An Under-The-Radar Albums Preview For 2013


Forget resolutions. January is all about the wait. In most places, the landscape has performed its annual sad disrobing and is as bare and immobile as a patient sitting through a diagnosis. And though this mostly gray, mostly quiet month is always punctuated with a few great new releases, the music world also rests a bit. Spring will bring festivals and blockbuster releases; for now, there’s time to recover from holiday splurging and debate what might come of the year ahead. We critics, already in list mode, pass the time picking new racehorses. However, too many lists of “ones to watch” simply point out the obvious. Who needs to be reminded about the imminent ubiquity of upcoming albums by BeyonceU2,Eminem, and — okay, I’m really thrilled about this one! — David Bowie? Then there’s the sound equivalent of bacon-flavored everything: young artists, buzzy at first, then rapidly over-saturating our taste buds. Hip-hop’s super-hyped kid Earl Sweatshirt, chic cosmopolitans Rhye and L.A. sister act Haim in that category in 2013.

Don’t mistake my blasé attitude for lack of interest in the actual music involved. I’m excited about every new release I just mentioned. Here I’ve focused here on lesser-lauded artists: voices just starting to be heard beyond small circles, or returning favorites whose fine new efforts could be overlooked amid the clamor and distraction of the pop scene. Release dates aren’t solid for every one of these albums. A few are being recorded as I write. Will every one make my next year-end Top Ten? Doubtful. But this is a bunch of contenders. CHECK OUT THE LIST

A$AP Rocky Breaks Down ‘Long.Live.ASAP’ Album Intro (Video)


As we get closer and closer to the official release of A$AP Rocky’s debut album, Love.Live.ASAP, the Life + Times presents their latest Decoded webisode. Rocky took his turn and carefully explained the lyrics behind the album’s intro. He drew inspiration from early No Limit and Cash Monery records for this track.

Watch the clip, ASAP’s interview with Fuse and listening session in Harlem after the jump…

Beyconcé Graces GQ Mag

The East Coast Roast

Beyoncé may have celebrated the first birthday of adorable daughter, Blue, but that doesn’t mean she’s not still Bootylicious. (photos by Terry Richardson).

The 31-year-old told GQ Magazine: ‘I worked so hard during my childhood to meet this goal: by the time I was 30 years old, I could do what I want. I’ve reached that. I feel very fortunate to be in that position. But I’ve sacrificed a lot of things, and I’ve worked harder than probably anyone I know in the music industry. So I just have to remind myself that I deserve it.’


Bey also revealed on her website that Destiny’s Child will be releasing new music later this month! DC also posted to their official Facebook page that this indeed is happening for the first time in 8 years!


Happy Roasting!

View original post



Iman Shumpert unveiled this wildly bright colorway of the adidas Top Ten 2000 last season before going down with an injury against the Miami Heat. While adidas might be campaigning #thereturn with Derrick Rose, Knicks fans are anticipating a return of their future All-Star anytime now as well. Meanwhile, Shumpert’s bright orange retros will help fans celebrate his return to the hardwood. Releasing at 21:21 on January 21 is the “2WO 1NE” (Iman’s jersey number) edition of the adidas Top Ten 2000. These special edition adidas are limited to just 500 pairs worldwide and individually numbered. They will retail for $140 and be available at Packer Shoes.

The 15 Most Important Tech Acquisitions of All Time

15 Most Important Tech Acquistions

It seems like every year we witness a host of tech companies initiate million- and billion-dollar bids to snatch up their biggest competitors or the next major start-up. Predicting the aftermath of any corporate buyout is impossible. Some might have the potential to become success stories such as Apple’s acquisition of NeXT. Others are doomed to crash and burn like the AOL and Time Warner merger. Whatever the outcome, only a number of mergers and acquisitions have gone on to be remembered for changing to landscape of the tech industry. From the evolution of Microsoft to Facebook’s unprecedented mobile move, these are the 15 Most Important Tech Acquisitions of All Time. CHECK OUT THE ACQUISITIONS

Bonds (and Everyone) Strikes Out


In the most resounding referendum yet on the legacy of steroids in baseball, voters for the Hall of Fame emphatically rejected the candidacies of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens in balloting results announced on Wednesday. In their first year on the ballot, Bonds and Clemens, perhaps the most decorated hitter and pitcher in the game’s history, fell far short of receiving the necessary 75 percent of votes from baseball writers. Bonds, the career home runs leader, received only 36.2 percent, while Clemens, who won a record seven Cy Young Awards, did slightly better, with 37.6. It was the first election since 1996 in which the writers chose no new members. “It takes time for history to sort itself out,” said Jeff Idelson, the Hall of Fame’s president. “I’m not surprised we had a shutout today. I wish we had an electee, but I’m not surprised given how volatile this era has been.” For a sport whose links to performance-enhancing drugs have forced it to endure Congressional hearings, public apologies from players, tell-all books and federal trials, Wednesday offered a profound moment. Writers decreed that two of baseball’s greatest players would not be officially recognized with the game’s highest honor, at least for now and perhaps forever. The Hall of Fame will still have its annual induction ceremony in Cooperstown, N.Y., this summer. But the three who will be honored — the umpire Hank O’Day, the owner Jacob Ruppert and a catcher, Deacon White — all died in the 1930s and were voted in by the veterans’ committee in December rather than through the more prestigious route of being selected by the members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. (The New York Times does not permit its reporters to vote for awards.) As a result, it will be the first time since 1960 that the induction ceremony will include no new, living honorees, underscoring the lingering damage that the issue of drugs is inflicting on the sport. Clemens, in a message posted to his Twitter account, said that “after what has been written and said over the last few years I’m not overly surprised.” Bonds did not immediately comment, but lamented in an interview with in November that “it’s tough when you have so many people out there who don’t want to turn the page and want to be angry at you forever.” Every player on the 2013 ballot was active in the years before steroid testing, which began, with penalties, in 2004. Some have escaped suspicion, like the top two finishers in this election. Craig Biggio of the Houston Astros, who amassed 3,060 hits, made his debut on the ballot at 68.2 percent, followed by the former pitcher Jack Morris, who got 67.7 percent in his 14th year as a candidate. CONTINUE READING

Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Adds Six New Original Series


2012 was a great year for the Oprah Winfrey Network. OWN, which once suffered from low ratings and management shake-ups, reached double-digit gains and soared with 11 months of consecutive ratings growth. The 2013 season looks just as bright for OWN. Over the weekend, the network revealed six new original series to its lineup. The shows include Raising Whitley, a reality series centered around the life of actress and comedienne Kym Whitley; Blackboard Wars, a docu-series about the transformation of New Orleans’ John McDonogh High School; Dogfellas, a show following dog groomer James “Head” Guiliani and Golden Sisters, a reality show starring real-life golden girls Mary, Josie & Teresa. The lineup also includes two scripted series from OWN’s joint venture with Tyler Perry. The Have and the Have Nots and Love Thy Neighbor are both scheduled to air on May 29th.

The network has yet to release premiere dates for its new reality series, but until then, Oprah fans can look forward to seeing some familiar faces on her other hit shows. Oprahs’ Master Class is scheduled to return with appearances from Alicia Keys, Lenny Kravitz, Diahann Carroll and Berry Gordy. Oprah’s Next Chapter is set to star Cissy Houston and LL Cool J in upcoming episodes, and in March, Oprah: Where Are They Now? will show the whereabouts of former The Oprah Winfrey Show guests Bow Wow, Omarosa and Dennis Rodman.

Read it at Clutch.

AFRICA BY THE AFRICANS: Young Tastemakers Aim to Challenge Stereotypes


The stereotypes about Africa/Africans are too many to list here. They’re mostly negative, myopic depictions that focus on war, famine, abject poverty, disease, and corruption. In other oversimplifications, Africans are written up as model immigrants, overachieving geniuses, or displaced chiefs moonlighting as gas station attendants. Outside of these caricatures, many Africans are going to work and school, voting in their local elections, and spending way too much time on Facebook. And they’re over the ignorance that has collectively miscast them. In response, a swelling movement of young Africans are launching concerted efforts to wrest the image of Africa from entities and interests that don’t promote a balanced understanding of the continent.

Among this group is South African professor Sean Jacobs who founded the incisive Africa is a Country, billing it as “the media blog that’s not about famine, Bono, or Barack Obama.” Ghanaians Sandra Appiah and Isaac O. Babu-Boateng launched Face 2 Face Africa Magazine to combat portrayals of Africa as pathological and troubled.

Likewise, Nigerian-American Enyinne Owunwanne started ecommerce boutique Heritage 1960 to promote what she says is “the best of the best, when it comes to African fashion, lifestyle and culture”. Fellow Nigerian-American Ngozi Odita initiated AFRIKA21 to broaden the conversation around what 21st century Africa really looks like, apart from the stereotypes. CONTINUE READING..