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Music News

Bill Cosby unites rappers for "Emergency"

Comedian Bill Cosby waves as he arrives for the Apollo Theatre's 75th anniversary gala in New York, June 8, 2009. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - Internet users will get a sneak peak at Bill Cosby’s new hip-hop compilation on Monday, although “America’s Dad” does not rap or sing himself.

The independently-produced CD “Bill Cosby Presents the Cosnarati: State of Emergency” focuses on issues affecting young people. A webcast, hosted by Cosby and debuting the Cosnarati band, will be made at a virtual town hall meeting in New York broadcast live at 7 p.m. ET.

The meeting, presented in association with popular streaming video website Ustream, is set to be played on urban radio station websites across the country, on Cosby's Facebook page (www.facebook.com/billcosby) and on BillCosby.com.

The project includes songs about frustration, incarceration and respect for women. Rappers and community activists Jace the Great, Brother Hahz and Supa Nova Slim are featured, and the songs will be released for purchase on October 20.

Cosby has received some backlash for controversial comments he has made about the African-American community.

“People who don’t want it to succeed will say I’m a curmudgeon who doesn’t like poor or young people”, Cosby said. “But these rappers are young males running down the truth about the urban side of life. It’s time for a change.”

“Bill Cosby Presents the Cosnarati: State of Emergency” marks the aural companion to “Come On People”, a 2007 book co-authored by Cosby and Dr. Alvin F. Poussaint. The project was produced by Cosby’s musical colleague William “Spaceman” Patterson.

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