50 Cent and Universal Music Group were sued yesterday for promoting a "gangsta lifestyle" that encourages violence. The plaintiff: 14-year-old James Rosemond, who was assaulted on a Manhattan sidewalk by 50's fellow G-Unit member Tony Yayo. Rosemond is the son of a record exec whose label represents The Game, a former colleague of 50 Cent who has since become a rival rapper.
Rosemond was wearing a T-shirt promoting his father's record label when four men, including Yayo, assaulted him in March 2007. While Yayo has since pleaded guilty to that assault and performed community service, Rosemond and his family claim that 50 Cent's music, and Universal's promotion of it, created the conditions that led to the attack.