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New Ashanti Viral Video Pushes Limits of Good Taste, Logic

June 10, 2008 1:20 PM ET

Hoping to bring some notoriety to her new single and video "The Way That I Love You," the marketing geniuses behind former Murder Inc. princess Ashanti have posted a fake news clip alleging that the music video (about a woman who gets revenge on a deceitful boyfriend by killing him) has inspired a rash of copycat crimes. Things get weird and uncomfortable when police at the fake crime scene find a blood-splattered message on the wall that reads "Black children will die." The police name the main suspect in the crime "Commercial Hip Hop," and "Commercial Hip Hop" wants to kill black children because they are "playing me like a fool." What any of this has to do with the actual Ashanti video is beyond us, and the whole experience can't make people more willing to invest in Ashanti's new album The Declaration. On another strange side note, the police officer in this faux news report is named Detective John Kimble, which is also the name of Arnold Schwarzenegger's character in Kindergarten Cop, so the developers of this video obviously did their homework — they just didn't check to make sure any of this made any sense. What's worse, the video has sparked a protest in Los Angeles, where several groups are condemning Ashanti and Universal Music Group for glorifying violence and demanding the video be taken down.

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Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

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