headlined an event at Chicago's Roosevelt University, as part of National Black
AIDS Awareness day yesterday (Feb. 7). The rapper encouraged young fans to engage
in safe sex and use condoms. The event was sponsored by Illinois Governor Rod
Blagojevich and the Brothers and Sisters United Against HIV/AIDS (BASUAH). According
to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, blacks make up 13.5
percent of the U.S. population, but account for 47 percent of the 1 million
Americans living with HIV/AIDS.
In related news,
BET, the Black AIDS Institute and the Kaiser Family Foundation announced the
3rd Annual Rap-It-Up/Black AIDS Short Subject (RIU/BASS) Film Competition yesterday
(Feb. 7). The competition is seeking unique and fresh storylines that address
the HIV/AIDS issue in the black community, including bringing attention to unexplored
topics. Entries are due by May 26 and will be reviewed by a prominent panel
of judges. The winner will receive up to $25,000 to produce their short film.
Winners will be announced Aug. 1. For more information, visit www.bet.com/rapitup
Marc Ecko and Atari have announced a nationwide tour of in-store appearances
to promote the launch of Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure. The
tour will stop in New York, Houston, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and
Chicago. Ecko and a variety of Hip-Hop and graffiti artists will appear at retail
stores such as GameStop and Virgin Megastore to promote the game. "Producing
a game that encompasses such originality and innovation has been an incredible
experience and we are very excited to unveil Getting Up," Ecko said. "This
tour is our way to celebrate its launch and say thanks to all of our supporters."
The tour kicks off with an appearance by Ecko, Rakim and The RZA at the Virgin
Megastore in New York's Times Square on Feb. 16. The Getting Up tour winds down
a week later at the Virgin Megastore in Chicago on Feb. 23.
Ludacris will guest-star
on an upcoming episode of NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit on
March 28. The role furthers the rapper's acting credits, which include appearances
in the Oscar-nominated movies Hustle & Flow and Crash. Ludacris,
born Christopher Bridges, will star as a family member of Detective Odafin "Fin"
Tutuola, a role played by fellow rapper Ice-T. Tutuola finds himself in a difficult
position when his colleagues suspect his son Ken (Ernest Wadell) in a double
murder. "I have been a fan of Dick Wolf's Law & Order for a
long time," Ludacris said in a statement. "When I was approached to
work on SVU and read the script there was no way that I could turn down
this amazing opportunity. The character was so rich and the storyline so complex
that I knew it was something I had to do. I am looking forward to working with
the incredibly talented cast and crew at Law & Order: SVU in my continuing
quest to learn and grow as an actor."