With a crowd of 3,000 expected to be in attendance, this is estimated to be one of the largest celebrations of the inaugural season. And with performances from R&B crooner Musiq Soulchild and the musical master that is Maxwell, the celebration is sure to be a memorable one.
“We are excited about the opportunity to celebrate the re-election of President Barack Obama and it is our hope that this event will not only be a commemoration of one of the most historic moments in our nation’s history but will also benefit the programs that support the many young ladies that we serve,” said PBW executive director Mary Bailey in a press release.
Find out where to go, when to watch, what to wear and more. Check out the 2013 Inauguration Guide.
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Politics and hip-hop will collide on Sunday, January 20, at the Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball in Washington, D.C.
The Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, along with Philanthropik, will celebrate hip-hop’s role in getting President Obama reelected while making the community aware of national politics.
Keyshia dropped by to preview her fifth studio project and chat with fellow artist and radio host Raheem DeVaughn about the new album. She also dished about what life has been like lately for her as she continues to celebrate motherhood and marriage.
“We put a lot of hard work in there. Brought up feelings and emotions that I didn’t want to,” Keyshia said. She spoke on Woman to Woman being relatable for her fans, to show them that a girl who comes from where they come from can be happy and overcome adversity. But Keyshia was quick to let them know that her hopes and dreams are just as normal as the next semi-newlywed’s. “I wanna be with my husband, I wanna raise my son. You know, I wanna grow old with my husband and I wanna create that family environment for my son. Nobody should be able to tear that down when you have that.”
Keyshia took us through the soulful sounds of her album, starting with “Missing Me,” written by Keyshia and produced by Eric Hudson. “He’s very talented,” Keyshia said of the famed producer. The record seemed to be a favorite of Keyshia’s: “Turn that up! I need to listen to that,” she said with a laugh. “I can always hear more of this song.”
The title track “Woman to Woman,” featuring Ashanti, was a crowd favorite; you could hear audience members murmuring, “I love this song” as it started to play. Apparently Keyshia’s a big fan, too, as she begged DJ Heat, “Nooo! Keep going!” when the music started to fade out. Raheem asked Keyshia what it was like working with Ashant, and she said with a laugh, “Umm…Ashanti doesn’t drink. Like at all."
“Wonderland” was another favorite: “It is so sexy!” Keyshia said. “I just love the song. I love the feeling of it, I love the emotion of the record.” She said the key to sexy for her is that the song doesn’t need to have lyrics. “Once you hear it and it’s a sexy song, you know it.”
It wasn’t all about the music, though. Fans and Raheem’s radio show staff showed their appreciation for Keyshia with gifts such as a beautiful cake, a painted picture of the singer and a bracelet.
While listeners didn’t hear the entire CD, we heard enough of Woman to Woman to know that Keyshia has a reason to be proud of this project, filled with some serious beats and the songstress’ rich and throaty tone. And the audience seemed to agree, voicing hearty approval for track after track. “Man, I’m so glad that y’all love it. I’m so happy about that,” Keyshia said. “I just really appreciate my fans. I love my fans to death. … This album is for them.”
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Artists such as Ca$h Out ("Cashin’ Out"), Dricky Graham ("Snapbacks and Tattoos"), Future ("Turn on the Lights") and more spoke on their excitement of hitting the awards red carpet for the first time.
"It’s a blessing, you know? Prayers go up, blessings come down. It’s a blessing to be nominated three times. Salute to everybody who been nominated," Ca$h Out told S2S. "It’s gon’ be real crazy."
Then you had longtime legends like Rakim, who we’ll see recieve the I Am Hip Hop Legend Award. Rakim told us, "This is definitely something that let me know that I did somethin’ right. You know what I mean? All the hard work, this makes it worthwhile."
A hip-hop prince, Diggy Simmons, son of Rev. Run, spoke on his excitement about the show, mentioning 2 Chainz’s performance in particular, which he called "stupid" (of course, meaning the exact opposite of stupid) and the "incredible" cyphers, which are a hit every year. In fact, Diggy himself showed out during a cypher just two years ago, hipping everyone to the fact that he could very well follow in his father’s Adidas-covered footsteps.
Diggy said he’s definitely looking forward to his own opportunity on the hip-hop stage, hopefully in the near future. "If we just keep goin’ hard and doin’ what we do, we’ll be back here next year," he said.
Mystikal came out for the show and said he’s got a new attitude and renewed excitement about music and life. "With opportunity, the sky’s the limit—again," he told us with a laugh. To stay out of trouble, he said, "I glued my feet to the street, number one. I got closer to the Lord—all the old-fashioned stuff. I’mma listen to my mama, and not only that, I’ve signed with a major label," referring of course to Cash Money Records, which he signed to last year. Hopefully with all the newness, some new music will be around the corner.
If our name-dropping wasn’t enough, Diddy, Wale, Meek Mill, E-40, Brianna Perry, B.o.B, T.I., Rick Ross, Wiz Khalifa and more were peeped heading in for the show, so surprise performances and good music are sure to be in store as you fall in love with hip-hop all over again tonight when you tune in to the 2012 Hip Hop Awards at 8 p.m. ET on BET.
Check out who else hit up the red carpet when you flip through the slideshow below!
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Lil Twist hit the stage first, with his very unique retro’d hairstyle. The 16-year-old rapper, with the rhymes of men twice his age, got the crowd moving with his high energy and thumping bass-backed songs.
Tyga brought out a surprise guest in the form of Honey Cocaine, who performed a song with him called “Heisman.” Honey, an Asian FeMC who is signed to Tyga’s Last Kings label, has caught some flack regarding her use of the N-word in her music. Looking at this sweet-faced rapper, you would never guess she has a mixtape called F*ck Your Feelings, or that she’d come as hard as she did onstage.
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But it wasn’t until she was cast as Moesha’s spacy-but-fashionable BFF Kim on the hit show “Moesha,” and then in the spinoff “The Parkers,” that Countess and her trademark greeting became a household name. Now that she’s all grown up, Countess will be taking a trip down memory lane on the latest episode of “Life After,” “Life After ‘The Parkers,’” airing this Wednesday night on TV One.
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The Hard Rock Café in Washington, D.C., was filled with music, both live and recorded, last week when some of the hottest musicians and DJs gathered in musical harmony for the latest stop on the Black Girls Rock! and Soul Tour, presented by Chevy.
Since 2006, she’s put her love of music and musicality to good use through her non-profit organization Black Girls Rock, described on the BGR website as a “mentoring organization for teenage girls of color.” The mindset behind organization led to the first Black Girls Rock awards program, held last year and broadcast on BET. Now with programs, a store and a popular, well-received cable special under her belt, it’s only natural that Beverly continue to expand her movement. Enter: Black Girls Rock and Soul Tour.
"The reason I started the Black Girls Rock and Soul Tour, it’s been something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time," Beverly said. "I felt that a lot of our artists—just like a lot of our images—are sidelined and marginalized. And I felt that a lot of our women who are diverse in their music talents weren’t getting the kind of platform and recognition that they deserve."
Guests who arrived on time were graced with Beverly’s spinning talents, as she stepped into the booth to entertain the crowd. Later on, though, as the performances winded down and event attendees strapped on their dancing shoes, DJ Spinderella took her turn at the turntable and kept the tunes coming.
With all the support coming her way, in both the musical and patron communities, Beverly was very pleased with the success of the evening. "I think tonight was an incredible turnout," she said.
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On Wednesday, some of the best, brightest and biggest names in the past and present struggle for civil rights broke bread at the Washington, D.C., Convention Center as a part of the Martin Luther King Memorial Dedication Week.
On Wednesday, a civil rights luncheon brought together everyone from the Rev. Jesse Jackson, to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee to speak on the past and how far Black people have come in the time since Dr. King’s death. Entertainers such comedian Jonathan Slocumb and soap opera star Victoria Rowell also joined in to share their thoughts and show their support, providing some laughs and some insight for their dining guests.
While he did say he was “on-call” for the rest of the weekend, we can only assume that he can sit back since Irene seems to be handling business all by herself. Either way, Jonathan said that he’s looking forward to seeing “our people together in pride and just overall exuberance about how far we’ve come. You know, this is just historical. I’m happy to be here.”
Through her efforts, Victoria is one of many who have made it clear that there is still work to be done, but she is certainly doing her part: after speaking her piece on the inequalities she noticed on-set, two African Americans, four-time Daytime Emmy winner Susan Dansby and known soap director Albert Alarr have been hired to work on the show. Victoria also expressed her desire to rejoin the cast as Drucilla Winters, the character she played during her run on the show.
While, unfortunately, we’ll have to wait a month or two for the conclusion to the celebrations of this week, the dedication will be open for the public to enjoy starting on Saturday from 7 a.m. to noon.
Check out pics of the memorial below!
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