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New York FC Soccer Club Adds Two Euro Players to its Roster

The New York FC Soccer Club signed two well-established Euro stars in Spanish striker David Villa and Chelsea mid-fielder Frank Lampard.

Will soccer ever steal headlines in New York City?

Will soccer ever become as popular in the U.S. as it is around the world?

Also is there an American that could have been drafted first?

Watch this video, as the What's The 411Sports team weighs in on soccer in NYC.

 

  • Published in Soccer

TURNING THE TIDE: SUPERSTORM SANDY COMMUNITIES HAVE A MESSAGE FOR THE NEW NYC MAYOR

With the specter of the New York City mayoral election looming, demonstrators gathered for a march at City Hall last Sunday and demanded that the city invest in neighborhoods still reeling from Superstorm Sandy one year later.

None of the mayoral candidates were present but Bill de Blasio's catchphrase, "a tale of two cities," resonated strongly with the participants.

"We've heard a lot about a tale of two cities and confronting inequality in this city, all of us are here today to build back one city for all of us. We do not want a tale of two recoveries," said Matt Ryan, executive director of ALIGN: Alliance for a Greater New York.

ALIGN organized the march, which brought together various union and community groups, including 32BJ SEIU, Make the Road NY and Legal Aid Society.

Some of the groups (hailing from areas hardest-hit by Sandy) organized residents who traveled to City Hall together.

Toni Khadijah James made the trek with Red Hook Initiative. She wanted to keep pressure on government officials to finish the job of recovery so that when the next storm washes ashore, her community won't be left out to dry.

"We are still in danger, nothing has changed," Ms. James said. "We need jobs, we need money, [we need] the infrastructure to be taken care of correctly. We need to know that we're safe in these buildings where we occupy, we live here, [and] we have our children here."

One year after the storm, temporary outdoor boilers are still being used at the Red Hook Houses where James lives. Some apartments have lost the battle against mold, while others have leaky roofs, all of this on top of the repairs that needed to be done before Sandy.

Red Hook Houses is the largest housing project in Brooklyn and the second largest in the city with about 6,000 residents, but community organizers say the neglect and lack of repairs is common throughout all of public housing.

"We want the next mayor to understand that the repairs here in public housing should be at the top of the list," said Julian Vigo, community organizer at Red Hook Initiative and Community Voices Heard. "The apartments are in pretty bad shape, the buildings are in pretty bad shape and there's no way we can talk about rebuilding the city if these communities don't get the repairs they need."

But repairs are just the beginning. United by the march's motto, "Turn the Tide," speakers at the event also called on the next mayor to turn the tide on rising inequality by investing in job creation, more affordable housing, sustainable energy and health care.

Iona Folkes, a nurse at St. John's Episcopal Hospital made an especially impassioned plea about the importance of good healthcare and hospitals in the fight for a fairer New York City. Citing the role of St. John's (which had been threatened with closure) in caring for Far Rockaway's patients immediately after the storm, she implored government to keep hospitals open and support healthcare citywide.

"I'm here to ask the elected officials, don't forget the community, don't forget the disenfranchised," stated Ms. Folkes. "Don't forget that the community that needs healthcare the most is the underserved community."

Whoever the city chooses to elect on Tuesday, November 5th, the new mayor will have to decide how to uplift downtrodden neighborhoods with limited resources—no easy task in a city as big as New York, but one that's fairly simple James believes.

The key to banishing a tale of two cities comes down to equal spending.

"Money is the key to everything, you just have to make sure that it's divvied out correctly, that no one gets more than the other one, that it's all split up evenly so everyone gets a chance to expand and make it a better place to live," Ms. James added.

CUBA GOODING JR Honored with Sardi’s Caricature

WATCH VIDEO: Sardi's Bestows Caricature Upon Academy Award-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr.

What's The 411TV was in the house for the unveiling of a Sardi's caricature for Academy award-winning actor, Cuba Gooding Jr.

Cuba Gooding Jr was joined by Sardi's president Max Klimavicius and cast members of the Broadway production, THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL.

  • Published in Theatre

Big Daddy Kane, Kool Herc, Grandmaster Caz, Rakim, Roxanne Shante

WATCH VIDEO: Rap pioneers come together for a celebration of 40 years of Hip-Hop culture at Central Park Summerstage

On a blazing hot day in August, What's The 411TV's correspondent Cristina Twitty could care less about the heat, as she basked in the glory with other hip-hop heads celebrating 40 Years of Hip-Hop Culture at Central Park Summerstage.

Cristina came to 40 Years of Hip-Hop Culture at Central Park Summerstage to speak specifically with Big Daddy Kane, but as it turned out, there were more than enough people willing to talk about hip-hop and its pioneering artists.

"I kinda got wind of this this week," admitted Jay Crush of Zulu Nation and hip-hop aficionado. "I actually came here to promote this (pointing to a CD), which is going to be a big banger. From what I know Rakim and Big Daddy Kane are going to be here, so basically that's who I came to see."

"Today is really momentous," said Erika Elliott, Events Director, Central Park Summerstage. "Hip-hop culture has been super important in my career and life personally and to be able to work with someone like Herc to bring his vision into Central Park and SummerStage is kind of like a big moment in my life."

The love in the audience couldn't compare to the love onstage. A visibly emotional Kool Herc, the Father of Hip-Hop, praised Rakim because he always remembers to pay homage to Herc and the legendary DJ, Red Alert.

"...Big ups to Kool Herc for starting this...and you saw Red Alert and said big ups to Red Alert," Herc said to Rakim, as the crowd applauded. "Nobody did that in this business...I love you man, you don't forget where you come from."

Rakim responded with a big man hug.

Grandmaster Caz, a pioneering hip-hop MC and DJ, proudly took credit for spawning Rakim and Big Daddy Kane and by extension all the Jay Zs (rappers who came later and benefited by the pioneers).

When asked by Cristina who he came to see perform and touch the stage, Caz responded, "Of course the god Rakim and my son, Big Daddy Kane. Alright, those are my direct influences, (my influences) go to straight to them, you know what I mean. They are the people who eventually led to the Jay Zs and when you follow the rap lineages, it all traces back to me."

Fan Jason Jacobs echoed Grandmaster Caz's sentiment, as he told Cristina who he was there to see.

"Big Daddy Kane all the way, Little Rakim, as well," Jason said.

Jason further explained why he loves these artists, "It takes me back to my childhood, man; pure hip-hop, great lyricism, and just awesome beats and a good time."

And, a display of that pure old school hip-hop with great lyricism, awesome beats and a good time came right on time when two hip-hop pioneering MCs took the stage, Big Daddy Kane and Rodney C.

Next, Cristina met up with the man of the hour, Big Daddy Kane.

"I am here with a pioneer in hip-hop, legendary MC, Grammy award-winning Big Daddy Kane, how are you?," Cristina says as she introduces Big Daddy Kane.

"Oh, no, keep on selling it, baby, I like that, keep on selling it," Kane responded with a laugh.

They talked about Big Daddy Kane's longevity in hip-hop; his sold out "Ladies Only" concerts at the Apollo Theatre; and his musical influences from James Brown; Marvin Gaye; Barry White; Teddy Pendergrass; and Al Green.

When Cristina asked Kane if he still has a close relationship with Biz Markie and Roxanne Shante from the Juice Crew, Kane perked up.

"Yea, I just saw Shante and her crazy self, walking around in a Louis Vuitton shirt and a big Afro wig; man, that's my girl for life," Kane said with a chuckle. "She was very supportive and helpful in the beginning stages of my career. Plus, you know, Biz Markie was the one who brought me into the industry. Shout out to everybody else in the Juice Crew: M.C. Shan; Kool G. Rap; Master Ace; Craig G; everybody."

Speaking of Roxanne Shante, the audience loved her; as they participated in call and response with her rhymes.

Lastly, Cristina ran into AJ Calloway, former host of BET's 106th and Park. You know Cristina had to find out who AJ came to see.

"Everybody that has been on that stage so far is a hip-hop legend and I came to see everybody, from Soul Sonic Force to Kool Herc to Big Daddy..., everybody," said AJ trying to be politically correct.

AJ also refused to pick a favorite album or a favorite artist.

"So what does it mean to be here at the 40th Anniversary of Hip-Hop Culture," asked Cristina.

"I owe everything to hip-hop, so I had to come here to tip my hat, stand to the side and watch my heroes on stage," AJ added.

"I actually enjoy that hip-hop more than the ... hip-hop now and I'd love to see hip-hop go back to its roots," he continued.

What do you think is missing from hip-hop now?

"Substance," replied AJ.

 

Editor's note: Dr. Dre of hip-hop duo, Ed Lover and Dr. Dre fame, makes an appearance in the opening video montage

Videography by Alexis Williams

Rapper Big Daddy Kane Headlines 40-Year Celebration of Hip-Hop at Central Park Summerstage

WATCH VIDEO INTERVIEW: BIG DADDY KANE

On a hot day in August, What's The 411TV correspondent Cristina Twitty interviewed hip-hop legend, rapper Big Daddy Kane at Central Park Summerstage in New York City.

"I am here with a pioneer in hip-hop, legendary MC, Grammy award-winning Big Daddy Kane, how are you?," Cristina says as she introduces Big Daddy Kane.

"Oh, no, keep on selling it, baby, I like that, keep on selling it," Kane responded with a laugh.

They talked about Big Daddy Kane's longevity in hip-hop; his sold out "Ladies Only" concerts at the Apollo Theatre; and his musical influences from James Brown; Marvin Gaye; Barry White; Teddy Pendergrass; and Al Green.

When Cristina asked Kane if he still has a close relationship with Biz Markie and Roxanne Shante from the Juice Crew, Kane perked up.

"Yea, I just saw Shante and her crazy self, walking around in a Louis Vuitton shirt and a big Afro wig; man, that's my girl for life," Kane said with a chuckle. "She was very supportive and helpful in the beginning stages of my career. Plus, you know, Biz Markie was the one who brought me into the industry. Shout out to everybody else in the Juice Crew: M.C. Shan; Kool G. Rap; Master Ace; Craig G; everybody."

Justice for Trayvon Martin Rally – NYC

WATCH VIDEO: Trayvon Martin Trial Outcome Protest in NYC

Not even the scorching sun and oppressive July heat could stop demonstrators from gathering in New York City to protest George Zimmerman's acquittal in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

The protest was organized by Occupy Wall Street just hours after the jury handed down the verdict.

Justice-for-Trayvon.Still019 Father with Kids resized 600x338

While some, like Valerie Greene, were surprised by the verdict, "I think it's an absolute appalling travesty of justice. I'm shocked." 

Justice-for-Trayvon.Still013 older white woman resized 290x163Valerie Greene

Others like Anyah Jones were not, "I wasn't surprised I know where we live, this is the country we live in. This is the country we've always lived in. I feel like the trial was for show."

Justice-for-Trayvon.Still020 AnyahJones-resized 290x163Anyah Jones

Demonstrators met in Union Square at 6pm to share their frustration over the case and to demand justice for Trayvon. By 6:30pm this reporter joined hundreds of protestors who took to the streets, marching, chanting and calling for those on the sidewalks watching to join them. Some of the most enthusiastic and biggest chants came from the littlest protesters. Four girls, ages 5 through 10 enlivened the marchers with chants of "I am? Trayvon Martin, We are? Trayvon Martin."

Justice-for-Trayvon.Still018 Young Children RESIZED 600X338Ten year-old Hailie Perez (second from right) with her sister and friends at Justice for Trayvon Martin Rally in New York City, July 14, 2013

When asked why she chose to spend a sunny afternoon fighting for justice, 10-year-old Hailie Perez said "I have a father and a little brother at home and they could be in the same situation as Trayvon Martin and I never want that to happen." Check out the video for more reaction, reasons for protesting and why the Trayvon Martin case just might be "our civil rights movement!"

Photo Credit: Kizzy Cox/What's The 411 Networks

Damion Crawford: Young, Gifted & Black

VIDEO: HONORABLE DAMION CRAWFORD

The Honorable Damion Crawford, Jamaica's Minister of State, Ministry of Tourism & Entertainment; spoke to What's The 411TV's Andrew Rosario about the responsibilities of his position, at the Young Gifted & Black Awards in NYC.

Additionally, Minister Crawford gave a great case for why Jamaica is a top destination in the Caribbean.

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