Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Song of the Week - Phonte: Who Loves You More

I realize this is supposed to be a month devoted to Japanese music, but sometimes...ugh.

Yo, for all my rappers and would-be rappers out there: Listen to this song.  If you don't think you can make a song on this level, give it the fuck up.  You can feel it in every line Phonte utters that this is pure, unadulterated truth.  No bullshit.   The song is lyrically brilliant and sonically amazing--it's an example of what a tested emcee can do with a dope beat and a great vocalist, so yes it's a high mark in terms of what rap can do but if you don't at least think you can reach that mark?   Then go do something else--hip-hop needs no more pretenders or aggins claiming to the best without having put the work in.  (Go be a cop, fuck hip-hop.) 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Rurouni Kenshin Film: English Trailer

I still think they're trying to fit too much into this film, but it looks really good as far as the characterization and fight scenes so far.  If it's a good movie, then that pretty much confirms that only Japan should make live-action stuff based on anime.

Supposedly, there's already someone working on an international release.  I'd love it if my theatre had this, but unless it's a wide release, there's zero chance of that happening.  Still, I can always pick it up on DVD.  For those of you in larger towns, the official Japanese release is August 25th.  I presume the international release will be not too long afterwards.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Young Justice S2 Trailer: Guess Who's Back

First things first--I was wrong.  I complained quite a bit about Young Justice both before AND after launch, but as it developed itself it just got better and better.  Around the time they introduced Garfield Logan (Beast Boy), I was hooked.   And the reveal at the start of the second season?  Fucking BRILLIANT. 

Unfortunately, season two went on hiatus about a month ago, and the series won't get any new episodes until September.  But until then, here's something to keep you busy:

Yes, you DID see Static Shock in that trailer. Clearly Greg Weisman is just determined to make Young Justice as close to the DC Universe as possible; something I wholly approve of. Looking forward to this series returning in the fall.

Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel

I don't know who's responsible for this...but I love them already.  Can they go work for DC now?  It'd be neat to have at least one person over there capable of good ideas.  Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel is EXACTLY what you think it is; the Marvel superheroes meeting up with Disney's best, most popular cartoon characters right now, Phineas and Ferb.

The basic gist is the Marvel heroes lose their powers and have to come to the diminutive geniuses for help restoring them, but the how is really far less important than that exists.  Brief trailer below.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Friday, July 13, 2012

Injustice: Gods Among Us Prediction List

There isn't enough geeking out I can do over this game.  I seriously wanted a video game that had MK's enjoyable-to-play story mode without having to deal with MK's universe, and I actually got one!  I'm amazed.   Now if that thing about Rocksteady making a "Silver Age Batman game that has the Justice League" rumor is true, I might start to forgive WB for not having another DC film until 2015.

So anyhow, for a game that isn't due out until 2013, we've actually seen quite a bit of Injustice thus far, with nearly 20 minutes of gameplay and eight characters of a possible 26-28 character total.  Before the two new characters made themselves known, I predicted Cyborg would be in this game, given he's a member of the "New" Justice League.   And being a human with a tremendous amount of hubris, I figured I'd give it a shot and see if I could reasonably predict the rest of the roster.  Right or wrong, my list will be preserved for posterity as the characters are announced. 

Let's presume that this game will split the heroes and villains relatively evenly.  So that's anywhere between 12 and 14 heroes/villains.  Now, here we go:

Superman (confirmed)
Batman (confirmed)
Wonder Woman (confirmed)
Flash (confirmed)
Nightwing (confirmed)
Cyborg (confirmed)

Harley Quinn (confirmed)
Solomon Grundy (confirmed)
Lex Luthor (in the trailer)
Captain Cold (not seen, but Flash is being attacked by ice in the trailer)

That's about ten characters, with anywhere from six to eight heroes left and eight to ten villains.   

So with the remaining slots, I'm going to say:

Green Lantern: This guy helps round out the new Justice League DC has, and is a fan-favorite character, thus pretty much a no-brainer.

Aquaman: Again, part of the Justice League.  There's literally no reason NOT to include him if they want a character that kicks tons of ass in close range combat.

Cheetah: Geoff Johns is Chief Creative Officer of DC (at least for a couple more years), and as such he's in charge of making sure things connect across all forms of media.  Occasionally Geoff will pick a certain DC character and decide they deserve to be more prominent, and since he's DC's most prolific and one of their most popular writers, it tends to work out.  Most recently he's chosen Cheetah, who'll be making an appearance in the new Justice League comic.   And what better way to help her become more popular than placing her in this game.  She's the perfect counter for Diana (Wonder Woman) anyway.

Atrocitus: See the above reasons for Cheetah.  This guy was recently the main villain for the first season of Green Lantern: The Animated Series.  There's no reason he shouldn't be present in this game as the counter to Hal Jordan.  I can easily see Hal being somewhat of a gadget character with tons of ring creations...and Atrocitus being a MAJOR Strength character who mainly uses his ring to vomit more napalm at you.  

Blue Beetle: DC likes this guy.  I mean really, really, REALLY likes this guy.  He's made numerous Batman: Brave and the Bold appearances, and is a member of the "new" Young Justice.  I can see him being a gadget character that gives writers a chance to show how this story affects the teen heroes.  The only reason I can see him not being included is if they don't just want to have the Justice League kicking the crap out of a kid.

 Captain Marvel: I like Geoff but I'm not calling him that other thing.  Anyway, this guy's currently featured every month in his own solo adventures in the Justice League series as a back-up.  He's scheduled to eventually join the main team, so I can't see him not being included in this.

Deathstroke: Basically, Nightwing needs a villain for a counter and this guy is a REALLY good gadget character to use for that.  

Black Manta: Aquaman's counter.   If Aquaman gets announced rest assured, Black Manta will follow shortly afterwards. 

Booster Gold: There's your out of nowhere character that you weren't expecting.  He seems like a troll character, but let's be honest: Flight, a force field, and arm lasers?   Nah, he'd be a pain to fight.

Black Canary: To start?  This game needs more than two effing girls. She's kind of a gadget character but basically I see her as an extremely technical fighter with a pretty nasty song to back up her martial arts. 

Lady Shiva: I'm being wrong on this one on purpose.  The DC Universe's best martial artist and the only person who even Batman wouldn't want to go hand-to-hand with.  I don't often play villain characters but I'd play Lady Shiva Woo San if they added her.

Black Adam: The counter to Captain Marvel.  A mirror character, but these guys know how to make mirror characters play fairly differently.

Prometheus: I didn't think of this character until I saw it in a post on another site and realized how brilliant he would be.  For those who aren't aware, Prometheus is one of the few completely human characters to take down the Justice League.  The GOOD version.  With the reverse origin of Batman (his parents were crooks killed by cops), Prometheus devoted his entire life to bringing down law and order.   He's a perfect character to add to this game, since he's even able to download the fighting styles of other characters directly to his brain.   Essentially, this is DC's version of the character that mimics everyone else's fighting styles.

Last few characters, no justification for them:

Green Arrow

I confess, I'm tapped out on villains...not that I personally care about those anyway aside from Lady Shiva.    In any case, so far the roster looks amazing, and I'm such a huge fan of DC that they can pick mostly anyone and I'll enjoy it. Now, enjoy this last trailer that was revealed at Comic-Con while we wait on more information.

Wax feat. Herbal T, Breezy Lovejoy, Dumbfoundead, AK, Yes & Davy

Excuse the music overload.  Still, summer is the season for warm weather and chill tunes, so enjoy.   This is a new track I saw from Wax and a list of features long enough that I don't want to type it out again.   This is pretty much going on my mp3 player almost immediately under ridin' music, hopefully you all feel the same.

Freestyle Fridays: Riz MC/Childish Gambino

I shouldn't do repeats, but hey man Gambino coming at us with yet another dope Freestyle/Freeverse, plus it's not JUST CG. 

Holy crap, is this three weeks of this?   I guess.  No idea how long I'll keep doing this, but feel free to keep coming back to see if the trend continues...

Edit:  I'm fucking up; almost missed this.   Double freestyle from D-Money.  Fucking LOVE that first beat, just saying.

Sky-Hi - One by One

Kira feat. Yamane - Amaoto

This is just a really smooth, enjoyable R&B track. I don't get many of those these days--for some reason even the R&B cats are starting to sound like rap dudes, so when I find a song like this I enjoy it. But speaking of rap, it's also got a rap verse in the middle by a guy named Yamane. I've never heard of him (because I've been out of the J-Urban game for a good four years), but he's got a pretty solid flow and I intend to check out his album a little later. Anyhow, enjoy.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Ken the 390: What's Generation

Okay, so actually this Ken the 390 cat isn't bad.  I can't actually find any of his music from past 2010, but still.   With a release date of 2011, I admit I'm late to the party on this "What's Generation", but good music doesn't really have a expiration date.   I like the rock beat in the background, creates a good mix given the decent verses from pretty much everyone else the second guy, who's flow is a bit...jarring, I guess?   Anyway, enjoy the vid.

Ken the 390 - Dream Boy (W4N Remix)

Okay, NOW I'm getting into the swing of things.   I actually like this song quite a bit.  This is the remix, but the original doesn't have as catchy a hook so enjoy the W4N version.

I could definitely see myself becoming a Ken the 390 fan if his other material holds up to what I've heard so far.  (....And if I can FIND his stuff.  >_<)

Miyabi feat. Haganeda Teflon - Mr. Free

Sticking with the Japanese music for the duration of July, unless something makes me do otherwise.  So with that said, the music video of the day.

I'll admit the guy's flow could use a bit of work, but the song is otherwise addicting.  Totally flying by the seat of my pants here by the way, so for any hardcore Japanese hip-hop fans that pop up, I don't know how seriously this guy is taken over in 日本、だから、おねがい おこる に なって いません でした。 (No doubt I botched that. Whatever. Chill out, basically.)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

MOMENT - "Errthing"

Okay, so this is supposed to be the month I do Japanese music, and this isn't Japanese.  Don't care.  Song's dope, this girl is hot, go listen.

Okay, another check in the column for this video: It's shot brilliantly.   If you can fit the lyrics of your song into the video without lessening the impact of the video, that can't be a bad thing.

The Raiders - What U Gonna Do?

Okay, so this song is actually quite addicting. I'm not sure what the Raiders project is about (I'm a fan of honesty, lol) I just know it has the very talented Yukali as it's vocalist, and one of my favorite rappers from my J-Urban obsession period, KM-Markit, working together. That's enough. Enjoy the aural crack.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Childish Gambino: Royalty

I've been a fan of Childish Gambino since late 2010 when another artist linked to his EP's single "Be Alone" on Twitter.  It's haunting tune and lyrics stuck with me, and in truth it almost personifies Gambino himself: a story about an outsider finally treated with respect because of the success he's had.  Afterwards it didn't take long for me to get into the rest of his music--and to my surprise, there was quite a bit of it.

I've seen the guy go from barely known artist to performing at Coachella and kids walking around my campus wearing shirts with his name on it.   I literally played Culdesac (his first "true" mixtape), his untitled EP, and I Am Just A Rapper 1 and 2 for about a year straight with very little interference from other music.   And when his album Camp dropped, it pretty much made that entire year one where my cell phone's mp3 player function was devoted to this one artist.

In truth, I thought he had pretty much fully evolved with his first official album release, but I couldn't have been more wrong.  With CG's newest mixtape, Royalty, Donald Glover changes up his whole style.  While nearly *every* other song he's ever done (outside of the Poindexter album) has been a solo endeavor aside from the occasional vocalist for choruses, Royalty gives us the exact opposite: a mixtape PACKED with guest-stars.

Normally, this would be a cause for complaint (like in B.O.B.'s case), but in Gambino's case he's earned the right to do a few collabs, and what a list of guest-stars he's racked up: With both new school (Schoolboy Q and Ab-Soul) and old-school (Bun B and two members of the motherfucking Wu-Tang, Rza and Ghostface Killah), there's something for pretty much everyone.  There are a few songs that may fall flat, but even on those Gambino brings the same brilliant/hilarious lines you're used to.  (My least favorite song, Arrangement, has probably one of my favorite lines ever: "Bank account looking like when little kids break shit: "Oooooohhh...."  Fucking. Hysterical.)

I could probably spend a few dozen more paragraphs talking about this album, the different songs and how good they are and how some of Gambino's fans need to chill the fuck out and enjoy CG's experimenting, but I think it'd be better to just point you to the album and let you see for yourself.  Pick it up at IAmDonald.com for free.  Enjoy.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Alyssa Marie - Heartbeat

It's unfortunate, but historically there hasn't been much of a place for female artists in hip-hop.  It's a fairly male-dominated industry, despite the fact that women buy most of the CDs these guys sell.  Occasionally, a female emcee will surface, but it's a real shame that it seems like they have to be ten times as good as your average male rapper to even get your attention.  Fortunately Alyssa Marie has got that requirement covered in spades on her new mixtape, Heartbeat.

Eleven brand-new, unheard tracks from the Massachusetts-based rapper that each give a different view of the artist's grasp of lyrical flow and ability, you can pick it up on PureVolume for free or you can buy it off Bandcamp for $7.  Yeah it's a free album, but there's no such thing as an artist that can live off download clicks.   And make no mistake, it's only CALLED a mixtape--with eleven tracks and only one feature and none of the beats borrowed from other, more popular songs, it's another one of those "albums masquerading as a mixtape" that have become so popular amongst artists lately. 


Now, I meant to run this last month when her album first dropped, but I've been super-busy lately.  This month is SUPPOSED to be the month I get back in touch with Japanese music (so far so good, just got Masami Okui's album Love Axel) so I'll try to distance myself from American music for just a little bit....riiiight after I post one about one more mixtape.  

Friday, July 6, 2012

Freestyle Fridays 2: Childish Gambino

I didn't mean to continue doing these, but I found this and loved it.

Hearing this guy giving props to my other favorite rapper Phonte? Aural orgasm.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Up in the Sky!

If you haven't heard of "Superman Classic", I wouldn't be surprised.  Using a mix of digital and hand-drawn (!) work, creator Robb Pratt has made (so far) two one-minute shorts focusing on the Man of Steel.  The coolest part is, much like Batman: The Animated Series, Superman Classic has a timeless feel to it, but it still evokes a "1930's" feel with everything from the clothes and manner of speech the characters have to the architecture of a 1930's Metropolis.

Check out both the original, "Superman Classic" short and it's sequel, "Bizzaro Classic" below.

I hope to see more of these in the future, and hopefully DC will contact this guy and give him a chance to do some "DC Nation" shorts.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Song of the Week: Full of Harmony - Over Again

And so we begin the process of Sage getting back into Japanese music.  I am so far behind it's not even funny, so bear with me.  I have NO idea how old this is--could be a few months, could be a couple years, but I like it so leave me alone. 

Full of Harmony doesn't seem to be making music anymore, as far as I can tell.  Which is a shame, because they put it down on this track.  It's more "grown man" than I'm usually in for, but hey you gotta change it up sometime.