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Rappers decide to cut the grass

LAYING OFF THE WEED: Is it a trend? So many hip-hop stars have recently been saying that marijuana is no longer a part of their lifestyle, Team Pop is tempted to call them weed whackers. Bad boy rapper Snoop Dogg, long a proponent of ganja on tracks such as Gin and Juice and Hennesy N Buddha, was fined in 2002 for possession of the plant. Now he has renounced it, telling Blender that he needed to put down the bong to be a better dad to his 8-year-old son, Corde. Snoop also has begun coaching his kid's school football team. Rapper Busta Rhymes claims he, too, has given up pot smoking, a habit he began when he was 12.

QUOTE: "I haven't smoked pot in years. I might have a few teaspoons of wine, but I'm out of the game after that."

_ OutKast rapper Andre 3000 in Blender.

NO PIZZA FOR YOU: Speaking of pot smokers, notorious stoner rock band Ween was commissioned by Pizza Hut to write a jingle for a television spot. When Ween turned in the tune, a 30-second call-and-response jam called Where'd the Cheese Go? I Don't Know, Pizza Hut rejected it. The duo "reworked" the tune, submitting it again, this time laden with obscenities. No surprise, Ween's deal with Pizza Hut fell through. Both versions of the song are available at www.ween.com.

TORI ON TV: Eccentric singer-pianist Tori Amos will perform in a taped "Custom Concert" at 10 p.m. Sunday on the Oxygen network.

SPEND ST. PATTY'S WITH A POGUE: Tune in to the Sundance channel at 9 p.m. Monday to catch the U.S. television premiere of If I Should Fall From Grace: The Shane MacGowan Story. The 90-minute documentary examines MacGowan, lead singer of Irish rock band the Pogues, his prodigious songwriting gifts and his stature as a punk icon, without shying away from discussing his years of drug and alcohol abuse. The film includes interviews with MacGowan, his bandmates, Elvis Costello, Nick Cave and others.

IT'S NOT TOO LATE FOR AIR SUPPLY: Stop panicking. You can still get tickets to Saturday's Air Supply concert at Jannus Landing. And the show's promoters have tickets for fans of varying means. For $25, you can be part of the outdoor venue's SRO crowd, the general admission folks, the plebeians. For $40, you're part of the "Premium" group that will be seated in a section behind the VIPs. Who are the VIPs, you ask? The VIPs are the folks who shelled out $99.50 to see the Aussie soft rock duo, whose extremely old hits include Lost In Love and Here I Am (Just When I Thought I Was Over You). VIP folks get to sit oh-so-close to Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock as they perform, and they get to meet and greet the guys backstage.

TRUE CONFESSION: Someone in the Team Pop posse attended a general admission Air Supply concert when she was in the eighth grade and got so close to the stage, she was able to grab the little dark-haired fella's hand. Cut me some slack. My friend won tickets from a radio station. And I was wearing a Ramones T-shirt, if it matters.

To contact Gina Vivinetto, e-mail ginasptimes.com.

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