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.



 
 

 

 

As the collective chorus of political punditry dooms the Affordable Care Act, aka ACA, aka ObamaCare, one must step back from the noise and look at the issue plainly.

Last week President Barack Obama put it in clear terms when he publicly told the American people during his press conference that the new health care law is a “policy” and not a “website.”  However, he personally accepted accountability by acknowledging that the website “hasn’t worked as smoothly as it was supposed to work.”   Nevertheless, he continued to urge Americans not to be discouraged from registering for health insurance because of the problems that have plagued its rollout.

 

Read more: Fire… Fire... Not Really! Early ObamaCare Issues


In light of February being recognized as Black History Month, a month where our heritage, ancestors, and leaders are being acknowledged for their legacies, such as the late Harriet Tubman for her bravery and resistance, for risking her life and leading hundreds of men and women to freedom via the Underground Railroad. Another notable name is the late George Washington Carver who discovered three hundred uses for peanuts, including peanut butter. I also have to mention the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. honoring his stance on civil rights and equality. So many honorable African American men and women played a significant role in moving America forward.

Read more: Greg Hall Unveiled. An Interview with the Activist

The Battle for the Soul of the Republic

Since the horrifying massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, which left 28 people, including 20 children dead; there have been over 100 murders across the United States.  The brief pause we experienced while grieving for the innocent school kids that were killed on that dreadful day could not last. Our societal thirst for blood would not be quenched simply by the lives of those guiltless young victims. Day by day, since the Sandy Hook tragedy, Americans continue to be killed in record numbers.

Before the violence spirals further out of control, we should ask ourselves a few very serious questions.   

Read more: In Guns we Trust


As the world watches to see if America can avoid going over the fiscal cliff, House Majority Leader John Boehner must feel the weight of it crashing down on him. Each day he spends much of his time trying to persuade a stubborn Republican caucus to work for the good of the country. However, today's Republicans do not resemble the ones that were in Washington when he was elected over twenty years ago.

Read more: The Struggles of House Majority Leader John Boehner

When we go to the ballot box this November we should go with two things in mind, the importance of the selection we are making and the sacrifices of those who fought for those rights before us. Black people did not always have the right to vote, or many of the other rights that we take for granted. Today it seems as if some of our own people want us to go back in time by not exercising that right. Groups of Black pastors are urging their congregations not to vote, or to only vote how the pastor endorses. That in itself is is disgraceful. It is the very definition of indoctrination; this is when a pastor teaches someone to accept doctrines uncritically. Why would a pastor of all people be willing to tell the Black community not to exercise the right that so many fought and died for.

Read more: Don't Block The Vote!!!

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