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  Forget Guitar and Piano Lessons--Turntabling Lessons

Turntabling, in its most basic form, is popularly known as "scratching." It was first used by hip-hop artists in the late 1970s but today it shows up in some form or another in music everywhere.  Some colleges and other private teachers are offering turntabling classes.

"It's considered hipper now to play the turntables than to play the guitar. "It's the biggest thing that is bubbling just right underneath the mainstream right now . It's really where the guitar was 30 or 40 years ago. It's totally taking over the youth culture." --Stephen Webber, teacher of turntabling at Berklee College of Music

--New York Times, Cool News, March 3, 2004

The Ingenuity of Teenagers - Teen Counterfeiters

Juveniles now account for 18 percent of the 5,000 counterfeiting arrests a year. This is up from zero a decade ago. It is estimated that teens produce no more than 15 percent of the $140 million in bad currency seized each year.  On average, most teens only pass small amounts of counterfeit money.

  "A lot of these kids see no harm in it. To the Napster generation, funny money is just one more free download." --Frank Abagnale, his life inspired the film Catch Me If You Can, and now works for the FBI

--Secret Service interview, Rolling Stone, February 19, 2004

Coca-Cola's Mall Propaganda Lounges

Coca-Cola Company and Westfield Corporation Inc., are working together to create special spaces for teens at malls called Coca-Cola Red Lounges. The lounges feature custom-built furniture, a medial wall with plasma screens and glass-front vending machines featuring Coke products. The lounges will feature programming developed specifically for teens from FUSE, G4, Sony, ESPN Video Games, and Twentieth Century Fox. The goal is for these lounges to be experiential places for teens to hang out with friends and learn about new movies, music and games. Currently there are Coca-Cola Red Lounges at a mall in the Chicago area and the Los Angeles area.

--WonderGroup Youth University, Volume 26, February 21, 2004

  Rappers are Really Squares

"You find that a lot of guys in the rap world are squares. They learn how to rap and once they get in the business and the corporate world, they start portraying that lifestyle and start bringing guys that might have been affiliated with the gang around them to make them feel stronger than the guys on the street. Likewise, they start showing it in their records. It creates a whole different persona and takes the gang thing further than where it is. All the perpetrators that are rapping need to stop frontin' if they cannot go to a neighborhood by themselves. They need to stop talking about how may n----s they killed and quit advocating that. That has little kids thinking they are real. These same dudes roll around with 10, 20 bodyguards and are scared to go to the same neighborhoods that they are raised in. The Incs., the 50 Cents, and Eminems need to all come off that and come real with it. I respect Snoop Dogg, but all the pimpin'--I’ve been there. I was a real soldier out here and it wasn't a great life. Stop advocating that lifestyle."

--Mike Concepcion, former gang leader who oversees California's gang treaties, The Source, March 2004

  50 Cent Does It All--From Children’s Cartoons to Porn

Curtis Jackson (50 Cent) and friends Lloyd Banks and Young Buck will lend their child-like voices to a Saturday morning cartoon called Beaver Street Gang which is centered around orphan children.

Curtis Jackson has also announced the release of his own porn video. He’s not a part of the action as he's the host. It is called Groupie Luv and is interactive where the viewer gets to choose which "skank ho gets banged."

--Rolling Stone, February 19, 2004, The Source, February 2004

  The Price of Baldness Vanity

Of those 80 million follicularly challenged men and women, $2 billion was spent in 2003 on medications, medical procedures, and wigs.

--The National Hair Journal, Newsweek, February 9, 2004

  The Gilligan Reality Show

TBS is putting together their own reality show based on Gilligan’s Island. A real skipper and his first mate, a millionaire couple, movie star, Kansas farm girl and a professor are being put on an island and filmed. The show will air in June.

--USA Today, March 3, 2004