These days I'm not much into current hip hop, as more and more time passes I spend more and more time listening to less and less of it, and everything I listen to consistently is anywhere from 10-20 years old. Sad, isn't it? When I was a rebellious teenager I always expected I'd be all "HIP HOP FO' LIFE!" And while I'll always be a part of hip hop culture, sometimes I wonder if I'm getting really old.
Anyway, in the last week there have been 3 stories in the news about members of the hip hop community. The first I read last week, and the headline was:
Rapper 50 Cent sues over 99 Cent Taco Bell promotion
I just about died. Now I don't watch any TV, don't care too much for Youtube, so I haven't even seen the reason why 50 would be suing them. However, this is what the news article read, with my own comments in brackets:
A hip-hop-themed Taco Bell ad campaign has turned the stomach of rapper 50 Cent, who launched a lawsuit against the fast food retailer on Wednesday. The rapper filed a federal lawsuit in Manhattan claiming that the restaurant chain used his stage name without permission in a recent campaign promoting a low-priced menu offering items for 79 cents, 89 cents and 99 cents. According to court filings, the rapper accuses the company of sending out a letter to media and creating ads calling on him to change his name for a day - to 79 Cent, 89 Cent or 99 Cent - to reflect the promotional prices and visit a Taco Bell location and "rap" his food order. In exchange, the chain vowed to donate $10,000 US to a charity of his choice.
[First of all, I want to know what 50 is trying to sue Taco Bell for. Copyright infringement? Anyway, HO NOES they used his name and asked him to change his name for a day! Maybe he's mad that they'd actually have him think up some new lyrics that don't sound like Magic Stick/Candy Shop/Window Shopper/etc etc. And also, damn Taco Bell...only donating 10,000? Hell, that's chump change to 50...you're not even making it worth his while. He could write a check off today to whichever charity for way more than that and not feel it.]
The lawsuit alleges that the company didn't send the letter to the rapper until afterward."Rather than face rejection or pay fair value, Taco Bell chose to steal his endorsement and to enjoy all the publicity of being associated with a mega-star while bearing none of the costs," the suit reads.
[BWAHAHAHAHA! Pay fair value? What's fair value? And so what if they faced rejection...they could have gotten better press by making 50 seem like a selfish, greedy, asshole for not wanting to participate in raising funds for a charity. Not to mention...is 50 still a mega-star? But I digress. The best is yet to come.]
The lawsuit also claims that his reputation suffered, noting that members of the blogosphere began accusing him of "selling out."
[Wow. Just...wow. I mean, no amount of internet acronyms such as LOL/ROFL/LMAO could possibly express how much I really laughed at that. 50's concerned about "members of the blogosphere" accusing him of selling out? Man, he was all about the money from GO...I mean, every record of his has been about or named as some reference to money or making money. Ridiculous.]
And now for the next two news items I read earlier today.
News Item #1:
Apparently he's in D.C., telling unregistered voters: "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem." Goodness T.I., how long did it take you to rack your brains for an appropriate quote to use referring to people who don't vote? Apparently the "Hip Hop Caucus" - and I don't even want to know who was on that panel - said that they nominated T.I. as their official spokesperson because: "T.I. can't vote in this election and to come and encourage others to vote, especially young folks from disenfranchised communities, while he still is in the system, is an act of courage and great leadership. Felon disenfranchisement is a major issue that particularly impacts communities of color."
Um...say what now? He's in the system because he was a DUMBASS and PUT himself into the system. He should have known better, and I'm glad he's in jail because he's an idiot and deserves it. I just hope they don't let him anywhere near a recording studio. And you know, I'm against felon disenfranchisement. Honestly, people change, and if someone's done their time, and they're out trying to make a clean living and do right, then they shouldn't automatically be shuffled into the disenfranchised category based on their past alone. But T.I. isn't exactly someone who's done wrong, feels bad, and is trying to live the good life and fight the good fight. Then again, what do I know. Maybe he is.
News Item #2:
Jacob the Jeweler says he sold Wyclef Jean over $300K worth of bling -- apparently on his house tab -- that he hasn't collected on. Jacob is suing Wy to collect on the $319,000 worth of jewelry he sold him between March 2002 and January 2006...He says the ex-Fugee bought $765K worth of bling but hasn't paid in full yet. Jacob was just sentenced to two-and-a-half years in a federal pen for lying to investigators in a drug ring sting. Wyclef's people didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.
Ahh, the joys of the interwebs, where we can anonymously laugh at people who we believe are stupider than we are. Jacob should have known better than to let Wycelf take his shit. Honestly, did he believe Wyclef was going to successfully reunite the Fugees and have their comeback album go quadruple platinum? And what exactly is he gonna do with that money in jail anyway?