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The long-awaited new 50 Cent mixtape is out, and it's a huge hit -- but not for relatives of a murder victim referenced in the album's opening song.
The song in question is called "Body On It," about a double homicide in Queens, N.Y., where 50 Cent grew up. A man shot and killed his girlfriend's son Dec. 2, then boarded the Q111 bus and opened fire at strangers, the New York Daily News reports.
Bus passenger Marvin Gilkes, a former police detective from Trinidad who moved to Queens two years ago, was shot in the back of his head and killed. The accused gunman is being held without bail.
The incident gets major play on the new 50 Cent mixtape. "Body On It" opens with news reports about Gilkes' shooting, then launches into a rap, New York's WABC-TV reports.
Gilkes' widow and other survivors don't like what they hear.
50 Cent's song "has the news coverage. He goes on to say he has a 9mm gun with an extended clip on it and he wants to put a bullet to somebody's head. What's wrong with him. We're mourning!" Gilkes' niece, Keischa Taylor, told WABC.
Gilkes' survivors may be pondering their legal options -- for instance, they're certainly suffering emotional distress. But to get damages for that, they would have to prove 50 Cent's conduct was extreme or outrageous. It's not clear if writing lyrics or rapping about an incident in the news would rise to that level.
Relatives may also try to sue for appropriation -- the use of Gilkes' name without permission. Some states only protect the "right of publicity" of celebrities and public officials, but others extend the protection to private individuals in certain circumstances.
50 Cent's publicist and recording label declined to comment, but Gilkes' relatives say they feel like they've been victimized twice. 50 Cent's mixtape, "The Big 10," was released Dec. 9, just one week after Gilkes was killed.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.
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