Tag: Queens

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

Queens Man Patrick Clarke Wins $5M in Lottery Scratchoff from Bodega

Lottery Winner Patrick Clarke (photo via thegrio.com)

article via thegrio.com

Patrick Clarke just won $5 million from the $10 Set for Life lottery scratch off. Clarke bought the winning ticket on December 20 at the Friendly Deli & Grocery on Saratoga Ave. in Brooklyn. “It feels good,” said Clarke. “It means I won’t have to worry so much. There will always be something to worry about, but for once, it won’t be about money.”

He said that he scratched off the winning ticket at his girlfriend’s home and then immediately began to celebrate.“I started laughing and dancing all around the house!” he said. He had to call his mother first before anyone else, because it had been her birthday present of $50 that he had used to purchase two tickets from the store that day. She at first misunderstood, thinking that when he said he “got life” that he meant he was going to prison, which sent her into worry and then confusion when Clarke tried to explain that he had won the lottery.

“At first she didn’t believe me,” Clarke said. “She said ‘stop playing with me.’”Clarke is not sure what he will do with his winnings, but he said that he will likely keep his job at the airport.

To read more, go to: Queens man wins $5M in lottery scratchoff from bodega | theGrio

Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest to Have Section of Linden Blvd. in Queens Named in His Honor

Phife Dawg (photo via billboard.com)
Phife Dawg (photo via billboard.com)

article by Bruce Goodwin II via theurbandaily.com

Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest passed away this past March due to complications from diabetes. And now, after a series of powerful memorials, Phife’s getting a street named after him in his old Queens neighborhood.

OkayPlayer got confirmation from Phife’s manager that New York Mayor Bill de Blasio will sign a bill to co-name a portion of Linden Boulevard at 192nd Street in St. Albans “Malik ‘Phife Dawg’ Taylor Way.”

The signing is set to take place on Wednesday, August 3 at 10 a.m. inside City Hall.

The intersection of 192nd Street and Linden Blvd. is a huge nod to the group’s beginnings as Phife mentioned the location in tracks like “Steve Biko” and “Check the Rhime.” Alongside Q-TipAli Shaheed Muhammad, and Jarobi, the group was formed in that neighborhood in 1985.

To read more, go to: http://theurbandaily.com/2016/08/01/phife-street-own-street-named-after-him/

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.

5th Grader Egypt Ufele Starts Clothing Line After Being Bullied About Weight

Screen-Shot-2016-02-17-at-10.05.25-PM
Egypt Ufele (photo via clutchmagonline.com)

article via clutchmagonline.com

A 10-year-old girl from Queens, NY was constantly being bullied about her weight, and decided to put her sewing machine to work and designed a plus-size clothing line that debuted at New York Fashion Week.

Egypt Ufele, Ify for short, says she was inspired to start designing clothes after she was bullied at school. Ify told the Today Show that she wanted to turn the “negative attention into positive attention,” by embracing her style and creativity to start her own fashion line for people of all shapes and sizes.

Ify’s Instagram account is aptly called bullychasers, and she named her line “Chubiiline” to not only embrace herself, but also to make the world realize, chubby isn’t negative. To see video of Ufele and her story, click here:

To read more, go to: http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2016/02/5th-grader-starts-clothing-line-after-being-bullied-about-weight/

Nicki Minaj Comedy Gets ABC Family Series Commitment

Nicki Minaj ABC Family

Nicki Minaj is set to executive produce and appear in a scripted comedy series for ABC Family based on the rap star’s life growing up in Queens, New York. The project, from Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment, will film a pilot episode in Minaj’s hometown this winter, with the intention to continue to series.

Born in Saint James, Trinidad and Tobago, Minaj moved to the U.S. as a child. Written by Kate Angelo (Sex Tape), the untitled series will
focus on Minaj’s growing up in Queens in the 1990s with her vibrant immigrant family and the personal and musical evolution that lead to her eventual rise to stardom.

“Nicki Minaj is a force to be reckoned with at everything she touches,” said ABC Family’s EVP Programming and Development Karey Burke. “Nicki is an international superstar, yet not everyone knows how inspiring and hilarious her true story is, and we can’t wait to share it with the world.”

Minaj, Kaplan and Angelo executive produce with Stella Bulochnikov and Brian Sher (Boss), as well as Gee Roberson.

“This is one of the more unique adventures I’ve ever embarked on,” said Minaj. “I couldn’t be more proud and excited to team up with an amazing group of people to give the world something really special.”

ABC Family 1Minaj studied acting at Manhattan’s prestigious LaGuardia High School and originally pursued acting before launching a successful music career. Minaj, who is in the midst of her worldwide “Pinkprint” tour, is the first solo female artist to have seven singles charting simultaneously on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Her third full-length album, The Pinkprint, became the second highest-selling female debut of 2014 and arrived at No. 2 on the Billboard Top 200 and No. 1 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart.

Additionally, Minaj’s double-platinum Anaconda set the record for most Vevo views in 24 hours. Minaj also achieved the highest digital sales for any female artist in history with over 50 million track sales between solo and feature performances. She and Adele are the only two artists in history to sell 1 million copies of five different songs in one year.

Minaj made her acting debut with a voice role in Ice Ace: Continental Drift and a co-starring role in the feature comedy The Other Woman. She recently wrapped her first starring movie role in MGM’s Barbershop 3. On TV, Minaj drew attention with her appearance on Saturday Night Live last year where she was a musical guest but did a couple of skits and portrayed Kim Kardashian and Beyoncé.

This would mark Kapital Entertainment’s third series for ABC Family, along with drama Chasing Life and comedy Kevin From Work. The six-and-a-half-year old production company has seven on-air series — Secrets & Lies on ABC, The Mysteries Of Laura on NBC, Life In Pieces on CBS, Instant Mom on Nick as well as Chasing Life and Kevin From Work, and the upcoming comedy Divorce on HBO. Kapital also has a pilot at Showtime that is in pre-production.

Angelo started her writing career in TV with stints on Will & Grace and The Bernie Mac Show before segueing to features where she penned The Back-Up Plan and co-wrote Sex Tape. She’s repped by UTA and attorney David Fox.

Minaj is managed by Gee Roberson at Maverick.

article by Nellie Andreeva via deadline.com

Jadakiss & Styles P Invest in “Juices For Life” Juice Bars to Boost Health in Hometown of NY (VIDEO)

Jadakiss and Styles P (photo via myfabolouslife.com
Jadakiss and Styles P (photo via myfabolouslife.com

Two legends in the hip-hop community are making it their goal to raise awareness about health and wellness with the launch of several juice bars in New York’s most impoverished neighborhoods.

In an interview with Elite DailyStyles P and Jadakiss, known for their group The Lox, explain the inspiration behind opening Juices For Life, a juice bar that promotes healthy living. The rappers opened up about their childhoods, reminiscing about the unhealthy snacks, like honey buns and chips, they would eat daily.

Consuming junk food in their hometown of Yonkers, NY not only put a strain on their wallets, but their health. In recent years, both artists were inspired to change the lifestyle in their neighborhoods and beyond.

Huffington Post reports:

“You’re going to get out what you put into your body,” Jadakiss said. “We didn’t know. All we knew was run to the fast food spots or run to get big bags of candy. It’s a bunch of garbage.”

Juices For Life can be found in the Bronx borough of New York City, with two other locations in the borough of Queens and in Yonkers. The juice bars also offer drinks intended to help alleviate allergies, arthritis, acne, and bronchitis. The musicians declare there’s simply nothing “soft” about promoting fruits and vegetables in the Black community.

“Our juice bars are open in the hoods on purpose to educate our people on health awareness.” Styles P said. “Build it and they will come.”

“Most of the hood don’t have access to good food, most of the hood don’t have health insurance…”Jadakiss added.

If you’re in the New York area, check out Juices For Life and great recipes you can make at home here.

article by Desire Thompson via newsone.com

Queens Native Kareem Bellamy, Wrongly Imprisoned for 14 Years, Gets $2.75M Settlement from New York State

Kareem Bellamy, seen reacting when his murder conviction was overturned in 2011, will receive $2.75 million from the state.
Kareem Bellamy, seen reacting when his murder conviction was overturned in 2011, will receive $2.75 million from the state. (Photo: DELMUNDO, ANTHONY FREELANCE NYDN/ANTHONY DELMUNDO)

Innocent Queens man Kareem Bellamy, wrongfully imprisoned for 14 years on murder charges, reaped a $2.75 million windfall from New York State authorities on Wednesday.

“It’s a message that I’ve been saying from the start — that I was innocent,” Bellamy told the Daily News. “But it doesn’t make up for what I went through to be honest.”

Charges against Bellamy, 47, were dropped in 2011 after evidence emerged that cleared him of the fatal Queens stabbing of James Abbott Jr. 17 years earlier.

But prosecutors in the Queens District Attorney’s office never acknowledged that Bellamy was innocent — even after a judge vacated his conviction — arguing instead that an audiotaped confession by a second murder suspect was phony.

“Mr. Bellamy has now been freed from that conviction based on an outright fraud perpetrated against this court,” said Assistant District Attorney Brad Leventhal said at the time. “He has not — I repeat — he has not been exonerated.”

But Bellamy’s longtime lawyer Thomas Hoffman said the settlement, which was approved by Alan C. Marin of the New York Court of Claims, helped make that case.

“It shows some recognition that he never committed the murder,” Hoffman, who has worked with Bellamy for 11 years, told the News. “That’s why it is so symbolic that he received this money.”

Bellamy, a father of three who was incarcerated at the age of 26 until he was 41, was released from prison on bail in 2008.

He now helps advocate for the wrongfully convicted with the Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation.

The Queens District Attorney’s office had no comment by press time.

article by Eli Rosenberg via nydailynews.com

Harvard University Creates Nasir Jones Fellowship in Honor of Acclaimed Hip-Hop Artist Nas

Source: Mats Andersson/WENN
Nasir Jones (aka Nas) Source: Mats Andersson/WENN

Nas has found a new home in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Harvard University’s W.E.B Du Bois Institute and Hip-Hop Archive announced the creation of the Nasir Jones Fellowship. The fellowship named after the rapper who is known for his philosophical bars, will allow scholars and artists to use their education through a creative outlet. The Nasir Jones Fellowship key purpose is based on the motto: Education is real power.

The Hip-Hop Archive press release states the mission:
“To seek projects from scholars and artists that build on the rich and complex hip-hop tradition; to respect that tradition through historically grounded and contextualized critical insights; and most importantly, to represent one’s creative and/or intellectually rigorous contribution to hip-hop and the discourse through personal and academic projects.”

The fellowship will cover the works of  Nas and other prolific hip-hop artists who contributed monumental work to the genre. Recipients of The Nasir Jones Fellowship will be selected by Harvard faculty.

The MC who received the privilege of his own fellowship at the Ivy League states:

“In my roller coaster of a life I’ve endured good and bad for sure, and I’ve truly been blessed to have achieved so much through art in my short life thus far. But I am immensely over-the-top excited about the Nasir Jones Hip-Hop Fellowship at Harvard. From Queens, NY to true cultural academia. My hopes are that greed for knowledge, art, self-determination and expression go a long way. It is a true honor to have my name attached to so much hard work, alongside great names like Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and W.E.B. Du Bois and to such a prestigious and historical institution, and all in the name of the music I grew to be a part of.”

Before forming his own fellowship, Nas has helped Grammy-award winning music producer 9th Wonder with his own academic research project called These Are The Breaks. The research was based on compiling original samples from hip-hop albums that were permanently archived in the Harvard Library; Nas’s Illimatic was a part of the research. 9th Wonder’s research project and journey to Harvard has become a documentary called, The Harvard Fellow.

article by Lauren R.D. Fox via madamenoire.com

50 Cent Uses Street King Brand to Promote Conscious Capitalism

Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson and DJ Pauly D
NEW YORK, NY – MAY 23: (L-R) Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson and DJ Pauly D host the Summer Kickoff Event at Hudson Terrace on May 23, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

Rapper and mogul 50 Cent may have built his brand by carefully honing a tough guy image, but his recent actions demonstrate a complexity in his character, which is as charitable as he is creative.

“People always try and paint negative images about me[.] I’m the most genuine down to earth person and I didn’t forget where I came from,” the superstar performer and businessman recently wrote on his Facebook page.

50 Cent, born Curtis Jackson in Queens, NY, used the social media outlet to discuss his contribution to the funeral of D’aja Robinson, a fellow Queens native who was killed by a stray bullet on a city bus. He posted images of her funeral, held on Friday, on his Facebook page, and confirmed that he paid for the horse and carriage that carried the casket of slain 14-year-old.

“She was pretty, innocent and [didn’t] deserve to die like that,” 50 Cent wrote, according to New York’sDaily News. “R.I.P D’Asia Robinson.”

The softer side of 50 Cent

This softer side of 50 Cent might seem surprising, but it is an evolution that has been brewing for years. While the rapper has built a fortune through graphic songs, he has used a portion of his riches to fund important causes.

Jackson’s G-Unity foundation has been active for much of his career through giving grants to combat social issues. Most recently, when launching his Street King energy drink in 2011 (which has been rebranded as SK Energy), Jackson pledged to feed one billion people through a partnership to fight hunger with the United Nations.

The day before Robinson’s funeral, 50 Cent spent some time promoting SK Energy, and commented on the importance of giving within the context of business ventures.

Continue reading “50 Cent Uses Street King Brand to Promote Conscious Capitalism”

The Good Things Black People Do, Give and Receive All Over The World
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