ORIGINAL 50 CENT

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ORIGINAL 50 CENT

Kelvin (50 Cent) Martin was famous for his short stature and his brazenness. He stood 5 feet, 2 inches tall and weighed 120 pounds. He carried two guns in his waistband — a .357 Magnum and a Colt .45. So armed, he openly paced Fort Greene’s Myrtle Avenue, sticking up anyone who crossed his path, from store clerks to rival crooks.

In 2005, Czar Entertainment, a music-production company in Manhattan, released a documentary about Martin’s life, “Infamous Times: The Original 50 Cent.” Jimmy Rosemond, Czar’s CEO, knew Martin from Rikers Island, where they were both imprisoned as juveniles. Rosemond says he made the film to caution watchers away from the perils of the gangster life.

Like a Wild West outlaw, Martin spawned numerous tall tales about his exploits that the film recounts: Martin shot at parking meters, passed out the change to children, and then had them toss coins in the air to show off his marksmanship. He went to a Rick James concert at The Meadowlands and “robbed the whole stadium, yo,” says The Homie, an alleged Martin associate.

According to legend, Martin also mugged rap stars. He allegedly caught LL Cool J outside a White Castle and stole his gold rope-chain. He snagged a gold medallion off Rakim, the MC of the 1980s hip-hop duo Eric B. & Rakim.

In fact, Eric Barrier, the DJ of Eric B. & Rakim, knew Martin. The pair included him in a photo with other Brooklyn hustlers on the back of their 1987 hit album, “Paid in Full.” Its title song recounts the stick-up life of 50 Cent that Rakim avoided by pursuing a hip-hop career.

The origin of the name 50 Cent is clouded in mystery. Most of Martin’s associates claim it reflected his short height. Others say that Martin would rob people even for 50 cents or that he invested 50 cents in a dice game and walked away with $500. Campbell had heard that he had an older brother named Dollar Bill. (He did have an older brother, but not with that nickname.)

Martin’s death also has inspired myths and conspiracy theories. Although some say he was shot 50 times in a phone booth, the documentary reports that Martin was shot several times by a former associate outside his girlfriend’s apartment. Martin died from hemorrhaging four days later, according to the autopsy, says Patricia Martin, his aunt. He was 23 years old.

Martin’s body was sent to Staten Island, because he ended his life penniless. During the 1980s, other boroughs commonly sent those who couldn’t afford local burial to the Island. During the AIDS epidemic, Silver Mount received 18 bodies daily on average, according to Dora Arslanian, the cemetery’s director.

Martin was interred without a tombstone, in a grave with four other people.

LIKE THE ORIGINAL

“I’m the same kind of person 50 Cent was,” says Curtis Jackson, the rapper 50 Cent, at the beginning of the “Infamous Times” documentary. “I provide for myself by any means.”

Jackson took Martin’s nickname, he says, because he wanted to honor a famous black gangster who would see him as an equal, rather than an Italian gangster like John Gotti or Al Capone — names adopted by others in hip-hop — who would not. On “How to Rob,” a song off his first record, the Queens-born rapper jokes about mugging other famous rap stars “Brooklyn style” — i.e. like 50 Cent Martin.

Jackson’s life followed a path similar to Martin’s: He was raised at first by a single mother, and then by his grandmother; he eventually got into drug dealing, was arrested and shot multiple times. But Jackson, unlike Martin, escaped a life of crime by pursuing music.

After Jackson became famous as 50 Cent, Martin’s family took offense. “I think he’s reaping all of the rewards of using the name and not sharing what he’s getting,” said Patricia Martin to the Daily News last year.

Jackson promised to pay for a new gravestone for Martin, according to the Martin family. “You’ll never be forgotten,” Jackson says about Martin towards the end of the documentary. “I be dead serious about it.” Viewers then watch the creation and placement of Martin’s new gravestone at Silver Mount.

But Jackson never paid for the $9,000 monument, according to Rosemond; Czar Entertainment did. The company invited Precious Golston, Martin’s girl friend and mother of one of his daughters, to select the design.

Golston wanted something that would stand out, says Joe D’Armetta, owner of Moravian Monuments in Grant City, which constructed the headstone. The family rejected an initial plan for installing a large 5 and 0, because the stones might fall over. They eventually settled for the current colors and shape.

A CULT ATTRACTION

50 Cent’s gravestone has become a cult attraction, says Campbell. Islanders who have seen the documentary visit and take pictures. People who come for other funerals stop to take a look. Campbell predicts the plot will become a “monument site” for younger generations.

Patricia Martin and her daughter, Nicole, also visit on holidays and whenever they’re “in the mood,” Patricia says. She helped raise her nephew, and he, in turn, became close to her daughter.

However, not everyone finds the gravestone a welcome attraction. On a recent afternoon, Ed McLendon came with his uncle, Tony Mattei, and cousin, Michael Mattei, to visit their family plot, 20 feet away from Martin’s grave.

David Johnson

Burial:
Silver Mount Cemetery
Sunnyside
Richmond County (Staten Island)
New York, USA
Created by: Diane Del Priore
Record added: May 04, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 14170248

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Rutshelle Guillaume

Biography of Rutshelle Guillaume …
Born in Port-au-Prince on July 28, a family of three children, Rutshelle GUILLAUME is the only daughter of her Father. At the age of five, she began to sing at the church of God of Boulard directed by Pastor Louis DESTINVAL. His passion for music takes him to 19 years, in the group “REL”, a musical formation composed for the most part of young musicians of the National School of … Arts (ENARTS). She was able to meet her husband, Walner O. Registre (Doc wor) band leader of the group Rèl, father of her beloved daughter (Ruth-Warly O. Registre). Rutshelle is one of the most listening and charming women’s voices on the air today. Her opus “KITE M KRIYE” is asked and asked again in the shows to which she is invited to produce. This song, according to her, comes out of the particular to reach the social. Rutshelle, Philosopher of formation, joined the Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS) of the State University of Haiti (U.E.H) in 2008. After completing her studies, she is currently completing her research in order to obtain her degree in philosophy. – Former Professor of Grammar and Philosophy at New Bird College. Rutshelle Guillaume currently works as: Protocol Officer attached to the Kiosk of the Ministry of Haitians Living Abroad (MHAVE) at TOUSSAINT LOUVERTURE International Airport. – During a training on vocal techniques organized by James Germain, Emmeline Michel and Stevenson Théodore at the Fokal in 2011, his performance on stage enabled him to surprise Yole DEROSE, in search of young female talents for his project “Haiti Heart of Women “. She chose to be part of her project. While awaiting the release of her album, she presents to the public the opportunity to discover it in her song titled “KITEM KRIYE” which is video-clip. In addition, Rutshelle had already participated on numerous projects with several artists and musical groups, such as: – Roosevelt SAILLANT, known as BIC Tizon dife: “Mesi ti cheri doudou” a song from his latest album entitled “Kreyòl sings Kreyòl Konpran” . Doc Filah: “Trèv pou amoni”, a song from his album “Akrilik sou twal rezon” – Eunide Edouarin dit (Eud) and Aristor Oberson says (Dad Crazy): “Fòk mwen fete”, a song of their album “Limyè wouj” – Jean Bernard Félicien dit (Hurricane) and Valkency Décembre dit (K-lib): “yon lide”, a song from their album “Knock Out” – Barikad crew , konplèks, bafon plafon “, songs from the album” RED “. To name but a few

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Neefah Song
Biography

Prior to launching her musical career, Neefah got her start by auditioning for the Brooklyn High School of the Arts; a specialized arts school where she majored in vocal music. In addition, she took Music Theory for she believes reading and writing music should be a very important factor in any musicians training.

Neefah excelled in the program and later attended the AMDA College and Conservatory of the Performing Arts where she graduated in 2006 with a degree in Musical Theater. She also graduated from the Barbizon School of Modeling the same year. Upon both graduations, Neefah began pursuing music full-time.

Stephanie “Neefah” Fontus was born on February 21st in Brooklyn, NY to a Haitian mother and a Haitian and Bahamian father. Her father, a professional bassist didn’t give her much support or encouragement when it came to music and her mother supported his decision because they didn’t want their daughter to make a career in music instead they encouraged her to complete her studies and have a normal and stable life and career. Neefah heeded her parents’ advice however it was in school where she actually found the drive and necessary encouragement that she needed and it came from her music teacher. Through her teaching and mentoring, Neefah finally felt secure enough to pursue her dream in entertainment.

Neefah went on to perform at some very prestigious events and places such as the United Nations, FAME on 42nd Street (Broadway Musical), VH1 Hop Hop Honors where she opened the show, she sang the national anthem at the Yankees’ stadium for the Mets twice to name a few.

With her career looking bright Neefah still felt the need to please her parents and obtain a degree in criminal justice but her heart still remains in music.

Neefah’s musical training and experience may be outside of the Haitian Music Industry’s (HMI) realm, she is no novice to the industry. Neefah’s collaborations include Dola Mizik, Clinton Benoit, Madman JP and Charlot Maitre on lead vocals.

Neefah’s new single entitled “Nobody but you” is officially released and Neefah is currently in the studio adding the finishing touches to her album slated for a Summer release.

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Written by Cheyna Pierre

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Yves Joseph

Yves Joseph

Background vocal

A Native of Petion-Ville, Yves Joseph, better known as Fanfan, is one of the original members of the band. Fanfan started with the band in 1968 playing the congas. In the 80’s, he moved to the front as an additional vocalist in support of Shoubou. The two have formed an impressive singing duo for the last 45 years. Fanfan is, undoubtedly, one of the most important and versatile members of Tabou Combo. Apart from being the band background vocalist, he’s also the band’s manager and main songwriter. Fanfan is a graduate (Cum Laude) from City College with a major in International Relations and a minor in Education. In the Summer of 2000, Fanfan became the first Haitian artist to land an endorsement deal with a major U.S. company when he signed with LATIN PERCUSSION (LP). Fanfan said his most positive experience with Tabou Combo was when the hit single NEW YORK CITY was released. ‘It is a good feeling to hear your songs everywhere you go in Europe, in jukeboxes, major radio stations, and Clubs,’ said Fanfan. ‘The attention you get, the pampering and the fame is unbelievable…’

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Yvon Andre

Yvon Andre

Percussions/Vocal

It was in 1968 when then fifteen year old percussionist Yvon Andre, known to all as Kapi, became a member of Tabou Combo. Back then the young musician had to sneak out of his family’s home in Petion-Ville to play with the band due to the fact that his parents were determined not to let their son become a musician. However, his love for music was too strong to be stopped. Kapi said he could have become anything, but he chose to be a musician because he loves music. It is that love that has motivated him to stay with Tabou Combo for so many years. Kapi is not just a mere percussionist; he’s also a pianist, vocalist, and songwriter. Kapi has penned many of Tabou’s hit songs. He has also written most of the band’s Spanish songs including FIESTA and PANAMA QUERIDA. The latter he co-wrote with Fanfan. Kapi said his most memorable moments as a member of Tabou was in 1998 when he traveled to the Ivory Coast to receive a lifetime achievement award on behalf of Tabou Combo, and again when RFO (French radio/television) honored Tabou Combo in Martinique; those, he said, were historical moments.

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Tabou Combo

BIOGRAPHY

“Rhythm is the essence of Tabou Combo,” says Tabou Combo’s co-founder and ex-drummer Herman Nau. The infectious rhythm of Haiti’s national dance music, Konpa (con-pah), has propelled the country’s preeminent dance band around the world. The 12 members of the band have covered many territories since leaving Haiti and relocating to New York City in 1971. By that time, Tabou had already established itself as Haiti’s number one group, and as the “Ambassadors of Konpa.” Tabou Combo now has worldwide fans and followers from London to Paris, Holland, Switzerland, Japan, South America, throughout the Caribbean and in North America.

It is easy to understand why Tabou Combo’s relentless and high-energy style of Compas dance beat knows no language barrier. Singing in English, Spanish, French or their native Creole, Tabou serves a hot mix of grooves and textures with roots from around the world. You will hear a strong dose of the Dominican Republic’s national dance music, meringue. In addition, there is Haiti’s dance-till-you-drop carnival music, rara, the hypnotic drums of Haitian voodoo rituals. Add to that quadrilles and contra-dances from Haiti’s French colonizers and funk from the American soul era to James Brown for good measure. The mixture of all these influences makes for a serious bass line that brings new meaning to the word bottom; layer upon layer of accents courtesy of drums, percussion and congas; the constant intertwining of two guitars with the feel of West African Soukous topped with bright piano riff and the brassy sound of a 3-man horn section.

Tabou Combo got started in 1968 in Petion-Ville, a town just outside Port-au-Prince, by Albert Chancy and Herman Nau and some friends, all in their teens. They began by naming themselves “Los Incognitos” because they were unknown at that time. They changed to Tabou Combo in 1969, in order to bear a name closer to the Haitian culture. That year, the band won first prize in a televised talent contest, gaining a national reputation in Haiti, and by 1970 it was one of the island’s leading bands. Then the Chancy’s parents stepped in, and Albert, the band’s guitarist, and original, leader was sent to college in Montreal and gave up music. The band dissolved and its members drifted to the United States. Early in 1971, however, an unexpected meeting led to a Tabou reunion with rhythm guitarist Jean-Claude Jean as the leader and the band has been together, with a few changes, ever since.

Employing the repetition and breaks of Afro-American gospel music, TABOU COMBO entices the listener to become listener and dancer. Almost four decades after TABOU COMBO’s establishment, the band has audiences dancing everywhere from concert halls to the streets and in nightclubs around the world. Says Fanfan, the band’s background vocalist and main songwriter, “We want people to dance and forget their sorrows.”

There is no doubt, the music is made for dancing, but Tabou also features lyrics that focus on social issues of the day. For example, the lyrics from the title cut of the group’s 1991 release ZAP ZAP deal with uplifting the image of Haitian people in the wake of bad press connected to the AIDS epidemic.

It was 1974 when the band captured Europe’s attention with its million-selling hit single NEW YORK CITY. Tabou steadily has been building its international followers ever since. The 1989 release, AUX ANTILLES (The Antilles), topped European and Caribbean charts for six consecutive weeks. AUX ANTILLES also won Best Album for Haitian Dance Music at the 1991 1st Annual Caribbean Music Awards at New York City’s famed Apollo Theater. Tabou’s release, KITEM FE ZAFEM (Let Me Do My Things), was voted among Beat Magazine’s Best of 1988. In 1989, KITEM FE ZAFEM, along with ZAP ZAP were used by the film director Jonathan Demme in his movie MYSTERY DATE. The song JUICY LUCY was chosen by French movie maker Maurice Pialat for his movie POLICE (1985). In 2002, world known guitarist Carlos Santana recorded the song MABOUYA (Foo Foo) on his album SHAMAN.

After traveling around the world with Tabou, Fanfan says he has found that people everywhere are all the same and they all love music. TABOU COMBO seduces the people with rhythm that does not let go. Konpa’s unrelenting dance beat is contagious and there are plenty of witnesses. Many of the thousands of TABOU COMBO fans around the world eagerly will testify… that is if they can stop dancing long enough to talk!

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Dat7

Biography

Based out of Hollywood, Florida, Dat7 is a Haitian band with a style deeply rooted in the finest tradition of Compas Direct with Zouk and R&B influences. Dat7 came into existence in late 2014 when former bandmates and longtime friends, Ricot Amazan (conga drums), and Eddy Viau (percussionist), join forces and created the band. They were later joined by Vladimir Alexis (drums), and Olivier Duret (vocalist), to complete the ensemble. Dat7 has created quite a stir since releasing their debut album VERDICT in October of 2015. Having been awarded the “Revelation de L’année 2015” award and the Haitian Academy Award in 2017, Dat7 continues to position itself as one of the most notable new bands, especially for their superb live performances.

Je-veux-M’envoler

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