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Jim Jones Helps Dipset Fans Fight Coronavirus W/ New Diplomats Masks: “F**k COVID-19”

New York rapper Jim Jones is here for everyone trying to better themselves in the fight against coronavirus. The hip-hop veteran has helped launch a new anti-COVID-19 line-up of Dipset merchandise.
Big Facts
Jimmy went to Instagram Wednesday to show off his stash. Jones shared pics of his gear including “F**k COVID-19” hats and an anti-coronavirus mask.
“DipSet say f*ck covid 19 https://effectusclothingbrand.com/collections/diplomats” -Jim Jones’ Instagram

View this post on Instagram #DipSet say fuck covid 19 https://effectusclothingbrand.com/collections/diplomats A post shared by jimjonescapo (@jimjonescapo) on Apr 8, 2020 at 10:29am PDT
High-Key Details
This week, Jones shared a pic of himself rocking a mask to handle some errands. The hip-hop veteran acknowledged the war against COVID-19.
“We bout to get to th bank to get some of my own money let’s see how this goes lol 😂” -Jim Jones’ Instagram

View this post on Instagram We bout to get to th bank to get some of my own money let’s see how this goes lol 😂 A post shared by jimjonescapo (@jimjonescapo) on Apr 7, 2020 at 1:12pm PDTWait, There’s More
Over the past few days, Jimmy has updated fans on his new merchandise launch. The hip-hop entertainer encouraged Diplomat supporters to check out his brand’s signature masks.
“When is time to go back out side we gone need mask regardless so we might as well have some jrip on em #DipSet says fuck covid 19” -Jim Jones’ Instagram

View this post on Instagram When is time to go back out side we gone need mask regardless so we might as well have some jrip on em #DipSet says fuck covid 19 A post shared by jimjonescapo (@jimjonescapo) on Apr 5, 2020 at 9:28am PDT
View this post on Instagram #DipSet says fuck covid 19 https://effectusclothingbrand.com/collections/diplomats A post shared by jimjonescapo (@jimjonescapo) on Apr 7, 2020 at 11:29am PDTBefore You Go
This week, G.O.O.D. Music star Teyana Taylor shared a look at her face mask. Taylor revealed a pic of herself donning some flashy facial protection.
“Whiskey & denim… drip responsibly… to go no d*mn where my ninja.” -Teyana Taylor’s Instagram

View this post on Instagram Whiskey & denim… drip responsibly… to go no damn where my ninja. A post shared by Jimmy Neutch- Shumpert (@teyanataylor) on Apr 7, 2020 at 4:03pm PDT

Safaree Samuels Reminds The World His Bae Erica Mena Is A Whole Thirst Trap

“Love & Hip Hop” star Safaree Samuels knows he struck it big with Erica Mena. The rap artist has come forward to geek out over how much he loves his ride or die.
Big Facts
Safaree went to his social media pages this week to share a steamy Erica pic. Samuels made sure to reference his queen as nothing less than fire.
“My wife is [fire]” -Safaree Samuels’ Twitter

My wife is 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥😍😍😍 pic.twitter.com/hJ2C02sCkX— @IAMSAFAREE (@IAMSAFAREE) April 7, 2020
High-Key Details
Recently, Safaree shared some must-see gym-related content. The rap entertainer said he would not allow the current global crisis stop him from being physically great.

View this post on Instagram Don’t let corona stop you from getting that Sexy body!!!… 🎞 Song : Sexy body off my album STRAIITTTT A post shared by Safaree 🇯🇲 StuntMan (@safaree) on Mar 16, 2020 at 12:55pm PDTWait, There’s More
Recently, Safaree went online to acknowledge he’s added a few extra pounds. Samuels blamed his bae Erica Mena‘s publicized pregnancy for contributing to the extra weight.
“I gained 12 lbs during my pregnancy and gained 10% body fat. I use to be 10. for the month of March I will be in the gym 23 hrs a day… bye clean eating and gym.”

Never too late to shake the weight. lol @IAMSAFAREE @TheRealTahiry @iamErica_Mena #FitnessGoals #SOHH #SOHHNews pic.twitter.com/zCiS7nOHH7— SOHH (@sohh) March 8, 2020Safaree vows to lose weight after Erica Mena pregnancyBefore You Go
The Instagram post even sparked some celebrity reactions. Both Erica and “Love & Hip Hop” co-star Tahiry José weighed-in on Safaree’s fitness dedication. While Tahiry shared a few laughing emojis, EM took major blame for Safaree’s weight gain.
“I’m sorry for flaunting NY pizza with Caesar dressing to dip it in and all those amazing glaze bow ties from Dunkin in front of you for eight months. But I appreciate you enjoying my cravings with me. Now we are round and lushes together honey.” -Erica Mena

View this post on Instagram Safaree gets me the best @doseofroses 🌹 A post shared by Erica Mena Samuels 🌹 (@iamerica_mena) on Jan 31, 2020 at 8:38am PST

New Video: Ari Lennox – ‘BUSSIT’

Ari Lennox continues to impress in her growth as she unveils the official video for her song ‘BUSSIT’ today.

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The sexy song receives an equally flirty video treatment as the singer and her friends have a little all-ladies fun in colorful sets. Watch the Tajana B. Williams-directed video below. ‘BUSSIT’ appeared on Dreamville’s Revenge of the Dreamers III: Director’s Cut deluxe album.

Ten days ago, Ari also unveiled a three song remix EP for her Shea Butter Baby album.
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Ari Lennox Debuts ‘BUSSIT’ Video

2 hours ago Music Videos

Bussit baby.
Ari Lennox unleashes the video for her Revenge of the Dreamers III single “BUSSIT.” Dreamville’s First Lady flaunts her fun and flirty side while bringing the song to life in the vibrant visual, directed by Tajana B. Williams. She and her fellow melanin queens take over a beauty salon, showcasing their sassy moves and colorful attire.
“BUSSIT” can be found on the deluxe edition of Dreamville’s Revenge of the Dreamers III, which was released in January. The 12-track Director’s Cut also includes new music from 6LACK, EarthGang, Bas, Vince Staples, and JID.
Last month, Ari released her three-track Shea Butter Baby (Remix EP) featuring contributions from Doja Cat, Smino, and Durand Bernarr.
Watch Ari bussit to the tenth degree.

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Tay Keith Shares Debut Single ‘Bad Habits’ with Fast Cash Boyz, co-prod. by Murda Beatz

Tay Keith has given us a lot of hits in the past couple of years, having produced for names like Drake, Lil Wayne, Future, Travis Scott, Eminem and more.

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The 2x Grammy-nominated and multi platinum producer is now shifting his focus to being an artist as he launches his emerging Memphis-based Rap group, Fast Cash Boyz. Tay Keith has grown up in the city with rest of the group (Jizzle, C-Money, TP Stackz & Money) and been spending last few months perfecting the sound for their forthcoming project, F*** The Cash Up.

Today, the ‘Sicko Mode‘ hitmaker and his group offer their debut single ‘Bad Habits’ which is co-produced by the one and only Murda Beatz. Listen to the banger below.
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dvsn Taps PARTYNEXTDOOR, Summer Walker, & Future for ‘A Muse In Her Feelings’

3 hours ago News Tracklistings

dvsn is assembling a star-studded guest list for their third studio album A Muse In Her Feelings.
With a little over a week until release, the OVO Sound duo—comprised of singer Daniel Daley and producer Nineteen85—revealed the features in a minute-long trailer. In addition to the Future-assisted single “No Cryin,” the 16-track set includes collaborations with Summer Walker, Ty Dolla $ign, and OVO’s own PARTYNEXTDOOR. Other guests include Jessie Reyez, Popcaan, Shantel May, Buju Banton, and Snoh Aalegra, who can be heard on the Usher-sampled single “Between Us.”
The album, which has also spawned the previously-released tracks “Miss Me?” and “A Muse,” follows 2017’s Morning After.
“The whole idea behind dvsn is, we’re going to give you the unexpected,” Daley tells Billboard. “We are going to go against the grain—be divided from the bunch and separated from the past. The moment you think we’re going to go left, we’re going to do a hard right.”
A Muse In Her Feelings arrives April 17. Watch the trailer below.

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Drake Shows Off Toronto Mansion in Architectural Digest

Would you like a tour?
Just days after giving fans a sneak peek at his Toronto mansion in the “Toosie Slide” video, Drake invites Architectural Digest over for a tour. The 50,000-square-foot “pleasure dome,” dubbed The Embassy, was designed by Canadian architect and interior designer Ferris Rafauli and boasts extravagant amenities including an NBA regulation-size indoor basketball court and 3,200-square-foot master-bedroom suite.
“Because I was building it in my hometown, I wanted the structure to stand firm for 100 years. I wanted it to have a monumental scale and feel,” Drake tells the magazine. “It will be one of the things I leave behind, so it had to be timeless and strong.”

View this post on Instagram

Mega recording artist Drake (@champagnepapi) returned to his hometown of Toronto to once again plant roots there, building a 50,000-square-foot ultra-luxe pleasure dome. The stately manor, as envisioned by Canadian designer @ferrisrafauli, is a marvel of old-world craftsmanship, constructed of limestone, bronze, exotic woods, and other noble materials. “Because I was building it in my hometown, I wanted the structure to stand firm for 100 years. I wanted it to have a monumental scale and feel,” Drake says of his passion project. “It will be one of the things I leave behind, so it had to be timeless and strong,” he adds. Take a look inside our May issue cover story through the link in our profile. Photo by @jasonschmidtstudio; text by @mayer.rus; styled by @colinking; fashion styling by @mellanysanchez
A post shared by Architectural Digest (@archdigest) on Apr 8, 2020 at 5:01am PDT

Drake’s manor was modeled after a 19th-century limestone mansion with modern Art Deco interiors. “This isn’t stucco, paint, and fake gold. That’s not what Drake wanted, and that’s not what I do,” says Rafauli.
The epic great room features 44-foot-high ceilings with a Bösendorfer grand piano designed by Takashi Murakami and a dazzling iteration of Lobmeyr’s Metropolitan chandelier with 20,000 pieces of hand-cut Swarovski crystal.
“It’s overwhelming high luxury,” says Drake. “That message is delivered through the size of the rooms and the materials and details of the floors and the ceilings. I wanted to make sure people can see the work I’ve put in over the years reflected from every vantage point.”

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Drake’s favorite room in the house is his 3,200-square-foot master bedroom, with an additional 1,100 square feet of covered terrace. The master bathroom includes a 4,000-pound tub made of black marble carved from a single block. His two-story closet houses his vast collection of Hermès Birkin bags.
“The bedroom is where I come to decompress from the world at the end of the night and where I open my eyes to seize the day,” he says. “The bed lets you float, the shower lets you escape and gather your thoughts, and the closet makes you want to talk to yourself while you’re getting dressed.”
Other features include a world-class recording studio, an indoor swimming pool, hall of sports with Kobe Bryant and LeBron James jerseys, and an awards room where he keeps his four Grammys.
“I think the house shows that I have true faith in myself to take on this task when I was just 27 and see it through,” says the 33-year-old superstar, who also owns property in Hidden Hills, Calif. “I also think the house says that I will forever remain solid in the place I was born.”

The Stephon Marbury Documentary ‘A Kid From Coney Island’ Arrives On Digital Platforms

(AllHipHop News) On March 5, A Kid From Coney Island premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York City. The documentary about the life and career of former NBA player Stephon Marbury is now available on Apple, Amazon, Youtube, Vudu, FandangoNow, Comcast, DirecTV, Dish, and other digital platforms.A Kid From Coney Island was distributed by JDS Sports, an investor in SLAM Media, RTG Features, 1091 Media, Five-Star Basketball, VidMob, Transmit.Live, and INFLCR. In addition, SLAM Media is including the Coodie and Chike-directed film in its series of “SLAM Movie Night” events hosted on their social media channels. 

“During the shutdown, we're launching SLAM Movie Night, in which we'll be choosing basketball films available on VOD and streaming platforms and driving tune-in for our audience to watch those movies ‘with us.’ It will be a way of bringing our audience closer together during a moment when everyone is physically further apart than ever,” says Adam Figman, Editor-in-Chief and Head of Content at SLAM.
Peter Robert Casey and Matt Aronson, the operating partners at JDS Sports, add, "From day one, JDS Sports has been focused on end-to-end content solutions and synergies. Our mix of portfolio companies allows for control, flexibility, and quick adaptation — being able to develop content through RTG Features, distribute through 1091 Media, and promote through SLAM makes it possible to shift quickly from a theatrical window to accelerated digital availability, and give basketball fans fresh new content to enjoy together while we're all physically apart."

The Weeknd Says Usher’s ‘Climax’ Initially Made Him Angry Because It Sounded Like His Song

The Weeknd has successfully released his new album After Hours, topping the Billboard 200 for the first two weeks at the minimum.

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It was a bold decision to drop an album considering the current circumstances that the world is dealing with. The Toronto singer is on the cover of Variety‘s latest issue where he talks about the album, why he stuck with not delaying it, the progression of his sound and more.

One interesting conversation is when he discusses his unique style that was birthed with the groundbreaking mixtape House of Balloons in 2011. He feels that Usher’s 2012 hit ‘Climax’ produced by Diplo sounded too much like him and initially made him angry. “I heard ‘Climax,’ that [2012] Usher song, and was like, ‘Holy f—, that’s a Weeknd song.’ It was very flattering, and I knew I was doing something right, but I also got angry. But the older I got, I realized it’s a good thing,” said Abel. Variety notes that Usher declined to comment on this.
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The two artists have never collaborated with each other. In 2016, The Weeknd publicly apologized to Usher after he made the claim that he was the artist with the most Billboard Music Awards wins in a night. Fans had pointed out to him that Usher was the record-holder with 14 trophies.

apologize to the OG @Usher , got excited and spoke to soon. 🙏🏾
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) May 23, 2016

On sticking with the release date despite the Coronavirus pandemic, The Weeknd said: “Fans had been waiting for the album, and I felt like I had to deliver it. The commercial success is a blessing, especially because the odds were against me: [Music] streaming is down 10%, stores are closed, people can’t go to concerts, but I didn’t care. I knew how important it was to my fans.”

On Tuesday, The Weeknd released the music video for ‘Until I Bleed Out.’

Lil Wayne Names His Favorite Current NBA Players & Favorite Current Rappers

(AllHipHop News) Last month, Lil Wayne let the world know that Quality Control Music's Lil Baby is his favorite rapper at the moment. The New Orleans-bred Hip Hop legend has now turned his attention to professional basketball. Wayne made a remote appearance on Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson's All The Smoke show. The trio talked about sports, COVID-19, music, and the late Kobe Bryant. They discussed the Young Money leader's favored NBA players too.

The self-described Los Angeles Lakers fan shouted out the entire LeBron James-led team. In addition, Tunechi namedropped All-Star veterans Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden. 
Standout NBA rookies Ja Morant and Zion Williamson were recognized by the Grammy winner as well. Wayne also doubled-down on his support for Lil Baby. Plus, he mentioned the late XXXtentacion and Memphis rapper Young Dolph.
2020 has been another commercially successful year for Lil Wayne. His Funeral album arrived in January and debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart. The Platinum-selling musician told Barnes and Jackson that he is interested in hosting a virtual concert from his home during the coronavirus pandemic.

Future Shares His Thoughts On Rapping About Drug Use & Juice WRLD's Death

(AllHipHop News) Two years ago, Nayvadius "Future" Wilburn and Jarad "Juice Wrld" Higgins teamed up to create a joint project titled Wrld On Drugs. Fourteen months later, Higgins was dead at 21 from an accidental oxycodone and codeine overdose.Before his passing, Juice WRLD actually admitted that Future was the recording artist that influenced him to experiment with drinking lean. Juice told Vulture in 2018, "That’s the first thing I told [Future]. He just was like, 'Wow.' He kind of apologized."

Future is now preparing to release a new solo album. The 36-year-old rap star spoke to XXL about his forthcoming LP. He was also asked about the drug references in his music possibly influencing other people like Juice WRLD.
"It was heartbreaking about Juice. Still to this day, I’m [heartbroken]. Rest in peace to Juice Wrld. He’s a great artist. He had so much more to do," said the "Life Is Good" hitmaker in the interview. 
Future then pointed out that Rock and Pop artists have been talking about drug use in their music for decades. The Atlanta-raised rhymer did acknowledge that his lyrics played a role in glamorizing drinking codeine and promethazine as well as taking oxycodone and MDMA.

"I probably shedded more light on it and brought more attention to it from my cadence or my charisma and the way people reacted to it, but everything I said was already talked about before me," Future stated. 
He continued, "Me having an influence on that, I just feel like...that is not my intentions. My intention was just to be me. I’m just being me and what you get from it is what you get from it, but at the same time, I wouldn’t want no one to go through anything to harm theyself or to bring death to theyself and Juice WRLD is a touchy situation. I’m heartbroken by the whole thing. My heart goes out to his family, his mom."

Drake Gives Tour of Toronto Mansion in Architectural Digest Cover Story

We have seen Drake give glimpses of his ultra luxury house in Toronto in music videos such as ‘When To Say When/Chicago Freesyle‘ and the latest one ‘Toosie Slide‘.

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Now he’s explaining it all for Architectural Digest‘s May cover story. The Toronto superstar takes the magazine on tour of his 50,000 square-foot house in his hometown (nicknamed “The Embassy”) which features amenities such as a NBA regulation-size indoor basketball court crowned by a 21-square-foot pyramidal skylight and an indoor swimming pool.

“Because I was building it in my hometown, I wanted the structure to stand firm for 100 years. I wanted it to have a monumental scale and feel,” Drake says of his passion project which was designed with help from Canadian architectural and interior designer Ferris Rafauli. “It will be one of the things I leave behind, so it had to be timeless and strong,” he adds.
“In form, materials, and execution, the structure is a proper 19th-century limestone mansion. But the exterior profiles are more minimal and the lines are a bit cleaner,” says Rafauli. “This isn’t stucco, paint, and fake gold. That’s not what Drake wanted, and that’s not what I do.”

“Once you’ve chosen a certain style, you can dance within that style,” the designer observes. Drake insists, “It’s overwhelming high luxury. That message is delivered through the size of the rooms and the materials and details of the floors and the ceilings. I wanted to make sure people can see the work I’ve put in over the years reflected from every vantage point.”

Drake reveals to the magazine that his favorite spot in the house is his 3,200-square-foot master-bedroom suite, with an additional 1,100 square feet of covered terraces. “The bedroom is where I come to decompress from the world at the end of the night and where I open my eyes to seize the day,” he says. “The bed lets you float, the shower lets you escape and gather your thoughts, and the closet makes you want to talk to yourself while you’re getting dressed.”
“I think the house shows that I have true faith in myself to take on this task when I was just 27 and see it through,” says the now 33-year-old superstar. “I also think the house says that I will forever remain solid in the place I was born.”
Find some more photos of the house below.

Lil Nas X Discusses The Challenges Of Coming Out & Not Publicly Supporting Pete Buttigieg

(AllHipHop News) Montero "Lil Nas X" Hill's decision to come out as gay in 2019 was met with support, scorn, appreciation, and mockery. The "Old Town Road" hitmaker now says he probably never would have revealed his sexuality if he did not become famous."The honest truth is, I planned to die with the secret,” the Atlanta native told The Guardian. He later added, "But that changed when I became Lil Nas X.”

In the article, Lil Nas also acknowledged that he presented a straight persona in his initial music like 2018's Nasarati mixtape. He did refer to being gay on 2019's 7 EP. However, fans should not expect him to follow in the footsteps of Frank Ocean by heavily exploring his sexuality in upcoming songs.
“I 100% want to represent the LGBT community,” declared LNX. “I don’t want to encourage them to do something they don’t 100% want to do. Especially in, like, middle school or high school. Because it’s just super hard.”
The 20-year-old, 2-time Grammy winner added, “It’s easier for me. I’m not depending on anybody. There’s no one who’s going to kick me out of the house – nobody to start treating me sh*tty.”

Lil Nas X is also planning to stay away from politics for the time being. Then-presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg publicly reached out to LNX last year, but the rap star turned down the chance to appear in a campaign video for the openly gay politician.
"All I know is he’s from the Democratic party and he’s gay. So it’s like… I don’t want to base my support off, ‘Oh, you’re gay, I’m going to support you.’ Yeah, you’re gay. But I don’t know everything you’re planning when you’re running the entire country. But, yeah. That was the reason I said no," explained Lil Nas.

Swizz Beatz Breaks Down His 'Verzuz' Instagram Battle Series With Timbaland

(AllHipHop News) Super-producers Swizz Beatz and Timbaland’s ongoing Verzuz series is one of the silver linings to emerge from the current deadly COVID-19 pandemic. Instagram users have been able to temporarily escape the bad news of the day as they witnessed several battles on the social media platform.The initial musical brawl between Swizz and Timbo entertained thousands of viewers. Other matches featured Hit-Boy versus Boi-1da, The-Dream versus Sean Garrett, Ne-Yo versus Johntá Austin, Scott Storch versus Mannie Fresh, and T-Pain versus Lil Jon.
Apple Music’s Zane Lowe connected with Swizz Beatz to talk about Verzuz. The New York-bred beatmaker spoke about how his face-off with Kanye West at Hot 97’s Summer Jam concert in 2007 was a precursor to what the stars are doing now on IG. He was also asked about a possible Kanye versus Pharrell clash.
“The people put that out there. The people are who put out big matches. But like I tell everyone, we don't just have a magic wand we can just sprinkle on people and it comes to life. Me and Tim are on the phones all day and explaining all day and letting them know that it's the people that are enjoying this,” said Swizz.
He continued, “It's not even a battle. This is education and celebration. You have two great musicians, whether you're a songwriter or you're a producer. Whether you are any type of artist, Verzuz is here to celebrate you. Just for creators, period. So a lot of people want to see a lot of big celebrations happening.”
So far, Verzuz has mostly focused on the creators behind the scenes of some of the biggest hits in music history. There have also been some requests for legendary rappers like Lil Wayne and Nas to step into the Instagram Live ring for a once-in-a-lifetime contest.
“Even though we're celebrating, it's a little bit of competitiveness with it. It's just competitive at some points. So a lot of people don't work well with being competitive like that, especially on a big stage like what we're building,” explained Swizz. “So a lot of artists are thinking about how they can do this and remain their status without another person having bragging rights.”
The Poison album creator added, “I'm like, 'Listen man, it's just fun. Just come with your 20 great songs and let's have fun’... That's what me and Tim have been really curating to where the energy stays positive. We want to keep the energy. There are a lot of rappers that are ready right now. We just wanted to make sure that the energy remains fun, and remains a celebration, and it stays on the platform and not go anywhere else. Especially to a negative place, because that's not what we're doing this for.”

Long Live Earl Graves, Sr.: An American Business Icon & Black Enterprise Mogul

"Hold on to your dreams of a better life and stay committed to striving to realize it." - Earl G. Graves, Sr.(AllHipHop Opinion) I will never forget it. Grouchy Greg Watkins and I were there at the apex of our careers at the time. We received the "Rising Stars" Award from Black Enterprise Magazine, the brainchild of business mogul Earl Graves, Sr.
The year was 2006.
Many years before, but less than a decade, and before we met, Mr. Graves profoundly impacted my life in one fell swoop: his 1997 best-selling book "How to Succeed in Business Without Being White: Straight Talk on Making it in America." At the time, AllHipHop was in its infancy. Greg and I had not formalized our partnership, but we were working together as friends in Hip-Hop. By day, I toiled at a top-tier bank that issued credit cards and other ancillary financial offerings. I wrestled with the job, even though I made a lot of money, and grew into a hot prospect. I knew this could not be my life in the long run. Most of the young, hip folks I worked with looked like they walked off the set of "Friends." I hated that show.
Mr. Graves, with "How to Succeed in Business Without Being White," set the tone for me, in a great many ways, how I would thrive in a corporate setting and what I would do to ascend after I abruptly quit a couple of years later. Here is the book synopsis:
"African-Americans are entering the business world in unprecedented numbers, and Earl G. Graves serves as their role model and mentor. Graves, one of the most influential and well-known executives in the world, in this timely and important book shows how he, the son of a West Indian garment worker, became a multimillionaire entrepreneur, director of several of America's Fortune 500 corporations and a philanthropist.
Using his own story (which includes careers in the military, real estate and public service as an assistant to Senator Robert F. Kennedy), and those of dozens of other black men and women who have made it in the business world as examples, Graves offers inspirational and down-to-earth advice to help readers take advantage of opportunities to achieve personal and professional success. From overcoming the challenges blacks confront in getting financing for new ventures to identifying the best industries and jobs for black job-seekers and cultivating the behaviors needed to make it as an entrepreneur, How to Succeed in Business Without Being White clearly lights the path readers can take to overcome adversity and succeed in today's largely white business environment."
The book was perfect and it told the story of a pioneer, one that had come a very, very long way to acclaim, fame and business opulence on his own terms. Earl G. Graves, Sr. began publishing Black Enterprise in 1970 as a magazine that would inform, educate, highlight and ultimately inspire African Americans in business. A renaissance entrepreneur, he inspired and guided countless aspirants like me through the trials and tribulations of working in corporate America. BE also would guide us in the marathon that hopped off the road to blaze a path unpaved. Mr. Graves wanted entrepreneurs to “achieve their measure of the American dream.”
My kind of language. I had big dreams.
Mr. Graves was powerful. When Greg and I met Mr. Clarence Avant in Beverley Hills, for example, he asked us to deliver a hilariously lewd message to his counterpart. We gave him the message - with some reluctance - when we saw him on that grand day in 2006. We got a big laugh. I was literally rubbing shoulders with one of my heroes - trademark mutton-chop sideburns and all - right after getting a prestigious award from his revolutionary organization. The irony of it all, we were told, Mr. Graves didn't really love Hip-Hop. It did not matter and it still does not matter.
Mr. Earl Graves, Sr. is one of my heroes and he will never die, even though his physical form has succumbed to Alzheimer’s. People like Mr. Graves are an example of the greatness within all of us, if we tap into the strengths, tenacity and ingenuity embedded deep in our DNA. If you have loved a magazine, or a web site like AllHipHop or seen a successful Black business person of any walk of life, it is highly they have Mr. Graves to thank. And for the record, Black Enterprise began to embrace Hip-Hop fully, with coverage of Diddy, Master P, 50 Cent, Lecrae and even a website called AllHipHop.com.
Mr. Graves, we salute you for your tireless work, pushing us all to be better people, ambitious moguls and creating vast opportunities for countless individuals on all of his platforms. To his family, condolences, and respect.
"To have a successful career, you have to approach it as an entrepreneur, even if you are working for someone else. Your career is your own private business. You have to market yourself and your abilities and knowledge just as you would a product or service. - Earl G. Graves, Sr.
Thank you, Sir.