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Touré        

Iconic Journalist, Culture Critic, and TV Host of "The Cycle"

His enlightening social commentary is inescapable -- and it's what we always need to hear. Toure is not only a force to be reckoned with in the world of music and pop-cultural reporting, but an omnipresent, indispensible voice on the top cultural issues of the day. An NBC contributor and MSNBC regular, he is a co-host of the cable channel's ensemble show "The Cycle."

As a journalist, Toure knows how to ask the questions that extract the most revealing answers from our pop culture idols. He is a contributing editor to Rolling Stone, host of The Hip-Hop Show and On the Record for Fuse TV, and columnist for Time.com. Toure has interviewed nearly every major player in hip-hop as well as such superstars as Lady Gaga, Adele, Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, and Rihanna.

Toure is the author of "Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness?: What It Means to Be Black Now," named one of the Most Notable Books of 2011 by The New York Times and The Washington Post. In it, he takes a courageous look at what it means to be black in the age of Obama. A professor at NYU's Clive Davis School of Recorded Music, he has been called "a one-man media conglomerate" by Newsweek editor Tina Brown. He has published three previous books and is at work on three more: one on multi-platinum rapper Nas, one on legendary artist Prince called "I Would Die For U" due out in March 2013, as well as "What's a Real Man?," which investigates what it means to be a man in America today, scheduled for a spring 2015 release.

With candid humor, cultural expertise, and a healthy dose of irreverence, Toure engages audiences with his thought-provoking insights into everything from blackness, hip-hop, and pop stardom to politics, the economy, and the media.

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How Racism Functions Today and Ways to Deal with it to Get Success

Modern racism is far more fluid and subtle than the racism of our parents and grandparents. We often encounter moments where we feel we have received racist treatment but if we tried to explain it to others they would not understand. So what do we do? In this speech, Toure outlines several concrete things we can do to combat racism, based on his interviews with psychologists and sociologists. He explains that racism is not truly a comment on you or your ability, but on the person who is being racist.

What We Can Learn About Life from Hip-Hop

Hip-hop is a culture that defines America and is defined by America, and no one has interviewed more of hip-hop's most pivotal figures than Toure. With a unique understanding of hip-hop and its power, importance, and place in our lives, he lays out some key life lessons we can take from hip-hop, including those of self-reliance, self-empowerment, fearlessness, making lemonade out of life's lemons, and the value of crowning yourself a king. Toure is one of the ultimate hip-hop authorities and there is no one who can lead a more insightful discussion on hip-hop today.

How to Become a Pop Star in Modern America

You will understand how people climb the pop culture ladder after this discussion with speaker Toure about the mediums, messages, and branding efforts needed to command the attention of millions and become a pop culture star. This will be examined through the prism of three case studies: Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, and Justin Bieber. Ultimately pop stars are repositories for our dreams they represent who we want to be, either in life or for a night. Fans live vicariously through the star. Toure explores how to build and display a life that people aspire to.

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