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Street Soldiers TV: NYCHA NO HEAT CRISIS

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From Twin Parks West in the Bronx to Farragut Houses in Brooklyn to Redfern Houses in Far Rockaway, we heard the same story. When residents of public housing complained about no heat or hot water, they were given a repair order ticket, but nothing happened.

“The tickets are being closed out literally minutes, some even seconds after they’re making them,” said Glenn Collins, the president of the Redfern Houses Tenant Association. “Two, no one is coming to check on these residents.”

Conflicting reports about actual heat outages and NYCHA’s accounting are raising serious questions among lawmakers.

“It’s a little ludicrous,” City Council Member Donovan Richards Jr. said. “Do you really count an apartment that has partial heat as fully resolving the issue? I don’t think so.”

City Council Member Ben Kallos said, “It makes me angry to know that New York City Housing Authority is actually a bad landlord because that’s the city government.”

NYCHA Chairperson Shola Olatoye is already on thin ice with the City Council. A Department of Investigation report found she was aware her agency lied about lead paint inspections. Sources told me the same DOI is looking into NYCHA’s response to the cold crisis.

She insisted that proper protocol was followed. She said that NYCHA workers go and take random apartment temperatures when heat is restored after a systemwide outage.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams told me that NYCHA’s accounting didn’t match up with reality at the Farragut Houses.

“NYCHA was stating that buildings have heat and customers were stating there was no heat,” Adams said.

He added that NYCHA should embrace simple technology like Heat Seek to accurately track apartment temperatures.

“It’s a small device, about the size of your thumb, you place it in your apartment–it monitors the heat,” Adams said.

Lawmakers also said they’d like to see NYCHA complaints run through the city’s central 311 system so they can be independently documented.

Adams said NYCHA needs to have performance accountability like the NYPD’s CompStat and the Sanitation Department’s GPS tracking for snow removal.

–LISA EVERS

FEATURED CAST: LISA EVERS, Host and Executive Producer, Street Soldiers https://twitter.com/lisaevers OYESHOLA OLATOYE, Chair and Chief Executive Officer, NYCHA https://twitter.com/SholaOlatoye DONOVAN RICHARDS JR., City Council Member, Queens https://twitter.com/DRichards13
GLENN COLLINS, President, Redfern Houses Tenant Association https://twitter.com/GlennCollins718

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Street Soldiers TV: Mastering the Music Business

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Cardi B’s Grammy-nominated mega-hit “Bodak Yellow” made her an overnight superstar. You don’t need to have an album anymore to reach that level, according to XXL Editor-in-Chief Vanessa Satten.

“We’ve seen more than ever, more recently than ever, artists blow up and have a huge amount of success off of just one song,” Satten said.

Because of that, Cardi now has a major endorsement deal with Steve Madden shoes. And she is not alone.

DJ Khaled is the new spokesperson for the Weight Watchers Freestyle Program.

Lil Yachty parlayed his popularity into Sprite commercials and his Nautica clothing line.

The marriage of music and marketing is generating millions of dollars for everyone when it works, according to James Cruz, a marketing expert and entertainment manager.

“There’s no real algorithm created yet, but what you look at is authenticity, what makes sense,”

Cruz said. Cruz knows this well. He has played a major role in the careers of hip hop’s biggest names, from Nicki Minaj to Diddy to Busta Rhymes. Cruz shaped 50 Cent’s groundbreaking endorsement deals with Vitamin Water and Reebok’s G-Unit sneakers.

“50 cent and Vitamin Water makes sense—he was healthy, he had a great body, he looked great,” Cruz said. “Puffy owns the nightlife, so alcohol made sense, Ciroc, and its astronomical success, makes sense. We look at a Jay Z, a marketing genius, he created a Roc Nation because he’s a businessman.”

Some never make it to the level of a Cardi B or 50 Cent because they get mired in legal and music ownership issues. There are simple ways to avoid them, according to entertainment attorney James McMillan.

“The main thing to do is to protect yourself,” he said. “Go to uspto.gov and go to copyright.gov and copyright your song. That’s the best way to do it.”

–LISA EVERS

FEATURED CAST:

LISA EVERS, Host and Executive Producer, Street Soldiers https://twitter.com/lisaevers

VANESSA SATTEN, Editor-in-Chief, XXL Magazine https://twitter.com/VSattenXXL

JAMES CRUZ, CEO, Cruz Control and Founder, 1-2-3 Uno Dos Tres Entertainment https://twitter.com/JamesCruz1

JAMES MCMILLAN, Founder, GothamCityESQ.com https://twitter.com/Gothamcityesq

ANTWAN ‘AMADEUS’ THOMPSON, Founder, Platinum Boy Music https://twitter.com/produceramadeus

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Street Soldiers TV: Chinx, Cracking the Case

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The news of the arrests for the murder of Chinx rocked hip hop culture and social media. While it seemed sudden, it was many months in the making. And all the while, as Chinx’s brave and beautiful wife Janelli Caceres told me in an exclusive interview, she kept her hope alive on her long journey for justice.

A Fox 5 camera was the only one on hand as NYPD detectives brought in Quincy Homere, 32, and arrested him for the murder of Chinx, whose real name was Lionel Pickens, on May 15, 2015, in Queens when his Porsche was stopped at a light. Minutes later, they brought in suspect No. 2, Jamar Hill, 26. He was also charged with murder.

For more than two and a half years, NYPD detectives were relentless in their search for the killers, no matter what the obstacles, according to Queens South Homicide Lt. Richard Rudolph.

Janelli told me that during the many months when it seemed like nothing was going on, detectives from the 107th Precinct and Queens South Homicide kept her informed privately.

For Chinx’s legion of fans, and the hip hop culture, long accustomed to unsolved rapper murders, the arrests came as a shock, according to Vanessa Satten, the editor-in-chief of XXL magazine.

Lt. Rudolph said that in 2009 Homere and Chinx had a beef over a gang-controlled phone on Rikers Island that left Homere seething. In between felony arrests, Homere tried his hand at rap under the name Qwality, and even had a song out called “IDK Nothing,” with a reference to the same type of gun allegedly used in Chinx’s murder.

On April 24, 2015, after a show at the Sound Garden Hall in Philadelphia, where rising star Chinx was performing with French Montana, Homere’s hate and jealousy ignited. Sources said Chinx called him out as a snitch. For the next three weeks, law enforcement sources said, Homere hunted Chinx like an animal.

The courtroom was packed with Chinx’s family and friends, and security was tight in Queens County Criminal Court as Homere and Hill were brought before a judge. They were arraigned on murder and other charges and pleaded not guilty.

It was the first time Janelli saw the men who allegedly took away the love of her life and father of their children.

It is still too early to tell whether the suspects will go to trial or take a plea, but Janelli said she will be in court every time.

Over the years, Janelli has focused on raising her three children as a single mom, pursuing her college degree in business management, working and handling her husband’s music business. She said she will continue to pursue her own goals as an example to the kids to move forward despite tragedy.

–LISA EVERS

FEATURED CAST:

LISA EVERS, Host and Executive Producer, Street Soldiers https://twitter.com/lisaevers

VANESSA SATTEN, Editor-in-Chief, XXL Magazine https://twitter.com/VSattenXXL

DARRIN PORCHER, PHD, Former NYPD Lieutenant, Criminal Justice Professor, Security Consultant https://twitter.com/DrDarrinPorcher

KENNETH MONTGOMERY, Criminal Defense Attorney, Law Professor, Former Prosecutor https://twitter.com/EsqMontgomery

LT. RICHARD RUDOLPH, Commanding Officer, Queens South Homicide https://twitter.com/NYPDQueensSouth

JANELLI CACERES, Widow of Chinx

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Street Soldiers TV: Hip Hop Giving Back

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This is the season for giving and giving back. But some people do it all year round.

Hip hop is leading the charge. Hip hop artist Phresher is once again playing Santa with help from street soldiers to kids at a school in his East New York neighborhood. At Thanksgiving, he organized a deluxe feast for homeless neighbors.

He says there is nothing he’d rather do than give back. It warms his heart, he says. His career took another leap up being featured on Eminem’s new album. Phresher believes giving back is really keeping it real.

And hip hop personality Queenzflip’s video giving his coat to a stranger in need went viral.

But it’s not just hip hop. The Catalog for Giving funds 15 city youth-oriented programs that make a real difference in thousands of lives. Executive Director Florance Wiener says those from under-served neighborhoods really need those services to help level the playing field.

Those in uniform take on different duties this time of the year. NYPD officers made the holidays happy for children at St. Joseph’s School for the Deaf in the Bronx. And since 1947, the U.S. Marine Corps tackles a different mission in December: the Toys for Tots program.

The flip side of this is that there are many people looking to get donations. Charity funding experts like Florence Wiener say do your research before you give away your hard-earned money.

With more people involved in helping others, is it really becoming a way of life? The Street Soldiers panel—Phresher, Pastor Mike, Queenzflip, and Pat Robinson—tackled that topic.

–LISA EVERS

FEATURED CAST: LISA EVERS, Host and Executive Producer, Street Soldiers https://twitter.com/lisaevers

QUEENZFLIP, Humanitarian, Podcast Host, Social Media Influencer https://twitter.com/QueenzFlip

REV. MICHAEL “PASTOR MIKE” WALROND, Senior Pastor, First Corinthian Baptist Church https://twitter.com/MikeWalrond

PATRICIA “PAT” ROBINSON, Director Operations, Hot 97/WBLS/WLIB https://twitter.com/RadioHRlady

PHRESHER, Hip Hop Artist, Humanitarian https://twitter.com/PHRESHER_DGYGZ

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Street Soldiers TV: Rethinking Relationships: Is Rap Going Romantic?

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From hip hop royalty like Jay-Z and Beyoncé to the British royal family, love and marriage go hand-in-hand. At the same time, the trend of open relationships is growing.

But can they really work? What’s really going on with our modern relationships?

FEATURED CAST:
LISA EVERS, Host and Executive Producer, Street Soldiers https://twitter.com/lisaevers
JACOB BERGER, Actor and Social Media Influencer
DION METZGER, M.D., Psychiatrist, Couples Therapist and Author
GRAFH, Hip Hop Artist

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Street Soldiers TV: Fentanyl Crisis

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It’s dangerous and even deadly, and it’s flooding our neighborhoods…..From the city to the suburbs and beyond, Fentanyl is turning up in heroin and illegal pills….and it’s fueling a surge in overdoses.

Grammy-winning producer and rapper Timbaland shocked many in a new Rolling Stone interview by revealing he overdosed on prescription pills three years ago. This comes as the music industry and fans are reeling from the drug overdose death of up and coming Soundcloud sensation Lil Peep. He was 21 years old. One of the fatal pills may have been tainted with Fentanyl, a synthetic opiod 50 times more potent than heroin.

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Street Soldiers TV: Male Grooming Boom

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It’s been a quiet revolution but make no mistake about it—male grooming and body makeovers have exploded: from the barber shop to Botox, body sculpting to surgery, and mani-pedis to waxing. But are some men going too far?

Multi Grammy Award-winning artist Pharrell Williams says he keeps his youthful looks by “Exfoliating like a madman.” That’s a facial treatment that requires more than the hot towel you get at the local barber shop.

For a growing number of stars and regular guys of diverse ethnic, racial and generational groups, spa visits are key.

Sean Steele, the manager of the luxurious Living Fresh Men’s Spa, says they do massage, manicure, pedicure, facials, hair removal, and even laser procedures.

Some stars like Ryan Seacrest are capitalizing on the trend. He has his own men’s skincare line called Polish.

Cosmetic procedures and plastic surgery are on the rise for men, too—up 80 percent over the last 10 years, according to Dr. David Shafer, a plastic surgeon.

“Some men might come in because they want liposuction for their belly, they might want liposuction for their chest, a little liposuction under their chin,” Dr. Shafer says. “And while they’re here they say, ‘Do you do that Botox?'”

In October, the FDA approved the use of Botox for forehead lines. That opened the door for a celebrity pitch to a new group of potential users. Deion Sanders, the NFL hall of famer, does commercials for Botox.

We took our camera into men’s night at Dr. Shafer’s office. M.J., a business executive, allowed us to show you his treatment of a filler called Vollure and Botox.

Some men do take body makeovers to the extreme, like the man known as the Human Ken Doll. But in hip hop, super-buff super stars like 50 Cent and LL Cool J do it the old-fashioned way—by working out.

If you do choose treatments or surgery, Dr. Shafer says safety is key.

“Do your research. You want to make sure you’re going to a board-certified plastic surgeon, and you want it to be from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons,” Dr. Shafer says. “You don’t want to have somebody who’s calling themselves a ‘cosmetic specialist’ or ‘aesthetic specialist.'”

Now men are finding out what women have known for a long time: that all that maintenance comes at a price. Spa mani-pedis can go for $100 or more and Botox and fillers can run from the hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Do you think men are going too far? If so, are we creating the new double standard? Hear what our panel has to say on the topic. –

-LISA EVERS

FEATURED CAST:
LISA EVERS, Host and Executive Producer, Street Soldiers https://twitter.com/lisaevers http://www.hot97.com/lisaevers

ROLLING STONE P, Hip Hop Artist https://www.instagram.com/rollingstonep/

JENBKLYN LE, HOT 97 Host and CEO of Next Jeneration https://www.instagram.com/jenfrombk/ http://www.hot97.com/blogs/air/jenbklyn

PLEM LAWSON, Fitness Coach and Adjunct Professor https://www.instagram.com/brolicplem/

GREG DAVIS JR., a.k.a. KLARITY, Actor, Comedian and Social Media Influencer https://www.instagram.com/klarity/

DAVID SHAFER, MD, FACS, Plastic Surgeon http://www.shaferplasticsurgery.com

SEAN STEELE, Manager, Living Fresh Men’s Spa http://www.lfmensspa.com

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Street Soldiers TV: Social Media vs Social Mayhem

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Social media has never been hotter. Forget White House briefings—more national news is being generated on Twitter by President Trump than from the Oval Office. He has even brought a new demographic to the platform.

For everyone else, the several hours a day spent on social media can be a constant reminder of what they don’t have and will never be.

At its worst, it is a showcase for bullying and a forum for hate, with some groups more vulnerable than others, according to Bailey Parnell, founder and CEO of SkillsCamp. Women get it worse than men, she says, and women of color get it even worse.

In her TED Talks, Parnell urges people to become more aware of the impact on their lives and to understand that social media amplifies both positive and negative emotions.

Social media campaigns, like the hashtag #metoo referring to sexual harassment, raise awareness. Creative content like the Instagram accounts of comedian and actor TravQue and rapper and MTV personality Justina Valentine are propelling them to new levels of success.

Motivational prodigy King Nahh is only 12. He uses his social media to inspire people around the world. He has advice for parents: educate your child about cyberbullying and its consequences.

From Instagram antics to viral videos, the influence just keeps getting bigger and bigger. So how do we cope? This episode’s panel weighed in on that question.

–LISA EVERS

FEATURED CAST: LISA EVERS, Host and Executive Producer, Street Soldiers https://twitter.com/lisaevers

BAILEY PARNELL, Founder & CEO, SkillsCamp https://twitter.com/BaileyParnell https://twitter.com/SkillsCampHQ

TRAVQUE, Actor, Comedian, and Social Media Influencer https://twitter.com/TravQue

JUSTINA VALENTINE, Singer-Songwriter, Rapper, MTV Personality https://twitter.com/JustinaMusic

LUCKY CHURCH, Entertainment Consultant and Public Relations Expert https://twitter.com/LuckyChurch

NYEEM “KING NAHH” HUDSON, Motivational Speaker https://twitter.com/KING_NAHH

KELLY GROGLIO, Creative Director, Mungo Creative Group https://twitter.com/KGroglio

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Street Soldiers TV: Hollywood, Hip Hop and the Casting Couch

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The Harvey Weinstein scandal ignited the public debate about the sexual abuse of women and encouraged many who’d suffered in silence to speak out. But will all the talk lead to real change?

Jesse Reyes’ haunting song “Gatekeeper” details the pervasive casting couch culture in the entertainment industry, a sad pattern experienced by Hollywood A-listers who say it has happened to too many women.

The many allegations against Weinstein are just that, unproven accusations, and they underscore a more widespread problem, according to civil rights attorney Eric Sanders.

“There’s no system in place to really protect people so they’re not taken advantage of,” Sanders said. “And that means both sides.” It just can’t be a conversation among women, said Andrea-Rachel Parker, who plays Destiny on the hit Starz series “Power.”

“The conversation needs to start with men taking responsibility of their actions and then also becoming advocates for women’s safety,” Parker said.

She believes mistreatment of women extends far beyond the entertainment industry. “Sexual harassment isn’t a race thing, it’s not about class, it’s not about race it’s not about one specific work industry,” she said. “It’s all over for everyone.”

All the attention being paid to the accusations against a supremely powerful Hollywood figure does have a positive aspect, according to Dr. Elisa English, a clinical therapist.

“I think now it has given the power back to women,” she said. “They’re able to have this conversation. People believe them, people understand them, and now they’re learning to have empathy for their experiences.”

Many believe that breaking the silence is a step in the right direction.

–LISA EVERS #streetsoldiers #push4peace #metoo #sexualharassment #sexualassault

FEATURED CAST:
LISA EVERS, Host and Executive Producer, Street Soldiers https://twitter.com/lisaevers
SOWMYA KRISHNAMURTHY, Music Journalist and Pop Culture Expert https://twitter.com/SowmyaK ERIC SANDERS, Civil Rights Attorney and Founder of The Sanders Firm, P.C. https://twitter.com/SandersFirmPC
ANDREA-RACHEL PARKER, Actress, Singer and Choreographer https://twitter.com/Power_STARZ
DR. ELISA ENGLISH, Clinical Therapist https://twitter.com/AskDrElisa

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Street Soldiers TV: Combating School Violence in New York City

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The New York City school year got off to a violent start with an increase in deadly weapons and the murder of a student in his school. Now some are calling for tighter security, but others are worried about criminalizing our children.

“When I go to school and I feel like I’m not safe,” Matthew, a middle school student, said. “I think I can speak for all people — it affects you spiritually, mentally and physically.”

Safety fears are a daily reality for a majority of students and teachers, according to the Department of Education’s own survey.

The number of weapons seized in schools is up by nearly 50 percent, with 328 for July 1 to October 1, 2017, compared to 222 for the same period last year. ”

The students have a sense they can do whatever they want in our schools, so they’re bringing in more weapons,” said Gregory Floyd, president of Teamsters Local 237, the union representing school safety agents.

Abel Cedeno, 18, allegedly used a serrated switchblade to stab and kill Matthew McCree, 15, at the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Management in the Bronx.

Brian Favors, an expert in urban education, said another layer of adult intervention would deescalate these situations before they turn violent.

“We need to really be intentional about looking at how do you create a village in the school,” Favors said. “That means training for teachers in cultural competence, and how to handle conflicts, because a lot of these conflicts could be resolved.”

The tragedy created an outcry for metal detectors, which were promptly installed in the school. Only about 6 percent of New York City middle and high schools have them. The concern by the administration is the undertone of criminalization.

“In addition to the permanent scanners that are in the schools, we have the ability to go to any given school on any given day and do scanning there,” said Assistant Chief Brian Conroy of the NYPD School Safety Division.

A growing number of community leaders and parents say kids should not have to face their fears on their own.

“When you’re trying to focus on school, you also have a whole lot of problems running through your mind, ‘Oh what if I run into this person this day or after school, what am I going to do?'” Matthew said. “That all affects your academics, which will affect the rest of your life, will affect your career. And that’s not good.” Some say school safety measures need to keep up with our changing times. –LISA EVERS

FEATURED CAST: LISA EVERS, Host and Executive Producer, Street Soldiers https://twitter.com/lisaevers

BRIAN FAVORS, M.ED., M.S.ED., Educator, Breaking the Cycle Consulting https://www.culturallyresponsiveteach…

DARRIN PORCHER, PH.D., Criminal Justice Professor and Former NYPD Lieutenant https://twitter.com/DrDarrinPorcher

MATTHEW, Middle School Student

LINETTE TOWNSLEY, NAACP Youth Advisor

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Street Soldiers TV: Hip Hop Humanitarians – Fat Joe, Remy Ma, Jay Z and the Bronx Stand Up for Puerto Rico

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What started out with a rapper from the Forrest Projects in the Bronx posting a plea on Instagram for people to help Puerto Rico has evolved into a massive humanitarian movement with hip hop leading the way.

Hip hop superstar Fat Joe’s from-the-heart message asking for help for the hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico was met with an overwhelming response.

In the Bronx, the five-hour donation drive organized by Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. with Fat Joe picking up the tab for shipping turned into a 24-hour affair.

“It showed the force and the strength of hip hop,” Diaz said. “I’m so proud and thankful to Fat Joe, Jay Z, to Remy Ma, and all those who were able to come together to help the people of Puerto Rico during this time of pain, suffering, and crisis.”

The turnout and the volume of supplies were overwhelming. Jay Z paid for a plane to take the donations to the island, but one wasn’t enough so he added four more. He got Tidal Music involved in a big way by sponsoring a major drive at the Javits Center. It brought volunteers, the music industry, and Army National Guard together for a good cause.

Recording artist Lumidee told me she spent every summer with family in Puerto Rico and that she is proud to see the surge of help and assistance, which now totals 3 million pounds from New York City. She believes Fat Joe’s involvement convinced many to get involved.

A plane full of supplies Joe collected with Pit Bull flew from Miami to Puerto Rico this week. Another plane will leave from New York this weekend. Tidal is putting on a huge benefit concert at Barclays Center later this month.

FEATURED CAST:
LISA EVERS, Host and Executive Producer, Street Soldiers https://twitter.com/lisaevers

RUBEN DIAZ JR., Bronx Borough President https://twitter.com/rubendiazjr

REMY MA, Hip Hop Artist https://twitter.com/RealRemyMa

LUMIDEE, Hip Hop Artist https://twitter.com/thereallumidee

JOELL ORTIZ, Hip Hop Artist https://twitter.com/JoellOrtiz

MELISSA QUESADA, Director of Latino Affairs for Gov. Andrew Cuomo https://www.instagram.com/mquesadaesq/

FAT JOE, Hip Hop Artist https://twitter.com/fatjoe