ALLEN IVERSON AND DR. J RETURN TO PHILLY IN BIG3 COACHING SHOWDOWN
— Trilogy Cements League Dominance with 4th Straight Win And Remain Undefeated Heading Into the 2nd Half of the Regular Season —
— Rashard Lewis Notches 30 Points in Victory Over Killer 3s, Maintains League Scoring Lead —
(PHILADELPHIA, PA) July 17, 2017 —On Sunday, BIG3 made its Philadelphia debut pitting two of the city’s most beloved basketball icons, Allen Iverson and Julius “Dr. J” Erving, against one another in a coaching duel. The energy inside the Wells Fargo Center was electric as the two 76ers legends were introduced in front of the 12,435 cheering fans on hand to experience Week 4 of the new professional 3-on-3 basketball league.
Iverson, who was unable to play in the game per advice from his doctor, addressed the crowd before the evening’s final game, and expressed his gratitude to the city of Philadelphia. “I’m glad I had a chance to come back home,” he said. “Ain’t nothing like the relationship we have. I love you for supporting me throughout my career and still today, you’re still supporting me.” Ultimately Iverson’s squad 3’s Company fell to Dr. J’s Tri-State, who earned their first win of the season.
Week 4 in Philadelphia marked the halfway point in BIG3’s 8 game regular season. With just four games left before the playoffs in Seattle, Trilogy has emerged as the team to beat, boasting an undefeated 4-0 record. The Clyde Drexler coached Power and Gary Payton coached 3 Headed Monsters are hot on their heels however, both with 3-1 records.
In addition to Iverson and Dr. J, Week 4 also saw several other Philadelphia homecomings. Power’s Captain Cuttino Mobley was born and raised in Philadelphia, as was the Ball Hogs Rasual Butler, who attended La Salle and was their 6th player in school history to score over 2,000 points.
Guests in attendance at Sunday’s star-studded games included LL Cool J, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, Rapper Bow Wow, Toronto Raptors’ Kyle Lowry, Cleveland Cavaliers’ J.R. Smith, and boxing legend Bernard Hopkins, to name a few. Rapper Fat Joe brought the crowd to their feet during halftime of Game 4 with a high-energy performance of his hit song “All the Way Up.”
As part of the #BIG3Choir contest, The Late Show’s Gospel Choir was selected to perform the national anthem at the Wells Fargo Center.
BIG3’s Week 4 games will air on Fox Sports 1 tonight (July 17) at 8pm ET. BIG3 Week 5 takes place next
Sunday, July 23rd in Chicago at the UIC Pavilion starting at 2 p.m. C.T.
See below for game summaries, stats, and video highlights from all four games.
In the night’s first game, Philadelphia native Cuttino Mobley led Power to a 51-44 win over the Ghost Ballers, contributing 20 points and 3 assists. The game was evenly matched for most of the first half with the team’s trading points, until Power took the lead heading into the half 26-21. Jerome “Junk Yard Dog” Williams had 13 rebounds, and DeShawn Stevenson had 17 points and hit the game winning 3-pointer to put the game away.
In the 2nd game of the night, Trilogy continued their undefeated tear toppling the Ball Hogs 50-43, and further proving they are the team to beat. Rashad McCants shined in the win with one 4-point shot and two 3’s, one of which was the game winner. Xavier Silas, who was acquired by the Ball Hogs this week from Tri-State in the first ever BIG3 trade, led his new team with 17 points. Unfortunately his efforts couldn’t propel the team beyond the Trilogy, who will head into Week 5 undefeated.
The 3rd game of the night saw Rashard Lewis put up 30 points for the 3 Headed Monsters, bringing his season total to a league-leading 124 points. He also had 10 rebounds on the night. While the 3 Headed Monsters led for most of the game, Killer 3s were able to put the pressure on and bring it within 3 points late in the 2nd half at 46-49. But Lewis ultimately sunk the game-winner to put it out of reach. Despite the loss, Stephen Jackson had a strong showing for the Killer 3s with 24 points. Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf complemented Lewis’ dominant performance in the 3 Headed Monsters victory, with 17 points of his own along with 4 assists.
In the evening’s marquee matchup Philly legends Dr. J and Allen Iverson went head to head in a coach’s clash. Dr. J’s Tri-State took an early lead in the game, and were up 25-13 at the half. They maintained the lead throughout, with Lee Nailon scoring 18 points to carry the team to victory. Bonzi wells hit the game winning jumper with an assist from Captain Jermaine O’Neal, who contributed to the win with 9 rebounds and 4 assists. Despite best efforts from 3’s Company Al Thornton who had a 20 point game, Iverson’s team wasn’t able to pull out the victory.
BIG3 will bring over 40 basketball All-Stars including Allen Iverson, Julius ‘Dr. J’ Erving, Clyde Drexler, Gary Payton, Chauncey Billups, Stephen Jackson and more to US cities throughout the country this summer, as the eight teams compete for the title of 2017 BIG3 Champions.
For more information and to sign up for news updates, visit www.BIG3.com.
ABOUT BIG3: BIG3 (www.BIG3.com) is where basketball superstars play. The premier half-court, 3-on-3 basketball league, BIG3 features many of the greatest, most popular and skilled NBA players of all time, including Allen Iverson, Gary Payton, Kenyon Martin, Charles Oakley and more. Founded by producer, actor and music legend Ice Cube and entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz, the BIG3 combines highly competitive, physical, fast basketball and incredible fan experiences. Comprising of eight teams of five, the league tipped off its 10-week season at Barclays Center on June 25 with games airing on Fox Sports in primetime on Monday nights. Tickets are available at BIG3.com.
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An Oregon child-welfare investigator concluded that Ed Murray sexually abused his foster son in the early 1980s, leading state officials to assert that “under no circumstances should Mr. Murray be certified” as a foster parent in the future, according to public records obtained by The Seattle Times.
The investigation by Oregon Child Protective Services (CPS) of Jeff Simpson’s allegations determined them to be valid — meaning the agency believed Murray sexually abused Simpson, the records show.
“In the professional judgement of this caseworker who has interviewed numerous children of all ages and of all levels of emotional disturbance regarding sexual abuse, Jeff Simpson has been sexually abused by … Edward Murray,” CPS caseworker Judy Butler wrote in the May 1984 assessment.
Murray, elected Seattle’s mayor in 2013, last week repeated in an interview with The Seattle Times that he never abused Simpson, and he underscored that prosecutors had decided decades ago not to charge him.
“It was Jeff’s emotional instability, history of manipulative behavior and the fact that he has again run away and made himself unavailable that forced my decision,” Deputy District Attorney Mary Tomlinson wrote.Still, the newly disclosed records reveal that a Multnomah County prosecutor withdrew a criminal case against Murray because of Simpson’s troubled personality, not because she thought he was lying.
“We could not be sure of meeting the high burden of proof in a criminal case — of proof beyond a reasonable doubt and to a moral certainty. However, this in no way means that the District Attorney’s Office has decided Jeff’s allegations are not true.”
Unlike a criminal case, CPS child-abuse investigations determine whether “reasonable cause” exists — a lower standard of proof than for criminal cases, but still meaning the abuse likely occurred. In Oregon, about 10 percent of child-abuse reports annually have in recent years been deemed to be founded.
The newly obtained records, previously thought destroyed, provide the clearest picture yet of the investigation of Murray, then a paralegal who had worked as a counselor to Simpson and other troubled children.
A letter to The Times sent Saturday night by Murray’s Portland lawyer, Katherine Heekin, stressed: “Oregon’s Child Protective Services is supposed to err on the side of believing a child’s accusations. The agency is not responsible for judging sex abuse cases. It merely investigates allegations of sex abuse. In contrast, law enforcement is responsible for determining whether or not a crime may have happened. Here, there was no indictment, no charges filed, no conviction, and no crime.”The documents, released to The Seattle Times this month by Oregon’s Department of Human Services, also contradict public statements in recent months by Murray and his lawyer contending investigators had debunked Simpson’s allegations at the time as false.
Murray said last week he had never been told of the CPS finding and would have appealed had he known. The Seattle Times provided him copies of the newly released investigative records Tuesday.
In an interview Thursday, Murray and Heekin questioned why Oregon officials kept the records without informing Murray. They also disputed the importance of the documents.
“Other than the salacious nature of it, I don’t see what the story is,” said Murray. “The system vindicated me. They withdrew the case.”
Murray said his previous comments that Simpson’s allegations had been discredited were based on his lawyer’s impressions about the decision to drop the case. He said he learned from the documents that the case was withdrawn before a grand jury could vote whether to indict him.
“I feel even more strongly that my statement was correct because (the criminal case) was withdrawn,” Murray added. “ … That is unusual because we all know people get indicted and they get indicted pretty easily. As I said, one of the attorneys told me you can get a ham sandwich indicted in the grand jury.”
The withdrawn case included another foster parent Simpson had accused of abuse.
Murray pointed to statements his attorneys collected and submitted to investigators from people who had known him or Simpson. They included other foster parents who described the youth as sometimes violent and impossibly difficult to care for.
Oregon officials previously said records of the investigation had been purged, but located them in April under a newer computer-tracking system. In releasing the typically private information to The Times, that state cited, in part, a provision of public-records law that allows disclosure “to protect children from abuse and neglect.”
The finding by CPS supporting Simpson — who had been abandoned as an infant and later lived under Murray’s care for nearly a year and a half as a teenager — prompted Oregon child-welfare officials to decide that Murray should never again be a foster parent, a June 1984 report shows.
The abuse finding — the result of a required administrative investigation — remains in effect and could still prevent him from being a foster parent in Oregon, officials said.
“Thank you, Jesus”
Murray, 62, a longtime Democratic state lawmaker and gay civil-rights leader, has attacked the credibility of Simpson and other men who say he sexual abused them decades ago. Murray has suggested the claims are politically motivated.
The scandal led Murray to drop his re-election bid. The mayor has said he’ll serve out his term, which ends this year.
Simpson, 49, who abandoned an effort to sue Murray in 2008 due to statute-of-limitations issues, was happy when reporters told him last week that the CPS report backed his claims.
“Wow, wow. Thank you, Jesus,” he said.
Simpson added that he and his attorney had tried to find such documents, but were told none existed.
Shortly after Heckard sued, Murray’s attorney Robert Sulkin attacked the lawsuit and Simpson’s allegations, saying Simpson’s claims had been “completely debunked” and “found to be false by law enforcement.”
Janet Hoffman, the Portland attorney who defended Murray in 1984, said in an interview in May that Portland prosecutors were “very hard-nosed” and must have been “thoroughly convinced” the allegations were “totally false.”
“Mr. Murray allegedly sexually abused the foster child in his home over a long period of time. Although he was not indicted, the Protective Services department feels that the allegations are true, as does the district attorney’s office.”
A police report shows two witnesses also told a detective they were aware of allegations that Murray had abused Simpson and were willing to testify before a grand jury. A high-school friend of Simpson and the friend’s mother told the detective Simpson had spoken to them about Murray’s alleged abuse before telling social workers and that they had overheard a three- to four-hour phone call between the two.
Two foster fathers accused
Simpson, who grew up in group and foster homes, met Murray at the Parry Center for Children in Portland where Murray worked as his counselor in the late 1970s. Murray remained close with Simpson after the boy left the center.
At the time, Simpson had extreme emotional problems. Child-welfare records described him as a “heavy street kid” and “one of the agency’s most difficult children.” Murray was considered a stabilizing presence whom Simpson called “Dad,” the records show.
In November 1982, a court designated Murray, then a 27-year-old paralegal for a public defender’s office, to become Simpson’s foster father. The teenager lived with Murray in two Portland apartments until March 1984, records show. Social workers noted some problems, but they called Murray the most successful foster parent Simpson had ever had.
Simpson first alleged sex abuse in April 1984, a few weeks after he’d been removed from Murray’s care due to drug abuse and behavioral problems. The upheaval in Simpson’s living situation weighed on him; two days after being moved to a group home he slashed his wrist, cutting a 4-inch gash in his left arm.
When a social worker interviewed Simpson, asking if he’d ever been sexually abused, Simpson told her a foster parent had abused him years earlier. When she asked if he’d been abused more recently, Simpson wanted assurances his answer would remain confidential, the records show.
“After being reassured … that it would, Jeff acknowledged that his foster father in his most recent placement also sexually abused him,” a social worker’s report on the alleged abuse states.
CPS assigned Butler to assess the allegations a few days later. Simpson was surprised and reluctant, saying he thought what he told the social worker would stay private. He eventually told Butler about the alleged abuse in an hourlong interview.
Simpson said the abuse began in 1980, when he was 13 and spending a weekend with Murray. The abuse continued after Murray became his foster father and lasted until he left Murray’s care at age 16, Simpson said. At times, Murray paid Simpson $10 or gave him drugs for sex.
“Jeff stared at the floor and appeared to be very depressed,” Butler wrote. “At times his voice would shake as he described his disappointment when Ed Murray, whom he had trusted and seen as the only consistent adult figure in his life, began a process of sexual abuse.”
Simpson gave a second interview a day later with Butler and Portland police Detective Dave Foesch. Simpson told the detective that Murray sometimes warned him that if he told anyone, he’d be removed from Murray’s home and sent to an institution.
When the detective asked if Simpson was willing to help prosecute Murray, Simpson responded, “No, he is my father,” Foesch, who has since died, wrote in a police report.
“It was then explained to Jeffrey that Mr. Murray is not his father and that a father would not do these things to his son,” Foesch wrote. “Jeffrey then thought about it for a while and agreed that he may possibly be able to save some other child from suffering the same indignations.”
The next day, Simpson, Butler and Foesch testified before a grand jury, Butler’s report states. Meantime, Murray, unaware of the allegations, called Simpson’s group home several times, demanding to speak with him and threatening to sue when he was denied contact, Butler’s report states.
After testifying to the grand jury, Foesch called Murray to inform him of Simpson’s allegations and set up an interview. A lawyer for Murray later told Foesch his client was “too emotionally upset at this time to be interviewed,” the detective’s report states.
Murray changed lawyers several times before settling on Hoffman, who soon provided statements to investigators from people who knew Simpson and Murray, and did not believe the allegations.
Murray also reportedly took a private polygraph, but “since the exact results were not released to the D.A. my assumption is that it was inconclusive,” Butler wrote in the assessment. She noted Hoffman described Murray as “coming out ‘Real good’” in the test.
Murray and Hoffman said last week they didn’t have records of the polygraph results.
Simpson, who state foster reports show was prone to lying, stealing, using drugs and running away, presented problems for the district attorney in proving the case. About a month after the allegations emerged, the prosecutor’s office withdrew the case against Murray and the other accused foster parent from the grand jury.
But in her CPS assessment, Butler found Simpson believable. She noted he’d expressed concern that his claims would ruin Murray’s career, and had “no motive to make something like this up” because Simpson knew he’d likely be placed in an institution and never allowed to live with Murray again.
“It is unfortunate that the criminal justice system chose not to act in this case simply because a conviction of … Mr. Murray would probably be the only way of mandating (him) in to treatment for … sexual deviancy,” Butler added.
A few months after the investigation ended, Murray left Portland and moved to Seattle.
“Those records exist”
Simpson said Friday he didn’t remember accusing the other foster parent of abuse when he spoke with reporters earlier this year, saying that was probably because it didn’t compare to what Murray allegedly did to him.
“It upsets me that I didn’t remember,” he said. “I’m not trying to be deceitful or anything like that. It hurts my validity.”
The other man was Simpson’s foster provider for about a month, the records show.
Simpson is one of four men who have publicly accused Murray of sexual abuse decades ago when they were teenagers. Heckard claimed Murray started paying him for sex in 1986, when Heckard was a drug-addicted 15-year-old. Lloyd Anderson and Lavon Jones also separately allege Murray paid them for sex as teenagers.
In May, Murray’s personal spokesman, Jeff Reading, provided The Times with copies of several statements from people who supported Murray when Simpson first made his allegations in 1984.
Reading said he was providing the information because “there is an existing body of evidence that rebuts and contradicts what Jeff has said.”
The statements were given by people who had counseled or taken in Simpson and described him as emotionally unstable and Murray as having tried hard to help.
One couple, who took Simpson on weekend outings, told a Murray defense investigator Simpson didn’t respond well to discipline and in his early teens “seemed to be very obsessed with the fear of being a homosexual.”
The couple believed the boy’s sex-abuse allegation “was nothing more (than) Jeff acting up” and “striking back” for “some form of rejection.”
The counselor said “he recalled a telephone call in which Jeff alleged that Ed had forced him into sex and paid for it,” he told Murray’s defense investigators.
The counselor dismissed Simpson’s claim, saying “he did not believe that allegation at the time, and found it to be completely irrational.”
Some of the same statements were included in the state foster records released to The Times this month. The CPS investigator considered them before making her finding.
“He got angry at every foster parent that he’d ever been involved with,” Murray said.Murray said the CPS report doesn’t accurately reflect what happened, noting other important records from Simpson’s foster file and the D.A. inquiry that no longer exist would illustrate Simpson’s destructive behavior.
In interviews, Simpson has acknowledged his troubled youth, drug problems and lengthy criminal record, including a 10-year prison term.
He also has signed several waivers to allow authorities to release his private counseling and other records.
“All those records exist,” Murray said. “Also, that a prosecutor and grand jury investigated it and didn’t pursue it, all those facts exist.”
When reminded Thursday of his statements criticizing the press for not pursuing more records, Murray responded: “But you cherry-pick records. You cherry-pick records.”
In the Saturday night letter, Murray’s attorney Heekin also said, “The Seattle Times … seeks to reinvestigate the case, to take the place of law enforcement and the District Attorney’s Office, act as judge and jury without a full vetting and disclosure of the facts that were available to law enforcement in 1984, rewrite history, and mislead the public.”
Man, I promise you I didn’t know. It’s like I got a seat at the table and I’m apart of Power’s writing team. Because, after this episode wrapped, I swear to GOD Almighty, I said, “I don’t just watch Power…I’m IN POWER!”
…And, low and behold, this week’s episode is titled, “WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER…”
Yooooo, this shit is crazy! From the gate, I’m pissed and I wanna whoop Charlie Murphy’s ass, (RIP My G, but shit, you playing that role too good!!!), while being torn, by feelin the cop code. They are a gang too, don’t play! So, if you touch one of theirs, they are gonna make you feel it!
Theeeeeeeen Angela and Tasha meet up, and I’m beggin the writers, by the end of season, let wifey get one pimp slap in, for real, have Tommy be ready with the powder on deck, lol… And, Lord, save the children, cause I wanna touch that little boy up so tough! Tariq, you that lonely, to let yourself get infiltrated like that? You out here doing big mon moves, all cause you mad at Daddy? You’re worst than a bitch…Bless my heart, lol! But, I got boys and I tell them all the time, it’s not always personal, but there’s ALWAYS kats like Kanan (50 Cent’s character), waiting for you in the wings. TRUST! I just wished baby gurl would’ve said…“Slim, oh you mean KANAN…?”
Yall played me right there, but I liked it, smh and lol!
Again, man this is on a whole new level of entertainment. From the theme song, I’m singing with Seattle’s Skyline in mind, to the end of the rolling credits…
HIDE YA WIFE & YA KIDS BOO…Ghost is still runnin the tizzzzown!
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Yes, this R&B Diva is back and better than ever! There’s something distinctively rich about Syleena Johnson’s voice. You can tell, this thing she does with these notes are truly God’s gift. I had a chance to chat with the soul crooner last month for her private listening party, held in LA and was blown away by the passionate conviction of
CHAPTER 6: Couples Therapy.
Stemming from communication battles in her own marriage, Syleena took to the pen and pad to express the hardships and rewards of being in a committed relationship.
“My husband and I recently realized we have some communication issues…so we took to therapy last year around September, and then just recently they asked us to do Marriage Bootcamp on WeTV, so we just filmed that which was amazing for our marriage.” via AllHipHop.com.
On the album, you’ll find a track called ‘Silence’, which is a relationship record. It’s a plea from a woman ‘s perspective, asking how to salvage it? With lyrics beginning the track…“There’s so much noise in this silence…” Mirroring the pain in the relationship.
in, “Perfectly Worthless”,Syleena takes on a character who contemplates murder and suicide. Here the couple had been together since college. She got pregnant and gave birth to a still born . The couple’s relationship struggled because of the devastation. They decide to go see a therapist and the unthinkable happens…The husband ends up cheating with the therapist and has a baby with her…You can see the story unfold in the video above. “It was real Kettle One, straight vodka. I really wanted to be in this character.”, says Syleena.
Don’t get me wrong now, Chapter 6: Couples Therapy has some sexy, sultry bangas too. How else do you think you’re going to keep that bond growing strong 🙂
“…I like little nasty songs…it comes from growing up with Prince.”The diva mentions during the right before the playback…OKAAAY!
With song like “My Love”and “Boom”, this is just in time for booed up season!!!
+“No Beginners”, featuring Willie Taylor from Day 26, was originally written for the King of Soul R. Kelly. And, trust when I say, the track isn’t missing him at all. NO SHADE, but Syleena had to respectfully decline, using the Sarah Palin “Thanks but no thanks”, when referring to The Astronauts deal. Stating, “Every single I had was his (Robert Kelly’s).“Possibly even overshadowed by his celebrity. But, Syleena expressed that she will always love them, (R. Kelly/Wayne Williams).“However, we’re all growing and not necessarily in the same direction, nor needed for our projects to do well. “
I can’t scream it anymore…YOU HAVE TO GET THIS ALBUM NOW!!! Soul music lovers have been begging for a record like this, and now we have it! I admire Syleena’s tenacity and determination to do it on her own terms! For those of you, who didn’t know…CHAPTER 6:Couples Therapy isn’t just her 11th release, it’s her 1st Soundtrack to the MOVIE…Titled “Couples Therapy”!!! Yes indeed she’s a BOSS!!!
Who knew the Summer of 2014 would be filled with Football and Philanthropy? Well, apparently most NFL fans knew, because these pro-athletes have been giving back to their communities for years.
You would think during the off season, they would frolic to warm weather vacation destinations, b-lining away from news crews and media, however that is not the case and I have proof 🙂
MARCUS TRUFANT | SEATTLE SEAHAWKS | TRUFANT FAMILY FOUNDATION
Trufant Family Foundation’s Mission:
To help make dreams come true for disadvantaged youth and their families and to build a personal connection and involvement with individuals and community programs that provide service to people who are most in need.
We focus our energies in three major areas to help improve the quality of life for children which include: College Scholarships, Youth Camp, Experience Programs and Fitness Programs for Children and Adults.
We support specific community programs, such as; the Boys and Girls Clubs, Hearts for Kids, Sickle Cell Camp, Communities In School, The Salvation Armyand more.
EARL THOMAS, III | SEATTLE SEAHAWKS | GUARDIAN ANGEL FOUNDATION
Earl Thomas, III picks out the next bicycle to be given away to a child during his foundation’s bike giveaway over the Summer. Sixty bicycles were given to children by the Earl Thomas III Guardian Angel Foundationat Sixth Street Community Church in Orange, TX.
Growing up, Earl Thomas was lucky enough to have a strong, supportive family around him, but his life was not without hardship. His beginnings were humble and fraught with adversity, culminating with the loss of the family home in Orange, Texas, during Hurricane Ritain 2005. Earl knows what it is to go without, which is why it remains so crucially important to him to give back to others.
In addition to various NFL-oriented community service activities like Play 60, Earl carries out a series of yearly efforts to help those who are less fortunate get back on their feet. His work annually includes a Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway, Winter Coat Drive, and a Free Summer Football Campfor children in the town where he grew up.
MICHAEL JOHNSON | TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS | MJ93 FOUNDATION
Tampa Bay Buccaneer Defensive End #90 MichaelJohnson recently welcomed over 250 campers and a couple dozen of coaches to his 5th Annual MichaelJohnson Youth Football & Cheer Camp and family-friendly Fun Fest with the NFL in his hometown of Selma, Alabama!
Fun Fest attendees enjoyed interactive games, music, food, and entertainment including a wing eating contest sponsored by Kentucky Fried Chicken, Celebrity and NFL Athlete Autographs and Photos as well as Special Meet and Greets with MTV star Coleysia Chestnut, 3D The Boss, Dr. Rondrick Williamsonand mini make overs by We TV“LA Hair”star China Upshaw.
On the following day, football campers were taught basic football fundamentals while the cheer and dance campers learned basic cheer, dance and twirl routines and at half time all guests were treated to a live performance by pop trio 3D the Boss!
On Tuesday, June 15, 2014, Johnson raised funds for MJ93 at the second annual Beauty and the Beast Swag Loungepre-ESPY day party in L.A. presented by Trea Day Management and Publicity in conjunction with BMB Entertainment. The event was sponsored by Myx Fusions, LPL financial, Euphoric Treasures, Hula Girl, God Can and Marani Vodka. A-list guests, athletes and celebrities contributed to the fundraising by donating hundreds of dollars toward the cause. Tampa Bay Buccaneersdefensive end Michael Johnson has always had a heart for children and aspired to make a difference in children’s lives. When he was a youngster, Johnson often times gave to children less fortunate than he. A burning passion for helping those in need coupled with the desire to help children succeed were the driving forces that lead Johnson to create MJ93 as an NFL rookie, an organization that supports and encourages the education, mentorship, health and fitness of children.
The event was a major success and will allow MJ93 to continue to host their annual football and cheer camp, allow students to attend the MJ93 computer certificate program and to continue the Let’s Move Initiativelaunched by first lady Michelle Obama in an attempt to combat childhood obesity.
MATT LEINART | BUFFALO BILLS | THE MATT LEINART FOUNDATION
We are committed to granting resources & opportunities to support disadvantage youth through learning centers, sports activities & granting wishes: to build character development, & help each child maximize academic & personal achievement.
The Matt Leinart Foundation is committed to granting resources and opportunities to support disadvantage youth through learning centers, sports activities and granting wishes: to build character development, and help each child maximize academic and personal achievement.
Because Children are our Future…..
The Matt Leinart Foundation is a California 501(c)(3) Charitable Organization designed to provide opportunities to children who would normally not receive them. The children may come from financially and/or socially disadvantaged areas, or may have permanent physical and /or mental disabilities. Among other charities, the Foundation supports the Banner’s Children’s Hospital in Phoenix; Los Angeles’ Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times; and Phoenix, Arizona based charity, Vested Interest.
This has been an incredible summer to say the least. I’ve had the opportunity to meet w/ these pro-ballers and it’s clear that their commitment surpasses the game. They have my utmost respect.
Understand you don’t have to be a celebrity to give back to your community, youth or your favorite charity. Check out their foundations below and make your contribution today!!!
In today’s music, you can’t tell Hip Hop from EDM and Pop Soul these days. Not taking away from these electronic pulse seekers, but some of us crave the deep 808, head-banging, lyrical mind bending journeys, emcees have been known to take their listeners on for decades.
This NEW MUSIC TUESDAY, I am happy to introduce you to SRE Media Group’s new clients:
Born in Las Vegas,SK 1-9 fell in love w/ the city lights, 24 hour hustle, and both the celebrity and high roller lifestyle. Later on in his childhood he moved to a small town in Louisiana called Newellton, where he was brought up listening to Melodic Blues Rhythms and the Dixie Sounds of New Orleans.
As a teen, SK 1-9 moved back toLas Vegas, and then California, and that’s where he found his passion for music. Listening to the heavy street anthems of NWA, Eazy E, and Tupac. SK 1-9 found that rap music was a way to speak out against social ills, and that it kept true to the pulse of the Black Community and their intense relationship with the police.
SK 1-9 used rap music to express himself. He was immediately signed to a production company, while struggling in the belly of the streets. The deal eventually fell through, and SK 1-9 found himself hustling on the streets to survive. Then he moved to Hawaii with his brother, who was in the military. In Hawaii, SK 1-9 worked harder on his music. Performing before large crowds on the island.
After spending a few years in Hawaii, SK 1-9 decided to take his talents to hip hop’s mecca New York City. Where he now resides.
In 2010, he released the “War Baby” mixtape and distributed it in the markets he lived in. It did extremely well with sales for an independent project of it’s kind. In 2012, SK1-9 dropped the street album “Blood On My Sleeves” and it’s still charting well on Reverbnation.com. And, now in 2014, SK 1-9 released the highly anticipated “KARDINAL RULE” available now oniTunes.
SK 1-9’s music is relative to his cultural experiences. Having the opportunity to live in different regions, that hold distinctive music genres, these experiences give him a broad stroke on rap music, by blending sounds from these markets, mixed with lyrical concept and meaning.
Just like the SK rifle, he spits lyrics with a rapid fire. Inspired by artists like Tupac, DMX,and Lil Boosie, SK 1-9’s aim is to bring back the rebel minded spirit in rap/hip hop music. Something that will Educate and Energize the Youth and Music Lovers Abroad!
SRE Media & PR Group merges Public Relations with innovative techniques of Digital and Social Media Marketing. Providing our clients with crucial interactive PR. Communicating directly to their target audience in real time. Keeping a light roster, we ensure that our clients receive 1 on 1/hands on management. These days anyone can be a blogger, however we have the credentials and education of true journalism.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a small business, an independent artist, a large firm or a major superstar, we give ALL of our clients our utmost respect and attention. We are NOT the agency that will tell you many yeses and just what you want to hear. We pride ourselves with integrity and lend our constructive criticism when needed.
So, when you walk out that door, you are camera ready!
It’s been along time coming for Seattle Independent Musicians. Primarily for those who master the urban culture of R&B and Hip Hop. Taking a back seat to the Seattle Sound known worldwide as “Grunge” or “Alternative”, The Seattle Sound Music Awards (#SSMAs) provides a platform for Soul and Rap Artists reigning for the Pacific Northwest.
Join us as we honor contributors to the Arts and Culture community of Seattle. Saturday, August 9, 2014 at the historic Columbia City Theater . An exclusive Press Reception for Nominees, Honoreesand VIPs kicks off at 6:00 PM and the Awards Ceremony starts at 8:00 PM. Advance tickets are available online at www.SEATTLESOUNDMUSICAWARDS.com. NOTE: This is a BLACK TIE AFFAIR.
Here are our NOMINEES & HONOREES:
2014 #SSMAs Community Contribution Honorees
Marcus Trufant | Greg Lewis | Shawn Kemp
Hip Hop Oscars/Rap (Male) –
Raz Simone | Da Big Dime | The Physics | Parker | Black Stax
Honoree – Sol
Hip Hop Oscars/Rap (Female) –
Lady P | SynSay | Gifted Gab | Jus J | Julie C
Honoree – Blacc Sapphire
808 Award/Best Producer –
Jake One | Vitamin D | Beezie 2000 | Mike Wingo | JC Flow
Honoree – Tha Bizness (Dow, Henny & Kuddie)
Board Beast/Best Engineer –
DJ Phinisey | Jakael Tristram | Kip Beelman | DJ Roc’Phella |Justin Armstrong
It’s been an emotional roller coaster for the residents of Seattle-Tacoma. Everyday we hear multiple reports of shootings, stabbings, murders and more. It’s hard to feel empowered during these times, yet the two cities have managed to come together to raise their voices against violent crimes.
On Sunday, May 25th,#CEASEFIRESeattle honored not only military fallen soldiers, but those who have fallen due to senseless deaths in our streets as well. Joined by Community Members, Civil Rights Activists and Indie Artistswilling to spend their holiday weekend bringing awareness to a much needed conversation. How do you take your streets back? Some say by occupying them. And, therefore we did just that!!!
Columbia City Theater was filled with the positively energetic and conscious mind. Ready to set the stage in remembrance and dedication to getting active in our underserved communities. Outreaching to high risk youth and supplementing Summer Programming to engage the idle spirit.
A sincere thanks to #SSMAsFoundation, Greater Friendship Baptist Church, SRE Media Group, Charko Hunter, Sir. Jesse Hunter, Eddie Rye, Jr., DJ Understanding, Rozzvile, B Cole, Prano Tha Don, Mr. Benjamin, Heather Gin, Peeriodic Table, Reji Lefluer, Da_Vid, B Queen, Prep, Just J, Priest Masterson and BrownaLe.
Your commitment to our community’s mission to STOP THE VIOLENCE is tremendous and will not go unnoticed!!!
Just getting started a little over 3 years ago, the lovely Heather Gin is no beginner when it comes to making music. Quiet as it’s kept, she started playing piano at the age of 4 and can play the guitar and flute as well.
I had the opportunity to attend Heather’s album release party last month at Seattle’s Barboza Night Club in Capitol Hill and was pleasantly surprised w/ the indie movement. The venue was filled w/ 206 pioneers in the indie scene and highly energetic music lovers. The Pop Princess came out blazing w/ a live band supporting her every move. “Smooth” and “Sultry” are just a few words off top that describe her delivery. But, don’t get me wrong, Heather turns it up w/ tracks like ” Jump” and “Can’t Enough”.
We had to ask Miss Gin a few questions about her music career, here’s her responses:
How old were you when you first knew you wanted to sing? This was Heather’s response:
When I was around 14 years old when I sang in church as the youth group praise leader, I really started getting into singing and playing guitar. I formed an all-girl band at school with fellow classmates playing guitar and singing. We would hang out and write our own songs and learn how to play popular songs from our favorite bands. We got to perform at school functions and parties and had a lot of fun. I was also involved with the school band, marching band, jazz band, and choir. I don’t think I could have been any more involved with music than I was growing up. At home I continued taking private piano lessons, performing at several concerts, recitals, competitions, and went through strenuous training, passing all 10 levels of OMTA (Oregon Music Teachers Association) Piano Syllabus. I had to practice a minimum of 7 hours a week every week and it took a lot of work and discipline. Trust me, there were times I wanted to quit but my step-mom didn’t let me! But I never thought about taking music any further than church or doing it as a hobby until late 2009 when I was exposed to the recording industry from my involvement with a start-up recording studio venture. My life changed after that and I was determined to learn everything about it and be involved, whether as an artist, writer, producer and/or engineer.
Has your family been supportive during your career?
Not much, my dad and step-mom have very conservative Christian views and would never approve of any music that wasn’t Christian. My mom and all of my siblings are outside of Washington State, as far as Atlanta and Washington D.C., so they don’t really follow what I’m doing too closely, other than liking a post on social media related to music. However, growing up as a child under my parents’ roof, they did financially support me through 12 years of private piano lessons. I consider that a blessing and will always be grateful for that. Piano was the grassroots of my music career and nobody can take that away from me.
Have you come across any cultural barriers?
Well, like I just mentioned, religious cultural barriers is something that prevents me from gaining support from my parents or sharing the joys of my success in my music career, but the biggest barrier between my parents (and when I say parents, I’m referring to my dad and step-mom who raised me), is the generation gap between our different cultures. They’re first generation Korean-Americans, so being 2nd generation, I’ve grown to be emotionally and mentally detached from a young age. When I went off to college, they didn’t want me to pursue music anymore and to focus on my education, but music had always been a part of my life. I was never able to let it go, so I ended up getting a double major in Sociology and Music to satisfy that need as well as continue being involved with music at my church. Other barriers I’ve encountered since I’ve been doing music, is related to being a female in the industry. People are so judgmental, and there’s a double standard between men and women. A man can be assertive and self-promoting, and I guess to sum it up, somewhat narcissistic when it comes to his music career and still be well-respected and likable for it. This gives them advantage in the industry in many ways, including their art being more valued and praised and as a result, getting paid for it more often than not. Being a woman on the other hand, you sometimes get the opposite reactions for being assertive and self-promoting. First off, my music and my art is often overlooked, and I’m either viewed as an object, or the even worse, told that I’m displaying actions of being an insecure woman, seeking validation, setting thirst traps with my image, or just trying too hard to impress people etc. when in fact, I’m just promoting myself as an artist, my image, my music, my art, my passion and having fun doing it. I think it’s a blessing to find your talents and purpose in life, so please don’t knock me for going all out and living out my dreams and doing the best that I can. I’m an independent, strong woman and not afraid to express myself and show my sexuality. I was even told once that I should remove all my photos from social media and only have a couple up so that nobody looks at my pictures anymore and just goes straight to the music. If I were a man, would someone be telling me this? It’s unfair sometimes, but it is what it is. It’s a complicated subject but gender barriers is something that we all face, no matter what profession. I’m sure you can relate to what I’m saying, as a woman in the industry. Don’t get me wrong though, being female definitely has its pros too, but anyone that knows me or has worked with me, knows that I take this seriously and work hard at it. I wouldn’t change anything in the world and I love being a woman. People’s opinions don’t really matter much but I do listen to constructive criticism. I can filter out what’s helpful versus what’s hateful.
How has your experience been, being an artist in Seattle, WA?
I have been blessed to have the opportunity to work with some very talented producers early on in my career, such as Vitamin D and Kuddie Fresh, as well as talented artist collaborations with Neema,SPAC3MAN, and Romaro Franceswa. But what really got my music jump started was that I was able to purchase a home studio and put together a production team with songwriter/producer Michael Kidd and recording/mix engineer, Kris Stiell. We work very well together and produced nearly 70% of the tracks on my new album “Passion” from my home studio located right in my bedroom! Overall, it wasn’t that difficult for me to fit into the Seattle music scene, but I do realize that it takes time to win over people and gain a solid following. Since I’m fairly new to the scene, I know I still have a ways to go and need to put in a lot more ground work before my career can really take off. In the meantime, I’m still working on me, my craft, honing my sound, gaining more exposure, networking and building my brand.
What are the pros and cons of being an artist in the Pacific NW?
Pros – the hip hop scene is a small-niche community and everyone who’s active either knows each other, or there’s only like one degree of separation between people. People in the industry in general have showed me love early on, but I really think it’s because I came out with people like Vitamin D backing my production. As a result, people were more curious and open to meeting me and seeing what I was about, and when they finally got to meet me, they realized that I’m down-to-earth and a genuine person. Cons–I’m not exactly sure where I fit in with the local hip hop scene as a pop/rnb artist. Perhaps I need to leave my current situation and hit different scenes, network outside of my circle, but it’s hard to meet new people and develop the trust I have with the current team I work with within the hip hop community. To be more clear on the issue, I’ve been asked to perform at several rap shows, some a little too gangster for my style and image. I couldn’t even find any pop artists to open up for me at my album release party earlier this month so I had rappers open up instead, with the exception of Dice. Another issue that I’ve faced is that sometimes I feel that people outside of Seattle show more love—not the industry folks, but the listeners, crowd, fans in general. I’ve travelled to New York with my music and have gotten a lot more love and respect from random people than I have here in Seattle. I’m not exactly sure what that means and it may be too early in my career to really understand it, but that has been my experience so far being an artist here.
Do you write your own material? If not, who contributes?
Both, I write my own and have co-written with Michael Kidd.
Tell us about your team…Who do you work w/ and why?
I work with Vitamin D and Kris Stiell, and in the past Michael Kidd. I also work with a team based out on the East Coast called The Debonaire Group under Ryan Davis. I work with the people mentioned because they’re not only talented, but solid people to work with. You run across a lot of flaky inconsistent, unreliable people in this industry and can get burned left and right if you fall for the BS. Luckily, I came into the business with seasoned veterans schooling me in how the industry works, so I learned quick. Plus, being an independent woman, you learn to fend for yourself as it is and gain a sick intuition that protects you from making bad, costly decisions. A lot of woman and young girls come into the industry naive and desperate and that’s never a good look. I’m not easily impressed or mislead by people who aren’t about what they say they are. I trust and respect the people I work with and feel blessed to have met them. They’re like family now.
What are your plans for Summer/Fall 2014?
Well since I just dropped my first full-length studio album “Passion” I’m focused on doing more shows and getting my name and music out there. Last summer I spent a lot of time recording in a hot booth. This summer, I’m ready for some action want to work towards gaining more public exposure.
Any advice for an up and coming indie artist?
Build yourself a solid dedicated reliable team that believes in you! From production to marketing, promotions, street team, graphic designer, PR, bloggers, etc. This is key to success–we can all learn a thing or two from how Macklemore made it. I’m still working on filling the gaps within my team, including a publicist, but I’m assessing the situation and trying to figure out what the next move is in filling the gaps with the right people in order to move in the right direction. You also need to believe in yourself and never give up, despite the criticism that will come your way. Last but not least, engage with your fans as best as you can. This is all stuff that I’m still working on too, so it’s not like I know everything or have it all together, but everything is a working progress and nothing happens overnight.
What can your fans look forward from you this coming year?
In addition to doing more shows, I’ll be dropping new visuals off the album. We already wrote a music video treatment last week and are now in the process of working out the details, coming up with the budget, and coordinating dates to shoot. I’m also currently working with Roc Nation producer, Jahlil Beats, on a new record. I’m really excited for this one—I can’t really say too much right now but doing my first record with a mainstream producer is a dream come true!
We are all wondering, if actor Columbus Short, took his work home w/ him??? Too bad we’ll never know. The ABC Scandal star, who’s character is the sharp shooter Harrison Wright, will not be returning to the show next season. It’s widely known that the show’s creator Shonda Rhimes, doesn’t play when it comes to bad press, and rumors heat up Hollywood, about Columbus being warned if he doesn’t “get it together”, he’d be fired. Well, after the much publicized bar fight, and now w/ his domestic violence battery charges, it seems to be too much to bare and the trigger has been pulled.
Our sexy Gladiator In A Suit is gone 😦
Last Night, ABC re-aired Behind the Scandalabra: Jimmy Interviews Shonda Rhimes, Creator of Scandal,and she gave up NOTHING when it came to talking about the future of actor Columbus as Harrison. I mean come on, we left him w/ a gun to his head, so no rocket scientist here, but I get it…HE’S DEAD!!! I can only imagine what he must be going through. Losing family and career at the same time, has to be devastating. The jury maybe out, but clearly the verdict has come in for Shondaland. Dayuuuuum, Columbus brings a cool intensity to the series. And, he will be missed!!!
Check out his interview w/ Essence.com (below) where he tells all:
There will be no Harrison Wright when Scandal returns next season. Actor Columbus Short confirmed the news in a statement to ESSENCE.com today.
“At this time I must confirm my exit from a show I’ve called home for 3 years, with what is the most talented ensemble on television today,” he wrote.
“I would like to first thank Shonda Rhimes for the opportunity to work with such an amazing cast. Thank you GLADIATORS, who have supported me throughout my entire career and of course to ABC and Shondaland for allowing me to play such a pivotal role in the Scandal series. I have enjoyed every single minute of it.”
Short leaves the show amid domestic abuse allegations from his wife Tuere McCall-Short who recently filed for divorce and accused Short of threatening to kill her, and himself. McCall-Short filed a restraining order against the actor earlier this month. She is seeking sole custody of their 2-year-old daughter.
On the show’s season finale last week, Short’s character Harrison had a gun pointed to his head. And now we know his fate.
“Everything must come to an end and unfortunately the time has come for Harrison Wright to exit the canvas,”said Short. “I wish nothing but the best for Shonda, Kerry and the rest of the cast, who have become like a second family to me in such a short amount of time. For this, I will forever be grateful.”