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Ian Reid

Interview: Rick Ross Explains What It Takes To Get 'Signed' To Maybach Music Group

Rick Ross talked to VIBE about his role on VH1's new show 'Signed." 

Rick Ross knows exactly what it takes to become a rap superstar. After he climbed to the top of the Billboard charts with the help of Hov and Def Jam, the Miami entrepreneur launched his own imprint, Maybach Music Group, and helped further the careers of artists like Meek Mill, Wale and Gunplay.

READ: Did Rick Ross, The-Dream & Lenny S. Find Houston’s New Rap Queen?

For his next endeavor, Ross joins his pals The-Dream and Lenny S. to help curate future stars on VH1's new show Signed.. The creative brain-trust is in charge of critiquing and building the next big voice in the music game.

"Really, it was a great experience for me," says Ross about the show. "We got everything that it takes to make someone a superstar, and to take them to the next level. We in the studio, rap contests, live performances and more."

When it comes to Rozay's tastes, he is only after the most original and compelling unsigned artists out there. Your average rapper won't make it past the first episode if the MMG boss has his say so.

"Seeing something that I never seen in someone, first and foremost," says Ross about what he is looking for. "I need something to be unique, after that I just want to make sure I can feel your hunger. I've seen people out hustle others with more talent. In this situation we in, we could change their lives. We can sign as many artists that we want to. It's a test for the [talent] as well. I'm pretty sure they never been through anything like this."

VH1’s Signed premieres on tonight (July 25) at 9 P.M. ET.

READ: Diddy Releases “Watcha Gon’ Do?” Feat. Biggie Smalls And Rick Ross

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Kawhi Leonard Donates One Million Backpacks To Students In Los Angeles

Kawhi Leonard partnered with the L.A. Clippers and Baby2Baby, to give away one million backpacks to students in multiple school districts around Los Angeles. The charitable undertaking, announced Tuesday (Aug. 20), is the largest in Los Angeles Unified School District history and is aimed at reducing some of the finical stress faced by low-income families during the school year, NBA.com reports.

“My goal this year is to make a meaningful contribution both on and off the court,” said Leonard who is a native of Morenoa Valley, California and recently joined the Clippers after winning a championship with the Toronto Raptors. “This felt like the right way to get started. It was important to me to make this announcement in my hometown of Moreno Valley at my former Elementary School, but the benefits this program will have across all of Los Angeles makes today even more special.”

The backpacks will be donated to every student in Moreno Valley Unified, Inglewood Unified and Los Angeles Unified School districts.

In 2018, approximately 80% of LAUSD's K-12 students came from low income families, were homeless, or in foster care. Over the last eight years, Baby2Baby has dispersed more than 70 million basic necessities to children at underserved schools, homeless shelters, foster care, hospital and those affected by natural disasters.

“There are a lot of families throughout the L.A. region working hard every day to earn everything in their lives. This program is our effort to extend a hand to make heading back to school a little easier,” added Gillian Zucker, President of Business Operations for the Clippers. “Our deepest appreciation goes out to Kawhi Leonard and Baby2Baby’s incredible network of ambassadors who walk the walk when it comes to using their platforms and voices to provide real solutions to impact the everyday lives of the people around us.”

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Questlove To Executive Produce Broadway Musical About ‘Soul Train’

Soul Train, the audacious dance series that proudly spotlighted black culture while showcasing performances from legendary artists such as Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin and more, is the focus of a new Broadway musical with Queslove as executive producer, Deadline reports.

The Roots drummer, who authored the 2013 book Soul Train: The Music, Dance and Style of a Generation, will executive produce the musical alongside, Tony Corneilus, son of Soul Train host and creator, Don Corneilus. Having worked directly with his father for “several years,” Cornelius’ son expressed gratitude for the impact that the series “has had on the culture at large,” both stateside and abroad.

Playwright Dominique Moriseeau, director Kamilah Forbes, and choreographer Camille A. Brown, are also included in the musical's production team. In a statement to Deadline, Morisseau said that she can’t wait to collaborate with a “legendary creative team of incredible women to celebrate the history and the unsung hero of our nation’s longest running televised music and dance series.”

More than 20 hits from the era are set to be featured in the musical, which will also detail Cornelius’ story in the early days of creating the series. Soul Train debuted in October 1971, and took its final bow in March of 2006. Cornelius died by suicide in 2012.

The musical is slated to debut in 2021, corresponding with the 50th anniversary of Soul Train’s television debut.

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Big Sean Donates $100K Recording Studio To Detroit Boys And Girls Club

Detroit native Big Sean gave back to his community in a huge way on Saturday (Aug. 17). As a part of his second annual DON Weekend hosted by his Sean Anderson Foundation, a $100,00 production studio was installed on the city's west side at the Dick & Sandy Dauch Boys & Girls Club.

Equipped with headphones, audio workstations, DJ controllers and mini-performance stage, Sean's latest investment follows the 2015 recording studio that he opened at his alma mater Cass Tech, as reported by Detroit Free Press.

"It's a full-circle moment when your neighborhood supports you and holds you high, and you're in a position to be able to hold it up your own way and take it further," Sean said. President of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan region, Shawn Wilson, said the space will include three video-editing bays and an audio-mixing console. Live intimate performances, movie nights, and classes with topics will also be held.

"Detroit is like one those staples in music," the "Single Again" rapper said. "It's important that we keep that legacy of being one of the music's backbones. We've got a reputation to uphold."

DON Weekend featured a block party, carnival rides, food trucks, a self-care panel, and more.

Today was one of the most bossed up things we ever did! Threw a block party w/ free rides, food n everything BUT also had rooms where we introduced people n kids to yoga, self healing, computer coding/engineering, Music programs n lighting and more right in our hood! #DONweekend pic.twitter.com/LQDaxYXVZf

— Sean Don (@BigSean) August 18, 2019

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