Cover Story: 15-Year-Old DJ Focus Built A Radio Station From Scraps And His Message Has Reached MIT And The World (Video)
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. But in this youth’s hands, it’s an opportunity to create something incredible!
15-Year-Old Kelvin Doe is an engineering whiz living in Sierra Leone who scours the trash bins for spare parts, which he uses to build batteries, generators and transmitters. Completely self-taught, Kelvin has created his own radio station where he broadcasts news and plays music under the moniker, DJ Focus.
David Sengeh, an MIT student and fellow native of Sierra Leone, met Kelvin in a Summer Innovation Program he ran there. His heart and mind, Kelvin’s heart and mind… and this story… will touch and inspire you. Guaranteed!
Slated for release next month, “The Hip-Hop Fellow” is a feature-length film documenting super-producer 9th Wonder’s time as a Harvard University professor, teaching “The Breaks” to a bunch of students of the Cambridge (Massachusetts) institution. 9th Wonder’s contribution is an awesome complement to Harvard’s Hip-Hop Archive (see our post on Nas being honored there). Each and together these are a blessing to the campus community and the world.
The trailer captures commentary and cosigns by Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Young Guru, Pete Rock, DJ Premier and more. This documentary is going to be a “don’t miss” to be certain. Watch.
He has the love for it. He has the drive for it. It’s always been in him. He’s the genius behind it. You know, it’s only right.
- Kendrick Lamar
After three years of consideration and strategic planning, the world-renown Scratch DJ Academy has now opened a new school chapter in Atlanta, GA. Saturday, February 15th, Scratch DJ Academy held an open house for it’s new facility located within the SAE Institute. The event was packed with aspiring students, industry professionals and music enthusiasts of all kinds. Founded in 2002 in New York City, NY, by Jam Master Jay (hip hop pioneer and DJ for Run DMC), Scratch DJ Academy continues to attract individuals interested in learning the fundamentals of DJing. Several chapters have already been established in the United States, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, and now Atlanta. After students successfully complete courses, they can receive certification for their education. Professionals already established in the business can also take courses to update themselves about the latest technologies for DJs. Hosted by instructor DJ Hapa and other academy employees, visitors were able to see the musical gear used in classes, meet new employees, and witness live DJ performances. DJ Hapa also hosted a panel discussion to introduce a few of the instructors for the school, including Atlanta veterans DJ Jaycee, DJ Jelly, and DJ Sky. Another contemporary favorite in Atlanta, DJ Sofa King Evil, was on hand to introduce himself as well. Classes are slated to begin in March. For more information, visit: www.scratch.com. Also email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A few years ago I got into a debate with a few friends of mine about how many of the diamonds & jewelry that most rap artists wear do not have really have any REAL value. I tried to educate them on the history of engagement rings, blood diamonds, & an a myriad of things that could be easily researched through google, but people don’t always listen to you unless it’s on television or something. Well go ahead & watch this and should you & your significant other decide to get engaged you may want to invest in real estate instead of spending heavy for something that doesn’t have any REAL value. But I have to agree with the college humor crew….. Most of you will still buy them anyway.
With all the controversy surrounding Seattle Seahawk Richard Sherman’s sideline interview with reporter Erin Andrews & the huge playmaking win for the Seattle Seahawks over the San Francisco 49ers, we felt it necessary to remind people of Richard Sherman’s journey from Compton to Stanford & onto the NFL. It may not entirely slow all the haters, but it may allow people who don’t know his story to find a new respect for him. More video below….
Wow. I know you’ve heard something on this, but now VICE is on this. The real story will be told now. And as you already know, back-alley butt enhancement injections are NOT good. They are bad… dangerous… deadly!
[It] was the transgender community that really pioneered the backroom butt-injection scene in the 1980s and 90s. For a male transitioning to a female at that time, it was a ridiculous notion to think that insurance would foot the bill… [But the] phenomenon of butt pumping has even crept into popular culture. Every time Kim Kardashian or Jennifer Lopez wears a swimsuit, tabloids and gossip websites furiously debate whether their bodacious butts are the result of an intense squat regimen or ass injections. Former stripper and hip-hop model Vanity Wonder, who boasts ample 34-23-45 curves, wrote a book about her addiction to illegal butt shots and the 16-plus times she had her butt pumped up. Nicki Minaj, who is known for her huge rump almost as much as for her platinum-selling albums [even raps about it on her] guest verse on the remix of Big Sean’s ‘Dance (A$$)’: “Kiss my ass and my anus, ’cause it’s finally famous / And it’s finally soft, yeah, it’s finally solved! / I don’t know, man, guess them ass shots wore off!”
But WHY would anyone do this? Man, click to play above, watch, and learn. Y’all know we love a thick backside on here, but this illegal back-alley life-threatening sh!t must cease! Getting an ass to die for ain’t worth dying for.
It’s important to point out that there are legal butt-enhancing procedures. The FDA deems both implants and fat transfer—where fat is liposuctioned from areas like the patient’s stomach and transferred to his or her fanny—to be safe when conducted by a board-certified plastic surgeon. However, many women choose the black-market procedure to save money. Legal implants and fat transfers can cost up to $10,000 more than their illicit counterparts.
READ: BUTTLOADS OF PAIN (VICE)
Queensbridge emcee to Harvard University honoree. Nasir “Nas” Jones, take a bow! Harvard asked the brother to create a Hip-Hop fellowship in Nas’ name 30 years after his rhyming and grinding started. This is happening! Check out what Hip-Hop at Harvard looks like above. Hip-Hop heads, you are going to be SO proud watching this!
“The same youth you want to protect… you need to understand them by understanding the music they listen to.”
Snoop Loves The Kids… Enough To Keep Them Safe From Concussions While Playing Youth Football (Video)
Hey, the NFL has all kinds of media focus on the concussion problem in its sport. But by the time they get them in the pros, those athletes have been bouncing their brains around inside their helmets (inside their skulls) for around 20 years; since youth football days. Who’s attacking the problem at that end? Who’ll get some spotlight shone at that stage. No stranger to the stage, Snoop Dogg has picked up the flag.
There is, of course, a secondary problem that should quickly move to the top of the chart; caused by parents’ fear of injury to their kids. Fewer and fewer children are participating in organized leagues that have positive impact on the lives of youth, like the Snoop Youth Football League (SYFL). Snoop wants the word out that his league is working the problem, and getting somewhere. If only he could get some NFL “oomph” behind the push.
“In my league, we’ve had less injuries over the last two years because of what we’re teaching. “I feel like if we go down to the levels and the NFL comes to the hoods and teaches us what they want us to do, by the time they get to the NFL, they’ve been practicing this their whole life.”
- Snoop Dogg
Hopefully, what has been a hood-doing-good success story will not fade away. Just peep the video above highlighting good gridiron stuff from Flo-Rida’s and Snoop’s youth leagues. Shout to HipHopDx for this.
Doctors come out of med school with huge debt to repay. Probably why we “understand” why a trip to the doctor can cost so much in the United States. But wouldn’t it be a boon to making healthcare affordable if doctors could graduate debt-free? Well… somebody’s already doing that… Cuba!
All too often though, we want to vilify those (like Cuba) we are told to treat as the enemy. Remember the uproar over Bey and Jigga’s trip to Cuba (y’all gone learn today…wrote a song ’bout it)? You’dve thought it was the missile crisis all over again. But fortunately, to balance bad-mouthing of some, we have folks who declare that there are at least some things we can appreciate about the neighbor 90 miles south of South Florida (USA). For instance, check out what the Black Left Unity blog hipped us to about another bright spot of Cuba’s medical outreach.
Cuba’s Latin American School of Medicine (LASM). A few years ago member of the USA Congressional Black Caucus visited Cuba and noted the small amount number of doctor available in Black and poor areas in American. When Rep. Bennie Thompson said his Mississippi district needed doctors, then President Fidel Castro announced scholarships for youth from under-served communities in the U.S.
It was later decided that people should apply through IFCO/Pastors for Peace. Currently 146 U.S. students study at LASM with full scholarships, including 16 in the their new class. Forty seven students have now graduated and two are residents in U.S. hospitals now. After the earthquake disaster in Haiti in February of 2010, many of the LASM graduates volunteered to go the serve there.
And if you don’t know, now you know. So, next time somebody spouts that ‘Communist Cuba the bad guys’ stuff … You hit ‘em with the link to this story. Oh, and tell them the US is actually doing some ‘bad medicine’ down that way. Remember the Gitmo force-feeding? But we’ll keep this peace positive. Thanks for the good medicine, Cuba.
Check out more video after the jump, including a great piece from PBS Newshour.
Damn shame when we get proof corruption in the system like this. Pennsylvania judge Mark Ciavarella was convicted in 2011 on 12 counts of racketeering and fraud for accepting kickbacks in exchange for sentencing young people to a private, for-profit juvenile detention center… basically selling jailing “Kids for Cash.”; hence, the appropriateness of the documentary’s name. Watch the trailer above.
Former prisoner. Former President. Forever to be respected, admired, loved… now mourned by nations the world over. Pass now from us into eternity, Nelson Mandela. Quite literally, a man who was no myth; but who will remain a legend who lived a life of service to humanity died at his home yesterday. He was 95.
We don’t have the perfect words, Mr. President. But we sincerely offer the two that should certainly be heard forever in association with your name: Thank You! For your struggles, protests, imprisonment, iconification… for your work and triumphs freeing yourself and your people (of every color) from the bonds of man, from the oppression racist institutions, and the entanglements of in-fighting that kept us at war with ourselves… We say THANK YOU, President Mandela.
To be certain, the struggles continue. But it is now our turn to take up the causes we see fit and see them through to the end; to our own ends if necessary. And we cannot say we have not had folks to have shown us the way in our lifetime. Chief among them, Nelson Mandela showed us the way of the warrior suited for his lifelong battle against injustice and for peace on a national/global scale: Not perfect, but not waiting for someone or some perfect time to come along. Not looking for a fight, but willing to risk it all and fight with all he has for as long as he has. And as a result, though not seeking glory as an end, glory followed him to the end and will forevermore.
Rest in peace, Brother Mandela. We got it from here.
Video comments from U.S. President Barack Obama above. After the jump, a favorite clip of mine.
READ: NBC WORLDNEWS’ COVERAGE
Although swinging culture in Atlanta is something I’m told is growing I can readily admit it’s a lifestyle that’s not for me. The racial element to interracial swinging is also one that is not that easy for many to comprehend as well, but in this ‘Vice Guide To Sex’ documentary we ran across featuring a Florida man by the name of Art Hammer, he attempts put into perspective as to why any man would be comfortable with another man having sex with his wife & the racial elments of the lifestyle. VICE reporter Alex Miller covers all the kinky angles for this story for VBS.TV. Although this is a news piece some of the video & content, although blurred out, is still strong & graphic so therefore it may Not be Safe For Work.
“VICE follows Art on a road trip leading up to a ‘Hot Chocolate’ party he’s hosting at a purpose built sex bungalow called the Shangri Lust. Along the way we meet the key players who make up the lifestyle: the insatiable wives and their cuckolded white husbands obsessed with sex with black men, and Art’s A-team, the crème de la crème of [The Florida] Mandingos.”
Arjan Roskam has been breeding some of the most famous marijuana strains in the world — like White Widow, Super Silver Haze, and many others — for over 20 years. In 1992 he opened his first coffee shop in Amsterdam and has since crafted his marijuana-breeding skills into a market-savvy empire known as Green House Seed Company, which rakes in millions of dollars a year. He’s won 38 Cannabis Cups and has dubbed himself the King of Cannabis. VICE joins Arjan and his crew of strain hunters in Colombia to look for three of the country’s rarest types of weed. As the dominoes of criminalization fall throughout the world, Arjan is positioned to be at the forefront of the legitimate international seed trade.
This video has three parts; the first embedded above, with parts 2 & 3 after the jump.
YEAH! McDonald’s worker Nancy Salgado got ‘em so shook they called the cops! Damn shame it has to come to this though.
Great story from NPR’s website. Watch the embedded clip that has gone viral this week, with the help of Fight For 15 – a fast-food workers’ campaign aimed at raising hourly wages to $15. Salgado shouts to Jeff Stratton, president of McDonald’s USA, who was standing at a podium in a ballroom giving a talk:
“It’s really hard for me to feed my two kids and struggle day to day. Do you think this is fair, that I have to be making $8.25 when I have worked for McDonald’s for 10 years?”
“I’ve been there 40 years.”
“We call it Black Bike Week. Whether you’re Black, White, Asian, Chinese, or Japanese, we don’t give a f**k! We ridin’!”
VICE covers the annual Black Bike Week in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, over Memorial Day weekend. Half a million Black (mostly) bikers and event go-ers gather for several days of riding and partying… and traffic-stopping flossing and bike stunts up and down the seafront strip.
‘Hordes of women—known as “huggers”—also flock to Myrtle Beach for the event, hoping to be picked up for a ride, and maybe something more. A girl will often perform the “pillion clapping” move as a passenger—essentially twerking on the back of the bike. Unfortunately, the combination of partying and biking without a helmet isn’t an especially safe one, and every year there are people who don’t make it home. The event also attracts a ton of prostitutes, but more and more women are starting to ride their own bikes and each year an increasing number of female biker gangs show up for the party.’
Sigh… if there was a seedy side to this week of debauchery, you know VICE would expose it. Let’s watch and learn… about that ‘clapping’ thing, too.
Former Angola Prisoner Herman Wallace, Denied A Fair Trial For 41 Years, Dies Just 3 Days After Being Freed (Audio)
Herman Wallace spent the 41 years of his life in solitary confinement in Louisiana State Penitentiary (aka Angola).
A free man, Wallace died of liver cancer, three days after gaining his freedom. He was 71 years old.
“While already serving a 50-year sentence for armed robbery, Wallace was convicted of the murder of a prison guard in 1974, along with Robert King and Albert Woodfox. The men became known as the ‘Angola 3′ for spending most of their years in solitary confinement… All of them claimed to be innocent.
On Tuesday a judge overturned Wallace’s conviction on the grounds that he had been denied a fair trial because he was indicted by a grand jury comprised solely of men — in violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.
Wallace spent the first 18 years behind bars without an appeal. The argument that finally won Wallace his release was one he had been making for decades, mostly acting as his own attorney.”
It didn’t take new legislation, new science or DNA (as was the case for freed Angola prisoner Henry James)… It just took work, reconsideration, and FORTY F**KING YEARS for a judge to do the right thing.
“It’s tragic it took 40 years for him to find a court that would say, ‘You’re right, Mr. Wallace, that violated your Constitutional rights; you are entitled to a new trial.’”
- Attorney George Kendall, one of Wallace’s advocates
This is sad, folks. Of course, we are talking about the wasted years of a man now at rest; but we are also talking about the denial of rights and protections that we are ALL supposed to be afforded in America. God be with you are denied due process in a time of legal trouble. Because if you are convicted, it might take half your life to get that ‘judiciary oversight’ even looked at by a judge!
I… I don’t have the words, but NPR’s ‘All Things Considered’ does.
You know, we try to come up with titillating titles to tempt our readers (one-time confession); but this title needed no tweaks… it just labels the story. Above: Amy Goodman, of Democracy Now, talks with former prisoner Henry James – a free man thanks to DNA evidence – who reflects on his case and 30 years of his life he will never get back. We say the brother is a former prisoner – NOT an ex-convict – because he should never have been convicted!
“We broadcast from New Orleans, Louisiana, the heart of the world’s prison capital, where more people are behind bars any other state per capita — an incarceration rate 13 times that of China. Louisiana also ranks among the highest in the country in terms of the number of people per capita who are exonerated after serving years in prison for crimes they did not commit. We are joined by Henry James, the longest-serving prisoner to be exonerated in Louisiana. James spent 30 years in the notorious Louisiana State Penitentiary, known as Angola prison, on a life sentence without parole for rape. At trial, the prosecution never told the jury that serology testing from the rape kit excluded James as the perpetrator. In 2011, DNA evidence found by accident proved James’ innocence, winning him his release.”
Now… James’ case is NOT a typical case. Nah, that would be ridiculous, right? BUT WAIT! James’ case is NOT typical… because evidence that could free him was actually found! It usually is not, and the convicted serve life without parole!
The Gun That Aims Itself: New Smart ‘Robo-Rifle’ Technology Can Turn Anyone Into Skilled Snipers (Video)
Texas-based TrackingPoint Solutions has released the first ever precision-guided firearm (PGF) – basically a long-range, laser-guided robo-rifle. Soon beginners will be endowed with the kill-at-will skill of trained snipers (e.g. one-shot kills at extreme distances) in no time! Talk about taking gun control in a whole other direction! Well… TrackingPoint CEO Jason Schauble refers to it as a step in the evolution of firearms. Um, yeah.
Watch the video and ask yourself this question: Has killing become too easy?