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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.”

–LISA EVERS

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

CHARREAH JACKSON, Senior Editor, Essence Magazine https://twitter.com/Charreah

JACK A. DANIELS, Psychotherapist and TV Host https://twitter.com/jackAdaniels

ANAIS, Star, “Love and Hip Hop: New York” https://twitter.com/therealanais

PATRICK MCCALL, CEO, McCall Risk Group https://twitter.com/mccallriskgroup

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Street Soldiers TV: NYCHA Town Hall 2.2.18

By | Fox 5, Street Soldiers | No Comments

The New York City Housing Authority provides affordable housing for nearly half a million New Yorkers. But with a no-heat crisis and other ongoing health and safety issues, can NYCHA turn it around before it is too late?

This has been a rough winter for tens of thousands of rent-paying NYCHA residents who found themselves without heat and without help on some of the coldest days in decades. Residents told us it was nothing new, but it was also never this bad.

From Throggs Neck to Far Rockaway, one end of the city to the other, resident council leaders told us they were running high on complaints and low on results—a pattern all too familiar from the lead paint scandal and safety issues like crime, lighting, and security cameras.

Aging buildings, boilers breaking down, lack of staff, and lack of funding—despite NYCHA’s $3 billion annual budget—are the reasons we kept getting. Another frustration was no real timetable for repairs. So we put it to NYCHA Chair Shola Olatoye in a rare interview on a recent Street Soldiers episode.

Some elected officials want her to step down. They accuse NYCHA management of incompetence, covering up problems, and not caring about residents.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and City Comptroller Scott Stringer called the situation an emergency.

Public Advocate Letitia James called for new leadership at NYCHA that recognizes the priorities of the residents, particularly the most vulnerable and marginalized.

Days after announcing a $13 million emergency fund, Mayor Bill de Blasio told Good Day New York that he is sticking by his NYCHA chair, period.

So we took it to the people of NYCHA housing in a ground-breaking town hall in the Bronx. Voices were united as residents demanded permanent fixes to the problems. Residents and resident council leaders from more than a dozen public housing developments came out with local youth and concerned elected officials to talk about ways to solve the persistent problems facing NYCHA residents.

Residents have complained about no heat or hot water, urgent repairs not being made, broken promises, and dangerous health issues like lead and mold exposure.

Street Soldiers invited the mayor and NYCHA to attend or at the very least send representatives but they were all no-shows.

Our panelists who grew up in public housing say it is time to take the issues to NYCHA and City Hall. Joining our panel was hip-hop artist Ja Rule.

We had a lot of support for the town hall from Hot 97, which helped us get the word out and provide refreshments, to the hit web series “Project Heat,” which is based in the Pink Houses, to our event host, the Bronxworks Community Organization, which empowers Bronx residents to live their best life possible.

The mayor has pledged more than $200 million for new boilers and repairs, but many are skeptical about the timeline and the amount, which they say is a drop in the bucket.

–LISA EVERS

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Street Soldiers TV: Urban Web Series

By | Fox 5, Street Soldiers | No Comments

Urban web series are exploding in popularity. The shows attract millions of viewers. Themes of life and death in the streets, often on the edge of the law, made by self-taught filmmakers. Is this real-life street cinema or is the ‘hood going Hollywood?

“Mayhem” claimed the title as best popular web series in the first Urban Web Series Awards. It took off so fast that creator Andre Keys never looked back. He quit his job to work on the series full time. In fact, he is launching a spinoff series soon.

“Home of the Hittaz” is based out of Brooklyn, the Bronx and Far Rockaway with familiar themes of the drug game and violence and with characters as addictive as crack.

TV and film critic Clayton Davis says viewers can’t get enough. If there is a Hollywood for web series, it has to be Brooklyn. “Project Heat” makes filming on the streets an event for the neighborhood.

The incredible thing is that most of these web series creators are self-taught filmmakers and use friends and family members as actors, which makes scheduling a challenge. As they sign major distribution deals, they’ll be able to have a payroll.

–LISA EVERS

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

TIFFON “POP” DUNN, Creator, “Project Heat” and Founder, Urban Web Series Awards https://www.instagram.com/popshowup/

DOUG “KD” APPARICIO, Producer and Cowriter, “Project Heat” https://www.instagram.com/kdshowup/

BOOM P., Creator and Director, “Respect Life” https://www.instagram.com/boompacino/

CLAYTON DAVIS, Editor-in-Chief, AwardsCircuit.com https://twitter.com/AwardsCircuit

ANDRE KEYS, Creator, “Mayhem” https://www.instagram.com/mayhem_driz/

SHAKIM HINES, Creator, “Home of the Hittaz” https://www.instagram.com/ceo_sha_hom…

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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