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January 18, 2005

Hide Ya Bathing Ape Face

O.C.'s Starchild (Japanese Import) sounds like classic raw D.I.T.C. This is the strongest I've heard O.C. since the days of "Time's Up." Though this is not what we'll receive in the States, it gives us a (hopefully) good idea of what we can expect from O.

There's a new Clipse mix CD circulating around. Ostensibly to hype their sophomore release. I'm guessing the first single will be "Stuntin' Y'all" featuring Pharrell. VA baby.

Ghostface Killaaah and El Producto on a Prefuse 73 track? Crazy. I like the fact that the two are working together and that Pretty Toney is open minded enough to work with some underground cats. Gives more credit to the talk of that Ironman, MF DOOM, and Gorillaz collabo.

Waxmaster C, Ludac(h)ris, Scratchalot, Fingerscratch, and DJ Platter. Did you know all of these were names that were considered before Primo found DJ Premier? Could you imagine Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal and Waxmaster C? Doesn't quite have that same ring to it.

If you've seen the new Snoop video "Let's Get Blown" with Pharrell, you may have noticed that fresh ass t-shirt with the N.E.R.D members on the front and the Spock/Star Trak split finger gesture (that somewhat resembles a Mickey Mouse hand) on the back. It's only the beginning of BBC and Ice Cream, Pharrell's clothing and footwear lines, respectively. Pharreezy has teamed up with the Japanese designer Nigo, of A Bathing Ape (Bape) fame, to design some of the BBC/Ice Cream gear. If it's anything like the Bape gear, it will be very exclusive and expensive (read: $100 tees, $350 sneaks).

January 18, 2005 06:22 PM | Comments (0)

January 12, 2005

An Apple A Day

Apple continues its trend of excellent industrial design and intelligent form factors. On the heels of the insanely successful iPod is the Mac mini. A pretty competent machine that measures in at a mere 6.5x6.5x2" and starts at $499 USD. This should be a great way for Apple to increase its market share and attract PC buyers who would be otherwise reluctant to shell out money on a G5 the first time out.

Next is the iPod shuffle, the first flash-memory 'Pod. Weighing in at under one ounce (0.78 oz) and with svelte 3.3x0.98x0.33" dimensions, it is the most portable of Apple's music players to date. There is no display, rather, a control pad one one side for playback and a slider on the other for power, shuffle, etc. Available in 512MB and 1GB versions at very attractive price points.

The only gripe I have with these, especially the iPods, is their stark white color. Is the iPod demographic that clean? I can't imagine how quickly they would get dirty with regular use. How about a dry carbon and matte titanium design? While I'm on the Apple tip, how badass are the new Cinema Displays? The thirty incher boasts over four million pixels -to put that into context, that's more pixels than five 15-inch LCDs combined.

January 12, 2005 07:16 PM | Comments (0)

January 09, 2005

Deadly Waves of Pain

The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake was an undersea earthquake that occurred at 00:58:53 Coordinated Universal Time (07:58:53 local time) on December 26, 2004. The earthquake generated tsunamis that were among the deadliest disasters in modern history. At a magnitude of 9.0, it was the largest earthquake since the 9.2 magnitude Good Friday Earthquake off Alaska in 1964, and tied for fourth largest since 1900." - Wikipedia

Affected countries include, but are not limited to, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, the Maldives, Somalia, Myanmar, and Malaysia. As of this writing, the estimated death toll is greater than 160,000. For an exhaustive amount of information regarding the disaster, visit Wikipedia.

For a more graphical depiction of the impact of the resultant tsunami, take a look at the New York Times interactive feature. If the photos don't move and touch you, I don't know what to say. The images of the impact to India were especially saddening -the power of photography is awesome.

I am somewhat torn about the presence of journalists during a time of such extensive pain and grief, but without the coverage, some of us would not be able to begin to understand the severity of the quake. Make sure to click on "GRAPHICS" to see a great example of Flash used for something besides intros and advertisements.

A summary of humanitarian aid to the victims can be found here. I won't get into this too much, but there are/were critics of the US's "stingy" donation. What an asinine way of thinking considering what the US contributes in aid: an estimated 40 percent of the world total annually.

Michael Schumacher plans on donating $10M USD, Spielberg $1.5M, and many NBA players are donating $1,000 per point scored. What can those that do not make seven-plus figures do? Donate whatever you can. A good option is the U.S. Fund for UNICEF and the Tsunami Relief Band. The minimum donation is only TWO DOLLARS per band. A link to the PSA. Direct link to a printable order form.

January 9, 2005 05:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 06, 2005

2004 Rap Up

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
2004 was a good year for music. MF DOOM brought back the essence. Lil' Jon and the dirty dirty brang the crunk. Fat Joe leaned back. F-A-B-O made y'all breathe. Pharrell had us trying to click our tongues like him. Jada asked why. ALC held us down. De La Soul and DOOM made it onto NBC. Jigga may bave had 99 problems, but staying on the charts wasn't one. Will it be game over for Flip after Nintendo sues his ass? HBMS broke down. Juve bounced back. R Kelly pulled the ultimate bitch move and probably the plug on his career. Shaq challenged Skillz to a rhyming battle -Kazaam!

Here are my top ten lists, in no particular order . . .

Top Ten Aboveground Albums:
1. The Alchemist - 1st Infantry
2. Jadakiss - Kiss of Death
3. Mobb Deep - Amerikaz Nightmare
4. Ghostface - The Pretty Toney Album
5. uhh . . .

Top Ten Aboveground Singles:
1. Jay-Z - 99 Problems
2. Fabolous - Breathe
3. Terror Squad - Lean Back
4. Snoop Dogg - Drop It Like It's Hot
5. Jadakiss - Why/Why Remix
6. Mobb Deep - Got It Twisted
7. Twista - Slow Jamz
8. Nelly - My Place/Over and Over
9. Alchemist - Hold You Down feat. Prodigy, Nina Sky, and Illa Gee
10. Lil' Flip - Game Over Remix feat. Young Buck and Bun B

Top Ten Underground Albums
1. Madvillain - Madvillainy
2. De La Soul - The Grind Date
4. Brother Ali - Champion EP
5. Thirstin Howl III - Skillitary
6. Handsome Boy Modeling School - White People
7. Murs and 9th Wonder - Murs 3:16
8. Gift of Gab - 4th Dimensional Rocketships Going Up
9. Masta Ace - A Long Hot Summer
10. Viktor Vaughn - VV2: Venemous Villain

Top Ten Underground Singles:
1. De La Soul feat. MF DOOM - Rock Co.Kane Flow
2. MF DOOM - Hoe Cakes b/w Potholderz
3. Madvillain - All Caps
4. Masta Ace - Good Ol' Love
5. Brother Ali - Champion Remix b/w Chain Link
6. N.E.R.D. - She Wants To Move (Native Tongues Remix)
7. Lyrics Born - Callin' Out Remix feat. E-40 and Casual
8. Murs - Hustler Remix feat. Chingo Bling, E-40, and John Cena
9. Baby Blak - Just Begun
10. Pete Rock and CL Smooth - Appreciate

The Hits You Missed:
1. Juvenile - Bounce Back
2. Murs - Ode To a Black Boy
3. Mos Def vs Zero 7 - Umi Says b/w Jamie Cullum - Frontin'
4. Copywrite - H.B.T. (He Burns Trees)
5. Prefuse 73 - H.Y.F. (Hide Ya Face) El-P Remix feat. Ghostface Killah
6. Pep Love - Family and Friends feat. Goapele
7. Showbiz - On My Way feat. Fat Joe and Party Arty
8. Diamond D - So Lovely
9. Nas - Know My Style Remix
10. Jedi Mind Tricks - On The Eve Of War feat. GZA

The Albums You Slept On:
1. Count Bass D - The Producers Cut Pt. 1
2. Ed O.G. feat. Pete Rock - My Own Worst Enemy
3. K-Os - Joyful Rebellion
4. Galt MacDermot - In Film 1969-1973
5. DJ Numark and Pomo - Blendcrafters Vol. 1
6. DJ Premier Presents: Step Ya Game Up
7. Jean Grae - This Week
8. Chan - Part Of The Nation
9. Jedi Mind Tricks - The Legacy Of Blood
10. Louis Logic - Blame It On The Hooch

Most Disappointing:
1. Nas - Streets Disciple
2. Mos Def - The New Danger
3. The Roots - The Tipping Point Slipping Joint
4. Talib Kweli - Beautiful Struggle
5. The Beatnuts - Milk Me
6. El-P - Collecting the Kid
7. Mannie Fresh - The Mind Of Mannie Fresh
8. The Marxmen - M.O.P. Present Marxmen Cinema
9. 213 - The Hard Way
10. Jin - The Rest Is History

January 6, 2005 06:28 PM | Comments (0)

January 05, 2005

Sweet Oranges

Sugar Bowl: Auburn 16 - Virginia Tech 13
It could have been worse. After all, the Hokies lost to a team that was supposed to be good enough to split the national title, right? It would have been a different story if Tech didn't have the dropped pass in the end zone and missed a key field goal.

Orange Bowl: USC 55 - Oklahoma 19
LMAO at all of those OU dickriders who thought that Oklahoma was the guaranteed victor. USC proved them wrong from the second drive on. I'm glad USC won, VT lost to the number one team in the country -barely.

Aaron Taylor should not be shown on national television. Dude is scary lookin' -relegate him to radio, please. Did anyone catch the awesome digital animation of Reggie Bush's "bone breaking speed" and "ankle breaking moves?" Pixar, be afraid, very afraid. What was with the halftime show? Mic check 1, 2, 3? Shouldn't you do that BEFORE you go live? What was up with all the backup dancers lookin' like the South Beach version of Polyphonic Spree.

January 5, 2005 06:02 PM | Comments (0)

January 02, 2005

Conventional Wisdom

Click here for the entire gallery.

I made it out to the auto show in DC this year. The new Convention Center is ginormous -I seriously doubt the manufacturers used all of the square footage.

Mercedes had a strong display with nearly AMG-everything. The new CLS is ugly, I guess D-C had to dumb down the styling to compete with Bangle's 6-Series. Their dark green almost black paint on the E55 was a nice change from the typical German silver. The SLR McLaren is just as ugly in person as it is in pictures. The 300SL Gullwings were elegant and sexy, SLR swings and misses. I also believe that a supercar should have a V10 or V12 these days, a blown eight seems crude by today's standards, especially when the company has a 700+ ft-lb V12TT in lesser cars.

Porsche had ceramic brakes on damn-near every car there from the red 996 convertible to the silver 997 coupe. The blue 996 Turbo S with color-matched wheels was hawt. I wonder if the spokes look green when the car is moving, what with the yellow calipers and blue wheels. The Carrera GT definitely looks better in person, carbon everywhere. I still think Zuffenhausen should have differentiated the CGT from the rest of the line, it still resembles a stretched 911.

Carlos Ghosn is the best thing that has happened to Nissan in recent memory and the new M45 is the newest proof. The global FM platform underpins some excellent vehicles from the 350Z to the Cedric/Gloria replacement. I think the M45 is going to ruffle some feathers in the mid-range sport lux segment. Look out E60 and horribly restyled GS.

It is a sad sad day in Toyota history when it's sporty offering is the Tacoma X-Runner. WTF. It handles well and all (0.86g IIRC), but dayum can we get a true sports car from the world's fourth largest automaker? No, the MR-S does not count. I really hope TMC doesn't mess up the MKV Supra.

Scion probably had the best freebies. The had another mix CD and a thick magazine/brochure printed on thick stock with a bonus DVD.

I was disappointed with the lack of Lotus (Loti?), Gallardos, and especially Ferraris. There was a Challenge Stradale with some ridiculously large brakes, but with Scuderia Ferrari of Washington just down the road, I expected more.

Celebrity sighting: former Washington Redskin Ken Harvey.

January 2, 2005 04:23 PM | Comments (0)