One of the poorest areas of LA is about to get a new arts center, thanks to rap mogul Dr. Dre.

Remember when Dr. Dre was "back again"? Well now he's back again, again!

After decades of hits like "Still D.R.E." and "Forgot About Dre," Dr. Dre wants us to know ... this time, he's back for real.



Lyrics: "Hi there, I'm Dre! Great to see you again." All GIFs from "Still D.R.E."

Dre just dropped his first solo album in 16 years, called simply "Compton," as an exclusive on iTunes and Apple Music. Early reviews say it's a nice return to form for the good doctor, but even if you're not a rap fan, there's still a good reason to give this one a listen.

Dre still has love for the streets, where he got his start — that's why he's donating the royalties from his new album to fund a new performing arts center in Compton.

Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Coachella.

There's been a lot of talk and debate lately about what, why, how, and if streaming services like Apple Music are paying artists properly. Wilco just decided to give their album away for free to encourage fans to support lesser known artists, while Taylor Swift pulled her entire catalog from Apple in an effort to pressure them to pay artists more fairly.

Dr. Dre decided to take a different approach regarding money he doesn't necessarily "need."

"I've been really trying to do something special for Compton and just couldn't quite figure out what it was," Dre told Zane Lowe.

He got in touch with the mayor of Compton, Aja Brown, who had already been working on the project, and decided to pitch in.

"He clearly has a heart for Compton, especially our youth," Brown said. "I believe this performing arts center will provide a pathway for creative expression ... (and) a much-needed safe haven for our youth."

Despite being glamorized over the years in hip-hop, Compton could really use the help.

The real Compton. Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

In 1988, Dr. Dre helped produced NWA's debut album "Straight Outta Compton." I'd be willing to bet most Americans don't even actually know where Compton is (it's in South LA), just that it's the birthplace of gangsta rap and real, actual gangs like the Bloods.

But today, the city has major problems. According to U.S. Census data, only about 6.7% people over the age of 25 in Compton have a four-year college degree or higher, not to mention the city's violent crime rate, which is about three times the California average.

Young people in Compton need better options, and Dr. Dre is stepping up to the plate to give them some.

Dr. Dre has done a lot of good over the years. But this is a really cool gesture.

Lyrics: "I'm not particularly fond of people who don't care about disadvantaged youths."

He's done some bad, too. You don't have to love him, like him, or even really respect him.

But Dr. Dre, born Andre Young, is actually from Compton, so it's just nice to see he's not turning his back on a community that needs him now more than ever. There's honor in that.

Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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