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Ask Yourself, Rappers: What Would Mr. T Do?

Stop The Presses!

America is in the midst of a NEW GOLD RUSH. Now more than ever gold is the most valuable and secure asset. Selling your gold teeth and crowns is an excellent way to bring in extra cash. There are two types of gold teeth: removable teeth (caps, grills) and gold dental crowns. Both are sellable and very valuable!

The above ad comes from a website called according to a story in today's Wall Street Journal, its operators Porcello Estate Buyers are doing quite the brisk business right now buying grillz from formerly high-flying rap stars knocked down hard by the recession.

Call it rap's version of global warming: grillz, chains, pendants and all sorts of "ice" sold off for meltdown value by boasters on a budget. And not only that--apparently, some rappers are asking their personal jewelers to not only use less expensive stones and lower-karated gold for their bling, but even substitute--ready for this?--cubic zirconia for diamonds. (I can just see it now: Jay-Z, for CZ, on QVC.)

Of course, it wouldn't be a good rap story if there wasn't a feud attached to it, and leave it to none other than 50 Cent to try and get one brewing by slamming Rick Ross with a charge of sartorial chicanery. "Everything that you see has to absolutely be fake," claimed the diss-Center in a recent radio interview in which he accused rival Ross of wearing rented and/or costume jewelry instead of personally owned expensive stuff like he himself so proudly touts. (I guess in response Ross should demand that, instead of a parental advisory sticker, 50 Cent's next CD has to come with a certificate of authenticity from the Gemological Institute of America.)

While we all try and deal with the exact ramifications of this new twist to the whole notion of "junk in the trunk," at least we can take solace in knowing that rappers are, indeed, just like the rest of us when it comes to making the hard choices in dealing with tough economic times. Tightening belts, lightening chains, melting down grillz….whatever it takes, right?

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