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Facebook, Jay-Z, Diddy, Mary J. Blige, Black Panther, March for Our Lives | Ep. 123

Facebook has come under fire from the business community and some politicians for allowing access to users’ information without informed consent

This episode of What’s The 411 consists of QUICK TAKES of topical news and discussions about British supermodel Naomi Campbell, Mary J. Blige, Amber Rose, 21 Savage, Alicia Keys, and Black Panther becoming the highest domestic-grossing superhero film of all time.

Journalist, Kizzy Cox, and comedian Onika McLean had fuller discussions about:

  • Facebook coming under fire from the business community and some politicians for allowing companies to gain access to its subscribers’ personal data without informing their subscribers about how their data will be used, not allowing subscribers to opt-out and confirming that the data was used properly.
  • Diddy and Jay-Z starting an uproar with the announcement of their collaboration to develop a “Buy Black App”.
  • The proliferation of “No Manspreading” advertisements on subways and buses in New York City and elsewhere. The new regulation has sparked a debate on social media.
  • The student-organized March for Our Lives march in Washington, DC, which featured younger than high school aged students Yolanda Renee King, the grand-daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and 11-year-old Naomi Wadler who had everyone talking in the days following the march.
  • Business moguls P-Diddy and Jay-Z teaming up to develop a "Buy Black" app

Photo of the Week:

Our Photo of the Week is a photo of a man taking “manspreading” to an exaggerated level.

Motivational Quote of the Week:

Our Quote of the Week comes from the award-winning actress, Angela Bassett:

“Old enough to know better. Young enough not to care. Experienced enough to do it right.”

Freedom Williams of C+C Music Factory Talks Music Industry Changes

Freedom Williams gives advice to would be music and recording artists: remember you are the brand

In this interview with What's The 411TV's Courtney Rashon, hip hop artist and dancer, Freedom Williams, gives us some insight into his life today, thoughts on the state of the music industry, how he got his record deal, and how some artists today are replicas of the past.

Freedom Williams, born Frederick Brandon Williams, started as a hip-hop head and evolved into a dancer. Today, Freedom has his hands in everything. He built a recording studio for artists to use; tours several months out of the year, manages a couple of groups, directs videos; mentors artists including the Williamsburg Bullies; builds houses through his construction company; and he has two children, a son who recently graduated from Columbia University and a 15-year-old daughter. 

Regarding the state of hip-hop today, Freedom believes hip-hop has lost some of its punch. The music industry as it was when he started is no more; people are making music in their basements, everybody's sharing and record sales have plummeted.

As far as ghostwriting goes in the rap industry, Freedom thinks today it's a silly argument. However, back in the day, rap artists would have gotten beat up for ghostwriting, but today is a different day. The industry has changed and the culture has changed.

What's on Freedom's playlist? You can find Janelle Monae, Stevie Wonder, classical music, Haitian music, and even Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s speeches on Freedom's playlist. As an artist, Freedom listens to everything. Who are Freedom Williams' favorite artists? Stevie Wonder, as a producer-musician, is Freedom William's favorite artist of all time. In 2015, Freedom likes Janelle Monae; Anthony Hamilton; Drake; Immortal Technique; and Latin music. 

For those looking for a record deal, what's Freedom's advice? Remember you are the brand, work on you. The real money is in performance, so make people want to give you their money.

"Be the best that you can be, Freedom said. "Work on your songs, work on your craft, so when you are presented...the real game starts in practice, you bring that to the field."

Also, take care of your health. Freedom Williams believes in being physically fit; he says that when he's performing, he can see the audience getting tired before he does.

How does Freedom feel about social media?

Although social media is a valuable tool to market and promote artists today, Freedom advises artists to have thick skin and don't get caught up in the negativity.

Thank God there was no social media back in the day; today there are so many finger gangsters.

Would Freedom Williams go on Dancing With the Stars?

Perhaps.

Although Alfonso Ribeiro set the bar really high, if the producers of Dancing With The Stars called Freedom Williams, he would answer the phone.

Dr. Brenda Greene Sponsors Commemoration of Civil Rights Event with New York Historical Society

Dr. Greene: A Curator of Black Culture through Black Literature and Art

In this video, Dr. Brenda M. Greene, Executive Director, Center for Black Literature and Chair, English Department at Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York, discusses the crucial need for exhibits such as Stephen Somerstein's photo exhibit chronicling the 1965 Selma to Montgomery Civil Rights March.

The conversation with What's the 411 Book Editor Luvon Roberson was held at the opening reception for Stephen Somerstein's photo exhibit chronicling the 1965 Selma to Montgomery Civil Rights March at the New York Historical Society in New York City on January 15, 2015, the actual birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Center for Black Literature was a co-sponsor of the reception.

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