50 Cent

It is not the first time an angry mother has blamed the rap industry for promoting violence, but a recent lawsuit presents an interesting twist. A 14-year-old boy and his mother filed suit Wednesday against some of the biggest names in the industry, including music mogul 50 Cent and Universal Music Group, claiming that they encourage and condone violence in order to market their music with a “gangsta” image.

In March of 2007, James Rosemond was allegedly assaulted by Tony Yayo, a member of 50 Cent’s G-Unit hip hop group, and Lowell Fletcher, Yayo’s employee. Rosemond and his mother asserted that he was targeted because he was wearing a T-shirt affiliated with The Game, a rival rapper who was once a member of G-Unit. Yayo pleaded guilty to harassment and was sentenced to community service; Fletcher pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of a child and was sentenced to nine months in jail.

As a result of the assault, Rosemond is suing 50 Cent and Universal Music Group, claiming that the attack was intended to “promote and maintain Yayo’s and 50 Cent’s ‘gangsta’ image” and that G-Unit “encouraged, condoned, and sanctioned violence,” as well as threatened violence.

— Carrie Frondorf

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