Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Review: Beats By Dre Studios

Article first published as Review: Beats By Dre Studios on Blogcritics.

The time has come; the moment you’ve all been waiting for is here. Monster Beats By Dre sent me to music heaven and back. It’s been a long time that I’ve put on headphones that made me say “OMG, this is amazing!"

Today, I entered a local tech store and experienced the comfort and the realism of sound with Monster Over The Hear Studio headphones. These sleek, and stylish headphones are embedded with comfortable padding that give your ears a breath of fresh air.

Since this was an in-store demo, I wasn’t able to see what was in the box. However, if you’re dying to know, head over to YouTube and watch the unboxing of this bad-boy. The Studio range come in three colours; black, red, and white, all as stylish as one another.
 
I've got to be honest with you - the first time I put these Monster Studio headsets on, I wondered how headphones such as these are capable to produce outstanding base. 
 
It was amazing! It honestly felt like you were in your own studio with Dre right beside you. If you’re like me, and can’t go a day without listening to music, these headphones will become your best friend.

If I had one complaint about these headphones, then it’s the following: sound leaks - sure these headphones provide amazing sound quality. However, sound leaks can ruin a masterpiece. These leaks provide nothing but disturbance for your surroundings.The Studio Over The Ear range is ideal for the semi-professional studio producer and DJ.

If you want the sleek and pro look then Studio is the way to go. To hear every beat pounding in your ear is music to dedicated listeners'. Beats By Dre: Over The Ear is personally suited to the users' ears, for the headphones can be adjusted to your liking without any hastle, and they sit comfortably on your head. The packaging is just as beautiful, as it comes with a durable black case decorated with the 'B' emblem, and a microphybic cleaning cloth to keep the shine on going.

Of course, every product can have a downside. I'm sorry to say Monster left an enormous, and painful footprint on the price. That's right, these profesional headphones come at a hefty cost. If you want to own headphones with Dre's signiture, it'll cost you £200 ($322). Even though this will be an expensive investment for your ears, it's definetly worth a consideration!

Friday, 5 August 2011

Gone But Not Forgotten: Post-Mortem Success In Music

Article first published as Gone But Not Forgotten: Post-Mortem Success in Music on Blogcritics.

Death is the nature of life. The passing of a popular musical artist is, it seems, a motivating factor for a significant surge in record sales. Hearts around the world recently filled with sorrow and devastation upon learning of Amy Winehouse’s death on July 23. Since then, sales of her music have soared.
The world was shaken in much the same way on June 25, 2009, by the death of Michael Jackson. Within hours of the news breaking, his music began selling at an especially rapid pace. According to the U.K. newspaper The Telegraph, on the day of his death, both Amazon.com and U.K. retailer HMV reported a significant rise in record sales. On July 1, 2009, The New York Times reported three albums in particular — Thriller, along with two greatest hits compilations, Michael Jackson Number Ones and The Essential Michael Jackson — brought big numbers to the table, combining for a total of 422,000 copies sold in the week following his death.

Now, we see the same pattern re-occurring in the wake of Amy Winehouse's death. Her albums are once again in high demand both on retail shelves and at digital outlets. This pattern is by no means new, however.

For example, the BBC has reported that 12 days after John Lennon's murder on December 8, 1980, the former Beatle's song, “(Just Like) Starting Over,” topped the U.K. Singles charts. Others cases to consider are of Nirvana and The Notorious B.I.G.: In the week following Kurt Cobain's death in 1994, sales of Nirvana’s albums totaled 777,000 copies, a boost of over 150 percent. And Biggie's album, Life After Death, which had already been scheduled for release when the rapper was killed, ultimately sold 689,000 copies in its first week on the market.

One can’t help but wonder what inspires such post-mortem sales surges. Do consumers attach a new-found sentimental value to the deceased artist's music? Is it a matter of them feeling guilty for not having paid enough attention to the artist before? Are they just buying the music in order to understand what the big deal was all along?

Both of Winehouse's studio albums are currently represented on the iTunes 200 charts, with Back To Black at number 18 and her debut LP, Frank, at number 94. On the Amazon.com Top 20 Album Chart, Back To Black is at number two. Why do some people only appreciate an artist’s contribution to music after he or she has died?

"The death of the artist usually draws heavy media coverage," Eb Rainbergs, a lawyer in the entertainment business, explained recently to CBC News, "which either rekindles a fan's interest or sends others on a shopping spree to see what made that person so well liked in the first place."
Even though the music industry plays a major role in this selling game, it's not the only one to consider. Other industries — those of film, television, and video games, among others — produce merchandise and memorabilia that generates profits. Whether it's in the form of CDs, MP3s, concert films, biographies, documentaries or t-shirts, as loyal fans we almost see it as a duty to purchase everything that bears the name of a late musician we so idolize. It's a way of denying the truth — to accept that the artist is gone.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Hacking Just Got Starry-eyed, Be Careful, Or You Could Be Next!

If someone told you that you were going to live on a desert island, what three things would you take with you? I'm almost certain, you would choose your phone and its charger as two of the three items. We all become attached to our mobile phone, let's face it, it's the truth! You think your privacy is safe? Trust me, it’s going in one ear, and out the other. Think about the celebrities we know and love. The first thing that came to mind was the recent scandal caused by British tabloid newspaper: News Of The World (NOTW).

A tabloid that sat on our shelves for 168 year, its publisher was the News International, a news corporation owned by media tycoon Rupert Murdoch. The tabloid was forced to shutdown, as allegations were made against the staff who hired private investigators to hack thousands of mobile phones of murder victims, including Milly Dowler, a teenage girl from the U.K, who was registered missing nine years ago.

NOTW was laid to rest, after 168 years of publishing news to over 7.5M readers. The company published its final issue on July 10, 2011. The front page read: "Thank you & Goodbye". Here are some of the many thousands of celebrities whose privacy have been violated by Murdoch’s News Corp. According to International Business Times, the following celebrities are the victims of the phone-hacking scandal:

•    Sky Andrew – former Olympic and Commonwealth games. In addition to being the first black sports agent.
•    Jude Law – actor
•    Hugh Grant – actor
•    Gordon Brown – ex Prime Minister for the U.K.
•    Chris Brynt – MP for the British Labour party.
•    The Royal Family

I won’t have time to mention the thousands of other celebrities that were cornered by the newspaper. As you would expect, the scandal killed its reputation. Many important people from The International News Corporation, Scotland Yard, MPs, and Metropolitan Police resigned from their position.

On Sunday, August 17, according to British broadsheet newspaper The Guardian, former chief executive of The International News Corp, Rebekah Brooks was arrested. Brooks claims she did not have any knowledge of the phone hacking.

How do we prevent this from happening? In my opinion, it can’t really be stopped. Superman is not coming to the rescue this time! Technology advances each and every day of our lives. A new device, or program creeps up from behind us that gives us another thing to worry about.

PCWorld magazine reports, a victim of the phone hacking scandal former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, strictly requested a private investigation to take place.  You’d think since we’re living in such a tech-advanced world, we’d have security down by now.

If you want to stay safe, add a PIN to everything. Once you have a PIN activated, there’s nothing to worry about, right?. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, as everything can be hacked, if you try hard enough. For example, most of the victims’ mobile phone voicemail, required a PIN to access information. Nevertheless, that was hacked too, with private investigators watching like a hawk.

Thanks once again to PCWorld magazine, for providing us with the advice, we need to stop hacking. It might leave some people disappointed, but here's what you need to do. Don’t use the one thing, we rely on to take our messages. Ask your network provider to turn voicemail off. If you need to be reached, encourage your callers to use SMS or e-mail. We live in a smartphone world. Take advantage of it. Voicemail is old school!

If you insist on having voicemail on, then this paragraph is for you. Set a default PIN, yes, I know we talked about PINs, and it not being completely secure, but wait like a magician, I’m about to pull out a magic trick that’ll keep you worry free. If you change your PIN regularly, then you’ll keep the hackers guessing. Sooner or later, they’ll give up.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying SMS and e-mail is the safest option to keep the hackers away. If you’re using a smartphone, I could be stating the obvious, but whatever you do, don’t download apps from unknown publishers.

These apps can be the easiest way to access your data, according to PCworld magazine. One final thing, always update your phone with the latest software updates, these updates provide the tools to keep your phone out of harm’s way.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

The Changing Face Of Glastonbury 1970-2011

Article first published as The Changing Face Of Glastonbury 1970-2011 on Blogcritics.

Oh Glastonbury, oh Glastonbury, how wonderful it is to have you in our lives. OK, I know what you’re thinking--what’s going on here? Glastonbury 2011 fllew past as fast as Superman. It was on June 22 till 26 when Glastonbury screamed once again as music lovers treated their ears to the sound of music.
This four-day extravaganza set Worthy Farm Pilton UK on fire. Well-known acts including U2, Coldplay, Beyonce, and Wu Tang Clan joined the stage to make the crowd roar with excitement. Believe it or not, I’m not here to talk about this year’s festival. Did I surprise you? Let’s begin to understand the real reason behind this article.


This festival has taken centre stage in Pilton UK for 41 years. It built up a reputation of being a rock 'n roll territory. You can’t help but want to delve deeper, and find out just how it all began. Join me on this journey of adventure as we uncover the changing face of Glastonbury.


Page one of this exciting story is the first Glastonbury Festival, which hit the stage on September 9 1970.

The grand opening was held a day after Jimi Hendrix’s death. It must have been one of those moments when a British citizen screams out, “I’m proud to be a Brit, Hallelujah, God Save the Queen”. All the artists featured were representing Great Britain on that day. These artists included the following;

•    Marc Bolan - Singer/song writer and guitarist who's best known as a solo artist. However, he was previously part of a group which he also founded, entitled Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Keith Christmas - Singer who released his first rock album, Stimulus, in 1969.

•  Stackridge - A group of four men, one of whom looks a little like Winston Churchill (sorry, I know I went off track for a second there). Anyway, the band had all the girls screaming in the 1970s, with their self-titled debut album released on August 1971.



Oh, and a few others I’ve never heard of, until now. Despite it being Glastonbury’s first event, It was still an impressive turn out of 1,500 people getting together to celebrate and appreciate music.

As The Glastonbury Festival grew, it started to be identified as rock 'n roll territory, where listeners bopped their heads to their favourite rock anthems. Back then in the 1970s, the entrance fee was £1 ($1.60). In 2008, tickets cost £155 (approximately ($249). However, in 2010, tickets slightly increased, and attendees paid £165 ($265).

For 38 years, the Glastonbury Festival was rocking out. it wasn't until 2008  when changes started to happen, when hip-hop invaded the rock 'n roll territory. potentially opening the doors for a music war.

The festival organisers made a decision to try and boost ticket sales by making changes to the traditional line-up. Roc-A-Fella CEO Jay-Z was announced as the first rapper ever to appear on the Glastonbury stage. Many other rappers were amongst Jay-Z, including Dizzie Rascal and Lupe Fiasco.

According to MTV, the attempt to boost ticket sales wasn’t as successful as Glastonbury hoped. The rappers' appearance at Glastonbury didn’t really maximise ticket revenue. It only sold 10,000 on the first day; prior to this event, tickets usually sold out in a matter of hours.

The changes to Glastonbury, made a lot of people unhappy, including rockstars and their fans. Stars like Noel Gallagher, the lead singer of the British band Oasis, made this statement to MTV in 2008: “If it ain't broke, don't fix it, If you start to break it, then people aren't going to go. I'm sorry, but Jay-Z? No chance.”

According to an NME report in 2008, Glastonbury boss, went completely against the “Wonderwall” singer. Michael Eavis, founder of the Glastonbury Festival, said

Jay-Z just worked for us, it could have gone the other way, but the crowd were into it,  They knew all the words, that amazed me, it's very fast street New York poetry, isn't it? It amazed me people knew all the words, and two of those were my grandchildren!



Despite all the drama, attendance was notable with 134,000 weekend tickets  and 137,000 backstage passes sold.  Since 2008, Eavis has continued to push the boundaries with festival fans.

Future line-ups proved no different to 2008.   Bear in mind, these are not so much hip-hop acts. So, instead of drinking gangster juice, choose to go pop. Let this be a reminder for you, as it proves just how quickly Glastonbury is changing, and making us feel numb, particularly rockers.  Last year, the following acts ‘rocked’ the pyramid stage: Shakira, Pet Shop Boys, and Stevie Wonder.  This year, this trend continued as Queen B of R&B Beyonce, Wu Tang Clan, Tinie Tempah, and Plan B, wowed the audience.

How can something that started out to be ‘rock land,’ turn into hip-hop/pop central? I would think it has to do with money. Do I agree with it? I don’t really know. I believe music has a right to expand. It has the power to bring people together; that I don’t doubt. If you wanted my opinion, I’d say; “Let music unite us, whatever the genre is."

We all love music, so why not enjoy it together right? I understand it’s a tradition which is now broken. Remember, change is sometimes good. On the other hand, I realise that some people don’t like change. These people who refuse to accept changes don’t want the chain to break, especially when it has been working seamlessly for 41 years.

Come on, is this really necessary? If I’ve learnt anything from life, its that everything changes in time, whether you like it or not!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Music Review: Streets - Computers & Blues

Article first published as Music Review: The Streets - Computers & Blues on Blogcritics.

I realise I’ve kept with the Glastonbury theme since my last two articles, but stick with me, because I’m on a roll here! The Streets, a British rap group led by Mike Skinner from Birmingham, England. The Streets was first constructed in 1994, and made a scene in the U.K. garage scene with the likes of Craig David and Artful Dodger.

Enough about the history, let’s get down to business.


The group released their latest album, Computers & Blues in February 2011. Their lyrical flow is cleverly random, and still able to make sense, if you get what I mean. For example, the opening track “Outside, Inside”, and the songs that follow, “Puzzled By People”, and “OMG” capture the essence of this album. It demonstrates the skill set, of the Streets in terms of their selection of words, which makes it fun, and humorous for listeners. It delivers exactly what you would expect from any hip-hop/rap artist.


It's an album of 14 tracks that’ll make you laugh out loud and roll on the floor, and on "Cry Me A River Of Tears", it'll make any male as emotional as a female.

In “Outside, Inside” The Streets rap: “The world is outside but inside warm/inside informal outside stormy inside normal”.

Is Skinner suggesting that the world outside is cruel, but when you step back inside, into your own comfort zone, everything is OK again? Going further by using “outside stormy, inside normal,” is a metaphor to prove the statement I made earlier.

One of the most meaningful, and favourite tracks of mine has to be “Puzzled By People”. Here, the lyrics are cleverly written, as it gives you the illusion that the lead rapper is in the middle of a crossword puzzle.

It is in the first verse of this deep and meaningful song, Skinner raps:
“I'm pretty good at puzzles but puzzled by people, and I don't trouble, trouble, and trouble. Don't trouble me.
Stare at the paper, fold it in two.
Facing the walls are the soles of my shoes”.

This opening verse of this track is pretty interesting, as The Streets could be suggesting that sometimes they fear their closest friends can turn into a "fren-enemy". So in their mind, it’s better for them to keep out of trouble, and “fold it in two”.

Skinner continues: “Puzzled by people, loving isn't easy/You can't Google the solutions to people's feelings ... Sometimes you have to find out for yourself/Sometimes you need to be told. Sometimes you never find the answer”.

This is very interesting, as the Streets try to explain the complications of life, in a very clever and creative way. The Streets are able to combine the struggles of life and modernize it with something up to date, like the Internet.

Computers & Blues illustrates the fact The Streets love to live spontaneously. A track that suggests this is “Without Thinking”.

In it, Skinner says: “I'll go out without a blink, out without a blink, I'll go downtown without thinking and shout over a drink [2x], all the people in the place [2x]”.

Computers & Blues provides an intriguing vibe to hip-hop, as the beats are eccentric, and not always the traditional beat, which makes it fun to listen to. With tracks like “Those That Don’t Know”, The Streets explain the day-to-day life of living in a big city like London.

The album also demonstrates a moving overview of life, with songs like “We Can Never Be Friends”, which talks about the emotional connection between two people, preferably a male and female. Furthermore, “OMG”, and “Trying To Kill M.E” also shows a deep connection between music and his personal life.

For example, he raps the following:
“Pull some paper out the printer, pick up a pen and pen into the winter. The oldest cell in my body's only 10 years old,

With the smell of the kitchen, I dwell on the kissing of my missus
Holding a bowl and reminiscing”.

“ABC” is a fun song that goes through the alphabet, but not like you would expect. “A you cant say what you B/I don’t C what you seeI hear a meloDy/To drop with a mellow E/Hell not, never give an F/Never shit a G”.

As I listen to the album, it reminds me of why The Streets deserved to be performing at Glastonbury this year. Songs like “OMG” and “Puzzled By People” strongly prove my point, as they're able to provide strong lyrical content and value.

Virtual Concert Review: Chemical Brothers, Jessie J & The Kills at Glastonbury 2011 (Via YouTube)

Article first published as Virtual Concert Review: Chemical Brothers, Jessie J and The Kills at Glastonbury 2011 (Via YouTube) on Blogcritics.

This is a first, even for me. I present, live performance reviews from Glastonbury 2011. But wait! I wasn't actually at the event. Well, let's just say, "My spirit was at Glastonbury, while my body was elsewhere." There’s a first time for everything, and it’s happening here.

I want to have your attention for a couple of minutes, as I review three performances. It's a three-in-one article, so what more do you want?

I bet some of you recognize this lyric, “Hey boy, hey girl, superstar DJ, here we go,” which slowly merges with a funky beat in the background that has you jumping on the dance-floor.



Here I am presenting you my live performance review of the Chemical Brothers at this year’s Glastonbury. Thanks to the footage that was provided by BBC's official YouTube Channel.
If anyone was to ask me my opinion of the Chemical Brothers, two words, “Too repetitive”. When a beat is on-going, and lacking lyrics, it doesn’t really catch my attention. Only my views, and I know it’s worth two cents, but I thought I’d make them heard for the sake of this article.

The Chemical Brothers bring you a stage performance of their song “Don’t Think.” It looks to be a basic setting, with lights to mesmerize the audience. The words "Don’t Think" hit you in red, similar to a traffic light as soon as the lyrics are said. The words are staring at you in the face. However, there wasn’t much activity on stage, besides the red lights flashing to the beat of the track.

The camera finds the need to switch back and forth between the stage and the audience. Interestingly enough, I didn’t fail to notice that most of the crowd was waving flags that represented the following countries.

•    St George’s flag (England)
•    Israel
•    Denmark

There were a few other countries represented as well. Why? I’m still struggling to understand the reason.

However, Chemical Brothers did manage to entertain the crowd, as the audience was bouncing to the beat without a care in the world.


Thanks to a YouTube user head1969, I am able to bring you my opinion on Jessie J’s performance of “Price tag.”


Jessie J, a 2011 Brit Awards winner, released her debut album, Who You Are in February of 2011. She’s always reminded me of “I Kissed A Girl” hit-maker, Katy Perry. I don’t know why. Could it be the hair, and makeup? Hmmm, that's one to think about.

An interesting, and cute performance of “Price tag” comes from Jessie J, sitting on her throne, and inviting one of her little fans in the front row to sing a duet. With little Shay by her side, they start singing it.






However, I did notice a couple of other things. According to the BBC Three, prior to her performance, the singer requested mud to be put on her face. This is mentioned at six minutes, and five seconds of the video below. Maybe she's trying to set a new trend? Hey, Let's call it "mud makeup." Maybe she wants to be as wacky as Lady Gaga.

For me, the fact, Jessie J featured one of her fans to sing with her showed how much she loves her fans. It became personal for her, something that I expect, she’ll never forget. During the performance, I also noticed that the singer never got up from her throne. Was she injured? It certainly looked that way.

Finally, up next is The Kills, performing “The Last Goodbye.” Special thanks again to YouTube for providing us viewers with the video. This rock band recently released their latest album, Blood Pressures. The Kills is a band who is half-American, and half-British. They embraced the Glastonbury stage with a quiet performance.

In my opinion, the performance seemed to be very mellow and lacking energy. However, despite the lack of activity, lead singer Alison Mosshart gave a presence that forced you to delve deep into the back of your mind.

So, there you have it, folks! These are my thoughts on this year’s Glastonbury performances, so if you saw them too, did I make the right judgement? I thought I’d give you a review with a twist, by providing you with an article of established, up-and-coming, and less familiar acts, and help you discover some new music.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Music Review: Beyoncé - 4

Article first published as Music Review: Beyonce - 4 on Blogcritics.

The Queen of R&B, Beyoncé Knowles, brings the spotlight back onto herself with 4, her fourth solo album. It's been a little over a week, since the iTunes store release on May 24, 2011. It has already made a strong impression on me. The title, 4, was enough of an attraction for me to review this album.

It's a collection of 12 tracks that summarizes the life of a woman dealing with a combination of emotions. The release is about a frustrated female who seeks love and affection from her man.


However, despite her disappointment, she is still determined to fight for love.

4 delivers a personal representation of Beyoncé possibly reflecting her life before her marriage to Jay-Z. I could be completely wrong. It could just represent women who've had similar experiences.

However, whatever the case may be, the album allows the “Halo” singer to reveal her inner thoughts on life.

4 forces me to question, and understand why she gave her album this title. What’s the significance? Let us not forget, this album is her fourth studio LP. Nevertheless, I’m happy to report, we have the answer right here!


In an interview with Billboard.com, Beyoncé reveals the truth behind the album title: "We all have special numbers in our lives, and 4 is that for me."

She says: "It's the day I was born. My mother's birthday, and a lot of my friends' birthdays, are on the fourth; April 4 is my wedding date."


The more I listen to this album, the more I'm truly convinced this release is about her life before husband Jay-Z. It’s a long shot, but it's possible. What’s driving me to this conclusion is the song “The Best Thing I Ever Had”. As the first verse easily portrays her strength, determination, and confidence, she sings: "There was a time I thought, that you did everything right. No lies, no wrong, Boy I, must've been outta my mind. So when I think of the time that I almost loved you, You showed your a** and I saw the real you."


She goes on to say: “Thank God you blew it, thank God I dodged the bullet/I'm so over you. So baby good looking out.” These lyrics suggest the importance of leaving your past behind you. It's a song that can give you the strength to never look back to the past. It encourages you to believe that when a door closes, another one opens soon after.


Let’s just flip the coin for a second, and consider another explanation given for the album title. 4 could be a reflection of Beyoncé's love and devotion for Jay-Z, as her opening track is “1+1" (and no, this isn’t a math lesson). However, if we were to learn something here, then It's the connection of two people who are crazy about each other.


The song illustrates the importance, and the power of love effortlessly. She sings: “If I ain’t got nothing, I got you, If I ain’t got something I don't give a damn, ‘cause I got it with you, I don't know much about algebra, but I know one plus one equals two, and it's me and you, that’s all we'll have when the world is through.”


Tracks that stood out to me the most were “I Miss You,” and “I Was Here.” Could “I Miss You” be expressing the fact, both husband and wife lead a demanding life?

It's so demanding in fact, and they spend so much time apart that it almost feels like they’ve become strangers. It's another long shot, but it's just my opinion.


Here’s what encourages me to believe that this may be the case. She sings: "I thought that things like this get better with time, but I still need you. Why is that? You're the only image in my mind. So I still see you...around. I miss you, like everyday, Wanna be with you, but you're away. Said I miss you, missing you insane, but if I got with you, could it feel the same?”

Hearing these words leaves you no choice but to feel sympathy, encouraging you to reach out your hand to help ease the pain and frustration.


As I analyze the lyrics further, I see this thought come forward even more. She says: “It don't matter who you are. It's so simple, a feeling, but it's everything no matter who you love. It’s so simple, a feeling, but it's everything.”


The lyrics above suggest the experience of loving someone who has been in your life for quite some time. Dealing with the ongoing problem of distance causes that person to become a complete stranger.

“I Was Here” is a song that I believe was written for the important people in Beyoncé's life, which are family, friends, and fans. 

The song leaves a strong aura of Beyoncé’s existence, bringing her spirit, her passion, and her commitment, for her family, friends, and the music industry forward.

She sings: “I wanna leave my footprints on the sands of time. Know there was something that, and something that I left behind. When I leave this world, I'll leave no regrets, leave something to remember, so they won't forget!"

The singer continues to emphasize: “I was here...I lived, I loved, I was here...I did, I've done, everything that I wanted, and it was more than I thought it would be. I will leave my mark so everyone will know I was here...”
 

This looks to be a reminder for the V.I.Ps in Beyoncé's life. She wants to be remembered as a strong character, and that she is. It’s pretty self-explanatory, as she wants to be considered as someone who’s made a strong impact, and touched people’s heart with her contribution to the music industry.
 

“I want to say I lived each day, until I died. I know that I had something in, somebody's life. The hearts I have touched, will be the proof that I leave, that I made a difference, and this world will see.”

Before we reach the end of this extensive review. I would like to take a quick look at two other tracks on the album. These are  “End Of Time,” and the first single from 4, “Run The World (Girls).”
 

When I first heard “End Of Time,” it felt like I joined a festival with hundreds of dancers, grooving to the funky beat. It kind of reminded me of the dance sequence of 100 women who danced to “Single Ladies” at London’s Piccadilly Circus. A video of this performance is shown below. Thanks to Conanbelletty on YouTube.



“Run This World (Girls)” has the potential to be known as the next generation of "Independent Women." I’m sure you don't need a reminder of this classic Destiny’s Child track. This classic just got a crazy makeover, with “Run This World (Girls).” Beyonce sings: “I'm repping for the girls who taking over the world/Have me raise a glass for the college grads.”
 

The independent woman continues singing: “My persuasion can build a nation/Endless power, our love we can devour. You'll do anything for me.”
 

With these influential words, she’s able to maintain her authority towards men, suggesting that a woman doesn’t need a man to live her life.
 

You don’t need to think twice. This album is a strong comeback from the Queen B. I don’t know about you, but I’m not disappointed with 4!


Monday, 27 June 2011

Music Review: Lady Gaga Born This Way


Article first published as Music Review: Lady Gaga - Born This Way on Blogcritics.

Have you ever felt like you entered another dimension, era, or the twilight zone? Born This Way are three words put together that portray a sense of acceptance, especially when combined with the personal pronoun ‘I’ (and "was").
Lady Gaga's Born This Way was released on May 23, 2011, making it the next major follow-up to her award-winning debut album, The Fame. The new album opens the doors to a different, but at the same time, a sensitive and still wild Gaga.

Born This Way achieved amazing record sales according to Bilboard.biz, Born This Way got to number one on the Bilboard 200 chart. It sold an outstanding 1,108,000 copies in its first week of release.

You know that old saying, “What happens behind closed doors stays behind closed doors?” Well, this album exposes the "Poker Face" singer like you’ve never seen her before. Her opening track "Marry The Night" cleverly demonstrates Gaga’s self-commitment. She conveys herself to be a warrior, a soldier, and a fighter, ready to go against the world.

Born This Way is a representation of Gaga’s religious persona. The “Bad Romance” hit-maker, known to her family, and friends as Stefani, was born and raised as a Catholic, according to her biography, Lady Gaga: The Queen Of Pop, written by Emily Herbert.

Songs like "Born This Way," "Judas," and "Hair" bring her religious characteristics forward. "Born This Way" is one of the strongest, and most outspoken tracks on the entire album. It metaphorically paints a picture on a blank canvas, specifically addressing Gaga’s relationship with her family.

The first verse of “Born This Way” is enough to validate the strength of Gaga’s relationship with God, and her dynasty. It suggests that in her time of need, she turns to God, and her loved ones for guidance.

She sings, "It doesn't matter if you love him, God or capital H.I.M Satan. Just put your paws up, 'cause you were born this way baby. My Mama told me when I was young, we are all born superstars.."

The mother and daughter relationship comes forward in the last paragraph of the first verse: "There is nothing wrong with loving who you are. She said, 'cause he made you perfect babe. So hold your head up girl, and you'll go far. Listen to me when I say."

It’s during the chorus, when Gaga shows her full commitment, trust, and love towards God. She says, "I'm beautiful in my way, 'cause God makes no mistakes. I'm on the right track, baby I was born this way. Don't hide yourself in regret, just love yourself and you're set. I'm on the right track, baby I was born this way." It’s clear, with these few words, Gaga unites with herself, as well as others (the fans). She accepts the way God has brought her into this world.

“Hair” is another track on the album that represents the two most important relationships in Lady Gaga's life, family and religion. It allows her to present herself as a serious character who sometimes cries out for help. She sings,

"Whenever I dressed cool, my parents put up a fight/And If I'm a hotshot, Mom will cut hair at night/In the morning, I'm sure of my identity/I scream out 'Mom and Dad, why can't I be who I wanna be?'"

It is during the chorus once again, where she brings forward her need for freedom. In this case, she turns to God for guidance once more. She says, "I've had enough, this is my prayer/That I’ll die living just as free as my hair."

Here, hair is metaphorically used to identify a sense of freedom. People can style their hair in many different ways. It has the freedom to be whatever style it wants to be, in which case, Gaga could possibly be suggesting at times, she feels trapped within her own fame.

"Ich schleiban austa be clair, es kumpent madre monstere. Aus-be aus-can-be flaugen, Begun be uske but-bair. Ich schleiban austa be clair, es kumpent madre monstere. Aus-be aus-can-be flaugen, fräulein uske-be clair."

No, before you say anything, I’m not crazy. The Gaga just went multi-lingual on us with "Scheibe." Or did she? In an interview with VOX TV, and Bild.de Gaga confirms the lyrics in this song are fake. Credit goes to yLadyGagaBeforeM for providing us with the evidence on Youtube.
Skip ahead to one minute and 18 seconds of the video below, and once you reach one minute and 40 seconds, you’ll finally see it’s a load of Gaga!

Skip ahead to one minute and 18 seconds of the video below, and once you reach one minute and 40 seconds, you’ll finally see it’s a load of Gaga!



"Scheibe means to me, bullsh*t or sh*t, and I wrote a song that is fake German, so sh*t German. It's meant to be gibberish, it's all about how, for me as a woman, anything getting in the way of my strength, just sounds like nothing!"

You heard it here folks! Lady Gaga experimenting with language. We might even have our very own Gaga dictionary soon!

"Judas," a track with a Catholicism reference, Lady Gaga expresses herself with a representation of Judas, a disloyal messenger of Jesus Christ. It is one of the most sensitive, and potentially controversial songs of the entire album. We all know how the subject of religion can be a sensitive matter. However, when Gaga says,

"I'll wash his feet with my hair if he needs/Forgive him when his tongue lies through his brain."

Then, she goes on to say,

"Even after three times he betrays me, I’ll bring him down, bring him down, down/A king with no crown, king with no crown."

What is she trying to say here? Wash his feet with her hair? Could it mean forgiving him, and freeing him from his sins with her hair? Hair, metaphorically used for freedom as I mentioned earlier.

Then, as we go further on into the song she says, "I couldn't love a man so purely. Even prophets forgave his crooked way/I've learned love is like a brick you can, build a house, or sink a dead body."

Is she saying,

"I can't love a man without something going wrong"? "Even when I do forgive, the trust still breaks down. You can’t do anything, but try to rebuild it again."

To be honest, I don't know, but if that is the case, then it presents the struggles she may have faced in her past relationships.

Gaga’s reminders of being a fighter, and an independent woman, suggest how mature, but at the same time crazy, and wild she still is. If that’s what you’ve been waiting for, then believe me you got it. It could very well send you to the "Edge Of Glory!"

Friday, 17 June 2011

Hollywood Fashionista


Article first published as Hollywood Fashionista on Blogcritics.

We’ve all seen Hollywood stars on movie sets. We’ve also seen their stars shine brightly in commercials. Jude Law, Keira Knightley, Matthew McConnaughey, and Ryan Reynolds have joined the crew and boarded the Fashionista ship. I know it sounds corny, but I said it.

Here’s a list of these four celebrities' fashion campaigns:

  • Jude Law – Dior Homme Sport
  • Matthew McConnaughey – Dolce & Gabbana (One Gentlemen)
  • Keira Knightley – Chanel CoCo Mademoiselle
  • Ryan Reynolds – Boss Hugo
It’s become a trend, but what’s in it for the Hollywood stars? Besides money of course. It must go deeper than that. And why do fashion companies prefer to use Hollywood names? Why not use models?

According to Filmonic.com, big screen faces don’t usually accept commercial opportunities in the U.S. Why? In a nutshell, they could be at risk of damaging their credibility. However, this is not the case in other parts of the world, with Asia and Eastern Europe offering big bucks to Hollywood actors and actresses.

Celebrity endorsements benefit both partners. Saurbh Katyal on chillibreeze.com lists the common factors in celebrity endorsements:

  • Instant brand awareness
  • Refreshing the brand (in a sense, re-launching the brand)
  • Credibility/aspiration for PR coverage
  • Persuading clients

And the list above cleverly connects with the following question: Why do fashion campaigns prefer to have Hollywood celebrities in their commercials? The answer is obvious, as the celebrity’s presence benefits the brand.

Superstars are always looking for opportunities to shine their stars even brighter, and if they see a door wide open, they’re going to walk through. Simple as that!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Is the iCloud Really Secure?


Article first published as Is the iCloud Really Secure? on Blogcritics.

iCloud makes you feel like you’re on cloud 9 right? Technology is on turbo speed, it’s developing so fast. Everyone is doing it: Apple, Amazon and Google. It’s like everyone is trying to lead, just like how Tails follows Sonic. However it forces me to question, is our data safe? Lets find out, Apple CEO Steve Jobs recently announced iCloud prices on June 6th WWDC 2011 keynote. iCloud is bundled with nine essential apps, as stated by Apple.com these are as follows;
  • iTunes in the cloud
  • Photostream
  • Documents in the cloud
  • Apps, books, and backup
  • Contacts, calendar, and mail
Sounds like Apple’s got it covered, store all your data up in the cloud, and never worry about it again--sounds great!

We all know that as technology advances, the doors open wider forhackers. Putting this into consideration you can’t help but ask yourself--how safe are these cloud services? According to npr.org, physically, Apple’s data centre in North California is pretty secure. So secure in fact, they have guards placed everywhere like Lego pieces. This is not enough; the inside is just as important as the outside.

Credit goes to npr.org once again for providing us with an important quote from cloud tester Mitnick, who was hired by Apple to take its cloud service to its limits:

I was hired to test this cloud infrastructure in South America. Literally in the 15 minutes that I was on the phone with the CEO of the company and one of the lead technical guys, I was able to get access that only system administrators should get access to.

We should be over the moon with these cloud services that are being developed for us, but when you read Mitnick’s quote, it gets you thinking--is it worth it?




Saturday, 4 June 2011

Listen To Beats - The Dre Way


Beats by Dr Dre, headphones from all time hip-hop/rap producer Dr. Dre; manufactured, distributed, and exclusively licensed by Monster. How did it all begin? It really makes you wonder doesn’t it? Well, don’t worry, I’m about to give you the low down on advanced audio technology. Beats By Dr. Dre, created by the genius hip-hop producer of all time himself; together with Interscope Records – Chairmen Jimmy Iovine, bring you six editions of headphones and ear-phone technology. Originally released in January 2008, Beats By Dr. Dre, introduced the next generation of audio paraphernalia.

Beats by Dr. Dre was built, developed, produced, and inspired from the following paragraph said by Dre:

“People aren't hearing all the music. Artists and producers work hard in the studio perfecting their sound. But people can't really hear it with normal headphones. Most headphones can't handle the bass, the detail, the dynamics. Bottom line, the music doesn't move you. With Beats, people are going to hear what the artists hear, and listen to the music the way they should: the way I do."

Beats by Dr.Dre, comes in five editions, bundled with six models, all as powerful, sleek and next generation as the next one. Dre definitely produced a beat, for all generations of music lovers. The classic, over the ear design has the potential to be a partner in a DJ’s repertoire.

Here is what the price range looks like from the Beats By Dre collection.

High Performance Over The Ear Headphones Edition includes:

Studio HD – black, white and red $458.32 (£279)

Pro – black and white $574.96 (£350)

Solo – black and white $244.77 (£149)

Solo HD – black, white and graphite $277.62 (£169)

Solo HD (Product RED Edition) - $277.62 (£169)

Justbeats Solo
– Only available in purple $277.62 (£169)

The In-Ear Edition includes:

Tour – black and white [ControlTalk] $229.98 (£139.99) black $195.48 (£119.99)

Ibeats – black, white, chrome, black aluminium $131.42 (£79.99)

Justbeats – Only available in purple $131.42 (£79.99)

Heartbeats – rose red, bright chrome, black chrome [ControlTalk] $131.42 (£79.99) – rose red, bright chrome, black chrome $82.13 (£49.99)

Diddybeats
– black [ControlTalk], powder pink [ControlTalk] and white [ControlTalk Universal] $197.13 (£119.99)

Powerbeats – white, red and black $197.13 (£119.99)

It was July 2008, when the first Beats By Dr. Dre HD headphones reach the store shelves.

In October 2009, Dre and his team, hook up with HP to announce the HP ENVY15 Notebook PC with Beats By Dre integration.

The most recent product announcement, was made in May 2011, Studio HD arrives exclusively at Best Buy stores.

These headphones are seen everywhere, particularly in music videos. Celebrities like; Will.i.am, Fergie, Hugh Jackman, Kobe Bryant, Lady GaGa, Paris Hillton, and many more own a set of Beats By Dre. Of course, this isn’t over, Beats By Dr. Dre has plenty more to offer. Be sure to visit beatsbydre.com to get more info on other Beats By Dr. Dre products. Order online, or visit your local tech store.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Three S' Of Music & Fun - Sainsbury's Super Saturday



I've got a riddle for you, what do Sainsbury’s, one of the UK’s local supermarkets; The Saturdays, a cheesy pop girl group that I’ve never really understood, but again that’s only my opinion, so it’s not worth much. Chipmunk a UK rapper, who debuted with the ‘I Am Chipmunk’ and last but not least; Taio Cruiz - UK singer/song writer, and record producer have in common? Need Help? Well, three S’ “Sainsbury’s Super Saturday!” That’s right, proud sponsor of Paralympic Games presents, Sainsbury’s Super Saturday. A mini concert together with the big artists mentioned above.

This ‘Super Saturday’, is planning to take place on September 10th of this year, located at Clapham Common London. However, let’s not forget to mention, the entrance fee of £45 for adults and £35 for kids. OK, I know the price is a little steep, it almost makes you want to crash to the floor, but you never know, it might just be worth it. “ Try something new” Sainsbury’s say.

I’m not against ‘trying something new’ but what if it doesn’t fit, what then? Refund? I don’t think so. I do not like the price being presented here. A price drop could have been considered for kids, why it wasn’t considered? I have no idea. Oh well, at least it leaves you with one philosophy; everything at least deserves one chance right?

The reason for ‘Sainsbury’s Super Saturday’ is to lend a helping hand, to the Paralympic Games of 2012. What’s the story behind it? Well, Sainsbury’s is an official partner of London 2012 Olympic Games. All profit made from this interactive event, will be donated to the Paralympic Legacy Fund. This will then, be connected with ParalympicsGB. It’s also important to note, that Sainsbury’s Super Saturday aim to encourage healthier, and dynamic lifestyles.

As well as being committed to promote fitness, Sainsbury’s is eager to change the perception that society has left towards people with disabilities. You want a little info on the London 2012 Paralympics Games mascot? Sure, why not? His name is Mendavile, a name inspired by Stoke Mendavile in Buckinghamshire, the city that gave birth to the Paralympic Games.

To begin your ‘Super Saturday’, you can book your tickets online, from May 20th at ticketmaster.co.uk.

So, will you be one of those people jumping for joy as September 10th approaches? Or are you on the other side of the fence? The ones who’re actually waiting for this post to come to end? Either way, remember it’s a music event, and where there’s a music, there’s fun!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Insidious: Dare To Be Part Of An Insidious Plan?


Insidious, what does it mean? Well, I didn’t even know until now, but according to the dictionary, it means, ‘…intended to entrap or beguile: an insidious plan’. While we’re on the subject of words, I have to say, I really like the sound of the word ‘insidious’. Does that make me weird? Anyway, enough about that lets get down to business. Crafted by the creators of Paranormal Activity and Saw, two genius minds combined into one, James Wan and Oren Peli bring you Insidious; a horror/thriller/fantasy, originally released in April of this year.

Introducing a compelling story of an ordinary American family, who turn out to be out of the ordinary in a blink of an eye. Little Dolton wasn't able to wake up one morning to get ready for school. Concerned parents, arrive at the hospital, with no hope or proper diagnosis from the doctors. Parents Josh Lambert (Patrick Wilson) Renai Lambert (RoseByrne), who do everything in their power to prevent demonic spirits, from possessing their young son in a comatose state. Dolton Lambert (Ty Simpkins) trapped between two realms. Worlds, that’s deemed as ‘reality and the further’. When inside the world of insidious, there’s no distinction between reality and fantasy. While, on a mission to save his son, Dad, Josh, discovers his disturbing past catches up with him. Think for a second, how many times in the cinema, have you unexpectedly jump out of your skin? Because for a quick second, fear jumped outs at you, and dominates the big screen. Leaving you no choice, but your popcorn flying out of the bucket. Well, expect that and much more. Only this time, it’s even more dramatic! Insidious, with its dramatic and compelling storyline that catches the attention of anyone who loves the occasional good scare. Paranormal Activity and Saw fans can unite together, and scream in harmonic fear, because at the end of the day, that’s what makes a good horror movie!

Friday, 13 May 2011

Eurovision 2011: Will You Be Watching?


Love it or hate it, personally I hate it, but my opinion is only worth 2cents. Yes, the final of the Eurovision Song Contest is due to be on your TV screens this Saturday night, (14/5/11) at 8pm GMT. The Eurovision Song Contest, the best way to describe it; it’s a cheap imitation of pop music, that’s crying out for attention. As a music lover, I don’t believe the Eurovision leaves a strong impression, or impact on the music industry.

The Eurovision Song Contest was an idea, developed by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) in 1955. It has become a tradition for 54 years, watched by millions of viewers all over the world. The contest was first publicised in 1956, and has since, carried out a yearly celebration of European talent.

I want to highlight 3 pros and 3 cons about the Eurovision Song Contest, the good, the bad and the ugly!

Pros

1) Discover new music, and broaden your horizon

2) Eurovision helps to unite the world even if it is for a short period of time

3) Expand your knowledge of different cultures and religions

Cons


1) Eurovision can sometimes make music seem desperate and crying out for attention

2) You begin to ask yourself, does the music industry really need the Eurovision?

3) It needs to change, I don't know what, if it's the setup or planing but every year we watch the same thing over and over again...isn't anyone bored yet?

In honor of the Eurovision’s 50th anniversary, the first junior
Eurovision took place in 2003. While in 2005, ABBA’s Waterloo, was voted the viewers’ favourite Eurovision song ever.

A team of three will host the show; – Anke Engelke, Judith Rakers, and Stefan Raab, take place in the Fortuna Düsseldorf’s arena.

The arena, welcomes a maximum number of 54,000 people however, due to technical difficulties, and the stage being enough to reduce the entire capacity of the venue. In reality, the venue is expected to take an audience of 24,000.

A total of 25 countries, including the UK will take centre stage, and fight to be the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest.

You can expect to see:

Blue ‘I Can’ – United Kingdom

Lena ‘Taken By A Stranger’ - Germany

Eric Sade ‘Popular’ - Sweden

Loucas Yiorkas feat. Stereo Mike ‘Watch My Dance’ – Greece

…And many more.

The artists I’m looking forward to perform are:

Blue ‘I Can’ – United Kingdom

Lena ‘Taken By A Stranger’ – Germany

Christos Mylordos ‘San Aggelos S’Agapisa’ – Cyprus

Anna Rossinelli ‘In Love For A While’ - Switzerland

3JS ‘Never Alone’ – The Netherlands


So, who do you think will take the title as the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2011? Anyone in this list I wonder? Hmmm….we have to wait and see, tune in tomorrow to find out!

Thursday, 28 April 2011

b.supreme, b.unique (Because Different Is Always Good) - b.supreme Festival Reviewed


Independent women just got a new meaning. Exactly when the suffragette women, earned the right to vote in the international elections in 1918. However, women located in the UK, were not granted, the right to vote on the same terms as men, until 1928.

The United States, were eight years ahead of the UK. US women were approved to vote in the 1920s, at the age of 18.

Fast-forward to the 21st century, and women in hip-hop earned the right to be counted, watched, respected, and finally admired.

This is what the b.supreme festival was all about. Hosted, and celebrated, in London UK at the Southbank Centre on April 25th. The b.supreme festival introduces countless female acts to take centre stage and wow the audience. These female acts included the likes of:

Project G
Boadecia
Funkamental
Unity

…and many others.

How were the performances? You might ask, as Mary Poppins would say, “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”. With a variety of dance moves from body-popping, to break dancing, let’s not forget dance offs. Mix it all together, and what do we have ladies and gentlemen? (H.H.H) Hip-Hop heaven!

Boadecia – A female crew, made up of eight women, took centre stage. Roaring to go, dressed in red leopard patterned tights, and a black plain t-shirt, printed in white capital letters that simply read ‘Boadicia’.

Accompanying their dance moves, with an electronic hip-hop beat, that would get you bouncing at the clubs. Dance, done in style, meeting every beat of the track, like a human heartbeat, with no need for CPR.

Funkamental – Another group of eight women, dressed in silk from top to bottom, red and black colours. Each colour representing a different meaning; black, that represents a meaning of authority, and power. While red, reveals the meaning of passion, love, and seriousness. Funkamental, body popping, and robot dancing over a electronic/techno beat that was later blended into an altered version of Michael Jackson's Human Nature.

Unity - A unisex dance crew – Contestants of Move Like Michael Jackson 2010, set the stage on fire, with their amazing moves, that almost seemed like they were rapping, only without words.

b.supreme 2011, ends with an 8 Mile style dance off. You know it had to be done right? Three rounds of dance offs, between eight unisex groups of two, fighting for a chance, to say to the other team ‘you got served baby!” Spinning their way to victory, were Roxy and Spin, who left the as winners of b.supreme 2011.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Apple'licious Tunes


Apple inc, a company that made the way for future technology. Famous for its computers, the Macintosh, and the world’s most advanced OS, Mac OS X. In 1984, Steve Jobs, introduced the first Macintosh. He described it as ‘Instantly Great,’ and that it was. Why am I talking about Apple? Good question, well, I’m sure, many of us witnessed how Apple changed the music industry forever.

There’s no doubt about it right? Steve Jobs, and his team shook the world with their first iPod in 2001. 1000 songs in your pocket? Who would've thought it? I mean, I remember when I use to carry my Sony CD player everywhere I went. A player, that only played one CD at a time, unless you wanted to be a superhero, and carry your CD collection with you.

Along with the first iPod, came the newly developed iTunes, that started its life with the title ‘SoundJam’. However, in the meantime, The Napster and P2P music sharing software was in the limelight. It failed to see success, as it was overwhelmed with lawsuits, and forced to remain shutdown in 2002. It wasn’t until 2003, when iTunes store launched consumers had a new way of purchasing music, at fair and reasonable prices.

There was no longer a need to go to your local music store, and pick up your favourite album. iTunes had it all covered, at $0.99 (£0.59) per song or $9.99 (£6.99) for an entire album. With just one click, you’re synced, and ready to jam with your tunes. What a life right? In just 10 years, iTunes grew to what we know today, the world’s largest online digital retailer. It was, and still is, the store that encouraged major record sales. The music industry, entered a new era consumers no longer ran down to the shop to add to their music collection.

However, it’s not all “fine and dandy,” because, many music artists aren't happy with the way Apple is affecting the music industry. Recently, Bon Jovi said, Apple’s killing the music business, he told afterdawn.com:


“Kids today have missed the whole experience of putting the headphones on, turning it up to 10, holding the jacket, closing their eyes and getting lost in an album; and the beauty of taking your allowance money and making a decision based on the jacket, not knowing what the record sounded like, and looking at a couple of still pictures and imagining it.

God, it was a magical, magical time. I hate to sound like an old man now, but I am, and you mark my words, in a generation from now people are going to say: 'What happened?' Steve Jobs is personally responsible for killing the music business”.


There’s no doubt Apple’s made an impact towards the music industry, that’s for sure. So much so, that they shook the world. Now, every story has two sides, advantages and disadvantages, the good, the bad, and the ugly, I think you get the point!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Take A Risk & 'Just Go With It' Movie Review


Have you ever considered pretending to have a life that isn’t yours, just so you can impress a girl? No? Well, that’s exactly what Danny Mackerby - (Adam Sandler) did. After his wife cheated on him, he decided to put his foot down. He started by changing his disfigured nose, and realised he could use his wedding band to his advantage. Lies became his best friend, as they rolled off the tongue one after the other. It happened so often, he decided to ‘Just Go With it’.

From director Dennis Dugan, a thrilling comedy with a surprising trio - Adam Sandler, Jennifer Anniston, and Nicole Kidman. It'll make you laugh until your popcorn tips over, 'just Go With It!'

After meeting his ‘Barbie’ dream girl, (Brooklyn Decker) he knew, he needed to capture her heart somehow. He was prepared to do anything to impress her. Plastic surgeon Mackerby, confides in best friend, and assistant Katherine, (Jennifer Anniston). He tells her Palmer, (Brooklyn Decker) could be the one. Helping out a friend in need, Katherine decides to ‘Just Go With It!’ Days later, the fake life comes to play, and the adventure begins. Katherine plays the drug addict wife that Danny portrays to his love interest. Everything changes on a trip to Hawaii, when things take a surprising twist.

Life decides to take you down a path, and when you least expect it, you're face to face with the one person who has always been by your side.

Gather your family and friends, and ‘Just Go With It!’

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Lyrical Geniuses Xposed - Hip-Hop Is NOT Dead!


Today, I wanted to take this time to appreciate, and evaluate a few lyrical geniuses of hip-hop. Lovers of this genre know, the lyrics in these songs are just as important as the beat. I don’t know about you guys, but when I turn up the volume on a hip-hop track, I tend to focus more on the lyrics, than the beat. Of course, as I said, the beat is just as important. Lyrics, and the beat make the perfect marriage.

I wanted to present you with some of the best verses from our favourite rappers – 2pac, Eminem, Ferrari F Fiddy, DMX.

The first verse comes from the legendary Tupac Shakur, from ‘Keep Ya Head Up released in January 1993 from Strictly 4 My N**** album.

“Since we all came from a woman
Got our name from a woman and our game from a woman
I wonder why we take from our women
Why we rape our women, do we hate our women?
I think it's time to kill for our women
Time to heal our women, be real to our women
And if we don't we'll have a race of babies
That will hate the ladies that make the babies
And since a man can't make one
He has no right to tell a woman when and where to create one so will the real men get up
I know you're fed up ladies, but keep your head up”


The next verse comes from Eminem’s ‘Till I Collapse’ taken from his 2003 album 'The Eminem Show':

“Soon as a verse starts I eat it at MC's heart
what is he thinking? How not to go against me? Smart.
And its absurd how people hang on every word.
I'll probably never get the props I feel I ever deserve
But I'll never be served my spot is forever reserved
If I ever leave earth that would be the death of me first.
Cause in my heart of hearts I know nothing could ever be worse.
That's why I'm clever when I put together every verse
My thoughts are sporadic, I act like I'm an addict
I rap like I'm addicted to smack like I'm Kim Mathers.
But I don't want to go forth and back in constant battles
The fact is I would rather sit back and bomb some rappers.
So this is like a full blown attack I'm launching at them
The track is on some battling raps who want some static
Cause I don't really think that the fact that I'm Slim matters
A plaque of platinum status is whack if I'm not the baddest.”


Up next is DMX with Trina Moe From ‘The Greatest Depression' Album released November 2001.


“It's Dark and Hell is Hot, Flesh of my Flesh, Blood of my Blood
And Then There Was X
Got n***** like what's next and then
Hit 'em again, you cats aint never gon' win
I was here before most of y'all careers were born
I'll be here when y'all careers are gone, still strong
Difference between right and wrong is me
Niggas talk shit, but you can't MC
we already know how much your watch is worth
talk about, helpin the hurt, savin the church
won't you brag about helpin out where you come from
and give brothers a job that really want one
gotta think about that shit you said, you don't mean it
I done listened to that shit you said, but I done seen it
most of you cats is type funny
but when it comes time to feed the hungry, gon get type ugly”


Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ 2002 – Many Men from G-Unit soldier 50 Cent

“Some days wouldn't be special, if it wasn't for rain
Joy wouldn't feel so good, if it wasn't for pain
Death gotta be easy, 'cause life is hard
It'll leave you physically, mentally, and emotionally scarred
This if for my n***** on the block, twisting trees and cigars
For the n***** on lock, doing life behind bars
I don't see only God can judge me, 'cause I see things clear
Quick these crackers will give my black ass a hundred years
I'm like Paulie in Goodfellas, you can call me the Don
Like Malcolm by any means, with my gun in my palm
Slim switched sides on me, let n***** ride on me
I thought we was cool, why you want me to die homie?”


That’s It for now! Obviously there are so many other verses that deserve a place in this article, but this is my opinion. What do you think? Do you agree? – Just remember Hip-Hop is not Dead!

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Kings Of Cash - Hip-Hop's Richest Listed


Yes I know, it’s been a while since my last post, but now I’m back. Today, I want to introduce you to the wealthiest hip-hop artists of today. Whether you love it or hate it, it doesn’t matter, because hip-hop is everywhere you turn. It’s because of these artists, who I’m going to highlight now that made hip-hop what it is today. So let’s get to it than shall we? Here are my top five richest artists in hip-hop.

Coming in at #5 Bryan ‘Birdman’ Williams $100 million – co-founder of Cash Money Records (Grammy Nominee US rapper) who has collaborated with Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy, and Rick Ross.

#4 Curtis Jackson aka 50 Cent $100 million - G Unit le ader, with four solo albums to date and a new album set to release later this year.

#3 Dr. Dre $125 million- the ultimate hip-hop producer/rapper of all time is getting ready to release his long awaited studio album Detox.

#2 Jay – Z $450 million – the ‘Big Pimpin’ rapper and Roca – Fella boss is almost the king of cash.

#1 P.Diddy - $475 million – it’s no surprise, Diddy gets money from all over the place, from music to frequencies and fashion.

So, what do you think? Was the list what you expected or did it surprise you?

Monday, 28 February 2011

Dr. Dre I Need A Doctor -Reviewed


The super-heroes of rap are back, Dr. Dre released his music video for his next single 'I Need A Doctor' Dr.Dre, featuring his rap sidekick Eminem, the video got its world premiere earlier this week.

'I Need A Doctor’ is the second single from Dre’s long awaited album Detox. This heart-felt and moving track expresses the emotional, and strong connection between the two rap tycoons.

This amazing song deserves an amazing video, and that’s what it delivers. ‘I Need A Doctor,’ portrays the rise, and fall of one of the greatest hip-hop/rap producers of all time. The connotation of this video is out there, right in front of you, it suggests that Eminem gave Dre the strength to go on, and inspired Dre to continue in this rap game. When everyone turned their back on him, Em was the only one there.

The Detox track begins with a date (February 18th 2001) this date holds some relevance, but I still haven’t figured out what the significance is yet. Dre is sitting on a rock, watching the view, meanwhile, he reminisces on his life. We see short and meaningful clips of Dre, his family, and his early days of NWA.

Later, we see Dre driving at high speed in a sports car that matches his charisma. It crashes, turns up in the air, and violently hits the concrete floor. Dre is in what looks like an oxygen chamber, with Eminem watching over him, and Skylar Grey above in a ghostly presence.

As the video goes on, we see Dre slowly coming back to life. While Em spits his verse, Dre builds up the energy to go on with his life. This suggests how they both motivate each other to be the best they can be. ‘I Need A Doctor,’ cleverly demonstrate the true factor of life and death, along with true friendship.

To check out the full video, don’t delay, watch the world premiere on Youtube and drdre.com to capture the true meaning of life and friendship.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Celebrity Survivors -Cancer K.O.'d


Following my review of The Big C, I wanted to write a new post on celebrities who have survived their battle with cancer.

Here is a list of celebrity cancer survivors:

Kylie Minogue: Australian superstar diva who has battled with breast cancer, came out of the other side stronger then before. Her fight with cancer inspired others particular young women with an earlier diagnosis.

Lance Armstrong: A professional US road-racing cyclist, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1998. The doctors expected Armstrong to have a 2% survival chance as the cancer spread to his vital organs.

Steve Jobs : CEO of Apple Inc. diagnosed with pancreatic cancer six years ago. He was once the ex chief executive of Disney’s Pixar. Due to his diagnosis, Jobs recently announced a leave of absence; he is now working from home.

Olivia Newton John: The face of the musical classic Greese, and the singer of ‘Let’s Get Physical’ was detected with breast cancer in 1992. She is now a dedicated donator to breast cancer charities.