U.K. Retail Chain Topshop Comes Under Fire For Selling ‘Gangsta Rap Coloring Book’

U.K. based fashion

retailer Topshop has pulled The Gangsta Rap Coloring Book from the shelves

of its flagship Oxford Street store in the UK, after the book generated numerous

complaints. The

48-page coloring book, which was authored by Aye Jay Moreno and released in 2004,

features images of rappers like 50 Cent, Eazy-E, Ice-T, Master P, in thick black

lines. According

to representatives for Topshop, The Gangsta Rap Coloring Book, which was

being sold at a concession stand at the Oxford Street store, was not approved

for sale by Topshop. "There

have been a lot of complaints," a spokesperson for Topshop told AllHipHop.com.

"It came off sale this morning. The images were pretty offensive for a fashion

store to be selling. We pulled it from the shelves as soon as we were made aware

of the content."Mothers

Against Guns, a UK based watch dog organization that monitors gun portrayal and

raises awareness about the risks of gun violence, labeled the book "sick."Topshop

is owned by Arcadia group, the U.K.’s largest retailer. Arcadia operates over

2,000 stores in the UK, mostly in urban areas. The

company also owns hundreds of other franchised stores in 30 countries, including

chains like Dorothy Perkins, Outfit, Topman, Wallis, Burton and others. The

controversy comes on the heels of the second summit on gun crime held by community

leaders and police last week (Mar. 6) and the announcement of a new gun minding

laws, announced by Home Secretary John Reid. The

new law targets gang members who seek to avoid prosecution by getting others to

hold their guns or weapons after a crime, in response to a spate of gun violence

throughout the UKUnder

the new law, police will also be able to access details of all legally purchased

firearms. A

National Firearms Database was also recently rolled out across England and Wales,

that keeps track of all lawfully held weapons and their owners in England and

Wales. Also,

all details of weapons and ammunition recovered from a crime scene will be recorded

in the new National Ballistics Intelligence Database, which will be accessible

to all 43 police forces in England and Wales.

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