Friday, October 29, 2010

The Whirlwind October Is Finally Over....

The Heroes! at the B.o.B. concert at Emory University, Oct. 23rd

We almost let an entire month pass by without posting, but if you've been following the Heroes! whereabouts, you'd know why. Last month, they were preparing for a slate of performances around Atlanta, starting with their performance at Georgia Tech's NPHC Homecoming Step Show. As the month went on, performing at Apache Cafe and Sharp's Bar, their stage presence became stronger and their chemistry developed as everyone, the artists and the band, got comfortable with each other. Watching them through the many shows, I can tell that they're growing with time and will get better.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Shalamar the Situation: Coming To Save The Game 2.0 In Review


If you didn't understand the Shalamar reference...I hope you expand your musical tastes just a little bit.

Coming To Save The Game 2.0...Better? or not?


Track 1, "Superhero Music," sets the tone for this mixtape in its apparent production quality and lyrical content. The delivery flows well and meshes properly with all the instruments and sounds within the production.

One of the first things you should notice is the blatant LACK of DJ drops....great move. Now the music can be truly appreciated without "internal external" (in the track, but not a part of it) interruptions.

Track 2, "Can't Be Serious" was the pre-released track from this mixtape. In all honesty, I didn't really mess with this track initially. I love the production quality (consistent theme throughout this mixtape), but I felt like the lyrical quality didn't tap into The Heroes! greater capability. As I listened to it again, it started to grow on my however; I always liked the hook, but the verses are good verses, even though they don't tap into that greater potential.

Tracks 3-8 are the from the first mixtape and therefore need no further discussion.

Track 9, "Heroes of the Game Pt. 2," the beginning seemed a little shaky in relation to the sounds that were introduced and the way they meshed with the artist's beginning and the transition between the last two artists was a little rocky. Worthy of note is the first lyrical appearance of Norrin Radd on The Heroes! tracks.

Track 10, "Show Us Some Love"... High hopes were established for this track in particular. The last verse should have faded into nonexistence in my opinion. It didn't meet up the standards set by the verse before it and its lack of comparison wasn't compensated by a refreshingly different just filled space. Insider's Scoop: There's a lost verse for this track that I wish would have made it to the final cut and I guarantee you guys would have loved it. Eh...but what do I know?...I'm just a Clerk.

Track 11, "Stay With Me Tonight (feat. Kim Kelsey)" has been a must release for quite some time. The R&B/Pop style of this production feels a little better than the version you'll find on the original "DJ Hollywood Presents: Coming to Save the Game."

Track 12, "Ain't No Way" is full of heart. I say that to say that you can feel the drive of each artist buried in their verses.

Track 13, "All I Know" comes in with a feel good almost "Step In The Name Of Love" feel to it. The official last track of "Coming to Save the Game 2.0" (sans *Bonus Tracks*), it leaves you feeling better about life in general.

All tracks after Track 13 are *Bonus Tracks* so I'll leave them unreviewed.

The Recap

All and all...2.0 displays the drastic growth of The Heroes! on the pursuit to "Save the Game." Continue with The Heroes! on this journey as they utilize their powers to save mankind.

-T. Drake

Monday, September 6, 2010

My Mic Sounds Nice: Hips, Lips, and Rhymes (Part 2)

Click here for Part 1 of this article.

The business profile of the female MC vanished with each passing year, apparently due to the budget constraints of the label. Seeing an image of a perfectly done-up female with a mic in her hand served to draw attention to them, and I understand that purpose in the fight against the double standard, even in hip-hop - not many people want to see a female wearing a doo-rag and dirt under her nails. The documentary says this "keeping up with the Joneses" approach prevented labels from signing any more female artists, probably letting their existing artists finish their contracts or buying them out of their deals. Is that a conspiracy, you ask? No, it's just the label's way of cutting their losses, especially if all that they were paying for didn't translate into sales. What isn't mentioned in the program is the rise of digital music, dropping the bottom out of the music business as a whole, as well as that already weakened niche as the public was getting used to not paying for music, further damaging their livelihoods.

My Mic Sounds Nice: Heart, Soul and Flow (Part 1)


Last night, I was winding down my Sunday when I'd affixed my channel to BET - which I rarely do nowadays - and caught the beginning of their new documentary My Mic Sounds Nice: A Truth About Women and Hip-Hop. Definitely not one of those "woe is me/respectful females wouldn't do this" documentaries about video vixens, this program focuses on the female wordsmiths in the game - their semi-concurrent rise with hip-hop, their staying power at the end of the century, and then the current decline of mainstream female rappers with the turn of the new millenium. I figured I'd bless BET with the ratings and take a peek. If you haven't seen it, it's definitely an eye-opener.

The Clerks Strike Again....

It's been a while, I know...すみません。

From the collective minds of Sage and T. Drake comes "hot fyah" so to speak...

If you've been to any Heroes! events then you've seen the shirts The Heroes! wear; well this isn't about them.
Many of you have heard of Good Wood and if not, they're renowned for their custom wooden necklaces, most notably their "Jesus Piece."

Well, posted below is the newest addition to the The Heroes! uniform: Good Wood Heroes "H!"

Saturday, September 4, 2010

From The Desk Of B. Reilly: The Heroes' Latest Practice


Last time we left this program, the release party of The Heroes' latest project, Coming To Save The Game 2.0, was scheduled for August 27th. As you should have heard recently, that party is now finalized for September 18th in midtown Atlanta. This past Monday, The Heroes sans Mister Xavier gathered at a friend's home to practice their new set. Walking into the house, I could already tell that this space would allow everyone more breathing room than Avatar Studios, if you remember. We were introduced to the new guitarist, Nick, one of Dylan's contacts. As the artists got used to the space, a feeling of excitement filled the air because they had been building momentum with their practices, knowing that they are getting better with each moment, creating a chemistry with each other.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Michael Jackson - Billie Jean (Love To Infinity DMC Mix)

I collect Michael Jackson remixes like none other - I'm sort of a digital packrat. Within these remixes is one in particular that I always thought was epic in presentation, which is Love To Infinity's DMC Mix of Billie Jean. I found myself searching on YouTube repeatedly to see if anyone had ever made a video to it, which someone has, but it's just the shortened version of the song laid over the video. I've had the idea to make a video to this song, but I just never had the time and/or the resources to do it. It's been gestating on my computer's hard drive for the longest time, so I decided to finish it in time for Michael's birthday this year - this is my attempt at adding to his YouTube legacy (and getting some Sony Vegas practice in). I was up 'til 7AM editing this thing, and I'm thinking about re-cutting it later....but not anytime soon since since the video takes a day to render AND upload to YouTube :/ I hope you enjoy my labor of love!


"We're sendin' out, a major love / And this is our message to you / The planets are linin' up, we're bringin' brighter days / They're all in line, waiting for you / So know the're just another part of me..."
Michael Jackson, Another Part of Me

I have been a fan of Michael's since 2001, shortly before Invincible came out. I was watching the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards in my room and N*SYNC came on to perform their song "Pop". I wasn't really stuntin' it too much, but it was the Video Music Awards, where something usually crazy happens out of nowhere, so I gave them a chance and didn't turn the channel. I watched Justin and 'nem dance and sing, like they usually do. Towards the end, the playback was having quote-unquote technical difficulties, so I was like, "OK, something stupid is about to happen." They circled around to the main part of the stage, and the end of the song was different: "We, Must, Be/Kings of.....POP!" Meanwhile, a giant Etch-A-Sketch was lowered behind them ever so conspicuously. "Kings of Pop" was written on it, and then shaken to make it read "King of Pop". It took me like 2-3 seconds to realize what the hell was going on, and by the time I realized it, a silhouette of the Smooth Criminal outfit was starting to come together.

And then Michael emerged from behind the drawing.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sneaker Watch 8/18/10 (Yeah... Its been a while)


Nike SB is making a Street Fighter Pack...I repeat, Nike SB is making a Street Fighter Pack. 2 words describe my feelings towards this: F@%^ing Awesome. The 1st shoe that we are getting a glimpse of is the Chun-Li Nike Dunk Low Pro SB. As you can see, the colorway of the shoe is Argon Blue, with gold stiching and a Gum Bottom sole, which correspond with Chun-Li's outfit colorway on Street Fighter. Personally, I think these are FIRE and a must cop for anyone who is into Street Fighter or just want a blue pair of sneakers. I'm just speculating but I feel like Nike will probably come out with a Ken and Ryu colorway as well. (They have to, right?) I'm hoping that they will make an Akuma colorway too. Knowing my luck though, they will make a Zangeif colorway (Boo!!!)

A Question to the folks out there:
What Street Fighter character do you think would make a good Dunk colorway?

*more pics of Chun-li Dunk Low Pro SB*

-Sage Out

The Definition Of Awesome: My Scott Pilgrim Review

I surf the 'Net a lot when I'm not in the Adobe Creative Suite designing something, but recently I've been falling off of my routine site visiting and blog reading. I made a pit stop at IGN Movies and saw a feature on this film called Scott Pilgrim vs. The World....looked interesting so I thought I'd take a peek. Once I saw the comic book-themed scenes and heard the video game sounds from Sonic and Mario (the "KO" sound especially), I was sold. Not long after that did I enter a contest to win a free screening pass for two courtesy of Advance Screenings (which everyone should follow on Twitter!), and got a phone call from a random number that I didn't answer, but left me a voicemail saying that I won my screening pass!

Talk about excited! I brought one of my friends with me to go see the movie last Thursday, and it definitely didn't disappoint. What I saw in the trailer is exactly what I got - Scott Pilgrim is a 22-year-old Canadian trying to romance an out-of-towner named Ramona Flowers, but in order to finally go out with her he has to defeat her seven evil exes....oh, and he's in a band; nothing more complicated than that, as the method in which he gets there is entertaining enough without a convoluted plot. From the opening digitized Universal opening screen, to the ending 8-bit music, I was captivated. The movie did a good job of easing those of us who aren't familiar with the Pilgrim into his world, replete with snarky text boxes and onomatopoeia. Speaking of that, the visible onomatopoeia is EVERYWHERE in this film - I'm sure the Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead director Edgar Wright and series creator Bryan Lee O'Malley went to great lengths to make the film look as much like a comic book as possible.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

From The Desk Of B. Reilly: The Heroes' Friday the 13th Practice

From time to time, I will issue reviews, thoughts, and observations from and about the latest Heroes happenings and sightings. They won't necessarily be as candid as you'd like, but I will be leaking info when necessary....and allowed. What you SHOULD expect from these posts are things like Heroes performances, releases of songs and music, early artwork from me (I'm talking about prehistoric-type early...primarily sketches), and essentially whatever I see fit to come from this desk. Let's begin this feature by me telling you guys about one of our latest band practices.

This month, on Friday the 13th - a most conspicuous date - The Heroes! collected at Avatar Studios in downtown Atlanta for a rehearsal of some of their songs, old and new, in preparation for a series of performances and shows later this fall. I've never been to Avatar, but found out that it was close to where I work, so it became instantly familiar. Once I got there, I first met Dylan, our drummer, and later, I finally met our guitarist, Johnny. I navigated my way through what seemed like a maze of hallways but was only one big hallway to walk down - so imagine my slight discontent when Dylan told me that we were stationed all the way at the end of the hallway. A few minutes later, the rest of the artists and producers arrived, and it didn't take long for the artists to get into the groove of practicing their set....I could see that we plucked two very talented musicians in Johnny and Dylan.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Hee-Hee Hell!

Last week, it was reiterated through the many Michael Jackson-affiliated Twitter accounts (specifically this one) that I follow, that a new Michael Jackson album is coming out this year....until the story was refuted not even 20 minutes later. Nevertheless, a new album from the King of Pop should be coming later this year. The deal that MJ's estate struck with Sony includes up to 10 albums of unreleased material, video games/DVD releases, etc., all of which could earn the estate up to $250 million!

Now if you're excited about more moonwalking, crotch-grabbing, and chamon-ing, your favorite hip-pop producer is not:

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

At the End of the Day...

When you're lost in the hustle and bustle of living something as simple as a butterfly landing on a flower can spark an intellectual reevaluation of your current state of life...

When did it change? When did life go from the simple act of survival and just having a means to live, to an all out pursuit of riches and "the good life"? When did enough become too little and excess become barely enough?

Watching a butterfly move from flower to flower, and realizing that it's daily life consists of eating enough to make it to the next day so that it can repeat the process, helps turn these simple questions into a mental plague.

Most people strive for success... but success in what?...and to what purpose? When you die, the success that you've accrued...what can be done with it? You can't bow-tie your accomplishments and pass them down to your children - they have to make a name for themselves and start from scratch.

Does that mean this can be considered a selfish pursuit? Often people work hard for success so that they can live comfortably and then have their children work with little to none so they might "learn the value of hard work" as it were...which begs the question: does that invalidate your original pursuit to make sure your kids lived a better life than yourself?

It would be foolish to say "stop putting in that work"...the real message is along the lines of "remember to stop and breathe." Don't work to the point that you forget to rest and that you forget the values that initially motivated you. Having direction and purpose is akin to fresh air to the soul...but what if you only find fresh air in having a purpose, and work is the only purpose provider you've attained?

The list of questions debating the purpose of success and your pursuit of it are boundless...but the important thing is that you at least have a question to ask.

Figure out what it means to be "self aware" and use that knowledge... that's how you impact the world.

-T. Drake

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

This is Hip-Hop!!!! (Not Really)

As goofy, awkward, and just plain WTF is wrong with these people as this is, I feel like Dana (the instructor) means what she says and is probably more Hip-Hop than some acts out today. Ok, just kidding...(maybe?) She probably was trying to bank on the hip hop movement in the early 90's after kids got bored with ballet and other traditional dance. Well, whatever the case was, she should have probably stuck to behind the scenes instead of making a debacle like this early 90's gem. Shout out to

Sage Out (Lol)

THIS IS HIP-HOP! from Airwave Ranger on Vimeo.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

They Should Take A Damn Photoshop Class

Judging from the amount of estrogen on your Twitter and/or Facebook timeline, you MIGHT have heard about a movie called Takers, featuring a cadre of heartthrobs to make the ladies swoon, a SPOT of eye candy for the fellas in Zoe Saldana, and a seemingly suspenseful, action-packed, late summer "seeing-this-on-our-date-should-be-enough-work-but-actually-your-chance-of-getting-the-nookie-will-be-nil-because-you-will-never-overcome-her-screaming-for-Michael-Ealy" movie. You ask, what could possibly be my issue with this? Look at this sh*t:

Friday, July 30, 2010

T. Drake Presents...

Arguably (and probably) one of the most sampled songs in the history of hip-hop,"The Funky Drummer", is a smooth mix of that 1970's jazz funk with a kick for all the Cool Cats. Listen for the breakdown (after James Brown counts to 4 the first time) and you'll hear the soul behind some hip hop classics like "Mama Said Knock You Out" by LL Cool J, "Fight the Power" by Public Enemy and more recently "The Cool" by Lupe Fiasco.

See if you can hear it ;)

T. Drake Presents...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sneaker Watch 7/27/10

Today I stumbled upon this interesting collab. The Kevin Smith x Jamison 2 "Clerks." IF you never heard of "Clerks" or at least Jay and Silent Bob, *sigh*, these might not mean much to you. If you are in the know, you either are scrambling on the net or just laughing out loud at the thought of this movie being on a shoe. As you can see, the shoe is the basic black/white colorway with Clerks stitched on the side panel of the shoe. That is cool, but nothing special IMO. The real flair, to me, comes in the insole which has a still from the movie with Jay and Silent Bob in front of the Quick Stop, a shop Dante (Brian O'Halloran) works at. No info on when these are officially dropping but check periodically at Oh, and if you haven't seen it, watch the movie. It's a classic.

Sage Out.

Earth's Mightiest Heroes vs. The World's Greatest Detective

The history of comic books being translated to the screen - TV and movie - has been checkered in its beginnings. For every Adam West, there was a Nicholas Hammond. For every George Reeves, there was a John Wesley Shipp. (For every Superman movie, there was a Superman 3!) but the genre has taken off recently, what with the success of the Spider-Man franchise last decade to kick things back off, then the wildly popular Iron Man to piggyback off of that wave, leading into the blockbuster (and one of the most successful films of all time) that was The Dark Knight. Movies with smaller spotlights but great results such as Kick-Ass and the upcoming Scott Pilgrim vs. The World are benefactors of such successes. Gone are the days of half-ass representations, second rate heroes who had no business being adapted in the first place, flagship heroes who were unceremoniously pushed back into sloppy seconds (I know - I have this one on tape for some reason), and of course, the movie that almost ended it all.

Two years from now, the failures and successes of these adaptations will contribute to the biggest summer that comics have ever seen, and probably will ever see - the ensemble cast of the Avengers opens on May 4th, 2012, with the third entry in Christopher Nolan's Batman series opening two and a half months later, on July 20th. So which one do I bet on having the bigger box office pull?

Monday, July 26, 2010

T. Drake Presents...

I ran across this video and HAD TO share this with you guys. I'm sure you all remember LL Cool J's "Loungin' "....Well just in case you didn't know... Here's the sample ;)

T. Drake Presents...

T. Drake Presents...

I've been mulling around with different ideas for a weekly music post... I was gonna call it something like "Music Monday"...but what if I find a nice joint on Thursday?? (too impatient for that) Then I was gonna call it "Jam Sessions", but it doesn't fit well enough...

Soooo..... I'll just call it "T. Drake Presents..." Anything from music videos, concert performances, covers, DJ mixes, lost tracks...whatever strikes me as worthy.

With that being said, enjoy the first installment of T.Drake Presents...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I think I'm Malcolm X...Martin Luther....

Lupe Fiasco's latest mix..... "B.M.F. (Building Minds Faster)"

T. Drake delivery

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friends and Family Deal

The Friends and Family Deal is here at Foot Locker and FootAction. You got from today til Sunday to get 25% off kicks. I remember back in the day it was 30% - I guess the great recession hits everything. By the way, there are some exclusions like Air Force Ones, shoes that came out this week (like the Air Max 90 infareds >_<), and some Jordans. Oh well, this might be my chance to grab a pair of Cool Grey Lebron VIIs for a little less. Click Foot Locker and/or FootAction for access to the coupons. These coupons can be used online or printed out and used in store.

Sage Out

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I'll Make You A Hamburger Better Than McDonald's

Some of my earliest memories are of my favorite food when I entered the heavenly restaurant adorned with golden arches painted on their windows and sweet smells from behind the counter I was too small to look over - a cheeseburger. I consumed these with no abandon, and always washed it down with a medium french fry, adorned ever so elegantly with fancy ketchup and a Sprite. As I got older, my tastes refined and were upgraded to a quarter-pounder - no cheese, this time - a super-size fry, and a large Hi-C orange. After I entered college, I realized I was killing myself slowly Big Pun style, and scaled back to the manageable hamburger, large fry, and medium Sprite. After a few years in college, I kicked the habit, realizing I was no better than the crackheads in downtown Atlanta still looking for their next hit. I swore I was done with that devilishly decadent food. What I didn't know was that my body might not have been done with those burgers I consumed two decades ago - the 1990's - and definitely not the burgers I had eaten as recently as two years ago:

Monday, July 19, 2010

Inception: A Review of a Reality Questioner

"Dreams feel real while we're in them. It's only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange."
"" is the general response received when I inquired on their views and perceptions of the movie "Inception." My favorite critique thus far, given by _Tony_E_Stark_ when he said "It's 'Matrix' meets 'Ocean's Eleven' ". Though I find the opinion erroneous when taken in a literal does give you a succinct general idea of what to expect. After seeing the movie you can see the correlation, but will ultimately decide that as great as "Matrix" is, it doesn't reach the stratosphere in which "Inception" resides...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sneaker Watch for 7/19/2010

Sneaker Watch

This Saturday (7/24), the Infared Air Max 90's are being re-released. This is a very popular and sought after colorway of this model. The retail cost for these kicks are $94.99. If you can't wait 'til Saturday, Finish Line has started selling the shoes early. Personally, this is one of my favorite Air Maxes, so as long as I got the ends, I'm probably copping. That is unless the material of the retro is downgraded so much from the original that it's not worth it... Nike is known to do that from time to time.

Sage Out.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Introducing Vic Sage....(Hello World)

Just kidding.

Hello everybody... I'm glad you all decided to look behind the comic panels and into the lifestyles of the strong and courageous Heroes! that are coming to save the game. Questions that I ponder at times though are: Is the GAME worth saving? In fact, can it be saved? Actually, what is the GAME? Is IT a rapper who name drops from Compton? Is IT the radio playing "your favorite" 20 songs over and over and over and over and over until next week when they switch a song out of rotation? Is IT the music industry? Is IT the guy behind the desk that tells the rapper stuff like, "Saying you're a part of a gang and knocking up a couple of B-list celebs should help your image"? Is IT the hit song with about as much lyrical content as Green Eggs and Ham? Is IT the fact that making it in the music industry is more about an artist's image than his/her actual talent now? Is IT the replacement for knowledge in the 5 elements of Hip-Hop?

I mean, I think about it and IT can go outside of music... Is IT the corporate society we live in? Is IT the super processed, poorly raised
, steroid pumped food we eat? Is IT the War for Pea[violen]ce in the Middle East? Is IT the blind fold of revenge that covers our eyes from the crumbling infrastructure of our country? Is IT the little thing inside some peoples' head that persuades them to lust for power over all...

I can go on and on with the questions and as you can see whatever the GAME is, it might need less saving and more changing, maybe even destruction.

Sorry for getting a little deep if you weren't ready...figured while Ben is fixing this place up, I'll have time to get on the Soap Box.

Don't worry to all the free as a bird, "I don't want to worry about bad things, so I tone them out, shut them off, drink them away, etc." people...I'm not going to do this all the time. I'm going to talk about kicks, movies, life, funny moments, you know, anything that interests me and hopefully you. However, it will get deep sometimes so I suggest growing up and stop living life like you're an adult on Sesame Street,

Sage Out.

"You're fed information everyday, but only try to swallow the truth. Spit out the lies." - Me*

*Until somebody says "All man, you got that from 'insert some famous person/movie/poem/verse here.' Came up with it on my own with help from Above.