Boyce Watkins: Tech N9ne Declined A $60M Deal B/C He’s His Own Boss

Leading scholar and social commentator, Dr. Boyce Watkins of Financial Juneteenth offers his perspective to VladTV as it relates to Hip-Hop’s MCs earnings and how they manage their money. The conversation soon centered on the self-made independent artist Tech N9ne – who Boyce Watkins feels is one of “the greatest rappers in the world right now” – and how he successfully made the Forbes’ 2014 Hip-Hop Cash Kings List.

“Tech N9ne is a brother out of Kansas City, MO who is killing it…he actually turned down a deal for $60 million,” shares Dr. Boyce before adding, “A lot of the reason that he can turn down deals of that magnitude is because Tech has figured out the secret of how to make your own money.”

That comment is soon expounded upon when the analyst offers that “you don’t have to go through any industry begging and borrowing and asking people for an opportunity – you can create your own. And the best thing about being independent is when you sign yourself you’ll never fire yourself.”

Dr. Boyce later contends that the “Anghellic” lyricist’s business acumen has helped him to create his burgeoning empire. “He’s truly different not only in terms of his amazing rapid fire lyrical style, but in the way that he’s been able to monetize his ability in such an effective way.” Make sure you watch the entire clip to find out the “Three Tech Tips” that everyone needs to know in order to make the most money from your business and why Dr. Boyce Watkins feels that “walking away from education is the hugest mistake that any human being could ever make.”

NYC Robbery Crew Used Apple Watch To Track And Rob Drug Dealers For Over $500K

Feds capture NYC robbery crew, who robbed drug dealers for upwards of $500,000 using a hidden Apple Watch.

New York has seen its fair share of smart criminals and masterminds who’ve gone undetected for years until they slipped up and caused their own downfall. From white collar crime to straight up armed robbery, anything can go down in NYC, but every criminal has a plan and plots like a scene out of a heist movie.

Hollywood has made billions taking these stories and turning them into big screen blockbusters, and according to The New York Post, there is a new story that could be a contender for the big screen. The scenario involves 7 men robbing drug dealers instead of regular citizens, making for an interesting situation.

A New York robbery crew that targeted drug runners hit the jackpot late last year, netting $500,000 in cash after tracking a targeted criminal’s car — with a hidden Apple Watch, new court documents show.

The seven-person crew based in the Hudson Valley pulled off the major score in January 2020 after their alleged leader, 30-year-old Darren Lindsay, bought an Apple Watch and linked it to his AT&T account, according to federal prosecutors in papers filed Tuesday.

The thieves put the watch underneath the bumper of a car that belonged to a drug-runner they suspected was flush with cash, the documents say.

The group was taken into custody in July for a string of robberies over the past three years. Authorities say the group made away with over $500,000 in their efforts and even posted with the cash on social media.

This may seem harmless due to the fact they were robbing drug and cash runners, but it’s far from a Robinhood story. Keep in mind, if you’re robbing big time dealers, the feds are already probably investigating them and now you’re on their radar which never ends well. While the plan was smart, as always, the clout and posting on social media was their ultimate downfall. Just imagine how far they could have gotten if they kept it to themselves.

Source: Bossip

Why Jakarta Is Sinking

The 400-year curse dragging Indonesia’s capital into the sea.

Like many coastal cities around the world, Jakarta is dealing with sea level rise. But Indonesia’s biggest city also has a unique problem: Because of restricted water access in the city, the majority of its residents have to extract groundwater to survive. And it’s causing the city to sink. Today, Jakarta is the world’s fastest-sinking city.

The problem gets worse every year, but the root of it precedes modern Indonesia by centuries. In the 1600s, when the Dutch landed in Indonesia and built present-day Jakarta, they divided up the city to segregate the population. Eventually, that segregation led to an unequal water piping system that excluded most Indigenous Jakartans, forcing them to find other ways to get water.

To understand how it all ties together, and what’s in store for Jakarta’s future, watch the video above.

Minnesota Town (Murdock) Approves Permit For White-Only Church, Says It’s Not Racist

When the church doors open, only white people will be allowed inside.

That’s the message the Asatru Folk Assembly in Murdock, Minnesota, is sending after being granted a conditional use permit to open a church there and practice its pre-Christian religion that originated in northern Europe.

Despite a council vote officially approving the permit this month, residents are pushing back against the decision.

Opponents have collected about 50,000 signatures on an online petition to stop the all-white church from making its home in the farming town of 280 people.

“I think they thought they could fly under the radar in a small town like this, but we’d like to keep the pressure on them,” said Peter Kennedy, a longtime Murdock resident. “Racism is not welcome here.”

Many locals said they support the growing population of Latinos, who have moved to the area in the past decade because of job opportunities, over the church.

“Just because the council gave them a conditional permit does not mean that the town and people in the area surrounding will not be vigilant in watching and protecting our area,” Jean Lesteberg, who lives in the neighboring town of De Graff, wrote on the city’s Facebook page.

The Southern Poverty Law Center describes Asatru Folk Assembly as a “neo-Volkisch hate group” that couches “their bigotry in baseless claims of bloodlines grounding the superiority of one’s white identity.”

Many residents call them a white supremacist or white separatist group, but church members deny it.

“We’re not. It’s just simply not true,” said Allen Turnage, a folk assembly board member. “Just because we respect our own culture, that doesn’t mean we are denigrating someone else’s.”

The group, based in Brownsville, California, says teachings and membership are for those of strictly European bloodlines.

The church was looking for a new church in the eastern North Dakota region when they came across Murdock. It’s unknown how many members they have worldwide or how many people will attend the new church.

“We do not need salvation. All we need is freedom to face our destiny with courage and honor,” the group wrote on its website about their beliefs. “We honor the Gods under the names given to them by our Germanic/Norse ancestors.”

Their forefathers, according to the website, were “Angels and Saxons, Lombards and Heruli, Goths and Vikings, and, as sons and daughters of these people, they are united by ties of blood and culture undimmed by centuries.”

“We respect the ways our ancestors viewed the world and approached the universe a thousand years ago,” Turnage said.

Murdock council members said they do not support the church but were legally obligated to approve the permit, which they did in a 3-1 decision.

“We were highly advised by our attorney to pass this permit for legal reasons to protect the First Amendment rights,” Mayor Craig Kavanagh said. “We knew that if this was going to be denied, we were going to have a legal battle on our hands that could be pretty expensive.”

City Attorney Don Wilcox said it came down to free speech and freedom of religion.

“I think there’s a great deal of sentiment in the town that they don’t want that group there,” he said. “You can’t just bar people from practicing whatever religion they want or saying anything they want as long as it doesn’t incite violence.”

The farming town about a 115-mile drive west of Minneapolis is known for producing corn and soybeans, which are shipped across the country. Latinos make up about 20 percent of Murdock’s small population. Many are day laborers from Mexico and Central America, city officials said.

“We’re a welcoming community,” Kennedy said, rejecting the Asatru Folk Assembly’s exclusionary beliefs. “That’s not at all what the people of Murdock feel. Nobody had a problem with the Hispanics here.”

The AFA purchased its building this year on property in a residential zone. Constructed as a Lutheran church before the zoning was changed, it was later converted to a private residence. The folk assembly needed the permit to convert the residence back to a church.

“It’s ironic the city council didn’t want to commit discrimination against the church, but the church is discriminating against Blacks,” said Abigail Suiter, 33, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. “It’s very telling of where the priority is and whose lives matter.”

Prominent lawyers disagree on the council’s options heading into the vote. Some of the debate centered on the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, which protects religious institutions and churches from unduly burdens and discriminatory land-use regulations.

Laurence H. Tribe, a constitutional law professor at Harvard University, said the council might have been able to prevent the private sale of the property, had it known about it, through laws focused on forbidding racial discrimination in property transactions.

“No institution that proposes to exclude people on account of race is allowed to run an operation in the state of Minnesota,” Tribe said.

Kavanagh said he stands by the council vote “for legal reasons only.”

“The biggest thing people don’t understand is, because we’ve approved this permit, all of a sudden everyone feels this town is racist, and that isn’t the case,” he said. “Just because we voted yes doesn’t mean we’re racist.”

Source: NBC News

The Dual Album Design Of Kendrick Lamar’s Major Label Debut Offers A Glimpse Into An Alternative Future

The two albums’ early 90s photographs are highly personal to Lamar, but have a familiarity to the beholder as well

In 2012, good kid, m.A.A.d city brought hip hop’s finest new storyteller to the attention of the masses. Kendrick Lamar’s major label debut tells the story of a kid growing up in Compton, Los Angeles, circumnavigating the pitfalls of gang life, whether by accident or design. The cover art meanwhile provides two stories, perhaps offering us a glimpse into an alternative future. 

It’s a cinematic roman-à-clef that comes at you out of sequence—memory isn’t linear, after all—and the two photographs chosen for two editions of the album conjure up different but connected memories from the immediate past: one is a family scene from a kitchen, and the other, a van sitting in the driveway of Lamar’s old house. While personal to the artist, these pictures from the early ’90s have a familiarity to the beholder too, even if they’re not our own memories.

Exhibit one, for the initial 12-track release, is a picture we’re to assume is of the baby Kendrick surrounded by three older figures who may be relatives. According to Marcus J. Moore’s excellent new biography The Butterfly Effect: How Kendrick Lamar Ignited The Soul Of Black America, that is indeed Lamar in diminutive form, with two teenage uncles and his grandfather sitting to his left. In an interesting visual twist, the eyes of these other figures are blacked out with identity-obscuring oblongs, while the toddler—who you’d expect to be the protected party here—stares into the lens. A few years after this photo was taken, Kendrick, aged just five, would witness a teenage drug dealer gunned down before his eyes, and the year before, he’d seen mass rioting in the streets following the infamous attack on Rodney King by LAPD officers. 

On closer inspection, the photograph is communicating dangers via signifiers, such as a bottle of alcohol sitting on the table—something he’ll addressed on ‘Swimming Pools (Drank)”; meanwhile, the uncle whose lap young Kendrick is sitting on is throwing a surreptitious gang sign with his left hand. Potential downfalls are hiding in plain sight in a picture as symbolically rich as Holbein’s The Ambassadors. “That photo says so much about my life and about how I was raised in Compton and the things I’ve seen,” said Lamar. 

Exhibit two, mounted on the cover for the deluxe version of good kid, m.A.A.d city, is not as easy to read. Lamar’s mother’s van, parked on the street in front of their family home, appears on the cover, shot through a fisheye lens. Intriguingly, while this photo offers less in the way of visual portents, the house itself has become a shrine to fans. Type “Good Kid M.A.A.D City House” into Google Earth and you’ll find the rapper’s childhood home in Compton, and pictures of fans assembled outside like they’re at Graceland. Furthermore, scrawled under the battered Chrysler are the words “a short film by Kendrick Lamar,” adding to the hauntological vibrations.  

“I fought not to have that on the cover!” says designer Don Clark on a Zoom call from his Seattle office. Clark set up the design agency Invisible Creature with his brother Ryan in 2006. “At the beginning I felt a photo of a minivan wasn’t worthy of an album cover, but I’m not always right. Because then his art creates this thing that becomes greater than any of us. That’s the sweet spot I love when working with other artists, when it takes on a life of its own.” 

Clark was initially reluctant to talk about good kid, m.A.A.d city because of his lack of conceptual input into the design. Invisible Creature took 4×6 photos supplied by Lamar and scanned them, adding crease marks to the corners to give the packaging a more distressed appearance, and then superimposed the pictures onto various textures until they found a background that most resembled an old Polaroid. But otherwise, the direction all came from Lamar himself. Within the space of a five-minute conference call, the musician, who was just making a name for himself at the time, had laid out exactly what he wanted in fine detail. His objectives were clear for every inch of good kid, m.A.A.d city, visually and audibly.

There are ten polaroid photos laid out across the deluxe gatefold edition, again all chosen in sequence by Lamar. Clark also disapproved of the graffiti-style font at the base of the sleeve, but he’s willing to concede that that cover has become a fan favorite, and that it has an enigmatic quality, too: mystery, after all, is in short supply these days as cover art becomes utilitarian and avatar-like, a one inch box on a tiny smartphone screen to click on or swipe away. 

The alternative 12-track cover still makes more sense to Clark though, and a couple of serendipitous details add to its ability to communicate: the Parental Advisory sticker is analogous to the photo’s message, and use of the black strips across the eyes of the adults was actually at the insistence of the label. “That was more of a legal thing,” says Clark. “Interscope and the family wanted to do that to obscure their likenesses.” 

Other than obfuscating the identities of the grownups in the room, Interscope was happy to allow their new signing complete artistic freedom to unleash his vision, a gamble that obviously paid off given that Kendrick Lamar is one of the most acclaimed rappers of all time, a state of affairs that really began with good kid, m.A.A.d city

“From the beginning they let him do what he wanted,” says Clark. “He was also [Dr.] Dre’s guy and I think that had a lot to do with it. That’s another amazing thing about him in that he doesn’t care what people will think and his art speaks for itself, and I appreciate that audacity.”

Source: AIGA Eye On Design

Polk City, Florida – Sheriff Grady Judd Says Pastor’s Son Elijah Stansell And 3 Other Teens (Kimberly Stone, Hannah Eubank, Raven Sutton) Will Be Charged As Adults In Death Of Beloved Librarian Suzette Penton

All four teenagers inside the van that ran over the beloved Polk City librarian in November will be charged as adults in her death, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said Tuesday.

The driver of the van, 18-year-old Elijah Stansell, had his charge upgraded from attempted murder to murder after Suzette Penton succumbed to her injuries last week.

Stansell is the only teen charged with murder. The others — 16-year-old Kimberly Stone, 14-year-old Hannah Eubank, and 16-year-old Raven Sutton — are facing adult charges of attempted felony murder and burglary with assault.

At a press conference Tuesday, Grady Judd outlined the relationship between the teenagers involved in the tragic incident on Nov. 9.

According to Judd, Suzette’s son, Hunter, had been in an ongoing dispute with former girlfriend Kimberly Stone following their breakup six months ago. The dispute got so bad, Judd said, that Stone was suspended from their high school.

On the day Stone was suspended, Judd said she gathered two friends, Eubank and Sutton, and her new boyfriend, Stansell, to go confront and beat up Hunter at his home.

Judd said that’s when Suzette confronted the teens, tried to take pictures of their getaway van, and was ran over by Stansell.

“Runs completely over her,” Judd said. “She has tire tracks on her body where he runs totally over her.”

The getaway van that Judd said Elijah used belongs to the Westwood Missionary Baptist Church, where Stansell’s father is a pastor.

Source: WFLA