Lakers Are Going To Retire Kobe Bryant’s Jersey

The time has come for Kobe Bryant to receive the honor he so deserves after dedicating 20 seasons to the Los Angeles Lakers. As a result of his amazing career, Kobe Bryant will have his number 8 and 24 jersey numbers retired this season in December before the Lakers take on the Golden State Warriors at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Throughout his time with the Lakers, “The Black Mamba” managed to snag five NBA Championships, two NBA Finals MVP Awards, the NBA’s Most Valuable Player Award, two Olympic Game gold medals, and third place on the league’s All-Time Scoring list, passing Michael Jordan.

Also Bryant is making history, being the only player to have two numbers retired for one team.

 
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Sonic Mania- Childhood Remastered!!!

Oh. My. God.

It’s somehow fitting that my favorite game on the PS4 is nothing more than a throwback to what was in my opinion the golden age of video games. Nostalgia is a powerful thing, and Sonic Mania uses this to its advantage to create nothing but joy in this 32-year-old gamer’s heart.

One of my fondest memories as a gamer was coming home from school one day to discover that my parents had gone out of their way to surprise me with a belated birthday gift. As I walked towards my closed bedroom door, I heard video game sounds emanating from the speakers of my old tube TV. Did I leave my Nintendo on by mistake? DAD’S GONNA KILL ME! ( He always made sure that I understood that electricity costs money lol ) These sounds however, were NEW to me. I had played enough of Megaman 2 and Super Mario to know those sound effects and music by heart. No, this was something different.

I opened my door and in front of me was the greatest sight a 9-year-old could see: A brand new Sega Genesis just begging to be played. The game that was making those unfamiliar noises? Sonic the Hedgehog 2. As the game’s demo was playing, I just stood there, jaw dropped at its beauty. I hugged my parents and thanked them for what seemed like an eternity.

Soon after I indulged in what would become one of my favorite games ever. It was so different from what I was used to at the time. Instead of trudging along as a slow out of shape plumber, I was breaking the sound barrier with the little Blue Blur known as Sonic. Instead of hearing tiny sounding 30 second loops of a song every stage, my young ears were treated to some of the best songs I had heard from a video game console. I mean just listen to the Genesis sound chip MURDER this track!

MMMMM sweet, sweet 16-bit synth goodness right there.

 

The game’s sense of speed! Its sound! Its beautiful graphics! I was immediately hooked by the game, and I played the hell out of it as well as it’s two sequels, the amazing Sonic 3, and Sonic and Knuckles. And then, for whatever reason SEGA, the game’s developer somehow forgot how to make a good Sonic game (save for the GREAT Sonic CD that was made for its disk based SEGA CD console.) Once the lil hedgehog made the inevitable leap to 3D, the series lost some of its soul.

But with this newest game, Sonic is BACK!

After years of sub par games, Sega decided to enlist a gentleman by the name of Christian Whitehead- a freelance game developer and Sonic enthusiast. Whitehead’s initial claim to fame was his homemade port of Sonic CD for the iPhone. At first Sega tried to take down his hard work due to copyright infringement, but eventually they saw the labor of love that it was and actually hired him to make official ports of some of their classic Sonic games for the Xbox 360, PS3 and cell phones. These ports were very well received, so Sega decided to entrust Whitehead with the creation of a brand new Sonic game. And boy did he deliver.

This game is damn near perfect, and is a love letter to every fan in the series. Instead of using crazy 3D polygons and giving us a huge open world to explore, Sonic Mania gets back to the series’ roots – brilliant level design, a true sense of speed and momentum, physics that are dead on, gorgeous (yet simple) graphics and art design, and an absolutely INCREDIBLE soundtrack.

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Sonic Mania contains twelve wonderful levels, all split into two acts. A good chunk of the levels are “remixes” of stages that appeared in the first three Sonic games on the Genesis, with the first acts remaining generally faithful to their original counterparts with a few surprises thrown in. It’s in Act 2 of these remixed stages that generally introduce new gimmicks and mechanics to keep players on their toes. Not only are all of these levels huge, but they all offer multiple paths to completion depending on which character you select.

Yes, right from the jump, you can decide to play as either Sonic, his flying fox pal Tails, or the wall climbing Knuckles. All can be played as solo characters, or you can team up Sonic and Tails together-with Sonic of course taking the lead. As an added bonus, a second player can jump in at anytime to take control of Tails if you decide to go through the game using the pair-just like in the original games. Each character has his pros -Sonic’s shields that he finds offer him special abilities like double jumping and the ability to shoot across the screen in a fireball, Tails can fly for a limited time, and Knuckles can glide horizontally for great distances and climb walls, and cons -Tails and Knuckles don’t get special shield abilities, and Knuckles can’t jump as high as Sonic. The differences between each character are slight but impact gameplay in meaningful ways.

As any Sonic fan can tell you the soundtrack is a vital piece to any Sonic game, AND HOT DAMN DOES SONIC MANIA DELIVER!!!! Seriously, the lead composer of Sonic Mania, Tee Lopes has done and utterly FANTASTIC job with the soundtrack, giving us remixes of the classics as well as simply stunning original compositions. The soundtrack swings from synthed out thrash to New Jack Swing style bangers. It has something for everyone, and each track fits its stage to perfection.  Just take a listen to his remix of the “Chemical Plant Zone” track.

So, SO SEXY!!!

 

Now listen to the original composition “Prime Time” from the Studiopolis Act.

That’s some hot fire right there!

 

Sonic Mania is everything that I wanted it to be and more. Amazing visuals and sound, a punishing but fair difficulty, and loads of content make this a must own title that anyone can pick up and play. It hits a sweet spot for me personally for sure, but I honestly can’t think of anyone that wouldn’t enjoy it. Oh, and did I mention that it’s only $20 bucks?!?!?!?!? Yep, a $20 dollar digital only game that takes up less space on my hard drive than my Netflix app is by far the most fun I have had on my PS4 in a loooong time. I cannot recommend this game highly enough. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have rings to collect and funky jams to vibe to.

Game is available for digital download for PS4, Xbox 1, Nintendo Switch and PC.

-JD

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Rhythm Roulette: DJ Jazzy Jeff

DJ Jazzy Jeff  came up with Back for More by Al Johnson—“classic”—Say No More by rock act Les Dudek, and the 1973 self-titled album by funk act Reuben Howell.
Jazz got the chance to work with a brand new Serato software plug-in called Sample that integrates with Serato’s O.G. production software, Pitch ‘n Time. As the name suggests, Sample allows users to chop samples and manipulate them freely. BPMs can be adjusted to the utmost extreme without any loss of audio quality. A highly intuitive interface allowed Jazz to quickly find, chop, key-shift, and time-stretch samples.

Watch below how the magic came to life, and let us know your thoughts.

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Happy Birthday Kobe!!!!

I know it’s a bit late, but yesterday was Kobe Bryant’s 39th birthday. Recently catching some  heat for his post-retirement dad-bod, the “Black Mamba” has earned the right to live life to the fullest after contributing twenty seasons to the NBA. Bryant’s highly decorated career consists of five NBA Championships, two NBA Finals MVP trophies, a Most Valuable Player award, 18 NBA All-Star selections and a lot more.

The NBA has put together his very best plays against all NBA teams that existed during his NBA career. This includes teams before and after relocations such as the Seattle SuperSonics, Vancouver Grizzlies, Charlotte Bobcats, New Orleans Pelicans and more. You’ll also find outstanding plays from a bunch of buzzer-beaters to his poster-worthy(welcome to the NBA) dunk on Dwight Howard and a sick windmill against the Chicago Bulls as he competed against Michael Jordan. Take a look at Kobe’s amazing highlights below and let us know your thoughts.

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NPR Tiny Desk: DJ Premier

NPR Tiny Desk concerts are typically made for people who sing or rap. Sometimes, though, instrumentalists make their way through the Washington D.C. offices, and now DJ Premier has his own set.

Backed by a live band, Preemo and friends performed a few of the songs he’s produced, including, in order:

  • KRS-One — “KRS-One Attacks”
  • KRS-One –MC’s Act Like They Don’t Know”
  • Das EFX — “Real Hip-Hop”
  • Nas — “Nas Is Like”
  • Jeru The Damaja — “Da Bichez”
  • Gang Starr — “Step In the Arena”
  • Gang Starr Feat. M.O.P. — “1/2 & 1/2″
  • Royce Da 5’9″ — “Boom”
  • Gang Starr — “Moment of Truth”

For me, I’m not a huge fan of his production, but still love some of the stuff he does.  So it was only right that I pay respect where respect is do.  Watch the performance below.

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Nike’s New Kobe A.D. : “Mamba Mentality”

Kobe Bryant’s legacy continues.

The shoe shows  a stripped down version of the Nike Kobe A.D. NXT and normal Nike Kobe A.D. as each sport a different blueprint-like design on their uppers. Each colorway reflects an emotion in relation to Kobe’s “Mamba Mentality” as purple represents being fearless, red acknowledges passion, yellow reflecting optimism, grey symbolizes Bryant’s neutral yet calm detached emotion and blue as a nod to honesty and trust.

Each model has engineered Flywire cables for enhanced support and strength in addition to a full-length midsole for a lightweight feel on court. Nike’s Zoom Air Unit is placed within its heel for impact cushioning which is complemented by an engineered micro-blade tread outsole for easy movement.

The Nike Kobe A.D. “Mamba Mentality” Pack is set to launch on August 24(8/24) as an homage to both of Kobe Bryant’s jersey numbers.

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On August 21, 2017 Watch The Solar Eclipse

For the first time in 38 years, the moon will entirely cover the sun in the US.

On August 21, the moon’s orbit will bring it directly in line between the Earth and the sun, creating a total solar eclipse in the United States for the first time in 38 years. The entire continental US will be able to witness at least a partial eclipse, with a small handful of fourteen states experiencing what will be considered a remarkable celestial event: a total solar eclipse.

The eclipse will start on the West Coast around 10:15 a.m PST, and then make its way east, hitting the East Coast around 2:45 p.m EST. Cities that will get to see the total eclipse include: Salem, Oregon; Nashville, Tennessee; Kansas City, Missouri; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Columbia and Charleston, South Carolina.

Go See This Eclipse from Alex Gorosh on Vimeo.

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Raising Bertie Documentary

Raising Bertie, a  POV (point-of-view) documentary by filmmaker Margaret Byrne. The film will follow three Black youths — Reginald “Junior” Askew, David “Bud” Perry, and Davonte “Dada” Harrell — growing up in Bertie County, a small North Carolina town with a population of just over 20,000 people. Filmed over the course of six years, Raising Bertie follows the lives of Askew, Perry and Harrell and their families. Executive produced by J. Cole.

Set to premier on PBS on August 28th, the trailer to Raising Bertie can be watched below.

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JAY-Z Parodies “Friends” for “Moonlight” Video

Directed by Alan Yang, the video is a parody of the 90’s sitcom Friends with an all-black cast of Jerrod Carmichael (Ross), Issa Rae (Rachael), Tiffany Haddish (Phoebe), Tessa Thompson (Monica), Lakeith Stanfield (Chandler), Lil Rel Howery (Joey) and Hannibal Buress as himself.  Why not?

Check out the video below.

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DJ Perly: First Women To Win DMC National Championship

The glass ceiling continuing to shatter!!!

Women have been making strides in abundance in a male dominate world.  From sports, medicine, and many more, women have proved time and time again that they are as good or even better than man.

Now we can add DJ Perly to the growing list of women that are breaking the ceiling and doors or our society.

A New York native and Puerto Rican-Russian American, Perly became the first woman to win the DMC USA National Finals, taking home the title August 5th in New York while beasting fellow regional DMC champs such as Dwells and Schmeeze. Also a 2016 NYC DMC regional winner, becoming the first woman turntablist DJ to win a DMC US Regional DJ Championship in the process, she reached second place in the DMC USA National DJ Final that same year.

“That night, I instantaneously felt the high energy of excitement,” Perly said to HipHopDX. “I knew it was going to be a really good battle. Not sure how the night would end, but it was going to be a good night. When I heard my name as the USA champ, I was surprised and just overwhelmed with joy. I was so overwhelmed I kinda lost feeling in my legs and dropped to the floor [laughs]. That moment truly felt magical and gratifying that hard work was paying off.”

Now she has the opportunity to compete in and win the 2017 DMC World Championship, representing the United States.

“From what I know and experienced in the past is that some people just don’t think that women can do what the guys can do,” she says. “Some people just don’t want to see a woman kick ass and prove that women can do anything in this world. They’re just afraid.

“Women are so underrepresented in not just Hip hop, but other genres of music,” Perly continues. “Some men — not all — see women as weak and frail, but in fact, [we] are truly the strongest. Women go through a nine-month pregnancy, and give birth to the future and next generations of game changers. And think about it, child birth hurts like hell and we still kick ass. I applaud all those women who fight day in and day out to show and prove that this world is not a man’s world, and women can succeed in male-dominated fields. Women have the power and strength to move the world in a positive direction. We all have that power.”

Congratulations to DJ Perly!!!!!

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