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Amazon Buys Nas-Backed Pharmacy For $1 Billion Dollars

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This just might be the best summer of Nas’ life.

After releasing his new album NASIR on G.O.O.D Music, the Queens native pharmacy startup was purchased by Amazon. The online pharmacy PillPack was purchased for $1 billion dollars.

Queensbridge Venture Partners, the rapper’s venture capital firm, was an early backer of the Boston-based firm, along with VC heavyweights like Accel and Sherpa Capital. The sale will net the startup’s two co-founders around $100 million each, according to the Chicago Tribune. The size of Queensbridge’s stake is unclear, but it’s likely Nas is walking away with a solid chunk of money.

PillPack’s pitch is to streamline access to medications. The company fulfills drug prescriptions with front door-shipping, while managing the payment and refill process with automated software. The acquisition boosts Amazon’s growing efforts to expand into the health care market.

QVP, founded in 2014, previously invested in a cloud-based mastering company, a cricket protein bar manufacturer and a “smart doorbell” startup, among other ventures.

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Adidas Promises To Only Uses Recycled Plastics In Products By 2024

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Adidas is taking a step forward in becoming an eco-friendly company.

Adidas is planning to expand its use of recycled plastics well beyond its flagship shoes. The sportswear maker has promised to only use recycled polyester in its shoes and clothing by 2024. While the company’s Eric Liedtke didn’t provide a detailed roadmap in a chat with the Financial Times, he characterized it as a transition that will see Adidas take “right-sized bites” out of its budget to make the switch without hurting its profit margins. It’s no mean feat — about half of Adidas’ material is polyester right now, Liedtke said, so an “overnight” changeover isn’t in the cards.

A lot of that cost likely has to do with economies of scale. Recycled polyester can carry up to a 20 percent premium over the freshly-made variety, and it could prove daunting to process the material in Adidas-level quantities. The company is likely betting that refined techniques will bring the costs down over time. Adidas is planning on removing the plastics from their products, they won’t even use them in their offices, retail outlets, warehouses, and distribution centers, saving an estimated 40 tons of plastic per year, starting in 2018.

Let’s hope more companies are plan to incorporate eco-conscious designs in their products.

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Papa John CEO Steps Down After Using The N-Word In Conference Call

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The founder and former CEO of Papa John‘s left the company.

Hours after it was confirmed that he used a racial slur during a company conference call earlier in May. John Schnatter, who turned his pizza place into a national chain ubiquitous with Peyton Manning and the National Football League.

According to Forbes, which first wrote about the conference call, Schnatter compared himself to another restaurant founder and alleged that they were treated differently despite asserting that the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken had used racist language in the past.

It seems commenting on that incident is what got Schnatter into further trouble in a conference call a Forbes report described in detail. The call was reportedly arranged between Papa John’s executives and a marketing agency called Laundry Service and was designed to help the company prevent any further damage to its public image.

But though Schnatter he said he would “distance” himself from racists, according to Forbes he used the racial slur in an attempt to defend himself during the call.

This is just another questionable moment for Schanatter. In December after making critical public comments about athletes of color in the National Football League conducting nonviolent protests during the National Anthem. Schnatter had claimed kneeling athletes caused a dip in his pizza sales, which made the brand popular with neo-nazis and white supremacists.

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Pharrell Williams Links Up With Spotify For New Culture Series

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Spotify is teaming up with creative collective Saturday Morning and Grammy-award winning singer, songwriter, and producer Pharrell Williams to celebrate Black History Month all year round with the second volume of its Black History Is Happening Now initiative, amplifying Black voices through video, podcast, and music curation.

The Black History Is Happening Now hub can be accessed directly through the Spotify app, and will feature videos and other content curated by Pharrell himself. Pharrell’s longtime collaborator Paul Hunter has directed three original videos, “Pharrell Is Black History,” “A Very Serious Force,” and “Something Awakening” to showcase Pharrell’s perspective on Black culture. In the videos, Pharrell speaks on the power of Black women, saying, “I think that what’s going to save not only this country but save the world are the Gen Z-ers, the millennials and the women.” Pharrell is the second artist to collaborate with Spotify on Black History Is Happening Now after Janelle Monae, who curated several playlists and a short film on Afrofuturism.

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