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Pras Indicted Over Campaign Donations In 2012 Presidential Election

Former Fugees member Pras was indicted along with a fugitive Malaysian financier in an alleged federal scheme to funnel money into the U.S. during the 2012 presidential election.

The 46-year-old recording artist and 37-year-old Low Taek Jho were charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States government, and for making foreign and conduit campaign contribution, the U.S. Justice Department announced Friday (May 10).

The four-count indictment also charges Pras with one count of concealing material facts, and two counts of “making a false entry in a record in connection with the conspiracy.”

Low allegedly directed a transfer of approximately $21,600,000 from “foreign entities” into Pras’ account between June and November of 2012. From there, the money was allegedly made to appear as legitimate U.S. campaign donations so as to “conceal their true source,” according to a news release from the Justice Department.

The Grammy nominated rapper, whose birth names is, Prakazrel Michel, is also accused of using nearly $900,000 of the money from Low to disperse to around 20 “straw donors” who then made illegal donations in their names to a presidential joint fundraising committee. Furthermore, federal authorities claim Pras funneled more than $1 million of the funds from Low to an independent expenditure committee that was also involved in the 2012 presidential election. The indictment doesn’t outline the presidential campaign that the funds were donated to but TMZ reported that it was President Obama, who was running for his second term at the time. Obama however has nothing to do with purported financial scheme.

In addition to the aforementioned accusations, the indictment claims that by allegedly participating in the money scheme, Pras caused the presidential fundraising committee to submit false reports to the Federal Elections Committee. He is also accused of submitting false reports to the FEC in 2015 to conceal the true source of the money.

Low remains on the run. He was previously indicted in a pending case alongside former banker Ng Chong Hwa for conspiring to launder billions of dollars, and violating the Foreign Corrupt Practice Act that prohibits the use of bribes to foreign officials to further business deals.

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Billionaire Robert F. Smith Will Also Cover Parents’ Loans In Morehouse College-Debt Plan

In May 2019, Morehouse College’s graduating class of 2019 not only received the gift of their degrees, but also a unique opportunity to enter society debt-free. During his commencement speech, billionaire and owner of private equity firm Vista Equity Partners, Robert F. Smith announced his pledge to cover each student’s loans, and now their parents will be able to get in on the life-changing gesture.

According to Bloomberg, Smith will pay off the federal loans taken by the students’ parents, adding to a $34 million tab. Private student loans gifted by the college, and federal and state loans will be covered under Smith’s plan.

Morehouse's president, David Thomas, said this action will hopefully inspire the recipients to follow in Smith's footsteps. “It is our hope that our graduates will use their newfound financial freedom to pursue their career goals, to lead and serve the community, and to remember the spirit of the gift given to them by paying it forward to support the education of future classes of Morehouse Men.” The HBCU aims for the plan of action to be completed by 2020.

For Smith, with a reported net worth of $6 billion, his vision through this program aims to inspire other colleges and universities to take a charge against this country's student debt crisis and “to receive gifts from alumni and other supporters that can offset the burden of student loans and give students the freedom to pursue their dreams, the capital to invest in the economic growth of their families and the time that they can give back meaningfully to strengthening their communities.”

According to Forbes, U.S. federal student loan debt has totaled over $1.5 trillion.

Wow! Billionaire Robert F. Smith surprises Morehouse graduates by announcing his family will eliminate the student debt of the entire class of 2019 with a grant. #PayItForward #HBCU pic.twitter.com/lbZmttSsB6

— Tomthunkit™ (@TomthunkitsMind) June 10, 2019

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DMX Reportedly Signs New Deal With Def Jam

DMX has signed a new deal with Def Jam Records, bringing him back to the label that distributed his early albums and classic singles. According to AllHip-Hop, X re-linked with the record label over the summer and is set to drop a Christmas album, DMX-Mas, either later this year, or in 2020.

X dropped his quadruple platinum debut album, It’s Dark And Hell is Hot, via Def Jam/Ruff Ryders Records in 1998. He went on to release four more album under the label including, his triple platinum sophomore LP, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, followed by ..And Then There Was X, the latter of which became his most successful studio album selling five million copies in the U.S. alone.

X, whose birth name is Earl Simmons, is one of hip-hop’s best-selling artist with just over 17 million records sold, but like many other recording artist, the beloved MC hit more than a few bumps over the years. The 48-year-old Yonkers native has endured money struggles and a very public battle with sobriety that played a part in his returns trips to jail. He was most recently released from custody this past January, after serving a year in prison for tax evasion.

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J. Cole Says He Won't Be Doing Anymore Guest Features

Don’t expect to hear a J. Cole guest verse on songs for other artists. Cole recently blessed tracks like Young Thug’s “The London” and 21 Savages “A Lot,” but the North Carolina born rhymer says that he’s done making guest appearances after the release of his biggest feature yet: Gang Starr’s “Family and Loyalty.”

Naturally, the “Middle Child” rhymer was honored and elated to be featured on the track, and working with DJ Premier might be the perfect way to bow out of the features game. “This is the last feature you’ll hear from me,” Cole tweeted Friday (Sept. 20). “Thank you to everybody I got to work with during this run.”

This a honor to be on this song. NEW Gang Starr 🤯🤯🤯🤯 💎💎💎💎

This is the last feature you’ll hear from me. Thank you to everybody I got to work with during this run. 🙏🏿@REALDJPREMIER This song a classic, thank you. RIP GURUhttps://t.co/MMBI5Z2Fcq

— J. Cole (@JColeNC) September 20, 2019

“Family and Loyalty,” marks the first new single from Gang Starr in 16 years, and reacquaints us with the lyrical genius of Guru, who died from cancer in 2010.

As for Cole, the Grammy-nominated rapper has a lot on his plate between his solo career and the Dreamville Records imprint. The label boasts a star-studded roster that includes Bas, Cozz, Omen, EarthGang, and the incomparable Ari Lennox. The collective released their third compilation album, Revenge of the Dreamers III, earlier this year.

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