This past week, the NFL inducted its newest members into its Hall of Fame. The festivities began with the ceremonial game, which was played between the Baltimore Ravens and my Chicago Bears. The exhibition game doesn’t have much allure surrounding it, and since neither team played their starters it wasn’t one for casual fans to get excited about. The weekend is really all about the guys who are being inducted, though. This year’s class featured some of the most iconic players of the last twenty years; Terrell Owens, Randy Moss, Brian Dawkins, Brian Urlacher, and Ray Lewis.
The video gaming community is somewhat of a subculture worldwide, that has its own icons. These icons aren’t household names all the time, unless of course you’re talking about a character from the game itself. Each system brought forth different characters to revere, until recently when everything seems to be a reboot of the good old days. Nintendo brought us Mario and Luigi, then of course Sega Genesis gave us Sonic the Hedgehog. PlayStation went on to give us Crash Bandicoot and Lara Croft. These names are as widely known and recognized in pop culture as many people’s favorite entertainers and athletes.
New York has always been a major player in fashion for the hip-hop community. From the countless clothing brands birthed from up top, to fashion designers looking to participate in New York Fashion Week as an official stamp of approval, or being shouted out in a song by one of New York’s very own rappers or singers, the city that never sleeps often breathes life into clothing brands.
Lyfestyle is one of the brands that was birthed in NYC, and the world is awakening quickly to the authentic brand.
One of the biggest names in hip-hop for the last 25 years is one that you may not hear as often as you should. As long as I’ve been hearing his name, it wasn’t until 2010 that I was able to put a face with the name. I had a roommate in college that was a Texas music head, and schooled me on some of the tall tales and the story behind who really ran the south. We’re talking about a man who’s partly responsible for finding such legendary acts as Scarface, UGK, and Do Or Die. That guy is J Prince, the godfather of the Houston rap scene.
Chicago has been synonymous with gun violence for a very long time. The stories you hear about the Windy City have always been told by outsiders, though. You know, the people who’ve never hung out at the 31st street beach during summertime time Chi, or the people who don’t know that there’s a difference in the mild sauce you get from Harold’s, and Uncle Remus opposed to anywhere else.
The negative imagery that surrounds the city is depressing and scary, but that’s because it’s being told by people who aren’t from Chicago. Emmy Award-winning writer and Chicago’s very own, Lena Waithe, has fought tooth and nail to bring a more humane depiction of the city we Chicagoans love so much, with her drama series “The Chi.”
“Musicality in hip-hop is sort of a lost art, and Common always used real musicians. It’s keeping real music alive at a time where most people aren’t.”
Glasper, a rap icon, legendary pianist and Common’s new group mate almost perfectly puts into words how some of us fell in love with the intricacies of our favorite artist’s music, in conjunction with the way they deliver heartfelt lyrics.
Common has always been credited with delivering some of the most soulful and powerful music for the culture. So teaming up with longtime friends and legends in their own rights, Robert Glasper and drumming icon Karriem Riggins, was the perfect way to yet again breathe life into the artistry of rap and hip-hop.
The 1980’s was a very important time in the hip-hop, because this is when hip-hop made the transition from fad to pop culture. It went from being viewed as an underground counterculture, to thrusting its way into mainstream society. So many cultural icons gained their notoriety during that time, and the first House Party movie also served as a launching pad for several of these soon to be iconic figures in their respective fields, while introducing other legends to a younger generation. From the late Robin Harris, John “Pops” Witherspoon, and George Clinton, on to Martin Lawrence, Tisha Campbell, and of course Kid ‘N Play, House Party helped to propel each of their careers to even bigger heights. For Kid ‘N Play, it was a defining moment that led to the duo becoming Hip-hop and Pop icons.
The Kid ‘N Play duo consists of Christopher “Kid” Reid and Chris “Play” Martin who both hail from Queens, New York. As legendary as the first House Party was, could you imagine Kid ‘N Play not playing their respective roles? Well, that’s what almost happened. I To their surprise they were still selected, but not so much because of their audition as much as it was the frenzy they stirred as they were leaving drawing crowds of fans and shifting the belief that the movie starring them could be very successful.
Picture you’re boarding your next flight and you immediately notice that there’s something vastly different from the others that you’ve taken. The staff is very welcoming which is customary, but all of the seats are more spacious. You have a seat, strap in, and glance at the menu for the day’s trip and notice that you’re selecting between lamb chops or filet mignon. The good stuff. Now imagine this airline being black owned and operated. This was the vision of Michael Hollis, an extremely successful businessman who set out to create a black owned luxury airline. The late Michael Hollis of Atlanta Air was one of the first African Americans to realize how great of an opportunity it would be to pioneer a string of black owned airlines.
Hollis didn’t get into the airline industry as a former pilot, nor did he have any experience in the aviation business. In fact, Hollis at the time was a lawyer and a very well-known and well-respected man. He became widely recognized at an early age due to his prominence in several youth based political groups. At only 15-years-old, he was named head of the Atlanta Youth Congress, and was later appointed to a community-relations commission that helped address race. Sam Massell, president of the Buckhead Coalition and a former Atlanta mayor told The Atlanta Journal Constitution in a 2012 interview. “He was a boy wonder and helped us understand issues just surfacing in that arena.”
The heavyweight champion in boxing, has historically always been one of the most prestigious titles in the sports arena. With the UFC becoming more and more of a draw, boxing has somewhat taken a backseat to the UFC. While boxing continues to try to regain its prominence, there’s one guy who sits atop the heavyweight division and come second to none. His name is Deontay Wilder.
Wilder stepped into the ring late, he didn’t start boxing until he was 19-years-old. Growing up Wilder was an all-around athlete, playing basketball, baseball, football, and he ran track as well in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
But it was a birth defect to his oldest daughter, Naeiya, that led him to his true calling in the boxing ring. Naeiya was born with Spina Bifida, which is a birth defect where there is an incomplete closing of the backbone and membranes around the spinal cord. Wilder dropped out of college and took to the ring to be able to afford the proper care for his daughter.