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Def Jammed?

According to the New York Daily News, Def Jam founder Russell Simmons has come under fire for crossing the line from political activist — to lobbyist. In Jennifer Reingold’s November profile of the hip-hop entrepreneur, she comments on Simmons’ move into politics with his Hip Hop Action Network Coalition. Now the New York Lobbying Commission is stating that — because the Coalition spent $300,000 to stage rallies protesting the Rockefeller drug laws — it must register as a lobbyist. Quoth Simmons: “I ain’t no lobbyist.”

Meanwhile, Murder Inc., a subsidiary of Def Jam, is changing its name to the Inc. following allegations of money laundering — and a September shooting of one of the Inc.’s rappers. Do you think the hip-hop label will be confused with a certain business magazine?

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