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|Preview| Adidas Originals x Jeremy Scott Roundhouse Mid ‘Handcuffs’

Jeremy Scott continues to push the boundaries of the kick game and this time round its not about having an animal for a tongue or being fly but its about remaining grounded. He has attached handcuff which can be wrapped around your ankle to the old school Adidas Roundhouse Mid. He hasnt changed much in terms of the colourway however, he has changed the colourway of the tongue; the only major difference is the handcuff honestly.
It is said that Jeremy will be taking on the theme of S&M for his footwear range this Fall/Winter and theres more of this to come later on in the year. A release date hasnt been stamped just yet, but in due time youll be able to grab yourself a pair.

I actually quite like these even with the ridiculous hand cuff attached to the back of the sneaker. It is the material used for the sneaker that puts me off, the suede is just off putting. I wouldnt purchase these my self however, even if they were leather Jeremy Scotts clothing/footwear is known to be overpriced!

Update:

August 12th, 2012
$350 (£225)

|Music Review| Das Racist Relax

I dont know how to review music.  Its harder than reviewing anything.

With a show, for example, you can be like, this is that story and I can compare it to this and its better than X but not as good as Y or

Maybe I do know how to review music.

Das Racist (made up of rappers Himanshu Heems Suri, Victor Kool AD Vazquez and hypeman Ashok Dapwell Kondabulu) released two mixtapes in 2010 ostensibly albums, because there was like one song where its another beat, from Madvillany (Americas Most Blunted). The first mixtape Shut Up, Dude was rather good, after you got over the joke rap insta-label your brain slaps on with songs like Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell or I Dont Owe Nobody Shit. Its an effective introduction to their MO: reference-heavy, devil-may-care skillful rap over distinctly pop-y/electronic beats.

Also, like the best of TV, they developed a kind of rapport with the audience by introducing certain things about themselves that you could find familiar later on. Stuff like them being fans of fake patois (in a song titled, Fake Patois), Rozay-esque ad-libs or their apparent distaste for traditional hooks (which, as far as I remember, were almost non-existent on the first mixtape).

Sit Down, Man was, most people agree, a step up in quality. Thats about all Ican say, it was just better. Heems, the younger, less experienced rapper of the two, improved remarkably. Kool AD continued to be excellent. Go check the Rap Genius entry for You Can Sell Anything.

One of the things that initially put me off Das Racist was The Based God effect (note: Ive never listened to a Lil B song in full; he might be cool but his fans put me way off). I mean to say that the internet love for him seemed 100% ironic, and I didnt like the idea of liking something as personal as music without really liking it. Also there was the impression that you were being made fun of by the artist, which is never a nice feeling. DR seemed to straddle this line between IDGAF and actually maybe I kinda do. Everything that makes their music funny is just an exagerrated version of what makes music in general funny. Its hard to describe, but their proficiency at being facetious or at least appearing to not take themselves seriously is so great that they become credible artists through the level of professionalism it would take to achieve such a thing.

Amongst by the humour and production is emotion. Thats what Relax (out now!) is to me, at its best. The title track, Michael Jackson, Brand New Dance, Middle of the Cake, Girl, Shut Up, Man, Happy Rappy, Booty in the Air, Power, Punjabi Song, Selena, Rainbow in the Dark, The Trick and Celebration are all standouts (even though every track is outstanding to me because Ive been listening for over a week and its at that stage of nothing can dethrone this album).

When I first listen to anything, I dont really concentrate, it just kinda washes over me. Which is part of why I dont like reviewing things, because it almost makes it less to deconstruct it. If you enjoy something, thats that, ideally nothing else should harm that.

This is how Id try to explain why I say stuff like this album is better than Watch the Throne it feels like more than rap. Theres a lot of things that sound like something else, but when they dont sound quite like anything else thats a lot more rewarding, I think. Its like what Louie is to television (BTW, go watch Louie now).

|Review| Little Mix DNA

Perrie, Jesy, Leigh-Anne & Jade: the four ladies of Little Mix. Today marks the release of their debut album, DNA. As the winners of last years X-Factor, the pressure has been on the ladies to deliver before their reign as X-Factor champions is over, and so far they have not disappointed, with their second single, Wings, charting at #1, and their latest effort, DNA charting at #3 just this week. In support of the album the Little Mixers have performed on both the UK and Australian versions of the X Factor, and also did a special performance of album track, Change Your Life, for Children In Need. As the first and only group winners of the X Factor UK, how does the album do as a whole?

The album begins with the two lead singles, Wings & DNA, both very catchy tracks which have served their purpose and beyond in cementing Little Mix as the leading UK girl group in the absence of Girls Aloud, The Sugababes and The Saturdays. The next track, Change Your Life, for me is the first speed bump that the Little Mixers hit. Whilst doing a good job of staying true to the Little Mix brand, (of being relatable to young girls), it sounds like one of those really generic pop songs with a decent chorus. Also, (something which Im possibly going to refer to quite often during this blog), Leigh-Annes rap-singing at the start does everything in its power to make me skip on to the next song

which is a lot of the same. Always Be Together is one of those Carly Rae Jepsen/Taylor Swift sweet love songs that just dont tend to sit very well with me. With that being said, those are the type of songs I feel work for someone like Jade, whose softer vocals are best suit taking the lead on this one. Despite not being a massive fan of the song, Always Be Together is a song I could imagine the girls would release as a cool mid-tempo third single from the album.

Track #5, Stereo Soldier (Please note: its taken me quite a while to articulate exactly how I feel about this song in particular) I didnt really like and I dont ever see myself liking. The song is entitled Stereo Soldier so I felt that the girls went completely for the obvious when the song begun with a marching band led drum riff reminiscent of Gwen Stefanis Hollaback Girl. Only difference between the two songs is Hollaback Girl has, (or had before the number of clone type songs that followed) a unique swag to it. This drum riff coupled with an incessant chanting of Left, Right, Left just made this song a huge no for me. I feel the best way for me to describe Stereo Soldier is as Alesha Dixons Drummer Boys less attractive cousin. (One good point though, was Jesys first half of the bridge).

Anyway, moving swiftly onto pastures green. The next track, Pretend Its OK sees the girls finally find their biting point and drive safely over the speed bump they found themselves hinged on. Ive always felt Little Mix sound best over a simple, meaningful pop track and Pretend Its OK is just that. This song has a very cool, Brit-pop vibe to it which allows for all of the girls to shine both individually and collectively. I was also pleased that Jesy was also given the bridge to sing on this song. Six tracks into the album and what Ive learnt so far from Little Mix is that as soon as there is a climactic moment in a song, its Perries duty to deliver, and whilst she is the most talented vocalist (maybe Jade), that formula does grow old really fast.

Turn Your Face is an emotional piano led ballad which allows the girls to soar to heights as yet reached on DNA. From Jesy opening the track to Jades sweet head voice to Perries power vocals and even Leigh-Anne getting in on the act, Turn Your Face is the girls best vocal by a sweet country mile. In a slight contradiction from the previous song, this song needed Perrie to drive home the climaxes, and she did so. Also, a honourary award to Miss Leigh-Anne Pinnock who showed that she is capable of being on par with the other girls vocals and does not need to be limited to unimpressive rap singing.

Out of all the X Factor alumni I would closely relate Little Mixs sound to that of Cher Lloyd, which can be clearly heard in the next song We Are Who We Are. A punchy song which would have been perfect for a summer release sees the girls revisit the topic of female empowerment as only they know how. Two tracks on from this track (well revisit what weve skipped later) is my personal favourite track, Red Planet (feat. T-Boz). As Ive written a post on this song already I wont dwell too much on the songs greatness, just to say that this version of the song is mixed more evenly and allows you to clearly hear T-Bozs distinctive vocals in the chorus more.

Track #11 Going Nowhere is one of those songs you have to properly listen to and in order to learn to like it. I was initially turned off by the Spanish Guitar type sound, but the track boasts some hugely impressive harmonies over the chorus, (which JLS have only learnt to attempt after four albums). As a songwriter, those harmonies will also used as my excuse to overlook the first to lines in this song, Sick of you playing on that XBox thing, youre never gonna to get me with a diamond ring Innovative.

The final track of the album, Madhouse is another big hit for me. The song is extremely catchy, with a dirty bassline unheard throughout DNA. With an anthemic chorus and chants, this song is a definite standout, almost something I would have expect the girls to have achieved by album 2 or 3. I would best describe this song as sounding altogether more womanly than most of the other songs on the album. Once again, the girls have really hit the mark with fusing their harmonies and pop music together effortlessly, creating a high energy ending to their debut album.

The track previously skipped was #9 How Ya Doin? which is the Little Mix girls best attempt at bringing old skool back. Its the only track Ive failed to get through at least once. Just, no.

For those of you fans out there who decided to buy the deluxe version, there are an additional four tracks and four videos for you to enjoy. Out of the four bonus tracks three are new, with an unplugged version of DNA being the fourth. My standout bonus track is Case Closed which another really cool track that I feel should have been included on the actual album track listing. The highlight of this song being Jesys pre-chorus, Case Closed (unlike How Ya Doin?) manages to fuse an old-skool R&B sound and make it current.

Little Mix DNA: 7/10 – the album on the whole is a really solid showing for the ladies. Ive given it a 7 overall because aside from the chosen singles, there are a handful of songs I really like, most that are cool but a few that I will no doubt be deleting from my iPhone. Overall the girls sound really good, especially together. Their harmonies are at points unquestionable, which is impressive for a group who only celebrated their first birthday a few months back. One thing I was unimpressed by was what I call the Little Mix Formula, which consists of Jesy/Leigh-Anne starting a song, Jade helping it progress, an occasional appearance from the groups resident rapper Leigh-Anne and Perrie generally tackling the difficult parts of a song and then finishing it. I found this disappointing because I feel that the ladies are each strong enough to take on different roles and not become predictable. Maybe Im being a little hard on them, but still.

Ones To Listen To: Turn Your Face, Red Planet, DNA, Case Closed (bonus track), Pretend Its OK & Madhouse.

Ones To Turn Off: Change Your Life, Stereo Soldier, How Ya Doin? & Love Drunk (Bonus Track).

Potential Singles: Always Be Together, Pretend Its OK & Madhouse.

What To Expect: Another appearance on the X Factor during the finale & an interesting album chart battle with the Unapologetic force that is Rihanna this week.

Red Stripe Presents The Makers of Carnival

Notting Hill Carnival is once again upon us this August, and after the olympics passing by and making London a nice place to be again this years carnival is set to be the best ever. Celebrating this years Carnival Red Stripe has got together with Pennie Smith to create an amazing set of Photographs of all of the Carnivals makers! Well be heading down on the day to celebrate with Red Stripe so make sure you wave and come give us hugs and dances.

Make with a Red Stripe will hero the true creators behind Notting Hill Carnival THE talents who bring one of the world’s most famous events to life. It documents these people through beautiful content, engaging the public before, during and after NHC, encouraging them to ‘Celebrate the Makers’ of their own weekend.

The legendary photographer Pennie Smith has shot incredible portraits with each Maker including:

1. MICK JOHNSON, POLICE COMMANDER. MAKER OF CARNIVAL SINCE 1980. Mick is Carnival’s longest serving copper. He’s witnessed an amazing and intense 32 years of Carnival’s sights, sounds and steel drums. His passion for the community is so strong, he describes it as “a part of, not apart from”. Raise a glass to Mick if you see him, for its his last ever Carnival.

2. LOUISE FORSTER, LONDON SCHOOL OF SAMBA. MAKER OF CARNIVAL SINCE 2009. Project manager Louise and her team organise the school’s Carnival float and performance despite not having an office to work in. Arranging the production keeps busy bee Louise rushing around all year, often pulling all-nighters for the samba cause.

3. ADRIAN LUCKIE, MAMA’S JERK CHICKEN STATION. MAKER OF CARNIVAL SINCE 2010. Adrian’s stall, the famous ‘Mama’s Jerk Chicken Station’ still uses his Jamaican Great-grandmother’s secret recipe, passed down for generations. Adrian loves Carnival, has been coming since he was 16 and is extremely proud he’s able to share his heritage and roots through Mama Charlotte’s delicious recipes.

4. BERT CLEMENT, TFL STATION SUPERVISOR. MAKER OF CARNIVAL SINCE 1993. Caribbean born Bert is as passionate about Carnival now as when he first started working at Westbourne Park station nearly two decades ago. Mild-mannered Bert describes Carnival as “Life. Where people come together to live.” And the party starts when he opens up a special staircase only used during Carnival.

5. PHIL LEGG, OPEN HOUSE / FUTUREPROOF SOUND SYSTEM. MAKER OF CARNIVAL SINCE 2003. Musician, producer, promoter and Carnival ledge, Phil has lived around Notting Hill nearly 30 years. Phil loves Carnival so much that every year he opens up his house to revelers and the Futureproof Sound System plays tunes out of his living room windows. Check out his garden, Lilly Allen once played there.

6. LIONEL MCCALMAN, NOSTAGLIA STEEL BAND LEADER. MAKER OF CARNIVAL SINCE 1988. Lionel leads the Nostalgia Steel Band, the UK’s original ‘traditional’ steel band founded in 1964, and Carnival regulars since 1969. To Lionel, Carnival is all about coming together to celebrate different cultures in a “two-day fantasy where people can step out of reality.” And if Lionel looks familiar, it’s because he was leading the band at the Olympic Opening Ceremony.

7. ROSARIA GRACIA, DANCER/CHOREOGRAPHER. MAKER OF CARNIVAL SINCE 2000. Whilst Spaniard Rosario has samba-ed, rumba-ed and foxtrotted her way around the world, Carnival will always hold a special place in her heart. The light and love, cultural diversity, and playfulness are what Rosario loves most about Carnival. “Nothing is weird. It’s where the weird becomes the norm.”

8. NORMAN JAY MBE, DJ. MAKER OF CARNIVAL SINCE 1982. This year marks an amazing 31st Carnival for the legendary DJ and his famous ‘Good Times’ sound system. “It’s the most important gig for me because it’s a shared cultural experience where everyone is welcome.” Laid-back and modest despite enormous worldwide success, ‘Good Times’ has become a mini-carnival itself, attracting an estimated 15,000 revelers a day. Total legend.