

“There would be years I wouldn’t vote,” he tells RollingStone.com. “I never was involved. I never was an activist, but I am now.”

Mr. Bacharach’s latest album, “At This Time” — on which he collaborated again with Elvis Costello and, certainly for the first time, rapper-producer Dr. Dre — includes typical Bacharachian romantic themes but also contains lyrics such as: “This stupid mess we’re in just keeps getting worse/So many people dying needlessly/Looks like these liars may inherit the Earth/Even pretending to pray and getting away with it.”

“I spent all this time writing love songs,” Mr. Bacharach says. “I never rocked the boat. If I lose some fans, that’s OK. It’s important that I don’t lose myself. … I’m really trying to say what I feel.”

Ailing Hall out of show

Jerry Hall has withdrawn from the cast of London’s West End musical “High Society,” saying she is suffering from the energy-sapping illness glandular fever.

According to Associated Press, the former model and ex-wife of Rolling Stone Mick Jagger has been absent for more than a week from the Cole Porter musical, in which she plays the mother of the main female character, Tracy Lord.

Miss Hall, 49, has received mixed reviews for her performance at the Shaftesbury Theatre. The show opened in October.

“It is with great sadness that I have to leave the cast of ‘High Society,’ as I am suffering from Epstein-Barr virus (glandular fever), which I first fell ill with last year,” Miss Hall said Tuesday in a statement.

Epstein-Barr is a common virus that causes mononucleosis.

“My doctor has said that I must have a period of complete rest but that I may be able to return to the production in the future, and I am determined to return before the end of the run.”

See no evil

Jennifer Aniston insists she doesn’t read the oceans of tabloid ink about her personal life. “I don’t look at that stuff,” the former “Friends” star told United Press International last weekend as she promoted her latest film, “Derailed.” “No, I just don’t pay attention to it.”

Asked how she has managed to stay grounded throughout her high-profile divorce to Brad Pitt — and then during the latter’s equally publicized relationship with actress Angelina Jolie — Miss Aniston says, “I’m not a role model, whatever, or the poster child for how to do anything. It was my first time at this particular picnic. So, I just have a great family, great friends. This is nothing out of the ordinary. People walk through this stuff all the time.”

‘Da Vinci’ letdown

The man who translated Dan Brown’s thriller “The Da Vinci Code” into Portuguese says the best-seller didn’t live up to the hype.

“I think it is funny that after translating so many quality books, people have become interested in my work because of something that is a minor book,” Mario Dias Correia tells the newspaper 24Horas, according to Agence France-Presse.

“I didn’t become a fan of Dan Brown’s writing. There is nothing extraordinary about the work, nor is the structure complicated,” Mr. Correia says.

Compiled by Scott Galupo from Web and wire reports.

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