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Mutually Assured Publicity

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 1, 2005 2:27PM

There’s probably no such thing as bad publicity for a guy who promises “I'll murder you and come at you again in the afterlife” but Chicago speed-rapper Twista’s been having a relatively tough month.

2005_11_01_twista.jpgLast week as Twista was participating in the city’s Principal For A Day program, local resident David L. Wideman was protesting the West Side rapper’s participation and even threw up a circa-1995 style website to voice his concerns (via Gaper’s). Wideman’s concerns stem from the impression the rapper’s lyrics might make on the kids. He suggested a more appropriate principal would have been Denyce Graves, who recently performed in the Lyric Opera’s production of Carmen.

We respect Wideman’s right to protest but has he looked at the lyrics to Carmen? Check it:

And when the gat's in my palm
Where you at is the wrong
Call me blaze cause my bullets leave a trail this long

OK, so those are lyrics from the Carmen: A Hip Hopera soundtrack but they’re the only ones we could find that weren’t in Italian.

Potentially more damaging are the claims of Faheem Shabazz (a.k.a. BigFa) who says Twista’s use of the name Chi-Rock Entertainment infringes on his copyright. BigFa, a member of seminal Chicago hip-hop collective the Chi-Rock Nation, says he has registered the names “Chi Rock” and “Chi Roc” with the Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White (a.k.a. King Tumbla).

Thing is, Twista hasn’t been using the “Chi Roc/k” name since last year when it showed up in the title of his song “Art and Life (Chi-Roc) on last year’s Kamikaze album. While he had promised “Chi Rock Entertainment coming your way” back in June of 2004, a search of the public records in King Tumbla’s office reveals a corporation filing under the name “Chi-Rock Entertainment” was “involuntarily dissolved” on October 1st, 2005. This means BigFa has been the sole owner of the “Chi-Roc/k Corporation” name for over a month now.

So why the beef? Like we said, there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Good thing, too. Twista’s remix album The Day After (Chopped and Screwed) makes a run at the charts on November 8th. and BigFa just registered the website at the end of September.