Nine Culinary Ventures By Hip-Hop Artists

Cookin' With Coolio.
Today, excitable Long Island-raised rap firebrand Flavor Flav will open his House Of Flavor restaurant in Las Vegas. The restaurant—which will have fried chicken and something called a "red velvet waffle" on the menu—is Flav's second attempt to break into the food world, following the disastrous Flav's Fried Chicken experiment in Iowa. (In brief: It bombed, lasting for just four months, and also stoked the ire of his Public Enemy partner Chuck D.) But Flav's far from alone in deciding that sometimes the rap game reminds him that he's, well, just very very hungry. Here's a guide to the new rap food movement.

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Why Is Bill O'Reilly Not Calling Out Mike Huckabee's Gangster Glorification?

"You may remember a couple years ago that Pepsi hired gansta (sic) rapper Ludacris as a commercial pitchman. [I] objected, saying major American corporations have an obligation not to reward people who harmed society...Unlike Ozzy Osbourne, who curses, or Britney Spears, who's an immature exhibitionist, Ludacris is hard-core. He glorifies criminal conduct, and kids hear this stuff."—Bill O'Reilly, 2004.

It didn't matter that Ludacris had mostly been known to hip-hop and cross-over pop audiences as a comic rapper, an exaggeration of a cartoon character. It didn't matter that Ozzy Osbourne had fucked up kids, two of whom went to rehab (Jack in 2003, Kelly in 2004), and that Britney Spears brought trucker hats and bald vaginas into style. No, it was Ludacris who was the villain.

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2010: The Year In Music Photos

The year in music, circa 2010, started at the Cake Shop, with a shred-down to the New Year courtesy of Siren Festival MVP-to-be Marissa Paternoster and her band Screaming Females. After a tour through the NYE fetes of the Lower East Side and Williamsburg, that night ended amidst a marathon show at Bushwick's Shea Stadium, right around the time the Blastoids' drummer poured paint on his kit and started splattering away.

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The 20 Worst Songs of 2010, #8: Ludacris featuring Nicki Minaj, "My Chick Bad"

F2K10 is a countdown of the 20 worst songs of 2010. Track our progress here.

Your chick ain't the only thing that's bad...

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The 10 Best Posse Cuts of 2010 (So Far)

Posse cuts are like friendlier versions of the WWE's Royal Rumble -- a platform designed to showcase all of the stars in the game, both up-and-coming and certified. Think back to the Main Source's 1991 "Live At The Barbecue," featuring Akinyele, Joe Fatal, and the debut of a rapper named Nas, or Big Pun's "Banned From TV" remix, featuring the murderer's row of N.O.R.E., Nature, Cam'ron, Jadakiss, and Styles P. More recently, there's been 2008's "Swagger Like Us"--T.I., Kanye West, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, and M.I.A.--or last year's "Forever," featuring Drake, Kanye West, Eminem, and Lil Wayne.

This year in particular, the posse cut seems to be in vogue. Kanye West has been the most visible artist to use the posse cut approach recently, stacking the majority of his G.O.O.D. Friday freebies with numerous MCs and singers. West also recently announced "All Of The Lights", the third single from his upcoming album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, will feature 11 artists (including Elton John!). But it's not just West calling all MCs to the booth. For whatever reason, great rappers have been teaming up a lot lately, and the result has been a hip-hop fan's wet dream. Every week, there's either some new remix or original song with numerous MCs trying to lay down the verse fans will talk about long after the song is playing. Here are ten of 2010's best posse cuts so far, complete with a verdict on who won each one:

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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 clichéd 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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Magnum Condoms Embrace Hip-Hop, Encourage Consumers to Make Bad Rap

Today's New York Times has an vaguely uncomfortable feeling article about Magnum condoms, the Trojan subbrand that "has been given an unsolicited lift by hip-hop artists," prompting company execs to turn to Ludacris as a spokesperson and bad slow jams as their new ad campaign. You might call this the Cristal corollary. To wit:

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Please To Enjoy The Video For Ludacris' "My Chick Bad," Featuring None Other Than Nicki Minaj

Skip forward to 2:15 or so when you get tired of Luda's timely Venus/Serena jokes. Such a warm, pleasant feeling, my budding Nicki Minaj obsession. I get the feeling like the face she makes at the very end of this video might end up being the highlight of my week. It is Monday. At 8:15 a.m. And I'm fine with that. Oh, and for the record, she totally cosigns that Michelle Trachtenberg thing.