The Top Seven Broadsides Against The PMRC

The PMRC is one of those faint memories that music fans that grew up in the '80s try to brush away. The Parents Music Resource Center was launched in 1985 by a group of Washington power wives—the most visible face being the wife of then-senator Al Gore, Tipper—who saw rock and rap as, in Ms. Gore's words, "a poisonous source infecting the youth of the world with messages they cannot handle."

While the PMRC's power eventually only yielded one major change—the ubiquitous black-and-white "Parental Advisory" insignia that you can still find on physical copies of albums—at the time the metal, punk, and hip-hop artists that it would have affected most made some loud and vehement statements against what they saw as potential censorship of their work. With that in mind—not to mention Mother's Day and the current pieces of proposed legislation that are threatening our access to information in the modern age—let's take a quick stroll down memory lane to take a listen to some of the best of the anti-PMRC bunch.

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Ice-T's Newest Role: The Voice Of Reason On Ice Loves Coco


Who knew Ice-T was a role model? Ice Loves Coco, E!'s new reality show about the rapper/actor and his model/fashion designer wife, makes them look like such a perfect couple that you almost expect them to turn into anime characters and see little cartoon hearts popping above their heads as they kiss. Even more surprisingly, it shows Ice—you know, "Cop Killer" Ice—as a benevolent influence on those around him. He tells a friend that he shouldn't lie to the woman he's dating, helps his wife calm down at a photo shoot by expressing his confidence in her, and, in the most recent episode, rescues his ill-trained bulldog Spartacus from bombing at his own photo shoot. (The shoot is for a dog calendar; Spartacus is wearing a devil's cape and red horns; and, if anything, the scene is somehow even more adorable than this description might suggest.)

How did we get here? Ice's whole career has cast him as a kind of cultural antihero, from Original Gangster to "Cop Killer" and beyond. Sure, he's had the role on Law and Order: SVU, but that was an acting gig, and there's no reason he couldn't still be real underneath the detective costume. Ice Loves Coco is Ice-T IRL, though, and it turns out he's aged into basically the dad from That '70s Show—gruff but lovable, a softy underneath his hard exterior. Nor is he alone, what with fellow OGs Ice Cube and Snoop displaying their own variations of this persona. It's not that it's soft, but it's not really hard, either. It's more like a fundamental grumpiness, a sense of perpetual but mild annoyance at the world in general. And in Ice's case, it's crossed the line into outright cuddliness. Does this mean rap is softening, too?

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Top Ten Greatest Rap-Acronym Anthems

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Kanye West and Jay-Z's Lex Luger-produced "H.A.M." is a creative union of the two biggest currently recording rap stars in the world -- as the lead single to the duo's upcoming Watch the Throne project, it's a feisty statement of intent. But more importantly, it's a fresh edition to the canon of wonderful rap songs tagged with (usually) brilliantly bad acronyms. With "H.A.M." Fever still in full effect, here are 10 of rap's biggest acronym-based anthems.

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Hip-Hop's Top Ten Greatest Sneaker Songs

Kid Cudi, going all out for Converse.
Sneakers have long been hip-hop's footwear of choice. The links between the artists making the music and the companies behind the kicks are now totally intermingled, from top-end exclusive lines like Jay-Z's limited-to-five-pairs all-black Air Force 1s (decoded: they're entirely black) and Kanye West's Nike Air Yeezys to the populist-minded brand Converse sponsoring a summery release from Kid Cudi. In honor of the show that committed hip-hop sneaker freak Rick Ross played this past weekend in NYC as part of the 2010 Sneaker Pimps tour, here's a look at ten top sneaker songs from the annals of rap.

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Mike Tyson's Top Ten Rap Cameos

Reggie Rock Bythewood's One Night in Vegas, airing on ESPN tonight as part of the network's "30 for 30" documentary series, shines a light on the little known friendship and many parallels between tortured souls Mike Tyson and Tupac Shakur. The title of Bythewood's documentary is a reference to Sept. 7, 1996, when Shakur was fatally wounded on the Las Vegas Strip after taking in what would be Tyson's last successful title defense, against Bruce Seldon. 'Pac, who'd recorded music specifically for Tyson to use during his entrance that night (something he'd done previously for Tyson's rematch against Frank Bruno earlier that year), wasn't the only rapper to take inspiration from the champ. The most feared and virile black athlete of his day, Tyson's name has been an ubiquitous lyrical reference point for more than 20 years (see '99's Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists for a rundown of classic Tyson-centric one-liners), and the subject of more than a few full-on tributes. The respect was mutual: a longtime rap fan, Mike was a regular presence at NYC nightspots like the Latin Quarter during rap's golden era, hobnobbing with the likes of Eric B. and Rakim and LL Cool J, and turning up in numerous videos over the years. Here's a look at some of his more notable cameos, both literal and in spirit, in chronological order of appearance.

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Ice-T On Being Arrested By That "Punk Bitch" Cop: Next Time "Wait Until You Find a Body in My Trunk"

Yesterday, Twitter's most dangerous man took to to Ustream in order to clear his good name and tell his side of the "bullshit arrest," i.e. when he was stopped by a member of the NYPD last week after brushing the officer with the mirror of his car. The rapper-turned-actor was then arrested for failing to possess up-to-date insurance or a valid license, issued a desk ticket, and set free. Somewhere in there, he called cop in question a "punk bitch." Anyway, now he's told his side of the story, and the Post has selected highlights, including this lovely exchange:

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Ice-T, Twitter Champion, Just Called a New York City Cop a "Punk Bitch"

Move over, "Eat a hot bowl of dicks"! Ice-T's Twitter reign of wowowowowow continues with his arrest today in New York for allegedly driving without a seat belt, up-to-date insurance, or a valid license. A police office named Fischer found out the hard way who he was dealing with:

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Law & Order's Five Most Ridiculous Rapper Cameos

Law & Order ends its 20-year run tonight. Throughout the show's long reign, phalanxes of honorable detectives have cleaned the New York streets of crime and debris while throwing out witty one-liners and re-enacting plotlines ripped from real-life headlines. Grabbing a cameo on the show has also become something of an in-joke in acting circles, with future-stars like Claire Danes, Jennifer Gardner ,and Cynthia Nixon all making pre-fame appearances on the show. But Law & Order, along with its Special Victim's Unit and Criminal Intent spin-offs, has also acted as a breeding ground for rappers (and rap-related types) to flex their chronic lack of thespian skills--in roles that typically range from the clich├ęd to the ridiculous. So while Ice-T gets a pass for playing Richard Belzer's street-savy detective partner Fin Tutuolo, the likes of Outkast's Big Boi and the Wu-Tang Clan's Method Man fare less well. Here are five of the best/worst rapper guest spots.

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Suggestions For The Inevitable Ice-T/Aimee Mann Reconciliation

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So this happened. They'll patch it up. Here's how:

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Presenting The Single Greatest Tweet Of All Time, Starring Ice-T, Aimee Mann, And A Hot Bowl Of Dicks

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Here is your context. Clearly he's never seen Magnolia. Also: wow wow wow wow wow wow wow.