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Amanda Barona

Future, 2 Chainz, Young Thug & More Upgrade Miami's 'Rolling Loud' Festival To Platinum Status

Top tier artists and the underground's dopest acts solidified Rolling Loud Festival's place in the game.

Within the past two years, Miami's Rolling Loud Festival has become one of the premier hip-hop events in the Southeast. After last year's inaugural lineup with ScHoolboy Q, Travis Scott and Action Bronson, DOPE Entertainment outdid themselves for the second annual event by recruiting heavyweight headliners for 2016.

Over the weekend, Miami scene-strealer YesJulz helped fill Mana Wynwood in Miami's Art District with eager hip hop heads for dope performances from Future, Young Thug, 2 Chainz, and plenty more. The two-day lituation raged on into the night as the Dab Stage and the Sauce Stage were infiltrated by the most prominent artists in the country and the rulers of the underground Miami's hip-hop scene.

WTB's Kent Jones, Pro Era's Nyck Caution, OVO's Roy Woods and more kicked off Day 1 at the Sauce Stage located inside a spacious warehouse. As the night progressed, the echoes of from the booming bass from the Dab Stage bounced back off the Wynwood Walls as Divine Council, Robb Bank$, Lil Yachty, Playboi Carti, and Lil Uzi Vert too turnt for comfort. However, the surprise guest Ty Dolla $ign and 300 Ent's Young Thug dissipated the tension and created peace in the audience with their plethora of club bangers.

The following day attracted even more hip-hop fans from the #FutureHive to the loyal followers of the Based God. The Sauce Stage remained the realm for the key players in South Florida's underground hip-hop movement. Yung Simmie, Yung Yogi, and their crew fired up the massive crowd and inspired numerous mosh pits around the venue. Pouya, Fat Nick, The $uicide Boys, Da$h, 21 Savage, and Kevin Abstract followed suit and kept their sea of fans lit until headliner Lil B hit the stage to close out the show.

The Dab Stage hosted a mixture of seasoned lyricists and rising breakthrough acts in the game today. Atlanta's own 2 Chainz blessed the crowd with his classics early followed by Freebandz/Epic signee Zoey Dollaz, newcomer Kap G, and Palm Beach natives Wifisfuneral with tunes from 103.5 The Beat's DJ Epps and DJ Bulletproof in between each set. Once the sunset behind I-95, the heavy smoke grew more dense and filled the block with the aroma of high quality herb once Indiana's finest Freddie Gibbs and Jet Life chief Curren$y set foot on stage.

READ: Dead Beats: Freddie Gibbs & Zeds Dead Take It “Back Home”

Gibbs' extensive set was a dope collection of records from his past projects like ESGN and Piñata. Curren$y came out on stage with a joint at hand and made everyone throw the Jet Life hand sign up during his set. Spitta performed hits from as far back as "Smoke Somethin" off Verde Terrace to his most recent work like "Drive By" off Canal Street Confidential. The show was more turnt once Kodak Black hit the stage and busted out his signature hit “Skrt Skrt.”

After Zoey Dollaz and Julz kept the enormous audience hype by firing free t-shirts into the air, the main act Future set the festival ablaze when he opened with his DS2 street hit “Thought It Was Drought.” The Freebandz Gang founder backtracked with past hits like "Move That Dope" and “Magic” for his day 1 fans. Although Freebandz official hype man was absent from the show, Esco's essence was radiant throughout Future's set as he pulled off his DJ's well-known dance moves as he performed songs off 56 Nights, Monster, Beast Mode, and of course What A Time To Be Alive (minus Drake unfortunately).

After another year of success, Rolling Loud Festival has established a platinum foundation for hip-hop in the heart of Miami. With plenty of potential to prosper significantly before next year's lineup is confirmed, the two-day event can become the most anticipated music festival South Florida has to offer.

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Courtesy of Billboard

Billboard And The Hollywood Reporter To Host First-Ever Pride Summit

Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter have joined forces to launch their first ever Pride Summit. The inaugural event will take place Aug. 8 at the 1 Hotel West Hollywood and will celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and the contributions they have made to the arts and entertainment. The summit will provide attendees with "thoughtful panels and conversations" stemming from editorial information and insight both brands possess about what LGBTQ+ audiences consume.

Pride Summit follows in the footsteps of other inclusive and diverse, live-events such as Billboard's Latin Week, Women in Music, and Hip-Hop and R&B Summit, as well as The Hollywood Reporter's Women in Entertainment and Empowerment in Entertainment. The minds behind the summits, newly hired VP of Pride Alexis Fish, VP of Cultural Media Datwon Thomas, and VP of Latin Leila Cobo "support strategic content pillars with a dedicated focus on short-form video, data, and real-life events."

In a press release, Billboard-The Hollywood Reporter Media Group president Deanna Brown explained the creation of Pride Summit. "Our company has a year-round dedication to diversity, inclusion, and representation, and we're proud to establish the summit during this year's historic summer of pride to honor the LGBTQ in real life," she said.

"This event, our new hire of Alexis Fish and our comprehensive editorial and data products underscore our commitment and expertise in super-serving the LGBTQ+ community in a multitude of ways."

Aside from the illuminating panels, Pride Summit, which falls on the same day as Billboard's annual Pride Issue, will feature the issue's cover star, top LGBTQ+ artists and industry executives. The panels will discuss a variety of topics such as bringing LGTBQ+ voices into the songwriters' room, upcoming queer artists, eradicating homophobia, and the best methods on welcoming queer and gender non-conforming people in the workplace.

In addition to the new event that Billboard curated with THR, the brand has announced two, new Pride scholarships that will cover the costs of its Music Industry Essentials course at the NYU Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. Students will receive valuable insight on the music industry, from music production to history and marketing; they will also have the opportunity to learn from Billboard staff members and music industry leaders.

The winners of the scholarships will be announced at the summit, and more information about the course and the scholarship (applications are open through July 30) can be found here.

Registration for the summit is open BBTHRPrideSummit.com. Specific participants will be announced in the coming weeks.

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Carol's Daughter Founder Lisa Price Reflects On Selling Company And More At The 'In Between Series'

October 2014 was supposed to be one of the highest points in Lisa Price’s life. Instead, it felt like one of the lowest for the Carol’s Daughter founder. That month, the entrepreneur announced that she’d sold her company to one of the largest cosmetic brands, L’Oreal. As a result,  many onlookers and supporters vocalized their disappointment, especially Black Twitter, and accused the Brooklyn-born success story of being a “sell out” quick to leave behind her people to chase a dollar.

While many felt the move would result in the end of hair milk moisturizers as we know it, Cornell University professor, Noliwe Rooks, wasn’t wrong when she said: "[Lisa’s] love for that community and love for black women and economic possibility for black people is as much a part of her creation story and her narrative as whatever her products would do for your hair."

5 years and a 25th-anniversary milestone later, I would soon learn how Price handled the criticism and learned from her experience.

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As several aspiring entrepreneurs and industry shakers gathered in the Made By We workspace for the intimate In Between Series facilitated by Tiffany Hardin, founder of boutique consultancy, Gild Creative Group, I must admit, I was a bit apprehensive in hearing what Lisa had to say —mainly because of, well, haters. Admittedly, I was a hater by association when the sale was first announced. I keke’d along with tweets that accused her of giving in to “The Man” while I was rocking a weave with a permed leave out. Clearly, I was in no position to laugh. While hearing her reflect on that trying time at this event, I left with not only a better understanding of why she decided to sell her company but also with a couple of her products in my Amazon Prime cart. Above all, the happy 57-year-old mother of three kept it real about her journey during the event and dropped gems too shiny to pass up during the audience Q&A.

When asked about how someone who had zero experience owning a business ended up being the owner of such a profitable and preeminent company, Lisa's response was simple. “Just because you’re not in a certain space, doesn’t mean you can’t dominate it.” And dominate she did. For those who don’t know, let’s take it back. In 1993,  Lisa Price began her business in the kitchen of her Brooklyn home. Originally, Lisa created natural fragrances, body butters, and oils for skin care but after realizing several people weren’t showing her love at craft fairs for not having hair products, Lisa began making them. $27M, a Home Shopping Network (HSN) partnership, and several fully-stocked shelves in Sephora, Target, and Ulta later, Lisa became living proof that it’s possible to be successful in a field you otherwise knew nothing about.

Despite selling her company to L’Oreal, Lisa remains heavily involved and committed to her “child”, Carol’s Daughter, until she’s ready to retire. (Don’t let her angel-kissed skin fool you, sis is seasoned.) “ I’ve been doing this for 26 years...When your child is 26, they need their mom but not every day. I don’t need to be there as much.”

However, it wasn’t all easy choices. There were several times when Lisa was presented with the opportunity to take her business to the next level, but they just didn’t feel right to her. “I needed help. [But] I wasn’t desperate,” she admitted. Although she met with many big bank bosses, she held out until she found the right partner - one who understood her. That key player ended up being Steve Stoute. Through their partnership, Lisa was able to fulfill her vision, one that most prominent beauty brands still don't fully see. “Beauty companies need to understand that we’re no longer buying ‘the box,’” Lisa stressed.

To us, going natural means not having a perm made by Just For Me and protective styles are braids. To Lisa’s 12-year-old daughter, the word “natural” when it pertains to hair doesn’t mean much because, well, not it’s just hair. ”What happens when we all raise children that just look at it like hair?” Price asked. “My daughter has no perspective of [a] relaxer and she doesn’t go to the salon.” Like Lisa’s daughter, Generation Z is being raised in a time where young girls are celebrated for rocking their natural tresses and cornrows or ponytails are just an added accessory to an otherwise fierce look. Hair is not unique and Lisa feels that big cosmetic brands need to understand that there will be a shift in consumerism. “There has to come a time where we don’t buy shampoo in our own section,” said Price. “You can just line up all the shampoos, I’ll I know how to read, find one that I need… I don’t need to go to a separate aisle.”

And if you really think about it, hair really is just hair. We’re all born with it. There is no need to go to the ethnic aisle just to buy some conditioner. As long as you educate yourself, know what works for you, and can read the ingredients on a bottle. Any product, regardless of the brand, could be a fit for you.

With that being true, shouldn’t we have been rooting for Lisa instead? Shouldn’t we want for as many people as possible to use her bomb dot com product line and support her business? “Everybody needs to get comfortable with folks building stuff,” Lisa stressed. “That’s what we gotta do until we can build it and have wealth….Wealth doesn’t go away. It stays with your family.”

The backlash from selling her company was a lot, but it didn’t break her. Instead, Lisa turned that moment into a learning opportunity because, at the end of the day, no Twitter bird is writing her story but her. And no one should ever write your story for you. “As transparent as I thought I was being about [selling Carol’s Daughter], people were writing a whole different story for me. But you can’t write my story. I’m living it and so I used the opportunity to teach.” When chasing success, you will have uncomfortable moments, and how you move in them will define how far you’ll actually go.

As the In Between Series conversation and Q&A came to an end, Price revealed that these days she invests in people instead of businesses, and offered advice to those entrepreneurs in attendance and offered suggestions like the importance of having a financial advisor and paying taxes. “In this day and age, [you need an accountant] because you’re probably going to make money online and they have receipts for that,” she pointed out. “That’s real, that’s not cash when someone Venmo’s you. You might not need an accountant on retainer but you need to understand ‘What’s my liability?,’ ‘What do I need to deduct?,’ ‘When do I 1099?’” Price continued: “As soon as you get money, you have to know how to pay taxes ‘cause they never go away.”

Price answered another question about mentorship and reminded attendees that it’s good to follow and seek out, but just be inspired by them. “You can find those people to follow and to watch and to listen to,” she said. “You just don’t want to try to be them… just watch how they move.”

At the end of the day, the goal is to build a legacy for your family, an empire that still stands long after you’re gone, while expanding its reach across generations and races. So was Lisa’s decision worth it? I’d say very much so.

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Guild Creative Group's “The In Between Series” is a conversation series that brings together unique founders and leaders across the beauty, fashion, tech, and culinary industries to share their journeys of entrepreneurship.”

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Celebrities arrive at the 2019 BET Awards blue carpet on Sunday, June 23, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
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Blue Carpet Pics: Regina Hall, Lil Nas X, Lil Kim And More Attend BET Awards 2019

A slew of celebrities in fashion, film, movies, music, and more made their way to the "Nip blue" carpet on Sunday afternoon (June 23) for the 2019 BET Awards.

Hours before the world broadcast of the annual event held at Los Angeles Microsoft Theatre, former 106th & Park co-host Terrence J, Claws actress Karrueche Tran, Jackie Long, Queen Naija, Angela Simmons and June Ambrose hosted the live pre-show, welcoming the likes of Lizzo, Rick Ross, La La Anthony, John Legend, Eva Marcille and more.

Artists like Blueface, Megan Thee Stallion, Flipp Dinero, Saweetie, Rotimi and Afro B hit the pre-show stage to perform their latest singles, while DJ D-Wreck held down the 1s and 2s before the BET Experience crowd. Scroll down to see who made a graceful and stylish appearance before the show.

You can catch the 2019 BET Awards hosted by actress Regina Hall on BET at 8 pm ET or on the BET Now app on your mobile device or smart TV.

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