Archive for March, 2014

Accepting Yourself!

Posted: March 26, 2014 in The Juice

I used to give a fuck! now the new me actually doesn’t give a fuck ii would apologies for being vulgar but hat good has that done me over the years. None whats so ever, i figured if i was gonna be successful in life i must be willing to accept and empress me for who i truly am. see life is already full of too many fake people i compare those type of people to china nothing ever real and everything always fake. i ain’t blaming anyone for the way they turned out but you gotta blame yourself before you blame anyone else. That’s the basic truth. i love music i love weed just as much and i love women not all of them but as a man we all have that super duper type of woman we all want to call our own.


SZA Why She’s TDE’s New Hope

Posted: March 26, 2014 in The Juice

index 2014 has been already been pretty good to rap collective and record label, Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE). Kendrick Lamar kicked ass at the Grammys (despite not winning any well-deserved awards for Good Kid, M.A.A.D City), Schoolboy Q finally released the widely anticipated Oxymoron, and set off on a nationwide tour, whilst Ab Soul is working on releasing a new project this year. But it’s the alluring female presence of newest member SZA who’s bringing a welcome new sound to TDE’s roster.

SZA’s mixture of R&B, dream-pop and hip-hop in what she calls “glitter trap” gives the normally hard collective a soft side. She’s different from what we’ve been seeing out of the female side of hip-hop. She joins the ranks of Odd Future offshoot The Internet and Jhené Aiko, crossing the border where hip-hop and R&B meet. Her piercingly beautiful voice and honest, descriptive lyrics give a quasi-Frank Ocean vibe, you know, while being a woman.

She doesn’t present herself in a sexual manner, like we’re so used to seeing with women in the music industry. She comes off as more of a tomboy with touches of femininity and hippy-like qualities, with sexuality finding a place within the context of her music. Her videos take you on a journey through the introspective lyrics, telling you a story while making you feel like you’re on a ‘shroom trip. SZA has a way of making you feel like you’re in a daze, searching for meaning in life along with her through a series of brooding and whimsy. She’s raw, honest and fascinating like the other members of TDE, while being some hidden force in her own right.

The visuals that accompany her music have a way of making you feel as if you’re suspended in a daydream-like state. The hazy melodies and hard bass beats combined with strong visuals draw you in, making you curious about who she is. SZA has the ability to tear your heart out and make you fall in love with her simultaneously. She’s honest, raw, and fascinating like the other members of TDE, while being a force all her own.

The reason I think she’s such a great fit for TDE is because she’s a great creative force; it only makes sense that she’d be a part of one of the biggest forces in hip-hop at the moment. The state of women hip-hop went through a bit of a stagnant point, with a lot of bold and brash sexuality or the fifteen minutes it seem like white girl rappers were running things. I definitely can’t knock the hustle of any lady in the game, but with an already marginalized industry — it’s nice to see something different.

And sure, you can argue about SZA’s sound being more R&B than hip-hop, mostly because she sings instead of rapping. But in a day and age where R&B/hip-hop crossovers are omnipresent, her sound fits in the cross-polinations of genres just fine. If Drake, Nicki Minaj, Missy Elliott, Frank Ocean (this list could go on) can do it, why the fuck can’t she?

Nevertheless, SZA is the perfect mixture of different, current and talented that TDE needed in a female counterpart. The match was definitely made in some glitter-filled heaven, and I look forward to seeing her progress as an artist.

imagesSay what you want about Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover if you’re more familiar with his acting and writing with Community and 30 Rock) and say what you want about his most recent album Because The Internet, but it changed the state of the hip-hop release to date. Not only did the 19-track release come with its own screenplay and an app only to be used during his on-going tour, but it might be responsible for hip-hop’s first pre-sample.

“Telegraph Ave”, by R&B singer Lloyd, plays as Gambino sings along during an angsty drive to an unknown lady friend’s place in Oakland, California. It goes through the activities and emotions leading up to this fateful meeting that Gambino knows is a bad idea, but lust compels him enough to make the drive. The song was never recorded in its entirety, as Gambino made the feature for the sole purpose of the initial track sequence. The song garnered an overwhelming response, with numerous Internet forums and blogs searching for a link to the original song. But recently, Lloyd received the green light from Gambino to record a full-version of the song for his upcoming album, The Playboy Diaries Vol. 2.

Childish Gambino managed to go around the commonplace activity of sampling a full song. Instead of taking an already complete song and using it for the relatively short sequence, he created a song performed by someone else to fit within the context of his story. Sure, there are probably hundreds of other songs that could have fit the emotion he was trying to convey. But what better way to ensure listeners knew how he was feeling in the moment than to cater it specifically to the album.

There are a few reasons why it was genius. It eliminated the need to pay for redistribution rights to another artist. The song didn’t have to be altered in order to get through a loophole in media law. It not only gave Lloyd new material for his upcoming album, but without trying, it helped to promote it. “Telegraph Ave” was possibly one of the best songs on the album, and ushered in hip-hop’s first pre-sample.

Does this mean we can look for more cleverly placed, strategically created tracks/collaborations in the future? We can only hope so. Maybe some other artist will catch on, allowing another artist to get some shine on their album and possible material for their own project.

If the Internet has anything to do with it, like in this scenario, I think we can look forward to more pre-samples.


Has the future of human-computer interfaces taken a wrong turn?

Here I am, looking at the rise of connectivity in everything and the rise on contextual intelligence apparent in services like Google Now, hoping that I can stop spending my days starting at a tiny screen and live a life aided by technology as opposed to immersed in it. But then I learned that Facebook is planning to pay $2 billion for Oculus VR, the virtual reality gaming headset maker, and read what founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote on his timeline about the deal:

After games, we’re going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face — just by putting on goggles in your home.

This is really a new…

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