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Public Enemy puts spotlight on skid row

The concert stage for the Operation Skid Row festival was set up on Gladys Avenue between 5th and 6th, in the heart of downtown L.A.'s homeless district. As a white SUV turned onto Gladys, a murmur rippled through the crowd, turning into a roar as the hip-hop legend, elder statesman and co-organizer of the event, Public Enemy's Chuck D, exited the vehicle. The goal of the free show Sunday was twofold: for hip-hop artists to perform gratis for skid row residents, and to spotlight the economic and political plight of L.A.'s homeless. It was no coincidence that it was scheduled the weekend of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. As speakers would pointedly note from the stage, this is also the 20th anniversary year of the Rodney King riots and the 25th anniversary year of Public Enemy's exis

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Fat Joe to perform at LM!NOP event in Newark

Fat Joe will perform during the Let’s Move! Newark: Our Power (LM!NOP) event to fight obesity and encourage fans to live a healthy lifestyle. The program was created by Behavioral Health & Fitness Expert Jeff Halevy, who was selected by Newark Mayor Cory Booker to create the program, as an extension of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Campaign. Fat Joe was hand selected to perform at LM!NOP, due to his recent weight loss, as he shed over 100 pounds after he ballooned to over 460 pounds. “Of all the challenges I have faced in my life, losing weight was probably the most difficult,” said Fat Joe. “I am so happy to be able to spread the word on the dangers of obesity and join the Let’s Move! Initiative with Let’s Move! Newark: Our power.” The program start

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Trugoy & Posdnuos of De La Soul are First Serve

Trugoy and Posdnuos of the mighty De La Soul have announced the launch of a side project titled First Serve. For the project, the pair will be known as Jacob “Pop Life” Barrow and Deen “D” Whitter, or Plug 1 and Plug 2. The duo plans on releasing its first album in April, but has already released a warm-up titled The Goon Time Mixtape where they rap over reworked beats from Aloe Blacc, Eminem and Run-DMC. Check out http://wearefirstserve.tumblr.com/#11 to find out more about First Serve. The Goon Time Mixtape is available now for download here http://soundcloud.com/firstserve/first-serve-mix-tape-1 and the tracklisting is below. 1-First Serve - We Made It Interlude 2-First Serve vs Aloe Blacc – Pushin’ Aside, Pushin’ Along 3-Notorious BIG vs De La Soul – Wh

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Chuck D talks Operation Skid Row & new PE albums

While Public Enemy prepares to stir up some hype with a performance on the eve of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Chuck tells Billboard.com that the legendary hip-hop group will return in full force this year with two new studio albums. "Most of My Heroes Still Don't Appear on No Stamp," a new full-length produced with the help of longtime collaborator Gary G-Wiz, will be released in June, while a follow-up, "The Evil Empire of Everything," arrives in September. Chuck D describes the albums as "two concise statements that are connected in the same breath." In the meantime, the rapper plans to address journalists on Sunday (Jan. 15) from one of the nation's poorest districts, a sliver of downtown Los Angeles known as Skid Row. Chuck D says that he wants to expose the effects of America

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Billy Danze of M.O.P. heads up Raps United Nations

"RUN" (Raps United Nation) is the brainchild of M.O.P.’s Billy Danze who throughout the course of his illustrious career and years of extensive international touring could not help but notice and acknowledge how many talented artists he met during his travels who simply lacked a platform to be heard. Who better then a fellow artist to spearhead the charge and give them that platform, as Billy explains “As an artist I understand the frustration. There are so many artists out there that possess the talent of being able to produce and record good music. They are determined; they have the drive and dedication, but feel as if no one notices. I’ve seen and heard what’s out there from an artistic level. These artists need to be heard and have a united voice. I am very passionate about gi

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Copywrite prepares for the release of God Save The King

Heavy is the head that wears the crown! Over the course of his now decade long-career, Copywrite has been a lightning rod of controversy, engaged in numerous beefs (some of which have lived out in real time and not just on the microphone). Yet, in life, lessons are learned, you grow and mature; and above all else life has a way of imparting upon you what’s truly important. For Copywrite, the devastation he felt from the loss of close friends and family members has heavily impacted his view of the world and his place in it. Leaders are bestowed a great deal of responsibility and they can influence those around them to do the right things, or they can lead them astray; Copywrite has chosen the former as his path. Following the successes of his debut LP (“The High Exhault

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