2007_03_ban50.jpgThe Reverend Al Sharpton held a press conference criticizing violence in the hip-hop community. The press conference was prompted by the alleged assault on the 14-year-old child of a rap music management company headed by G-Unit rapper Tony Yayo; apparently seeing the child wear a Czar Entertainment shirt on 25th Street sent him over the edge.

While Russell Simmons dropped out of the press conference, Sharpton was joined by the boy's mother Cynthia Reed, the president of Czar Entertainment Bryce Wilson, and others including the family of Busta Rhymes' slain bodyguard. Vibe covered the event, where Sharpton said, "We cannot have a community where there are no standards, where there are no boundaries, and where people do not sit down and converse." And Wilson added:

"This is an isolated incident. Before you’re a businessman, and rapper, you’re a man first. And as a man, you got to act like a man and men don’t hit children. Ain’t nothing gangsta about that...

"Like, I don't care if that's your artist or not, just as a man, how you let another man get away with something like that and you don't check him? Like, I don't know no real man on the planet that respects that right there. Rappers become gangstas' on record. They don't become a gangstas' in the streets. And their idea of what a gangsta is gets a little perverted or corrupted when they do something stupid like this."

After the press conference, Reed held a protest outside of Interscope Records, where people wore "Ban 50/Save Our Children shirts." Meanwhile, 50 Cent told All Hip Hop, "As CEO of G-Unit Records, I take allegations swirling in the media regarding the alleged altercation against a teenage boy on Tuesday Mar. 20 in Manhattan very seriously. I have authorized an independent investigation of the incident to determine whether anyone associated with G-Unit Records was involved in the confrontation. I must state for the record, that I was at my home in Farmington, Connecticut the entire day completing songs for my new album."