Josh Rodgers

AFROTECH STAFF

Josh Rodgers

Lover of Culture. Curator of Motivation. Advocate for Equity. Josh Rodgers is a writer and content creator originally from Memphis, TN. Along with AfroTech, Josh's work can be seen on Blavity News, Travel Noire, Shadow & Act, and Buzzfeed. When he isn't writing, he can be found on the mic as the co-host and founder of The Jigsaw Podcast - a platform dedicated to helping Black millennials attempt to navigate the craziest puzzle piece ever created, life.

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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

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

More Than A Bank - Capital One Stands Tall As A Tech Leader Committed To Creating Space of Diversity And Belonging

The world is in an age of technology that people from decades ago likely could not fathom. With the emergence of AI and the range of tech products offered, there is little that people can’t imagine regarding innovation and advancement. This new tech era has revealed there isn’t just one way to create, to develop, or even to exist. In many ways, this technology amplified the necessity and interwoven strategies of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). The intersection of tech and DEI often manifests unexpectedly – in organizations where many people would not naturally think of those intersections. Capital One, for instance, is primarily known as a finance organization but is also a leader in technology and innovation. During a 2023 interview with Built In , the firm’s Director of Product Management, David Henkel, summed up its innovative approach. “We’re a tech company disguised as a bank,” he said. The work of people like Maureen Jules-Perez has cemented this identity marker. As...

Jun 7, 2024

Who Owns Revolt Following Sean 'Diddy' Combs' Exit?

Stories that begin with the rise and fall of prominent individuals are not the most inspiring, but they offer insight into lessons learned and perspectives shifted. Through narratives by people across industries, those who “fall from grace” are often judged in the court of public opinion by how society accepts what they did and how they respond. Most recently, the world has sat and watched this phenomenon play out with Bad Boy Records and Revolt TV founder Sean “Diddy” Combs. The Combs saga has no particular ending for the foreseeable future. At the same time, much of his fate will be decided by the legal powers. However, one decision that has been made concerns his previous ownership stake in Revolt. As previously reported by AFROTECH™, the buyer of the Hip-Hop mogul’s shares was shrouded in mystery. The new owner’s identity was a closely guarded secret, with speculation running rife. It has now been revealed that the owner isn’t a single person. In a surprising twist, the media...

Jun 7, 2024

The Dallas Mavericks Is The Only NBA Team With A Black CEO And GM At Its Helm

Representation matters. This concept becomes increasingly important for marginalized groups. As the world evolves and there is still much work to be done, great strides are being made, as evidenced by the Dallas Mavericks’ leadership team. Emerging as potential NBA champions after winning the Western Conference Finals, the Mavericks are under the dynamic leadership of Cynthia “Cynt” Marshall, the league’s first Black woman CEO, and Nico Harrison, a trailblazer as the team’s general manager. This Texas-based team stands out in the NBA as the only one with two Black leaders at its helm, a testament to their unique achievements. Cynt Marshall Marshall is an accomplished executive. She spent over 35 years at AT&T, with her final tenure as senior vice president of human resources and chief diversity officer. Upon retiring from the mobile tech company, she launched Marshalling Resources, a consulting firm specializing in leadership, diversity and inclusion, culture transformation, and the...

Jun 6, 2024

Justin Jefferson Is Now The Highest-Paid Wide Receiver In NFL History But Could His New Deal Open Doors For Others?

Black History Month is a significant time to celebrate the accomplishments of influential Black people and emerging changemakers. However, the month-long celebration is not large enough to highlight all the contributions Black people have made to the world, and Justin Jefferson’s new contract is proof. Jefferson, the Minnesota Vikings wide receiver, has not only broken records but also set a new standard in the NFL. According to ESPN, he recently signed a four-year, $140 million contract extension, with $110 million guaranteed. This deal not only makes him the highest-paid wide receiver ever but also the highest-paid non-quarterback in NFL history. The massive contract extension amounts to $35 million per year, along with a $36.9 million signing bonus, per data from Spotrac. The outlet also notes he will receive a $30 million option bonus in 2025. The deal puts an end to potential trade rumors and sets up Jefferson and the Vikings for a solid working relationship over the next few...

Jun 5, 2024

Carmelo Anthony Is Taking His Basketball Skills To Australia As A New Owner In The National Basketball League

Despite retiring from the NBA after an illustrious 19-season career, Carmelo Anthony’s impact on the sport is set to continue in a significant way. According to Andscape, Anthony will become the new ambassador of Australia’s National Basketball League (NBL) and owner of one of the league’s future expansion teams. The NBL is the premier basketball league in Australia and New Zealand and currently has 10 teams. While the location of the future expansion team remains a mystery, National Basketball League President Larry Kestelman and Carmelo Anthony are set to forge a strategic partnership to determine the ideal spot for a new team. “He is someone whose vision for the game is global and has influence to help young players actually succeed and get ready for the big stage of the NBA,” Kestelman told the outlet about the deal. “We’re going to work for him to look at the right place, the right team to get involved with, where he can influence a lot of individuals, help them grow, and...

Jun 5, 2024

Black Athletes Make Up 50% Of Forbes' 2024 List Of Highest-Paid Sports Professionals

Each year, between the end of spring and the beginning of summer, several professional sports leagues host drafts, giving space to the next batch of athletic superstars who will impact their respective games for years to come. With so much excitement about a new generation of professional athletes, the focus sometimes shifts from player stats and team projections to contracts and partnership deals. But the excitement of new money is largely made possible by the athletes who have some tenure in the game. From rookie expansion contracts to lucrative business deals, athletes are continuing to level up, paving the way for what’s possible in the future. Against this backdrop, Forbes has released its highest-paid athletes list of 2024, and of the 10 players, 50% of those spots are held by Black athletes. Lebron James View this post on Instagram A post shared by 👑 (@kingjames) Lebron James is No. 4 on the list but ranks No. 1 among Black professional athletes. The 39-year-old is currently...

May 24, 2024

With Various Partnerships And Deals, Skai Jackson Shares How Her Authenticity Keeps Her Grounded

TikTok has been at the center of many recent conversations. Despite its battles at Capitol Hill, the social media app is still one of the primary places Gen Z and others go for entertainment, recommendations, and news. Disney star Skai Jackson is among the people who have tapped into TikTok’s ubiquity. Jackson has been vocal about using TikTok and how it has impacted her personal life. According to a report from Blavity, the 22-year-old has a partnership with hair brand Cantu Beauty. However, her searches on TikTok taught her hairstyling techniques that would allow her to maximize the use of the products she promoted. View this post on Instagram A post shared by S K A I (@skaijackson) “I really feel like these products [Cantu] are so special because they took the time to answer everybody’s needs and deliver and put them into the product,” she told Blavity. She continued, “It’s just so amazing to see that there are millions of people in the world dealing with the same issues as me...

May 16, 2024

From Mystery Woman to Super Woman: Finding Inner Power After Lupus Diagnosis

It was at the young age of 12 that Heather started to experience a variety of seemingly unrelated health issues. First joint pain, particularly in her knees, ankles and elbows. Then came the rashes on her face and back, the hair loss, the fatigue, the sensitivity to light and the difficulty breathing. These symptoms baffled her medical team and lead them to refer to her as a “mystery person.” Her symptoms were difficult and draining to manage while she spent her young adolescent years living with this mystery. It would take many years, ER visits, missed family moments, and the birth of her son before Heather finally learned exactly what was causing her mysterious symptoms. Unbeknownst to Heather and her family, her symptoms were interconnected and all stemmed from one major autoimmune disorder: lupus. “I vividly remember the day I was diagnosed,” Heather tells AfroTech. “I was in bed [at home], struggling to breathe and [I] had a red, inflamed rash on my face. Being a single mother...

May 16, 2024

Taye Diggs' Career Has Earned Him A $7M Net Worth, But It's Not Enough To Influence His Son To Be A Part Of Hollywood

In the vibrant tapestry of Black American culture, a concept emerges that celebrates certain movies as “Blassics.” This term, a fusion of ‘Black’ and ‘Classics,’ is a testament to the unique stories of Black Americans and their experiences brought to life through films starring Black actors. These films, often featuring familiar faces like Angela Bassett, Nia Long, and Taye Diggs, are not just movies but cultural milestones. They have left an indelible mark on the industry and include films like “Waiting to Exhale, “Friday,” “School Daze,” and “The Best Man,” resonating deeply with the culture’s shared experiences and heritage. Of those listed, Diggs may be most recently known for his appearance on the CW’s “All American,” portraying former NFL player and high school football coach Billy Baker. However, his career has roots much deeper than the teenage-themed drama series. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Taye Diggs (@tayediggsinsta) Diggs, a native of Rochester, NY,...

May 16, 2024

Who Is Richelieu Dennis? Meet The Serial Entrepreneur Behind Shea Moisture Who Went On To Own ESSENCE, Refinery29, And More

If one were to walk down the hair care aisle of any major big box store, there is a high chance Shea Moisture would be on the shelves. With products like shampoos, conditioners, and oils, the natural hair care line has been serving Black and Brown communities for years. But did you know the brain behind the massive beauty and hairline is Liberian-born mogul Richelieu Dennis? From Humble Beginnings To A Purpose-Driven Mission Dennis attended Babson College and began selling shea butter from his dorm room. By the early 90s, he had leveraged his dorm room sales to start the Shea Moisture line, which would eventually become a part of the parent company Sundial Brands. However, Dennis’ journey was one of hard work, selling his product from a card table in Harlem. Beyond the entrepreneurial spirit, Dennis recognized his product was not just a hustle but a connection to something greater. “But for me, there was this overwhelming sense of responsibility: there were no real products or...

Apr 30, 2024

Terry Crews Built A Successful Career In Hollywood, But His Wife And 5 Children Are His Personal Leading Cast

In his 2017 song, “Legacy,” Jay-Z said, “Generational wealth, that’s the key. My parents don’t have sh-t, so that shift started with me.” This concept, adopted by many people, has been the foundation for helping secure the economic stability of their families. Among those who created that shift, as Jay-Z described, is Terry Crews. Terry Crews, a former NFL player, current television host, and actor, has achieved remarkable success across various industries. However, career has always been intertwined with Terry’s family, a testament to his strong values. The 55-year-old has been transparent about his financial troubles, and his wife’s admonishment helped him realize he needed to shift his pride aside and focus on making an income that would benefit the Crews household. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Terry Crews (@terrycrews) “After retiring from the NFL, I struggled to get to the next level where I wanted to be,” the actor told Variety. “ I tried and failed many times...

Apr 29, 2024

Multi-hyphenate Tyler The Creator Has Built An Estimated $30M Fortune, But His Inner Circle Is A Key Piece To His Success — ‘I Only Surround Myself With People Who Dream’

Disruptors, in the evolutionary sense of the word, are people who have abandoned the status quo. They thrive in their differences and are typically unbothered by the societal boundaries designed to box them in. There are countless examples of these people in the world, but one clear example is Tyler, the Creator. Evidenced by his stage name, Tyler Gregory Okonma is a California native and award-winning producer and musical artist. He burst onto the scene co-founding the Hip-Hop collective Odd Future and releasing his debut mixtape 2009, titled “Bastard.” However, it was in 2011 when he released his first studio album, “Goblin,” that he started getting noticed. Reflecting, he acknowledged his musical growth and was honest about his work then. In a conversation on the “Rap Radar Podcast,” Tyler was pretty candid that while his lead single, “Yonkers,” is still one of his favorites, the album itself was not his favorite body of work. “Bro, ‘Goblin’ is f-cking terrible, but I still love...

Apr 22, 2024

Nas Dropped ‘Illmatic’ In 1994 — 30 Years, 17 Grammy Nods, And 44 Personal Investments Later, His $70M Fortune Proves He’s At The Top Of His Game

2024 marks a significant time in Hip-Hop history as the 30th anniversary of “Illmatic” — Nas’ debut album. The 1994 release brought the world classic songs like “The World Is Yours” and “One Love.” Since then, the native New York rapper has cemented himself in history as one of Hip-Hop’s elite voices. Born Nasir Jones, Nas started his journey as a prominent figure in Hip-Hop after the release of his 1992 single “Halftime,” appearing on the soundtrack for “Zebrahead,” a film centered around interracial dating. “Illmatic” would follow, and Nas would go on to produce several other top-charting albums. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Nasir Jones (@nas) An Iconic Rap Career Nas’ musical prowess has earned him a staggering 17 Grammy nominations. His recent win in 2021 for Best Rap Album with “King’s Disease” is a testament to his enduring talent and relevance in the industry. It is safe to assume that his multi-decade music career made most of Nas’ foundational wealth...

Apr 19, 2024