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Rap Music

In its latest bid to reach young male consumers, Taco Bell Corp. launched a new $12-million advertising campaign Monday that features the rap artist Young MC pitching its products on the MTV cable channel. The campaign marks the first time that Taco Bell, a subsidiary of PepsiCo Inc., has bought commercial time on a national cable television network. With the ad, the Irvine-based firm also joins other companies using rap music in their marketing efforts. "We think that rap music has entered the mainstream," said Taco Bell spokesman Elliot Bloom.
April 7, 2014 | By Charis E. Kubrin and Erik Nielson
For 16 months, Bay Area rapper Deandre Mitchell - better known as Laz Tha Boy - has been sitting in a jail cell faced with a decision no artist should have to make: whether to defend his innocence at trial, knowing his music likely will be used as evidence against him, or take a plea bargain and admit to crimes he maintains he did not commit. Mitchell's case dates to October 2012, when he was indicted for his alleged role in two gang-related shootings that occurred that year. Prosecutors didn't present a single arrest or conviction to establish Mitchell's association with a criminal gang, and with conflicting eyewitness testimony - and no physical evidence connecting him to the shootings, according to defense attorney John Hamasaki - prosecutors elected to introduce something else: Mitchell's violent gangsta rap videos and lyrics, which were presented to the grand jury as evidence of his criminal behavior.
March 1, 1990
With all the discussion of rap "music" of late, I feel compelled to remind you that the correct way to designate an acronym, in this case RAP, is with capital letters. Which stands for what? Why, Real Annoying Prattle, of course! SCOTT ROSENLIEB Bakersfield
February 14, 2014 | By Michael Muskal
The Florida jury weighing the fate of Michael Dunn, accused of shooting an unarmed teenager to death during a dispute over loud music, told officials Friday that it had hit a wall in its deliberations and then broken for the night. Deliberations were to resume Saturday morning. Jurors have deliberated for more than 181/2 hours since receiving the case Wednesday afternoon. On Friday, the jury asked the judge whether it could hand in a verdict on some charges even if it could not reach a unanimous agreement on one charge.
November 9, 2011 | Gerrick D. Kennedy and Nate Jackson, Los Angeles Times
Rapper and actor Heavy D, who played an influential role in shaping rap music in the late '80s and early '90s with a fusion of New Jack Swing and reggae, has died. He was 44. Heavy D, who was born Dwight Arrington Myers, died Tuesday in the emergency room at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after collapsing on the walkway outside his Beverly Hills home, according to law enforcement sources. The Los Angeles County coroner's office is investigating the cause of death.
October 4, 1993 | Compiled for The Times by Erin Aubry
FRANCES PEREZ Senior, 17, Gardena High School Rap gives women a bad image when it calls them things like bitch, slut and whore. Videos make them seem like sex objects. They focus on their bodies, not their intelligence or their minds. All you ever see is girls in bikinis. Guys listen to that music, and it influences how they talk to girls. If guys look up to rappers, that's a bad role model for them to be following. Women also give themselves bad images. In Dr.
November 9, 1990
No, I do not deny Krauthammer's claim that subhuman pop cultures causes subhuman behavior. But does he deny that his beloved free-enterprise system profits mightily from mass producing those violent cassettes and TV shows for millions of young minds? WILLIAM SOFTKY Los Angeles
January 17, 2014 | Eric Sondheimer
Through music, Joel Debus of Orange Lutheran tells stories of life as a teenager, its ups and downs, its triumphs and disappointments. He's a basketball player and rapper, and both skills make him feel energized, focused and unafraid to express himself. "You know it's funny, how nothing can turn to something, how people can rise up, take a step back, get back up. . . .We're just broken people living a day at a time. " His lyrics speak about the challenges he has encountered and how faith changed his life.
January 13, 2013 | By Cindy Carcamo, Los Angeles Times
Most people consider New York and Los Angeles to be the centers of hip-hop culture, but it's Tucson where students will find the first university to offer a minor dedicated to the movement. The University of Arizona has recently added the concentration to its Africana Studies minor program. The decision is part of a trend to give serious academic study to the subject. The curriculum is bound to be a hit with students, said Alain-Philippe Durand, interim director of the Africana Studies program.
January 6, 2013 | By Cindy Carcamo
Universities across the nation have offered courses on hip-hop culture for several years, but the University of Arizona has decided to take its program further, adding the subject as as a concentration in its Africana Studies minor program. The decision, announced in December, is part of a trend to give serious academic study to the subject. And the new curriculum is bound to be a hit with Arizona students, said Alain-Philippe Durand, interim director of the Tucson school's Africana Studies Program.
October 3, 2012 | By Jessica Guynn
Rap Genius is getting its paper on. The popular online community that sprang up around rap lyrics just raised $15 million from Silicon Valley venture capitalists Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, who are betting the trio behind the website can move beyond the coded language of rap to decoding everything from the Beatles to the Bible. One would presume that the catalyst behind this rare convergence between the worlds of rappers and coders was Horowitz, known for expressing business principles with rap lyrics.
September 22, 2012 | By Vincent Bevins
SÃO PAULO, Brazil - The MTV Music Awards in Brazil had until recently been the domain of tinny pop and smiling boy bands. But last year, one of the show's stars took the stage and unexpectedly delivered a set of rap bars through a deadly serious face: We are the debunkers of Carnaval/ Runaway slaves on digital drums/ The phoenixes of Ash Wednesday/ The Landless Workers Movement of the social networks Emicida, now...
September 1, 2012 | Chris Erskine
In search of something transformational in these troubled times, we're headed down to a food fight at Irvine Lake, something legitimate, fully sanctioned, with rows of Porta-Pottys lined up like sentries at a royal garden. Have you noticed that, of all the people at the Los Angeles Times, I get the most assignments involving Porta-Pottys? The royal garden in this case features heaping mounds of tomatoes, ringed by chain-link fencing. The setting is Edenesque, though it stinks a little too, and we haven't even started stomping the stupid things or -- on occasion -- vomiting.
June 29, 2012 | By August Brown, Los Angeles Times
When Killer Mike arrived to play his set at Echoplex on Thursday, the rapper had reportedly already sold out of T-shirts that read "I'm Glad Reagan's Dead. " The merchandise was spun off of a brutal lyric about the late president from the Atlanta rapper's new album, "R.A.P. Music. " Are hip-hop fans that furious at a long-deceased icon of conservatism? Were they enticed by the shirt's shock value? Perhaps the fashion statement signals something more fundamental happening in rap music - a genre born in rebellion is rediscovering its anger and outsider status.
May 10, 2012 | By Richard Fausset
Lil Boosie, a gangsta rapper of national renown, is facing first-degree murder charges in his hometown of Baton Rouge, La., and this week prosecutors introduced his own recordings into court. The musician's violent and threat-filled lyrics, they say, show that he paid a hit man to kill an alleged rival. Boosie, who was born Torence Hatch, has recorded for the Warner Brothers-associated Asylum label, according to, and is serving an eight-year drug smuggling sentence.
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