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Enlisting young adult fiction in the fight against racism

It started as a birthday wish.

Book Riot editor and “Here We Are” author Kelly Jensen posted a request on Twitter last Friday: “My 33rd birthday is next month, and between now and then, I’d love to see 33 classroom literacy projects completed. Up for the challenge?”

The next day white supremacists descended on Charlottesville, and her request took on new urgency.

Jensen, a former librarian, regularly monitors the Donors Choose public database searching for projects to highlight. (Donors Choose is a 17-year-old nonprofit that allows public school teachers to crowdfund materials and experiences for their classrooms.)

Adult children living at home

  • JoAnn Rey



Lately it seems I have been having conversations with several different people on the same topic. Somehow that same topic just comes up and then a very interesting conversation ensues.

This may hit close to home for many and I suspect many people will not like the topic of this article. It is not meant to attack or make fun of anyone. It is based on personal observation and reported information from several sources.

By now many of you are wondering about the topic. The topic is adult children who live with parents. It seems that we are seeing more and more adult children living with parents longer than the norm. They either never leave home or they leave but end up back at home (boomerang kids) for one reason or another and end up staying.

When I hear people talk about this, one of the first questions that always comes up is “why don’t the parents just kick them out?” Well, that’s a good question. Sometimes, parents feel they are helping their children by allowing them to stay at home. Maybe there are parents out there who do not like having an empty house and want their kids to stay close. Whatever the reason, more and more adults are living with parents.

According to a study by the Pew Research center, it seems Millennials make up the largest percentage of 25- to 35-year-olds living at home.

I don’t think the question is why these adult children are living at home as much as is it OK for them to live at home? Well, for parents of adult children living at home, you have to ask yourself what your role is in having your adult children live at home with you. Many parents would say they are helping them until they can get on their feet or helping through a tough time. That is perfectly understandable; however, there is a difference between helping and enabling. Helping is doing something for someone that he is not capable of doing himself. Enabling is doing for someone things that he could and should be doing himself. I’ve asked many parents whose adult children live with the whether they are helping or enabling. Most of the time their answer is helping but then feel obligated to justify why their kid has stayed so long. That, to me, is more like enabling.

So, what’s the big deal about grown kids living at home? Well, it hurts more than it helps. Enabling adult children actually keeps them from growing and becoming a productive, responsible adult. This does not allow him/her to enter into the next natural stage of their lifespan development. Plus, it sets a pattern of behavior that will be hard to change. Parents (especially mom) will continue to take care of their adult children like they did when they much younger because moms think they are helping. I mean, what’s it going to hurt if mom does their laundry or cleans up after them, or cooks their meals or wakes them up for work or gives them money for gas or pays their cellphone bill, etc.? If you are still asking yourself this question, remember the difference between helping and enabling. These are all things your adult children can do for themselves but choose not to and why should they if mom is willing to do it? Parents, it is hard not to want to help your adult children but you have to ask yourself, is what you are doing really helping? How hard is it going to be for your kids when the day comes that you cannot do what you are doing for them anymore?

So, what are parents supposed to do, turn their kids away? Of course not but it will help if parents set some guidelines from the very beginning so that it is understood that their kids living at home is temporary. Before an adult child moves back in, talk through things like timeframes, rent, pitching in around the house, etc. The son or daughter moving back isn’t a child anymore, after all, and shouldn’t expect mom or dad to meet their every need and want. Likewise, they shouldn’t expect parental help to last indefinitely. If an adult child is already living at home, then parents should consider having this conversation sooner rather than later – the more time passes without clear boundaries, the more difficult it will be to rein in bad habits that may form. Of course, this is not a one size fits all solution but it can be used as a starting point.

Take care and God bless.

Follow me Facebook at Thrive Counseling

JoAnn is a Licensed Professional Counselor and the owner/operator of Thrive.



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Perry County juvenile inmate chokes adult, steals vehicle

NEW LEXINGTON – A 17-year-old inmate at the Perry Multi-County Juvenile Detention Facility was arrested in Newark after choking a facility staff member and stealing a facility vehicle.

The inmate, whose name has not been released by authorities, was being driven back to the facility Monday after a doctor’s appointment in Zanesville, according to a press release from the Perry County Sheriff’s Office.

As they traveled across Tunnel Hill Road near Melon Hill Road, the inmate began choking the staff member and ordered them to stop the vehicle, the release stated. The inmate demanded the vehicle keys from the staff member as well as the staff member’s cell phone.

The staff member complied with the demands, and the inmate sped off, leaving the staff member standing on Tunnel Hill Road.

Perry County Sheriff William Barker could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Perry County sheriff’s deputies later learned the inmate fled to the Newark area, the release stated, and Newark police were dispatched to a business on West Main Street. There authorities found and arrested the inmate and recovered the vehicle. The inmate was transported to the Tri-County Juvenile Detention Facility in Lancaster on felony charges.

The inmate was charged with aggravated robbery, grand theft of a motor vehicle, felony escape and tampering with evidence. Perry County Prosecutor Joseph Flautt filed a motion in the Perry County Juvenile Court for the inmate to be tried as an adult.

Flautt said a hearing has not yet been scheduled to address the motion. He would not release the name of the 17-year-old or any other details about the case.

The staff member who was assaulted did not sustain any serious injuries.


Twitter: @KL_Snyder

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How Tennessee Promise is tied to the Pell Grant and what it means for higher education






The first graduating class of Tennessee Promise students from Southwest Tennessee Community College.
Mark Weber/The Commercial Appeal

In the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,”George Bailey tries to keep the Bailey Savings and Loan afloat by pleading with his customers to understand how they are all connected: “You’re thinking of this place all wrong. As if I had the money back in a safe. The money’s not here. Your money’s in Joe’s house, right next to yours, and a hundred others.”

If I can be so bold as to channel Jimmy Stewart for a moment, I’d like our nation’s policy leaders to understand how financial aid is all connected. Cutting the Pell Grant for low-income students will cause strain to the Tennessee Promise scholarship and other similar scholarship programs across the country. 

As the value of the Pell grant goes down, the cost of a last-dollar scholarship (like Tennessee Promise) equally goes up. For example, if a student’s Pell grant goes down by $100, their Tennessee Promise scholarship goes up by $100. This means that more students will be tapping into the Promise fund. Original calculations of how many students would be eligible for scholarship dollars will need to be adjusted as more and more students become eligible.

The Pell Grant is a federal grant that gives low-income students the opportunity to attend college. The Congressional Budget Office predicts the Pell Grants will help over 7.5 million students continue their education after high school this year. The Institute for College Access and Success, or TICAS, points out that Pell now covers less than 30 percent of the cost of attendance for an undergraduate college — its lowest purchasing power in 40 years. 

Without action from the United States Congress, Pell will no longer rise with inflation. This will make the award weaker. The current House budget recommendation is to keep Pell funding flat for the next 10 years. This, in essence, is a cut.

The buying power of Pell will continue to recede over time. In 10 years, TICAS predicts the grant will cover only one-fifth of college costs. This change means fewer students will be able to afford earning a bachelor’s degree at a four-year college, resulting in more students enrolling in community colleges, in turn, resulting in more students leveraging Promise dollars.

More scholarships will need to be offered, and the average cost of those scholarships will need to increase. The result will strain Promise resources and, quite possibly, the Promise reserve fund.

This means that not only will low-income families be affected by cutting Pell, but middle income families that rely on Tennessee Promise and similar scholarships will eventually be affected. Regardless of what anyone thinks about the cost of higher education (and I could write a thousand additional words on the fairness of higher education affordability) the fact of the matter is opportunity for economic security is directly linked to having a college degree or certificate.

RI ed chief would like to see free tuition expanded

CRANSTON, R.I. — Brenda Dann-Messier, Rhode Island’s new commissioner of post-secondary education, hasn’t given up on the governor’s plan to offer two years of free tuition to the state’s four-year colleges.

“I’m hoping we go back to the governor’s original proposal,” she said during an interview on Tuesday.

Dann-Messier, who was appointed to her post two weeks ago, said students are at greatest risk of dropping out at the end of their sophomore year. Offering free tuition to juniors and seniors at Rhode Island College and the University of Rhode Island is a great way to keep them on track.

She also wants to establish an adult version of Rhode Island Promise, which, starting this fall, offers two years of free tuition to students entering CCRI, provided they are 2017 graduates and attend full-time.

Gov. Gina Raimondo has vowed to have 70 percent of adults attain some post-secondary education by 2025. But Dann-Messier said the state can’t reach that goal by focusing only on high school graduates because that population is declining.

By 2032, the number of new high school graduates in New England is projected to decline by 22,000, to a total 140,273, according to the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.

“We need to focus on adult students — those with some college experience, those who have a high school diploma and those without a diploma,” she said. “We’ve expanded our focus to look at veterans. How do we translate their military training into academic credits? We also want to look at immigrant professionals. How can we re-certify their home-country certifications? And we have to look at folks in registered apprenticeships.”

Dann-Messier is committed to closing achievement gaps between white, middle-class youth and those from low-income families. While Rhode Island’s overall college graduation rate is 45.8 percent (including private colleges), she said low-income students and students of color graduate at less than half that rate.

Rhode Island has asked to partner with the University of Southern California’s Center for Urban Education to figure out how to close those gaps.

Rhode Island ranks low nationally in terms of state funding for public colleges. Dann-Messier said Raimondo is committed to change that, and the commissioner has been asked to develop a higher education funding formula by November.

Her next priority is finding fresh ways to educate students. Since two-thirds of the students she needs to reach are older adults, veterans and working adults, Dann-Messier would like to explore making more classes available online, citing Southern New Hampshire University, which offers 200 courses online for the older student and the working adult.

“We want to make sure we have enough graduates in high-demand job sectors,” Dann-Messier said.

She is also determined to revamp the current system for awarding free tuition to state college employees on a leave of absence. Former state Rep. Frank Montanaro Jr. received almost $50,000 in free tuition for his family while on leave from his previous job at RIC.

Dann-Messier is no stranger to Rhode Island. A graduate of RIC who later earned her doctorate at Johnson Wales University, she served as the president of Dorcas Place Adult and Family Learning Center, in Providence, before leaving to work for the federal government. She was named U.S. assistant secretary of education under President Barack Obama, where she oversaw career, technical and adult education.

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Funding higher education is not a waste of money | Johnston Sun Rise

There is something disheartening about looking over the reaction to the rollout of the Rhode Island Promise scholarship program and seeing a significant amount of kneejerk, negative feedback.

Perhaps that’s just human nature. There are nearly twice as many emotionally negative words in the English language as positive ones. People have also been scientifically shown to be more inclined to voice their opinion if they disapprove of the topic at hand, and even more so if they feel vindicated in their opinion because of a moral or factual reason.

However, an objective analysis of Rhode Island Promise doesn’t reveal a legitimate reason to criticize a program that strives to provide more access to education.

People criticize the program, mostly for being misleading. “It isn’t free. Stop calling it free. My taxes pay for that.” At face value this is true. CCRI is an institute of public higher education, meaning it is funded primarily through taxpayers.

However, the reality is that a $2.75 million program in a $9.2 billion budget is absolutely negligible to taxpayers on an individual basis. The program amounts to a mere one half of one (0.05) percent of just the $500 million public higher education portion of the budget. Considering there are over a million people in Rhode Island, it costs a little more than $2 per person to fund this program. It is not breaking your bank.

Another common complaint is that there is no guarantee that students will take advantage of this program and stay in Rhode Island, meaning they funded somebody’s education and will see no benefit from doing so.

One issue with this is that records from CCRI itself indicate that 90 percent of CCRI grads stay in the state after graduation, either continuing their education or immediately joining the workforce. It should also be noted that Gov. Raimondo originally wanted to make staying in the state for two years following graduation a requirement, but that proved to be unrealistic to enforce.

The other problem is that this is shortsighted thinking. The program has already helped bring in hundreds of new students, exceeding CCRI’s projections. If even just half of these students stay in Rhode Island and contribute to the local economy, the program will be proving its worth. But that will take time to occur, something that is hard to accept for those who need instant results and returns on investment.

CCRI is not Harvard, but it is a potential launch pad for students who perhaps aren’t certain of what they want to do when it’s time to make choices that will impact the rest of their lives. It provides options and opportunity that may not have been there before. It may get a student who had no interest in furthering their education that little push needed to try it out, since they won’t be saddled with debt as a result.

Another important fact is that the program is a last dollar scholarship. Everyone signing up for the program must submit the FAFSA in order to see what financial aid is available to them before any money is provided from Rhode Island Promise. It is meant to fill a funding gap for people who truly don’t have any money to spare for college-related costs that are consistently not funded by aid and are deceptively expensive, like registration fees and books.

Other problems are simply imaginary. There is no basis to the criticism that this program will fund rich kids who don’t need financial aid, or that this is significantly contributing to the ballooning state budget. For a real example of an extravagant waste of taxpayer dollars, one should probably look at unreasonable pension costs for municipal employees before attacking a negligible amount of money for an education program.

Times have changed. A degree in higher education has become equivalent to a high school diploma in many fields, and it is unrealistic and unfair to expect a majority of 18-year-olds to want to go into skilled trades straight out of high school. Providing better access to education is a savvy investment into the future, not a waste of money.

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Don’t panic! How to enter clearing with confidence

Ask any admissions tutor or student for advice on clearing and they’ll offer variations on one theme: don’t panic! “Give yourself time to compose yourself,” says Susie King, head of admissions at Middlesex University. “Don’t telephone when you are upset.”

So what else should you avoid doing when applying through Clearing? Not lying might seem a rather obvious piece of advice, but panic makes us do strange things. “Don’t be embarrassed about your grades – you did the best that you could and achieved the best you could,” says King. “Universities will check your grades, so be open and honest. The call will be confidential between you and the operator – nobody is listening in.”

It should also go without saying that it needs to be you who makes the call. Don’t be tempted to get your mum or your best mate to do it for you: it doesn’t look good and it’s pointless anyway – a university won’t deal with them. “Universities need to speak directly to students – not to parents or teachers,” says Helen Bower, assistant marketing director (undergraduate) at Northumbria University.

While having emotional support from your peers is great, exercise a bit of caution, says King: “Don’t let your friends sway you into making decisions that you are not comfortable with.”

And although it’s easy to get caught up in the rush to find a place – any place – don’t accept the first opportunity that comes along, says Zoe Carpenter, 18, currently studying animal biology at the University of Gloucestershire. “I went through clearing having declined all the universities that accepted me – I was unsure of what I wanted to do at the time,” she says. “Look thoroughly through all the courses on offer and be confident you are genuinely interested in the subject. Don’t just jump at the first one you like because you think you have no time.”

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‘You’re not alone’: Celebrities share their advice on A-level results day

“This is a fantastic day to make decisions” he told BBC Breakfast viewers.

“Education is for everybody. It has become more egalitarian … even people with the weirdest of results, there’s a place for them, and that’s what clearing is for.

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Leaving Cert advice: How to overcome results roadblocks

Expert guidance counsellors Brian Howard and Deirdre Garrett were working on address reader queries about Leaving Cert results and the CAO. 

If I accept a first-round offer, am I able to apply for a course through the available places facility?

Yes, absolutely. After the first round of offers, the facility works on a weekly schedule. Click on the vacant place section of the CAO website and you will see all the details and instructions on how to apply.

If I don’t get what I want on Monday, and I appeal some papers and my points go up to what I needed when I get the results back in October, can I still go into my first choice late in the year/can they hold my place?

They will offer you a place on their course subject to availability. If the course is full up, you will have to defer taking up your place until the 2018 academic year.

My son has applied for a course with a minimum O4 grade in Maths. He got O5. He has heard of a student from his old school who got around this issue by completing a module in his first semester to meet the requirements. Could this possibly be true?

Generally, entry requirements are non-negotiable, ie if you don’t meet them you don’t matriculate. There are some colleges who provide second-chance maths exams for those who didn’t meet the maths requirements for their course. I think the best thing to do here is to ring the admissions office of the college in question and seek their guidance on this, just to be sure.

My daughter got 461 points, has Dare eligibility, and chose Law in Trinity, Law in UCD and Arts in UCD as her one, two, three choices. If she accepts a place in Law in either Trinity or UCD, can she subsequently change course during the year to Arts in UCD?

Higher education institutions each have their own transfer policies. Many allow a transfer when a candidate has achieved enough points and available places exist on the course to which they are looking to transfer.

I would advise you to contact the admissions office of the particular university once you receive an offer.

My son has failed Maths. Is it too late for him to apply for a PLC course in GTI?

Candidates will be able to apply for PLC courses up until mid-September. Popular courses fill up fast. I recommend that you contact the further education college as soon as possible.

Is it possible to use this year’s points to reapply to college next year? I made a mess of my CAO application. I want Galway but only put it as my first and fifth options and fall one point short of my first choice. Dublin is choice two but I can’t go there.

Nobody knows the points for 2017 courses. This will not be known until Monday. Don’t lose hope.

The answer to your question is a yes. You can use this year’s points when applying to CAO in 2018.

Our son applied for Medicine in UCD and RCSI, but probably did not get the points. How can he go into Med as a graduate ?

Candidates for graduate medicine apply through the CAO. Eligibility will be on the basis of their degree and GAMSAT score. Fees can be high. It might be worth looking into.

My son doesn’t think his combined HPAT/Leaving Cert is sufficient to get offered Medicine. He has registered to sit the IMAT in London in September but won’t know the result until October. In the meantime, should he accept his CAO and Susi grant?

That’s a personal choice. One should study a course in which they have an interest. The fact that he put it on his CAO list suggests that he has interest. I would recommend that he researches it thoroughly. He should speak with course lecturers and students who are currently on the course.

Look into whether there is a date at which your son could drop out without suffering financial costs or without using up his registration fee for next year (if he isn’t happy in the course). His Susi grant would be claimed from September to this date for 2017. He would be entitled to a Susi grant the following year, minus the payments already received in 2017.

My daughter is unlikely to receive an offer for the paramedics course in UL. She was going to do a pre-paramedics PLC course, but we have now learned UL will not accept this next year. Are there other courses/career paths for EMTs/paramedics?

You can train as a paramedic through the HSE. These positions tend to be advertised on

EMT courses can be done throughout the country. Probably best to search close to your area.

My daughter wanted to do Occupational Therapy in Trinity but hasn’t secured enough points. Is there a PLC course which she could do this year that will allow her to apply for this course next year or what would you suggest as another option?

As far as I am aware, Trinity Occupational Therapy is not a Fetac-linked course and so there would be no PLC course linked to it. I would suggest giving TCD admissions and TCD Occupational Therapy a ring just to clarify if they have any other entry routes, be they direct or indirect. It’s better to have a conversation with them just in case.

There is a postgraduate OT course in Limerick. You just need to have any undergraduate level 8 degree in any discipline at grade 2.2 and complete the HPAT Ireland. The only other option is to study it in the UK, at undergraduate or postgraduate level.

Is it an option to repeat a couple of subjects and combine the points with your 2017 Leaving Cert results?

You can repeat individual subjects. However, your new grade can only be used to satisfy minimum entry requirements. You cannot add grades from 2018 to grades received in 2017.

You can, however, repeat all six subjects. You would sit exams in June 2018. You can then compare your 2018 points to 2017 and choose the best one.

Where would you recommend to repeat in Dublin apart from the Institute of Education? For courses such as Medicine in particular.

This is a list from CareersPortal of schools/colleges that provide a repeat option. It is very hard to recommend one as they all have their own strengths. Maybe go through the list below and form your own opinion as to what might work best for you.

Available in Schools [17]

Bruce College

Coláiste Mhuire, Mullingar

Marino College

O’Connell’s School

O’Fiaich College

Portlaoise College

Ringsend College

Rockwell College

St Flannan’s College

St Joseph’s CBS

St Joseph’s College

St Laurence College

The Institute of Education

Whitehall College of Further Education

Yeats College Galway

Yeats College Waterford

Available in Further Education Colleges [12]

Pearse College of Further Education

Plunket College

Rathmines College of Further Education

Bray Institute of Further Education

Ringsend College

Carlow Institute of Further Education

Cork College of Commerce

Abbeyleix Further Education Centre

Northeast College

Kilroy’s College

Limerick Tutorial College

Ashfield College

Who can I contact for emergency career guidance advice, preferably for free or at low cost?

In the first instance I would suggest your school if you have access to one. If not, I would suggest contacting the Institute of Guidance Counsellors on 01-6761975, who may maintain a list of private practitioners.

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How Adult Swim Got Their Hands on 15 Unreleased MF DOOM Songs

Peter Kramer
Peter Kramer

The last time we got an MF DOOM album was 2009, when he dropped Born Like This after letting the world know he’d voted for John McCain (in true villain fashion). Ever since, hardcore fans of Metalface have been starved for new music—until last week, when Adult Swim’s senior vice president and creative director Jason DeMarco announced a new 15-song series called The Missing Notebook Rhymes. Our first assumption was DOOM had fleeced the network for a check by selling them 15 throwaways, but DeMarco, who has a personal relationship with the masked rapper, shoots that down quickly. “I’ve always been lucky in that whole Villain stuff,” says DeMarco over the phone during a recent conversation. “[DOOM] is just a good dude. He doesn’t pull any bullshit with me, and I don’t pull any with him.”

Their relationship started way back in 2005, when DJ Danger Mouse was doing music for a block of cartoons on Cartoon Network called Toonami. Danger Mouse was working with DOOM on some new music at the time and approached DeMarco about getting Adult Swim involved. The album, which later became The Mouse and the Mask, was originally supposed to be based on Toonami cartoons, but DeMarco saw a different opportunity. “I said, ‘Well I don’t think anybody wants a Toonami album, but an Adult Swim album might be cool,’” he remembers. “DOOM loves all those old Hanna-Barbera cartoons, and at that time, we were still showing Sealab 2021, so it just seemed like a more natural fit. Basically, Adult Swim funded the album and put it out with Epitaph, and for the time, it was sort of an indie hit. It almost went gold, which is pretty good. Nowadays, that’d be like a huge mega hit. Back then it was like, ‘Huh… that’s pretty good.’”

Ever since, DeMarco and DOOM have kept in touch, and when DOOM and his manager Devin Horwitz approached DeMarco about some new tracks they’d cultivated sometime in 2016, it was the perfect opportunity to put out something resembling a new project from the masked villain. “I kinda said, ‘I feel like it’s been so long since DOOM’s really had a big splash of tracks. I think it’d be really cool to just drop ‘em all and do one every week and let people know DOOM is back,’” remembers DeMarco. “Luckily, they kind of liked that idea and we were able to make it happen, but we’ve been talking about it for at least a year, and I’ve been sitting on all this DOOM music.”

Last week, they premiered “Negus,” a collab with Sean Price off the late Brownsville MC’s new posthumous album Imperius RexOn Wednesday (Aug. 16), they dropped the second track from the series, this time featuring Jay Electronica. It’s called “True Lightyears” and it’s off an upcoming KMD album called Crack in Time, the first LP from the group since Black Bastards dropped in 1993, the same year DOOM’s brother Subroc died in a car accident.

According to DeMarco, all the songs in The Missing Notebook Rhymes series are brand new, with some being collaborations while others will be solo DOOM songs featuring new production from the villain. As for whether a solo DOOM album is coming sometime soon, DeMarco can’t say. “I just know some of this music is from ongoing projects that are in various stages of completion, and it’s likely that most of it will come out through those channels.”

Though Adult Swim has released a couple of the last few Madvillain loosies via their Adult Swim Singles series in past years, there aren’t any DOOM and Madlib collabs planned for The Missing Notebook Rhymes. There will, however, be appearances from different DOOM aliases, including Viktor Vaughn.

Two years ago, when Sean Price died, DOOM released a video on a boat saying rest in peace to the Heltah Skeltah legend. Years back, it was reported DOOM was being kept from reentering the states (he was born in the U.K.), and the video of him on a boat sparked inquiries about where the hell he was. DeMarco knows where he’s located, but wont’ say, only telling XXL, “I know where he is, and he’s not in the country. I think that’s perfect. He’s on DOOM Island. That’s where he should be.”

There’s no word yet on whether all 15 of the planned DOOM songs will be released via iTunes and various streaming services, but DeMarco hopes the project will inspire someone to pick them up and release them properly. “My hope is this project catapults him back out there and somebody at a label who wasn’t gonna spend money on DOOM will now call him up and put these tracks out. We’re a television network, we’re not a label, so we’re not gonna be putting out vinyl and selling records, but I do think, I hope, anyway, this project reminds everybody how great DOOM is and that somebody needs to gather this music and put it out for his fans.”

25 of the Best Hip-Hop Projects of 2017 (So Far)

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