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Birdman Says He Still Maintains Full Ownership Of His Masters — 'I Never Allowed None Of The Labels To Own Anything'

Cash Money Records Founder Birdman experienced several losses by the age of 16, and he was determined to steer clear of any losses in the music business. Birdman, born Bryan Christopher Williams, started the label in 1991 alongside his brother Ronald “Slim” Williams, according to BET. They were able to gain traction and had the support of independent distributors such as Gonzales Music and SouthWest Distribution, XXL Magazine reports. Building popularity in the South, the label caught the attention of Universal Records and signed a deal with the company on May 10, 1997, per a Max Volume Media interview Birdman gave. He later discussed the deal during an interview on the “Wilde Ride!” podcast, revealing that he was looking to retain ownership of his music due to his upbringing. “I felt like I lost everything already. I lost my family,” he explained on the podcast. “Nothing can repay me for what I already lost. I lost my mama, my daddy, my brother, my sister… I lived a hell of a life...

Samantha Dorisca

Apr 19, 2024

Blavity Inc. Forms The AFROTECH™ Advisory Board To Be A Driving Force For Innovation And Inclusivity In Tech

Blavity Inc. has assembled a coalition of leaders to drive equity in technology. In a news release, the technology and news media company has shared it has formed the AFROTECH™ Advisory Board. The board will dedicate its focus to workplace equity and ensuring underrepresented employees, founders, and startups can obtain access to capital and economic mobility.   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by AFROTECH (@afro.tech) “Mobilizing this consortium is a crucial move towards amplifying our impact and reach in creating a more equitable tech industry,” Morgan DeBaun, founder and CEO of Blavity Inc., said in a press statement. “Our concerted effort will focus on practical initiatives that not only enhance workplace equity but also promote significant access to capital and opportunities for our community’s members.” The AFROTECH™ Advisory Board includes representatives of Amazon, American Express, Black Economic Alliance, Chewy, GAP, Google, Infoblox, Jordan Brand, Lam Research,...

Samantha Dorisca

Apr 18, 2024

Rapper Xzibit Opens A Marijuana Dispensary After Creating A Podcast To Remove The Stigma In The Cannabis Industry

He made his mark in rap, now Xzibit is looking to do the same in a new industry. The “Get Your Walk On” artist, born Alvin Nathaniel Joiner, will be scaling his interest in the cannabis industry. In 2023, he launched the “Lasagna Ganja” podcast in collaboration with co-host Tammy “The Cannabis Cutie” Pettigrew, CNN reports. The purpose of the podcast was to remove the stigma associated with cannabis use and to educate listeners. When speaking on the overarching goal of stewarding these conversations, he said in an interview on “Beyond the Red Carpet with Ny MaGee,” “I’ve seen the music industry go from millions to a billion-dollar industry. And I’ve also seen cannabis, you know, take on the same journey that maybe alcohol did after prohibition. And the misinformation that can lead us to continue to be left out of things is something that I want to combat. So when I say us, I mean people of color, people who have been incarcerated for cannabis, and now as it turns into this...

Samantha Dorisca

Apr 16, 2024

First Black-Owned Private Rocket Company Emerges To Create More Opportunities For Inclusion In Space Exploration

Founder Mateus Chipa wants the Black community to be more involved in space exploration. According to a Scripps News report of the 360 astronauts enlisted with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), just 18 had been Black astronauts as of Feb 5, 2024. For Chipa, he believed that to increase representation and empowerment it would be necessary for an influential Black entrepreneur to launch a company to break down barriers. According to his website, he waited eight years for Black leaders to step forward. In frustration after that time had passed, he decided to take matters into his own hands and established Theby Space Services (TSS) , a Black-owned private rocket company. “TSS came in a place of a lot of frustration, a lot of accountability and responsibility…For the last 10 years, I’ve been frustrated because I haven’t seen any Black nation or individual talking about going in a space,” Chipa said in a video shared on YouTube. “I’ve been asking myself why? Why...

Samantha Dorisca

Apr 16, 2024

This CEO Says He Sold His Company And Made The Employees Millionaires — 'We’re Minting Over 25 Millionaires'

When looking for a job, one of the critical things prospective employees consider is the benefits. Beyond healthcare, people hold stock options and spending accounts in high regard when choosing employment. Take, for example, the folks at Global Data Consortium.

Josh Rodgers

May 4, 2022

645 Ventures Announces New $160M Fund and 'Connected Network' to Support Founders' Growth

Today, 645 Ventures announced 645 Ventures Fund III, a $160 million fund “to invest in exceptional Seed and Series A companies.” The firm revealed they normally invest $1 million and $2.5 million per seed round and $5 million per Series A. The company also stated that it’s backed by leading institutional investors, “including university endowments, foundations, funds of funds, and pension funds.” “Fund III allows us to continue partnering with early-stage visionary founders who aspire to build iconic businesses that transform industries and reach large scale M&A and IPO events,” the announcement reads. In addition to the new fund, 645 Ventures is also launching “ Connected Network ,” a team of individual investors, including top technology leaders, business founders, and financiers who’ve scaled their early-stage startups to growth-stage businesses. “We have built and scaled a unique Connected Network of LPs and formed an ambitious internal team of engineers, operators, and...

Niki McGloster

Oct 28, 2020

Former Television Execs Launch Marketing Agency to Help Brands Connect With Black Audiences

Since the recent protests for racial justice, companies have scrambled to clean house, positioning themselves to be more diverse and inclusive. In addition, plenty of organizations have remixed their marketing to speak to a more multicultural audience. Still, some are missing the mark. According to NewsOne , former television executives Jessica D. Lane Alexander and Lori J. Hall founded Pop’N Creative “to help brands cultivate an authentic connection with multicultural audiences.” Launched in 2020, the agency focuses on digital and social content creation, experiential design, and masterful storytelling, the site reads. “We are absolutely, unapologetically passionate about multicultural marketing and helping brands get it right,” Hall told NewsOne. Both Hall and Alexander aim to help disrupt conflicting representation for Black girls in mainstream marketing, especially on the beauty of African-American attributes such as natural hair. “While I was super excited to see someone who...

Niki McGloster

Aug 10, 2020

These Two Black Female Founders Are Creating Safe Spaces For Black Creatives

The onus to create safe spaces for Black creatives has always been on other Black people. Before the public health crisis, these welcoming locales, where creatives could openly exist and express without the judgment of white gaze — whether virtual or IRL — were precious and rare. Founded by Naj Austin, Ethel’s Club is one of these sacred centers: a social club where members of the Black community have access to healing through “conversation, wellness and creativity.” Following the pandemic, Austin pivoted to an all-virtual membership, offering the same much-needed resources and space to her members. “We understand that lots of people are currently out of work, have no idea if that work will even come back and still need some semblance of peace and space,” she says. “Amid all of that, we started offering free group healing sessions once a month or twice a month to provide for people who, you know, need a space to then talk to someone, meet a therapist, whatever it may be, because the...

Niki McGloster

Jul 28, 2020

Here are the Black Billionaires Who Made the 2020 Forbes List

Forbes recently released its 2020 World’s Billionaires List ranking billionaires according to their net worth. While some billionaires remain on top, others saw their ranking drop drastically from the previous year. The list — finalized on March 18 — features 2,095 billionaires. Here are the Black billionaires that made the list representing various countries around the world. Aliko Dangote JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images The cement and sugar manufacturing guru from Nigeria landed at No. 162 with a net worth of $8.3 billion. He is not only Africa’s richest man but the world’s richest Black man. As the CEO and founder of Africa’s largest cement producer, Dangote Cement. At 62-years-old, Dangote owns 85 percent of the publicly-traded company. Mike Adenuga Twitter Adenuga is the second richest man in Africa. He ranks at No. 286 with a net worth of $5.6 billion. He secured his wealth through oil and telecom endeavors. At 66-years-old, Adenuga’s mobile communications company, Globacom,...

Devin Crudup

Apr 14, 2020

Georgia Ranks Number One in 'Best States for Black Entrepreneurs'

As a Black entrepreneur, the location of your startup is an important decision. Fit Small Business compiled a list of best states for Black entrepreneurship, and the state of Georgia ranks number one followed by Texas and Florida. The study found that the top-ranking states had high numbers of African American-owned businesses as well as fair average corporate tax rates. With Black-owned businesses, on the rise these states offer unique assets to Black entrepreneurs. States were ranked according to social and financial equality, Black-owned business success, economic health, and startup climate and opportunity. Fit Small Business recognizes that Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurship are at the foundation of the U.S. economy. Around 39 percent of participants believe the American economy will see improvement and be in a better position if Black entrepreneurs had more opportunities. “With this being the inaugural study, our goal was to focus on the data that paints an overall...

Devin Crudup

Feb 19, 2020

I Became Debt-Free, Then Helped Others Do the Same

Becoming debt-free is no easy feat, but by the age of 24, I was able to pay off $37,000 in student loans. Through sharing my story, I uncovered fears hidden within my friend group. A common theme was believing they had too much debt, the practice of avoiding debt, the shame of accumulating more debt, and uncertainty about how to stop living paycheck to paycheck. Once the fears were in the open, there was an opportunity to heal and grow. After helping my friends, one friend noted that the information was life-changing and too valuable not to share on a larger scale. From there, CreateFinStew was born. What began as a journey of helping my social circle developed into building a company that creatively transforms the financial stewardship of individuals and organizations. Financial Stewardship Financial stewardship is important to me and should be important to everyone because it helps foster good intentions about our present and our future. We are called to be good stewards of the...

Jasmine Paul

Dec 10, 2019

Team Engagement May Improve the Profitability of Your Startup If You Consider Following These Tips

The days where employees tiptoe on the outside of the inner circle of highly-ranked executives are long gone. Now, as founders, CEOs, and small business owners, let’s stay true to only being as good as our team by actively engaging with our employees. According to Gallup, employee engagement not only increases company morale but also increases productivity and boosts profitability by 21 percent. To began interacting with your employees, follow the tips below: Don’t Hide in Your Office Many CEOs have an open-door policy, but true employee engagement happens when you actually come out of your office. Sometimes an open-door policy is not enough, and in certain situations, it can be counter-intuitive to the CEO and employee’s relationship. According to CBS News , a Cornell University professor actually thinks an open-door policy could deter employees from communicating with higher-ups. Think about it — who would want to knock on the door of the boss who is rarely seen and gives off an...

Devin Crudup

Dec 6, 2019

This Couple is Helping Quarterbacks Through Gaming

Being a student-athlete can be a full-time job. Between classes, practice, and games, there is no extra time to sharpen up on skills off the field. That’s why Kathy and John Tomlinson want to give more football quarterbacks the ability to sharpen their skills directly from their phones with Quarterback Equalizer. Quarterback Equalizer — which officially launched in 2019 — is an app that teaches quarterbacks at various levels how to better read defenses. The couple got the idea for the app in 2014, after John spent years working as a football coach. He used PowerPoint slides and animations to teach his quarterbacks how to maneuver during a live game. “My wife thought it would be cool if I took how I teach kids and turned it into a game,” John said. “She made a lot of sense.” Despite being apprehensive at first, John agreed, and the two began developing what is now Quarterback Equalizer. Kathy works as the president, John is the CEO and the two are now working on ways to expand the...

Arriana McLymore

Dec 2, 2019

Spotlist Wants to be the Next On-Demand Service Platform

If you want groceries delivered to your door, you might choose between Amazon Fresh or Instacart. If you want to book a last-minute appointment with a beautician or a makeup artist, you might turn to StyleSeat. Spotlist, Inc. wants to be the one-stop-shop for various kinds of services so that customers never have to leave the house for their needs. The on-demand New Jersey-based platform is set to provide services across industries whether customers are in need of a makeover, a new hairdo, deliveries, or in-home massage. Spotlist, Inc., founder and CEO, Jae Pesante began developing her idea for the company while caring for her father, who was healing from surgery. “I always tell people that Spotlist wasn’t a company I came up with sitting around thinking of a way to make money. My father suffers from heart disease, and after his defibrillator surgery, he couldn’t drive,” Pesante said. “He told me that he wished he could have someone to service him at home.” Spotlist allows users to...

Arriana McLymore

Nov 20, 2019

How and Why Should You Register a Trademark?

Your brand is the part of your business that helps you connect and communicate to the outside world who you are, what you represent, the quality of your services, and the image you want to display. One of the best ways to protect your brand is by registering it as a trademark . There has been an increase in the rise of brands across a wide range of industries. Many business owners and entrepreneurs wonder whether they should trademark their company name. After you research the pros and cons, the answer will become crystal clear. It should not be a question to anyone who wants to protect their company. Despite the hassle of dealing with government agencies and seeking advice from attorneys to ensure you have the right details, there are many reasons why trademarking your name is important. Registering a Trademark Registering a trademark for a company name is very straightforward. Many businesses can file an application online in less than 2 hours. The simplest way to register is on...

AfroTech

Oct 20, 2019