This week was defined by the tragic death of a music icon, several arrests and a blockbuster video banned from BET. In between those headlines, a rapper told a Presidential candidate not to use his use (and the candidate listened), a high-profile beef went passive, and a music icon regaled HipHopDX with his stories and insights. 

Drake Says He Will Not Reply To Common’s “Stay Schemin'” Verse

Hip Hop has long celebrated the competitive spirit, from Busy Bee and Kool Moe Dee, through to Jay-Z and Nas. Battles and beefs may have gotten synonymous, but fans still look for a nice demonstration before deciding on a victor. This week, platinum superstar Drake told’s Nation that he will not be responding to Common’s “Stay Schemin'” verse. The pair have driven headlines for the first full month of 2012 with a beef over music, and perhaps a woman in Serena Williams. Eager listeners and fans of each artist were let down as battle prospects seem to have been tossed aside with Drake’s decision to stay silent on the mic – despite recording new music. “Despite how it’s been worded by him that situation is not a ‘Hip Hop moment’ or a ‘battle for the sake of musical integrity’…it’s a ploy for attention around the release of an album,” explained Drake. Read the full story here.

BET Says No “Stupid Hoe”

Another YMCMB artist, Nicki Minaj, hit a road-block this week with her “Stupid Hoe” video. Black Entertainment Television told the Queens, New York native no to her Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded single visual – according to TMZ, anyway. The video cracked a VEVO record, though it’s reportedly “too explicit.” Watch the video and read the full story here.

Erick Sermon Says No More EPMD Music, Recalls Nearly Signing Biggie

HipHopDX ran two power-house features this week. One from Bounce pioneer and longtime Cash Money hit-maker Mannie Fresh. The other was from another producer/emcee, a Long Island legend in EPMD’s Erick Sermon. E-Dubb revealed that he and PMD (a/k/a Parrish Smith) are no longer making music. Before this starts to sound like the umteenth EPMD break-up (although Das Efx is reportedly on the outs), the pair remains active in performing, and bringing their Hit Squad and Def Squad along with them. 

The Green-Eyed Bandit did drop DX this early ’90s tidbit, “I coulda [signed The Notorious B.I.G.]. Biggie Smalls came to my office with my ex-best friend. He brought him to me, but I ain’t hear him though. I guess I wasn’t paying attention. And then after that Biggie Smalls came to my video shoot for “Hittin’ Switches” and stayed there all day with Puffy, ‘cause Puffy shot “Hittin’ Switches” with Hype Williams. That was Hype Williams’ first video. And then they sat there and Biggie Smalls was telling a girl named Tracy Waples ‘I need to get on Erick Sermon’s album.’ And then in the last Rap Pages [interview with Big before he was murdered], they asked him a question: “So, who you wanna be like when you get up there?” And he says, ‘Erick Sermon.'”

Erick did mention his desire to an album with DJ Quik. That’s an idea we can get behind! Read the full jaw-dropper here.

Other items of note:

– Don Cornelius Dead At 75 From Apparent Suicide

– Elephant Man Arrested On Sexual Assault Charges

– Rick Ross Speaks On Pill’s Departure From MMG, Wishes Rapper “Success”

– K’Naan Wins A Battle Against Mitt Romney

– Cory Gunz Faces Three-And-A-Half Years In Prison For Gun Charge

– Dr. Dre Gives Rick Ross A Six-Figure Watch