THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR “UNCLE PHIL” PASSES AWAY
James Avery, the actor who played Philip Banks on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” died on December the 31st).
Beyond his role as Uncle Phil on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” Avery was also known as the voice of Shredder on the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” television series.
Avery also appeared on several other television programs, including “My Wife & Kids,” “Girlfriends,” “That’s So Raven” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”
The 68-year-old actor passed away due to complications from open heart surgery, which took place in November, according to Avery’s representative, as per CNN.
After Avery’s passing was announced, many rappers mourned the actor’s death via social networking sites.
UNIVERSAL ZULU NATION CALLS OUT WORLD STAR HIP-HOP OWNER FOR HIS BETRAYAL OF THE CULTURE
Quadeer “M.C. Spice” Shakur the Minister of Information for the Universal Zulu Nation penned an open letter to Mr O’Denat the owner of the infamous World Star Hip Hop website calling him out for his betrayal of hip-hop culture and black people in general.In the letter Shakur asks him to stop posting graphic and violent photographs and asks for him to promote positive black role models such as the president and his family.
On behalf of the thousands of members of the Universal Zulu Nation, of which I am Minister Of Information, I write you this letter in peace and hope these words find you in the best of health and spirits. Brother, we at UZN have the utmost respect and love for all who choose to take our Culture to new heights, and we thank you for your part in creating new media that preserves our culture. It is with great sadness that we bring to your attention the obvious ills of your site,WorldStarHipHop.com. Mister O’Denat, you are well aware, or should be well aware that many are viewing your site’s content as very graphic and extremely violent. Before you brush this off as just another person’s opinion of your site and the content you publish, please do not get it confused. This is not the case.
As I mentioned earlier, Mr. O’Denat, I am a representative of the Universal Zulu Nation, and we take our Culture quite serious. You are a Black man who has accomplished quite a lot without a formal education, and I’m quite sure when you dropped out of New York’s Grover Cleveland High School, you would never have imagined that you’d be as successful with your company, World Star, LLC. Doesn’t it bother you just a little that another Black man (that man being yourself), has “made it” out of the “ghetto”, only to display unnerving images and videos of young adults berating, belittling, and beating each other solely for the purpose of the enjoyment of who you are led to believe are “millions of Hip-Hoppers?”
You should already know about Run-DMC, Larry Smith, Salt-N-Pepa, Nas, MC Shan, LL Cool J and the founders of FUBU Clothing, to name a new. These men and women purposed to create a platform of expression for our Culture, and through the years, they have maintained and preserved that Culture. Mr. O’Denat, you are a Haitian, so you should know how serious Haitians are about their Culture. We are just as serious.
This is a new year, and the Universal Zulu Nation has begun a movement against anyone who is against us. Mr. O’Denat, either you are for Hip-Hop Culture, or you are not. There is no in-between, and no matter how many people have hyped you to believe that WorldStarHipHop is anything close to what this Culture is, they told you a lie. Mr. O’Denat, Hip-Hop Culture is FOUNDED on four spiritual principles. In case you haven’t already been schooled on what those principles are, they are: Peace, Unity, Love and Havin’ Fun. Mr. O’Denat, I pray that you do become a “CNN of the ghetto”, and that you someday get a camera and go to the ghetto yourself to record both sides of our neighborhoods. We still do have neighborhoods, brother.
To see the letter in full go to the www.themadmanchronicles.com website.
N.O.R.E. SAYS NEW YORK HIP HOP NEEDS UNITY
N.O.R.E. recently sat down with Vlad TV to share his thoughts on the supposed decline of New York City Hip Hop.
“The thing about it is, it’s our fault,” he said. “It’s our fault, we play a part in that. All of us, the deejays, the PD’s—I got love for Geespin too, I want to throw that out there,” he said in reference to a Power 105.1 NYC program director. “But the deejays, the PD’s, the artists, the radio personalities, by us not keeping in contact.”
N.O.R.E. moved on by analogizing Oprah Winfrey’s self-marketing to the editorial decisions rapper Benzino made as a co-owner of The Source in the late 1990s. “You know what, I remember, back in the days, Benzino gave himself four mics in The Source,” N.O.R.E. said.
Benzino was widely criticized for what many perceived as an editorial misstep in granting his own group, Made Men, a coveted four out of five mics rating in 1998. The magazine granted The Marshall Mathers LP the relatively low rating of two mics two years later despite its critical acclaim elsewhere which helped fuel a public feud between Benzino and Eminem.
“What I’m saying is, this is crazy man, I’ve never lived in a time like this,” N.O.R.E. said, continuing his remarks on the New York City Hip Hop scene. “I just don’t get it, but I’m open to the discussion of—you know, we got to show unity, we gotta show love. Ja Rule came home threw out two records, none of them are added to Hot 97, none of them are added to Power 105. I think not only [is] deejays becoming A&Rs is hurting us because they’re looking back like ‘Hmm, I think this record won’t work.’”
At the end of Vlad TV’s segment, N.O.R.E. added comments that supporting New York’s music shouldn’t be confused with denouncing other regions. “Listen, being pro-Black doesn’t mean you’re anti-White, you understand?” he said. “I’m pro New York, doesn’t mean I’m anti-South. I live in the South, I get it. Why is New York special if I live there and I come to New York and it’s the same exact feeling, it shouldn’t be that.
EVE AND MAXIMILLION COOPER ANNOUNCE THEIR ENGAGEMENT
As per a report from E! News, Cooper, founder of the Gumball 3000, an international rally race established in 1999, proposed to Eve on Christmas Day. E! News’ article also references a recent post on the rapper’s Instagram account in which the rapper dons proof of the engagement in the form of a diamond ring. A representative for the rapper and actress confirmed the engagement.
Eve and Cooper have been together since 2011, spending time in both the United States and London. In an exclusive interview with HipHopDX in February, Eve spoke to the experience of living in London. “I love it honestly,” she said, “it’s just a dope city. It’s like a New York but obviously with accents. Plus my boyfriend’s there. That was a big part of it. I just really needed a change.”
Cooper, who is a fashion designer, is most commonly known as the founder of the now ubiquitous and nontraditional international race. The Gumball 3000, which celebrated its fifteenth anniversary in 2013, has drawn a number of participants from the music world. Previous drivers include Eve, Swizz Beatz,DJ Drama, David Guetta, and more. This year, as the race’s official website notes, “Estevan Oriol and [Bun B] have driven the Gumball together in 2010, 2011 and 2013 [saw] them reuniting to take on the 3000 mile adventure through Europe.
Most recently, Eve released her fourth album in the form of Lip Lock this past May. With features from Juicy J, Missy Elliott, Pusha T, Chrisette Michele, and more, Lip Lock was the first album from the Philly rapper in more than a decade. The rapper launched a promotional tour supporting the album in August.