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T.I. Awards $35,000 to Education & Entrepreneurship Programs to Empower Youth Across the Nation

Posted On: July 29, 2016

T.I.'s TIDAL and Money Talk & Education launched an initiative back in May inspiring youths to submit applications about their goals of improving their communities through means of education. And challenged them to generate educated based fundraising online or offline, to make an impact. From May 4th to June 15th, applications were accepted for the challenge, which resulted in 86 participants.



After reviewing all applicants and the information submitted, six finalists who raised $46,000 combined were selected to be part of the initiative challenge. T.I. will award $35,000 towards the fundraising efforts of the six finalist, who will implement the educational programs developed within their communities.

The organizations that will take part in the $81,000 dollar challenge to make a difference in their communities are:

Fate Loves The Fearless - A Detroit based mentoring and educational program directed at assisting students excel in school. Funds raised will be used to renovate for a new facility.

Shaw Inspires “Teen-Preneurs”- A weekly leadership program that involves In-school, after school, weekend; and summer mentoring for youth ages 11-25. The program will be expanded with the funds raised to branch out to Baltimore and Charleston.

The Musicianship’s 2016 Summer Camp - A summer camp for musicians. Funds will be utilized to buy new music instruments, supplies, improve scholarships and; empower music instructors.

Generation You Employed -  Skill developing and readiness program that assist unemployed youth in building skills for employment. The program is in five countries (Kenya, India, Spain, Mexico and the United States) and will train one million unemployed youth to be placed for jobs in 2020. Funding will be provided to branch out into New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago.

Educate Me College Tour - An annual program of Historical Black Colleges and Universities involved in touring across to cultivate educational and cultural experiences for students. The program's purpose is to help students examine their personal interest and concerns during their college selection process.

Truancy Intervention Project (TIP) 25th Anniversary - A dropout prevention agency that partners trained community volunteers with youth in Atlanta and Fulton County Public School System to monitor attendance of students, who are severely absent from school. The program intervenes with early intervention referral and in some cases, juvenile court.


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New Joint: Nas and Erykah Badu - 'This Bitter Land'

Posted On: July 28, 2016

Legendary musicians, Nas and Erykah Badu link up on a new joint tiled, 'This Bitter Land.'


The production on the track is melancholy with a somber, sort of moody violin playing in the background. It sounds like a symphony, a ballad that's telling a story through music. Nas poetically delivers his bars, while the violin maintains a frequency of mellow sounds. Erykah Badu serenades the song in a soulful, opera composition.

This Bitter Land is off the upcoming independent film, "The Land," about Cleveland's underground Hip Hop scene. Nas, who's utilizing the height of the stage to reach new levels, is the executive producer for the movie. The Land hits theaters on July 29th and the first single off the soundtrack, can be blazed below.


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First Lady, Michelle Obama's Christian Siriano Dress at The Democratic National Convention

Posted On: July 28, 2016

This past Monday (July 25th), First Lady, Michelle Obama attended the first night of the Democratic National Convention (DNC). Despite being plagiarized by Melania Trump, Michelle seemed unbothered, all smiles, glowing as usual; and strutted to the stage to deliver her last speech as the First Lady. Styled in an electric blue dress by Christian Siriano, Mrs. Obama passionately addressed the nation.

During her reign as First Lady, Michelle Obama brought a lot of style to the White House. From chic and well proportioned pantsuits, to dazzling and queenly gowns, laid back casual attires, jeans that displayed her curvaceous art-form, stylish cardigans; and so much more. And who could forget Michelle Obama stuntin' in a metallic leather pants at the 2012 Kid's Choice Award (pictured below). She made motherhood look dope in a neck length bob and being the First Lady cool.

Michelle Obama brought back classic dresses and skirts. She displayed that you don't always have to show a lot of skin to be sexy and how sexiness is all about attitude and personality. And that your best asset most of the time to show the world, is the beauty of your mind. Everybody is different, some women like to show a lot of skin and that's their prerogative. And other women tend to want to maintain mystery or preserve themselves because sometimes, exposing something too much, reduces its value. Other women who bare their souls to the world, like poets tend to cover up because due to the feeling of always being naked from baring their souls. That's another article and it's all about Michelle Obama now.

At the DNC, the First Lady kept it simple but yet sophisticated. She wore a curly flowing, shear shoulder length hairstyle and glistened with a dewy face that brightened up the room. Her Christian Siriano dress was compiled with silver heels, which accentuated her hips. And babygirl's fine cocoa butter skin was just shinning! Michelle Obama does not need the spotlight because she's already light filled! Yes indeed, 2 snaps and a twirl!!


As some of you may already know, Michelle Obama gave an impassioned speech. She reflected on the journey to the White House with President Barack Obama, what the last eight years were about and the difference it made in their lives. How the presidency would affect her daughters and the kind of role modeling they wanted to exhibit for them. Values, morals, lessons, ethics and etc. to shape their daughters so they can mold their destinies. The First Lady expressed, although she woke up everyday in an establishment that was built by slaves, it was a mirror that reflected the generations of people who felt the lashes of bondage, the yoke of chains; and the sacrifices of their servitude. This was the place she witnessed her daughters (Sasha and Malia) playing on the front lawn of the White House and saw how far America has come as a people. In that notion, Michelle Obama expressed the possibility of a woman president and envisioned Hillary Clinton fulfilling that role.

 She completed her speech urging the public to go out and vote.

Check out the First Lady's full speech below.

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 Footage by: PBS News Hour

NORDSTROM - Shop Summer Dresses

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Kobe Bryant Writes a Letter to His Younger Self

Posted On: July 26, 2016

In an article published by the The Players Tribune, Kobe Bryant penned a letter to his younger self and gets re-acquainted with his seventeen year old self. What do you think the present Kobe has to say to the past version of himself? If you were to write a letter to your younger self, what would you tell yourself? Just imagine if you were to meet your younger self today, what kind of conversation would you two have? Looking at a younger reflection of you, that is still part of who you are today. Hmmm, I'll let you ponder on that and we'll touch base in a few. In the meantime, let's check out this letter and see what the Black Mamba had to say to his younger self. I'm sure, we will learn a few things from it.

Kobe Bryant gets straight to the point and does not beat around the bush, he informs his younger self that his dreams will come true. With that dream coming true, his younger self needs to do something. Kobe illustrates in bold, capitalized letters the word, "invest." He also addresses the letter to his seventeen year old self. Maybe that time period was a pivotal moment of growth for Kobe.


"Dear 17-year-old self,

When your Laker dream comes true tomorrow, you need to figure out a way to invest in the future of your family and friends. This sounds simple, and you may think it’s a no-brainer, but take some time to think on it further.

I said INVEST.

Bryant continues with the letter explaining the difference between invest and give. Elaborating that it is better to invest in others in a way that will magnify them. And that sometimes when we give, we are actually taking away from others. Does that make sense? Hmmm, let's check the letter and see.

I did not say GIVE.

Let me explain.

Purely giving material things to your siblings and friends may appear to be the right decision. You love them, and they were always there for you growing up, so it’s only right that they should share in your success and all that comes with it. So you buy them a car, a big house, pay all of their bills. You want them to live a beautiful, comfortable life, right?

But the day will come when you realize that as much as you believed you were doing the right thing, you were actually holding them back..

The Black Mamba expresses to his younger self how he gave for self gratification. That it was not so much about the other person but himself, which was selfish.

You will come to understand that you were taking care of them because it made YOU feel good, it made YOU happy to see them smiling and without a care in the world — and that was extremely selfish of you. While you were feeling satisfied with yourself, you were slowly eating away at their own dreams and ambitions. You were adding material things to their lives, but subtracting the most precious gifts of all: independence and growth.

Kobe emphasizes about the importance of investing in others by making them realize their own dreams and not allow giving to become a crutch that hinders them. Bryant tells his younger self he will become a man sooner than he thinks and as man, it is wise to lead others to become leaders themselves.

Understand that you are about to be the leader of the family, and this involves making tough choices, even if your siblings and friends do not understand them at the time.

Invest in their future, don’t just give.

Use your success, wealth and influence to put them in the best position to realize their own dreams and find their true purpose. Put them through school, set them up with job interviews and help them become leaders in their own right. Hold them to the same level of hard work and dedication that it took for you to get to where you are now, and where you will eventually go.

This letter seems to have been a process of healing for Kobe Bryant. Who basically confronts himself (The Gemini Effect) to learn from his past mistakes, in order to break the cycles of them and set himself free. And in healing himself, he'll heal others from the pain of his mistakes.

I’m writing you now so that you can begin this process immediately, and so that you don’t have to deal with the hurt and struggle of weaning them off of the addiction that you facilitated. That addiction only leads to anger, resentment and jealousy from everybody involved, including yourself.

As time goes on, you will see them grow independently and have their own ambitions and their own lives, and your relationship with all of them will be much better as a result.

Kobe Bryant concludes the letter about mixing business with family and how sometimes, it does not work for everybody. He tells himself to prepare for this next transition of his life, for him to reflect, look outside of the box; and try to see the future on how the contract will affect everybody in his life. Kobe reminds his younger self about the whole purpose of the letter and how the act of investing, instills values in others to realize their worth. The Black Mamba tells his younger self that his own investment in his training will pay off as well. And breaks free by advising himself to do the right things, because it will avoid pain from doing the wrong things.

There’s plenty more I could write to you, but at 17, I know you don’t have the attention span to sit through 2,000 words.

The next time I write to you, I may touch on the challenges of mixing blood with business. The most important advice I can give to you is to make sure your parents remain PARENTS and not managers.

Before you sign that first contract, figure out the right budget for your parents — one that will allow them to live beautifully while also growing your business and setting people up for long-term success. That way, your children’s kids and their kids will be able to invest in their own futures when the time comes.

Your life is about to change, and things are about to come at you very fast. But just let this sink in a bit when you lay down at night after another nine-hour training day.

Trust me, setting things up right from the beginning will avoid a ton of tears and heartache, some of which remains to this day.

Much love,

Kobe."

That was a heartfelt letter. I hope you learned something, I know I did. Hopefully, this will inspire you to write a letter to your younger self, confront something, release and let go of something you've been carrying around for years, forgive yourself and others and; allow yourself to finally heal. Learn from your mistakes so you can grow and evolve into a better you. Think of your future self and do something today to bless your present with the gift of tomorrow.


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New Heat: DJ Khaled feat. Kendrick Lamar, Big Sean & Betty Wright - 'Holy Key'

Posted On: July 25, 2016

And another one! 

DJ Khaled's season looks like it officially turned into his year. Khaled blessed the masses with the release of a new joint titled 'Holy Key.' The track features Big Sean, Kendrick Lamar and Betty Wright.

Holy Key is a masterpiece of music, the body work on the song is unbelievable! Talk about solid, this track is already gold laced in platinum. Big Sean and Kendrick Lamar's lyrics, even the angels and saints were saying "hallelujah," from addressing spiritual laws and the laws of the universe, to raising awareness about police brutality, even throwing some controversy in there with Kendrick Lamar revealing he doesn't wear crosses no more. (The modern cross represents death (hence: the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, why do you think the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) burned them in front of African-American's houses and although it originates from the original cross the ankh, the ankh is the only one that represents life. Do your own research and of course, it's another article on its own).

Back to the track , K-Dot passionately goes in, Betty Wright keeps the song elevated with the hook, singing from the core of her soul; and DJ Khaled does what he does best as a composer of instrumentals and music.

Plug in and get your anointed fix below.

DJ Khaled is currently in the studio working on his anticipated album "Major Key" and from the sounds of it, this upcoming LP of his is going to be a great one!

Notable Lyrics & Wordplay:

Big Sean - "Realize the energy you give is what you manifested."

It's one of the major laws of the universe. The circle of life in karma and how everything is 360.

"Until you deposit payment or reparations/ If you shoot me then you gotta deal with a holy me./ It feel like I'm finally free and unlock my spirit with the holy key."

Hmmm, the God complex (spiritual energy) of thy Black man. If only some of them knew.

Kendrick Lamar - "I don't wear crosses no more, Yeshua's coming back./ I ain't scared of losses no more, I see life in that."

You see, fear keeps you imprisoned, while true faith, the absolute of no fear sets you free.

"The universe and the heavens work in my DNA."

Major Key!

I would go into some more of these lyrics and wordplay, I know some of them definitely went over some people's head while others, absorbed their knowledge of food for thought.


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Donna Brazile to Take Over as Interim DNC Chair

Posted On: July 25, 2016

Donna Brazile will take over as interim for the Democratic National Committee chair and will become Debbie Wasserman Schultz's successor following her resignation.

Upon the revelation of leaked DNC emails, Wasserman Schultz resigned on Sunday (July 24th) and conveyed how she would move forward after the DNC Philadelphia's convention. In doing so, it opened the door for the Donna Brazile to venture into a new endeavor and hopefully, tfully transition her into the realsm of politics. Brazile will hold the chair through November's election.

Donna Brazille is a significant voice in politics and a news contributor for ABC and CNN. Both network released statements and ABC confirmed Brazile's new role as interim for the DNC's chair.

CNN: "With news of Donna Brazile stepping in as interim chair for the Democratic National Committee, CNN and Brazile have mutually agreed to temporarily suspend her contract as a contributor for the network effective immediately. As a valued voice and commentator, CNN will revisit the contract once Brazile concludes her role."

It's unsure of Donna Brazile will return to her positions at CNN and ABC or further her career in politics. Brazile has held chairs before in politics and managed to multitask between both networks and the roles she served for the DNC.


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New Music Video: Wale - 'My PYT'

Posted On: July 25, 2016

Sparking up some cigars to celebrate the birth and blessing of his first born, Wale maintains the celebratory vibes with the release of the visuals for his summer feel good song, 'My PYT.'

The music video was directed by Colin Tilley and features Folarin in several bright and colorful illustrations. From chillin' in a backyard of a mansion and playing the role of a lifeguard, to dancing with some hunnies at a pool, doing the moonwalk, taking pictures with some artistic beauties, laying on a floor chess, making a few moves off it; and more.

My PYT is off Wale's upcoming album SHINE which is scheduled to be released later this year. In the meantime, check out his new video below.

Also, plug into Wale's current mixtape Summer On Sunset that can be streamed and downloaded on DatPiff.

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Senator Tim Scott Revealed Being Pulled Over 7 Times This Year and Uncovers The Truth About Racial Profiling

Posted On: July 25, 2016

The elephant in the room is one several leaders and even, political leaders refused to address. Maybe out of fear, negligence or thinking by sweeping it under the rug, the problem will go away on its own. Failing to understand that by doing this, the problem or issue remains and gets bigger, sometimes to the point where its develops into sub-problems and issues. Racism, police brutality and racial profiling will not go away on its own, it was a problem and issue created by human beings, so therefore they also hold the solution and remedy for it. Makes you wonder about these so called leaders and the type of world they want to create and leave for their children. However, there are some leaders who refused to ignore these problems and issues, especially when it affects them and becomes a national problems for one particular race.

One of the leaders is Senator Tim Scott, a Republican from South Carolina who has shined a light and revealed the elephant in the room called racial profiling. In revealing this, Scott exposed how whether you are a politician, a businessman in a three piece suit, following the rules and guidelines of the road, some police officers will still pull you over for no cause. And unjust reasons of racism because you are an African-American men.

Some police departments across the nation can deny this until cows fly, the truth remains that a large part of it has to do with racism and also, the conditioning of each police departments' training. The images for some of their training showcases and displays mostly African- American and Latino men as criminals, the outcome of this ends up conditioning these police officers who has this image downloaded into their minds. It results in stereotype, racial profiling and brutality of African-American and Latino men. I would get into this some more, but hunny it's another article on its own.



Now, let's get back to Senator Tim Scott who served it raw, had the truth butt naked, exposed and everything! This was about almost two weeks ago and it is still buzzing in the matrix, that I had to reload it, called it that Matrix Reloaded. It happened at a Republican Conference where Scott was the only Black senator and stood fearless on the Senate floor and presented a speech about his experiences of being racially profiled. It was not an easy task for Sen. Tim Scott expressing because it touch so close to home, it made it difficult for him. But due to the nature of stereotype and racial narratives of Walter Scott and Philando Castile of being painted as criminals, in an effort to justify their death, which was a result of police brutality. And the truth is not something you can easily paint with lies, because it will always reveal itself.

Sen. Tim Scott knew he had to take a stand, so no more Black men would fall to the cruelty of police brutality and the racial lines of the judicial system.  Although, Sen. Tim Scott's experiences with certain police officers were humiliating and instilled fear, instead of leaving him with a sense of safety, Scott brought the issue to the senate floor.



Below is a transcript from Senator Tim Scott's speech about racial profiling.

"I shuddered when I heard Eric Garner say “I cannot breathe.” I wept when I watched Walter Scott turn and run away and get shot and killed. And I broke when I heard the 4-year-old daughter of Philando Castile’s girlfriend tell her mother, “It’s OK, I’m right here with you”...

In the course of one year, I’ve been stopped seven times by law enforcement officers. Not four, not five, not six, but seven times in one year as an elected official. Was I speeding sometimes? Sure. But the vast majority of the times, I was pulled over for nothing more than driving a new car in the wrong neighborhood, or some other reason just as trivial...

It’s easy to identify a U.S. senator by our pin. I recall walking into an office building just last year after being here for five years on the Capitol, and the officer looked at me, with a little attitude, and said: “The pin, I know. You, I don’t. Show me your ID.” I’ll tell you, I was thinking to myself, “Either he thinks I’m committing a crime, impersonating a member of Congress” ― or, or what? Well, I’ll tell you that later that evening I received a phone call from his supervisor apologizing for the behavior. Mr. President, that is at least the third phone call that I’ve received from a supervisor or the chief of police since I’ve been in the Senate."

In concluding his speech, Sen. Tim Scott expressed and elaborated to his fellow senators and politicians alike, that just because they might not experience what he endured nor feel the pain of another man, does not mean it don't exist. He urged them to try and understand, and to come together in presenting solutions that will be effective to rectify the problems and issues of racial profiling.

Hmmm, it is a start and even if it begins with one man standing up to defend his rights and the rights of others. Never think that you can't make a difference or that your voice won't be heard. Martin L. King, Malcolm X, Gandhi and so many others were one man, one person who impacted and changed the world for the better. And so could you!


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Racial Profiling Illustration by: Neale Bermeyer

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