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!
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
8/13/2018 - Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Day 21 - 12th Interview - Cullah
Previewing his music via social posts of his project Cullahsus released April 27th, 2018, I was expecting a first impression personality to reflect those vibes on that project, which was energetic, funky, upbeat, etc. (It's really good, y'all got to check it out..) Not only that, just stream through his videos on Youtube, a mix of chill, fun and upbeat, funky vibes, with hiphop lyrical flows and some of that soul-sanging. When meeting Ian McCullough who goes by the stage name Cullah, he was surprisingly very calm and collected, poise, soft-spoken but with a lot to say, and extremely intelligent. From the historic forested and rolling hills of Wisconsin, to its deep germanic roots, and the earliest breweries in America and Milwaukee, and much more, Cullah was full of interesting facts, one after another. He was also full of wit, joking around with me for possible pun-titles of his album project next year set to release on April 27th, 2019…’Spectacullah, Cullahtavation, Cullahflower...' Spoiler Alert.. he’s already chosen Spectecullah, so stay tuned.
We first met at Colectivo Coffee, but then decided to do the interview across the street, right off the water. While getting to know Cullah a bit more while walking there, through his answers during the interview and then afterwards as we kicked it a little bit shooting some pool at nearby bar called Vintage, although very poise and calm, there’s an undenying fierce energy for his passion for music.
I asked what genre he considered himself, and it was hard to pinpoint one genre he resonated with, rather, he accredited many genres being influences over the years, from electronic, to hip-hop instrumental, to folk, blues, parsimonious funk, drum n’ bass, uptempo, downtempo, and more. He did mention a cross-discipline or cross-fusion of multi-genre and Future Blap. Check out his Soundcloud and you be the judge.
Beats and Open-sourced
When he’s not laying down raps on stage over funky and groovy AF vibes, Cullah is also a talented producer, producing his own beats he’s flowing on, and they’re good. Just check out his catalogs at https://cullah.com.
Prior, he was also a computer engineer, and actually makes a correlation between music and code, stating music should just be like code, open-sourced.
“...It’s information, just like code. Music should be free and accessible….”
Via Creative Commons, all his albums are open-sourced, as he believes in the beauty of royalty-free music, which is how he builds his fan base—collaborators using his music on their own projects, usually film, credits his name, people here it, and he gets new Spotify listeners, about 20k listeners per month to be exact. That’s correct two, zero.. 20 thousand.
“People get access to them, you get YouTubers with Influence, people hear about it, then they go on my Spotify, and then thats how I pay rent”
Come to find out through several stories of people recognizing him, and the name, Cullah, he’s also pretty popular, especially around town. While playing pool someone recognized him from a performance at an open-mic years ago. We ended up playing doubles…and of course won.
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But back to the music..
Milwaukee Music Scene
He discussed the scene out in Milwaukee, saying there’s a lot of talent there and 'things are changing', yet many creatives he knows are leaving and going to larger cities like NY. But there's definitely a scene and opportunities for artists are changing for the better. While there’s a lot of Punk Rock, he’s seeing a lot of success and shows being sold out in the hip-hop community and Americana Folk, two genres (of many) he fuses together within his own music.
When asked what his goals are he responded about Spectaculluh releasing next year and also mentioned his open-sourced goals. ”I’m planning to release free music every year. By 2020 I’ll have done an album a year for 50% of my life. That’s my next goal..”
If you like to support Cullah for upcoming projects, check out his Patreon Page. https://www.patreon.com/Cullah
After years of delays, missed appointments, lateness warnings, weird smells, stolen items and so much more... Enough is Enough..
If you ever experienced the unexpectencies, trials and tribulations of NYC commute, this shirt is for you. This shirt represents the frustation that many NYC residents deal with on a daily basis. Going to work, going home, going to an interview, going to a party, going anywhere...the F train has always managed to step in and interrupt, disrupt and modify those plans. The madness must stop.
Follow the link to get a shirt and be apart of change, be apart of something positive and stand up to this evilness. F the F'ing F Train...
August 12th - Chicago, Illinois - Xavier Keyz
I first met Chicago-native R&B singer Xavier Keyz back in 2015, through AnywhereButHome (ABH) singer/rapper from Northern Virginia, who I would interview apart of the DMV area later on in this trip. We and another Chicago-native hip hop artist, R.O.E., caught up at Heartland Brewery Co. downtown NYC after an event held by Xavier's friend Ryan Leslie. I didn’t attend the event, but them three did and had a chance to chat it up a bit with Ryan. The motivating vibes carried to our discussion at the brewery as we ate and talked our about each and one of our grinds and goals.
So after three years it was good to finally catch back up and like the other two artists, R.O.E and ABH, Xavier Keyz has been working, growing his fanbase, selling merch, and performing outside of the U.S, doing international tours across Europe and Asia. He’s performed so much that now his time has been devoted to not only working on future projects, but also setting up his own Masterclass where he’ll be teaching the art of performing live, overcoming stage fright and more—so stay tuned for the knowledge and insight he's about to drop.
Xavier Keyz style of music is mostly R&B and hip-hop, but demonstrates some of that pop/dance sound as well checkout some of his tracks below.
Link up, Interview
When we linked in Chicago it was only right that I greeted him sporting his fitted-branded hat I bought a few years. He got a good kick out of it and it was a good seg-way to kick off where we left off, talking about the grind. He’s got his hat now in different colors, which you can select and buy here. He choose to do the interview where, according to him, his love for music began, Kenwood Academy his old high school.
Ironically it just so happened to be the day where his school was having a reunion block party for all the classes. So after the interview we walked around the ticketed area in the parking lot, which he caught up with some old friends and then ended giving me a brief tour down memory lane inside the school.
The need for grub was real, so he recommended we check out one of his favorite spots to eat at, an authentic Jamaican Cuisine call Ja’Grill, downtown Chicago. People… this place DOES NOT DISAPPOINT. I got his recommendation which was their ribs with their jerk seasoning, and damn they were amazing, the flavor was juicy to all types of levels, and the meat slid off the bone and everything as they say a characteristic for some good ass ribs. It was a nice hot day so we sat outside in their seating area, the atmosphere was right and the prices not bad, definitely not bad for the quality and amount.
A week prior, Chicago made national headlines with a spree of shootings and killings, a reason why I didn’t want to stay in Chi-town overnight, but Xavier mentioned that the violence is only in some parts and that the city is often overshadowed by the negative media. The area where he lived, went to school at and where we ate at was safe. The funny thing though, while we waited for food, we heard shouting down the street that got everyones attention. A fight was about to happened, a guy got out his car, while people were holding him back yelling at another dude. I kept the camera rolling… Police soon came though and broke it up, so all good.
While we left, walking back to the garage, we stumbled across an art show tucked away in that same plaza. The art was friggen ridiculously dope, and actually symbolic to anyones experience driving around and taking in the artistic nature of Chicago. Sculptures and wall murals decorate the colorful city. The artshow was hosted by Chicago Top 5 with Connect Gallery. See below.
TURN YOUR DREAMS INTO REALITY
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