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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18 celebrated the graduation of more than 200 pre-prep trainees while various recruiters looked for potential employee candidates at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza Saturday afternoon.
Richmond, California-based artist and entrepreneur Rich Cole has been building a steady buzz throughout the Bay Area for several years thanks to his heavy usage of social media. As CEO of The ABiatorz Music Group, he’s released a slew of mixtapes and solo projects to keep his fans anticipating his long awaited debut project The Rich Tape. Making a grand entrance, the album has some heavyweights behind it. Production wise, the DJ Skee-hosted project features sought-after beats from the likes of JakeOne and MyGuyMars. The project also features guest appearances from Too $hort, Tory Lanez and Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest, among others. Set for release around February 2015, the project should serve as a grand introduction for someone who’s been rhyming since the tender age of fifteen.
Speaking with SoulTrain.com, Rich Cole details how he grew his buzz locally, linking with DJ Skee and the inspiration for The Rich Tape’s first single “Bullion (54 Gold Bars).”
The year was 1998. While New Orleans, Houston and Atlanta pretty much monopolized the conversation of Southern Hip Hop’s eventual rise to dominance, Miami seemed to be stuck in an era of 2 Live Crew and the over-the-top sexual exploits of Luther Campbell. Then came Trick Daddy’s “Nann” record. The Liberty City, Florida native came with the same ridiculously crass rhymes many remembered from his guest appearance on Campbell’s “Scarred” but this time, he brought a sassy-mouthed Katrina Laverne Taylor who was just as lyrically audacious. Of course, she would be known to simply as Trina.
One of the most daring bands to emerge from LA’s contemporary music scene is Odd Future offshoot, The Internet. Originally consisting of Syd tha Kid and Matt Martians, the two made quite a stir when they dropped 2011’s experimental soul album Purple Naked Ladies. Featuring controversial videos for the singles “Cocaine” and “Fastlane,” critics either loved the duo’s creativity or hated their left-field sound. Regardless, the project gained the group a nice following and band additions through keyboardist Jameel Bruner, bass player Patrick Paige and drummer Christopher Smith.
As a five piece band, The Internet dropped the appropriately titled Feel Good in 2013. This time, critics praised the project as an easier listen than their debut. “Overall, Feel Good nails the delicate balance between experimentation and restraint, making the listener feel…great,” said Now Toronto’s Holly Mackenzie. There are also those impressive side collaborative projects with Mac Miller and Raleigh Ritchie.