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Wednesday, May 4, 2016


Afeni Shakur Davis, Tupac's mother, dies at 69

Tupac Shakur's mother Afeni dies at 69

Tupac Shakur's mother Afeni dies at 69 ...

Story highlights

  • Tupac's mother was "well-loved" community member, police say
  • Afeni Shakur Davis spoke about how Tupac helped her beat drug addiction
  • Police responded to a call of cardiac arrest at Shakur Davis' Sausalito home
(CNN)Afeni Shakur Davis, the mother of one of hip-hop's most seminal and iconic figures, has died at age 69, the Marin County, California, sheriff's office said Tuesday.

Though she is best known as Tupac Shakur's mom, Shakur Davis also was a Black Panther as a young adult and an activist and philanthropist in her later years.

Deputies responded to a family member's call reporting "a possible cardiac arrest" at Shakur Davis' Sausalito home about 9:34 p.m. Monday, the Marin County Sheriff's Office said.
Shakur Davis was taken to Marin General Hospital, where she died at 10:28 p.m., the office said. There was nothing suspicious about her death and there's no evidence of foul play, Lt. Doug Pittman said Tuesday. An autopsy was scheduled for later in the day.
"Sheriff's Coroners Office will lead investigation to determine exact cause & manner of Afeni Shakur's death," the office said in a tweet.
Afeni Shakur Davis in 2003.
Shakur Davis was a "well-loved, well-respected" member of the community, Pittman said.
"Miss Shakur has had an extensive background not only in the community but her involvement with so many things," he said. "She's been a leader, a person people followed. All that said about who she's been and where's she's at now, this is a tragic loss for this community."
The Shakur family, in a statement, said she "embodied strength, resilience, wisdom and love. She was a pioneer for social change and was committed to building a more peaceful world."

From drugs to arts

In a 2005 interview ahead of the opening of the now-shuttered Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts in Stone Mountain, Georgia, Shakur Davis recalled how her life was almost derailed by drugs and how her son got it back on track.
Her drug use made her so oblivious to what was happening in her life that when someone told her in 1990 that her son -- then on the precipice of becoming the biggest name in hip-hop -- was going to be on "The Arsenio Hall Show," she thought the person was lying, she said.
In the mid-1980s, she was homeless in New York and "messing around with cocaine," Shakur Davis said. Despite the drug use, she was still coherent enough to realize that Tupac would become a product of the streets if she didn't make different choices.

"I was running around with militants, trying to be badder than I was, trying to stay up later than I should," she said in the 2005 interview.
She decided to enroll Tupac in the 127th Street Ensemble, a Harlem theater group, something she called "the best thing I could've done in my insanity." They later moved to Maryland, where she enrolled him in the Baltimore School for the Arts, and then to a small town outside Sausalito.
It was there that Tupac confronted her about her cocaine use.
"He asked me if I could handle it, and I said yeah because I'd been dipping and dabbing all my life," she said during the interview. "What pissed him off is that I lied to him."
'Pac told the local drug dealers not to sell to her, she said, and he told his mother to get clean or to forget about being involved in his life.

'Arts can save children'

She got clean in 1991, she said, and when her son was gunned down in Las Vegas in 1996, she resisted the urges to delve back into her old bad habits. She instead founded Amaru Entertainment to keep her son's music alive.
Later, she realized that her life -- mistake-ridden as it may have been -- might serve as a lesson to others.
"Arts can save children, no matter what's going on in their homes," she said. "I wasn't available to do the right things for my son. If not for the arts, my child would've been lost."
She provided the majority of the money to begin the $4 million first phase of the arts center, while her Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation hosted poetry and theater camps for youngsters in the Atlanta area.

The family said she established the foundation to "instill a sense of freedom of expression and education through the arts."
"I learned that I can't save the world, but I can help a child at a time," she said, pointing out that her new life of philanthropy wouldn't have been possible without the influence of her legendary son. "God created a miracle with his spirit. I'm all right with that."
And as much as she credited Tupac with inspiring her to help others, the tribulations she endured in raising him weren't lost on the multiplatinum artist. He regularly invoked her in his music, perhaps never as directly as in his chart-topping song, "Dear Mama."
In it, he rapped, "And even as a crack fiend, mama, you always was a black queen, mama/I finally understand, for a woman it ain't easy trying to raise a man/You always was committed, a poor single mother on welfare, tell me how you did it/There's no way I can pay you back, but the plan is to show you that I understand."
Shakur Davis is survived by a daughter, Sekyiwa Shakur.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

SONNY JAMES - Country Music Legend

Updated 11:17 PM ET, Mon February 22, 2016

(CNN)Sonny James, who ruled the country charts for nearly 20 years, has died, according to a statement on his website.
James died in hospice care Monday in Nashville, Tennessee, at the age of 87.
    From 1960 to 1979, he spent 57 weeks at the top of the charts, according to Billboard and the Country Music Hall of Fame. James was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006.
    James was born James Hugh Loden in Hackelburg, Alabama, and was already singing for an audience at age four with other members of his family. This led to the family hosting a radio show in Alabama.
    Music was a large part of his life, as he took part in fiddle competitions as a teenager.
    After serving in the military, and already a local celebrity, he signed with Capitol Records, taking the stage name Sonny James.
    His biggest hit, "Young Love," hit the top of the country and Disk Jockey charts in 1957. (Oddly enough, a second version of that song recorded by Tab Hunter also found success, and both recordings were among Billboard's top 10 singles of 1957.)
    James would hit No. 1 on the country chart a staggering 23 times in all.
    He also had a streak of 16 straight No. 1 country hits from 1967 to 1971, including "Need You" and "Here Comes Honey Again." That record stood until 1985, when the band Alabama broke it.
    Billboard called him "one of the first artists in the (country) format to consistently see his records cross over to the pop charts."
    "Throughout his life he has stood always at the ready to share a funny story," read the official statement.
    "Accompanied by his boyish smile, this man of deep faith never failed to cultivate his unique gift of making every friend feel as if they were his greatest friend every step of the way."

    Friday, February 19, 2016

    Killer Mike on Free speech

    *Thoughts by B. Brown (Entertainment Consultant) --- BREG

    The article that you are about to read is very interesting because I truly believe that when it comes to a person's (young or old, African-American, Caucasian or another race) family member or friend being taken advantage of or being harassed, most people are going to want to say something and/or do something.

    Killer Mike: Free speech -- unless it's rap?

    Killer Mike and Stephen Colbert talk race in America
    Killer Mike and Stephen Colbert talk race in America 01:20

    Michael Render (aka "Killer Mike") is a Grammy-winning rapper and community activist, one half of the critically 
    acclaimed duo Run the Jewels. Erik Nielson is assistant professor of liberal arts at the University of Richmond
    and co-editor of "The Hip Hop & Obama Reader" (Oxford UP, 2015). They recently co-authored an 
    amicus brief for the U.S. Supreme Court in Bell v. Itawamba County School Board

    (CNN)If your child attended a school where male athletic coaches were accused of sexually harassing 
    female students, would you want school administrators to investigate the allegations or punish the young man 
    who made them public?

    In an important case now before the U.S. Supreme Court -- Bell v. Itawamba County School Board -- a 
    Mississippi high school decided to punish the young man for expressing his concerns in a rap song, in the 
    process raising serious questions about students' First Amendment protections as well as broader questions 
    about the role of race in determining when those protections apply.
      The case dates back to December 2010, when several female students told a fellow student, aspiring rapper 
      Taylor Bell, that two of their coaches were allegedly engaging in highly inappropriate sexual behavior -- allegations that the girls eventually affirmed in sworn affidavits.

      Convinced that any report of this misconduct to school officials would fall on deaf ears, Bell posted a rap song 
      to Facebook and YouTube that identified the coaches by name and lambasted their behavior.
      Drawing on the long tradition of social protest in rap music, as well as the profane and violent rhetoric that is 
      common to the genre, the song takes (metaphorical) aim at the coaches with phrases like "f***ing with the wrong
       one gon' get a pistol down your mouth (Boww!)"
      Bell, who had a nearly spotless disciplinary history,recorded the song away from school during winter break, 
      and he never played it or performed it on campus.
      Nevertheless, school officials -- who, it should be noted, did not investigate or deny the allegations against the 
      coaches -- eventually learned about the song and suspended Bell, forcing him to attend an "alternative" school for six weeks. During the disciplinary process, administrators never notified police. They never bothered to search Bell's locker.
      In other words, nobody at the school appeared to believe that the song was a threat. Even one of the coaches 
      identified in the song said he thought it was "just a rap."
      And yet after Bell appealed his punishment, arguing that his song was being misrepresented, the School Board 
      upheld his suspension on the grounds that he had "threatened, harassed, and intimidated" school employees. The School Board's misguided decision was later upheld by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in a divided opinion.
      Now if the U.S. Supreme Court agrees to hear the case, it has the chance to get things right.
      As we argued in an amicus brief filed on Bell's behalf -- a brief that has drawn the support of numerous scholars 
      and well-known rap artists alike -- Bell wasn't being punished for making threats against school employees, 
      even if that was the school's justification. Instead, he was being punished for using the wrong art form, rap music, as his voice of protest.

      Rap, which grew out of black and Latino communities that were facing urban decay at its worst, has been 
      contentious, sometimes polarizing, for as long as it has existed. No doubt, this is in large part because of 
      rappers' willingness to confront institutions of power and openly defy social conventions with language that is 
      provocative, even offensive, to some.
      Supreme Court rules on case about Facebook threats
      Supreme Court rules on case about Facebook threats 01:44
      Bell certainly uses this type of language in his song, at times directing it at specific individuals, but in doing so he 
      is following a long line of platinum-selling rappers -- including Ice Cube, Eminem, Nas and Jay Z -- who have built 
      careers and made millions doing the same thing.
      Throughout those careers, none of their fans ever believed that Ice Cube would kill former Los Angeles Police 
      Chief Daryl Gates, that Eminem would kill his wife, Kim, or that Nas and Jay Z would kill each other -- all claims 
      the rappers made in their songs.
      Likewise, we don't assume that Quentin Tarantino, Stephen King or Johnny Cash carry out the (sometimes 
      extreme) violence depicted in their art -- because we acknowledge it as art.
      But as we have noted before, rap is often denied that respect, particularly in the criminal justice system, where 
      amateur rappers, almost always young men of color who lack the name recognition (and bank accounts) of their 
      professional counterparts, are routinely prosecuted for their music, either because people believe that rap should 
      be read literally or because they just don't like it.
      The administrators at Itawamba Agricultural High School just didn't like it. Although they maintain that the song 
      was "disruptive and threatening," none of them acted as though the song were a real threat; even the Fifth Circuit 
      denied that it rose to the level a "true threat" (a category of speech not protected by the First Amendment).
      Instead, what's clear is that people were offended by Bell's brazen attempt to stand up for his fellow students. 
      During Bell's hearing before the school's Disciplinary Committee, one committee member made the school's 
      motivations clear, telling Bell, "Censor that stuff. Don't put all those bad words in it. ... The bad words ain't 
      making it better."
      This isn't the first time officials at Itawamba Agricultural High School have tried to silence and marginalize 
      students they find offensive.
      In 2010, the school made headlines for canceling a prom rather than allowing two lesbian students to attend as a 
      couple. One of the young women, Constance McMillen, took the school to court to defend her First Amendment 
      rights, and she won.
      Now it's Taylor Bell's turn.

      Friday, January 17, 2014

      THE ALIGNMENT 2 --- Critically Acclaimed Live Music Concert featuring KEEYEN MARTIN!!!

      Singer/Songwriter "KEEYEN MARTIN" to perform with The Alignment at Atlanta's Apache Café for a special concert on Saturday, January 18th 
      ATLANTA, GA - (January 17, 2014) Singer/Songwriter Keeyen Martin will perform at the Apache Café (64 3rd St. NW, Atlanta, GA 30308) on Saturday, Jan. 18th for the latest installment of "The Alignment" concert series.  Doors open at 8:00 p.m. and the show will begin at 9:00 p.m.

      The Alignment is a live music experience featuring four independent artists (and friends) who will share the stage in support of one another's career. The Alignment was created to facilitate unity between up-and-coming artists and provides an inspired platform to showcase their work. What started as a simple conversation between young like-minded artists has since blossomed into a movement.  Martin, along with Tiffany Stevenson, Jayh, and Brik Liam will share their talents in a fresh way; thus aligning themselves as the stars do in order to create an amazing show and magical experience for music lovers.
      To purchase tickets for Saturday's show, visit To learn more Keeyen Martin visit his website www.KeeyenMartin.comFor bookings or other business inquiries contact B. Brown at 678.883.2734 or bbrown@BREG1994.comFor media inquiries and interview requests, contact Jameka Whitten at 704.261.5290 or

      About Keeyen Martin
      Raised as an only child in Charlotte, NC, Martin got his start in the church, where he first sang publicly at five years old; and by age 12, Martin had already penned his first song. As a singer and songwriter, Martin creates heartfelt, meaningful music where he is able to modernize and mix soul, pop and gospel seamlessly. Martin's personal mantra, "just do you!" is evidence of his refusal to be anything less than completely original. Martin's musical mission is to uplift, encourage and inspire his generation-effectively shaking the foundations of popular music for many years to come. His musical resume includes everything from performing for VH1 Save The Music and ASCAP, appearing on TBN to working with artists such as Mindless Behavior, Katy Perry, Fantasia Barrino and even sharing the stage with the likes of Stevie Wonder and Marvin Winans. Martin is a recent graduate of Morehouse College and is poised and ready to transform the current state of music in his own time, with his own style. Follow Keeyen Martin @Keeyen12 on Twitter and Instagram for updates.

      Monday, November 25, 2013

      Black Female Author wins The Matrix Copyright Infringement Case!

      Shared by B. Brown of Bar-Red Entertainment Group --- BREG
      *When I read the article below, I was very happy to know that Ms. Stewart had the courage, determination and resources to fight for justice!!! She stood up for herself and her creations, and she won what was legally hers in the first place!
      *Let me know what you think about the article and the entire situation ........
      "Black Author wins The Matrix Copyright Infringement Case"
      This little known story has met a just conclusion, as Sophia Stewart, African American author of The Matrix will finally receive her just due from the copyright infringement of her original work!!!
      A six-year dispute has ended involving Sophia Stewart, the Wachowski Brothers, Joel Silver and Warner Brothers. Stewart’s allegations, involving copyright infringement and racketeering, were received and acknowledged by the Central District of California, Judge Margaret Morrow presiding.
      Stewart, a New Yorker who has resided in Salt Lake City for the past five years, will recover damages from the films, The Matrix I, II and III, as well as The Terminator and its sequels. She will soon receive one of the biggest payoffs in the history of Hollywood , as the gross receipts of both films and their sequels total over 2.5 billion dollars.
      Stewart filed her case in 1999, after viewing the Matrix, which she felt had been based on her manuscript, ‘The Third Eye,’ copyrighted in 1981. In the mid-eighties Stewart had submitted her manuscript to an ad placed by the Wachowski Brothers, requesting new sci-fi works..
      According to court documentation, a FBI investigation discovered that more than thirty minutes had been edited from the original film, in an attempt to avoid penalties for copyright infringement. The investigation also stated that ‘credible witnesses employed at Warner Brothers came forward, claiming that the executives and lawyers had full knowledge that the work in question did not belong to the Wachowski Brothers.’ These witnesses claimed to have seen Stewart’s original work and that it had been ‘often used during preparation of the motion pictures.’ The defendants tried, on several occasions, to have Stewart’s case dismissed, without success.
      Stewart has confronted skepticism on all sides, much of which comes from Matrix fans, who are strangely loyal to the Wachowski Brothers. One on-line forum, entitled Matrix Explained has an entire section devoted to Stewart. Some who have researched her history and writings are open to her story.
      Others are suspicious and mocking. ‘It doesn’t bother me,’ said Stewart in a phone interview last week, ‘I always knew what was true.’
      Some fans, are unaware of the case or they question its legitimacy, due to the fact that it has received little to no media coverage. Though the case was not made public until October of 2003, Stewart has her own explanation, as quoted at
      ‘The reason you have not seen any of this in the media is because Warner Brothers parent company is AOL-Time Warner…. this GIANT owns 95 percent of the media… let me give you a clue as to what they own in the media business… New York Times papers/magazines, LA Times papers/magazines, People Magazine, CNN news, Extra, Celebrity Justice, Entertainment Tonight, HBO, New Line Cinema, DreamWorks, Newsweek, Village Roadshow and many, many more! They are not going to report on themselves. They have been suppressing my case for years.’
      Fans who have taken Stewart’s allegations seriously, have found eerie mythological parallels, which seem significant in a case that revolves around the highly metaphorical and symbolic Matrix series. Sophia, the Greek goddess of wisdom has been referenced many times in speculation about Stewart. In one book about the Goddess Sophia, it reads, ‘The black goddess is the mistress of web creation spun in her divine matrix.’
      Although there have been outside implications as to racial injustice (Stewart is African American), she does not feel that this is the case. ‘This is all about the Benjamins,’ said Stewart. ‘It’s not about money with me. It’s about justice.’
      Stewart’s future plans involve a record label, entitled Popsilk Records, and a motion picture production company, All Eyez On Me, in reference to God. ‘I wrote The Third Eye to wake people up, to remind them why God put them here. There’s more to life than money,’ said Stewart. ‘My whole to the world is about God and good and about choice, about spirituality over ‘technocracy’.’
      If Stewart represents spirituality, then she truly has prevailed over the ‘technocracy’ represented in both the Terminator and the Matrix, and now, ironically, by their supposed creators.
      Stewart is having discussions with CBS about a possible exclusive story and has several media engagements in the near future to nationally publicize her victory. June 13th 2004. Sophia Stewart’s press release read: ‘The Matrix & Terminator movie franchises have made world history and have ultimately changed the way people view movies and how Hollywood does business, yet the real truth about the creator and creation of these films continue to elude the masses because the hidden secret of the matter is that these films were created and written by a Black woman…a Black woman named Sophia Stewart. But Hollywood does not want you to know this fact simply because it would change history. Also it would encourage our Black children to realize a dream and that is…nothing is impossible for them to achieve!’
      Greg Thomas, Editor
      Courtesy of CNN IReport

      Wednesday, September 25, 2013



      Exciting things are happening for BREG affiliated artists!!!

      Last week, TAVARES STEPHENS --- --- Tavares had a great performance with The National Coalition of Black Aviators in Atlanta, GA!

      FLI UNIVERSITY (F.U.) --- --- F.U. has been in the studio with rising superstar producer F.K.I. twice in the past two weeks creating amazing hooks for upcoming hit songs!!! F.U. is performing at Onyx tonight (9/25/13) for DJ Krunch's Birthday Bash & Live Broadcast from WVEE 103.3 FM Atlanta, GA, plus an early kick-off event for BET Weekend in the "A"!!!  They will also be performing at KBC's 2013 BET Awards Gifting Suites Day Event on Friday, 9/27/13!!! Their new songs "Do You" & "Night Shift" are buzzing in the "A" and their video for "Ms. Good" is getting peoples' attention!!!

      KEEYEN MARTIN --- --- is in the process of preparing for the next release of his KFeenix Acoustic Music Video Series, his New EP, his "IndieGoGo" Campaign, The Alignment Concert Series and spot performance dates!!!

      XTRATAINMENT RECORDINGS is setting up the national release of one of America's musical treasures --- THE FIVE BLIND BOYS OF MISSISSIPPI, newly renamed THE MISSISSIPPI BLIND BOYS!!! New music and a new live show are on the way!!! Checkout this link ...

      TAFARI --- --- Tafari's Animal Tales From Africa takes kids on an amazing journey through Africa using folktales, movement and song. It’s a fun-filled, entertaining and educational 45-minute experience!  Africa is rich in the tradition of storytelling. Many tales give lessons about human nature, morality and responsibility.

      Stay tuned in to BREG to find out what is going on with some of the top emerging artists in the music & entertainment business!!!

      One Love!

      Wednesday, May 22, 2013

      Darius Rucker & Tiger Woods responds negative comments!!!

      Thoughts By:  B. Brown (BREG)

      Yes, we think the world has progressed so much, but incidents keep occuring to let us know that we haven't progressed as much as we may think!

      1st, Sergio Garcia (Golfer) says that he "would invite Tiger Woods over to his home, and then serve him 'Fried Chicken'." Is this guy kidding? Well, the answer is no. He immediately apologized and even held a press conference today to try and save his endorsements.

      Sergio actually had people texting & calling in to Sports Talk Radio Stations asking what was wrong with what he said. So if we have people in 2013 that don't understand the stereotype of 'Fried Chicken' being associated with Black people (oh yeah, African-Americans), then we have to be aware of the fact that racism and ignorance is alive and well! I do not believe it's going anywhere soon.

      The one good thing is that Tiger is the bigger man and basically said that the whole situation is sad and that he and Sergio just need to focus, talk about and play golf. That's it. Good move by you Tiger!

      Now my man Darius Rucker (Country Artist; Former frontman of Hootie & The Blow Fish) received a racist tweet from someone saying that he "should leave country music to the white folk." Wow!!! Then the coward actually deleted their Twitter account. I hope people were blasting this person for their outright racism! Darius replied, and let the person know that he was having it, and that's what's up! At some point and time, you have to stand up for yourself! Darius, keep making those country music hits!!! Black, white, yellow, purple and blue people love your music brother!!!

      We all have to learn how to KEEP IT MOVING!!!
      Checkout the article below in reference to the racist tweet directed towards Darius Rucker.

      One Love!!!

      Darius Rucker Fires Back at Racist Tweet

      Photo: Jerod Harris
      Given his remarkable success in the genre, it's safe to say that most country fans enjoy Darius Rucker's music. However, the Grand Ole Opry member was the target of a racist tweet over the weekend that, understandably, set off his ire.
      "@dariusrucker Leave country to the white folk," read the tweet, from a user identified as @pqkullman (the account has since been deactivated).

      Rucker responded with "WOW. Is this 2013 or 1913," adding "I'll take my Grand Ole Opry membership and leave your racism."

      The original tweeter did not engage in further discussion; however, several fans chimed in with their thoughts on the matter. When one fan asked Rucker why he bothered to retweet comments from racists, Rucker noted, "So the world can see them."

      Another fan said, "Bet he wouldn't say that to Nelly's face." Rucker replied with "Wouldn't say it to mine either."

      He concluded with this final statement: "If any hater thinks I care what u think. I don't make music for u. So don't listen."

      Rucker had recently been receiving mixed reviews, many quite negative, for his cover of the Bob Dylan-penned "Wagon Wheel," as originally performed by Old Crow Medicine Show. The cover is the second single off his album True Believers, which will be released Tuesday.

      Rucker, who initially forged his career in music as frontman for pop outfit Hootie & the Blowfish, has notched numerous accolades in the world of country in addition to his Opry membership, which he received in October 2012. His first country single in 2008, "Don't Think I Don't Think About It," made him the first African American to hit the top of the country chart since Charley Pride in 1983. He followed that by scoring the New Artist honor at the Country Music Association Awards, as well as four more No. 1 hits.