Sunday, December 13, 2009

Raw Footage

Snoop's "Grinch"

"How The Grinch Stole Christmas" is without a doubt my favorite christmas story. Watch one of the most recognizable voices in the music industry read the classic tale, with some slight revisions from the D-O double G himself. The video is from friday Dec. 11th when Snoop made an appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to promote his new album "Malice In Wonderland" in stores now.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Gadgets & Games

An Alarm Clock Even Aquaman Can Depend On

Although you may have never seen a clock like this before, it's a lot like you in that it needs water to operate. The innovative minds at Bedol bring to life an alarm clock that doesn't require an electric outlet or batteries. This environmentally friendly product runs solely on water and only needs to be refilled or changed every 6 to 12 weeks (time varies depending on chemicals in the water). Also available is the feature to chose between 12 and 24 hour timekeeping. This would make a very nice and inexpsensive gift this holiday season for that gadget junkie or eco-friendly person in your life. The clock is available in other colors including black and pink.

Available at

Retail $29

Weapons of Self Improvement

A Skincare Product of Volcanic Proportions

Last year M.A.C Cosmetics introduced a line that utilizes Earth's natural by-products. After disappearing from shelves for some time it has been reintroduced to the market this fall. One of those items is a very intriguing one, and is generating interest even amongst the male demographic (after all something made from a once lava spewing valcano sounds pretty awesome). The formula only requires you to use it in small doses and can be applied to the body, not just the face. The volcanic ashes are from the Vanatu Islands, providing the key ingredient that leads to smoother and cleaner skin. I have personally tried MAC's volcanic ash exfoliator and can say that although it has an unpleasant and messy appearance during application, it's very effective and does what it's made to do very well.

Available at

Retail $19.50

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Music Notes

CuDi on Cudder Collabs

MTV recently interviewed Kid CuDi about what's going on with the Man on the Moon, post his solo album debut. Aside from the well publicized collaboration albums with Chip Tha Ripper and Ratatat, CuDi is putting together the highly anticipated sophmore LP entitled "Cudder". In the interview the G.O.O.D. music artist reveals who he's secured for the album and what acts he's reaching out to, hoping they jump on board the project. The names mentioned may surprise you and will definitely increase the eagerness of many fans for this project to drop (sometime in 2010).

Monday, November 30, 2009

Raw Footage

A Blend of Hip-Hop X Classical Music For Your Viewing Pleasure

Recently a very unique and entertaining video was brought to my attention. It showcases two gentlemen who may very well be the U.K's finest beatboxers, performing for Google employees at the company's London offices (nice perks, wouldn't you agree?). The video, which was made back in early 2008, features a set list including a rendition of the Night Rider theme by Nathan "Flutebox" Lee along with fresh beats and an abundance of sound effects delivered by Beardyman. The latter has a fairly decent singing voice to go along with his insane beatboxing talent.
Other cool bits in the video are Beardyman's take on the 80's hit "Take on me" and his impression of Marlon Brando's infamous godfather character while "Flutebox" plays the classic movie theme. These take place in the final six minutes of the video which are definitely the most entertaining since they perform as a duo, combining their awesome skills. The only negative comment I have about this video is that I wish I had discovered it sooner. Hope you all enjoy

Middz Note: The Google offices must be a pretty lax environment seeing as they have beer bottles in the break room fridge.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sick Cops

Louis Vuitton Shades Block More Than UV Rays

This photo (left) is taken from the September issue of Paper magazine which featured 25 of the entertainment world's most intriguing 25 year olds, many of whom are up-and-coming, not yet having reached full super stardom. For the shoot Kid Cudi rocked these dope classic aviator shades from Louis Vuitton's current collection.

The "Conspiration Pilote Canvas" sunglasses retail for $560 USD and are available in both silver and gold (shown here) colorways. The Damier pattern canvas on the arms and nose bridge of the sunglasses add that simple and elegant LV touch needed to outshine the next man's shade game. Not only will you block the sun's UV rays but also the hatin' from unfashionable pricks.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Weekends In Orbit Begin 2012

Galactic Suite Ltd. is currently undertaking a revolutionary project that will allow planet Earth's highest-grossing citizens to have a relaxing getaway in a place that's been called the final frontier, space. The Galactic Suite Space Resort is being constructed by architects from Barcelona, Spain, who claim the cost of such an out of this world experience will be about $4.4 million for a three night stay. Those who are able to cough up the funds for the trip will, also, participate in an eight week training program on an exotic island. While staying in the space resort, guests will revolve around the Earth every eighty minutes and see fifteen sunrises a day. The rooms will be shaped like pods and provide an ample area for guests to move around and attach themselves to walls in velcro suits that will be provided to them.

The space tourism industry is slowly blossoming into a noticable attraction for adventurers and thrill seekers. The first site of its type, Spaceport America is currently being built in New Mexico. The purpose of such a creation is to serve as the starting point for these newfound space journeys. Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin brand, will launch people into space from the location for the price of $200,000.

The first pod ready for vacationers will hold 4 guests and 2 astronaut pilots and will float 280 miles above our home planet. Subsequently, many will be on the waiting list a long time due to the fact that there are 43 people who have booked a trip and another 200+ expressing interest. Galactic Suite Ltd. will use Russian rockets for the voyage while Branson's Virgin Galactic will go via alternative spacebound crafts.

The only downside to this story is that the desired time of completion, 2012, is being called into question and has been labeled unrealistic. Funding is also another mystery that is being kept out of the loop to the dislike of many. According to Galactic Suite Ltd. Ceo Xavier Claramunt, a large sum of approximately $3 billion has been provided by an undisclosed donor.

All in all, whether or not this endeavor is completed on schedule, it will certainly be a giant step for mankind, just as it was for those first astronauts that landed on the moon. Space is such an incredible odyssey that the common person in today's world seems to not know about as much as one would hope. This opportunity to at least put regular, albeit filthy rich, individuals in space will do wonders for our understanding of space travel and the galaxy we are a part of. I've already bought my ticket (in my mind of course).

Middz Note: More info on this project at

Gadgets & Games

NIntendo Groundbreaker is Now a Hall of Famer

Ever heard of The National Toy Hall of Fame? Well neither have I until this week when they inducted Nintendo's original Game Boy into its collective of honored entertainment products. Ranked #1 all-time in sales of handheld video game systems, the Game Boy platform has been around for over 20 years. The traits that the Hall of Fame highlighted as grounds for inducting Nintendo's portable pioneer are its efficient design, multiplayer capabilities and library of innovative games. Nine other famed toys fell short of beating out the original Game Boy this year, including Rubik's Cube and Hot Wheels. The only other handheld gaming system to be inducted into The National Toy Hall of Fame is the Atari 2600 which was selected back in 2007.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Reel Scene

Kanye West X Spike Jonze - Fairytale Turns Nightmare in Short Film

Recently a video was posted on Kanye West's blog ( which is written and directed by Spike Jonze, whose film "Where the Wild Things Are" is in theaters now. The short film, which is about ten minutes in length, depicts Kanye as himself, in a drunken state at a club. Judging by the film's artistic look, especially its use of light and dark as well as colors, it would be safe to assume that Mr. West had a great deal of influence on the project's vision and production. Anyone who truly knows Kanye and has followed his career understands that his fascination with art, fashion and any other forum for visual expression shines through in his work. His "Glow in the Dark" tour and almost every photo shoot he has done for magazines over the years are proof of this fact.
The film entitled "We Were Once a Fairytale" has drawn a lot of controversy and speculation as to its true intended message. Some opinions I have heard include that there is a fairytale living in all of us as we grow up, but once we reach adulthood all of these wonders are drowned by real world responsibilities and temptations. Also, because some of today's biggest artists are rumored to be associated and controlled by secretive groups such as "Illuminati" and "The Free Masons", I even heard comments that the film was a commentary on giving up your soul in order to make it in the music industry. Personally, I don't believe in these far off and incredibly sketchy theories. My intepretation of this film is that it's an exhibition of Kanye's inner revelations as a person and an artist at this present stage in his life. He is notorious for his ego and has spoken out of line on several occassions putting him in a negative spotlight in the media. His "George Bush hates black people" outburst during a televised Katrina fundraiser is a strong example of this behavior."
The film follows Kanye as he acts out different flaws in his character, i.e. alcoholism, arrogance and lust being the most obviously displayed. Part of what the viewer can take away from watching Kanye's antics in the film is that for all his wealth and accolades he seems to be alone in his world and seeking the love of others. This loneliness may stem from the loss of both his mother and break-up with his fiance which both took place over a year ago. These are clearly the catalysts for his latest album "808's & Heartbreak." His desire for acknowledgement and praise is seen when he's shouting "Do you guys like this song?...This is My Song. I wrote all the chords," as if today's generation wouldn't know a Kanye track in the club when they heard one.
I wouldn't describe the film as an amazing work but it is definitely intriguing and can be greatly appreciated from an artistic point of view. Although the material used to represent West's vomit and guts in the dramatic final scene may look cheesy and fake to some, it's very appealing to the eye and we should assume that it was intended to be that way instead of presenting gore and blood. The creature which he discovers can be seen as a symbol of the superstar's demons, and yet appears to be harmless and even likeable. In my eyes this creature is the embodiment of the Louis Vuitton Don's vices, the things that he must do away with in order to live life along a righteous path.
Even though you can tell by Kanye's appearance that this project was filmed quite some time before the recent MTV awards where he stormed on stage and ruined Taylor Swift's moment, the message coincides with the rapper's sentiments after the incident took place. He realized that he needed time out of the public eye in order to re-evaluate himself and figure out how he could be a better person and behave in the spotlight. Both his statements after the MTV incident and this film's message tell us that he is remorseful for things that have happened during his career and it's possible that he has now grown to the point where he realizes the error of his ways. This could be the beginning of a rebirth for the truly talented Mr. West. We'll just have to wait and see. In the meantime enjoy the film which is posted below, and share your thoughts on it.

"We Were Once a Fairytale" Directed by Spike Jonze and starring Kanye West:

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Art Attack

Micro Artist Carves His Way to Larger Than Life Size Existence

Alice in wonderland can be seen on a big screen in Tim Burton’s upcoming film rendition of Lewis Carroll’s classic story in early 2010. If you’d like to see the smallest version of Alice and the other famed characters that accompany her, look no further than a microscope focused on the work of 52 year old Willard Wigan. In his lifetime this native of England has gone from a dyslexic child, to being dismissed by his peers, to finally being renowned as our planet's leading micro sculptor.
The long path to this odd career choice began when Wigan was only 5 years old making apartments for ants because he “thought they needed some place to live.” He even made them shoes and hats to go along with their homes. The teachers that made the future millionaire feel small in the classroom were made into small works of art at his hand. His mother would encourage him to attempt even smaller feats as his talent progressed. Today Willard’s artwork is tiny enough to fit on the head of a pin or the eye of a needle. He was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal where writer Gautam Naik describes the size of Wigan’s Alice sculpture as one-third the size of the periods that appear in the article. In fact some of his more recent collections can only be seen when magnified 500 times. On the Tonight Show with Jay Leno a few months back the nanotechnologist recalled an amusing incident where he was sculpting and his cell phone went off. The result was that he inhaled Alice.
Mr. Wigan’s creative process is very complex. Not only must he be very delicate with such tiny productions, but he must slow his breathing and carve around his own heartbeats. He has stayed still for extreme lengths of time in the name of art (up to 22 hours) and has even passed out while working. His tools always include a scalpel and a microscope, and the paint strokes are often done with the hair of a fly. The tiny objects are placed into their setting using a human eyelash. These works have also included raw materials such as gold and carpet fibers. The substances he cuts the designs into range from rice to a grain of sand.
Having completed about 160 miniature masterpieces (an amazing number considering it can take up to 3 months per piece) and already having achieved national fame in the U.K., the one-time underdog is looking to increase his notoriety in the States. His client list includes Mike Tyson (life size sculpture), Prince Charles and magicians Siegfried and Roy who commissioned the sculpting prodigy to carve the duo with a white tiger. Possibly the largest purchase was made in 2007 by former tennis sensation David Lloyd who bought a set of 72 pieces that was insured for roughly $17 million.
Aside from his meticulous work ethic and steady hands, Willard has some extremely disorganized tendencies. His touring agent claims that his client can turn a hotel room upside down within minutes of checking in. He’s also notoriously poor with directions and regularly has trouble remembering names. Wigan’s past-time of choice is flying radio-controlled helicopters (miniature of course), of which he owns approximately 200. He makes sure that he never leaves home without one and sometimes flies them in his hotel room.
Of his work the artist comments “I can’t say that I enjoy making them, in fact my work drives me mad but it is all worth it when they are finished and I know the impact they will have on people – that’ s when I enjoy it.” Willard’s philosophy is “Everything, life itself, started small”. Clearly his life is not small anymore as his biography “I Spy with My Little Eye” is in stores October 1st and he is receiving offers from film studios for his life story.
Mr. Wigan cites his greatest achievement thus far as carving a sculpture of Jesus and his 12 disciples, but he plans to undertake an even more difficult task when he returns home in November. The artistic genius will attempt to recreate Queen Elizabeth’s gilded coronation carriage. He admits the most difficult part will be the reigns for the horses, and toys with the possibility of using a spider’s web for the job.
Aside from all that he has already accomplished (including having one of his creations named the eighth wonder of the world and being awarded an MBE degree by Prince Charles), surely Wigan has a long list of things left to achieve with his massive talent. The long list of his completed pieces, however, include sculptures of Elvis, President Obama and his family, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Goldilocks and the Three Bears (on a toothpick), the Statue of Liberty, the Lloyd’s building in London, the FIFA World Cup and Darth Vader battling Luke Skywalker.

The Hulk (Above) and Wigan holding his Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie lipstick sculptures.

Willard Wigan’s remaining U.S. tour dates are as follows:

Chicago Sep 3 - Oct 2 at the Nicole Gallery, 230 West Huron, Chicago, IL 60654
tel: 312 787 7716

Houston Oct 3 –Nov 8 at the Gremillion Gallery, 2501 Sunset Boulevard, Houston, TX 77005 tel: 713 522 2701

Washington, DC Nov 13, 2009 - Jan 15, 2010at the Parish Gallery, Canal Square at 1054 31st Street NW, off M Street, Georgetown - tel: 202 944 2310

Middz Note: You can find some great videos of Willard Wigan including interviews, appearances, and speeches on YouTube as well as on his official website

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Music Notes

Fader’s September Issue Gets Successful With Drake

The audience transcending Fader magazine recently dropped its September issue featuring none other than the man in today's rap spotlight "Drizzy Drake". In the cover story writer Edwin "Stats" Houghton breaks down Mr. Graham's career from the moment Lil Wayne spit Drake quotables at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards. That one verse which Weezy borrowed from his Memphis born protege, ushered in a new name into the ears of the masses.
The Bi-racial MC's bio, as described in the article, vastly differs from that of his Cash Money mentor. With a drummer for a father and uncles that have co-written for the likes of Al Green, there's no doubt as to where his musical roots come from. "Stats" points out that unlike Wayne, Drizzy's emotions often come in the form of some captivating crooning. At 22, the Young Money frontman has gone from Degrassi fame to being compared to Wayne, Kanye and Jay-Z, showing different elements of each in his own art. He even boasts a bit of Slim Shady in the fact that he's quick to point out his flaws on wax before anyone else.
Coming from a very ethnically diverse city with minimal poverty such as Toronto, some may question what struggles does the young artist bring to the table. By Drake's demeanor during the course of the Fader piece it can be seen that he doesn't try to hide who he is, be it upbringing, family, or personality. The fact is all the bits and pieces that make the man and his music have only brought him more attention. He's relateable to many rap fans out there. This is a big part of why he has the largest buzz HipHop's seen since 50. A bidding war and $1 million plus contract to Aspire (with distribution via Universal Republic) is proof enough. (Note: Drake reps Young Money out of the love and gratitude he has for his mentor, but has no contractual obligation to the label).
The multi-talented entertainer and his October's Very Own entourage have worked tirelessly to get to this point. Drake already seems to have his game plan in mind, stating that he wants to establish something Kanye, Pharrell and other producers can envision instead of relying on them for creative direction. The rapper has the ethic of doing things his own way and setting himself apart from the pack of the genre's new comer's. With a drive like that he's bound to go from "So Far Gone" to so far ahead of the competition.
Middz Note: "Stats" interview with Drake takes place over the course of the July 4th weekend. The article states that Drake's debut album is slated to be available at the end of the year, with appearances to include Rihanna and Pharrell among others. However it's no surprise that just like every other album you can't wait for it's been pushed back. The new target drop date is set for feb. 2010. For now Drake has released his "So Far Gone" EP, a collection of 6 tracks from the mixtape of the same name, plus a new unreleased track called "Fear" produced by DJ Khalil. You can also hear him on the new Birdman single "Money to Blow" alongside Lil' Wayne.

Photo (Above): Props to Johnathan Mannion for some truly dope photos of Hip-Hop's next big phenomenon. On the style tip the featured artist don's a Hermes blanket for the piece's opening visual.