T.I. is launching a new charity initiative to help homeless veterans. The King of the South has partnered with the Veterans Empowerment Organization for the "Give Like a King" campaign, which will aim to provide housing and support services for veterans, AllHipHop.com reports.
"Give Like a King" is Tip's first international charity project, but the Atlanta native has a history of being generous. Earlier this year, it was reported that he helped save the life of suicidal rocker Scott Stapp, and last year he helped talk down a man who was prepared to jump off a building.
"We have to have someone else’s back, not just our own," T.I. said in a statement.
Public Enemy Among Inductees to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s class of 2013 was announced today and legendary hip hop group Public Enemy was among the eight inductees named. The sometimes politically incorrect, always socially conscious rap outfit earned entry into the elite music association in its first year of eligibility — a rare achievement for many hip hop acts.
The influential rap group — led by Chuck D and hype man extraordinaire Flavor Flav — first broke on the scene in 1987 with their firebrand debut album,Yo! Bum Rush the Show, but it was their groundbreaking sophomore effort, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, that helped to change the course of hip hop music. Where their music predecessors rapped about sucker MCs and rags to riches tales, PE delivered the angst of the streets through politically charged music that directed their outrage squarely at the powers that be. Their rebellious approach spawned hip hop classics like "Don’t Believe the Hype, "Bring the Noise" and "Fight the Power."
Along with PE, the Class of 2013 will also feature the late disco legend Donna Summer. The posthumous honor comes seven months after Summer died of cancer at the age of 63. During the height of the disco era, the vibrant songstress dominated the airwaves with hit singles like “Hot Stuff,” “Last Dance” and “Bad Girls.” Summer’s hit-making abilities earned her the Queen of Disco crown.
Music legend Quincy Jones will be inducted as a non-performer as he will receive the Ahmet Ertegun Award.
The 2013 ceremony will be held on April 18 in Los Angeles.
Mike Tyson: “Whatever Life I Have Left, I Want to Live the Best of It”
Arrested 38 times by the time he was 13, Mike Tyson seemed destined to become a legend for all the wrong reasons. But by the age of 20, the Brooklyn native turned his life around and became the undisputed champion of the world in the boxing ring.
Very few people have experienced as many high and lows as Tyson: sports star, household name, marriage, divorce, prison, drugs and the comeback of a lifetime, which started with the 2009 doc Tyson. Now, a fully-reinvented Tyson is continuing his good deeds with the charity Mike Tyson Cares and his participation in Flip the Script, a campaign to stop bullying. Plus, his critically-acclaimed one-man show Undisputed Truth, which opened to rave reviews this summer on Broadway, kicks off a nationwide tour in February. An undisputed truth? That Mike Tyson is champ again.
Here, BET.com talks to a reflective Tyson about his current projects, Chris Brown and fame.
Undisputed Truth is very raw. You've always been candid, but were you at all nervous about revealing too much?
Not really. I’m pretty at peace with what I am and who I am so I really don’t care. I realize we’re just passing through here and what people say about us is none of our business — that's just a conversation about people with our names involved. I just continue to move on in life and try to improve myself as a person and an individual in life.
Tell us about the Mike Tyson Cares charity.
My charity is all about giving kids a fighting chance, like myself. A guy like me...can’t probably give back as far as a trainer should give back, like most fighters do. [But] I can give back as far as helping people, supply 7,000 homeless kids with school supplies. I thought that was more of a giving than anything I could ever do in the boxing ring because I get so much satisfaction out of it.
Did you ever have a desire to be like what Cus D’Amato was to you, and be a trainer?
I don’t know, maybe I am. I never thought I was capable because that’s harder than becoming champion of the world. Being a trainer, being a mentor — your responsible for the life of these people, to prove to these people that they are worth more than what society believes they are.
You’re taking a stand against bullying for the Flip the Script. You’ve talked about being bullied. What are your thoughts on teens who are committing suicide due to bullying?
It’s really bad stuff. People shouldn’t have to live in fear in a free country. They shouldn’t have to worry about somebody being so macho or people in authority telling them, “Hey man, you got to stand up, you got to fight.” No, everybody doesn’t have to fight — everybody can't fight. So we need people to take care of them. We need schools, we need teachers, monitors to have notes on children that are bullying. People have to be accountable for their actions and punished to the fullest extent of the law.
How much do you relate to the name Iron Mike Tyson?
That’s just not who I am no more. When I was Iron Mike Tyson, it was good for me to be Iron Mike Tyson. Now I’m on a different level in life. I want to do different things and my development in life is such a different level than it was when I was fighting. I’m interested in helping people now rather than hurting them.
I hear that fame comes with a price. What price have you paid for fame?
It doesn’t come with a price, it depends on how you handle fame. I didn’t handle it correctly. It’s not that fame comes with a price, you have to be accountable for your actions with fame. The more fame we get, the less accountable we are. It should be the other way: the more that we got the more pragmatic we should become.
You recently said Chris Brown is an altar boy compared to your past. Do you think the media is being too hard on him?
Chris Brown is going to write his own history, but he is not going to write it under the circumstances that he wants it to be. He’s got to write it under the circumstances that’s present today. Regardless if they are hard on him, he’s got to be tough enough, he has to take it. Regardless if we think they are too hard on him or not, they are going to continue to do what they want. It is up to him now to show that he is big enough to handle it and he’s not going to strike back. See, it’s easy to strike back. “You say something about me? I’m going say something about you!” He’s a sophisticated enough guy, he’s got a great support system and he’s doing well. He’s not fighting nobody, he’s not saying, “The heck with the media!” He is continuing to live his life and he is doing a good job. t’s only when he starts fighting back and he’s sensitive and he feels these guys hurt his feelings — that’s when he’s caught up into the rat race. Even though you win, you’re still a rat.
You were once one of the most hated men in America and now people love Mike Tyson. What changed that image?
I didn’t want to be that no more. I wanted to be the hated man in America when I was the hated man in America — that’s why. Anything I wanted to be is what I became. That’s who I wanted to be — that bad ass! I don’t want to be that guy no more. I don’t want my kids to see that guy no more. My kids are scared of guys like that. I don’t want them to see me being that guy. So I’m a different person now, I have to conduct myself differently in society because my kids are watching me now. I want my kids to have some kind of respect for me when I leave this planet. It’s pretty shaky now, they are on the fence so I’m trying to get them to get off the fence by the time I leave this planet.
Undisputed Truth, Mike Tyson Cares, Flip the Script — where do you see this next act of Mike Tyson’s journey going?
I don’t care where it goes, as long as it’s in a positive direction and people are being helped in the process. That’s the only thing that really concerns me at this point. What the hell — I’m 46 right now. When you think about [it], it’s all reality, I’m not being dark — how long do I really have to live? 20 years? 16 years? I’ve done a lot of drugs in my life. You don’t think that’s going to come back to haunt me? That’s just my reality. Whatever life I have left, I want to live the best of it in a positive light.
Beyoncé’s Beautiful Face Lands on Pepsi
A smoking Pepsi ad of Beyoncé pushing a cart full of soda in a polka dot blazer, black briefs and cobalt Mary Janes, alongside a can decorated with her flawless face has just hit the Web.
The limited-edition Pepsi cans are a part of the singer's newest deal with the brand, reportedly worth $50 million, and said to include publicity behind her next album, exclusive videos, live concerts, photo shoots and more.
“Pepsi embraces creativity and understands that artists evolve,” says Beyoncé, who forged a relationship with the company back in 2002. Previous Pepsi ads have included Britney Spears, Pink, Jennifer Lopez and David Beckham. “As a businesswoman, this allows me to work with a lifestyle brand with no compromise and without sacrificing my creativity.”
The colossal deal is being described as a "hybrid project with Beyoncé" that will include commercials as well as multi-million dollar funds to support the singer’s chosen artistic projects.
The campaign will kick off with a new commercial, which will air sometime after Beyoncé’s Super Bowl halftime performance on February 3 (also sponsored by Pepsi).
Halle Berry and Gabriel Aubry in Court Again
Halle Berry and Gabriel Aubry were back in court on Monday, attempting to hash out a settlement on attorney fees. Radaronline reports the two were in a secret closed session at the Los Angeles courthouse, attempting to work out the financial aspects of their ongoing custody battle.
Two weeks ago, Berry and Aubry reportedly worked out a confidential agreement "that included specific language about how none of the parties, Halle, Gabe or Olivier [Martinez], would pursue criminal charges against the other. All sides managed to agree to satisfactory terms with the focus being on ending the mayhem for the sake of Halle and Gabriel's daughter Nahla.”
At one point, as we previously reported, the negotiations were complicated due to the brawl between Aubry and Berry’s fiancé, Martinez. Since the altercation, Aubry has dropped his push to make the temporary restraining order he obtained against Martinez permanent, while Olivier is reportedly no longer interested in pressing criminal charges against Aubry.
Acclaimed Documentary Central Park Five Gets Snubbed by Oscars
Awards season in Hollywood is hardly known to be fair and balanced, but sometimes a snub is so egregious it can't be ignored. That's how many insiders are feeling about The Central Park Five, Ken Burns' seminal documentary about minority youths falsely accused of raping a jogger in New York's Central Park in the 1980s.
The film, which has been celebrated by critics and even subpoenaed, didn't make the short list for consideration in the 2013 Academy Awards. Fifteen documentaries were selected for the shortlist, of which about one-third will receive nominations.
“I’m truly baffled by this," writes Tambay Obenson of IndieWire.com's Shadow and Act blog. "I think The Central Park Five most certainly belongs and, I’d say, is even stronger than some of [the other qualifying films].”
Complaining about a snubbing by the Academy may seem like cry-baby tactics, but the qualifying rules in the documentary category of the awards are among the most controversial in the industry, with many feeling that films tend to be disqualified for arbitrary reasons (one such rule: a film must be reviewed by either the New York Times or the Los Angeles Times to qualify, but if the critic is a television reviewer, it doesn't qualify.) Documentaries and foreign films, unlike mainstream box-office fare, rely heavily on awards buzz for viewers.
Other notable documentaries left off the short list include Marley and West of Memphis. Final nominations for all categories in the Academy Awards will be announced on January 15.