Categories
FLY NEWS

Fly News: A$AP Rocky Visits Students at the UA House in Baltimore

On the heels of his recently announced multi-platform partnership with Under Armour, A$AP Rocky took time during his A$AP Mob Too Cozy Tour to visit the Brand’s UA House at Fayette in East Baltimore. During his visit to the community center, Rocky spent time meeting with students in the music lab during their after-school program and listening and discussing their recent work. After gathering to discuss their shared passion for music, Rocky then led the students through a group cypher – with students showcasing their best freestyle lines!

A$AP Rocky said:“I grew up in

“I grew up in Harlem, and had limited resources to channel my inner creativity, so I spent too much time on the streets when I should have been more productive. I now have the ability to create a better situation for today’s kids so they can go from school to a safe place to create without boundaries. Under Armour was the company that was most excited about my idea to turn sportswear products on their head while bettering kids’ lives.”

Categories
Entertainment FLY NEWS

FLY NEWS: Starz Developing New Series Based Off Popular ‘Black Samurai’ Novels With Common and RZA

Starz wants our viewership and they will definitely get after this announcement. Today Starz revealed that they will be developing an action-drama series under the working title Black Samurai with producer Jerry Bruckheimer  (Pirates of the Caribbean), starring Academy Award winner Common (John Wick 2, Selma) who will also  serve as Executive Producer under his Freedom Road Productions banner.

Wu-Tang Clan’s own RZA will also be in the mix to help bring the Marc Olden novels to life. Common will play the role of Robert Sand, a highly-trained American Army Ranger whose life is changed when he meets a legendary Japanese master who is trained in the ways of the samurai. He goes on a conquest for revenge when his master and his samurai brothers are killed by mercenaries.

The series will get a much need update from the classic novels and the 1977 film. The series is being toted as a mash-up of spy and martial arts  genres infused with heart,soul backed by the music of Common and Wu-Tang Clan.

Jerry Bruckheimer on Black Samurai:

We are absolutely thrilled to partner with Starz, Common, RZA and Andre Gaines on ‘Black Samurai.This incredible creative team will combine all of their talents and experience to bring the classic book series to brand new life with cutting edge artistry, music and imagery.

President of programming for Straz, Carmi Zlotnick on the new series:

We cannot wait for the world to meet Robert Sand – part Jason Bourne, part James Bond, and 100% the hero we need today. ‘Black Samurai’ promises to be an action-packed ride and with the Bruckheimer team, Common, RZA and Andre at the helm, we can feel certain this will be exceptional storytelling.

Common on starring in the new series:

I’m beyond excited about ‘Black Samurai.’ This is a unique and special project that offers something rarely seen in art and culture today. It’s an honor to play the character of Robert Sand and to have my production company, Freedom Road Productions partnering with Jerry Bruckheimer Productions, RZA and Starz to deliver something fresh and new to people. I can’t wait to dig into this character and the martial arts worlds of gun-fu, kung-fu, jujitsu and more. Look out world, ‘Black Samurai’ is coming!

RZA added:

I’ve been a fan of the Robert Sand character since I was a kid, ‘Black Samurai’ being one of the films that got me into the martial art genre. A chance to combine with Jerry Bruckheimer, Common and Andre Gaines to reintroduce this character to a new generation makes myself and my partner Mitchell Diggs at Wu Films super stoked. With the Wibbs leading the writing team and Starz as our outlet, I’m certain the series will find its fan base.

We are absolutely excited about this new series and look forward to adding it to our already crowded line-up of shows to watch.

Are you guys excited for Black Samurai?

Categories
FLY NEWS

Watch: Chris Brown’s Daughter, Royalty Brown Debuts New Clothing Line

[ione_embed src=https://www.youtube.com/embed/YwmE4tJeO04 service=youtube width=854 height=480 type=iframe]

Our media affiliate Hollywood Unlocked got the behind-the-scenes look at Royalty Brown‘s [Chris Brown‘s daughter] brand new clothing line at an exclusive shoot just for her along with her mini-BFF’s. The official line was inspired by Chris’ very own art work.

Peep the full clip above.

Categories
FLY NEWS

Fly News: Jermaine Dupri and Shad Moss (aka Bow Wow) Recognized By The City Of Detroit with The Spirit Of Detroit Awards

Detroit City Council Member, Mary Sheffield, recognized Multi-Platinum Grammy Award Winning Producer, TV Producer/Artist, Jermaine Dupri, and Multi-Platinum Recording Artist, We TV Personality, Shad Moss (pka Bow Wow) for their outstanding community service during the SoSoSummer 17 Detroit Tour stop. The seasoned industry vets have been visiting local schools providing inspirational words of encouragement,

“Not often enough do we pause to honor young African-American men who have reached the pinnacle of their industry. Jermaine Dupri and Shad “Bow Wow” Moss have achieved such a distinction and it gives me great pleasure to honor them with the “Spirit of Detroit” Award which they both embody. These two young men have used their platform and the hip-hop genre and culture to enhance their community, illustrate the potential in our young men and provide positive images and opportunities through their art form. For those reasons they should be commended.”- Councilwoman Mary Sheffield

Congrats to Bow & JD!

Categories
FLY NEWS

Work, Work, Work: Rihanna Teams with Parsons and Donna Karan for Design of Merchandise Collection in Haiti

Rihanna has announced that she will work with The New School’s Parsons School of Design, one the world’s leading art and design schools, Donna Karan and her Urban Zen Foundation, and Haitian artisans to develop a merchandise line for the singer’s Clara Lionel Foundation in Haiti this summer.

Parsons design students will collaborate with local artisans at the Design, Organization, Training (D.O.T) Center, an artisan vocational training center in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Co-founded by Karan, Parsons, and designer Paula Coles, the D.O.T Center is an incubator for Haiti’s artisan community, fostering innovation, providing resources and materials, and enabling artisans to scale their designs while preserving the wisdom and integrity of their unique culture.

The partnership — emerging from a relationship between Urban Zen Foundation and Clara Lionel Foundation, which have worked together on socially engaged projects in Haiti — embodies the collective mission of both organizations and Parsons to positively transform people’s lives.

“We are ecstatic that our students will have the opportunity to work with and develop a merchandise line for Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation, that, like Parsons, shares a strong commitment to creating positive social change,” says Alison Mears, director of the Healthy Materials Lab at Parsons who played an integral role in launching D.O.T. “Through this partnership with Donna Karan and Urban Zen, students will live Parsons’ mission, taking a multidisciplinary collaborative approach and utilizing local sustainable practices and healthier materials to create products that benefit Haiti and the Clara Lionel Foundation.”

Students will travel to and work in Haiti through Parsons Design Fellowship, a competitive program launched by Karan’s Urban Zen in 2015. Now in its third year, the program sends three Parsons students to Haiti for six to eight weeks beginning in early June.

Rihanna, who will be honored at Parsons Benefit, will announce the winners of the fellowship along with Karan at the event on May 22 in New York City. Karan was honored at the Benefit, a fundraiser for scholarships for Parsons students, last year.

Since its founding in 2015, the D.O.T Center has developed a training plan for educating local artisans — elevating local production practices, and helping artisans to develop their design expertise and create new products for market, as well as offering business services to a new generation of artisans. Parsons, through its Healthy Materials Lab, has advocated for the use of sustainable and local materials at the D.O.T Center.

Categories
FLY NEWS

Fly News: Howard University Opens Campus at Google

This week has been solidified as one of the best weeks ever! As if Google hasn’t been making monumental moves this year thus far with more focus on diversity, the famed company marks yet another accomplishment in their milestone.

Today, it has been officially announced that Howard University has now opened a campus at the Googleplex in Mountainview, California. Yes, you’ve read that correctly!

Bonita Stewart with Dr. Wayne Frederick at Googleplex in Mountain View, CA (credit: Google)

Bonita Stewart, VP of Global Partnerships spoke on the new partnership in a brief statement provided exclusively to SFPL:

When I joined Google a decade ago, there was hardly any discussion of diversity in tech. This was long before we published our diversity numbers or understood how important it was for our workforce to reflect the diversity of our users. This was also long before we started formally recruiting from Howard University, a historically Black institution.

Howard happens to be my alma mater, so I am especially proud to share that our formal recruiting from the university has evolved into a residency for Black CS majors right here at the Googleplex. “Howard West” is now the centerpiece of Google’s effort to recruit more Black software engineers from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)-and to make them feel right at home here in Mountain View.

One of my all-time favorite quotes comes from acclaimed management consultant Peter Drucker: “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” This is exactly the thinking behind Howard West, as the program is a way to manifest a future that reflects the values of diversity and inclusion Google has held since day one. With a physical space on campus where Howard students and Googlers can grow together, I can only imagine what incredible innovation and creativity will come to light.

Rising juniors and seniors in Howard’s computer science program can attend Howard West, a dedicated space at Google, for three months at a time. Senior Google engineers and Howard faculty will serve as instructors. The program kicks off this summer and we plan to scale it to accommodate students from other HBCUs in the near future.

HBCUs are a pillar in the computer science (CS) education community, producing more than a third of all Black CS graduates in the U.S. Google already has a strong partnership with Howard through Google in Residence (GIR), a program that embeds Google engineers as faculty at Howard and other HBCUs.

Through GIR we’ve learned a lot about the hurdles Black students face in acquiring full-time work in the tech industry. The lack of exposure, access to mentors and role models are critical gaps that Howard West will solve. We’ve also heard that many CS students struggle to find the time to practice coding while juggling a full course load and part-time jobs. Left unchecked, systematic barriers lead to low engagement and enrollment in CS, low retention in CS programs and a lack of proximity and strong relationships between the Silicon Valley, HBCUs and the larger African American Community.

“Howard West will produce hundreds of industry-ready Black computer science graduates, future leaders with the power to transform the global technology space into a stronger, more accurate reflection of the world around us. We envisioned this program with bold outcomes in mind – to advance a strategy that leverages Howard’s high quality faculty and Google’s expertise, while also rallying the tech industry and other thought leaders around the importance of diversity in business and the communities they serve.”
– Dr. Wayne Frederick, President of Howard University

During my time at Howard, I worked side-by-side with future lawyers, doctors, writers, entertainers, architects and business leaders. The spirit of total possibility put me on my path to Harvard Business School and ultimately Google. Howard West will continue Howard’s tradition of providing unprecedented access to opportunity, only now with a presence in the heart of Silicon Valley.

This is amazing and it’s only just beginning!

Congrats to HU and Google!

Categories
Entertainment FLY NEWS

FLY News: Kerry Washington Joins The Cast of ‘Cars 3’!

The cast of the upcoming animated feature Cars 3 is boasting some major star power for it’s third race around the track. Today we learn that in third film of the famed Disney/Pixar franchise, Kerry Washington will joining the likes of Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) and Mater (Larry The Cable Guy).

DO THE MATH — In Disney•Pixar’s “Cars 3,” Kerry Washington lends her voice to Natalie Certain, a highly respected statistical analyst who knows her numbers. Book-smart and mathematically gifted, Certain is a fresh voice in the racing world. While she may earn top marks in her ability to evaluate a racer’s stats, she could be underestimating the importance of determination. “Cars 3” opens in U.S. theaters on June 16, 2017. ©2017 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Washington lend her voice to the character Natalie Certain, a statistical analyst for RSN (Racing Sports Network).

Also new to the crew will be Nathan Fillion (Castle, Modern Family) who will voice the character Sterling, Lea DeLaria (Orange is the New Black) as Miss Fritter and Cristela Alonzo (The Angry Birds Movie) as Cruz Ramirez.

Cars 3 races into theaters June, 16th!

Synopsis: Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician with her own plan to win, inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet, and a few unexpected turn. Proving that #95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage!

Directed By: Brian Fee

Produced By: Kevin Reher

Executive Producer: John Lasseter

Written By: Robert L. Baird (Story and Screenplay) & Dan Gerson (Screenplay)

Cast: Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Bonnie Hunt, Cheech Marin, Michael Wallis, Paul Dooley, Michael Keaton, John Ratzenberger

Music Composed By: Randy Newman

PHOTOS: DISNEY/PIXAR 

Categories
Entertainment FLY NEWS

Fly News: Tyrese Secretly Ties the Knot On Valentine’s Day

Looks like Tyrese has finally found his “Sweet Lady.”

The actor, author, and R&B crooner revealed on Tuesday (Feb. 28) that he is now a married man.

The Fate of the Furious star released a video montage of the wedding reception to announce the news. The couple said “I Do” on Valentine’s Day and the clip was accompanied with the following caption,

“Mark 10:8 And the two will become #OneFlesh. Mr & Mrs Gibson. #MyBlackQueen#GrownManSeason.”

While the identity of his bride was unknown at the time of the announcement it didn’t remain a mystery for long.

TMZ wasted no time in procuring the 411 on Tyrese’s new Mrs. According to the celebrity news outlet her name is Samantha Lee. She’s a New Jersey native with a Master’s degree in social work from the University of Georgia and has put that degree to use fighting sex and human trafficking along with providing counseling for inmates.

A source close to the newlyweds revealed that the couple met back in 2015 through mutual friends. Tyrese confirmed via Instagram that TMZ did get their facts right, this time.

 

Gibson was previously married to Norma Mitchell. They split in 2009 and have a 9-year-old daughter Shayla.

Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Gibson!

Categories
FLY NEWS

Fly News: Chance The Rapper Added To Essence Fest Lineup As A Headliner

chance-the-rapper-gq

Grammy-winning artist Chance The Rapper will join Diana Ross, Mary J. Blige, John Legend and others as a headliner of Time Inc.’s ESSENCE Festival presented by Coca-Cola, taking place June 30–July 2, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

After recently making history as the first streaming-only artist to win multiple Grammys in top categories such as Best Rap Album and Best New Artist, Chance The Rapper will make his ESSENCE Festival debut and round out the full performance lineup for the festival concert series of more than 40 acts, including new additions: No Limit Records’ Mystikal, Mia X and Silkk; BJ the Chicago Kid; Daley; Elle Varner; Emily Estefan; Gallant; Kelly Price; Leela James; and Rhonda Ross.

The full weekend concert lineup is as follows:

2017 Mainstage Artists
Diana Ross, Mary J. Blige, Chance The Rapper, John Legend, Ari Lennox, Chaka Khan, India.Arie, Jazmine Sullivan, Jill Scott, Master P, No Limit Records’ Mystikal, Mia X and Silkk, Monica, Rhonda Ross, Solange and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue.

2017 Superlounge Artists
BJ the Chicago Kid, Daley, Doug E. Fresh, Elle Varner, Emily Estefan, Gallant, Jhené Aiko, June’s Diary, Kelly Price, Lalah Hathaway, Leela James, Lizzo, Michel’le, Moses Sumney, PJ, Sir the Baptist, Remy Ma, Ro James, Shaggy, Teyana Taylor, The Jones Girls Featuring Shirley Jones, Tweet, Yuna

Weekend ticket packages are on sale now with prices starting at $126. For information about ticket sales, accommodations and the latest news about the ESSENCE Festival®visit EssenceFestival.com.

Media applications for the festival are now open. To apply for media accreditation to the nightly concerts, visit the following link: HERE.

Join the festival community: Follow us on Twitter @essencefest #EssenceFest and become a fan of 2017 ESSENCE Festival on Facebook.

The 2017 ESSENCE Festival is presented by Coca-Cola and sponsored by Ford, State Farm and Walmart.

Categories
FLY NEWS

Fly News: Google.org To Provide $11.5 Million in Financial Support To 10 Racial Justice Organizations

unnamed

Since 2015, Google.org has committed more than $5 million to nonprofits advancing racial justice, and have aimed to get proximate and better understand how racial bias can lead to exclusion from opportunity.

In May and June of 2016, they supported the #LoveLetters campaign that helped shine a light on the human cost of mass incarceration of families across the country.

Today, they’re doubling the commitment to include $11.5 million in new grants to racial justice innovators across the country working to reform our criminal justice system.

The company believes that better data can be can be part of the solution, which is why they are investing in organizations using data and evidence to reduce racial disparities in the criminal justice system.

Quote from Center for Policing Equity: 
 

“Google’s deep investment will help us think bigger and bolder as to how to make policing more democratic and more American. It’s nothing short of a financial miracle in terms of what it allows us to do.” Dr. Phillip Goff, President, Center for Policing Equity

Check out the blog post on “Doing more for racial justice” HERE.

Kudos to Google for such great work!

dsc_2456
Caption: Google.org’s community screening of the documentary 13th at Google’s Mountain View HQ

Also, check out the clip of Bryan Stevenson of Equal Justice Initiative speaking at Google:

[ione_embed src=https://www.youtube.com/embed/sWWyT8iQU3M service=youtube width=1236 height=694 type=iframe]