Louis VuittonxStephen Sprouse

2 12 2008


How many famous people/fashion Gods can be squeezed into one blog post?  Well lets see, Louis Vuitton,  the fashion power house and my personal favorite luxury brand, has once again utilized the work of Stephen Sprouse, God father of the 80’s downtown pop punk fashion trend.  Using his trademark graffiti print that was featured in their first collaboration 7 years ago, they’ve developed bags, shoes, leggings and even sneakers.  Now, I think I owe you guys an explanation as to why Marc Jacobs is naked on my blog, well, I can’t explain really.  All I can say is that he’s donned the graffiti print and fortunately grabbed a well placed bag and had another swag icon photograph him.  Yes if you’re up on your shit you may recognize this as being Terry Richardson’s signature style.  The shot will be featured in Harper’s Bazaar’s January issue.  Though I wouldn’t personally rock any of the items, I think the bags are pretty dope. Peep!


Case Closed

20 11 2008

Apparently the fashion Demi-God, Karl Lagerfeld needed something a little more comprehensive than your typical run of the mill iPod case.  Actually “case” is a gross understatement, this luxury accessory was a custom made piece for Lagerfeld by Louis Vuitton.  The black leather case carries over 20 iPods along with a full premium speaker system and what seems to be a charging device as well.  If that’s not personalized enough the top of the case carries Karl’s initials in red, I guess being a world reknowned fashion designer and God of swag has its perks.

808’s & Heartbreak

20 11 2008


The most talked about album of 2008, to many it’s an attempt to cash in on the electro scene, to others it’s an experimental album full of emotion or a theraputic tool for an extremely rough year.   Either way, Kanye West’s 808’s & Heartbreak is an album that should not be taken lightly.   With the release of 2 singles that received mixed reviews and leaked songs that weathered a hail of heavy criticism, 808’s will definitely have a lot of people talking on release day.  I was able to get my hands on a retail version of the album, while it’s not the Kaws version pictured above the main album is still the same.(Plus KAWS is the shit and I like this cover better!)

Track 1: Say You Will

This track is epic, simply amazing the songs construction takes you from the opening string crescendo through a beautifully assembled choir background right into the lyrics.  The song sets the emotion of the album gripping the listener with a sense of sorrow and mournfulness.  Kanye pretty much embodies the album’s name in this song using the legendary 808 kit and pushing that emotional message.  My favorite track on the album. 9/10


Track 2:  Welcome To Heartbreak

Another track that cuts straight to the chase, the melodic piano backdrop is glue automatically sticking to the listener.  The lyrics describe Kanye’s struggles and sense of emptieness and the desire to have more than material positions.  Obviously a very emotional song for Kanye, employing Kid Cudi for the chorus and taking the bridge in his own hands, the song ascends into a powerful wave and then subsides into a ripple.  8/10


Track 3:  Heartless

This track opens with the chorus, crisp, clean and again emotional.  The bass kicks you and the melody intrigues you, the simple organ tune provides the perfect counter balance for the track.  Definitely a song describing ‘Ye’s previous relationship.  A song that describes the immediate aftermath of a failed relationship, it’s definitely a track we can all relate to.  With relavant lyrics and top notch production this is one of my favorite tracks.  8.5/10


Track 4: Amazing

Taiko drums and a piano, the songs simplicity is zen-like, powerful and efficient.  The tracks general mood is one of triumph and confidence, definitely something Kanye intended for his critics and doubters.  With Young Jeezy lending a hand in the form of a screwed and chopped ad lib and a verse, Amazing is just that,  amazingly simple, well crafted and a stand out track. 8/10


Track 5: Love Lockdown

Staying with the theme of simplicity, Kanye throws in a heavy 808 bass line as the spine of this track and once again employs the taiko drums and grand piano.  The first single off the album, it personified the overall mood and theme that every other track would follow.  Kanye’s lyrics are haunting, mournful and painful.  The construction of the song is like a roller coaster, the verses are subdued and the instrumental reflects the calm nature.  When the chorus comes in the listener is shot forward into a barrage of taiko drums setting the pace for the songs exit.  A favorite of mine from the very first listen. 9/10


Track 6:  Paranoid

The first up beat song on the album, the 16 bar intro is mellow compared to the extremely danceable body of the song.  The lyrics are straight forward, a woman’s paranoia in a relationship and occupy the first half of the song for the most part.  The song while promising at first tends to feel a bit empty despite the hooks sparing repitition.  The listener is almost left with a cliff hanger of a song listening to a few measures of an instrumental that is in desperate need of lyrics.  A disappointing track but still well produced.  6.5/10


Track 7:  Robo Cop

Crunch, one of the prominent sounds you’re greeted with upon approaching this track, a brilliant series of string for the skin for the 808 kit skeleton of this song.  Kanye’s lyrics are once again a bit more up beat and aren’t really the high light of this song.  Actually I’ve totally disregarded them and I’ve went upon the over all mood of the track.  The strings are dominant through out the track and we actually get to hear Kanye’s voice sans auto-tune as he closes the track.  A decent track not a favorite but listenable.  7/10


Track 8:  Street Lights


Back to the mellow emotional mood of the album.  Kanye utilized a distorted synth and the name sake drum of choice to construct this track around his auto-tuned vocals.  The song is simple, tried and true for this album.  The lyrics are metaphorical and describe life’s journey, clearly an emotional song for Kanye.  A good song, not great but good enough.  7.5/10


Track 9:  Bad News


Simplicity yet again, 808’s, check, taiko, check, grand piano, check, orchestral strings, check.  This song is extremely relevant and emotional, the lyrics describe his reaction to news that his partner has found someone else.  A powerful song that I’m sure ‘Ye put a lot into definitely one of my favorites.  8/10


Track 10:  See You In My Nightmares

The syrup sipping gremlin and the Louis Vuitton Don, quite possibly the 2 most popular rappers right now have made quite a track together.  The song is a song of triumph after a failed relationship and the lyrics lay wonderfully over the string laden beat.  Back with relevant lyrics and the albums trademark simple grandeur, Yeezy and Weezy pumped out a stand out track.  8/10


Track 11:  Coldest Winter

GIVE ME MORE TAIKO!!!!!!!!  Kanye uses the Love Lockdown formula for another standout track, mellowed subdued lyrics with the occasional tsunami of takio drums during choruses and hooks.  The songs content is mournful and gloomy but still manages to be an amazing song.  8.5/10


Track 12: Bonus Track: Pinncochio Story

A live version of what seems to be a song that didn’t make the cut,  the songs lyrics describe again Kanye’s emptiness despite his material assets.   His lyrics prove Kanye’s gone through hell this year and how hard he struggles with the cost of fame.  A great song, another favorite.  8.5/10




Despite all the criticism, I give Kanye’s 808’s & Heartbreak an 8/10.  As with most other albums there are one or two skippers but in no way was I expecting Kanye’s best album of all time.  I think the proper approach to this album is to accept it as experimental, take it for what it’s worth.  Yes it’s different but that’s what makes it good, it’s a dynamic album that I think Kanye NEEDED to record.  There’s a lot of heart felt emotion in this album and it’s full of content we all can relate to.  So, let go of any inhibitions you may have about 808’s and when it drops go out and support Kanye this album is worth it.


I know I said I wouldn’t leak anything but I have to give my readers a treat.  Here’s my  favorite track off the album Say You Will, enjoy!

Kanye West- Say You Will

Rudy this one’s for you….

18 11 2008

Guess who’s back!  Yeah it’s been AGES since I’ve posted but I will be back at it and since I’m moving back to NY in a few months, I think the blog will head in an awesome direction in the coming months and hopefully beyond that.  I think I’m gonna hit you guys up with a good amount of music and news.  I won’t leak anymore of 808’s & Heartbreak than you guys have already gotten on blogs across the web, instead I’ll bless you guys with some new music I’ve just got my hands on and a couple bangers we all know that I’ve been rocking with.

First things first though guys I do want to update you on a couple things,  KR’s marker & ink company KRINK has just released something pretty impressive.  The K-66 steel tipped marker which comes in 10 different colors, I haven’t gotten word or tested them to check their opacity, ink flow or price but stay tuned for more info I cant wait to test these babies out!
In a fashion industry where the occasional bite is acceptable and often times hyped beyond expectations we often see a high end brand taking a page out of the little guy’s book.  There’s no better example than this recent effort by Louis Vuitton I stumbled upon.  It looks like LV has drawn inspiration from the skateboard culture’s OG brand Vans and whipped up this new collection.  With obvious beefed up soles and what seems to look like the legendary SK8 Hi’s and the Lo’s  rich cousins these shoe’s are pretty damn clean, released for the re-opening of one of LV’s Japan stores these sneakers should appeal to anyone looking for luxury in a classic sillouhette.
Now for the MUSIC portion of tonight’s program, just a little while ago I stumbled upon these tracks from a dude by the name of Pase Rock.  Fusing hip-hop and electro in a funk ass package full of shit I would find myself saying Pase does a good job of making fun and funny music we can all dance and laugh to.
Another group I’ve found is Heads We Dance, yes more electro but this is different….this sounds like robot orgasms.   I know what you’re thinking “Fucking great another electro group raping the shit out of a vocoder/auto-tune or talk box!”  And yes you guys are right they do use a vocoder/autotune, a lot but they do a great job of getting your head nodding, hipster girls 2 stepping in their fedora’s and swaying to the beat.  Warning: HUMAN TOUCH IS HEAVY ON AUTO-TUNE/VOCODER LISTENER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.
This track right here nigga….this track right here nigga…this shit’s DEF!  Well really it’s closer to Bad Boy, Felix Da Housecat employed P.Diddy to feature on his track Jack U and my boys Jesse and Al of MSTRKRFT have taken the liberty of remixing and making it dope track even DOPER!
Now moving away from all things electro, I’d like to share with you a little of my favorite crack…..rap that is.  Pusha T and Malice are The Clipse ( if you don’t already know) and when you added Ab Liva and Sandman you had The Re-Up Gang.  Now unfortunately Sandman no longer is associates himself with Re-Up due to unhappiness with the politics of their last album but that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate that fresh out the mayonaise jar, in your mom’s good pots baking soda-ey goodness that they once provided.  So I reintroduce to you R-E-U-P-G-A-N-G!
Now,I know I said we we gonna move away from electro this post but just as I was about to wrap up I got a little surpise on my computer screen.  The name of the band reeks of awesomeness and their sound is pretty much the voice of our generation ( fucked up by internet porn, fruit snacks, 90’s cartoons and college experimenting )and straddles the electro rock fence, as painful as that sounds.  Their name, Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head.   Yeah, that’s right no typo no mistake and no I’m not bullshitting you, those of you that know me well know that I have an unhealthy obsession with Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson( see first post ) and without hearing a tune this band was automatically cool with me.  Let’s have a listen shall we!
Well guys that about wraps it up for now, I did not forget the eye candy though so kick back and enjoy!  
P.S.  As a tolerant heterosexual male, I urge all of you guys to go out and fight for the civil rights of Gays and Lesbians in America, their right to marry is just as legal as anyone else’s.  Think about it as recently as the 60’s if a Black man were to want to marry a White woman that marriage would not be recognized legally.  There was a time when Black men couldn’t even marry Black women.  Honestly, stop using the Bible as an excuse to rob these individuals of civil liberties,  there is no sanctity in marriage because if there was, people wouldn’t be forced into it, it wouldn’t be given away as a prize on a reality T.V. show and it wouldn’t be used as a way to gain wealth.  All these people want is the right to have the same 50% chance of lifelong happiness that you have.  Their union does not threaten American society, homosexuality is not a disease and it does not threaten this country’s future.  So honestly, what is it to you?  How will two people who honestly love each other and want nothing more than to share each other’s lives hurt you, how is it your business?  Those of you who voted for Propositions 8&2 have successfully stripped away the right of happiness from your fellow citizens, so hug your big book of Jewish fairy tales and rejoice that you made a mockery of the freedom that this country promises.