In times of great need, there are some people who waste no time with their generosity.
This week, a deadly tornado touched down in city of Moore, Oklahoma killing over 20 people and destroying most of the town. Well in less than 24 hours after the devastation, Oklahoma City Thunder power player Kevin Durant made a huge donation to the city of Moore. Durant’s $1 million donation was given to the Red Cross in efforts to assist those affected by the EF-4 tornado. This incident is especially close to Durant in that the city of Moore is where he calls home. The entire area is feeling much grief for which an elementary school, entire neighborhoods, and families were destroyed.
Other donations are steady coming in from individuals and corporations. Lowe’s stores, for instance, announced that they will donate $1 million to go towards recovery and rebuilding efforts. Their donation will help communities in Oklahoma, Texas, and other affected areas throughout the Midwest.
“Our deepest sympathy goes out to all the families who’ve lost loved ones and experienced the devastation of the recent tornadoes, including members of our Lowe’s family,” said Robert Niblock, Lowe’s chairman, president and CEO. “We’ll be there every step of the way to help these communities and families recover, from the search and rescue efforts until these neighborhoods are rebuilt.”
If you would like to donate, Lowe’s will be accepting donations at stores across the U.S. and via www.Lowes.com. Through their partnership with Red Cross, your donations will help provide food, shelter, relief supplies, emotional support and other assistance to those impacted by the tornadoes.
Are you an inspiring writer or author who have unpublished works? If this is you, Amazon Publishing has a new cool way for you to earn money and publish your writings “at the same d*mn time”.
Amazon Publishing announced today that is has created a new online platform called ‘Kindle Worlds’. Kindle Worlds will allow writers to publish original fiction-based stories then earn a percentage of royalties from sales. Once the stories are written, each authors’ content will then be sold via the Kindle Store. For stories with at least 10,000 words, will be paid 35% of net revenue. In addition, Amazon will soon pilot an experimental program for stories between 5,000 to 10,000 words. However, writers will receive a digital royalty payment of only 20%.
In comparison to standard publishing royalties, Amazon & Kindle World will base revenue off of sale price and not off wholesale price (as set off industry standards). Writers can expect to receive payments on a monthly basis too.
Kindle Worlds will kick off in June. It will first premiere works from 50 commissioned works from authors like best-selling author Barbara Freethy, John Everson, and Colleen Thompson. During the same time, Kindle Worlds will open its self-service submission platform where any author can submit their work. To learn more about this awesome opportunity, visit Kindle Worlds at www.amazon.com/kindleworlds.
Everyone that is a true fan and friend of the Queen of R&B and Hip Hop need to all get together and make a donation to this cause. According to the NY Post, Mary J Blige is currently waaayyyyy deep in debt with the IRS and several financial institutions.
The state of New Jersey has announced that the Queen refused to file taxes in 2009 ($574,907.30), 2010 ($2,203,743.53), and 2011 ($647,604.60). Also, this new revelation is ontop of an existing lien for $901,769.65, which she received back in February of this year. As of right now, Mary J Blige owes the state $4,328,025.08. Damn, Mary!!!
In early 2012, Blige’s non-profit organization SWANN was outed publicly for not filing taxes. Blige was subject to much public scrutiny for the ordeal as investigation revealed that there were thousands in donation money missing. TD Bank also expressed that the charity had defaulted on a $500,000 loan. To save face from embarrassment, the R&B diva held a press conference in which she stated that she “didn’t have the right people in the right places, doing the right thing.”
It is clear that it is time to down-size Mary and Kendu. The 18,000 square-foot mansion in Saddle River, NJ has been on the market since 2011 (with a price tag of $12.5 million). It is apparent that Mary J need to press the gas on that sale and any other properties she may own. What does her husband do again?! If he is her manager, he may need to find some other work. Or it may be time for Mary to go back on tour, release an album, etc. This debt is ridiculous and sad. Mayber her close friends Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry will loan her a few dollars. Heck, it’s not like they don’t have it!
In Summer 2012, Houston rapper Slim Thug released his first book, How To Survive In A Recession. The book was a surprise to most hip hop heads who were used to seeing Slim Thug in videos with flashy jewels and expensive cars. He even premiered once on the popular MTV Cribs showing off his sprawling home and fleet of cars. Well, years later Slim Thug decided to live a debt-free life which consisted of doing away with a few materialistic things he’d worked so hard far. He didn’t downsize because he was broke. Due to the recession, he took the smart route, man’d up, and began managing his personal finances properly.
Nowadays, there are more hip hop artists investing in stocks, opening businesses, and securing a great financial future for themselves and their family. Some music videos may tell a different story. But if you listen to their lyrics, you’ll notice that many of them are offering up some great advice about business and money. Recently, MSN posted several financial related quotes spit by several of our favorite rap artists. Financial experts reviewed each lyric and believed that fans of hip hop could actually learn a thing or two if we just pay attention. In case you can’t remember what a few of these rappers said, take a look at these lesson-filled quotes expressed by 50 Cent, Slim Thug, Yung Joc, Busta Rhymes, and Common.
50 Cent says, “I used to think that if I bought stuff that showed the world how much money I made I’d be happy. But that doesn’t work. For me, success was always going to be a Lamborghini. But now I’ve got it, it just sits in drive. My Rolls Royce has less than nine miles on the clock.” (quoted from interview with Daily Mail)
Moral of the Quote – Buying expensive items do not always guarantee happiness. Some assets, like cars, depreciate in value. So it is best to invest in assets that will increase your net worth. Then to find happiness, try giving back to the less fortunate.
Slim Thug says, “I always say if you can’t buy it three times over, you can’t afford it. Don’t drive a Bentley on a Benz income.” (quoted from How To Survive In A Recession)
Moral of the Quote – Simply. Don’t live beyond your means.
Yung Joc says, “Hold off on all the jewelry and cars. Straight up…(the rap business) not a 9-to-5. You go to work 40 hours a week, you’re not going to get the same amount of money…every week because it don’t work like that.” (quoted in interview with Hollywood Heavy)
Moral of the Quote – Be smart with your money. Always have it least 6 to 12 months salary saved up for hard times.
Busta Rhymes says, “Floss a little; invest up in a mutual fund.” (quoted in his 1997 hit “Dangerous”)
Moral of the Quote – Diversify your portfolio. Never leave all your money in one bucket. Contact a financial advisor or stock broker and find opportunities to invest and grow your net worth.
Common says, “But once you get grown and out your own/Bills upon bill upon is what you have/Before you get your check then you already spent half.” (quoted in his 1994 song “Rich Man vs Poor Man”)
Moral of the Quote – Keep your bills minimal. Always store away at leat 10% of each paycheck in a separate savings account.
What do you think of the financial advice given by these artists? Do you have any advice of your own that has proven financially effective for you? If so, please share in the comments.
If you want to see television on-the-go and via your iPhone, now you have the chance. Live streaming has been available for several years, but mainly through third party applications. Now, one major network will begin streaming their television programs straight to iPhones.
According to the Wallstreet Journal, ABC will be the first network to offer live streaming to public TV stations. The network is currently streaming The View in New York and Philadelphia. It is not known if other major cities will evetually be added. For now, local residents can have the luxury to go about their daily routine and still be able to catch their favorite ABC television programs.
Learn more about this new development in the video below.
It looks like Beyonce’s papi, Matthew Knowles is next up in line when it comes to who owes back taxes to the IRS
According to reports, Mr. Knowles owes good ole Uncle Sam an estimated $1.2 million in back taxes for 2010 and 2011. He was still managing his superstar daughter then which of course attributes to why the amount of what he possibly owes is so high.
It’s kind of hard to believe that Knowles would be so careless with his finances considering how good he’s been with making money over the last decade or so. But who knows how this could of happened. All I can say is that somewhere along the way, Knowles dropped the ball and didn’t stay on top of his affairs. Hopefully he’ll get it all worked out soon and not have to go the Lauryn Hill route.
The uber strategic businessman and founder of Black Entertainment Televison (BET), Robert L. Johnson, announced the launch of two new paid Youtube channels. The new channels, “Acorn TV” and “OnCue”, will be two of several other channels that will fall under Youtube’s new “paid subscription” plan.
Johnson’s RLJ Entertainment will now give Youtube fans the opportunity to watch “theme-driven” videos. “OnCue”, for instance, will offer urban-only content that will showcase African-American films and digital television series. All of the videos will highlight the best in action, drama, romantic comedies/stand-up, documentaries, music, and stage plays. Content will include 35 & Ticking (starring Kevin Hart and Meagan Good), All Things Fall Apart (50 Cent & Lynn Whitfield), The Last Fall (Lance Gross), and I Ain’t Scared of You (featuring the late Bernie Mac).
RLJ Entertainment created these channels on the basis of giving audiences an alternative in digital programming. The “paid” subscription route will be profitable for shareholders, but also create an outlet for producers to air original content.
“Acorn TV” will showcase British TV-related content.
Buffalo Bills Mario Williams made headlines this week but not for his football stats. Instead, the defensive back gained notoriety for being an “Indian-giver”.
For years, there’s been a debate amongst men versus women about if a wife-to-be should return an engagement ring if the relationship ends. Since, either parties can’t never seem to ever come to an agreement on the subject, many U.S. states have left it up to the law to decide. Hence the case of Mario Williams.
According to news reports, Williams recently requested that his ex-fiancé return a $785,000 engagement ring. Their romance ended and left Williams thinking about the huge investment he made for what was suppose to be his future wife. But, the ex refuses to return it stating that the ring was a gift. Word is that she is the one that called off the engagement and has no plans on returning the bling.
Unfortunately, the former lovebirds were residents of the state of Texas. Under Texas law, Lois Liberman (Williams attorney) says ,”the fact that the marriage is not taking place, the gift hasn’t been completed; it seems cut and dry based on Texas law that in fact she has to give the engagement ring back.” Simply put, Texas laws believes that a ring is not a gift until a marriage occurs. Other states consider just the opposite…that an engagement is indeed a “gift”.
Luckily for Williams he should come out as a winner in this case. But, if the ring was worth much less (ex. $10,000), would Williams have asked for it back??
What do you all think? Should an engagement ring be considered a “gift”? Let us know what you think.
What is 50 Cent investing in next? As a man who always seem to venture into the most unthinkable industries, has made profitable strides in the fitness arena with Formula 50 and now in the boxing arena. But, apparently that’s not it.
50 Cent recently took to his Twitter account to announce “50 World Fitness Coming Soon”. Although, this doesn’t seem to be too far out of reach for rapper-actor-entrepreneur, it does come as a surprise. No other details were given about 50 World Fitness. But, many are assuming that his love of health and fitness has garnered an idea to possibly open up several fitness centers. Who knows for sure? If this is what his announcement meant, then this could potentially be very lucrative for 50. There aren’t many more chain fitness franchises around anymore except LA Fitness and/or Gold’s Gym. 50 World Fitness could be the next best thing for all of us gym rats. As long as he offers a great monthly/annual registration fee and up-to-date equipment and amenities, 50 Cent may come out a winner.
This is just a speculation though. We’ll get back with you as more information is released.
Lately there’s been a rash of artists under scrutiny for their lyrics and artistic expression. Although many might argue that artists should have the right to say what they want, corporations have a slightly different point of view. The most recent case involves Lil Wayne, rapper and CEO of YMCMB. The New Orleans born emcee was dropped from PepsiCo as an endorser of their Mountain Dew soda product. The reason was due to an offensive reference made about Emmett Till, a young man brutally murdered in Mississippi during the civil rights era.
Wayne’s offensive lyrics was recorded on Future’s “Karate Chop” song. Due to the widespread negative press and disgust by Emmett Till’s family, PepsiCo decided to end their relationship with Lil Wayne. As such with Miami-rapper Rick Ross who, also, was dropped by a major corporation for his drug and rape reference in “U.E.O.N.O.” Reebok severed their ties with the Maybach Music Group CEO, costing Ross several millions in endorsement money [READ HERE].
The recent string of events proves that there’s no such thing as “freedom of speech” to corporations. The “bottom-line” in revenue dollars is what companies are most concerned with. For Reebok and PepsiCo, the impact of the negative press translated into a decline in sales. But also, the offensive and derogatory lyrics could have potentially tarnished their brands. Words can be deadly. Yet, many artists fail to realize this and continue to degrade our women, glorify drugs and guns, and/or promote domestic violence. At some point, artists should be held accountable for what they say. Lyrics not only affect a company’s ability to sell products and make money, but they also confirm this negative perception of people and communities that are already oppressed.
At the end of the day, freedom of speech hurts us and the corporations. It shows that some artists aren’t versatile enough to talk about other things. Also, it shows companies that taking a risk by hiring an artist to endorse a product may not always be the best thing. You can make millions or easily lose millions. Therefore, it is certain that the way corporations issue endorsement deals in the future will take on a different approach. Don’t be surprised if stricter clauses are incorporated in these agreements.
What do you think? Do you think artists should watch what they say in songs? Let us know we’d like to know how you feel.
Andrew Ro, former business manager of Lil Kim, is suing the Brooklyn rapper for $15 million.
According to TMZ, Ro has filed suit and claims that Lil Kim screwed up several lucrative licensing and endorsement deals. In August, the two entered a licensing agreement between Ro’s International Rock Star Corp and Lil Kim. When it was time to work, Ro alleges that Kim refused to participate in important business meetings if she wasn’t paid more money for her time. After Ro and his team completed the projects, like the perfume line, Kim refused to promote the product and eventually stopped taking calls.
Ro estimates that Kim’s lack of enthusiasm costs him approximately $15 million. Deals that were on the table for Lil Kim included the perfume line, clothing line, vodka drink, energy drink, a honey-maker, and even a Steve Madden shoe endorsement.
Andrew Ro’s attempt to sue derived from a cease-and-desist letter issued by Lil Kim’s attorneys. The letter claimed that Ro was getting her involved in bad licensing deals.
The best ideas often are derived when you and some friends are sitting around thinking of ways to make money. Every now and then, one of those ideas strike a cord and end up becoming a full-fledge business. So, as friends, you know become business partners. The journey of making the business successful are sometimes filled with a lot of disagreements and lack of better judgment. When this happens, the friends are now at a crossroad which oftentimes cause the demise of the business. So the question is…Do partnerships between friends really work?
We hear of stories where two friends start a business, but not being able to put differences aside end up hurting the business. Whether it is disagreements on how the company should operate, who should handle the finances, or isn’t doing their fair share of the work, these are the type of issues that can arise. So, what should friends do in this case?
Well, as you know, Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry have joined together to bring several new shows to the OWN network. The two besties have established a pretty tight bond over the years. With Oprah’s television cable channel need to add more diverse programming, Tyler Perry’s expertise seemed like a great fit for OWN. This month marks the start of their joint venture. Tyler will be producing several new shows for OWN. But, many wonders if his addition will spark a new and profitable beginning at OWN. If it doesn’t, how will Oprah react?
In case you’re wondering what ground rules the two established prior to going into this venture, Tyler expressed his thoughts in the recent issue of Essence Magazine.
“The most important thing about coming together was making sure we would not lose our friendship because of the business. We had to establish ground rules,” Perry, 43, says.
He continues, “The main one: Both of us have to continue to live in our truth. If she doesn’t like something, say it. If I don’t like something, I’ll say it. And we’ll figure it out and keep moving on…”
Sounds simple enough, huh? Both parties should set some ground rules so that there would be no hard feelings if the business partnership didn’t work out. Secondly, put it in writing. Partnerships should be spelled out in a contract agreement. This way, if millions of dollars are involved, friends can just take it to court and let the judge decide. At the end of the day, you have to decide what is more important…the friendship or the business.
They say if it isn’t one thing, it’s another but in the case of Rick Ross it seems to be quite a few things trying to weigh the rapper down.
As if the death threats from gang members and the drive-by shooting that happened weren’t enough, Ross then found himself under fire for his lyrics on Rocko’s “U.O.E.N.O”. The mishap with his lyrics on the song which were eventually removed ultimately led to him losing his $5milliom Reebok endorsement.
Well now the Boss is being sued by Total Access Talent, a Miami-based talent agency for an estimated $170,000. Now while the amount appears to be a small thing compared to the giant that is Ross’ net worth, the notion of the MMG head honcho doing bad business can be damaging enough. According to suit, Total Access Talent claims that Ross failed to pay the 10% commission he agreed to pay the company to books shows for him in the Florida.
If what Total Access Talent claims is true, then Mr. Rozay should be ashamed and definitely needs to get some better business about his self. But I’m hoping it’s just a lack of communication, a misunderstanding or at least something totally understandable.
The new program is part of the “textbook buyback” initiative which is a collaborative effort between Chegg and American Express Serve®. American Express provides students with the Serve® prepaid card after textbooks are sold inside the Chegg website. The prepaid card does not have any hidden fees. Students do not have to pass a credit check to get one. Instead, the only qualification is that students set up an account on Chegg. Though the process below may seems a bit much, AMEX and Chegg assures that selling books and earning money is rather simple. Check it out…
1) Student visits the Chegg website, requests and agrees to a quote for the books they would like to sell, and prints a shipping label to send their books to Chegg.
2) Student will then be directed to sign up for Serve from American Express within the Chegg website, and a Serve prepaid Card will be directly shipped to them. Buyback funds will be sent from Chegg within 24-hours of processing the book.
3) Student receives their Serve Card in the mail and activates it. They can use the newly available funds to transfer money between friends with Serve accounts, make an ATM withdrawal or to safely and securely shop virtually anywhere American Express® Cards are accepted.
“Going to college requires many transitions for students; one of the most important is developing good financial habits. We are thrilled to partner with Serve and help students manage their money using a trusted digital account,” said Elizabeth Harz, vice president of business development for Chegg. “Saving students time, money and helping them get smarter is what Chegg is all about. Teaming with Serve helps us deliver on this charter and provides American Express an authentic connection to this important and influential audience of 18 to 24 year olds.”
Starting now through August 30, 2013, students can open a new Serve Account and make purchases and receive a $10 credit. For more information, go to www.chegg.com.
Chegg, the student hub, is transforming the way millions of students learn by connecting them to the people and tools needed to succeed in college through homework help, course selection, eTextbook and textbook options as well as school and scholarship connections. Students nationwide use Chegg 365 days a year to make learning easier, more accessible and more productive. As a part of the company’s philanthropic efforts, Chegg is dedicated to its Chegg For Good program, which empowers students to be a catalyst for change on their campus, in their communities and around the world. From starting as a textbook rental company to evolving into the student hub, Chegg is enhancing education for millions of students by saving them time, saving them money and helping them get smarter.
Snoop Lion or for those of you refuse to switch up Snoop Dogg has joined the rally against gun violence. Snoop jumped on the bandwagon shortly after a bipartisan measure to position background checks for U.S. gun sales was defeated by the U.S. Senate.
After the Boston bombings Snoop feels like enough is enough saying “Right now feels like the right time for us all to come together to stop the violence, which is why I started the ‘No Guns Allowed’ movement.”
According to the rapper, his movement “is a call to action for people everywhere to come together and help end the senseless gun violence that claims lives every day. I’m not saying I’m against guns, but I’m saying that people need to think about their actions and be responsible for them.”
In an open letter that Snoop released exclusively to The Boombox, he introduced his ‘No Guns Allowed’ movement and detailed his stance on the matter.
Read Snoop’s letter below…
As I write this, my television screen is full of violent and disturbing images from last week’s Boston Marathon bombing.
These images of heartbreak, fear, and panic have become way too common and so have the cases of individuals committing senseless acts of violence and parents losing their innocent children.
Right now feels like the right time for us all to come together to stop the violence, which is why I started the “No Guns Allowed” movement.
Growing up in the streets of Long Beach, I’ve seen the devastation that comes from gun violence firsthand… Homies dead or put in jail at an age way too young. The tragedies that have hit so close to home for many Americans over the last year inspired me to write a song advocating gun responsibility across the board.
The song “No Guns Allowed” is a call to action for people everywhere to come together and help end the senseless gun violence that claims lives every day. I’m not saying I’m against guns, but I’m saying that people need to think about their actions and be responsible for them. It tears my heart to see these people shooting up schools and public places and innocent people becoming victims for no damn reason!
A song like this has to come from the heart, and for me, the message is particularly powerful because I am a father. A lot of the people pulling the trigger haven’t lived long enough to experience a long life full of love, but I know there’s still time for them to walk in the path of peace.
It’s why I asked my daughter, Cori B., to be a part of this song. And why I asked Drake to help spread this positive message. It’s more than a song — it’s a unified powerful call to action to end violence and increase gun responsibility. It’s a movement that ALL of us can take part in, ya dig?
It’s also humbling that an organization like the League of Young Voters Education Fund fully supports my movement. They’ve created a non-violence campaign in the spirit of “No Guns Allowed” with an online petition on Causes.com.
The petition pushes universal background checks and funding for violence prevention programs. I’m getting down with them to encourage people to use the #NoGunsAllowed hashtag on their social media to help spread the word by sharing personal messages, stories and photos about how gun violence has affected their lives.
I’ve also teamed up with MTV and Jewelry For a Cause for this “No Guns Allowed” movement. We created a special bracelet engraved with the serial number of an illegal gun recently turned in through a gun buyback in Newark, NJ. A portion of the proceeds from each sale benefits the Newark Police Department gun buyback programs and can be purchased at Jewelry For A Cause.
The time is NOW to reverse the trend of senseless gun violence leading to all of the tragedy we’ve seen over the last year! The more people who spread this message, the more likely we are to make a difference! By uniting our communities and spreading love and positivity we can bring hope and peace despite the difficult times. Let’s end all this negativity and violence and move forward in peace and love with #NoGunsAllowed!
What’s your stance???
It’s 2013. We are living in a day and age where information, on just about anything, is readily available. Whether it’s through the internet or at your local library, advice on a wide ray of subjects can be found if one just take the time out to look. This is especially true for parents who aren’t necessarily equipped with enough knowledge to pass down to their kids. One area that often stomps the parents when asked a question is money.
Personal finance, investing, wealth management, etc are all topics that parents should start teaching their kids early on. But unfortunately there are many parents that suffer from personal money issues. So, this automatically deters them from being a great role model and/or teacher. However, the necessary information and resources that can help young adults manage their financial lives are out there.
To help parents instill some financial accountability into their kids, STACKS Magazine found several great Books To Help Young Adults Manage Their Financial Life. Here’s the list:
1. The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey
2. Suze Orman’s 2009 Action Plan: Keeping Your Money Safe & Sound
3. Financial Planning for Your First Job by Matthew Brandeburg
4. Investment Visionaries: A Roadmap to Wealth from the World’s Greatest Money Managers by Peter J. Tanous
5. Get A Financial Life: Personal Finance In Your Twenties and Thirties by Beth Kobliner
6. Your So Money: Live Rich, Even When Your Not by Farnoosh Torabi
7. Street Wise: A Guide for Teen Investors by Janet Bamford
Parents, most of these books can be purchased online on Amazon. The earlier your child start developing some financial responsibility, the less financial headaches they’ll experience in the future.
While Grammy award winning music artist Lauryn Hill tax troubles were no secret, earlier this week it seems as if they were about to get the best of her.
Hill was scheduled to be sentenced this past Monday, after pleading to and being found guilty of tax evasion charges last year. During her plea of guilt, Hill admitted to not paying taxes on the $1.8 million she earned from 2005 to 2007. But fortunately for Hill, who faces up to 3 years in prison, the judge decided to give her a just a little more time to pay off her debt.
Ms. Lauryn should consider herself very lucky considering the judge ruling on the case was a bit annoyed by Hill lack of effort to pay off the debt before now. In a statement, U.S. Magistrate Judge Madeline Cox said, “This is not someone who stands before the court penniless. This is a criminal matter. Actions speak louder than words, and there has been no effort here to pay these taxes.”
While the exact amount that Hill owes isn’t clear, but said to be in the neighborhood of a half of million, she’s only being given two weeks to figure it out. According to her attorney Hill will have it worked out before she’s due back in court on May 6th. “I fully expect that by May 3, Ms. Hill will be able to pay back all the restitution she has,” said her attorney Nathan Hochman.
Looks like Lauryn dodged a bullet then. Let’s just hope she comes through as promised, with all her kids and a new record deal with Sony, she’s got better things to do than to sit in jail. Take heed folks, simply put, if you owe you better pay.
Rick Ross apparently issued his apology a little too late.
TMZ reports that the Miami-rapper will possibly lose millions with his endorsement deal with Reebok. Due to the breach of contract, his loses is estimated to be worth $3.5 to $5 million. In fact, Ross received a payment every time he wore the sneakers. Now, he will no longer receive those checks. This has to be a big blow to Ross’ pockets.
All of this, however, is the result of Ross’s lyrics on Rocko’s “U.O.E.N.O.” song. Because the rap suggests date rape, women’s rights group expressed their disgust in the media and to the Reebok corporation. The public pressure must’ve been too much for Reebok. Therefore, the release of Ross was the only next step. Ross waited weeks before he issued an apology to Reebok and the women he may have offended. Some believe not only was his apology lacked sincerity, but also, Ross’ crisis management team dropped the ball by waiting too long to release it.
Should Reebok forgive Rick Ross?
Ross believes his influence in the hip hop community helped spark a new life in the classic brand. This is true. For years, Reebok wasn’t on the top of the list of most sought after sneakers in the young urban community. Nike and its Air Jordans has remained the top seller in this demographic. So, Reebok’s strategy to retain a popular artist(s) to help with their rebranding efforts is why Ross inked a deal with them. You have to wonder if anyone at the company ever listened to Ross’s music. He isn’t a squeaky clean “Will Smith” type of rapper. If acceptance of Ross’s lyrics (based on “freedom of speech”) caused Reebok to grant him the endorsement in the first place, why isn’t that being considered now?
Corporations take a huge risk when issuing endorsement deals to rappers. Heck, it’s a risk with any celebrity nowadays. With rappers, however, they express themselves through story telling and clever rhymes. They talk about their own experiences or imaginary situations. Rick Ross has always been a good storyteller. So, no he probably didn’t meant anything by it. Ross’s lyrics were relevant to the times. Therefore, the reference of the popular drug, Molly, was made.
Date rape is a possible after effect when taking the drug. This is truth. Ross was merely telling the truth, not glorifying it. At what point should society stop taking another persons artistic expression so seriously? Before you know it, a 50 minute album will slim down to 15 minutes. Artists will no longer be able to record full songs for fear of backlash over something they said.
Well, Reebok had the last word in this case. After Ross issued his apology, Reebok released the following statement…
“We are very disappointed he has yet to display an understanding of the seriousness of this issue or an appropriate level of remorse.”
So they aren’t buying it.
Do you think these lyrics warranted his dismissal? Let us know what you think.
For many job seekers, the process of revamping their outdated resume to send to recruiters is becoming redundant. Especially, if the number of good leads are few and far between. Job sites like Monster, Indeed, Career Builder, and LinkedIn can be a bit overwhelming. Also, the ability to successfully attract recruiters is becoming harder. With many Americans being unemployed and comparable in job experience, it is difficult to stand out. So, some companies and job seekers are now using Twitter to attract jobs and the perfect candidate.
According to an article on the Wall Street Journal website, Twitter is the latest social media tool being used to job hunt. Twitter has over 200 million users. Recruiters understand Twitter’s potential and ability to immediately find candidates who fit the job requirements. Even with only 140 characters allowed, it is possible to post the job and/or a users work history.
If you are in the process of searching for employment, you may want to try Twitter. Here are a few useful tips to help you on your way:
Tips for a Twitter Job Search
- Follow companies – and if possible, individual hiring managers and employees — you’d like to work with.
- Re-tweet and converse with hiring managers and employees at companies of interest. If you’re currently employed, you can directly message employers once you have established a rapport.
- Use your profile to indicate you’re looking for a job. Nothing says social-media novice more than a Twitter account with the default picture, but make sure your photo shows you in a professional, positive light.
- Don’t shy away from personal tweets or humor, as hiring managers want to know what you’d be like among colleagues. But keep posts clean.
- Don’t be offended if a hiring manager doesn’t respond to your posting. Many people dip in and out of Twitter and don’t read it religiously.
- Create a 140-character resume, a concise summary describing your skills, what you’re interested in and how a recruiter could find out more. Also consider creating a Vine video, a six-second video highlighting your skills
The city of Boston suffered a great deal after two bombs exploded injuring 170 people and killing three. At what was supposed to be a cheerful occasion, a deadly attack on marathoners instantly turned joy into horrific terror. The explosions left a gruesome scene in which most of the victims were hit with bb’s, nails, and other components used to make the pressure cooker bombs. Unfortunately, the bombs were able to hit a lot of people at one time causing major harm.
While watching more coverage of the bombings on CNN, a victim brought up a good point while speaking with a reporter. He explained that as a self-employed man the injuries that he’s suffered will prevent him from being able to work. This will be true for many of the victims. Blue collar workers who work with their hands or legs, if were severely affected by the attack, may have to take a extended leave of absence. Or in the case of the victim on CNN, he is self-employed so will have to completely stop working. If he is the bread winner for his household, it is going to be extremely difficult to sustain the current household bills and the incoming hospital costs.
Will the victims receive any financial help from state or federal government?
City officials in Boston announced the creation of the One Fund Boston. The fund is designed to be a central source for compensation for the victims. A Boston-based insurer has already donated $1 million to the fund. Although the fund is in place, there are no guidelines or qualifications set for those who want to file a claim. This could take weeks to finalize.
One concern with One Fund Boston is that will victims be able to still sue the city of Boston. After most incidents of this nature, the citizens oftentimes file lawsuits against the city or state. In this case, the firm that manages the One Fund Boston have yet to decide the claim specifications surrounding any payments that will be made to the victims who file.
The only alternatives at the moment will be for victims to rely on their retirement savings, insurance payouts, or family and friends.
Our thoughts and prayers goes out to the victims of this horrible tragedy. The hatred must cease. God bless us all.
Tracey Edmonds is one the most prominent female producers in television and film. As CEO of Edmonds Entertainment Group Inc, her projects have included Soul Food, Hav Plenty, Light It Up, Good Luck Chuck, Jumping the Broom, and various other films and television shows. With numerous awards and honors achieved for her many contributions to the entertainment and philanthropic arenas, Edmonds has secured her spot in production history.
Well, it seems as though, Ms. Edmonds is moving into the digital world with the creation of a new Youtube Channel. She recently sat down with Essence.com to discuss the new network (“Alright TV”) and what its content will contain.
ESSENCE.com: Congrats on the launch of Alright TV. What was your motivation in creating this channel?
Tracey Edmonds: A year and a half ago I started tweeting something inspirational every morning to keep people going. I got so many tweets back and had no idea how much it helped others. I realized people were really hungry to be uplifted and inspired. I had been working on a business plan for a cable network of inspirational programming and YouTube was the perfect partnership. We offer high entertainment value alongside a message, without beating people over the head.
ESSENCE.com: And you definitely are bringing the entertainment with Issa Rae and more on the network.
Tracey Edmonds: I love Issa Rae! We are doing a choir series with her to take a fun look at everything that happens in a church choir including relationships and choir competitions. Ever Sunday we also live stream church services from Bishop T.D. Jakes and many others. This network is more modern and progressive than traditional gospel networks. We may surprise people. We have a dating web series for singles. Ms. Right stars DeRay Davis and pokes fun at the prototypes men deal with when dating. Mr. Right features Kali Hawk, as a woman searching for love. Our message is whatever you are going through, you are not alone. If you haven’t met Mr. Right yet, that’s ok. Stay optimistic because one day you will.
Despite her hectic schedule, Edmonds is able to balance work and personal time all while being in the spotlight. This is evident through her past marriages to Babyface and Eddie Murphy. Now, her personal life is in the forefront of the media, again, due to her association with former NFL star Deion Sanders. The two are now a couple. Some wonder if Sanders’ career in television helped spawn Edmonds interest in the sports legend. Edmonds must see his on-film star quality because he’ll be involved with a new show project titled “Sports Dad.”
ESSENCE.com: We also see Deion Sanders, who you are dating, has a few shows on your network. How is it working with him and also being in a relationship?
Tracey Edmonds: He’s been wonderful. He’s one of the most positive people I know. On the network, Deion hosts Sports Dad where he comes to the rescue of sports-obsessed dads who are pushing their kids too hard. He’s also doing an inspirational blog. I met Deion through business and had a chance to see the wonderful man he is.
Congratulations to Tracey Edmonds and Deion Sanders on their new endeavours!
Photo Spotted: Necolebitchie.com
Good Deed: Ne-Yo’s Fiance Monyetta Shaw Instills Life Lessons In New Childrens Book ‘The Adventures of Maddie’
Monyetta Shaw, the fiancé of singer/songwriter Ne-Yo, recently released her first childrens book. The Adventures of Maddie is a book inspired by her daughter Maddie and the lessons she’s learned as a mother of two.
The book, published under her Evan Grace Publishing imprint, is one of several endeavours Ms. Shaw is embarking upon through the formation of her new company, The Evan Grace Group. Although the book is centered around an African-American child, The Adventures of Maddie is catered to all races. This is quite unique in that you don’t hear of many African-American based books for young kids. In addition, the contents in the book centers around values, life lessons, morals, and Maddie’s own daily adventures as a young 6 year old. This is also great and a valuable stepping stone to help mothers positively assist in the development of their kids.
The book is the first of a series that will follow Maddie as she embarks on life as a little girl growing up. If you are interested in purchasing a copy, The Adventures of Maddie can be purchased on Amazon for $11.95 (paperback).
The newest member of Future’s Freebandz label died yesterday after a shooting incident in Atlanta. OG Double (or OG Double D aka Freebandz Swag Chief) was a rapper that was coming up in the ranks on the underground rap scene in Atlanta. The unfortunate incident happened on Atlanta’s I-20 highway right before the afternoon rush hour.
According to news reports, OGD was traveling westbound on I-20 when his black Maybach Mercedes vehicle was riddled with bullets (which left several shots to the victim body and head). An officer noticed the vehicle drifting on the side of the road, near the Glenwood Rd exit, and immediately tried to assist the victim. All of the doors to the luxury vehicle were locked. The officer broke a back window and called Paramedics, whom quickly transported OGD to Grady Hospital. Later Thursday evening he was pronounced dead.
Several pictures on his Instagram page (@1freebanddouble) suggests that he lived a good life (i.e. driving luxury vehicles, flashy jewelry, designer clothes, holding stacks of cash, etc). In some pics, the Memphis (or Miami-based…no confirmation yet as to where he’s actually from) rapper can be seen on video shoots with Rick Ross, Young Scooter, and his boss Future. Friends, family, and music associates noted that he was “good dude” always quick to lend a helping hand.
The investigation into his untimely death is currently pending. We’ll keep you posted as more information surfaces.
Check out footage of OG Double D’s BTS of “Preach2Them” single:
It seems like seizures aren’t the only problems constantly surfacing in Lil Wayne’s life.
According to reports, a Miami-based attorney recently was awarded a $1.2 million judgment against the YMCMB CEO. The monies awarded are to pay for the legal fees acquired by attorney David Goldstein. Goldstein represented plaintiffs who claimed that Lil Wayne didn’t properly execute a contract in place. The lawsuit was brought forth in Los Angeles and thus the original judgment of $2.2 million was awarded there. But, in a recent twist of events, Goldstein is now seeking that the judgment be moved to Miami, Florida.
Apparently, Lil Wayne or his company hasn’t paid any of the $3.4 million judgment. So, Goldstein is petitioning to have the suit domesticated to Miami-Dade county so that Weezy’s personal assets can be seized until full payment is made.
Goldstein has his sights on Lil Wayne’s sprawling $11.6 million mansion in the private community of La Gorce Island. In addition to rapper’s home, Goldstein also wants to seize the black Bugatti Veyron Wayne owns. Damn!
SMH…we’ll keep you posted as this story develops.
Are dreaming of becoming the world’s next groundbreaking singer? Interesting in becoming a celebrity stylist? What about a career in acting? Or maybe you aspire to be a publicist?
No matter what arena you choose, if you’re interested in a career in the entertainment industry, know upfront that the talent or skills you possess are not all you need. In order to maximize your potential you must possess thorough knowledge about what you’re doing and the full scope of the process. So before you jump out there head and/or heart first, take heed of the tips below to make sure you cover your basis.
Define Your Goal
After deciding exactly what it is you truly want to do whether it’s too, sing, act, direct, or model be sure to clearly define your goal. From there you can develop a sound strategy.
Know what tools are at your disposal and figure out how to implement them into your strategy. Gain a clear understanding of the skills required to establish your career and familiarize yourself with every aspect of the business.
Understand How the Money Works
Beyond what you’ll need to invest out of your own pocket to nurture your career and before you do so; make it a priority to understand every financial aspect of the business you’re getting in. Make it your business to learn how the money works and flows from expenses to royalties and advances just to name a few. Gaining this knowledge will help you plan the best strategy for advancing your career and maximizing your income.
Build a Team
While your talent, desire, and level of motivation make stand in a lane all its own, some things just can’t be done alone. So figure out who you’ll need on your team be it a manager, lawyer, and/or publicist and in exactly what capacity you’ll need them. Be mindful of any expenses this may incur.
Network. Network. Network.
Enlarge your territory! Increase your connections. Come up with a strategy that will productively expand both your business and social circles.
Now that we’ve given you the basic fundamental to jumpstarting your career in the entertainment industry, get busy fine tuning an effective strategy tailored to your individual goal. From there you can get on to the business of striving for success.
Did you know that April is Financial Literacy Month? Well, it is. In effort to promote financial literacy, several companies are lending a helping hand by offering free information and tools to the public.
T.D. Ameritrade, for instance, is offering free access to educational tools, research topics, and webinars via their online education center. To help investors better grasp the idea and need to reorganize how they save and invest money, the brokerage firm introduced a four-step idealogy called F.A.M.E. These steps are as follows:
Step 1 – Framing – The lenses with which you view your goals can have a profound effect on how you save for retirement. If you focus on being behind on your savings goals it’s easy to feel defeated. Instead of thinking “I have a 30% chance of not reaching my savings goals,” think, “I have a 70% chance of reaching my goals.” It’s the same mathematically, but it’s all in how you look at it.
Step 2 – Action – Take action. Don’t get paralyzed or overwhelmed by the end goal of whay you must do. And, instead of focusing on what you can’t control – budget cuts, the fiscal cliff, social security – focus on the positives and what you can do. Remember that the first step is often the hardest. Don’t think “I will never be able to accumulate $2 million dollars by the time I retire.” Say ” I CAN commit to setting aside $100 a month.” Every dollar towards your future will be money you will have in retirement.
Step 3 – Motivate yourself and set realistic goals. Create small, measurable goals and focus on what is within your control. You may only be able to set aside $50 a month. Start there and increase the amount when you are able. At the end of the year, you’ll be $600 closer to your goal. Once you reach your milestones make sure you reward yourself along the way.
Step 4 – Emotion – Understand the way your mind absorbs facts and makes decisions. Are you more of an intuitive decision maker who makes decisions with great ease and goes with their “gut”? Or are you a more reflective and analytical decision maker? When it comes to saving, both ways work, but it’s important to know how you make those calls so that if there are market fluctuations you are making decisions based on fact, not emotion.
The F.A.M.E. steps and more free education can be found at www.tdameritrade.com/education.page.
For years now, BET television programs haven’t done the best when it comes to competing with the other cable channels (i.e. VH1, MTV, Bravo, etc). The “reality tv” craze is one area that the other stations have successfully capitalized off of. While, viewership has grown because of reality television and other types of programming, BET is now preparing to step up their game.
At their recent Upfront presentation, in Los Angeles, BET announced several new shows and past programs that are being revamped. Several of the actors and actresses came out to the Montage Beverly Hills in support of the network and also to give that added appeal to the potential advertisers that were in attendance. Celebrities present at the event were Regina Hall, Kevin Hart, Laura London, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Duane Martin, Tony Rock, Richard Roundtree, Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, and a host of other celebrities and BET Network executives.
With the new and revamped shows set to launch on BET, Loretha Jones, Pres. of Original Programming, insists that the network will be the top contender when it comes to the overall “connection” between African-American viewing audience and television programs. To kick off their list of new programs airing during the fourth quarter of 2013, shows will include:
T.D. Jakes: Mind, Body, & Soul – BET brings better talk with spiritual leader, educator and humanitarian Bishop T.D. Jakes as host of a brand new talk show. Covering a wide range of topics including health and wellness, finance and relationships, Bishop Jakes unearths deeper conversations and insight on the topics that matter count on Bishop T.D. Jakes to take talk to another level every Sunday. Executive Producer: Marilyn H. Gill.
Comic View (Revamped) – Some of our biggest names in comedy got their big break on the COMIC VIEW stage. The beloved original comedy series is back, reimagined for a new season on BET. Showcasing the best and brightest in stand-up, COMIC VIEW takes funny to a new level in 2014. Executive Producer: James Dubose.
In early 2014, BET is set to premier the following shows starring Gabrielle Union and the Burns family.
Being Mary Jane – From the producers of the award-winning, record breaking BET comedy THE GAME, GIRLFRIENDS and box-office hits JUMPING THE BROOM and SPARKLE comes an original series starring the gorgeous and talented Gabrielle Union. The series is a follow up to the release of the BEING MARY JANE movie of the week slated to launch on BET this summer. BEING MARY JANE is a story to which millions of modern women will both relate and respond. Mary Jane Paul is a one-woman-show: a successful TV news anchor, and an entirely self-sufficient powerhouse who remains devoted to a family that doesn’t share her motivation. Intense drama and unforgettable moments unfold as Mary Jane juggles her life, her relationships, her work, and commitments to her family. Starring: Gabrielle Union, Omari Hardwick, Lisa Vidal, Richard Roundtree, Richard Brooks, Aaron D. Spears and Margaret Avery. Executive Producers: Mara Brock Akil (also Creator) and Salim Akil.
Burns BBQ – Being a small business doesn’t mean thinking small. This new unscripted reality series takes viewers into the daily operation of a long-standing family barbecue business changing hands from one generation to the next. But do the young self-involved entrepreneurs have what it takes to carry the torch and the family legacy? Production Co: A. Smith and Co. Productions.
The normal day-to-day programming and yearly specials will continue to air on BET (i.e. 106 & Park, Bobby Jones Gospel, The Game, Apollo Live, Real Husbands of Hollywood, Sundays Best, The Sheards, BET Awards, BET Hip Hop Awards, Black Girls Rock!, etc).
Question: What are your thoughts on the new BET line-up? Do you think these programs will help BET maintain the lead in black programming?
Undeniably a lover of sports, Jay-Z announced the expansion of his Roc Nation imprint to begin servicing athletes with management. The inevitable expansion into the management side of sports should have been evident to many due to Jay-Z’s team ownership and creation of the Barclay sports arena. In addition, his love for the city of New York is nonchanging in that Roc Nation’s first client plays for the New York Yankees baseball franchise.
The second baseman, Robinson Cano, signed on with Roc Nation after leaving his current agent Scott Boras. The soon-to-be free agent says he is confident that Roc Nation and CAA Sports (which Roc Nation is partnering with) will see that his short and longterm goals are met.
As mentioned, this next venture into sports management wasn’t so far fetched for Jay-Z. “Because of my love of sports, it was a natural progression to form a company where we can help top athletes in various sports the same way we have been helping artists in the music industry for years,” Carter said.
Currently, the 30 year old Cano will earn approx. $30 million in 2013.
Forbes has released their list of the wealthiest hip-hop artists of 2013 and it’s no surprise as to whose at the top of the list.
Claiming this year’s number 1 spot is none other than music mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs. Diddy has been going strong building his brand since the late 1990s and has managed to secure a net worth of $580 million. Even though he blazed his path through music, his other ventures such as his Sean Jean Apparel Collection and not to mention his millions of dollars deal with Ciroc, have played a major role in his financial success.
Trailing Diddy to take the number 2 spot is Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter with a net worth of $475 million. With stakes in Roc Nation, Carol’s Daughter, the Barclays Center to include the Brooklyn Nets in addition to his dealings with companies like Duracell and Budweiser, Jay-Z doesn’t seem to be slowing his paper chase down anytime soon.
Coming in third with $350 million, is the legendary Andre “Dr. Dre” Young. While his success with producing music speaks for itself, his Beats by Dr. Dre venture has a monetary voice of its own.
Cash Money’s Bryan “Birdman” Williams takes the number 4 spot with his $150 million empire. With some of today’s hottest rappers under his belt like Lil Wayne, Drake and Nicki Minaj among other business ventures, Birdman’s value is sure to stay on the rise.
Closing out the list, is Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson with a cool $125 million. Along with his musical success, his ventures with SMS Audio and SK Energy, the G-Unit boss also hit a big lick with his Vitamin Water business endeavors. It’ll be interesting to see what he has up his sleeve next.
Congratulations fellas! You got to respect their grind!
Learning how to read a stock table or ticker is fairly easy. Check out these descriptions and use them as a guideline when reading your daily newspaper or stock purchases via the internet.
Column 52-Week High and Low – These are the highest and lowest prices at which a stock has traded over the previous 52 weeks (one year). This typically does not include the previous day’s trading.
Column Company Name & Type of Stock – This column lists the name of the company. If there are no special symbols or letters following the name, it is common stock. Different symbols imply different classes of shares. For example, “pf” means the shares are preferred stock.
Column Ticker Symbol – This is the unique alphabetic name which identifies the stock. If you watch financial TV, you have seen the ticker tape move across the screen, quoting the latest prices alongside this symbol. If you are looking for stock quotes online, you always search for a company by the ticker symbol. If you don’t know what a particular company’s ticker is you can search for it at: http://finance.yahoo.com/l.
Column Dividend Per Share – This indicates the annual dividend payment per share. If this space is blank, the company does not currently pay out dividends.
Column Dividend Yield – The percentage return on the dividend. Calculated as annual dividends per share divided by price per share.
Column Price/Earnings Ratio – This is calculated by dividing the current stock price by earnings per share from the last four quarters. For more detail on how to interpret this, see our P/E Ratio tutorial.
Column Trading Volume – This figure shows the total number of shares traded for the day, listed in hundreds. To get the actual number traded, add “00″ to the end of the number listed.
Column Day High and Low – This indicates the price range at which the stock has traded at throughout the day. In other words, these are the maximum and the minimum prices that people have paid for the stock.
Column Close – The close is the last trading price recorded when the market closed on the day. If the closing price is up or down more than 5% than the previous day’s close, the entire listing for that stock is bold-faced. Keep in mind, you are not guaranteed to get this price if you buy the stock the next day because the price is constantly changing (even after the exchange is closed for the day). The close is merely an indicator of past performance and except in extreme circumstances serves as a ballpark of what you should expect to pay.
Column Net Change – This is the dollar value change in the stock price from the previous day’s closing price. When you hear about a stock being “up for the day,” it means the net change was positive.
Quotes on the Internet…
Nowadays, it’s far more convenient for most to get stock quotes off the Internet. This method is superior because most sites update throughout the day and give you more information, news, charting, research, etc.
Disclaimer: This article was originally posted in 2009, but via a different platform. Hopefully, this is found informational to those who didn’t read the original post.