August 28, 2014

 

By Jineea Butler

 NNPA Columnist

 

  

Hip Hop has always had a fetish with gangster movies and characters. We often see artists referring to themselves in lyrics or using popular characters as their stage name: Public Enemy, Scarface, and Little Caesar were all popular gangster films of the 1930s. The Notorious B.I.G. lost a court battle for the right to use the name Biggie Smalls, a character in “Let’s Do It Again” with Sidney Poitier and Bill Cosby. Even French Montana borrowed half of his name from Tony Montana made famous by Al Pacino in Scarface.

 

My favorite is the Godfather trilogy. It is a timeless chronicle of a 1940s New York Mafia family, redemption and the struggle to protect their empire from rival families. The current state of Hip Hop could be looked at as having five controlling families; New York City, Miami, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Chicago.

 

In the Godfather, Marlon Brando played a violent and vicious hero. One could argue that the description is redundant, but are you familiar with Hip Hop Veteran James ‘Bimmy’ Antney? Yes, Love and Hip Hop’s Waka Flacka and Deb Antney’s kin, and a former member of the Supreme Team. His moves are much like that of Don Corleone. In the Godfather II, Robert De Niro won an Oscar for portraying Young Vito Corleone and his rise to power. In a candid conversation with Bimmy, I learned how he earned the right to be called New York’s unofficial Don of Hip Hop.

 

When I asked him why he got so much love and respect from his peers when most are met with hate, he quoted mobster John Gotti: “Everybody is a Gangster till the real Gangster walks in the room.” Oh. Now I am not implying that Antney is involved in a life of crime. I could tell the streets raised him, but the desire to “be street” left the building long ago. Just like Don Corleone, he has been there and done that, but his experiences and wisdom has led him to understand that he must lead responsibly.

 

Bimmy is woven into the fabric of Hip Hop. He lived and slept on the floor in the early days of Def Jam in the famous Chung King Studio when Slick Rick did “Children’s Story,” when Run DMC did “Rock Box, when LL Cool Jay did “I’m Bad.” He witnessed Hip Hop being born in its purest form.

 

Young Vito Corleone realized that the reigning Don Fanucci was taking advantage of the people of Little Italy and decided that the only way to save them was to give him an offer that he couldn’t refuse. Likewise, Bimmy expressed his deep disdain of how New York artists are treated and not revered as they once were. Bimmy wants everybody to understand one thing: while he may have worked for and popped artists from all over the country like Gucci Mane and 2 Chains, he loves his city and wants to restore New York to greatness. After a gap of 14 years since their last project together, LL Cool Jay entrusted him to lead the crusade on the production and arrangement of the highly anticipated album GOAT 2. LL’s statement on Shade 45 VIP Saturdays says it all, “My man Bim, threw me to the wolves, I’m out here with the wolves and we doing what we do.”

 

When Vito became the Don, he was everybody’s go-to man. He catered to the people of the community and solved problems for the community. He negotiated truces and collaborations with the other five families, he even was the voice of reason when necessary. His team was comprised of his family and his most trusted allies.

 

I see Bimmy Antney carrying out the same obligations and undertakings representing the New York music scene. He led me to believe that is he the answer to making sure real Hip Hop lives, especially in New York. He said, “Who I am to down play Hip Hop, if I am not going to help. These young artists need to be nurtured and learn how to ask for and accept help. Maybe then their careers won’t be so short. I know the formula, I’m taking it back to when we first started and all we had was the bull horn. Hip Hop follows the streets and the street game is backwards right now. I care about the mistakes, a mistake could cost us a whole borough. God appointed me to monitor it and care about it and I do.”

 

The Godfather trilogy is fiction; Bimmy is not. Far from being a member of the Mafia, he writes his own movies and is an example of how life can imitate art. As LL Cool Jay is wrapping up G2 and eyeing a G3, Bimmy is setting the stage for Hip Hop to accept an offer no one can refuse.

 

Jineea Butler, founder of the Social Services of Hip Hop and the Hip Hop Union is a Hip Hop Analyst who investigates the trends and behaviors of the community and delivers programming that solves the Hip Hop Dilemma. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Tweet her at @flygirlladyjay.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

August 28, 2014


Aries Mar 21 - Apr 19

 

This week's New Moon in Virgo can be helpful for ditching bad habits and committing to new, more life-enhancing ones. However, when it comes to finances, wait a few days before applying for a loan or other credit, as you may have more luck toward the end of the week. There is still a focus on fun, leisure, and enjoyment, which you'll find rejuvenating and entertaining. One romantic liaison could move to a new phase of passion and intensity.

 

 

 

Taurus Apr 20 – May 20

 

If you've been thinking about taking a budding romance to the next level, the New Moon on Monday may give you the incentive you need to make it happen. You have a two-week window of opportunity, but catching the Moon tide sooner rather than later might bring better results. In the meantime, if someone is being stubborn, don't try to persuade them against their will. Later in the week they may come around to your way of thinking anyway.

 

 

 

Gemini May 21 - Jun 20

 

The pressure's on this week at work, so make a point of chilling on a regular basis so you can cope with the extra demand. In addition, you may be pushing yourself to complete projects on the home front, particularly if you've suffered from procrastination in this regard. Don't pile too much on your plate - it could lead to disappointment. Instead, make time to be with friends and enjoy relaxing in good company whenever possible. Later, you may need to compromise but find it hard to do so.

 

 

 

Cancer Jun 21 - Jul 22

 

Social trends spotlight an interesting plan, although cooperation and compromise may be required to handle a certain relationship. A partner or love interest could be headstrong and impulsive, causing you to feel frustrated. However, as the week progresses it will become easier to talk things over and come to an arrangement. Where finances are concerned, use this opportunity to consolidate your affairs and find ways to get your money to work harder for you. Don't fritter it away if you can help it.

 

 

 

Leo Jul 23 - Aug 22

 

Issues on the home front could come to a head on Monday, yet something positive can arise out of this. If you've been battling frustration and tension for some time, it's possible that a solution can be born out of a desire for peace and harmony. As for you, you seem to be upbeat and positive, so try not to let such matters distract you from the goals, plans, and opportunities that are now opening up for you. Stay focused and you can do very well.

 

 

 

Virgo Aug 23 - Sep 22

 

Mixed signals suggest that one piece of news could cause anxiety, or perhaps a friend's plight will impinge upon your time. However, giving an edgy situation the attention it requires might help ensure a relatively trouble-free week. The New Moon in your sign on Monday can be excellent for kick-starting a plan or making changes in any area of your life you choose. You have a two-week window of opportunity, but the sooner you act, the better the results can be.

 

 

 

Libra Sep 23 - Oct 22

 

This week's New Moon in your spiritual sector brings an opportunity to take up a spiritual practice such as meditation, yoga, or tai chi. Your willingness to make this a regular habit could have a positive effect on all areas of your life, particularly the stressful and uncertain parts. At the same time, you'll be boosted by the companionship of good friends who can make a positive contribution to your life this week. In romance, you could be attracted to someone who oozes sex appeal.

 

 

 

Scorpio Oct 23 - Nov 21

 

A setback, hampering situation, or disappointment, possibly in connection with a friend or loved one, may test you. Instead of throwing your hands up in the air, focus on sorting things out. However, tensions ease as the week gathers pace and you begin to feel more confident and upbeat. Socially, things are looking much more positive. This week's New Moon early on could entice you to move in new circles and seek out friends and companions on a similar wavelength.

 

 

 

Sagittarius Nov 22 - Dec 21

 

Exciting influences prevail where your love life is concerned, though you may have to move outside your comfort zone for them to show up. As for career, this week's New Moon brings a positive boost to a new project or plan. You have a two-week window of opportunity, so make use of it and you'll find that things come together much more quickly than they might otherwise. When it comes to travel and adventure, someone may have a suggestion that you'll find hard to resist.

 

 

 

Capricorn Dec 22 - Jan 19

 

A patient approach may be needed concerning a friend or associate who is unwilling to compromise. But once this is out of the way, the week looks almost buoyant. The continued focus on your zone of finances and megabucks encourages you to connect with folks who are successful in their own right. This may be the time to learn a few tips and tricks that might come in handy. Regarding romance, someone may seem to have soul-mate potential. Perhaps it's time to strike up a conversation!

 

 

 

Aquarius Jan 20 - Feb 18

 

This week the New Moon in your zone of shared resources can be helpful if you want to apply for a loan or line of credit, but it might be worth waiting a day or two to avoid complications with those in authority. The coast should be clear by Thursday or Friday, with a better chance of getting what you want. Regarding relationships, things look very positive, but you'll need to put in the effort to continue to reap the rewards. Later, your significant other could be too tempting to resist!

 

 

 

Pisces Feb 19 - Mar 20

 

If a long-range dream seems even more distant and out of reach, that doesn't necessarily mean it's impossible. You may find you can attain your wish at a fraction of the cost by scaling back your plans. In addition, the New Moon in Virgo offers a chance to take a budding romance to a new level of commitment. If you're already in a partnership, use this Moon phase to kick-start a challenging project and have a better chance of success.

 

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

August 21, 2014

 

Aries March 21 – April 19

 

Courage and vitality are strong, so put your energy to good use and reap the results. The accent on leisure and pleasure continues, when the chance to goof off and do things you enjoy can help recharge your batteries. However, go easy if you need to sign an agreement or have detailed work to do, as there is potential for mistakes unless you take extra care. The Sun's move into Virgo on Friday ushers in a time of year when the focus turns to health and lifestyle issues.

 

 

 

Taurus April 20 – May 20

 

Certain people may seem more opinionated than usual, and perhaps given to extremes of behavior. It might help to calm a tricky situation by talking things through before they come to a head. The accent on home and family matters brings relaxation and relief, though it pays not to upset the apple cart. Go easy when it comes to romance, as someone may not be as they seem. There are attractive options, but remember that all that glitters is not necessarily gold.

 

 

 

Gemini May 21 – June 21

 

You may feel somewhat stressed if too many demands are made on your time and energy. This week's alignment suggests this could be the case unless you take steps to delegate work and ease the pressure. Plus, if you face delays, it might be easier to go with the flow than try and force the pace. On a positive note, friends and family have your best interests at heart and will want to step in with bright suggestions if they suspect you're feeling overwhelmed.

 

 

 

Cancer June 22 – July 22

 

There's too much positive potential showing up around you to let negative thinking win out this week. If someone insists on talking about their problems and it's getting to you, you may need to have a word. You're in your element when it comes to financial matters. Confidence and ease could be the catalysts for ideas that bring in extra cash. The more creative you can be with your money, the more money you'll have to enjoy.

 

 

 

Leo July 23 – August 22

 

You may feel like strutting your stuff and sharing your natural genius with the world, but you could be stopped in your tracks by issues at home, where there could be a setback. However, it won't help to vent or dramatize the situation. Insight and understanding could help you get to the bottom of things if all else fails. In addition, asking for help may be necessary if you've come to the end of your tether. Later, cast a glance at your finances, as doing so could save you money.

 

 

 

Virgo August 23 – September 22

 

If you've been caught up in dreams and fantasies, the week ahead brings an opportunity to restore them to life. While there's still a focus on your spiritual sector, the days ahead spotlight a shift as the Sun moves into your sign. Pick one goal that appeals to you and start some serious planning. On another note, you may hit a brick wall in your interaction with a certain person. Resist the urge to keep trying, as things will likely sort themselves out.

 

 

 

 Libra September 23 – October 22

 

Social pursuits bring the most pleasure over the week ahead. If it's a lighthearted social buzz you want, you can have that and a lot more besides. Dating and romance may figure strongly in your plans, with opportunities to rekindle the bond in a long-term partnership or spice up your options concerning a new love affair. You could be strapped for cash over the weekend due to no fault of your own, so keep some money in reserve for everyday bits and pieces.

 

 

 

Scorpio October 23 – November 21

 

Be as cooperative as you can, but don't let others distract you from achieving your objectives. Keep your priorities in front of you and try to stick to them. This sounds easy in principle, but in practice you may find that obstacles and delays prevent you from moving ahead. Try not to let this get to you, as with just a little patience things may be quickly resolved. In addition, your social life perks up pleasantly, giving you an outlet for restless energy.

 

 

 

Sagittarius November 22 – December 21

 

With the current alignment giving you a craving for action, you have an abundance of energy for activities that are strictly fun, exciting, and adventurous. However, as the Sun joins Mercury in Virgo and your career sector, you may be drawn back down to earth and to more mundane activities. Focusing on your job and business and career issues could be very profitable if you're willing to make a plan and see it through to the end. On a spiritual note, meditation may enhance relaxation when you most need it.

 

 

 

Capricorn December 22 – January 19

 

Your social life could disappoint if you allow a certain person to get you down. You might need to firm up your boundaries and tell them in no uncertain terms that the behavior won't be tolerated. You can go on to enjoy yourself once you get this out of the way. In addition, finances continue to look good and could get even better if you're willing to use your creative abilities to earn extra cash. Plus, travel and adventure may appeal, particularly if you're in need of a vacation.

 

 

 

Aquarius January 20 – February 18

 

A misunderstanding or skewed judgment is a real possibility, so don't take anything at face value, especially regarding financial matters. If you need to sign anything, double-check to make sure it's OK. In addition, participation in a social or group-sponsored event can have many benefits for an important relationship. It's worth your while to get busy planning your social calendar for the weeks ahead. Regarding a career matter, delays may work in your favor if you can avoid impatience.

 

 

 

Pisces February 19 – March 20

 

There may be a restless energy present that if channeled constructively could result in a golden opportunity. Rather than indulge a desire to enjoy yourself, put some effort into work or career goals. It could pay big dividends. Later, the focus shifts to your relationship sector as the Sun joins Mercury in Virgo. Over the coming weeks you may benefit from the practical advice of a friend, partner, or co-worker, especially if you act on it. However, delays around travel plans could cause frustration.

 

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

August 21, 2014

 

City News Service

 

 

 

Entertainer Ray J, who was arrested in May for allegedly groping a woman at a Beverly Hills hotel bar then spitting at a police officer, pleaded not guilty August 20 to four misdemeanor charges. The 23-year-old singer/songwriter and actor, whose real name is William Ray Norwood, remains free on bail. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Aug. 28.

 

He is facing misdemeanor charges of sexual battery, vandalism, battery on a police officer and resisting/delaying a peace officer, according to the District Attorney’s Office. Norwood was arrested at 7:30 p.m. May 30 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. According to police, officers responded to a call about a sexual battery with Norwood alleged to have grabbed the buttocks of a female patron of the bar.

 

Police said Norwood agreed to leave the hotel bar, but then became belligerent with staff in the valet area of the hotel. Norwood was taken into custody and placed in the back seat of a patrol car, and he kicked out a side window of the vehicle, police said. He also allegedly spat in the face of an officer.

 

If convicted of all charges, he faces up to four years in jail, prosecutors said. Ray J is the brother of singer/actress Brandy Norwood, and he appeared on her television show “Moesha,” which ended its run in 2001.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

August 21, 2014

 

Associated Press

 

 

 

Jennifer Aniston, Jon Hamm, Halle Berry, Reese Witherspoon and Kiefer Sutherland want to connect with you about cancer.

 

They are among the stars slated to appear on “Stand Up to Cancer,” the hour-long telethon set to air Sept. 5 on 31 broadcast and cable networks simultaneously.

 

Other celebrity participants announced Wednesday include Pierce Brosnan, Rob Lowe, Will Ferrell, Ben Stiller, Eric Stonestreet and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

 

Rather than the stars staffing phone banks as they have on past “Stand Up to Cancer” telethons, they’ll be contacting with viewers by phone and online through Facebook and other platforms from a “digital lounge” hosted by Katie Couric. Fans can sign up for the “We’re Calling You” initiative beginning Wednesday at werecallingyou.org.

 

“We’ll have plenty of stars reaching out to donors via social media, thanking them through Facebook messages, digital shout outs, Instagrams and tweets,” Couric said. “In other words, this year, we are so 2014!”

 

“Instead of people calling in with the hope of talking to a celebrity, stars will be calling and sending social shout-outs to viewers at home,” Couric said.

 

The “Stand Up to Cancer” special will also feature performances by Jennifer Hudson, Ariana Grande, The Who, Common & Lupe Fiasco and Dave Matthews.

 

For the first time, the telethon will include a Canadian co-broadcast, with funds raised benefiting research and awareness programs in Canada.

 

Funds raised by the telethon support international, inter-disciplinary scientific research aimed at discovering new treatments for various types of cancer. Since its first broadcast in 2008, Stand Up to Cancer has pledged more than $260 million.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

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