LA gangsters launch music careers

LA gangsters launch music careers
By Peter Bowes
BBC News, Los Angeles
Auditions have been held in some of the toughest gang neighbourhoods in Los Angeles to try to find the next generation of rap stars.

Veteran music producers scoured the streets and parks of areas such as Compton, Watts and Inglewood in the hope of discovering another 50 Cent or Snoop Dogg.

“Looking at the west coast market there were no artists that were brand new,” says Robert W Lewis of Reputable Records.

“We wanted to be able to go back into the neighbourhoods and find talent that hasn’t been tapped into.”

Wannabe professional rappers turned up at auditions throughout the south Los Angeles area largely though word-of-mouth.

The organisers were determined that the project would offer opportunities to young musicians that stood little chance of being discovered by more mainstream talent scouts.

‘Almost like basketball’

“Did you ever catch a black artist from one of the neighbourhoods of LA or New York or Chicago or Atlanta that was a rapper on American Idol?” says Mr Lewis.

“Our guys will never get a shot on a show like that.”

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