Saturday, October 31, 2009

Chalie Boy - I Look Good

Bone Thugs in Harmony talk Reunion Album, Biggie, New Artists, Past Beefs & Diddy!

Don Cannon on Lil Scrappy TV "Art Of Tha Grustle: Vol 4"

Friday, October 30, 2009

Jay-Z And Alicia Keys “Empire State Of Mind”

Rick Ross Claims He's The Handsomest Member in Triple C's

The Optimum Empowerment Resource Rally/ Optimum on Hot 97

The Optimum Economic Empowerment Resource Rally  Prison

Of the 2.7 million people who are incarcerated in our prison systems across America, 650,000 will be released this year and 63% will return within 3 years. Recidivism impacts all communities and Optimum refuses to sit idly by without action. We have dedicated the entire month of October to  providing 13 comprehensive economic empowerment workshops to those in jeopardy of becoming institutionalized within the US prison system.

To culminate Optimum October Fight Against Recidvism, we invite the ENTIRE community to join us on Saturday, October 31, 2009 for The Optimum Economic Empowerment Resource Rally for FREE education, training, food and inspiration!


"If you don't have a need to be here. If you do have a need to be here. No matter if you have a job or not, you need to inform all of those who are seeking employment about this event. If they have a felony...doesn't matter...send them out as well because we have programs to find them jobs and assistance. It is time for us to band together in this volatile economy. I hope to see you all on Saturday!"

Ryan Mack, President of Optimum Capital Management, LLC


St. Paul Community Baptist Church
           859 Hendrix St.  
           Brooklyn, NY 11297

(In East New York between Stanley Avenue and Linden Blvd. -- Trains: 3 to Van Siclen Avenue)  

10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Special Guests:
Vanda Seward
Director of Statewide Re-entry  Services, NYS Division of Parole
Dr. Ron Daniels
Talk Radio Extraordinaire
Andrew Morrison
Small Business Boot Camp
Maurice Carver
Host of Black Men Screaming
Darnell Canada
President of REBUILD
Greg Russell/ Lorenzo Steele/ Jamal Reed
Community Activists

Optimum to Appear on HOT 97 to Discuss Recidivism InitiativeOptimum Logo

Lisa Evers Host of "Street Soldiers", a Hot 97 talk radio show, will interview Ryan Mack (President), Manyell L. Akinfe (Vice President), and other Optimum supporters  about their month long October fight against recidivism. 

The broadcast will air  Sunday, November 1st at 9am EST on Hot 97 FM


Living in the Village Unity Pic

In This Issue
The Optimum Economic Empowerment Resource Rally
Optimum to Appear on HOT 97 to Discuss Recidivism Initiative

Follow Optimum Capital Management, LLC On:

Facebook Logo


Schedule Your Optimum Seminar Today!
Would you like to schedule a financial literacy seminar or economic empowerment workshop for your organization? In these volatile economic times could your employees use a financial literacy training program to boost their confidence in handling their personal finances?  Could your college or high school students use some motivation to learn about the true meaning of economic empowerment?  Call Optimum today and you can schedule Ryan Mack or one of his dynamic team of financial experts to speak for your organization, school or company.  If you know it is needed, what is stopping you from calling? Call 877-75-TEACH (83224) today!


Good*Fella Radio "Hip-Hop Series" - Donny Goines

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Masta Ace & EDO. G - Ei8ht Is Enough

Two new roots and culture albums Kiddus-I and ChinnaSmith launch Naya Records

Two brand new roots & culture releases featuring Kiddus-I, Chinna Smith, Horsemouth and more launch NAYA RECORDS...

Go to Naya Records website for free downloads!

Naya Records, an upstart indie label founded in Boston, MA and run by visionary label president and accomplished drummer/engineer/producer Nathan Sabanayagam, is proud to announce the release of two very special albums. The first, entitled "Grass Yard Productions Volume One," is the first installment of a series of compilations to be released over the next few years by Naya Records featuring the Grassyard Productions All-Stars (aka GYP All-Stars). Kiddus-I's "Green Fa Life", a combined roots and soul music effort from an icon of the rockers reggae period is also available.

gyp All of the songs on Grass Yard Productions Volume One were recorded on the front porch of legendary guitarist Earl "Chinna" Smith, known for his role as lead guitarist for his role in Bob Marley's band as well as Peter Tosh and Innter Circle, to name a very short few. The album is dedicated to the late great Jamaican Trumpeter Johnny "Dizzy" Moore, who is also featured on one of the songs. Other veteran artists who contributed to the compilation include Ken Boothe, Winston "BoPee" Bowen, as well as historic musical figures Kiddus I and Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace, who both starred in the cult classic film Rockers.

The most significant aspect of this release is the collaboration of several generations of musicians from around the globe, all gathering to play in the relaxed and intimate environment known as the Grassyard (at Earl "Chinna" Smith's Jamaican residence). The end result is an album that is chalk full of instant classics. These songs capture the true essence that is musical creation in Jamaica and some of the highlights include "Fire," sung by Don I, "Shot Poor Johnny," sung by Ken Bob, and the Ken Boothe track, " Richard Cory."

gyp The second Naya Records release is the new album from legendary singer Kiddus I, "Green Fa Life." Also recorded at Chinna's Yard, the album features guest musicians, "Horsemouth" and "Chinna," as well as label president Nathan Sabanayagam on drums, and was co-mixed by Will Holland, known for his work with the Pixies and Dead Can Dance, at Chillhouse Studios in Boston, MA. The album features thirteen new tracks, all of which breathe fresh air into a tried and true classic rock-steady sound, anchored by the unforgettable baritone that is the voice of Kiddus I. Some of the track highlights inlcude the title track "Green Fa Life," and thepolitically fueled "War."

Currently an extensive tour is being planned by Kiddus I and the GYP All-Stars in support of the new releases.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Rob Murat Interview

Soul singer and New York City native, Rob Murat, stops by The BlackPlanet office to talk about his current project, his latest video and who his dream team of artists would include.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Legendary MC Guru Announces European Tour Dates For "The Guru 8.0 Tour"




On the heels of their critically acclaimed, internationally successful album "Guru 8.0 Lost & Found", the legendary Guru, founder of GangStarr and Jazzmatazz, hit producer Solar and the 7 Grand family are announcing the second leg of an eagerly awaited European tour.

The Guru 8.0 Tour 2009 concerts will be the must see shows for every Hip-Hop fan as Guru and Solar hit the stage to perform hits from their latest project "Guru 8.0 Lost & Found". Both will be touring Europe from November 10 till November 17 to bring Hip-Hop fans overseas the realest Live Hip-Hop on the planet!

"Hip-Hop fans in Europe appreciate REAL Hip-Hop and that's why touring overseas is a great joy for us! We are excited to return to Germany after our 2009 Summer tour," says legendary rapper Guru.

The European tour will see Guru and Solar perform in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, Spain and Slovenia. They will be supported by DJ heavyweight Doo Wop.

Tour Dates:

Nov. 3 La Bellevilloise - Paris, France
Nov. 4 L’affranchi - Marseilles, France
Nov. 6 Kafe Antzokia - Bilbao, Spain
Nov. 7 Charada - Madrid, Spain
Nov. 8 Bikini - Barcelona,  Spain             
Nov. 10  Mannheim, Germany - Enjoy Jazz Festival
Nov. 11  Innsbruck, Austria - Max Events
Nov. 12  Ljubljana, Slovenia - Kino Siska
Nov. 13  Zurich, Switzerland - Moods
Nov. 14  Dortmund, Germany - Domicil
Nov. 16  Hannover, Germany - Jazz Club
Nov. 17  Rostock, Germany - Zwischenbau

Guru and Solar's current release "Guru 8.0 Lost & Found" has been highly anticipated and gives a whole new definition for real Hip Hop in 2009. The album is Hip-Hop in its purest form and it received rave reviews worldwide. Spearheaded by the hit single "Lost and Found", the project is a "5 Star" album and a must have for the true Hip-Hop heads.

"Guru 8.0 Lost & Found" is available now on iTunes, Amazon and a retail store near you.

AUDIO: Guru - Lost and Found

VIDEO: Guru - Lost and Found

BUY: Guru - Lost and Found (Album)
iTunes: Buy Now!
Amazon: Buy Now!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Model/Actress "Christina Mendez" featured in The Source & Fox News

Christina Mendez Continues Taking the World by Storm





October 2009- With the end of 2009 fast approaching, Christina Mendez has continued her fast-paced, proactive approach to life with recognition of her beauty, grace and success by The Source Magazine, Fox News and The Dominican Women’s Development Center.


In pursuit of her personal American dream, Ms. Mendez joins the list of exceptional Latino’s on The Source Magazine’s “The Latin Takeover” list.  Published in the September/October 2009 issue, “The Latin Takeover” list features some of the most exceptional Latino influencers. The list includes newly appointed US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Actress Zoe Saldana, Rapper Fabolous, Jim Jones and many others. At #15, Ms. Mendez is credited for her strong involvement with Autism Awareness in urban communities, in addition to her career as a model, actress and television personality.


"Using her access, influence, beauty and brains, professional model, actress and television personality, Christina Mendez, who's son was diagnosed with Autism at the age of two, has become an outspoken activist on the disease in the urban communities,"

---The Source Magazine, September/October 2009.   


The sexiest and most successful plus-size models were recently recognized by…and Ms. Mendez was one of them! Acknowledged for her inner and outer beauty, Ms. Mendez’s striking photo and a brief bio of her career and autism awareness work is featured alongside Mia Tyler, Kate Dillon, Tocarra Jones and Crystal Renn. “I feel extremely blessed to be among such amazing Real Size women…” said Christina.


On October 8th, 2009, The Dominican Women’s Development Center will be honoring Ms. Mendez with the “Distinguished Woman Award”. The “Distinguished Woman Award” is presented to individuals who embody the mission of the DWDC which bases its programs and events on the understanding that the forces of racism, sexism, classism and other forms of oppression are affecting women.




About Christina Mendez:

Christina Mendez has graced the pages of Glamour, All You, Latina Magazine, The Source Magazine and many others. She's worked the runway for BET’s Rip the Runway, NY Full Figured Fashion Week, Art of Curves, Macy's and Lane Bryant’s In-Store Fashion Show in NYC. In June 2009 she became one of’s newest virtual models. Christina has also become one of the first real-size, Hispanic Urban models to work as a featured model for brands such as Baby Phat, Apple Bottoms, Rocawear, Dereon and more. Besides appearing in various magazines and runway shows, Christina has been featured in national television segments including The Rachel Ray Show, Fox News, The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet, BET News, Lifetime’s “Matched in Manhattan” with Matt Titus, New York local favorites Good Day New York, CW11 and others. In 2009 Fox News named Ms. Mendez one of sexiest, most successful top plus size models in the industry and The Source Magazine has declared Ms. Mendez one of the most influential Latinas. Christina Mendez is the mother of an Autistic son and is a strong advocate for autism awareness and a spokesperson for Autism Speaks; a national organization which was founded by NBC’s Founder Bob Wright.

For more information about Christina Mendez, her talent, her passion and her volunteer work, please visit


50 Cent - Crime Wave Official Movie Music Video HD

Wes Fif, Ill Essense, Hoodlym (Street Smart Music) - "Public Enemies"

Wes Fif, Ill Essense, Hoodlym (Street Smart Music) - "Public Enemies" from Leon Bailey on Vimeo.

Fun, exciting dance contest from Altec Lansing

Altec Lansing has announced the “Mix It Up” dance contest, an online video dance battle for all dancers, especially b-boys and b-girls, in the USA and around the globe. The top 100 videos, as voted by the public, will win an Altec Lansing MIX digital boombox, valued at $299.95. The grand prize is an appearance in a music video by internationally renowned dancehall artist Beenie Man featuring Pareece plus $2500 cash.

Eligible contestants submit one-minute dance videos for a chance to gain votes from their peers and the final blessing of a celebrity judge panel, which includes Grammy award winning hip hop artist Chamillionaire. Whether freestyle or choreographed, all dancers are welcome.

To participate in the Mix It Up Dance Contest, contestants download music from and are encouraged to mix and edit the tracks. Along with a broad range of thumping hip-hop tracks, the music choices include a bit of swing, country and classic rock to genuinely “mix it up.” Then, the dancers capture their moves on a 60 second video and post it on-line at the Mix It Up website for the public to vote on their favorites.

“Altec Lansing makes products for people who love music,” said Bernice Cramer, VP of Marketing and Product Development, Altec Lansing. “What better way to share this love than through the power of dance? We’re thrilled to have our new MIX speaker system play a part in this contest that celebrates the roots of street dance and the retro boombox.”

The top 10 videos will go before this panel of celebrity judges for selection of the top three prizes:

Chamillionaire, Grammy award winning hip-hop artist who will be releasing his new album on December 8th featuring the single, “Good Morning.”

Pareece, hip-hop vocalist featured on Beenie Man’s upcoming single, “Show Me What You Got."

Roxrite, b-boy dance champion from the Renegades Crew.

Gabriel “Kwikstep” Dionisio, hip-hop dancer and choreographer and the Executive & Artistic Director of Full Circle Productions and President of Fresh Kids.

Robin Dunn, noted choreographer and hip-hop dance teacher at The Ailey School, The Ailey Extension, Hunter College and Steps on Broadway.

Newton Hinds III, President & CEO of S | SPORTS Network and Sovereign New Media Group.

First Prize
A trip to appear in a music video by Beenie Man, featuring Pareece. Includes air transportation and three nights lodging for two persons. Video appearance is for one person. Plus a cash prize of $2,500 and one Altec Lansing MIX boombox.

Second Prize
A cash prize of $2,500 and one Altec Lansing MIX boombox.

Third Prize
A cash prize of $1,000 and one Altec Lansing MIX boombox.

Dancers can submit videos now through November 13, 2009. Voting ends on November 20, 2009 and the winners will be announced on December 4, 2009.

While the Mix It up Dance contest encourages contestants of any dance ability, the world’s elite b-boys know the MIX as “The Official Boombox of the Red Bull BC One,” the world b-boy championships to be held in New York City on November 18, 2009. More on BC One at

For more information, including rules, about the Altec Lansing “Mix It Up” Dance Contest, please visit

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Target Marketing News to Host 2009 Internet Marketing Summit

Target Market News has announced it will host the 2009 African American Internet Marketing Summit on Thursday, Nov. 19th in Chicago at the Wyndham Hotel downtown. The all-day conference -- the only such gathering of its kind in the nation -- will feature some of the industry's leading executives and companies in marketing, advertising, media, technology and research.

"Think of this as the 2.0 version of our 2008 Internet Summit," said Ken Smikle, President of Target Market News. "We added marketing to the title because we're putting an emphasis on how the Internet and digital platforms reach the $800 billion African American consumer market. With the boom in social media, there needs to be more dialogue on how marketers continue to explore and use the hundreds of targeted digital media platforms. The financial opportunities are too great to ignore -- especially in this economic climate."

The Summit will examine how numerous Fortune 500 companies have effectively used digital platforms to reach African Americans including State Farm, AT&T, McDonalds, Toyota, American Airlines, Ford, Walmart and the U.S. Navy. Among the advertising agencies invited to participate and make presentations are UniWorld Group, GlobalHue, Sanders\Wingo, Burrell Communications, Vigilante and Carol H. Williams Advertising.

Among the companies participating at the sold-out 2008 Summit included America Online, BET Networks, Black Web 2.0, Codeblack Interactive, Google, Interactive One, Lee Moss Media, Nia Enterprises, Reach Media, Synovate and TUV Media.

Research continues to point to the growing importance of African-Americans and digital media. Recent studies have found that nearly have of all African-Americans have access to the Internet; that blacks are the most active segment of those who access the Internet from a mobile device; and 11 percent of all bloggers are African-American.

The issues that will be addressed by panels of experts at the Summit include:

- Case Studies of How Leading Companies Market to Blacks Consumers on the Net
- What the Latest Research Reveals About Internet Usage
- The Obama Factor: Internet Lessons For Savvy Marketers
- Marketing to African Americans Through Targeted Social Media
- What The Loss of Means to Digital Platforms
- Engagement vs. Traffic: What National Advertisers Value Most
- How the Internet Empowers Black Women Consumers
- Are Local Advertisers Being Ignored as Revenue Opportunities?
- Digital Decisions: Is Your Content Audience or Advertiser Driven?
- How Black Media Has Incorporated and Adapted to the Web

Information on the program details, registration and sponsorship opportunities can be found at Participants must register in advance. Registration will not be accepted onsite. Attendees should contact the Wyndham Hotel Chicago to take advantage of discount rates for the Summit.

Target Market News is recognized as the nation's leading news and information source on African-American marketing, media and consumer research. The 20-year-old, Chicago-based company publishes a daily online news bulletin and annual "The Buying Power of Black America" report. It also hosts the annual Marketing to African-Americans with Excellence (MAAX) Summit and the African-American Magazine Summit.

For more information, e-mail Target Market News at, or call 312-408-1881.

South By Southwest (SXSW) Music Announces Keynote Speaker

Austin, Texas — October 22, 2009 - South By Southwest (SXSW) is thrilled to announce that the legendary Smokey Robinson will deliver the keynote address at their 2010 Music Conference. The address will kick off SXSW activities at the Austin Convention Center on Thursday, March 18, 2010.

Smokey Robinson is one of the architects of the "Motown sound" and his voice and songs established the label's profound impact on culture across the globe. Robinson's artistry has been celebrated worldwide, having received Kennedy Center Honors, a membership in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, the "UK Special Achievement Award" at the Ivor Novello Awards and The ASCAP Rhythm and Soul Heritage Award. Bob Dylan called Robinson "America's greatest living poet," and his work as an executive at Motown was central in establishing a unique chapter in popular music history.

Robinson continues to forge new trails, mentoring "American Idol" contestants in 2009 and writing and recording new music. Robinson's current CD "Time Flies When You're Having Fun," was released on August 25, 2009 on his own Robso Records and the songs sound as fresh and timeless as his pioneering work from the 60's.

Robinson's keynote anchors the twenty-fourth annual South By Southwest Music Conference and Festival, a world-renowned gathering of artists and music professionals. By day, registrants attend conference events and the trade show at the Austin Convention Center. At night, hundreds of performers command dozens of stages throughout downtown Austin. Registrations are now available for SXSW 2010 at the official website.

For more information on Mr. Robinson, visit

For more information on South By Southwest, visit

SXSW Music Conference and Festival is sponsored by Miller Lite, Sonicbids, and the Austin Chronicle.

BRIAN COURTNEY WILSON Hits Top 10 and Top 20 on Billboard Gospel Singles Chart

Brian Courtney Wilson CD Cover
Gospel recording artist BRIAN COURTNEY WILSON ushers in the fall season with "All I Need," a top 10 radio single from his debut CD JUST LOVE.  The single is currently over two million in audience at gospel radio and the album is up 12% this week in sales with reorders remaining strong at retail.  The Spirit Rising/Music World Entertainment release moves up one spot to #12 this week on the Billboard Top Gospel Album charts after debuting at #2 upon its release this past June.  Wilson's "Just Love Movement" continues to expand as listeners, radio programmers, press and retail across the country have the opportunity to hear the hit song, written and produced by award-winning producer Stan 'STANtastic' Jones.  Commenting on the power of the single, BET's "Lift Every Voice" show host and nationally-syndicated radio personality, Cory "Coco Brother" Condrey says, "The Lord has given Brian Courtney Wilson a simple but needed song.  All I need...All we need is Jesus.  He's more than enough."
The Just Love Movement is continuing with the follow-up single, "Already Here"moving up four spots this week to #18 on the Billboard Top Gospel Singles chart with over two million in audience at gospel radio, making Wilson one of the few artists with two strong and active singles in the Top 10 and Top 20 respectively.
Following recent performances in front of standing-room audiences this month in New York City at the WBLS/WLIB annual signature event, the Circle of Sisters Expo and Radio One's Spirit of Praise event at the DC Armory in Washington, DC , fans had the opportunity to witness Wilson's music and ministry firsthand. Next up for the Houston-based vocalist is a performance at the Houston Arena onOctober 23.  Opening for GRAMMY® Award winning gospel artist Smokie Norful, this will be Wilson 's first appearance in Houston accompanied by his band.  Following the Houston date, Wilson will travel to Philadelphia in support of the Annual Fundraising Banquet for the Philadelphia Brotherhood Rescue Mission at the Pinn Memorial Baptist Church on November 7 and an in-store performance at J&R Music World in New York City 's financial district on November 9.
Wilson was included in Wal*Mart's recent promotion commemorating Gospel Music Heritage Month in September 2009.  Celebrating "the best of the best" in the gospel genre, JUST LOVE was included in the retail giant's top stores featuring gospel music.  

With the holidays approaching, Wilson has also recorded a re-make of one of his favorite songs of the season, "This Christmas."  Wilson chose the Donny Hathaway classic as a way to celebrate and focus on Christ, our Savior's birth. "I want people to focus on the true meaning of Christmas and not get caught up in the culture of materialism and economics now connected to the day," states Wilson .  "This is a song that I love, done by one of my favorite artists of all times, Donny Hathaway."  The video for "This Christmas" will be reserviced to national, regional and local video outlets.  The single is available on iTunes and is featured as a bonus track on Trin-i-tee 5:7's forthcoming first-ever holiday CD,LOVE*PEACE*JOY AT CHRISTMAS in stores October 27.

For additional information on Brian Courtney Wilson, please visithttp:///  The site features music, news, photos, video and regular tweet updates from Brian.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

CampCaribe Opens Its Doors to Girls Across the U.S.

Brown kids continue to be in the minority at camps with water-based activities and The Kemet Foundation's new project - CampCaribe - aims to change that. In April of 2010, eight (8) tween girls from diverse backgrounds will be swept away from their day-to-day routines and exposed to an environment rich with culture, water activities and camaraderie on a 10 day learning adventure like no other to the United States Virgin Islands. And while this fantastic opportunity has been in the works for many moons, it is only now that CampCaribe can open its doors to girls the entire U.S. and not just California residents.

"Because CampCaribe has partnered with The Kemet Foundation (TKF), a Bay Area non-profit that fosters African and African-American history, heritage and culture, CampCaribe (through TKF) is not only in a position to raise funds via tax deductible donations and our new "200x20" campaign, but we can also open up this fabulous opportunity to girls across the U.S.," says Tracey Friley, the brainchild behind CampCaribe and the program's Camp Director. "Having a fiscal sponsor – an organization that is committed to empowering diverse girls -- is a Godsend."

CampCaribe will offer water activities such as snorkeling, sailing excursions, ocean kayaking, a day trip to Coral World, and beach volleyball, as well as Haitian and African dance and a plethora of other activities for this once-in-a-lifetime tropical camp excursion. Adventurer's will learn not only learn to respect and value the environment, from Camp Counselors Alley and Coco, but they will learn about local culture as well. "OBG Adventure Camps will be a diverse camp experience, I promise that," says Friley, a member of the American Camp Association. "CampCaribe has been 10 years in the making and is a dream come true...another way to give back." Read about the idea behind CampCaribe on the Oprah's Angel Network website (Search for CampCaribe).

ABOUT CampCaribe:
CampCaribe is a learning adventure program that takes tween girls away from their day-to-day routine and exposes them to an environment rich with culture, water activities and camaraderie in the United States Virgin Islands. Registration is now open for the Spring 2010 adventure session and is limited to 8 girls ages 12 and 13. $1995 includes all accommodations, air and ground transportation, meals & activities with a convenient payment plan available. Tax deductible donations are being accepted at There are 8 spaces available.

ABOUT The Kemet Foundation:
The Kemet Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization whose mission is to foster African and African-American history, heritage and culture.

ABOUT CampCaribe's "200x20" Campaign:
If 200 people each donated $20, then each person would have a stake in the growth of two (2) girls that might not otherwise have an opportunity to experience CampCaribe. 200 people x $20 = 2 changed lives. Tax deductible donations of any amount can be made via

Teenshop Kicks Off 24th Year of Service


Career Women Mentor Girls in Volunteer Nonprofit Weekend Program; Enrollment Deadline Set for October 30th

Elleanor Jean Hendley with graduating senior

Elleanor Jean Hendley with Teenshop alumnae college students

Philadelphia, PA ( - When she founded Teenshop in June, 1985, Elleanor Jean Hendley, an Emmy Award winning former television news education reporter and talk show host/producer, was working full time at Philadelphia's CBS affiliate. "I wanted to help nurture and empower adolescent girls. As a former public school teacher prior to working in broadcasting, I had started an after school charm club for girls, so I decided to continue working with this age group."

The Teenshop program now includes four Philadelphia chapters and one in Los Angeles, California, each led by a five-member team of dedicated female mentors. The ten-month curriculum is an innovative series of life skills workshops, community service, college tours, field trips, and a Women's History Month Leadership Luncheon.

Three years ago Hendley started a residential Summer Leadership Conference for Teenshop's rising seniors, which is held at Pennsylvania's Bryn Mawr College. Each girl is sponsored by a career woman who also becomes her mentor. "We're fortunate to attract their generous support, which is what really makes this conference possible," says Hendley. She's also looking for a corporate partner to help expand the conference and make it available to girls on other college campuses.

More than three thousand girls have been enrolled in Teenshop since 1985 and members come from diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. All program graduates attend college or pursue other education goals, and many graduates return to volunteer in their former chapters.

As she looks ahead to the 25th Anniversary in June, 2010, Hendley is proud of the group's accomplishments but says maintaining the program is a struggle with very limited funds and without a dedicated funding base. "We continue to actively reach out to corporations, foundations, and anyone interested in the positive development of girls, to show them that an investment in Teenshop is as good as gold."

Angie Stone Reveals 'Unexpected' Album Cover | Available In Stores & Online on 11/24

Angie Stone switches up her sound and her style on forthcoming album, Unexpected


Soul star Angie Stone has a new outlook on life complete with an image transformation! Her new album "Unexpected" (Stax), available on November 24th, represents a turning point in her musical journey and she hopes you will join her as she takes this leap of faith.

Listen to the toe tapping first single "I Ain't Hearin' U"

 I Ain't Hearin' U (WM): 

I Ain't Hearin' U (QT):

"I Ain't Hearin' U" is now available on iTunes


Angie Stone
Unexpected - In Stores November 24th
Stax Records

Connect with Angie Stone: 


R&B Star’s New Album is 2nd for Legendary Soul Label Stax Records

R&B/soul luminary Angie Stone has never shied away from pushing her own limits and the limits of her music. With each new recording, with each next step in her career, she has consistently hit the world with something it didn’t see coming. Her new album, Unexpected, set for release on November 24th from Stax Records (a division of Concord Music Group), encompasses a diversity of styles and influences that Stone has distilled over the years – rap, R&B, soul, funk and more – and weaves them together in a narrative that addresses life’s ups and downs, but ultimately strikes a redemptive chord.

“I wanted this album to be something different,” says Stone, whose 2007 Stax debut, The Art of Love & War, was her first album to top Billboard’s R&B/hip-hop chart. “I didn’t want to make the kind of neo-soul record I had made in the past. That would have been repetitive.”

But in the midst of mapping this new direction, Stone encountered a shock that even she didn’t see coming. Mid-way through the recording process, her father – Stone’s spiritual anchor and creative mentor since her childhood in South Carolina – passed away very suddenly. “It was totally unexpected,” she says, “and that’s where I came up with the title of the album. I really didn’t think I could finish the project, because I was so grief stricken…I had to do a lot of the vocals a second time. I had to lean on my dad’s wisdom and energy, and try to be open to what he would have wanted me to do in order to finish the songs. I can say that his spirit was literally there in the studio with me, and I’m grateful for that.”

Out of this tragedy comes Unexpected, the next step forward for Stone, a stretch beyond whatever limits – real or perceived – she might have been facing when the project began. From the get-go, the quick and funky title track – with its backbeat inspired by Sly Stone’s 1971 hit, “Family Affair” – warns the listener to “Prepare yourself for just about anything.” Equally energetic is the album’s first single, “I Ain’t Hearin’ U,” a song that decries rumor and gossip. The track is co-written by vocalist and songwriter Juanita Wynn, Stone’s collaborative partner for several years.

“I Don’t Care” is a proclamation of self-acceptance and self-assurance, based on sound spiritual advice that Stone received early on: “My dad always used to tell me, ‘Don’t worry about what people say. They can’t change anything. Whatever God wants for you is most important.” “Tell Me” settles into a techno groove wherein the dual vocals by Stone and Wynn – artfully co-produced by Kerrim “Ikon” King and Fitzroy “Art Teacher” Reid – create a wall of sound that’s augmented by an edgy delivery from rapper Dose.

“Think Sometimes” is a poignant ballad inspired in large part by Stone’s late father. “It’s funny how people can slip away so fast, and suddenly they’re in your past,” she says. “You wonder about what you could have – or should have – done differently. It’ll make you think sometimes.”

Unexpected represents a turning point for Angie Stone – not just in her career, but in her life and her world view. And while the losses that triggered the transformation may be painful, the artist and her work are stronger because of them. “This album is something that no one would have anticipated coming from me. My father always encouraged me and everyone else he knew to reach out and make a leap of faith, and that’s exactly what I’ve done


Gemstars LLC are proud to announce the impending release of Tunnel Vision from their lead off artist Komp'L. Born Divine Thomas, this New York native has been diligently crafting his debut project over the last few months, eager to make an impression on Hip-Hop's biggest fans.

"This mixtape has taken a lot of hard work from all involved," Komp'L explains. "I went back and re-recorded some of the tracks to give the tape a 'fresher' feel and to demonstrate just where I am today as an artist and I am extremely pleased with the outcome."

The fourteen-track opus, which features production from the Gemstars in-house production team, Marv, Bobby and Majestic, validates the void that Komp’L is intent on filling. Boasting abundant wordplay and generous portions of metaphors and punch lines, Komp’L is adamant that this chapter in his recording career will open doors not just for him as a rapper but also for Gemstars as, New York’s most innovative new label.

“This will be the mixtape to get us the attention we strive so hard to achieve,” the budding performer shares. “The real Hip-Hop heads should appreciate this tape for the fact its straight up lyricism, something which the game is severely lacking.”

With the tape being available for free download from the 28th of October, the lead off single from project, So Cold produced by Marv is currently being worked online and to radio. “The reason why we selected this track as the first from Tunnel Vision was because it says so much about me as an artist,” Komp’L says. “But not only that, the production on the track has the power to bump in the club as well as appeal to true Hip-Hop fans because of the wordplay.”

Having spent countless hours in the studio creating Tunnel Vision there will be a release party in conjunction with Drahma Magazine to celebrate this monumental achievement by Komp’L and his team on Friday 30th of October in New York City (details to follow.)

It’s hard making an impression in Hip-Hop today no doubt about it, but when you are as consistent and resilient as Komp’L is proving himself to be, slaying those Hip-Hop giants is more a reality than a myth.



Trina talks New Album, Favorite Female Emcees, Nicki Minaj & Kenyon Martin!

Monday, October 19, 2009

New Beginnings Empowerment Program


Get Busy Committee features names you may have heard before: Ryu (Styles of Beyond, Fort Minor), Apathy (Demigodz, Army of the Pharaohs) and super-producer Scoop Deville, who is known for his work recently with Snoop Dogg, Game, Clipse, Murs and many others. The two MC's and producer came together for a special project, Uzi Does It, an album with tracks produced by Apathy and Scoop, who also lends his own signature vocal swagger to many of the songs. Their debut album, Uzi Does It, will be released for pre-sale album download on October 27th at and available on iTunes and other outlets on November 10th.

This album is unlike any rap album you've heard before. So, if you were expecting some of the boring two-sample verse/chorus nonsense hip-hop, it won't be here. There is no forced song structure and a variety of interesting topics on the album. The record is hip-hop, served straight up. Full of songs and songwriting, heartfelt stories of life in LA, a life of music, partying, late nights on the Sunset Strip, and coke. Apathy describes on 'Chillin Out Maxin', "I used to love Easy-E, BBD, BDP, so I mixed it all up what you get? GBC."

Check out the songs 'My Little Razor Blade' and 'Chillin Out Maxin' here:

Check out the makeshift 'My Little Razor Blade' music video here:

The record is being released on their own label, Tokyo Sex Whale Records. Ryu was once signed to Warner Brothers and Apathy to Atlantic. No offense to the A&R rep who thinks phrases like, "I think you should work on your skateboard skills" or "you should go to the gym so you can take your shirt off on stage" is career advice, but Get Busy Committee decided to eschew label interest this time around and go their own route. "We can fuck it up ourselves, thanks," they were heard to say. So, Uzi Does It became a 100% self-funded, self-released independent record.

And while you'll definitely find this record on iTunes, Amazon, and even at your local indie CD store, you'll also find it in some non-traditional places and formats. One such version will be on a USB stick in the shape of an Uzi open bolt, blowback-operated submachine gun ( Uzi Does It, indeed.









Washington, D.C. – From Wu-Tang to Washington and ‘your street’ to Wall Street, Cedric Muhammad has been offering up his unique perspective on National, Societal and World politics, events and affairs for many years via his radio show, “The Cedric Muhammad and Black Coffee Program.” His analysis and advice are sought by World Leaders, Members of Congress, entertainers, activists, journalists and businesspersons and as President of CM Cap, he has advised a vast range of individuals and institutions from first-time entrepreneurs to international governmental bodies. He has also been published or appeared in respected financial media such as The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg Financial News. Now, for the first time, Cedric has gathered all of his years of expertise together in a three-volume book series entitled “The Entrepreneurial Secret: Starting a Business Without a Bank Loan, Collateral or Revenue.” These self-published volumes are loaded with how-to steps, rare historical research, personal testimony and a unique ability to connect political, cultural and economic realities and are aimed at anyone who has a small business, or is thinking of starting one and looking for a broad overview of the process.


“I wrote The Entrepreneurial Secret with the recently laid off professional, previously incarcerated individual, and single Mother in mind, as well as the Hip-Hop generation.”  Cedric Muhammad says of his series. “There is no single book or book series that I know of that properly and simultaneously connects how the political economy, personal struggle and business principles impact entrepreneurship.  The public school system hardly teaches economics at all. I only received 4 weeks of it in my senior year of high school. The media can’t explain it to the public in clear words and newspapers seem to only care about personal finance – 401 Ks, investing in the stock market and buying real estate - which is not entrepreneurship. The greatest source of wealth in this country has not come from investing in paper assets.  It has come from building businesses.  And lastly, the book publishing industry divides the subject of business into too many sub categories.  All of this has contributed to ignorance and confusion. My clients and readers would always ask me for one book to recommend on the subject that would be comprehensive and I couldn’t do it.  So, I guess in The Entrepreneurial Secret I have attempted to write the book that they and I wanted to read.”

Cedric Muhammad is uniquely qualified to address the economic needs and concerns of the Hip-Hop Generation having served for many years as General Manger of the multi-platinum music act, Wu-Tang Clan. Whilst with the group, Cedric negotiated its tour with Rage Against the Machine in 1997 and an endorsement deal with Pepsi Co. That same year, he established an inner-city consulting firm, advising McDonald’s Corporation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, among others.

In the Summer of 2004, Mr. Muhammad was hired by Source Enterprises CEO, Mr. David Mays, to serve as a strategic consultant to the CEO and The Source Magazine; then the most widely circulated Hip-Hop magazine in the world. The under 40 year old’s unique background in the entertainment industry, congressional campaigns and media provide him with valuable skill sets and a network which he deploys in a variety of causes and ventures. An example is Cedric’s brokering of a meeting between Congressman Bennie Thompson and Hip-Hop artist David Banner to discuss local and national economic empowerment, education and community development in July of 2005.

With the current decline of music sales and the shift towards more artists deciding to forgo the 360 deals that most major labels are now offering, there has never been a better time for a series of this nature to hit the streets. The Wall Street Journal reported in September that the current recession “is taking a particularly heavy toll on business creation, as sources of small-business funding dry up and would-be entrepreneurs become more risk-averse. When entrepreneurs do launch businesses, they are hiring fewer employees on average. The trends threaten to damp growth in jobs and economic output for years.”

In “The Entrepreneurial Secret”, Cedric Muhammad talks about the journey and adventure of entrepreneurship in spiritual, technical and practical terms in three Volumes. Volume I: The Political Economy deals with cultural, economic, and political factors that affect the bottom line of every business.  It also explains how the financial crisis has impacted the ability of entrepreneurs to access capital and what they can do to finance their dreams, outside of the commercial banking system. Volume II: The Business Principles lays out Cedric’s own experience, study and tips like the importance of building your personal power, mastering etiquette and networking, negotiating deals and writing business plans. Volume III: The Personal Struggle revolves around the uphill road that success in entrepreneurship requires and the toll it can take on relationships.  It is a poignant volume showing how some of the best qualities of the entrepreneurial personality can create imbalance in your personal and domestic life as well. Volume III also points to how to embrace suffering and strengthen your willpower on a spiritual and scientific level.

“The Entrepreneurial Secret: Starting a Business Without a Bank Loan, Collateral or Revenue” is currently available via and at Barnes & Noble via For more information go to





Cedric Muhammad was named a Member of the African Union’s First Congress of African Economists in November of 2008.  He is a political strategist, monetary economist and business consultant who has advised members of Congress, multi-national corporations, music moguls, and foreign governments on strategy and economic policy.  He has been published in the Wall Street Journal, and featured in American Banker. Before establishing his entrepreneurial development firm CM Cap, Cedric served as the General Manager of Wu-Tang Clan Management for the multi-platinum Hip- Hop music group. Muhammad attended Rutgers University majoring in Finance.  THE ENTREPRENEURIAL SECRET: Starting a Business Without A Bank Loan, Collateral or Revenue is his first book.

Veteran Neo-Soul Artists Slated For Album Release On November 3

Neo-soul group Tone 7 has conjured their debut album Tonality, infusing a line-up of seasoned musicians, resulting in an ultimate mix of musical styles from what music critics are calling “musicians’ musicians.”

Lead guitarist Bobby Cobb was chosen as the opening act, not once, but twice, for Bob Marley and The Wailers. After having been approached by the late reggae legend and his wife, and spending time conversing with Marley, Cobb says that he ultimately became speechless. “I remember it distinctly,” he recalls. “I was on the far side of stage right, and Marley came up to me, and started talking to me.  When it got to the point when he said, ‘I really like your band, I really like your playing,’ I was so blown away, I forgot my guitar stand, and I just left it there on stage.” Listening to Cobb’s guitar work on Tonality, it is easy to see why Marley was impressed.

The 7’s lead vocalist, Tony “The Tone” Jackson, is no stranger to the spotlight. A longtime performer, at age nine, he appeared in guest roles on television shows, including The Brady Bunch and The Mod Squad. Even before hip hop became a mainstream commodity, used to promote corporate products, Jackson and hip hop icon Afrika Bambaata joined forces to appear in a Nescafe commercial together, possibly the first television commercial to feature such artists. Profoundly influenced by Michael Jackson, Tone went on to pursue his musical destination that became Tonality.

Armed with yet a second lead and rhythm guitarist, Neil Stallings, it again becomes clear this band is comprised of studio quality musicians. Stallings’ rich blues history includes having shared the stage with artists like B. B. King, Freddy King, Albert Collins, Big Mama Thornton and other legends. Stallings has served as the opening act for countless artists, including B.B. King, Freddy King, Johnny Winter, and The Chambers Brothers. He has also played on stage with the likes of Sly Stone. Yet all of these artists are only a partial list.

Most recently, drummer Thomas “Thunderfoot” Mason has played for headlining artists in the Las Vegas area, at venues including the Flamingo and John Ascuaga’s Nugget, and a bevy of other notable venues throughout the western half of the United States.

Keyboardist Will Hammond started his career when he was very young, as a staffer at Fantasy Records (John Fogerty, Credence Clearwater Revival). His uncle is jazz legend Eddie Hammond, who played at the Champagne Supper Club in the Fillmore District during its heyday, where artists including Billie Holliday, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, John Coltraine, and others dropped in for jam sessions. Hammond’s uncle is pictured in Harlem Of The West, a book about the musically historic club. Will, himself, has opened up for artists including Jeffrey Osborne.

Together, with much-sought after bassist, Stephen Smith, the band has created Tonality, neo-soul, interlaced with a rich variety of styles, ranging from soul, rock, jazz to R&B.

Formed in the Bay Area, the band’s lyrics reflect depth, insight and hope. It would be impossible for the album not to. Between gigs, Tone works as a professor of psychology, using his PHD in the treatment of anger management and depression. His insight gained through his experience of treating both inpatient and outpatient drug abusers, coupled with his involvement in social activism, makes him a true Renaissance man, and this resonates through his music throughout the album.

Cobb says of Tone’s vocals, “He never wastes a note. I have never seen him sing a note just to put it out there.”

Black rock and roll is alive and well, as evidenced by the album’s track “Revolutionary Eyes,” which combines heavy metal with soul.  When it comes to a song about seeing the world with eyes that question authority, what better mix of genres? The late Marvin Gaye’s social commentary through soul music opened up the country’s eyes by opening up the people’s ears.  Heavy metal shouts just as loudly. Together, they unite to incite.

Such musical expressionism translates messages throughout the album. The opening track, “Chicago Streets,” could have been written about any city. Despite his present success musically and otherwise, Tone grew up in gang-ridden O.G. Crip territory, in the area of 89th and Vermont in South Central Los Angeles, home of the Bounty Hunters. Tony was surrounded by the first generation of Crips, before there were even Bloods. Even Stanley “Tookey” Williams was a part of Tone’s neighborhood. Williams was executed by the State of California in 2005, a fate that was protested by a large number of people including Snoop Dogg. A biographical TV-movie entitled Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story was made in 2004, featuring Jamie Foxx as Williams. The night of his execution, Tone and folk musician Joan Baez spoke there in protest.

Despite his surroundings, Tone made a decision to not get caught up in the mayhem surrounding him. John Singleton’s Academy Award winning film “Boys In The Hood was our story,” explains Tone. “I was supposed to be with my buddy Mike, but I had to play a basketball game that night. My brother Zeke was going to go with me. I went to school right in the heart of Hoover Crips, Mt. Carmel High School, which is now defunct, at 70th and Hoover. At the game, I was on the bench. I heard sirens and ambulances, and little did I know, that ambulance was responding to a gunshot victim who had died, and the victim was Mike, one of my best friends. It was a difficult time for us; we wanted revenge, and everything else.” Ironically, Tone’s brother, Ezekiel X Jackson, was chosen by Singleton to do security on the set of the film. His brother Zeke now manages Tone 7.

With album highlights including “Maybe I,” “Tell Me,” and the thoughtful track “Ballot Or The Gun,” Tone 7 hits the perfect note. A heartfelt album, with the music to back it up, Tonality will have Tone 7’s fans listening to its songs, over and over.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Jerk Music's Hottest Crew The Ranger$ Ready "Jerkin’ Is A Habit Vol. 1" On Nov. 10th

Starting out as a dance crew, The Ranger$ began posting up their Jerk videos to YouTube and the craze that is Jerk Music thus began. With their channel being viewed over 8 million times, the argument can easily be made that the video featuring their Jerk moves to the tune of the New Boyz “You’re a Jerk!” helped the movement break the glass ceiling.

Now it’s their time with the release of their first project “Jerkin’ Is A Habit Vol. 1” In Stores November 10th. With a full length album featuring some of the hottest names in the Jerk movement (Baby Dollz, JHawk, Indigo Vanity, Cliff Savage, Yong 3rd and more) the package also contains a 3 hour DVD of Behind the Scenes footage, Classic YouTube Videos and even Lessons on how to Jerk dance by the Ranger$ themselves.

While the singles “Number 1 Dime” and “Around She Goes” are already receiving over 100,000 plays and downloads , the group is determined to prove that they are not boxed in by their sub-genre and willingly push the boundaries.

Very few hip hop fans and critics remember that there are 4 elements of Hip Hop. Rapping, DJing, Graffiti and Dancing. In the midst of the gangsta movement that catapulted Hip Hop into the next realm, several of the elements seemed to fall on the wayside. Until the last few years, Hip hop dancing had yet to be embraced once again by the masses.

Enter Jerk Music.

It pulsates through the airwaves and video websites with hundreds of thousands, and in some cases, MILLIONS of plays and views. You cannot avoid it.

Front and center of the movement, is the multi-talented super crew “The Ranger$” with “Jerkin’ Is A Habit Vol. 1”.

In Stores November 10th.