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Kanye and Kid Cudi’s album ‘Kids See Ghosts’ is 10 years in the making

Kanye West is sending a crack through the matrix again this week with Kid Cudi on the new album Kids See Ghosts, it’s the first collaborative work from the two since “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1” on The Life of Pablo.

10 years ago Cudi signed to G.O.O.D. Music beginning the long and highly tremulous professional relationship between the two influential artists. After leaving the label in 2013 the two artists had a falling out, resulting in a Twitter beef that broke fans hearts.

“My tweets apply to who they apply. Ye, Drake, whoever. These n––s don’t give a fuck about me.”

Kanye responded saying, “Do you know how many people wish they could be signed to G.O.O.D. Music? Get their life changed, have an opportunity? Never forget that! I am so hurt. I feel so disrespected. Kid Cudi, we are two black men in a racist world. … Don’t ever mention my name in a bad manner, none of y’all.”

The two made up in a dramatic turn of events, Kanye brought Kid Cudi out in Sacramento, on Nov. 20 before abruptly leaving his show and going to the hospital for the mental instability he had been experiencing.

Kanye has been featured on both of the Man on the Moon albums as well as bringing Cudi on for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, TLOP, and most recently during Kanye’s reinvention of G.O.O.D. Music has released one of the most controversial albums, ye during the most polarized time for his fans.

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Featuring Cudi on the ye album has built even more anticipation for the Kids See Ghosts album being released on Friday, June 8th just a week after the release of Kanye’s solo project.

The cover for the album Kids See Ghosts has been created by the amazingly talented Takashi Murakami who has been a beacon of amazingly detailed pop art and has been apart of Kanye’s look for over 10 years being the artist behind The Graduation cover art, which is uniquely Murakami’s.

Kanye has been sending waves with this newest slew of releases dropping all these albums in the summer, and it has left its mark.

The top seven songs on iTunes are taken up by all of ye. Kanye’s audience has listened to his newest album over 100 million times within three days of its launch and has equivalent 175,000 album sales in one week placing ye at No. 1 Debut on Billboard 200 Albums Chart.

The seven-song album has caught flack for everything from its runtime to the album art, Kanye has really tested the allegiance of his fans whilst at the same time getting new West fans on board for the ride of controversy.

The Kids See Ghost project is going to be a dream come true for fans of both artists because of the chemistry the two have when producing music.

Cudi clearly has a great voice and his control over his vocalizations is instrumental much like Kanye’s approach to the human voice as an instrument like his synthesizers and drums. West and Cudi both use their voice as harmonics for guitar riffs, you can hear this super clearly on “Ghost Town,” the 6th track on ye.

Kanye is president setting when it comes to album release events, for ye were Kanye flew out media personalities, influencers, and music moguls to listen to his album three times on a ranch in Wyoming. For The Life of Pablo, Kanye rented out Madison Square Garden and sold tickets to the listening event for that album.

Before that, the tour for Yeezus was groundbreaking for performance, message, and emotional delivery to the audience with Kanye performing in Mason Martin Margiela on a giant springboard launching him in the air to the rhythm of the beat.

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With contributions from dancers and artist in other media forms, Kanye put on a show that has The Weeknd’s Starboy: Legend of the Fall 2017 World Tour look like a bad Atari emulation.

The highly anticipated project will be having a listening party in LA on Thursday 6/7/18, no further details have been given out but Wests website has updated with 3 locations and two RSVP links for unannounced venues in Miami and Chicago tonight at 6 pm.

Brooklyn is also on the website but with 6/7/18 as the date and no RSVP link.

A connection between the new album and these events has not been made but many speculate that Kanye is going to be hosting events in connection to #ProjectWyoming where Kanye is “bringing Wyoming to (insert city name)”.

We are just as excited to hear what West and Mescudi have lined up for this project.

With all the controversy surrounding West and the attention Cudi has had in the past for mental health, it surely will be interesting hearing what the duo has to say together to the world.

Casey Neistat has revolutionized how YouTubers everywhere vlog

Casey Neistat has been creating content for the internet going on 10 years at this point, with almost ten million subscribers on YouTube it’s no surprise that people are copying the style that got him so popular.

The Casey Neistat vlog has become a necessary link of inspiration because Neistat revolutionized vlogging so much with his refreshing, professional take on what vlogging is.

Everyone takes notes from Casey because of the narrative aspects of filmmaking/video based storytelling that have made his content so digestible for extended periods of commitment to his daily uploads.

The candid shoot and edit style of video showing his audience a real day in his life, and showing off his personality in unique moments, is what makes Casey’s videos so great and his audience coming back for more.

Casey cites vlog 313 as his best vlog so far because it has a very distinct setup conflict resolution, watch that vlog here if you want an example of the best vlog on YouTube. He shows his personality, editing, composition, and taste all without listing them off to the camera.

The way you deliver your story is as important as your experience uniquely yours. No one will watch 8 hours of vlogging. Even if you are doing the world’s rarest stuff it would be painstakingly long and you would lose your audience.

The same footage editing into three 15-minute vlogs with quick cuts, groovy music and other little things to make your audience feel like they are they’re watching you in real time, developing a relationship with your videos that only great editing can create.

The audience already expects you to be you, add on top of that the location you are vlogging in and the expectation that they will be entertained.

The variables that you can control very quickly are limited, you need to do something extra after shooting to make their videos that much more watchable. Editing is the only thing you can do after shooting to change a story.

In Casey’s vlogs, the editing is almost an extension of Casey’s thought process expressed in the video.

An example of this is when Casey is going for a run and jogs into, through and out of frame leaving the camera behind starting a time lapse.

This editing gives the feeling of you being where Casey was and you get to catch the view for an extended period of time without getting bored of seeing no movement (because of the lapse you don’t get bogged down by time).

The video takes the tropes Neistat has made quintessential for vlogging and combines them all to make a video that feels like a Neistat vlog.

Casey addressed the things discussed in a video talking about “the recipe” for making his videos. The illusion of seamlessly living and capturing his life for you, the audience.

Casey commented on the effortless look of his content in a vlog,

“When I set out to make this vlog there was sort of promise or the deal that I made with myself was never an obligation to share with you the intimacy of every day of my life, this isn’t a journal but instead ‘could I find everyday in my life a three-act narrative to share?’”

That short 12-second comment completely sums up the entire idea that Casey reworked, he took the reality of vlogging and made it a fun quick happy narrative about a hardworking, filmmaking, family loving, entrepreneur.

With such an interesting story in the most interesting place on Earth, Casey adds professional storytelling centered composition and editing to completely take over his audience for 15 minutes a day.

Vloggers of the future have a lot to live up to in the information age of content competition.

Generation of drugs: A look inside the Xanax and lean culture in hip-hop

With the mass hysteria surrounding SoundCloud rappers who rap about popping Xanax as they sip lean, it’s no surprise that the kids listening to this music have a hard time learning about mental health.

Lil Pump speaks very openly about his abuse of the powerful anxiety medication and has publicly quit on many occasions, which is terribly difficult.

According to Reddit user u/plurntometer who was forced to quit Xanax after weeks of abuse,

“The second night of my withdrawal is by far the worst night I’ve experienced in a very long time. I had muscle spasms that felt like miniature seizures, and I suffered the most vivid nightmares and sleep paralysis hallucinations ever.”

Stories like this are not uncommon with people who have used Xanax recreationally as well as those take it under a doctor’s prescription for anxiety. These people who are suffering from withdrawal often spend months recovering from their abuse and will suffer from worse anxiety than they started with.

Watch this video to get more insight into the extent of the withdrawal effects when coming off benzodiazepines.

Xanax and all other benzodiazepines are more chemically addictive than heroin and have longer lasting harder withdrawals. Xanax works on GABA receptors a neurotransmitter in the brain that is involved in sleep regulation, relaxation, and anxiety.

When stopping Xanax after abusing the medication, your brain is left without any GABA antagonist to limit brain function the receptors run wild lighting up with activity. After experiencing limited GABA function for months your brain gets used to the sedentary state and functions incorrectly.

Anxiety, panic, irritability, insomnia, sweating, headaches, muscle pain, stiffness, poor concentration, sensory distortions, nausea, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, agitation, and tremors are all potential withdrawal symptoms.

Mental health has been an issue almost every person is dealing with today, whether it’s one of your family members or a friend from school. Mental stability has become a major topic of discussion with hyper-celebrity Kanye West experiences battling his health issues and talking publicly about those experiences going through the healthcare system for mental instability.

This came to a head on TMZ when West grabbed everyone attention and spoke on his time healing saying,

“I was taking 2 pills a day at that time when I left the hospital how many pills do you think I was given? Seven, I went from taking 2 pills to taking seven.”

Kanye then went on to make his slavery comments which caused people to tie his mental battle to his comments during the TMZ interview.

On top of that controversy, the music world lost an up and coming artist to pill abuse and overdose not long before.

Lil Peep was 21-years-old when he died from taking fake Xanax bars given to him by a fan at a show. Lil Peep was posting videos of him dropping the pills into his mouth, shortly after videos were posted of him laying limp as friends walk by as if its a normal occurrence.

The late rapper was very open about his self-medication, talking about the extent of the abuse without paying it much mind, “I took 6 Xanax and I was lit.” Peep uttered these words in the video of him dropping one of the last tablets he would ever take into his mouth.

After his, passing many rappers have taken a stance against Xanax and other pill abuse popular with the fans and entertainers.

Lil Pump and Smokepurpp have both taken public stances against Xanax specifically. Lil Uzi Vert also came out publicly with his troubles quitting the medication.

The late great Fredo Santana got involved in the drug abuse discussion on Twitter after Russ posted a photograph of him wearing a shirt with “How Much Xans And Lean Do You Have To Do Before You Realize You’re A Fucking Loser.”

Fredo, who was of the first lean rappers replied with an emotional take on his own self-medication:

Fredo passed away not too long after in January 2018 from seizures due to complications from lean abuse. This is all happening after the A$AP Mob founder Yams died from accidental acute mixed-drug intoxication.

The drugs found in his system were opiates and benzos, the opiate commonly known as codeine cough syrup drank recreationally as lean in large amounts, suppressing the respiratory system and slowing heart function.

The most common benzodiazepine is Xanax. It’s become a trend to rap about the medication as of late but they all seem to ignore that Yams died because of his mixing of lean and Xans.

After the loss of an OG and an up and coming rapper, the climate around drug abuse has changed, people are wising up and are learning from what they see. Lil Yachty who is known for being safe for all ages and is proud that he does not need any drugs saying,

“I don’t party, I don’t drink I don’t smoke, I just record…”

Not wanting to delve into drug use is a rare occurrence for a modern artist and seeing someone as sober as Yachty reach levels of stardom we haven’t seen before with SoundCloud rappers is amazing and inspirational to younger crowds of impressionable fans.

The same age group is the target audience for Lil Pump’s music through, which practically sound like love songs written to Pfizer about Xans.

Hopefully, more artists and their fans will follow the Lil Yachty route and understand that focus and consistency get you closer to your goals.

What really happened in Wyoming? A look into Kanye’s listening party

Kanye is known for showcasing his music in amazing ways. Who remembers when he dropped Watch The Throne with Jay-Z and was rapping on 50-foot digital shark tanks?

He then went on to blow everyone out of their seats with the Yeezus tour that completely turned the performance side of rap on its head with West’s use of props, set design and performers on stage with him.

Kanye would outdo himself again, debuting his 2016 album The Life of Pablo in an open to public listening party/fashion in NYC’s legendary MSG. And last night in Wyoming, he continued the trend with a celebration for his latest album, Ye, like none other.

Is that new Ye sounding 🗑 or 🔥?

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With all the buzz surrounding Kanye over the last six months, it’s no surprise that an announcement was made that the listening party for his newest work would be hosted in Jackson Hole, Wyoming where West spent his time making this album, as well as four others under G.O.O.D. Music.

Kanye has a brolic list of collaborators including Kid Cudi, Ty Dolla Sign, Jeremih, Young Thug, Charlie Wilson, Nicki Minaj, and many other smaller contributors helped make this album what West wanted.

Kanye flew out journalists, celebrities, and industry moguls to listen to his latest work, from the likes of Nas to Chris Rock and internet personalities like YesJulz and Adam22 of No Jumper.

The younger generation was in attendance too with the likes of Ian Connor, Lil Yachty, Luka Sabbat, A$AP Nast and many others pulling up together in a PJ.

Of course, the fit god himself Jonah Hill was in attendance and was with Kanye himself the entire night.

Kanye did not leave anyone out, except for Peter Rosenberg of Hot 97.1 who is clearly very salty about the situation.

Kanye also live streamed the invitational listening party to millions of fans waiting for the album.

Kanye addressed many controversial topics including the Stormy Daniels Trump allegations, the allegations against Russell Simmons, the Tristan Thompson cheating scandal, and his wave making “slavery was a choice” comment.

On top of commenting on the things he has said in public Kanye also has a retrospective moment with the album art, “I hate being Bi-polar, it’s awesome,” is had written in neon green over a surreal Wyoming landscape photograph that Kanye took on the way to the listening party.

Alongside the album release, Kanye has launched a capsule collection all about Wyoming, consisting of 6 pieces adorn with ‘Wyoming’ and hand-drawn doodles of things Kanye must’ve taken inspiration from, including the solar system.

His album is available to listen to on Spotify, Tidal and Apple music. Kanye created something great and we are very much so looking forward to what else Yeezus has in store for his fans.

From diamonds to big ass chains: A brief history of jewelry in hip-hop

Jewelry has been a sign of opulence and importance for thousands of years, outlasting empires and helping to define new ones.

Over the past few decades, we have seen a change in what type of jewelry people wear every day, from 4 finger rings to the world’s smallest diamond cross. Then hip-hop came along and took it to a whole other level.

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Rings have been a staple piece of opulence and status for thousands of year, first people confirmed to wear rings were Romans, to show they citizenship iron rings were worn by Romans to help identify citizens.

Over the past 200 years, jewelry taste has changed drastically, diamonds became the most popular thing in the western wedding world until the Great Depression when prices plummeted.

In the late 1930’s De Beers started the slogan “Diamonds are Forever” when they needed the price of the precious stone to rise. The campaign was successful as diamonds are the main stone in engagement rings to this day.

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Hip-hop and jewelry have gone hand in hand for 50 years, you look at the first hip-hop artist and they are wearing gold, Kurtis Blow the first person to have a gold hip hop album, he wore 5 small gold chains on his album cover.

A few years later in the 80’s artist started to compete for who could be the most opulent and flex the hardest, artist would wait to see what they had to compete against or come out all in the same night performing with new pieces to stunt with.

The game completely changed in the 90’s when diamonds and pendants started to become the poster board for the label you were loyal to or the gang you stay with.

In the early 2000’s the bigger the chain the better off you were without thinking about the size of the diamonds going into the piece, it was all about the length of the chain and visual size of the pendant.

This spearheaded at the moment when T-Pain showcased a $400,000 chain that says straight up Big Ass Chain.

At that point when you are making something for just the purpose of it, existing people saw the ignorance and lack of taste in flex.

T-Pain went on to take the stones out and melt the chain down to make new jewelry, thank god.

Recently rappers have gone all the way to the limits of what you can wear, in every facet of life, especially with gold and diamonds.

The Migos have set the standard for pendants and rings over the past 5 years with some of the loudest shiniest pieces ever seen.

A big change is the culture surrounding rap jewelry is the stones being flaunted, a huge emphasis has been put on the quality of the stones being set in rings, pendants, chains, etc.

The youngest artist coming up on the internet are spending hundreds of thousands on loads and loads of jewelry, Lil Yachty is the prime example of how loud jewelry has gotten.

Watch Yachty show off his collection of over $2 million in iced out chains watches rings and bracelets.

Rings with big stones have started becoming popular with rappers and media influencers, big stones mean big numbers. Diamonds and gold will always be a part of rap and hip-hop as a way to stunt for clout tokens.

We haven’t even seen the limits of what jewelers can do yet and we are looking forward to seeing what crazy investments rappers will wear on their necks in the next few years.

Balenciaga is making you rethink what you wear with this ‘T-shirt shirt’

Balenciaga has been making waves over the last few years after Demna Gvasalia took over as creative director in 2015, most known for his ironically expensive brand Vetements that recreated the hooded sweatshirt in 2015 and 2016 with its oversized cut and stark designs.

Balenciaga under Demna has been called “new couture” and “elevated streetwear” which is the best way to describe the feeling of paying $980 for a hoodie.

This oversized cut look has infected every facet of fashion including the legendary Triple S Balenciaga sneaker which takes a Raf Simons Ozweego looking sneaker and adds two soles creating a platform-sneaker.

The sneakers have created a storm of recreations that we will be living with for years but in the meantime, Balenciaga has a new trend for everyone at Kering and Vogue to get behind, the t-shirt shirt.

Balenciaga’s $1,290 “T-shirt shirt” is a t-shirt with oversized short sleeves and a traditional length torso with a button down flannel pattern dress shirt straight up sewn to the crew neck of the shirt being worn.

Yes, it’s a shirt on a t-shirt, and it looks unwearable in the photograph Balenciaga is using to sell the shirt.

The real question we all have is “how?” How can a brand sell stuff like this and still stay above water?

The answer is millennials and men, in general, are buying more Balenciaga than ever and its changing how they run their business. According to Balenciaga CEO Cedric Charbit, he said,

“Millennials represent 60 percent of what we sell… Together with men, these are growing faster than any other category.”

With the recent rise of high-end streetwear, Balenciaga has benefited from being at the forefront of wave changes in the climate of fashion style.

Gucci is another example of a brand that is killing it with its crazy 70’s look within the last year is no surprise that Gucci grew almost 50% in the last 2 quarters, but compare that to Balenciaga with the growth of 100% in certain areas.

With developments that big it’s no surprise that Balenciaga is doubling down on the style side with more and crazier designs, as everyone freaks out about the t-shirt shirt another crazy garment has gone unnoticed, the $1,490 “Double Shirt” it cost more than the t-shirt shirt and no one has written an article about it so it must be okay.

These types of style choices are polarizing people into 2 camps, ‘this is crazy’ and ‘this is fashion’. That polarization is what is fueling these wild and wacky cut garments, staying current and stylish whilst at the same time looking good.

We are definitely in a crazy wave right now with what people are wearing and designing, but like any socially affected climate, it is always changing and creating new pockets of attention and hype.

A$AP Rocky continues to shift the culture as we look forward to ‘Testing’

It is undeniable that A$AP Rocky has been testing his audience’s patience with his soon to be released third studio album, Testing.

On January 23rd, Rocky, born Rakim Mayers released “5IVE $TAR$” to much confusion and worry, both critically and fan wise. The track circled the internet rap discussion zeitgeist to much negative discussion. In other words, people were hating.

Many fans trashed the tracks lack of mastering and poor lyricism not exhibited by Rocky before. Some drew comparisons to Rocky’s protege, Playboi Carti, in how the track sounded. Three months later, Rocky would release two tracks to even further criticism, “Bad Company” featuring BlocBoy JB and “Herojuana Blunts.”

The former drawing negative feedback due to its subjectively terrible vocal performance which some could call “LSD” without polish. The latter garnering no major attention.

It is unclear why an artist who cares about quality control as much as Rocky would release work that sounded so unfinished and frankly, amateur.

Some speculated that he was making an attempt at gauging his fans’ feedback. If this was the case, then he definitely took their feedback to heart with the release of “A$AP Forever.”

On Monday, Rocky subtlety confirmed his albums release date in the comments of a recent Instagram post. Exchanges between him and common collaborator/friend, Tyler, The Creator indicate that the album is due for release this Friday, May 25th.

In a recent Complex interview, Rocky confirmed the following track names on the album: “The Kids Turned Out Fine,” “Praise The Lord,” “OG Beepers,” and “Drops.”

What is significant about ASAP Rocky is his lack of hesitation when it comes to thinking outside of the proverbial rap box. Yesterday, Rocky hosted a 90-minute performance art piece at Sotheby’s New York.

There he revealed two major projects from different creative realms: Testing’s album art and a physical manifestation of his rarely discussed collaboration with American sportswear giant, Under Armour.

Rocky revealed the new sneakers inside a 10x10x10 transparent cube, referring to them as “jiggy shit.” With regard to Rocky’s performance art, he spent most of the time answering lab test-esque questions from faceless scientists.

He also performed collaborations musically between him and fellow mob members A$AP Ferg and A$AP Twelvyy. Rocky also performed a song from indie rock musician, Dev Hynes.


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Throughout his performance, Rocky addressed topics like pornography, the current political environment, addiction and sexuality in media, something that he is very familiar with.

The performance was flush with multifaceted forms of symbolism which one could argue paid homage to performance art pioneer, Marina Abromovic.

Unlike Ambromovic, Rocky set out to ensure that his audience was on the same mental and emotional plane that he was on with his collaborators. It is clear that he set out to ensure that his message was understood, and seemed to not want to go too overboard with his message.

Years following his stellar precedent setting mixtape Live. Love. ASAP., Rocky has successfully cemented himself both in the realms of fashion and music as an icon, reaching heights almost as high as Kanye West.

The reason a comparison is being drawn between these two is the similarities that they share. Both these tour de forces in rap push boundaries in everything that they do.

Rocky, like Kanye, makes his fans wait for excruciating amounts of time for new music. He also breaks the mold that people believe he keeps setting himself in.


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First, it was bringing the southern sound to the Northeast. Then he demonstrated that he too, had singing chops, in addition to sonic diversity and had the ability to change things up whenever he pleases while still proving his skill lyrically, no matter the genre. “A$AP Forever” was greeted to an incredible reception.

In an interview with GQ, Rocky talked about the theme of his third studio album and what Testing really means saying,

“People are scared to test new sounds, so they go with what’s current ’cause it’s the easy thing to do. The top 100 songs sound a certain way. People cater more to that because it’s a bigger demographic behind that, or it’s a guaranteed demographic behind that. I prefer to experiment and have my crowd grow with me and to reach new crowds. I don’t just rap—I actually make music. That’s why it takes time.”

Boasting a Moby feature and a porcelain sample, “A$AP Forever” exhibits Rocky reiterating his contributions to rap, fashion and general New York culture in the 2010s.

His upcoming album Testing could represent a shift in not only his sound but his mindset as an artist taking the next step in his legendary career.