Spartan Echo The Voice of the Spartan Community
Vol. 61, I ssue 1
SpartanEcho.org | 700 Park Avenue. Norfolk, Va. 23504
Dr. A plans to strengthen NSU
By Brittany Elmore
Dr. A addresses university issues in state of the university address. See page 2. Photo courtesy Norfolk State University Office of Communications and Marketing President Atwater speaks on university concerns at the State of the University Address on August 12. Photo courtesy of Norfolk State University Office of Communications and Marketing.
The issue of same sex marriage sees changes. See page 7. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)
Former secretary of state may run for 2016 presidential elections. See page 3. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
Norfolk State committed to resolving accreditation concerns By Danielle Kirsh
Norfolk State University continues to face the consequences of an editorial in the Virginian Pilot concerning accreditation related issues. In mid-July, the Virginian Pilot printed a story about Norfolk State being a “campus in crisis” and facing accreditation related issues from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS) . SACS is the regional accrediting body in the Southern states, and is the program that carries out the accreditation
process so universities can administer associate, bachelors, master and doctoral degrees. To remain accredited, an institution must abide by the standards given by the SACS. According to the SACS’ Principles of Accreditation, “Accreditation requires an institutional commitment to student learning and achievement.” In an open letter addressing the editorial, Norfolk State President Dr. Tony Atwater said, “… all of NSU’s academic programs eligible for national accreditation are nationally
accredited.” Atwater also says the university has implemented a new student success center which will offer academic support, peer mentoring and advisement services. President Atwater stresses that NSU is not a campus in crisis and is “confident that we are up to the task and that better days are ahead for the university community and its alumni.” To read more about the accreditation process from the SACS, visit sacscoc.org.
Dr. Tony Atwater is well known for his open communication with the student body of Norfolk State University. In a meeting with the student leaders of NSU on Aug. 16, 2013, he cleared up some of the misinformation regarding the university and outlined some of his short term and long term goals for the university. Three of the major miscommunications Atwater wants to clarify are the accreditation status of the nursing programs, the ongoing university audits and the reduction in enrollment. There are two nursing programs at NSU—the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program and the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN). “Both Programs are nationally accredited,” said Atwater. The ADN program has had low pass rates for the NCLEX, a licensing exam for nurses after earning their degree, at NSU. However, the program is still nationally accredited. Atwater says he hopes to combat this problem by creating a partnership with local hospitals to help students prepare for this exam, familiarize students with the computerized format of the NCLEX and encouraging nursing majors See Plans to strengthen, page 3
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President Atwater delivers State of the University Address By Krysta Ricks President Tony Atwater delivered the 2013 State of the University Address, “Norfolk State University: A Mountain Worth the Climb” Monday, Aug. 12, 2013, in the L. Douglas Wilder Performing Arts Center. Dr. Atwater’s address focused on the university’s past and present achievements and outlined the primary concerns for the forthcoming academic year. Before outlining his plans to better the university and its image in 2013 and the coming years, Atwater noted previous momentous events and successes such as the Sept. 4, 2012, campaign visit by U.S. President Barack Obama and the groundbreaking of the new Lyman Beecher Brooks Library. Atwater also mentioned financial successes that the university provides for the surrounding area. “Our 2012 Economic Impact Report notes that NSU provides $171 million in annual economic impact to the region,” said Atwater. “The report also noted that spending associated with NSU increased the region’s economic output by $248 million.” Perhaps one of the most anticipated subjects, the fate of NSU’s oldest instructional building, Brown Hall, was discussed midway through the address. Atwater said the 154,000 square-foot building will be reconstructed for a modernized teaching and learning environment. “It will support programs in business, social work and mass communications and journal-
ism among others,” said Atwater. The university has adopted the Enrollment Management Plan which, through guided recruitment efforts, is projected to increase enrollment to 8,000 students and raise the retention rate to at least 42 percent by 2018. Over the next 15 years, NSU plans to add, replace and renovate campus housing facilities with the help of the Hanbury Evans architectural firm. The Spartan Crusade for Academic Success (SCAS), a program designed to promote degree completion, will be launched in the Student Success Center. SCAS shares the same ultimate goal as the “15-to-Finish” initiative, which requires full-time students to be enrolled in 15 credits rather than 12. NSU was granted $68,000 from the Hampton Roads Community Foundation as well as $30,000 from the Jane Batten Foundation to launch the “Spartan Hope Academy” which will offer mentoring services to 60 entering freshmen. Atwater noted that the university’s brand is an essential factor of effective marketing. “We will generate an ‘institutional brand’ that is legitimate, positive, memorable and unique,” said Atwater. “Achieving this goal will strengthen our recruitment, marketing and fundraising efforts.” Through a partnership between NSU, the Legacy Media Institute and the City of Norfolk, NSU will be one of the See State of the University Address. page 3
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to the American Bar Association Annual Meeting Monday, Aug. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Former Secretary of State in running for 2016 presidential elections By Desiree Jenkins
It seems Hillary Clinton is preparing to run for the 2016 presidential elections. She has the drive, experience and financial means, but is America ready for a female president? Having served as Secretary of State under President Obama’s term in office, Clinton has been able to forge and maintain relationships with over 100 countries including China. This is most notable through her instrumental role in rescuing Chen Guangcheng, a Chinese civil rights activist who worked on human rights issues in rural areas of China.
Clinton also became popular for her ideals during her tenure as Secretary of State. She used diplomacy to quash any future issues with other countries, stressing the importance of economics, becoming more personable and reviving the American spirit abroad. However, Clinton would go on to submit a formal resignation. Upon her formal resignation, Clinton was bombarded by reporters and supporters asking if she would be running for president. Even so, she has remained tight lipped.
As the primaries draw closer, Clinton has been spotted at various outings. She was seen with President Obama on July 29 for a luncheon at the White House and with Vice President Joe Biden the following day. Although it is speculation, some say the meeting with Biden consisted of a conversation about whether either of them will be running for president in 2016. Only time will tell who will put their bid in and more importantly, who Obama will endorse.
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Racism—it never seems to die An Editorial by Destiny Spence It would seem as though Michael Jackson’s “Black or White,” Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney’s “Ebony and Ivory” or even Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s ”I Have a Dream” speech would have become a reality by now. Look around. We have an African American as the president of the United States of America, a Puerto Rican Su-
State of the University Address ■Continued from page 2
sites of the first annual Legacy Media Institute Film Festival to be held in November 2013. A host of other programs and events were detailed before Dr. Atwater closed his speech by challenging the students, faculty and members of the community to remain diligent in their efforts to help improve the brand that is Norfolk State University. “We will fully appreciate the important role NSU plays in transforming lives and advancing the future of Hampton Roads,” said Atwater.” To the NSU community, I say let us continue to climb!” To view the entire State of the Union Address, select the State of the University Address on the slider at www. NSU.edu.
preme Court Justice and an Asian American United States Senator in Mazie Hirono. In a time where it seems everyone should be overwhelmed with joy about how diverse the country has become, we are at racial war. We shall begin with the murder of Trayvon Martin. Throughout the investigation, hatred between black, white,
and Hispanic citizens was at a high. Although, the case was motivation for an out outbreak of racial slurs, the feelings of hatred are obviously deeply rooted in us. The case merely served as an outlet to free the distasteful accumulations of stereotypes and feelings of superiority. So, the question is, when is
this going to stop? A better question would be, can racism ever be laid to rest? When will race no longer be an issue? The answer, as of now, is a definite no; not any time soon; unclear, but we can each do our part to become one less human blind to the color of skin. If we believe that our 46 chromosomes are no different than the next Jane or John Doe, how
does racism thrive? Remember, history does repeat itself. Apartheid, holocaust, and slavery are words that can quickly become tangible again if we allow it.
Plans to strengthen ■ Continued from front page to take the exam promptly after completion of their degree while information is still fresh in their minds. “I feel, the longer you wait to take the test, the less likely you are to pass,” said Atwater. Atwater understands he can’t mandate when students take the exam, but he strongly encourages them to do so promptly. The issue of the ongoing audits the university is facing are for the years 2011 to 2012. According to Atwater, the delay of these financial reports was largely due to a transfer in the accounting system (IFIS to Colleague Financial) which coincided with a large number of staff retiring. As new employees were hired, they had to train on the new system before they could complete the financial reports. Atwater assures the Spartan community that, “We are not in a financial crisis; we are very on task, and bills are being paid.” He added that the 2013 fiscal year finished with a balanced budget, and a balanced budget is projected for this fiscal year as well.
The last issue Atwater discussed was the lowered enrollment for 2013. According to Atwater, this issue must be taken in context, and he believes it is the result of an “external force.” “90 percent of NSU students are highly dependent on financial aid,” said Atwater. He continued to say that with reduced financial aid, comes reduced enrollment. He also pointed out that NSU is not the only university feeling the effects of this “financial aid crisis.” HBCU’s and community colleges are suffering the greatest from this “external factor.” “Virginia State University is projecting a 1000 student decline in enrollment; they have even closed dorms. Norfolk State’s dormitories are full,” said Atwater. Atwater also pointed out that NSU has the “lowest state appropriation of any public university in the state of Virginia.” He feels, “We should not be at the bottom of the ladder. Every program that can be accredited nationally is. That’s a solid institution.” Other topics of discussion
Dr. Tony Atwater speaks to student leaders about misinformation and plans to strengthen the University. Photo credit: Brittany Elmore.
in this meeting were to preserve the HBCU traditions on campus, such as Greek Walk, Homecoming and the Labor Day Classic. Atwater also talked initiatives, such as the 15 to finish, flat-rate tuition and improving standards of admission and retention and degree
completion rates, to advance the university as a whole. Dr. Atwater is planning to have the Dr. A’s Feedback Forum for the fall semester in October and encourages students to participate. He believes, “It is what it is, but we can make it what we want it to be.”
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Norfolk State keeps it in house when assigning new coach By Melissa Rawls
Following one 21-12 season and making the NIT tournament, preparations for an even better, more successful men’s basketball season is already underway. The Spartans finished 16-0 in the MEAC and won the regular season championship for the first time in Norfolk State’s school history; all eyes are now on interim head coach Robert Jones to keep the momentum going. “There definitely is a lot of attention on NSU men’s basketball and it also adds more pressure on us to keep succeeding like we’ve been the last two years,” said Jones. After serving as associate head coach last year and head assistant coach the previous four years, Coach Jones appeared the obvious choice to replace former head coach Anthony Evans. After being named the MEAC Coach of the Year last season, Evan decided to leave NSU in April to taking a job as the head coach at Florida International University. Jones knows the job will not
be easy but his experience with the players will go a long way. “I’ve been here going on my seventh season so I’ve seen all these guys and most of these guys I’ve recruited, so we’ve already had a good relationship,” said Jones. As a result of his extensive history with the team, not much has really changed since he assumed his new role. “Everything is going good. When Coach Evans was here he let us do so much, so a lot of stuff is still the same on the day to day basis, nothing has really changed. It probably won’t really change until November during that first game when I’m the one really calling the shots,” said Jones. As expected, the team’s current championship standings has built anticipation for an intense season. “We have a pretty tough schedule coming up; we play Duke University, and we also play the University of Virginia again for the second straight year. We play University of Miami, and we’re also in the
Robert Jones was named the interim head coach of the Norfolk State men’s basketball team on April 15, 2013, following the resignation of former head coach Anthony Evans. Photo credit: nsuspartans.com.
HBCU tip-off classic—which is the first annual,” said Jones. When it comes to the team’s overall dynamic, coach Jones has a few adjustments that he would like to make in an effort to further push the team and expose their championship potential “Defensively, we will probably employ the same strategies, but offensively we want to try and score some more points and play a little faster. I want to score more points. I want to get between 70 and 75, so the pace will be a little faster and hopefully more exciting,” said Jones. All in all, the goal for the men’s basketball team remains the same -- try to win a championship and get back to the NCAA tournament. Spearheaded by a new head coach and a senior laden team, NSU men’s basketball is striving to prove yet again that their team is a force to be reckoned with.
Spartans plan to bounce back from disappointing season By Dan Adu-Gyamfi After a frustrating campaign last season by finishing 4-7, the Spartans football team is ready to prove doubters wrong and contend for another MEAC championship. The team has experience mixed with new talent on both sides of the ball, but the big question mark is the quarterback position. Last year, the first option was redshirt junior Nico Flores, but due to academic issues the third team all-MEAC preseason player is unavailable, and head coach Pete Adrian is looking at other options. “It’s probably the strongest competition we’ve had with three guys right now because I think all three will be able to play for us, and when I first got here, we were lucky to have one or one and a half, but we never really had two, and I think we’re going to have at least two guys and probably three will be able to run the show,” said coach Adrian. The three contenders for NSU at the quarterback position are redshirt sophomores Tyler Clark, Malik Stokes, and Omari Timmons. Clark
has a prototypical size for the position at 6’5 and a transfer from Old Dominion University. Stokes is a transfer from Bowling Green State University, and Timmons sat out last year coming from Albright College but worked on the scout team. The running back position will be solid with the return of redshirt sophomore Brendon Riddick. The second team all-MEAC preseason player ran for 401 yards and a team-high seven rushing touchdowns last year. Graduate student Rolandan “Deuce” Finch is here to lighten the load on Riddick. The team lost wide receiver Xavier Boyce but still has Derrick Demps, Keith Johnson, and tight end Joseph Hawkins. The first team all-MEAC preseason team member led the conference in receptions at the tight end position with 27 and hopes to add to that total this season. The Chicago native appreciates it the accomplishments and praise her has received but remains hungry. “It’s pretty cool, [it] let’s Plan to bounce back. page 5
Spartan Success Center partners with Department of Athletics By Melissa Rawls In an attempt to bridge the gap from high school to college, the university provides the opportunity for select freshmen to experience the rigors of college level academics prior to their first semester. For the first time in the program’s history, the Department of Athletics partnered with the Spartan Success Center to give incoming student athletes the opportunity to benefit from this method of academic strengthening. “This year we brought in 22 student athletes to complete six college credits before they started their freshman year. They came into school and
started taking classes during the second summer session from June 30 until July 26,” said the Assistant Athletic Director for Academic Services Jacqueline Nicholson. Getting used to college level coursework can be an adjustment. When you add in the rigors of athletic training, practice and competition, freshmen student athletes, if not properly developed, stand a greater chance of falling behind. “Some of these kids do come in with academic deficiencies, so getting them in here will help them overcome that remediation before they come in so they’re prepared for that first
semester of college and they can have an easier transition into college,” said Nicholson. After receiving over $300,000 in funding from the NCCA limited resource grant (to be used over the next three years), the university decided that the supplemental funding would be used towards the summer bridge program and hiring additional staff within the academic support area. It is because of this grant that a portion of student athletes were able to partake in this opportunity. NSU kicker Cameron Marouf was happy to give feedback on his personal experi-
ence with the program. “I wanted to get involved because I wanted to get help with my grades and trying to get ahead. I wanted to get a feeling for how the campus is laid out. It was a fun experience. I think rising freshmen should do that so they can get ahead and make getting involved easier,” said Marouf. By the semester’s end the athletics department was proud to share that they had 19 students within the summer bridge program finish with cumulative GPA’s of 3.5 in their first term. Setting the precedent, this summer will play a vital role in determining the future of first
year student athletes entering college. “We’re going to be tracking this group of student athletes for the next four years to see if this core group of student athletes does better than the rest of the freshmen student athletes that will come in when August classes start. We’re hoping we’ll see a larger trend, and if there is a trend, hopefully, it increases this program and can get more funding and backing for it, so we can bring all of our student athletes in,” said Nicholson.
Plan to bounce back ■ Continued from front page me know that I’m being recognized, that my hard work is definitely being noticed and stuff like that, but I still have a long way to go. I wasn’t preseason all-American, didn’t make the CFPA (College Football Performance Awards) top tight end list in the FCS so I still have a lot of work to do,” said Hawkins. The strength of the team remains with the defense led by first team all-MEAC preseason Lynden Trail. The redshirt, junior linebacker led the team in total tackles with 70 along with six sacks, and he still believes he and the unit can get better. “The first thing that comes
to mind when I think about improving is just discipline. We have the talent, and we have the guys that want to work hard, but at the end of the day, if you don’t have discipline, you don’t have a great unit or a great team,” said Trail. The most enticing part of the season starts in the middle of October when NSU will host the State Farm Battle of the Bay against rival Hampton University on Oct. 19. The following week will start a new tradition as the Spartans will host Old Dominion University in the beginning of a sixyear home and home series. Coach Adrian knows how
important it is for the school to begin the rivalry at NSU. “Well, we’re really excited about that, and that was one thing where we actually had a six-year contract stipulation that we had to play the first game here. And of course we had a playoff game two years ago, but that was the NCAA so the nice thing is Old Dominion was very courteous and they said they understood that and they agreed to do that. Of course, we have the bigger stadium anyway, so more people can see it because we proved when we went over there, there weren’t enough tickets,” said coach Adrian. The Spartans were picked
to finish seventh in the conference by head coaches and sports information directors by all the schools in the MEAC and the team wants to prove them wrong especially Hawkins. “It is a lot of motivation to me; it’s disrespectful, and it just added another chip on our shoulder and more fuel to the fire,” said Hawkins. With more ammunition available for the team and seven of the 12 games this season being at Dick Price Stadium, the Spartans should be one of the main contenders for the MEAC Championship title.
Redshirt sophomores Tyler Clark (top), Omari Timmons (middle), and Malik Stokes (bottom) are the three contenders for the quarterback position. Photo credit: nsuspartans.com.
New fall fashions inspired by classics By Destiny Spence Autumn trends are back, but some new trends are making a debut on campuses across the country. Fur is making a bold comeback this year. Many designers, including Fendi, Tom Ford and Altuzarra, are showcasing multi-color furs, and amplifying the embellishments. “’All out or nothing’ was Fall’s fur message-- ultrashaggy, patch-worked, vibrantly-colored…,” according to Style.com. Vogue.com encouraged readers to wear their fur on less traditional areas of their body. Their website reads, “Like everything else this season, fur is about options, options, options. It’s worn on your arms,
your wrists, your hands, around your shoulders or around your neck like a favorite collegiate scarf.” The punk trend is re-surfacing this semester for those who like an edgy look. Straps and leather are all-the-rage with top designers. Vogue readers are urged to personalize the rock star styles seen on supermodels for this season. “ It’s about taking a piece from the runway and making it your own, be it Versace’s crystal harnessed T-shirts, Givenchy’s leather skirts, Rodarte’s tie-dyed tops, or Tom Ford’s wildly printed pants,” according to Vouge.com. In the midst of over-the-top
pieces, another trend will be to ditch the intricate patterns and adopt a more classic print. Pastels, houndstooth, leopard, and plaid are all expected to make a return this season. Pulling back out the beloved slouchy pants this season? “Autumn’s must-have trousers are looser and far more subdued. The new ‘it’ cut is slightly narrow at the ankles and sits high on the waist. Pair with heels, an iPad-size handbag, and a no-fuss top and you’ll be the picture of 2013,” according to Glamour.com. Many more trends will be seen this Fall, including shades of green and blue, oversized outerwear, and forties glamour.
Junior Asia Morris displays her new handbag at the student center on the first day of Fall semester. Photo credit: Tykhari Coles.
Junior Tiffany Gregory (right) wears classic 90’s punk clothes while overlooking Norfolk State University campus. Photo credit: Tykhari Coles.
Sophomore Shaun Thompson (left and below) puts on his suit and bow tie for the first day of Fall semester. Photo credit: Tykhari Coles.
Freshmen tip of the month:
editors Brittany Elmore Editor-inChief
By Destiny Spence As freshmen get settled into dormitories that will be the center of many of their college memories, the Spartan Echo wants to offer an important tip for getting off to a great start. Time management is a principle students probably have not mastered by the time they have reached college. It can, however, make or break their plight to success.
High school teachers or parents may have constantly advised young students to take heed of their studies, but universities present more freedom. It is imperative that this is an advantage and not a pitfall. College will seemingly throw a mass amount of information all at once. Consequently, it will take more than one day of studying to master.
According to Jeffrey Steele of The Chicago Tribune, “there’s a greater amount of material included. As a result, there’s more responsibility placed on students for deliberate day-to-day study.” Consider buying a weekly planner. It will allow students to visually see what each day holds and allow for better scheduling and less double
booking. There are many resources on campus available to students that can help strengthen time management skills including ACCESS, Career Services, Spartan Generals Mentoring Program and STARS. It is important to seek out help before becoming overwhelmed.
Krysta Ricks Online/ Managing Editor
Danielle Kirsh News Editor
Destiny Spence Lifestyle Editor
By Destiny Spence The White House was flooded with tears of joy on June 26, 2013 as Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), was found unconstitutional in United States vs. Windsor. Section 3 reads, “In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word ‘marriage’ means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife….” DOMA made same-sex marriages non-acknowledgeable by the federal government. It seems to be another step to the pursuit of happiness for many homosexual Americans, but has much changed? Section 2 of the Act which limits immigration of samesex married couples to states
who do not acknowledge their marriage has yet to be overturned. Thirteen states and the District of Columbia allow samesex marriages. This has caused a string of lawsuits post-DOMA in various states fighting for the right to marry. Lambda Legal, a national organization whose purpose is to fulfill civil rights for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT), has begun filing lawsuits in New Jersey, Illinois, Nevada and Virginia. According to Legal Director of Lambda Legal, Jon W. Davidson, “We have seen time and again that filing cases in states where the odds are stacked against victory can create adverse precedent and interfere with momentum, making future cases harder to win. Positive momentum will help us reach nationwide success
Daniel Adu-Gyamfi Sports Editor This June 26, 2013 file photo shows John Hill, chairman of the Forum For Equality in Louisiana, right, kissing his partner, John Weimer, Jr., at a celebration rally in Jackson Square in New Orleans, after two Supreme Court decisions supporting gay rights were handed down. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)
sooner, and that’s why we are concentrating on jurisdictions where we think the chances are best to win.” Secretary of State John Kerry announced in August that the United States will now also allow gay married couples to fill out visa applications as married. According to Kerry, “If you are the spouse of a U.S. citizen, your visa application will be treated equally. If you are the spouse of a non-citizen, your visa application will be treated equally, and if you are
in a country that doesn’t recognize your same-sex marriage, then your visa application will still be treated equally at every single one of our 222 visa processing centers around the world.” America has seen positives since the ruling, and the battles it still has to win. It is the hope of the LGBT community that the Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage in one sweep to expedite their fight for equality.
DeVanique Riley Graphic Design/ Layout Editor Jules Dean Multimedia Editor
Kyna Uwaeme Entertainment Editor
Apple rumored to release budget iPhone 6
Big Sean releases “Hall of Fame” By Kyna Uwaeme
By Destiny Spence iPhone users pay hundreds of dollars for the luxury of the beloved Apple product, but a version of the phone that is budget-friendly, dubbed by many media outlets as the “iPhone 6”, has been rumored to release this fall. Apple is targeting lower income families and developing countries with this new product. Many sources predict the budget iPhone will have a plastic body. According to Michael Kukielka, also known as DetroitBORG, a technical review video channel, “The interesting thing here is that we have an all-plastic design as opposed to a metal or glass design as we’ve seen with other phone. This will probably succeed the iPhone 4 and 4S in the lineup. The iPhone 4 and 4S were glass, which were shatter prone, but it’s also quite a bit thinner than those phones.” The actual specifications of the iPhone 6 have been the topic of many debates in the technology world. However, many agree that a fingerprint scanner could be a large possibility, as it was encoded in the latest release of iOS, T3.com reports. Photo of alleged budget iPhone 6.
Big Sean crouches in a prayer stance for the cover of “Hall of Fame” in stores Aug. 27. Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/uknowbigsean.
G.O.O.D music artist and Detroit native, Big Sean releases his second studio album, “Hall of Fame.” It follows his 2011 debut album “Finally Famous,” which sold 87k copies its first week. Sean teamed up with hip hop producers, No ID and Key Wane to produce what he proclaimed a “classic.” “I don’t use a lot of weird, weird instruments. There’s definitely a lot of just great, classic musical sounds like pianos and strings, elements like that. There are some songs on there that are very serious, some that are more lighthearted, some are party songs, some are very deep,” Big Sean said in an interview with Billboard. He dropped his first single “Beware,” featuring Jhene Aiko and Lil Wayne earlier this summer. It debuted at No. 24 on Billboard’s Rap Song and has peaked to No. 94 on Billboard Hot 100. Earlier this month, he released the visuals for his song “Fire” guest-starring Miley Cyrus, showing off her body in revealing clothes.
He recently held a listening session for “Hall of Fame” in NYC. At which he discussed the motivation for his album and being underrated as an artist, questioning why he still isn›t considered one of the greatest rappers. In the midst of gearing up for his big release, Big Sean still set time to reach out to his biggest fan. He linked with MTV News to surprise a wheelchair bound fan from Staten Island, New York. He gave the fan a first listen of the album and asked what he thought of it. «Honestly, music is a big part of my life. And I heard ‘Yeezus;’ I heard ‘Magna Carta’ and J. Coles’ new album, and this is honestly the best out of them, and I’m not just saying that because your right next to me,” the fan responded. On the album, you can also expect to hear collaborations with Young Jeezy, Nas, Kid Cudi, Miguel, Juicy J and a few others.
NSU Grad, Young Money Yawn talks hit new single By Kyna Uwaeme From the Berkeley section of Norfolk, Va., Young Money Yawn is blasting the airwaves of Virginia with his hit new single, “Gutta Gutta.” With his community behind him, this song quickly became the street anthem of the summer. In the song, he raps about what he’s been through and how he overcame the adversities he grew up in. With the success he has achieved thus far, it’s almost hard to believe he started rapping just 5 months ago. After a trip to the star-studded NBA All Star Weekend event in Houston, Yawn was inspired by the attention and love the celebrities received and knew that he too could easily do what they were doing. “I came back with a vengeance and started recording. Months later, I’m on every blog site you can name, radio, and other things. I’m very blessed,” said Yawn.
Cosigned by hip-hop heavy hitters such as DJ Khaled and Virginia’s own, Pusha T, Yawn is quickly making a name for himself, revealing the reality of what Virginia street life is really like. “If you see me Tweet out my homeboy Young Money Yawn: He’s a kid from Berkeley, a bit unorthodox and conversational when he raps, but it’s the reality of it that makes me Tweet it,” said Pusha T in an interview with BYT.com. Prior to releasing his single, he gained attention from viewers on his YouTube vlog series, “Pills and Water,” in which, he discusses relatable everyday life issues. “The pill is the pain reliever, and that’s what I see my words as-- the water, is my hope that the person listening will digest it,” said Yawn. He came to Norfolk State in 2005 as an education major. Not only did he want to prove
Yawn poses on the cover of his debut mixtape “Street Gospel” released Aug. 27. Photo credit: Young Money Yawn.
his critics wrong, but defeat the stereotypes of a typical guy from the hood. He credits NSU to teaching him his great networking skills. He recently dropped his debut mix tape, “Street Gospel”
and is currently one of the only unsigned artists on regular rotation at 103 Jamz radio. He is currently touring and working on the release of the 6th “Pills and Water” series.