hip-hop

Rick Ross And Elle Varner Join The 2014 Hip Hop Caucus' Respect My Vote!

The 2014 Hip Hop Caucus' Respect My Vote! campaign just nabbed two huge names for their youth voting initiative. Artists Rick Ross and Elle Varner have joined the 2014 campaign to help get out the vote for this year's mid-term elections. The non-partisan collective focuses on employment, racial justice, climate change, and education. This five month national push will target 18 - 40 year old voters who live in urban communities and HBCU campuses.

The Caucus' Respect My Vote! campaign comes during a crucial election cycle. All 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and a third of the seats in the Senate are susceptible to change. There are also several gubernatorial, state, and local races up for grabs. Respect My Vote! president and CEO Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr. unfolded a comprehensive country-wide plan that includes ads and a website (respectmyvote.com). The coalition will also plant field operations in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Louisiana, Tennessee, Illinois, and California.

2014's Respect My Vote! campaign starts as many celebrate the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer. In 1964 civil rights activists traveled to Mississippi to fight racial discrimination and register as many African American voters as possible. The Hip Hop Caucus looks to continue in the legacy that was left for them five decades ago. America's socio-political climate has change much since then but some things still ring true. Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr. stressed the importance of the United States Supreme Court's decision to effectively "gut" the Voting Rights Act. Yearwood explained, "[It] is a clear reminder that there has never been a more significant time than right now for young people to stand up and get out and vote.”

Respect My Vote! is gathering steam in it's fourth election cycle since it's start in 2008. Spokespeople Rick Ross and Elle Varner both expressed their excitement in the project.

"To vote is to be a boss. When we vote, we are deciding who works for us on all levels of the government. I most definitely look forward to working with the Hip Hop Caucus to encourage young people to boss up at the polls," said Ross.

Elle Varner shared in the sentiment saying, "I am very passionate about everyone using their voices to affect change, and so I am very excited to be joining the Hip Hop Caucus’ Respect My Vote! campaign.”

Look out for the Hip Hop Caucus' Respect My Vote! initiative and be sure to head out to the polls this year on November 2.

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Nas and A$AP Ferg host Hennessy All-Star Weekend Saturday night at The Old Post Office in Chicago in celebration of the newly announced multiyear partnership between the spirit and NBA.
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Nas Hosts Hennessy's All-Star Weekend Party, DaBaby And A$AP Ferg Perform

Hennessy celebrated its NBA multi-year spirit partnership with festivities during the league's All-Star Weekend. After hosting an intimate reception, the global cognac brand turned the vibe up, hosted an evening of cocktails and performances at the Gentlemen’s Lounge in Chicago's Old Post Office. Nas served as the welcoming host of the night as he introduced his fellow Hennessy ambassador A$AP Ferg, who kicked off the night of performances.

After warming up the crowd with performances of  "Work," "Plain Jane" and his new single "Value," he brought out MadeinTYO to perform a short number. Shortly after, DaBaby amped up the crowd with a high-energy set with performances of "Bop," "Suge," and more alongside Billion Dollar Baby Entertainment artists Stunna 4 Vegas and Rich Dunk.

As the Hennessy specialty drinks flowed and bites made their rounds, some of music and sports' biggest stars stopped by the event to enjoy the fanfare including Saweetie, Dave East, and others. Scroll through more images down below to see what you missed.

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(L-R) God Shammgod, Jadakiss, and Russ Bengston at the PUMA x LeagueFits Panel discussion.
Courtesy of PUMA

Chuck D, Dave East, Jadakiss & God Shammgod Talk Sneaker Culture And Public Enemy’s Legacy At PUMA Pop-Up

In celebration of Def Jam and PUMA Hoop's latest sneaker release, the legendary Chuck D of Public Enemy sat down with writer Russ Bengtson, rappers Jadakiss, Dave East, and basketball street legend God Shammgod for a live panel discussion during the 2020 NBA All-Star Weekend (Feb. 15).

Held inside the League Fits Lounge powered by the PUMA Hoops pop-up, the four panelists chatted about the new PUMA Sky LX and PUMA Clyde kicks, Public Enemy's legacy and the rise of hip-hop and sneaker culture. Jadakiss, East, Chuck D, and Shammgod all pledged their allegiance to the rapidly growing culture.

"I'm a sneaker addict. Until I die, I think I'm always going to be excited with new sneakers," said East. "I like knowing I'm going home and there are sneakers that I ordered that are waiting for me. These [PUMA] sneakers are dope and I'm happy to be here with Chuck D sharing this moment."

"It’s a form of accomplishment like I made it," said Jadakiss when asked about his thoughts on the collaboration and speaking on the panel with the hip-hop legend. "How many years I spent listening to Public Enemy and for Chuck D to be a fan and acknowledge me as a constituent, a colleague, and contemporary in some form is a feeling that no money or accolade can compare to."

 

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The Chi today debuting the new PE - PUMA Collab. Talking Hip Hop + B-Ball w @jadakiss @daveeast @leaguefits @pumahoops at 4:30 Get em at puma.com 💥💥💥 ..... ...... ...... #nbaallstar #chuckd #pumahoops #sneakers #kicks #collection #fightthepower #fearofablackplanet #publicenemy #publicenemyradio #hiphop #daveeast #jadakiss

A post shared by Chuck D 🎤 (@mrchuckd_pe) on Feb 15, 2020 at 12:53pm PST

Chuck D also shared some gems and stories from his time when Public Enemy's popularity skyrocketed in the early '90s. Public Enemy became one of the most popular groups in hip-hop history for their socio-political rhymes and in-your-face attitude. Many rappers strive to be the most popular artist in the game but for Chuck D and his band of brothers, their perspective was different.

"My goal wasn't to be like the popular group that everybody loved. We wanted to see groups and artists around us do well," Chuck D recalls. "We wanted to see young people do well. We were already older and we weren't trying to impress anybody."

When Public Enemy made their debut there was nothing like the militaristic rap crew from Long Island. Their music criticized the media and spoke heavily on the plights that blacks faced in the United States.

"We represented a fu**ed up situation. It was a wilder time in hip-hop before records in 1978 and 1979, and we saw sh*t for three to four years," said Chuck D about the inspiration behind the group’s formation. "Hip-hop came out of those ashes to speak out against a lot of that bullsh*t and didn't get an answer to years later."

 

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NEW YORK STATE OF MIND. 🗽

A post shared by God Shammgod (@godshammgod12) on Feb 15, 2020 at 4:22pm PST

As most people thought Public Enemy were too aggressive and hated the white community, Chuck D reminded the audience that wasn't the case. "We didn’t come against society like f**k white people. No, this is our story [that] you need to hear instead of that bullsh*t story," Chuck D said.

At the end of the discussion, Chuck D gave props to his three guests for their contributions to the culture; He shared how he enjoys playing East's music all the time, praised Jadakiss' raspy voice for its sound on a record, and saluted Shammgod for his global impact on the game of basketball. "I'm proud to be on this panel man because I've studied each and every one of these creatives in their life."

PUMA Hoops and Def Jam's sophomore release celebrates Public Enemy's game-changing third album Fear of a Black Planet with two different iterations of the PUMA Sky LX and PUMA Clyde, two sneakers that Public Enemy and several other Def Jam artists wore back in the day.

The PUMA x Public Enemy Sky LX features a white and red colorway with a leather upper and Def Jam's logo plastered on the tongue and Chuck D's iconic "Fight the Power" verse stamped on the side. The PUMA x Public Enemy Clyde, on the other hand, features an all-red upper with black accents. The lowcut sneaker also features a white outsole with "FEAR OF A BLACK PLANET" written across it.

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(L-R) Jonathan Mannion, Iman Shumpert, Kristen Noel Crawley, and Don C celebrate the launch of Nectar of the Culture program and the limited-edition Moët & Chandon Nectar Impérial Rosé bottle at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel on Sunday, February 16, 2020.
Courtesy of Moët & Chandon

Nectar Of The Culture: Moët And Jonathan Mannion Celebrate Kristen Noel Crawley And Don C

As the Windy City bustled with basketball fans, Moët & Chandon took a moment to acknowledge the next generation of pioneers who continue to move the culture forward. During this year's NBA's All-Star Weekend, the French luxury champagne brand fine winery partnered with iconic photographer Jonathan Mannion—who has captured VIBE's October 2001 cover featuring DMX and many more hip-hop —to spotlight Chicago's own Don "Don C" Crawley (Just Don, RSVP Gallery) and Kristen Noel Crawley (KNC Beauty).

Held on Sunday (Feb. 16) at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, fellow creatives and friends gathered for a family-style brunch laced with glasses and newly designed bottles of Moët & Chandon Nectar Impérial Rosé. As four life-sized portraits were presented and unveiled, everyone in the exclusive and star-studded room raised a glass to toast the influential couple and the man behind the lens.

"I've been on a journey with Jon. Together we gone to different cities around the United States celebrating people who we believe are pushing the culture forward," said Jasmin Allen, Vice President of Moët & Chandon U.S. "And today we're in Chicago, the fantastic city of Chicago, against the backdrop of All-Star Weekend, to celebrate leveraging the lens of the mastermind Jonathan Mannion.

"With Jonathan, we've had the opportunity to capture the brilliance of Don C. and Kristen Noel Crawley. Separately, they've done phenomenal things in their areas of expertise and for their communities. But I would argue that together they are bar none. Today, we celebrate them in all their glory."

As the event drew to a close, Mannion took a moment to thank everyone in attendance and talk about the importance of pursuing your dreams, being present for each other as creatives, and broke down the deep meaning of Moet's latest campaign, "Nectar of the Culture."

"Nectar is divided into two different sections. There's "Nec" which means "death"[sic] and "tar" which means "to overcome," which is really powerful, to overcome death. And I think about what I've done with my photography and so many of the people I've photographed in this room and shared my gift with in order to then share it with you guys is really, really essential."

He continued: "We're mortal. We're not here forever, so what's your mark going to be? This is a challenge to really be present for each other and support each other. I just want you to take the time to be together, to embrace each other, to cherish these moments because the moments are essential. I truly am grateful to my partners Moët for believing in me, for believing that my vision was an important one, for bringing this campaign, 'Nectar of the Culture,' to life."

Other creative luminaries in the room included Iman Shumpert, Baron Davis, Yaya DaCosta, Brian Michael Cox, Mano, Nigel Holt, Set Free and more. Scroll down to view more photos from the event.

Moët & Chandon has also released a new, limited-edition collection of custom-designed Moët Nectar Imperial Rosé bottles which pay tribute to the Rose Gold Era and its associated visionaries. As for the "Nectar of the Culture" campaign, Moët and Mannion will be heading to Los Angeles to raise a glass to another pioneer(s).

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