Tag Archives: Snoop Dogg

Celebrity Cyber Report – Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent

Rapper/Entrepreneur Snoop Dogg

Rapper Snoop Dogg, like many rappers, is hell bent on growing his money. He has transformed his career in music into other businesses most notably the weed industry.

Now, according to TechCrunch, the D-O double G’s Casa Verde Capital venture firm recently closed its debut fund with a $45 million take.

Cannabis, weed, reefer, whatever you call it, is expanding nationwide as a business as legalization becomes the norm. Snoop’s venture firm invests seed money and Series A investments in businesses working alongside the cannabis industry. Casa Verde Capital’s website defines an ancillary cannabis business as company that it is “not touching the plant.”

Casa Verde Capital targets its investment capital on  marijuana businesses developing ag-tech, health and wellness, financial services, technology, media, compliance, and laboratory technology. According to Karan Wadhera, the firm’s managing partner,  Casa Verde has made eight “seed-stage to Series A-size investments” of “$1 million plus” so far, with the largest going to LeafLink, a marijuana marketplace for retailers and brands.

50 Cent

Now did he or didn’t he find millions of dollars in bitcoin he didn’t know he owned? The AACR reported that 50 Cent, born Curtis Jackson, claimed that he found he owned nearly $8 million dollars in bitcoins that he received off sales of a previous album.

But now Curtis Jackson is rapping a different lyric. According to TheBlast.com court documents showed that 50 admitted he never owned any bitcoin and knew the story was bull but went along because it enhanced him image. 50 Cent admitted that he never owned $8 million in bitcoin and said “so long as a press story is not irreparably damaging to my image or brand, I usually do not feel the need to publicly deny the reporting.”

But 50 Cent did a little bit more than just go along with the story. He  bragged about his sudden bitcoin windfall on Instagram and Twitter. The rapper posted  “Not bad for a kid from South Side, I’m so proud of me.” and “A little bitcoin anyone? LOL. l know l make you sick but excuse me…I’m getting to the bag.” On Instagram 50 said to his fans,  “Ima keep it real, I forgot I did that shit lol.”

 

 

Is Cryptocurrency for African-Americans?

Is cryptocurrency for African-Americans? Are we in on the game or are we just too cautious with our money to get in right now? Can cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin help the Black economy? Are we ready or even willing to get in the digital cash game? I said it before and I’ll say it again; Black people don’t play when it comes to money!

From Black celebrity endorsements to black people actually mining cryptocurrencies the game is starting to open up and awareness is growing. But are we truly on board?

Black celebrities are pushing cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings or ICO.   An ICO is an unregulated way to raise money for new cryptocurrencies. ICOs are used by startups to get around the rigid rules and laws associated with  the regular capital-raising process. In other words they can raise money without any rules or laws to obey. This makes ICOs an extremely risky investment.

Risky investments do not appeal to African-Americans. “African-Americans are risk-averse,” says Deborah Owens, formerly of Fidelity Investments. Owens calls herselfAmericans Wealth Coach.”  Owens told Forbes.com that, “So, one of the major reasons they have less in retirement savings is they are ultra-conservative, particularly African-Americans who work in the public sector and nonprofit organizations.”

Ultra popular DJ Khaled, alongside boxer Floyd “Money” Mayweather are pumping up Centra Tech. Chief operating officer for Centra Tech, Raymond Trapani, told Fortune.com that Khaled and Mayweather are working as  “official brand ambassador and managing partner” of the company. But the government has issued warnings about their investment advice in digital currencies.

Mayweather, in addition to Centra Tech, he is also associated with ICOs from Stox.com and Hubii Networks. Critics say both companies are risky blockchain technologies and neither has produced a product, service or profit.

Other Black celebrities involved in cryptocurrency include rapper Snoop Dogg, Nas, former Spice Girl Mel B, actor Donald Glover, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, former NFL wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, actor/comedian Jamie Foxx,  and WuTang Clan’s GhostFace Killah.

Needless to say these are fairly wealthy artists and athletes who can afford to play in the cryptocurrency casino and help ICOs raise billions of dollars. But is their involvement even legal?

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is looking real hard at these celebrity endorsements. The SEC issued a statement to “celebrities and others” who use social media networks to encourage the public to purchase stocks and other investments.

The statement advises celebrities that, “These endorsements may be unlawful if they do not disclose the nature, source, and amount of any compensation paid, directly or indirectly, by the company in exchange for the endorsement.”  Put simply these celebrities need to come clean and let people know they are partners or investors in the company they are pushing.

But are Black people buying cryptocurrencies? Edwardo Jackson of Blacks in Bitcoin believes its still early and that African-Americans need to get in the game and get in the game now. Jackson told TheAtlantic.com, “Can you imagine what it would have been like to own a piece of email technology in 1994? That’s what Bitcoin is like right now, and it’s only getting bigger.”

Along with Black celebrities Jackson could be opening the door for minorities to get into cryptocurrencies. Research in 2014 showed that black people and minorities in general were not aware of the cryptocurrency phenomenon.  But now the African-American community is becoming more aware of digital currency and the wealth it can produce. Black people interested in Bitcoin and possibly investing in digital currency are beginning to form groups to study this phenomenon. One MeetUp group in Atlanta has over 180 members and the interest appears to be growing. Sources of information for black people are also growing as evidenced by Jackson’s blogBlacks in Bitcoin.”

Can digital currency help the African-American community? An interesting fact about Black people in the digital age is our love of mobile technology. Black people have become early and enthusiastic adapters of mobile technology. We are most likely to shop and access the Internet using smartphones than white people. So the idea of using a digital currency is not out of the realm. Another interesting fact is that Black communities, low income neighborhoods, are severely under-banked.

Chief market strategist for ConvergEx Group, Nicholas Colas believes digital currency like Bitcoin can make a difference. Colas sees the currency filling the hole where banks are not in these communities. Colas cited a 2013 Senate committee letter from then-Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke. Bernanke did not endorse digital currency but agreed low-cost transactions could benefit low income, under-banked communities. Providers of pre-paid cards and payday loans often thrive in low income communities.  Colas added, “That’s where the promise is for the African American community, because in a finished form, it allows for a cheaper money-transfer system than anything that the current financial system can provide.”

 

African-Americans are beginning to take notice of digital currency and are venturing in with their own brand of digital currency. A Black owned digital currency company, BitMari, has emerged. Founded in 2015, BitMari is a Pan-African blockchain company seeking to secure a piece of the action in the billions of  dollars sent to Africa each year. BitMari is facilitating the transfer or remittance of money using the Bitcoin technology into Africa.

 

 

 

 

$Guap Black Owned Digital Currency

Another Black owned digital currency is $Guap launched by tech visionary Tavonia Evans. The ICO for $Guap is aimed at recycling wealth within the Black community. $Guap is intended to leverage the one trillion dollars in Black spending power. $Guap will jump on the cryptocurrency wave by rewarding African-American consumers for supporting businesses that support them.

Now you know.

 

 

Race and Technology – Racism Online

reddit-logo-01-674x501The Internet is a very racist place. Racism online is rampant because many people enjoy the anonymity that the Internet provides. Thoughts, ideas and opinions can be expressed without question.

Extremist groups once had to hand out flyers on street corners or send out mailers. Some groups openly recruited in the workplace, college campuses and churches. This was common before the Internet. My how times have changed.  The Internet now permits extremists access to to a wider, and some would say more receptive, audience especially young people. Communication has become easier between racist groups allowing them to coordinate their efforts across continents and oceans.  Social media sites like Facebook and NewSaxon, a white supremacist dating site,  has been a boon to these groups. The top five racist pages on Facebook are;

  1. Pioneer Little Europe
  2. American White History Month
  3. Barrack Obama’s Dead Fly
  4. Southern Brotherhood Militia
  5. I Love Being White

White supremacists by the thousands access these sites connecting with other like minded individuals through web-based forums or discussion groups.  Because these websites allow racists to connect two white supremacists were introduced by a mutual friend. The two were later arrested for plotting to assassinate President Obama and planning a racist shooting spree. These sites also attract racist prison gangs, political radicals and even the mentally ill. But don’t get it twisted. Not all racist are mentally ill. Many are very articulate when expressing racial hatred even when it makes no sense. Check out some the top racist websites and see for yourself.

Another forum of racist thought is known as Reddit.com Reddit describes itself an “…entertainment, social news networking service, and news website where registered community members can submit content, such as text posts or direct links…” Reddit is open to all and allows the users to police the content.

But many people have pointed out that Reddit has a problem with racist postings and content.  The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) issued a report declaring Reddit as the “vilest, ugliest, nastiest and most unapologetically hateful space on the Internet.”

According to the SPLC Reddit is home to some of the most violent racist videos on the Internet. These video are often extremely graphic images of black and minorities being murdered. These video are so graphic and violent that even white supremacist websites like Stormfront.org cannot post them. Stormfront is the largest white supremacist website with over 200,000 registered users.

There are some shocking revelation about Reddit.com. First of all according to Alexa Internet traffic ranking Reddit has the 9th highest traffic ranking in the U.S. with over 130 million visits monthly and ranks 36th worldwide. Reddit’s topic specific sub-categories, known as sub-Reddits,  are the most racist and most popular.

Second, although Reddit operates independently, it was purchased by Condé Nast, one of the largest mass media companies in the United States in 2006. Third, and most troubling, one of Reddit’s biggest investors is none other than rapper Snoop Dogg to the tune of $50 million dollars. But it’s not all Snoop’s money.  He and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel and actor Jared Leto, joined a group of investors dropping the $50 million on the site. Reddit’s is currently estimated to be worth roughly $500 million.

Breaking It Down

Racism is alive and well in the U.S. and online. The Internet is a communications tool that allows people to speak out without name or consequence. Using this darkness ordinary people can vent, denigrate, attack, vilify, even harass and threaten those they don’t like or don’t understand. And yes, black people and other minorities do the same.  But racism is best practiced in the dark. It is most at home and fertile among the ignorant and narrow of mind.  The Internet, like every communication device before it, is being used to spread this ignorance. Things change but they stay the same.

 

 

Snoop Dogg Launches MerryJane.com

Snoop-Dogg-Marijuana

azmarijuana.com

Smoking weed is steadily becoming a mainstream practice. It probably has been for sometime but it was kept on the low. But rap icon Snoop Dogg is breaking marijuana out of the shadows by launching weed smoking lifestyle website MerryJane.com

Snoop Dogg has been involved and investing in tech for just over a year and has decided to bring smoking and the smoking lifestyle online in a big way. MerryJane.com is a lifestyle media site that focuses on the Chronic. The password restricted website provides both video and editorial content. MerryJane.com is intended to act as a central hub of information for smokers from the novice to the seasoned weed connoisseurs.

Snoop announced MerryJane.com at TechCrunch Disrupt SF saying MerryJane.com will provide users with “all they need to know” about marijuana, and be the “encyclopedia of the cannabis world.”

For cannabis smokers the website will focus on the lifestyle and offer original shows that cover cooking with weed as well as food pairings with cannabis. Users will also find guidance for first timer smokers who wish to indulge. This is called being ‘deflowered’. MerryJane.com will also have celebrities who are “down with the team”. Names associated with the website include Seth Rogen and Miley Cyrus.

MerryJane will be more than a place to indulge the smoking lifestyle. Snoop plans to examine the serious side of weed smoking including the politics and the business of weed.

Snoop is taking smoking weed to the online business world. MerryJane offers a database of various strains of cannabis. The data base was created by the MerryJane.com editorial team. It lets smokers learn more about cannabis and what strain might be right for them. The site also allows smokers to connect with a local dispensarys that offer their selected brand of weed.  MerryJane.com also lets smokers search by cannabis type, flavors, symptoms, and more and shows listed cannabis products in high-resolution rotating images.

Plans are already underway to allow marijuana dispensaries to set up their own digital store on the MerryJane.com website.

MerryJane co-founder Ted Chung spoke on the website’s business plan saying, “advertising is definitely part of the plan.” But he pointed out providing the cannabis industry with a central destination for brands and retail outlets is vital to creating a strong presence. Chung stated that the demand is there and expects the site to surpass its competitors within 6 months.

Snoop added that MerryJane.com will open the door for people who smoke secretly. “There are so many people in the closet, and we are giving them an opportunity to come out of the closet and just admit they like to smoke. I’m a smoker, my name is Snoop Dogg, and I’m a stoner.”

MerryJane.com launched last week at the Disrupt SF 2015 conference. A limited number of beta testers received invitations to explore the site. The site will be open to the general public over the next few weeks.

Also see Snoop Dogg Starting Marijuana Venture Capital Fund

Now you know.