Street Soldiers


Street Solders TV: Can Social Media Influencers Make Real Money?

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People will do anything chasing popularity and social media likes, even crossing the line with dangerous or destructive behavior. Now Instagram will test hiding the likes to ease the pressure and mental stress of low numbers.

Marketing strategist Sean Prez called this a responsible move.

“They’re paying attention to the fact that many people are chasing these likes,” he said. “People are posting and they’re not really having discretion or discernment with what they put up so long as they get the feedback and the likes.”

Fashion and beauty influencer King Steph turned her high numbers of followers and likes into a business that became so lucrative she put her Columbia master’s degree on the shelf and quit a full-time office job. She is paid by fashion and beauty brands to model and post her pictures. She views it as a launch pad.

“I don’t just want to stay here doing this one thing, I think it’s really important to grow and use this platform to launch yourself upwards,” she said.

Flossy Carter has more than 1 million subscribers on his tech-oriented YouTube page, and has the plaque to prove it. The former paramedic who worked at ground zero on 9/11 started making videos as a hobby and found about six years later it became more than a labor of love.

“At a certain point, I started to notice that I was making the same amount of money on YouTube as I was making at work, and I was doing both of them at the same time,” he said. “I noticed I wasn’t spending that much time with my daughter, that I didn’t have a lot of free time, so I had to make a choice and quit one or the other.” YouTube won out. Flossy said his following appreciates the fact that he gives his honest opinion. And the income streams just keep flowing.

“You make money from ads on your videos, the watch time of the video, the longer the video is the more opportunity you have to put ads in that video,” he said. “You also make money from affiliates, so say if I make a video for XYZ company I’m going to make that money from YouTube for the ads, and also if you buy that product from that XYZ company, they’ll give me a little commission.”

–LISA EVERS, Host and Executive Producer, Street Soldiers


Street Soldiers TV: Social Media and Relationships: Does It Help or Hurt?

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Dating used to be so sweet and simple: ask the object of your affections out, treat them to a date, and let nature take its course. But social media has changed the game and not necessarily improved it, according to strategist Kristen Ruby. It has made things much more complicated and added to the disposable culture, she says.

Hip hop artist and “Love and Hip Hop New York” star Grafh is also skeptical. He says that people don’t know how to communicate and connect one on one.

But if you’re at the stage where the goal is variety with no strings, then social media is ideal, according to up-and-coming hip hop artist Lougotcash, who is featured on the “Into the Spiderverse” soundtrack. He doesn’t use dating apps—just Instagram. He calls his approach “same day shipping.”

On the positive side, others say the many choices on social media help you clarify what you really want. And once you find that person, you may need to take it one step further to make sure you’re on the same online page.

LISA EVERS, Host and Executive Producer, Street Soldiers


Street Soldiers TV: Nipsey Hussle’s Life and Legacy

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The outpouring of love continues for murdered rapper Nipsey Hussle. Even former President Barack Obama sent a condolence letter. But the most moving remembrances of the hip hop artist and community activist came from those closest to him.

Thousands of people filled the Staples Center in Los Angeles to celebrate Hussle’s life and mourn their loss. His son and his mother showed their personal strength despite their heartbreaking loss.

Hussle was on the verge of major mainstream success with “Victory Lap,” which earned him a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album. He was also becoming widely recognized by city officials for his leadership in his Crenshaw community in South L.A.

He built Vector 90, a shared workspace to attract science and technology entrepreneurs and give youth a wider variety of role models. Hussle also created a playground for the kids.

He opened his Marathon clothing store in the same strip mall where he first sold his mixtapes. Employing formerly incarcerated gang members, he created real economic opportunities. It was the same location where police say he was shot and killed on March 31 by a suspect named Eric Holder.

Hussle never renounced being a member of the Rolling 60’s Crip set and tried to build on that affiliation to transcend gang violence.

The audience for the memorial included Jay-Z and Beyoncé but with the tickets free on a first come, first serve basis many of the community people Nipsey cared about so much were able to attend.

LISA EVERS, Host and Executive Producer, Street Soldiers


Street Soldiers TV: Teen Girls Town Hall

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Lisa Evers hosted the very first Street Soldiers town hall inside a high school. Hundreds of teenaged girls from several schools in Jersey City attended the town hall, which focused on confidence and mentoring. The panelists were Laura Stylez of Hot 97, Velissa Vaughn of Dsquared2, and recording artist HoodCelebrityy.

LISA EVERS, Host and Executive Producer, Street Soldiers