Hold the Lemonade! Beyonce is Hooking up African Nation with Clean Water

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For a mom of three (two are newborns, mind you) Beyonce sure is busy.

When she’s not acting as silent producer on hubby Jay Z’ 4:44 album, Queen Bey is making it rain on an East African nation. Literally.

Beyonce is teaming up with UNICEF to provide clean drinking water to remote parts of Burundi through her BeyGOOD philanthropy org.

To help half a million people get access to clean water donate

The BEYGOOD4BURUNDI, a multi-year partnership, includes the construction of new wells with hand pumps, hygiene courses and tips on improving the water supply in remote communities.

According to Look to the Stars, rural areas in Burundi, children are more at risk of malnutrition and water born diseases with tainted H20.

Sadly more than 65 percent use unclean water in the remote parts of Burundi and have to travel great distances for the water.

Beyonce is hoping to change that.

“Access to water is a fundamental right. When you give children clean and safe water, you don’t just give them life, you give them health, an education, and a brighter future. I am committed to helping drive lasting solutions to the water crisis in Burundi,” said Beyoncé.

Anyone else having deja vu? The Carters love their water…here’s hoping Flint is next on the list.

Can I get an amen?

Jay Z Joins Effort to Bail Out 100 Dads for Father’s Day

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Jay Z with Kalief Browder

It’s a Father’s Day 100 Dads won’t soon forget.

Because they’ll get to spend it with their kids instead of cell mates. All thanks to new father of three (you prob haven’t heard) Jay Z, backing Color of Change’s fundraising effort to bail out 100 Dads today.

The racial justice org did the same thing last month for moms.

Sadly it’s needed given that one in 9 children have a parent behind bars. A truth bomb Jay Z launched in his penned TIME article, For Father’s Day, “I’m Taking on the Exploitative Bail Industry.

In the think piece Jay Z shares the heartbreaking reality of being locked up with no way out:

 If you’re from neighborhoods like the Brooklyn one I grew up in, if you’re unable to afford a private attorney, then you can be disappeared into our jail system simply because you can’t afford bail. Millions of people are separated from their families for months at a time — not because they are convicted of committing a crime, but because they are accused of committing a crime.

And why the rap mogul has made it his mission to take on the exploitation of the bail bond industry:

 …when I helped produce this year’s docuseries, Time: The Kalief Browder Story, I became obsessed with the injustice of the profitable bail bond industry. Kalief’s family was too poor to post bond when he was accused of stealing a backpack. He was sentenced to a kind of purgatory before he ever went to trial. The three years he spent in solitary confinement on Rikers ultimately created irreversible damage that lead to his death at 22.

The sad reality of nearly 700,000, on any given day, that get locked up without a conviction or a way to pay for their freedom.

Thankfully, there are some that found a way out today.

Happy Father’s Day!!

UPDATED Jay Z Headlines The Global Citizen Festival to End Extreme Poverty

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In *looks at watch* less than 24 hours Jay Z –along with No Doubt, The Roots, Fun, Carrie Underwood and Tiësto–will take over the stage in Central Park  for The Global Citizen Festival. If you remember Alicia Keys rocked the mega crowd so hard last year, I think the trees found rhythm. And I wish she demanded a do over this year. Just because her “Why We Are Here” online campaign along with the matching thought-provoking (and foot-tap worthy) ballad is the embodiment of the festival’s mission to work together to end poverty.

jiggamanNow it’s on Jay Z to inspire us with that same musical message. Don’t scoff, I’m confidant he can pull this off. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, how can Mr. “presence is charity” possibly convince others to care about such a huge problem as global poverty? Simple answer: his presence. Okay, okay, hold on… hear me out. Jay Z holds weight; it’s no secret he is one of the most influential music gods on Earth, you don’t have to ask who the goddess is, and with that comes pull. To get others to care about the shit we ordinarily wouldn’t. (e.g. Yeah, okay everyone marching the streets of Manhattan this week cared about the destruction of the environment. This dude had nothing to do with it? Of course he did, that’s what made it even more newsworthy.)

Jay may not change the state of poverty in one night, but he sure as hell will–to borrow from the late great Tupac Shakur–“spark the brain” that will make poverty a conversation starter. It wouldn’t be the first time Jay Z ignited a flame of consciousness to a cause close to his heart. I recall him doing just that, without picking up a mic.

If you’ll allow me, I know it’s not Thursday, but let’s go back to 2006 when Jay Z announced a world tour to spread awareness for the  global water crisis, in conjunction with being a spokesman for the United Nations. MTV captured one of his stops in Angola and released the documentary “Diary of Jay Z Water for Life.” To refresh your memory hit play after the jump.

And if it piqued your interest enough, here’s another one:

Shocking, right? Not only was he present, but he also got his hands dirty in the process. Allow me to reintroduce myself indeed…

In his book “Decoded” he explains his ideas about giving to charity.

“…Of course I do sometimes like to see where the money I give goes. When I went to Angola for the water project I was working on and got to see the new water pump and how it changed the lives of the people in the village, I wasn’t happy because I’d felt like I done something so great. I was happy to know that whatever money I’d given was actually being put to work and not just paying a seven-figure salary for the head of the Red Cross. And I did a documentary about it, not to glorify myself, but to spread the word about the problem and the possible solutions.”

And the importance of coming together to solve this ginormous world issues.

…But whether it’s public or private, we can’t run away from our brothers and sisters as if poverty is a contagious disease.

Amen, Hov. I hope those written words from four years ago will resonate on the stage tonight and squeeze its way into our hearts, enough to give a damn.

************UPDATE*******************************UPDATE**********************************UPDATE****************************UPDATE***********************************UPDATE**************************UPDATE

photo credit: Twitter

photo credit: Twitter

So, its been ten hours since we last chatted, and since then, Jay Z has rocked the crowd in Central Park …and got the date wrong for when the organization wants to eradicate poverty (it’s 2030, not 2013, Mr. Carter). But what he did get right is bring Beyonce on stage. She was the cherry on top of Jay’s indulgent 50 minute concert. To see the Carters perform “Holy Grail” and “Young Forever,” check it out below.

And Bey and Jay will keep us forever young with this one…

During his performance he thanked all the people in the crowd for working to eradicate poverty with their volunteer work.

photo credit: Beyonce Jay Z source

photo credit: Beyonce Jay Z source

Our prayers were answered (at least mine were) with pregnancy glow and all, Alicia Keys made a return by opening the festival.

Image Courtesy of mleshik007 Instagram

Image Courtesy of mleshik007 Instagram

Also on hand were…

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…. The Roots

That’s all folks!! **in my Jay Z voice** What a great night, wouldn’t you agree?

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Beyonce and Jay Z Are On The Run for Charity

Image Courtesy: Beyonce Facebook

Image Courtesy: Beyonce Facebook

Unless you live under a rock on Mars, you know the “never tired” first couple of hip hop and R&B (Jay & Bey) will be making their way back to a stage near you this summer.

For tour dates click here

What you probably don’t know is that proceeds from the “On The Run: Beyonce and Jay Z” tour in association with #BeyGOOD, will go towards the power duo’s respected charities. Every ticket purchased for the North American concert, a $1 will be donated to the Shawn Carter Foundation that provides college scholarships to low-income students.

And that’s not all. For the high rollers snagging Chase Lounge VIP Ticket packages, you should know a portion of the money will also go to the Shawn Carter Foundation.

Barneys Releases the Shawn (Jay Z) Carter Holiday Collection

So, if you haven’t already heard Jay Z has decided to stick with Barneys, despite the uproar over racial allegations in the upscale boutique. Wanna see my surprise face?

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But, the rap mogul added one condition to the deal: He will serve on a “council” that will put him in a leadership role to discuss racial profiling. Hmph. Okay, the details are pretty vague, but we’ll see what will come of it. Jay also managed to wrangle an increase (originally 25%) of 75% of sales for his Sean Carter Foundation, along with 100% of sales from the collabo to the Foundation that grants underprivileged kids a college education.

As nasty as this debacle got, and it’s  still getting heated, we should give props to Jigga for making his charity a priority, which was the main impetus for the deal.

And for those who have $800 baseball caps and $33,000 watches on their Christmas list, take a peek below. Santa may be good to you. Well, you would have to be nearly a saint to get everything on that wishlist.  Santa, baby…

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BTW, the Barneys release party may have been canceled, but it didn’t stop Jay and Bey from visiting the luxe store to take a peek at the collection . Baddie Bey even held an impromptu photo shoot to support her hubby’s collection, well I guess we know what are her favorite things from hubby’s line.

Photo credit: Beyonce IG

Photo credit: Beyonce IG

Photo credit: Beyonce IG

Photo credit: Beyonce IG

 

 

 

 

 

 

Should Jay Z Drop his Collaboration with Barney’s Amid Racial Allegations?

****************** UPDATE***************UPDATE*******************UPDATE

Jay Z broke his silence late last night. And released a pretty lengthy statement on the Barney’s controvbelow on his website. Check the statement below.

I move and speak based on facts and emotion. I haven’t made any comments because I am waiting on facts and the outcome of a meeting between community leaders and Barneys. Why am I being demonized, denounced and thrown on the cover of a newspaper for not speaking immediately?

Jay goes on to write that the only victims in this situation are those that will benefit from his Shawn Carter Foundation.

Making a decision prematurely to pull out of this project, wouldn’t hurt Barneys over Shawn Carter, but all the people that stand a chance at higher education….The Shawn Carter Foundation is the beneficiary and the foundation is receiving 25% of all sales from the collaboration, 10% of all sales generated in the store on November 20th and an additional donation from Barney’s

Hmmmm still stand by my comments below…

It seems to be the question of the day on Twitter and Facebook. And the only person who can answer it has been surprisingly mum. Actually, it’s not to shocking given an avalanche of angry tweets directed his way and a we-hate-Barneys-petition circulating over 3,000 signatures urging Jay to sign in black/blue or they’ll hate him too. If not already.

Remember, the flames have just recently been extinguished on his Cuba vacation…

….and now we have this situation. While, no doubt Olivia Pope aka Judy Smith is as-I-type-this “getting it handled.” Let’s backtrack.

In February, a teenager visited Barneys department store in Midtown Manhattan to snag a $300 Ferragamo belt he’s had his eye on. Whips out his debit card. Purchase complete. End of story. Nope, just the beginning. He leaves the store, walks a few blocks and is accosted by police officers that take him “downtown,” and according to Trayon Christian have him wait two hours before his story of legitimately buying the belt checks out.

Rewind to two months ago when 21-year old Kayla Phillips visited the same Barneys Trayon will eventually go to. She purchased a $2,000 Cèline bag. Once again, she makes the purchase and leaves. When she gets to the train station four police officers pepper her with questions, look at her store receipts and ask how could she afford this bag?

Both Trayon and Kayla have pressed charges against Barneys and NYC police department.

Barneys CEO released a statement on Facebook yesterday.

Barneys New York believes that no customer should have the unacceptable experience described in recent media reports, and we offer our sincere regret and deepest apologies.

Further to our statement of yesterday, we want to reinforce that Barneys New York has zero tolerance for any form of discrimination. We are a strong proponent of equal rights and equal treatment for all human beings. Our mission is to ensure that all customers receive the highest-quality service—without exception.

How does Jay add to the mix?

Jay Z has plans to release clothing and jewelry lines called “A New York Holiday” with Barneys in November and help decorate their holiday windows in December.

The items Jay has produced range from $70 to $33,000, according to the New York Daily News. And 25 percent of the money from the line will go towards his Shawn Carter Foundation charity that provides minorities college scholarships.

As enriching as it all sounds–especially the relationship to his charity– I’m still on the fence about Jay dropping the deal.

Why, you may ask?

Because and I quote “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man.” And as such, Jay looks at the bottom line. Always. Not that integrity isn’t part of his makeup. This showcases it. Yet, this issue pales in comparison to spilled champagne. It’s one that even Oprah struggles with.

Even still,  I seriously doubt two cases of racial discrimination will discourage this millionaire’s club deal. Although I wish it would. It would set a sterling example for his young fans about standing up and walking away instead of chasing the money. As well as his daughter, who some write could easily be Kayla Phillips in 10 or 20 years.

Whatever Jay decides I share Questlove’s sentiments

What do you guys think will Jay pull a Dave Chappelle and run away from the money or stand up and walk away? Do you think he should continue the deal to benefit his Shawn Carter Foundation?

Hit me up below…

Trayvon Martin’s Memory Marches On & Obama’s Reaction to Zimmerman Verdict

So, around this time last week I and millions of others had their eyes glued to their TV sets, anxiously waiting for the verdict in the Zimmerman trial to be announced. Once the “not guilty” verdict escaped the judge’s lips it was like a big stone thrown into a pond that reverberated around the world. One week later, people in support of the Martin family marched for Trayvon’s memory and shouted for justice. This afternoon, Al Sharpton’s National Action Network organized synchronized protests in 100 US cities.

Trayvon’s mom Sybrina Fulton decked out in a ” The Trayvon Martin Foundation” T-shirt, attended the rally in New York City that attracted hundreds of protesters. She stood alongside Al Sharpton and adamantly denounced critics painting her son as a menacing thug.

He was a child. Don’t take my word for it. He had a drink and candy.

Tracy Martin, Trayvon’s dad, sporting a T-shirt with Trayvon’s face and ‘I love you’ message at the bottom, attended a vigil in Miami and echoed Sybrina’s words.

I’d like the world to know that Trayvon was my son. He was a loved child. He did nothing wrong and we’re not going to let them persecute him the way that they have.

Beyonce and Jay Z stopped by the rally in New York to show their support.

Many celebs are doing more than standing shoulder to shoulder with the Martin family in this tragedy, but have vowed to withhold their entertaining talents in states that have Stand Your Ground Laws. So far on the list are music icon Stevie Wonder and gospel soul singers Mary Mary.  Stay tuned, I have a feeling more names will be added.

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onenewspage

In light of the anger and emotion behind the verdict, Obama addressed the issue at a surprise press briefing Friday, in which he said Trayvon could have been him 30 years ago. Check the full video below for his thoughts on race in this country.

 

Sources:

Facebook

OneNewsPage.com

White House