As we approach our 2nd Annual Source360 Festival and Conference, that time of the year has come once again: Power 30 season. For the 18th consecutive year, the Mindsquad here at The Source has put together our annual Power 30 issue, in which we countdown the most powerful players in Hip-Hop, from artists and record labels, to radio DJs and websites.
On our cover, we show off this year’s Top 5 (in no particular order, grab your copy to see where they landed), Puff Daddy, Dr. Dre, Kanye West, Jay Z, and Floyd Mayweather. Together, they’re worth approximately $2.5 billion, but their continued presence in Hip-Hop and Hip-Hop culture is just as impressive as their bank statements. From Puff’s revamped involvement in the digital space and Jay’s venture into sports and boxing, to Kanye West’s recent fashion breakthroughs and Floyd Mayweather’s utter dominance (yes, sports is very much a part of Hip-Hop culture). Not to mention, of course, Dr. Dre, over 25 years since he first hit store shelves, making history at every turn.
Power 30 couldn’t come at a more important time this year. The 2nd Annual Source360 kicks off next week, and we’re very excited about who we have joining us in Brooklyn, from performers and artists like Waka Flocka Flame–who will kick things off Thursday night–to Scarface, and some of our very special younger artists, like Casey Veggies and OG Maco. Also, a very special performance from Faith Evans, to panel speakers–Genius, Comic Con and more will be present. Furthermore, we will be having a Power 30 party featuring some of the members of our elite lists, and make sure you check back with The Source for more information on that in the coming days. You can check out the full list (and press release) by clicking here.
Also in this issue, we dug deep into our archives to find our original coverage of N.W.A.–not the film, the actual rise and of guys like Dr. Dre, Eazy-E and Ice Cube, we were there. Articles written by current power players like Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and author/filmmaker dream hampton take an insightful look into what it was like experiencing the drama and fanfare surrounding N.W.A. in the early 90’s, and what it means to the landscape of music today. We also take a closer look at the three major streaming services looking to change the way we consume music, Apple Music, Spotify and TIDAL, and what could soon be this nation’s favorite international destination, the island of Cuba. Plus, Back to School Fashion, Reviews of some big late-summer albums (Dr. Dre, Travis Scott, Future), NFL Preview and some need-to-know information from Her Source.
Grab your copy of our 18th Annual Power 30 issue, on newsstands Thursday.
Family Day Was A Huge Success At Seth Low Houses As They Prepare To Address The Dropout Crisis, Unemployment, Healthcare, Drugs, Crime, Gun And Gang Violence By Working With The Hip-Hop Summit Youth Council And Their 7 E’s 4 Power Tour, Power 105.1, vitaminwater, Council Member Mealy, The AIDS HealthCare Foundation And Many Others
“Vote 4 New Hope With The Power In Public Housing”
At the 2015 Seth Low Family Day Event, we caught up with Reginald Bowman, President of the NYCHA City-Wide Council of President and one of the most credible people we have known that is actually on the ground, in the developments using his contacts and skills to make life better for NYCHA residents. We meet a lot of people in NYCHA, but for over 7 years now, this man has made many sacrifices for his NYCHA Family and their ongoing struggle to obtain the support, services, security and economic opportunities needed for residents to live a productive life.
Things are slowly improving in Public Housing thanks to committed leaders like Mr. Bowman, his team, and a host of elected officials who have been leading the charge for decades. We are looking forward to working with Reggie and bringing him the resources to make NYCHA a better place to live for all residents. Yes there is still a lot of work that needs to be done, but things are finally moving in the right direction and as a team we will get the job done. We have several new initiatives with Power 105.1, “The Shark” Daymond John, vitaminwater, RavePCS, Hip-Hop Wireless, Microsoft, the Source Magazine and celebrities from the entertainment industry that we are about to introduce to NYCHA through Mr. Bowman that will provide more opportunities for the residents, with a focus on the safety and economic empowerment of the youth and young adults in NYCHA. Let’s get into the interview.
How many years has Seth Low been doing Family Days?
Seth Low houses has been doing Family Days since the 1960’s.
What does Family Day mean to you and the community?
Family day is both a celebration and a reunion. We celebrate the meaning of Family and its bonds that go beyond just blood ties, and a reunion of the people who have lived in the Seth Low Public Housing Community and the Public Housing Community of Brownsville for decades.
What are you doing as President of the NYCHA Council of Presidents to address Crime, Poverty, Unemployment, and Gun & Gang Violence?
It is my belief that the problems of Crime, Gun and Gang Violence, are a direct result of Poverty and Unemployment. We have made efforts to launch projects such as the Brooklyn East Anti-Violence Initiative and create partnerships with the Hip-Hop Summit Youth Council to provide Training and Employment programs, which provide real job opportunities for residents. These initiatives work hand in hand with all stakeholders to promote resident owned business development, and concrete opportunities for alternatives to criminal activities, that are a direct result of unemployment.
How are relations with NYPD and what can be done to improve them?
As the co-creator of the Safety and Security Task force, a partnership with the NYCHA residents, NYPD and City Agencies, we proactively have worked to address and improve the relationships between Law enforcement and Public Housing residents. The efforts resulted in the changing of the NYPD Housing Patrol Guide, and established an ongoing effort to meet regularly to improve communications and active initiatives between the police and the community. The efforts have a long way to go.
Let’s talk about the Political Power in NYCHA and the role residents can play in the upcoming Presidential Elections?
I launched the “Vote 4 New Hope” and “Power in Public Housing” initiatives with The Hip-Hop Summit Youth Council in 2008, to organize the more than 200,000 registered voters in Public Housing in NYC to be the deciding vote in Local, State and Federal Elections. According to a Daily News article the Public Housing vote had a very high turn out in New York and did play a role in electing President Obama to the White House. We have proven to be an effective voice as we quietly elected key politicians to office, which is evidenced by the recent investments of millions of dollars in Public Housing by State and City Governments. I hope that we can again use the “VOTE FOR NEW HOPE” power and influence as a strategy in the 2016 Presidential elections and organize with the Music Industry to be the deciding vote in the 2016 elections. We have the votes to do it. We just need to get mobilized and take over the political arena as the youth and entertainment industry has done in the past.
Why are there so many youth and young adults killing each other in Brooklyn and throughout the city? What can we do about it?
I have no real answer to this. It is my belief that this country’s culture of violence, war and conflict can be researched and blamed for some of this, and the continued mass killings and police killings, everywhere, are all related. I believe that until we realize this is a national problem, with a need for real comprehensive solutions, the violence will continue to destroy our youth and communities.
Give me your thoughts about today’s event?
This event was a total success and achieved the objective of bringing people together to celebrate and honor life and be “Reunited With Family and Friends.”
Any special shout outs for your Family Day supporters?
Special Shout Out to Power 105.1 and vitaminwater, The Seth Low Houses Board Members, the NYCHA Staff, Hip-Hop Summit Youth Council, the Source Magazine, and the Seth Low Houses Family.
As you well know we are pushing to get more sponsors involved with NYCHA, this year we have Power 105.1 and vitaminwater, give me your thoughts?
The NYCHA communities generate and spend millions in purchases and it is about time that those corporations give something back to the community and we would like to thank Power 105.1 for being in the forefront of these activities and we look forward to working with the Hip-Hop Summit Youth Council, the station, and their sponsors in the future.
Give me your thoughts about your ongoing plan to make NYCHA a better place for all residents citywide?
I believe and vision using the economic and political power of NYCHA Communities residents to restore the infrastructure of the facilities and be a force for restoring the ladder of economic and social opportunities that NYCHA is intended to be for years to come.
The Negro Family: The Case For National Action(the 1965 Moynihan Report) was written by Assistant Secretary of Labor Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a sociologist and later U.S. Senator. It focused on the deep roots of black poverty in America and concluded controversially that the relative absence of nuclear families (those having both a father and mother present) would greatly hinder further progress toward economic and political equality.
With his anticipated Hate Me Now mixtape coming sooner than later, Dave East hops on another Jadakiss classic, “Air it Out” and customarily spits notable sh*t on his rendition of the track. At last weekend’s intimate, mini HMN listening party, East let us hear several cuts off the project and they were all impressive as expected.
Let’s just hope the game is fully prepared when this drops. I suggest emcees focus on their pens, delivery, as well as production, which categorically stands out on the upcoming project. With several powerful features from very credible artists in the hip-hop and r&b genres, Hate Me Now will exhibit the growth and potential in the Harlem dweller’s career.
Bang 3 is a totally different approach than his previous work in Finally Rich,Bang Pt 2,and Almighty So. Chief Keef began producing his own material recently and according to him its a unique sound we haven’t heard yet. Although he recently released his single “Aint Missing You” in respect to the lost of his cousin Blood Money.The album is set to drop August 18. It should list about 14 tracks and feature other artist like Taedoe,and ASAP Rocky.Bang 3 Tour is coming soon with many surprises.After the transition from interscope to Filmon,Keef has way more to offer fans. Read below as his discusses his upcoming project and more.
Why should we anticipate Bang 3?
Im doing a lot of production, I’m producing all of that.Alot of songs on Bang 3 is really produced by me. Its different, and its something i don’t think anyone has ever heard. Bang 3 is way different from all of the other projects i put out before. Its going to be crazy and epic for me.
What We should expect from Bang 3?
I Grew up, or like I would say I Glo’d up.So Bang 3:Kozart is taking a different direction because I’m trying something new.I like going different ways, instead of staying the same.I come up with all my own stuff, i don’t copy.
How did the relationship with Filmon come about?
Actually i had my close one telling me about alike, sosa you need to know these ppl i looked up alike he said alike is crazy like you and i didn’t believe it until i met alike and he beat me
Are they any other Glo members that we should expect to hear on the album or any new upcoming artist?
I don’t really do features, I’m not a feature type of person.It was all me actually, i got my cousin Tadoe and A$AP Rocky, but its actually all me. I just like doing my own thing.
A$AP Rocky, fresh off a #1 album and a critically-acclaimed film, takes over our Summer cover
A$AP Rocky is the cover star for The Source‘s 2015 Summer Issue, following a roller-coaster first 6 months of the year. The Harlem native’s sophomore album, At.Long.Last.A$AP, debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, eclipsing his #1 debut album’s first-week sales mark to boot. Despite the absence of typical, radio-ready records like “F*ckin’ Problems” and “Wild For The Night,” Rocky’s all-encompassing approach to his 2nd LP brought out several new facets of the emcee that we’d never been treated to, on songs like “L$D” and “Holy Ghost.”
In 2015, it wasn’t just the music world Rocky excelled in. Rick Famuyiwa and Forest Whitaker‘s critically-acclaimed Hip-Hop film Dope, which claimed the hearts of thousands at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, is the summer’s indie darling, and claimed a Top 5 spot at its opening weekend box office with over $6 million in domestic sales. Rocky, who grew up on classic Hip-Hop films like Juice and Menace II Society, jumped at the opportunity to be in the movie, and sent in his audition after meeting Famuyiwa in New York. Rocky plays Dom, a rugged, but charming drug dealer that entrusts a nerd he’s only known for a short time with his fate. It was almost tailor-made for A$AP. The “Jukebox Joints” rapper talks with us about life after Yams, how he ended up acting on Dope, and a slew of other topics. In celebration of this summer being a huge one for the intersection where Hip-Hop meets Hollywood, we talk to the major players of the forthcoming N.W.A. movie, Straight Outta Compton, about recapturing the magic, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre and more brought us 27 years ago. Also, Mike Epps and Nick Cannon make their return to national television, and the nation’s favorite Hip-Hop drama, Empire, will try to best its record-breaking first season.
In addition to Rocky, we’re joined by one of the biggest names in Hollywood, the incomparable Ava DuVernay, who was rumored to be directing Marvel’s Black Panther movie, talks how her life has changed after Selma, and what her vision is for the next few projects she plans to undertake. Today’s the NBA Draft, and there’s no telling what exactly will happen, but our sports writers try their best to determine which 5 prospects will make the biggest impacts. Not only that, but now that the fight’s over, how does Floyd Mayweather match-up with the greatest fighters of all-time? We also talk to Power star Naturi Naughton, Kelly Rowland and Faith Evans about how they’re dealing with such important moments in their careers, and chat with some of today’s hottest young talent in music, including Casey Veggies and Boogie.
Grab your Summer Issue, featuring cover star A$AP Rocky, on newsstands Tuesday.
Superstar Akon announces his Akon Lighting Africa initiative at the United Nations headquarters
Senegalese-American pop singer Akon, whose Akon Lighting Africa initiative aims to bring electricity to some of the 600 million Africans who currently lack it, announced the launch of a new “Solar Academy” for the people of Africa.
The institution, scheduled to open this summer in Mali, will train African engineers and entrepreneurs with the skills needed to develop solar-powered electricity systems and micro grids. Training equipment and programs will be supplied by European angel investors.
Harnessing solar energy is an ideal way to enable those Africans without electricity to get it since Africa has 320 days of sunshine a year. Samba Baithily co-founder of Akon Lighting Africa said,
“We have the sun and innovative technologies to bring electricity to homes and communities. We now need to consolidate African expertise.”
The group announced the launch of the academy at the second United Nations Sustainable Energy for All Forum in New York last week, in support of the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDG’s) and Post 2015 Agenda.
It’s always interesting to hear artists create acoustic, cover versions to the latest and most trending music, especially when it’s either a really trap-like record, such as this (lol). In this case, Natasha Fisher, 19, takes Rihanna’s latest, “Bitch Better Have My Money” (BBHMM) and re-creates her own version, vocally.
Her sultry voice sets a different vibe and makes it a pleasant listen.
Today People Magazine released it’s annual “World’s Most Beautiful List,” where Sandra Bullock was named “the world’s most beautiful woman” for 2015.
Of course there were some other equally awesome women who also made the list:
The Being Mary Jane actress, who starred alongside Chris Rock in Top Five, is not only talented and stunning but also hilarious and down-to-earth. When asked by PEOPLE if she would ever enter the reality-TV circuit with husband Dwyane Wade, she responded: “A cuddle show, where we just cuddle and watch HGTV. That would be like our saucy reality show.”
Taraji P. Henson
Henson may not have a lot of love for her character on Empire – “No, I hate that b—-. She’s stolen my identity!”, she told Seth Meyers – but the actress’ captivating portrayal of Cookie has finally put Henson directly in the limelight, where she belongs. The actress, who’s a longtime Hollywood veteran, never fails to charm us with her beauty and sharp wit.
The actress has left a big impression on Hollywood (and America) in a very short amount of time. Cox’s skillful performance as Sophia on Orange Is the New Black and her work advocating for transgender women make her one of our boldest beauties yet.
The other awesome women that made the list: Vanessa Hudgens, Ariana Grande, Shay Mitchell, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Meghan Trainor, and GiGi Hadid.
We all might have been there. You’re out late at dinner with bae having a good time. You leave thinking the nights going to end with you playing Tyrese, or for you youngsters, some Trey Songz, and then it happens. You can’t find your car. That is because it has been towed while you were trying to grab that extra cheesy bread from Red Lobster. This is what happened to ESPN reporter Britt McHenry at a local Chinese restaurant called Hunan in Arlington, Virginia. When she got to Advanced Towing to pick up her car she was PISSED.
The attendant, named Gina Michelle, told McHenry that she was being recorded. Didn’t look like she cared that much about it. Richard Deitsch, writer for Sports Illustrated, tweeted that ESPN is reviewing the situation,” We are aware of the recent exchange between Britt McHenry and a towing company employee. We are now reviewing the matter with her.” Will update the story as more information is released.
Russell Westbrook is the most difficult player to evaluated in the history of the NBA. No one has truly found a place to put him in yet. Point Guard, shooting guard, playmaker, turnover-machine, all have been said in order to analyze his game. But Westbrook has never been one to be defined, having broken the model of what it means to be a point guard. He isn’t a point guard, he isn’t a shooting guard, he is a player that will do whatever it takes to win the game. From winning All-Star MVP in Madison Square Garden this past February, to dropping a triple-double 3 days after having facial surgery; Westbrook can’t be defined by any other label than straight baller. Thoughout the season Westbrook has had some many memorable moments on and off the court. Check out the season that Westbrook has had.