Jay Z has been in the news a lot recently, and now that he’s changed his name, he’s making sure he stays in the news.
From left: JAY-Z, Barack Obama, Bruce Springsteen (photo via NY Daily News)
What’s he been up to?
To begin with, former president Barack Obama gave him a loving induction into the Songwriter’s Hall Of Fame, saying he and Jay Z understand each other.
“We know what it’s like to not have a father around,” Obama said. “We know what it’s like not to come from and to know people who didn’t get the same breaks we did, so we try to prop open those doors of opportunity so it’s a little easier for those who come up behind us to succeed as well.”
Which takes us to how Jay Z donated a bunch of money to bail fathers out of prison on Father’s Day, saying we have to do away with the “inhumane practices” of the bail industry.
“As a father with a growing family, it’s the least I can do, but philanthropy is not a long fix…,” he said in his essay for Time. “We can’t fix our broken criminal justice system until we take on the exploitative bail industry.”
You know how you can remember all the lyrics to your favorite song, but you hated trying to learn a ton of info in school?
Rappers Ike Ramos and Nitty Scott MC attend the UN meeting for International Day of Peace to share their Flocabulary (photo via Flocabulary)
Some intuitive folks have realized the power music has to help memory and they’re harnessing it for education by using rap.
If you ask grade school students if they like school, probably 99% of them would say “no.” Even adults remember disliking school (or at least most of it). But thanks to a new hip-hop project, school is fun.
Roughly 20,000 schools in the United States are using something called Flocabulary. Basically, the idea is to put school lessons to rap to help kids remember the content. And it’s working, as CBS found with a school in Texas.
We already know that music helps us remember things, according to many studies, including this one. And finally, someone is putting this into practice.
Rapper Ike Ramos, who’s shared the stage with Lil Wayne and The Wu Tang Clan, is the one rapping on these educational videos. And he recognizes the power music can have.
“What’s powerful about music is it helps with the encoding of that information that’s in the brain, but also the retrieval of that information,” he told CBS.
Check out Flocabulary’s video-rap lesson on Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement in one of their most moving videos below:
Leave it to the paparazzi to get the shot even if it’s slightly inappropriate to.
But because of them, we now know Ariana Grande safely landed in her home state of Florida on Tuesday, the day after a suicide bomber killed 22 people at Grande’s concert in Manchester, UK.
The 23-year-old singer met her boyfriend, rapper Mac Miller, at the foot of the private plane’s exit steps. She had landed in Boca Raton, about a half an hour away from where she grew up in Coconut Creek.
Grande meeting her boyfriend, Mac Miller, on Tuesday (photo via People)
Grande has suspended the rest of her tour, reports CNN, as she, understandably, takes time off to recoup.
After the explosion, she sent out a short but heartfelt statement on Twitter.
“Broken,” she tweeted. “From the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry. I don’t have words.”
broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words.
The last song she sang at Monday’s concert was “One Last Time,” which now has a whole new — and sad — meaning to Grande fans. The lyrics of the chorus are:
So one last time
I need to be the one who takes you home
One more time
I promise after that, I’ll let you go
Baby, I don’t care if you got her in your heart
All I really care is you wake up in my arms
One last time
I need to be the one who takes you home
Watch her perform the song minutes before the explosion:
A few dozens fans took advantage of this offer, posting screenshots of their grades. The hip-hop/pop star with an estimated net worth of $70 million, according to IBT, responded to a few of those fans throughout Saturday night and also promised to pay for books and student loans. She turned it into an impromptu contest — you could call it the Nicki Minaj Twitter Scholarship Award.
“Ok u guys. It’s been fun,” she tweeted at 1:07 a.m., marking the end of the contest. “Let me make those payments tmrw then see if I have any money left.”
Ok u guys. It's been fun. Let me make those payments tmrw then see if I have any money left😂. I'll do some more in a month or 2. 😘😘😘💋💋💋💕💕🎀🎀🎀
The question is: will she come through with these high-stakes promises? We’re talking millions of dollars she’s apparently willing to shell out for the financial equivalent of luxury islands. Will she, like Ja Rule and Billy McFarland, spend all the money set aside for her undertaking and then face ridicule from the public?
Artist Interview: North Carolina’s Next To Artist To Blow “Carolina George”
First off introduce yourself to the world please.
My name is Carolina George and I’m From North Carolina.
Tell me your whole inception into music? When did you first become interested in it? And, how did it all start for (Carolina George)?
Music has always been apart of my life! As a child I heard stories about how my poo could rap and dj and growing up with my ma and gramma I heard sweet melodies sang around the house every day so I knew that catching the tune wasnt the hard part it was going to be the lyrics that got me lol. When I was around 15 my homies started rapping on mixes that they called the backroom flavors, at the time I thought hell if they can do it so can I, but I was wrong smdh I wasn’t very good at all. Like anything me and the fellas did back then it was all friendly competition so hearing them call my rhymes “ass and trash” everyday made me want to be like “fuck rap” but thats all everyone wanted to do everywhere I went so instead of letting it defeat me I developed my own sound and got better at delivering it.
*Now where exactly do you all hail from? And growing up, who would you say influenced you the most musically?
I’m originally from Wilmington, NC went to Greensboro, NC to finish a couple years of high school and did what I could in college at NCA&TSU #AggiePride baby! Catch me posted in Charlotte, NC these days trying to find my way in this music business and grow a family at the same time… it’s the bigger city in the home states, I felt there was more opportunities for my brand and family. Growing up I really didn’t listen to too many artists, I mean other than what was on the radio I would listen to my mothers music and my uncle’s maybe but there was 2Pac, Biggie, Heavy D, LL, Mase, Killa Cam, Fugees, X, and other artists in that era but my nigga hands down was 2Pac tho, Im a huge Pac fan still to this day.
At what particular point did you decide to pursue music on a professional level?
3) In 2007 a very dear friend of mine Ronald Conyers aka Skeez beatz was gunned down in my hometown of Wilmington, NC. Skeez was a producer and a good one too, he took me off of a track one day because I was slurring my words from being intoxicated before recording and told me how serious he took his music career and that until I was seriously ready to work he wouldn’t waste his time on my talents anymore… shortly afterwards I heard of his murder and was devistated!
I was in tears and all I could really think of was that he and I never did a recording together, but I was wrong and my cousin played the only song we are on together for me and as awkwardly as it may sound when I heard the lost and found song the lyrics from us both were almost talking to eachother about the experience of one of us passing first. That shit was deep bruh, and scary as hell too! But since then though I been balls to the walls with this music shit! I dont get intoxicated at all anymore before I record and I always remember that my guys are watching so I do it for them!
How would you define your overall sound and/or style?
4) I think that I have a mature rap sound and flow, its different from what is iut now and also way cooler than whats been out in the past, not throwing shade at all but there has never been a Carolina George before. I consider my style to be in one word “VERSATILE”! I have a full length LP for sale now only available at www.milliup.com/store that can back these comments! On that 23 song project every 5-6 songs the entire feel of the music project changes!
As an extension to that last question, I understand you coined a more suitable nickname for yourself; Carolina George” Please explain the significance behind this very unique nickname?
Well, off the rip everyone knows Boston George and his story, I have one hell of a story to tell from heart of the streets… Of course out of the Carolinas! Everyone who knows me knows me by George or G! Everything I rep is out of the Carolinas “1Carolina”.. whether im in NC SC GA TN or VA I get the same respect and everyone knows where I got it from.
Your video to your hit single “Getty Up” is blowing up on Youtube Tell me about this track specifically? How did it actually come about?
I was listening to 2Pac “N.I.G.G.A.” looking at my woman thinking about the kyrics and felt that folks needed a modern version of that song so as I was listening thats where I got the idea from, then I made the beat fit what I was doing and took it to my engineer, he heard it and was feeling it asked me if I wanted a ft Mista Commercial then jumped on it and there you have it.
What do you feel you offer the music industry that we don’t already have in other performers?
I think that I offer a professional music approach from the Carolinas, there aren’t enough emotional rappers anymore. My songs are packed with emotions. No trap music, no “true” hiphop, just rhymes with rhythm, flow and emotions. Positive and negative impact emotions.
What do you feel it is exactly that will continue to sustain you in this grueling business of music?
I think the focus of generating the lifestyle that I need is enough and doing business in this industry you have to know your worth. For example, www.milliup.com is the blogsite that provides my content others may want to olace their content on my site and feel like I should write about them for free when thats far from the truth in my eyes because I’m not a career journalist lol I didn’t go to school for this shit I just know hiw to draw a crowd and write a sentence then connect the presentation.
People have to understand that when I ask for payment im not being an ass im being real bout that shit it takes hours to generate awareness of your content I like to get paid for my time. Same goes for when these people contact me about paying to perform at their gigs, as an artist I feel that I do everything in my power to get noticed and considered for the opportunity to perform but when I still get approached on some it cost yadaya to perform im like bitch gtfoh… as independent low budget artists if we dont get paid to perform what thehell can we look forward to getting money from besides sales. I’m not saying that my way is the right way but it is my way and vecause I’m good with sticking to the script I believe that will help me in the long run.
To date, what has been your biggest career moment, at least thus far anyway?
I’d like to believe that this was my biggest career moment thus far.. and still only the beginning.
Watch Hit video Getty Up Below
Looking ahead, say five or even ten year from now, where do you see yourself?
5 years from now I see myself as a successful musician and songwriter, 10 years from now I should be founder of a very successful business!
Who and what do you do your music for?
10) I do music for all of the people who feel like me but do not have the know how or capability to express their own feelings through song, I do music for all of my fallen and struggling brothers and sisters, I mostly though just do music for me I love it!
As for the immediate, what’s next for Carolina George?
I’m going to continue to see just how far I can build my brand MilliUp LLC and continue to network and sell music as an independent until something either happens or I lose my drive to continue to do it.
Is there anything I left out or just plain forgot to mention?
Yes, on the www.milliup.com blog site I offer PAID blog placement for everyone! Fill out the OPT-IN FORM! I am a fair guy so if you have any way that we can benefit from eachothers grind come to me with that information and let’s network! Follow me on all available social media platforms @cakalakgeorge
Any closing thought(s) for our readers?
Always remember #Truth separate the weak from the obsolete! #MilliUp! “Where opportunity meets ambition!”!