Today's Evil Beet Gossip

The Conspiracy to Kill Tupac: Taiwan Explains It All

Biggie and Tupac - airbrush

On Wednesday, prison inmate Dexter Isaac confessed to the 1996 murder of Tupac Shakur. He alleges that he was hired by another conspirator, music producer James “Jimmy Henchmen” Rosemond, to gun Tupac down.

But if you’re a foreigner—or a kid—maybe you don’t know who Tupac is! Never fear: Next Media is here to help.

You’ve heard of Next Media Animation, haven’t you? That’s the Taiwanese studio that reenacts current news stories—using bleeding-edge computer-rendered graphics—for Chinese news. The studio first achieved notoriety last summer with an animation of Tiger Woods’ car crash.

(LOL at bizarro-skinny Biggie Smalls.)

While Dexter Isaac’s confession is suspect—he also implicates Diddy, and he’s likely trying to shave some time off that life sentence he’s already serving—a federal grand jury apparently trusts Isaac’s information enough to charge two of Jimmy Henchmen’s friends with the 2009 shooting death of Lowell Fletcher, a friend of 50 Cent.

P.S. Oops! How embarrassing. Though a hit on Tupac’s life was first attempted in 1994, he wasn’t murdered until 1996. I’ve corrected the year, above. Sorry, and thanks!

Legendary Saxophonist Clarence Clemons Passes Away

Clarence Clemons, Bruce Springsteen, 1980

Legendary musician Clarence Clemons died Saturday due to complications from a stroke a week earlier. Clemons was 69 years old.

Clemons was best-known for his work as saxophonist in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. Bruce Springsteen made the story of his and Clemons’ first meeting, in a music club where Springsteen’s band was playing in 1971, into the stuff of myth. Springsteen often told of that event, “With a lightning storm raging outside, the Big Man tore the door off an Asbury Park club, strode onstage, and made magic.”

Clemons’ version of his first meeting with Springsteen differed only slightly:

One night we were playing in Asbury Park. I’d heard The Bruce Springsteen Band was nearby at a club called The Student Prince and on a break between sets I walked over there. Onstage, Bruce used to tell different versions of this story, but I’m a Baptist, remember, so this is the truth.

A rainy, windy night it was, and when I opened the door the whole thing flew off its hinges and blew away down the street. The band were onstage …staring at me framed in the doorway. And maybe that did make Bruce a little nervous because I just said, “I want to play with your band,” and he said, “Sure, you do anything you want.”

“From the first time we saw each other, we stayed together for two weeks,” Clemons told CNN of Springsteen in 2009. “We were inseparable.”

In 2008, Clemons had double knee-replacement surgery. He regained his ability to walk in 2009; that year, he also published his memoir, Big Man.

The day after his book’s publication, charity organization Little Kids Rock honored Clemons with the first-ever “Big Man of the Year Award” to recognize his philanthropy in raising money for music programs in underfunded public schools.

Most recently, Clemons appeared in Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory.”

Clemons suffered a stroke last week in his home. He had undergone two brain surgeries in the days following, but he ultimately passed away from complications.

A gallery, with photos of Clemons spanning 1975-2011, is hidden after the cut.

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The ‘Alpocalypse’ Is At Hand

Weird Al at The Forum on December 6, 2010 in London, England.

I stopped listening to “Weird Al” Yankovic when I was about 15, and lately I’m beginning to really regret it. I’m not sure when Weird Al suddenly turned into a grown-up, but his irreverently relevant satire seems way more intelligent and in-touch now than it did in the 1990s.

Why my change of heart, you ask? Last month I saw Weird Al on his Alpocalypse Tour, live in concert—he does a lot of costume changes, just like Cher!—where he sang his Lady Gaga parody “Perform This Way” dressed as a giant peacock.

No live performance, however bizarre, could have prepared me for the music video, in which Al’s head is digitally, disturbingly composited onto the body of a half-naked hot chick. The entire video is destined to hit the Internet on Monday, but the HuffPo has this sneak peek:

“Perform This Way” isn’t the only send-up of Lady Gaga on Weird Al’s next studio release; she also gets skewered in the most recent iteration of his polka medley, “Polka Face“:

Weird Al’s album, Alpocalypse, is out Tuesday. Until then, here’s 25 Things You Don’t Know About Weird Al.