Pharrell Speaks on Early Hip Hop Influences and Changes in the Business

Pharrell Speaks on Early Hip Hop Influences and Changes in the Business

Pharrell

Skateboard P may be on greatest roll of his career and while we see no sign that his ascension will stop, he took a little time to chat with Hardknock TV. He touches on the young artist mentality of releasing music, early influences and more.

“We’ve allowed lawyers to become CEOs of businesses that are all about content, and that doesn’t make sense. Unless the lawyer has a good ear, but for the most part, they’re gonna be thinking about things fiscally. And so that’s when you see certain record companies putting out music like they’re putting out soap, or macaroni and cheese. They make these very small improvements but put the same thing out. And then you see these kids that are like, “We’re not having it.” That’s what this is about. That’s what music is about. That’s what us as a species are here for — to evolve and make things better.”

Awesomely Illustrated Workouts via Neila Rey

 Awesomely Illustrated Workouts via Neila Rey

Workouts

There are so many gems on these Internets. Yesterday I came across this amazing site full of fitness programs, workouts and challenges all clearly illustrated in clean infographic style images. This site which is the creation of Neila Rey is so cool in that many of the workouts are themed behind such things as movie characters, comic book heroes and random aspects of everyday life. The site comes across of effective, efficient and tons of fun. For the amount of content Neila is sharing you would think there would be a price tag attached to these workouts. But you will not find that on anything features here. From the Batman Workout to the 5 minute Plank Challenge to the 90 days of Action you don’t have to pay a dime for anything. These programs are offered 100 free.

Now even though you can utilize these workouts for free there is a donation page that allows you to give back what you feel is proper for the info you’re acquired. I think it’s a great idea and I know I plan on donating. I see a few programs I’m going to work into the off days of my Seals Academy Workouts. The winter rages on but it’ll be Spring and then Summer before you know it. You have no excuses for not getting yourself in great shape.

Workouts

30 days of Change

Check Out the Great Routines & Drop a Few Dollars In Support

 

Jason Francis | The Social MediaSamurai

Are We Really That Concerned About Our Hip Hop

Are We Really That Concerned About Our Hip Hop

Hip Hop

Nearly 72 hours removed from the Grammy’s and things are going as accepted. The predictable Macklemore backlash and “professional” social media analysis of what he should have done is in full swing. For a guy that nearly wasn’t even included in the Rap category he certainly has the momentary focus of the culture on him. I didn’t lose any sleep over Mack’s win. I’m fine with it since the Grammy’s in relation to Hip Hop haven’t really meant much to me. So, while everyone is blogging and tweeting about “White Privilege” & the “Appropriation of Hip Hop”, I’m keeping an eye on things closer to home.

It feels good to point a finger at a single person when things don’t seem right. We like having a bad guy to focus on. When many folk don’t plan on trying to change things you just want a target to vent against the ills of the situation. I get it but while everyone is lobbing darts at the guy from Seattle the song pictured above dropped on Monday across many of the biggest Hip Hop sites. How many of you were aware of this? The song is called “Hoe”. How does that make you feel? What’s your reaction to knowing that an artist, signed to Atlantic Records got the green light to put this out? Ladies?

I understand how the system works, but it’s very difficult for me to get fired up over Macklemore’s success when we have stuff like this happening every day that no one raises a single eye brow too. We’re quick to get mad at the white guy but we disrespect each other in our music 24/7. Apparently if it can’t be summed up in a cute Hashtag it doesn’t get any real attention. I don’t like talk for the sake of talk. What needs to be done? This takes me back to the Urban World Digital event I attended back in Sept. I asked one of the music execs there about the conflict between putting out what he knows is negative content that sells vs more positive material that won’t sell. He admitted its a dilemma but at the end of the day he has to make money for his family. As long as there is profit in the “H*e, B**ch, N**ga” market nothing will change. We’ll just find random people to get mad at for the moment.

 

Jason Francis | The Social MediaSamurai

You Can Keep That Traveling Girl

You Can Keep That Traveling Girl

Traveling

 

The following poem/piece has been bouncing around the Internets for a while and I saw it a about a dozen times yesterday. I finally decided to take a look at it and I had mixed reactions to it. Take a look at the piece below then I’ll give my thoughts afterwards.

****

She’s the one with the messy unkempt hair colored by the sun. Her skin is now far from fair like it once was. Not even sun kissed. It’s burnt with multiple tan lines, wounds and bites here and there. But for every flaw on her skin, she has an interesting story to tell.

Don’t date a girl who travels. She is hard to please. The usual dinner-movie date at the mall will suck the life out of her. Her soul craves for new experiences and adventures. She will be unimpressed with your new car and your expensive watch. She would rather climb a rock or jump out of an airplane than hear you brag about it.

Don’t date a girl who travels because she will bug you to book a flight every time there’s an airline seat sale. She wont party at Republiq. And she will never pay over $100 for Avicii because she knows that one weekend of clubbing is equivalent to one week somewhere far more exciting.

Chances are, she can’t hold a steady job. Or she’s probably daydreaming about quitting. She doesn’t want to keep working her ass off for someone else’s dream. She has her own and is working towards it. She is a freelancer. She makes money from designing, writing, photography or something that requires creativity and imagination. Don’t waste her time complaining about your boring job.

Don’t date a girl who travels. She might have wasted her college degree and switched careers entirely. She is now a dive instructor or a yoga teacher. She’s not sure when the next paycheck is coming. But she doesn’t work like a robot all day, she goes out and takes what life has to offer and challenges you to do the same.

Don’t date a girl who travels for she has chosen a life of uncertainty. She doesn’t have a plan or a permanent address. She goes with the flow and follows her heart. She dances to the beat of her own drum. She doesn’t wear a watch. Her days are ruled by the sun and the moon. When the waves are calling, life stops and she will be oblivious to everything else for a moment. But she has learned that the most important thing in life isn’t surfing.

Don’t date a girl who travels as she tends to speak her mind. She will never try to impress your parents or friends. She knows respect, but isn’t afraid to hold a debate about global issues or social responsibility.

She will never need you. She knows how to pitch a tent and screw her own fins without your help. She cooks well and doesn’t need you to pay for her meals. She is too independent and wont care whether you travel with her or not. She will forget to check in with you when she arrives at her destination. She’s busy living in the present. She talks to strangers. She will meet many interesting, like-minded people from around the world who share her passion and dreams. She will be bored with you.

So never date a girl who travels unless you can keep up with her. And if you unintentionally fall in love with one, don’t you dare keep her. Let her go.

Source

****

As I saw online, there are many aspects of this piece that people connect to and I get it. The travel girl = untamed, free spirit, outside of the box, etc, etc…… But there’s a one size fits all tone to this that I feel is a bit unrealistic. This applies both to the way the traveling girl is described along with the description of the men who are warned to stay back. The Traveling girl is written as almost being a directionless, goal lacking wanderer with no desire for plans or structure. Simultaneously the writer takes the familiar shots at people with “boring jobs”. This is the whole “Creative vs 9-5” narrative that I see often. The reality is that both of these types of people come in a wide array of types and styles. Many of which do actually work well with the other. Relationships are way to circumstantial to be summed up in any one shot.

This isn’t angry non-traveling guy replying to this. No, this is a man who works with, rides for and supports the biggest most progressive collective of traveling women on the planet. And I’ll let you in on something from the growing number of conversation I have with these ladies. The vast majority of them do want love and they have lived life enough to know that love can come in many packages. Often times it comes in a package they did not expect. You have to be open to this no matter what.

Just because you’re always traveling doesn’t mean your going anywhere. All movement isn’t progress. Your potential life love may be more stationary then you but making more moves than you can fathom. Then question becomes can you keep up with him? I’ve come to love the traveling women I’m now around so personally you can keep the one described in this piece.

Jason Francis | The Social MediaSamurai

Samurai Confession: My 5 Year Love Lesson

Samurai Confession: My 5 Year Love Lesson

Love

 

It seems that at some point we all meet someone or go through a situation that will greatly affect and to a large degree define the way that we act towards the opposite sex. Sometimes these situations work out but often times they don’t. Regardless of what folk may think of the stoic guy they see now it wasn’t always like this for me. I’m not exempt to the ways that the heart can manipulate the mind and distort perspective. Roughly 10 yrs ago I went through a phase that would technically have me as the “side piece” to a woman in a relationship. Yes I was a straight up simp. A sucker for love 100%. Allow me to share the lesson that took me over 5 years to learn.

One of  things that has always happened with me is that after a woman and I part ways they reach out to me later expressing regret for the decision that was made to leave. In 2002 after the conclusion of a 7-8 month relationship I was in that space again. The difference was that I still cared for and wanted to be with this person. Also when she reached out to me she was still with the person she elected to leave me for. In spite of this she expressed a desire to maintain our friendship. At 21 years old my heart would take any level of interaction I was able to have with her, so that’s what I did. Our friendship put me in the side line position of being that guy that essentially provided all the things a partner would without the more “intimate” interactions. It was no secret on either side that my true want was to be back in a relationship. Essentially I was just waiting. As the years went by I’d still go about my business, still meet people and socialize but I knew what my heart wanted. It was a weird mixture of roles. I guess you could say I was “Friend Zoned Side Dude”

Eventually I pulled out of that cycle. Well, to be honest, life and relocation forced me out of that cycle. Once out of it though I finally took a look at what I was doing and what I allowed and truthfully it made me sick. Today many of my close friends come to me for views and options on their relationships and this is where a lot of my views come from. I’ve seen first hand how “love” can make you under value your self-worth, over look unfair circumstances and settle for less than you deserve. I swore to myself that love would never make me that blind again. I’ve always said Love is one of the most powerful forces on Earth. I’ve watched it create miracles and destroy lives equally. Love is to be respected and handled carefully as far as I’m concerned. I take the lessons learned from it seriously and honestly my interaction with women have been much better ever since.

The heart wants what the heart wants……but so do bratty kids as well. Sometimes you have to slap a kids hand and apply some thought to learn that everything you want isn’t always good for you.

Jason Francis | The Social MediaSamurai

Jay-Z & Beyonce Reign on the Billboard Power 100

Jay-Z & Beyonce Reign on the Billboard Power 100

BillBoard

Jay-Z crashed the Superbowl with “MCHG” and Beyonce put the year to bed with “Beyonce”. 2013 was the intro to the “NewRules of bigger business. New Rules resulted in an old result, Mr & Mrs Carter as the music industry’s biggest power couple.  Check a portion of the Billboard write-up after the jump.

***

What is power? At its base, it’s the ability to reshape the world around you according to your vision. And who in the music industry did so better in the last year than this power couple?

Continue reading Jay-Z & Beyonce Reign on the Billboard Power 100

#DRBigGame Time Comes to New York City

#DRBigGame Time Comes to New York City

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a
social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. #shop #cbias

#DRBigGame, New York City

No sooner have we cleaned up from the New Year’s celebrations and finally taken down the Christmas decorations do we find ourselves preparing for the another one of the nation’s biggest times of festive gathering. It’s time to start preparing for the Football’s big game. Over the next 2 weeks parties of all shapes and sizes will be organized as New York City hosts the America’s biggest sports event. Look no farther than NYC’s Duane Reade & Walgreens stores to usher in the football fun. #DRBigGame events are in full swing!

#DRBigGame, New York CityKicking off the #DRBigGame fun, Walgreens hosted New York Giant’s David Tyree, of the infamous helmet catch. That championship winning play still resonates with the people of New York and he was in great spirits chatting it up with the fans that came to the store for photos and autographs. As you would expect in the world’s greatest city, people were visiting from all over the world. Fans from nations London and Brazil were delighted to meet the football champion. In addition to that the good people of TheraPearl were on hand introducing their Hot & Cold sore products that go very well with the bumps and bruises of action football play. The crowd interacted with their putting green set up looking to win a few prizes if they could sink the winning putt. The kids loved it.

It could be anything from the average scrimmage games held among friends to the competitive pro leagues that these Hot & Cold packs are quiet a novelty. You essentially pop these in the freezer or the microwave for an instant answer to soreness. For me it comes in handy either after a few games of ball or after a great gym workout. The beauty is that these packs get well after 40 repeat uses so you definitely get your money’s worth. A lot of people are in the midst of their new fitness plans so having some extra post workout comfort is always welcome.

This is not the first time a big game has come to New York City. Just last summer the  Big Apple hosted baseball’s All Star celebration. Make no mistake that Duane Reade and Walgreens will be ground zero for top shelf football activity and enjoyment. Continue to check the hashtag #DRBigGame to keep up with the various in store events and player appearances.

#DRBigGame, New York City

 

#DRBigGame, New York City

#DRBigGame, New York City

Jason Francis | The Social MediaSamurai

#GameTimeGoodies for the Big Game Gathering

#GameTimeGoodies for the Big Game Gathering

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a
social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. #Shop #Cbias

#GameTimeGoodies, Big Game

There really is nothing like getting together with your people and enjoying a big game. Sometimes it’s a big elaborate production where guests bring dishes and platters to the meeting place. Although on some occasions it’s the classic approach of keeping it very simple. You can never go wrong with #GameTimeGoodies that you can make in the time needed to watch a lengthy commercial break.

#GameTimeGoodies, Big Game

With the build up towards football’s big game, along with pro and college basketball being in full swing, DiGiorno has rolled their prices back across the broad on many of their pizza varieties being offered at Walmart. Soon as I heard this I knew that major Walmart run was on deck. For the price that numerous pizzerias would offer you 2-3 slices you can get full pies from DiGiorno in your Walmart frozen food section which literally take about 15 minutes to prepare.  Just imagine the time that your basic pre game program takes up being used to produce full cooked delicious pizza without having to leave your home.

Not just is the ease of preparation a good thing in itself but for me, given the time of year and season, DiGiorno is a real must have for those snowed in winter days. Even as I write this New York and more of the Northeast is dealing with another blast of winter goodness with expected snow accumulation of 8-12 inches. No one is trying to be out and about in that kind of weather. You don’t want to go out in it and few quality food establishment will be delivering to you either so don’t get caught out there when  you can get a couple of pies and adequate drink to set off your sports viewing plans for cheap.

#GameTimeGoodies, Big Game

What’s just as important to me as price is that I can get to enjoy the game with minimal distraction and maximum enjoyment of the people I’m with. The roll back prices won’t be in effect forever so don’t waste too much time making your move. It’ll be championship game time in NYC soon so be proactive with your #GameTimeGoodie selections..

 

Jason Francis | The Social MediaSamurai

Kanye West x Steve McQueen Interview via Intervew Magazine

Kanye West x Steve McQueen Interview via Interview Magazine

West, McQueen

 

IT’S THE BEGINNING OF ME RATTLING THE CAGE, OF MAKING SOME PEOPLE NERVOUS. AND PEOPLE ARE STRATEGICALLY TRYING TO DO THINGS TO MUTE MY VOICE.
—KANYE WEST

What would a day be without some new commentary from never boring Mr. West. From the newest issue of INTERVIEW magazine Kanye has a one on one with Steve McQueen, the man behind 12 Years a Slave. You already know where Ye stands in regards to his goals in fashion but in addition to that we do get some insightful conversation about how Kanye deals with life and approaches things like love and family. It’s a solid read for those interested in one of our most unique public artists.

Link to the full Interview below

MCQUEEN: Let’s go deep very quickly then: Talk to me about who you were and who you’ve become — both before and after your accident, the car crash. Who are those two people, Kanye before and Kanye after? Are they different people? Was there a seismic change in who you were after you nearly lost your life?

WEST: I think I started to approach time in a different way after the accident. Before I was more willing to give my time to people and things that I wasn’t as interested in because somehow I allowed myself to be brainwashed into being forced to work with other people or on other projects that I had no interest in. So simply, the accident gave me the opportunity to do what I really wanted to do. I was a music producer, and everyone was telling me that I had no business becoming a rapper, so it gave me the opportunity to tell everyone, “Hey, I need some time to recover.” But during that recovery period, I just spent all my time honing my craft and making The College Dropout. Without that period, there would have been so many phone calls and so many people putting pressure on me from every direction—so many people I somehow owed something to—and I would have never had the time to do what I wanted to.

Source

Jason Francis | The Social MediaSamurai

The Samurai Joins The #Markerly Blogging Network And You Should Too

The Samurai Joins The #Markerly Blogging Network And You Should Too

Sponsored by #Markerly

#Markerly, influencer marketing, sponsored content

Steadily the reach of the Social Media Samurai extends and I want to share with you the newest network I’ve joined that was been quite a pleasant surprise. I’m referring to the Marketly Blogger Network. They’re a blogger based network that produces sponsored content for a number of brands and companies via influencer marketing.  I was pointed in their direction by the lovely Ms Sharelle Lowery of www.classyblackgirl.com and like everything else she brings to my attention it pays dividends.

There are A LOT of blogging networks out there. A lot more then I was originally aware of. With that being the case I’m always researching and checking out where my skills and voice would be best applied. Markerly is a very direct network with a user friendly application set up. You answer a handful of basic questions and then you get campaigns sent to you for you to engage or decline. I’m presently a couple assignments in and I love what I’m seeing. Not just is the system simple but the support team on the back end is very efficient. A business that replies to communications in a timely manner means a lot to me and Markerly was right on point with that. Speedy emails replies were flowing back and forth so I didn’t have to hold up my work.

Now as with any collective that I’m working with this a business so bloggers reading this want to know one thing. “How is the level of compensation?” Truthfully my experience has been that the compensation level varies on the campaign. It’s less then I’ve gotten for other post via other networks but that is because my other work has required me going to venues, events, stores and getting more hands on with things. So, in relation to what is asked of you, posting and social media shares, the compensation is great. In addition to that I completely would recommend Markerly because they pay within 48 hours of your sponsored content going live. I literally went live with a post the other day, went out for breakfast and had my money by the time I returned from my meal. For bloggers who value their time and often have to wait weeks to a month to get full compensation that type of turnaround is music to my ears.

#Markerly, influencer marketing, sponsored content

From an analytic perspective Markerly also provides these heat imaged versions of your post that shows you where readers click the most frequently on. It’s a very useful tool to improve your blogging structure for increased engagement.

All bloggers are different but I would tell you to definitely join up with the Markerly network. There’s nothing to lose and a lot to gain.

Before you do that make share you take part in the $250 American Express Gift Card giveaway contest below. The winner will be picked February 27 2014. Good Luck.

 

Join The Markerly Blogging Network

 

Jason Francis | The Social MediaSamurai