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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

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Street Soldiers TV: Male Grooming Boom

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It’s been a quiet revolution but make no mistake about it—male grooming and body makeovers have exploded: from the barber shop to Botox, body sculpting to surgery, and mani-pedis to waxing. But are some men going too far?

Multi Grammy Award-winning artist Pharrell Williams says he keeps his youthful looks by “Exfoliating like a madman.” That’s a facial treatment that requires more than the hot towel you get at the local barber shop.

For a growing number of stars and regular guys of diverse ethnic, racial and generational groups, spa visits are key.

Sean Steele, the manager of the luxurious Living Fresh Men’s Spa, says they do massage, manicure, pedicure, facials, hair removal, and even laser procedures.

Some stars like Ryan Seacrest are capitalizing on the trend. He has his own men’s skincare line called Polish.

Cosmetic procedures and plastic surgery are on the rise for men, too—up 80 percent over the last 10 years, according to Dr. David Shafer, a plastic surgeon.

“Some men might come in because they want liposuction for their belly, they might want liposuction for their chest, a little liposuction under their chin,” Dr. Shafer says. “And while they’re here they say, ‘Do you do that Botox?'”

In October, the FDA approved the use of Botox for forehead lines. That opened the door for a celebrity pitch to a new group of potential users. Deion Sanders, the NFL hall of famer, does commercials for Botox.

We took our camera into men’s night at Dr. Shafer’s office. M.J., a business executive, allowed us to show you his treatment of a filler called Vollure and Botox.

Some men do take body makeovers to the extreme, like the man known as the Human Ken Doll. But in hip hop, super-buff super stars like 50 Cent and LL Cool J do it the old-fashioned way—by working out.

If you do choose treatments or surgery, Dr. Shafer says safety is key.

“Do your research. You want to make sure you’re going to a board-certified plastic surgeon, and you want it to be from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons,” Dr. Shafer says. “You don’t want to have somebody who’s calling themselves a ‘cosmetic specialist’ or ‘aesthetic specialist.'”

Now men are finding out what women have known for a long time: that all that maintenance comes at a price. Spa mani-pedis can go for $100 or more and Botox and fillers can run from the hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Do you think men are going too far? If so, are we creating the new double standard? Hear what our panel has to say on the topic. –

-LISA EVERS

FEATURED CAST:
LISA EVERS, Host and Executive Producer, Street Soldiers https://twitter.com/lisaevers http://www.hot97.com/lisaevers

ROLLING STONE P, Hip Hop Artist https://www.instagram.com/rollingstonep/

JENBKLYN LE, HOT 97 Host and CEO of Next Jeneration https://www.instagram.com/jenfrombk/ http://www.hot97.com/blogs/air/jenbklyn

PLEM LAWSON, Fitness Coach and Adjunct Professor https://www.instagram.com/brolicplem/

GREG DAVIS JR., a.k.a. KLARITY, Actor, Comedian and Social Media Influencer https://www.instagram.com/klarity/

DAVID SHAFER, MD, FACS, Plastic Surgeon http://www.shaferplasticsurgery.com

SEAN STEELE, Manager, Living Fresh Men’s Spa http://www.lfmensspa.com

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Street Soldiers TV: Hollywood, Hip Hop and the Casting Couch

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The Harvey Weinstein scandal ignited the public debate about the sexual abuse of women and encouraged many who’d suffered in silence to speak out. But will all the talk lead to real change?

Jesse Reyes’ haunting song “Gatekeeper” details the pervasive casting couch culture in the entertainment industry, a sad pattern experienced by Hollywood A-listers who say it has happened to too many women.

The many allegations against Weinstein are just that, unproven accusations, and they underscore a more widespread problem, according to civil rights attorney Eric Sanders.

“There’s no system in place to really protect people so they’re not taken advantage of,” Sanders said. “And that means both sides.” It just can’t be a conversation among women, said Andrea-Rachel Parker, who plays Destiny on the hit Starz series “Power.”

“The conversation needs to start with men taking responsibility of their actions and then also becoming advocates for women’s safety,” Parker said.

She believes mistreatment of women extends far beyond the entertainment industry. “Sexual harassment isn’t a race thing, it’s not about class, it’s not about race it’s not about one specific work industry,” she said. “It’s all over for everyone.”

All the attention being paid to the accusations against a supremely powerful Hollywood figure does have a positive aspect, according to Dr. Elisa English, a clinical therapist.

“I think now it has given the power back to women,” she said. “They’re able to have this conversation. People believe them, people understand them, and now they’re learning to have empathy for their experiences.”

Many believe that breaking the silence is a step in the right direction.

–LISA EVERS #streetsoldiers #push4peace #metoo #sexualharassment #sexualassault

FEATURED CAST:
LISA EVERS, Host and Executive Producer, Street Soldiers https://twitter.com/lisaevers
SOWMYA KRISHNAMURTHY, Music Journalist and Pop Culture Expert https://twitter.com/SowmyaK ERIC SANDERS, Civil Rights Attorney and Founder of The Sanders Firm, P.C. https://twitter.com/SandersFirmPC
ANDREA-RACHEL PARKER, Actress, Singer and Choreographer https://twitter.com/Power_STARZ
DR. ELISA ENGLISH, Clinical Therapist https://twitter.com/AskDrElisa