I can’t believe it’s been 5 years now since I discovered U.K. synthpop duo Empathy Test when they provided sounds for ESPN’s 2014 NBA Finals social media coverage. See below:
I guess not much has changed in 5 years. Kawhi Leonard was getting buckets on the way to being Finals MVP in 2014 and tonight, Kawhi is doing the same in leading his new team within one win from the 2019 NBA Finals.
Similarly, Empathy Test is getting replays of their new songs, 5 years apart. Let’s just hope Kawhi doesn’t leave Toronto “Empty Handed”. Har. Har. Har. (I’ll stop here before I become the Cardi B news anchor, smh.)
Seriously though, this new one, their first drop of 2019, is on some soundtrack ‘ish. The consistent, fast-paced synths feels like this could be in Tron and the vivid lyricism feels like it should match up with the movie’s apex scene. I already got this on repeat and look forward to the full 4-track EP drop, which you can pre-order and download come June 20th.
Stan Sono’s been previewing his latest release on his socials lately and I really couldn’t wait for this one to drop. Rare in this day of age.
In large part, the production will instantly get stuck in your head. Seriously press play and you’ll see.
Beyond that, Sono’s got some motivating lyrics and is complimented by a dope flow from guest feature Phor on the third verse. Lots to like here and definitely a single that has some replay value as well.
My daily perusing of old school basketball videos landed me on a brand new, must-follow account. @dunkcomp on IG (or @dunk_comp on Twitter) as they combine old school 90s clips (and sometimes current-day highlights) with 90s funk jams like this one that reeled me in above. It brought me back to when the highlights were so perfectly matched with the music.
Sure enough, it got me to look into the artist — M5K and “Time 2 Jam” is actually part of a 6-track EP that’s a great listen through and through. I couldn’t find much about the artist, except it’s an Australian group, just like the basketball channel. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Good music is good music and I got these guys in my car now to remind me of the GOAT decade. 🐐
Probably my favorite slow jam drop of the last few months was actually via the rising Chicago artist I’ve known more as a rapper/producer over the years: Eddie Supa. My point is: that’s saying something! Supa’s got a slept on hit in my opinion with this new-age blues and sax production with the relatable lyrics that hit home.
Now the “Love Again [remix]” has a cool edge to it with the VR touch to the music video. The futuristic, dark color palette is enhanced by touches of neon (the Tron-esque installation in Congruent Space) and from Supa’s cool aesthetic himself. Get familiar as Supa’s wave will only grow larger this year.
Mike Posner‘s Walk Across America has begun this week on Monday April 15th and as just a longtime supporter of Posner’s career, we wish him the most strength – both physical and mental – to accomplish his walk from ocean to ocean. From the Atlantic Ocean in New Jersey, culminating in the Pacific Ocean in Venice Beach, Los Angeles sometime before Christmas, Posner hopes.
The CBS story above is a great 7-minute interview and summary of the Walk, Posner’s career and personal journey to this point, and how he’s hoping to learn how to be more present in the moment. That last part is a constant battle for all of us really and I, for one, am inspired on this sleepless night at posting time to work more consciously on this myself.
No doubt that Posner’s journey will test his limits, but like he’s conquered the many challenges he’s had to this point, I don’t doubt he will this one too. God speed and see ya in L.A. 🙌
Sidebar: Listening to his latest 40-minute opus, AReal Good Kid too. 📲 Apple Music | Spotify
I’m finding it hard to say much about Donald Glover’s latest masterpiece, the approximate 1-hour film co-starring Rihanna — Guava Island.
As you probably know by now this weekend, after a stellar headlining performance at Coachella, the mysterious, near-secret project Glover and Rihanna were evidently working on together last year in Cuba is now on Amazon Prime.
The thing is: it’s really better knowing the least about Guava Island as you can before watching it. I, for one, sort of messed up by catching a Reddit thread with the “unofficial soundtrack” and being unable to resist a bootleg-captured scene from the film with the two A-listers (and I’ll leave it at that.)
So alas: I won’t say anything other than it’s phenomenal, captivating, and repeating that Guava Island is a masterpiece. Props to Glover and his familiar cast of collaborators, director Hiro Murai, producer Ludwig Goransson, and choreographer Sherrie Silver.
For after viewing: read this Twitter thread that explores the connections between Guava Island and much of Glover’s other works. Definitely makes you think.
Tonight, Derrick Rose’s official documentary premiered via live stream on Stadium and for any Chicago basketball fan, any D. Rose fan… or really, just any fan of anyone who has triumphed above a lot, Pooh is a must-see doc.
The clip above is one of the many powerful moments of Rose’s journey as the cameras were filming him the moment he received the call from his agent (and former Bulls great) B.J. Armstrong that he was traded to the New York Knicks in the summer of 2016. It’s viral now and has resonated with everyone who can see his emotion and passion for his hometown city.
The doc also did an amazing job showing never before seen footage like this throughout all the stages of Derrick’s life. On one hand, we all knew how hard Rose had it growing up in Englewood, but that was driven home even further at the beginning of the doc. Rose had days where he didn’t even have a nickel to buy a piece of candy at the store so instead he just ate spoonfuls of powdered sugar (while watching Power Rangers – nice choice!)
We also get a fresh perspective from Rose, teammate Joakim Noah, Tom Thibodeau, John Paxson, and various Chicago writers about the polarizing divide of waning favoritism towards Rose in Chicago. This, during the seasons he struggled to come back from injuries and didn’t communicate articulately to the media whose own spin of the narrative fueled the divide even more.
Alas, the stirring doc brought back some much pleasant nostalgia as the Rose Era Bulls were my favorite basketball team since the Jordan years, and Rose being my favorite player to this day. It also recalled our own fortunes of covering a couple of Derrick Rose’s shoe releases both before and after his ACL injury. Some b-roll footage even caught co-founder Maks G at one of these events (head to our instagram) so I felt it was right we add to the #TBT/#FBF fun below.
D. Rose: Chicago legend forever. (Come back this summer?!)
Fall 2013: D Rose 4 Shoe Release @ United Center featuring Big Sean
Winter 2011: D Rose 2.0 Shoe Release @ State St. Foot Locker