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Melky Jean & Carma Foundation Host 9th Annual 'Geminis Give Back' Awards Ceremony

Founded by Melky Jean, sister of Wyclef Jean, the mission of Carma is to measurably improve the health of poor and vulnerable women and children in the Caribbean and inner cities of the United States.

If you weren’t parting with Melky Jean over the weekend, you missed A LOT! Melky Jean’s Carma Foundation hosted their 9th Annual Geminis Give Back event at Manhattan’s Invite Only restaurant in the city’s West Village.

Founded by Melky Jean, sister of Wyclef Jean, the mission of Carma is to measurably improve the health of poor and vulnerable women and children in the Caribbean and inner cities of the United States. In the wake of the devastating earthquake to Haiti in 2010, Carma was one of the first foundations formed to address the needs of Haitian people.

“When you first decide that you’re going to do something to help people and you’re really doing it by yourself you don’t know if people are going to support you,” Jean told VIBE. “But when you’ve been doing it for nine years, it means that not only did you make the right decision, in terms of structuring everything that you do, to be able to spread the karma, but you brought a bunch of people with you.”

The black tie event was hosted by actor Miguel Nunez. The concept of giving back resonates with Nunez who admits to being homeless when he first moved to Los Angeles when he began his acting career. “It means a lot,” said Nunez. “A lot of people kinda helped me out. Nobody gave me anything and never expected anybody to give me anything. It’s important to give back. It’s the same principle to tithing. I tithe religiously. If you tithe, God says, ‘I will open up the windows of heaven and the gates will not be enough to open up for you.’ The same thing applies in life. If you help somebody, someone will come around and help you.”

Melky Jean’s commitment to Haiti is unyielding and exemplified in events like the Geminis Give Back Event where she dedicates her birthdays to hold fundraisers for Haiti in lieu of receiving gifts. This year’s honorees included socialite/yogi/humanitarian, Vanessa Bronfman; philanthropist Olivia Gaynor-Long; former WNBA player, Nadine Domond; philanthropist Claudinette Jean; and GrassROOTS Community Foundation’s Dr. Janice Johnson-Dias. Actor Hill Harper presented Johnson-Diaz with her award for her community work. He’s happy to have taken part. “I’m so happy to be here to support Carma Foundation and the work that they do,” Harper told VIBE on the event's red carpet.

“It’s good to celebrate our women who are doing great things in our community. So, it was great to be here.”

Claudinette Jean happens to be the sister of Melky Jean as well as the wife of award-winning recording artist, Wyclef Jean. Wyclef introduced his wife as an award recipient for her humanitarian work in Haiti. During the presentation, Wyclef marveled at how selfless his wife is. He also joked and said that because his wife is so selfless with giving money to those in need, that she’s going to end up making him broke. “I’m not Jay Z,” joked Wyclef.

Claudinette shot back with: “I’ve got my own money.”

The crowd in attendance gave her a standing ovation.

In all seriousness she’s happy to be honored, but realizes the platform that she’s been given.

“We’ve been doing this since we were young; this is not new,” Claudinette told VIBE. “I know a lot of people have started doing this since the earthquake. I recommend that everybody take a trip to Haiti and see why everybody is giving back. The struggle is still there. Most of the people in Haiti have not been able to get a pair of shoes. It’s important to give."

Wyclef was happy to present his wife with her award of excellence and fervently believes in her mission. “To say that she is a rock would be an understatement. She’s really bout it. If I’m on the ground and I’m picking up bodies next to me on the ground, she’s next to me picking up bodies with her gloves on. That’s how we get down.”

This year’s Carma Foundation was sponsored by Chef the Rose, Toast Vodka, Toney Bellissimo Clothing, From Mother’s Garden, Jenn’s Jewelry, Love Logan Productions, Invite Only, Power Messages, G Carma Inc, Papi Wines, and Heads Music. Geminis Give Back is always a highly anticipated event which has garnered the support of various celebrities such as Patti LaBelle, Vivica A. Fox, Lynn Whitfield, Anderson Cooper, John Legend, Trina, John Starks and Al B Sure.

Brandon Robinson is a sports and entertainment writer and TV personality. Follow him and his #WORDSWITHSCOOP movement on Twitter @SCOOPB and visit

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A$AP Ferg (L) and A$AP Rocky attend A$AP Mob Yams Day 2019 at Barclays Center on January 17, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

Yams Day 2019 Was A Millennial Hypebeast's Wet Dream

It's somewhat fitting that the theme for the 2019 Yams Day is WWE wrestling. While it pays homage to the late Yams' favorite sport and pastime, it perfectly encapsulates today's concert culture for the millennial hypebeast.

After wading in the brisk weather of one of the colder Thursday's of Jan. 2019, 20-somethings and late 90s babies flocked to their assigned sections of Brooklyn's Barclays Center to pay tribute to the founder member and enjoy A$AP Rocky's "Injured Generation Tour."

The crowd is more salt than peppered, even more than a Lil Wayne concert. Puffer jackets decorate the rows of the rickety stadium chairs. And young clear girls donning cornrows, tube tops, cropped shirts, and a rainbow of colored, high-waisted camo pants weave in and out of the aisles. Boys in beanies, florescent skullcaps, and cross-body bags are seen down below migrating in huddles by the main stage and sub-arena masquerading as a wrestling ring. If you needed a gentle reminder of just how influential black culture can be, you found it here.

Rocky, the mob's fierce leader, encouraged the crowd to form a pit in the center of the venue. And just like WWE, a single spotlight highlights the pit as shirtless boys crash into one another, limbs failing and heads bobbing. It surely looks like it hurts, but as mentioned several times throughout the night, it's all for show, and for fun of course.

Each mosh is ricocheted off of one another so much so that from the lower level (which is actually one level above the floor), looked like a violent sea rolling up to shore.

The only thing keeping these kids up, besides the body of the person beside them, seems to be the revolving doors of performers which included a long list of ragers like Ski Mask the Slump God, Flatbush Zombies, Joey Bada$$, Metro Boomin, and of course A$AP Mob.

Weed fogs the air as fans light up to commemorate the fallen members of hip-hop. That includes more than Yams today, as XXXTentacion recently passed away in 2018. And it wouldn't be a night if someone didn't yell "Free Tekashi 6ix9ine." "No one deserves to be locked up," it was stated.

"Millennial" and "hypebeast" haven't always found the perfect harmony, but when they do it produces a unique experience. Black boy joy is one of the better products. A$AP Ferg and a variety of other friends and family partake in a fun-loving game of dance-tag, flinging their arms and bodies around as Lil Wayne and Swizz Beatz's "Uproar" cuts on. Other jams of the present and past like Crime Mob's "Knuck If You Buck" and Kendrick Lamar's "M.a.A.d city" also blast through the speakers, while the n-word echoes through the spot.


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$ummer $lam or #YamsDay? 😂

A post shared by Barclays Center (@barclayscenter) on Jan 17, 2019 at 6:08pm PST

Millennials are fearless. What's more courageous than the kids entering the pits of destruction, are the musical acts that run off the cliff of the stage into the audience. They are so certain their fans will catch them, they often dive head first, flipping into piles of extended arms.

The surprise guests of the night, Meek Mill and Soulja Boy, are perhaps the most trending acts in the social realm. Soulja Boy reenacts comedic interview from The Breakfast Club, reciting "Draakee" as he walks from one end of the stage to the next. Meek creates a "moment," performing "Dreams and Nightmares (Intro)."


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Bedtime is approaching but there's not a yawn in sight around this crew. If you're looking for the millennials, you can find them turning up at Barclays.

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Mahershala Ali Addresses 'Green Book' Backlash After Golden Globes Win

Mahershala Ali took home the Golden Globe for Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for his performance in Green Book on Sunday night (Jan. 7). Following his acceptance speech, Ali addressed the backlash regarding the film's plot.

Critics appeared to be upset about the film's storyline which depicted the true relationship between jazz pianist and composer Dr. Don Shirley (played by Ali) and Tony "Lip" Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen). In the movie, Shirley, a black man from the deep South in 1962, hires an unemployed, white bouncer from the Bronx as his security to escort him during a the segregation era. During their journey, the two develop an unbreakable bond while confronting their differences. The backlash came after Shirley's family stated that the film and Ali's portrayal was inaccurate and filled with lies.

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He added: "I respect the family…and Doc Shirley. I spoke to the studio and the family and at the end of the day you wish everyone was happy and you don’t want to offend anyone in any capacity."

This is Mahershala Ali's first Golden Globe win. Check out his acceptance speech above.

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Regina King Makes Vow To Employ Women On Everything She Produces

Regina King took home the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for her role in If Beale Street Could Talk on Sunday (Jan. 7). While it was the Hollywood star's time to shine, King took a moment during her acceptance speech to acknowledge other women in the industry with a courageous pledge.

After thanking various contributors who helped her nab the win, King addressed a more important issue. "The reason why we do this is because we understand that our microphones are big and we are speaking for everyone," she said. "And I just want to say that I’m going to use my platform right now to say in the next two years, everything that I produce, I’m making a vow — it’s going to be tough — to make sure that everything that I produce that is 50% women."

She concluded: "And I just challenge anyone out there — anyone out there who is in a position of power, not just in our industry, in all industries — I challenge you to challenge yourselves and stand with us in solidarity and do the same."

King is now a two-time Golden Globe winner. She previously won the award in 2016 for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television for her role in American Crime. She was also nominated this year for her performance in Seven Seconds but did not win.

Watch Regina King's acceptance speech at the 2019 Golden Globes n the video above.

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