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Product Placement: The Truth About Celebs Getting Paid To Tweet

Not every celeb can score loaded endorsement deals, but several are getting paid in full peddling products on Twitter. VIBE cornered Sean Rad, founder and president of Ad.ly—a leading Twitter advertising platform—for details on how our favorite stars get tipped to tweet

VIBE: Celebs like Kim Kardashian have been plugging Carl’s Jr. chicken salads and Reebok too eagerly on Twitter. Is your company to blame?

Sean Rad: What people see as tweets, we view as fantastic content that’s not being compensated. We bring advertisers into the mix and make money for influential people sending messages to their audience from a brand they believe in or associate with. We have over 60,000 influencers signed up [including Kim K., Trey Songz and Soulja Boy]. A lot of times our influencers say they’d like to [promote] a certain brand, and we’ll go about getting an ad.

Can a regular Joe be an influencer?

Anyone with influence [can be considered]. We have algorithms that factor in a lot of things: followers, their engagement with those followers, how often they tweet, etc.

Lindsay Lohan reportedly makes $10,000 per tweet. Just how much are celebs caking?

We can’t [disclose] prices. It ranges from $1 to five figures.

Can they tweet as many ads as they want to boost their earnings?

There isn’t a limit, but we pace it out. The price [per tweet] will decrease if you place too many ads and don’t maintain a good quality stream.

Sounds like an easy gig, yet many stars deny their involvement.

We’ve never experienced that. Every ad is clearly disclosed as an ad. The influencer approves every message to make sure it’s in line with their audience. But there are instances where [stars] might be promoting other things they don’t want to admit. —Insanul Ahmed

This story appears in the Oct/Nov issue of VIBE currently on stands.

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Florida Teacher Arrested For Carrying Knives And Loaded Guns In Classrooms

A fourth-grade teacher at Starkey Elementary School was arrested Monday (May 20) after authorities found knives, a 9mn Glock with seven rounds of ammunition and other weapons.

According to reports, the 49-year-old had the weapons, including a six-inch fighting knife and a two-inch finger knife, in classrooms with students.

Reportedly, Starkey Elementary School principal saw Betty Soto behaving suspiciously as she carried the backpack with her wherever she went.

Law enforcement arrived on campus after being notified by the principal. They interviewed Soto and found the weapons. The teacher reportedly was let out on bond at 9 PM Monday night and when asked by reporters why she brought the weapons to school she attributed it to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

"Ask Desantis," she answered. "Ask your governor."

In early May, the Republican governor signed a bill that will allow teachers to carry guns inside a classroom. The measure was a reported response to the Parkland High School shooting.

Soto's Facebook page will be investigated as part of the overall investigation due to a post that was shared. "Are you surprised I'm a revolutionary? You should have seen it coming. Hate that I was on my way to the plantation, but I had to free some minds."

Erica Kennedy, a mother of two at Starkey Elementary, described Soto's behavior as "militant" and "suspicious."

"She seemed very abrupt, the way she was speaking. I almost felt like she was talking to these kids like she was their parent, you know, just really, a little overboard. So, it made me kind of, something kind of went up in the back of my hair like, hmmm," Kennedy explained.

Soto reportedly will not be returning to Starkey Elementary School.

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The Notorious B.I.G. To Be Honored With "Christopher Wallace Way" In Brooklyn

Tuesday (May 21) marks what would’ve been the late Notorious B.I.G.’s 47th birthday, and in efforts to commemorate the legendary rapper, The Christopher Wallace Memorial Foundation revealed that the intersection where Biggie called home will be named after him, Billboard reports.

The naming will take place on June 10 at a ceremony being held for the “Juicy” rapper. Wallace’s family is expected to attend the gathering, which will be held at the intersections of Gates Avenue and St. James Place. The crossroad will reportedly be named Christopher Wallace Way in the forthcoming month.

The news arrives days after Wu-Tang Clan's Staten Island street-naming ceremony. "I'm happy that NYC officials are finally giving the city's indigenous 'hip-hop' music the respect and recognition that it deserves," culture advocate LeRoy McCarthy told Gothamist in 2018. "It took a long time and lots of hard work to advance the Christopher Wallace Way & Wu-Tang Clan District street co-naming, but ya know what, Hip Hop Don't Stop."

Biggie's upcoming ceremony will be open to the public and will start around 12 p.m. ET. His mother, Voletta Wallace, his children, and close friends will be present in his honor.

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Cardi B Cancels Concert Due To Alleged Plastic Surgery Complications

TMZ reports that Cardi B canceled an upcoming concert after experiencing what is believed to be plastic surgery complications.

The site reads that the "Wish Wish" rapper was supposed to headline Baltimore's 92Q Spring Bling Festival this Friday (May 24), however, she is experiencing issues stemming from recent liposuction and breast augmentation procedures. Organizers for the festival revealed that the makeup date will be on Sept. 8.

Earlier this month, Cardi confirmed speculation that she got liposuction after appearing on the red carpet at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards.

"I have some news for y’all. I should have canceled today,” she said during the Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis on May 5. “I shouldn’t really be performing because moving too much is gonna f**k up my lipo. But b***h I’m still gonna get my motherf**king money back, let’s go!” Later at the festival, she discussed that there were still a few more things she was hoping to fix.

She's been very candid in the past about her plastic surgeries, opening up to Nardwuar about her invasive butt implant surgery.

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