+ I spent my Saturday night in the East of Pittsburgh. First, I headed to a pivotal venue in black entertainment, Boom Concepts, which sits on Penn Avenue's art district. M.C. and event planner Everett Banks Jr. hosted a hip-hop night for local rappers and some from Virginia. Farma Wes, one of the two rappers from Virginia, took Boom's stage paying respect to Stillers territory as he wore a "Big Nasty D" Steelers shirt. His music was straight and very reflective of aspects to his life, like this girl he fucks with. Pittsburgh's lineup got the home crowd excited at certain moments. When Geno and The Scholars Kid Keem and Zayy were on the mics people were screaming their lyrics. In between songs the group on stage chanted, "scholar, scholar, scholar!" Geno's middle and ring fingers pinched together with his thumb on his right hand. His index and pinky fingers were like insect antennas probing the good energy in the room. "Scholar, scholar, scholar!" Ashadeep kept the crowd lit when she slid into her retro hip-hop flow for her songs off the "Deeper By The Dozen" mixtape. Que Dafoe from the Local Foreigners caught bodies thanks to his relentless bars.
My second stop was at Spirit Bar in Lawrenceville for my first experience at Bounce with the Bounceman himself, DJ-producer Christo and special guest Slim Tha DJ. Bounce was consistent with all the other RB brand events I have been to, like Finesse or Tall Tees. Local photographer Sarah Bader put the experience into perspective. "I love how every time I'm here it feels like a concert. Everyone puts on their own show," she said. At Spirit it is customary for the DJs, RB, and local stars to dance atop the block speakers on stage. Energy crew was live and delivering hype for songs like Playboi Carti's "What" or "Slippery" from Migo's "Culture" album.
My whole Saturday favored contemporary hip-hop in Pittsburgh. I was put on to new artists and new music at both Boom and Spirit, and that fact is a credit to the progressive nature of the two establishments.
/ Ralph 2.12.17 \
+ Know Pittsburgh youth, creative movements from Jenesis Magazine and ITR. The only news-print I get down with is the City Paper.
/ Ralph 2.1.17 \
+ Catch D.R.I.P.P. in a music video for Treble's "Dimension" song. Great song and visuals because of the cheeky male-to-female interaction.
/ Ralph 1.23.17 \
+ From The Ellis School for Girls to video sets with Lil Uzi and design work for Young Thug, Char & Lanie have always relied on one another; they are Pittsburgh sisters discovering a world of their own.
/ Winslow 1.2.17 \
+ "I'm 'bout to put you on."
1. EMI - Popular
2. Trapo - I've Been Workin
3. Trapo - Speed
4. baby.daddi - All That I Want
Follow the crumbs to VibeRotation 23.
/ Ralph 12.27.16 \
+ Like the rest of Stillers Nation, Stephen A. Smith is anxiously awaiting the Christmas day special.
/ Winslow 12.23.16 \
+ Kanye West makes the superficial meaningful.
/ Ralph 12.5.16 \
+ Welcome back to freedom, Kodak Black
/ Ralph 12.2.16 \
+ No time for fakes. Genuineness is key.
/ Ralph 11.28.16 \
+ Between Democrats and Republicans, "this is an intramural scrimmage," we all want a united, successful country President Barack Obama explained.
/ Ralph 10.9.16 \
+ Young people and those appreciative of popular culture, like hip-hop, have places in Pittsburgh to enjoy their preferred environments. Boom Concepts, run by Thomas Agnew and D.S. Kinsel, is a leader in these spaces.
/ Ralph 11.4.16 \
+ Drake has a new project dropping in December called "More Life." In the spirit of Drizzy giving us life, below there are four new songs by the musician.
/ Ralph 10.24.16 \
Juice, the confident persona, and nickname of Steelers running back and rapper Le'Veon Bell, follows his stellar 2016 debut against the Chiefs with a new hip-hop song. The song suggests a dominance that parallels to his NFL game, like 178 yards from scrimmage does in his return. Steelers fan boy, Snoop Dogg did say he was open to recording with the back. While Le'Veon makes hits, fans should look out for a Juice and Snoop collaboration.
P.S. Bell has been recording music since he was 13 years old. He also cites working in the music industry when football is off.
/ Ralph 10.5.16 \
+ "... whether it’s voguing from Harlem’s drag scene in the ‘80s, cornrows, or even the sneaker community – subcultures are increasingly becoming common culture. And as that happens, it also becomes increasingly crucial to acknowledge and engage with the roots of whichever nuance is at hand." ~ Jake Phelps of Hypebeast talks about appropriation.
/ Ralph 10.2.16 \
+ Another unarmed black man was shot and killed. His name was Terence Crutcher. Does Black Life Matter to you?
/ Ralph 9.20.16 \
+ Aïcha, Made in Paris
/ Winslow 9.7.16 \
+ Point blank, it feels good when members of the white community recognize that people of color do not have equal opportunity in this world. "Education is not equal. Job opportunity is not equal. Safety is not equal," says Noah, the men's lifestyle brand based in New York operated by Brendon Babenzien. The company takes action with an edition of "Black Lives Matter" T-shirts featuring "Break Down The Walls" language on the back. Proceeds from the sale of the shirt will go to the Black Lives Matter movement.
The world will be more welcoming if more white people acknowledge the racist world we live in, and move to change the reality.
/ Ralph 8.18.16 \
+ Post Malone comes to Pittsburgh's Diesel Club Lounge with Jazz Cartier and Larry June on November 15, 2016. Get tickets and check other dates to his "The Hollywood Dreams" tour here.
/ Ralph 8.9.16 \
Trust the process and believe in yourself. Follow Aïcha from the beginning of her journey.
/ Winslow 8.8.16 \
Lauryn Hill performs her feel good song at Austin City Limits.
/ Ralph 8.3.16 \
+ "Run in your house with a semi, turn your kids to confetti, feed the scraps to the dogs, load up the rifle then come after the blogs" - Delusional Thomas
/ Ralph 7.25.16 \
More superhero movies... praise him.
/ Ralph 7.23.16 \
/ Ralph 7.18.16 \
+ Reaction to police brutality and race relations in America and abroad
+to avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, and be nothing
/ pinto 6.12.16 \
+ Anderon .Paak and Travi$ Scott are the best performers out right now, and it's funny T.I. has something to do with both.
/ Ralph 5.26.16 \
+ Lil Dicky gossips about Antonio Brown, Gronk, and Von Miller behind their backs.
+ Congratulations to University of Pittsburgh running back James Conner who is now cancer-free after being diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma 6 months ago. To all safeties, linebackers, and coaches...be ware.
/ Winslow 5.23.16 \
+ Concert crowds do not like to be referred to as "weak," or, "lame." Attendees (most of the time) pay their hard earned money to experience performances. It is discouraging when performers taunt people's reaction to what is happening on stage. We could take our money elsewhere, no?
/ Ralph 5.14.16 \
+ "What else is on the horizon for you? Well, my life goal is to do everything forever. My life goal is called 'live life.'" - DJ Khaled to The New York Times Magazine
/ Ralph 5.11.16 \
+ Congratulations, Soulja Boy, your price went up. The rapper is credited as one of the writers of Beyoncé's new song, "Hold Up," where the queen utters, "hop out of bed turn my swag on." [Have you seen Lemonade yet?]
/ Ralph 4.25.16 \
+ Some Pittsburghers are not a fan of Yung Lean's music, and others are not a fan of Yung Lean. Shots were fired at the Swedish rapper's tour bus in Pittsburgh, who was in town for his show at Altar Bar.
/ Ralph 3.19.16 \
+ 10 double-digit seed teams advanced to the Round of 32 in this year's March Madness, making the most upsets in history for one round.
/ Ralph 3.19.16 \
+ "low quality @ high capacity, potential energy atm," aka Pinto's beginning
+ ON HOW FASHION CAN BE IMPACTFUL:
“It’s definitely impactful because it’s just another form of expressing yourself. Some people use drugs, or violence, or whatever your vice may be, and you have creative people that may use music or maybe use style in expressing themselves—whether they are angry or happy, or sad. You can almost see it by the way they get up in the morning and what they put on and what shoes they wear. It’s surely another great form of expression.” ~ Kendrick Lamar via the Coveteur
/ Ralph 3.16.16 \
+ COOP's Graffiti Code - do not tag the following:
3. Houses (abandoned houses he says, "fuck that.")
/ Ralph, 2.7.16 \
+ True story, Cousin Stizz jinxed his New England Patriots before they could defeat the Denver Broncos by dropping this little heater.
/ Winslow, 1.27.16 \
+ Kevin Hart truly has his own Nike silhouette, the Hustle Hart.
/ Ralph, 1.16.16 \
+ "wc" was my favorite critique to see on paper drafts.
/ Ralph, 1.15.16 \
+ Everybody should own a domain name.
/ Ralph, 12.4.15 \
+ Slow-progressing as in, has Pittsburgh accepted its black people and black culture? 1839 Mag writer Raymar Hampshire says in his "Why I Left: Pittsburgh Has an Expiration Date" article, "I want my friends who are doing dope shit to get the recognition and opportunity that they deserve. I want Pittsburgh to let them be great. I want Pittsburgh to be great."
/ Ralph, 11.13.15 \
+ Pittsburgh is a pop cultural epicenter, it will take a few more years for the world to notice because Pittsburgh is, in some ways, still viewed as an old, slow-progressing city. People and organizations like Wiz, Shop412, KeepPittsburghDope, Daily Bread, Cameraman Nairobi, JMY JAM, Christo, Mac and Jenesis Magazine all help bring Pittsburgh to speed in American popular culture.
/ Ralph, 11.10.15 \
+ "I'm just fucking waiting for Frank fucking Ocean to come out with his album, it's taking so fucking long. That sounds so stupid, coming from me, doesn't it?" - Adele in her feature story on Rolling Stone. Her latest album in four years, 25, drops Nov. 20
/ Ralph, 11.3.15 \
+ Artists are so quick to travel to Philadelphia for concerts and pass right over Pittsburgh. Show some love to The 'Burgh, your music is appreciated here.
/ Ralph, 11.3.15 \
+ Slime Season 1 < Slime Season 2 - Young Thug
/ Ralph, 11.3.15 \
+ "You won't catch me wearing sweats in public," says someone who cares about their appearance.
/ Ralph, 10.29.15 \
+ IF the 2016 NBA Finals features a rematch between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors, which it very well may could, a repeat title would give Steph 2 rings in just as many attempts to Lebron's 2 out of 7(!) Every rein must come to an end at some point. Just sayin'.
/ Winslow, 10.26.15 \
"Got my Vans on, but they look like sneakers." ~ The Pack
/ Ralph 10.15.15 \
+ What we learned this week:
- Jay Z's Tidal has reached over 1,000,000 subscribers. To commemorate going "platinum" as he called it, there will be a Tidal Festival at the Barclay's Center.
- Ralph Lauren will step down as CEO of Ralph Lauren.
- Will Smith returns to the mic!
/ Winslow, 10.3.2015 \
+ "I always used to be so envious, man, that Wiz Khalifa had that song 'Black and Yellow,' and it was just a song about Pittsburgh... Like the world was singing a song about Pittsburgh! And I was just so baffled, as a songwriter, at how you stumbled upon a hit record about Pittsburgh," Drake says in his cover story on The Fader.
Know yourself, Mr. Drizzy.
/ Ralph, 9.25.15 \
+ "So this the music that made white people mad" ~ Mac Miller - In The Bag
/ Ralph, 9.14.15 \
+ What we learned this week:
- Future intends to release a follow up album to Dirty Sprite 2
- Raury's debut album All We Need is set to drop on October 16
- Pricing for Kanye West's YEEZY Season 1 adidas line were published...Yeezus is not bringing fashion to the masses just yet.
/ Winslow, 9.11.15 \
/ Winslow, 9.4.15 \
+ Choose your response to the following situation:
Oh sh*t, Travi$ Scott's Rodeo album leaked...
a. Illegally download Rodeo b. Illegally download and purchase Rodeo c. Purchase Rodeo d. who is Travi$ Scott?
/ Ralph 8.31.15 \
+ Kanye West is in pursuit of truth for his 2020 Presidential candidacy -- "I will die for the art, and for what I believe in," he said in his MTV Video Vanguard Award acceptance speech.
/ Ralph 8.31.15 \
+ Instagram update 7.5 adds portrait and landscape photo formats other than solely square... "Be there or be square" because you're not a-round (you're welcome).
/ Ralph 8.27.15 \
+ "Acknowledging original work is really important." ~ Ta-ku in his featured spot on Soulection Radio Show #221
/ Ralph 8.25.15 \
/ Pinto, 8.24.15 \
+ In July, the University of Michigan and Nike announced a 16-year sponsorship deal worth over $169 million. Today, the two partners added to the excitement divulging that the Michigan Wolverines football team will be wearing not Swoosh branded products, but the Jumpman logo. Yes, Michigan football is the first college football team to don the Jordan Brand.
/ Winslow, 8.14.15 \
+ I've heard a lot of chatter about the newly unveiled Converse 2.0's. I don't own a pair of Chucks. The closest I get to the whole phenomenon are my Jack Purcells, which have slowly tattered and aged just like you want in a pair of All Stars. Since 1917, the Chuck Taylor All-Stars have transcended sports and popular culture. Its functionality and casual aesthetic makes the sneaker the ultimate "beater" while quotidian wear adds unique character to each model. If I'm a consumer, I'm not sure I'm in the market for Converse 2.0s because it is the history that attracts me to the Converse brand. It's not just the shoe; it's the heritage and cult like following people have behind their Chucks and the fact that the silhouette has practically remained unchanged since its inception. I get the need to be progressive as a brand, but I believe Converse has created its own niche market that will not be infringed upon in the near future. If it's not broken, why fix it?
/ Winslow, 8.11.15 \
+ Triggered by this article on It's Nice That: We live in the hype that we create. The whos creating the whats doing the things flow into our shared human experience. Some outlets at times get caught in the brown nosing and their diehard fans will air them out in the comment section. Of note is The Fader-- true narrators.
/ Ralph, 8.7.15 \
+ Unprompted, this is what 4-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady said about his rivalry between QB/surgeon Peyton Manning, "I've got another 7 or 8 years. He has 2. That's the final chapter. Game on." Three ring difference or not, Brady is unabashed in his comparisons to Manning and every time they are pitted against one another there's nothing else on his mind than knocking the 'greatest regular season quarterback' down another peg.
/ Winslow, 8.6.15 \
+ Mac Miller's third album, GO:OD A.M., releases September 18, 2015
/ Ralph, 8.6.15 \
+ CyHi The Prynce, member of Kanye West's GOOD Music label, threatens boss and Def Jam since they have yet to release his debut album.
"I want a new million dollar deal... Oh everybodys gettin' kidnapped/ Take you back to your crib while yo kids nap/ And if your wife walk in start screaming in my ear then the b*tch is gettin' b*tch slapped/... 'What the f*ck CyHi what are you doing this for?' Cuz nobody wanna listen to the kid rap/ Ok my n*gga Pusha sh*t snap, naw I'm lying man the sh*ts crap/ Ok Teyana got a fat ass, but she won't let nobody in the clique tap/ And ain't gon be no new Yeezy album cuz he in the trunk wit his mouth taped and his wrists wraped"
It is definitely stupid to start beef with your boss, might work out in the end.
/ Ralph, 8.5.15 \
+ adidas is offering James Harden $200 million over 13 years to walk away from Nike... the Rockets owe him $80 million spanning 2012 to 2018. Desperation has struck the basketball market thanks to Nike supremacy.
/ Ralph, 8.4.15 \
+ Five Fingers of Death:
- Shook Ones Pt. II- Mobb Deep
- Platinum Plus- Big L
- No Tellin' Part II- Drake
- 2 On- Tinashe
- Summer Love- Justin TImberlake
/ Winslow, 8.3.15 \