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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Dr. Dre Released From Hospital, Will Receive 24-Hour Home Care

Dr. Dre was released from L.A. Cedars Sinai Medical Center on Friday (Jan. 15), nearly two weeks after he suffered a reported brain aneurysm. Ice T confirmed the news tweeting, “Just FaceTimed with @drdre. He just made it home. Safe and looking good.”

The 55-year-old music mogul will remain under 24-hour care for the next few weeks as medical professionals continue to monitor his progress. Doctors are still unclear on what caused the aneurysm.

Dre’s hospital release comes days after new details were revealed in his divorce from estranged wife, Nicole Young. According to court documents publicized this week, Nicole accuses Dre, birth name Andre Young, of putting a gun to her head in 2000 and 2001. She also details other alleged abuse incidents in 1995 (before they were married) and in 2016, when he allegedly punched her in the face and kicked down her door.

The Grammy winner has denied Nicole’s abuse claims.

Nicole and Dre tied the knot in 1996. The pair share two adult children, Truice and Truly. Nicole filed for divorce last summer.

In addition to demanding that Dre cover her legal fees, Nicole wants the court to take the abuse allegations into account when “awarding support and fees.” Dre has already agreed to pay $500,000 of Nicole’s legal bills and $2 million in temporary spousal support.

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Cardi B Lands Leading Role In Comedy ‘Assisted Living’

Cardi B is making her way back to the big screen. The Bronx native officially landed her first leading role in the upcoming Paramount comedy, Assisted Living.

According to Variety, Cardi will play a small time crook struggling to find a hiding place after her latest heist fails. Her character, “Amber,” disguises herself as an elderly woman and hides out at her grandmother's nursing home. The film is described as a “raucous comedy” similar to Mrs. Doubtfire and Sister Act.

Paramount acquired the rights to Assisted Living in 2019. The film’s script was penned by This Is Us writer, Kay Oyegun.

Cardi, 28, made her film debut in the 2019 celeb-heavy stripper flick, Hustlers. The “WAP” rapper appears to have hinted at her Assisted Living role in a recent interview with Billboard where she dished on filming scenes for Fast & Furious 9.

“After ‘Hustlers’ I filmed a little bit for 'Fast & Furious' so I felt like ‘I’m ready for this,’ I knew what to expect,” she explained. “But the characters were a little different so I was like ‘Oh wow, I’m going to need more acting classes.’ I’m planning on doing a movie this year and I’m going to be the lead role so I’m like ‘I need to execute this flawlessly.’”

Besides film, Cardi was a judge on the Netflix completion show, Rhythm & Flow, and landed her own Facebook Watch series, Cardi Tries.

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Wendy Williams Reveals She Was Date Raped By ‘80s R&B Singer

Wendy Williams revealed that she was date raped by  ‘80s R&B singer, Sherrick, early in her radio career. The talk show host shared the story with reporters while promoting her Lifetime biopic Wendy Williams: The Movie on Tuesday (Jan. 12).

“He mesmerized me with his twinkling eyes,” she recalled. “He flipped the interview around to where he was interviewing me — I was just gaga over this man and he asked me to go to an album release party with him that night.

“Before the party, I was date raped by him,” said Williams.

Sherrick, born Lamotte Smith, was a member of the group Kagny, whose song is featured on The Last Dragon soundtrack. He signed to Warner Bros. Records in 1987 and scored a marginal hit with the single “Just Call” off his debut self-titled album. Sherrick struggled with sobriety but declared himself “drug-free” before dying of unknown causes in 1999.

Williams says that she was raped in Sherrick’s Washington D.C. hotel room and it, unfortunately, wasn’t her first time being sexually assaulted. The New Jersey native had been date raped in college. “Those types of things happen to girls all the time and they’ve been happening a lot, to a lot of our mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and their great-great-grandmothers too.”

From the sounds of it, Sherrick's widow doesn't exactly believe Williams' story. She not only questioned Williams' account but wondered why she waited so long to go public, and why she didn't call police at the time of the incident.

“As I will never minimize or dismiss the horrid actions of sexual assault, I am saddened that Ms. Williams feels the need to publicly make these allegations when the man she is accusing is no longer on this earth to defend himself,” Lynne Conner Smith said in a statement to Page Six.  “Our family does not know Ms. Williams and are not aware of any relationship or encounter they may have had.”

The sexual assault will be chronicled in the film, as well as other details from Williams' life -- like her rise to talk show fame, her battle with drug addiction, and marriage to ex-husband Kevin Hunter.

Wendy Williams: The Movie premieres on Lifetime on Jan. 30.

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