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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

By | Fox 5, Street Soldiers | No Comments

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

By | Fox 5, Street Soldiers | No Comments

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?

By | Fox 5, Street Soldiers | No Comments

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