The National Runaway Switchboard (NRS) recently announced that Ludacris will be the star of their new series of public service announcements aimed at raising awareness about the youth runaway crisis in America.  Ludacris will be featured in 2 separate :30 & minute long public service announcements.  One of the PSA’s will focus on raising awareness through the NRS’ hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY.  The rest of the PSAs will focus on November’s National Runaway Prevention Month.

“Between 1.6 and 2.8 million youth run away each year.  Having Ludacris featured in this campaign will help ensure that ever runaway and at-risk youth and their family know about the help they can receive by calling 1-800-RUNAWAY”, said NRS executive director Maureen Blaha.

The Ludacris Foundation and the NRS joined forces last fall after the rapper released the single, “Runaway Love” with Mary J. Blige.  The song addressed a number of youth factors that lead to running away today.

Based on NRS records, since their partnership with Ludacris they have experienced more than a 50 percent increase in calls to their hotline from a year ago, and the number of visitors to their website has increased more than 60 percent.

In response to yesterday’s firestorm caused by Russell Simmons calling Presidential candidate Barack Obama a “mouse”, Simmons has decided to respond via statement to clarify his position…

“I’d like to clarify the part of the interview in the NY Times magazine, where I referred to Senator Barack Obama as a ‘mouse,’ as it has been take out of context in reports in the media.  And, I’d like to publicly apologize to Senator Obama for any hurt it has caused.  There has, I believe, been more made of my statement that “all of the Democratic candidates are controlled” than i would have expected. The full statement, I believe, was clear in its intention. The statement in its proper context was meant to make a point about all of the candidates and American politics, in general. In the future, I will be more careful in how I express my views. For the record, I believe Senator Obama is a strong, solid candidate and I wish him the best in his run for the Presidency.”

FlowTV will launch this week as America’s first on demand television channel dedicated to the hip hop lifestyle.  The network will broadcast in 70 million homes as well as 20 million broadband and mobile users via Time Warner and Comcast cable.  FlowTV is set to become the third network Ripe Digital Entertainment has launched, after RipeTV and OctaneTV.

FlowTV‘s viewers will have access to a broad range of channels including, Smack DVD (Behind-the-scenes footage of mix-tape master DJ Clue‘s Hot 97 radio show); Flow Live (where hip hop acts will take the stage); Flowlicious (a look at the lovey ladies of hip hop); and VIP Lounge with VIP access for viewers.

Ghostface, one of the channel’s featured artists this month, gave his thoughts on FlowTV: “The music industry needs a TV outlet for hip hop fans and artists. Flow TV will be the leader in hip hop entertainment and give fans epic access to the content they are looking for.  I am proud of my on-going business relationship with Ryan Magnussen ( Ripe CEO) and excited about working with FlowTV.”

Ryan Magnussen explains FlowTV‘s appeal, “Ripe Digital has the most-watched networks On Demand today whether on your TV, phone or computer. It’s because we stay true to the new style of lifestyle programming and audience.  FlowTV is an extension of this philosophy and fills a niche both viewers and advertisers have wanted for years.  FlowTV will be synonymous with the urban, hip hop lifestyle – in your face, on demand and as real as it gets.”

To visit FlowTV, please go to www.flow.tv