Urban Fêtes A Lifestyle Brand 2015-11-20T09:51:17Z http://urbanfetes.com/feed/atom/ WordPress @Mr_Waldron http://www.urbanfetes.com <![CDATA[UF x A3C Showcase/Competition]]> http://urbanfetes.com/?p=803 2015-08-24T22:37:19Z 2015-08-24T22:37:19Z Calling All Midwest Artists! Who’s going to Atlanta’s A3C Festival and wants to perform? Here’s your chance to win a slot on the official Urban Fetes#UFA3C Showcase. Hit up ike@urbanfetes.com to submit. Also, tag/share with an artist who needs this opportunity.
A3C Conference is an incomparable platform for the Hip-Hop Industry, Academics, Creatives, Companies and Organizations to connect, learn and build.

@Mr_Waldron http://www.urbanfetes.com <![CDATA[Summer Splash: “Back to School”]]> http://urbanfetes.com/?p=790 2015-08-24T00:25:27Z 2015-08-24T00:24:20Z The new school year is right around the corner and youth in our community are in need of school supplies. Friday, August 21st– Urban Fêtes, a Chicago lifestyle brand adds a charitable twist to their signature ‪#‎SummerSplashChi‬” Rooftop Pool Party” series! In exchange for FREE ADMISSION, we are asking for donations of backpacks and school supplies to help supply our young scholar’s with the tools they need to succeed.  *All Donations Will Benefit La Rabida Children’s Hospital*

In addition to school supply donation, non-members must also RSVP: http://www.summersplashbts.eventbrite.com/

@Mr_Waldron http://www.urbanfetes.com <![CDATA[Project Runway [Viewing Party] hosted by Laurie Underwood]]> http://urbanfetes.com/?p=787 2015-08-24T00:09:18Z 2015-08-24T00:09:18Z Meet Chicago Designer, Laurie Underwood of Project Runway Season 14 and view the premiere of the Emmy Awarded series, where up-and-coming designers compete for a chance to have a show in New York’s Fall Fashion Week. Powered by Urban Fêtes // 21+ No Cover.

@Mr_Waldron http://www.urbanfetes.com <![CDATA[As Nabisco Ships 600 Jobs Out of Chicago to Mexico, Maybe It’s Time To Give Up Oreos]]> http://urbanfetes.com/?p=783 2015-08-05T01:37:31Z 2015-08-05T01:37:31Z

Post created by Marilyn Katz (janetandphil/Flickr)

I may have to give up one of my longest-standing indulgences: the dunking of an Oreo cookie in cold milk (whole is preferred). I don’t do this lightly, as I have been dunking those deliciously wicked rounds of chocolate and what I choose to believe is cream since I’ve been three.

Why give them up? Because this week, Irene Rosenfeld, the head of Mondolez (the food conglomerate based in Illinois that has Nabisco in its portfolio), a woman touted for breaking the glass ceiling upon becoming the head of Kraft Foods and then its spin off, announced that rather than invest $130 million in modernizing the plant in Chicago, where Oreos have been lovingly produced for the past 100 years, she will instead move the jobs to a new factory in Mexico. The result: a loss of 600 well-paying and community-sustaining jobs on Chicago’s Southwest Side.

Is giving up Oreos a foolish and futile gesture? Of course, I know that other Chicago-born companies have made similar moves. I, like many Chicagoans felt a loss when Frango Mints were no longer hand made on the top floor of Marshall Field’s—and felt worse when Marshall Field’s ceased to exist at all. I was saddened when Klaus Suchard chose to take Brach candy production from Chicago, and in so doing ended Chicago’s title as candy capital of the world. I even regretted the loss of the city’s steel mills and stockyards, despite the cleaner air that their exodus brought.

But this seems different. Perhaps it was reading the May stories of Rosenfeld’s report to shareholders in which she touted the upward trajectory of the company’s profits through cutting back on procurement and customer service and her plans to make it even more profitable by a restructuring that would realize a gain of $1.5 billion for stockholders.

It might have been reading the very next day that Rosenfeld was now being feted as the first woman to join the “20 Club,” those Illinois CEOS who are paid more than $20 million a year. Rosenfeld was paid $21 million in 2014 alone.

Or perhaps, in a city beset by financial woes, it was contemplating the impact of 600 more unemployed people, who had, only weeks ago, represented a well-paid diverse workforce of Latinos, African Americans and whites whose skills and union had earned them a sustainable salary of as much as $26 an hour.

Or perhaps, after another weekend of shootings and deaths, it was thinking about the young people who we tell that in staying in school, staying out of trouble and following the rules there is a clear path to opportunity in our city—at the moment that 600 such opportunities in the city evaporated.

Certainly Rosenfeld’s move is legal (although whether it should be is another question). But I can find no sense in which it is moral, just or defensible.

Rosenfeld and company may say that the move is justified, the reasonable actions of a company to improve their bottom line; that they owe their workers, the city and the nation nothing. But I would disagree. As Warren Buffet and a few other enlightened CEOs often point out, no American company succeeds on its own or without public benefit. Companies benefit from their hiring of workers made literate and trained by a public education system that, with all its foibles, is pervasive and accessible. Corporate trucks enjoy the benefits of publicly financed roads and bridges, maintained at the public’s expense, not theirs. Their commerce itself benefits from government agreements that ensure the rule of law and protect them in a manner that those of few other countries do. And of course the wealth of the company is due to the skill and work of the workers—who turn, in this case, the flour and sugar into the delectable treats that are now enjoyed worldwide.

There’s nothing new or even unusual about Irene Rosenfeld and the story of Nabisco and its Oreo cookies. But perhaps its very pervasiveness in our lives is just the thing to wake up the nation to the downward spiral we find ourselves in—a veritable race to the bottom, with a thin layer of the very rich, a hollowing out of the middle, and a growing underclass—relegated to selling merchandize produced for pennies on the dollar in other countries.

A friend to whom I spoke about Mondelez counseled that to mention Rosenfeld’s salary is a distraction.  But it seems somehow wrong that we praise and reward a CEO for eliminating American jobs or for being paid an amount in one year that would take any worker in her plant 500 years to earn. Come to think of it, if Rosenfeld could learn to live on $2 million a year, that $19 million could be used to save 600 jobs, and the company’s bottom line would still be the same.

The same friend, who long has worked in finance said to me, in a manner most reminiscent of the famous quote from The Godfather, “It’s just business” But it’s a business where choices are made.  Unlike other nations, our laws today do nothing to discourage offshoring, nor do they create any penalties when companies leave cities and towns holding the bag, left responsible for cleaning the contaminated sites and providing assistance to those left behind.

We look at cities like Detroit or Gary and say, in language that only slightly masks its racism, that their sorry financial state is of their own making, and that we are better and smarter than they. But are we? The African-American residents of those cities didn’t create the problems they face. Rather, it was the exodus of auto from Detroit (140,000 jobs lost between 1950 and 1960) that created the first and lasting economic crisis that city faced and faces. So, too it was not the population of Gary that caused its demise but the decision of steel to lower its costs, take the profits gleaned from decades of workers’ production, invest it in foreign lands and leave its workforce behind. Rather than exceptions, we’d be better off understanding them as harbingers of our future—the veritable canaries in the mine whose warnings should be heeded.

The last 20 years—from the changes in tax laws of Bill Clinton’s regime through the terrible and costly years of George W. Bush—have favored massive increases in corporate profits with American workers and taxpayers paying the bills and the price. It need not be this way. It was and is not divinely ordained.  These are the decisions of humans and other choices can be made.

For me? Just as I don’t shop at Wal-Mart where guns are sold next to the cereal, I won’t be eating Oreos.  A small and ineffectual gesture, perhaps, but one that will give me some satisfaction while I wait and work for a government that takes a stand.

To tell Oreo you’re boycotting their cookies, join my Change.org petition.

@Mr_Waldron http://www.urbanfetes.com <![CDATA[Cincinnati officer who killed Sam DuBose during traffic stop freed after posting bond]]> http://urbanfetes.com/?p=775 2015-07-31T16:32:52Z 2015-07-31T16:26:59Z CINCINNATI (AP) — A University of Cincinnati police officer who fatally shot a motorist during a traffic stop pleaded not guilty Thursday to a charge of murder and was ordered jailed on $1 million bail.

Fired UC officer Ray Tensing later posted 10 percent of that amount and was released, the Hamilton County Court clerk’s website said. He was freed at about 6:30 p.m., county sheriff’s spokesman Mike Robison confirmed.

People in the courtroom audience had erupted into cheers and clapped when Tensing’s bail was set at $1 million, drawing the ire of Judge Megan Shanahan. “Ladies and gentlemen! This is a courtroom,” the judge said sharply. Tensing also pleaded not guilty to a charge of voluntary manslaughter in the July 19 shooting of Samuel DuBose, who was stopped for not having a front license plate.

Defense attorney Stewart Mathews said there are two sides to the case and the officer’s much-viewed body camera video of the traffic stop can be interpreted differently from the prosecutor’s version.

 He described Tensing as “very depressed” and “in shock,” adding the officer felt “like he’s been run over by a train from the start of this case.” Tensing, 25, was fired soon after he was indicted. He had been with the University of Cincinnati for more than a year after starting police work in 2011 in a Cincinnati suburb. He has a UC degree in criminal justice.

DuBose’s death comes after months of national debate about police use of force against African-Americans, especially when the force resulted in death. The 43-year-old DuBose was black; Tensing is white. But authorities have not focused on race as a factor in the slaying.

Two campus police officers who responded to the shooting have been put on paid leave, university spokeswoman Michele Ralston confirmed Thursday. Phillip Kidd and David Lindenschmidt are on leave while the university police department conducts an internal investigation, she said.

Body camera footage from the two officers was released Thursday. Kidd can be heard saying he saw Tensing being dragged. And in other footage, Lindenschmidt can be heard telling another officer that Tensing “went down, got tangled in the car and drew his gun and fired.”

In Lindenschmidt’s video, Tensing can be seen on the ground and then getting up. But there is no indication on the video of how he ended up on the ground. The prosecutor who brought the murder charge, Joe Deters, told The Cincinnati Enquirer that Kidd and Lindenschmidt testified before the grand jury that indicted Tensing.

Messages were left Thursday at the university police department for the two officers and at a home phone number listed for a David Lindenschmidt. No telephone listing for Kidd could be found. Deters said the university should disband its department and turn over policing to the city. University President Santa Ono rejected that, saying campus police duties are different from those of a city department.

“You need to have a knowledge of how to interact with students,” he said in an interview Thursday. “There are many different issues and federal guidelines that have to be followed that are very specific to campus policing.” After DuBose was stopped, he failed to provide a driver’s license and refused to get out of the car. “I didn’t even do nothing,” he can be heard telling Tensing.

DuBose held up what appears to be a bottle of gin. Tensing has said he thought he was going to be dragged under the car and “feared for his life,” according to Mathews. Tensing fired once, striking DuBose in the head. “This officer was wrong,” city police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell said Wednesday, adding that officers “have to be held accountable” when they’re in the wrong.

Deters scoffed at Tensing’s claim that he was dragged by DuBose’s car, saying the officer “purposely killed him.” Using words such as “asinine” and “senseless,” the veteran prosecutor known for tough stands on urban crime called it “a chicken crap” traffic stop.

“It was so unnecessary,” Deters said. He added that Tensing “should never have been a police officer.” Deters has said the officer should have just let DuBose drive off.


Welsh-Huggins reported from Columbus.


Associated Press writers Dan Sewell and Dylan Lovan in Cincinnati and Michelle Smith in Providence, Rhode Island, contributed to this report.

@Mr_Waldron http://www.urbanfetes.com <![CDATA[Meek Mill finally responds to Drake with his own diss track, “Wanna Know”]]> http://urbanfetes.com/?p=771 2015-07-31T03:10:07Z 2015-07-31T03:10:07Z Over a week after Meek Mill first called out Drake for allegedly having a ghostwriter, the Philly rapper has responded with his own diss record, “Wanna Know”. The track follows two records from Drake — “Charged Up” and “Back to Back Freestyle” — that put Meek’s back against the wall. Everyone expected a response from Meek Mill earlier this week on Hot 97 DJ Funkmaster Flex’s show that never transpired. Meek Mill and his team began dropping hints this afternoon that the track would finally be released tonight, and on Flex’s show no less. Now that Meek has responded, the biggest beef in hip hop is in full swing.

Drake will surely respond with his own record in the next few days, but Meek is in the game now, and this battle is just getting started. Is “Wanna Know” good enough to dig Meek Mill out of the 2-0 hole he’s up against? Can Meek Mill really win a battle against Drake? And more importantly, what does Nicki Minaj think of all this?

@Mr_Waldron http://www.urbanfetes.com <![CDATA[Hear Drake Demolish Meek Mill on ‘Back to Back’ Freestyle]]> http://urbanfetes.com/?p=765 2015-07-30T00:51:25Z 2015-07-30T00:50:35Z
Drake has fired another salvo in his feud with Meek Mill after that rapper called Drake’s “Charged Up” diss track “baby lotion soft.” Three days later, Drake has responded again with “Back to Back Freestyle,” and there’s nothing soft or vague about this diss track as the Toronto rapper lays into Meek Mill.

The cruelest barbs in “Back to Back Freestyle” come when Drake attempts to emasculate Meek Mill for serving as opening act for his girlfriend Nicki Minaj’s Pinkprint Tour. “You love her then you gotta give the world to her / Is that a world tour or your girl’s tour?/ I know that you gotta be a thug for her / This ain’t what she meant when she told you to open up more,” Drake says. (Incidentally, Meek Mill showed up 90 minutes late and was promptly booed when the Pinkprint Tour hit Drake’s native Toronto Tuesday night.)

Drake then takes aim at Meek Mill’s decision to beef through social media. “Trigger fingers turn to Twitter fingers,” Drake raps. “You’re getting bodied by a singing nigga.” Drake then warns all his “boss bitches” – but likely Minaj especially – “make sure you hit him with a pre-nup.”

The feud between Drake and Meek Mill stems from Mill’s accusations that Drake employed a ghostwriter for his guest verse on “R.I.C.O.,” a track off Meek Mill’s new album Dreams Worth More Than Money. An Atlanta rapper named Quentin Miller was then identified as Drake’s ghostwriter, though Miller and Drake’s producer Noah “40” Shebib denied the ghostwriting allegations.

“When I look back, I might be mad that I gave this attention / But it’s weighing heavy on my conscience / And fuck, you left me with no options,” Drake says on the new track. “I’m not sure what it was that made y’all mad / But I guess this is what I gotta do to make y’all rap.”

Meek Mill previously shared his own Drake “diss track” titled “Beautiful Nightmare” which just featured 15 seconds of moaning.

@Mr_Waldron http://www.urbanfetes.com <![CDATA[Report: Floyd Mayweather vs. Andre Berto will be on CBS on September 12th]]> http://urbanfetes.com/?p=758 2015-07-30T00:51:58Z 2015-07-16T23:32:40Z We’re less than two months away from Floyd Mayweather’s planned September 12th fight in Las Vegas, Nevada. No opponent has been officially named and no broadcast plans have been finalized, but if reports turn out to be true, Mayweather won’t be on pay-per-view for his next bout. According to The Sweet Science’s Michael Woods, Mayweather (48-0, 26 KOs) is going to face Andre Berto (30-3, 23 KOs) in the main event of a primetime event on CBS network, as opposed to Showtime PPV. Rumblings about Mayweather’s 49th pro bout being on CBS have been around for more than a week, and an official announcement on his new opponent is expected to happen within the next few days.

Mayweather is obviously coming off his unanimous decision win over Manny Pacquiao in the widely dubbed “Fight of the Century”. Many fans didn’t feel that it lived up to its billing, feeling that the lack of dramatic moments and entertaining exchanges was not worth the $100 PPV cost. Still, the fight blew away all PPV and gate records on its way to being the richest fight in boxing history.

Berto was once one of the top welterweights in the world as the WBC’s champion for 3 years. The 31-year-old lost his undefeated record and his belt to Victor Ortiz in a thrilling 2011 clash that featured two knockdowns apiece, but Berto lost the decision. After beating Jan Zaveck, Berto tested positive for a banned substance, which killed off a planned Ortiz rematch. He then lost a decision to Robert Guerrero in another war, having suffered two early knockdowns. A 12th round TKO vs. Jesus Soto Karass, which saw Berto injure his shoulder, looked like the relative end to Berto’s career at the top. Since that 1-3 stretch, Berto has beaten the unheralded Steve Chambers and stopped Josesito Lopez in 6 rounds in a PBC on Spike main event.

On the surface, considering Amir Khan was the supposed frontrunner to face Mayweather next, this is not a particularly compelling match-up. Truthfully speaking, having beaten Pacquiao, there are practically no real compelling fights for Floyd at 147 lbs. But if you gave boxing fans the option of paying $60 or $70 to watch Mayweather get an easy decision over Berto, or to watch it on network television, they’d likely choose the one that doesn’t cost $60 or $70 to order. Mayweather is still the sport’s top PPV draw, and “disappointing” fights vs. Oscar De La Hoya and Canelo Alvarez did absolutely nothing to change that for the worse. However, according to The Sweet Science report, if Mayweather wins this one and the CBS broadcast goes well, his 50th (and presumably last) fight could also be on CBS.

Of course, this is all speculation on an unconfirmed report. We’ll have to wait and see for the official announcement of Mayweather’s return to the ring. And for MMA fans reading this article, there are no UFC, Bellator, or World Series of Fighting events scheduled for that week.

@Mr_Waldron http://www.urbanfetes.com <![CDATA[50 Cent Files For Bankruptcy]]> http://urbanfetes.com/?p=737 2015-07-14T17:38:39Z 2015-07-13T22:42:29Z 50 Cent has reportedly fallen on hard times. After being deemed as one of hip-hop’s cash kings for almost a decade, Fif filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy on July 13, according to reports. He reportedly has assets and debts that range between $10 and $50 million.
After a judge ruled that he pay Rick Ross’ ex, Lastonia Leviston, $5 million for intentionallyreleasing a sextape of her and being ordered to payout $17.2 million to Sleek Audio after it was determined he ripped off one of their designs, the “I Got Money” rapper is short on cash.

The G-Unit general filed for bankruptcy just two months after he ranked at no. 4 on the Forbes Five list, which listed the wealthiest people in hip-hop. His estimated net worth was $155 million thanks to his business ventures with SMS Audio, Effen Vodka, SK Energy and Frigo underwear.

@Mr_Waldron http://www.urbanfetes.com <![CDATA[Who Is “El Chapo?” A Guide to the World’s Most Powerful Drug Lord]]> http://urbanfetes.com/?p=734 2015-07-14T17:39:22Z 2015-07-13T22:39:46Z God blessin’ all the trap n***as. Or at least that’s what everyone is saying after Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera escaped from a Mexican maximum security prison for the second time on Sunday, sending social media accounts into a frenzy.

We’ve heard this story before, though. This isn’t the first time “El Chapo” escaped from a maximum security prison. In 2001, with the aid of up to 78 people, he fled Mexico’s Federal Center for Social Rehabilitation No. 2 in a laundry cart. A prison guard opened his cell, and a maintenance worker commandeered the laundry cart and put “El Chapo” in the trunk of his car. That was amateur hour compared to his second escape plan. Guzman fled Federal Social Readaptation Center No. 1 in a mile-long tunnel in the prison’s shower area, the only part of the jail without cameras.

The tunnel was air-conditioned, had lights, and a motorcycle. It stretched from the prison shower area to a construction site in the neighborhood of Santa Juanita. This, to those in know, should come as no surprise as Guzman is credited in Malcolm Beith‘s book, The Last Narco: Inside the Hunt for El Chapo, the World’s Most Wanted Drug Lord, for pioneering sophisticated underground tunnels to smuggle drugs across the American border.

So who is the man known as “El Chapo?”

He’s this generation’s Pablo Escobar. He has amassed a net worth of about $1 billion, according to Forbes. In 2014, Forbes also listed him on their “Powerful People” list and claimed his cartel’s annual revenue is $3 billion and is responsible for at least 25 percent of all illegal drugs smuggled into the United States from Mexico. He rose to power during the mid to late ’80s, first working for Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo aka“El Padrino” and the Guadalajara Cartel. Guzman eventually broke off to form the Sinaloa Cartel after Gallardo was apprehended in 1989.

It was during this time Guzman and his associate Héctor Luis Palma Salazar took advantage of the attention the Colombian cartels were getting in their much-publicized war with the Colombian and U.S. governments. After Salazar was arrested in June of 1995, ‘El Chapo” took control. He remained a shadow with infinite connections and wealth. Guzman wielded his influence from behind the scenes,colluding with the Mexican government and America’s ATF in order to keep his trafficking business afloat for decades. Operation Fast and Furious was spearheaded by the ATF, the plan being to track guns given to Sinaloa cartel members. Instead, as U.S. law enforcement officer John Dodson claimed in his book, The Unarmed Truth, the U.S. government was helping the cartel rather stopping them.

As I mentioned earlier, tunnels were a Sinaloa Cartel signature. With the help of architect Felipe de Jesús Corona-Verbera, one of their first tunnels ran from a home in Ague Prieta, Mexico to a cartel-owned warehouse in Douglas, Ariz. The U.S. government has credited Guzman’s cartel with at least 90 border tunnels. When the Colima Cartel’s Amezcua brothers were arrested in 1999 for meth charges, “El Chapo” seized the opportunity to take control of the market they left behind, furthering his cobra clutch on Mexico’s drug trade.

How did Guzman get arrested the first time?

In 1993, the Mexican government was forced to apprehend the drug lord after Cardinal and Archbishop Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo was accidently killed in a gunfight between El Chapo’s crew and the Tijuana Cartel. It wasn’t easy, though. The leader of the Sinaloa Cartel bribed his way to Guatemala. However, he was then extradited to Mexico with the help of the same Guatemalan official he had bribed and who turned out to be an informant. El Chapo was incarcerated for about eight years before his daring escape.

Image via Flickr

How did the world’s most notorious drug trafficker get himself arrested again?

His top assassin was too flamboyant on Instagram. José Rodrigo Arechiga aka El Chino Antrax, known for stuntin’ on IG with gold guns and expensive cars, was apprehended after landing in Amsterdam. Dutch officials were waiting for him after Interpol filed a Red Notice. This caused the Sinaloa Cartel to try to reorganize since El Chino was such a major cog within their organization. Phone calls, texts, and emails. were placed, leading authorities to El Chapo’s whereabouts since they had hundreds of phone lines and emails tapped. Guzman had been on the run for 13 years, mainly hiding in the Sierra Madre mountains, prior to his capture in 2014. Use the phrase “on the run” loosely, though. During this period, “El Chapo” wined, dined, got married, had kids, and continued his leadership of the Sinaloa Cartel.

Mexican and American authorities closed in on him twice with the help of wire taps and informants. The first time, he escaped with his bodyguard through a tunnel made possible by a bathtub equipped with a hydraulic lift. Clearly, Guzman had shit that the government got. The second and last time, they got wind that he was with his wife and twin daughters in condos in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico. He resisted arrest but was eventually cuffed without a single shot being taken.

In February of 2014, he was taken to Mexico’s most secure prison—a place where airwaves are compromised in order to thwart cell phone usage by inmates and that’s surrounded by a no-fly zone to prevent escape by helicopter—and brought up on Mexican drug trafficking charges that would make extradition to U.S. a slower process. Rumors began to surface of Guzman conspiring an inmate hunger strike with rival “La Barbie,” a tactic that may have helped “Chapo” with his escape. One would need friends on the inside to hatch such a plan as organized as this latest escape. Mexican authorities were embarrassed by his first escape and were hoping to redeem themselves with his second capture.

What happens now?

Only “El Chapo” and God knows. The Mexican and U.S. government are sure to leave no stone or tunnel unturned. But given Guzman’s history of remaining lowkey, and a step ahead of law enforcement officials, it’s safe to assume we have seen the last of the world’s most powerful drug dealer for a while. Unless, he takes Donald Trump’s bait. However, Guzman’s son might handle Trump personally. “El Chapo” is bold, not stupid, as he’s proven time and again.