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How MC Hammer Went From Bankruptcy And Losing It All To Becoming One Of Silicon Valley's Most Respected Tech Investors

If someone uses the phrase “can’t touch this” to emphasize how they stand on business, they owe a piece of their clap-back vocabulary to legendary rapper MC Hammer. Stanley Kirk Burrell, better known as MC Hammer, was more than just a rapper — he was a cultural phenomenon. An Oakland, CA, native who burst onto the scene in the ’80s and ’90s with his high-energy performances and flashy style, MC Hammer’s hits like “2 Legit 2 Quit,” “U Can’t Touch This,” and “Addams Groove” became anthems of a generation while his unique fashion sense, such as the balloon Hammer pants, set trends. The Rise Of MC Hammer In 1991, MC Hammer won three Grammys for the previous year’s work — Best Rap Solo Performance, Best R&B Song, and Best Music Video – Long Form. During this era, the rapper appeared in movies and television shows, was sought out to perform on late-night talk shows, and inspired fashion trends. View this post on Instagram A post shared by MC HAMMER (@mchammer) Although the rapper found...

Jun 17, 2024

How Nextdoor's Product Marketing and Multicultural Engagement Lead Reesha Howard Is Using Her Journey To Amplify Underrepresented Voices

Reesha Howard had an unconventional journey into her position as a tech executive. Born in the South Side of Chicago, IL, Howard recalls growing up to appreciate the differences in cultures and forging connections with people of color as well as with those who identified as queer. This was on full display while she attended Whitney M. Young Magnet High School. “It’s funny how when you take the time to reflect on how a journey started, you’ll notice all these clues along the way to where you were headed, long before you realized it…,” she mentioned. “ By the time I attended Whitney M. Young Magnet High School, I was deeply immersed in culture and always had strong connections with people of color and queer people.” Howard’s burgeoning advocacy later manifested in her career trajectory, which was uniquely challenging to embark upon. While attending Florida A&M University on a full-ride scholarship, she recalls feeling “ under-resourced” and “overwhelmed” with her responsibilities at...

Jun 17, 2024

11-Year-Old Quentin Hines' Interest In Lawn Mowing Started Once He Could Walk — Now, He's Turned It Into A Business Of His Dreams

11-year-old Quentin Hines is his own boss. According to CBS Mornings, Hines founded QJ’s Professional Lawn Care in 2022. His lawn-care company offers services like mowing, edging, weed treatments, and leaf pickup. His interest in lawn mowing began when he could walk, and he began to take greater control in mowing alongside his father when he was 8 years old. “I really enjoy it. It makes me feel very soothing,” Hines told CBS Mornings. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Quentin Hines Jr. Lawncare (@qjsprofessionallawncare) In the summertime, Hines invests extra time into his business. When he returns to school in the fall, his business activities are limited to weekends. Hines’ father Quentin Sr. and his mother Shirley run the business’s social media accounts to support their son’s business efforts. Hines’ fifth-grade classmates also support his business venture, and he is in the process of recruiting some of them to help expand his business. His overarching dream for his...

Jun 17, 2024

50 Cent And G-Unit Announce Housing Project In Shreveport, LA, With Aim To ‘Help Low To Moderate-Income Families Get Mortgages’

50 Cent plans to develop housing in Shreveport, LA. As Blavity previously shared, the Shreveport area is now home to the rapper’s G-Unit Studios, an extension of his G-Unit Films and Television company. The 985,000-square-foot property aims “to operate a production studio and/or activities and uses related to the promotion or development of the film, sound, light, movie, television, broadcasting, recording, and arts industries,” per a previous report by AFROTECH™. G-Unit Studios’ purpose includes giving opportunities to creatives and the community. 50 Cent has announced a three-phase plan to revitalize the area, with housing development being a focus area, according to KTAL-6 News in Shreveport. “We start building houses, and we have an idea to go into communities and help low- to moderate-income families get mortgages,” Orville Hall, G-Unit’s growth advisor, said per KTAL-6. Furthermore, plans will focus on supporting youth by creating new media programs. “We’re going to go to each...

Jun 17, 2024

Opal Lee Now Holds Ownership Of A Texas Property That Was Once Stripped From Her Family By Racist White Mob

Pioneer Opal Lee has received the keys to her new home. As AFROTECH™ previously reported, in 1939, 12-year-old Lee along with her family were removed from their home in Fort Worth, TX, by a racist white mob. “Just to know that there might be children that we could have played with, that we might have known their families,” Lee told CBS News Texas. “We just wanted to be good neighbors, that’s all.” The outlet also notes Lee never lost hope that she would one day own that very land. Her wishes would come true in January 2024 when she received a homecoming and a cquired ownership of the land that was stripped from her family. Building on this milestone, a home was recently constructed for Lee on the property, and she has received the keys to her new home. She was given the property for $10 thanks to North Texas organizations such as Trinity Habitat for Humanity and Texas Capital. Additionally, HistoryMaker Homes is credited for building the home free of charge, and JCPenney aided to...

Jun 17, 2024

Cam'ron Claims He Went From Investing $120K In His Sports Show To Receiving A Multi-Million-Dollar Deal

Doing things on one’s own terms often pays off. In February 2023, Cam’ron launched the podcast “It Is What It Is.” While on a panel at Black Enterprise’s 2024 Disruptor Summit in May, the rapper recalled brainstorming the vision for his sports talk show and investing in himself. “All the sports shows to me were pretty much the same… So what I did was, I said I’m gonna invest $250,000 into this project,” Cam’ron told the outlet. “And I said, what I’m gonna do is I’mma build a professional setting and put on a suit, but talk how we talk to each other when it comes to basketball.” @blackenterprise From arguing with friends to a $20 million deal! Cam’ron breaks down the journey of his podcast and how it all started with a passion for sports and a $120k investment. #PodcastGoals #SuccessStory #Camron #ItIsWhatItIs ♬ original sound – BlackEnterprise Although Cam’ron chose $250,000 as the cap number for his investment, he shared that he only spent around $120,000. Plus, the show started to...

Jun 14, 2024

Saquon Barkley Is Running It Up On And Off The Field With An Estimated $32M Net Worth

When football fans think of top-tier running backs, names like Emmitt Smith, Barry Sanders, and Walter Payton come to mind. But one of the new faces garnering attention in football is Saquon Barkley. A former Pennsylvania State University student-athlete, Barkley was the New York Giants’ No. 2 pick in the 2018 draft. His collegiate career proved how much of an asset he would be in the NFL. Barkley earned the titles of Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and Big Ten Running Back of the Year twice in 2016 and 2017 at Penn State. He holds the university’s records for the most rushing touchdowns (43) and total touchdowns (53) as well. Barkley is also the only player from Penn State, and one of only four in the Big Ten, to accumulate 3,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards during his college career. After joining the Giants, he continued to be impactful on the field, running for 5,211 yards and scoring 35 touchdowns in his career as of 2023. Barkley recently signed a contract with...

Jun 14, 2024

Ancestry Is Using AI To Help Users Discover The Names And Lives Of Their Ancestors Who Were Formerly Enslaved

Ancestry.com has been helping families trace their roots for nearly three decades. Now, the genealogy company is using technology to further assist Black Americans in discovering their ancestry. On June 11, 2024, Ancestry announced the publication of a free collection of 38,000 newspaper articles related to more than 183,000 enslaved people in the U.S. from 1788 to 1867, according to a press release. Ancestry’s mission in launching the new newspaper article collection is to help descendants expand their family history research and discover connections. “Greater access to these records on Ancestry will enhance understanding of how chattel slavery and the forced movement of enslaved people became normalized in the United States,” said Dr. Karcheik Sims-Alvarado, assistant professor of Africana studies at Morehouse College, per the press release. “This collection is invaluable for providing descendants of enslaved individuals with insights into their ancestral histories and their...

Jun 14, 2024

New Orleans Teenager Elijah Hogan Overcomes Homelessness And Graduates At The Top Of His High School Class

Elijah Hogan’s life circumstances did not deter him from graduating high school at the top of his class. Hogan recently graduated from New Orleans, LA’s Walter L. Cohen High School. However, for more than a year while attending school, he lived at the Covenant House, a local homeless shelter, People reports. He learned about the shelter from his grandmother, a retired social worker. “Her lease form for the house that we all used to live in started to expire, and we only had 30 days until we had to move out. So, I took it upon myself to live independently,” Hogan told People . “She gave me some info about Covenant House and told me to continue on with my education. …Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to finish my high school years, giving me a place to stay, a place to eat, a place to sleep. I wouldn’t have been able to be where I’m at now.” In May 2024, Hogan graduated as the class valedictorian with a 3.89 grade point average. “Above all the trials, tests, and hardships, what...

Jun 14, 2024

Dr. Leeja Carter Created A Smart Refrigerator To Provide Healthy Food Options In Food Deserts Across New Jersey

After dedicating years to researching Black women’s health, Dr. Leeja Carter has developed a device to assist them. As a professor and a scholar, C arter had a desire to do more work within the community beyond the standard work on publications and presentations. Even in her academic role at Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY, she said she felt like a spectator to the issues that were important to her. That all changed in 2020. “My research and work were really social determinants of physical activity and its impact on Black women’s health,” Carter told AFROTECH™. “And being in academia for 15 years as a Black woman researching Black women’s health, while I definitely had spaces of comfort, care, and support, I would say there were greater experiences where I still definitely felt like an outsider and felt that it was still an uphill battle to gain support to do the work that was so close to my heart.” She added, “When you’re in an academic space, what is currency is...

Jun 14, 2024

The First Student From LeBron James' I Promise School Graduates College

Anthony Claytor is the first I Promise School student to graduate from college. As AFROTECH™ previously reported, the school launched in Akron, OH, through the LeBron James Family Foundation, which was established in 2004 to “positively affect the lives of children and young adults through education and co-curricular educational initiatives.” The I Promise School came into fruition in 2017 through a partnership with Akron Public Schools (APS) and a committee of local leaders, educators, parents, and experts, Andscape reported. The school officially opened in 2018. “This school is so important to me because our vision is to create a place for the kids in Akron who need it most — those that could fall through the cracks if we don’t do something,” James said at the time, according to Andscape. “We’ve learned over the years what works and what motivates them, and now we can bring all of that together in one place, along with the right resources and experts. If we get to them early...

Jun 13, 2024

Jay-Z's Roc Nation Announces Support Of PASS Bill To Offer Philadelphia Students From Low-Income Homes Access To Private Schools

Jay-Z’s Roc Nation has announced its support of an initiative focused on students in Philadelphia, PA. The full-service entertainment company is backing the Pennsylvania Award for Student Success (PASS) in its goal to provide scholarships, according to Fox-29. The educational campaign is said to offer students from low-income households and underperforming schools access to private schools. “PASS — which is also known as Senate Bill 757 — is legislation aimed at increasing education opportunities for underprivileged youth attending the state’s lowest performing public schools,” a press release detailed, per Fox-29. The outlet notes that Roc Nation has spearheaded “Dine and Learn,” an event series to educate students and parents in Philadelphia about PASS. “We have enjoyed such a special connection with Philadelphians, so we’ve made it our mission to invest in the long-term success of the city’s changemakers,” Dania Diaz, managing director of philanthropy at Roc Nation, said. Amid...

Jun 13, 2024

Who Was The First Woman To Sign To The Jordan Brand?

The Jordan Brand has attracted some of the world’s greats to its brand. However, that should come as no surprise when considering who is at the helm, NBA legend Michael Jordan. It all began when his mother, Deloris, stepped in to ensure he took a chance on signing with Nike. “My mother said, ‘You’re gonna go listen. You may not like it, but you’re gonna go listen,” Jordan said in ESPN’s “The Last Dance” documentary, according to NBC Sports. “She made me get on that plane and go listen.” Jordan was originally looking to sign with Adidas, but he would make his commitment to Nike known when he signed to the brand in 1984 under a five-year, $2.5 million deal, Sports Illustrated reports. Immediately, Jordan’s presence and the staple Air Jordan exceeded expectations with sales reaching $126 million within one year. By 1997, the Jordan Brand began operating independently and also added apparel and accessories. T oday its annual revenue exceeds $6.6 billion, per Sportico. What’s more the...

Jun 13, 2024

Ashlei Spivey Opens A Birthing Center In A Historic Black Business District Located In Nebraska

A birthing center has opened in North Omaha, NE’s historic Black business district. A ribbon-cutting celebration will kick off around 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 13, 2024, at 2306 N. 24th St. I Be Black Girl, a collective for Black women, femmes, and girls focused on Black-led investments, policy and power building, economic, and birth justice, will host the celebration, according to its website. The celebration will continue throughout the weekend with a Juneteenth Parade on Saturday, June 14, and the I Be Black Girl’s Heart, Soul, & Roll Community Stroll held the following day at 1 p.m. “We want it to be a celebration because it’s such a big milestone for addressing and creating solutions around our experiences as Black women, femmes, and girls,” Ashlei Spivey, the organization’s founder and executive director, said per Omaha World-Herald. Spivey is also running to represent District 13 in the Nebraska Legislature. The facility is called the Anarcha Center in honor of Anarcha...

Jun 13, 2024

Caleb Williams Scales His Presence In The Investment Space With 888 Midas Launch

Caleb Williams, rookie quarterback for the Chicago Bears, is scaling his interest in the investment space. While in college at the University of Southern California, Williams was among the first athletes to leverage name, image, and likeness (NIL) deals. He became a part- owner of the male grooming company Faculty in 2022, as AFROTECH™ previously reported. He was also the No. 1 draft pick in the 2024 NFL Draf t and was picked by the Chicago Bears . Now, Williams is scaling his interest in the investment arena by launching his own investment firm. Williams has established 888 Midas, which will “capitalize on select alternative investments in private equity, venture capital, and real estate,” according to a press release. His partners and advisors will support the firm. They include: Sherif Guirgis, former managing director of Main Street Advisors Ross Walker, co-founder and managing partner of Hawkins Way Capital, a multi-billion-dollar real estate enterprise John Terzian, co-founder...

Jun 13, 2024