10 years ago, Marvel Entertainment released the movie "Iron Man". Little did they know, they were starting what would eventually become the biggest movie franchise in Hollywood history. The MCU is the first of its kind, bringing the idea of a comic book universe to life mixing and combining characters in a same universe across different movies. "Avengers: Infinity War", Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo,
is the culmination of every Marvel movie the studio has done in the past ten years.
The most recent accolade it's acquired is the fastest movie to surpass 1 Billion dollars in the market. The most amazing part about that achievement is that the movie has made that much money and it hasn't even opened up in China yet; China has the second biggest movie market in the world! For the studio to have made so much money, having not opened there yet, is incredible.
Growing up, I was really into The Lord Of The Rings. I was into a lot but for some reason I LOVED that franchise. You have the crazy dedicated fandom that goes into Harry Potter and Star Wars, for example. What Marvel and Disney have done is my personal favorite franchise of all time. I LOVE the MCU and this movie was FOR THE FANS!
Now, for the actual movie review.
I think the strong point for the film and the reason that it is making so much money is because you don't need to be a dedicated Marvel Cinematic Universe fan to enjoy the movie. They keep the plot simple and if you know everyone's back story from previous movies, then all the feels hit you even harder. This movie makes you feel. Whether it's excited, sad, happy, or indifferent. The movie makes you feel.
Thanos is an alien who lost his family due to his planet dying because there were not enough resources to sustain life. After the loss of his family, Thanos goes on a intergalactic quest to obliterate life in half the universe, in order to "restore balance". His thought process is that if half of life in the universe is destroyed, then the remaining half can live like kings and queens because there will be an abundance of resources to live off of. For a long while, Thanos went around physically killing half of life on many different planets thoughout the galaxy.
The plot of the movie surrounds Thanos' quest to acquire all 6 Infinity stones, the most powerful entities in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Each stone possesses great power. They were created during the big bang that created the universe: Time, Soul, Mind, Reality, Power, and Space. If Thanos aquires all 6 stones, then he can literally obliterate half of life in the universe with the snap of his fingers.
The set up for the movie is great and he definitely reigns superior as the greatest foe that the Avengers has ever faced. I would talk about all the other characters but to be honest, this was a THANOS movie. The villain probably had the most screen time out of anyone, as the story follows him on his quest to get the stones. There are different team ups in this movie hosting the household and iconic names that make any comic book fan squeal. Spider-man, Iron Man, and Dr. Strange team up with The Guardians of The Galaxy. Captain America and Black Panther are the heroes leading the battle on Earth. Literally, every important person in the galaxy was doing all they could to stop Thanos.
I honestly don't even want to talk any more about the movie because spoilers. It's one of those movies you just have to see before it's discussed.
The only weakness in the movie, from my personal opinion, was that I found it to be a little too long-winded. I think Some of the scenes could have been shortened or cut completely. Besides that, the film has lived up to the hype that surrounded it.
Avengers 4 will be dropping next year in May and the story they have been building for the past ten years will be completed in this film. Like many people, I can't wait to see what is next in store for the earths mightiest heroes!
Ticket Purchase Information and Locations near you can be seen here: FANDANGO
The past year and a half has been a quiet one for the normally, visible and outspoken Kanye West. After releasing his 2016 album, "The Life of Pablo", Ye embarked on a nationwide tour to acompany the album release. On one of the tour dates in November, Kanye apparently had a major meltdown, which lead him to spend his thanksgiving 2K16 in a mental hospital. Ever since then, Kanye has been lowkey and private, deactivating all his social media accounts. Well, last week, Ye Began tweeting kanye-esque philosophical type tweets that sent the world into a frenzy.
Along with those philosophical tweets, Kanye has been tweeting what some would deem controversial. For one, his support for right wing analyst Candace Owens was not taken well by many. On top of that, his co-sign for our current president Donald J. Trump, was taken even worse. It's safe to say that many have believed Kanye to be in "The Sunken Place" for quite some time, now.
Well, lets get to the meat of this post; the reason your even reading this. King Yeezus is blessing us with not ONE but TWO new albums this summer! And on top of that, he's also producing new albums for a slab of musicians!
Last week, he made the major announement that he would be releasing his 7 track solo album on June 1st, followed by a Collaboration album with Kid Cudi entitled "Kids See Ghost", the following week on June 8th. For anyone who knows me, they know that Kanye West and Kid Cudi are tied for my number one favorite musicians to walk the planet! So, obviousy, I'm beyond hype about this release.
But on top of his personal releases, Kanye also announced a list of musicians he's producing albums for via this tweet.
"I'm hand producing all the albums I tweeted about. Been chopping samples from the sunken place Pusha May 25th My album June 1st me and Cudi June 8th and Teyana June 22nd and oh yeah... Nas June 15th"
The fact that Kanye is aware that people think he's in "The Sunken Place" lets me know that he's also aware that people think he's fallen off ever since he's become Kanye Kardshian. Knowing the type of person and EGO that Kanye has, I'm sure he's out to prove to people that he hasnt fallen off of anything. Kanye recently tweeted that producing beats for Nas makes him feel 18 again. Teyanna Taylor has even went on record to say that the "Polo Ye" has returned.
All this being said, I must say that I am HYPED for June. Yeezy season is upon us and I cannot wait to see what the legend has cooked up for us. Stay tuned for more updates !
J Cole returns after a 2 year long hiatus, with KOD. Announcing the release in the same week that it dropped, it was yet another surprise album from Cole. Cole has proven his star power to be big enough to where he can announce a album with little to no promo and still do numbers. The album has already broken spotify and Apple music records.
This certainly has established his legend status, making him one of the biggest rappers to come from the Millenial generation. Even superstar rappers like LOGIC have given Cole his props.
Now, let's get into the actual music. Much like Jay-Z's "4:44" of last year, this "KOD" album feels like it will be at the forefront of "Grown Folks" Hip-hop for 2018. The album makes a statement on the current state of Hip-hop and the effects of drug use and it's promotion on society. KOD stands for three different titles:
1) Kidz On Drugs
2) King OverDose
3) Kill Our Demons
The albums ultimate themes tackle topics ranging from depression and anxiety to addiction and consumerism. The album begins with a jazzy intro infused with a poem about pain and how to deal with it. The opening musical track, "KOD", sets the tone for what the majority of the album will sound like: modern trap beats and flows fused with lyrical raps. For me personally, its the best thing ever! I love mumble rap just as much as conscious rap. That being said, its dope to hear the trap sound with CRAZY Lyrical bars. The "KOD" song establishes his "King" status with braggodocio raps about not needing features, talking about stacking "Ms", and going "Hard as Sh!t".
The following song, "Photograph", is an interesting love ballad about falling for a instagram model. I never thought that someone could make a song about that and it be deep and introspective, yet thats what Cole does. In the song he raps, "Love today's gone digital and Its Fu%#k!ing with my health". The song is a analyzation on the culture surrounding social media and dating in 2018.
The songs "The Cut Off", "Kevin's Heart", "Once an Addict", and "FRIENDS" all tackle the subjects of addiction and drug culture and its effects on people and society. While, songs such as "BRACKETS" and "ATM" talk about consumerism and the negative effect that money and the need to "Stunt" is having on the youth.
Cole ends the album with "1985", which is arguably the most popular song from the album, given the way it has shaken up the industry for its offense to many in the younger generation of rappers. Cole doesn't name drop directly, but many think that he was specifically speaking to teen rap sensation, Lil Pump. Throughout the song, Cole directly addresses the current youth of rappers who are more concerned with getting money ,tattoos, and slaying broads, rather than being a postive influence for their peers. He speaks to them from the place of not only a grown man, but a grown man who has been in the industry for 10+ years, now. He litterally said nothing disrespectful, in my opinion. And as a matter of fact, he genuinely was just trying to help them!
All in all, I have to say that this is probably my favorite Cole album. Its between "KOD" and "Forest Hills Drive . That being said, theres no denying that this is Cole's most IMPORTANT project to date. It comes out in a time where I feel like even though its not a message that WANTS to be heard by the youth, its a message that NEEDS to be heard. And though, there are many who are offended, hopefully they can listen to this project 5 years from now and see that Cole was coming from a place of worry and not disrespect.
Thanks again for your time as always, thanks!
Listen to KOD now: http://smarturl.it/KODJCole
Connect with J. Cole:
- Max Ataraxsis
"Rampage" is a monster film based upon the 1986 arcade game of the same title. RAMPAGE was succesful through the 90s, having a whole video game franchise based on the property. Growing up, I LOVED playing this game. I had a feeling it was only a matter of time before it was turned into a movie, given the success of other 80s and 90s noastalgic properties such as TRANSFORMERS, POWER RANGERS, and TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES.
There are similarities and differences between the film and the arcade game. One of the major differences is how the monsters are created.
In the game, the monsters are humans who have been intoxicated with a pathogen. In the movie, the monsters are animals who have been intoxicated with the pathogen.
Another difference between the two is that the Ape, George, is an Albino Ape. In the arcade game, George is a big brown ape. This works in the audiences favor because it distinguishes him from the most famous oversized Ape, King Kong.
A similarity between the two is the style in which the city is destroyed. It was impressive to see how the film makers emulated shots from the game into the film. Another similarity between the two is the plot. The film's plot, much like the game, is about a group of monsters who are out to destroy a city and they have to fight against the police and military to do it. I won't go into too much detail as to how it all comes together due to spoilers, but it does come together well to make sense.
Starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, he once again proves why he is the biggest action star of the current generation. His charisma and charm shines in this movie as Davis Okoye, a Primatologist who is a bit of a loner and would prefer to hang around animals, rather than people. The supporting cast includes: Naomie Harris, Malin Åkerman, Jake Lacy, Joe Manganiello, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
The relationship between George and Davis is a highlight of the movie. The ape ,George, never speaks in the scooby doo sense of animal talk, but he was communicative the entrie movie. He spoke in sign language and body language. We as the audience always knew what he was saying. Another highlight of the movie is the awesome monster fighting! As a fan of monster movies, I have to say this was some of the best monster fighting I have seen on the big screen, in my opinion! It was like watching a wwe match go down between giant monsters in a city (lol).
I wasn't expecting a deep, thought provoking movie. I was expecting a fun, enjoyable movie, about monsters destroying a city and fighting each other and that's exactly what I got. That being said, there were moments that got emotional and I would like to say the movie had some heart to it as well.
On a ending note, I just want to say that I laughed in the theatre at the fact that one of the previews for the Rampage movie was another movie starring The Rock! I was thinking to myself like this man is really on his grind lol
Thanks for your time as always!
15th State - South Dakota - 15th Interview Rascal Martinez
Next stop, home of Mt. Rushmore, the 15th state on this project, South Dakota. While struggling to find an artist with the limited time in SD, I figured I reverse my search tactics. Instead of looking up hashtagged posts on Social Media, or going through SoundCloud or Bandcamp, I looked up bars/restaurants online that had live music. As I sat in a Starbucks, (my usual go-to spot on this trip), I cracked my knuckles and got to searchin’.
It was refreshing to see a good amount of places offering live music, opportunities for local talent in South Dakota, so it took some time to go through event posts past and upcoming, looking up the sites of the featured artist and listening to their music. I found an event that was happening my last night there at a bar called Fernsons. The artist featured was good, quality voice, had a professional sound to him, and from a genre standpoint, was different from the artists I met up with so far. His name is Rascal Martinez. There was a phone number on his site, he picked up right away and was on board for the interview.
When I arrived to Fernsons, I knew I was at the right location—there was a trailer hitch in the parking lot that had Rascal Martinez written on it in big letters.
Adjusting his microphone on his shirt, he talked about how he was also on tour in the midwest and had just did a radio interview with South Dakota Public Broadcasting a day prior. As busy as he sounded with performing shows, doing interviews, working on new music, he was super chill, calm and collecting. Stylish, happy and super laid back, is how I can describe Rascal Martinez. He was all smiles and welcoming, and had this Modern James Dean look about him. As soon as we wrapped up the interview, he hit the stage with his drummer and bass guitarist and immedialty got into character.
Not only was the locally brewed Fernson beer great, Rascal Martinez and his band killed it. Putting his own Americana spin on covers and originals, he had everyone in the bar on a vibe, and drew more people in. He did everything from Originals, to Folk, Classic Rock, Motown, and current hits. Check out some intagram posts from his gig below - the first clip he remixes Jay-Z's 99 problems, putting his own spin to it, and the second, his rendition of Pina Colada.
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Drip-game initiated, this time from Ice cream, literally. Detroit-based hiphop group The lobby’s latest vibe, appropriately titled “Flavors” channels that energy, their energy, an ode to the flavor each member brings. While you can hear some influences from A$AP Ferg and Travis Scott, it's the blend of The Lobby's melodies over their own inhouse-produced trap production that sets them apart and reflects their high-energy, fun and carefree vibe they put on 24/7--all about having a good time.
First they released the track, then an interactive game, now they are projecting to release the video for Flavors by the end of Summer 2019. We had a chance to get a sneak peak of the video for Flavors and they went all in.
Incorporating some storyline acting, bright-colored suits, hype-mini-mosh pits, The Lobby teamed up with Music Film Director, 97_pk, to help execute yet another style-defining video for them. From renting a school bus in a music video for a previous project Love Lost, to renting an ice cream truck for this latest video, The Lobby are taking their craft to 'Level Serious' and their creative visions and visuals are taking shape, breathing confidence, color and personality in their sound and image.
..But we ain't stopping there..
The Interactive Game
The Lobby has even created a game for this release, also titled Flavors, The Game.
Some independent artists struggle with perfecting the marketing around a new music video release, however The Lobby took it two Shaquille O’neal steps forward and created an entire video game for their latest project.
While compatible on Windows (their working on the Mac version), you can play as your favorite flavor and beat the game to unlock gifts. Each flavor ofcourse represents a member from the group.
The Lobby is on a roll, not just with these projects paired with dope A$$ visuals and tailored video games, but in July of 2019 they won a Detroit-legendary competition called Imported From the D powered by FootLocker and Detroit’s Number 1 Hip Hop radio station, and was awarded $500, won free Footlocker merch and got an interview spot on Hot 107.5.
who is The Lobby?
16th State, Minnesota - 16th Interview, Pinkie Promise with Eleanor Elektra
It just so happened that there was another cross country road tour happening. Three musicians, Minnesota-native Crispin Swank, Brooklyn’s Kaitlin Pelkey who together play in a group called Pinkie Promise, along with Eleanor Elektra from Boston were on their 5th stop on their 18-city music tour across America. I stumbled across a facebook post, checked out their music and liked their experimental drift. There was this mystic-soul, folk vibe about their sound and I wanted to learn more. So I reached out and there were nice enough to do the interview literally right before their show at The Tiny Diner.
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The diner had an outdoor patio where people ate, drank and laughed. Surrounded by large bushes and flowers, there was a machine tucked in the back of the bushes behind the Mic area that periodically blew out bubbles. It definitely added to its intimate environment, perfect for an acoustic set, especially the dreamy and jazzy melodies from these three. Eleanor Elektra kicked it off mixing jazz and folkish blues, followed by Pinkie Promise mixing folk rock and dream folk performing until the sun went down.
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They had their merchandise booth setup by the entrance, so after their set, with all the change I had in my pockets, I made sure I furthered my support and bought some merch. As they caught up with friends I said my goodbyes and hit the road to the next state.
Check out their Music
8/15/18 - Omaha, Nebraska
Day 23: 14th Interview, 14th State
While I thought finding an artist in Omaha would be a challenge, a few hashtags on Twitter, and I stumbled on a Soundcloud post, a track titled Drowning by Naylon. The cover image caught my eye and it had several thousand plays at the time, so I was intrigued. Her voice begins around 25 seconds in, and it immediately draws you, powerful and seductive with a lot of soul. If there was a comparison I’d say a mix between Ariana Grande and SZA, and coincidentally enough she’s got clips of her doing covers of their songs and killing it! Check em' out, including more covers by Frank Ocean, Kehlani and more including some originals on her YouTube.
As good as her voice is, I was surprised to see she only had a few tracks on Soundcloud. But no worries, she teased of new material in 2019.
“...be on the look out for some cool new music, some cool songwriting...”
We met up and did the interview at Edward Zorinsky Lake Park. It was raining all morning long, which stopped right before we linked up, so perfect timing. The only caveat was bee’s kept attacking her during the interview and a few deers got curious as well. Other then that, it was dope getting to know Naylon a bit more, hearing about some of her previous work, upcoming plans, her inspiration, some of her favorite musicians she likes to listen to and see live, and apparently concerts get to her, but in a good way. When responding to why she cries a lot during concerts, she said:
“It’s just a surreal feeling to see people giving their all, and doing what they love.. its inspiring”
She credited Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift as her two favorite concerts she ever saw live. Maybe one day sooner then later, they’ll share the same stage. One artist she did have the opportunity to share a stage with, was none other then grammy-nominated hip-hop artist Logic. Earlier this year Logic sold out a 2018 Spring Concert hosted by Mavericks Productions at the Baxter Arena in University of Omaha, the same University Naylon attended. They wanted someone from the school to open for Logic, and out of the 12 thousands students enrolled they of course chose Naylon, who at the time went by Maria Corinne.
Below is her cover of Thinking Bout You by Frank Ocean
From growing a fan base of over 33k on Vine (RIP), to opening up for Logic in spring of 2018, to growing a listening audience of over 40 thousands on an original song on Soundcloud without any marketing. Naylon is a star in the making and a musical force that continues to shine, continues to write and continues to sing. I wonder what achievements lay ahead for her in 2019???
Afterwards we met up with another one of her friends at a cool sushi bar restaurant called Blue Sushi Saki Grill. I’ve had some great sushi, but this was definitely up for the running. Our waiter, who recognized Naylon from school, recommended this dank dish, and dank it was...It's called.. "Triller"
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After the 14th interview with Naylon, singer in Nebraska, the 14th state in the trip, we and her friend dined at @bluesushisakegrill Who would’ve thought Nebraska has amazing sushi! This dish was called the ‘Thriller’ #bluesushisakegrill #thriller #sushi #naylon #diversalstate2state
Off to the next state, South Dakota...
8/14/2018 - Davenport, Iowa
Day 22: 13th Interview - Xavy Rusan
Where many would say living in big cities like NYC or LA places them in an advantage over others, hip-hop artist, Xavy Rusan says being from a place no-one has really heard of, gives him the advantage.
“...you’ve heard the story of what it’s like to be in Brooklyn, Compton, Detroit, Miami, but you don’t know what it’s like to be from here…”
Good point. Referring to where he’s from, Davenport, Iowa, apart of the metropolitan Quad-Cities, Xavy Rusn said he could only speak for the eastside and not the west side of Iowa, but mentioned that opportunities and fan bases were mostly geared toward Folk and Indie Rock genres. So as a hip-hop artist from Iowa, “you got to pave your own way”. To him, this differentiation is a plus and opportunity to stand out. He went on to say that there wasn’t yet, a pioneer in rap, no one in the hip-hop community really speaking for them. This lack of representation in rap, along with his older cousin, were his inspirations for getting into music back in 2013--the same year he released the video for his single "The Christening".
As passion drives us to fulfill a need, his was being able to be that voice in hip-hop for his hometown, for Iowa, for the middle of the map.
As I wasn’t finding any luck or substance via Facebook Open mic events for the time I was going to be in town, I turned to searching for artists via hashtags on Instagram and Twitter. This is how I found Xavy Rusan. I was diggin’ as I did in every city I went to, and I found myself listening to his projects from 2016 posted on Paste Magazine. His confident swag in his tone, thought-provoking and visualizing wordplay with that southern-authentic hip hop vibe, had me like “OK IOWA!”. The vibe took me bobbin' to his YouTube and Soundcloud. He got some hits coming out the middle of the map! Quad City Times even listed him as one of the top 5 local artists playing 'the soul of Quad Cities'.
So what should we look out for from Xavy Rusan moving into 2019? A continuation of his catalog of good hip-hop. According to Xavy, projects, collaborations, and a lot of visuals.
“I’m trying to get people to look into this world I live in”
#hiphop #xavyrusan #iowa #middleofthemap