It was my first time at Sneaker Pawn in Harlem, an exclusive spot that’s more than just a sneaker store. I climbed the steps to the brownstone and met rapper Trip Lee upstairs where we took a seat on a bench surrounded by sneakers and sports gear. What a great setting to just kick it! We chopped it up discussing his new album Rise, the journey that led him to choosing his passion of music and much more!


Growing up in Sacramento, Victoria Monét started writing her own songs at a very young age. She comes from a musical family, so one might say that she was born to be a singer. Monét admits that it was a natural fit for her and she’s been singing and dancing for as long as she can remember; getting her start in the church.  She's come along way, now signed to Atlantic Records.  October was a big month for her as she was featured on two tracks on T.I.'s latest album, Paperwork.  She also made her iTunes debut with her own release, Nightmares & Lullabies Act I.  She is more than just another female singer that will be here today and gone tomorrow, Victoria Monét has all the makings of the real deal.  We caught up with her for the full story, before the breakthrough.


Joe Budden was never supposed to make it this far. Whether it was from the drugs or the streets, he probably should've been down and out somewhere. Once the music industry took hold of him that was only supposed to be one more powerful force that would eat away at him and leave for dead. And Def Jam surely tried. Looking back at where he started, it’s a wonder that he's still here. Had it been today's industry, he probably would've succumbed to the politics, but thankfully he's been in it since 2003. Hip-Hop aficionados are grateful for his time in the spotlight and for his Mood Music lyrical diary entries as well as his “emo” rap forays.


Lil’ Mo
emerged on the music scene in the late 90’s lending her voice to hits like, “Hot Boyz” by Missy Elliott, “Put It On Me” and “I Cry” both by Ja Rule. Still it was her breakout single, the 2001 “Superwoman pt. II” that helped solidify her name is music circles. The Fabolous assisted song led to the release of her debut album, Based On A True Story, garnering her tons of fans. With her success came the drama however, including an incident in San Francisco where she was attacked with a bottle of champagne and required 20 stitches. There also came industry beefs with some of the same people she found early success with, most notably Ja Rule.


If you know football, you know Deion Sanders. Primetime! Mr. “Must Be The Money.” Neon Deion. The Hall-of-Famer and two-time Super Bowl champion hasn’t really needed an introduction since his meteoric rise in the NFL spotlight, but these days it’s his moves off the field that require conversation. The second season of his reality show, Deion’s Family Playbook premieres on OWN Network on Saturday, November 1st at 9p.m. EST. For those that aren’t familiar, the show features Deion in a light that many might not be familiar with—Deion as a family man raising 10 children. That’s not all however, as Deion also helps run a charter school in Dallas Texas, Prime Prep Academy for grades K-12, and a nonprofit organization, Prime Time Association (aka TRUTH), which teaches young adults through sports and education.


Jagged Edge's eight album, JE Heartbreak II finds the quartet reunited with producer Jermaine Dupri, label So So Def and their original management Mauldin Brand Agency. The theme here is all about bringing back true R&B, so the guys shy away from Rap features or features of any kind, as well as Hip-Hop infused beats. Slow jams are plentiful in this 12 song album and with Bryan Michael Cox assisting the Casey twins on songwriting and production, its very much reminiscent to the sound of early Jagged Edge albums.



 
 

 

 

2011 marks the 86th year that this great country has annually acknowledged in the month of February the achievements of its African American population. Blacks and Black History Month has come along way in that short span of time. What started out as “Negro History Week” back in 1926, fifty years later became what we now know as “Black History Month”. In my research I was unable to uncover the reason for the extension but one can only speculate that it became obvious that our multitudinous contributions could not be covered in just one week.  And, now we are able to add to that long list of inventions, records broken, etcetera; the boastful fact of an African American President of these United States.
Negro History Week was the second week of February between the Birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.  The week long celebration was started by Dr. Carter G Woodson who was the son of former slaves. But, even with his humble beginnings Woodson went on to earn a PhD from Harvard University. (The first African American to earn a PhD from Harvard University was Dr. William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, who founded the NAACP on the 12th of this month 1909, and whose birthday is on the 23rd). Dr.Woodson began the Negro History Week after becoming dissatisfied with the lack of presence that African Americans had in the history books. The week was designed to bring to the attention and magnify the accomplishments of African Americans. It has achieved that and more especially after evolving into a month long celebration.
Thankfully we now know what may have otherwise been hidden or merely passed down like a bad game of telephone with inaccurate information. Now young African Americans can review the accomplishments of other individuals that had the same “limitations” in terms of skin color, and yet still made significant contributions. With this insight we should be empowered realizing that the real limitations are now limited to each individual and we have more access and opportunities than ever before even to the doors of the White House. We should never play the race card considering this rich history of ours even if it is abundantly clear that a situation is racially motivated. I am sure that if President Obama had lost the election we would have said that it was because he was black. But he didn’t lose and that takes the excuse out of our mouths. We can tell our children that they can be anything they want to be if they set their mind to it and this includes areas we have not yet touched. We can be the first in many more areas as we have been the first in so many already.
As we celebrate our history of accomplishments throughout the balance of this month let us teach our children and each other. Let us review the impact African Americans have made to daily life. When you comb your hair, tie your shoes, pass through a stop light or even use a remote remember and appreciate those who made it possible.

2013 marks the 88th year that this great country has annually acknowledged in the month of February the achievements of its African American population. Blacks and Black History Month have come along way in that short span of time. What started out as “Negro History Week” back in 1926, fifty years later became what we now know as “Black History Month”. In my research I was unable to uncover the reason for the extension but one can only speculate that it became obvious that our multitudinous contributions could not be covered in just one week.  And, now we are able to add to that long list of inventions, records broken, etcetera; the boastful fact of an African-American President of these United States.

 

Negro History Week was the second week of February between the Birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.  The week long celebration was started by Dr. Carter G Woodson who was the son of former slaves. But, even with his humble beginnings Woodson went on to earn a PhD from Harvard University. (The first African-American to earn a PhD from Harvard University was Dr. William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, who founded the NAACP on the 12th of this month 1909, and whose birthday is on the 23rd). Dr.Woodson began the Negro History Week after becoming dissatisfied with the lack of presence that African-Americans had in the history books. The week was designed to bring to the attention and magnify the accomplishments of African-Americans. It has achieved that and more especially after evolving into a month long celebration.

 

Thankfully we now know what may have otherwise been hidden or merely passed down like a bad game of telephone with inaccurate information. Now young African Americans can review the accomplishments of other individuals that had the same “limitations” in terms of skin color, and yet still made significant contributions. With this insight we should be empowered realizing that the real limitations are now limited to each individual and we have more access and opportunities than ever before even to the doors of the White House. We should never play the race card considering this rich history of ours even if it is abundantly clear that a situation is racially motivated. I am sure that if President Obama had lost the election we would have said that it was because he was Black. But he didn’t lose and that takes the excuse out of our mouths. We can tell our children that they can be anything they want to be if they set their mind to it and this includes areas we have not yet touched. We can be the first in many more areas as we have been the first in so many already.

 

As we celebrate our history of accomplishments throughout the balance of this month let us teach our children and each other. Let us review the impact African-Americans have made to daily life. When you comb your hair, tie your shoes, pass through a stop light or even use a remote remember and appreciate those who made it possible.

 

 

Also Check Out:
The First African-American Intellectual - Benjamin Banneker
Phillis Wheatley - First Published African-American
Before There Were Pilots in Tuskegee, the 92nd fought in France
Henrietta Lacks - Giving Life Through HeLa Cells
Introducing The NAACP 

 

About The Author
Author: Duan Sanderson

Our Supporters:

 

twitter
facebook
contact-us