Category Archives: Music

SAMURAI RIDES: FAST PACED SUMMER FUN WITH THE 2017 MAXDA MX-5 MIATA!!!

SAMURAI RIDES: FAST PACED SUMMER FUN WITH THE 2017 MAXDA MX-5 MIATA!!!

Copy of Mazda MX 5

There are few times during the year when I get extra excited for a review ride opportunity. To be perfectly honest with you this particular samurai ride has been in the making sense much earlier in the year. And it almost didn’t happen but I’m glad to say that I got my time to try out Mazda’s incredibly fun sports car the MX-5 Miata. The Mazda MX-5 Miata 2017 edition was an incredible ride and I can’t wait to tell you some of the things that I enjoyed about it. I’m sure when it’s all said and done someone in the mood for a little fun on the road will definitely want to take a look at this vehicle. Once again I was back on the 95 from the city of brotherly love back to Gotham and this summer experience was definitely a highlight of the year.

What’s on deck for today? #summer2017 #mazdamx5 #drivemazda

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Last time I was in the MX-5 it was an early look at the 2016 Miata and that model was a soft top. It had basically the same size.

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The roof came down with a simple flip up on the latch via your own hand and you can go from topless to fully covered without any issue. This time around I had the hardtop version of the MX-5. The big difference in handling here is that going from fully covered to drop top operation simply requires you to engage the power switch. Hold down the switch and the car does the rest as long as you are stationary or at least under 6 miles per hour in motion the vehicle either pulls up or pulls back the hardtop and you’re ready to go.

As I’m sure most of you can tell this ride is not made for excess baggage. There is a modest trunk in the back if you’ve got some moving around to do for the day. If you have a simple travel bag, a carry-on luggage type of bag then you’re good. Outside of that, you’re not going to be moving tons of cargo in this vehicle. And honestly why would you want to? This is definitely a ride meant for you, maybe a partner and a very, very light load. At 6’4 I say that I probably am tapping on the limits of space that this ride is really designed for.

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With that being said I was able to drive with no levels of discomfort. I was able to reach and handle all buttons and knobs. All Miata functions and accessories could be operated without any trouble despite my size. So if I was able to do that, the standard size person should have no trouble utilizing in everything that the MX- 5 has to offer.

MX Inside

On the road handling is incredible. This lightweight speedster really picks up speed in no time and I’ll be perfectly honest, you have to watch that speed when you get on the open road because you cam find yourself hitting 100 miles per hour very easily. We don’t want people messing up there driving record while enjoying this fun sized vehicle. We also know that Mazda takes incredible pride in its craftsmanship and the design of its rides inside and out. You won’t be let down by the combination of luxury and racing design that is fully on display with the 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata.

Mazda has continued to put out some of the most beautiful rides on the market and they haven’t it missed a beat with this one either. Dive into the galleries for some gorgeous shots of the MX-5. This is truly a feel good ride. If you’re in the market for something fun, fast and built for special company, then you’ll absolutely love the 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata. #DriveMazda

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**Check Out My Previous Auto Reviews**

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New Podcast Launch – Who’s Listening EP.00

New Podcast Launch – Who’s Listening EP.00 & EP.01

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Funny how life goes in circles. Years ago I was a pretty solid fixture in the internet radio/podcasting/online streaming space. I co-hosted a Toronto-based online show. I made regular appearances on a number of pretty popular online shows and even on my personal blog I was doing a video blogs very heavy.

Now, to have stepped away from that and then see you that same media blow up with a current surge of podcast activity I won’t lie it’s bittersweet. I think I have a habit of being too far ahead of the curve and several times I’m so far ahead that I missed out on the chance to monetize what it is I’ve already been doing.

With that being said, Facebook over the past week just rolled out a very interesting feature. They announced this back at the tail end of last year and now it’s finally hitting. They announce the audio only feature within Facebook live so if you’re not someone who is camera ready at the moment but has a lot to say, has a voice that needs to be heard or a voice that the people want to hear this is the perfect thing. Obviously, you would do your recordings for the benefit of a live audience at the same time your material is saved which you can direct people back to or share across social media.

This past week I introduced “Who’s Listening”.  Episode 00, the pilot episode. This is me stepping back into the podcast world with this first episode. I spoke about the Yankee captain Derek Jeter having his number retired along with a few Yankee memories. I touched on the NBA playoffs as well. In addition, there was social media talk about virtual reality and “Smart” tech like voice recognition.   The main topic of the show was the  “black women are trash black men or trash” t-shirt fiasco that hit the internet last week. I definitely gave some opinions on that so without further ado drop down and take a listen to the pilot episode of  Who’s Listening.

 

**UPDATED – LISTEN TO THE FIRST OFFICIAL EPISODE 01 HERE**

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SAMURAI SIT DOWN: ACTRESS, MODEL & SINGER – GENESIS VAL LEON

SAMURAI SIT DOWN: ACTRESS, MODEL & SINGER – GENESIS VAL LEON

Genesis Val Leon

Multitasking is a term that people toss around a lot. It’s true that today we find ourselves doing various things at the same time. Well, today I want to present to you a woman that truly embodies the definition of multitasking. A triple threat in everyone sense of the term, meet Genesis Val Leon today’s Samurai Sit Down feature.

Please introduce yourself, where you’re from and what you do?

My name is Genesis Val Leon and I am a curly-haired actress, singer, and model from the Bronx, New York

What was your earliest Inspiration for acting and modeling

I’ve been performing as early as 8 years old. I was that kid that would dance to TV commercials and even the car alarms that would go off on my street. My first classical music/ voice classes started when I entered second grade. I vividly remember my dad playing music from an old record player. We literally would go around the world through music. I remember him playing Tommy Boy, Queen, Whitney, Michael, Prince, Ana Gabriel, Selena and so many other. He gave me one of my greatest traits which my broad music palette. It was something we shared and still till this day do. My dad is an engineer but has an immense love for music (singing)

As for acting, my mom. My mom has the most electric and contagious personality I have ever encountered. Think Rosie Perez meets Sofia Vergara with the most beautiful accent. I remember attempting to imitate her while she would try to reprimand me and getting in so much trouble. I also remember writing apology songs and performing them whenever I got in trouble. My mom is also a huge Novela ( Hispanic Soap Operas) fan. And boy, that’s where the fun really started. You have not really laughed until you’ve watched a novela episode.

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As for modeling, it just came with my personality. My first “pageant” was when I was 5 years old. I wish you all can see this video. I always had big hair and I guess my mom had put my hair in two ponytails. Well, I decided I wanted my hair out. Next thing you know, I walked out with my hair out in this gorgeous fro and strutted my way across the runway, made a detour and walked through the crowd- absolutely messed up the entire order and the organizer had to go and get me.

GVL Coming Soon

Continue reading SAMURAI SIT DOWN: ACTRESS, MODEL & SINGER – GENESIS VAL LEON

Hip Hop is Dead…10 Years Later Nas Looks Back

Hip Hop is Dead…10 Years Later Nas Looks Back

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In 2006 Hip Hop was a very interesting place. While powerhouse names like Eminem, Jay-Z and Kanye West were still dominate, the mainstream is fully in the midst of a revolution led by the new music makers of the south. Lil Jon’s Crunk movement was turning out ultra energized club hit after hit. Atlanta’s Trap had invaded the scene as artists like T.I, Jeezy and Gucci Mane were just as well known in a city like New York as Jadakiss or Camron. And let’s not forget Ludacris and his DTP camp who would occupy multiple chart slots at a time. The Hip Hop landscape was changing and it was not going unnoticed by one of Hip Hop’s greats. In the view of Nasir Jones, he would tell you “Hip Hop is Dead.” I remember my personal excitement awaiting that release of this album. My Hip Hop taste is very NY for all the good, bad ad ugly of it. Nas’ attempt to being things back to the essence was a rallying cry for many even if it was short lived.

10 years since it’s scene shaking release Nas looks back on the Hip Hop Is Dead album that many rallied behind while even more rallied against. Unintended regional tensions resulted from Nas’ claim that the core elements of Hip Hop, music, wordplay, storytelling and lyricism had been given up for childish, hooks and low grade concepts. Linking up with Google Play and Mass Appeal, Nas delivers a 4 part digital documentary on the this controversial album.

“In retrospect, I missed the mark by miles,” he admits. “I didn’t want to pick people apart. I felt like that was for a younger artist to do. I thought the title was enough — to say it’s dead it was to say, ‘I don’t know where to begin, I don’t know where to start.’ But at least I’ll name it this and we’ll see what goes from there.”

Hit the jump to view the other 3 installments of the doc. Watch as Nas speaks on everything from the album title, his long anticipated collaboration with Jay-Z, to his current view of the culture and his present role in it.

Continue reading Hip Hop is Dead…10 Years Later Nas Looks Back

SAMURAI SIT DOWN W/ HIP HOP PUBLICIST SANDRINE AKA DRINEEE “THE HOPE DEALER”

SAMURAI SIT DOWN W/ HIP HOP PUBLICIST SANDRINE AKA DRINEEE “THE HOPE DEALER”

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It’s been a while since I last interviewed someone so its with great pleasure that I share this latest edition of Samurai Sitdown. I’ve always been about shining light on good people doing work that you may not be ever of or just good people in general. We need a lot more positive energy in these crazy times and this woman’s constant flow of hope filled, encouraging words in the midst of her steady Hip Hop representation are one of the things I look forward to while navigating these Internets. A jewel that’s been tucked away in the Dirty South, let me introduce you to Texas’s own Ms Sandrine.

A video posted by sandrine ✨ (@drineee) on

Can you please introduce yourself and tell us what you do? 

My name is Sandrine, also known as Drine, or Drineee on all social media platforms for all intents and purposes lol.  I’d like to say I wear many hats, or at least I try to anyway. Since 2011 I’ve transitioned from hip-hop journalist, to record label marketing rep to publicist. Oh, I’m also in finance as well.

It’s a pleasure to finally chop it up with you. Thank you for you time and lets hop right into things. Proper representation of culture and self are a big issue in many spaces right now. What does culture mean to you? In terms of Hip Hop, Nationality and Region?

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Hip Hop culture is one the most powerful forces in our society, period.  It started as a creative outlet and has turned into something way bigger than I think anyone could imagine.  When we saw politicians worrying about what 2Pac had to say, I think that’s when it really resonated that this was way deeper than rap. It’s more than music, it’s a way of life.  There are so many layers to it and I think that’s why we love it so much. 

True. That’s why we love it and why so many before us hate and fear it.

There’s a song for hustling, for your mama, for the come up, for love, for death and for everything else and the best part – it’s all genuine.  It’s easy to make a pop hit but it lasts a year, if that, and if they’re lucky, maybe some years because really, they aren’t talking about shit. When you make music with meaning it’s always going to outlast music for the moment.  

Continue reading SAMURAI SIT DOWN W/ HIP HOP PUBLICIST SANDRINE AKA DRINEEE “THE HOPE DEALER”

NMDN Conference Returns / Nomadness 5th Year Anniversary

NMDN Conference Returns / Nomadness 5th Year Anniversary

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Many things come with the end of September. In those final days we see the official end of Summer, Football season hits the 1st quarter mark and the Tribe of Nomadness flocks to New York City for its annual celebration and newly launched business conference. This year The NMDN Conference enters year 2 while the overall Nomadness movements hits its 5th year of existence. Having been here from the beginning it’s an interesting time to reflect back on humble beginnings and where Nomadness presently is.

We were again blessed with perfect weather for the final weekend of September. With Nature doing her part, NMDN set up commenced that Friday with decorations, displays, accessories and more being delivered to the venue. As is generally the case I secured the adult beverages for the big night. There is no truer sign of an official Nomadness event then me navigating a city with a ride full of libations.

5 years of Tribe…… Its that time of year! #Nomadness

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As preparations were being finalized, our Nomadness family started to make its way into the city. Wrapped around the actual events of the weekend, Tribe held meet ups, brunches and various smaller gatherings all in the name of Nomadness fellowship.

I can’t help but think of all that has taken place since the 1st 100 members. The faces that have come and gone, the events, trips and bonds made. Not to mention those broken. From a small digital collective has come global acknowledgement, media recognition and a reach that literally spans the planet. It can all be a bit humbling at times. I watch it all from a unique position. High Council, Best Friend, Guardian…..I have various titles, many roles I’ve played but all of them stand in support of the Tribe. I know I saw something in this group early on but I’d be lying to say I saw all that it has become and all it would come to mean to me and so many others.

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Now Nomadness functions as a global resource for current and future generations of Urban travelers. From international business inquiries, to medical info, on the ground local knowledge of cities and towns, media connections across continents, Nomadness has grown into a position of being the stand out network for our people’s traveling needs. Along the way, the Tribe has steadily been the incubator to so many other travel groups and collectives that it’s value can not be measured solely in its own accomplishments but in the over reaching growth of many others.

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NMDN in 2016 showed major signs and growth and maturity as it took on a more serious travel tone then the previous year, as much more sensitive topics were brought forward to the various panels. #BlackLivesMatter, LGBTQ Travel & 911 Travel Info were just some of the topics that stood out at the conference. Powerhouse personalities like Necole Kane & YK Hong were among our guests speakers. Helping to pull things together appearance wise, hosting/lodging giant AirBNB was one of the top sponsors which included a couple of specialty AirBNB lounges furnished by Best Home Fashion.

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There were a lot of moving  parts both physically and logistically but I mus say that from behind the scenes, one of the biggest things I noticed was just how seamless the day went in transitioning from panel to panel. After doing this the first time there was definitely a sense of calm as the event proceeded along. The guest panelists enjoyed their time on our stages. The attendees networked while taking in vital info. Plus they received a first look into the upcoming Nomadness mobile app. 

That smooth flowing vibe would carry over into the evening Anniversary party were even more Nomadness members from around the world came through to toast to another year of travel. As our Tribe family danced to the tunes of DJ Likwid and cheered on the recipients of the annual Nomadness awards, they were also treated to a few surprises via event sponsor GOPRO. 

Half  way into a decade and Nomadness is showing little sign of slowing down. With new initiatives, services and products lined up to add even more value to the growing international network, year 6 is shaping up to be its biggest one yet.  

I’ve witnessed what started with a small hookah lounge meet up grow into worldwide force that as I type this has taken over a full town in Hungary. There is definitely a lot to celebrate. Most importantly is the ability to connect and enjoy life with our peers from around the world.

Check a few of the party images below and stay locked in for everything Nomadness has on deck.

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NetFlix Mega Hack – Welcome to the Hidden Categories

NetFlix Mega Hack – Welcome to the Hidden Categories

 

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The gift and curse of the mega popular streaming service Netflix is that often we get overwhelmed with options yet can’t seem to find exactly with we want. Netflix operates off a specific internal formula that tries to provide the best options for you to select from based on previous viewings. Notice I said the best options, not all options.

There are very detailed sub categories that open up a sea of new options for your viewing pleasure and they are accessible via a pretty simple method.

To view the categories, select a code from the list below and enter the category code at the end of the URL.

(Here’s an example: http://www.netflix.com/browse/genre/11146

Note: You must be logged into your Netflix account on a desktop pc for this to work. This is not a mobile device or direct streaming device hack (i.e a bluray player or roku)).

Hit the jump for the full list of the most popular secret codes. I’m certain you’ll find something you like plus a few surprises!!

Continue reading NetFlix Mega Hack – Welcome to the Hidden Categories

The Epic Trunk Show Returns with Lifestyle, Fashion & Music

The Epic Trunk Show Returns with Lifestyle, Fashion & Music

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This past weekend Manhattan’s Shop Studios was the place to be for another edition of the formerly named Ultimate Trunk Show. Now known as the Epic & Co. Trunk Show the evenings event is a collection of indie fashion brands, lifestyle accessories and services that allow you a fresh look at some quality clothing for the summer season and pamper yourself a little as the Epic & Co provided complimentary massages, nail treatment and shoe cleaning throughout the day.  The Trunk Show definitely succeeds in presently an showroom experience to remember.

The free-flowing Hennessy never fails in setting a calm laid back atmosphere. Whether you were on the main floor sampling the fashions or the rooftop awaiting a massage you could enjoy one of the V.S drinks being offered that evening.

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Now  what would such an event be like without music though? We wouldn’t have to wonder as DJ 9AM held down the tunes with right mixture of classics with a healthy dose of newer material.

Over the course of the evening I saw some familiar favorites like the always fly Heirport Apparel line.

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Dirty Razkal  returned with some new items including some back packs that I really was feeling.

Personally I really like the items that Kingdom Native had on display. Bringing a positive faith-based theme to fashion I appreciated what they were doing simply from the standpoint of counteracting the react wave of satanic themed items that have been made popular by many of today’s Hip Hop mega stars like Lil Wayne.

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Most notably is the popularized upside down cross images that have ended up on so many fashion pieces. For this reason alone Kingdom Naive gets my support.

Along with them, Imperfect Apparel had some items that I can picture a few of my friends rocking this summer from the US to Japan. I would also point people in the direction of Born Republic Co. for a solid selection of accessories from necklaces to bracelets and more.

Now I do want to give you guys my personal pick of the day. It’s great to look good but often times keeping things fresh and clean is a head ache. Sneaker loves will appreciate this because I brought my Nike Pythons to the event hoping to restore their shine.

Fresh feet work via @ecosolelution. @epicandco Trunk Show.

A video posted by nightfall914 (@nightfall914) on

EcoSOLElution used nothing more than a brush, water and their natural solution to deliver a major cleaning on my sneakers. This is a true must have for your favorite sneaker head. Get some asap. You’ll be glad you did.

Covering this event I was working with the good folks at Mr Refined  so make sure you swing by their side of the Internet to get more insights and a lot more images from the show!!

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MR REFINED LAUNCHES NEW PUBLICATION FOR THE TODAY’S URBAN PROFESSIONALS

MR REFINED LAUNCHES NEW PUBLICATION FOR THE TODAY’S URBAN PROFESSIONALS

#MRREFINED

**CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR COPY OF MR REFINED MAGAZINE***

One of the most powerful forces in our society today is media. It is how people get most of their information and for better or worse it’s a huge factor in how people form their views and opinions. With this power comes a responsibility to be truly comprehensive, honest and engaging with the content you deliver. In addition to that, the people now hold more ability to control the stories and narratives that are presented. Enter Mr. Refined Magazine.

I take personal pride and consider it an honor to have my words among the premiere articles within the newly launched Mr. Refined magazine.

Car Guide Refined

The Mr. Refined brand has set itself as an expanding force in delivering mature lifestyle content for the new age young adult. From style to travel to business and more Mr. Refined magazine looks to deliver a quarterly dose of high-caliber reading material that you can truly relate and connect to.

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So, without further ado here is the info to get your own copy of Mr. Refined Magazine. You have your choice of digital or hard copies. You won’t be disappointed so order your copy and please share this among your peers.

**CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR COPY OF MR REFINED MAGAZINE***

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SXSW Welcomes President Obama For Keynote Speech

SXSW Welcomes President Obama For Keynote Speech

AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 11: President Barack Obama speaks at the opening Keynote during the 2016 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at Long Center on March 11, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for SXSW)
AUSTIN, TX – MARCH 11: President Barack Obama speaks at the opening Keynote during the 2016 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at Long Center on March 11, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for SXSW)

There was once a time when SXSW was viewed as an annual mecca of indie music and film. Recently as the Austin based conference has grown in mainstream notoriety the Tech space has emerged as a thriving element of the SXSW experience. Social media standards like Twitter and Foursquare both launched during previous SXSW.

This year the SXSW attendees received a massive treat as for the 1st time ever a current President of the United States, Barack Obama delivered an opening keynote address to Launch SXSW Interactive.

You can view the speech in its entirety below. Just hop to the 40 minute mark.

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