Music » Local Music

Rap-sody of ruin


It looks like the legal troubles of Detroit’s high profile rappers could soon rival those of the gangstas of Compton, Calif. These guys aren’t running around shooting each other — although Eminem has apparently been brandishing a gun — but the legal fees are piling up. However there is a Compton connection. Dr. Dre, mentor to Eminem, has sued the City of Detroit, mayoral spokesman Greg Bowens and two police officials, accusing them of censorship. City officials wouldn’t allow a video that included nudity and a bloody shootout to be shown at the July 6 Up In Smoke Tour date at Joe Louis Arena. Dre earned a misdemeanor citation for showing the video the next day at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Eminem is deep in legal doo-doo. He faces felony gun charges in Oakland and Macomb counties and is being sued by a man who was the target of one of the gun incidents. His mother is suing him too. Debbie Mathers-Briggs claims Eminem defamed her, claiming she was a drug abuser and bad parent. Isn’t family great?

On the defamation front, Kid Rock is being sued by a former girlfriend who says he lied about her in the song “Black Chick, White Guy,” causing damage to her reputation. There’s more — former Rock manager Stephen Hutton is suing Rock for $7 million, claiming the rapper owes it to him.

Even the Insane Clown Posse is clocking in. John Cafiero, director of ICP’s film Big Money Hustlas, is suing the group’s label, Island-Def Jam, for $180,000. He claims he never got paid for the film; Island claims he went way over budget.

That’s just the legal stuff. There’s a ton of other bullshit including band rivalries, a tell-all book, custody battles and a suicide attempt. Stay tuned for the next rap.

Larry Gabriel is a writer, musician and former Metro Times editor. Send comments to

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