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Category Archives: General Articles

Troy Ave Creates Scholarship in Honor of Late Friend

Over a month ago, tragedy struck the Irving Plaza in Manhattan at a T.I. concert, leaving three people injured and one man killed. Sadly, the victim who was shot and killed was New York rapper, Troy Ave’s longtime friend and bodyguard, Ronald “Banga” McPhatter. In wake of the shooting in New York, Troy Ave has turned personal tragedy into triumph in creating a scholarship fund honoring Ronald entitled the Ronald McPhatter award. The award will promise $2000 each year for the next five years to student athletes graduating from New Utrecht High School, the Brooklyn high school where Troy Ave and McPhatter attended and played football. The high school football program will select the chosen recipients.

“When my son suggested [the scholarship] from jail I thought it was brilliant,” Tracey Collins, Troy’s mother, told DNA Info. “Edgar (McPhatter’s nickname) would love it, it’s such a good way to represent him.”

The first recipient of the 2016 Ronald McPhatter award was granted to senior defensive end Gianni Penso, who plans on attending New York City’s Pace University in the fall to play as an outside linebacker.

troy ave

Big Sean Donates $25K To Fight College Homelessness

As one man, Big Sean is doing it BIG in changing the world. The Detroit native rapper has always been dedicated in giving back to his hometown, creating various initiatives to help the youth within the Detroit area. Recently, Big Sean donated $25,000 through his Sean Anderson Foundation to Wayne State University, the third largest university in Michigan. The contribution will be granted to Wayne State University’s HIGH (Helping Individuals Go Higher) Program, which helps financially stressed students at the university reach their goal in graduating. The program ensures their mission by providing various resources including housing support, textbooks, school supplies, clothing, transportation, and child-care assistance. The endowment Big Sean and his foundation presented to the program will specifically be used for short-term support to Wayne State University students experiencing homelessness.

“We see the HIGH Program as an important component of ensuring success at Wayne State, and we are proud to help strengthen its mission,” Myra Anderson, president of the foundation and Sean’s mother, said in a press release, according to Daily Detroit. “We aim to boost graduation rates at the university by providing support to students facing hardship.”

By continuing the mission of assisting in the education, health, safety and well-being of the Detroit Area school aged youth through the Sean Anderson Foundation, Jacqueline Wilson, Wayne State’s first lady, stated, “with this gift, we will be able to help Wayne State students who are experiencing homelessness work toward a brighter future.”

To read more about Wayne State University’s HIGH Program click here.

If you would like to follow in Big Sean’s footsteps in becoming the one that changes the world within the HIGH Program, you can contact Jacqueline Wilson at or the program office at


Eminem Is Selling Bricks for Charity

All the real Slim Shady fans might feel the urge to stand up when hearing about Detroit rapper, Eminem’s latest sale. In celebration of the 16th anniversary of his iconic album, The Marshall Mathers LP, Eminem will be selling pieces of his childhood home. The limited-edition collectable items from the emblematic home featured on the cover of the LP consist of the last remnants of bricks and wood from its recent demolition in 2013. To set yourself apart from all the other Slim Shady imitators, each of the 700 bricks will come with a certificate of authenticity with Eminem’s handwritten signature, a display stand with a enclosed plaque, and an re-released cassette tape of the album. The re-purposed wood created from Eminem’s home will be crafted in collaboration with Brooklyn-based mill Good Wood, turning the debris into Marshall Mathers dog tags. With the collectable brick package retailing at over $300 and the dog tags at $28, the proceeds from the sales will be donated to the Marshall Mathers Foundation, providing funds for organizations working with at-risk youth in Michigan.

Unfortunately, these rare items reflecting a piece of Marshall Mathers himself are sold out, but to read more about the rescued remains, go to


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Rick Ross Launches New Scholarship With Wingstop

The biggest boss that you’ve seen thus far has taken his entrepreneurial success to another level. Miami-Dade rapper turned entrepreneur, Rick Ross has recently partnered with the Wingstop Foundation, a nonprofit leg of the chain resturant, in awarding scholarships to the youth within urban areas. With high school graduation rates among low-income students dropping as low as 74.6 percent in combination with the drop out rate among urban youth standing at 54 percent, Rick Ross believes that his scholarship initiative will combat these high dropout rates among students in big cities.

“To me, a company as huge as Wing Stop, we’ve seen so much success doing what we’re doing, let’s take it to the next level. Wingstop as a company came together and put together an urban scholarship that’s for the underprivileged, that’s educationally based.”

Although the scholarship will be targeted towards youth within urban areas who are in pursuit of higher education, the grant money will also be extended to Wingstop employees and groups working to lower drop out rates through education and mentoring.

“We need to bring all these ideas and concepts to the table and start as soon as possible.”

To apply, click the link below!

Rick Ross Wingstop

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Kendrick Lamar featured on NOISEY: “Bompton”






Vice/NOISEY sat down with him in the backyard of his friend’s mom’s house in Compton. When he showed up, he was immediately flanked by childhood friends like Lil L and G. Weed, who had come by to see him. You can see many of these guys in videos like “King Kunta” and in the album art on To Pimp a Butterfly, as well as in Noisey Bompton, the documentary we were there to film.




Full Part1 NOISEY:



Full Part2 NOISEY: Bompton

Ludacris Speaks at Leadership Workshop to Over 200 Atlanta Youth!‏







Ludacris and The Ludacris Foundation spent the day giving back to a group of high school students at the historic Carrie Steele Pitts Life Learning Center in Atlanta Georgia. Through the use of his foundation the prolific superstar shared tips on how to be an effective leader and the power of giving back.








The homie Christopher “Ludacris” Bridges spent the day working and inspiring a group of high school students from Banneker High School and Westlake High School. The purposeful event was all about inspiring a group of over 200 kids to take on the the mantle of leadership and understand the imporatnce of community service and giving back. The event entitled as “Leading From Within … Leadership and Building Your Brand” was an awesome occasion for the young men and women who was in attendance.







The event was powered by The Ludacris Foundation and supported by his team and the good people over at Camp New Look. The kids had the opportunity to connect with Luda, his beautiful wife Eudoxiee Bridges, his lovely mother Mama Bridges, and the homie DC Young Fly. The kids were able to ask questions and get real answers. This event will help the kids to embrace leadership and a wonderful memory that will stick with them forever.







The message Ludacris wants the public to understand is as follows,

“We at the Ludacris Foundation realize that not every youth can visualize success. Not every young person believes that tomorrow can be better than today. I believe that every young person should have an opportunity to be the best that they can be. Our communities are hurting. Our systems need fixing. We can’t wait on the government, institutions, social programs and policies alone to meet community needs.

We have to look within; it is in our hands, said Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges. That is why we do what we do at The Ludacris Foundation! Over the last 5 years 96,000 students in GA have dropped out of school. GA analytics show 70% of inmates are high school dropouts. That is evidence that student dropouts immediately become the incubator that feeds the prison system. A game changer is needed!! My foundation, The Ludacris Foundation, is launching a Leadership Development Program targeted at middle and high school students. Our initial focus is with 4 middle and high schools in GA. As we design implement a proven successful business model we will expand our efforts.”

The event was truly a wonderful time and I thank The Ludacris Foundation for the opportunity to capture photos and glean a little inspiration!

Check out the photos and learn more about the foundation by visiting here:






Story courtesy of


Killer Mike Continues to Show His Unwavering Support for Bernie Sanders


Throughout the 2016 presidential election season, Atlanta emcee Killer Mike is now known to be one of Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders’ most prominent supporters. Last month, when Bernie Sanders spoke at Morehouse College, a historically Black college in Atlanta, GA, Killer Mike introduced him and was also spotted at a soul food restaurant near the institution with Sanders. Killer Mike’s support of Bernie continued recently as he introduced the presidential candidate at Claflin University, another HBCU located in South Carolina. In this powerful and teary-eyed introduction, Killer Mike focuses on why Bernie is the best candidate for Black voters. He uses two videos as an example that display the incidents of young Black voters interrupting campaign speeches at a Bernie Sanders rally, opposed to this happening at a Hillary Clinton rally, the rival Democratic Presidential Candidate. As the young women approach Bernie’s stand during his speech, Bernie politely shakes their hands, smiles, and hands the microphone over to give them a chance to get their point across. When a young Black girl interrupts Hillary Clinton’s speech at a private campaign rally, she is told to “Shut up”, and “I’ll talk to you later” by the candidate and then escorted away from her. 

Readers can access the video HERE:

Killer Mike uses this example as a testament to how Bernie Sanders cares for Black people and their issues. He also adds how Sanders has been fighting with Black Americans for over 50 years, dating back to the Civil Rights Movement. Killer Mike, along with other big Sanders supporters have been passionate about relaying the message to Black voters all over the U.S that Bernie Sanders is the only candidate that they need to be voting for. As the polls continue to rage due to primary elections, it will be interesting to see how Black voters are rocking the vote with the help of Killer Mike and others who are encouraging us to “Feel the Bern” 


By: Eboni Dawn (@ebbonitapplebum)

Nation of Islam Promises to Provide Protection at Beyonce’s Formation World Tour


(Photo from Counter Current News)

Beyonce is back at it again. Earlier this month, she shocked the world and her fans by releasing a video for her new Black power pop anthem, ‘Formation’. The ‘Formation’ video sparked lots of controversy, due to lyrics and imagery that spoke directly towards her Blackness and stance on current political issues such as #BlackLivesMatter. She sings about “liking her baby with baby hair and afros” and “mixing that negro with that Creole to make a Texas bama”. The video even ends with an important image of Beyonce laying on top of a police car while it’s sinking in the Bayou of Louisiana. Days after the release of the video, Beyonce performed her hit at the Super Bowl 50 halftime show, where her backup dancers were dressed as Black Panthers, threw up the Black power fist, and topped it all off with a ‘Formation’ world tour announcement.

Like the ‘Formation’ video, the performance at the Super Bowl caused just as much conversation. Many sources and critics didn’t know how to handle Beyonce embracing her blackness so they attacked her, by saying her performance was “racist”, menacing and a threat to the police. The outcome of her performance caused a boycott from several police departments such as ones in Miami, Tampa, and Tennessee. These departments are refusing to provide services and purchase tickets to Beyonce’s tour when it comes to their cities.

In response to these boycotts, the honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has vowed for the Nation of Islam to provide protection at Beyonce’s Formation tour. During the keynote speech at The Nation of Islam’s Saviour’s Day 2016, Farrakhan states “You’re gonna picket, you’re not gonna offer police protection, but the FOI will.” Farrakhan’s support of Beyonce is a great example of how ‘Formation’ isn’t really a song for everyone. In 2016, A Black artists, especially one like Beyonce shouldn’t be denied security due to capitalizing on their heritage and culture through artistry. All of the negativity circulating about the song and video are from those who do not understand it. By Beyonce celebrating her Blackness, she gets ridiculed by the same outlets who speak highly of her when she is performing other songs about love, heartache, and girl power. 

Beyonce’s Formation World Tour tickets are on sale now (good luck on finding those), and there are rumors of even more music and videos from Beyonce dropping in the near future!


By: Eboni Dawn (@ebbonitapplebum)

Filmmakers’ Benefit #JusticeForFlint Raises $145K During Oscars


“Jazmine [Sullivan] got more runs than cheap pantyhose. Whew! #JusticeForFlint” @karsh (Thank you, @Karsh. You changed the tide of this article)

@Karsh demonstrates the resilient and unbreakable spirit of the African American people and their uncanny ability to turn what some view as misfortune into, well, a star studded concert spirited enough to rival any “oversights” or “accidents”.

For the Black community, the attention was not on Sunday night’s Oscar “celebration” but rather focused on the culmination of efforts of our own modern day superheroes, filmmakers, actors, and artists coming together to bring relief, awareness, and support to the people of Flint, Michigan.  With no paid promotion, the benefit raised over $140,000 and featured acts such as Janelle Monae, Jazmine Sullivan (see above), and a surprise last minute performance by the legendary Stevie Wonder.

The tone of Flint changed, if only for one night, to one of hope, inspiration, and togetherness, a stark contrast to the lack of diversity and inclusion at the 2016 Academy Awards. Rather than bring attention to the Oscars’ thoughtlessness, Black filmmakers such as Creed‘s Ryan Coogler and Ava DuVernay, director of Selma, along with Blackout for Human Rights gained support from the music and entertainment industry, some of whom even tweeted pledges from the Oscar ceremony. Revolt TV live streamed the concert hosted by comedian Hannibal Burress. Young poets and families gave their account of the damage the water poisoning had on them while artists were sure to be candid about their message: This would have never happened had this been an affluent, White neighborhood.


Watch the Full Replay Here: #JusticeForFlint 


Jay Z & Beyonce’ Make BIG Statements this Black History Month; $1.5 Million Donation & More!


Jay Z and Beyonce’ have had a week full of politically charged statements, charitable donations, and public backlash. This is in stark contrast to what many criticized as silence and seeming disinterest from hip hop’s first couple. Jay Z, however, has been making quite a few moves behind the scenes dating all the way back to Tidal’s first concert in October 2015.