Standout Football Player Jay Harris Gives Up Michigan State Scholarship to Pursue Rap Career

Jay Harris, a standout wide receiver who received a scholarship to play football at Michigan State University, has decided to pursue a rap career instead.

Harris’ YouTube videos garnered over 50,000 hits and he’s already slated to release a mixtape:

 

[Harris] is ranked by ESPN as the state’s 17th ranked senior and second-best wideout. Harris scored 13 touchdowns last season on 54 catches for 792 yards.

Candice Glover Wins American Idol

23 year-old soul powerhouse Candice Glover was crowned the winner of American Idol last night.

Glover is the first woman – and the first black woman – to win since Jordin Sparks in 2007.

From NewsOne:

The booming 23-year-old R&B vocalist from St. Helena Island, S.C., won the Fox singing competition after auditioning a trio of times and making it to the finals this year. Glover looked stunned when “Idol” host Ryan Seacrest announced she bested soulful 22-year-old country singer Kree Harrison from Woodville, Texas.

Rhymes & Reasons Interviews Sage Morgan-Hubbard About the Hip Hop Songs that Changed Her Life

Rhymes & Reasons presents Sage Morgan-Hubbard.

A few months back, R&R debuted on BYP with our interview with Speech of Arrested Development. This week, we present Sage Morgan-Hubbard, Academic Outreach Coordinator in the School of Fine Arts at Columbia College.

As the curious child in a family of activists, A.D.’s “People Everyday”–and the iconic video–had quite an impact on Sage back in the day. She also remembers P.E.’s “Fight the Power” and Queen Latifah’s “U.N.I.T.Y.”

Check out the interview below:

Lauryn Hill Writes Letter of Thanks to Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder, and Other Supporters

Considering her imminent three month stay in federal prison, things must be extraordinarily difficult for Lauryn Hill and her family at this time.

But Ms. Hill still took the time out to thank those that expressed support and encouragement throughout her legal struggles.

She recently posted a letter on her Tumblr, naming specific individuals who wrote letters to the judge on her behalf; including Alicia Keys and Stevie Wonder.

From Lauryn Hill’s Tumlbr:

I want to extend a sincere thank you to the following people, who wrote letters to the judge on my behalf:

Rhymes & Reasons Interviews Julian “J. Kwest” DeShazier About the Hip Hop Songs that Changed His Life

Rhymes & Reasons proudly presents a session with a young pillar of our own community; Julian DeShazier, The Senior Minister at University Church Chicago and graduate of the Divinity School at the University of Chicago.

This isn’t the first time Julian’s told his story: he’s also a deeply self-reflective rapper who goes by the name of J. Kwest.

We talked about Outkast’s “13th Floor/Growing Old,” Common and Lauryn Hill’s “Retrospect for Life,” and “Triumph,” by the Wu-tang Clan.

Check out the interview below:

Lauryn Hill Sentenced to Three Months in Federal Prison

Lauryn Hill has been sentenced to 3 months in federal prison for tax evasion, as well as another 3 months of home confinement.

Additionally, she’ll serve a year of probation and must pay a $60,000 fine.

In a courtroom statement, Hill contended that she’d always intended to pay her taxes, but was unable to come up with the money during a time in which she’d dropped out of the music industry.

Hill will begin serving her sentence on July 8th.

LISTEN: Lauryn Hill Releases New Song “Neurotic Society (Compulsory Mix)”

Lauryn Hill released a new song over the weekend, her first since 2010’s “Repercussions.”

The track – titled “Neurotic Society (Compulsory Mix)” – features rapid-fire spitting and biting social commentary, over a spastic beat.

The release is apparently a part of her recent deal with Sony, allowing her to avoid jail time. Hill addressed the less-than-ideal circumstances surrounding the release in a Tumblr post:

VIDEO: Janelle Monåe | The Return of Artistry in R&B, Soul, & Hip Hop

Janelle Monae has been on the scene for a brief minute. Clearly, she’s here to stay!

Monae’s style is equivalent to an equinoctial point. In other words, she’s distinctive in fashion, beauty, and music and there’s no one like her. If so, they too are very rare, appearing infrequently throughout a life’s cycle of entertainment, and soon to disappear.

Tyler, the Creator Responds to Mountain Dew Controversy: “There’s no type of hate being portrayed in that work of art at all”

A couple of days ago we reported that PepsiCo decided to pull a Mountain Dew ad directed by Tyler, the Creator due to claims that the commercial–one of three in a series–was racist.

Now, Tyler, the Creator has issued a response to all of the criticism and speaks directly to Dr. Boyce Watkins, one of the commercials most vocal critics.

 

From The Fader:

 

…There’s no type of hate being portrayed in that work of art at all — which I’m confused by. But this older black dude, Dr. Boyce Watkins, I guess he found it racist because I was portraying stereotypes, which is ridiculous because, one, all of those dudes [in the line-up] are my friends….