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Ellen DeGeneres, Love, and Memes: Black Excellence: 21 Savage's New "Bank Account" Campaign Plans To Teach Kids About Financial Literacy @balleralert Mares 1I5 2O1 LEADING 21 Savage Black Excellence: 21 Savage’s New “Bank Account” Campaign Plans To Teach Kids About Financial Literacy - Blogged by: @RaquelHarrisTV ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ You’re about to have one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, more reasons to love 21Savage. He wants to make sure kids know how to manage their money so he’s creating a program for financial literacy. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ On Tuesday (March 13), 21 Savage appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and performed his hit song, “Bank Account.” Afterward, he announced he’s kicking off a program named after his single. The “Bank Account” campaign will work towards helping the youth open their own bank accounts, and teach them how to manage money. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ He’s donated $1,000 each to 21 kids to give them a jumpstart on their savings. He’s also partnered with ‘Get Schooled’ to help kids learn all about banking fees, the difference between credit cards and debit cards, and how to maintain a budget, according to Rolling Stone. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “Now that I do have money in my bank account, I want to help kids with a background similar to mine to get smart about their money,” said 21. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Right on, 21! BlackManMagic
Ellen DeGeneres, Love, and Memes: Black Excellence: 21 Savage's New
 "Bank Account" Campaign Plans To
 Teach Kids About Financial Literacy
 @balleralert
 Mares 1I5 2O1
 LEADING
 21 Savage
Black Excellence: 21 Savage’s New “Bank Account” Campaign Plans To Teach Kids About Financial Literacy - Blogged by: @RaquelHarrisTV ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ You’re about to have one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, more reasons to love 21Savage. He wants to make sure kids know how to manage their money so he’s creating a program for financial literacy. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ On Tuesday (March 13), 21 Savage appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and performed his hit song, “Bank Account.” Afterward, he announced he’s kicking off a program named after his single. The “Bank Account” campaign will work towards helping the youth open their own bank accounts, and teach them how to manage money. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ He’s donated $1,000 each to 21 kids to give them a jumpstart on their savings. He’s also partnered with ‘Get Schooled’ to help kids learn all about banking fees, the difference between credit cards and debit cards, and how to maintain a budget, according to Rolling Stone. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “Now that I do have money in my bank account, I want to help kids with a background similar to mine to get smart about their money,” said 21. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Right on, 21! BlackManMagic

Black Excellence: 21 Savage’s New “Bank Account” Campaign Plans To Teach Kids About Financial Literacy - Blogged by: @RaquelHarrisTV ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀...

Chicago, Journey, and Memes: Former First Lady Michelle Obama Announces First Memoir 'Becoming' @balleralert O MING Micull hame NOVEMBER 13, 2018 Former First Lady Michelle Obama Announces First Memoir ‘Becoming’ - blogged by @MsJennyb ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ On Sunday, MichelleObama revealed that she will be releasing her first memoir and second book, this November. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The book, which will be titled, “Becoming,” will touch on the former first lady’s upbringing on the South Side of Chicago, “chronicling the experiences that have shaped her - from her childhood" to her years as a wife, mother, and the First Lady of the United States. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “Writing ‘Becoming’ has been a deeply personal experience,” Obama wrote Sunday. “I talk about my roots and how a girl from the South Side found her voice. I hope my journey inspires readers to find the courage to become whoever they aspire to be. I can’t wait to share my story.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ According to Rolling Stone, the book will be published by Penguin Random House, which secured the record-setting rights to both Barack and Michelle Obama’s post-presidency pieces. It is set to be released on November 13th. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her -from her childhood to the South Side of Chicago to her years as a executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address,” Penguin Random House said of the memoir. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it - in her own words and on her own terms,” the publishing company continued. “Warm, wise, and revelatory, ‘Becoming’ is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations - and whose story inspires us to do the same.”
Chicago, Journey, and Memes: Former First Lady Michelle Obama
 Announces First Memoir 'Becoming'
 @balleralert
 O MING
 Micull hame
 NOVEMBER 13, 2018
Former First Lady Michelle Obama Announces First Memoir ‘Becoming’ - blogged by @MsJennyb ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ On Sunday, MichelleObama revealed that she will be releasing her first memoir and second book, this November. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The book, which will be titled, “Becoming,” will touch on the former first lady’s upbringing on the South Side of Chicago, “chronicling the experiences that have shaped her - from her childhood" to her years as a wife, mother, and the First Lady of the United States. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “Writing ‘Becoming’ has been a deeply personal experience,” Obama wrote Sunday. “I talk about my roots and how a girl from the South Side found her voice. I hope my journey inspires readers to find the courage to become whoever they aspire to be. I can’t wait to share my story.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ According to Rolling Stone, the book will be published by Penguin Random House, which secured the record-setting rights to both Barack and Michelle Obama’s post-presidency pieces. It is set to be released on November 13th. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her -from her childhood to the South Side of Chicago to her years as a executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address,” Penguin Random House said of the memoir. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it - in her own words and on her own terms,” the publishing company continued. “Warm, wise, and revelatory, ‘Becoming’ is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations - and whose story inspires us to do the same.”

Former First Lady Michelle Obama Announces First Memoir ‘Becoming’ - blogged by @MsJennyb ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ On Sunday, MichelleObama revealed ...

America, Anaconda, and Bailey Jay: Baller Alert's Today in Hip-Hop: 22 Years Since The Fugees Released 'The Score' @balleralert igees The core Baller Alert’s Today in Hip-Hop: 22 Years Since The Fugees Released ‘The Score’-blogged by @thereal__bee ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ 22 years ago today, The Fugees released their second album ‘The Score’ on Columbia Records. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ The body of work arguably became the hip-hop trio’s best album. With an alternative hip-hop sound, the group created a sound and moment that would later go on to dominate the hip-hop industry. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ With three smash singles: “Ready or Not”, “Fu-Gee-La”, and “Killing Me Softly”, the album was a major success for the group peaking at number one on the Billboard 200 and the Top R&B-Hip-Hop Albums chart. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ With their lead singles, The Fugees showcased impeccable lyricism and amazing production techniques that allowed them to gain worldwide recognition. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ By October 3, 1997, ‘The Score’ was certified six times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ The album earned the group two Grammys in 1996 for “Best Rap Album” and “Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals” for “Killing Me Softly”. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ In addition to the awards, the album has been praised by many publications and included in multiple “Top 100” lists. In 1998, the album was listed in The Source's 100 best rap albums list, and in 2003, ‘The Score’ was ranked number 477 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ What was your favorite song from the album?
America, Anaconda, and Bailey Jay: Baller Alert's Today in Hip-Hop:
 22 Years Since The Fugees
 Released 'The Score'
 @balleralert
 igees
 The
 core
Baller Alert’s Today in Hip-Hop: 22 Years Since The Fugees Released ‘The Score’-blogged by @thereal__bee ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ 22 years ago today, The Fugees released their second album ‘The Score’ on Columbia Records. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ The body of work arguably became the hip-hop trio’s best album. With an alternative hip-hop sound, the group created a sound and moment that would later go on to dominate the hip-hop industry. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ With three smash singles: “Ready or Not”, “Fu-Gee-La”, and “Killing Me Softly”, the album was a major success for the group peaking at number one on the Billboard 200 and the Top R&B-Hip-Hop Albums chart. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ With their lead singles, The Fugees showcased impeccable lyricism and amazing production techniques that allowed them to gain worldwide recognition. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ By October 3, 1997, ‘The Score’ was certified six times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ The album earned the group two Grammys in 1996 for “Best Rap Album” and “Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals” for “Killing Me Softly”. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ In addition to the awards, the album has been praised by many publications and included in multiple “Top 100” lists. In 1998, the album was listed in The Source's 100 best rap albums list, and in 2003, ‘The Score’ was ranked number 477 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ What was your favorite song from the album?

Baller Alert’s Today in Hip-Hop: 22 Years Since The Fugees Released ‘The Score’-blogged by @thereal__bee ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ 22 years ago today, Th...

Anaconda, Bailey Jay, and Baller Alert: Baller Alert's Today in Hip-Hop: Kanye West Released 'The College Dropout' 14 Years Ago @balleralert DD PARENTAL ADVISORY EXPLICIT CONTENT Baller Alert’s Today in Hip-Hop: Kanye West Released ‘The College Dropout’ 14 Years Ago-blogged by @thereal__bee ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ On Feb. 10, 2004, Kanye West released his debut studio album ‘The College Dropout’ on Roc-A-Fella Records and Def Jam Recordings. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ From 1999 to the year of its release, West spent years working on the project. While working on the album, West had already established himself as a producer having done production for artists such as Jay-Z and Talib Kweli. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ Doing his own production, West created a masterpiece. Not only did he develop a new sound nicknamed “chipmunk soul," where he took R&B and Soul samples and sped them up, but his lyricism also introduced us to a new style. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ While many rappers of the time maintained the gangsta rap style we were used to, West instead introduced us to the story of the average joe who questions family, religion, politics, and more. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ The singles from the album, "Through the Wire" and "Jesus Walks", were both critically acclaimed, while “All Falls Down" and "Slow Jamz" charted in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ Upon its release, the album debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 chart having sold 441,000 copies in the first week. ‘The College Dropout’ received phenomenal reviews from multiple publications and even earned West 10 Grammy nominations. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ Multiple publications such as Time and Rolling Stone have named it one of the greatest albums of all time.
Anaconda, Bailey Jay, and Baller Alert: Baller Alert's Today in Hip-Hop: Kanye
 West Released 'The College Dropout'
 14 Years Ago
 @balleralert
 DD PARENTAL
 ADVISORY
 EXPLICIT CONTENT
Baller Alert’s Today in Hip-Hop: Kanye West Released ‘The College Dropout’ 14 Years Ago-blogged by @thereal__bee ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ On Feb. 10, 2004, Kanye West released his debut studio album ‘The College Dropout’ on Roc-A-Fella Records and Def Jam Recordings. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ From 1999 to the year of its release, West spent years working on the project. While working on the album, West had already established himself as a producer having done production for artists such as Jay-Z and Talib Kweli. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ Doing his own production, West created a masterpiece. Not only did he develop a new sound nicknamed “chipmunk soul," where he took R&B and Soul samples and sped them up, but his lyricism also introduced us to a new style. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ While many rappers of the time maintained the gangsta rap style we were used to, West instead introduced us to the story of the average joe who questions family, religion, politics, and more. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ The singles from the album, "Through the Wire" and "Jesus Walks", were both critically acclaimed, while “All Falls Down" and "Slow Jamz" charted in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ Upon its release, the album debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 chart having sold 441,000 copies in the first week. ‘The College Dropout’ received phenomenal reviews from multiple publications and even earned West 10 Grammy nominations. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ Multiple publications such as Time and Rolling Stone have named it one of the greatest albums of all time.

Baller Alert’s Today in Hip-Hop: Kanye West Released ‘The College Dropout’ 14 Years Ago-blogged by @thereal__bee ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ On Feb. 10, 20...

Arguing, Family, and Friends: Rap Pioneer Who Popularized Term 'Hip Hop,' Lovebug Starski Dies At 57 @balleralert Rap Pioneer Lovebug Starski, Who Popularized The Term ‘Hip Hop,’ Dies At 57 - blogged by @lanaladonna ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Kevin Smith, a DJ from the Bronx, and better known as LovebugStarski who coined the term “hip-hop,” unfortunately passed yesterday at age 57. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ RollingStone reports his death was caused by a heart attack he had in Las Vegas, where he recently relocated. Starski’s daughter, Tiffany Smith, confirmed the cause of death. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Starski was among a core group of DJ pioneers that include DJKoolHerc, AfrikaBambaataa, GrandmasterFlash and GrandWizardTheodore. Rolling Stone says they all helped shape hip-hop’s parameters in the days before recorded rap in the 1970s. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ DJ Grandmaster Flash told rolling stone what made Starski so different from the rest. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ "What set him apart was he was able to DJ and talk on the mic and do both at the same time, and he was really really good at this," explained Flash. “He played an extremely important role in the development of this. We all do it now, talk on the mic and DJ same time, but in the hip-hop world, Starski was probably the first to handle it." ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Some may argue that Keith “Cowboy” Wiggins of Grandmaster Flash and the FuriousFive introduced the word “hip-hop,” but Smith accepted credit for the term in an interview with Amoeba Music in 2017. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ "That was one of my rhymes when I would get stuck for words and I used to go 'hip, hop, the hip, the hip, hip the hopping," he said. "You know it was just a nursery rhyme that coincided with the music, and that's the God's honest truth." ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Condolences are sent to Smith’s family and friends. Salute to all “hip-hop” icons everywhere.
Arguing, Family, and Friends: Rap Pioneer Who Popularized
 Term 'Hip Hop,' Lovebug Starski
 Dies At 57 @balleralert
Rap Pioneer Lovebug Starski, Who Popularized The Term ‘Hip Hop,’ Dies At 57 - blogged by @lanaladonna ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Kevin Smith, a DJ from the Bronx, and better known as LovebugStarski who coined the term “hip-hop,” unfortunately passed yesterday at age 57. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ RollingStone reports his death was caused by a heart attack he had in Las Vegas, where he recently relocated. Starski’s daughter, Tiffany Smith, confirmed the cause of death. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Starski was among a core group of DJ pioneers that include DJKoolHerc, AfrikaBambaataa, GrandmasterFlash and GrandWizardTheodore. Rolling Stone says they all helped shape hip-hop’s parameters in the days before recorded rap in the 1970s. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ DJ Grandmaster Flash told rolling stone what made Starski so different from the rest. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ "What set him apart was he was able to DJ and talk on the mic and do both at the same time, and he was really really good at this," explained Flash. “He played an extremely important role in the development of this. We all do it now, talk on the mic and DJ same time, but in the hip-hop world, Starski was probably the first to handle it." ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Some may argue that Keith “Cowboy” Wiggins of Grandmaster Flash and the FuriousFive introduced the word “hip-hop,” but Smith accepted credit for the term in an interview with Amoeba Music in 2017. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ "That was one of my rhymes when I would get stuck for words and I used to go 'hip, hop, the hip, the hip, hip the hopping," he said. "You know it was just a nursery rhyme that coincided with the music, and that's the God's honest truth." ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Condolences are sent to Smith’s family and friends. Salute to all “hip-hop” icons everywhere.

Rap Pioneer Lovebug Starski, Who Popularized The Term ‘Hip Hop,’ Dies At 57 - blogged by @lanaladonna ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Kevin Smith, a DJ from...

Anaconda, Baller Alert, and Billboard: Baller Alert's Today in Hip-Hop: Wu-Tang Clan Released "C.R.E.A.M." 24 Years Ago @balleralert THE ANG 36 CHAMBERS 9 WU-TANG CLAN Baller Alert’s Today in Hip-Hop: Wu-Tang Clan Released “C.R.E.A.M.” 24 Years Ago-blogged by @thereal__bee ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ On January 31, 1994, Wu-Tang Clan released their smash single “C.R.E.A.M." (Cash Rules Everything Around Me) from their 1993 album, ‘Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)’. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ To this day, “C.R.E.A.M.” remains a hip-hop classic that made us fall in love with Wu-Tang and their raw, street demeanor. For those that weren’t hip to their impeccable storytelling skills, the single also showcased their lyrical capabilities. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ When it comes to pop culture, you can often still hear the term be used or referenced by the likes of Drake to Bryson Tiller’s verse in “Wild Thoughts”. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ To this day, “C.R.E.A.M.” remains one of the group’s highest charting singles, peaking at 60 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ On January 29, 2009, the single was certified Gold by the RIAA, almost 15 years after its release. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ In addition to its impact on hip-hop, the single has also received an array of accolades. Time listed the song on its list of All-TIME 100 Greatest Songs. Rolling Stone magazine also ranked the song 11 on their list of 50 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of All Time.
Anaconda, Baller Alert, and Billboard: Baller Alert's Today in Hip-Hop:
 Wu-Tang Clan Released
 "C.R.E.A.M." 24 Years Ago
 @balleralert
 THE
 ANG
 36 CHAMBERS
 9
 WU-TANG
 CLAN
Baller Alert’s Today in Hip-Hop: Wu-Tang Clan Released “C.R.E.A.M.” 24 Years Ago-blogged by @thereal__bee ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ On January 31, 1994, Wu-Tang Clan released their smash single “C.R.E.A.M." (Cash Rules Everything Around Me) from their 1993 album, ‘Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)’. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ To this day, “C.R.E.A.M.” remains a hip-hop classic that made us fall in love with Wu-Tang and their raw, street demeanor. For those that weren’t hip to their impeccable storytelling skills, the single also showcased their lyrical capabilities. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ When it comes to pop culture, you can often still hear the term be used or referenced by the likes of Drake to Bryson Tiller’s verse in “Wild Thoughts”. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ To this day, “C.R.E.A.M.” remains one of the group’s highest charting singles, peaking at 60 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ On January 29, 2009, the single was certified Gold by the RIAA, almost 15 years after its release. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ In addition to its impact on hip-hop, the single has also received an array of accolades. Time listed the song on its list of All-TIME 100 Greatest Songs. Rolling Stone magazine also ranked the song 11 on their list of 50 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of All Time.

Baller Alert’s Today in Hip-Hop: Wu-Tang Clan Released “C.R.E.A.M.” 24 Years Ago-blogged by @thereal__bee ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ On January 31, 1994, ...

Advice, Crazy, and God: Quincy Jones Admits to Having 22 Girlfriends, Says They All Know of Each Other @balleralert Quincy Jones Admits to Having 22 Girlfriends, Says They All Know of Each Other - blogged by: @ashleytearra ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ After three marriages, QuincyJones is sure that he’s done with the faithful life. In fact, the divorcee has 22 girlfriends to prove it. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ In an interview with GQ Magazine, the 84-year-old entertainment mogul opened up about his love life, and none of us were mentally prepared for what he had to say. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “I got twenty-two girlfriends,” he chuckles. “I was married three times, man. Was told not to marry actresses or singers. I ended up with two actresses—Peggy Lipton and Nastassja Kinski, and a superstar model. I didn’t listen to all the advice.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ However—despite his marital past, Jones doesn’t have any plans to tie the knot again anytime soon, especially since it’d be extremely hard to narrow down such a high number of girlfriends to just one wife, right? We’d imagine so. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ When asked if he was serious about having 22 lovers, Jones blatantly says, “Hell yeah. Everywhere. Cape Town. Cairo. Stockholm-she’s coming in next week. Brazil-Belo Horizonte, São Paulo, and Rio. Shanghai, [I’ve] got a great girl over there, too, man.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Surprisingly, all of the women know of each other, as Jones proudly admits that “he doesn’t lie.” And, allegedly, most of them are between the ages of 28 and 42. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ So, when the question came up about if he’d ever date someone around his age, Jones was quick to shut that down. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “Are you crazy?” He gives the interviewer a startled look. “For what, man? There’s nothing; there’s no upside. You gotta be kidding. I got me some technology out there that keeps [the] fat and old away from here. [It] buzzes if they’re too old. But, you’d be surprised. These women, the young ones, are aggressive now. Oh my God, they’re fearless, man. All over the world.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ As you can see, Mr. Jones is still a rolling stone, even in his old age.
Advice, Crazy, and God: Quincy Jones Admits to Having 22
 Girlfriends, Says They All Know of
 Each Other
 @balleralert
Quincy Jones Admits to Having 22 Girlfriends, Says They All Know of Each Other - blogged by: @ashleytearra ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ After three marriages, QuincyJones is sure that he’s done with the faithful life. In fact, the divorcee has 22 girlfriends to prove it. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ In an interview with GQ Magazine, the 84-year-old entertainment mogul opened up about his love life, and none of us were mentally prepared for what he had to say. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “I got twenty-two girlfriends,” he chuckles. “I was married three times, man. Was told not to marry actresses or singers. I ended up with two actresses—Peggy Lipton and Nastassja Kinski, and a superstar model. I didn’t listen to all the advice.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ However—despite his marital past, Jones doesn’t have any plans to tie the knot again anytime soon, especially since it’d be extremely hard to narrow down such a high number of girlfriends to just one wife, right? We’d imagine so. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ When asked if he was serious about having 22 lovers, Jones blatantly says, “Hell yeah. Everywhere. Cape Town. Cairo. Stockholm-she’s coming in next week. Brazil-Belo Horizonte, São Paulo, and Rio. Shanghai, [I’ve] got a great girl over there, too, man.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Surprisingly, all of the women know of each other, as Jones proudly admits that “he doesn’t lie.” And, allegedly, most of them are between the ages of 28 and 42. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ So, when the question came up about if he’d ever date someone around his age, Jones was quick to shut that down. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “Are you crazy?” He gives the interviewer a startled look. “For what, man? There’s nothing; there’s no upside. You gotta be kidding. I got me some technology out there that keeps [the] fat and old away from here. [It] buzzes if they’re too old. But, you’d be surprised. These women, the young ones, are aggressive now. Oh my God, they’re fearless, man. All over the world.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ As you can see, Mr. Jones is still a rolling stone, even in his old age.

Quincy Jones Admits to Having 22 Girlfriends, Says They All Know of Each Other - blogged by: @ashleytearra ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ After three marri...

Blessed, Children, and College: Ballerific Woman - Issa Rae, From Youtube Star to HBO Superstar @balleralert Ballerific Woman - Issa Rae, From Youtube Star to HBO Superstar - Blogged by @Climb_This_Hill ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ In a perfect world, men and women would receive equal pay. African American women would be presented the same opportunities as their white counterparts. Rejection would be based on qualifications rather than race. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Unfortunately, this world is far from perfect, however, there are people, more specifically women, who have dedicated their time, money and education to make a positive change. They’ve used their experiences and their encounters with injustices to fight and-or create more opportunities for their children and their children’s children, in an effort to make the world a better place. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ They've put our pain and problems on their backs and created space for change, new opportunities for our brothers and sisters to excel and succeed in a world that is designed against us. This is BlackExcellence. These are BallerificWomen. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ One of those special individuals is Ms. Issa Rae. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Best known for her hit HBO series, “Insecure," after making her break with her hit Youtube series, "Awkward Black Girl," Issa has blessed us with over 20 visual projects, which she either produced, starred in, or wrote. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Her YouTube channel has captured over 260,000 subscribers and 20 million views and counting. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Proving not only to be a strong force and inspiration for women in general, Ms. Issa Rae, is a proven example that black women can be bosses too....but we already knew that! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ She takes pride in being an actress, writer, director, producer and web series creator. She has earned her college degree in African American studies and has studied at some of the country’s most famed acting academies. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Issa Rae has been featured in Forbes annual, “30 Under 30,” list, Essence Magazine, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair, just to name a few. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ With so much under her belt, and still so young, we’re pleased to know that Ms. Issa Rae will be blessing us with her talent for many years to come.
Blessed, Children, and College: Ballerific Woman - Issa Rae, From
 Youtube Star to HBO Superstar
 @balleralert
Ballerific Woman - Issa Rae, From Youtube Star to HBO Superstar - Blogged by @Climb_This_Hill ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ In a perfect world, men and women would receive equal pay. African American women would be presented the same opportunities as their white counterparts. Rejection would be based on qualifications rather than race. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Unfortunately, this world is far from perfect, however, there are people, more specifically women, who have dedicated their time, money and education to make a positive change. They’ve used their experiences and their encounters with injustices to fight and-or create more opportunities for their children and their children’s children, in an effort to make the world a better place. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ They've put our pain and problems on their backs and created space for change, new opportunities for our brothers and sisters to excel and succeed in a world that is designed against us. This is BlackExcellence. These are BallerificWomen. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ One of those special individuals is Ms. Issa Rae. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Best known for her hit HBO series, “Insecure," after making her break with her hit Youtube series, "Awkward Black Girl," Issa has blessed us with over 20 visual projects, which she either produced, starred in, or wrote. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Her YouTube channel has captured over 260,000 subscribers and 20 million views and counting. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Proving not only to be a strong force and inspiration for women in general, Ms. Issa Rae, is a proven example that black women can be bosses too....but we already knew that! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ She takes pride in being an actress, writer, director, producer and web series creator. She has earned her college degree in African American studies and has studied at some of the country’s most famed acting academies. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Issa Rae has been featured in Forbes annual, “30 Under 30,” list, Essence Magazine, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair, just to name a few. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ With so much under her belt, and still so young, we’re pleased to know that Ms. Issa Rae will be blessing us with her talent for many years to come.

Ballerific Woman - Issa Rae, From Youtube Star to HBO Superstar - Blogged by @Climb_This_Hill ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ In a perfect world, men and wo...

Anaconda, Bailey Jay, and Billboard: #BallerAlert's Today in Hip-Hop: Jay Z Released Vol. 2...Hard Knock Life' @balleralert VOL.2...HARD KNOCK UFE PARENTAL ADVISORY IPLICIT CONTENT BallerAlert's Today in Hip-Hop: Jay Z Released 'Vol. 2...Hard Knock Life'-blogged by @thereal__bee ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ 19 years ago today, rapper JayZ released his third studio album, 'Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life' on Roc-A-Fella Records and Def Jam Recordings. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ As of 2013, the album was said to be Jay Z's most commercially successful album. It was certified 5x Platinum by the RIAA in 2000 and has sold over 5 million copies in the United States. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ From the humble beginnings of his first album to 'Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life', fans experience an evolution of this iconic lyricist. While he still maintains his "street cred," by never forgetting where he comes from, he also allows us to see beneath the surface and get into his inner thoughts. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ There is also an obvious change in the sound. While the first two albums are for true "hip-hop heads", this album catered more to the mainstream, by sampling songs from other genres such as the musical "Annie" for the hit song, "Hard Knock Life". The critically acclaimed album was ranked number 46 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 greatest albums from the 1990s. It also was his first album to peak at 1 on the Billboard 200. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ The album even won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album, but Jay Z refused to come as a form of boycotting. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ The New York native told MTV, "I am boycotting the Grammys because too many major rap artists continue to be overlooked. Rappers deserve more attention from the Grammy committee and from the whole world. If it's got a gun everybody knows about it; but if we go on a world tour, no one knows."
Anaconda, Bailey Jay, and Billboard:  #BallerAlert's Today in Hip-Hop: Jay Z
 Released Vol. 2...Hard Knock Life'
 @balleralert
 VOL.2...HARD KNOCK
 UFE
 PARENTAL
 ADVISORY
 IPLICIT CONTENT
BallerAlert's Today in Hip-Hop: Jay Z Released 'Vol. 2...Hard Knock Life'-blogged by @thereal__bee ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ 19 years ago today, rapper JayZ released his third studio album, 'Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life' on Roc-A-Fella Records and Def Jam Recordings. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ As of 2013, the album was said to be Jay Z's most commercially successful album. It was certified 5x Platinum by the RIAA in 2000 and has sold over 5 million copies in the United States. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ From the humble beginnings of his first album to 'Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life', fans experience an evolution of this iconic lyricist. While he still maintains his "street cred," by never forgetting where he comes from, he also allows us to see beneath the surface and get into his inner thoughts. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ There is also an obvious change in the sound. While the first two albums are for true "hip-hop heads", this album catered more to the mainstream, by sampling songs from other genres such as the musical "Annie" for the hit song, "Hard Knock Life". The critically acclaimed album was ranked number 46 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 greatest albums from the 1990s. It also was his first album to peak at 1 on the Billboard 200. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ The album even won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album, but Jay Z refused to come as a form of boycotting. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ The New York native told MTV, "I am boycotting the Grammys because too many major rap artists continue to be overlooked. Rappers deserve more attention from the Grammy committee and from the whole world. If it's got a gun everybody knows about it; but if we go on a world tour, no one knows."

BallerAlert's Today in Hip-Hop: Jay Z Released 'Vol. 2...Hard Knock Life'-blogged by @thereal__bee ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ 19 years ago today, rapper J...

Alive, Anaconda, and Bailey Jay: makaveli-immortalized: Tupac Shakur with Chi Modu Over the years, people have always said that my images of Tupac let them see a side of him beyond the Thug Life image, more about the human being. Before he was loved by the world, he was a young man trying to make his way in a society that is extremely cruel to the less fortunate. He made it his mission to speak for those in his community who needed to hear “keep your head up!” As I travel the globe, I’m amazed at how many people have told me that Tupac saved their lives. His words and passion inspired a generation, and these pictures that we created together help to keep that inspiration alive. It’s always sad when people die young, but if you leave behind the kind of legacy that Tupac did, you never actually die. You remain forever in the hearts and minds of people for generations to come. I knew that about him when we first spent time together in Atlanta, Georgia back in 1994. We both knew the importance of images and we set out to do a thorough job, not knowing what the future would hold. He died two years after that meeting in Atlanta, but his words and these images are all part of his lasting legacy. When I met him on location in Atlanta in ’94 he was quite cooperative and a really nice guy. It was a shoot for The Source magazine, and he arrived early. Tupac was the ultimate professional, and he respected my time and my skills. The public might not know that about him. They think he was just this crazy guy who had no real limits, but he completely understood who he was, and if he understood what you brought to the table, he was easy to deal with. In fact, we got along great. I think a lot of people want to buy into the ‘thug life’ image and the younger side of him, because he was still a young man. Let’s be clear, you kind of forget the ages of these folks. To be so prolific and so young, and have so much power — it’s hard to imagine Even with all the childishness — which I believe was age appropriate in a lot of ways—when you throw power and money in there, even with all that, he had a lot of care and love for his community and for the less fortunate. He always spoke on behalf of black people who were struggling. Even though he wrote songs that many would consider typical hip-hop party music, he also included a lot of black empowerment in his lyrics — “Brenda’s Got a Baby,” “Dear Mama” — which I believe is why women liked him. They loved him because he was real and he cared. We knew the silly side of him too, but who isn’t silly at the age of twenty five? So that never surprised me when he did the zany stuff. He was young and full of power in a world that’s biased against blacks, so what do you expect? Normally when I would see Tupac, I would always think of him being on blast — excited and moving at a hundred miles an hour. But when I first met him he wasn’t really like that. It’s funny how everyone always thinks about Tupac and the ladies, but I never really saw him chasing women that much. He was much more focused on his mission. I think that’s what made him stand out so much from his peers. Because while everybody was partying, this man was trying to make sure he created his legacy. And so here we are decades later talking about the man as if he’s still around. I don’t think you can take lightly the fact that this is two decades later and we’re still talking about this man. After we finished his first Source cover shoot in Atlanta, we went back to his home in Stone Mountain, GA to hang out. He called me aside and showed me his entire gun collection in his bedroom—all his AKs, banana clips, Glocks, everything. Then he moved a picture on the wall in his bedroom, revealing a bullet hole. This was from when he fired a shot in his bedroom because he was on probation and prohibited from going to the firing range. We all laughed afterwards. We would’ve all been in our 40s together, but he never got to his 40s, he didn’t even see his 30s with us. So that’s quite a body of work and experience that he put in during his short time on this Earth. He was one of the few stars who could cross over without compromising his roots. Tupac wasn’t going to compromise, that wasn’t him, but Versace still wanted to use him for their campaign. It’s funny when I see rappers trying to do that sort of thing. I think when you start to move in those commercial circles they make you change yourself to fit. You lose your authenticity, but Tupac wouldn’t allow that of himself. He took the streets with him wherever he went. The portrait shots of Tupac, like the one that’s on the cover of the book, were actually done with a 4x5 camera, which is a view camera. It’s the camera where you put the curtain over your head to focus. It’s large format. It sits on a tripod, and you put the film in, come out from behind the camera, you click it, then you switch the film. Kind of like the old style cameras. At that session in Atlanta, I photographed Tupac with my 4x5 with no assistant. It was just me and his people. When you shoot using a 4x5 you’re really very close to the subject. I was no more than three or four feet from him. I’m there but the gap between us is the camera, even though I’m right there with them. When you’re that close to someone frame after frame, that’s really how they get to know you. You’re almost breathing on each other, and I’m telling him, ‘Lift your head, bring your eyes down.’ I’m giving him instructions so he can look better. Once you spend hours with someone like that, you know them forever. I’m looking at every pore on your face. I’m on your team. In doing that first photo shoot in 4x5, I think that’s what made Tupac so comfortable with me because I was looking in his eyes, he was looking in mine at the same time, and real recognizes real. Once we got to that place we were cool. He gave me pictures he didn’t give anybody else and he said, ‘These are for you, Chi.’ Everybody knows the Thug Life Tupac, and we know that well. But they don’t know the Tupac in the quiet moments. Like that picture of him tying his bandana over his head, the profile shot. That’s an outtake. He was fixing his bandana with a cigarette in his mouth but he was relaxed enough around me where I could just photograph him. As a result you see a picture of a much more gentle Tupac. For me gentle and soft are not the same thing. Tupac was gentle but you wouldn’t dare step to him. He was prepared to take it where it needed to go. He wasn’t afraid. That’s who he was to me, and we got along from the first time we met. We were cool, so I got access to him that no one else could get. Tupac wanted me to shoot his album Me Against the World, he told me to get in touch with the art director in New York. By the time I went there to meet, they had already given the assignment to someone else. What’s funny is I had already taken what would later become the most iconic imagery of Tupac. So when you look at the more famous portraits of Tupac like him tying his bandanna and the Rolling Stone cover, I had already created those pictures before I went to meet the art director to discuss the album. No one knew at the time that the photos I took of him would be the images people remember and not the ones they used on the album. In a way you end up getting your justice if you wait long enough When I set out to take these photographs I knew they were important. I wanted to make sure the images stayed within the community. I wanted to make sure the person who created them was from the community. Historically that never really happens. Most of the visuals of the greats are owned and controlled by other people. That’s tricky because then they can put their interpretation on it. But when you look at my photographs, I’m there with them. I’m one of them even though I’m an observer. I was close enough to live it and I had the skills to document and record it. I had four sessions with him, and since we were close he let me in close. It’s friends hanging out with friends and there just happened to be a camera present. You can see the closeness and the warmth because I didn’t really look at my subjects as just celebrities. I saw them as young black guys like me. It allowed me to get closer and it allowed them to be comfortable and just be who they were. I offered no judgment. I was just there to document and make people look good. Even though I was the creator of these images, I’ve always felt more like the caretaker of them, because he was the world’s Tupac, not just my photo subject. He burned bright when he was here and his flame continues to glow. Thank you for being the voice of the voiceless, Tupac. Rest in peace, brother. Excerpted from Tupac Shakur: Uncategorized by Chi Modu, a 200-page hardcover book featuring over 100 powerful images of Tupac Shakur.
Alive, Anaconda, and Bailey Jay: makaveli-immortalized:
Tupac Shakur with Chi Modu
Over
 the years, people have always said that my images of Tupac let them see
 a side of him beyond the Thug Life image, more about the human being. 
Before he was loved by the world, he was a young man trying to make his 
way in a society that is extremely cruel to the less fortunate. He made 
it his mission to speak for those in his community who needed to hear 
“keep your head up!” As I travel the globe, I’m amazed at how many 
people have told me that Tupac saved their lives. His words and passion 
inspired a generation, and these pictures that we created together help 
to keep that inspiration alive.
It’s
 always sad when people die young, but if you leave behind the kind of 
legacy that Tupac did, you never actually die. You remain forever in the
 hearts and minds of people for generations to come. I knew that about 
him when we first spent time together in Atlanta, Georgia back in 1994. 
We both knew the importance of images and we set out to do a thorough 
job, not knowing what the future would hold. He died two years after 
that meeting in Atlanta, but his words and these images are all part of 
his lasting legacy.
When I met him on location in Atlanta in ’94 he was quite cooperative and a really nice guy. It was a shoot for The Source
 magazine, and he arrived early. Tupac was the ultimate professional, 
and he respected my time and my skills. The public might not know that 
about him. They think he was just this crazy guy who had no real limits,
 but he completely understood who he was, and if he understood what you 
brought to the table, he was easy to deal with. In fact, we got along 
great. I think a lot of people want to buy into the ‘thug life’ image 
and the younger side of him, because he was still a young man. Let’s be 
clear, you kind of forget the ages of these folks. To be so prolific and
 so young, and have so much power — it’s hard to imagine
Even
 with all the childishness — which I believe was age appropriate in a 
lot of ways—when you throw power and money in there, even with all that,
 he had a lot of care and love for his community and for the less 
fortunate. He always spoke on behalf of black people who were 
struggling.
Even
 though he wrote songs that many would consider typical hip-hop party 
music, he also included a lot of black empowerment in his 
lyrics — “Brenda’s Got a Baby,” “Dear Mama” — which I believe is why 
women liked him. They loved him because he was real and he cared. We 
knew the silly side of him too, but who isn’t silly at the age of twenty
 five? So that never surprised me when he did the zany stuff. He was 
young and full of power in a world that’s biased against blacks, so what
 do you expect?
Normally
 when I would see Tupac, I would always think of him being on 
blast — excited and moving at a hundred miles an hour. But when I first 
met him he wasn’t really like that. It’s funny how everyone always 
thinks about Tupac and the ladies, but I never really saw him chasing 
women that much. He was much more focused on his mission. I think that’s
 what made him stand out so much from his peers. Because while everybody
 was partying, this man was trying to make sure he created his legacy. 
And so here we are decades later talking about the man as if he’s still 
around. I don’t think you can take lightly the fact that this is two 
decades later and we’re still talking about this man.
After we finished his first Source
 cover shoot in Atlanta, we went back to his home in Stone Mountain, GA 
to hang out. He called me aside and showed me his entire gun collection 
in his bedroom—all his AKs, banana clips, Glocks, everything. Then he 
moved a picture on the wall in his bedroom, revealing a bullet hole. 
This was from when he fired a shot in his bedroom because he was on 
probation and prohibited from going to the firing range. We all laughed 
afterwards.
We
 would’ve all been in our 40s together, but he never got to his 40s, he 
didn’t even see his 30s with us. So that’s quite a body of work and 
experience that he put in during his short time on this Earth.
He
 was one of the few stars who could cross over without compromising his 
roots. Tupac wasn’t going to compromise, that wasn’t him, but Versace 
still wanted to use him for their campaign. It’s funny when I see 
rappers trying to do that sort of thing. I think when you start to move 
in those commercial circles they make you change yourself to fit. You 
lose your authenticity, but Tupac wouldn’t allow that of himself. He 
took the streets with him wherever he went.
The
 portrait shots of Tupac, like the one that’s on the cover of the book, 
were actually done with a 4x5 camera, which is a view camera. It’s the 
camera where you put the curtain over your head to focus. It’s large 
format. It sits on a tripod, and you put the film in, come out from 
behind the camera, you click it, then you switch the film. Kind of like 
the old style cameras. At that session in Atlanta, I photographed Tupac 
with my 4x5 with no assistant. It was just me and his people. When you 
shoot using a 4x5 you’re really very close to the subject. I was no more
 than three or four feet from him. I’m there but the gap between us is 
the camera, even though I’m right there with them. When you’re that 
close to someone frame after frame, that’s really how they get to know 
you. You’re almost breathing on each other, and I’m telling him, ‘Lift 
your head, bring your eyes down.’ I’m giving him instructions so he can 
look better.
Once
 you spend hours with someone like that, you know them forever. I’m 
looking at every pore on your face. I’m on your team. In doing that 
first photo shoot in 4x5, I think that’s what made Tupac so comfortable 
with me because I was looking in his eyes, he was looking in mine at the
 same time, and real recognizes real. Once we got to that place we were 
cool. He gave me pictures he didn’t give anybody else and he said, 
‘These are for you, Chi.’
Everybody knows the Thug Life
 Tupac, and we know that well. But they don’t know the Tupac in the 
quiet moments. Like that picture of him tying his bandana over his head,
 the profile shot. That’s an outtake. He was fixing his bandana with a 
cigarette in his mouth but he was relaxed enough around me where I could
 just photograph him.
As
 a result you see a picture of a much more gentle Tupac. For me gentle 
and soft are not the same thing. Tupac was gentle but you wouldn’t dare 
step to him. He was prepared to take it where it needed to go. He wasn’t
 afraid. That’s who he was to me, and we got along from the first time 
we met. We were cool, so I got access to him that no one else could get.
Tupac wanted me to shoot his album Me Against the World, he
 told me to get in touch with the art director in New York. By the time I
 went there to meet, they had already given the assignment to someone 
else. What’s funny is I had already taken what would later become the 
most iconic imagery of Tupac. So when you look at the more famous 
portraits of Tupac like him tying his bandanna and the Rolling Stone
 cover, I had already created those pictures before I went to meet the 
art director to discuss the album. No one knew at the time that the 
photos I took of him would be the images people remember and not the 
ones they used on the album. In a way you end up getting your justice if
 you wait long enough
When I set out to take
 these photographs I knew they were important. I wanted to make sure the
 images stayed within the community. I wanted to make sure the person 
who created them was from the community. Historically that never really 
happens. Most of the visuals of the greats are owned and controlled by 
other people. That’s tricky because then they can put their 
interpretation on it. But when you look at my photographs, I’m there 
with them. I’m one of them even though I’m an observer. I was close 
enough to live it and I had the skills to document and record it.
I
 had four sessions with him, and since we were close he let me in close.
 It’s friends hanging out with friends and there just happened to be a 
camera present. You can see the closeness and the warmth because I 
didn’t really look at my subjects as just celebrities. I saw them as 
young black guys like me. It allowed me to get closer and it allowed 
them to be comfortable and just be who they were. I offered no judgment.
 I was just there to document and make people look good.
Even though I was the creator of these images, I’ve always felt more like the caretaker of them, because he was the world’s
 Tupac, not just my photo subject. He burned bright when he was here and
 his flame continues to glow. Thank you for being the voice of the 
voiceless, Tupac. Rest in peace, brother.
Excerpted from Tupac Shakur: Uncategorized by Chi Modu, a 200-page hardcover book featuring over 100 powerful images of Tupac Shakur.

makaveli-immortalized: Tupac Shakur with Chi Modu Over the years, people have always said that my images of Tupac let them see a side of h...

Clothes, Memes, and Music: HARRY STYLES REVEALS EXACTLY WHAT 'SIGN OF THE TIMES' IS ABOUT (AND IT'S NOT ONE NEWS DIRECTION) In a new interview with director Cameron Crowe for Rolling Stone, Harry Styles explains exactly what his anthemic new single "Sign of the Times" is about. And no, it's not One Direction's hiatus. _ You'd be forgiven for thinking that Harry memorialized his band's last tour in the song, though. He does sing, "Welcome to the final show - Hope you're wearing your best clothes," which could have been a reference to 1D's snappy outfits at their farewell gig. He also sings, "We don't talk enough - We should open up - Before it's all too much," which could be a retelling of band drama. _ But Harry says none of those lyrics are actually about One Direction. "The song is written from a point of view as if a mother was giving birth to a child and there's a complication," he said in his new interview. "The mother is told, 'The child is fine, but you're not going to make it.' The mother has five minutes to tell the child, 'Go forth and conquer.'" _ Death in childbirth: a classic theme of classic rock music. _ For what it's worth, Harry also shared that somewhere, there exists a seven-minute voice memo version of "Sign of the Times." Maybe he'll release it as a bonus track when his self-titled album comes out next month. _ by Sasha Geffen
Clothes, Memes, and Music: HARRY STYLES REVEALS EXACTLY WHAT 'SIGN
 OF THE TIMES' IS ABOUT (AND IT'S NOT ONE
 NEWS DIRECTION)
In a new interview with director Cameron Crowe for Rolling Stone, Harry Styles explains exactly what his anthemic new single "Sign of the Times" is about. And no, it's not One Direction's hiatus. _ You'd be forgiven for thinking that Harry memorialized his band's last tour in the song, though. He does sing, "Welcome to the final show - Hope you're wearing your best clothes," which could have been a reference to 1D's snappy outfits at their farewell gig. He also sings, "We don't talk enough - We should open up - Before it's all too much," which could be a retelling of band drama. _ But Harry says none of those lyrics are actually about One Direction. "The song is written from a point of view as if a mother was giving birth to a child and there's a complication," he said in his new interview. "The mother is told, 'The child is fine, but you're not going to make it.' The mother has five minutes to tell the child, 'Go forth and conquer.'" _ Death in childbirth: a classic theme of classic rock music. _ For what it's worth, Harry also shared that somewhere, there exists a seven-minute voice memo version of "Sign of the Times." Maybe he'll release it as a bonus track when his self-titled album comes out next month. _ by Sasha Geffen

In a new interview with director Cameron Crowe for Rolling Stone, Harry Styles explains exactly what his anthemic new single "Sign of the Ti...