Our Weekly – Jaquel Pitts: elevating from foster care to potential NFL draftee

According to a 2013 study conducted by the Child Welfare Information Gateway, an estimated 399,546 children are in America’s foster care system. Out of that high number, Gary Strangler, executive director of the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiatives, says thousands who age out of the system after turning 18-years-old have difficulties adjusting to life as an independent citizen.

“In fact, over the past decade, more than 200,000 teenagers have aged out of foster care often without achieving permanent family connections or those critical building blocks of support,” explained Strangler.

Despite overwhelming obstacles, one young man managing to excel post-foster care is Berkeley native Jaquel Pitts. Since making his exit from the system the day after his high school graduation in 2012, the 20-year-old has managed to earn an associate degree in social science from College of Siskiyous. He is working on his bachelor’s degree and pressing toward a promising NFL career.

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I think when you talk about competing against others, the problem is that you refer to something that’s been done already and try to beat it.

Shigeru Miyamoto

Tha Fly Nation – Fool’s Gold Day Off 2k14

Another year, another Fool’s Gold Day Off ends with hyped performances, inebriated early twenty somethings, quirky fashions and candid reminder of why the indie label is still a force to be reckoned with. For it’s third year, the event held at the historic Shrine Auditorium Sunday evening was a blend of the old, new and future.

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SoulTrain.com Profile – Bettie Grind

North Carolina has essentially been on the bare side in regards to its hip-hop. Besides the current underground reign of 9th Wonder’s Jamla Squad roster and small moment for Petey Pablo, the most prominent name to come from the Tar Heel State is J. Cole. Hoping to represent the state’s biggest city, Charlotte, is rapper and CEO of Hood Supastar Entertainment, Bettie Grind.

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The Script Lab – CitizenFour

For the first time since the scandal, we get an insight into the life of someone who some see as a terrorist and others, an American hero. Through Citizenfour, viewers will see someone who ultimately felt it was his responsibility to inform citizens and let them come up with their own conclusion.

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The Script Lab – Addicted

Expect Addicted to make the bottom tier list of Wal-Mart’s urban section within the next couple of months. Those who are fans of Zane’s Sex Chronicles know exactly what to expect and those who don’t will probably be disappointed. Everyone else, hopefully they can leave their mind at the door and just enjoy the fluff for what it is.

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SoulTrain.com Q&A – Rico Love

From Usher’s “There Goes My Baby” to Beyoncé’s “Sweet Dreams,” it’s clear as day that Rico Love has established himself as one of music’s greatest songwriters. However, that’s clearly not enough, thanks to a slow yet effective transition into the limelight. It all kicked off last year with the release of his EP last year Discrete Luxury. Featuring the tracks “They Don’t Know” and “B***hes Be Like,” the project, re-released this year with more tracks on iTunes, proved more than enough that Love had everything it takes as a solo artist. It also helps that he’s working overtime as owner of his label Division 1 through Interscope.

Speaking with SoulTrain.com, Rico Love discusses the success of Discrete Luxury,Division 1 artist Tiara Thomas, and what he thinks is his most slept on songwriting credit.

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SoulTrain.com Profile – Neijah Lanae

Oakland-raised, LA-based singer/songwriter Neijah Lanae doesn’t mind having labels placed on her music. “Genres are a way for people to help navigate music,” says Lanae. “I don’t get offended by labels but it is hard to categorize myself because I want to do different things.” That free spirited approached to music is more than apparent on her Sapphire Vol.1 EP. Released in mid-August, popular lifestyle blog Wine & Bowties called the project “a dynamic collection of shimmery R&B that touches down into plenty of stylistic territory.”

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Every living being is an engine geared to the wheelwork of the universe. Though seemingly affected only by its immediate surrounding, the sphere of external influence extends to infinite distance.

Nikola Tesla

HipHopDX Feature Q&A – Migos

Alongside the ranks of Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan, rambunctious trio Migos represents the next-generation of Atlanta emcees reaching mainstream. It’s easy to conclude that Drake’s guest verse on the “Versace” remix was a turning point for Quavo, Offset and Takeoff. However, the three had already become a local household name in the area’s Hip-Hop scene thanks to trap anthems like “Bando” and “Flex.” 

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