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50 Cent Sues Taco Bell For "Diluting the Value of His Good Name"

July 24, 2008 9:00 AM ET

Rapper 50 Cent is suing Yum! Brands, and more specifically Taco Bell, after the fast food chain used his moniker in a hip-hop themed ad campaign without asking his permission or paying him a fee. In the lawsuit, Fiddy accuses the Bell of "diluting the value of his good name" when they encouraged the rapper to change his name to "79 Cent," "89 Cent" or "99 Cent" in an open letter addressed to 50 and distributed to the press. It's kind of like when Dr. Pepper penned that open letter to Axl Rose, offering free DP in exchange for Chinese Democracy, except that promotion seemed to make everybody happy. "As Taco Bell intended, many customers believed that 50 Cent had agreed to endorse Taco Bell's products. Indeed, postings on numerous Internet 'blogs' castigated 50 Cent for 'selling out' by his apparent endorsement of Taco Bell," the suit states. Yum! Brands has yet to comment.

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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