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Showing posts from 2012

The New 52, Corrected

I’m not quite satisfied with the New 52.  Don’t get me wrong, it has its moments--Earth 2, Aquaman, Detective Comics, Batman, Flash, and even Green Lantern are all decent, to name a few.   But in fifteen months I still haven’t read a book that can tell me why they bothered.  DC’s continuity is known for being frequently rebooted, but right now I can’t see any story that couldn’t have been told without this latest softboot/relaunch/re-imagining/whatever this is.   Continuity at DC is known to shift quite often, but what we have now is a quagmire of wildly contradicting knowledge (even amongst what’s *supposed* to be the new canon), recollections of events that have been changed and that still don’t tell us what happened when, and despite five years of DC history, far too many “new” heroes.

I'm of the opinion that both now and when DC did this back in 1986 with the universe-altering Crisis on Infinite Earths, that they should’ve done a clean start.  No “condensed timelines”, just a …

Injustice: Gods Among Us - Deathstroke

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Surprisingly absolutely nobody.   The only thing I got wrong was him being a counter for Nightwing.  They've set him up as Green Arrow's opposite, due to the television series.   Still.   2 for 2. 

Along with the confirmed via box art Green Lantern and Joker, technically 3 for 4.  Here's hoping the next character is someone no one is expecting, but everyone likes.  But more likely, it's just Green Lantern.

Battle Rap Wednesdays: JC vs Chilla Jones

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I'm late with this, but shut up it's still Wednesday everywhere except on the East Coast.   This is a battle that dropped last month that I didn't really notice until this weekend.  That's my bad because this JC kid is something ridiculous.   Can't wait to see him battle some of the well-known battlers to see what happens.   As far as Chilla goes...man, people say he's dope but I'm not feeling his schemes.  Maybe its just me?  See for yourself:


Song of the Day: Verbal ft. Lupe Fiasco -

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You never know what's going to happen when two of your favorite rappers team up together.  Fortunately, this mix from Lupe Fiasco and the boy Verbal (yes THAT Verbal, of m-flo fame) happened to make a pretty dope song backed by a catchy beat from DJ Deckstream.



Battle Rap Wednesdays: AyeVerb vs Hollow da Don

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The boy AyeVerb was something nice in the past, apparently.  Also, respect to Hollow Da Don for keeping up with this dude (barely) with nothing but freestyle.  




Is this the longest column I've ever kept going aside from the Music Video/Song of the Day?  Huh.  Guess I just enjoy seeing dudes getting roasted.

MAG 2: Digital Gaming

So last week I talked about the growing expenses of gaming with respect to new technology. This week I want to shift gears a bit onto Digital Gaming, a subject that's been much debated over the last two years. To set the parameters of this particular MAG column, when I say Digital Gaming I mean any form of gaming that doesn't strictly involve a physical copy of any video game.  This would include DLC, downloadable copies of existing video games, and finally download-only games.  It's a fairly small range of subjects, but this article could still become cumbersome if I don't shrink it down to a single question: Are console gaming companies taking advantage of their consumers with digital gaming?

To begin with, let's examine the current state of downloadable video games.  Since the release of the Playstation 3 and the Xbox 360, both Sony and Microsoft have sought to occasionally bring out games that could be downloaded off their personal services as well as bought i…

Battle Rap Wednesdays: poRICH vs. Arcane

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I stayed up late as fuck to find a decent battle so you people better appreciate it.   This Arcane dude is pretty nice, and you already saw poRICH earlier, though this is before his rise to KOTD champion I'm guessing.

Music Video of the Week: Bobby Brown - On Our Own

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Yeah, that's right.  I'm going left with a super blast from the past, and if you were around with this video aired on MTV/VH1, you're old.  Even I just happened to hear this on the radio today and thought it was catchy enough to earn a spot on JiH. 




I knew Bobby Brown was popular back in the day, but I didn't know he was good.  Huh.

Battle Rap Wednesdays: Dumbfoundead vs. Tantrum

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Okay, so I'm lazy this week and I decided to go with a classic battle from a defunct battle rap circuit, the West Coast-based GrindTime.  Yes, Korean Jesus used to be a battle rapper.  He was pretty good at it too.   Also, if you're a fan of shorter battles, this one's for you: 16 minute run time.


Four Color Marathons: Iron Man

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And, we're back with another Four Color Marathons.  Life was forcing me away from doing this thing, but I decided that I would try to crank out at least four more of these before the year ended.

As long as I can remember, Iron Man has always been one of my favorite superheroes in comic books.  And why not?  Tony Stark had it all: women, one of the leading businesses in technology, a genius scientific mind, a membership in the premiere superhero team of the world, and the slickest suit this side of...anywhere.  What WASN'T to like?  Well, hard as it might be to believe, until the movie, Iron Man was nowhere *near* as popular as he is today.  Robert Downey Jr.'s excellent performance as Tony Stark brought a more widespread popularity to character that he just didn't have before.  Which is a shame, because this Four Color Marathon focuses on a little-known run on the character from the late 90's from one of the most profuse writers in the superhero genre, Kurt Busiek…

Music Video of the Week: Dumbfoundead - New Chick

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So, one of the better ways to hype your album release is to have a video hit at about the same time.  It gives fans an idea of what the vibe of the album might be like, plus some dope visuals to stick in their brains.

And that's exactly what K-Town legend Jonathan Park, aka Dumbfoundead, came with in this video New Girl:


This is probably one of my favorite songs off the album.  I'd be lying if I said it was filled with complicated wordplay, but it's got a chill vibe that you can just lie back and relax to.

Battle Rap Wednesdays: Charlie Clips vs. X-Factor

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Every now and then you got to watch a good slaughter.  I wondered when I watched that Loaded Lux vs. Calicoe battle what this line meant:

"Let X-Factor trip.  We won't even drag the script, we'll just lock that aggin in a room and keep showing him the match with Clips."

And then I stumbled across this:


So after 25 minutes of one guy addressing everything from your battle record, to your girlfriend and relationship with your son, you come back with...15 minutes of fat jokes and some cartoon gun bars?  Really tho?   Detroit cats need to step their game up.  This the third time I've seen ya'll take a L.  And its never all that close.  A lot of these bars had my face scrunched up like Stevie J.  Em need to give some training classes.

Music Video of the Week: DFD - Take the Stares

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Dumbfoundead's Take the Stares dropped earlier this week. It's got a different feel from his first album, DFD, but every track on it's a banger. I actually shelled out $15 to pre-order it and show my support. Coming from a guy who NEVER buys music, just trust me when I say its worth it.

Freeverse Saturdays: Traphik - Clique

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I'm a day late.  Sorry.  Three tests in a single week take it out of you.  


Battle Rap Thursdays: Serius Jones vs. Charlie Clips

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I'm a day late, and I apologize for that.  But I'm here with a super-dope battle, so watch two masters at work:


M.A.G. (Musing About Gaming) 1: WiiU is the Future

I will be the first one to admit that I was not the biggest fan of the Nintendo Wii.  It was 2006, and I thought both Sony and Microsoft had long reached the limit of what could be done with that level of graphical achievement, and Nintendo was going forward with a brand-new system that was basically a slight step over what we already had.  A much younger, far more brand-loyal Sage thought it was insanity, and I initially refused to support them.

Now six years later, I'm seeing gamers (mostly ones with PCs) cry out for new consoles because the current-gen is "holding gaming back", and lo and behold the one prediction I WAS right about, Nintendo has become the first of the console developers to release their new creation (whether out of necessity or simply because they wanted to is something I can't conclusively say): the Nintendo WiiU.  The naming leaves something to be desired, but they appear to be sticking with the same kind of idea that led them to create the Wii…

Freeverse Fridays: DeLaZoo

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Changed the name to fit the video. Similar idea, but even he knows/says its not a freestyle.   DeLaZoo's one of the more interesting rappers to come out of YouTube--he's pretty new but I think he has a lot of talent.   Check him out as he raps over four classic hip-hop/soul beats.


Music Video of the Week: Phonte ft. Carlitta Durand - Gonna Be a Wonderful Night

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Charity Starts at Home.  Go cop it here: http://www.theforeignexchangemusic.com/2011/08/phonte---charity-starts-at-home-official-cover-art-and-album-tracklist.php  (Apparently Blogger isn't allowing you to link shit anymore.   Go figure.)

Battle Rap Wednesdays: OSA vs 24/7

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Another vid from King of the Dot.  This was one I saw early this year, and its actually one of my favorites.  Both rappers came pretty hard though personally I feel like OSA edged it out with his second and third verses.  At 23 minutes, this one's a lot shorter than the normal videos I link to, so no excuses--check that shit out.


Shonen Survival 1

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Bear with me folks, I'm trying something new here.  It's going to be a series of articles (since I know its hard to digest the longer stuff) that basically came about from me spending too much time in my apartment by myself.   Hopefully you'll find them as hilarious as I do.

Inevitably, if a group of geeky people sit down and talk long enough, just as certain as Steven Blum's next voice acting role, one of them will eventually utter these words: "I wish I lived in an anime universe."   And from there the discussion will, at least temporarily, veer off into what anime universe do you wish you could live in.  Depending on the group, you'll get different answers, but almost ALWAYS there'll be someone who will mention some shonen anime series and talk about how awesome it must be to live there.

But, is it really?  This, is a semi-realistic look at what it would be like to be a normal person in a shonen anime series.

Dragon Ball Z



So let's star…

A New Challenger Appears!

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And so, we're given the first new character of Injustice announced in several months:


I'm not sure why I didn't think of Green Arrow.  Well, technically I did back in my Injustice prediction list, but he was just someone I tossed in to fill out the roster.   But it makes so much sense: DC's really into "synergizing the brand" and all that jazz, so who better to place in the game than a character who's got a series coming out really really soon on the CW?  (Actually, even this announcement is perfectly planned: the series premieres tomorrow night.)

Green Arrow seems to fit really well as a technical character with a lot of variety in his special attacks via the trick arrows he employs.  This also almost guarantees Deathstroke being added since he'll be appearing in the Arrow television series, and is somewhat of a nemesis to both Green Arrow and Nightwing anyway.

Also, just as a guess, with 14 characters left to appear but only seven months until relea…

The Era of MarvelNOW

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I've never been more impressed with Marvel Comics than I am now. For those out of the loop, starting in October Marvel is beginning its own version of DC's New 52 line of comics. While New 52 claimed to be a "relaunch", in terms of comic history (continuity) it was really a reboot for most characters, with some characters' history having changed completely or disappeared entirely and we're suddenly tracking their first years appearing on DC Earth. MarvelNOW is more along the lines of what DC's New 52 claimed to be: They have relaunched a lot of their most popular characters' into new titles, shuffling around their writers and artists to different titles to offer us a new vision on fan-favorite books. And rather than launch all at once, they've chosen to launch no more than a single new title each week from October to February.

We're not aware of them all just yet, but the ones I've seen have largely wow'd me, and what else does Jum…

Battle Rap Wednesdays: Dizaster vs. poRICH

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You know the deal. It's Battle Rap Wednesday. This time we're going with a different league who kinda threw me off when I heard about them. Its called King of the Dot, a pretty big, competitive battle rap league in Canada. This is a fairly recent battle from their World Domination 3 DVD. It's a title shot, so the winner of this goes on to be the actual "King". Normally I have a clear favorite in battle raps but in this case I was kinda even since they both spit some nice lines. Check it out:


Music Video of the Week: Dumbfoundead - Korean Jesus

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Another video coming from one of my favorite rappers right now, Dumbfoundead.  Korean Jesus is borderline sacrilegious as far as titles to call oneself, but he approaches it with such a non-serious attitude that it's hard to be offended.  Plus overall this is just a dope track.



Be sure to check out Dumbfoundead's new album Take the Stares on October 16th.  (Totally just realized that was in two weeks.  Sick.)

Freestyle Fridays: Loaded Lux and Arsonal Parts 2-4

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So...I thought the first video was like, more than enough to obliterate every fake-ass rapper in the game, but I forgot Sway's thing is the Five Fingers of Death, a sort of hip-hop obstacle course for all the rappers that come onto his show.   So check out parts two through four of this Loaded Lux & Arsonal insanity.





Loaded Lux ain't from here, ya'll.  Dude's an alien.

Marvel NOW Part 1: DC's Chance

So, I've made no secret that I'm not exactly a huge fan of the way The New 52 has been carried out.  The idea itself was sound, but it was backed by poor execution and a lack of sufficient talent for the huge undertaking that it was.  But, there's something coming up real soon that makes me hopeful for future prospects from DC: MarvelNOW.

It sounds weird saying DC's competition doing something big is good news for them, but it isn't, and the reasoning behind it is fairly simple.  Competition is good.  Let's face it: The New 52, financially, was a resounding success.  Despite the early missteps that were Catwoman and Red Hood and the Outlaws, that you could (and they technically already have) cancel roughly half their line and the comics world as a whole wouldn't even notice, AND the fact that discussion about DC Comics these days is largely negative--DC is still making money.  They beat Marvel for the first time in decades for two months straight, and even m…

Battle Rap Wednesdays: Loaded Lux vs Calicoe

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I'm pretty sure "You Gon' Get This Work!" has appeared in nearly every part of the internet where there's a fair amount of black people. Rightfully so, 'cause....holy shit. I mean, I've seen a lot of battle raps since I started going to school, but.. I've never seen someone get slaughtered quite like this.

Like most battle rap videos, its kind of long at about 44 minutes, but the first 5 minutes or so is just filler, so the whole thing actually clocks in a little shorter.   Neither of the first verses are all that special, but rewind that second Lux verse at least once because it's nearly impossible to catch all the references in one go.  And Lux's third verse?  Whoo.   I had someone I follow on Twitter describe it as "Black Excellence", and to be honest...I'm not sure I disagree.   It goes from typical battle rap insults to an insightful look into the black culture, discusses black history, denounces the materialization an…

Freestyle Fridays: Loaded Lux and Arsonal

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For everyone that thinks battle rappers can't rap without battling.  



That dude obliterated that beat, brought it back, then destroyed it again for good measure.  Enjoy your weekend.

Battle Rap Wednesday: AyeVerb vs Hitman Holla

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So I'm trying something new.  I'm a huge fan of battle raps, so I've decided to make Wednesday a day to post some of the cooler battle raps I've seen in my life.

First up?  AyeVerb versus Hitman Holla.  Both of these rappers come correct in this three-round, 35 minute battle, but AyeVerb takes it with the third round with a very creative route of attack.  You'll see what I mean...


Kamen Rider Wizard Impressions

I meant to wait and do this thing after I watched episode two of the series, but with each passing episode there's a powerful temptation to put it off for the next milestone, until you're talking about doing a complete series review and those never get done.  So here we go:

After Fourze, I was pretty disillusioned with Kamen Rider in general.  With Sentai I've come to expect a pattern of "one on, one off", so usually when one season is somewhat weak the next is pretty amazing.  (Gekiranger, Shinkenger, Gokaiger...)  With Kamen Rider though, there's no real pattern so you just have to wait it out for a season that "clicks".  I gave Fourze a fair shot, even though I thought his costume looked moronic, but even 20+ episodes in, it seemed determined to aim for mediocrity.  I was terminally behind, and a combination of a particularly annoying episode and getting a glimpse of Wizard, made me decide to give it up in favor of (maybe) watching it later to wai…

Calendar of Cool: September

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Strobelights/Lovely Nights (August 31st)



This isn't in September technically, but August 31st and September 1st are close enough for me.  This is my boy Mario Devon's freshman debut album, a double CD that's half rap half R&B.  The guy's been putting in work on this thing since I met him (which was like two years ago), and it shows with the studio-level production I've heard from the few tracks I've gotten the chance to listen to so far.  So you know, go cop that shit because women love dark-skinned men singing about them.  Or get it because you want to be ahead of the curve about a guy who's going to blow up and you can be the one to say "I knew about him before he was mainstream".  Or just get it because I only ever recommend cool shit.  But go cop that ish.  It's on Amazon, it's on Rhapsody, it's on iTunes.  You got a lot of options, so no excuses!

Doctor Who Season 7 (September 1st)



Whoo, I'm WAY too late with this thing.  I…

Fall Anime 2012 Picks

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I haven't done one of these in awhile, and I apologize.  I've been going through some things and I was in a state that just didn't leave me with the desire to write.  At all.  But I'm back now (obviously), and with one of the hallmarks of this site.  First, have a link to the chart, and then we'll jump right into things.

Ixion Saga DT


What It's About: The game and anime follow Kon Hokaze, a boy who embarks on a journey from our world to an alternate world known as Mira, which is full a mysterious energy known as Alma. After saving Princess Ecarlate from attackers, he soon finds himself in the middle of a struggle around Alma. (MyAnimeList)

My Opinion: I'm not sure why I keep falling for these high fantasy tales.  I love the visual trappings, but the stories are always rushed or lacklustre, with the notable exception of Sword Art Online.  I'm giving this a chance just in case it turns out to be good as well, but if I see anything like a harem or the main ch…