Monday, August 31, 2009
In association with Rock The Bells organizers Guerilla Union, the rapper has been putting on shows across the U.S., stopping in such cities as Atlanta, Miami, Chicago, and New Orleans, and has three more stops to go.
The Ecstatic Tour is set to hit San Francisco on Thursday (September 3), Oakland the follow day, Los Angeles on Saturday (September 5), and then also in Boston on Wednesday (September 15). There's also stops in Oakland, Baltimore and Philly.
During the L.A. stop, Erykah Badu will be co-headlining with Mos Def. While there's just six confirmed dates, more dates will be announced soon.
His latest album has been heralded in the press by the likes of Esquire ("Because there is no better lyricist, or deliverer of lyrics, in music. Not hip-hop. Music."); SPIN ("The Ecstatic is easily his finest full length since Black on Both Sides); TIME ("...full of the rhythm, exuberance and wit Mos Def showed on his early records."); and GIANT ("a lyricist whose command of wordplay and delivery has ranked him among hip hop’s elite ... [The Ecstatic] is ahead of its time").
Friday, August 28, 2009
The Los Angeles County coroner's office determined the cause of death was "acute propofol intoxication." Lorazepam, another sedative sold under the brand name Ativan, contributed to the death.
Additional drugs detected in Jackson's system were the sedatives midazolam and diazepam, the painkiller lidocaine and the stimulant ephedrine.
The coroner did not release Jackson's full autopsy report, citing a security hold requested by Los Angeles authorities investigating the case, and declined to comment beyond a short statement announcing the manner and cause of death.
The coroner's determination of a homicide confirmed what The Associated Press first reported Monday, citing an anonymous law enforcement official.
The 50-year-old Jackson died June 25 at his rented Los Angeles mansion. Dr. Conrad Murray, the Las Vegas cardiologist who was the pop star's personal physician, told police he gave Jackson propofol that morning after a series of sedatives failed to help Jackson sleep.
Murray has not been charged with any crime but is the target of what police term a manslaughter investigation. Multiple search warrants served at his home and businesses in Las Vegas and Houston sought evidence detailing how he procured the propofol that killed Jackson. Jackson's interactions with at least six other doctors also are being scrutinized.
In addition, California Attorney General Jerry Brown has opened an independent probe of several physicians.
Except for a brief video posted to YouTube earlier this month, Murray has not spoken publicly since Jackson's death. In the video, he said: "I told the truth and I have faith the truth will prevail."
Murray's attorney, Edward Chernoff, said he was disappointed the full autopsy report wasn't released. Without that, it was impossible to seek independent expert opinion on the significance of the various drugs detected.
"Release the toxicology report, the whole thing. Sunlight is the best disinfectant," Chernoff said. "This smells like gamesmanship."
Chernoff repeated his assertion that nothing Murray gave Jackson "should have" killed him.
It's not clear when the full report may be released. The coroner said the security hold would remain until the investigation is wrapped up. The Los Angeles Police Department and the district attorney's office said they did not know when that would be.
A statement by the LAPD said the investigation into the death is ongoing and "will result in the case being presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney for filing consideration."
The coroner's determination of homicide makes it more likely criminal charges will be filed but does not guarantee it.
"That decision is not binding on the district attorney," said Steve Cron, a criminal defense attorney and adjunct professor at Pepperdine University's law school. "But it is one more piece of the puzzle that leads toward the conclusion that someone will be prosecuted for his death."