Chris Brown is now at the center of a new criminal investigation ... but this time he's the victim.
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... when Chris was jailed for leaving rehab back in April and taken across the country to Washington D.C. for his hearing on assault charges, one of his first stops was San Bernardino County Jail.
Chris was only there for a day or so, but procedure required a jail ID. When Chris left, his ID was left with the jailers.
Fast forward to this week ... when someone tried to sell the ID online for $10,000. Chris' lawyer, Mark Geragos, got wind of it and went to the San Bernardino Sheriff's Dept. and said "What the F***?"
The Sheriff's Dept. launched an investigation and traced the ID to someone in the area. We've learned cops seized the ID and grilled the guy, who insists he got the ID from a friend who got it from a friend.
Cops are trying to figure out how the ID got out of police custody and whether a crime has been committed.
Sometimes it's better to be the victim than the perp.
Birdman vs. Lil Wayne
War is On
1/24/2015 12:40 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Birdman and Lil Wayne have officially declared war ... settlement talks have broken down and Wayne will now sue his mentor, claiming among other things Birdman owes him $8 million.
As TMZ reported ... the 2 titans tried coming to terms this week but it wasn't meant to be. Now Wayne will ask a judge to declare him free of Cash Money and Birdman's control. Wayne says Birdman has violated their contract by withholding the release of his new album.
As for the $8 MIL claim ... Wayne says Birdman owed the money for his latest album -- it was supposed to be an advance.
Birdman has held firm ... he will release the album "in due time," but clearly that's not good enough for Wayne.
We're told Wayne will keep recording but he will release his works outside of the Cash Money umbrella.
Rolls-Royce vs. Royce Rizzy
High End Car Company Sues
... That's Our Name!!
1/24/2015 12:10 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
In the hip-hop world, you don't steal another MC's name ... even if MC stands for motor car -- which is exactly what Rolls-Royce claims a rapper named Rolls Royce Rizzy has done.
According to the lawsuit -- obtained by TMZ -- the legendary car company says Rizzy advertises and sells "Team Rolls Royce" shirts on his website ... and they want him to stop ASAP.
Rolls-Royce claims they've sent R.R.R. multiple cease and desist letters to no avail ... and since he's continued to wear the shirts in pics on social media they've been forced to file suit.
Rizzy tells us he dropped the "Rolls" from his name at least a year and a half ago and he's no longer selling the shirts ... just wearing it. He also claims he's never gotten a letter from Rolls.
Jermaine Dupri -- the head of Rizzy's label -- tells us he personally made sure the name change happened before putting him out as an artist ... adding,"I know how business works."
Sued By Former Manager
He Was NOTHING Before Us!
1/23/2015 3:19 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Tyga's former manager says the rapper's an ingrate and now there's only one way to show his appreciation ... fork over several million dollars as a "thank you."
Back in the day ... Tyga hired C&J Management, and the company claims it did more than a good job, "turning him from a relative nobody to a world known superstar." C&J introduced Tyga to Cash Money, so they may have a point.
But sometimes people and Tygas move on ... and C&J claims the rapper unceremoniously and illegally fired them in 2013 and hired a brand spankin' new manager.
So C&J now wants $4 million and all will be well.
We reached out to a rep for Tyga. So far, no word back.
'12 Years a Slave' Lawsuit
Hans Zimmer Ripped Him Off
1/23/2015 1:22 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
"12 Years a Slave" may have shamelessly ripped off "Desperate Housewives" ... if you believe a new lawsuit.
Famed composer Hans Zimmer is the culprit ... so claims the guy who composed the song for that Housewives show.
Richard Friedman claims in 2004 he composed "To Our Fallen," which appeared on the ABC show. He says in his lawsuit his song was enhanced in Zimmer's studio. Friedman claims it's no coincidence that in 2013 Zimmer's signature song in "12 Years" was eerily similar to his tune.
The allegation is simple ... Zimmer and company had access to his song and ripped him off.
Friedman is suing Zimmer, Fox, Sony and Brad Pitt's Plan B Entertainment ... and he wants a piece of the pie.
We reached out to Zimmer's people ... so far no comment.
The Beastie Boys
We're Not Wanted Anymore
So Someone Needs to Pay Our Lawyers
1/23/2015 12:22 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
The Beastie Boys say they can't find work because of MCA's death ... and they're so strapped for cash they can't even fight in court without someone covering the bill.
Here's the dilemma ... The Boys have beef with Monster Energy, which jacked some of their songs for an ad campaign. The guys actually won their case and scored a $1.7 million judgment. But a lot of that was eaten away by their lawyers, and they want Monster to foot that bill.
The surviving members say -- since Adam "MCA" Yauch died from cancer in 2012 -- no one wants them anymore so every dollar counts. And they're on the hook to their lawyers for a whopping $2.4 MILLION in lawyers' fees.
A judge hasn't decided yet, but typically the side that wins in cases like this gets at least some of their lawyers' fees back.
Mussolini's My Inspiration
I Get Why Hitler Liked Him
1/23/2015 9:18 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Mike Tyson says he was inspired to sing by one of the most hated dictators of all time ... Benito Mussolini.
Tyson was talking to Rolling Stone about his vocal cameo on the upcoming Madonna song "Iconic" when he said he drew inspiration from the former Italian dictator.
"When I did it, I think about being some guy like [Benito] Mussolini and they're really arrogant, but you try to come from a positive perspective and be uplifting. You watch Mussolini on television — even though we don't understand what he's saying — he is so mesmerizing. I look at myself in that way."
But then Tyson ups his game ... by saying he can't blame Adolf Hitler for admiring the Italian leader.
"I know people may say 'this guy's a fascist' and all this stuff, but man, you can take positivity from watching him. No wonder why Hitler was attracted to him. This guy's a hypnotic figure. There's so much pride behind what he's saying. I'm not even Italian and I feel the pride he's projecting. He had that street swag; he was doing this stuff with his hands and moving his head before it was even hip-hop."
'The Fugees' Pras
N. Korea Killed Me Softly
With Their Crappy Food ...
1/23/2015 7:07 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
The food in North Korea is garbage ... Pras has been to the Hermit kingdom and is dishin' on their crappy dishes.
We caught up with the Fugees co-founder outside Madeo in West Hollywood and let's just say he's not a fan of the cuisine.
Apparently there's no Korean BBQ actually in N.K. ... Pras flew there in August to check out a wrestling match but said the food was so horrible, he only ate beans.
Food aside, Kim Jong Un shouldn't expect a private Fugees bash anytime soon ... Pras ain't down with that whole communism vibe. Sorry Kim.
Maybe he'll reconsider if they ever get a Madeo over there. Watch.
NBA PAL MAKES ALL-STAR TEAM
Thanks to Pop Star's Support
1/23/2015 6:03 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Maybe he really IS the most powerful man in the NBA ... because Justin Bieber's pal Kyle Lowry has been voted to be a starter in the NBA All-Star game ... and it seems Bieb's support put him over the top.
As we previously reported, Lowry was 3rd in All-Star voting for the Eastern Conference backcourt position behind Dwyane Wade and John Wall ... that is, until Bieber tweeted to his 60 MILLION followers to vote for the Toronto Raptors star.
Well, Bieber's plan worked ... with Lowry surging ahead in the voting at the last minute to secure a starting spot ... beating out Wade by 15,000 votes.
I'm Not Banging Hailey Or Kendall
... We're Just Friends
1/23/2015 12:50 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Justin Bieber is not shtupping the young women everyone thinks he's shtupping.
Hailey Baldwin and Kendall Jenner have been hanging with Biebs for a while now, and on the surface it looked like the chumminess was more than friendship. Turns out that's all it is.
As we reported, Bieber has been changing things up ... he hasn't been in trouble for months, he's not hanging with his old crowd and he's spending a lot of time on self-improvement.
Our Bieber sources say J.B. likes hanging with Hailey and Kendall because they're relatively drama free and positive. They go to church, restaurants, concerts and clubs, but it's not romantic.
The trio went to the Clippers game Thursday night, along with 3 Vine stars -- King Bach, Curtis Lepore and Nash Grier.
The trio went to see Bieber's pastor Judah Smith speak on Wednesday night and they hit up a comedy club afterward.
We're told Bieber's not with Selena either -- they see each other, but they're not a couple. Fact is ... he's single, and pretty happy.
Scares the Crap Out of Etsy
Don't Screw with My Name!
1/23/2015 12:40 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Beyonce threatened a company that came perilously close to using her name to hawk mugs ... and guess what you can't buy anymore?
Etsy -- a craft website that's a cross between eBay and Pinterest -- was hawking Feyonce mugs. They became a thing ... when someone got engaged lots of people went to the website and bought the happy couple mugs to celebrate the occasion.
The singer felt the pun was more than coincidental -- right down to the accent on the last "e" -- so her lawyers fired off a letter to the company crying foul ... and then threatening them.
Etsy got the message and took the items off the artist's online shop. But all is not well. Etsy still has other feyonce items on its site, including clothing and glassware. And these items are selling big.
Warning: Bey don't play.
Birdman to Lil Wayne
You Disrespected the Family
1/22/2015 11:07 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Birdman is angry at Lil Wayne for "disrespecting" him in his latest song ... and he will NOT voluntarily release the rapper from Cash Money ... sources connected with the mogul tell TMZ.
Our sources say Birdman is angry on 2 fronts ... that Wayne is trying to bail on a binding contract and even more personal, he's putting their relationship on blast.
Wayne's song, "I'm Sorry for the Wait," is especially galling to Birdman because he feels the man he calls "son" is treating him like some random producer.
As we reported, lawyers and others for Wayne and Birdman are in talks, but Wayne has threatened a lawsuit if his album isn't released.
Our Birdman sources say the mogul won't budge and will only release the album on his terms. And he will fight Wayne if he sues to get out of his contract.
I Snubbed My Fans
Because of Donald Trump
1/22/2015 11:03 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Craig Wayne Boyd says he has a damn good reason for blowing off his fans right after he won "The Voice" ... he didn't want to be late for a meeting with Donald Trump.
You'll remember ... Boyd and his hair were in New York City last month after the big win. On his way out of a building, he kinda let one fan take a pic with him ... but straight up blew off a bunch more.
Boyd was back in NYC Wednesday night and revealed how the Donald, unknowingly, played a part in the snubbing.
So, has Boyd learned his lesson? As luck would have it ... a few fans walked up to him last night. Check out the interaction.