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Reggae Icon Toots Hibbert Settles $20 Million Lawsuit

Toots Hibbert is moving forward after settling his $ 20 million lawsuit against a promoter in Virginia. The reggae pioneer filed the lawsuit last year against Venture Richmond, the organizers of […]

The post Reggae Icon Toots Hibbert Settles $ 20 Million Lawsuit appeared first on Urban Islandz.

Urban Islandz

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Michael Jackson’s Estate Reaps $750 Million in Sony Venture Exit

black-enterprise-10-things-about-michael-jackson-inc-asked-yoko-ono-paul-mccartney-before-buying-beatles-catalog[1]On Monday, March 14, Sony Corp. agreed to purchase Michael Jackson’s stake in a jointly owned catalog of songs at an estimated $ 750 million, according to Bloomberg.

With the massive growth of music streaming and subscription services, offered by companies such as Tidal, Apple Inc., and Spotify Ltd., it comes as no surprise that Sony would take the deal, which will give the company control over the rights to almost 4 million songs, by various artists.


An analyst at Macquarie Group Ltd. in Tokyo, Damian Thong, shared his thoughts on the deal, stating, “The value of music assets is increasing with the growth of streaming. Sony is actually paying less than the stake is worth.”

Sony has said the growth of streaming services will help boost sales in the music business to as much as $ 5.2 billion in fiscal 2017. Talks of a deal began in September 2015, when Sony exercised its right under their joint venture to buy out Jackson’s estate.

According to a statement, the terms of the deal include Sony making a lump sum payment of $ 733 million to the Jackson estate—for a 50% stake in Sony/ATV Music Publishing, including future distributions. Jackson purchased the ATV catalog in 1985 for $ 41.5 million, which was the initial layout that later became the joint venture with Sony.

When Jackson passed away in 2009, at 50, he remained the owner of the rights to his master recordings with a stake in EMI Music Publishing.

In money terms, Sony is expecting paid subscribers to account for 60% of the market in 2017, outpacing downloads with 22% and digital radio with 5%. Its shares closed 0.2% lower at 2,794 yen in Tokyo, while the Nikkei 225 Stock Average declined 0.7%. The stock is down 6.9 percent this year.

Kazuo Hirai, Sony’s chief executive officer, said, “This agreement further demonstrates Sony’s commitment to the entertainment businesses and our firm belief that these businesses will continue to contribute to our success for years to come,” in a statement.

John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of the estate, stated, “This transaction further allows us to continue our efforts of maximizing the value of Michael’s estate for the benefit of his children.”

What are your thoughts? Share with us below in the comment section.

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Shawn Storm – Million Gyal [New Music]

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New music here by incarcerated DJ Shawn Storm “Million Gyal,” off the Determine Riddim, produced by T 57 Music Group & Pollard Records.

All when mi have a million gyal
You lock down mi heart like up a central
The gyal a seh me and her a friend
You naw tek that you know mi nuh friend gyal

Mi love you anyway weh you want
Meck you know the things dem weh you seh you cant
If you seh it over a you mi would a haunt
Cause you know how fi meck mi life grow like plant

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Nigerian Startup, Africa Internet Group, Raises $326 Million in Funding

Jumia-worker[1]Called the ‘Amazon of Africa,’ the Africa Internet Group just raised $ 326 million in funding, reports TechCrunch.

With a valuation of over $ 1 billion, AIG is Africa’s first ‘tech unicorn.’ AIG is the parent company of e-commerce platform Jumia that includes over 71 companies in over 8 different verticals, including food delivery, retail, real estate and travel.

AIG is backed by Rocket Internet, a German-based Internet company. With this backing, AIG has been able to provide many goods and services to Africans in even the most remote regions. In addition, the AIG platform has created a lush environment for creating and nurturing African entrepreneurs.

An example of one such entrepreneur, is Bankole Cardoso, the founder of Easy Taxi, Nigeria. Easy Taxi is a rival of Uber’s and is the world’s most downloaded taxi app, with more than 20 million users in 420 cities across 30 countries.

Jumia said it intends to use the funds to support its continued growth, and to execute on attractive development opportunities in Africa, along with AIG’s other e-commerce platforms, reports the Premium Times.

AIG investors see the African continent as a prime area for e-commerce growth. From TechCrunch:

Unlike some of Rocket Internet’s vertical plays, Jumia covers fashion, electronics and more. The idea is to put a tent pole down in Africa’s emerging online commerce early on, and then reap the rewards as increased Internet access and growing middle classes increase demand for e-commerce. That’s the same blueprint Rocket Internet companies employ in Latin America, Asia and other places, but Africa is a more extreme testbed.

Jules Frebault, of the special situations group at Goldman Sachs, London, said in a statement, “We are impressed by AIG’s pan-African operations and execution capabilities, and believe the combination of strategic partners and management’s demonstrated expertise uniquely position the company’s ecosystem to play a leading role in the development of Africa’s online economy.”

African technology innovation has been capturing a lot of attention, as of late. VC4Africa, a startup funding platform, reported last year that invested capital for African startups doubled since last year to $ 26.9 million. The average amount of investment also increased, from $ 130,000 to more than $ 200,000 in the last year.

The organization cited three key factors for the growing interest in African tech investment: an increased interest from members of the African diaspora to invest in startups in countries of their origin; the increase in angel investors; and a widespread appetite for cross-border investing in Africa.

The continent also holds 15% of the world’s population—a sizable consumer base that any business (and its investors) would covet.

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Beat The Odds Gala Raises Over $1 Million, Celebrates Student Achievers

(Beat the Odds scholar Aesron Jeremiah. Image: Children’s Defense Fund-New York)

On Monday, Feb. 29, more than 275 guests celebrated the achievements of five local high school scholars at the Children’s Defense Fund-New York annual Beat the Odds Gala at The Pierre in New York City.

Hosted by television personality Star Jones, the event also honored renowned stage and screen actors LaTanya Richardson Jackson and Samuel L. Jackson, and business leader Roger W. Ferguson Jr., president and CEO of TIAA-CREF, for their longstanding commitment to CDF’s Leave No Child Behind mission.

[Related: Microsoft Board Chair John W. Thompson’s ‘Fireside Chat’ a Highlight of Wall Street Project Annual Gala]

Here are this year’s Beat the Odds scholars, all of whom overcame adversities including physical and verbal abuse:

    Aesron Jeremiah, 17 (William Maxwell High School in Brownsville): “There are more than 84,000 homeless students in New York City. It’s tough for us to continue following our dreams in our situation. That’s why supportive programs are important. Without them, I wouldn’t be standing here tonight.”

–       Elham Chowdhury, 17  (Bronx High School of Science in Norwood): “As a Bengali Muslim male growing up in America, it has not been easy. Because every day, I have to face the challenges of the intertwinement of race and religion with socioeconomic status. But I wake up every day and emphasize the importance of maintaining a positive and resolute disposition….”

–       Ruben Suazo, 17 (Leadership and Public Service High School in East Flatbush) Speaking of the challenges of an undocumented immigrant: “These challenges formed cracks and holes in what I call my ‘pathway of life’… But tonight I stand here tall with the hope, faith, resilience, and the pursuit of happiness that have fixed such a pathway. It is my cape, my shield; it is my pride.”  

–       Sashagale Moore, 18 (Queens Preparatory  Academy in Jamaica): “… with help from Beat the Odds, my mind has opened up to more colleges…[and I’ve been pushed] to strive for greatness.”

–      Shirleyka Hector, 17 (International High School at Lafayette in Canarsie): “As a little girl in Haiti, my mother emphasized the value of a higher education every day—-no kidding, I mean every day…When I moved here after the devastating earthquake in 2010, life was a bit rough for me. But I survived, thanks be to God. Although I left my mother behind when I moved here, I still get that push to move forward from my dad.”

The Children’s Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind mission is to ensure every child a “Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start” in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.  For more about the Children’s Defense Fund–New York, go to its website.

Black Enterprise