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Greater Metro

‘Go Phigga’ comes from the heart

‘Go Phigga’ comes from the heart

Fresh off a trip down south to Austin, Texas, 29-year-old rapper George Purnell, aka Go Phigga, of Bottom Coast Ent/Numb3rs Committee, was still in rare form as we began our interview. Turned up and passionate about music and the mark he plans to make on it, he left no stones unturned when speaking about his experiences, influences and perceptions of the music business.

"I've dropped 3 albums already – "4ever Motivated," "M.S.O.M.1" and "M.S.O.M.1.5" – but most recently I just finished performing this past weekend at the annual South By Southwest (SXSW) Music, Art and Film Festival in Austin, Texas," said Go Phigga, clearly excited about the annual Spring Break festival that he recognizes as one of the biggest in the music game.

"I have performed at this event for like the last three or four years and I truly enjoy it and the fans because every year is different. The fans really get a chance to see you up close and personal and take pictures with you and ask you about your music. Then also there are countless mega-artists there. Like this year you had artists like Jay-Z, Kanye West, Slim Thugg, Bun B., Face Mobb, Big Sean, Future, Tech 9, Nas, etc. So yes, it was really nice."

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Special ‘Institute’ session asks, ‘What is a black man?’

Special ‘Institute’ session asks, ‘What is a black man?’

African-American young men – several of them – took home a few life lessons after attending The Black Man Can Institute at the Juvenile Intervention & Faith-based Followup (JIFF) last Saturday (March 15th).

The Institute was a one-day series of workshops that focused on different ways to uplift, empower and inspire young men of color.

"We have a vision to bring the Institute to every city in America and be a catalyst for change in the life of a young man," said Brandon Frame, the Institute's founder. "In partnering with R.L. Thompson and Community Service, Inc., we had the amazing opportunity to complete that purpose."

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Hickory Ridge Driver License Reinstatement Center to open Saturdays

Hickory Ridge Driver License Reinstatement Center to open Saturdays

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security will open its Hickory Ridge Driver License Reinstatement Center for five Saturdays starting this week due to the high volume of customers seeking to reinstate driving privileges this time of year.

The Hickory Ridge Driver License Reinstatement Center, located inside the Hickory Ridge Mall, 6075 Winchester Rd., will serve customers from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 22 and 29, April 4, 11, and 26. (The special Saturday hours will not take place on Easter weekend.)

The extra hours of service are for reinstatement services only.

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Hamburgled?

Hamburgled?

Days after class-action lawsuits claimed McDonald's is deliberately and systematically stealing employees' pay, workers and community and faith leaders protested Tuesday in Memphis – part of a nationwide series of actions calling on the fast-food giant to stop its illegal wage theft.

Holding signs that read, "Have you had your break today? I haven't but it was taken out of my check anyway," Memphis fast-food workers and supporters demanded McDonald's stop what they called illegal theft of workers' pay. Workers spoke of the company forcing them to work off the clock, work through breaks, etc.

"We want to take care of our families, but it's hard for us to do that when we don't make enough and McDonald's is stealing our wages," said McDonald's worker, Ashley Cathey. "I rarely receive a break, yet those hours are always taken out of my check. We need to get paid for the hours we work and that's why we're fighting for $15 and a union."

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Freedom Fund keynoter on a health-based mission

Freedom Fund keynoter on a health-based mission

When you release a book hoping that it will "start a movement," each time you speak in a public setting is an opportunity to extend a call to action. That's the position Dr. Sampson Davis will be in when speaks in Memphis on Thursday night.

The recipient of the Essence Lifetime Achievement Award (2000) and author of "Living & Dying in Brick City – An E.R. Doctor Returns Home" will deliver the keynote address during this year's 38th annual Freedom Fund Gala benefiting the Memphis Branch NAACP.

The venue will be the Grand Ball Room of the Memphis Cook Convention Center, with the gala to begin at 7 p.m.

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Funk, R&B and soul icons, Bar-Kays, celebrate 50 years by giving back

Funk, R&B and soul icons, Bar-Kays, celebrate 50 years by giving back

The Bar-Kays are donating a portion of the proceeds raised during their 50-year celebration to support their "fab-five charities."

Throughout 2014, the iconic band will observe their golden anniversary in the music business. The year-long observation will culminate with the Bar-Kays 50th Anniversary Celebration Gala Dec. 4 at the Cook Convention Center and Canon Center of the Performing Arts.

During the gala, a special presentation will be made to what that the Bar-Kays call their "fab-five charities" – the Down Syndrome Association of Memphis, United Way of the Midsouth, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Stax Music Academy and the Allen Jones/Marjorie Barringer/Bar-Kays Scholarship Fund.

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