Nicki Minaj Funds Village in India to Create Access to Clean Water, Computer Center And More

CREDIT: Getty Images

by Latifah Muhammad via vibe.com

Nicki Minaj is quite the giver.  A week after paying off college loans and tuition for some of her fans, Minaj revealed more of her philanthropic efforts, via social media. Apparently, the Queens native has been quietly sending money to an impoverished village in India for the last couple of years. And her kindness is already paying off.

Thanks to the “No Frauds” rapper’s generosity, villagers now have access to a computer center, a reading program, two water wells, and more.“This is the kind of thing that makes me feel the most proud,” Minaj wrote on Instagram Saturday (May 20).“The money I’ve sent to this village in India for the last couple years [via my Pastor Lydia Sloley], has gotten them a computer center, a tailoring institute, a reading program and two water wells.“

“We complain about the most ridiculous little things when some [people] don’t even have clean water,” she continued. “Blessings to India. Our work is far from done.”Minaj added that she’ll be dropping more details about her charity work in the “near future,” in case fans want to get involved.

To read more, go to: Here’s Why Nicki Minaj Sends Money To A Village In India

Gospel Legend Shirley Caesar’s Viral #UNameItChallenge Leads to New Fame, More Charity

Shirley Caesar (photo via defendernetwork.com)

Shirley Caesar (photo via defendernetwork.com)

article by Bil Carpenter via blackenterprise.com

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of DJ Suede, also known as “the Remix God,” sent him a video clip of traditional gospel music legend Pastor Shirley Caesar’s 2007 remake of her 1988 classic “Hold My Mule.” Suede, an Atlanta-based mixer with an Instagram following of almost 100K,  has said that he’ll remix anything. Since his mom was also a big fan of the 11 time Grammy Award-winning artist, he just remixed the song for fun, posting it online with the tag, “Grandma, what are you cooking for Thanksgiving?”

That intoxicating hip-hop music mashup has now become the viral success story of the season. It was even referenced during this year’s American Music Awards telecast, and pushed “Hold My Mule,” a song recorded long before Billboard started compiling gospel song charts, into the No. 1 spot on this week’s Gospel Streaming Songs chart, thanks to over 800,000 streams within the last week. It’s the song’s first time on any national chart.

In the original song, Caesar tells the story of an 86-year-old man named Shouting John, who joined a church that didn’t believe in dancing and speaking in tongues. John was kicked put out of the church for shouting too loudly during the sermon.

He countered his ouster with a testimony that God had blessed him as a farmer.”Look!” he shouted. “I got beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes, lambs, rams, hogs, dogs, chickens, turkeys, rabbits … you name it!” (See the 5:45 mark in the YouTube video above.) That line became the foundation for Suede’s “You Name It! ” remix.

“It was just a song,” Suede told Big Tigger, on Atlanta’s V103 radio station. Then, on November 13, R&B star Chris Brown reposted the song with his signature choreography with the hastag #UNameItChallenge on his Instagram page. It has since racked up over 2.3 million views on Brown’s page, motivating thousands of people to share it and to answer the challenge with their own video dance responses.

Initially, some observers wondered if the 78-year-old Caesar, who was a hardliner in her younger days about the separation of gospel and mainstream music, would object to the viral video. However, she’s in nearly full support of this new incarnation of it. Continue reading

Hip-Hop Legends Eric B. & Rakim to Reunite for 2017 Tour, Album Reissues

Eric B. & Rakim will reunite for the first time in 24 years when the legendary hip-hop duo embark on a 2017 tour. (Waring Abbott/Michael Ochs Archives)

Eric B. & Rakim will reunite for the first time in 24 years when the legendary hip-hop duo embark on a 2017 tour, Eric B.’s representative, Louis “Uncle Louie” Gregory, confirmed to Rolling Stone Saturday. “Back by popular demand,” Eric B. adds.

In addition to the tour, Gregory says the duo will look to remaster all four of their albums alongside filming new videos for classic tracks like “I Ain’t No Joke” and “Paid in Full.” While there are currently no plans to record new material, Gregory says the legendary group is taking it one step at a time.

“All too often we embrace our icons only after it’s too late,” Gregory tells Rolling Stone. “By having such an important group come together now, it’s an opportunity for parents and their kids to go to a show together and see music that created the foundation for what many of today’s artists were built upon.”

The genesis of the reunion began in July when Eric B. attended Rakim’s headlining benefit set for the Universal Hip Hop Museum in Newark, New Jersey. It was the first time the duo was in the same place for years. “They just started talking and organically reconnecting over time and realizing that they needed to do this,” Gregory says.

The surprise announcement seeped out earlier this week when the verified Eric B. & Rakim Twitter teased, “It’s official. You heard it here first. We are back.”

On Saturday morning, the Twitter feed brought news of the reunion tour, with the duo tweeting “Preparations are under way for #EricBandRakim’s return. It’s been a long time…” and asking where the Eric B. & Rakim tour should “jump off”; New York, Las Vegas, London and Australia were the options provided.

Gregory said that the current plan is a worldwide tour to start next year. He admits it’s too early to ascertain venue sizes, but the duo are looking into playing select festivals as part of the tour.

Eric B. & Rakim recorded four classic albums together – including their influential 1987 LP Paid in Full and its 1988 follow-up Follow the Leader – before splitting up in 1993. Rakim, who inspired an entire generation of rappers, including Nas and Jay Z, embarked on a solo career without reconnecting with his former DJ and partner.

To read full article, go to: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/eric-b-rakim-to-reunite-for-2017-tour-album-reissues-w446291

Additional reporting by Jason Newman

VH1 Taps Ashanti, Keke Palmer, Amber Rose & More for Salt-N-Pepa Tribute Tonight on “Hip Hop Honors”

Sandra ‘Pepa’ Denton, DJ Spinderella and Cheryl ‘Salt’ James of Salt-N-Pepa attend the 2016 MTV Movie Awards at Warner Bros. Studios on April 9, 2016 in Burbank, Calif. (CHRISTOPHER POLK/GETTY IMAGES FOR MTV)

article by Adelle Platon via billboard.com

VH1 is pushing out another stellar tribute for Salt-N-Pepa at this year’s Hip Hop Honors. The network announced on Friday (July 8) that Ashanti, Amber RoseKeke Palmer and Dreezy will be paying homage to the first all-female rap crew, comprised of Cheryl “Salt” JamesSandy “Pepa” Denton and DJ Spinderella.

The ladies will be shaking their thang (SNP pun intended) alongside other surprise guests for the evening’s tributes to fellow honorees Missy Elliott, Queen Latifah and Lil’ Kim. As previously announced, Pharrell, Timbaland and Nelly Furtado among others will salute Elliot while Common, Da Brat, Naughty By Nature and more will be on-hand to hail Queen Latifah.

Pharrell, Timbaland, Nelly Furtado & More to Honor Missy Elliott at VH1 Hip Hop Honors

VH1 Hip Hop Honors will land at New York’s David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center tonight, July 11, making its comeback after six years.

Kendrick Lamar Pays Homage To N.W.A At Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Event

Friday night (Apr. 8) was an evening to remember for the members of N.W.A.

Source: Kendrick Lamar Pays Homage To N.W.A At Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Event

A Tribe Called Quest Invites Fans to Phife Dawg Memorial in Queens on April 4

article by Shenequa Golding via vibe.com

While hip-hop still comes to terms with the death of Malik “Phife Dawg” Taylor, surviving members from A Tribe Called Quest announced Sunday (April 3) a memorial would be held in honor of their late lyrical brother.

 READ: A Tribe Called Quest Pens Touching Statement In Wake Of Phife Dawg’s Passing

“Please meet us at St. Albans Park in Queens, NY on April 4th at 10:30am,” Organizers wrote. “The first 200 fans to arrive will receive something very special!”

As Q-Tip famously once said “Back in the day on the boulevard of Linden” both Tip and Phife Dawg grew up in the St. Albans neighborhood of Queens. Since Phife’s death on March 22nd, fans of the funky diabetic have made efforts to rename a street and park where he along with Q-Tip would often go and freestyle.

If you’re planning to attend, please arrive early because all of Queens and hip-hop will be sure to show love to the Five Footer.

Salt-N-Pepa to Headline I Love the ’90s Tour feat. Kid N’ Play, Coolio & Others

Salt-N-Pepa I Love the '90s

Salt-N-Pepa I Love the ’90s (MADISON MCGAW/BFA/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK)

article by Maria Cavassuto via Variety.com

Salt-N-Pepa, Coolio, Kid N’ Play and Vanilla Ice, along with other popular ’90s staples, are joining the I Love the ’90s tour. The tour has already had several sold-out shows this spring. It will be kick into full gear April 15 in Greenville, S.C., and will last through October.

Cheryl “Salt” James told USA Today that the whole experience and the fan reactions have been “surprisingly amazing.”

“It feels like you’re taking people back to a time in their lives that they really enjoyed. It’s just one big ’90s party,” she said.

However, she says Salt-N-Pepa’s performance style has changed since they first started. It’s no longer about entertaining the crowd, but rather having a good time.

“We just have fun with the crowd and the crowd has fun with us,” James said.

See the full tour dates below:

April 15 – Greenville, SC – Bon Secour Wellness Arena
April 16 – Tupelo, MS – BancorpSouth Arena
April 22 – Woodlands, TX – Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
April 29 – Mashantucket, CT – Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
May 12 – Bloomington, IL – US Cellular Coliseum
May 13 – Columbia, SC – Colonial Life Arena
May 14 – Baltimore, MD – Royal Farms Arena
May 20 – Tuscaloosa, AL – Tuscaloosa Amphitheater
May 21 – St. Augustine, FL – St. Augustine Amphitheatre
May 27 – Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena
May 28 – Las Vegas, NV – Mandalay Bay Beach at Mandalay Bay Resort
June 3 – Bonner Springs, KS – Providence Medical Center Amphitheater
June 4 – Louisville, KY – KFC Yum! Center
June 10 – Phoenix, AZ – Talking Stick Resort Arena
June 11- Grand Prairie, TX – Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie
June 29 – Kettering, OH – Fraze Pavilion
June 30 – Cleveland, OH – I-X Center
July 1 – Englewood, CO – Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre
July 15 – Fayetteville, NC – Crown Coliseum
July 16 – Alpharetta, GA – Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park
July 23 – Jackson, CA – Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort
Aug. 6 – Camden, NJ – BB&T Pavilion
Aug. 12 – West Allis, WI – Wisconsin State Fair
Aug. 13 – Indianapolis, IN – Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park
Aug. 19 – Clarkston, MI – DTE Energy Music Theatre
Aug. 20 – Toledo, OH – John F. Savage Arena
Aug. 27 – Redmond, WA – Marymoor Park
Oct. 20 – Salem, VA – Salem Civic Center