New York - February 9, 2013 - The senselessness of the gun violence epidemic has caused radio show hosts to discuss this topic with great passion and urgency. Radio and television personality, Steve Harvey, Michael Baisden and Brooklynn Sunn have all voiced with great compassion a call to stop the assault on the children of America. "Stop it!," says Brooklynn of Raw Talk with Brooklynn Sunn (WRN Radio) as she preludes a moment of silence for the latest victim of gun violence, Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old teen who lived on the South Side of Chicago before being gunned down by an unknown assailant. "There is no sense to this and we have to stop it, now." In her Hey, Young World segment, Brooklynn Sunn is one of the latest that used her show to speak out about the subject of youth and adults taking responsibility for their actions and realizing that making better choices is key. Many blame the recent rash of gun deaths on the ease by which guns are available to criminals and youth. While others focus on the issues that plague urban communities like poor quality of education, high unemployment and illiteracy. Whatever the disagreement there is a consensus among entertainers, politicians and the media alike that something needs to be done now. For more information and updates on Brooklynn Sunn and her commitment to ending gun violence, follow her on Twitter @brooklynnsunn.
There was some great dialogue going on in this interview with director Quentin Tarantino initially regarding the movie Django Unchained, which I thought was a very good film. The real dialogue involving slavery & why Quentin Tarantino made the film began to unravel when the reporter Krishnan Guru-Murthy of Britain's Channel 4 News tried to steer discussion to fit whatever agenda he was attempting to push. In Quentin Tarantino's defense he's answered questions about violence in his films for years so for the reporter to retread the same questions was not only a bit nauseating but derailed what could have otherwise been a good & insightful interview with more answers regarding the film. I don't believe reporters & interviewers need to be all "buddy buddy", "Friends", or "D*ck riders", when dealing with their interview subjects, but they don't necessarily need to be a douche either.
Poet L'Monique performs a spoken word piece at the Ketchmore Kids "Stop Da Violence" event that was held in Charlotte, NC on Oct. 27th. Their is also an African Drum Circle for Peace performed on stage after the reading. For more information on Ketchmore Kids go to http://www.ketchmorekids.or
This video is a portion of the Ketchmore Kids Stop Da Violence Event that was held at the Greenville Community Center in Charlotte, NC on Oct. 27th. The Giant Blast was live on location to assist with the event and to film portions of the event. In this video Congresswoman Mayfield speaks and reads the declaration by Mayor Anthony Fox. There was also a balloon release in honor of those who were murdered and the families of lost ones
BURBANK, Calif. – The rapper Tone Loc has been arrested on suspicion of felony domestic violence in Southern California.
Burbank police Sgt. Tracy Sanchez says 45-year-old Anthony Smith was arrested Saturday. That's Tone Loc's real name.
Sanchez could not confirm that the man arrested is Tone Loc, but Smith's birthdate and description in Los Angeles County jail records match those of the rapper. Sanchez also could not provide any details about the alleged victim or the circumstances.
Smith was being held in a Burbank jail on $50,000 bail.
A message left for Smith's agent Sunday was not immediately returned, and police could not say if he had hired an attorney.
Tone Loc is best known for the 1989 hip-hop hits "Wild Thing" and "Funky Cold Medina."
CARACAS, Venezuela – As a teenager, Wilmer Espinoza carried two handguns and belonged to a gang of hired killers. For as little as $700, they would stalk and slay people their clients wanted eliminated.
Today, the 30-year-old carries only a worn Bible in his jacket pocket, and he has traded his band of assassins for another group: Christian rappers who preach for peace in some of Latin America's most violent slums.
Espinoza and his rapper friends grew up in a country where thousands of young people die in gun violence each year, and in a city where dozens of bodies regularly fill the morgue in a single weekend. Government officials say Venezuela suffered 48 homicides per 100,000 residents last year, making the country among Latin America's most violent.
Surviving that carnage meant a radical personal change, Espinoza said, starting with the day seven years ago when he destroyed his guns — a pistol, two revolvers and a shotgun — by cutting them into pieces with a grindstone. He did it to leave the past behind completely, at the urging of his mother and a rapper friend.
At first he was afraid to be defenseless, but he has survived while most of the others in his gang have died.
He now uses the stage name "Kaminante," or Walker, because he sees himself as "someone who walks on, who advances, who doesn't look back." He credits divine intervention in his recovery from gunshot wounds that nearly left him paralyzed a decade ago.
"There are people in the barrios who need a message," said Espinoza, a soft-spoken and bespectacled man with close-cropped hair. "We offer them hope."
The rap group to which he belongs, Los Mas Fuertes Records, or The Strongest Ones Records, was founded three years ago and is one of several distinct grass-roots efforts by Caracas hip-hop artists who use music to reach out to troubled teenagers and give them an outlet to express themselves.
Polls show Venezuelans consider violent crime the country's top problem, and the issue has become fodder for political debate. President Hugo Chavez's government has only sporadically released murder statistics in recent years, and his opponents call the crime rate one of his greatest failures.
While two other Caracas rap groups include musicians who express support for Chavez, those in Los Mas Fuertes Records say they're not taking a political stand and that their message is universal. Everyone has the power to change their communities, they tell their audiences.
The rappers spread that message performing at schools, churches and outdoor concerts in some of the city's roughest neighborhoods.
One evening last month, they began their show in the orange glow of a streetlight on a dirt road, among bare brick homes with barred windows and shacks made of corrugated zinc.
"We invite you to come over!" one of the rappers, Joe D'Cristo, shouted into a microphone. "We're going to start a special event for the community right now!"
At first, less than a dozen people stood waiting, along with children seated in rows of plastic chairs. Several men swilled beer outside a bodega down the road, taking little notice.
But within minutes, a crowd had gathered, and dozens of people clapped and swayed to the music. In front of two large speakers, the air shook with the thundering reggaeton beat.
Microphone in hand, Espinoza rocked back and forth singing: "Wake up, wake up! The trumpets have sounded!"
After the song, he confessed to the crowd: "I used to be a thug. ... Glory to God for what he did in my life."
Chris Brown apologized for throwing a tantrum over renewed questions about his assault on ex-girlfriend Rihanna, but said he felt exploited and "wanted to release the anger inside me."
Brown, promoting his new album, smashed a window in a dressing room after an appearance on ABC television's "Good Morning America" show on Tuesday where he was pressed about his relationship with Rihanna since the 2009 assault.
The widely-publicized outburst divided fans but may have helped boost record sales. After two years of struggle to rebuild his image and career, Brown's well-reviewed "F.A.M.E" is heading for the top spot on the Billboard 200 charts.
If sales hold up, it would give the 21 year-old singer his first No.1 album when the music magazine's widely-followed charts are published next week, Billboard said.
Brown told BET's popular "106 and Park" music TV show on Wednesday that he wanted to "to apologize to anybody who was startled in the (TV studio) office, anybody who was offended or really disappointed in my actions, because I was disappointed in the way I acted."
He claimed that he and ABC had settled on "talking points" for the interview that focused exclusively on his new album.
ABC denied this, and "Good Morning America" interviewer Robin Roberts has said she told Brown ahead of time that she would ask him about his conviction.
"When the interview proceeded, I was thrown off," Brown told "106 & Park". "I felt like, OK, they told us this to get us on the show and exploit me. I took it very, very hard."
"I kept my composure throughout the whole interview...And when I got back, I just let off, like, steam in the back. I didn't physically hurt anyone. I just wanted to release the anger inside me. I felt like I worked so hard for this music."
ABC is not expected to press charges against Brown, who underwent months of domestic violence counseling after the Rihanna assault, and is still on probation. The network has also said he is welcome to come back to "Good Morning America".
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)
Chris Brown trashed his dressing room at "Good Morning America" and broke a window with a chair Tuesday after co-host Robin Roberts asked him about his attack on Rihanna, according to a person familiar with the show.
The person was not authorized to discuss the matter and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. Security was called, but not police.
Brown was on the ABC morning show Tuesday to promote his new album, "F.A.M.E.," released the same day. During his interview with Roberts, she asked him about the 2009 attack on his then-girlfriend preceding her questions by noting he had been "very good" about talking about the attack. "It was very serious what you went through and what happened," she said.
"How have you been able to ..."
A clearly agitated Brown tried to deflect the line of questioning, saying he was past that and wanted to focus on his new CD.
"This album is what I want them to talk about and not what happened two years ago," he said.
Roberts laughed and thanked Brown for letting her discuss that matter with him, and after the interview, Brown performed.
But instead of performing another song for the online audience, as he was scheduled to do, he went to his dressing room and started smashing things, according to the person.
In a statement, ABC News said: "As always, we ask questions that are relevant and newsworthy, and that's what we did in this interview with Mr. Brown."
Reps for Brown did not immediately return phone calls for comment. Brown is on probation for his assault on Rihanna.
Brown has been trying to rehabilitate his image since the attack, which occurred on the eve of the Grammys two years ago. After that, his once brilliant career was tarnished. His album "Graffiti," released several months after that, was a poor seller.
However, he's recently had success on the charts with the songs "Deuces," a No. 1 R&B hit last year, and "Look At Me Now" is now No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
He's been more accepted into the mainstream as well. Before his "GMA" appearance, he had appeared on NBC's "Saturday Night Live." A rep for ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" said Brown is still slated to appear on the show next week.
A judge last November commended Brown, a Virginia native, for working hard to complete his community service and for almost finishing his domestic violence counseling. He has since finished the counseling.
Last month, a judge, while praising Brown's progress, eased a restraining order that had prevented Brown from coming within 50 feet of Rihanna after Rihanna said she didn't object. The new order prevents him from being within 10 feet of Rihanna at an industry event.
Brown's attorney, Mark Geragos, did not immediately return an email seeking comment.
Brown who was photographed outside "GMA" with his shirt off moments after the incident tweeted his frustration shortly after the show: "All my fans!!! This album is for you and only you!!! I'm so tired of everyone else!! Honestly!! I love team breezy!!"
Roberts tweeted later: "Sure has been an interesting AM (at)GMA. Still sorting thru everything myself. Just my 2nd day on twitter, wonder what tomorrow will bring?" ___
By NEKESA MUMBI MOODY, AP Music Writer
AP Entertainment writers Sandy M. Cohen and Anthony McCartney contributed to this report. ___
R&B singer Chris Brown took to Twitter on Tuesday to tell fans he completed domestic violence classes that were part of his sentence for assaulting ex-girlfriend Rihanna and that he was proud of finishing them.
"I have enough self respect and decency to be proud of accomplishing this DV class.. Boyz run from there mistakes.. Men learn from them!!!thx," Brown tweeted.
Earlier on Twitter, he posted a picture of his certificate showing he had completed the course and said, "im done with class".
Brown, 21, pleaded guilty last year to attacking Rihanna during an argument on the eve the Grammy Awards in 2009. He was sentenced to five years of probation, community service and the year-long domestic violence course.
Last month, the Los Angeles judge overseeing Brown's probation praised the singer of hits like "Kiss Kiss" on his progress, telling him that "no one has done a better or more consistent job than you have" in meeting the requirements of probation.