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Ghetto Brothers Frontman And Puerto Rican Nationalist Benjy Melendez Dead At 65

Rest in power. 

Ghetto Brothers gang leader, Puerto Rican nationalist and Rubble Kings subject, Benjamin “Yellow Benjy” Melendez, passes away at 65—according to his wife Wanda Melendez.

“He died of natural causes,” author Amir Said tells HipHopDX. “He had kidney failure and had been waiting for a kidney transplant. His condition had gotten much worse over the last couple of years. I was told by his wife that yesterday (May 28) he fell and cut his arm badly. He was then rushed to the hospital. But given the complications of his kidney failure, sadly, he did not make it.”

RIP to Yellow Benjy. Sad to hear about his passing but in light of this being Memorial Day it makes perfect sense to pay homage to a brother that fought for OUR people and OUR fight. Well over half a million Boricuas have served in the US army and fought battles against people who did nothing to us but Benji fought for our people, our identity, our struggle. He educated, united and organized for our people, Brown and black alike. Never had the honor to meet him but in him a found a kindred soul who stood for the things I stand for and I thank him for that. And that's not even taking into account the beautiful music he made with his Ghetto Brothers. Descansa en paz Benji, se que Betances y Albizu te recibirán con los brazos abiertos. Check the wonderful documentary @rubblekings by Shan Nicholson if you get a chance. It covers the story of the Ghetto Brothers and Benji amongst other souls in NY. I had the pleasure of interviewing Shan on my radio show when the doc first came out and I want to thank him again for covering that chapter of NY history. Trust me it's a must see. Video on post was hacked from my bro @christianmartir #YellowBenji #GhettoBrothers #Music #Freedom #Borinken #Boricua #nuevayork #Soul #Funk #Latino #Despierta

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Melendez, who is also celebrated for negotiating a gang truce between Harlem and the Bronx in 1971, is the subject of Rubble Kings, the 2015 documentary that centers the era of gang violence and drug epidemic in 1970s New York City.

“Benjy was one of the most transformative figures I’ve ever known,” Said added. “He went from street gang leader to social activist and inspired everyone around him. He stood as a social activist, a musician, and a friend to many in the 1970s South Bronx — what was then the worst urban area in the United States."

Our condolences go out to Benjy's family. May he rest in power.

Rest In Peace #YellowBenjy #GhettoBROTHERS #HipHop #Nostalgia #BRONX #BenjaminMelendez #Legend

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"It is difficult to value something this significant in our nation’s history. It is a priceless asset. It is one of the most important places to tell the story of America,” Shafroth said.

Bernice King, daughter of late the civil rights leader, said the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change had been considering selling the home since the passing of their mother Coretta Scott, in 2006. King said the center will focus on nonviolent educational and training programs.

“We are working on creating more robust, nonviolence training,” King said. “Our society is desperately in need of Dr. King’s nonviolent teachings right now in order to create a just, humane and peaceful world. That is what we are trying to put our energy in.”

The home was reportedly built by a white firefighter in 1895 and then purchased by Dr. King's maternal grandfather, Rev. Adam Daniel Williams, who was pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church for $3,500. When King's mother and father wed in 1927, they moved. All of King's siblings including himself were born in the home.

Elizabeth Paradis Stern, spokeswoman for the National Park Service said the preservation of the home will not falter now that it's out of the family's possession.

“The most important thing about this is that this property will be protected and preserved permanently as one of our most important properties,” Stern said. “It is part of the American fabric.”

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Donnie McClurkin Sent To Hospital Following Car Accident

Gospel legend Donnie McClurkin couldn't be more grateful after surviving a car accident this past Wednesday (Dec. 12).

The "We Fall Down" singer was driving on the road in the earlier part of the day when he passed out and began weaving into traffic. He reportedly struck the middle concrete island.

Following the incident, he posted a selfie of him on the hospital bed in scrubs on Facebook. Along with the photo, he explained that he woke up from the accident with stitches on his left thumb, on top of having a sprained wrist, and hurt knee. His car was also completely totaled.

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He also mentioned that two "angels" pulled him out the car to safety and medical attention. "I owe them...I am still here by the grace of God! Thank you, Lord...thank you!" he added.

On Friday (Dec. 14), McClurkin posted to his Facebook page again, sharing several photos of his destroyed car. "This is the totaled car that two angels rescued me from ....after passing out while driving I don’t remember most of what happened a day and a half ago...but God," he wrote. "I overrode doctors and sisters advice and flew to KENYA today for ministry Saturday @ TWO RIVERS. and home on this Sunday to celebrate life."

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Nicki Minaj's Boyfriend Kenneth Petty Received 18 Violations During Prison Stint

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On Friday (Dec. 14), TMZ revealed court documents disclosing Petty's history of disciplinary actions while he was an inmate in New York for manslaughter from 2006 to 2013.

When he entered the correctional facility, he was reportedly written up for creating a disturbance. Later during his stint, he was hit with a slew of disciplinary actions following a series of violent actions that included fighting, making terroristic threats, and "disobeying a direct order."

In 2009, prison faculty placed him in solitary confinement for four months as part of being reprimanded for nine different violations. Petty lost privileges that included the usage of the inmate telephone service, recreational activity, and the prison canteen.

In addition to his prison violations, Petty is a convicted sex offender. At the age of 16, he was tried as an adult served a four-year sentence for attempted rape of a minor.

Petty, who hails from the same borough as Nicki, Queens, knew the platinum-selling rap star since she was a teenager. They dated for a short period years prior to reuniting.

Minaj posted various photos of her and Petty going on a vacation getaway earlier this month. Sources close to Minaj told the celebrity gossip website that the 36-year-old hip-hop artist is  "happier than she's been in years" with Petty.

 

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