Kid Ink Full Speed album Kid Ink Full Speed album

In His Own Words: Kid Ink Breaks Down His 'Full Speed' Album

Kid Ink isn't too keen on taking things slow. At least, that's what his third studio album Full Speed is telling us.

The Batgang rapper's disregard for moving at a snail's pace is well-documented on the new 12-track project, as he shines a light on living the fast life: stacks, stunting, smoking, strippers, sex. You know, the usual. For the avid partiers, his voice is a familiar one to eardrums. "Show Me," "Main Chick" and "Body Language" have been mainstays in the infectious DJ Mustard section of club playlists. "Hotel" is slowly starting to pick up steam. From a technical standpoint, he's a rapper. However, he tends to float somewhere in between spitting and singing on Full Speed, riding the beats and melodies produced by the likes of Mustard, Metro Boomin, Key Wane, DJ Dahi and more.

But something's a little different from his last LP, like his feet are more firmly planted this time around. He's not fishing for singles anymore and wants to be known for his own flow, not how much he makes backsides jump in Supper Club (although, yes, some of that is still present on Full Speed). He knows exactly what he wants people to know about Brian Collins, the person.

"My Own Lane was something where I was showing and improving more, putting pressure on making sure my old fans didn't think I changed on them and the new fans knew what I was about based on the whole album and not just one record," he told us. "With Full Speed, the difference is the growth. I had a little bit more confidence and direction. It wasn't really a guessing game. I'm more comfortable with my voice and [I don't] have that pressure of insecurity."

The Cali-bred rapper broke down his album track-by-track, detailing his three personal faves ("Be Real," "Like A Hot Boyy" and "Cool Back"), how the album features came to be and even the key to deciphering a Young Thug verse. —Stacy-Ann Ellis (@stassi_x)

"What It Feels Like"
Kid Ink: This was a record I was having fun with because I like the production more than anything. It wasn't a song that was directed towards trying to come up with a hook or anything like that. Just having fun in the booth. I heard this beat and kind of freestyled this idea together. That's what gave it that intro feeling and vibe, because I was just going off of my first [thought] and not really having a direction and kind of going all over the place with it. It wasn't a focus on being the intro until it was done. It was like, 'Yo, this sounds like the intro.' Not because of the beat but because of the energy on it.

"Faster"
Kid Ink: I try to throw people off in the beginning by not going straight for singles on the album. I try to go for the hard-hitting records. It's a stronger song, more hip-hop. They usually expect the "pop-er" singles from me or the radio records that they usually hear. "Faster" is a song I recorded on the tour bus at like four o'clock in the morning. There were only like one or two songs that I recorded on tour that made it to the album. It's a record that people wouldn't expect from me production-wise. The subject matter is just living a faster lifestyle, focusing on what females talk about and trying to be a part of this and that. They really get sucked into it and can't really handle it. Same thing with guys. There's people that want to be a part of this rap lifestyle or the entertainment lifestyle, get into it and really be in it.

"Dolo" (feat. R. Kelly)
Kid Ink: I got off tour and was just going through and recording single records, things that sounded like they could be singles as far as for the radio. This was a record that was in production in the first album. Me and R. Kelly were trying to get a record done for My Own Lane with the same producers but the song just didn't get done in time for my part, the ending and the production. We saved the idea, sending records to each other back and forth during his album process to see if I had any ideas. I just kept that distant relationship with him and reached out every once in a while and from there, they asked if I had anything for R. Kelly and I did. It was new age for him. It had a brand new sound and I thought it was something of a vibe he's touched on before, something he could probably rock with. Instantly we got a response like "R. Kelly's down" and we went over it two times. He had two sessions to record and add more stuff, which was a blessing. I got a verse and a hook, so you know, I couldn't have asked for more. "Dolo" is a common word that I don't think anyone has touched on in a record, so I felt it was an open lane. It's a word that I say all the time more than anything and is part of my regular vocabulary. 

"Body Language" (feat. Tinashe and Usher) 
Kid Ink: The "Body Language" record was tricky because I wasn't really thinking about recording an album or a single at that point. I was just in the studio with Cashmere Cat and Stargate and I was wondering what'd happen, whether it be I make an accidental record for myself or write something for them and the projects that they're doing, because they work with so many big artists. That's how I feel like I got the record, because I did a song in that session with them and they used it. A lot of the songs got around to other people but this one record never got picked up and it was a record I never forced or talked about because it wasn't something I felt. It was just a demo I wrote for somebody else, whether male or female.

Four months goes by and they asked me if I heard it at Usher's new studio and I said, "Yeah man, we need to make that work. I'm down with the Usher feature." And this was before he even had anything out on the radio. He had one single but no feature tracks. I tried to reach out early but didn't explain to them—because I wasn't in the studio with them—that it was a female feature on the record. So from there, the label made me go find a female artist since they were good with the Usher part. At that time, Tinashe wasn't just in my face a lot, just from being in the same circles in the city and working with the same show people and being at the same venues. She beat me No. 1 for the charts and I came in No. 2, so just to congratulate the situation, I reminded her, "Yo, I got this record. I think I played it for you before to see if you wanted it, but I got Usher on it now." She vibed with it so we went to the studio in Vegas and made it happen. 

"Hotel" 
Kid Ink: I was talking about this situation that I believe is becoming pretty common, or more open rather, where people are in these swinger relationships and it made the female more confident to approach couples and be a part of that. I've heard situations where it's peoples' jobs, like they have sex with couples instead of finding boyfriends or anything like that. It was a funny play on the situation where there's a girl in the club and she's into you, then two seconds later, she's into your girlfriend. Whether it be in the strip club and the strippers are only dancing on your girlfriend but she's still giving you the side eye. It had me thinking that like, "Are you having thoughts about… ?" When I played the idea for my boy, Verse Simmons, he had this extra section where he said to throw it on the hook and play it and we'll make it a movie. It's something that's in the entertainment business a lot, so I played on that idea and from there, played it for Chris in the studio. We cut two records that night, but that one I knew it was a guarantee so he rocked with it and I still got the other one off that. I think he has a special plan for it, but we're definitely getting it out there for sure. 

"Cool Back"
Kid Ink: "Cool Back" was a record I enjoyed on a personal level. Being myself, not worried about another radio record for anyone else, just having fun. I was touching on the basis of bringing cool back. Fashion itself was getting to a point where to be dirty is in, it's fashionable. And that's something that I never felt or really understood, so with this record I wanted to touch base on people getting back to being a little clean and not as rugged. I respect it to an extent, but I think it got a little out of hand with everyone just liking to look dirty on purpose. I felt like this was a record that was personal for me and touched home. It might even be picking at some people, but not really.

"Be Real" (feat. Dej Loaf) 
Kid Ink: That record came together by DJ Mustard coming to the studio and dropping off beats. I'm always looking for that one beat that sounds different than any other beat that someone gives me. This was one that felt like it still had his Mustard vibe to it, but when we put the verses on it, it went to a whole other level. The plus side is he gave me this beat that had a hook written by one of his female writers, and she was saying all this gutter stuff about different subjects. All the way from baby daddies to dropping off that child support, and not having no dough or pulling up in a raggedy bucket. She was talking about a lot of real hood shit to where I was like, 'Who can say these lyrics the right way and have it come off directly?'

I thought it could only be Nicki Minaj at this point because everybody else is not going to be believable. Nicki Minaj or Rihanna-type stuff. But I can't go that big right now, those aren't my homie-homies, like [their features cost] $100,000. I remembered how I got introduced to Dej Loaf, my friends put me on her. I just fell in love with what she was doing and how that lane was so open for somebody and then at that time, I felt like she was the one. She came by the radio show and showed a lot of love, asked to come backstage and take a pic and everything, and was always respectful to the grind. I reached out to her and told her I had this one record that was right and she did everything and did her job, made it her own record, switched up lyrics and did all kinds of other stuff. We just put it together and made it into this catchy, amazing record. It's definitely going to be one for the club, but I think it's reaching its commercial status, too.

"Every City We Go" (feat. Migos) 
Kid Ink: The Migos record was produced by one of my in-house producers Ned Cameron, and we had this idea that was written by one of my in-house artists, Bricc Baby. He wrote this amazing hook idea. I couldn't hear anyone [on the record] for a second and then a couple weeks later, we got into the studio with Migos when they came to L.A. I played a record that was more their vibe, then I brought up the other record even though it was a different sound for them. I felt like they could attack it the right way. I left them with the record for a couple of hours and they wrote these crazy verses that I never heard from them on that level and the way they catered to the beat. They were riding the beat crazy. They're more club-driven artists and it seemed like I was using them more so for their sound than they were using me for mine.

So at that point, I cut a verse to this record and kept the other on stash. It's probably the closest to the personal record that I wanted to have. I always try to have a record where I can worry less about the punchlines and more worried about what I'm saying. This is the closest I was trying to spit and earn respect. I was really speaking from and telling the truth about where I come from. People think "Oh, they just gave him that record" or "He was copying their vibes." I try my hardest not to be like that but you still want to try and give the artist something that they can understand and be familiar with as far as the content so they know how to write their verses instead of them talking completely out of pocket. 

"Round Here"
Kid Ink: This one was produced by Key Wane. He gave me this idea and it played off of Deebo from Friday. The word Deebo means strong-armed, to take something away, boss up on somebody. So I used that for a theme, explaining situations where you gotta stunt on people even if you don't want to. You have to show and prove your status. I think ["Deebo"] goes all the way from going to the club and taking the right table to taking someone's girl—which is not my personal thing, but you know other people's situations. Just taking that charge. I didn't try to take it to being on some gangster shit, like I'm taking chains and taking cars and poppin' people. I'm not promoting robbing folks but I'm definitely just stunting.

The other day I had to do it at the club with a table because I walked in and the table they gave me wasn't the table I wanted or where they told me I was going to be. Sometimes I get to the club late, waiting on other people or getting ready to come from somewhere, and they'll give away the table and think that when I get there it's okay. No, I need this table for a reason. For me, it's different. I need to sit by the DJ, sit by this person, so I told them to move that guy. I don't brag about it while it's happening. I'm chill. I let security handle it. I'm not jumping on the table like, "Move out the way!" 

"About Mine" (feat. Trey Songz) 
Kid Ink: It's one of my favorite street records, especially where I'm from in L.A. We played on this theme with the "Why you bullshittin," which was kind of a play off the record done by Sugar Free, which is a big classic record where I'm from. I figured overall, Trey had this idea but I didn't like the beat it was over so I had to switch it up and tell him I was going to hit Mustard up and get a new beat. But I know how that can play sometimes when you change the beat and it might not sound the same with the cut lyrics and everything gets thrown off, but I'm glad he trusted me with picking the right beat. I know what I'm doing as far as production and knowing the keys and tempos. We found a brand new beat with a new age sound. Not the regular "Mustard sound." We went back and forth with ideas and lyrics and he took it back to his own studio at the crib. I was recording outside of the city at that time but we were definitely communicating, making sure the record came together and that we both felt like it wasn't a feature record. It was a Kid Ink and Trey Songz record. We made that happen as far as hitting the street hard without forcing. I think it's going to be a real big club record even if it doesn't hit the radio crazy, content-wise. It's a little strong for radio.

"Blunted"
Kid Ink: This was the second to last song recorded for the album. It was the point in the process where I'm not focused on singles. I was focused on having fun and it's close to the end time where I'm trying to squeeze records in. We got to the point where I don't want the album to sound like a bunch of singles or radio records. I want to still be me on the songs even though I was recording a bunch of singles for y'all to pick from. Let me just cut some new stuff in the studio and just have fun, go in there and record "Blunted" just off the fact that I haven't had a smoke record for a while and I do a lot of smoke freestyles. So I approached this song like it was more of a freestyle. I was talking about smoking but it didn't sound like the typical smoke record. I felt like only smokers could understand the lyrics. If I played this and people who didn't smoke listened, I'd have to be like, "Nah, if you know what I'm talking about, you'll understand and it will make you appreciate it." If you understand that 1.5 grams is a fat blunt then in the smoker's mind, he'd understand. I wanted to use the word "blunted" because it hadn't been over-stressed and used. I try to always come up with something new for the smoke records because there aren't too many cool smoke words out there. 

"Like a Hot Boy" (feat. Young Thug and Bricc Baby Shitro) 
Kid Ink: Bricc Baby is somebody who grew up with me in L.A. He's family and we're close friends. He was someone who was rapping but was also still in the streets and doing his thing in Atlanta. From there, he ran into [Young] Thug, Migos and all their producers, and was in that circle. He was living that lifestyle for a minute to where he came back to the city and I got him back into his music game. He was bringing these dudes around me. I ended up meeting Young Thug, Rich Homie Quan, Migos and Metro Boomin and all these guys. I got this record and started writing this hook. Then, I had this one line at the end that I was stuck on and was just thinking of a word. I always tell everybody in the studio, "If you got something, go in the booth and say it. Don't be afraid to say it. Go in the booth, because it might be crazy." So he went into the studio and said, "Getting cash money like a hot boy." I was like, that's the hook. We went with that and we wanted to write more to that section.

The whole song became themed around the Hot Boys and we can talk about the new hot boys in the streets and throw the words around. I used to be the biggest Hot Boys stan so it wasn't going too far left for me to come up with the rest of the lyrics, the moments and how I felt at those times. Thinking about the new Hot Boys, I was thinking about Birdman and then Lil' Wayne and Young Thug. Like this could be a cool play on everything and make it seem fun. This was before any of the beef, we were just having fun. I sent it to Thug and he just laid it down like it was his own record. That's really what I wanted. He sent the verse and I said "Nah, I need Young Thug on the hook doing melodies and all that stuff." So he went back in and re-cut it. Right after the show one day we got it back right before the album was done. I remember being in Miami and getting the verse done at four in the morning and being completely wasted but understanding everything that the words said. And then I remember being completely sober and I forgot all the words. I was like "Yo, this sounded way crazier when I was drunk. Like I got everything he said." But when I was sober, I had to really decipher it. If you can't understand Young Thug, you gotta be lit. 

Grab Kid Ink's Full Speed album on iTunes here.

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Lil Kim Talks '9' Album, Biggie And Rick Ross Comparisons, And Celebrates City Girls' JT's Freedom

This past July, Lil Kim canceled two interviews, citing that the outlets wouldn’t “put respect on my name” and “wanted to be messy.” But the rap legend known as Queen Bee has had plenty of blessings this year. At a dinner honoring their friend Notorious B.I.G.’s birthday on May 21, she and Lil Cease reconciled their strained relationship after not seeing each other in person for 13 years. In September, she received the I Am Hip Hop Icon Award at the 2019 BET Hip-Hop Awards and gave a nostalgic performance with surprise appearances by Junior M.A.F.I.A., Musiq Soulchild and O.T. Genasis.

The year’s worth of positivity culminated with the release of 9, Lil Kim’s long-awaited fifth studio album that pairs her raunchy, street-oriented bars her fans love with guest appearances by Rick Ross, City Girls and Rich The Kid. While Kim has released several mixtapes over the past decade, 9 is her first studio album since 2005’s The Naked Truth, which she released days within beginning a prison bid. And her fans were patiently waiting: the day of the release of 9, Lil Kim was trending nationwide on Twitter.

In a conversation with VIBE, Lil Kim speaks about her new album, weighs in on comparisons between Biggie and Rick Ross, and rejoices the City Girls’ JT newfound freedom.

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VIBE: Your last official album was The Naked Truth, and you had a lot to say on that album because of what you were dealing with. What made you decide to make a new album now?

Lil Kim: Why not? I’m a beast, I love music. Why not? I love music, I’m good at what I do, and my fans want it. As long as my fans want it, I’m going to keep giving it to them and doing what I want to do.

Your fans definitely want it. You were trending worldwide today on Twitter when the album dropped. What’s it like to see the interest that high so far into your career?

It’s amazing. Not only was I trending, but I was number one in so many different countries. Number one, number two. Number 16 on all genres since last night, before the album even officially dropped.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

You guys are doing EXCELLENT! 🙌🏾 Beehive don’t let the devil deter you from the greatness that is happening and the history that is being made. Ya’ll keep going because there’s so much history to be made and we’re just getting started. ❤️ We outside fr, the streets have spoken 🔥 #9️⃣

A post shared by Lil' Kim (@lilkimthequeenbee) on Oct 21, 2019 at 5:52pm PDT

The album sounds current, but it still sounds like you. Was there a dedicated effort to make it sound current and like what's already out there?

It was actually a dedicated effort to do what I wanted to do. To be the classic Kim I am, and be in the now and to be in the future.

One of my favorite songs on the album is “Pray For Me.” How did that come together?

That’s one of my favorite songs, too. I wrote that song right in my kitchen. I thought about it when I was going through a lot of things. I’m a very spiritual person, I’m big on energy and spirit. The energy I was feeling when I heard that beat, that’s where I wanted to release the energy and the things I was going through in that song. The song came like that, we didn’t add that in the beat in there. So I felt like the beat was laid out for me. I already saw Rick Ross, and I already saw Musiq Soulchild, and I saw myself setting the song up.

A lot of people, I believe including Diddy, have said that Ross reminds them of Biggie. Do you agree with those comparisons?

I think he has some similarities, yeah. You can tell that Biggie’s influence is there, and that’s amazing. There will never be another BIG, period. But I don’t think necessarily that Ross is trying to be BIG or anything like that. I think that he just has big love for BIG, and he has a lot of similarities, and I love it. His style is super dope. I’ve always loved him, and I think he expressed that from the moment he came out.

Another favorite is “Auto Blanco.” On that record you said, “BIG and Pac be alive if you niggas ain’t gas shit up. If I knew who did it, I’d personally wrap their caskets up.” It’s been a while, but are you still actively mourning?”

All the time I’m mourning his death. All the time. But as far as trying to go to the end of the world to find out who did it, no, I just let God work that out. Because sooner or later, everything from the dark will come out. But at this point, all I can do is live for him.

Tell me about the significance behind the number nine as this album's title.

Nine is my spiritual awakening number. There were nine members in Junior Mafia, my baby was born June 9, Biggie passed on March 9. It is 2019. My birthday is 7/11, seven plus two is nine. When you get a spiritual awakening, you have to act on that moment. And there you have it… Something that’s a spiritual awakening can’t be negative. With every rise, every level you go to, with every win when God is working on your life, the devil’s gonna come. But nine is all positive.

The Naked Truth is an angry record, and you had plenty of reason to be upset. After you got out, how did you get to the point where you were able to grapple with what happened and move forward with your life?

Because it wasn’t what people thought. I met some of my best friends inside. I got a lot of rest the first two weeks, I was tired because I was working. I learned a lot. It was like going to a very, very, very, very bad boarding school. (laughs) I learned a lot, and I got to get closer to God. It wasn’t as bad inside as it was when I came home, the things I had to go through, to be honest with you. I had worse times outside of prison than I did in prison. I had to go through some really really dark, deep things.

JT of City Girls just got out of prison, and you had them on your album on the song "I Found You." Do you have any advice for JT?

I haven’t spoken to her yet, but we’re trying to set up a call so I can talk to her. That’s my girl, I’m so happy that she’s home. I know that feeling. Ain’t nothing like your freedom. I love that girl, I love them, I love Miami…I think everybody who just comes home renewed with how they move and live at that point, because you’re free. You use your own discrepancy. Everybody has their own different climb that they’re going to.

At the Biggie dinner, you were reunited with Cease. What has it been like to have that relationship mended?

It’s a beautiful thing. As you can see, nothing but greatness and beautiful things have come out of that. Look at the BET [Hip-Hop] Awards! That shit was fucking nostalgic! That shit was fucking amazing. Junior M.A.F.I.A. came out and the crowd went nuts. Sometimes when people realize things they have done and they apologize sincerely, that is worth more than gold. That’s a family member. Family fucks up, that’s it. We do that in our family and relationship. But when it’s family, especially for someone like Biggie, we have to come together and we have to let Biggie live the way he’s supposed to. That was my way of mending his broken heart.

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For Us By Us: 8 Things To Know About The Black News Channel

A network for us by us is heading to a television near you. The Black News Channel, a network dedicated to quality news and original content for African-Americans, will see the light of day next month.

BNC has been over a decade in the making thanks to J.C. Watts, the former Oklahoma congressman who wanted to create a platform similar to CNN with only news and insight by people of color. Networks like BET and TVOne have respectfully released similar programming in the past with BET Nightly News and News One Now hosted by Roland Martin, but this new network plans to run on a 24-hour news cycle while tying in programs that will benefit teens, women, and HBCUs.

It was recently announced that Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan made up a large part of the investment pool, with many wondering just how the network will be run. Khan has reportedly voted for President Donald Trump but has continuously slammed his tenure as commander-in-chief.

According to BNC's website, their mission statement is "to provide intelligent programming that is informative, educational, inspiring and empowering to its African-American audience." They also hope to "preserve a proud black American heritage" and inspire viewers with uplifting and spiritual content daily.

The network will launch across over 30 million households on Friday, Nov. 15. In the meantime, here's everything you should know about the Black News Channel.

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1. The BNC Was Co-Founded by J.C. Watts, A Former Athlete Turned Republican Congressman

Watts has worn many hats in his life with most of them existing in the business space. Some of his endeavors include a public affairs consulting company as well as director seats at companies like retail giant Dillard's, CSX Corporation and ITC Holdings.

Before jumping into the business world, Watts played college football for the Oklahoma Sooners and later, the Canadian Football League. After becoming a Baptist minister in the early '90s, he ran for Congress and served four terms.

During that time, Watts worked alongside Capitol Hill with former Presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush. During the late '90s, he was elected to the chair of the House Republican Conference. He also co-founded the Coalition for AIDS Relief in Africa and helped develop legislation with Congressman John Lewis to establish the Smithsonian Museum of African American history.

The idea for BNC came in 2004 with the intent to provide quality news and original programming to African-American households. "The Black news channel is culturally specific to the African-American community," he told The Street earlier this month.

"You've got 200 plus stations on any cable system. We are the one location that you can come and find out about wellness culture, current affairs as it relates to African-American communities." He also stressed the need to provide a safe space for black wellness earlier this year on Power 105.1's The Breakfast Club.

2. The BNC Was Almost Based On FAMU's Campus

Before setting up shop in Tallassee, Florida, Watts was interested in filming on the campus but decided against it. Instead, the network will work closely with Ann Kimbrough in the School of Journalism & Graphic Communication at Florida A&M University and other Historical Black Colleges & Universities across the country.

3. It Will Serve Over 30 Million Households

BNC will operate as a 24/7 news channel and will launch to an estimated 33 million households. A reported 23 million are satellite owners while the other 10 million are from cable TV households in cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Atlanta. A studio was also built this year for the network in New Orleans.

In the early stages of the network, the company created "on-air programming trials" that served 8 million people. The project helped the company with the type of content they wanted to create and the content viewers wanted to see.

4. Religion And Faith Might Play A Role In Programming

Under the site's goals for the Black News Channel, the company notes how they've built strong relationships with African-American figures from the clergy, media, and politics. While it isn't known just how faith will play into BNC's ideology, there seems to be something there.

5. One of Their Biggest Investors Has A Fickle Relationship With President Donald Trump

Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan wants Black News Channel to reflect the views of African-Americans but critics aren't thrilled about his political ties. Khan reportedly voted for Trump and donated $1 million to his inauguration. During an interview at Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit this month, Khan explained his appreciation for Trump's economic retort but a distaste for his social policies around immigration, religion and civil rights.

Khan was one of the first NFL owners to famously lock arms with players in solidarity for Colin Kaepernick who was slammed for kneeling during the National Anthem. “Those were human causes that [the players] brought a lot of attention to," he said.

"And since then, the league has done a lot. We’d need a special program with you to go through all the stuff. And the players have done a lot. That was the time for talk and symbolism; since then, it’s been time for action. And there’s been a lot of action. Local communities, prison reform, a lot of those things that impact not only minorities but other people.”

But when it comes to his investment in BNC, Khan wants to change the narrative in media about black lifestyles. “I believe there is an undeniable calling for everything the Black News Channel will deliver to African-American television audiences, who have historically been underserved, in an era where networks have otherwise successfully targeted news to specific demographic groups and interests,” Khan told WJCT, adding, “My decision to invest is an easy one, because we get to answer that call.”

6. Original Programming Will Cater To Black Women and Teens

An estimated 12 hours will be dedicated to the news while the rest will focus on content dedicated to women and teens. Other programs will also shed light on alternative sports like MMA, Muay Thai and the NBA on a global level.

Some standout program synopses include:

Being a Woman

This daily one-hour hosted talk show is dedicated to topics of interest to women of all ages. Show topics will range from childbirth to caring for elderly parents, business to politics, and entertainment to hair care. No topic is too big or too small for this woman-to-woman discussion. The show host will select distinguished women from the vast array of academic experts and alumnae professionals associated with our Historical Black Colleges & Universities to co-host each day’s program.

Getting Ready With Jane: Today's Teen

In this show, family therapist Jane Marks gets real with teens and speaks a language they can understand. With more than forty years of experience helping families and young people in crisis, Marks offers helpful and timely advice to young African Americans about coping in today’s world. This one-hour weekly program is family-friendly and offers a message of hope. Today’s Teen Talk series is definitely “must see TV.”

My Money

This daily half-hour business show will examine best practices for wisely making and managing your money, as well as news and information about what is happening in the financial markets at home and around the world. This format will include a host and financial experts as studio guests.

7. HBCU's Will Have A Great Influence On The Black News Channel

BNC's relationship with Historical Black Colleges & Universities will run deep. Not only will aspiring journalists have an opportunity to work at the network but they will also have exposure to media training and state of the art production.

The series Living Social at HBCUs will also explore life on HBCU campuses and the intersection of education and cultural development.

8. Larry Elder Will More Than Likely Ruffle Feathers

Everyone loves a wildcard and BNC has found one in Larry Elder. The radio staple and attorney has over 25 years in the industry from news programs on NBC and ABC News & Talk. He also starred as a judge on Moral Court, an early production by TMZ creator Harvey Levin in 2001.

Elder's views have been seen as conservative but he reportedly identifies as a Libertarian. After walking away from the news show sector, Elder made his way to digital radio and podcasting where he's led conversations on topics like "Unwed Fathers" in the NBA, education, and criticism of the early presidential candidates of the 2020 election. He's also a frequent user of the #HillaryUnhinged hashtag that criticizes the former presidential candidate.

Larry Elder NEW Video: Why Won't The 'Woke' @NBA Take On The 800lb Elephant On The Court--UNWED FATHERS?!?https://t.co/Tbtqmcz25c#FathersMatter pic.twitter.com/I8oOAOcKIx

— Larry Elder (@larryelder) October 21, 2019

School Choice, Pt. 2

Larry Elder VIDEO: Black and Hispanic Democrats WANT Choice in Education--White Democrats DO NOT!https://t.co/ghQQMNS4iV#SchoolVouchers

— Larry Elder (@larryelder) October 20, 2019

A program hasn't been shared on BNC's website but Elder is listed as a "Show Host/Commentator." We're sure many will tune in to hear about today's culture from his perspective.

Learn more about the Black News Channel here.

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Josias Valdez

SAINt JHN Brings Unwavering Confidence To New York's Experimental Rap Sound

SAINt JHN’s amalgamation of primal energy and eager mosh pits at Rolling Loud are unmatched. A hazy sunset would’ve been a fitting pairing for his rage session, but his early set at New York’s Citi Field Saturday (Oct. 12) gets the job done. While a few curious eyes from VIP are studying the vibes, the trenches are full of fans screaming lyrics to “5,000 Singles,” "94 Bentley” and “Trap” (feat. Lil Baby)—all standouts from his sophomore project, Ghetto Lenny’s Love Songs.

The diverse crowd isn’t a surprise to the Brooklyn artist. JHN’s musical ancestry has allowed his vines to branch out to artists like Usher, dvsn and Beyonce; all artists he’s earned co-writer credits for respectively. But then there are those who discovered him through Fortnite or his work on “Brown Skin Girl.” No matter how Ghetto Lenny crossed fans' path, he’s grateful listeners are making the pit stop.

“It's better than anything I could ask for, that’s what I wanted,” he tells VIBE. “I just wanted people to hear the sounds and fall in love and not overthink it. You get a 12-year-old and you'll get a 55-year-old standing next to each other in the audience. They’re from different eras of music but they’ll feel the same way.”

JHN calls his presence at New York’s first Rolling Loud “good timing” in light of his appearances across the traveling festival’s Miami, L.A. and Bay Area staples. But the moment feels kismet since JHN is one of the few surviving New York performers who were able to hit the stage.

Just 24 hours before the festival kicked off, fellow rising Brooklyn acts like Casanova, Sheff G, 22Gz, and Pop Smoke as well as Bronx rapper Don Q were banned at the request of the NYPD because of their alleged affiliations to recent “acts of violence” citywide. While fellow NYC natives like A$AP Rocky, Desiigner, Jim Jones and Fat Joe took the stage, JHN was one of the few acts to represent New York’s new sound.

“Those artists come from the places I come from,” he said of the ban. “In instances like this, you have to separate the art from the incident. Clearly these artists come from different pasts—they talk about it in their music. But the point of the music is to transition out of that.” Many of the artists like Cassanova and Don Q spoke out against the NYPD’s influence in the festival.

"I’m at war with my past and the scars that they still leave on me every day," Casanova said on Instagram. "I will continue to fight against biases and advocate for those facing this same issue."

“You have to give them the opportunity to tell their stories or you further entrap them,” JHN adds about the group of rappers. “They end up stuck in the same positions they’re trying to escape by making a concrete wall around their history.”

JHN’s history is a mix of the power of attraction and community. His early years comprised of creating the building blocks of his label GØDD COMPLEXx and his fashion line Christian Sex Club. While making his dreams a reality, the grind led him to genuine friendships with future superstars like Jidenna, Skrillex and Ski Mask The Slump God. Last year, JHN released his debut album Collection One paired with head-bashing shows across the country.

Ghetto Lenny’s Love Songs takes his sound to the next level with melodic punches on tracks like “I Can Fvcking Tell” and the Lenny Kravitz-assisted “Borders.” With punk and rap flowing effortlessly from JHN, the artist can only attest his glowing confidence to the game of life.

“My journey is where I'm at right? It's the monopoly board of my life, and I'm making my rounds,” he says. Being confident grows every year. So me saying "too lit to be humble" [On “5,000 Singles”] that just means I'm not gonna call it nothing else, I'm just gonna tell what it is. This is who I am, fuck with it. If you don't like it, you can turn left. You can turn around if you want, but this is happening.”

On his collaboration with Lenny Kravitz, JHN looks back with a big smile and several words. “Iconic, outrageous, Ignorant. Three o'clock in the morning of Paris,” he says. “Checkered floors. Space. Leather fixtures, Dark rooms. Lenny Kravitz. SAINt JHN. My nigga, I can tell you anything. I can tell you it smelled like cigars, whiskey, rum, and the Bahamas because in my mind, all that shit happened.”

But in all seriousness, the moment was an indication for JHN that his journey in music is paved with golden intentions.

“It was reinforcement,” he says. “The first time I worked with Usher, I learned that I belonged in the room. You know the first time you get invited into a room you have never been in and you almost feel like you lied your way in? The second time, you don't feel like you lied your way in.”

JHN's IGNORANt FOREVER Tour kicks off Nov. 11 in Miami with stops in Toronto, Los Angeles and New York. See the dates here.

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