Hip-hop CD goes to bat for Negro Leagues museum


Kanye West, T-Pain and Akon are among the performers on "True to the Game," a compilation CD of R&B and hip-hop songs that will benefit the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

The CD, which will be released October 21 and distributed by Pyramid/Fontana/Universal, is the first project from Stadium Entertainment, a privately financed company that aims to combine music, social consciousness and philanthropy.

A percentage of the proceeds from "True to the Game" will be donated to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, which will use the proceeds to help fund a $15 million education and research center within the historical landmark building where the Negro Leagues were established in 1920.

The company also has signed a licensing deal with T-Pain's Miami-based Nappy Boy Digital label for the project's first single, "Beam Me Up." The song, featuring T-Pain, Rick Ross and introducing Nappy Boy artist Tay Dizm, is exclusively available digitally through Nappy Boy Digital.

Track selections also include "Make Your Way to the Dance Floor" (Ziggy Nina featuring Chingy), "Around My Way" (Young Cash featuring Akon), "The Pursuit of Happiness" (GLC featuring West), "Knock It Outa Da Park" (Yung Joc) and "Ghetto Love" (Mario).

Stadium plans to release two more compilations and a best-of CD under its agreement with the 18-year-old museum.

Acknowledging only that the museum will receive "a generous percentage," Negro Leagues Baseball Museum director of marketing Bob Kendrick said the Stadium affiliation is "just an extension of our existing licensing arm. It's important for cultural institutions to find nontraditional revenue sources, especially in this difficult economy. But, more important, it's an opportunity for us to give this vital history a new voice through the power of R&B and hip-hop and enlighten a new generation of youth."


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