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Sean "Puffy" Combs
Category: The Golden Era
Tags: sean puffy combs golden era word life production new quality entertainment featured blog

Entrepreneur Sean Combs has produced big-name artists like Mariah Carey, created the Sean John clothing line, and recorded his own platinum albums.

Synopsis

Born in Harlem, New York, on November 4, 1969, Sean Combs launched his music production company, Bad Boy Entertainment, in 1993, and worked with artists like Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige and Biggie Smalls. After Biggie was murdered in 1997, Combs recorded the tribute "I'll be Missing You," which topped the Billboard singles chart for eleven weeks and launched Combs's first album, No Way Out (1997) to platinum status.

Early Life

Singer, songwriter and producer Sean John Combs was born on November 4, 1969, in Harlem, New York. Raised by his mother, a model, after his father was murdered in 1974, Sean Combs grew up in Mt. Vernon, New York, and attended a Catholic boys school in the Bronx. He earned the nickname "Puffy" in high school because of his habit of puffing out his chest to make his body seem bigger. Combs would later take on other monikers, including "Puff Daddy," "P. Diddy" and "Diddy."

Sean "Puffy" Combs majored in business administration at Howard University, producing weekly dance parties and running an airport shuttle service while attending classes. He dropped out to pursue an internship at Uptown Records, which led to a talent director position. Combs rapidly rose to the level of vice president and had success producing several key artists for Uptown, but left the company in the early 1990s.

Entrepreneurial Success

In 1993, Combs started his own production company, Bad Boy Entertainment, working with such upcoming and established rap, hip-hop, and R&B recording artists as Mariah Carey, New Edition, Method Man, Babyface, TLC, Boyz II Men, Lil' Kim, SWV, Aretha Franklin, Mary J. Blige, Faith Evans and Biggie Smalls. In 1996, Combs was named as ASCAP's "Songwriter of the Year." By 1997, Bad Boy Entertainment had sold nearly $100 million in recordings, and made a multimillion-dollar deal with Arista Records for management of the label.

After his friend, Biggie Smalls, was murdered in 1997, Combs recorded the tribute "I'll be Missing You," which topped the Billboard singles chart for eleven weeks and launched Combs's first album, No Way Out (1997), to platinum status. Nielsen SoundScan named No Way Out as the third best-selling LP of 1997, with more than 3.4 million copies sold in the United States.

Combs released his second album, Forever, in 1999. That same year, his recently launched clothing line, Sean John, debuted in America.

Controversy

In December 1999, Combs and his then-girlfriend, actress and singer Jennifer Lopez, were allegedly involved in a shooting incident at a New York City nightclub, where three people were injured. Combs was later charged with four counts of illegal gun possession and one count of bribery; prosecutors claimed that he offered his driver, Wardel Fenderson, $50,000 to say that the loaded gun police had found at the scene of the crime was Fenderson's. His trial began in late January 2001.

On March 16, 2001, Combs was cleared of all charges, as was his bodyguard, Anthony "Wolf" Jones. Combs's protégé, the young rapper Jamal "Shyne" Barrow—who was accused of firing wildly inside the nightclub and injuring the three bystanders—was found guilty of assault, reckless endangerment and criminal weapon possession, but was cleared of the more serious charge of attempted murder.

Source: Biography.com

Music Therapy for people suffering with Alzheimer Disease Tags: music therapy alzheimer disease memory loss word life production health mental wellness feature blog

Music has power—especially for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. And it can spark compelling outcomes even in the very late stages of the disease.

When used appropriately, music can shift mood, manage stress-induced agitation, stimulate positive interactions, facilitate cognitive function, and coordinate motor movements.

This happens because rhythmic and other well-rehearsed responses require little to no cognitive or mental processing. They are influenced by the motor center of the brain that responds directly to auditory rhythmic cues. A person’s ability to engage in music, particularly rhythm playing and singing, remains intact late into the disease process because, again, these activities do not mandate cognitive functioning for success.

Music Associations. Most people associate music with important events and a wide array of emotions. The connection can be so strong that hearing a tune long after the occurrence evokes a memory of it.

Prior experience with the piece is the greatest indicator of an individual’s likely response. A melody that is soothing for one person may remind another of the loss of a loved one and be tragically sad.

If the links with the music are unknown, it is difficult to predict an individual’s response. Therefore, observe a person’s reaction to a particular arrangement and discontinue it if it evokes distress, such as agitation, facial grimaces or increasing muscular tension.

Top Ten Picks. Selections from the individual’s young adult years—ages 18 to 25—are most likely to have the strongest responses and the most potential for engagement.

Unfamiliar music can also be beneficial because it carries no memories or emotions. This may be the best choice when developing new responses, such as physical relaxation designed to manage stress or enhance sleep.

As individuals progress into late-stage dementia, music from their childhood, such as folk songs, work well. Singing these songs in the language in which they were learned sparks the greatest involvement.

Sound of Music. Typically, “stimulative music” activates, while “sedative music” quiets. Stimulative music, with percussive sounds and fairly quick tempos, tends to naturally promote movement, such as toe taps. Look to dance tunes of any era for examples. Slightly stimulative music can assist with activities of daily living: for example, at mealtime to rouse individuals who tend to fall asleep at the table or during bathing to facilitate movement from one room to another.

On the other hand, the characteristics of sedative music—ballads and lullabies—include unaccented beats, no syncopation, slow tempos, and little percussive sound. This is the best choice when preparing for bed or any change in routine that might cause agitation.

Responses that are opposite of those expected can occur and are likely due to a person’s specific associations with the piece or style of music.

Agitation Management. Non-verbal individuals in late dementia often become agitated out of frustration and sensory overload from the inability to process environmental stimuli. Engaging them in singing, rhythm playing, dancing, physical exercise, and other structured music activities can diffuse this behavior and redirect their attention.

For best outcomes, carefully observe an individual’s patterns in order to use music therapies just prior to the time of day when disruptive behaviors usually occur.

Emotional Closeness. As dementia progresses, individuals typically lose the ability to share thoughts and gestures of affection with their loved ones. However, they retain their ability to move with the beat until very late in the disease process.

Ambulatory individuals can be easily directed to couple dance, which may evoke hugs, kisses or caresses; those who are no longer walking can follow cues to rhythmically swing their arms. They often allow gentle rocking or patting in beat to the music and may reciprocate with affection.

An alternative to moving or touching is singing, which is associated with safety and security from early life. Any reciprocal engagement provides an opportunity for caregivers and care receivers to connect with one another, even when the disease has deprived them of traditional forms of closeness.

How-to of music therapy:

Early stage—

Go out dancing or dance in the house.

Listen to music that the person liked in the past—whether swing or Sinatra or salsa. Recognize that perceptual changes can alter the way individuals with dementia hear music. If they say it sounds horrible, turn it off; it may to them.

Experiment with various types of concerts and venues, giving consideration to endurance and temperament.

Encourage an individual who played an instrument to try it again.

Compile a musical history of favorite recordings, which can be used to help in reminiscence and memory recall.

Early and middle stages—

Use song sheets or a karaokeplayer so the individual can sing along with old-time favorites.

Middle stage—

Play music or sing as the individual is walking to improve balance or gait.

Use background music to enhance mood.

Opt for relaxing music—a familiar, non-rhythmic song—to reduce sundowning, or behavior problems at nighttime.

Late stage—

Utilize the music collection of old favorites that you made earlier.

Do sing-alongs, with “When the Saints Go Marching In” or other tunes sung by rote in that person’s generation.

Play soothing music to provide a sense of comfort.

Exercise to music.

Do drumming or other rhythm-based activities.

Use facial expressions to communicate feelings when involved in these activities.

Contributed by Alicia Ann Clair, Ph.D., MT-BC, professor and director of the Division of Music Education and Music at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. “How-to” section contributed by Concetta M. Tomaino, DA, MT-BC, vice president for music therapy and director of the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function at Beth Abraham Family of Health Services, Bronx, NY.

For more information, connect with the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s licensed social workers. Click here or call 866.232.8484. Real People. Real Care.

5 medication-free strategies to help prevent heart disease Tags: five strategies prevent heart disease health mental wellness word life production feature blog

Heart disease may be a leading cause of death, but that doesn't mean you have to accept it as your fate. Although you lack the power to change some risk factors — such as family history, sex or age — there are some key heart disease prevention steps you can take.

You can avoid heart problems in the future by adopting a healthy lifestyle today. Here are five heart disease prevention tips to get you started.

1. Don't smoke or use tobacco

Smoking or using tobacco is one of the most significant risk factors for developing heart disease. Chemicals in tobacco can damage your heart and blood vessels, leading to narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Atherosclerosis can ultimately lead to a heart attack. When it comes to heart disease prevention, no amount of smoking is safe. Smokeless tobacco and low-tar and low-nicotine cigarettes also are risky, as is exposure to secondhand smoke.

In addition, the nicotine in cigarette smoke makes your heart work harder by narrowing your blood vessels and increasing your heart rate and blood pressure. Carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke replaces some of the oxygen in your blood. This increases your blood pressure by forcing your heart to work harder to supply enough oxygen. Even so-called "social smoking" — smoking only while at a bar or restaurant with friends — is dangerous and increases the risk of heart disease.

Women who smoke and take birth control pills are at greater risk of having a heart attack or stroke than are those who don't do either. This risk increases with age, especially in women older than 35.

The good news, though, is that when you quit smoking, your risk of heart disease drops dramatically within just one year. And no matter how long or how much you smoked, you'll start reaping rewards as soon as you quit.

2. Exercise for 30 minutes on most days of the week

Getting some regular, daily exercise can reduce your risk of fatal heart disease. And when you combine physical activity with other lifestyle measures, such as maintaining a healthy weight, the payoff is even greater.

Physical activity helps you control your weight and can reduce your chances of developing other conditions that may put a strain on your heart, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. It also reduces stress, which may be a factor in heart disease.

Try getting at least 30 to 60 minutes of moderately intense physical activity most days of the week. However, even shorter amounts of exercise offer heart benefits, so if you can't meet those guidelines, don't give up. You can even break up your workout time into 10-minute sessions.

And remember that activities such as gardening, housekeeping, taking the stairs and walking the dog all count toward your total. You don't have to exercise strenuously to achieve benefits, but you can see bigger benefits by increasing the intensity, duration and frequency of your workouts.

3. Eat a heart-healthy diet

Eating a special diet called the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan can help protect your heart. Following the DASH diet means eating foods that are low in fat, cholesterol and salt. The diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products, which can help protect your heart. Beans, other low-fat sources of protein and certain types of fish also can reduce your risk of heart disease.

Limiting certain fats you eat also is important. Of the types of fat — saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and trans fat — saturated fat and trans fat increase the risk of coronary artery disease by raising blood cholesterol levels.

Major sources of saturated fat include:

  • Red meat
  • Dairy products
  • Coconut and palm oils

Sources of Trans fat include:

  • Deep-fried fast foods
  • Bakery products
  • Packaged snack foods
  • Margarines
  • Crackers

Look at the label for the term "partially hydrogenated" to avoid trans fat.

Heart-healthy eating isn't all about cutting back, though. Most people need to add more fruits and vegetables to their diet — with a goal of five to 10 servings a day. Eating that many fruits and vegetables can not only help prevent heart disease, but also may help prevent cancer.

Omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat, may decrease your risk of heart attack, protect against irregular heartbeats and lower blood pressure. Some fish, such as salmon and mackerel, are a good natural source of omega-3s. Omega-3s are present in smaller amounts in flaxseed oil, walnut oil, soybean oil and canola oil, and they can also be found in supplements.

Following a heart-healthy diet also means drinking alcohol only in moderation — no more than two drinks a day for men, and one a day for women. At that moderate level, alcohol can have a protective effect on your heart. More than that becomes a health hazard.

4. Maintain a healthy weight

As you put on weight in adulthood, your weight gain is mostly fat rather than muscle. This excess weight can lead to conditions that increase your chances of heart disease — high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

One way to see if your weight is healthy is to calculate your body mass index (BMI), which considers your height and weight in determining whether you have a healthy or unhealthy percentage of body fat. BMI numbers 25 and higher are associated with higher blood fats, higher blood pressure, and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

The BMI is a good, but imperfect guide. Muscle weighs more than fat, for instance, and women and men who are very muscular and physically fit can have high BMIs without added health risks. Because of that, waist circumference also is a useful tool to measure how much abdominal fat you have:

Men are considered overweight if their waist measurement is greater than 40 inches (101.6 centimeters, or cm)

Women are overweight if their waist measurement is greater than 35 inches (88.9 cm)

Even a small weight loss can be beneficial. Reducing your weight by just 10 percent can decrease your blood pressure, lower your blood cholesterol level and reduce your risk of diabetes.

5. Get regular health screenings

High blood pressure and high cholesterol can damage your heart and blood vessels. But without testing for them, you probably won't know whether you have these conditions. Regular screening can tell you what your numbers are and whether you need to take action.

Blood pressure. Regular blood pressure screenings start in childhood. Adults should have their blood pressure checked at least every two years. You may need more-frequent checks if your numbers aren't ideal or if you have other risk factors for heart disease. Optimal blood pressure is less than 120/80 millimeters of mercury.

Cholesterol levels. Adults should have their cholesterol measured at least once every five years starting at age 20. You may need more frequent testing if your numbers aren't optimal or if you have other risk factors for heart disease. Some children may need their blood cholesterol tested if they have a strong family history of heart disease.

Diabetes screening. Since diabetes is a risk factor for developing heart disease, you may want to consider being screened for diabetes. Talk to your doctor about when you should have a fasting blood sugar test to check for diabetes. Depending on your risk factors, such as being overweight or a family history of diabetes, your doctor may recommend first testing you for diabetes sometime between ages 30 and 45, and then retesting every three to five years.

Source: Mayo Clinic http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/heart-disease-prevention/WO00041

The Seal Breakers pay homage to their hometown, Brooklyn Tags: seal breaker brooklyn new single word life production feature

 

The Seal Breakers were formed in January of 2001 but its musical heritage has roots that were planted many years ago. The Seal Breakers leader Craig Williams wanted to bless music lovers with the brass horn music that he heard in his church and the influence of legendary bands like Earth, Wind and Fire, The Ohio Players, Chicago and Sly and the Family Stone. Having written, produced and performed with many notable artists in the 90’s Craig Williams sought to combine his early musical influences with the contemporary gospel, jazz, soul-R&B and hip-hop that have been part of his musical history. The Seal Breakers primarily employ the use of brass horns, keyboards, guitars and percussion to bring listeners to their feet in raucous celebration. Since Craig Williams began The Seal Breakers they have been blessed to perform and/or record with many notable soul, jazz and gospel artists nationally and internationally. In March 2007 the band was also honored to record a soundtrack for a documentary film “Bowl of Dreams” at the insistence of Dr. Bill Cosby who was literally blown away by The Seal Breakers’ performance at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn N.Y. The band travels throughout the U.S. playing at churches, schools, music festivals, colleges/universities and civic functions, spreading the message of love and hope through music. The Seal Breakers have completed their first full-length C.D., which was produced by one of the bands musical inspirations, trombonist Kenny Carr. Every time The Seal Breakers play they affirm the words of Bill Cosby that he shared with his audience on that chilly November morning, “This music is our heritage, our life, our story through music."

SEE WHAT’S HAPPENING IN SEATTLE WASHINGTON’S HIP HOP SCENE Tags: bryce bowden underground hip hop artist seattle washington word life production

Bryce Bowden is ushering in a new era of hip-hop. Its old school meets new school, east meets west, underground meets mainstream. You be the judge!!!

Biography: "In 1989 a star was born." These are the first words shouted out of the mouth of a 21 yr. old Seattle native, during the last song performed inside of a dark Hip-Hop venue on Seattle's Westside. Bryce "B-Heezy" Bowden has captured the hearts of the town locals.. Again. Growing up on the greater eastside, the M.C. has never had a problem getting people’s attention. For years the white rapper has entertained audiences’ across Washington with his silky smooth style, and hard-hitting punch lines with metaphors relating to the average person’s struggle with money, relationships, and the long windy road to success a lot of people are still traveling. For Bryce Bowden it might seem like that road is not too much further away..

Bryce Bowden Bryce Bowden is a 22 year old artist from Kingsgate, Washington which is a suburb on the Eastside of Seattle. Since the tender age of 6, Bryce has been writing poetry and rhymes. He even attended local hip-hop shows and was heavily influenced by the scene. He developed a thirst for the hip hop style of music. The decision to tell his story through his music was simple. Through that outlet, he gained respect from the hip-hop community that surrounded him. Bryce Bowden is very proud to announce the release of his debut CD titled “Rapper 4 Hire”. The single “Hands Up” lead the way is a calling to a new age of hip-hop music and Bryce seems to have that cornered. This song was written with local fans in mind. He wanted this song to celebrate this new breed, thus the title of the song. This song is a gospel of sort. It delivers self-confidence, pride and a voice. As Bryce states, “Straight up if you’re feeling the new breed of hip-hop, put your ‘hands up’”. This song has an outstanding old style R & B rhythm with a rap that you can feel right from the start. The beat is extraordinary and you just can’t stop hearing this song in your head. The sound is there, it’s unforgettable and truly catchy. Bryce states that it is representative of the entire CD as it showcases his flow and rhymes and above all, introduces audiences to a new fresh hip-hop sound. This is one common thread that runs through all his songs. Bryce Bowden is unique, true to his sound, true to who he is. You just feel the artist shine through – raw and untouched by others around him. “Rapper 4 Hire” is available at most digital storefronts including but not limited to www.itunes.com. Physical CD’s are available at live concerts. Prior to this CD, Bryce released two mix tapes in this past year along. One was “Quality Over Quantity” which was released in March, 2011 and “My Road To Success” which was released in September, 2011. He has already begun working on his second CD titled “Great White Hype” where there will be single out in the spring of 2012 giving us a taste of what’s to come. The CD is due out in early summer 2012. Recently Bryce has accepted an invitation from Dynamic Producers to play at South by South West in Austin, Texas. He also has received very good reviews from Seattle radio personality DJ Dirty Harry from KUBE 93.3fm. Bryce has also received great reviews and regular spins from DJ Nanino from Everett, Washington who hosted Boom Box KSER 90.7fm. He is also registered as a BMI member. Bryce will be playing in Austin, Texas on March 17th, 2012. Additional information is not available at this time. He is looking forward to touring a bit through the country and focusing on college campuses. You can listen to and/or purchase music from this current CD or past mix tapes by logging onto the following websites: www.206ent.com www.facebook.com/rapper4hire www.twitter.com/rapper4hire www.brycebowden.bandcamp.com www.youtube.com/206entertainment www.promofm.com (Search: Bryce Bowden) 

 

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