Entertainment

Carmelo Anthony Is More Than Just A Basketball Star And Here’s Proof

Carmelo Anthony is a record-breaking basketball star. He’s also a husband, a father, an activist and volunteers his time and money to help kids develop their passion into a career in basketball. Whether you’re a basketball junkie or “Basketball Wives” junkie, we think we know Anthony and his stats pretty well.

This Afro-Boricua has accomplished so much in his long career that it’s time for a refresher course. Dribble, dribble.

Carmelo Anthony, lovingly nicknamed ‘Melo’ towers at 6’8″.

@carmeloanthony / Instagram

He weighs in about 240 lbs and is just 34 years old. While his last season has been rocky, and he’s not signed to a team as of February 1, 2019, Lakers fans are hoping Anthony will bring his solid three-point range to help the team out.

His father, Carmelo Iriate, was a member of the Puerto Rican activist group “Young Lords.”

@carmeloanthony / Instagram

Iriarte died of cancer when Melo was just 2 years old. His father spent the 60s and 70s pushing for social justice to free Puerto Rico from colonial bonds. His mother, Mary Anthony, is African-American.

When Melo was 8 years old, the family moved to Baltimore.

@carmeloanthony / Instagram

Growing up in Baltimore, he felt like he had to focus on athletics to avoid the world of drugs and violence. He did a great job.

He was often suspended at his Catholic high school.

@carmeloanthony / Instagram

He commuted to Towson Catholic High School the first three years of high school. He was suspended several times for skipping classes, though.

The summer he turned 16 years old, he shot up to 6’5″.

@carmeloanthony / Instagram

He was already 6 feet tall and turns out he would still grow another 3 inches. At that point, he became locally famous. “The Baltimore Sun” named him the Metro Player of the Year in 2001 and the Baltimore Catholic League Player of the Year.

Once Syracuse University recruited him, they finally earned their first ever NCAA tournament title in 2003.

@carmeloanthony / Instagram

During his senior year of high school, he had to switch schools to help him focus on getting his grades back up to be qualified for a Syracuse admittance. After a lot of work, he did it, and it paid off for everyone.

That same year, he dropped out of college and went pro.

@carmeloanthony / Instagram

He was chosen 3rd overall in the 2003 NBA draft by the Denver Nuggets. He was third only to LeBron James, whom he had struck up a friendship with at previous tournaments.

By his sixth NBA game, he became the second youngest player to ever score 30 or more points in NBA history.

@carmeloanthony / Instagram

The youngest player in history to do so was Kobe Bryant. All his hard work earned him an $80 million five year contract extension with the Denver Nuggets. Work hard, play hard, Melo.

Oh, and he’s won three gold Olympic medals for the U.S.

@goknickstape / Twitter

And a bronze. Can’t forget that bronze. Thanks for your service, Melo.

He is the most decorated USA basketball player, with four Olympic medals under his belt.

@carmeloanthony / Instagram

He was named co-USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year in 2016. While he says his retirement is pending, we may see him out here in 2020.

In 2011, Anthony was traded to the Knicks.

@TodayInSports3 / Twitter

He chose the number 7 because his son’s birthday is March 7th. It’s also the difference between his high school number 22 and Nuggets 15 (12-15=7).

Melo is a mega-charitable guy. He donated $50,000 to Puerto Rico Relief efforts and then some.

@carmeloanthony / Instagram

Caption: “Caption: “Thank you #UNICEFUSA for teaming up with My Foundation to support MI ISLA(My Island). We will be donating over 12,000 emergency hygiene kits that will help over 60,000 children and families. Children and families will now have water purification tablets, water containers, buckets, soap, etc so they can maintain their well-being and prevent the spread of deadly disease.”

In 2015, Anthony founded the North American Soccer League expansion club, Puerto Rico FC.

@carmeloanthony / Instagram

At the time, nobody was investing in Puerto Rico after the disaster. Melo saw this as an opportunity to invest in the community.

He also paid for 4,500 Baltimore students’ transportation to March for Our Lives.

@carmeloanthony / Instagram

Caption: “Partnering with @mtv @naacp and my city of Bmore to support #MarchForOurLives
Sending over 4,500 kids from Baltimore to the March tomorrow… We’ve all had #ENOUGH! Proud of our youth for standing up gun violence.”

He’s also founded the Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Center at his alma mater, Syracuse University.

@carmeloanthony / Instagram

He donated $3 million to the construction of what will be a home base for young aspiring athletes to be trained as professionals. The donation is believed to be the largest individual donation from a professional athlete to their alma mater.

Anthony reportedly donated $4.3 million dollars to charity thus far.

@carmeloanthony / Instagram

In 2006, he was listed as No. 8 in “The Giving Back 30 List of Largest Charitable Donations by Celebrities”, published by “The Giving Back Fund.” You going to heaven.

Chisme be damned, he’s in love with his wife, La La Anthony.

@carmeloanthony / Instagram

The two were often seen on reality TV program “Basketball Wives,” and spin-off “La La’s Full Court Life.” They married in 2010 and rumors abound, but mira esto:

Caption: “Sometimes it may not be possible to remind someone everyday about how special they are. Today, I am taking a chance to tell you that you are special, whether I tell you everyday or not. Happy Birthday @lala

The Anthony family helped campaign for Hilary Clinton to beat Trump.

@carmeloanthony / Instagram

No word yet on who they’re rooting for in 2020. We’re not ready.

Melo also has a few clothing deals up his sleeve.

@carmeloanthony / Instagram

He has a line of Jordans, called the “Melo” line. Recently, he launched a collab with Rag & Bone.

Caption: “My limited edition @ragandbone X @jumpman23 apparel and sneaker collection are now available to purchase online at rag-bone.com. #MeloMade #STAYME7O

Where’s he going next? Nobody knows.

@MikeAScotto / Twitter

Rumor has it that Puerto Rico’s national team is trying to recruit him to sign. I’m here to see La La live life upon Puerto Rico’s beaches. Bring it.

READ: Learn How Basketball Superstar Carmelo Anthony Got Where He Is Today In 21 Steps

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Exclusive: Luis Fonsi Talks Working with Rauw Alejandro, Christina Aguilera, and Demi Lovato

Entertainment

Exclusive: Luis Fonsi Talks Working with Rauw Alejandro, Christina Aguilera, and Demi Lovato

Luis Fonsi is kicking off 2021 with a new single. The Puerto Rican superstar premiered the music video for “Vacío” on Feb. 18 featuring rising Boricua singer Rauw Alejandro. The guys put a new spin on the classic “A Puro Dolor” by Son By Four.

Luis Fonsi throws it back to his románticas.

“I called Omar Alfanno, the writer of ‘A Puro Dolo,’ who is a dear friend,” Fonsi tells Latido Music. “I told him what my idea was [with ‘Vacío’] and he loved it. He gave me his blessing, so I wrote a new song around a few of those lines from ‘A Puro Dolor’ to bring back that nostalgia of those old romantic tunes that have been a part of my career as well. It’s a fresh production. It sounds like today, but it has that DNA of a true, old-school ballad.”

The world got to know Fonsi through his global smash hit “Despacito” with Daddy Yankee in 2017. The remix with Canadian pop star Justin Bieber took the song to new heights. That was a big moment in Fonsi’s music career that spans over 20 years.

There’s more to Fonsi than “Despacito.”

Fonsi released his first album, the fittingly-titled Comenzaré, in 1998. While he was on the come-up, he got the opportunity of a lifetime to feature on Christina Aguilera’s debut Latin album Mi Reflejo in 2000. The two collaborated on “Si No Te Hubiera Conocido.” Fonsi scored multiple Billboard Hot Latin Songs No. 1s in the years that followed and one of the biggest hits was “No Me Doy Por Vencido” in 2008. That was his career-defining romantic ballad.

“Despacito” remains the second most-viewed music video on YouTube with over 7.2 billion views. The hits did not stop there. Later in 2017, he teamed up with Demi Lovato for “Échame La Culpa,” which sits impressively with over 2 billion views.

He’s also appearing on The Voice next month.

Not only is Fonsi working on his new album, but also he’s giving advice to music hopefuls for the new season of The Voice that’s premiering on March 1. Kelly Clarkson tapped him as her Battle Advisor. In an exclusive interview, Fonsi talked with us about “Vacío,” The Voice, and a few of his greatest hits.

What was the experience like to work with Rauw Alejandro for “Vacío”?

Rauw is cool. He’s got that fresh sound. Great artist. Very talented. Amazing onstage. He’s got that great tone and delivery. I thought he had the perfect voice to fit with my voice in this song. We had talked about working together for awhile and I thought that this was the perfect song. He really is such a star. What he’s done in the last couple of years has been amazing. I love what he brought to the table on this song.

Now I want to go through some of your greatest hits. Do you remember working with Christina Aguilera for her Spanish album?

How could you not remember working with her? She’s amazing. That was awhile back. That was like 1999 or something like that. We were both starting out and she was putting out her first Spanish album. I got to sing a beautiful ballad called “Si No Te Hubiera Conocido.” I got to work with her in the studio and see her sing in front of the mic, which was awesome. She’s great. One of the best voices out there still to this day.

What’s one of your favorite memories of “No Me Doy Por Vencido”?

“No Me Doy Por Vencido” is one of the biggest songs in my career. I think it’s tough to narrow it down just to one memory. I think in general the message of the song is what sticks with me. The song started out as a love song, but it turned into an anthem of hope. We’ve used the song for different important events and campaigns. To me, that song has such a powerful message. It’s bigger than just a love song. It’s bringing hope to people. It’s about not giving up. To be able to kind of give [people] hope through a song is a lot more powerful than I would’ve ever imagined. It’s a very special song.

I feel the message is very relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic we’re living through.

Oh yeah! I wrote that song a long time ago with Claudia Brant, and during the first or second month of the lockdown when we were all stuck at home, we did a virtual writing session and we rewrote “No Me Doy Por Vencido.” Changing the lyrics, kind of adjusting them to this situation that we’re living now. I haven’t recorded it. I’ll do something with it eventually. It’s really cool. It still talks about love. It talks about reuniting. Like the light at the end of the tunnel. It has the hope and love backbone, but it has to do a lot with what we’re going through now.

What do you think of the impact “Despacito” made on the industry?

It’s a blessing to be a part of something so big. Again, it’s just another song. We write these songs and the moment you write them, you don’t really know what’s going to happen with them. Or sometimes you run into these surprises like “Despacito” where it becomes a global phenomenon. It goes No. 1 in places where Spanish songs had never been played. I’m proud. I’m blessed. I’m grateful to have worked with amazing people like Daddy Yankee. Like Justin Bieber for the remix and everyone else involved in the song. My co-writer Erika Ender. The producers Mauricio Rengifo and Andrés Torres. It was really a team effort and it’s a song that obviously changed my career forever.

What was the experience like to work with Demi Lovato on “Echáme La Culpa”?

She’s awesome! One of the coolest recording sessions I’ve ever been a part of. She really wanted to sing in Spanish and she was so excited. We did the song in Spanish and English, but it was like she was more excited about the Spanish version. And she nailed it! She nailed it from the beginning. There was really not much for me to say to her. I probably corrected her once or twice in the pronunciation, but she came prepared and she brought it. She’s an amazing, amazing, amazing vocalist.

You’re going to be a battle advisor on The Voice. What was the experience like to work with Kelly Clarkson?

She’s awesome. What you see is what you get. She’s honest. She’s funny. She’s talented. She’s humble and she’s been very supportive of my career. She invited me to her show and it speaks a lot that she wanted me to be a part of her team as a Battle Advisor for the new season. She supports Latin music and I’m grateful for that. She’s everything you hope she would be. She’s the real deal, a true star, and just one of the coolest people on this planet.

What can we expect from you in 2021?

A lot of new music. Obviously, everything starts today with “Vacío.” This is literally the beginning of what this new album will be. I’ve done nothing but write and record during the last 10 months, so I have a bunch of songs. Great collaborations coming up. I really think the album will be out probably [in the] third or fourth quarter this year. The songs are there and I’m really eager for everybody to hear them.

Read: We Finally Have A Spanish-Language Song As The Most Streamed Song Of All Time

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Lifestyles Of The Rich And Dangerous: Cartels Are Using TikTok To Lure Young People

Things That Matter

Lifestyles Of The Rich And Dangerous: Cartels Are Using TikTok To Lure Young People

If you’ve ever wondered what someone with a bulletproof vest and an AR-15 would look like flossing — the dance, not the method of dental hygiene — apparently the answer to that question can be found on TikTok.

Unfortunately, it’s not as a part of some absurdist sketch comedy or surreal video art installation. Instead, it’s part of a growing trend of drug cartels in Mexico using TikTok as a marketing tool. Nevermind the fact that Mexico broke grim records last year for the number of homicides and cartel violence, the cartels have found an audience on TikTok and that’s a serious cause for concern.

Mexican cartels are using TikTok to gain power and new recruits.

Just a couple of months ago, a TikTok video showing a legit high-speed chase between police and drug traffickers went viral. Although it looked like a scene from Netflix’s Narcos series, this was a very real chase in the drug cartel wars and it was viewed by more than a million people.

Typing #CartelTikTok in the social media search bar brings up thousands of videos, most of them from people promoting a “cartel culture” – videos with narcocorridos, and presumed members bragging about money, fancy cars and a luxury lifestyle.

Viewers no longer see bodies hanging from bridges, disembodied heads on display, or highly produced videos with messages to their enemies. At least not on TikTok. The platform is being used mainly to promote a lifestyle and to generate a picture of luxury and glamour, to show the ‘benefits’ of joining the criminal activities.

According to security officials, the promotion of these videos is to entice young men who might be interested in joining the cartel with images of endless cash, parties, military-grade weapons and exotic pets like tiger cubs.

Cartels have long used social media to shock and intimidate their enemies.

And using social media to promote themselves has long been an effective strategy. But with Mexico yet again shattering murder records, experts on organized crime say Cartel TikTok is just the latest propaganda campaign designed to mask the blood bath and use the promise of infinite wealth to attract expendable young recruits.

“It’s narco-marketing,” said Alejandra León Olvera, an anthropologist at Spain’s University of Murcia, in a statement to the New York Times. The cartels “use these kinds of platforms for publicity, but of course it’s hedonistic publicity.”

Mexico used to be ground zero for this kind of activity, where researchers created a new discipline out of studying these narco posts. Now, gangs in Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, and the United States are also involved.

A search of the #CartelTikTok community and its related accounts shows people are responding. Public comments from users such as “Y’all hiring?” “Yall let gringos join?” “I need an application,” or “can I be a mule? My kids need Christmas presents,” are on some of the videos.

One of the accounts related to this cartel community publicly answered: “Of course, hay trabajo para todos,” “I’ll send the application ASAP.” “How much is the pound in your city?” “Follow me on Instagram to talk.” The post, showing two men with $100 bills and alcohol, had more than a hundred comments.

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