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.



 
 

 

 

Charles Hamilton Houston was a renowned fighter for minority rights playing a role in nearly every case for Civil Rights between the years of 1930 and 1950. Houston was born in 1895 during a great deal of minority suppression. His father was a practicing lawyer and his mother a hairdresser. He contributes all his success to their desire for him to succeed and providing him with all the tools for success.
Despite being born during such suppressive times he proved triumphant in both his studies as well as his post graduate works. Houston studied at Amherst College in Massachusetts for an Artium Baccalaureatus (A.B.) Degree which he completed in 1915.  He was the only African American in his class and also graduated with the honor of valedictorian. From there Houston moved back to D.C. where he taught English and “Negro Literature” at Howard University for two years. As the year 1917 approached America found itself entering World War I. To avoid being drafted and having to possibly serve on the front line, Houston enlisted as an officer where he earned a position at the first Black officers’ training camp, Fort Des Moines in Iowa. Little did he know this step in his life shaped his future in fighting toward civil liberties and equal rights. After witnessing and being part of a prosecution of two black soldiers who were wrongly charged, Houston was quoted saying “the hate and scorn showered on Negro officers by our fellow Americans…convinced me there was no sense in dying for a world ruled by them. I made up my mind that I would never get caught again without knowing my rights; that if luck was with me, and I got through this war, I would study law and use my time fighting for men who could not strike back.” This was the turning point towards the fight for equal rights to all.
After arriving home in 1919 Houston set out to accomplish the goals he set while in the army. Houston enrolled into Harvard law school where after his first year he was elected to the prestigious Harvard Law Review; there he found his legal mentor Felix Frankfurter. After graduating with honors he pursued his doctorate in judicial science under Frankfurter. Houston later went on to work with his father after completing a one year fellowship in Madrid, Spain.
Houston’s first legal case before the U.S. Supreme Court dealt with a man convicted of rape in Oklahoma by an all-white jury and sentenced to death. Houston argued that because historically in Oklahoma Blacks had been denied jury placements based on their race, they were denied due process under the law. The Supreme Court agreed and Houston was the first African-American to successfully represent the NAACP before the highest court.
During his tenure with the NAACP Houston was praised for his work at picking cases to which would begin to erode segregation. Throughout his life he was a brilliant mentor and teacher to many young black law students; becoming a teacher and the Dean at Howard University. One of his greatest successes would come 4 years after his death when his star pupil, Thurgood Marshall, would win the case of Brown vs. Board of Education. This would be the turning point which Houston wanted to see happen through all his hard work towards ending discrimination.

Charles Hamilton Houston was a renowned fighter for minority rights playing a role in nearly every case for Civil Rights between the years of 1930 and 1950. Houston was born in 1895 during a great deal of minority suppression. His father was a practicing lawyer and his mother a hairdresser. He contributes all his success to their desire for him to succeed and providing him with all the tools for success.

 
Despite being born during such suppressive times he proved triumphant in both his studies as well as his post graduate works. Houston studied at Amherst College in Massachusetts for an Artium Baccalaureatus (A.B.) Degree which he completed in 1915.  He was the only African American in his class and also graduated with the honor of valedictorian. From there Houston moved back to D.C. where he taught English and “Negro Literature” at Howard University for two years. As the year 1917 approached America found itself entering World War I. To avoid being drafted and having to possibly serve on the front line, Houston enlisted as an officer where he earned a position at the first Black officers’ training camp, Fort Des Moines in Iowa. Little did he know this step in his life shaped his future in fighting toward civil liberties and equal rights. After witnessing and being part of a prosecution of two black soldiers who were wrongly charged, Houston was quoted saying “the hate and scorn showered on Negro officers by our fellow Americans…convinced me there was no sense in dying for a world ruled by them. I made up my mind that I would never get caught again without knowing my rights; that if luck was with me, and I got through this war, I would study law and use my time fighting for men who could not strike back.” This was the turning point towards the fight for equal rights to all. 

 

After arriving home in 1919 Houston set out to accomplish the goals he set while in the army. Houston enrolled into Harvard law school where after his first year he was elected to the prestigious Harvard Law Review; there he found his legal mentor Felix Frankfurter. After graduating with honors he pursued his doctorate in judicial science under Frankfurter. Houston later went on to work with his father after completing a one year fellowship in Madrid, Spain. 

 

Houston’s first legal case before the U.S. Supreme Court dealt with a man convicted of rape in Oklahoma by an all-white jury and sentenced to death. Houston argued that because historically in Oklahoma Blacks had been denied jury placements based on their race, they were denied due process under the law. The Supreme Court agreed and Houston was the first African-American to successfully represent the NAACP before the highest court. 


During his tenure with the NAACP Houston was praised for his work at picking cases to which would begin to erode segregation. Throughout his life he was a brilliant mentor and teacher to many young black law students; becoming a teacher and the Dean at Howard University. One of his greatest successes would come 4 years after his death when his star pupil, Thurgood Marshall, would win the case of Brown vs. Board of Education. This would be the turning point which Houston wanted to see happen through all his hard work towards ending discrimination.

 

 

Also Check Out:

The Story Behind Black History Month

Phillis Wheatley - First Published African-American

Alice H. Parker - True African American Heat

The First African-American Intellectual - Benjamin Banneker

Mrs. President, Michelle Obama

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