Phat Beats In Lean Times

In the troubled hip-hop business, Platinum finds drama, discord and a host of racial ironies

Why are there so many cop, lawyer and doctor shows? The thinking is, their settings are inherently dramatic. Cops shoot and get shot. Lawyers battle over deals. Doctors fight for people's lives in the hospital.

If Platinum (UPN, Tuesdays, 9 p.m. E.T.; previews Monday, April 14, 9 p.m. E.T.) accomplishes nothing else, it shows that the hip-hop record business has all these milieus beat: people shoot, get shot, squabble over contracts and end up in the hospital! Straight-arrow Jackson Rhames (Jason George) and his streetwise brother Grady (Sticky Fingaz) have a dream job--running the independent record label Sweetback--but they also...

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