NEW YORK — Christian hip-hop has made some notable inroads in the last few years, especially in the mainstream market. Popular rapper Lecrae has won Grammy, Stellar, and Dove awards, and he, along with other Christian artists, appear regularly on networks like BET and MTV. Does this mean the movement that emerged in the early '80s as Gospel rap has finally arrived?
The question might be especially relevant after it was reported that recording artists Flame, Lecrae, and others filed a lawsuit against pop singer Katy Perry and Capitol Records for allegedly stealing and "irreparably tarnishing" a 2008 song of theirs titled "Joyful Noise." The rappers claim Perry's "Dark Horse" single released in 2013, infringes on the copyright of their "Christian gospel song," and therefore are demanding an "injunction, damages and the defendants' profits gained from the unauthorized use of "Joyful Noise.'"
Lecrae is arguably the most popular Christian rapper in recent years who has managed to garner cross-over appeal among a mainstream audience. He and his Reach Records label have been credited with opening the doors and providing exposure and a platform for many other artists in the Christian music industry. Andy Mineo, a New York City rapper who is also on Reach Records, has been following in Lecrae's footsteps, with outlets like BET and MTV making much of his latest album and EP releases, Heroes for Sale and Never Land, respectively. more >>
An intense video of an unidentified black man being arrested for what he claims is sleeping on a the train, and according to the NYPD "occupying more than one seat," is now going viral on YouTube eliciting strong reaction from the public.
"This video says it all. ... The cops have way too much power. They are now the aggressors in our society, not the average citizen," wrote John Jenkins on the YouTube video posted Wednesday by 60th Street Watch.
The NYPD told Gothamist that the arrest took place on a nearly empty northbound F train on May 30 at about 4:18 a.m. because he was in violation of MTA's rules of conduct. more >>
NEW YORK — Guatemala, home to about 14.6 million people, has been plagued for decades by gang violence, some of it mindless, according to the confessions of gangsters featured in the powerful and gritty Nadus Films documentary, BBoy for Life. Coury Deeb, who co-produced and directed the film, captured the stories of everyday Guatemalans who have found an alternative to the pervasive gang life by breakdancing, a defiant act that could still cost them their lives.
"Here in Guatemala, you take a risk dancing," explains Cheez, one of the protagonists in BBoy for Life and the main organizer of his breakdancing Poker Crew. "There are gangsters. … The gangs don't like this — they really don't. If they see me dance in my neighborhood, they threaten me with death."
Gangsters locked up in a maximum security prison, "somewhere outside of Guatemala City," back up Cheez's statement. more >>
The city of New York recently agreed to fund full day, pre-kindergarten programs for religious schools in the city in an attempt to make more space for preschool attendance by Fall 2014. Multiple religious schools in the area have questioned the full-day funding, as it prohibits religious teaching from being taught during school hours.
The new policy, approved by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, extends the previous half-day prekindergarten programs at religious schools into a full day program funded by the government.
Previously, religious schools offered a half-day of secular prekindergarten funded by the government, contributing religious teaching to the latter part of the school day that they paid for using their own school funds. more >>
A magistrate judge has ruled that a New York public school's removal of Christian items from a science teacher's classroom was legal. The teacher, Joelle Silver, had multiple Bible verses on display, as well as a painting that included three crosses on a hill, and a prayer request box on her desk that was placed there by the school's Bible Study Club, which she served as a faculty monitor.
The decision given Tuesday by a judge with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York dismissed part of the motion given by the Christian teacher.
Judge Leslie G. Foschio argued that Silver's lawsuit against Cheektowaga Central School District, its Superintendent Dennis Kane and its Board of Education President Brian J. Gould could not proceed on the basis of her rights being violated when they removed the Christian items. more >>
Baylor University's Isaiah Austin was recognized by the NBA as the league's best pick during the 2014 NBA Draft Thursday night, despite having a rare genetic disorder that ended his dreams of playing professionally.
Though Austin will not play, NBA commissioner Adam Silver honored him as one of the nation's best collegiate basketball players in an announcement that was met with an emotional standing ovation.
"For Commissioner Silver to even invite me here was a tremendous blessing and it just shows how much class that man has," said Austin, according to ESPN. "It's really been a tough week for me, and it's been really rough. I've just had a tremendous amount of support from everybody around the world, telling me they're praying for me and everything. I can't thank everybody enough." more >>