In the spirit of the ongoing Bronx Week celebration, the biggest export the borough has contributed to the world, hip-hop, is in the spotlight. The Apollo stage is still ablaze two weeks after mic god Rakim Allah’s street poetics were part of the “Tongues of Fire” celebration. Now, other elements of hip-hop will be celebrated at the theater for a four-day festival called Breakin’ Convention, June 13-16. This will be the North American premiere of Breakin’ Convention, a hip-hop dance theater festival produced annually by U.K.-based Sadler’s Wells. It will be the Apollo Theater’s first global festival.

Dancers from around the world will showcase their skills on the main stage of the Apollo and will also give free samplings to the public throughout the weekend of performances, family workshops and discussions that will address music, live graffiti art, film clips and special tributes to hip-hop dance icons. More detailed information will follow in the coming weeks, but for now, check out for show details and package deals on ticket sales for the festival.

Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake will make headlines this year as the nation prepares for their upcoming tour. Meanwhile, the media will try to dig as deep as it can to soil the image and credibility of the tour’s top biller; the efforts he makes to impact lives will surely be swept under the rug. To that end, allow me to introduce some information on the Shawn Carter Scholarship Fund. To help offset some of the mounting expenses associated with higher learning (books, lab fees, travel and regular costs of living), individual grants ranging from $1,500 to $2,500 will be provided to every student who qualifies and reapplies yearly, from admission to graduation. The program looks to attract candidates from all backgrounds who have a desire to pursue higher education in spite of personal and socioeconomic setbacks, including teen pregnancy, former incarceration, interrupted schooling and homelessness. In exchange, all Shawn Carter scholars are required to “give back” by conducting community service and by serving as mentors to younger, aspiring Shawn Carter scholars.

All high school seniors, undergraduate (two-year or four-year) college students and students at vocational or trade schools are eligible to apply. All applicants must be U.S. citizens, be 25 years old or younger and have a minimum GPA of 2.0. The application deadline is May 31, so check out to put your name in the mix.

Legendary producer Dr. Dre raises the stakes in terms of providing educational opportunities as he and his partner, record executive Jimmy Iovine, have made a $70 million donation to create an academy at the University of Southern California. The “Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation” provides a four-year program for undergraduates who have an interest in arts and business training. The first class of 25 students will enter in the fall 2014. Full scholarships are available to financially disadvantaged students to help them “go on to do something that could potentially change the world.”

“I feel like this is the biggest, most exciting and probably the most important thing that I’ve done in my career,” Dre said. This puts the question of when the new album is coming out in perspective, huh? But Dre, when is the new album coming out?

Paltry by comparison but still in process is the essay contest for the tickets to Summer Jam. In case you missed it last week, here it is: In an effort to encourage creative expression in middle school, high school and college students, I’m asking students to write an essay about the power and responsibility of hip-hop. While hip-hop has morphed into a multibillion-dollar industry at its core, the genre is still grounded in its roots, and we all have a stake in the direction the culture and music heads. We need you to understand that power and the responsibility it holds. Write the best essay (minimum 750 words) on the topic “Hip-Hop, Responsibility and Me,” and a pair of tickets to Summer Jam is yours. Essays should be emailed to with “Hip-Hop, Responsibility and Me” as the subject. The contest will run until Friday, May 24.

I’m out, holla next week. Until then, enjoy the night -life.