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October 12, 2007 | Chuck Philips, Times Staff Writer
** SEE CORRECTION APPENDED: "The Times apologizes over article on rapper" ** Millionaire mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs, who nearly topped Forbes' 2007 Hip Hop Cash Kings' List, was accused this week in separate lawsuits of swindling a business associate and battering a concert promoter, just days after resolving a child support dispute with the mother of his 15-month-old daughter, whom he had stiffed for more than a year.
September 21, 2007 | From the Associated Press
A New York judge let The Game go free Thursday on a charge that he impersonated a police officer. Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Marc Whiten gave the West Coast rapper, whose real name is Jayceon Taylor, a conditional discharge, meaning that if he isn't arrested again within six months, the misdemeanor charge will be dismissed and the case file sealed. Taylor, 27, of Glendale, was arrested Nov.
September 18, 2007 | Baz Dreisinger, Special to The Times
It's not every day that rappers are invited to hold court on "Larry King Live." It's also not every day that they decline the invitation. So before Chamillionaire told King last spring that he'd have to pass, the Grammy-winning rapper thought long and hard. "I really wanted to do it. I want to be asked real questions about issues," said Chamillionaire, who had been asked to appear on a show about the hullabaloo surrounding hip-hop, misogyny and the N-word.
September 17, 2007 | Chris Lee, Times Staff Writer
Don't hold your breath waiting for 50 Cent to retire. Sure, the trash-talking MC may have uttered what seemed like famous last words, vowing to hang up his mike if Kanye West's "Graduation" were to outsell 50's third album, "Curtis," in their first week of release.
August 13, 2007 | August Brown, Times Staff Writer
Cypress Hill's B-Real indicated something unsettling about the state of rap music during his band's performance at Saturday's Rock the Bells festival in San Bernardino. "Thank you for coming," Real told the audience. "By being here, you're supporting hip-hop." Real's gratitude sounded awfully close to a pledge-drive solicitation. It's no secret that mainstream hip-hop's record sales (and arguably, its quality) have taken a nosedive in the last few years.
July 5, 2007 | Lynne Heffley, Times Staff Writer
HIP-HOP for kids can be pandering or preachy, an iffy proposition. The Figureheads, a Wisconsin-based trio with a child and teen focus, manage to sound like the real thing, despite the group's near-missionary drive to reach kids with words of affirmation and hope. "We're kind of speaking from within the culture," says Jeremy Bryan, 28. "My generation is probably the first or second to entwine our identity with hip-hop culture and what it entails."
May 14, 2007 | Marcus Franklin, Associated Press
Facing fierce criticism of sexist and depraved rap lyrics, top music industry executives planned a private meeting. They would discuss the issue, they said, and "announce initiatives" at a news conference afterward. That was three weeks ago. The session with the media was canceled without explanation, and ever since, music's gatekeepers have been silent. Leaders of the four major record companies, which control nearly 90% of the market, may fear cracking the door to censorship.
May 12, 2007 | From the Associated Press
Curtis Sherrod knows there's power in numbers. So when he decided to organize more than 100 rappers and poets in a 24-hour rap marathon where no cursing is allowed, he saw only the good that could come from it.
May 3, 2007 | Alana Semuels, Times Staff Writer
The Rev. Al Sharpton will lead a protest today in New York in an effort to pressure major music companies into banning three pejorative words, including the one that forced shock jock Don Imus off the airwaves. Supporting the campaign to clean up rap lyrics is hip-hop pioneer and mogul Russell Simmons, who co-founded Def Jam Recordings and founded Russell Simmons Music Group.
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