Thursday, September 30, 2010

Beats By Lebron???


Lebron James Inspired In-Ear Headphones Designed for Sports and Active Lifestyles

I've always wanted a pair of Beats by Dr. Dre. Quite frankly though, they cost too much for me at the moment.

Monster is good at recruiting A-Listers to endorse their many "Beats" products. I thought the idea of getting Lebron involved was cool...check the article I read about them


Monday, September 27, 2010

Kanye West IS Hip-Hop

Wake up people. Kanye West is the epitome of Hip-Hop. As controversial as that statement may might be true.


Hip-Hop is ever changing, unstable, unique, creative, trend setting, unorthodox, and most importantly for the sake of this article, MATURING.

Often unconnected individuals view Hip-Hop, solely as the one-time genre of music, that was different, so it was rebellious...uncanny...and even detrimental to future generations (#BigUps Tipper Gore). I'd have to disagree though. Hip-Hop is a culture, a way of life that extends far beyond music. We're talking language, film & television, fashion, sports, overall lifestyle. You name it, Hip-Hop's had its hand in it, somehow, some way. Very influential. Very controversial. Very (fill in the blank).

It is notorious for taking something, created by something, or someone else and making that "thing," its own success. Kind of like what Yeezy did to Chaka Khan's vocals, Nike's athletic footwear, and the Louis Vuitton brand. Yes, these are all very prominent figures in their own regard and industries, but no doubt, some have been introduced to them partly because of this third party.

There are certain incidences, songs, and images that come to mind when you think of Hip-Hop, and the same is true for when you think of Kanye West. There's Taylor Swift and her incapability to compete with Beyonce, there's G.W. Bush and the fact that he doesn't like black people, there's even some Grammy-award winning music, in the mix there somewhere...but bottom is a movement. He is a movement.

His entire career has been an intriguing metaphor, similar to the ones he creates and delivers ever so eloquently over the beats he cooks up in Hawaii, or wherever he actually makes them. Striving to reinvent himself, risking the loss of thousands of supporters...he does what he has to do. It is necessary. Staying at the top of your game is easy, for someone like Kanye. But staying at the top of this game, is a definite struggle for anyone. "Entertainment is one percent what you create and 99 percent how it's received, if you're on a mission to be great."

The Kanye West character that we swear we "know," possesses all of the same attributes I used earlier to describe Hip-Hop. Trendsetter? Yup. Unorthodox at times? Yes, indeed. Unstable? Unique? Creative? Yes, yes, and without a doubt. These characteristics, equip him with the tools required to make a serious impact on not just Hip-Hop, the culture...but life. Mine, and even yours.

Granted it may sound off the wall now, but what if I told you back in 1986 (although biologically impossible), that the Coca-Cola Company would hire rapper Kurtis Blow to endorse one of their newer soft drinks? And then do it again in 1993 with a rap duo (children, mind you) who wore their clothes backwards, and again in 2009 with a rapper from Toronto, Canada...all for the same drink.




OR I could have LIED to you and said in 1989 that in a few years the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences would present the first rap Grammy EVER to a rapper & a dj from Philly...who had nothing to talk about except how their parents drew on them.


OR, what if I told you back in 1996, that this kid from Brooklyn would one day grace the cover of Forbes 400 with Warren Buffet...while I played Reasonable Doubt out of my tape deck?



There existed a point where Hip-Hop was blatantly disregarded and ignored, even though it showed BIG potential, (check ADIDAS's gross sales numbers post the Run DMC move). And even now, Hip-Hop has proven itself multiple times. Here is a group of the most creative people in the world...moving together (even though at times it seems, we are light years apart). Nope, the "public" didn't like that idea. What's going to happen to our jobs? To our communities? To the way we conduct business? Those were their thoughts. Threatened, doesn't begin to describe how they felt/feel.

This recent XXL quote pretty much sums it up:

"To go from people not wanting to sign me to ending up at the Grammys completely annihilating shit. No one man should have all that power."

Hey Mr. West, you're absolutely right. But since you can't give it up...what do you plan to do with it?


Friday, September 24, 2010

"Laugh At My Pain Tour" Philly 12.17.10

The funniest man in comedy is coming home, Friday, December 17, 2010 at The Tower Theatre...presented by the "largest live entertainment company in the world," LiveNation. Don't sleep...

Kevin Hart has burst onto the scene as one of the most versatile comedy actors in film and television. Earlier this year, he was seen on the big screen in the hit Screen Gems drama Not Easily Broken opposite Morris Chestnut and Taraji P. Henson. Hart recently premiered his new one-hour comedy special “I’m a Grown Little Man” on Comedy Central. The special debuted as one of the highest rated specials for the network. He will next be seen starring in Comedy Central’s new series “Krod Mandoon and The Flaming Sword of Fire” set to premiere in April 2009. Hart stars as Zezelryck, the young warlock whose greatest magical gift is spinning BS, in this fantasy comedy series about a reluctant hero and his band of remarkably ineffectual freedom fighters.

Hart took over as host of BET’s classic stand-up comedy series “Comic View: One Mic Stand” when the show re-launched in September. The series, which showcases seasoned and up-and-coming comedians, airs Wednesdays at 11:30 PM. Hart follows in the footsteps of past hosts such as D.L. Hughley and Cedric the Entertainer. Hart’s other television credits include ABC’s “The Big House” which he also executive produced and wrote and recurring roles on “Love, Inc,” “Barbershop,” and “Undeclared.”

Hart debuted on amateur night at a Philadelphia comedy club and was insistently hooked. He quit his job as a shoe salesman and began performing full time at such clubs as The Boston Comedy Club, Caroline’s, Stand-Up NY, The Laugh Factory and The Comedy Store in Los Angeles. However, it was his first appearance at the Montreal Just for Laughs Comedy Festival that led to work in such feature films as Paper Soldiers, Scary Movie 3, and Along Came Polly opposite Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston. With his passion for stand-up, Hart continues to tour the country to sold-out audiences.

Last year, Hart was seen on the big screen in the FOX comedy Meet Dave opposite Eddie Murphy and in Dimension Film’s action comedy spoof Superhero Movie opposite Tracey Morgan, Regina Hall. He also co-starred alongside Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson in Fool’s Gold. His biggest break came when he landed the lead in MGM’s Soul Plane opposite Tom Arnold, Method Man and Snoop Dog. Hart’s recent film credits include Drillbit Taylor, Epic Movie, The Last Stand, Scary Movie 4, In the Mix and The 40 Year Old Virgin.

(Excerpt from Official Kevin Hart Website)

A Picture's Worth...

#BigUps to my man @QDeezy1906...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Around The Way

My Hallway.
First impressions are EVERYTHING. So, I had some trouble deciding on the topic of my first post. I knew it had to be about something I held close to my heart, but nothing too revealing. It had to be something a large enough group could relate to, but not too many...just enough to establish an intimate, more exclusive vibe. And also, something that allowed me to express the variety of emotions I sometimes feel...

Was that last line believable?

Here goes nothing...

Billy Penn sits, or stands rather, at the top of a city that has been coined the "City of Brotherly Love," but is more known for the gritty, down and dirty demeanor...its citizens work so hard to maintain. Philadelphia is one of the most historic places in the world, but also one of the most vibrant. From the Phillies to the Sixers. From Broad & Olney to Fernrock to 69th Street to Frankford. From The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air to Urban Xpressions. Yup, Urban Xpressions. We cover it all. I've been a few places...Grenoble, Aliquippa, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Atlanta, Tallahassee, New York, Geneva, Canada, Lancaster, Yeadon (no, it's not Philly...ask the tax payers), and even Paris. None of them could ever graze Philadelphia, and the tone we provide. We, the noble natives, have managed to create a place that is a reflection of the concept of family.

Remember during your adolescent days, you would engage in non-stop bickering sessions with your younger sister named Jessica? The two of you would argue to the point where your mother would make realistic threats to utterly thrash you until your skin complexion resembled the same color of the Louisville Slugger she was going to beat you with. Yeah, it got that real sometimes.

But the moment ANYONE else approached Jessica felt Dr. Bruce Banner's pain. You were ready and willing to snap on anyone, at the drop of a dime. That was your little sister and only you could pick on her, push her around, break her toys, and hide the remote from her just before Rugrats (her favorite cartoon) came on every night. No one else could do anything like that to her. No exceptions.

That's how we are here in Philly. Yeah, we talk crazy about it. "Philly girls are the worst, this..." "This city can't win, that..." But as soon as we step outside those lines and become PHI ambassadors, the first person to say, or even gesture, anything crazy about most likely going to get scourged.

I remember my freshman year at Lincoln University. Any outsider would have thought we got paid for the way we represented our zip codes. Heated arguments and debates would occur on a daily basis, between us and "them." "Them," varied from time to time, most frequently though, New York held that spot down. And no shade, they were built for it, and sometimes left us speechless...depending on the topic at hand...SOMETIMES.

And when the Phillies won the 2008 world couldn't tell us a damn thing. I'd never seen that many Phillies new eras floating around campus. Then when we went back in 2009, against "America's team..." we all sat on the edge of our seats. Reminiscent of the 2001 NBA Finals, where our beloved home team was the clear underdog...we fell short. It was cool though. So what? We'll be back next year...

All that, to say this...our L-O-V-E for this place extends beyond a piece of art in a Center City park. It's genuine. It's untouchable. It's ALMOST unconditional (Nutter, if you pop up in another movie, when your ass could be working...I swear...). It's just how it is...