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Freestyle Rappers Bring the Heat in Verizon’s 2nd Annual #freestyle50 Challenge

By Naomi K. Bonman

Freestyle is culture. Free style is art. And art and culture is Hip-Hop. On Tuesday, August 29, at Play House Nightclub in Hollywood, eight freestyle rappers from across the Nation battled it out at Verizon’s #freestyle50 challenge where they competed for a debut produced by London On Da Track, an opening slot in the upcoming 300 Artist Development Tour, and $10,000. The challenge was hosted by Sway Calloway (former MTV VJ) and Smack White. Nine were chosen from over 9,000 entries submitted through Instagram and Twitter. However, out of the nine finalists only eight performed, due to one being from Houston and having to deal with unfortunate weather conditions which prevented him from attending the finals.

“We’re looking for energy,” London On Da Track stated when asked what skill set that the judges would be looking for. Producer Kevin Liles added to the statement, “Two words, Beast Mode.”

And that is what the finalist brought, energy! The energy was felt throughout the club in the battle between the last two standing, Damond Blue and Y.K Supe went head to head for the grand prize. It was a close call with both rappers staying on cue with a smooth style. Y.K Supe from Chicago took home the grand prize.

The judges of the night included Tuma Basa, Spotify; Carl Chery (Apple Music); and Big Boy, radio host and actor. Other special guests that were in the house and that performed was rising stars Tee Grizzley, OMB Peezy, Cyhi the Prince. Last year’s winner, Tre Da Kid also came on stage and did a quick freestyle. He recently released his debut single, “Run it” which has over one million streams on music streaming platforms. World Renowned Hip-Hop artist, Redman, made a surprise debut and hyped the crowd up before the last two finalists took the stage for the prize.

#freestyle50 was inspired by Verizon’s 8GB for $50 prepaid offer available exclusively at Walmart.

Photo highlights (Photo Credit: Kristina Dixon/11:One Visuals) 

Obituary: Dr. Francis Bandoh-Aidoo


Dr. Francis Bandoh-Aidoo

Dr. Francis Bandoh-Aidoo was born in Bekwai (Ashanti), Ghana of Ghanaian parents. He lost his parents at an early age and was raised by his grandmother and aunt. His parents were highly educated and therefore he aspired to be the best he could be in life. He was destined for greatness, faithfully serving the Lord and being lead by the Holy Spirit to make decisive decisions. Ranking high in exams in high school and college were some achievements he spoke about. Obtaining his first job in Ghana as an accountant was thrilling for him for he had gained experience working amongst people. He often spoke of his beloved siblings, whom he learned from. A very unique man was Dr. Aidoo. It was hard for us to grasp where he was coming from at times because of his excellency and being a disciplined individual. We had to accept the fact that he was a strict man who wanted the best for his family, so he did things his way.

Upon leaving Ghana in his early twenties, he took a big leap to move to England to pursue his education as a certified public accountant. He also studied law and received different credentials in business.While studying in London, he met his wife who was a nursing student. It was a real love story for them, for they fell in love, got married and had two children. He started working for a company, importing and exporting goods. That was part of his business experience.  Dr. Aidoo wanted to do more with his knowledge, and that’s when he moved to the United States. He believed the United States to be the land of opportunity. Years later, his wife conceived their third child. He had a creative idea of manufacturing hair care products because of people’s need for solutions to receding hair lines and hair breakage problems. He made products for all hair types. The products had now become a company. First it was known as Afriq A Fro, then Ancestral Hair Care Products, and now Aidoo Aid. He researched enzymes and alkaloids and how they could be used to effectively help hair grow. He started his trial and testing procedures with two adopted brothers Peter and Rocco Guerriero. Together, they never thought he would fail and encouraged his courageous reputation. To this day, that teamwork legacy constructively stands for Dr. Aidoo’s legacy to be embarked. His coworkers and family continue to believe in his vision of promoting his hair products. His children will inherit his company with dignity and respect of attaining what Dr. Aidoo so valued.

This is a short summary of this wonderful and clever man whose life was of the essence. He was an interesting individual and his family believes his legacy will live on. We love you and will miss you Dr. Aidoo.Thank you for reminding us that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens you, so do it!

“Born Free- But Shackled by Sin!”

Lou Coleman-Yeboah

Lou Coleman-Yeboah

By Lou Coleman-Yeboah

What an insult to God…  God has set you free, why in the heck would you submit again to a yoke of slavery? Why? Because it feels good! Hell, sin always feels good in the moment, but did you know that “Sin will always cost you more than you intended to pay. That it will take you further than you intended to go; and it will keep you longer than you intended to stay.” Just look at you now, “Shackled by sin.” Sin is divisive, deceptive, destructive, and deadly [leads to death, destruction and damnation].  Listen you cannot eat at the Devil’s table without getting food poisoning.  You cannot warm yourself at the Devil’s fire without getting burned.  Satan shows you the neon lights of Sin City, but he doesn’t show you the graveyard.  Consider the words of [Proverb 20:17]… “Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.”  “What you pay for sin in cents, it will cost you in dollars.” Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for being… captive to sin.” [Acts 8:22-23].

Consider Judas’s final hours after giving the devil place in his life [Matt 27:3-10; Acts 1:18]. Consider Eve, after she took a little bite [Genesis 3:6].  Consider Lot’s wife after she took a little look [Genesis 19:26]. Consider Uzzah who took a little touch [1 Chronicles 13:10].  Consider Ananias and Sapphira who told a little lie [Acts 5:3].  Consider Samson [Judges 16:20] and Saul [1 Samuel. 16:14] whom the Lord’s presence departed because of sin. Do not allow sin to destroy you! Avoid it at all cost!  “Break every chain!”  Walk in the freedom you have been given. Mimic Paul approach to sin:  “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any” [I Corinthians 6:12]. Jesus said that He has come to set the captives free. Sin doesn’t have the power to hold you prisoner. God has broken the chains. It’s what Jesus had in mind when he cried those last words on the cross: “It is finished!” So, do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”[Romans 12:2] The power to break free from the chains of sin – the power that God has already provided – is already available to you, right now. God’s will is for you to overcome.  “…stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” [Galatians 5:1]