Brooklyn…Ya’ll Go hard

Is there any doubt? Only if it’s Nas…lol

[caption id=”attachment_253” align=”aligncenter” width=”375” caption=”Presidential Hov”]Presidential Hov[/caption]



With Game’s “R.E.D” album ready to drop on August 23rd the promo run is beginning in earnest. So much so this new record gets a visual featuring Justin Timberlake (he’s on his comeback hunt) & Pharrell "Ain’t No Doubt About It". Game has been experimenting with different types of music, and his flow approach on the past several joints that have leaked. Not mention the Purp & Patron mix-tape had some really good material. So everyone should be looking forward to Game’s return on the new album. I’m curious why he hasn’t done many features? There’s music out there Game could really put his identity down on, and smash out. Hopefully the sporadic marketing will yield a focus at the end of the day.

Cobra Starship "You Make Me Feel"... ft. Sabi

Cobra Starship are ready to drop their new album in the coming months. To hold us over till then the group has dropped their first single "You Make Me Feel" ft Sabi with a video visual. There’s no doubting the infectious nature of the group’s music from their last release. The new release looks to turn things up more, if that is even possible. I tell you this much though. Starship is going to have fun doing them, driving fans bonkers, and splashing Ciroc all over the place with teenage decadence. Love it Cobra…

The Search For New Sci Fi

Science fiction writing is much more of an art than it is a skill. It’s very essence is about bridging the gap between what you know, what is known, and what can become. At it’s finest the genre seeks to give definition to what our time cannot give, and that is the possibility of living vastly different than we do now. It’s not about the future, past, or present. Rather, it is the definition of those times. There have been many writers who have written about advanced technology in Egyptian times, The Victorian/Industrial Age, People living, and controlling dinasours, places, and cultures that live in galaxy’s far, far away. What binds them into science fiction is the environment for real drama. The thirst for thematic ideas that speak to humanity not from a technological stand point, but one that is about love, survival, triumph, and growth. All these elements have consistently made their way into science fiction work, but it’s the special ones that really bring a sense of awe, and wonderment that perhaps what I’m reading, watching, or hearing is some how possible.

The New Sci Fi I believe needs to take were we are in our history, and redefine it. For far too long we have ignored the present. Fallen out of love with our own moments, only to look so far into our past, or future that we neglect that there is time define us now. The new directive we like to envision is a litany of writers across mediums who have ideas on what is ‘next’. Highlight them, and see where they are growing. It’s time to explore the boundaries, and I believe the content is there. I’d like  the men, women, teens, authors, artists, critics who read this, and like where I’m going to let me know what’s what. We need a new direction from animation to gaming. Doesn’t have to be Uber incredible (We’ll take it though), but stuff with heart, and substance. We have some ideas here at the site, and some talent we are paying attention so let’s give what we dig some new blood, and definition. We have a mandate, now the search is on…

Aleksandr Kuskov

Steampunk art is some of the most imaginative out there. There is a fusion of time, place, music, and science that finds a way to meld itself into a stew unlike any out there. You look at some work, and you can literally see a treasure trove of inspiration, newness, and a thirst for definition. When they say a picture is worth a thousand words you see that cliché exemplified in some really creative Steampunk art. Aleksandr Kuskov is one of those artist whose work is visionary, dynamic, and has a depth of quality you can see enriching a project. Can you imagine him working on the next Bioshock? Not the Milan team I’m talking the original creator’s team. We won’t mention names as that’s tacky. Heck, it does not even have need be a game, it could be a gallery, or animated 3d movie. My greedy heart would say leave the commercial alone, and try something daring if it is a movie, but it must have substance. Aleksandr’s art can live in that created world nicely. What do you see, and think of his work?

LRG Presents The Rich & Black Chronicles

For LRG’s first in a series on Rich & Black Chronicles. The progressive LRG brand that does just enough, without over doing projects they get into. Serving as a launch pad for not just fashion, but various endeavors. LRG has a philosophy you can dig.The work they do with artists, some of the concept design work they’ve done. It’s no surprise that have something new on deck. With Rich & Black, it’s obvious they are focusing on people who have climbed a ladder of success that is not just monetary, but cultural as well. The first episode brings together two legends of Hip-hop. Nas & Raekwon. Two global icons in hiphop share their experiences, and nostalgia. It’s the kind of stuff you want to see out of an artist. The conversation about their career, the discovery of what was happening to them as they were moving.

Console Limitations

The next generation of gaming is looking like a scary one in gaming. We are not talking about the future, the next-gen is now. It’s also a scary one for publishers, developers, and platform holders. In the past many have tried to innovate, others stay the course. One thing that’s always been interesting is the form that consoles take in terms of their design, internal components, and overall focus. Except I don’t think till this generation, and perhaps with the Sega Dreamcast have we seen consoles that are truly unique in what they offer to gamer’s.

Consoles are limited, but they don’t have need to outdated before they’re done. Let me explain. Although the Wii is not technically on par with its rivals the Xbox 360, and PS3. The console out the gate did something for gaming that the other two did not. It catered to lifestyle. The console was built from the ground up focusing on how the family games, and how people who never, or left gaming could get back into it without feeling overwhelmed. When we look at the other consoles we see very powerful machines that are technically capable, but are not much different in what they can do. The great part of this current generation is that both the Xbox 360, and PS3 have evolved. To Microsoft’s credit they established that although a system is built to engage everyone. You must have a place where the community can gather, relate, create, play, discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you don’t have this then you have a shell of potential. Even as well designed, and different the Wii was it didn’t bring the community together on the console. The PS3 was well mentioned, but it suffered from a lack of focus. Powerful, dynamic with addition of blu Ray, free online. Sony has yet to fully make it all work seamlessly. The PSN outage shows this. Microsoft handled their catastrophe with a deft blow that only the haters still talk about RROD. Sony is trying to mend as best possible, and with the exclusive games they have be able to serve up. It’s great to know they are putting their stamp as veteran game company in our industry.

PC gaming, and technology trumps console gaming in many ways. Yet, the space lacks structure, and the failed attempts by Microsoft with Games for Windows didn’t help the situation. When we look at the tech of consoles I’ve always found it strange that as platform holders created them they always skimmed on the most important areas. Memory, and RAM being the most significant. It’s fie to have the latest chip, or graphics card, but there fundamentals that must be addressed. Why should a game system that will last more than five years have little RAM to make sure that the lifespan of the game content can always be at it’s best? Regardless of the graphic chip shouldn’t it be pushed to the max once developers have a handle on the hardware? Wouldn’t that help them with efficiency in creating the content? The more advanced their process becomes as well as the progressive nature of tools, and technology games get better. That math adds up. Would this not help the cost of development with fewer resources needed. Imagine if the Xbox 360 had say, 2 gigs more of ram in the machine. How good, and realistic would be the goal of true 1080p gaming be? You would see the difference in your gaming experience, content, and how that big screen tv truly screams. Now some folks reading this will say it would have been a lot more expensive. I don’t doubt that, but I do question if there was a focus on recouping. The eye on the ball for the lifespan of the console must be paramount. The technology is certainly there, and it would not have been the first time that a console manufacture took a hit financially. In the case of the Dreamcast Sega had tons of bells, and whistles. They had an online strategy, a beast of a graphics card, and developers ready. They lost the marketing battle.  Take a look at the PS3. It’s hardware is totally unfocused with the most potential because of the Cell chip. It’s doing 3d out the box, and it had motion controls from the gate. Had their been a focus on what developers needed from Sony. There’s no doubt the PS3 would be blowing console gaming beyond what we’ve known. Then fanboys could have a valid argument against PC games that don’t push like some PS3 exclusives. As it stands now though, there is nothing the PS3 can do that a PC cannot obliterate.

If you are going to ask developers to put in the work, call them lazy, demand more, then platform publishers, and gamer’s have to give them an incentive to be great, and do great work. You can’t hamstring developers, turn around to ask them to do the impossible, and then call them lazy.  You’re wrong, and whomever else subscribes to that nonsense. Developers this generation deserve Kudos. They have been delivering. Console manufactures must be keen. Without this thinking, all it means is you are spending more money in the long run as a platform holder. That’s more tools, more man power, more of everything to make sure they can deliver on your platform. This generation is a successful one because you have three true contenders that are doing well in the console space. Yet, as this generation has gone on, we are seeing competing platforms take advantage of new technologies from mobile to cloud that not only threaten, but I happily love; are pushing the gaming business model. If the current platform holders are not paying attention, or in the case of Microsoft with Kinect, believe that alienating your core audience without finding a happy medium is the answer. Then you will be archaic in no time flat.  The next new consoles don’t need to be future proof, they just have to keep in mind that there is a future beyond them. Prepare as such.

Lebron: The Decision Anniversary

On July 8th, 2010 Lebron James made his historic decision to leave the NBA team he called home for 7 years. The Cleveland Cavaliers. It was one of the most shocking sports spectacles the world had ever seen. Not because of the intent, but the fashion in which it was done. Lebron looked cold, the premise of the decision calculated, the loss of sincerity in his tone, and attitude put people off, embarrassing the people of Ohio. Then the celebration in Miami. He guaranteed not one, not two, not three, but yeah you get the rest.  The energy sent out into the collective consciousnesses was deafening. You wondered would it subside. Well not till the season ended several weeks ago has it. Unfortunately, rather than people praise the triumph that the Dallas Mavericks achieved. The fact that after 17 years in the league Jason Kidd has a ring, and Dirk Mr. Swish 41 redeemed himself, but we keep blaming Lebron James instead of praising him for the best season in basketball in a long while. In his mistake, and loss we have a better NBA…Let’s talk.

First, and foremost I didn’t see anything wrong with the decision that Lebron made, or how he made it.  If he were the first in sports to make a mistake on grand scale. I’d be right there with the mob asking for blood. Here’s the context though. I’m from New York City, and I’m a Yankee fan. Now are there any Yankee fans who feel the way I do? Nope, and they are part of the reason this post has been written. Lebron came into the league at the age of 19. From the beginning he was both hearlded, and dismissed. Yet, what he did for 7 seasons taking the Cavilers from an oh so ran team to one of the best in the league. He single handidly put the team, and city on his back. Taking them to the NBA finals in 2007 with no help. A feet that those who romance NBA history forget that Michael Jordan did not do. His airness needed help, and basketball is about dynasties. Ask Pat Riley. Lebron went to a team of individuals not just for the help, but to create a new legacy, and dynasty. What pieces did he have in Cleveland? Did they know for years there was a possibility of him leaving? Yes…Many people do understand the circumstances, but again they hated to process. Except there are angles everyone whose emotions have been embedded with Lebron’s decision seems to forget. For the decision Lebron is not the only one responsible. The blame also goes with the global sports culture we live in today, and the idea of branding + big business. Let me explain.

In this day, and age of moguls, players becoming larger than life, big business, and branding. Lebron made his decision to broadcast his choice. He took to a stage placed before him by Nike, Microsoft, ESPN, The Boys, and Girls Club, and the NBA. Even before then the set-up was there. Every team including the Cleveland Cavaliers knew that Lebron would be on the block  with his talents to be acquired in free agency. In fact NBA teams were gutting their franchises three years before last year to have a shot. From New York City to Chicago. Every team wanted a shot, making trades, transactions, and doing things that made you scratch your head. They all participated in the decision, but Lebron ultimately pulled the trigger. Therefore he takes the hit. Which is absolutely fine. In knowing this, the information, from YouTube to internet posts out there to back this crime scene up. How do you hate the way Lebron made his decision? Especially when news papers implored mayor’s to aks Lebron to come to their city. We live in a world where kids know more about branding, than they do Shakespeare. Lebron a man-child has been conditioned since childhood to focus on elevating his brand, being media trained to death for a stage he will be king on. From the first cover of him on Slam Magazine to SI. He’s been a product of the very society that is vilifying him for what they taught a 19-year-old who never really had father, who’s mom he became a man for.  Some how, some way the confidence that it takes for one to reach his height must be unshakable. In the legacy of sports history it’s not true. Pressure busts pipes, and not everyone is built for the dreams they want. Sad to say, but real to hear. No problem there, but I take issue with  Lebron’ s treatment. Is he human, or alien?

The emotional sting to fans is understandable, and I know sports does allow us to be invested. At the same time it does not allow for that at the same time. GM’s and organizations do what they want in sports. Look at the lockouts we are having. Dealing with players however they want. Players are cattle to them. A stud goes, another one comes in to slaughter. Loyalty does not apply. Example, Deron Williams was in his living room, and had to see he got traded to the Nets from Utah. No phone call, no talk with the owners to say goodbye, no time to speak with his wife, and tell his kids…Nothing. He found out like you, and me.  On his couch watching Sportscenter. Great example right? How many years did he give the Utah Jazz? What kind of citizen, and NBA ambassador has Deron Williams been? Where’s the uproar Utah Jazz fans, sports critics, cynics? Wait I get it, it does not matter what everyone else does, but the player must be Jesus, and act accordingly right?  Makes sense…NOT.

Since Michael Jordan’s ultimate exit we have compared every single potential NBA star to him. People hated Allen Iverson for cracking Jordan’s ankles. They call Kobe a remix of Jordan. Shaq can’t really get his due for being one of the most dominant players in the game. Lebron’s decision on every single level imaginable has resulted in the most growth the NBA has seen since Jordan. From ticket sales, to jersey’s the impact has been nothing but spectacular for a league that couldn’t see itself beyond his Airness.  Lebron put down the 23 # for his own #. What I find fair because I love sports, is the fact that all the talk ends when you get on the court. That’s where all the talk gets answered, and you are what your record says you are.  With all the animosity Lebron/Heat dealt with. They did their thing last season. Lebron had an MVP’esque season you could say. On a new team with two other great players, a new coach, every team gunning for you. Lebron James, and the Heat over achieved. I know what he did doesn’t count unless he gets a chip? Wrong…We applaud many sports players that have not won one. We say Jordan his the greatest ever, he has 6 rings. Wait though, Bill Russel has 11. How does the praise work again? I never took what Lebron said in his new home stadium, to his new MIAMI FANS to heart. It was like a boxer talking up his game before the fight. It’s what contenders do to get people excited. Ask Mohammed Ali.  I can’t co-sign what he said till he does it. So why take it personal? People act like he’s the only one. We hear smatterings, but there are others who are happy Lebron is the donkey to kick. Don’t believe so? Go ask Rex Ryan, and those J.E.T.S… Sports is about coming up in the big moments. Lebron didn’t do that. I, and many kill him for that. Yet, I will not be part of the majority trying to kill his character. Since entering the league Lebron has been a stand up player. He’s never spat on a fan, didn’t end up in a hotel with another women for a sketchy charge, and Lebron has always had a smile being a fun player. At the same time you can’t tell people what to feel, which is the premise of this post. What I will say is feel however you are entitled to, but take a good look again at Lebron. Tell me what a villain looks like, and if you see it in his face. The NBA lives better today than the day before the decision. Thank you Lebron, but I don’t want you to win. Play your game for this new era. You don’t owe anybody, nor does your generation after today. This time is your era. Make it great.

Bioshock Infinite's New Heights

There have been many games to define this generation of motion controls, online gaming, mobile explosion, graphics, cloud gaming, and on, and on. At the end of the day it comes down to what these games do for not only the platform, but the industry at large. Bioshock is one of those few games that has held the attention of gamer’s from its inception. The creation of the games series has not been done without drama, transitions, and new beginnings. The kind of drama that in the past would have derailed a game’s progression into a franchise, let alone a legacy. Ask John Carmack, and John Romero. For Kevin Levine, and the Take Two brain trust it has been full steam ahead with the Bioshock series. With its identity, fame, and sales being the most important thing that is salient about Bioshock. For fans it’s a damn good thing.

Bioshock Infinite takes place in a world where people live in the sky. Well imagine a series of air islands. The game brings back memories of Sky’s of Arcadia. So the concept of playing, and traversing in a FPS style game with RPG elements like Bioshock is a marriage I’m ready for. The first two Bioshock games took place underwater. Immediately the change of environment lends itself to new experiences. We know that as first person shooter Bioshock series has shown gamer’s a refined game-play experience that we see carries itself on in Infinite. At the same time, the new game introduces platform, and adventure elements that free the gamer from the ground. So the idea of being in the air, and exaggerated freedom for the player’s to manipulate. This isn’t done in a hooky style either. There is a rail theme going on, and the game’s design is cleaver to disguise this by placing it in as a game-play que. So invisibly it plays against the narrative of the game. Genius. What I missed in Bioshock 2 is the pacing, and development of Bioshock 1. The sequel felt like an extension, not a progression. Which I don’t think was bad for gamer’s. It gave a chance to really dig into the world, and the game did it’s job. So, Bioshock Infinite with what it is doing is a great way to breathe life back into the franchise in a different way we gamer’s had not envisioned. That’s what makes games great as progressive entertainment medium. You are able to redefine a game at every turn with the right focus, and structure. You must be daring, but get the key elements right. Bioshock Infinite without review seems like it is on the right track in that regard.

There is a Bioshock Legacy because Bioshock Infinite could have merely been a sequel to a sequel the franchise get’s to reset itself in a new way. With the original creator back at the helm guiding the development progression. Gamer’s get a full-fledged game that although part of a franchise, can stand on its own. There is a keen personality stepped in a mythology that has huge legs beyond what we initially thought about Bioshock. What that means for gamer’s is gameplay, and style that is transformitive in the play experience. Bioshock Infinite gives the series a more book series mentality and not movie one. Bioshock can diverge, offering stories, and gameplay that you can see go beyond aesthetic, and environment to strictly focus on theme, and premise. Which is something Bioshock Infinite gives us a peek at for the series future.

Ghostfunk: By Max Tannone (Ghostface x Afrofunk)

When mashups and reworks are done right in music, especially hip-hop they give a brand new flavor to an artist work. Well it seems the Ghostdini himself Ghostfacekillah of Wu-tang get’s his own curtsey of Max Tannone. The project called Ghostfunk is just that funky. Max creates a sonic landscape where Ghostface eccentric vocals sit atop funk beats which create a mood all there one. Perhaps one of the most unique done mixtape mashes I’ve heard in long while. It feels like summer with some patron, and a nice beer/wine on a fire escape NYC style. If you in the South this is Cutlass music, for everywhere else this sound adapts to you. So do yourself the favor take a listen, then go download Ghostfunk.

Ghostfunk by Max Tannone

Chad Muska Talks Supra 3 & Release Events

Supra by Chad Muska has taken the sneaker world by storm. Becoming a brand that transcends culture, branding, and lifestyle. Supra represents the new generation of street wear, but also sports wear. It’s a combination that makes foot fashion different. With the release of Supra 3 Chad again pushes the envelope for what he believes is identity and culture defined by a unique way of living. In this video supplied by Chad speaks on the Supra influence as we get to see all the festivities around events where the sneaker gets released.