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LEGITIMATIZING DIDDY: NEVER UNDERESTIMATE WHAT A COLLEGE DROPOUT CAN TEACH A GRADUATING CLASS

LEGITIMATIZING DIDDY: NEVER UNDERESTIMATE WHAT A COLLEGE DROPOUT CAN TEACH A GRADUATING CLASS

STORY BY CHRISTINA COLEMAN @ Saintheron

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There’s something so spectacular about seeing Howard University’s “Yard,” fecund and green, immediately slipping off the grey’s of winter to reveal the focal point of Washington D.C. academics, Founders Library, as it sits atop a hill, vibrant in historic brown hue.

In short, when spring hits, Howard pops. Urbanized verbiage aside, it literally bursts open to confess all that winter blankets hid– Greeks who previously stalked the night shrouded in hoodies get to finally stroll across the yard, bolded letters printed in crimson, pink, golds, purple and blue.  Scholars emerge from library stacks to lay crochet blankets down and discuss Teju Cole’s latest in front of Frederick Douglass Hall. Fine Arts students dance interpretively in Howard’s manicured lawn and fashion lovers, the fabled archetypal Howard student, sit on newly erected bleachers to discuss topics far less conspicuous than Kanye’s leather jogging pants.

It’s a seasonal act, a familiar ritual gearing up for final grades, tedious testing and for those staring at the black bleachers littering the yard in preparation for a commencement ceremony, getting the hell out of dodge.

It’s graduation season.

And as spring days pass and May approaches, undergrad-nostalgia and excitement amplify to stifling levels – the anxiety of not relying on college to justify yet another internship or to avoid the imminent Sallie Mae hurtling towards you – almost graduates entrust the most unlikely of sources to ease them from carefree college student to work-force adulthood.

The commencement speaker.

But for Howard University class of 2014, that last pep talk before being thrown in a low-paying, non-existing middle class, fucked up American economy will be delivered, ceremoniously, from a product of the same university who was, upon announcement of his speech, unceremoniously targeted for his legitimacy as a recipient of an honorary degree – Sean “Diddy” Combs.

It’s a nuanced debate, whether a man who dropped out of the historically black college to pursue his career in music is of the same caliber as past commencement speaker’s. Is it questionable to have Combs who, one can argue, has merely mentioned his unofficial alma mater in songs instead of actively participating as the university faces some of its toughest financial and branding years, give his “academic” advice?  Can a man worth $580 million take the stage in front of hundreds of in-debt graduates and tell them, “You can do it if I could?”

Where are the lines being drawn? What is the standard?

To tackle that first argument, supporters of Comb’s newest charge have pointed out that moguls, icons and millionaires like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were also welcomed back to their unofficial alma maters after dropping out of school.
Musical artists, actresses and actors have long been recipients of the university’s coveted degrees. But Comb’s, who many readily accept to host a party or give a shout out, is somehow shelled out of the realm of successful individuals who have made it without higher education.

Apparently, computers and Apple products are much more appropriate than hip-hop music’s popularized patriarchal content.

Let’s talk respectability politics, shall we?

In a Huffington Post article titled, “P. Diddy — Likely Wrong Choice for Howard U. Commencement Address,” author Morris W. O’Kelly said this to counter the argument regarding drop-outs leading graduating classes in commencement:

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates forever changed the world. Sean Combs temporarily changed R&B music over the course of 15 years through the tools of misogyny and all things antithetical to educational attainments. Let’s keep this in its proper perspective and not make false equivocations….

But beyond expressing the importance of education in their general commentaries, Jobs and Gates specifically don’t have any of their money tied to calling Black women b******, h*** or black men N****. Accountability matters in the assessment of “successful” careers. Otherwise, notorious DC druglord Rayful Edmond is equally suitable as a potential commencement speaker.

If we’re to be fair, accountability is certainly important when discussing successful careers, especially when deciding if one will subscribe to the French slogan of  “art for art’s sake,” and dismiss any didactic needs whatsoever. And honestly, black cultures relationship with hip-hop is storied with love, hate, and feelings of loss after universities took to popularizing the art in courses, most times without appropriate authority and without addressing the problematic irony of teaching hip-hop to an audience largely absent of black people.

These things are true. Frankly, we’re all not here for hip-hop’s degrading bravado. But we are here for popular culture accepting the black men and women, like Comb’s, who fuel and cultivate the same culture they wish to package in a curriculum. America, you can’t be that selective. If we are to teach hip-hop, we can certainly have one of its most successful moguls speak to our students, no?

Additionally Comb’s legitimacy can’t be ignored. At a university that was created in the midst of exclusion to educate people of color, who is to say Comb’s contributions to black culture have not changed our world?

Let’s start from the bottom.

What makes Comb’s story so special wasn’t his rise to the top as a drop out. It’s his rise to the top as a black man…who dropped out. And frankly, if we’re to compare Jobs, Gates and Comb’s, let’s get one thing clear – their starting points were not the same. There’s this thing called “privilege.” And Comb’s effect on this world was not succinct to R&B and is certainly not temporary overall. He, for lack of better words, changed the game.

After dropping out of Howard University following two years as a business major, Comb’s became an intern at Uptown Records, under founder Andre Harrell. After developing some of Uptown’s most popular acts like Mary J. Blige, Comb’s was let go and promptly created Bad Boy Records. His musical success flourished as the years followed. But setting himself apart from many rappers and producers, Comb’s perfected the art of business. Whether it’s his Sean Jean clothing line, the unprecedented Revolt TV, or popularizing the “Vote Or Die” campaign that bolstered the numbers of young voter registration (and led to Barack Obama’s presidential win), Howard University is still at the helm of Comb’s success story as a business school drop- out.

We watched what two years at the historic school did for Comb’s. We also watched how his hustle, no doubt developed from haggling with administration at Howard, begging professors for overrides into their full classes or scheming on how to get to school in D.C. and your internship in New York, aided in his overall victory.

Unfortunately, that last anecdote probably won’t mean anything to you if you haven’t done the Howard Hustle. It’s just our thing,

But isn’t demonizing and excluding Comb’s from academia for his musical content, or because he didn’t make his money as a lawyer or doctor, a nuanced way to say this subset of black culture isn’t good enough for Howard University?

Must we even address the irony?

To turn away our own is to make a big mistake. And certainly at a time where the university needs the resources and attention that a mogul like Comb’s can (and has) provided, the Howard community should be cultivating a relationship with their own, with a product of their environment.

Outsiders, armed with invective, are sure to continue the vitriol on Comb’s with veiled dissent spelling out his “unworthiness.” But, dare I say it, holding our own to such a standard and having Comb’s as a commencement speaker is the most Howard thing Howard has done in a while.

After all, weren’t we created to give people of color a safe place to learn and grow from other people of color, without the pressure of existing in a white, exclusionary space? Wouldn’t a speech about the importance of education and how Howard University contributed to Comb’s multi-faceted entrepreneurial spirit cross more nuanced lines than Gates treading through his own success story?

It’s just a thought.

Like O’Kelly said in his scathing op-ed in the Huffington Post:

Howard University doesn’t need anyone suggesting to its majority African-American graduates that everyone can be a multi-millionaire rap music producer or that it’s admirable to make hundreds of millions defiling and debasing those in your own community.

He’s right. But Howard University does need someone suggesting to its African-American graduates that he couldn’t have made it without the knowledge he acquired at the esteemed college, and, possibly, insight to navigating in this faux “post-racial” world as educated black people.

And for that, I’m certain Bill Gates couldn’t provide any insight or advice.

Bad Boys 3 officially announced by Martin Lawrence

Bad Boys 3 officially announced by Martin Lawrence

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The world has been waiting for another Bad Boys movie starring Martin Lawrence and Will Smith and it appears that we’re going to be getting what we’ve all been waiting for this entire time.

No matter your feelings on the first two films, there’s just something epic about the Bad Boys franchise and it’s a franchise that is about to get one film bigger as a third film is officially on it’s way. Martin Lawrence made the announcement while appearing on Conan this week, which is news that fans of the franchise have been waiting to hear confirmed for years now.

The official video of the announcement isn’t up yet, as the episode of Conan hasn’t aired yet, but it will be available right here tomorrow morning when the clips from tonight’s episode go live online.

It’s unclear just what Lawrence reveals or if Will Smith is at all involved — or Michael Bay, for that matter — but the bottom line is that Bad Boys 3 is finally happening and things just got real for fans of the series.

B Josh Hill at Fansided

Konshens – Music (Official Music Video)

Konshens – Music (Official Music Video)

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Konshens “Music” (Official Music Video) | SubKonshus Music
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New Music – Vybz Kartel Aka Addi Innocent – Without Money

New Music – Vybz Kartel Aka Addi Innocent – Without Money

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Vybz Kartel Aka Addi Innocent – Without Money © 2014 Produced by Tj Records Vybz Kartel (Addi Innocent) – Reggae Love Songs & Other Things –https://itun.es/i6g98DJ #iTunes

BRIXTON SPLASH CO-FOUNDER AND RECORD STORE OWNER BLACKER DREAD JAILED FOR MONEY-LAUNDERING

BRIXTON SPLASH CO-FOUNDER AND RECORD STORE OWNER BLACKER DREAD JAILED FOR MONEY-LAUNDERING

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Brixton Splash co-founder/board member, Reggae producer and music store owner, Blacker Dread has been jailed alongside five other people (including a former credit controller) for stealing £700,000 from  Sutton based company ICMD Ltd.

Blacker Dread, whose real name is Steve Burnett-Martin was jailed for two and a half years for receiving £230,411 in fraudulent payments as part of the £700,000 scam.

Blacker Dread the legendary music store in Brixton’s Coldharbour Lane is one of the UK’s key distribution outlets for reggae music on vinyl, tapes and CD’s.

Croydon Advertiser

A FORMER credit controller has been jailed for her key part in stealing more than £700,000 from her employer.

Lorna Martin, of Selhurst Road, South Norwood, has been jailed alongside the five people into whose bank accounts the money was paid.

The 32-year-old used her job at marketing company IMCD Ltd in Sutton to create fake invoices to pay the money from the company into her and others’ bank accounts.

From September 2011 to August 2012, £30,548 was paid into two Santander bank accounts in Martin’s name, and £94,449 to her partner at the time, Leon Binns, 31, of Southbridge Place, Croydon.

A further £230,411 was paid to record store Blacker Dread, based in Brixton and run by Steve Burnett-Martin, 55, of Gipsy Hill.

And £193,000 was paid into three accounts in the names of Michael Bakare, 31, of Choumert Street, Peckham; his sister Oluwaseun Bakare, 26, of the same road; and Shevon Scott (pictured).

IMCD Ltd, of Throwley Way, only realised something was wrong months after Martin had left, and called police.

At Croydon Crown Court after a month-long trial ending on May 26, all six were convicted of money-laundering charges, while Martin was also convicted of thieving from her employer.

Martin was jailed for three years; Burnett for two-and-a-half; Binns for 18 months; Michael Bakare for two years; Oluwaseun Bakare for 18 months, and the Shevon Scott for 21 months.

According to The Brixton Blog, Blacker Dread’s now closed music store has a sign up that reads “Oooooops”.

This news has shocked me. For years Blacker Dread has been viewed as a well respected figure in the community, especially in Brixton.

And to think only last month a crowd funding page was launched to raise funds for this year’s Brixton Splash event, due to significant funding cuts as well as rising costs.  Organisers have had to resort to launching a funding page to ensure the event goes ahead this year while Blacker had thousands of pounds languishing in a bank account.

Anyway look where greed gets you.  A reputation ruined and a two and a half year stint in prison.

Was it really worth it in the end?

Source : MadNewsUK

BREAKING NEWS: Vybz Kartel sentenced to life in prison, to serve 35 years before parole

BREAKING NEWS: Vybz Kartel sentenced to life in prison, to serve 35 years before parole

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Dancehall artiste, Vybz Kartel, has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams. – See more at:

Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, is to serve 35 years before he becomes eligible for parole.

He and the three other men convicted for Lizard’s murder were each given life sentences a short while ago by Justice Lennox Campbell.

Adidja Palmer – LIFE IN PRISON (35 years before eligible for parole)
Shawn ‘Shawn Storm’ Campbell – LIFE IN PRISON (25 years before eligible for parole)
Kahira Jones – LIFE IN PRISON (25 years before eligible for parole)
Andre St John – LIFE IN PRISON (30 years before eligible for parole)

Justice Campbell handed down the sentences after hearing impassioned pleas for leniency from lawyers representing the men.

On March 13, after 65 days of trial, a jury returned a ten to one guilty verdict.

On that same day, a fourth co-accused, Shane Williams was freed by the jury.

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The defence has indicated that it will be appealing the verdict.

It has cited discrepancies, inconsistencies, missing data, and mismanagement in the collection of evidence as well as the integrity of the evidence.

Kartel’s attorney, Tom Tavares-Finson says the defence has a fundamental issue with the decision of the trial judge to permit certain phone evidence, given the admission by the police that the instruments were being used after they were taken into their custody.

He says it is very significant that since the matter was heard, the Director of Public Prosecutions has ordered a change in the protocol as to how evidence is to be kept in the department.

According to the attorney, the police have also changed the protocol as to how telephones are to be kept.

Tavares-Finson said the Director of Public Prosecutions, Paula Llewellyn, has also asked prosecutor, Jeremy Taylor, to launch an investigation into the conduct of the investigators in the case.

“I am of the opinion that the department cannot investigate itself and any such investigation should be done by the Independent Commission of Investigations,” Tavares-Finson said.

Catch the Cat Man show sponsored by Vision Newspaper UK every Thursday at 2pm on London Hott Radio

Catch the Cat Man show sponsored by Vision Newspaper UK every Thursday at 2pm on London Hott Radio

CATMAN-SHOW

Catch the Cat Man show sponsored by Vision Newspaper UK every Thursday at 2pm on London Hott Radio

Uncle Drummer interviews Bucky Jo on London Hott Radio

Uncle Drummer interviews Bucky Jo on London Hott Radio

Bucky-Drummer

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Capleton gets pushed – reggae in the hills 2013

Capleton gets pushed – reggae in the hills 2013

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“All the people who believe in love let me see your hands in the air, good over evil,” Capleton said before continuing his performance.

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