Thursday, 3 December 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

November 28, 2014 was a big day for Star Wars fans across the world. The franchise released its first teaser of the highly anticipated movie. Back in 2012, when The Walt Disney Company bought Lucasfilms they announced the release of Star Wars Episode VII. This had peoples minds spinning, a Disney Star Wars movie? Is Mickey going to fight Vader in a battle of who can count the highest? How is anyone going to live up to the writing styles of George Lucas. Luckily when the movie was announced they said the films to come will be based on Lucas' treatments. He was also there as a consultant during the early stages of production of Episode VII.

Slowly releasing teasers and trailers Disney has built up quite the hype. In Episode VII we follow a new set of characters, Finn, Rey and Poe Dameron. This movie is based approximately 30 years after the events in Return of the Jedi. One character that is going to be seen again is Han Solo played by the one and only Harrison Ford.

This is not the final Star Wars film, two others have been announced. Some cast members and directors have been announced for Episodes VIII and IX. VIII is said to be released in 2017 and IX in 2019. Episode VII hits the big screen in Norther America on December 18, 2015. May the force be with you this holiday.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Hotline Bling

Drake's one of the hottest rappers in the game right? He has so many hits he has to have at least 10 Billboard Hot 100 #1's. Unfortunately the Billboard Hot 100 #1 is a title Drake has not gotten yet, the closest he has came is #2 with Best I Ever Had. This happening early in his career he has been shooting for that #1 but has kept missing. In 2013 he came close again topping out at #4 with Hold On, We're Going Home. Currently sitting at #2 HotlineBling has the potential to break into the #1 spot.

With the release of the music video for Hotline Bling the song has been memed more times than Scumbag Steve and Bad Luck Brian combined. Hours after the video was released memes were popping up left, right, and centre. Drake's combination of dancing, JC Penny swag, and 80's synth pop background has all the makings of a great meme. The real question is, was this all done on purpose? Drake is an intelligent business man and has been making strategic moves for years. He would have known this video would be made into an array of memes with the hopes that everyone would intern watch the original video. That is a great marketing strategy as long as you can take being made fun of.

Friday, 23 October 2015

They Are Finally Here: Nike Air Mags

Back in 2011 Nike released its first addition of the Nike Mag. Once the word spread, it had all kids who grew up on the Back to the Future Trilogy going crazy. The smart thing Nike did was made them incredibly exclusive, which enticed the sneakerheads of the world. Only 1,500 pair would be released and they would be auctioned off on eBay with the proceeds going to the Michael J. Fox foundation. Sergey Brin, co-founder of google, said he would match the donation up to $50 million. "We wanted to translate the excitement people have for the 'greatest shoe never made' and for the Back to the Future into positive action," said Mark Parker, CEO of Nike. "But the long term objective is to raise awareness so the Foundation can achieve their goal of eradicating Parkinson's disease." With Nike raising just over $4.7 million and Sergey's matching contribution they gave $9.4 million to the Michael J. Fox Foundation. These shoes were extremely hard to get just because there were so limited and they were selling for thousands of dollars, but than you had people like Kid Cudi who were buying 5 pairs. He went on Conan telling him that he bought 4 for himself and 1 pair for his girlfriend.

On October 21st, 2015 Marty McFly went into the future. From flying cars to hoover boards Robert Zemeckis, the director of Back to the Future, was a little off, he was right about one thing though. Self-lacing shoes are a reality, maybe not in 2015 but in the spring of 2016. Michael J. Fox went on Jimmy Kimmel debuting the new and improved, self-lacing, Nike Air Mags. They are said to be released in the same fashion as the 2011s with only 1,500 pairs being auctioned off on eBay. Nike hasn’t given us an exact date, just an approx. spring 2016.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Get Caked

Steve Aoki is one artist that goes through more cakes than a baker. He is notorious for throwing cakes at people in his audience. I was curious as to how he got all these cakes, does he have a connect at a bakery? Or a sweet shop perhaps? In order to find out I looked into his rider and there it was, his request for cakes. The most surprising thing is that he makes sure the icing and cake are soft, he doesn’t want dense or bundt cake. Steve also asks that they are medium sized, I guess he doesn’t want too large of a cake so he ends up knocking people out. It even says that they must read DIM MAK.

He takes caking people very seriously so there must be some deep rooted meaning like every show is like a birthday party, right? Thump sat down and asked him the meaning behind it. It all steams from a music video that an artist on his label put out. Turn Up The Volume by Autoerotique features a few different people receiving cakes and having them blown up in their face. Steve thought it was very cinematic and decided to bring it to his shows, but instead of having the cakes blow up he would just throw them. For the first 6 months of doing this he made sure the cakes said Autoerotique Turn Up The Volume, he later made the change to DIM MAK. So when you are out at one of his shows just remember, Steve cares about how hard the cakes are. 

BadBadNotGood & Ghostface Killah

Badbadnotgood was a name no one knew in 2011, now every hiphop head and their mom knows them. Slowly creeping up the chain of commands, this Canadian music trio has had mass amounts of success. 2015 is by far their best year, getting to create an album with the legendary Ghostface Killah is something they will keep on their resume.

February 24, 2015 Sour Soul the collaborative album with Wu-Tangs Ghostface was released. From the producers to the features Badbadnotgood have lucked out. Getting features like Danny Brown and TREE are perfect to have BBNG break into the scene. It allows them to access fans from different sub genres of hip-hop. MF DOOM is the biggest feature they have on the album. When I saw DOOM was a feature I was very shocked because he doesn’t throw a verse to just anyone. DOOM is extremely influential in the unground hip-hop community. Frank Dukes helped produce the album alongside Badbadnotgood. He has worked with rap icons such as Eminem, 50 Cent, and Drake. Frank Dukes has also been sampled by pretty much everyone in the game Schoolboy Q, Lupe Fiasco, Wale. Without him this album wouldn’t have been created. Dukes was the one who set up the studio session between Badbadnotgood and Ghostface. Getting mixed reviews some would say this isn’t a big deal for them but I would have to disagree. This has given them exposure to audiences they never had before. Sour Soul will open up doors, friends of Ghostface Killah will now work with them.

Q Welcomes Shad with Open Arms

This year on 4.20 while everyone was smoking weed, Shad, the London raised rapper was preparing for his debut hosting CBC's Q. This wasn’t only a big step for Shad it was big for hip-hop as well. It is a new outlet for him, he isn’t plugging his music but it will get old white parents in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan saying his name. I was never really one to watch Q because I thought Jian Ghomeshi was only appealing to the older demographic. Once I heard Shad was the host I started tuning in. Q appeals to many different generations from, the music, to the guests, as well as the segments.

Shad is extremely involved in pop culture based on his music and fashion sense. In his lyrics he talks a lot about conscious problems that are going on today. Back in 2010 he did a segment with CBC called Hats Off! It was a short three minute video where he talked about the different styles of hats. When you watch that video and look at what he was talking about, you realize he was on trends before they were really big. Shad is a perfect fit for Q, CBC did the right choice when picking him.

More about Shad                                                                                                 Shads first episode of Q

Yeezy 2020

Like Krispy Kreme, Kanye's back it again, Yeezy season 2 hit the runway with a bang. The oversized monotone-coloured drapes had everyones eyes. The first model to come out created the feel for the whole show, by yelling “First row fall in. Second row fall in.” All of the clothes had the same colour ways; black, tan, or army green. Not only did the woman yelling out commands to the models make it feel like “we at war”, but the fact that every article of clothing looked as though there was a huge brawl backstage. I am sure Kanye is a visionary, but not all people share the same vision.

Don't get me wrong there were some good aspects to the show, like the fact that Seth Myers got front row, who knew he was such a big Ye fan? Another bonus was seeing all of the Yeezy Boosts.

Kanye likes to let everyone know about his success in the sneaker industry by telling everyone with his music. “Hold up I ain't tryna stunt man, but the Yeezys jumped over the Jumpman.” Although this may not be true because its hard to believe he can out sell Micheal Jordan in sneakers, the resell value has the potential to be higher. He also touches on the resell value with his track All Day saying “20 Gs for the Yeezys off of eBay”. The Nike Air Yeezy 2 Red Octobers didn’t sell for $20,000 but they are priced on eBay at about 7-15 thousand. Now I know these are his collabs with Nike but to me the things he is doing with Adidas has the power to be bigger than Nike.