Posts made in June 2023

When funk icon Bootsy Collins and his wife visited Franklin L. Williams M.S’s Little Kids Rock…

(now Music Will) children’s music education program in 2011, he knew he would continue his commitment to kids’ music education. Having donated a bass, given the children a bass lesson, and rapped with them while they played the blues, Collins cemented his commitment to the nonprofit’s mission. Now, more than a decade later, Collins is an honorary board member of Music Will.

Next month he’ll continue his work with Music Will for their annual Modern Band Summit that’s coming up on Wednesday, July 12th at CSU in Fort Collins, Colorado. Bootsy will deliver a keynote at the annual Modern Band Summit, a three-day professional development conference where music educators from all over the country come together to learn, teach, play music, and experience the modern band curriculum,

**About Music Will:
Music Will runs the largest nonprofit music program in the U.S. public school system. Its teachers currently serve over 500,000 students in more than 600 cities and towns across the country. For two decades now, their programs have taught students such popular American genres as rock, pop, R&B, Latin, rap and country—alongside styles already taught in schools, such as classical and jazz. Today, a national network of K-12 districts has adopted the Music Will program as their own. Additionally, more than 70 colleges and universities now use their approach to music education majors. Several state departments of education have partnered with Music Will to grow music education in the schools they serve. Its mission of transforming lives by transforming music education has grown into a movement.

Bounce TV premieres exclusive new documentary ‘Xernona Clayton: Life in Black and White’ Juneteenth at 9 p.m. ET

“Whatever she does…she does in the spirit of love.” – Martin Luther King III

“She sees people for who they are – and what they are capable of achieving.” – Emmitt Smith

“She put a spotlight on a lot of people – to be seen by a lot of people.” – Pamela Poitier

“If I’m able to takeoff it’s because people like Xernona Clayton paved the runway so smooth.”
– Senator Raphael Warnock

ATLANTA ­– Bounce TV, the popular broadcast and multi-platform entertainment network serving African Americans, will recognize Juneteenth with the premiere of an exclusive new documentary, “Xernona Clayton: A Life in Black and White” on Monday, June 19, at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT. Celebrating the life of one of the most unheralded civil rights icons and African American pioneers of our time, the documentary tells the amazing story of Xernona Clayton, an extraordinary woman who has impacted our country so respectfully and quietly that many aren’t aware of her enormous contributions.

From her modest beginnings in Muskogee, Oklahoma, Clayton has made it her life’s work to promote racial understanding. Told from her perspective, as well as through the eyes of family and friends, “Xernona Clayton: A Life in Black and White” will spotlight the person who over her incredible career became the first Black woman in the South to have her own TV show, helped write the blueprint to desegregate hospitals in the South and even convinced a KKK Grand Dragon to renounce his position as well as the organization.

“Xernona Clayton: A Life in Black and White” will be an elegant march through Clayton’s nearly century-long life, from her years working as an aide and close friend to Dr. Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King, through her pioneering broadcasting career with Ted Turner, which led to the creation of the Trumpet Awards. Designed by Clayton to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of African Americans and those who have succeeded against great odds and inspired success in others, the Trumpet Awards recently celebrated its 30th anniversary.

“Xernona Clayton: A Life in Black and White” includes insights from Ambassador Andrew Young, Martin Luther King III, Pamela Poitier, and broadcasting legends Tom Johnson and Pat Mitchell. Senator Raphael Warnock, NFL Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith, actor and rapper Tip “T.I.” Harris and other influential personalities also discuss their experiences with Ms. Clayton. The film is produced and directed by Emmy and Peabody award-winning director and producer Nancy Saslow and her Mishpookah Entertainment Group and executive produced by David Hudson.

Following its Bounce premiere, the documentary will be available on Brown Sugar, Bounce’s subscription video-on-demand service, where viewers can catch up on all Bounce originals anytime exclusively. Brown Sugar is available on Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, Comcast Xfinity X1, Cox Contour, VIZIO TVs, Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Fire TV, Google TV and Android and Apple smartphones and tablets. Visit for more information.

“Xernona Clayton, The Podcast” is an eight-part companion podcast series to the documentary with episodes being made available on all major podcasting platforms beginning on Juneteenth. Hosted by Michelle Miller of CBS News, it treats listeners to more details and behind-the-scenes stories from Ms. Clayton, who openly shares the pivotal chapters and personalities of her influential life with candor, humor and grace.

Watch the extended trailer here.
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A historic concert titled, “Mixtape Live” with 50 MCs from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s was announced and will take place on June 17, 2023, at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic, New Jersey, at 7:00pm.

The announcement of the 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop Mixtape Live with One DJ, One Host, One Night, One Stage, One Set, and 50 Legendary performers is being curated by the Magnificent DJ Jazzy Jeff, a Grammy Award winner; The Greatest Entertainer Doug E. Fresh, a hip-hop legend known as the Human Beatbox; and Charlie Mack, an insider in the entertainment industry and longtime promoter and manager.

June 17th 2023 Sat @ 7:00pm





Hot 97 and WBLS-FM, for the first time, jointly present HIP HOP Forever, a celebration of Hip Hop’s 50th anniversary featuring Wu Tang Clan, Mary J. Blige, EPMD, Tyrese, and Sean Paul with special guests Mariah Carey and Maxwell and curated by Funk Flex and featuring HOT 97 and WBLS-FM talent at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY, on Friday, September 15, 2023.

Tickets will go on sale via a presale on Thursday, June 15 at 10 a.m. ahead of the general on-sale on Friday, June 16 at 10 a.m. at

HIP HOP Forever is part of New York City’s ongoing celebration of Hip Hop’s 50th anniversary.

Produced in partnership with Live Nation, HIP-HOP Forever is part of Madison Square Garden’s Montefiore Einstein concert series.

About Wu Tang Clan
Considered by many to be the greatest hip-hop group of all time, Wu-Tang Clan have been touring as a unit since their debut record — Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) — came out in 1993. The now triple-platinum release vaulted the New York City group with songs like “C.R.E.A.M.” (Cash Rules Everything Around Me) and “Protect Ya Neck” that are about as recognizable as anything in the rap canon. Their live sets are a family affair, with every member of the crew representing their lyrical contributions to the Wu’s eight studio albums, as well as notable cuts from the Wu-Tang solo discography. With the omnipresent Wu-Tang “W” flanking all angles of the stage, there’s a familiarity to Wu-Tang Clan’s music that gives their shows unique mass appeal.

Whether they’re delivering the 36 Chambers record front to back on the album’s 25th Anniversary Tour, or tracks from GZA’s seminal Liquid Swords and Raekwon’s mafioso-minded Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…, or honoring the legacy of their departed brother, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, every Wu-Tang Clan show is a celebration of prolific careers as individuals and especially as the most storied group in hip-hop history.

About Mary J. Blige
Iconic Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, actress, producer and philanthropist, Mary J. Blige is a figure of inspiration, transformation and empowerment making her one of the defining voices of the contemporary music era. With a track record of eight multi-platinum albums, nine Grammy Awards (plus a staggering 32 nominations), two Academy Award nominations, two Golden Globe nominations, and a SAG nomination, among many other accolades, Blige has cemented herself as a global superstar. In the ensuing years, the singer/songwriter has attracted an intensely loyal fan base—responsible for propelling worldwide sales of more than 50 million albums.

About EPMD
EPMD is an American hip hop duo from Brentwood, New York. The duo’s name is a concatenation of the members’ names “E” and “PMD” or an acronym for “Erick and Parrish Making Dollars”, referring to its members: emcees Erick Sermon (“E” a.k.a. E Double) and Parrish Smith (“PMD” a.k.a. Parrish Mic Doc).

About Sean Paul
Sean Paul is a Jamaican rapper and singer who is regarded as one of dancehall and reggae’s most prolific artists.

About Tyrese
Tyrese Darnell Gibson is an American actor and singer. He released his self-titled debut album in 1998, which featured the single “Sweet Lady”, peaking at number twelve on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. His second and third albums, 2000 Watts and I Wanna Go There, were released in 2001 and 2002, respectively.

About Mariah Carey
MARIAH CAREY is an author, entrepreneur, philanthropist, producer and multiple award-winning artist and songwriter. She is the best-selling female artist of all time with more than 200 million albums sold to-date and 19 Billboard Hot 100 #1 singles (18 of which are self-penned) – more than any solo artist in history. With her distinct five-octave vocal range, prolific songwriting, and producing talent, Carey is truly the template of the modern pop performance. Mariah is also an inductee to the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and has been recognized with multiple Grammy Awards, numerous American Music Awards, three Guinness World Record titles, both Billboard’s “Artist of the Decade” and “Icon” awards, the World Music Award for “World’s Best Selling Female Artist of the Millennium,” the Ivor Novello Award for “PRS for Music Special International Award,” and BMI’s “Icon Award” for her outstanding achievements in songwriting, to name a few.

Carey’s cultural impact has transcended the music industry to leave an indelible imprint upon the world at large. In 2009, Carey was recognized with the Breakthrough Performance Award at the Palm Spring International Film Festival for her critically acclaimed role in Lee Daniels’ “Precious.” A Congressional Award recipient, Carey has selflessly donated her time and energy to a range of philanthropic causes near to her heart including Save the Music, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, World Hunger Relief, and the Elton John AIDS Foundation, among many others. A tremendous supporter of children’s charities, both domestic and international, Carey founded Camp Mariah in partnership with the Fresh Air Fund, a retreat for inner city children to explore career development. In 2020, Mariah’s riveting memoir The Meaning of Mariah Carey was recognized as a New York Times #1 bestseller upon release. In 2021 she announced the launch of her foray into the world of spirits with Black Irish – an Irish cream with a name that serves as a playful nod to her family heritage.

About Maxwell
Maxwell, is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer. He rose to prominence following the release of his debut studio album Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite, which received widespread acclaim, and spawned the singles “Ascension” and “Sumthin’ Sumthin'”.

ABOUT HOT 97: (WQHT 97.1FM) HOT 97 is the world’s first all hip-hop station and has held the dominant position in New York for over 20 years. HOT 97 is best known for its celebrity on-air talent, such as Ebro in the Morning with Laura Stylez & Rosenberg, Nessa and Funk Flex, as well as being a premier source for Hip-Hop music and culture. The redesigned HOT 97 website and the new HOT 97 app are go-to destinations for original web series, celebrity content, concerts, and music videos. For more information, please visit (, and follow us on, (, (
and (

World’s Best-Looking Sound since 1972, WBLS has been America’s most recognizable black radio station, laying the foundation for feel-good crossover tunes and a sincere dedication for community outreach. WBLS’ unique attention to the community has made it a heritage staple resting at 107.5FM.

107.5 WBLS-FM is a New York Urban Adult Contemporary station with 2.3 million listeners. 60% of WBLS-FM’s listeners are between the ages of 25-54. Broadcasting from it’s signal are award winning and internationally known personalities like Steve Harvey, Lenny Green, Deja Vu, Levy, Bugsy, Red Alert, DJ Marley Marl, Jusnik, and more. For more information on the station, check us out at, and follow us on Instagram at , Facebook: , Twitter: , and YouTube:

ABOUT MEDIACO: MediaCo Holding Inc. (“MediaCo”) is a publicly listed media company (NASD: MDIA) that serves communities throughout the country. MediaCo owns and operates two of the top urban radio stations in New York City, HOT 97 (WQHT-FM) and WBLS-FM. The company primarily generates revenue from advertising sales, sponsorships, licensing and events.

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Three-Part Documentary Series Debuts on Friday, July 14

Photo Credit: SHOWTIME®

June 8, 2023 – SHOWTIME SPORTS today announced GOLIATH, a three-part documentary series examining the historic life, career and impact of Wilt Chamberlain, one of the greatest, most emulated and most misunderstood athletes of all time. Brash and confident, Chamberlain changed the way the game is played, broke records and racial barriers and challenged the unwritten rules for all athletes, especially black basketball players, conforming to his own standards on or off the court. GOLIATH will debut on demand and on streaming on Friday, July 14 for all Paramount+ with SHOWTIME subscribers before making its on-air debut on SHOWTIME® on Sunday, July 16 at 10 ET/PT with episodes premiering each Sunday. GOLIATH is produced by Village Roadshow Television and Gotham Chopra’s Religion of Sports in association with Kevin Garnett’s Content Cartel, Happy Madison Productions and Heeltap! Entertainment.

Utilizing groundbreaking artificial intelligence to recreate Chamberlain’s voice to narrate his own words and archival footage provided by the Wilt Chamberlain Estate, GOLIATH tells the complete story of Chamberlain’s remarkable life and how it fits into the fabric of American history. Beginning with his emergence on the national scene as a high schooler in the 1950’s and following the arc of his life through his death in 1999, each episode of GOLIATH highlights a specific element of Chamberlain’s cultural impact, focusing on the areas of power, money, race, sex, politics and celebrity. Chamberlain’s story is one of sheer dominance, records shattered and a relentless pursuit of excellence. The series provides an intimate look into the life of a true legend, showcasing his unparalleled athleticism, mesmerizing performances and pioneering achievements that have solidified his place in sports history.

“We are honored to team up with this group of talented filmmakers to bring the underexamined story of Wilt Chamberlain’s complex life to the masses,” said Stephen Espinoza, President, SHOWTIME SPORTS. “Everybody knows Wilt for his legendary accomplishments on the basketball court – scoring 100 points in a game, averaging 50 points and 25 rebounds in a season – but there’s so much more to him than his stats. He was far ahead of his time in so many ways that will last infinitely longer than the numbers on a scoreboard.”

“It was an honor and privilege for my team and me to share Wilt’s incredible legacy with the world,” said Garnett. “Wilt’s cultural impact as a prominent outspoken African American athlete was revolutionary, especially during a time when social strength was not popular. There is no KG, [Michael] Jordan, Hakeem [Olajuwon], LeBron [James], Kobe [Bryant], or Shaq [Shaquille O’Neal] if Wilt doesn’t pave our way. We all stand on his strong shoulders. We all owe a very special thanks to Barbara Lewis and Wilt’s family for allowing us the full access and trust which was crucial to tell this extraordinary story. GOLIATH is not only a tribute to Wilt’s extraordinary career but also a celebration of the mark he left on and off the basketball court and the world.”

The series invokes a variety of voices from sports, media, entertainment and academia to place Chamberlain’s life in both historical and modern contexts, highlighting his athleticism, personal magnetism and introspective nature. GOLIATH taps into the insightful voices of Garnett, Pat Riley, Rick Barry, Bill Walton, Lisa Leslie, Oscar Robertson, Jemele Hill, Jerry West, the late Jim Brown, COUPLES THERAPY clinical psychologistOrna Guralnik and more to share their reflections on Chamberlain, his era and the everlasting effect he’s had on the game of basketball and American culture.

GOLIATH is directed by Rob Ford (The Cost of Winning; BOYS IN BLUE) and Christopher Dillon (A Crime To Remember) and executive produced by Ford, Charles J. Lindsay (61*), William Lindsay, Matt Mosko, Garnett, Mike Marangu (KG: ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE), Brian Bennett, Shannon Perry, Chopra (SHUT UP AND DRIBBLE) and Ameeth Sankaran (Tom vs. Time). Victor Buhler (McGregor Forever) serves as co-executive producer.

GOLIATH is the latest in a series of unscripted programming from SHOWTIME SPORTS that spotlights contemporary subject matters at the intersection of culture and society. Additional titles in the lineup include CATCHING LIGHTNING, BOYS IN BLUE, NYC POINT GODS, STAND, SHUT UP AND DRIBBLE, IVERSON and Emmy®-winning McENROE, OUTCRY and DISGRACED.

This also marks the fifth collaboration between SHOWTIME and Religion of Sports, with the others being Kobe Bryant’s MUSE, I AM GIANT: VICTOR CRUZ, PASSION PLAY: RUSSELL WESTBROOK and the above-mentioned SHUT UP AND DRIBBLE.

Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Paramount, owns and operates the premium service SHOWTIME®, which features critically acclaimed original series, provocative documentaries, box-office hit films, comedy and music specials and hard-hitting sports. SHOWTIME is available as a stand-alone streaming service across all major streaming devices and, as well as via cable, DBS, telco and streaming video providers. SNI also operates the premium services THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ and FLIX®, as well as on demand versions of all three brands. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME PPV®. For more information, go to

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Directed by Sam Pollard

Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Sam Pollard (MLK/FBI), executive produced by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson (Oscar-winning SUMMER OF SOUL), Tariq Trotter (DESCENDANT), and produced by RadicalMedia,

THE LEAGUE celebrates the dynamic journey of Negro League baseball’s triumphs and challenges through the first half of the twentieth century.

The story is told through previously unearthed archival footage and never-before-seen interviews with legendary players like Satchel Paige and Buck O’Neil – whose early careers paved the way for the Jackie Robinson era – as well as celebrated Hall of Famers Willie Mays and Hank Aaron who started out in the Negro Leagues. From entrepreneurial titans Cumberland Posey and Gus Greenlee, whose intense rivalry fueled the rise of two of the best baseball teams ever to play the game, to Effa Manley, the activist owner of the Newark Eagles and the only woman ever admitted to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, THE LEAGUE explores Black baseball as an economic and social pillar of Black communities and a stage for some of the greatest athletes to ever play the game, while also examining the unintended consequences of integration.

103 Minutes

Are you ready for the greatest American story you’ve probably never heard?

Can You Dig It? Narrated by Chuck D Explores Rarely Told Hip-Hop Origin Story

5-Episode Audible Original Series Documents Historic South Bronx Gang Peace Treaty Following the Murder of Cornell “Black Benjie” Benjamin in 1971

Debuts August 10 In Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop

Bronx Street To Be Renamed “Cornell ‘Black Benjie’ Benjamin Way” by City Of New York in Ceremony Tomorrow June 2

The Bronx, 1971. The story of South Bronx gang the Ghetto Brothers and their evolution from street gang to peacemakers – and from peacemakers to enablers of Hip-Hop culture – reads like a fairytale…or at least a fictional Hollywood script. But it’s all true. These ambitious, courageous and visionary young men are unsung heroes in the history of Hip-Hop…until now.

The nation was at war overseas and at home. New York City was under siege: dis-investment, urban planning, crime, poverty, oppression…and to the youth of these communities, gang-life was the only light in a very dark tunnel. In a city of territorial disputes and gang warfare, chaos reigned supreme – hundreds of gangs with over 11,000 of city youth in their ranks, ruled the night…all this, just 80 blocks north of Tiffany’s.

But amidst the flames and unrest rose a gang that dared to think differently: the Ghetto Brothers. They were one of the largest and most-feared gangs, but they also operated outside of the normal confines of street life: why fight each other, when they should band-together against the system that oppresses them? The Ghetto Brothers had a higher calling: to be a beacon of hope for their community. But they knew that change had to come from within. So, they decided to do something radical: they transformed their position of “Warlord” into something far more impactful: “the Peacemaker”!

But, on his very first assignment to de-escalate tension with rival gangs, Ghetto Brother “Peacemaker” “Black Benjie”…was brutally murdered. Now, Ghetto Brother President “Yellow Benjy” weighed the biggest decision of his life: avenge his brothers’ death or break the cycle of violence, by opting for peace.

The Ghetto Brothers’ decision would be guided by three critical influences from within their community: art teacher and youth-advocate/mentor, Rita Fecher; community-activist and supporter, Evelina Antonetty; and Joseph Mpa and the Black Panther Party. Spoiler alert: the positive influences made a lasting impression.

A week later, over 50 gangs from the New York area agreed to meet peacefully at the Boys Club on Hoe Ave in the Bronx, where Yellow Benjy and the Ghetto Brothers offered a truce to put down their weapons against each other, and work together to make their community better. This became known as the Hoe Ave Peace Treaty of 1971, and has a direct correlation to the birth of Hip-Hop.

The peace treaty dismantled turf wars, allowing for people to socially come together in new and exciting ways; allowing for the spreading and sharing of ideas, cultures, artforms and visions; allowing for social gatherings…like the party that happened on August 11, 1973 at 1520 Sedgewick Ave in the Bronx.

One of the key uniquities of Can You Dig It? is the unfettered and unprecedented access to our interviewees, including Joseph Mpa, the former-Black Panther who is credited with the Warlord-to-Peacemaker concept; as well as ‘Black Benjie’s brother and niece, who speak on-record, for the 1st time ever. The scripted sequences also help bring to life and bridge together the critical story peaks in a cinematic and immersive way, like a movie for your ears.

The title “Can You Dig It?” is from a pivotal scene of the 1979 cult movie, The Warriors – a film that was inspired by the true events in our story.

Can You Dig It? was proudly made in New York City and produced with a focus on representation, authenticity and accuracy. The goal of Can You Dig It? is to ensure that The Ghetto Brothers, Yellow Benjy and Black Benjie’s names are securely etched into the origin story of Hip-Hop.

Can You Dig It? will be available on August 10 – only on Audible. Visit and for more information.