New Video: The Roots - Sleep

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Legendary hip-hop group The Roots continues their onslaught of video releases to promote their forthcoming album undun. The latest highlights the Aaron Livingston-featured track “Sleep.” With the project’s drop date nearing – as it will be available on December 6.

New Gear: New Era 59FIFTY Gor-tex Caps

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

This custom Gor-tex® 59FIFTY® fitted cap features an embroidered (raised) tonal team logo at front, stitched New Era® flag at wearer's left side, and a Major League Baseball® logo patch at back. Gor-tex® brand products keep rain and wind out. Interior includes branded taping and a moisture absorbing sweatband. Price: $45.99 (CLICK HERE FOR LINK)

New Article: The Winners & Losers Of New NBA CBA

Monday, November 28, 2011

The NBA season will happen after all, thanks to a handshake deal struck in New York between David Stern’s NBA and what remains of Billy Hunter’s players association.

As the dust settles after one of the NBA’s more cantankerous episodes, here’s an early peek at who wins and who loses in the upcoming new collective bargaining agreement.

WINNER: David Stern

A missed season would have mucked up his legacy profoundly and called into question his ability to control his owners. A deal, on the other hand, shows he still has the touch.

WINNER: Billy Hunter

He was under serious fire from agents. They have been concerned about his salary, how he runs the union and too many concessions to the owners. And yet, for the third time in as many attempts, he has delivered what matters most: a deal. The first two times, pundits said they were bad deals for players, but over the following years, the pundits were proved wrong -- the players have done very well under Hunter, who many say has negotiated his last CBA. And if the players are sharing in the league’s overseas and national TV revenues, this deal also could look great by the time it’s done.

WINNER: Adam Silver

Stern pointedly put his deputy in the spotlight through one of the choppier moments in NBA history, with the tall order to “reset” the way the league works in a fashion that favors owners. The ride was plenty bumpy, but mission more or less accomplished.

WINNER: Derek Fisher’s next career

For much of the lockout, Fisher became the public face of the union, and the private one; he said he thought he had talked to every single NBA player during the lockout, except for a few whose email addresses had changed. He proved he can speak extemporaneously, in stressful environments, without putting his foot in his mouth. That bodes well for whatever he wants to do next.

WINNERS: Player development experts

With luxury tax more punitive than ever, there will be a premium on those who can help a team round out a roster with incredibly cheap but productive players. The Spurs have had a habit of finding and developing those guys -- now every team will have to do so.

WINNERS: Stat geeks

Everyone is playing “Moneyball” now. If it can help you control player costs, it can help you win titles.

WINNERS: Incoming owners

In Detroit and Philadelphia, they set the purchase price in an environment of league-wide losses and labor uncertainty. Now they emerge with owner-friendly rules, high TV ratings, media-friendly young stars to drive future league-wide ratings, a better national TV deal on the horizon, promising overseas markets and the knowledge that it’ll be harder in the future for opponents to outspend them.

LOSER: Mark Cuban

The good news is he gets to have a season of glory and a chance to defend that title. The bad news is he is said to have wanted a system that would protect him from big losses even as he went all-out to field the most competitive possible team. A stiff luxury tax, however, does not get him there. Now, to protect his bottom line, he’ll have to develop a new skill: spending discipline.

WINNER: Jerry Buss

Revenue sharing is a bitter pill to swallow, but he still owns one of the most lucrative franchises in sports, he’ll always be able to attract amazing free agents and now fans will understand if he spends a little less on payroll.

LOSERS: Lakers fans

One nice thing about rooting for the Lakers has long been knowing that the team would spend whatever it would take to be competitive. Now that’ll be harder.

LOSERS: The big agents

They tested their influence among players against Hunter and Fisher. And ultimately, this deal was struck between Hunter and Stern. Worth noting: The Players Association regulates agents.

WINNERS: Players who signed long guaranteed deals in the past year

This is a big group, ranging from Paul Pierce to LeBron James. It’ll be tough to beat their old-CBA deals under the new CBA.

WINNERS: The Knicks

This is a deep-pocketed team looking to build a winner. The Knicks still need more players, and with a hard cap out of the picture, they continue to have some flexibility to keep spending if they have to.

LOSERS: The middle class

As owners and the league have spent a year obsessing about player costs, one clear factor has emerged: The poor-value contracts are the big deals for middling players. With or without stiff taxes, you can expect more teams to catch on to the idea of paying for stars and filling in the rest of the roster cheaply.

WINNER: The D-League

As more teams seek bargain players, more teams will invest effort in getting the most out of the NBA's little brother.

LOSERS: Superstars

They have long made far less than they are worth, and that’s not going to change now.

WINNERS: Strategic dealmakers

A wild and woolly free-agent miniseason likely will commence Dec. 9 under new operating rules. Front offices that know the players they want and what they’re worth in this brave new world could work wonders. Look for the usual candidates -- San Antonio, Houston, Oklahoma City -- to be working the angles.

WINNER: Deron Williams

He gets to come home from Turkey without a major injury and having had likely the most lucrative offseason of any player. Mitigating factor: Now he’s seeking a big new deal in a more restrictive system.

WINNER: The New Orleans Hornets

These CBA talks long included talks of contracting the Hornets out of existence. Now that the talks are over, it has to feel good that that discussion never amounted to much. The next trick: Prove that under a new, more owner-friendly deal the team can be viable in the Big Easy.

WINNERS: Fans of the Spurs, Heat, Magic and Mavericks

It was a terrible thing to have your “win now” team sit now.

WINNER: Kobe Bryant

He’s now the NBA’s highest-paid player and a guy who made the right moves in the lockout, toying with various overseas backup plans while looking good back home by offering to lend money to NBA colleagues in need.

WINNERS: Timberwolves

Owner Glen Taylor gets to reduce the financial pain. President of basketball operations David Kahn keeps his job. New coach Rick Adelman breathes life into the proceedings. And the long list of talented young players grows further with Derrick Williams and Ricky Rubio.

WINNERS: The Denver Nuggets

Remember when the Heat had all that cap room to sign free agents? The Nuggets are basically like that, only now all kinds of teams will be on a course to shed payroll. There’s not a system in the world in which you can’t parlay tiny roster commitments into potential.

WINNER: Player movement

You know you love the excitement of a trade. And there’s going to be more of that. The old CBA went to some trouble to keep teams united. The new one, not so much. The league noticed that LeBron James’ desertion of Cleveland spurred more interest in the NBA, not, as feared, less. It’s no accident the new system will inspire a lot of player movement.

Revenue sharing will be a factor here, too. While a lot of the CBA fight was about the rich teams adding free agents, the deal's biggest effect might be at the other end of the spending spectrum. The stingiest teams ought to be ready to join the bidding to add salaries here and there. That's a win for small markets and for free agents.

LOSERS: The Portland Trail Blazers

The Blazers carry high salaries with a mediocre team, and we know for certain the GM has not spent the summer executing a new master plan. We know this because there is no GM. But common sense would suggest this team has to win a lot or change a lot, and one of its favorite tools of the past -- outspending rivals -- has grown trickier.

By Henry Abbott / ESPN.COM

New Whip: Range Rover Evoque by Startech Tuning

Friday, November 25, 2011

Startech a sub-division of Brabus brand, made its European debut at this week’s Essen Motor Show with the New Range Rover Evoque. Rather than improve its off-road capabilities, the German tuning company says that all of the available upgrades for the three- and five-door variants of the Evoque were developed to make the crossover more capable on the road where it will spend if not all, most of its time. The product lineup includes a new front apron, a roof wing and a rear apron that houses a diffuser and the reshaped quad tail pipes. The crossover model’s sportier stance is further enhanced with suspension kit that lowers the ride height by up to 30mm (1.2-inches) and custom-tailored alloy wheels offered in various color combos and 20- or 22-inch diameters. (CLICK HERE FOR LINK)

Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I'm very grateful to be with my family watching football and waiting to dig in on some great food. I wish my entire family and friends a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone have a blessed day! #GOODTIMES

New Video: DJ Premier feat. Nas & The Berklee Symphony Orchestra - Regeneration

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

DJ Premier was given Classical and began his immersion into the genre with Bruce Adolphe, a former classical music professor at Juilliard. They met at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music not far from DJ Premier’s home in NY. After learning about classical music theory, the inspirations of some of the genre’s most profound composers and how traditional pieces are structured, DJ Premier went out and bought tons of classical symphonies on vinyl to mash up his own creation. We then took that mash-up and orchestrated it for sheet music. In the first step of the actual recording process, DJ Premier partnered with Stephen Webber, a professor and conductor at the Berklee College of Music. Stephen taught Premier how to conduct and helped him in studio with the 58-piece Berklee Symphony Orchestra you hear on the track. Of all the takes, the one you hear is the “wild” version (which means they recorded it without the metronome in their headphones) DJ Premier conducted himself. Then DJ Premier brought that instrumental track back home to NY and Nas laid down his rhyme on top of it. #CLASSICHIPHOP

New Trailer: MTV2's Guy Code Show

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hey make sure you guys check out MTV 2's new show called "Guy Code". There's some pretty funny stuff being discussed on this new series, shouts to my brother Manny Toro on this one. (Check your local TV listings for schedules)

New Tech: Paul Smith x Lasonic i931 x Boombox

Monday, November 21, 2011

Paul Smith partners up with California electronics manufacturer Lasonic to produce an all white Lasonic i931x Boombox. Though not the first of its kind, the boombox continues to pay homage to the ’80s with uncompromising cutting edge technology. As with the same of its previous models, this collaboration results in a portable music system in its true retro shape, along with playback of MP3s via a USB port or an iPod dock controlled via a LCD display. In addition, the i931x Boombox still features the classic AM/FM radio. Weighing at 145 lbs and 255 by 144 by 65 inches, this collaborative venture will be released in early December for $5,199 HKD (approximately $670 USD) (CLICK HERE FOR LINK)

New Trailer: The Hunger Games

Friday, November 18, 2011

Lionsgate is unleashing the trailer for Gary Ross' highly anticipated adaptation of The Hunger Games, starring Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, the girl from District 12 who competes in the annual Hunger Games. Hunger Games also stars Josh Hutcherson as Peeta, Liam Hemsworth as Gale, Elizabeth Banks as Effie, and Woody Harrelson Haymitch, and Willow Shields as Prim. Jennifer Lawrence stars as Katniss, a 16-year-old living in the post-apocalyptic country of Panem. Every year, one boy and one girl are chosen from each of Panem's 12 districts to fight each other to their death.

The Hunger Games is both written and directed by Oscar nominated filmmaker Gary Ross, director of Seabiscuit and Pleasantville previously, but also writer of Big, Mr. Baseball, Dave, Lassie, Pleasantville and Seabiscuit. It's adapted from Suzanne Collins' popular series of novels, first published in 2008. Lionsgate is bringing The Hunger Games to theaters everywhere starting March 23rd, 2012 next spring. The games will change everyone!

New Video: Miguel Cotto & Antonio Margarito Interview With Max Kellerman

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito face off with Max Kellerman, discussing their widely-disccused first meeting and looking ahead to the rematch. Cotto vs Margarito 2 happens 12/3 on HBO PPV. Boxing has pretty much disappointing these days, but I'm really looking forward to this rematch. It should be a "CLASSIC"

New Gear: Nixon Holiday 2011 "Stealth Collection"

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

One of my favorite timepiece makers is back, Nikon is releasing their all black everything "Stealth Collection" just in time for the 2011 Holiday Season. Check out some of their new pieces below, Enjoy! (CLICK HERE FOR LINK)

New Article: Drake Interview On Complex Magazine (2011/2012 Cover Story)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Drake isn’t happy. Not in an existential way or anything. He’s not upset about the direction his life is heading, or about the subliminal potshots rappers keep sending his way. Nah, he’s unhappy with how his photo shoot for this magazine is going down. Which is surprising because it’s a bright, unseasonably warm October afternoon in downtown Toronto, and things were going so well.

We’re perched on the roof of the posh Thompson Hotel where Drizzy’s being photographed overlooking his city like a feudal lord surveying his kingdom. To his left are cranes modernizing the largest city in Canada. To his right is the Rogers Centre, the convertible stadium seen in his “Headlines” video.

Suddenly Drake tells the photographer to stop and calls for his manager, Oliver El Khatib, 25, co-captain of the creative team October’s Very Own. Canceling a cover shoot at this stage would be a serious waste of time and money, but Drake doesn’t give a fuck. He wants things done his way or not at all.

Drake doesn’t want to keep shooting with this photographer. He’d rather get Hyghly Alleyne & Lamar Taylor—the same young Toronto dudes who shot the “Headlines” video—to finish the job. Never mind the fact that the first photographer is also a young cat from Toronto who’d been approved by Drake’s management and publicists.

“I’m not going to take that shit,” Drake says when I ask him later what went wrong at the shoot. “Nah man, I work too fucking hard for that. So does everyone around me.” Drake doesn’t often yell, even when he’s riled up. When he wants to emphasize a point, he focuses his stare and slows his speech so it’s clear. “Not to hate,” he says, “and to whoever I snatched that opportunity from, I apologize. But this is about what we’re trying to build here.”

What Aubrey Graham, 25, and his OVO crew are trying to build here is— excuse the clichĂ©—a Toronto movement.

I just feel like I'm really good right now. I've never felt like that before.

“For Drake we have these budgets where we can do videos and shoot photographs by whoever the fuck we want, the hottest guys in New York or L.A.,” Oliver explains. “But I’d rather take Hyghly and Lamar, two kids who are 20 years old... I’d rather build up their portfolios and help them get on and do this video. So now they’ve done ‘Marvin's Room’ and ‘Headlines,’ and hopefully they can do more videos. They shot all Drake’s album artwork.

“We have this little fun factory in Toronto where there’s music being made, there’s art being done, videos being made, we’re starting to work more on our clothing,” Oliver says. “It’s kind of fun, you know? We’re giving opportunities to kids who deserve it... It’s different because everything we’ve done has worked.”

“There used to be a conversation in the Toronto hip-hop scene,” says producer Noah “40” Shebib. “You would [ask] on a regular basis: Who do you think is goin’ to do it? Do you think it’s even possible? Do you think a Canadian rapper could ever blow up in America? That conversation doesn’t get had anymore.”

Since breaking into the mainstream with So Far Gone, the 2009 mixtape that became his hip-hop baptism, Drake has positioned himself as one of music’s premier players. This coup was facilitated by his alliance with Lil Wayne, who damn near kidnapped the young Canadian, taking him on a nationwide tour before throwing him on numerous tracks. When Weezy reported to Rikers Island in March 2010 for an eight-month bid, Drake and his fellow Young Money/ Cash Money signee Nicki Minaj stepped up as the label’s primary breadwinners. His moody, emotionally honest debut, Thank Me Later, hit No. 1 on Billboard, selling 447,000 in the first week, and birthing three Top 20 hits.

Drake’s introspective, self-effacing lyrics—usually delivered in clever, succinct couplets—reveal the inner machinations of many dudes in their mid-twenties: the quest to live life to the limit, not just survive a nine-to-five; the balance of carnal desires with sincere compassion for women’s feelings; the struggle to act responsible when all you want to do is blow your paycheck on lap dances, liquor, and weed.

With gangster rap in decline, and Kanye refashioning the parameters of rap stardom, Drake arrived right on time. But his success has made him one of the most polarizing figures in music. Lil Wayne anointed him the best rapper alive, and he’s rhymed alongside some of the greatest—Bun B, Jay-Z, Jeezy—yet some insist that Drake isn’t hip-hop; that he’s too soft; that he sings too damn much; that he doesn’t sing enough—and should stop rapping; that he wears silly outfits.

“They nitpick at everything,” he says, shaking his head. “I can’t do anything. All they want me to do is dress so they can make fun of me. Otherwise, it’s hard for them. I don’t give people many reasons to dislike me. They have to find shit. They’re like, ‘Aw man, sweaters! He wears sweaters too much.’ Like, what?”

No other good rapper—because, let’s be honest, Drake’s one of the best doing it— draws the same amount of love and ire. It’s enough to drive a person crazy. For every three who applaud him—Nas has likened Drake to “fresh water on dry land”—there’s one looking to shoot him down.

"If someone wants to bring a problem to me, it's strictly based on their immense amount of hate for me."

Most recently it was Pusha T, the newest G.O.O.D. Music recruit, throwing thinly veiled jabs (“The swag don’t match the sweaters”) in a freestyle over Drake’s Jai Paul–sampling “Dreams Money Can Buy.”

Which is not to say that Drake doesn’t play the same game. When he dropped “Dreams” last May, he ruffled feathers with the line “I feel like it went from top five to remaining five/My favorite rappers either lost it or they ain’t alive.” Since he once said he’d cry if Jay-Z died, it’s safe to assume Hov would make his top five. But when pressed, Drake neither confirms nor denies whether Jay and Kanye were targets.

“It wasn’t meant to be a shot at the five rappers that I love,” he says. “I’ve never even sat down and pieced together a top five before. I just feel like I’m really good right now. And I’ve never felt like that before. I’ve always felt reluctant to say anything like that, but I’m very confident in these new raps that I’m about to give the world.”

Drake’s also very confident in the strength of his YMCMB team. When he says, “They trying to bring us down/Me, Weezy, and Stunna,” he may be referring to “H.A.M.,” the first single from Watch The Throne, on which Jay-Z took unnamed rappers to task for having “baby money,” and not even as much as his lady. Lil Wayne wasn’t the only listener who took that as a reference to Cash Money CEO Bryan “Baby” Williams. Five months later on DJ Khaled’s summer banger “I’m on One,” Drake proclaimed that “the throne is for the taking” before advising listeners to “watch” him take it.

Careful listeners may have noticed that Kanye West (who’s worked with Drake in the past) employed the “hashtag flow”— which Drake popularized—on “Otis,” the biggest single from The Throne’s recent album. Many wondered who he was referring to when he said: “Niggas talking real reckless / #Stuntmen / I adopted these niggas, Philip Drummond them.”

The cold war heated up when Wayne returned fire on “It’s Good” from Tha Carter IV. In the song, which also featured Jadakiss and Drake, Weezy presumably talks about kidnapping BeyoncĂ©. Jada declared neutrality immediately after the song leaked, stressing that he had no idea what Lil Wayne was going to say. His denials sounded reasonable enough, but what about Drake? “I’m his soldier,” he says, affirming his loyalty to President Carter.

Still, Drake does his best to remain diplomatic—sort of. “Rapping is about being young and doing your thing and being fly,” he says—the implication being that if older rappers catch feelings, so be it. “I’m sure people took it that way and that’s good, man. That’s great. Wake the fuck up. I hope it makes you go harder. I hope it makes you get mad at me and write a song with me in mind. I hope Kanye’s verse on ‘Otis’ was with that in mind. Everyone tried to tell me ‘Oh Jay is going at you.’ I don’t hear it, but I hope it was man, that song is fucking incredible. Making each other go harder, that's what this shit is about.”

The very fact that rappers with more mileage in this game see Drake as worthy of dissing is noteworthy. If the adage “never shoot down” holds any weight, Drake should interpret all this verbal turmoil as high praise. No one’s taking the time to go at Wiz Khalifa’s neck, or to chop Big Sean down to size.



New Kicks: Bespoke x Nike Air Force 1 "Crown Royal" by Slovadon

Sneakerheads get a shot of sneaker heaven with today’s look at the Bespoke Nike Air Force 1 “Crown Royal” By Slovadon. Fashioned after the signature liquor bottle label, this pair is a combination of plush purple suede, brown nylon, purple 3M, gold leather, purple nubuck as well as well as a variety of other premium materials.

New Trailer: Safe House

Friday, November 11, 2011

This upcoming action-thriller movie starring Ryan Reynolds and Denzel Washington is about a young CIA agent running a safe house who takes on a smart criminal, but must escort him out when the location comes under heavy attack. The supporting cast includes Brendan Gleeson, Sam Shepard, Vera Farmiga, Robert Patrick, Fares Fares, Nora Arnezeder, Liam Cunningham and Joel Kinnaman. Safe House is directed by up-and-coming Swedish filmmaker Daniel Espinosa, of The Fighter, Outside Love and his break-out hit Snabba Cash, also known as Easy Money in the US. The original screenplay is by David Guggenheim (Exit Strategy, Medallion). This was filmed in Cape Town, South Africa earlier this year. Universal is bringing Safe House to theaters starting February 12th, 2012 next year.

New Gear: Sprayground Backpacks

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Shouts to @Sprayground / SPRAYGROUND was started by NYC designer DBD. It was originally created as a backpack company for street artists to easily transport spray cans and has now evolved into a collection of original designs by DBD and friends. Sprayground has impacted the bag industry with revolutionary cutting-edge designs. Growing up in Miami painting, skating and surfing, DBD was always on the go and would pack his whole life in his backpack. It only made sense years later to start an art inspired backpack line. Not only did DBD want to create expressive backpacks, he also put alot of focus into the construction and functionality of each and every bag. (CLICK HERE FOR LINK)

Rest In Peace Heavy D

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

May 24, 1967 – November 8, 2011

With the death of rap icon Heavy D, hip hop lost a trailblazer who defied what folks expected of the genre and its superstars. Being hip hop’s first corpulent solo rap superstar, Heavy (born Dwight Myer) had talent that equally matched the novelty of his size, enough to help launch Andre Harrell’s Uptown Records in 1986 with the release of Heavy D & The Boyz’s debut hit single “Mr. Big Stuff.”

But also driving Heavy’s success was his ability to maintain a fun, clean-cut respectability that garnered respect from both hardcore hip hop fans and grandmothers alike. It was that universality in his music and image that allowed him to cross his talents over to film and television. After writing (and performing) the theme song for the ground-breaking sketch comedy series In Living Color, Heavy—like many rappers in the early '90s—parlayed his hip hop stardom into acting roles on the small and big screen. His first major role came when he was cast as a regular on the hit TV series Roc.

Yet, most notably, for those paying attention in 1993, Heavy would also play a pivotal role in the continuum of overweight rap superstars changing the face of hip hop when his LP Blue Funk debuted an up-and-coming Notorious B.I.G. (the song “A Buncha N***as”).

Below are a couple of videos of my favorite Heavy D joints as well as a video of his last performance on the 2011 BET Hip Hop Awards. Rest In Peace Heavy D, have a peaceful journey.......

Heavy D & The Boyz - The Overweight Lovers In The House

Heavy D feat. Kool G Rap, Grand Puba, CL Smooth, Big Daddy Kane, Pete Rock, & Q-Tip - Don't Curse

Heavy D & The Boyz - Is It Good To You

Last Heavy D performance / 2011 BET Hip Hop Awards

New Tech: Call Of Duty "Modern Warfare 3"

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Official Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® 3 Launch Trailer. The best-selling franchise in Xbox 360® history is back. The definitive multiplayer experience returns bigger than ever. Special Ops co-op is reinvented with all-new survival mode.

Special Ops returns with a bevy of additions, including 16 new objective-based missions and the all-new Survival Mode. Team up online, locally, or play solo and face endless waves of attacking enemies throughout every multiplayer map. Purchase and customize your weapons, air support, equipment and abilities to stand up against increasingly difficult forces and land a spot on the leaderboards.

Earn experience and rank up with the newly implemented progression system. The higher the rank, the more weapons, air support, and gear armories you will have available to customize so you can change your tactics on the fly. In addition to the action packed battle for freedom, the cooperative Survival Mode also serves as an effective training tool for competitive multiplayer action. In stores on 11/8/11 (CLICK HERE FOR LINK)

Check out the official Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® 3 live action trailer featuring Sam Worthington, Jonah Hill and Dwight Howard. Whether you're a veteran of Call of Duty or a n00b just starting out, there is a soldier in all of us.