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Last Updated: Monday, 14 April, 2003, 09:48 GMT 10:48 UK
Rapper 'killed to boost image'
A rapper charged with killing a friend and eating part of her body was encouraged to commit crime to boost his image, according to a lawsuit filed by the victim's mother.

Up-and-coming artist Big Lurch - real name Antron Singleton - is awaiting trial for allegedly killing and torturing Tynisha Ysais, 21, in Los Angeles in April 2002.

Part of what makes a gangsta rap artist marketable is the fact that the artist is a... participant in violent gang activities
Carolyn Stinson
Victim's mother
In the wrongful death lawsuit, Ms Ysais's mother, Carolyn Stinson, said Mr Singleton's record label provided him with drugs "to encourage [him] to act out in an extreme violent manner so as to make him more marketable as a 'gangsta rap' artist".

She is suing Mr Singleton, Death Row Records - headed by rap mogul Suge Knight - plus Stress Free records and two employees.

Police said they found Mr Singleton staggering naked and covered in blood in the street.

An examination revealed someone else's human blood and flesh in his stomach.

Ysais was found with teeth marks on her face and on pieces of her lung, which had been torn from her chest, police said.

Mr Singleton could face the death penalty if convicted.

'Violent lifestyle'

Originally from Texas, he has performed with rap artists including Mystikal, E-40 and RBL Posse and was in Los Angeles recording an album.

"Part of what makes a gangsta rap artist marketable is the fact that the artist is a current ongoing participant in violent gang activities," Ms Stinson's lawsuit said.

"Singleton met this criteria and was even more marketable because his songs were as violent as his lifestyle and included rape, murder and ended with him eating his victim's body organs."

The lawsuit said Mr Singleton used a sharp object to remove Ms Ysais' organs and eat them.

"These acts were performed within the course and scope of his employment with the other defendants," it said.

The lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday.

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