Boyz From the Hood Bidding Billions!
Since the early 90’s, O’Shea Jackson, aka Ice Cube, has claimed to be ‘AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted’ with his debut solo album after splitting from the notorious L.A. rap group NWA due to royalty and management issues. Cube continued to set standards with his controversial bars detailing the unfair treatment of black people in America. However, no one expected this hardcore rapper to turn actor with the help of the late John Singleton’s 1991 classic Boyz in the Hood costarring Angela Basset and Cuba Gooding Jr. and Friday (1995) costarring Chris Tucker and Nia Long. Cube was now a triple threat: rapper, actor, and writer.
Think he stopped there? Not a chance! As of November 2018, he has teamed up with fellow musician/actor James Todd Smith, aka LL Cool J, along with a group of investors including big names like Serena Williams, Snoop Dogg and Magic Johnson, to join the sports media world with the purchase of 21 T.V. networks currently owned by Disney. The deal is reportedly worth up to $25 billion (TMZ.com.) In a statement to XXL Magazine, Ice Cube stated, “It’s time for the world to get sports and culture presented to them in a fresh new way.”
A bunch of black moguls buying up TV networks hasn’t exactly been sitting too well with other bidders. Recently, Cube’s basketball league BIG3 (founded in 2017) has filed complaints with the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission against Charter Communications for trying to sabotage their efforts in purchasing the 21 networks by restraining the ability of the BIG3 to compete in the auction. BIG3 also petitioned the DOJ regarding serious and pressing concerns about Charter's illegal anti-competitive actions to undermine the integrity of the bidding process in a coordinated campaign to assist its major shareholder, Liberty Media which owns approximately 26% voting control in Charter, and block BIG3's bid (martketwatch.com.)
According to The Shadow League, the BIG3’s 2019 Player Combine and draft is taking place April 30-May 1 in Las Vegas as 132 pros compete for just 31 open roster spots. The league of 12 teams has attracted superstars such as Lamar Odom, Jason Terry, and Mario Chalmers with hopes of getting back on the court. Former WNBA legend Lisa Leslie is also said to be a head coach of one of the 12 teams.
All in all, the message here is to be persistent and challenge the norms. In the words of DJ Khaled, “stay focused and secure your bag, because they want you to fail and they don’t want us to win.” But, they don’t have the same drive and determination we preserve.