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Street Soldiers TV: The Best of Street Soldiers Town Halls Starring Ja Rule, Papoose and Jaquáe

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Street Soldiers hosts special town halls in various communities. Lisa Evers has hosted events in Harlem, Brooklyn, The Bronx, and even Rikers Island. Special guest panelists have included Ja Rule, Jaquae, and Papoose. Watch this special episode that recaps the best moments from those town halls.

FEATURED CAST

LISA EVERS https://twitter.com/LisaEvers

JA RULE https://twitter.com/Ruleyork PAPOOSE https://twitter.com/Papooseonline

JAQUAE https://twitter.com/JAQUAE

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Street Soldiers TV: Chinx’s Murder 3 Years Later: Journey for Justice

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Hip hop star Lionel “Chinx” Pickens was murdered on May 17, 2015. He was shot 11 times at point-blank range while in his Porsche, according to the NYPD.

This time of year is tough on Janelli Caceres-Pickens, his widow and the mother of their three children.

“It’s hard,” Caceres-Pickens said. “No matter how much time passes, you constantly have to relive those images.”

The NYPD said that the alleged murderers stalked Chinx and picked the perfect location—boxed in by construction barriers and no video cameras.

“This was targeted and he was hunted,” said Lt. Richard Rudolph, the commanding officer of Queens South Homicide.

After a two-year investigation and with grand jury indictments in their hands, homicide detectives arrested Quincy Homere and Jamar Hill last December. Lt. Rudolph believes they have the right guys.

“Extremely convinced—my detectives worked extremely hard, day and night,” Lt. Rudolph said. “And they compiled a mountain of evidence built against these defendants.”

Before the arrests, Janelli said she ignored speculation and gossip, never gave up hope, and cooperated with detectives, who kept her informed every step of the way.

The court appearances for the two suspects, both charged with second-degree murder, are underway. Every time, Janelli comes within feet of the men who allegedly took away the love of her life.

—LISA EVERS

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

JANELLI CACERES-PICKENS, Owner, Nelli’s Kitchen, and Chinx’s Widow

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

SOWMYA KRISHNAMURTHY, Music Journalist https://twitter.com/SowmyaK

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Street Soldiers TV: Education Town Hall with Papoose

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The Brownsville section of Brooklyn is one of the most economically challenged communities in America. But something amazing is happening at P.S./I.S. 284.

Brownsville has two juvenile detention centers, but no traditional four-year high school. For the 481 students who attend P.S./I.S. 284, that is no excuse for failure.

“Success is for everyone, and it hits home,” Principal Keva Pitts-Girard said. “As long as you want it, and want to strive for it, even if you don’t want it, we try to expose you to it.”

Pitts-Girard and her staff do their best to make sure the children are not negatively impacted by their parents’ lack of resources.

“We provide eyeglasses, we have a dental clinic that comes in,” Pitts-Girard said. “We do all sorts of things to motivate students to ensure that they want to be here.”

They also structured the school day so being hungry won’t interfere with the learning for the pre-kindergarten to 8th graders.

“We open our school at 8 a.m. so that they can have a breakfast program. The good part of us being a renewal school is that we also provide a second meal before they go home,” Pitts-Girard said. “So they have breakfast, they have lunch, and then they get another meal.”

Some of the teachers and staff grew up in Brownsville and bring a personal passion to their work.

“I’m everybody’s parent, I’m everybody’s dad—so I lend my myself to everyone, each and every one of them,” Dean of Students Trevor Glover said. “Discipline does not come from bullying. Discipline comes from service.”

Some estimates put the number of adults in Brownsville who never finished high school at more than 40 percent, so the teaching strategy is to incentivize education. The students are constantly reminded that extra effort and doing well academically brings rewards.

“We have over 100 students that are going skating in Long Island on Saturday just to reward them for taking a step towards their education,” Pitts-Girard said. “They didn’t have to choose to come on a Saturday or during recess, but they came.”

–LISA EVERS

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

PAPOOSE, Hip Hop Artist and Father https://twitter.com/Papooseonline

STATE SEN. JESSE HAMILTON, Democrat of Brooklyn https://twitter.com/SenatorHamilton

LA SHAWN PAUL, LCSW-R, ACSW, Founder and Lead Clinician, Social Work Diva http://www.socialworkdiva.com

QUARDEAN LEWIS-ALLEN, Founder and CEO, Made in Brownsville https://twitter.com/khwar_deen http://madeinbrownsville.org

KEVA PITTS-GIRARD, Principal, P.S./I.S. 284 http://schools.nyc.gov/SchoolPortals/…

TREVOR GLOVER, Dean of Students, P.S./I.S. 284 http://schools.nyc.gov/SchoolPortals/…

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Street Soldiers TV: New York vs. Atlanta: Rivalry for the Capital of Rap

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It’s hip hop’s dirty little secret: the love-hate relationship between New York and Atlanta and the constant competition over which city reigns supreme as rap capital of the world. There may be more to it than just the music.

No one disputes that hip hop started in New York City—breaking new ground as New York artists broke new beats. Hot 97 DJ Funk Flex told me it is really about perspective. He sees Atlanta as very good but not the new capital.

In the 1990s golden era of hip hop, artists from New York and Los Angeles dominated the charts and the culture. But in 1999, a new artist called Lil Wayne turned all eyes on the South.

A few years later, Gucci Mane and T.I. launched the trap music movement. For more than a decade, Atlanta artists dominated the charts.

The emphasis of Atlanta artists like Young Thug, Future and Migos on catchy beats and their flamboyant style resonated with millions of new hip hop fans, taking trap mainstream.

For a while there was a strong belief that Atlanta wasn’t showing New York artists love but that may not have been the full story. New York artists get played in Atlanta—and they go there to party.

Cardi B is leading the charge of New York artists making their mark, according to Atlanta’s DJ Infamous, who is also a tour DJ for Ludacris. Infamous said that another reason city rivalries and boundaries are disappearing is the digital revolution, which means new music is streamed instantly around the world and it doesn’t matter where it comes from.

And as Flex says, ultimately, the fans determine the hits, regardless of where they’re from.

–LISA EVERS

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

FUNK FLEX, Hot 97 https://twitter.com/funkflex

DJ DREWSKI, Hot 97 https://twitter.com/SoDrewski

CHUCK CREEKMUR, CEO allhiphop.com https://twitter.com/chuckcreekmur

TAP, Hip Hop Artist https://twitter.com/1TapiaSGB

SOLO, Streetz 94.5 https://twitter.com/USofSOLO

DJ INFAMOUS, V 103 https://twitter.com/DJInfamousATL

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Street Soldiers TV: Hip Hop and Women: Has the Disrespect Gone Too Far?

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Society is waking up to all kinds of issues affecting women but in hip hop something else is going on. Some of the hottest new artists are facing troubling charges involving women in their lives at the same time their careers are skyrocketing.

XXX Tentacion, Kodak Black, and Tekashi 6ix9ine are three of the hottest hip hop artists out now. XXX is facing more than a dozen felony charges for allegedly beating and threatening his pregnant ex-girlfriend. Kodak Black was indicted for sexual assault. And Tekashi 6ix9ine pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct with a 13-year-old girl. The publicity around the cases seemed to fuel their rise up the Billboard music charts.

Violence against women is nothing new in the music industry. Eminem’s controversial song with Rihanna drew heavy criticism for its mixed messages about domestic violence. On the R & B side, no amount of musical genius could keep some R. Kelly fans from defecting after disturbing allegations about a 14-year-old girl.

This all comes at a time when women artists are thriving. Cardi B has a mega hot new album. Remy Ma is showing female artists can be married with children. And Nicki Minaj continues to crank out the hits.

Despite the advances, Dream Doll, whose latest single is “Everything Nice,” says it’s still a challenge for up-and-coming female artists to be taken seriously in the male-dominated industry. Dream Doll says that one thing she does to convey a professional image is to always take at least one or two members of her team with her to studio sessions, which are usually all male and often late at night.

–LISA EVERS

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

DYLAN GREEN, Music Journalist https://twitter.com/CineMasai_

DREAM DOLL, Hip Hop and Pop Artist https://twitter.com/realdreamdoll

RANDOLPH SCONIERS, DSW, LCSW, New Steps Counseling and Founder, Mental-Hop https://twitter.com/NewStepsCounsel

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Street Soldiers TV: Teen Summit Town Hall

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Teens in the East Harlem community face many of the same issues teens do everywhere but here they have the added challenge of avoiding the lure of the streets. Luckily for them there are some programs working to guide them in a positive direction.

Getting money is always a goal, and the temptation is to get it fast any way you can is always there. But Harlem teens also grow up seeing the price some pay for breaking the law. Harder to avoid is the social media beefing between youth in different housing developments.

Lawrence Birthwright, known to the community as Brother Jay or Mr. Jay, grew up in housing, and came up with a plan. Based out of the Stanley Isaacs/James Weldon Johnson Center, the S.A.F.E. Program features sports, leadership training, field trips and educational support for boys and girls. But most of all it’s about the ongoing dialogue and guidance.

We were invited by community leaders to do a special teen summit town hall to give the teens a chance to speak out. You might be surprised by what they have to say.

–LISA EVERS, Host and Executive Producer, Street Soldiers