Kidz in the Hall – Teaser Video

I am all over the Kidz in the Hall right now. As an old bastard – their throwback style and perhaps most importantly, their throwback references make this nostalgic hip-hop totally interesting for a dude like me. And in the most sincere show of respect, I even made them my Myspace profile song – that’s right. They have picked up some serious momentum of late, with a critically acclaimed album, School Was My Hustle, some songs in tv shows, and even a deal with ESPN.

In other forms of music, say rock for example, it is not at all unusual for artists to pay homage to their predecessors by either covering their songs, referencing them in interviews, inviting them on stage, and in extreme cases, seriously biting their style, or even forming tribute bands… but the practice does not seem to be as prevalent in hip-hop. So many artists seem to approach their music as if they have a legit shot at the title of greatest rapper of all time. As if they are the best ever and fans can safely go ahead and forget anyone that came before them. I guess this competitive nature is just hard wired in hip-hop genetics, but I have to say, it is very refreshing to experience someone who seems to go out of their way to give praise to those who came before them.

That being said… how long can this last for an artist before it starts to feel like a gimmick. I guess it is all about constant evolution? Who the hell am I to speculate? Just enjoy this ‘trailer’ which is one of the few decent You Tube videos floating around out there (note the vintage hip-hop rides / movie footage from Menace II Society and others…)

Listen to more Kidz in the Hall here.

Skillz – Crazy World Video

I have long been convinced that when production budgets are tight, you may just get a higher level of creative output. Especially if you have a team that has not been spoiled in the past with unnecessarily high budgets. Shoot me, but I even love establishing parameters for big dumb agency brainstorms, much to the frustration of people with bad ideas. Here is a great example from VA native Skillz for the track Crazy World. It looks like the entire shoot took place within about 30 yard radius of a convenience store. I applaud KOCH for actually enabling the ‘EMBED’ feature on their YouTube channel – it gave YOU the chance to see it.

Below is another great example by the hyper-creative Vashtie. She did this on her own dime and time, so she deserves whatever promo she gets.

Brand I Love and Hate: McIntosh

Round of applause for the bastards over at McIntosh (no, not Apple) for further solidifying the fact that I am a stereotypical male. I have long been proud of the fact that I can get by without video games, traditional sports, big screen televisions, and expensive home audio equipment. Then twice in one day, I experience this damn brand and I am instantly turned into the younger version of me – that 18-year old, punk kid with no business reading the Robb Report, obsessing over luxury items I had no business obsessing over.

In line with most of my favorite brands, McIntosh has heritage. It is 59 years old!

Look at the beauty of these components:

$8,000 Turntable:

If a near-extinct turntable sets you back $8 Gs, imagine what this will set you back:

In typical, money doesn’t buy taste fashion… what’s up with the lame red wood cabinets?

ACME + Adweek

Adweek covers the launch of ACME. See the quote from David.

“Our agency is really trying to put some best-in-class practices and thought leadership into the space. We still feel like there is a lack-of-thought leadership in [branded entertainment]”, said Caruso.

They seemed more interested in origins of our name over the fact that we are changing the game 🙂

Also, check the new site.

Look to your Leaders!

I recall having a conversation with the head of an agency I once worked at about our creative process. He was curious to know why we were struggling in the creative department. Deadlines, quality, innovation – it all seemed to suffer. We speculated how other best-in-class agencies dealt with these sort of struggles. “How does XYZ Agency deal with this? Do they have these issues?” The correct answer is probably yes, but I told him that it was hard to compare ourselves to those other agencies, because those agencies were founded and led by creatives. We were not. We were led by strategists and an amazing entrepreneur, but not a true creative in the services sense. He had created an agency largely in his own image. And that was not a bad thing at all. We were one of the best.

But don’t you find it amazing how this same phenomenon totally applies to Myspace and Facebook? Think of each of the sites and communities they have created, then look at the founders.

MySpace: Tom & Chris

Facebook: Gilbert & Lewis

Oh wow!  Look at what happened in Facebook land today:

Fluff?  Maybe Facebook is cooler than I thought!

George Michael – Allover Print Pioneer (and Extras Cameo)

My old friends know that strange importance that George Michael plays in my life. Yeah, I know, cheesy. But at least I admit it. I could (and eventually will) go on about his continued influence on pop culture and eventual rise back to glory, but in the mean time, check out this example of George Michael’s influence on follower-wear – I mean streetwear. He was an allover print pioneer:

Check his brief, but brilliant cameo on the HBO show ‘Extras’. How could you not love a guy that takes a shot at himself like this:

Images courtesy of el Arab Parrot.

Great Quote from Kid Sister!

When discussing some of the tracks from her new album:

“The Dipset beats sound like something you can kill somebody to,” she joked. “It’s for the killers and the drug dealers. But, like, in Chicago, you can go kill somebody and then do the vogue dance afterward.”

This is why I love her! But I have to say, she needs to stay strong or the media is going to flip her well-crafted brand into whatever they need to make their story.

Read the full article here.

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