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Ne-Yo's Compound Foundation and George Lucas: "Fostering A Legacy" Benefit

A beautiful mansion as a part of the glorious, commodious arena that is East Hampton was host to the 1st Annual Compound Foundation's "Fostering A Legacy Benefit," which was presented by Porsche Cars (North America). The Compound Foundation has been in effect since 2007 from Ne-Yo and his business partner Reynell Hay, with the crooner's mother Loraine Smith as the President. Compound is an earnest, altruistic effort to support the dreams and conditions of children in foster care and group placement, and the foundation has produced various youth development and empowerment programs, and scholarships.

On July 14, charitable individuals including some familiar faces such as Russell Simmons, Elise Neal, Rosci Diaz, Jason Kidd, Adrienne Bailon and Ravaughn from Empire Girls—and a discreet Paula Abdul attended the fundrasier benefit and award ceremony.

The latest comeback kid, comedic star Arsenio Hall, co-hosted the event with Ne-Yo, and two other major icons were also within reach. A revolutionary for his ideas in film; the other, an exemplary figure of an ordinary person that did an extraordinary act. George Lucas, the creator of the renown Stars Wars and Indiana Jones series, was one of two honorees of the night.

Lucas exclaimed during the acceptance speech of his Compound award that he made films to "inspire kids" and to remind them that a "real future was out there for them". As the father of three adopted children, he jokingly stated that at the end of the day, "It all comes down to the black mother" which was met with hearty laughter and a round of applause, and was in reference to his (literally) blushing fiancee who was in the audience. Roscoe Brown who was an original member of the Tuskegee Airmen (the first U.S. black military aviators, in WWII) was also there, as Lucas masterminded the film Red Tails about the Airmen released earlier this year (as he had famously used $93 million of own money to finance the film which Hollywood had been resisting for years). The other honoree was The Coca-Cola Company for their impressive contribution of $19 million towards educational initiatives, participation in volunteer work, and apprenticeships, with a staff of the company happily accepting the award on the popular beverage company's behalf.

When asked about how the film Red Tails directly connects to The Compound Foundation, in a baseball-styled cap that donned the film's title, Brown said: "The Compound is about ambition, overcoming obstacles because of prejudice, which Red Tails was all about. We had to strive for excellence. Both are encouraging kids to be as good as anybody at anything." Ne-Yo concurred Brown's statement by adding, "Your circumstances have nothing to do with how far you can go. The sky is not the limit." As the affable host, when he spoke of Ne-Yo and Compound, Hall had nothing but praise, which he pronounced in his distinctive chatterbox excitement: "I was first approached by doing something for the program back at the premiere of Death at a Funeral, and I was talking with Chris Rock. You know Ne-Yo...is a classy guy, and I just had to tell him that. And I'm glad when people say he's not the black Sinatra because he's very special. He's giving hope to those that really need it."

As Hall went on to recall the hilarious memories of his reaction to his cameo in the film Ghost, Rosci urged the press to "vote Obama" during a photo op, and Frank Ocean's channel ORANGE receiving two thumbs up from Ne-Yo, it was a jovial afternoon that turned into a calm breeze of a night with donations for the organization at a great high. It all concluded with Ne-Yo performing a medley of his hits like "Sexy Love" and "Give Me Everything" to a ready to dance crowd. The benefit was graciously held at the mansion of philanthropists Bill and Michele Nuti, and theme of the night stayed strong on passing on the desire to create an admirable legacy, the importance of believing in yourself, and the simple yet meaningful kindness of helping others.

To learn more, please check out www.compoundfoundation.org

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Kareem "Biggs" Burke Launches New Music Company, Signs First Artist

After nearly a 15-year hiatus from the music industry, Kareem "Biggs" Burke is back with a new music company called Circle of Success. To kick the newly-launched business off right, Burke has already announced his first signee, Brooklyn-based artist, SAINt JHN.

Circle of Success is a management company that oversees musicians. In an interview with Billboard on Feb. 19, Biggs discussed his new venture and artist.  "The night [Roc Nation co-founder Tyran Smith], played a preview of SAINt JHN's new album, I drove home listening to Collection One and had an immediate sonic connection to his music," Burke said.

The Roc-A-Fella cofounder also addressed his new company on Instagram, noting that it was his first time backing an artist since Kanye West nearly 20 years ago. "The last 2 projects I’ve done was College Dropout and Late Registration," he wrote. "After such a long time away I’ve decided to jump back in with someone who I believe will be equally as impactful and change the game and be a HUGE brand with the music being the core of the business. @saintjhn made the decision easy for me because it’s very rare you come across talent like his. I’m BACK!!!!"

SAINt JHN is a singer-songwriter and rapper. He has previously written songs for Usher, Jidenna, and others. He also released his first album under his current moniker in Mar. 2018, entitled Collection One.

Be on the look out for what's to come from Biggs' Circle of Success company and SAINt JHN.

 

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The last 2 projects I’ve done was College Dropout and Late registration. After such a long time away I’ve decided to jump back in with someone who I believe will be equally as impactful and change the game and be a HUGE brand with the music being the core of the business. @saintjhn made the decision easy for me because it’s very rare you come across talent like his. I’m BACK!!!! #circleofsuccess #management Full story in my bio...

A post shared by Biggs (@biggsburke) on Feb 19, 2019 at 10:10am PST

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Daniel Kaluuya And Lakeith Stanfield To Star In Fred Hampton Movie

Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield are reportedly being considered for roles in the upcoming film, Jesus Was My Homeboy, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The movie, which will be produced by Ryan Coogler and distributed by Warner Bros., will depict the assassination of Black Panther activist Fred Hampton.

If the ink dries on the deal, Kaluuya will play Hampton. Stanfield will play William O’Neal, the FBI informant who went undercover and infiltrated the Black Panthers in order to obtain information that assisted in Hampton's assassination. Jesus Was My Homeboy will look at the rise and death of Hampton through the perspective of FBI informant O'Neal.

As previously noted, Fred Hampton was an activist and organizer of the Black Panther Party who quickly climbed the ranks to become its chairman of the Illinois chapter and deputy chairman. He was murdered in 1969 at the age of 21, by a tactical unit with orders from the FBI and Chicago Police Department.

Shaka King will reportedly direct the film and and produce from a script he wrote with Will Berson. Jesus Was My Homeboy does not have a release date at this time.

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HBO Releases 'Leaving Neverland' Trailer And March Premiere Date

Since the reveal of a contentious documentary on Michael Jackson was announced, the conversation surrounding HBO's upcoming project has continued to increase. Now, the powerhouse cable network unveiled the Leaving Neverland trailer which depicts the recollections of two men who were reportedly sexually abused when they were boys by Jackson.

Within the trailer, James Safechuck and Wade Robson discuss certain moments that they held as secrets for decades. "He told me if they ever found out what we were doing, he and I would go to jail for the rest of our lives," Wade says in the visual. The Dan Reed-directed film also features interviews with the two men's families and significant others.

In response to the doc's Sundance premiere, Jackson's family issued a statement calling out the reel's developers. "The creators of this film were not interested in the truth," the family's statement reads. "They never interviewed a single solitary soul who knew Michael except the two perjurers and their families. That is not journalism, and it's not fair, yet the media are perpetuating these stories."

Watch the trailer below ahead of its two-night premiere on March 3-4.

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