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Rapper Pulls Punches with Fox News Nemesis

Los Angeles – Rappers love a good feud. Whether it’s East Coast vs. West Coast, or Eminem vs. everyone, the spats inspire spiteful lyrics that make for juicy listening.

Alas for catfight aficionados everywhere, rapper Ludacris has decided to take the high road with his nemesis, Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly, who cost him a lucrative endorsement deal two years ago by denouncing his lyrics as “garbage.”

His new album, “The Red Light District,” which opened at No. 1 on the U.S. pop charts on Wednesday, mostly ignores O’Reilly’s recent legal battle with a woman television producer over telephone sex calls she says he made to her.

“Hi, Mr O’Reilly,” Ludacris raps near the beginning of the album. “Hope all is well, kiss the plaintiff and the wifey.”

And that’s it. No tidings of ill-will or hopes for a grisly death. Eminem could have wrung several albums out of it.

“I don’t feel like I need to do that,” Ludacris (real name: Chris Bridges) told Reuters. “I feel like he’s pretty much killed himself. I don’t feel like I have to say much.”

A spokeswoman for Fox News, a unit of News Corp., was not immediately available for comment.

Of course, Ludacris did take some jabs against O’Reilly on his previous album, “Chicken-N-Beer,” which also topped the charts. In one song, he called O’Reilly a “faggot,” a relatively mild “diss” in the hip-hop lexicon.

The spat began two years ago when O’Reilly labeled PepsiCo Inc. as “immoral” for hiring the Atlanta rapper to shoot an commercial for Pepsi. The beverages giant quickly dropped the spot, but it ended up donating $3 million to urban charities in the face of a threatened hip-hop boycott.

Ludacris went on to sell a few more million albums, make some movies, and co-write and sing on one of the biggest hits of 2004, R&B singer Usher’s Grammy-nominated song “Yeah!”

O’Reilly, meanwhile, was sued in October by Andrea Mackris, an associate producer for “The O’Reilly Factor,” who claimed he had repeatedly pressured her to engage in sexually explicit conversations over the phone.

O’Reilly filed an extortion suit against Mackris and her lawyer. Almost as soon as the brouhaha erupted, it quickly faded as the parties reached a private settlement.

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