Some local radio listeners aren’t happy about the star’s references to Newport News on one of his new songs.
The Newport News Chamber of Commerce won’t be hiring 50 Cent as a celebrity spokesman anytime soon.
“Ski Mask Way,” a new song from the New York City rapper, includes some profanity-laced lines about Newport News, or as he calls it, Bad News.
“I’m trying to stay out them pens, so I switched states. Bad News, VA, now that sounds great,” 50 Cent raps on the tune. “Ski Mask Way” is to be included on “The Massacre,” a CD to be released Thursday. Bootleg copies are currently circulating on the Internet.
Other lines in the tune describe the town as easy pickings for a criminal and make an apparent reference to buying guns from basketball star Allen Iverson’s local crew. It’s all delivered in thick gangsta rap slang, but the message is clear to rap fans.
Some of them aren’t happy with how 50 Cent portrays their hometown.
“People are really upset, especially in Newport News, about the situation,” said Mike Klein, music director for WNVZ-FM (104.5). “Some people are still not OK with it. But some people are looking the other way. It’s really a touchy subject.”
DJs at the station found the song on the Internet. After discussing it on the air, they fielded passionate phone calls from listeners.
Visiting Hampton Roads on Friday on a promotional visit, 50 Cent said the situation had been blown out of proportion. He said he feels affection for Newport News because people here supported him early in his career. Any offense was unintentional.
“Why would I say that about an entire town?” he told listeners on WNVZ’s morning show. “I don’t want a beef with a town. No town, nowhere.” *