Street Soldiers

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Street Soldiers TV: Can Hip Hop Change the Political Game?

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Politics and serious issues have always had a place in hip hop since day one but now that hip hop is a billion-dollar industry with millions of fans, could the culture become a political force?

Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” became a rousing anthem in 1990 at a time when there was tremendous anger and frustration over injustices. Fast forward 28 years to Donald Glover, a.k.a. Childish Gambino’s “This Is America.” The song captures the current troubling pressures on black lives, but the artist resists putting a label on it.

“I feel like it’s not really my place. I think it’s something that’s just out there,” he said in an interview. “It’s for the people.”

I sat down with XXL Magazine editor-in-chief Vanessa Satten for her take. She said “This Is America” did what it was supposed to do.

“It hit all the different points, it got the audience response,” she said. “Everything about it was right on the money.”

“Doitall” Dupré Kelly of the platinum-selling hip hop group Lords of the Underground performs around the world. He took political involvement to a new level. He ran for but did not win a City Council seat in his hometown of Newark. He told me fame isn’t enough.

“You can’t just expect to win an elected official seat,” he said. “You have to be in tune with the community. You have to be involved with all the residents of the community, from the youth to the seniors.”

Superstar Kanye West originally said he’d run for president in 2020, setting off a merchandising gold rush. Now he is setting his sights on 2024. Satten said the current political dissatisfaction may actually make hip hop votes a reality.

“I think there’s a possibility the hip hop community may come out and support voting more,” Satten said. “It comes a lot with the rappers, sometimes it comes from the more popular rappers, so you’ve got to hope that a popular rapper wants to take that as their plate.”

Fame and money may get you just about everything but actually winning political races takes a different skill set. Still, recent history has shown just about anything is possible.


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

L. LONDELL MCMILLAN, Entertainment Attorney and Publisher, Source Magazine

DUPRÉ “DOITALL” KELLY, Hip Hop Artist and Entrepreneur

BASIL SMIKLE, Political Strategist and Professor



Street Soldiers TV: “Overcoming Addiction”

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Getting off drugs isn’t easy and many people fail. So with the drug epidemic touching every community, how do you overcome addiction before it is too late?

Mac Miller’s comments in a 2016 Fader documentary take on tragic meaning after his death of an apparent drug overdose on September 7, 2018. He was 26, had a new album, and was about to go on a world tour. Watching French Montana warning him about a potent mixture of Lean (soda mixed with codeine cough syrup and other substances) is painful.

“When you’re taking something like Lean, it is such a gateway to that euphoric opiate type of a high,” Dr. Domenick Sportelli, a psychiatrist, said.

Miller lost his battle with substance abuse. And unfortunately he is not alone. A recent New York City Health Department survey found that overdose deaths rose in 2017—taking the life of one New Yorker every six hours.

Dr. Arabia Mollette said she sees it in her emergency room.

“People of all races, ethnicities, religious groups, and ages—from school-age children to someone’s grandmother,” she said.

Drugs like heroin, cocaine, pills and K-2 increasingly are laced with the synthetic opioid fentanyl, which is the main factor in the rising death toll.

We saw an FDNY paramedic and NYPD officers trying to deal with a man who had apparently overdosed in the middle of a street in the South Bronx.

“I’m just flabbergasted at how each day, every hour on the hour, of people that come into the emergency department overdosing on opiates or molly or K-2,” Dr. Mollette said.

She said she believes that none of the treatment options work unless the substance abuser takes personal responsibility.

That can be an enormous challenge when the addiction is both physical and psychological, according to Dr. Sportelli.

“They have mental stressors that they can escape from within a couple of hours—and it all goes away,” Dr. Sportelli said. “The problem is when the drug wears off, all of those problems come back, and it’s 10 times worse if not more—plus the physical symptoms of your body craving it.”


#MacMiller #DrugOverdose #DrugAddiction #Opioids #Fentanyl #Heroin #Spice #K2 #DrugTreatment #streetsoldiers #push4peace

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

TERRELL JONES, Co-Chair, Peer Network of New York and Partner, Drug Policy Alliance

DR. ARABIA MOLLETTE, Emergency Medicine Physician

TONY SUNSHINE, Artist and 3 Years Sober











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Street Soldiers TV: Time to Step Up School Security?

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Realizing their full potential is difficult for some of the city’s more than 1 million students when fears of violence are on their minds. Every year, school safety agents confiscate hundreds of deadly weapons, including guns and knives.

And that is at schools that have metal detectors, which are less than 10 percent of the total, according to school safety union head Gregory Floyd.

“What worries me the most is we do not know what the children are bringing in to the schools. We don’t know which children are being bullied, which children are bringing in weapons, we have no clue,” Floyd said. “And this always leads to disastrous consequences.”

The stabbing death of a student in a Bronx high school last year highlighted the problem. It was the first murder in a school in 15 years. The school does not have metal detectors, despite the requests of staff and parents.

Parent and educator Shakima Davis said that installing modern video surveillance and metal detectors in all schools should be mandatory.

“Sometimes people snap so you never really know where that person’s mindset is at,” She said. “So I just feel it’s always good to take those precautions so no matter what, it can alleviate any problems or any incidents happening.”

A Department of Education spokesperson told Street Soldiers: “The DOE is committed to fostering safe and supportive learning environments, and we work in lockstep with NYPD to ensure every school building is secure we take every necessary step to ensure the safety and preparedness of our school communities.”

In order to get an idea of what is going on system-wide, City Council Member Paul Vallone is pushing for a task force.


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

STATE SEN. JESSE HAMILTON, D-Brooklyn, Ranking Member, Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business Committee

SHAKIMA DAVIS, Parent and Educator

GREGORY FLOYD, President, Teamsters Local237

CITY COUNCILMEMBER PAUL VALLONE, D-Queens, Chair, Economic Development Committee



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Dangerous drugs are flooding our streets and the overdose rate is steadily climbing, taking more and more lives every year—in greater numbers than murders and car accidents combined.

Drugs have always been a part of our culture but the problem is the worst that it has ever been, according to Special Agent in Charge James Hunt of the New York Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

“As far as the influx of heroin, we’re seeing 10 times more than we had 10 years ago,” Hunt said. “Fentanyl is probably 10 times more than it was two years ago.”

Hunt said that fentanyl, which is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, is coming mainly from China and the dark web.

“Fentanyl is a game changer,” he said. “As bad as heroin and cocaine are alone, mixed with fentanyl, you’re playing with your life.”

The near-death overdose of superstar Demi Lovato was reportedly from pills laced with fentanyl. The man who gave them to her told TMZ he didn’t know what was in them.

Fentanyl acts quickly, according to Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency room physician.

“You basically lose the urge to breathe, carbon dioxide builds up in your bloodstream, and you can die from lack of oxygen,” he said.

Hunt said that fentanyl has found its way into K2, which is marketed with brand names and colorful packaging to appeal to teens and has caused many overdoses. K2 is often called synthetic marijuana but Hunt said that is false advertising and a marketing gimmick.

“It’s a chemical compound that’s very dangerous,” Hunt said. “You may get some of the initial effects but it can make you very, very ill. And it can kill you.”

Over the last several years, the DEA has identified over 400 different chemical compounds called K2 that can be especially harmful to teens.

“It can actually rewire their brain and it can lead to ongoing mental health issues, including psychosis,” Glatter said. “And even increase the risk of long-term mental illness.”

Overdoses have happened in restaurants, schools, stores, and other public places.

New York State has a 911 good Samaritan law that protects you from arrest if you call for help for yourself or another person.



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

DR. ROBERT GLATTER, ER Physician, Lenox Hill Hospital

MELISSA MOORE, Deputy State Director, New York, Drug Policy Alliance

LT. HENRY MARRERO, Retired, North Bergen Police Department

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Street Soldiers TV: Mastering the Music Business

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Many people want to become stars in the music world. And there are more ways than ever before to realize that dream. But what does it really take to get to the top and stay there?

Paterson’s own Fetty Wap made music history as the first act to have four hits simultaneously on Billboard’s Top 10 Hot Rap song chart. By the time his first song was out, he’d already recorded several albums.

His work ethic and authenticity made the most of his management team’s strategies, says his manager Danny Su Griffin.

“He was coming from his heart, it was definitely coming from his heart,” Griffin says. “He was being himself and he had it in him.”

Also coming from the heart is his new artist Shamyra. She has won on the Apollo stage and is now communicating her latest message through her music video “Reaching for the Stars.” She says that as long as she stays true to herself, she can’t be compared to anyone.

Whether it’s the phenomenal-creativity and career of Drake, or the groundbreaking success of Cardi B that took many by surprise, the big names all share a strong work ethic and stick to a career strategy.

But it begins even before that, Griffin says. An artist needs to believe that they can achieve their dreams and then work hard to make them come true.


FEATURED CAST: LISA EVERS @lisaevers Street Soldiers host

SHAWN PREZ, Marketing Expert and Founder, Global Spin Awards


DANNY SU GRIFFIN, Fetty Wap’s Manager and CEO, RGF/AMG Productions


Street Soldiers TV: Hip Hop & Video Gaming Revolution

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A popular music video by Lil Yachty, Ski Mask the Slump God and Yung Bans is a tribute to one of the most popular games in the world—Fortnite. Top music producer Murda Beatz incorporated the game’s original theme into the rap version.

This is just part of the growing relationship between hip-hop and gaming, which makes perfect sense, according to expert Sherri L. Smith.

“Because it’s lucrative, you have cameos, you can provide a soundtrack, you can make your own video game,” Smith said. “And gaming is so mainstream in America you can reach so many more potential fans than you ever could on Spotify, iTunes or Tidal.”

In the new NBA2K19, hip-hop artists 2 Chainz and Rapsody join forces with LeBron James in a win-win for everyone. Industry powerhouse and champion player HipHopGamer said other artists are starting to pay attention.

“Cool factor played a big role in it, the money, the attention, the value and the engagement,” he said. “It’s beneficial for them, it’s also fun, and it also gives them an opportunity to grow their brand, and that right there helps them become sustainable no matter where they go in the form of entertainment.”

Murda Mook, the king of battle rap, grew up playing video games. He said sees similarities with his art form—both are about winning. “Video games is another way of the competitive aspect, and another way of getting your frustration out too,” he said.

Hip hop artists have even more incentive to tap into the trend. At a time when some have trouble filling large venues, gaming fans are packing the stands.

“Lego Legends, Counter Strike Go, which is also known as CSGo, all these arena-style games, they are selling out stadiums,” Smith said. “People are paying to watch these people play competitively.”

Evolving technology which transformed the music industry is also transforming gaming with the growing popularity of live gaming.

“If you look at music the way it was and the way it is now, you’re talking about how many streams you got, not how many albums you’re selling, so everything is different,” HipHopGamer said. “If you look at Twitch, YouTube, and Mixr, that’s backed by Microsoft, these new platforms allow you to engage with your audience in a whole new way.”


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

HIPHOPGAMER, Video Gaming Champion and Gaming Journalist

SHERRI L. SMITH, Games and Tech Journalist and Editor, Laptop Mag and Tom’s Guide

MURDA MOOK, King of Battle Rap and Video Gaming Enthusiast