iHeartRadio LIVE And Verizon Bring You Nas In NYC
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Viacom Acquires Nas-Invested Company PlutoTV For $340 Million

Another successful investment.

According to Business Wire, PlutoTV- which Nas' company Queensbridge Venture Partners invested in in 2014- has been acquired by media corporation Viacom for $340 million. According to Pluto TV's corporate website, some of the other investors and advisors for the company include Universal Music Group, U.S. Venture Partners, Third Wave Capital and more.

"Founded in 2013, Pluto TV streams more than 100 channels and thousands of hours of on-demand content spanning television and movies, sports, news, lifestyle, comedy, cartoons, gaming and trending digital series," reports Business Wire on the news. "The ad-supported, internet-based TV service features world-class programming sourced from over 130 partnerships with media networks, major film and television studios and a wide range of digital content producers."

Queensbridge Venture Partners has been killing the investment game, and this is far from his first success story. In summer 2018, PillPack, which is a door-to-door pharmacy service backed by the prolific MC's venture capital fund since 2014, was acquired by Amazon for $1 billion. In March 2018, Amazon acquired the smart-doorbell company Ring for $1 billion (Nas made $40 million in the deal). Even earlier in his investment journey, Nas placed investments in companies like Genius, Lyft and SeatGeek.

 

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50 Cent Says Bow Wow Returned The Money Intended For Strippers

50 Cent and Bow Wow have squashed their beef. Fif confirmed in a video on Monday (June 17) that he has collected his large debt from Bow Wow following their outing to a strip club earlier this month.

"So I just got off the phone with my man Ant. He called to tell me Bow Wow reached out and gave him the money so we cool and sh*t," 50 said in the video. "But I wanna do something to that n***a. I feel like the n**a stole my muthaf**kin' money. I f**king throw the money for the dancers and shit—this n***a picking it up and taking it home with him? But now that I got my money, I'm wishing Bow Wow peace, happiness, all the blessings that could come to him."

He also warned his fans to stop threatening the rapper on social media. "But y'all leave him alone," 50 insisted. "He feeling all kind of pressure! Muthaf**kas on his page like, 'Yo you owe 50 money, muthaf**ka! You better pay!' I know he's like, 'Ah!'"

As previously reported, 50 Cent accused Bow Wow of taking home money that Fif threw for the dancers at the strip club.  Bow Wow initially denied the reports on his own Instagram account, but it looks like the two came to a mutual agreement.

Check out 50's video above.

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Manhattan District Attorney Won't Reopen Linda Fairstein's Old Cases

After the release of Ava DuVernay's four-part series When They See Us, which chronicled the lives of five boys black and brown boys wrongfully convicted of raping a white female jogger, former New York prosecutor turned crime author Linda Fairstein merited the ire of all those who watched.

Fairstein stepped down from many positions including the board at Vassar College and Columbia Law school. However, supporters of the exonerated five--Raymond Santana, Korey Wise, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, and Yusef Salaam,--demanded a magnifying glass be taken to all her old cases.

CNN reports the Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance responded in a letter that he does not plan to reopen Fairstein's old cases. Fairstein acted as the chief over the sex crimes unit from 1976 to 2002.

"I do not intend to take either action at this time. Instead, I seek your help in publicizing to New Yorkers the availability of my Office's Conviction Integrity Program process," Vance wrote in a letter Friday.

After Vance revealed Fairstein's cases would remain as is, advocate Jumaane Williams said Vance is potentially denying innocent men and women a  second chance at life.

"Justice delayed is justice denied, but here, Cy Vance is even denying justice has been delayed. It shouldn't take another 30 years for us to find out why DA Vance refuses to correct these injustices of the past," Williams tweeted.

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Five Takeaways From 'Oprah Winfrey Presents: When They See Us Now'

Academy Award-nominated director Ava DuVernay’s true crime drama When They See Us has had an explosive impact on viewers since its premiere on May 31.

Over the course of four parts, it tells the real life story of five teenagers — Korey Wise, Yusef Salaam, Antron McCray, Raymond Santana, and Kevin Richardson — who were wrongly convicted of rape in the notorious 1989 Central Park jogger case. During their trial and the years that followed, they were branded the “Central Park Five.” In 2002, the five men were exonerated after DNA evidence and a confession by a man named Matias Reyes cleared them of all charges.

On Sunday (June 9), as part of Netflix’s For Your Consideration (FYSEE) campaign, Oprah Winfrey sat down for a two-part interview with DuVernay, members of the cast, the series’ executive producers and the real men behind the story. Titled Oprah Winfrey Presents: When They See Us Now, the discussion aired on OWN Wednesday night (June 12) and is available for streaming on Netflix.

DuVernay’s series serves as a clear indictment of the American criminal justice system for its historic mistreatment of boys and men of color. The 2012 documentary The Central Park Five also examined the facts of the case but didn’t tell the men’s story in such striking and gut-wrenching detail.

During the taped event, Winfrey encouraged audience members to spread the word that going forward Wise, Salaam, McCray, Santana, and Richardson should be referred to as the “Exonerated Five,” not the moniker that was given to them in the media all those years ago.

Here are five takeaways from the interview:

1. Ava DuVernay’s Deliberate Decision-Making For When They See Us:

While discussing her vision for the program, DuVernay said she wanted the series to spark dialogue and spur viewers to take action.

“The goal was to create something that stuck to your ribs and that wasn’t junk food. Was to create something that was going to be the catalyst for conversation,” she said. “Entertainment serves all kinds of different purposes. I love horror, I love romance, I love action but to be able to create something with my collaborators that is actually gonna move people to action, move people to evaluate what they think and how they behave in the world was our goal.”

Winfrey revealed that early on there was some talk among the producers about what the name should be. Its working title was Central Park Five, but DuVernay, who insisted it be changed, said it felt like something “put upon” the men by the press, prosecutors and police.

“It took away their faces, it took away their families, it took away their pulses and their beating hearts. It dehumanized them…” she said. “It became really important to think about that. At every level as a director, my job was to look at everything, and the title was a big part of it. The first time you meet the movie is when it walks up to you and says, ‘Hi, my name is,’ and so it really needed to be more than Central Park Five.”

2. Revelations On Linda Fairstein’s Role In The Case:

Following the series’ debut, prosecutor Linda Fairstein received a wave of backlash for her role in the teens’ wrongful convictions. Fairstein has since stepped down from several board positions and charities and was reportedly dropped by her publisher.

“I think that it would be a tragedy if this story and the telling of it came down to one woman being punished for what she did, because it’s not about her, really not all about her,” DuVernay said. “She is a part of a system that’s not broken; it was built to be this way... It was built to oppress; it was built to control. It was built to shape our culture in a specific way.”

Winfrey later asked the real men if they blamed Fairstein for their convictions. Santana who responded “yeah,” quickly nodded his head as members of the audience laughed.

“As a prosecutor, you know that moment that that DNA evidence comes back and it doesn’t match... at that moment, this was her chance for her to take a step back and say let me reevaluate, something’s wrong here, ‘cause it doesn’t match.” Santana said. “Then, we find out later on during deposition that they tested over 40 kids and no DNA matched.”

He continued, “And so it’s that pivotal moment that she had the power in her hand to really do the right thing and she fumbled it.”

3. The Cast’s Eye-Opening Moments:

Actor Jharrel Jerome, who plays Wise in the series, said it took two months of working with a vocal coach to nail the latter's Harlem accent. “Once I found the voice... it kind of just went down the body and into the legs, and it became… It was so weird. It was the first time I ever felt like I truly stepped out of my own body and stepped into somebody else’s.”

Justin Cunningham, who plays Richardson, said working on the set opened his eyes to his own level of privilege. “I sort of forget that my freedom can be taken away at any moment,” Cunningham said. “And I move through life sort of forgetting about that and not realizing that, and in getting to meet Kevin I sort of understood about his sister and his family and how much they supported him and how much they fought for him.”

Michael K. Williams (Bobby McCray) grew up in New York around the same time the case was unfolding. He said he remembers the fear and trauma of not wanting to be lumped in or generalized with the five teens. “I didn’t remember that until I got on the set and I started to dig into the context of what they were going through when I remember what I was going through. I changed the way I dressed because I was afraid that they would think I was one of them.”

Actress and comedian Niecy Nash departed from her usual acting lane with her role as Wise’s mother Delores. Nash said she always thought she’d take on more dramatic roles at the start of her career. “I thought I was going to do drama and that was what I thought the path was going to be...,” she said. “I waited a long time for people to understand that people who can make you laugh can also make you cry.”

4. Korey Wise’s Story Takes Center Stage:

DuVernay recalled her first time meeting with Wise, highlighting the importance of approaching his story with care.

“When I first sat with him, he said: ‘Ava, you can tell my story, but you need to know right now I feel that it’s four plus one, because at least they were together, and I was alone, and I had a different experience,’” she said.

Wise, who at 16 was the eldest of the group, served the longest prison sentence and was sent directly to an adult prison. The other four who began serving their sentences in juvenile facilities agreed that Wise’s story needed to be told differently.

Winfrey then turned to Wise and asked him whether or not he regretted his decision to accompany his friend (Salaam) to the police station in 1989. Wise, who was the most reserved of the men throughout the interview responded, “I do. I do. I do. I don’t. I do. Mixed feelings.”

Salaam said he credits Wise with their exoneration because it was an altercation he had with Reyes in prison that led to the confession that subsequently freed them.

“Here he wasn’t even a suspect and he goes down and he becomes the absolute thing that freed us,” Salaam said. “And I so appreciated that, because for me, that’s my guy right there. He had my back. He was my ace in a hole, and I will forever have his back.”

5. Antron McCray’s Heartbreaking Admissions:

McCray was visibly emotional throughout much of the interview, choking back tears as he recalled his experience at the police station and his relationship with his late father. Several members of the cast cried as he told his story.

“I’m damaged. I need help. I know it, but I just try to keep myself busy,” McCray admitted during the interview. “The system broke a lot of things in me that can’t be fixed.” Although his wife has encouraged him to seek therapy, McCray says he refuses.

During a particularly touching part of the discussion, he talked about losing his mother to cancer. “She was the only one there for me at that time. My father left.” The series depicts the moment when McCray’s father Bobby, pressured him into admitting guilt during his interrogation. McCray says he still hasn’t forgiven his father. “He’s a coward,” he said. “I have six kids, four boys, two girls. I couldn’t imagine doing that to my son.”

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