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[BOOKS] Chuck D “This Day in Rap and Hip-Hop History”

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In the more than 40 years since the days of DJ Kool Herc and “Rapper’s Delight,” hip hop and rap have become a billion-dollar worldwide phenomenon. Yet there is no definitive history of the genre-until now.

Based on Chuck’s long-running show on Rapstation.com, this massive compendium details the most iconic moments and influential songs in the genre’s recorded history, from Kurtis Blow’s “Christmas Rappin'” to The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill to Kendrick Lamar’s ground-breaking verse on “Control.” Also included are key events in hip hop history, from Grandmaster Flash’s first scratch through Tupac’s holographic appearance at Coachella.
Throughout, Chuck offers his insider’s perspective on the chart toppers and show stoppers as he lived it. Illustrating the pages are more than 100 portraits from the talented artists specializing in hip hop. This Day in Rap and Hip-Hop History will be released October 17th 2017.
Amazon.com

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[TV] Watch “REBEL” on BET

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We have a new Shero! “Rebel”, a new drama series starring “Danielle Mone Pruitt” as Rebecca Knight  produced by the one and only John Singleton is a story about a military trained Oakland detective who has solved more murders in her first 3 years than anyone else on the force. She is a well respected, no nonsense bad ass!

Ive been hooked since the first episode. It’s captivating, action packed  and sexy this new series has all the elements to be great. My only hang up is the story lines need some pep. They could use more twists and turns and more sex scenes with Method man aka Clifford Smith aka Rebel’s estranged husband 🙂 Have you seen it? leave a comment what do think? and don’t forget to catch Rebel Tuesdays 10/9C on BET.  #SupporttheReal – BooM

 

 

 

 

 

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[COMEDY] Dave Chapelle- He’s Back!- Get Hip w/DJ Mos Precious

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For a while, we might found ourselves wondering what has happened to one of the most real comedians to be known. Well, he has been planning and raising his family all these years, he has been during shows and recording episodes of his funny moments. I found a fascinating picture of his family all holding skateboards. This undoubtedly assures us that skating is an excellent tool to building family togetherness.

Pictured: Dave Chappelle, Elaine Chappelle, Sulayman Chappelle and Ibrahim Chapelle. Ref: SPL55259 131008. Picture by: Tom Meinelt-Jackson Lee/Splash- Splash News and Pictures

If you think back to his special a few years ago, controversial was stirred then. With his new comedy collection completed with two episodes airing on Netflix recently, the world is surely stirred about some of the more touchier topics such as homophobia, race, and police brutality. It’s pretty normal for his specials, but overall it’s common for all comedians to ruffle feathers on topics they can make jokes about.

I would say that his style of comedy is hard and the real-ist because he speaks facts while he makes jokes about them to add humor. He took this time to express his feelings about some of America’s top media. With his funny face expressions, he made everyone laugh and was shocked when one of his jokes led to the crown clapping.

Comedy has come a very long way and very pleasing to watch all the comedians come and go. His legacy including 30 years of showbiz and is surely in effect because he never stopped even after taken a slight break for a few years. One of his legacies is his sons. It’s a must watch; he has surely been cooking while he as on this hiatus.

One of the most interesting parts of his special was the jokes about gays and the theory titled age of spin. Currently, there has been a lot of uproar about this jokes about LBGTQ. In today media and society, there has been a lot homophobia comedy and subliminal messages that I can see how it would offend that community. Comedy shouldn’t have limitations of what can be said or not, that’s what makes comedy one of the freest professions to speak your rants.

 

 

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[INTERVIEW] Gamal Brown: “Dance To The Music”: DJ Layne Luv

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There are several names that rattle off the tops of peoples heads when famous dance companies are mentioned across the country.  Alvin Ailey, Alonzo King, American Ballet Theatre and so many more. However, because of stiff competition, most dancers may not ever realize their dream of dancing for these prestigious companies. Thanks to inspiring people like Gamal Brown, aspiring dancers can still live their dream through companies just like his in their communities. The name of his company is called Onyx Productions of Columbus Ohio. Instead of the brow-beating strict discipline like most of his east-coast mentors, Brown takes on a more available and nurturing role when it comes to teaching his students. But don’t let any of that fool you because he can be just as tough and critical as any New York performance arts instructor.

Besides my fascination with music, dance comes in at a close 2nd as I am a die hard fan of the late great James Brown, Michael Jackson, and The Temptations. I’m also a fan of newer artists such as Usher Raymond, Chris Brown and Janelle Monae. My transparency will also have me to admit that Fame, All That Jazz, and A Chorus Line were some of my favorite movies. I say Admit because in the Hip Hop world, sometimes “sophisticated culture” is frowned upon and I wanted Gamal to shed a little bit of light on what it truly means to be a part of the dance culture.

OTT: Ok Gamal so give us a little bit of your background.

GB: Well I was born and raised right here in Columbus. I studied in Ballet Met for a number of years. After I had graduated high school, I went on to Dayton Ohio where I attended Wright State University. While I was there, I attended the Jeraldyne School of Dance. I worked out with a few other dance companies and then received an opportunity to go to Africa and study with the ballet masters in Senegal. It was really amazing , And I must say, anyone that visits the motherland, it is a life changing experience.

OTT: How do you balance teaching what you know, while still developing as an artist?

GB: Hahaha there are long days and even longer nights…but that’s just it. You never stop being a student in this culture but make no mistake about it; you have to want to be here. You have to want to learn. People have their misconception on what dance truly is until they encounter a master at this craft. That separates the real from the fake, real quick. My undergrad is in business economics so when I view an opportunity from a high level, I have to make sure it’s worth my time and investment, and this is also what I try to get my students to understand. Mastery takes time, and you have to be willing to put in the work.

OTT: I’m an extreme advocate for saving the lives of urban young males in America. Being that their manhood is tested on every level, a number of them may view the cultured arts as soft or become downright homophobic of the art of dance. How can we get them to view this in a different way?

GB: Oh yeah…but just think about it Layne, you’re in this field where you’re always in tights. You’re in this field where the assumption is that you’re doing these effeminate movements, but the reality is..the strength and training that it takes to do what we do are second to none. If you’re partnering with someone and she weighs 145 pounds solid…there is nothing feminine about that. That takes a strong man. Are there a number of gay menin this particular culture? Yes, but that’s true in any culture. But I’ll have a straight person look at it like this, what other place can you find some of those most gorgeous women, bodies stacked and you get to engage in the most sensual, intimate movements for a living? It seems like that’s where I’d want to be hahaha.

But before you ask the next question, let me say this, it takes a certain level of mental strength to do ballet and modern dance. People will always criticize, accuse you or try to judge you and put you in this box. We come from this masculine community where you either play football, basketball, baseball or run track. It’s time for us to view the arts as something more than this effeminate culture to where you have to be a woman or gay. The arts are for everyone.

OTT: Since Social Media is at the forefront of gaining an audience, how to you think it has effected the presentation of dance?

GB: Wow now that was a great question! You’re a great writer I can tell, but to answer your question, we’re in a microwave generation. People want to be on stage right now. Aspiring dancers want the followers and acknowledgment now. I don’t think they realize the steps it takes to become a professional dancer. Don’t get me wrong, when I look at certain videos I see great movements but no training. I don’t even give a pass to these Hip Hop freestyle dancers either, because I’m thinking about the next generation behind them is going to be injured often because they have not been taught how to properly train. What are you teaching them? This is why it’s stressful to teach dancers, because it’s hard to get them to unlearn what they’ve been doing all along. It’s hard to watch people molesting the movements of the art to where professionals like myself will say  “I need you to stand in acudapie’ and hold that position” but they don’t understand that language. And each level you go to, you have masters that will hold you accountable for not mastering your craft. The craft has to be honored if we’re going to be craftsmen.

OTT: Last question. What can people expect when coming to an Onyx production?

GB: It’s nurturing, It’s fun. We tells stories of love, pain, and protest. I’m happy to see more men in my productions. It’s a movement. My next production is March 18, it’s entitled Roho which is swahili for spirit. It’s a snapshot of my life presented in 8 pieces. I was working for another company and found out that my voice was being muffled so instead of sustaining that relationship I made the decision to form my own mission. My mission is social justice advocacy. I have to tell the story according to the way I see it. I encourage you and anyone on this post to check it out. You will walk away with an experience.

Please visit Onyx Productions at:

www.onyxproductionohio.com

@DJLAYNELUV

Follow Gamal Brown on Facebook.

 

 

 

 

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[BOOKS] Harold D. Span Releases New Book: Living In The Shadows of Love and Happiness

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A husband, father of a teenage son and founder / CEO of SASCO Harold D. Span is accredited with a bachelor Of Science in Management from Tuskegee University and is a Pfizer Fellow of Dartmouth College’s Amos Tuck School of Business Administration along with being a golf enthusiast and collector of classic literature. Harold D. Span is pleased to announce the release of his new book, “Living in the Shadows of Love and Happiness.”   Groomed in a generation where opportunity was scarce for people of color, Harold took this experience and others allowing them to be a motivating factor in his life long journey to success.  An established entrepreneur, Span has described his latest work as “an amalgamation of life experiences, travels, scholarship, outreach, cultural awareness, and devotion.” Providing the insight to guide those who need help with achieving love and happiness, the work is the result of personal experience. The end result is a feeling of wholeness, which adhered to will allow the reader to finally enjoy the love and happiness they deserve.
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[NEWS] Diddy Calls Out Rap Drama As “Buffoonery & Coonery”

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Diddy says “enough is enough” in a video on snapchat. He’s “burned out” with the hip-hop culture. The media mogul went on a passionate and straightforward rant pointing out that he would be deleting his social media accounts because of what he recognizes as “cooning and buffooning” in Hip Hop music.

He also encouraged people to check out the history of hip-hop stating “Netflix has this great documentary on hip-hop, the history of hip-hop. I know I think Steve Stoute did one, Fab Five [Freddy]… Just go to YouTube, man. Go to YouTube, man.”  One could see his frustration in the video below. “I’m staying off my social devices. It’s too much cooning and buffooning. Too much cooning and buffooning..”

The Bad Boy leader also seemingly became so irritated and stated: “Believe me, when I get my thoughts together, I’m going to figure out a way to articulate myself because this conversation ain’t even for the whole world to hear, it’s just for us.” Check out the video on YouTube below.

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[NTERVIEW] Author Laura Jackson

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A couple of months ago, I purchased the book Destination Queendom, book of poetry written by Laura Jackson. The poems were really good. Some made me laugh and others made me reflect on issues I’ve seen or experienced in the past. The title alone caught me! Destination Queendom!

Most recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with the author.

Thank you for taking time out to speak with Straight official! So Laura, Tell us a little about yourself?

Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to interview.. about me? I’m the mother of three beautiful girls. Fully Employed since forever and recently found Love!

That’s Excellent! So tell me,when did you start writing poetry?

I began journaling and writing poetry in 8th grade as a means of coping with death actually. Then, I lost a brother who O’D and 6 weeks later another brother was murdered. I was only 13 then, and death was new to me… so I didn’t know how to cope. I would write my thoughts down each day, and then I didn’t even know it was actually poetry. I would just be writing and my words would come together.

I for one read this book, and its deep! What was your inspiration for these poems or was it more therapeutic or a hobby?

Thanks for purchasing my book! I truly appreciate your support.
I decided to write Destination Queendom” one day when I was going through all of my poetry… and thought ” this would make for a good life lesson” At the place I was and where I came from, ( in reading my journals) All I could see was growth! Who I was, and the things that I went through…  also constantly being pushed to write based on thoughts that I’ve shared on social media… my poetry is life and situation inspired. Dealing with losing loved ones, love losses, betrayal etc. So basically, most of the poetry is based on my life. There are also some poems that are just thoughts that’s I’ve had or even my friends experiences etc…. I guess you can say it is therapeutic for me and a hobby because writing soothes me. I write literally everyday!

That’s great, also a good way to keep the creative juices flowing! Now I know people will want to get a copy of this book! How can they get a hold of it?

Right now my book can be purchased on my website Www.myqueendomllc.com and also on
Amazon  “Destination Queendom”

What’s your social media information so everyone can follow you?

I can be found on FB under MyQueendomllc and IG@Destination_Queendom  Also on www.myueendomllc.com

Thank you so much for your time! I Look forward to reading your next book!

Thank you too Firstclasse!

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New Interview with Author Tilsa Wright #LADYINRED @tilsawright

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CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE YOUR COPY OF LADY IN RED

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What’s going on Tilsa we appreciate you spending time with us. For those who don’t know, where are you from and what inspired you to become an author?

I was born in Kingston Jamaica West Indies however I migrated to the states and proudly love and live in Brooklyn New York.

How do you come up with the concept of the book before you write it?

Great question. It actually varies, sometimes while listening to music or depends on where I am at or doing, the simplest thing inspires a story concept.

Being from Brooklyn, NY, have you experienced any obstacles as an independent author?

Brooklyn is a cultural melting pot and with that said and to be very honest no obstacles. My borough-mates hold me down. I mean small businesses, promoters, media outlets and fellow authors has given me tremendous support. However you used the word independent, and this word usually comes with no budget for an effective marketing campaign like authors with a huge publishing deal.

You’ve written multiple books and the most recent being “Lady in Red”. Without given the readers too much explain to us what the book is about?

The main character Keisha Lopez is facing challenges and has decided to put her street life behind for a more white chalk way of living. Her issues are relatable. Keisha’s voice echoes what most young ladies in the urban areas are faced with. Drugs, abusive and being labeled as bottom feeders with no positive outlook. Oppressive stigmatism is ruthless if you ask me.

What are some challenges you face as an author out of Brooklyn, New York?

Given that I am independent, not having a budget to effectively market my book is the gravest challenge I actually face.

Tell us the process behind writing the book and what how you were able to publish it?

My writing process is fun, intense and thrilling. A combination of many emotions as I mentally connect with the characters. Also I allocate long hours and at least 5 consecutive days to lay the foundation. As for the business process, after writing I commission someone who works independently to edit and at the same time have my graphic designer create my book cover. Naturally the legal requirement of copyrighting so as to project my intellectual property. Final stage is uploading my work and distribution outlet on both Amazon and Kindle. You see Amazon has a very easy and accessible self-publishing online platform.

You been all around New York expanding you brand to multiple markets and gaining exposure for this latest release. What are some tips you can give to inspiring authors looking to promote their first book?

Place great emphasis on your core audience, give yourself time to connect with them and do study how to keep them engaged. Always keep your sub-audience in your focus and don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to random marketing opportunities. Establish and maintain partnership with a handful of media outlets. Look around in your community and recognize who is doing what and building that bridge. Your resources on all levels are usually your best assets.

Talk to us about Keisha. All over social media there is talk about trying to find this lady. Why is she a person of interest?

Social Media and it’s marketing effect is absolutely engaging as hell. LOL. You see Harlem Rapper Dave East recently released a song titled ‘Keisha’ and one of the messages in his song stresses that he is looking for her. Seeing the value and similarities with my book, I decided to look for the young lady in is music video. Oh yeah I sure as hell found her. Kaya Marley, a blood line of legend Bob Marley is a young video model and dancer. So we connect thanks to Heroes Headquarters and she did a 11 seconds promotional video for my book.

Is there any part of your book that describes your own life experiences? If so, in what way?

I lived in the 90’s and Clarkson Avenue like Keisha Lopez and was introduce to the Orisha spiritual faith thanks to a handful of Trinidadians. However the rest of the storyline is creative writing using relatable issues.

What’s next for Tilsa Wright and “Lady in Red”?

There will be a part 2 and ultimately my long term focus is to produce Lady in Red on film.

Any Shout outs? Where can we find the book and you online?

Shout out to HitSquadd Promotions, Heroes Headquarters, Brooklyn and all the boroughs. All who supported my work over the years. Mad love and respect. My book is available on Amazon and Kindle. I can be reached on all social media @tilsawright

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Quick 5 with author Percy Levy

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Percy Levy, author of Slave to the Trade and Urban Love, agreed to an interview.  Check it out below…

TNR:  I want to first say thanks for allowing me to interview you.  Tell me about you – what was the driving force that made you become an author?

PL:  The sad fact of the matter is that I have spent most of my life locked away in correctional facilities—most of the time in segregation [aka the “hole”]. While locked away in these places that so often dull the mind and cause stagnation of the human soul and spirit, I somehow always managed to keep my mind sharp and analytical in terms of breaking down and understanding the reasons why the ‘hood” is what it is. With that understanding of the street culture, I developed a love for putting it down on paper…

TNR:  As you know, I read Slave to the Trade and gave your book a great review. The book was very detailed and had me hooked from page one. How did you come up with the title and the storyline?

PL:  Much of my life—that which has not been spent incarcerated—has been spent hanging out on tracks…strips…strolls…or whatever a person might call them. I have spent time as a pimp, a jacker, a dope dealer, and, most sadly, a drug-addict. With all that said, I wanted my first book to represent the most realistic picture ever given of what life on the streets is really about. My one singled minded goal from beginning to end was authenticity.

TNR:  Your work has been compared to Donald Goines and Iceberg Slim…as a matter of fact I said the same in my review. Does it offend you to be compared to them or do you view that as something positive?

PL:  It is the greatest honor that has ever been bestowed upon me to be compared to the greatest urban writers of all times.

TNR:  I converse quite a bit with your wife Diane, who is simply amazing and so sweet. When she asked me about publishers, I remember suggesting Sullivan Publications and was happy when I saw Leo post on Facebook that you were his newest author when he was introducing your latest book, Urban Love.  How is it to work for him?

PL:  I think that Leo Sullivan is a good dude. In terms of being a publisher he is fairly new in the game. I think in the future he could be a force to be reckoned with. However, at this early phase in my writing career, I have chosen to move to Page Hustle Publications with Tammy Jernigan and {an imprint of SBR—David Weaver}. It just seems that the structure, work ethic and experience of this organization are a better fit for my particular style of writing.  Additionally, I want to send a shout out to Indie Love Promotions. Although, I haven’t worked with her for long, the professionalism, of aggressiveness, and hours she has spent and is spending working with me and my wife have been greatly appreciated. I definitely could not ask for more.

TNR:  As an avid reader since I was about 6, I remember that not too long ago there wasn’t that many urban fiction/street lit authors, but now the literary world is blessed with them. What are your thoughts on that change?

PL:  I must be honest and admit that I have never read a modern urban/street lit book [post 1980]. The few times that I have picked up a modern urban/street lit book and read the back, I have been a bit confused. Some of the characters and scenarios I see do not reflect the “hood” I know so well.  {Seattle/Sacramento]. Some of the plots seem a bit unrealistic. I don’t say this to be a hater. I have just always believed that urban/street lit books were supposed to be about the “hood”—poverty, crime, racism…black romance in all of its rachetness.. It just seems now- a- days that the term “urban” simply designates any book with Black characters in it. I am a bit confused by that. It is my hopes that at least a few other modern “urban” writers begin writing more stories that make readers feel a kinship or closeness with the characters that they are reading about. In terms of my own writing, my hope and dreams are that the readers get a substantive message from the storylines I create. There is a hard ugly truth about urban Black America…this is the story that urban/street lit writers are supposed to be telling.

And there you have it.  Thanks for reading my interview with author Percy Levy and be on the look out for the next “Quick 5 with The Notorious Reader” interview.

Always a pleasure…

TNR…

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October Book Challenge

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Good morning my beautiful people! I wanted to do an old school series for October’s book challenge, but it was hard to find one that was a decent price and/or had not already been read – since most of you are avid readers. So I found another series. It is urban fiction and all of the books are currently FREE in Kindle version except one. But of course what I suggest doing is putting the priced book on your wish list and checking regularly to see if the price changes as well as getting the free ones now because you know the price will change. The name of the series is Karma by Kenni York. Let’s try to start this series by 10/1. The info is below:

Karma 1: The Beginning…Amazon – FREE in Kindle, $9.00 in paperback; B&N – unavailable in NOOK, $10.00 in paperback; Kobo – unavailable; Google Play Books – unavailable; Apple iBooks – unavailable

Karma 2: This Ain’t What You Want …Amazon – FREE in Kindle, $10.80 in paperback; B&N – unavailable in NOOK, $12.00 in paperback; Kobo – unavailable; Google Play Books – unavailable; Apple iBooks – unavailable

Karma 3: When the S**t Hits The Fan…Amazon – FREE in Kindle, $11.69 in paperback; B&N – unavailable in NOOK, $12.99 in paperback; Kobo – unavailable; Google Play Books – unavailable; Apple iBooks – unavailable

Karma 4: Checkmate…Amazon – $2.99 in Kindle, unavailable in paperback; B&N – unavailable in NOOK or paperback; Kobo – unavailable; Google Play Books – unavailable; Apple iBooks – unavailable

If you have any questions, let me know and Happy reading!

The Notorious Reader

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