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Category Archives: Real Talk

Dwayne Wade’s Chicago Has Talent ShowCase

Hip-Hop Health- Big Tigger (HIV/AIDS Advocate)

 A strong advocate for the awareness of the life-threatening illness, Tigger stated, “More people are living with HIV and AIDS today than ever before. It saddens me to know that, in the United States, the most powerful country in the world, the HIV infection rates are as bad if not worse than in third world countries.” Continuing, he said “We need to educate everyone about the HIV virus and get as many people tested as we can because most HIV infections are transmitted by people who don’t know their status.”
“Do yourself a favor; come out and have a good time. Learn some stuff, get tested, know your status.” This is in reference to his Annual HIV/AIDS Awareness Event.

Hip-Hop Awareness
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes AIDS. The virus attacks the immune system and leaves the body vulnerable to a variety of life-threatening infections and cancers. AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) is the final stage of HIV disease, which causes severe damage to the immune system.

Important facts about the spread of AIDS include:

  • AIDS is the sixth leading cause of death among people ages 25 – 44 in the United States, down from number one in 1995.
  • The World Health Organization estimates that more than 25 million people worldwide have died from this infection since the start of the epidemic.
  • In 2008, there were approximately 33.4 million people around the world living with HIV/AIDS, including 2.1 million children under age 15.

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes AIDS. The virus attacks the immune system and leaves the body vulnerable to a variety of life-threatening infections and cancers.

Common bacteria, yeast, parasites, and viruses that usually do not cause serious disease in people with healthy immune systems can cause fatal illnesses in people with AIDS.

HIV has been found in saliva, tears, nervous system tissue and spinal fluid, blood, semen (including pre-seminal fluid, which is the liquid that comes out before ejaculation), vaginal fluid, and breast milk. However, only blood, semen, vaginal secretions, and breast milk have been shown to transmit infection to others.

The virus can be spread (transmitted):

  • Through sexual contact — including oral, vaginal, and anal sex
  • Through blood — via blood transfusions (now extremely rare in the U.S.) or needle sharing
  • From mother to child — a pregnant woman can transmit the virus to her fetus through their shared blood circulation, or a nursing mother can transmit it to her baby in her breast milk

Other methods of spreading the virus are rare and include accidental needle injury, artificial insemination with infected donated semen, and organ transplantation with infected organs.

HIV infection is NOT spread by:

  • Casual contact such as hugging
  • Mosquitoes
  • Participation in sports
  • Touching items that were touched by a person infected with the virus

AIDS and blood or organ donation:

  • AIDS is NOT transmitted to a person who DONATES blood or organs. People who donate organs are never in direct contact with people who receive them. Likewise, a person who donates blood is never in contact with the person receiving it. In all these procedures, sterile needles and instruments are used.
  • However, HIV can be transmitted to a person RECEIVING blood or organs from an infected donor. To reduce this risk, blood banks and organ donor programs screen donors, blood, and tissues thoroughly.

People at highest risk for getting HIV include:

  • Injection drug users who share needles
  • Infants born to mothers with HIV who didn’t receive HIV therapy during pregnancy
  • People engaging in unprotected sex, especially with people who have other high-risk behaviors, are HIV-positive, or have AIDS
  • People who received blood transfusions or clotting products between 1977 and 1985 (before screening for the virus became standard practice)
  • Sexual partners of those who participate in high-risk activities (such as injection drug use or anal sex)People with AIDS have had their immune system damaged by HIV and are very susceptible to these opportunistic infections. Common symptoms are:
    • Chills
    • Fever
    • Sweats (particularly at night)
    • Swollen lymph glands
    • Weakness
    • Weight lossThere is no cure for AIDS at this time. However, a variety of treatments are available that can help keep symptoms at bay and improve the quality of life for those who have already developed symptoms.

Hip-Hop Health- Trick Daddy(Lupus)

Back in 2009, The Miami-bred rapper appeared on The Rickey Smiley Morning Show today (March 23) to promote his autobiography Magic City: Trials of a Native Son. During the interview, he made the shocking revelation that he suffers from Lupus, an incurable autoimmune disease, which makes the immune system attacks the body’s cells and tissue.

Hip-Hop Awareness

Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or organs inside the body). Chronic means that the signs and symptoms tend to last longer than six weeks and often for many years. In lupus, something goes wrong with your immune system, which is the part of the body that fights off viruses, bacteria, and germs (“foreign invaders,” like the flu). Normally our immune system produces proteins called antibodies that protect the body from these invaders. Autoimmune means your immune system cannot tell the difference between these foreign invaders and your body’s healthy tissues (“auto” means “self”) and creates autoantibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue. These autoantibodies cause inflammation, pain, and damage in various parts of the body.

No gene or group of genes has been proven to cause lupus. Lupus does, however, appear in certain families, and when one of two identical twins has lupus, there is an increased chance that the other twin will also develop the disease. These findings, as well as others, strongly suggest that genes are involved in the development of lupus. Although lupus can develop in people with no family history of lupus, there are likely to be other autoimmune diseases in some family members. Certain ethnic groups (people of African, Asian, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Island descent) have a greater risk of developing lupus, which may be related to genes they have in common.

Hip-Hop Health- Shawty Lo (Diabetes)

Shawty Lo revealed that he’s been struggling with diabetes for 11 years. “I’m diabetic. I’ve been diabetic for 11 years now, and first I was in denial when I first became a diabetic because I wanted to stay the same. But when you learn how to cope with it, you deal with it. I’m trying to teach people who have the disease that you can live with it.”  Shawty Lo has participated in the American Diabetes step out and Walk for past two years.


Hip-Hop Awareness

Diabetes is a lifelong (chronic) disease in which there are high levels of sugar in the blood. 

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas to control blood sugar. Diabetes can be caused by too little insulin, resistance to insulin, or both.

To understand diabetes, it is important to first understand the normal process by which food is broken down and used by the body for energy. Several things happen when food is digested:

  • A sugar called glucose enters the bloodstream. Glucose is a source of fuel for the body.
  • An organ called the pancreas makes insulin. The role of insulin is to move glucose from the bloodstream into muscle, fat, and liver cells, where it can be used as fuel.

People with diabetes have high blood sugar because their body cannot move sugar into fat, liver, and muscle cells to be stored for energy. This is because either:

  • Their pancreas does not make enough insulin
  • Their cells do not respond to insulin normally
  • Both of the above

There are three major types of diabetes. The causes and risk factors are different for each type:

  • Type 1 diabetes can occur at any age, but it is most often diagnosed in children, teens, or young adults. In this disease, the body makes little or no insulin. Daily injections of insulin are needed. The exact cause is unknown.
  • Type 2 diabetes makes up most of diabetes cases. It most often occurs in adulthood, but teens and young adults are now being diagnosed with it because of high obesity rates. Many people with type 2 diabetes do not know they have it.
  • Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar that develops at any time during pregnancy in a woman who does not have diabetes.

Diabetes affects more than 20 million Americans. Over 40 million Americans have pre-diabetes (early type 2 diabetes).

For more check out the video below


Hip-Hop Health- Nelly’s Sister Jackie (Leukemia)

Nelly’s Sister, Jackie Donahue, 31, was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia in March 2001. The cancer was in remission for nearly two years before she suffered a relapse in 2003, after which Nelly (born Cornell Haynes Jr.) formed the Jes Us 4 Jackie campaign to find a bone marrow donor for his sister and to raise donation awareness. 

Hip-Hop Awareness

Leukemia is a cancer of blood-forming cells in the bone marrow. These deranged, immature cells accumulate in the blood and within organs of the body. They are not able to carry out the normal functions of blood cells.

Normal blood contains 3 major groups of cells: white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. All 3 types of blood cells develop from one immature cell type, called blood/marrow stem cells, in a process called hematopoiesis.

Symptoms usually develop fairly quickly in acute leukemias. Most cases of acute leukemia are diagnosed when the person visits his or her healthcare provider after becoming ill. Symptoms develop gradually in chronic leukemias and are generally not as severe as in acute leukemias. About 20% of people withchronic leukemia do not have symptoms at the time their disease is diagnosed.

Some symptoms of leukemia are due to deficiencies of normal blood cells. Others are due to collections of leukemia cells in tissues and organs. Leukemia cells can collect in many different parts of the body, such as thetesticles, brain, lymph nodes, liver, spleen, digestive tract, kidneys, lungs, eyes, and skin — in effect, virtually every tissue site.

For More on Leukemia, check out the video below!

Life Reentry Project

“I learned to be clear about who I am and what messages I want to share through my music. I want my music to be of the quality that 30 years from now, people will listen and say…..”

Tyler Perry’s GOOD DEEDS Announces Initiative to Support Homeless Youth


Tyler Perry’s latest film GOOD DEEDS has announced Good Deeds:Great Needs, an initiative to support Covenant House, a non-profit organization that provides support for homeless youth. Through, Good Deeds:Great Needs will be collecting unused gift cards and donating all collected to the organization. In addition, Lionsgate will make a financial donation to Covenant House every time the GOOD DEEDS trailer is shared. The goal for this initiative is to galvanize communities to share the news and submit gift cards, to provide hearty meals, warm beds and shelter for the homeless youth served by Covenant House.

GOOD DEEDS also presents fans the opportunity to win a Valentine’s Date Night! Just head over to the GOOD DEEDS Facebook page and submit your “love story” for the chance to win a $500 Visa Gift Card! The contest can be found here.

TYLER PERRY’S GOOD DEEDS opens in theaters everywhere on February 24, 2012. The film is a moving, uplifting drama about coincidence, courage, and the defining choices we make on our paths to happiness.
To learn more and share Good Deeds:Great Needs, visit

Breezy Hoops 4 Charity

Chris Brown To Join Gridiron Celebrity Hoops XIV For Charity 

What do six-time NFL Pro-Bowl player Terrell Owens, Multi-Platinum recording artist/actor Chris Brown, Dallas Cowboys player Dez Bryant, NBA Champion Rasheed Wallace and 2011 WNBA MVP Tamika Catchings have in common? They are all participating in the Gridiron Celebrity Hoops XIV All-Star Game Super Bowl weekend.

Gridiron Celebrity Hoops XIV, the first and only celebrity basketball game to become officially sanctioned by the National Football League will, for the 14th-consecutive year, pit two star-studded leagues – the National Foster Care (NFC) and the American Foster Care (AFC) – against one another in a showdown at Butler University. Next to the Super Bowl itself, it’s the hottest game ticket in town!

This family- and fan-favorite basketball game, now independently produced exclusively by Jam Sports Productions, is where more than three dozen celebrities and professional athletes will take center court on Saturday, Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. at Butler University’s Hinkle Fieldhouse. In addition to the electrifying basketball game, fans can meet the celebrities, get free autographs, take pictures and participate in fun and safe indoor contests in an environment that embodies energy of the sights, sounds and actions of the NFL.

Gridiron XIV creates a one-of-a-kind fan experience, but its effects are long lasting. The hoops event’s benefactor is Juli’s Kids Motivated to Succeed (Juli’s Kids), a nonprofit whose mission is to enrich the lives of abused, abandoned, neglected and homeless children and teens. The annual Gridiron event is the largest fundraiser for the charity.

“This event is an opportunity to witness the best of both worlds as football heroes play in a spectacular game of basketball in such a legendary venue,” said Juli M. Jordan, event creator and executive producer of Jam Sports Productions, the production company behind the event. “We are proud that Gridiron Celebrity Hoops touches so many Super Bowl fans while supporting children in need nationally and locally. I was adopted. Working with children waiting to be adopted is my life’s passion. “

Each year, Juli’s Kids selects a local charitable organization in the Super Bowl host city that serves the city’s abused and neglected children. In 2012, Juli’s Kids has selected the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS). DCS protects children who are victims of abuse or neglect and strengthens families through services that focus on family support and preservation. The Department also administers child support, child protection, adoption and foster care throughout the state of Indiana. Youths in foster care will be able to come to the game as complimentary VIP guests for a day to remember.

2012 Gridiron Celebrity Hoops XIV (Gridiron XIV)

For more information on celebrities and to purchase VIP tickets, which are $300 and include courtside floor seats and special backstage access, visit or call 301-868-8856 (limited quantity). VIP tickets are sold exclusively via Jam Sports Productions.

General admission tickets are available in the lower level for $60, mid-level for $40 and upper level for $20 through Ticketmaster online at or in person at any Ticketmaster outlet or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets also available at the Butler University Ticket Box Office (Hinkle Fieldhouse, 510 W. 49th St., Indianapolis).

Find Gridiron XIV on Facebook at “Superbowl Gridiron Celebrity Hoops” and follow the event on Twitter at @footballhoops and @juliMjordan.

Jay-Z & Beyonce Donate Newborn Gifts to Charity

After receiving an abundance of gifts for their newborn, Blue Ivy Carter, Jay-Z and Beyonce are giving back.

The newly parented-couple received hundreds of gifts from celebrity friends, such as: Oprah Winfrey, Kanye West, Rihanna, P. Diddy, and Mariah Carey. It has been reported that the couple donated several gifts to local charities for young mothers.

Ties Never Broken Campaign Video On Fatherhood

NEW YORK – Actor Tray Chaney who appeared on the HBO program The Wire as “Poot Carr” has released a highly anticipated music video entitled “Fatherhood.” Directed by Lamar Tyler and produced by Don Cox, the video kicks off the year by promoting the critical importance of responsible fatherhood and mentoring. “I went into this project with the hopes of addressing the challenges of fathers, including myself. It’s important to remember our responsibilities towards our children and ourselves,” says Chaney.

The Ties Never Broken campaign caught the eye of Chaney after he and Kenneth Braswell, Executive Director of Fathers Incorporated, spoke at the Congressional Black Caucus. Chaney’s excitement in writing the lyrics and producing the video in such a short time was incredible. So much so, he included his own father and son. “Working with my own father and son in the video was one of the greatest gifts I have had in my career. That is something that some young men have not experienced. I want them to know what a blessing it is to have their father and children in their lives and be the example we want them to be as well.” Chaney also is the author of his self-published book entitled ‘The Truth You Can’t be Betray.’

The release of the video falls on the heels of the campaign’s national spokesperson Chris Broussard, wearing the Ties Never Broken trademark blue bowtie pin as he debuted in his new position as a NBA analyst for ESPN. “Chris’s support of the campaign is incredible. His support helps the agency continue to effectively encourage the conversation and raise awareness of the issues and concerns created by fatherlessness,” says Braswell.

The Ties Never Broken campaign has also garnered support from former New York Knicks forward Allan Houston and Miami Heat’s Dywane Wade (Wade’s World Foundation). On January 25th, Fathers Incorporated is hosting its annual dinner at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, New York. For more information on the event, visit our Upcoming Events page HERE.

View the fatherhood video HERE.