Life Beyond Rap


vince-staples

The young people in North Long Beach, CA just got a boost in funding for their summer programs and improved opportunities for employment. The Ninth District Councilman Rex Richardson and Vince Staples recently held a press conference at the city’s Ramona Park to usher in the launch of the Youth Institute — a YMCA backed program set out to give 20 kids the resources to learn filmmaking, graphic design, music production, 3D printing and product design.

“I think the most important thing is opportunities,” Staples told the Long Beach Press-Telegram. “What I can say is, living over here my entire life, I’ve never had an opportunity given to me from the area, only examples of how to mess up, and what I didn’t want to do,” he added. “I want to be able to be one of the people that reinforces the fact that we matter just as much as the next person.”

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craig mack church freestyle

While Puffy, Ma$e and the rest of the Bad Boy family are getting ready to take their reunion on the road, it appears Craig Mack is still kicking that flava (or should I say faith) in ya ear. The former Bad Boy rapper has been AWOL since dropping his sophomore album Operation: Get Down back in ’97, but after cropping up in a video four years ago repenting for his “wickedness,” it’s clear Mack has since swapped the rap life for a quieter, more religious one in South Carolina.

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bobby shmurda gq

As the young rapper remains behind bars after several unsuccessful attempts for bail, GQ goes inside Bobby Shmurda’s “surreal saga” in this excellent new profile. Scott Eden sits down for a rare jailhouse interview with Bobby while uncovering many startling details — and raising bigger questions — about his arrest and the conspiracy charges he’s currently facing along with other members of his GS9 crew.

For instance, how the police took an unusual — and perhaps even illegal — interest in Bobby as “Hot N*gga” began to blow up. Or the fact that no drugs or cash were actually seized (or at least submitted as evidence) in the GS9 sting. There’s even a pretty crazy story from Sha Money XL, the Epic A&R who signed Bobby, about the night the NYPD arrested the GS9 members at Quad Studios back in December 2014.

The whole piece is definitely worth a read, but you can check out a few highlights after the jump. If there’s any positives to take from all this, it’s that Bobby has been keeping busy in jail and has even written a movie (a fictional one) based on his life.

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50 cent hostelworld

50 Cent can troll with the best of ’em (just ask Rick Ross or Meek Mill), but that doesn’t mean he can’t poke fun at himself. In this hilarious commercial for online booking company Hostelworld, dubbed “In Da Hostel,” Curtis Jackson plays along in a parody of MTV Cribs, the show where he famously flaunted his (former) luxurious Connecticut mansion. Making light of his recent bankruptcy (no, that doesn’t mean he’s flat broke), 50 takes us on a tour of Barcelona youth hostel that boasts 12,000 square feet, a foosball table and plenty of “dope-ass books.” It’s by no means a crappy spot, but it’s not exactly the lavish lifestyle 50’s used to either. If you can’t laugh at yourself…

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currensy-lil-wayne-

Curren$y is known to roll up a lil’ purple haze in his paper planes, but one thing he doesn’t mess with is that purple drank — and for good reason. During his appearance on the latest episode of N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN’s Drink Champs podcast, Spitta talks about the time he accidentally necked Lil Wayne’s lean, and almost died.

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macklemore-obama-1

Macklemore paid a visit to The White House on Thursday (May. 12), sitting down with President Barack Obama for a candid conversation on opioid abuse in the United States. The Grammy Award-winning rapper joined the POTUS in his weekly address released this weekend, bringing awareness to the epidemic and offering solutions such as working with local law enforcement and citing a provision in Obamacare that requires health care coverage include treatment.

I’m here with President Obama because I take this personally,” says Macklemore during the address. “I abused prescription drugs and battled addiction. If I hadn’t gotten the help I needed when I needed it, I might not be here today.”

The PSA comes months after the Obama administration proposed $1.1 billion to be put aside for “new mandatory funding over two years to expand access to treatment for prescription drug abuse and heroin use.” Macklemore’s sit down with Obama is a part of a one-hour documentary set to air this summer on MTV.

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rihanna scholarship

Rihanna is helping to make the increasingly expensive prospect of college a reality for a number of high school students with her latest charitable venture. Through her Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF), RihRih has launched a global scholarship program which aims to reward both U.S. and International students going to college in the United States.

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afeni-shakur

Tupac Shakur’s mother, Afeni Shakur, has passed away at the age of 69. Authorities in Marin County, California — where she lived — confirmed to Channel 2 Action News that she passed late Monday night (May 2).

“Deputies responded to a report of possible cardiac arrest at 9:34 p.m. at Afeni’s home in Sausalto, the sheriff’s office said. She was taken to a local hospital, where she died at 10:28 p.m.,” the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.

Stay tuned for updates on this breaking story.

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kodak black arrested

Bad news for up-and-comer Kodak Black, who has reportedly been arrested. According to XXL, the 18-year-old rapper has been charged with possession of a weapon or ammo by a convicted felon and possession of marijuana, as well as a few traffic violations. A video posted on Twitter yesterday by DJ Akademiks appears to show Kodak being taken into police custody.

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T.I.-and-Tiny-address-split-up-rumor

Despite some annoyance at a few folks who spread the news early, T.I. and Tiny were overjoyed to welcome their 7th child into the world. After papa Tip addressed the situation via Facebook, mama Harris released a statement on their new baby girl.

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