May 15, 2014
By Chelsea Lenora White
Special to the NNPA from the Houston Forward-Times
After almost a decade with Def Jam, our Barbadian rebel, Rihanna has reportedly decided to part ways with the record label. RiRi has of course thought this entire decision out and has already inked a new deal with Jay Z’s Roc Nation label. Although she was not signed to Roc Nation (record label home to J. Cole and Rita Ora to name a few), Rihanna has been managed by the label for the duration of her career.
Despite rumors, there is no bad blood between Def Jam and RiRi; and there should not be. Rihanna released SEVEN majorly successful and lucrative albums for the label! So we are sure that she has done more than fulfill her quota at the label.
With her latest career move, Rihanna has proven once again that she takes notes from her mentor, Jay Z. Last month, Jay partnered Roc Nation with one of music’s largest corporations, Universal Music Group.
Don’t expect to see Rihanna celebrating with her new label mates on her infamous Instagram page, though, as it has been deactivated! We’re not sure if the pop star decided to deactivate it herself, or the risqué topless photos from her LUI Magazine shoot violated Instagram’s terms and caused the app to deactivate her page altogether. Either way, we’re excited to hear some new music from RiRi with her new home team!
May 08, 2014
By Terri Schlichenmeyer
Special to the NNPA from The Washington Informer
They should have called you Super Fly.
Yep, that’s what you were, dancing in front of your TV every Saturday, spinning on the carpet and waving your arms around until you got yelled at for “going [to] break something.” But you were the flyest of fly. The only thing you were going to bust was a move, just like on Soul Train. And in “The Hippest Trip in America” by Nelson George, you’ll read about the iconic TV program that you never, ever missed.
Everyone knew that Don Cornelius had “ambition”: he was a car salesman, policeman, and insurance agent before his “foghorn voice” led him to radio in 1966. He made the transition to TV two years later, and he soon realized there was a need for a “black” TV show. He presented the idea, then he found major corporate sponsorship, and on October 2, 1971, Soul Train appeared locally in Chicago.
The show was “’overnight hot’” but Cornelius knew there was more to this idea. With another sponsor on-board for a nationwide launch, Cornelius pitched the show to the networks, but they turned it down. He decided to syndicate Soul Train and moved the show to Los Angeles.
Though the music was always the focus of Soul Train, Cornelius knew that the dancers (in particular, those in the Soul Train line) were what brought viewers back.
In Los Angeles, scouts kept their eyes open for promising teens who could dance, often mining prospects from three main area clubs. Dancers performed for free but the real appeal of being a Soul Train dancer was fame and the opportunity for a career in show biz. It seemed as though every regular viewer wanted to be a Soul Train regular, too.
But as much as Cornelius controlled his show (and, to a certain extent, his dancers), he couldn’t control what happened, culturally. Early-90s fashions confounded him, music videos concerned him, and gangsta rap made him uncomfortable. And so, though the show would continue for another 13 years, Cornelius announced in 1993 that he’d step down as Soul Train host – a move that arguably meant “the show was over.”
From its first pages and throughout, the word “joy” crops up often in “The Hippest Trip in America,” and for good reason: it was everywhere in the show and even more in this book.
I took great joy, in fact, in seeing how author Nelson George sent me to the Internet. His descriptions of what happened through the years on Soul Train made me want to see, too, and there are plenty of clips online. I also liked the interviews with former dancers and the cultural frame-of-reference included here, and the history of the show – along with little-known tidbits – made this a great (and surprisingly fast-paced) read filled with reminiscing, “love, peace, and soul.”
Get out your bell bottom pants and your best dancin’ shoes, have a good Internet connection, and get ready. For you, “The Hippest Trip in America” is a book you’ll want to bust out and find.
By Jimmie Davis, Jr.
Special to the NNPA from the Miami Times
Upcoming hip-hop artists may find it challenging to get a DJ to play their songs or a mainstream media critic to review their music, but if they belong to Core DJs World Wide, they have nothing to worry about.
Recently, leaders of the group representing more than 500 of the nation’s most influential DJs, met with National Newspaper Publishers Association Chairman Cloves Campbell and a partnership was established that will give them access to approximately 200 Black newspapers. In turn, NNPA will have a strong connection with a new generation of readers.
“We want to merge the hip hop community with the Black media,” Tony Neal, CEO and founder of Core DJs World Wide said in an exclusive interview with the Miami Times. “Now we have two well-defined voices reaching the people.”
Core DJs World Wide instructs young executives on how to polish their talent and business skills. That was done during a 3-day that ended Monday at the Sheraton Four Points Hotel on South Beach amid celebrating the group’s 10-year anniversary.
A third – and perhaps most important – factor was Jineea Butler, president of Hip Hop Union. She was responsible for forming the union between Hip Hop Union, Core DJs World Wide and the NNPA.
“There was no type of conversation taking place between the Black Press and the hip hop community,” Butler said. “We have to support one another.”
In addition to creating the unique alliance, Butler is a columnist for the NNPA News Service, reaching nearly 19 million readers.
Whether you’re a DJ, singer, rapper or model – Core DJs is the team to belong to, because as the premier coalition of DJs, they have the inside track on the goings and comings of the industry.
Getting air play is the number one concern for rappers and R&B singers, and Neal has made this course of action relatively simple for his members. Throughout the conference, artists had opportunities to network and establish a rapport with DJ’s and producers.
Once the DJ’s listens to the music – the artist’s stands a better a chance of getting their music played in clubs and on the radio.
“I’m trying to push my entertainment career to the next level,” said Rapper Pedro “Bizz” Juan Julio, who travelled from Topeka, Kansas to attend the conference. “I want to sign with a label, so I can feed my family.” His debut CD is entitled “Count Me In”.
These days it takes more than charisma to get noticed by a DJ. Musicians have to promote their strengths through establishing what’s called a “brand.”
“Your brand is your image,” Bizz said. “It’s who you are.”
R&B singer and song writer Sincere Grant, based in Tulsa, Oklahoma performed his hot new single “Red Carpet Ready.” He has a very delightful CD that’s going to catch the eyes of a major record label. Don’t be surprised, because has a very productive future in the entertainment field.
There was also a “Wrap” Session moderated by George E. Curry, editor of the NNPA News Service and BlackPressUSA.com .
“The “Wrap” session was all about the role that the NNPA is going to play at bridging the gap between the hip hop community and the Black Press. “We are here to let the collective know that the Black Press is a means of communication that they need to take advantage of,” said Cloves C. Campbell, Jr., Chairman NNPA. “Our role as the Black Press is to give them positive exposure in the community they serve.”
Entertainer, Owner and CEO of Pack Rat Productions Sheryl Underwood is also a member of Core DJs World Wide and she says the gathering made a tremendous impact on the lives of individuals striving to get their foot in the door.
“I just love what I’m seeing here because there’s so much unity,” Underwood said. “This is how you select the next president.”
Neal, Butler and Campbell all agree that by utilizing the principles set forth during the civil rights era a movement has flourished where Core DJs Worldwide, the NNPA and Hip Hop Union is a powerful political unit.
“We have created a political interest group,” said Brooklyn Recording artist and Producer Jazo. “Musicians as well as members of the community will benefit from this partnership.”
May 08, 2014
Aries March 21 - April 19
Uncertainty about professional matters can lead to an increased determination to get ahead, Aries, despite confusion as to how to do it exactly. It might be wise to do some research, organize all your information, and use that to formulate a plan of action. The resulting advancement may be slow moving, but it's sure and steady. A wealth of experience that enriches your life should follow.
Taurus April 20 - May 20
The opportunity to travel, perhaps with friends or a group you belong to, could come your way today, Taurus. Discussions with others could lead to the confirmation of practical arrangements. You might also seek to advance your education, as your intellect is especially active now. Whatever new experiences come your way could lead to new paths, interests, and opportunities. Don't let doubts or fears get in your way.
Gemini May 21 - June 20
An increased focus, clarity of mind, and sense of concentration could lead to success in career matters and increased income, Gemini. Intuition can provide practical guidance to help you advance. A male friend might give you some good advice with regard to savings plans, investments, or a more efficient use of resources. This could be a fruitful day that opens new doors for you. Make the most of it!
Cancer June 21 - July 22
Invitations to attend social events, perhaps business related, could bring surprising results, Cancer. You might meet more than one person who shares some of your interests, and these people could become friends. Expect some interesting practical and philosophical discussions. An opportunity to travel abroad or to a distant state might open up for you. This could prove to be a most exciting and stimulating day. Make the most of it!
Leo July 23 - August 22
While you may not have been feeling quite your usual self over the past day or two, Leo, today you're likely to be feeling mentally and physically stronger and more focused. You could discuss new ideas for future projects, either personal or business, and formulate plans of action. Your financial future could be on your mind. This is the day to look into ways to ensure it. Enjoy your day
Virgo August 23 - September 22
A date with a significant other could bring up discussions about plans for the future, Virgo. Talk could run the gamut of all your concerns, from the practical to the artistic to business to philosophical matters. The overall impact of this might be that it brings the two of you closer together. You might decide to partner on some kind of creative project.
Libra September 23 - October 22
A number of visitors could come to your home today, Libra, and a number of fascinating subjects could come up in the course of your conversation. Some interesting ideas might come directly or indirectly from these discussions. You might want to put them to use formulating plans of action to make your future more fulfilling. Professional, financial, and spiritual opportunities could all open up for you. Go for it!
Scorpio October 23 - November 21
Some short trips in your neighborhood and contact with neighbors or visitors to your community could bring some interesting information your way, Scorpio. It gets you thinking about ways to improve your socioeconomic status and probably your professional standing. Spiritual and philosophical discussions could also take place. In addition, your insights can prove as valuable as any outside information. Trust your intuition and follow your heart.
Sagittarius November 22 - December 21
A talent for interior decoration that you may or may not have been aware of could inspire you to do some work on your home. You'll probably consider a lot of different options and make long lists of possibilities, Sagittarius. Discussions with friends and family members can bring new ideas to mind. You might want to take a chance and try something a little different. Go to it and have fun.
Capricorn December 22 - January 19
Spiritual and intellectual matters may be very much on your mind, Capricorn. A lot of ideas could have come your way, although until now they may not have been very focused. Today, however, your mind should be clear enough to write down your thoughts and read the works of others in order to gain more insight. The possibility of a short trip out of town could also arise. Enjoy your day.
Aquarius January 20 - February 18
Although your mind may have been a bit clouded over the past few days, today the fog should clear and you'll feel more focused. Money matters might need some attention, Aquarius, and you're in just the right space to dig in and take care of them. Once practical matters are settled, however, this is a great day for spiritual studies or meditation. Creative projects can also benefit from your increased concentration.
Pisces February 19 - March 20
Stimulation that you could receive today from group activities might open doors to a wealth of rich experiences, Pisces. Your innate organizing talents may be called upon. Discussions with others lead to a new understanding of social, spiritual, or political philosophies and expand your intellectual horizons. An increased ability to concentrate can lead to success with whatever you try to accomplish. Go for it!
May 01, 2014
Friendships and romantic bonds should provide a rich source of support and good companionship today, Aries. Conversation is likely to be light, covering general matters like current events and the weather, but this might be just what you need right now. Someone could introduce you to some new friends from far away who have some intriguing news of their own. This should prove a light, restful, and altogether very pleasant day. Enjoy!
Today you might find yourself hosting an impromptu social event, Taurus, and more people could show up than you initially counted on. Don't worry about it, however. The party should be enjoyable for everyone even if the place is a bit crowded. Your visitors can look out for themselves. Among the unexpected guests might be an attractive, interesting person who could shape up to be a potential love partner. Relax and enjoy your day.
A festival, rally, or other mass event could occur today in your community, Gemini. It could center on a social, ecological, or political issue. You could well decide to attend in the company of a romantic partner, and perhaps a group of friends, too. This event could prove exciting for you, although some of what you learn there might be unsettling. Take a notebook and plenty of pens. You'll want to keep a record.
Career matters should be going very well for you today, Cancer. A sudden change regarding your work could catapult you into a position you've been hoping to reach for a long time. A rise in income could result. You've worked hard and done very well, so what may seem a lucky break to others is actually the result of intense, determined effort on your part. Enjoy your success and make the most of it.
A sudden desire to expand your horizons could have you and possibly a romantic partner considering returning to school, Leo, perhaps for an advanced degree. The school you're considering, however, might be located in another state or even a foreign country. Following through with your desire could require some careful planning. As a result, you and your beloved may have some intense conversations over the next few days.
Some new ideas for expanding your horizons on some level could come to you today through an unexpected source, Virgo, possibly even dreams or visions. If an idea does come through a dream or flash of insight, don't write it off as crazy. It probably warrants some careful consideration, if nothing else. Some research is definitely called for, and possibly consulting with people in the know. Think about it!
Ideas for a new enterprise, which could be anything from a party to a vacation to a new business, could have you spending a lot of time on the phone today, Libra. You'll need to consult with people who know about what you want to do and at least lay the groundwork for making solid arrangements. Some of what you hear may be confusing, but don't be afraid to ask for an explanation. Go to it!
Have you been thinking about getting fit by investing in some exercise equipment? If so, Scorpio, this might be the day to actually go out and get it. Don't be surprised if friends, relatives, and neighbors all want to come over and try it out. Health and fitness are very much on your mind right now, so you might also want to pick up some books on whatever discipline interests you the most.
Your curiosity and creative energy may be stimulated today by information you receive from books, documentaries, or conversations with people familiar with the field you're exploring. As a result, Sagittarius, you could come up with an innovative new project that keeps you and some colleagues busy for a long time. But don't worry - this enterprise should be full of surprises and therefore anything but tedious. Go to it!
A female visitor could come to your door today with some interesting, useful information, Capricorn. It might involve anything from stock market trends to a forthcoming wedding to occult and metaphysical matters. Whatever it is, you'll find it captivating, and might just sit and listen to your guest for quite a while. By the time she leaves, your mind may well be spinning. Take a walk to clear your head or you'll be awake all night.
Today your relationships with just about everyone - friends, relatives, colleagues, and romantic partners - should be going very well, Aquarius. Your communication is good, and your ability to see the other person's point of view is clearer than usual. This might be a bit disconcerting, as it could conflict with your viewpoint, but bear in mind you don't have to agree with others to learn from them. Enjoy your day.
Relations with colleagues on the job could be very cooperative today, Pisces, probably because you're about to complete a project of some kind that could result in higher income for everyone. Communication should be open and honest, and for once you'll probably be able to reach everyone you phone without having to leave any messages. Go with the flow and all should be completed successfully. Onward and upward!
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