Monthly Archives: December 2016

Hear Tyga and Kanye West’s New Track “Feel Me”

Just in time to close out the year, Tyga unveils a new song featuring none other than Kanye West, titled "Feel Me." This is the first big project we've heard from Kanye, following his unexpected European tour cancellation and surprise meeting with Donald Trump. In his verse, he addresses the rumors surrounding his mental health as he quotes, "Who you tryna get crazy with, don't you know I'm loco?"

Signed to G.O.O.D. Music earlier this year, Tyga also shares a love for the Kardashians while he and Kanye shout out Kim and Kylie in the hook. Have a listen to the collaborative track here.

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Travis Scott Announces ‘Astroworld’ Project and Tour for 2017

After the success of his album, Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight, reaching number one on the Billboard chart, in addition to the release of his video for "beibs in the trap," Travis Scott has undoubtedly kept himself busy throughout the year. And, while traveling to Montreal for a show on Friday, he expressed a series of tweets that show no signs of him stopping for 2017.

While stating that he plans on making more beats, Scott also divulged some information about his forthcoming album, which will be titled Astroworld -- possibly an homage to the former theme park from his hometown in Houston. He also revealed that a new tour will be coming soon, and voiced gratitude to his fans.

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Nike’s Air Force 1 Ultra Flyknit Mid Gets Revamped in Dark Green

After seeing renditions in "Heather Grey" and "Enamel Green," Nike gives the Air Force 1 Ultra Flyknit Mids another makeover to close out the year. The brand's latest drop sees a darker colorway in "Palm Green" along the upper, with various patterns knit patterns for extra dimension. Additionally, black leather embraces the tongue, heel and ankle strap, with matching hues down to the laces and sole. Marked with its signature Swoosh logo on the side with embossed branding on the back, purchase a pair at retailers like Titolo now for CHF 190 (around $185 USD).

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Kanye West Is Running for President of the Galaxy in Arecibo’s 360-Degree “I’m Cosmic” Video

Arecibo's "I'm Cosmic" has a lot going for it: the song itself is icy and frantic, a warehouse-filler that's equal parts nostalgic and futuristic. The music video's aesthetics, meanwhile, pay homage to cult classics like Blade Runner, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Back to the Future. Formally, the 360-degree music video is used to claustrophobic yet visually stunning effects: viewers can sit back and enjoy the kaleidoscopic road trip or they can explore the surrounding environment as it whips past them. Easter egg cameos include news of Hillary Clinton's newly adopted alien child and a holographic billboard announcing Kanye West's campaign for the title of Galactic President.

The video was created by director Alex Tennyson of typeone.org and Isobel Mascarenhas-Whitman of ImageFiction Films, who told Dazed that the primary inspiration was to explore “the physical lack of control that the audience has in a 360-animation and the concept of ‘Taking Back Control’ that seems to have permeated politics in 2016.”

Check the video out above. We recommend viewing it on a mobile device; try playing the track at half-speed for a completely different tune.

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Listen to Pharrell’s Soundtrack for ‘Rules of the Game’

Here's a taste of what to expect from Pharrell's sweeping soundtrack to Rules of the Game, a dance piece he has created in conjunction with Daniel Arsham and choreographer Jonah Bokaer. Williams produced the soundtrack, which was then arranged for performance by composer and absolute music industry legend David Campbell: he's helped compose, arrange and conduct on everything from Justin Timberlake's FutureSex/LoveSounds to Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" — Campbell's track record is practically unrivaled, having worked on close to 500 gold and platinum albums. Oh, and did we mention he's also Beck's dad?

The arrangements and songs produced for Rules of the Game are classic Pharrell, with each title corresponding to a letter of the Greek alphabet ("Delta" is ambient, while opener "Alpha" actually sounds like a twinkly Clipse production).

The piece is based on Luigi Pirandello’s controversial metatheatrical play, Six Characters in Search of an Author, and focuses on the ideas of authorship and the relationship between actors and characters. Here's a sneak peak of what we can expect from the choreography side of the project, Arsham and Bokaer's MOVEment, starring dancer Julie Kent:

You can listen to the soundtrack here. If those links do go dead, however, don't fret: Williams has already expressed that he'd like to release the instrumental score as a standalone album.

Rules of the Game made its debut on May 17 at the SOLUNA International Music & Arts Festival in Dallas.

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This Is How the World Reacted to UFC 207

UFC 207 featured a lot of entertaining fights. The likes of Cody Garbrandt, T.J. Dillashaw and Dong Hyun Kim all came out victorious in spectacular fashion in front of a jam-packed crowd at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. However the matchup that left everybody talking was the main event of the evening, a welterweight bout between titleholder Amanda Nunes and Ronda Rousey. Ranked as the top challenger coming in, Rousey looked to regain her throne as the poster girl for women's MMA but instead she came up well short. Given the magnitude of the fight and the hype surrounding Rousey's comeback attempt, her shocking defeat after just 48 seconds set social media on fire. We picked out some of the notable reactions to the outcomes of UFC 207 from around the globe, including some by the fighters themselves.

 

Can't touch this????   A video posted by Cody "NoLove" Garbrandt (@cody_garbrandt) on

  You have to love easy bets! #ufc207   A photo posted by titoortiz1999 (@titoortiz1999) on

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The Sneaker Lab: Dissecting the adidas 3D Runner

It's been awhile since I've written something for The Sneaker Lab. Life got in the way of something I enjoy doing, dissecting and exploring constructions and innovations in the world of sneakers.

In the last 12 months, anybody and everybody have dubbed themselves a sneakerhead and things are bigger than ever. If you’ve been around for awhile, you’ve seen the dominance of Nike challenged by both a new and familiar face in Under Armour and adidas among others. Everybody seems to have an opinion on who they feel is the best and who’s untouchable and there’s a definitive bandwagon mentality going on.

In my few pieces awhile back, the focus was predominately on hyped lifestyle sneakers. But this time around, let's talk about both the present and the future with the adidas 3D Runner. The concept of 3D printing is a relatively new phenomenon, but it's been adidas who have been the first to bring it to the relative masses. It's not easy to cop a pair, but the average consumer has an opportunity to own a piece of the future. It's a future that adidas has taken a pole position in.

The adidas 3D Runner is part of a new movement in 3D-printed toolings that has the potential to radically shift the footwear industry. Long lead times and wasted materials are things of the past. In addition, adidas has also incorporated biodegradable uppers into the equation courtesy of AMSilk. The result is an more eco-friendly shoe with an increasingly smaller eco-footprint.

AESTHETICS/DESIGN

The silhouette here is a familiar one as it's based on the UltraBoost which is undeniably one of the footwear world's most innovative and highly sought-after shoes of the past few seasons. Everything surrounding this silhouette is easy on the eyes and is rooted in performance. It's a logical move for adidas to focus on something that represents the pinnacle of adidas performance.

The major difference between the "inline" UltraBOOST is the modified shape to the heel counter. If you look closely at the white version (from an earlier drop) and this black version), the black one has a one-piece midsole and heel counter unit while the previous white one omitted this. There wasn't really a heel counter.

The next highly innovative part of the shoe aside from the two-piece tooling is the midsole. I'm not a 3D printing expert aside from seeing the figures people make and the guns people have printed, but achieving this level of flexibility all while being durable enough for a commercial shoe is no easy feat. It's an artwork how the small interconnected webs of the midsole in themselves create a futuristic aesthetic. I'm mad I didn't come up with such a simple yet pleasing design. I liken it to hearing the "Superthug” beat by N.O.R.E. and wishing it was your own beat.

CONSTRUCTION/FUNCTION

Focusing on the upper, this "uncaged" UltraBOOST upper has a lot more stability and support than previous "uncaged" models. The way it's been woven was a better choice and unlike other uncaged versions like the Solebox UltraBOOST (shout out to Hikmet and his SONRA gig). Your foot doesn't "swim" in these which may also be aided by the improved lining on the sock liner.

As stated earlier, the outsole is crafted with pure perfection. At first, when you put them on you feel as though you're walking on eggshells because you're unsure of the durability. But the flexibility and durability are well balanced. Even as a daily BOOST wearer, I'd have to say if you‘re used to BOOST, this is a great alternative in terms of cushioning.

On the durability front -- I know of several critical product testers who were literally trying to find a way to destroy these with hundreds of miles and couldn't. It's a true statement and a smart move to start with performance products as a benchmark for such technology. Now the door is wide open to introduce this technology in future lifestyle silhouettes. Imagine the possibilities from adidas Originals to other performance categories.

CONCLUSION

It's difficult to find a fault with these. Everything is well-thought through and by seeing the first white version and the modification on the second black version, you can be sure you're purchasing a continually evolving performance product with a very compelling and well-established silhouette: the UltraBOOST.

Knowing that other brands are diving into similar innovations - I think this territory is well owned by the brand with the three stripes right now. Everyone else just feels like they're following.

Some potential opportunities in the future include:

1. Customization. It will become a whole different ballgame. You'll no longer just pick your materials, colorways, but also embroider your name within the tooling. We all have two different-sized feet even though we think they're the same -- so I could see perfectly individualized and fitted products.

2. Manufacturing process. This all part of the footwear chain will be changed which includes enhancing production lead times, logistics and carbon footprint.

3. For a brand like adidas with its countless categories and involvement, there are exponential options to multiply this concept through both fashion and lifestyle contexts as well as continually improving it on the performance front for cushioning and weight reduction.

Welcome to the future.

Andy Chiu has been an avid sneaker collector since 1991. Making the trip from his native Germany to the ’92 Olympics, he was inspired by the U.S. Dream Team’s dominating performance in Barcelona — and of course the shoes on their feet. While Chiu’s initial experiences in the professional world took him to L’Oreal and Mercedes-Benz, this love for footwear saw Chiu return to his first love. Joining the industry though adidas Originals, he introduced adidas Originals’ Consortium range in Spring/Summer 2007 as well as other highly-influential projects, including a HYPEBEAST x adidas x Solebox project at the adidas Performance Division. Soon after, he joined PUMA, heading up their motorsports business.

Right after Chiu served as German beer brand Warsteiner’s brand & creative director, he became director of adidas Originals and Actionsports in Japan.

Every insight written and stated in this article are purely his personal point of view and does NOT reflect any opinion of any other party.

You can get more information on him through his Instagram account.

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The iPhone 7 Is Not Selling as Well as Apple Hoped

Most new iPhones usually see amazing sales numbers in their first few months, often outperforming previous models' sales during the same quarter. The same might not be the case for Apple's iPhone 7, as according to Nikkei slow sales could force the tech giant to cut back production on the latest model. Although it is still too early to say if the iPhone 7 will be the first model not to outperform its predecessor just yet, a 10 percent drop in stock is expected within the next few months. Stay tuned for more details as they become available.

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adidas Insider Gary Aspden Reveals His Top Five Releases From 2016

As the man behind the archive-inspired adidas Spezial series, Gary Aspden's journey from fan and collector through to brand consultant has seen him play a major part in the continued success of adidas's heritage product line. From seeding rare pairs in the right places -- thanks to Aspden's influential social circle and plugged-in contacts list -- to creating his own documentary, Sole Searching In South America, which saw him travel to South America to track down archive pieces, Aspden's passion and knowledge makes him a true expert on all things Three Stripes. Now, as the year comes to an end, we asked the self-confessed sneakerhead for his top releases from 2016.

adidas Lacombe SPZL

"This was a new hybrid shoe that was developed as part of the adidas Spezial SS16 range. The shoe took inspiration from two vintage tennis styles -- the adidas Newcombe for the upper and the Rod Laver Vintage for the sole. While the upper retains features like the iconic adidas 'T' toe, the specifications and branding executions are revised to give it a contemporary look and feel. Within the Spezial range we try to create a modern range that pays homage to and echoes a very particular adidas aesthetic. When we set out to create a plain white shoe like this it is a challenge to get it absolutely right. For a plain white tennis shoe like this there is nothing to hide behind design wise so we had to pay a great deal attention to the specs and materials - without wanting to sound over dramatic every millimetre counts."

adidas Futurecraft 3D

"I was involved in the launch and gifting of the first Futurecraft 3D in white and while it was still a work in progress, I knew it had huge potential. They were not available to the public to buy at that point as they had not been through the stringent standard testing that adidas are notorious for. These Futurecraft shoes looked identifiably adidas as that 3D-printed midsole is like a direct descendant of the 1980s Dellinger web (one of my favourite vintage technologies). I sent Ian Brown the first pair of the white colorway, which he tested out on our deadstock hunting trip to Buenos Aires (see Sole Searching in South America Part 2). The arrival of these Futurecraft 3D shoes have further cemented the reputation of adidas as the market leader in athletic technology, as well as having the greatest design archive of any sportswear brand -- it's a really strong combination. While I am obsessed by the adidas aesthetic of the 1970s and 1980s, to ignore a shoe that is so pioneering (and has the potential to shape the future of the sportswear industry) for this list would have been a travesty."

adidas Indoor Super SPZL

"While I get excited about creating new hybrid shoes within the Spezial range, we always do some 1:1 reissues, which give context to the new ideas that we present. The design of the Indoor Super is one of the greatest ever from adidas and was a shoe we were determined to rebuild a faithful reissue of. This shoe was super popular when I was a teenager and had been reissued by adidas in 2003 into what was a very different sneaker market. While market conditions were different (no one shopped for trainers on the internet back then) the reissues they released had some flaws in their make up. Rectifying these shortcomings was a priority to the team who worked on the Spezial version of these shoes with me. I believe that the Indoor Super is an iconic shoe and my theory is that if a product can be described as a design classic then when it is reissued it needs to be as accurate as possible. Classic design when executed correctly has the potential to excite new audiences without being reliant on nostalgia for its appeal. These are another example of a product from the Spezial range that have a core football casual following that have begun to find a wider audience."

adidas GT Manchester SPZL

"Myself and Mike Chetcuti designed the original adidas Manchester shoes back in 2002, which were a limited edition release to celebrate Manchester hosting the Commonwealth Games. Manchester is in the adidas heartland that is the north of the UK and we believed the passion for adidas in that city should be acknowledged in some way. I was never 100 percent happy with the 2002 shoe and always felt it could be improved upon because in order to deliver them in time for the Commonwealth Games we didn't have the usual sampling timelines to perfect them. The 2002 version were never released in huge numbers so have become very coveted in the years since. It was a challenge to recreate what is essentially the same shoe (with its now iconic colorway) while improving upon it. We looked at a number of OG Handball Spezials in order to find the best way to rework the upper specs and also changed the tongue and footbed and improved the materials. These shoes created an online furore and sold out in minutes on release and the interesting thing about this release was that while the shoe has cult status among British football fans they somehow crossed over into a much wider audience -- with everyone from Giggs to Blondey McCoy from Palace wearing them."

adidas Ultraboost In Triple Black

"It would not be possible to do a top five adidas list for 2016 without including a shoe that uses the BOOST technology and for me these are the best of the bunch. While they are a very pure performance-driven product they have managed to cross over and be adopted as a lifestyle shoe. I always like to see shoes being adopted into something that sits outside of their original purpose -- that's a big part of how my love of sportswear originally began. The UltraBOOSTs are born out of the essence of what adidas is -- creating the very best products to enhance athletic performance. BOOST technology has already changed the landscape of athletic footwear in a relatively short space of time. As far as I am concerned, it is by far the best technology in the market and many who have worn it will also attest to that. Performance technology like BOOST does not come along very often -- it has most definitely set adidas apart from its competitors. If I had to choose from all the UltraBOOSTs that dropped this year, I would have to go with the triple blacks. I managed to secure one pair on release. which I ended up giving to 3D from Massive Attack who was having difficulty getting hold of some. But I will be on the lookout for another pair of triple blacks when they drop again."

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Amanda Nunes Destroys Ronda Rousey in the First Round at UFC 207

Ronda Rousey made her long-awaited comeback to the Octagon earlier tonight at UFC 207. A 13-month absence proved to take some spring out of her step as the mixed martial artist failed to look like her old dominant self, falling to Amanda Nunes 48 seconds into the first round. However not all is lost, as Rousey raked in the biggest guaranteed payday (tied with Conor McGregor) in UFC history with $3 million USD despite the defeat. Prior to the event Dana White revealed that he was unsure of the star's next move so this fight may have been her last time inside the Octagon.

#AmandaNunes remains champ as she defeats #RondaRousey by TKO in Round 1! @MMAWorld #WSHH

A video posted by WorldstarHipHop (@worldstar) on

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This Toy Enthusiast Recreated a Functional Nerf Gun Using LEGO

Nerf and LEGO have long been sources of fun for kids and adults, but who would've thought combining the two could result in something great. Although not a new concept LEGO Nerf guns usually lack the actual function fans look for. But, one toy enthusiast looked to remedy this issue when he recreated his favorite model, the Nerf Maverick Rev-6, out of LEGO. The result is a fully-functional LEGO Nerf gun that actually fires on command. Check out the LEGO Nerf Maverick Rev-6 in action above and let us know what you think.

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Nike Gives the Air Presto Utility a New Sleek Colorway

To accompany the cold and rough weather Nike recently released a new colorway of its rugged Air Presto Utility silhouette. Complete with a water-resistant upper, the latest iteration features a primarily grey construction with a breathable mesh collar that's flanked by zippers on both the lateral and medial sides. Additionally, the Presto's familiar sole unit is present alongside the signature TPU heel counter and midfoot cage done in black. Retailing at $140 USD, the clean "Wolf Grey" Nike Air Presto Utility is available now at retailers like UNDEFEATED.

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