- Created on 22 April 2013
Following the Success of Trinidad James, Rapper Scotty Looks to Take 'New Atlanta' to the Next Level
Trinidad Jame$ exploded to the forefront of music with his infectious hip hop anthem "All Gold Everything" in December. To date the video has around 10 million views and reportedly landed the rapper a $2 million deal with Def Jam. But that was just the tip of the iceberg for a new wave of music being conceived in Atlanta.
Last summer rapper Scotty and newbies like Jame$, RaRa and rap collective Two-9 released mixtapes that took the underground Southern rap scene by surprise. In a mutual support for one another, the musicians coined the term "New Atlanta." It was then that a master plan was conceived to tweak the sound and culture of Atlanta rap.
"All Gold Everything" has been credited with drawing national attention to the New Atlanta movement, but the artists inside the collective insist the foundation was a collaborative effort and Jame$' single was just a snippet of what is to come from the rap rookies.
"From the beginning, it wasn't really about everyone doing music," said Scotty. "It was really about everyone supporting each other. The whole theme and concept behind it is like when Dungeon Family and Outkast were coming up. That was like a movement and all of them were supporting each other. That's kind of how I see New Atlanta. "
Scotty's new mixtape Foreva Atlanta in the Heart (FAITH) will be released for download on April 30. It features production from Soundz, DJ Burn One and B-Nice. Special appearances include Big K.R.I.T., Trinidad Jame$ and Starlito, among others.
Ranked as one of the 10 Atlanta rappers to look out for by Complex Magazine, Scotty is looking to dominate the rap game. He hopes the release of his latest project will silence those who once doubted the capability of Southern rappers.
Born and raised in the city, Scotty first dove into the rap game in middle school. A side hobby he picked up with a childhood friend soon caught the ear of others throughout the neighborhood and motivated the young lyricist to pursue a rap career.
It was on the video set of Jame$' "All Gold Everything" that Scotty became an advocate for the new wave of music being produced in Atlanta. The two rappers began supporting one another's projects and the movement took off from there.
"We all just started to support each other," said Scotty. "We started promoting for each other online and going to each other's shows and I just remember us all getting together and saying we are the new Atlanta."
For years, Atlanta has been at the forefront of urban culture, especially hip hop.
The A saturated the market in 2006 when rappers like Soulja Boy and Dem Franchize Boyz hit the scene. Repetitive lyrics and simple dance moves made snap music, as it was known, irresistible to the masses. Then rappers like Gucci Mane and Young Jeezy cultivated a grittier genre of Atlanta sound known as trap music.
The music was popular, but Atlanta received heavy scrutiny for the raunchy club anthems and bass driven street rap that became synonymous with the city.
"For a minute, Atlanta was getting a bad rap for the music that was coming out," said Scotty. "I used to get real frustrated listening to the radio. Artists weren't really giving what the Atlanta foundation of music was and it would be embarrassing to go to other places and have people talking about the South, saying that we couldn't rap and not really being good at the craft."
Apart from Outkast, the city seemed unable to gain and keep national attention on artists who didn't fit the mold. New Atlanta is the city's attempt to be more inclusive and step away from what is expected.
"Everything started to sound the same," said Lord Kipp, an Atlanta producer who has worked with newcomers like Rich Homie Quan and Migos. "Everyone was talking about the same things and there was a lot of unfriendly competition going on."
Scotty admits that the negative response to Atlanta music encouraged him to tap into more lyrical Southern rap, back to the roots of "Southern funk, slang rap" that was created by Outkast and Goodie Mob. He chose to create more thought provoking music rather than strip club anthems.
Mellow and smooth, the rapper makes what he calls "timeless music" that combines feel-good vibes with a Southern draw and the realism of his life struggles. He's been compared to the likes of Outkast, Goodie Mob and T.I. His music has a classic Southern feel that makes listeners want to drop the top on their old school Chevy on a hot August night.
This new scene of Atlanta music consists of rappers, DJs, singers and producers who are dedicated to spreading a positive energy of unity and creativity through music.
"I think it's cool to see all of these new, young rappers coming together to support one another and put out good music," said King Jamez, an upcoming rapper from North Carolina who moved to Atlanta to attend Clark Atlanta University and pursue a rap career. "Atlanta already has such a big influence on the music scene so to have these artists working together and doing something positive is a great thing."
Social media is currently playing a major role in the rapid growth of the New Atlanta movement. Twitter, Instagram and other social media site have been lit up with the hastag #NewAtlanta within the last few months.
Eyes are now on Scotty and the young MC will be expected to deliver. A listening party for his FAITH mixtape will be held on April 23 at Stankonia Studios. The event will begin at 8pm.
Scotty is also performing on April 25 at the Masquerade with Starlito and Don Trip. The performance begins at 9pm and general admission is $15.
- Created on 19 April 2013
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal will be the keynote speaker at 100 Black Men of Atlanta Inc.'s Annual Stakeholders & Community Briefing, Wednesday, April 24, at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.
The luncheon, presented by The Coca-Cola Company, will begin at 11:30 a.m. and spotlight the achievements of the students of the organization's community initiative, "Project Success."
At the event, 100 Black Men of Atlanta Chairman Gregory L. Hawkins, C.E.O. SOAR Hospitality Group, LLC, will pass the gavel to the 15th chairman of the board, Henry A. Kelly, CPA, project executive, Georgia Power Company.
Also participating on program will be, Craig A.Williams, vice president, North America, The McDonald's Division, The Coca-Cola Company; Jason A. Julien, Stinson, Morrison Hecker, LLP, Project Success Phase III Alumnus; the Rev. Raphael Warnock, senior pastor, Ebenezer Baptist Church; Kathleen Bertrand, senior V.P. Community and Government Affairs, Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Atlanta City Council President Ceasar C.Mitchell, Esq.
"This year our theme is 'The Power of One,'" said John T. Grant Jr., CEO of 100 Black Men of Atlanta Inc. "We are celebrating the accomplishments of the first graduating class of eight in Project Success Phase IV, and we believe the support of just one individual can make a huge difference in the lives of each our youth."
Alexander Greene, Phase IV, college freshman at Stetson University, noted: "This program has helped me understand school better and has taught me life skills that will help once I graduate. Growing up without a father consistently present was taking a toll on my life.
Through this program I found allies and positive role models who gave me opportunities I never would have imagined. Now I understand the power that I hold over my destiny and how I can contribute to the change I want to see in my neighborhood."
Those in attendance will include corporate and non-profit community leaders, officials from city, county and state governments and members of the 100. Tickets are available at $85 each or $850 for a table of 10 and can be purchased online at www.100blackmen-atlanta.org or by calling 404-525-6220.
Proceeds will benefit the Project Success Scholarship Fund, which allows individuals to contribute directly to support the post-secondary expenses of students.
Project Success 100 Scholars Phase IV College Graduates to be recognized at the luncheon are:
DeMarcus Acree, Clayton State University; Dewitt Harris, University of West Georgia; Naomi Jean-Pierre, Howard University; Shanquesia Jones, Johnson & Wales University; Muhammad Lucious, Bethune Cookman University; Brenton McCullough, Atlanta Metropolitan College; Jasmine Moore, Howard University; Douglas Peters, Georgia Southern University; Jamal Releford, University of Georgia; Lesha Simpson, Georgia State University; Antonika Souder, Agnes Scott College; Patrick Lai-Fang, Kenneth Perry Jr., and Malcolm Perry, College of Wooster.
Honorary event chairmen are Michael K. Anderson, president and CEO, Georgia Power Foundation Inc., Nathaniel R. Goldston III, chairman and CEO, Gourmet Services Inc. and Milton J. Little Jr., President, United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta.
(Photo: Henry Kelly of Georgia Power is installed as new chairman of the 100 Black Men Of Atlanta.)
- Created on 17 April 2013
After injuring himself playing football, Roderick Turner sought a new sport to pique his interest. That sport turned out to be golf and he has been playing since 1994. Turner’s curiosity in golf came through the help of his friends. Unlike basketball and football, golf isn’t saturated with African-American players. This too sparked Turner’s interest in the game.
“From my own personal experience in the Black golfing community, there seems to be a lot of interest in the sport,” said Turner. “There just isn’t a lot of knowledge of the rich history and the role that African Americans played in that history.”
With pioneers like Teddy Rhodes, Thea Gibson and Bill Spiller, it was expected that Tiger Woods would lead in a new generation of Black golfers who would dominate the sport. Sixteen years into Woods’ illustrious career he’s number one in the world, but the predicted avalanche of African Americans following in his footsteps has yet to be seen. Though, it may be on the way.
Thanks to the anticipation and hype behind Woods and the annual Georgia golf classic, The Masters, in Augusta, Black golfers and Black-owned golf courses have become a more usual sight than ever in the peach state.
Rome Matthews picked up golf as a hobby in 2009 after being offered a job at a local course. Although golf wasn’t an initial favorite, the game grew on him and he says it has taught him valuable morals.
“Golf is a really humbling game,” said Matthews. “It’s not like basketball or football where you have people yelling and going crazy. It’s very gentle and teaches integrity. We need more sports like it, especially for the youth.”
Recently, there has been also been a push to get young people more involved with the game.
The Ryan Cameron Foundation held its 8th Annual Youth Golf Clinic at Charlie Yates Golf Clinic on Saturday during The Masters. The clinic focused on teaching young people the core aspects of the game of golf while emphasizing the skills of strategy, discipline and teamwork.
“A one point it became really popular for celebrities to host golfing events for adults so I decided to change it up and do something for the youth,” said Ryan Cameron, the V-103 morning show host and host of the tournament. “Golf is the only sport that you can play well into your 90s. It’s not about physical strength but strategy. I wanted to teach the kids these skills early on. I regret not getting into golf sooner than I did.”
This year’s participants included members from the Ryan Cameron Leadership Academy, Ivy Prep Academy, First Tee of East Lake and Black Star Educational Institute.
“A lot of the students who participate with the foundation were saying that they wanted to do something nontraditional,” said Tracye Bryant, CEO of the Ryan Cameron Foundation. “So we decided to get them away from football and basketball and teach them golf.”
Participants received a free full set of personal golf clubs and professional instruction from PGA professional golf players.
Wesley Wallace, a senior at Mount Zion High School, has been a member of the Cameron Leadership Academy for four years. He was introduced to golf as a freshman in high school and hopes to play professionally.
“I didn’t think I would ever play golf and actually enjoy it,” said Wallace. “These clinics introduced me to the sport and now I am the captain of my school’s golf team. It has helped me build patience and I am considering golf as a career.”
Although golf still has not become the most popular sport among African Americans, many Black golfers stress the valuable lessons and skills to be learned through the game.
“No one wants their child out in public misrepresenting their family,” said Matthews. “Golf teaches how to dress and speak well. It teaches proper manners. There’s a whole etiquette to it. It’s a gentleman’s sport.”
- Created on 18 April 2013
(AP) — Rescue workers searched rubble that witnesses compared to a war zone early Thursday for survivors of a fertilizer plant explosion in a small Texas town that killed as many as 15 people and injured more than 160 others. The blast left the factory a smoldering ruin and leveled homes and businesses for blocks in every direction.
- Created on 16 April 2013
According to a recent survey by Wells Fargo, African-American investors report high levels of confidence in their financial future. African Americans are also optimistic about the political and economic future of the country.
Three in five Black investors express confidence in their own financial future while half report they are better off now than they were three years ago.
"The optimism and confidence articulated by African-American investors is encouraging, particularly as those surveyed are feeling financially better off than they were three years ago,” said Jeff Cosby, Financial Advisor and Vice-President, Investment Officer in the Bloomington, Minn., office of Wells Fargo Advisors. "Where we see the biggest opportunity is helping people really consider how they are approaching saving and planning for retirement. It is important for financial advisors to help investors think through long-term strategies for investment planning, while also providing guidance on common concerns like how to balance paying off debt while continuing to save for retirement."
Black investors have made progress in retirement planning and preparation but many still have concerns as far as having enough money to actually retire. African Americans have begun taking the necessary steps to help them better prepare for retirement such as cutting back on their spending to put away money for retirement. Forty-five percent of those surveyed say they have cut back on spending which is a step up compared to 36 percent of the national population. Forty percent of non-retired African Americans say they have a retirement savings plan in place which is roughly the same as the national population.
Among non-retired African Americans, having a retirement savings plan is most common among those earning over $100,000 annually. Only 35 percent of those earning less than $100,000 have a plan.
Compared to the national population, African-American investors are less likely to consider themselves financially comfortable. Thirty-six percent of African American investors consider paying their monthly bills their biggest financial concern. Saving for retirement ranked second at 22 percent, followed by healthcare costs at 15 percent.
According to the survey, three in five Blacks in the U.S. focus on reducing debt as opposed to saving for retirement. Fifty-two percent of those surveyed are worried they won’t have enough saved for retirement, particularly those under the age of 50.
Thirty-six percent of Black investors are confident in knowing where to invest in today's market, similar to the national population, 31 percent.
"All investors -- regardless of age or level of savings -- should be focused on planning for retirement, and turning plans into actual saving and investing," said Cosby. "Many African American investors, much like the general population of overall investors, find investing in today's economy daunting. It's important to seek advice from a trusted professional to help navigate the ups and downs of the market, with an eye on long-term financial goals. It can be scary, but with all the resources and tools available, it can be done."
Living in multi-generational households also has a significant impact on African American investors' savings. Many of the survey’s respondents were faced with caring for their own children while providing for aging parents and grandparents.
Twenty percent of African American investors surveyed report living in three-generational households. Seventy-seven percent of those respondents are concerned they will not save enough to support themselves in retirement. Only 46 percent of those outside of multi-generational households had this concern.
Seventy-three percent of African American investors are optimistic about the political direction of the country, which is significantly higher compared to the general population, 43 percent. Eighty-three percent of African American investors feel the U.S. economy will improve in the next two years. Forty-seven percent of the general population agrees. Seventy-two percent of those surveyed expect their local economy to improve in the next two years.
Wells Fargo currently offers a resource called My Financial Guide, which is an online resource consisting of articles, videos and tools aimed at helping consumers become more confident and knowledgeable in money management.
These survey results are based on an online survey conducted November 9 - December 3, 2012 among adults nationwide (N=1,105) and African American adults (N=500). Respondents were non-students, ages 25-75, who are the primary or joint financial decision-maker in the household with household investable assets of at least $10,000. The survey results were weighted to reflect Census data for gender, age, race/ethnicity, region and household income to ensure representativeness. Assuming no sample bias, the maximum margin of error for the National sample is 2.9 percent and 4.4 percent for African American adults.