Friends of 50 cent must be suspect! Talk has swirled about many rappers who have maintained suspiciously Olympian musculatures.
But for 50 Cent, in particular, the news could affect his business. A former boxer, he has long promoted himself as fit and abstemious. He also has a line of vitamin water sold through Glacéau, which was bought by Coca-Cola last year for $4.1 billion.
“The marketing of the images is so key now to so many different bottom lines,” Mr. Chang said. “Not just the music industry, but a whole range of consumer products. Your body is your brand and you’ve got to maintain that image. The machoness and braggadoccio, that’s always been a part of hip-hop. What’s different at the highest levels of the money game in hip-hop is the size of it all.”
How the allegations will be received by fans, however, is far from clear. Illegal or unsavory behavior carries little stigma in some corners of the hip-hop world. And troubles with the law can even help the all-important celebrity story line.
“Fans watch these people like they are watching movies,” Danyel Smith, editor of Vibe magazine, said. These kind of controversies, she added “are considered another arc in the narrative. People will wait to see what good, and what tragedy, will come of it.” http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/15/ar...ic/15hiph.html