Sway, Funkmaster Flex, Sugarhill Gang Celebrate With 'Ready, Willing & Able Program' Graduates

This past Wednesday evening the historic Apollo Theater showcased a line-up of comedians and old school hip-hop performances as a reward for the graduates of the Doe Fund's Ready, Willing & Able program.

The Doe Fund’s flagship program deals with assisting homeless individuals looking to transition to a better quality of life. Last night's celebration was dubbed the “From The Bottom to The Top,” marking not only 25 years of success for its alumni, but the largest graduate class to have completed its community improvement project.  

To show support for their achievements, the Apollo brought together MTV’s Sway, Funkmaster Flex, hip-hop veterans Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock, Crash Crew, the Sugarhill Gang and more who all graced the stage in front of a lively crowd.

“What they do at Ready, Willing & Able is training people to deal with those circumstances and get them on their feet and support them,” Sway said. “It’s just commendable.”

Ready, Willing & Able is one of New York’s premier transitional work programs to help prevent cycles of homeless and incarceration. Participants are guided through workforce development, job placement and permanent housing. Trainees start with “men in blue,” who can be seen cleaning the city streets daily in their trademark blue uniforms. Once completing several months on a street cleaning crew to help develop the "soft skills" of work, they are eligible to more occupational training tracks such as culinary arts and security.

“The idea is to allow them to rejoin mainstream society in the mainstream workforce,” said Director of Public Affairs Lee Alman. “For so many of them, they have never been part of the workforce or its been many years since they’ve been apart of it, so they need help getting back into the mode with training.”

Sway, just like many other celebrities in attendance, was honored to come out and contribute to a program that provides second opportunities. Ready, Willing & Able currently serves 1,000 people a day, hoping to use its recently received federal grant to serve 500 more coming out of prison over the next two years. The Doe Fund is also looking to take the program's model nationwide.

“Watching people transform to one state of being to the next, to me it’s a miracle,” Sway said. “I always felt people in our community with the right resources can accomplish anything and this program is a testament to it.” --Eric Diep

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Black Eyed Peas And Nas Release Animated Music Video For "BACK 2 HIPHOP"

On Monday (Dec. 17), the Black Eyed Peas released their music video for the '90s- throwback- influenced record "BACK 2 HIPHOP" featuring Nas, off their latest album Masters of the Sun Vol. 1.

The cinematic-like, five-minute visual features each member of the 'Peas with their own scene, where  they spit bar after bar. The colorful video is part-animated and part live-action, and incorporates inspiration from of the golden age of hip-hop as Ancient Egypt meets the Sci-Fi genre.

All three members wear red and black through the first part of the video, while Nas appears as the Great Sphinx of Giza, reminiscent of the look fans may recall from the cover of his album I Am. A young woman lip-syncs the song's hook, which samples Soul II Soul's 1989 classic hit "Back to Life (However Do You Want Me)."

While Pasha Shapiro directed the video, reportedly came up with the concept. The hip-hop group was ecstatic to be able to work with the legendary Queens rapper, revealing, "It was 'iLLMatic,' such an honor to rock with NAS. He is such a huge inspiration to our crew!"


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BACK 2 LIFE, BACK 2 HIPHOP, BACK 2 BEP... Hit the link in bio to check the @complex video premiere for BACK 2 HIPHOP feat. @nas 🙏#mastersofthesun

A post shared by The Black Eyed Peas (Official) (@bep) on Dec 17, 2018 at 7:16am PST

On Wednesday (Dec. 19), the group will be performing the song on The Late Late Show with James Corden. Their seventh album, Masters of the Sun Vol. 1, was released in October and saw the group going back to their old-school roots with political themes.

What are your thoughts on their new music video? Sound off in the comments.

READ MORE: Will.I.Am Is Wrong About The State Of Hip-Hop

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Blueface Freestyles On Beat Thanks To A Ukulele

Blueface's rising career has been shaded with doubt from the naysayers about his subject content and cadence, but, in the interest of showing versatility, the 21-year-old gave an acoustic set on Twitter.

Joined only by a man holding a ukulele, the "Respect My Cryp’n" rapper sat ontop a silver car delivering some bars. The short video captioned "Famous Cyrp" takes inspiration from the 886011 Records DK affiliate's debut album barring the same name.

Famous cryp

— blueface (@bluefacebleedem) December 15, 2018

Unlike the bulk of the Los Angeles rapper's previous work, this is the first time fans have heard the budding emcee on beat. The new lyricist is usually seconds behind, delivering an off-beat flow, but he has managed to get cosigns from rappers like Drake, Meek Mill, Lil Uzi Vert and surprisingly, Ice Cube.

"They're not ready for it," Blueface said in an interview with Power106 at Rolling Loud. He also shared his excitement over his new found fame. "[I'm on] top of the world."  The former football player has created a cult following. With the up-and-coming rapper's start similar to Tekashi 6ix9ine there have been many comparisons between the red and blue rappers and their lasting impressions on hip-hop.

Watch Blueface hold a beat above.

READ MORE: Viral Stars Daddy Long Neck And Wide Neck Release Single Accurately Titled "Neckst Up"

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Viral Stars Daddy Long Neck And Wide Neck Release Single Accurately Titled "Neckst Up"

These days, it pays to have a viral moment. Charles Dion McDowell, known as wide neck after several of his mugshots (and neck jokes) went viral, has teamed up with another unique fellow to make some kind of music together.

On Sunday (Dec. 16), Wide Neck along with Daddy Long Neck, a social media personality with more 1.4 million followers on Instagram, released a music video for the comedy rap song "Neckst Up."

In a nervous soft relaxed tone, McDowell raps, "Shawty lick me up call me up neeeckst Shawty wanna f**k call me up neeeckst / Shawty suck me up call me up neeeckst / Shawty make it clap call me up neckst."

In the video, Long Neck and Wide Neck stroll through the mall wearing t-shirts that read "All Necks Matter," while taking pictures with fans and having an attractive lady entertain them while sitting down on the bench. The leading lady in the video even goes as far as licking the two internet stars with her long tongue.

Since the release of the video, "Neckst Up" has reached over a million views on YouTube. After McDowell went viral, he connected with Daddy Long Neck, whom he shares a similar abnormal body condition.

Check out the video above.

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