Monday, January 10, 2011

#MYOL News: Oprah's OWN Network & Masters Class Series-Jay Z (January 1st-8th)

The definition of a Lane Maker is someone who creates opportunity for others. There is no question that Oprah has helped me define my brand. Now she has done it again by starting The Oprah Winfrey Network. There are no words that can describe her journey from a poor black girl born in Kosciusko, Missississppi in 1954 to a multi-billionaire dollar female OWNing her OWN television network in 2011. My favorite part of her staring the network is the name, OWN! Although it stands for The “Oprah Winfrey Network,” the acronym already has a meaning in itself and more importantly a message. For everyone aspiring to become better, whether its in business, a certain craft or just life in general! OWN! Own yourself first and foremost, don’t let anyone control your dreams and aspirations!

Speechless. That was the only word that could describe how I felt after watching this documentary. The series “Masters Class” and who it features is iconic but for Oprah (who isn’t a fan of Hip Hop) to choose a Hip Hop artist to headline her first episode really speaks to how impactful and undeniable Hip Hop has become worldwide. Not only is Jay-Z my favorite rapper (as I’ve gotten to witness him grow as an artist from the beginning) but he is also my favorite entrepreneur as he literally created everything he currently has from nothing solely through his dedication and intuition to listen to himself when many tried to alter his vision. Through all the years that Jay-Z has been in the public eye he has never spoken so in-depth about things like his failures, his relationship with his father and other very personal issues he has had to deal with throughout his life. In this documentary he does not give you Jay-Z the rapper but rather Sean Carter the man. For fans of his music and entrepreneurial career this is a must see and for those who don’t like “Jay-Z”, this documentary might give you a different opinion on a man who was marked for failure but did not accept what was given to him and followed his dreams and ambitions to influence children and adults of all races around the world. If there is an ultimate example of #MYOL, Sean Carter is it.

#MYOL News: Ted "Golden Voice" Williams (January 1st-8th)

This story is nothing less than truly amazing and is the prime example of the impact that the World Wide Web can have on the instantaneous promotion that any story or person can obtain during these Internet driven times. Over the years that have been many examples of both positive and negative stories that have spread like wildfire due to video uploading sites like YouTube & UStream and social networks like Facebook & Twitter. This story was about a bum in Ohio who used to be a radio personality in college. Due to drug and alcohol addiction he never got to pursue the career he dreamed about. One day a videographer from the Colombus Dispatch, a local newspaper in the Colombus, Ohio area decide to record this man doing his radio voice. After the dispatcher uploaded it to YouTube, within days Ted “Golden Voice” Williams’ life changed from being a bum with no money to a radio personality with 10+ offers on the table. He became a superstar literally over night and was invited to numerous radio and daytime television talk shows! Again, this shows the power of the Internet and viral media, but it is a double edge sword! What are you posting to the Internet? Does it represent what you want to be portrayed as? Either way if you have an idea that you think can get some feedback grab a camera and upload it just like the dispatcher and maybe you could change yours or someone else’s life forever. #MYOL

#MYOL News: Russell Simmons "Super Rich" Book (January 1st-8th)

One of my idols! A Hip Hop and entrepreneurial icon, Russell Simmons is the definition of #MYOL! Last week he released his sixth book titled “Super Rich”, don’t let me tell you what its about, check out the link below and get yourself a copy!

#MYOL News: Swizz Beats Painting "Young Brazil" (January 1st-8th)

Swizz Beats came on to the scene in the 90’s with his grimey street anthem New York City beats like “Ruff Ryder’s Anthem” and a bunch of other album cuts that MCs like DMX, The Lox and Drag-On lyrically massacred. Then he went on to signing Cassidy in the early 2000’s he produced club bangers like “Hotel” and “Get No Better” and many other hits like “Bring Em Out”, “Check On It” & “Ring The Alarm”, “Touch It” and many more. In 2007, he dropped his first solo album, One Man Band Man and has worked with music icons like Whitney Houston,, Usher, Bono, Lenny Kravitz, Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige and more. His latest project in 2010 has been his website and “Monster Mondays” where he premieres new tracks he’s produced with everyone from Estelle to Rakim. In recent years Swizz has let the public in on his personal life and the growth that he has experienced during his marriage and child with R&B superstar Alicia Keys. Now, Swizz has reinvented himself once again as he has become a painter. His first piece titled “Young Brazil” was unveiled in the first week of 2011 and is amazing. Swizz has set a tempo for Hip Hop, both literally and figuratively over the years and he has shown that Hip Hop artist aren’t just that. With this beautiful painting Swizz shows that growth amongst the superstars we look up to comes with age and that expression can simply be channeled in anyway you determine and that’s why he is one of the highlights in this week’s #MYOL News.

Hip Hop History: Nicki Minaj's Debut Goes Platinum (January 1st-8th)

In 2010, Nicki Minaj was the talk of Hip Hop as she carried on the baton, which was passed to her by label mate Drake. She broke many records like becoming the first artist to have seven songs on the Billboard 100 simultaneously, the first woman MC to ever collaborate with Eminem and perform at Yankee Stadium (sold out) amongst other record breaking accomplishments. With all those in the bag, Nicki has achieved her biggest accomplishment by far as she has gone certified platinum on her debut album Pink Friday less than two months after its release. After having the highest first week sales in Rap/Hip Hop for a female MC (Lauryn Hill’s Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is categorized as R&B genre with 422,000) Nicki came out of the gate on fire even though Lil’ Kim tried to put it out with her diss track “Black Friday”. I’d really like to see these two queens come together and make even more Hip Hop History but regardless Nicki Minaj is the hottest femal rapper in the game right now and is breaking records left and right and as Jay said “men lie, women lie, numbers don’t”. With the numbers that Micki is putting no one can take that crown from her as the queen of Hip Hop right now and it definitely helps that she’s got the creativity, artistry and most importantly bars to back it up! (That’s not the only thing she can back up though! DAMN Nicki!)

Hip Hop History: Peter & Cory Gunz Freestyle w/ Sway on Shade 45 (January 1st-8th)

Sway is no stranger to Hip Hop History In The Making as he’s been around the game for 10+ years with interviews from everyone from Biggie to Snoop. This time he does it again early in 2011 with the best lyrical father/son rappers of all-time straight from the birthplace of Hip Hop, The Bronx. I was wondering when this would finally happen as the father/son thing hasn’t happened a lot in the genre of Hip Hop due to it being so young but now in 2011 it is something that is happening more and more (Peter/Cory Gunz, Rev Run/Diggy Simmons, Will/Jaden Smith). Its really a beautiful thing to see happen because as Biggie said “they never thought Hip Hop would come this far” and hopefully it will be something that continues to happen even more in the future. But lets be clear about one thing, just because you’re the son of a Hip Hop legend does not automatically make you a rapper. You still got to be hot, real talk. In this freestyle I think pops might have gotten son as Peter is better with the lyrical content but Cory’s flow is crazy as usual. Check out some Hip Hop History In The Making!

Hip Hop: Pandemonium-Rozay ft. Meek Millz & Wale (January 1st-8th)

 “Money got me excited, I’m cumming 4 or 5 times/the 45 for you n***** with 9 lives/penthouse on Collins, money long as Ocean drive” ... “countin’ money stacks, yours counterfitted/I made my money back when your accountant didn’t” - Rozay

  “I could keep a secret with Vicki/have a Minaj with Nicki/and be out in London with Lauren while tellin’ Megan Goodmorning/catch me Rowland with Kelly/around the Hilton with Paris” - Meek Millz

“I can't see your album coming that’s just like a sucker punch…write my s*** so vicious y’all like snitches, y’all can’t see the pen/always on my newshit CNN/shit on you n***** like I need the pins” - Wale

#Pointgod Spotlight: Rajon Rondo (January 1st-8th)

Rajon Rondo is simply a #pointgod in everyway. The Celtics PG had 12 points, 22 assists, and 10 rebounds for his 11th career triple-double, adding six steals to help Boston beat the San Antonio Spurs 105-103 in a matchup of the NBA's top two teams. Rondo's 22 assists were the second-most in his career; he had 24 in an Oct. 29 game against the New York Knicks that was his only other triple-double this season. His six steals were a season-high and one off his career-high. Rajon is in the perfect position with the Hall Of Fame bound starting five Boston Celtics. As a natural point guard, Rondo’s stock has risen since he has really become the leader on a team with great players. He has everything a pure point could ask for from shooters, slashers and post players that you can both dump the ball into and can finish at the rim. 22 assists is unbelievable, but it takes two! The Celtics were on fire specifically Ray Allen which helps spread the floor and lets Rondo have his way with the defense as they continue to back up and let him get into the lane. Since he’s enterted the league he has been a great rebounder for a point guard. The question is can Rondo continue to put up these type of numbers when the Hall Of Famers are gone? We shall see but regardless the ability to find players for 22 assists along with 12 points and 10 rebounds deserves a #pointgod spotlight! 

#Pointgod Spotlight: Raymond Felton (January 1st-8th)

On the night that Amar’e Stoudemire returned Pheonix, Ray Felton stole the spotlight. Ray produced the first triple-double of his career to lead the Knicks’ 121-96 victory over the Phoenix Suns. Felton produced a #pointgod game with 23 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds to help the Knicks win their 21st game of the year. I’ve been a fan of Felton ever since his days at UNC and although I did not watch him during his tenure with the Bobcats I knew that he was a prototypical NBA point guard since college. At 6’ 2” he defends full court, protects the ball and runs your offense efficiently. This year he has flourished in coach Mike D’Antoni’s run and gun system, especially in the pick and roll with early MVP candidate Amare Stoudemire. Ray Felton hasn’t been one of the NBA’s premiere point guards over the years but it is clear that New York is a great system for him and his 1st career triple-double is worthy of a #pointgod spotlight.

NBA: 2011 Slam Dunk Contestants (January 1st-8th)

The Staples Center in Los Angeles will host four first-time contestants for the 2011 Slam Dunk Contest. The Los Angeles Clippers' Blake Griffin, the Milwaukee Bucks' Brandon Jennings, the Oklahoma City Thunder's Serge Ibaka and the Washington Wizards' JaVale McGee. This is the first Slam Dunk Contest in recent memory that only one guard is a contestant and a point guard who’s hardly known for dunks at that. Although, Ibaka and McGee are power dunkers I can’t see them matching the power or explosiveness of the obvious favorite Blake Griffin. The real question I have when it comes to the dunk contest is why hasn’t Lebron James entered yet? Is he really too high profile to do the dunk contest. I think it is a slap in the face to all the fans, the league and all the legends that have won the contest for Lebron to have not entered in his 8 year tenure. Because of the lack of superstars entering this year as well as prior years the NBA has had to resort to different media hoopla to increase fans interest. This year Griffin will match up with TNT analyst and two-time Slam Dunk participant (1990, 1991) Kenny Smith; Jennings will practice with NBA Legend Darryl Dawkins; McGee will work with NBA TV/TNT analyst and five-time NBA All-Star Chris Webber; and Ibaka will prepare with Thunder teammate and 2009-10 NBA scoring champion Kevin Durant. Fans will be able to keep up with the latest development in the series by viewing the latest weekly episodes of possible dunks that will be used at the contest at Blake Griffin, is my choice as well as probably 99% of the country. For those of you who don’t know who Blake Griffin is or what he can do, watch the video below, sit back and get your popcorn cause you will want to watch it again! TRUST!

NBA: Miami Heat Win 20 of 21 Games (January 1st-8th)

The Miami Heat have won 8 straight and 20 of its last 21 after a 9-8 start to the 2010-11 NBA season. During the 9-8 start rumors were flying about Heat head coach Eric Spolestra being replaced by GM Pat Riley, Lebron not being happy with his decision to go to Miami and Chris Bosh possibly being traded. A couple months later it looks like what Riley, Spolestra and the Miami hopefuls hoped for is coming to fruition. Along with the new Big 3 of the NBA, veterans Carlos Arroyo and Zydrunas Ilgauskus complete the starting five. A handful of other mediocre, non-playoff tested players like James Jones, Mario Chalmers, Joel Anthony get major minutes. While newly acquired free agent Erick Dampier, sharp shooter Eddie House and seasoned veteran Juwan Howard round out the bench while former champ Udonis Haslem and former All-Star Mike Miller are out with injury. During their streak all of the Big 3 are shooting over 50% and averaging at least a double-double, clearly carrying the load as there is a lack of talent on the rest of the roster. The Heat are 2nd in the NBA in offensive efficiency (111.4 points per 100 possessions) and close 3rd defensively (100.8). The critics who said that this wasn’t the year for the Heat to possibly win it all have obviously have to reconsider. In just a matter of months the Heat have gelled and are playing championship level basketball, which a lot of critics thought wouldn’t happen until next season. The scary part is that the rest of the active roster is full of players out of their prime or strictly role players, which may help or hurt the Heat during this year’s playoff run. But with the domination of the struggling defending champion LA Lakers on Christmas Day, the injury ridden Boston Celtics and more than 3 months to gel before the playoffs the Heat are looking like a major threat to every championship contender. Oh yeah, there is always the off season to add better pieces and the next couple years as the Big 3 signed for multiple years. DAMN!