Russell Simmons Speaks RushCard Disaster
Russell Simmons Speaks RushCard Disaster
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Russell Simmons Calls RushCard Crash "One Of The Most Devastating Times In My Adult Life"

One month after a technological transition pegged to "upgrade and improve" RushCard's services prevented customers of the brand's debit and credit cards from accessing their money, Russell Simmons is speaking out about the glitch that caused a total system outage. In an interview with HipHopDX, Simmons detailed and apologized for the recent shutdown that took place after the 12-year-old financial service moved to a new transaction processing company.

"It was one of the most devastating times in my adult life. I know how hard people work to get money. I know how damaging it could be if people were not able to get to their money… I’m deeply sorry," he said. I don’t know what else to do about it but try to make good on it and try to make the people that were damaged whole. That’s all I can do.”

Simmons attempted to keep customers abreast of the company's efforts to restore access via several video updates, and the company did so by way of constant statements. But fallout was immediate and heavy, as RushCard users bombarded Simmons and RushCard's various social media accounts with stories of how the shutdown was affecting their abilities to survive.

RushCard holder Nicole Blackshear discussed the plights many experienced when the system crashed on Oct. 12.

"They keep lying on their Facebook page that the system is back up, and it's not," Blackshear told HipHopDX at the time. "People are being evicted, can't get to work because they can't get gas. People are needing milk and pampers for their children. People's utilities have been disconnected. There is so much pain and suffering and no explanation."

In the four weeks since, the Consumer's Union has stripped RushCard of its prized gold star for service and federal regulators are looking into the company as it stands at the center of a lawsuit filed by New York State. Simmons said that because most of RushCard's services, which include card-to-card transfer and direct deposit, are back to normal, his focus is moving forward and making amends with affected customers.

"Now I have the rebuilding process to restore trust with the community and paying back people who were damaged. I've announced were creating a multimillion dollar fund that will be used just for people who didn't get their money. We're putting a fund together that will make people whole. That's our job. That's one of the many things we have to do to regain trust," he finished.

Simmons will have his work cut out for him because just days ago, some users claimed they still have not received their funds.

Read the rest of Simmons' interview here.

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'Empire' Made History By Airing The First Black Gay Wedding On Network TV

Wedding bells have just made their way into the history books. Last night (April 25), FOX's Empire became the first network television show to air a black gay wedding. Jamal and his fiancé Kai (Jussie Smollett and Toby Onwumere, respectively) jump the broom and swap vows in the episode titled "Never Doubt I Love."

As an added treat, Empire even tapped the legendary Chaka Khan to perform at the fictional star-studded wedding (Mario and Wood Harris even showed up) which, as evidenced by the episode BTS video, was a moment for everyone right to the stars of the show themselves. “Today’s wedding is special and controversial,” Khan said of using her voice for this particular cameo. “But my answer to all that is just love is love.”

Cast members Taraji P. Henson and Gabourey Sidibe agree that Jamal and Kai's wedding might have just become the best Empire wedding.

While this doesn't necessarily take away from the controversy still surrounding Smollett's case in Chicago, it was a cause for celebration regarding diversity and representation on television nonetheless. As Ms. Khan said, right here and right now, the most important thing to note is that love is love.

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Frankie Beverly Shares His Thoughts On Beyonce's Rendition Of "Before I Let Go"

In 1981, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly released a hit that's cemented its presence from cassette tapes to streaming services for your summertime cookout playlist. "Before I Let Go" found a home at the thirteenth spot on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart during its release, but now its melodies are being housed under a new rendition.

In mid-April, Beyonce gifted fans with her take on the aforementioned single, which debuted to fanfare with the release of her Netflix Homecoming documentary. The program displayed a behind-the-scenes look at the production of her 2018 Coachella performance.

In an interview with Billboard, Beverly said the "All Night" singer's team connected with him "a week or two age" to notify him of the remix. "When they played it, that's when I heard the first draft of it, and I was blown away. It's a blessing," he said. "It's amazing how she works, she's very smart. I'm caught off guard, but in a beautiful way...Then the way she just released it, it's off the chain. She's done so much, this is one of the high points of my life."

On the premise of the original song, Beverly said he reached a crossroads in a past relationship. "It was just up and down, and by the end of it, I wrote a song because I was feeling I needed to get out of it," he shared. "I was so into the girl, but it just wasn't working out. I was thinking, 'What am I gonna do?' and that thought inspired the song. I was going to try to do all of these things 'before I let go.' It was a situation I had to get out of, but I was in love."

The legendary artist also revealed that he never imagined "Before I Let Go" would persevere in this capacity. "It really changed everything for me," he said. "It was a huge song at the time, and it's one of those things this band will be able to carry on forever."

Beyonce's rendition also sparked a #BeforeILetGo challenge which she promoted via her Instagram Story.

finally ! Beyoncé used IG stories for the first time since the first time (once) last year! And this time she used it to share fan videos of the #BeforeILetGoChallenge ! Y’all better go make some videos while she’s blessing y’all on her page! and play the lotto if your featured pic.twitter.com/OdYF4txj4A

— 🇵🇸 FADIA KADER (@FADIA) April 23, 2019

Nobody:

Absolutely Nobody:

My arse: #BeforeILetGoChallenge take 22! Action! pic.twitter.com/kaOXf0QzOv

— SyllabusMag (@SyllabusMag) April 23, 2019

#Get it in, Granma!! This is some inter-generational love. 🖤#BeforeILetGoChallenege pic.twitter.com/CdeEfJXG3i

— AliyatLecky (@aliyatlecky) April 25, 2019

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13-Year-Old Texas Girl Dies After Being Jumped By Three Teens

A 13-year-old Texas girl was placed on life support after being jumped by three teenage girls last week, and the New York Daily News confirms the teen died.

Kashala Francis was walking home from Attucks Middle School Thursday (April 18) when she was jumped by two girls and kicked in the head by another. Cellphone recording of the incident shows the attackers laughing.

The girl's mother Mamie Jackson told reporters that Kashala came home with a bruise on her face, told her what happened but insisted she was fine. However, things quickly got worse.

On the following Saturday, Jackson says Kashala went to a family member's house and was told she became delusional but was able to gather her bearings. On Sunday (April 21), Kashala called her mother and complained she felt weak and had a painful headache before lying down.

Jackson said soon after she called the ambulance because Kashala was unconscious. While at Texas Children's Hospital, it was discovered she had a tumor in the back of her head and had fluid buildup in her brain.

On Wednesday morning (April 24) Kashala died. Pending an autopsy, it's unclear if the young girl had the tumor prior to the fight, or if being kicked in the head caused the tumor, which resulted in her death.

Until the autopsy can make the distinction, the case is being investigated as a homicide.

In an emailed sent to The Daily News, the school district stated it's offering students access to grief counselors.

"[The district] is deeply saddened to learn of the death of one of our students. We extend our sincere condolences to the student’s family, friends, teachers, and classmates."

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