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Street Soldiers TV: Hip Hop’s Family Feud: Old School vs. New School with Funk Flex

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Some call it hip hop’s family feud—old school vs. new school. But is the divide real or fake? I spoke exclusively to one of hip hop’s most powerful people: Funk Flex. At the Hot 97 studios, Flex said that hip hop is evolving—no question.

“The minute it all starts sounding the same—it’s not going to be cherished, it’s not going to be respected,” Flex said. “Are artists’ styles like Nas and Snoop and Biggie and Jay going to come back in style? Probably not.”

The so-called clone zone factor is a concern for Diddy.

“I’m not knocking anybody’s dream,” he said in an Instagram video. “I just don’t want the culture to get diluted, you know, where it gets so mass produced it doesn’t mean anything.”

Lil Xan ignited a controversy when he went on RevolTV and rated Tupac a “2” on a scale of 1 to 9 and called him “boring.” Waka Flocka went on Twitter to say he should be banned from hip hop.

“I may say a lot of things about Pac—boring is not one of them,” Flex said.

Lil Yachty set off another “new school¬–old school” controversy when he called Biggie “overrated” and then apologized.

Flex said that riled up the young kids and the old guys, too. He admitted he went hard on Yachty, but they started talking. Lil Yachty recently did a freestyle for him, and they turned a corner.

“That means you are studying the craft, ’cause you’re going home and trying to figure it out,” Flex said.

Flex said too many of today’s rappers are using social media gimmicks to get followers and mistaking that for a real career.

“If you’re doing all of that and you have no talent, there’s an expiration date for you, already written in stone,” Flex said.

Flex does has many favorites among new rappers. He said the argument has been that new artists don’t pay respect to the greats of the past. But he doesn’t let the old school off the hook, either.

“The veterans of the music business need to share more information with the up-and-coming young talent,” Flex said.



LISA EVERS, Host and Executive Producer, Street Soldiers

FUNK FLEX, Hot 97 Host, DJ, Producer

DREWSKI, Hot 97 DJ and Host

LORD JAMAR, Hip Hop Legend, Brand Nubian

JAQUÁE, Hip Hop Artist and Entertainer

Street Soldiers TV: Women Breaking Barriers: Progress and Pushback

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Women in the music industry are thriving. Cardi B’s “Finesse” remix sent Bruno Mars’ song skyrocketing up the charts. Hood Celebrityy’s self-empowerment anthem “Walking Trophy” is burning up radio airwaves.

Hip hop artist Justina Valentine says they’re all doing it carrying a burden man don’t have.

“Women in the entertainment industry, I feel like, face pressures to physically look perfect, be perfect, have the ideal body, always have every hair in place, makeup on fleek,” says Valentine, an MTV host.

Former Michelle Obama modernized the role of First Lady. We’ve even had the first female presidential candidate. Three women sit on the Supreme Court—Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is part of a growing trend. More women are running Fortune 500 companies than ever before.

“I believe we are progressing—we are making progress in the area of just having more women in leadership roles and leadership positions,” says Marline Francois, a therapist.

While “Black Panther” portrayed black women in powerful roles, in reality, women of color face special challenges. “When you look at the economic gap or educational advancements for women of color, it’s very different,” Francois says. “You have to fight harder.”

Latina superstars like Jennifer Lopez, Salma Hayek, and Sofia Vergara show you can be proud of your culture and be successful.

“What I see is there are two things going on—there’s progress and there’s pushback,” says Raquel Cepeda, a filmmaker and author.

Cepeda tracked the lives of Latina teens in a suicide prevention program in her new documentary, “Some Girls.”

“One thing that alarmed me was the fact that they felt the need to have to live up to the images they see on TV in order just to get by in mainstream society,” Cepeda says.

With more women like Cepeda behind the camera, more untold stories are coming to light.

“I do feel like the tide is starting to change and shift more in favor for women,” Valentine says. “There still aren’t as many opportunities, but I feel like a lot more opportunities are opening up.”



LISA EVERS, Host and Executive Producer, Street Soldiers

JUSTINA VALENTINE, Hip Hop Artist and Host, MTV’s Wild ‘N Out

RAQUEL CEPEDA, Author and Director, “Some Girls”

HOODCELEBRITYY, Pop and Reggae Star

MARLINE FRANCOIS, LCSW, Therapist and Executive Director, Far More Precious

DONSHEA HOPKINS, Actress and Singer


Street Soldiers TV: Can School Shootings Be Stopped? Teen Activists Rise Up

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Yet another mass shooting tragedy tore at the soul of our nation. But this time the aftermath is different. Many students who survived the massacre at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida are vowing to make sure it never happens again. Can they succeed where so many others have failed?

“Every single person up here today, all these people, should be at home grieving,” Stoneman Douglas senior Emma Gonzalez said in a speech. “But instead we are up here, standing together because if all our government and president can do is send thoughts and prayers, then it’s time for victims to be the change that we need to seek.”

The brave speech by Gonzalez struck the conscience of the country and ignited the Never Again: March for Our Lives movement created by her and fellow students.

The teens took to the streets, the statehouse and anywhere people would listen—all this in between funerals for the 17 students and staff murdered at their school in Parkland, Florida. This is a healthy response, according to Dr. Randy Sconiers.

“At that age group, they’re very resilient, those kids that were talking out were very strong, they were tough, they were using that trauma and turning it into something that could actually help change,” Sconiers said. “And I call that transformational pain—when you experience pain then use it to change things in your environment.”

Teen actress Donshea Hopkins played the daughter of Ghost on the hit series “Power.” Her character Raina was gunned down outside school. She sees the debate over the Florida teens’ strong anti-gun stance as a positive.

“I think they’re doing an amazing job and they’re doing what they have to do. It’s like controversy causes action,” Hopkins said. “You can’t just set down and say ‘I don’t want this to happen anymore,’ you have to stand up and you have to try and make a change, you have to talk to your local politicians, you do have to go to Washington and talk to these really important people.”

For younger children, unavoidable images of the tragedy can be overwhelming and impossible to ignore. So the experts say that parents should encourage conversation.

“Be really careful about the information they share based on their age of the kids as well,” Sconiers said. “You don’t want to scare your kids but you want to educate them.”

“I let them know there’s people out there who try to do harm sometimes, here’s what to look out for, here’s what to do in these type of situations, here’s how to react, here’s how to respond,” said Patrick McCall, the CEO of McCall Risk Group and a father of four. “So that way they’re prepared, they’re not deer in the headlights, ‘Oh my god, what’s going on?'”

While the current generation of teens is sometimes seen as too passionate and unwilling to listen to adults, it could be their key to success as they take on the NRA, the White House, and anyone in their way, Sconiers said.

“Because they have those attitudes, they’re willing to go against the grain, and ‘If we have to, we’ll go against the adults who are not making changes,'” he said. “So that same thing that was considered the bad parts of this generation, we’re saying now this is actually the strength.”


FEATURED CAST: LISA EVERS, Host and Executive Producer, Street Soldiers

RANDY SCONIERS, DSW, LCSW, Clinical Therapist, New Steps Counseling

DONSHEA HOPKINS, Actress and Artist

PATRICK MCCALL, CEO, McCall Risk Group, Security Consultant

DARRIN PORCHER, PHD, Former NYPD Lieutenant, Criminal Justice Professor, Security Consultant


Street Soldiers TV: The Black Panther Phenomenon

By | Fox 5, Street Soldiers | No Comments

Marvel’s Black Panther is in movie theaters now. Black Panther the superhero is here to save the world but he represents so much more than that.

Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created the comic book character in 1966—and predates the Black Panther Party, according to Chuck Creekmur, the CEO of The character is a king, warrior, and scientist—an alpha male on another level, Creekmur says.

Black Panther is king of a fictional technologically advanced African country that hides its riches and intellectual wealth from the world until the Black Panther must fulfill his destiny.

The movie has great action, strong female characters, a multi-layered plot and a predominantly black cast. It is groundbreaking in many ways.

“You have a $200 million budget given to a person of color, Ryan Coogler, 31 years old, has only directed two other films prior to this—Fruitvale Station and Creed,” says Clayton Davis, a film critic and the editor in chief of “And he’s given the keys to a big franchise like Black Panther.”

The film’s positive portrayals of a black civilization untouched by racism or colonialism can have a profound effect, especially on children.

“We’ve all been conditioned to see Africa and Africa’s children, whether they be in Africa or in Brooklyn, in a negative light,” says Brian Favors, an educator with the Nate Parker Foundation. “And I think this is going to be something that’s going to help defy some of those stereotypes.”

“Any time an individual can see themselves in a positive light, that can only increase their self-esteem,” says Dr. Elisa English, a clinical therapist.


FEATURED CAST: LISA EVERS, Host and Executive Producer, Street Soldiers


CLAYTON DAVIS, Editor in Chief,

BRIAN FAVORS, Educator, Nate Parker Foundation

DR. ELISA ENGLISH, clinical therapist


Street Soldiers TV: Love and Loyalty: Taking Back a Cheater

By | Fox 5, Street Soldiers | No Comments

Sade sang about love on the front lines. Now for celebrities, their love lives are increasingly on front street.

Mega-hot Cardi B was still celebrating her engagement to Migos rapper Offset when other women posted their sex tapes with him. Cardi responded that cheating happens to everyone so why start over with someone else?

Celebrities can influence our relationships, according to Essence Magazine senior editor Charreah Jackson, a relationship expert.

“We know that people are watching what celebrities do more than ever so it definitely has an impact to see what are favorite celebrities, your favorite singer, your favorite actor,” Jackson says. “What’s happening in their home can definitely normalize things that happen in your home.”

Cheating scandals (think Tiger Woods) used to mean shame and divorce court. But no more. Actress Gabrielle Union went on to marry NBA star Dwayne Wade even after he confessed he had a baby with another woman. Lala Anthony is estranged from husband Carmelo after he reportedly fathered a child with his alleged mistress.

And it is not just celebrities.

“Believe it or not, nine times out of ten, the people are staying around,” says private investigator Patrick McCall, CEO of McCall Risk Group. “You’re presenting them with some pretty good evidence, some solid facts that this occurred, and they’re basically just saying, ‘I’m already invested, I have nowhere to go.'”

He says a lot of clients rationalize staying by saying they must have done something.

Jay-Z and Beyoncé may be the most high-profile couple to stay together through the tough times and make chart-topping albums and millions of dollars along the way—first Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” and then Jay’s “4:44.”

Jackson believes if the couple gets to the root cause of the cheating, they can rekindle their love.

But McCall disagrees.

“My honest opinion is, ‘Once a cheater, always a cheater,’ never going to change,” he says. “The possibility of that person doing it again is pretty high.”


FEATURED CAST: LISA EVERS, Host and Executive Producer, Street Soldiers

CHARREAH JACKSON, Senior Editor, Essence Magazine

JACK A. DANIELS, Psychotherapist and TV Host

ANAIS, Star, “Love and Hip Hop: New York”