Mayor A C Wharton Jr. has teamed with several local hospitals and community partners to launch a musical message encouraging citizens to enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace by the March 31st deadline.
"Music resonates with the people of our city in a way that is difficult to explain. That's why this idea of slipping a critical message into the melody of a song was a pretty safe bet from our perspective," said Wharton.
The song at the center of the campaign is "The Marketplace," a rewrite of the 1979 soul classic "Come Go with Me" made famous by Teddy Pendergrass. It showcases Memphis vocalist and keyboardist, Will Graves. T. O. Crivens, who is featured as the lead guitarist, produced the regarding.
Fresh off a trip down south to Austin, Texas, 29-year-old rapper George Purnell, aka Go Phigga, of Bottom Coast Ent/Numb3rs Committee, was still in rare form as we began our interview. Turned up and passionate about music and the mark he plans to make on it, he left no stones unturned when speaking about his experiences, influences and perceptions of the music business.
"I've dropped 3 albums already – "4ever Motivated," "M.S.O.M.1" and "M.S.O.M.1.5" – but most recently I just finished performing this past weekend at the annual South By Southwest (SXSW) Music, Art and Film Festival in Austin, Texas," said Go Phigga, clearly excited about the annual Spring Break festival that he recognizes as one of the biggest in the music game.
"I have performed at this event for like the last three or four years and I truly enjoy it and the fans because every year is different. The fans really get a chance to see you up close and personal and take pictures with you and ask you about your music. Then also there are countless mega-artists there. Like this year you had artists like Jay-Z, Kanye West, Slim Thugg, Bun B., Face Mobb, Big Sean, Future, Tech 9, Nas, etc. So yes, it was really nice."
African-American young men – several of them – took home a few life lessons after attending The Black Man Can Institute at the Juvenile Intervention & Faith-based Followup (JIFF) last Saturday (March 15th).
The Institute was a one-day series of workshops that focused on different ways to uplift, empower and inspire young men of color.
"We have a vision to bring the Institute to every city in America and be a catalyst for change in the life of a young man," said Brandon Frame, the Institute's founder. "In partnering with R.L. Thompson and Community Service, Inc., we had the amazing opportunity to complete that purpose."
Starting in the middle of March every year, America's attention is focused squarely on March Madness. Sports – and non-sports fans alike – are tuned in to every bit of news around the tournament in hopes it leads to lucrative bracket paydays.
And in the middle of March each year, there's another story that doesn't get nearly the same attention as the tournament. This week, The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida issued its annual report examining the graduation rates of all of the schools participating in the tournament.
On Tuesday, President Obama awarded 24 minority U.S. soldiers, who collectively served in three of the nation's wars and were never rewarded for their courage, with the Medal of Honor, reports the Associated Press.
Only three of the 24 were alive for President Barack Obama to drape the medals and ribbons around their necks; the others were awarded the honor posthumously.
"Today we have the chance to set the record straight," Obama said. "No nation is perfect, but here in America we confront our imperfections and face a sometimes painful past, including the truth that some of these soldiers fought and died for a country that did not always see them as equal."
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