Categories
Culture Music

The Evolution of the Rap Beef

As rap has ascended to the forefront of pop music, prominent rap beefs have taken on increased stature in pop culture. The war of words has elevated their battlegrounds from the early days of playground sound-offs to leaving it all in the booth. And lately, beef has been served up extra rare on the social media timeline.


The competitive sport of rap beef has an intense and protracted history, but the most polarizing bout occurred between Tupac and Notorious B.I.G., whose epic lyrical quarrel turned infamously deadly. These profound leaders of Los Angeles and New York City were the cultural representation of the epic “east coast vs. west coast” war of words. It introduced varying rap styles that led to their war to be dubbed the “godfather” of all lyrical combat.


Once upon a time, rap beefs stemmed from the aura of flexing your lyrical muscles over hard-hitting beats. But as years passed, its roots of “leaving it all on wax” have become an afterthought. Now, it is being replaced by social media platforms—the new center stage to air out dirty laundry. What once was an appropriate art form of showcasing disrespect on face-grabbing beats has been watered down to become throwaway fodder for an artist’s image and income.

If done well, however, rap beefs aren’t merely credibility-solidifying gestures—they’re astute marketing opportunities that raise the profiles of the artists involved.

In a time when social media reigns supreme, rappers don’t need to get in the booth to generate a media tidal wave. Instead, podcasts and social media platforms are becoming ground zero for exasperated emcees. As a result, they harness a new drama-loving audience, which results in potential new customers for their records.

Exhibit A: The battle of rap supremacy between Nicki Minaj and Cardi B. Minaj’s rambunctious rant about the “Bodak Yellow” rapper on episode eight of her Apple Music radio show led to an immediate 10-post response. The rant stemmed from a physical altercation that occurred at the Harper’s Bazaar Icon party during New York Fashion Week. According to sources who were in attendance, Cardi lunged at Minaj and began to shout at her as Minaj ignored her and continued to engage with other partygoers. Things escalated quickly when Cardi threw her shoe at Minaj.

Cardi defended her character by exposing Minaj. She explained, over a series of Instagram missives, how Minaj dissuaded artists from working with her on a collaboration. This is nothing new for those who are looped into the rap scene: Minaj’s foul play was also exposed by Hollywood Unlock’s Jason Lee. Lee revealed that Future was initially supposed to appear on Cardi’s “Drip” record; not Migos. He went on to reveal that Future’s verse never made the final cut of Cardi’s album, Invasion of Privacy, because Minaj gave him an ultimatum: Nix the collaboration or lose out on future opportunities doing business with her.

“Do you want to be the victim or do you want to be the gangster?” Cardi uttered in a slew of Instagram rants. Is the role of playing the predator or prey an effective tactic that can tap into the market of mainstream media? The roleplaying in these narratives—villain or antihero—can make the stock of both of the rappers involved either plunge or soar. Fanbases are also tested to see which one is more diehard than the other. Cardi, the realist who brings an underdog flavor to hip-hop, wins over fans as the ideal representation of “authentic.” Since her Minaj beef started gaining notoriety in mainstream America, “Money,” which was released two days earlier than its projected date in October, began charting at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.

On the other hand, Minaj’s credibility of being a consistent hitmaker in hip-hop is on life support as fans are growing tired of her antics, calling her “Shady,” “immature,” “egocentric” and a “hypocrite” to the movement of women empowerment. However, one thing they can’t deny is her ability to stay relevant and become a topic of discussion.

Her recent behavior as the self-absorbed attention-craver can be perceived as a chess move to remind newcomers gaining popularity, such as Cardi, how powerful and influential she still is in the music industry. A prime example of this is her People’s Choice Female Artist of the Year win over competition such as Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, Camila Cabello, and her arch nemesis, Cardi B. The recent release of Tyga’s latest track titled “Dip,” on which Nicki is featured, charted on the Billboard Hot 100, reminding fans Nicki can she can still rap with the best of the best. Yet true hip-hop fans just want mixtape Nicki, who provided an endless amount of witty rap bars with an authentic, relatable personality.

But despite the antics, these entertainers don’t have to be in the booth to monetize the already highly successful careers that are being built. In this day and age, social media has gained major ground in pushing the culture. In the immortal words of Cam’ron in his role as Rico in the classic hip-hop movie Paid In Full: “Everybody eats B.”

Archrivals or not, in the world of hip-hop, everyone still comes out as winners, financially and culturally.

Categories
Grooming Style

Meet the Makers Behind the Best Independent Fragrance Brands

Remember the days of Axe body spray wafting out of high school lockers? The pungent nature of Old Spice after a middle school basketball game? The adult equivalents, like Bleu de Chanel and Davidoff Cool Water, are just as nasally offensive. To stand out, ditch the duty free brand names and opt for a handcrafted version. Go boutique, my man. With a scent created in an artist’s studio by a small business founder, you’ll stave off the lovers of eau de toilet and people will thank you.

Buyouts of hip fragrance houses by larger manufacturers that churn out department store scents are on the rise. Though brands like Byredo and Le Labo—which we love, to be clear—are touted as indie, they’re manufactured by private equity company Manzanita and the beauty giant Estée Lauder Company, respectively. In order to find individuality, turn to independent perfumers.

Some small businesses are doing everything right: Hand-pouring scents in artisan studios, crafting fragrances with unique ingredients and drawing on personal experiences are only some of the benefits of shopping small for cologne. We scoured the landscape to discover these four self-supporting brands and smell-tested their lineups to discover the most alluring scents.

Skip the airport duty free. These selections exemplify the reasons to leave your Axe and Old Spice to the middle schoolers.

Goest Fragrances

Jacqueline Steele, 29, is the self-proclaimed nose and founder behind Goest Fragrances (pronounced “go-est”), founded officially in 2014. She is passionate about her work and the unisex perfumes she creates reflect her adoration.

Each fragrance is made in-house, by hand, in an East Hollywood studio in Los Angeles. This process grants ultimate control over what goes into each of her fragrances. The precision difference between a mass-produced product and one tenderly filled by hand is palpable. Steele studied fragrance-making in Grasse, France.

Her precision and dedication are evident in the tiny details—hand-drawn, charming illustrations cover each bottle; each fragrance has a poetic explanation of its inspiration and the experience is incredibly thoughtful. The concise line of six fragrances—Dauphine, Lartigue, Grand Tour, Realism, Silent Films, Jackal, and Smokers’ Perfume—strike a chord for every kind of person, but two, in particular, stand out, wherever “thou goest.”

Sarah Jacobs / ONE37pm
https://www.instagram.com/sarahjake/

Smokers’ Perfume

Packaged in a cigarette box, Goest’s Smokers’ Perfume, if combined with cigarette smoke, creates a cacophony of scent, stealing all the best elements of the smoke while adding its own seductive notes. But you don’t have to be a smoker to enjoy the scent. It generates memories of my boarding school in the woods, when teenagers would sneak into long-forgotten cabins through cracked windows. It smells like Girl Scouts huddled around a campfire, roasting s’mores and telling tall tales. This perfume is childhood distilled, but better. 

Each “hard pack” box of Smokers’ Perfume contains five mini spray tubes which perfectly fit into your standard cigarette box. Once a few cigs are gone, slide in a mini tube of Smokers’ Perfume for ultimate portability. 

Steele declares, “The ideal response to someone wearing our fragrance is a full-body response. It isn’t necessarily an intellectual ‘Wow, where did they buy that fragrance?’ but a subconscious, ‘Wow, who is that?’ Our goal is to offer people fragrances that aren’t too perfumey; nothing cliché or overly-faux smelling (anything that reads department store).”

“What’s sensual about people is not that they smell like roses, it’s that they smell like people,” she continues. “If you’ve ever been really attracted to someone and even liked the way they smelled after the gym, you’ve noticed this firsthand. Our fragrances preserve your secret weapon—your identity and unique sensuality—instead of deodorizing you into oblivion.”

Buy Now
http://www.goest.us/smokers-perfume/
Sarah Jacobs / ONE37pm
https://www.instagram.com/sarahjake/

Grand Tour

Described as “sport, spirit and straight-out polish,” Grand Tour recalls vintage cross-country trips in red convertibles down the California coast. You can smell the tanned leather, the reckless abandon and the welcoming allure of moss. I know this sounds like hooey, but it’s true.

Choosing a fragrance can feel like a daunting task. If you’re a fragrance newbie, heed Steele’s advice. “Sample if you can. Everybody has their own smell even before they apply cologne—it varies from person to person based on your hormones, your habits, your diet, and even your laundry detergent. Once a fragrance hits your skin, it changes from what it smelled like in the air or on paper because it mixes with the smell of you. People often refer to this as ‘fragrance reacting with your personal chemistry.’ You’ll feel a certain way while wearing it. This is how you get closer to finding ‘the one’ without feeling overly influenced by the name of the scent, the price, and the marketing imagery.

And what about the search for the perfect, signature scent? She says, “Even people with a rock-solid signature scent should still have a scent wardrobe for different occasions. Sort of like how you might have the perfect everyday office suit, fitted with the right fabrication and the right vibe. But, sometimes life calls for a tux.”

Buy Now
http://www.goest.us/grand-tour-edt/
West Third Brand

West Third Brand was launched in 2008 by a founder with 26 years of experience in fragrance. A creative director alumnus of Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Barney’s, Tommy Bahama and more, Michael Probst, 51, was tasked with traveling the globe in pursuit of other brands’ scents. Born out of Probst’s desire to create a niche fragrance company focused on “approachable, easy-to-wear scents,” West Third Brand was a natural and organic progression. 

“West Third Brand is truly a labor of love, sort of a personal journey with my heart on my sleeve—my desire to create beauty and share it. It is a vulnerable place to be,” Probst reveals.


West Third Brand hand-formulates and hand-pours each fragrance and bottle in Austin, Texas. The packaging is minimal and non-intrusive: Perfect for a man’s bathroom shelf. With only one founder at the helm and “a handful of people creating a kind of magic,” this self-funded business needs to be on your scent radar.

Sarah Jacobs / ONE37pm
https://www.instagram.com/sarahjake/

Midnight Cowboy

In collaboration with perfumer Lynette Reed, a fragrance artist with 20 years’ experience, West Third Brand created a simultaneously light but powerful fragrance with Midnight Cowboy. It’s perfect for a man who confidently knows who he is and wants a scent to simply accent his aura. Notes of tobacco and sandalwood are most prominent with a faint follow of faded rose, vanilla and golden amber. It smells like a gin-drinking horseback rider from HBO’s Westworld returned home for the day to relax on his wrap-around veranda in the summer breeze. It’s light but strong and would suit most everyone. 

And really, who wouldn’t want to be a Midnight Cowboy?

Buy Now
https://www.westthirdbrand.com/collections/eaudeparfum-fine-fragrance/products/eau-de-parfum-midnight-cowboy-50-ml
Sarah Jacobs / ONE37pm
https://www.instagram.com/sarahjake/

Super Musk

Stronger forward notes of musk dominate this scent, but it carries West Third Brand’s signature demure nature. With a follow through of creamy vanilla and touches of cinnamon, clove and sandalwood, this scent is layered and dimensional. It smells like a velvety speakeasy hidden in a locked vault, brimming with beautiful women and mystery. Similar to Midnight Cowboy, it is not overbearing, but instead lightly kisses your nose.



Per Probst’s recommendation, you can always purchase some sample vials to get the full experience of a fragrance mixed with your daily life.

Buy Now
https://www.westthirdbrand.com/collections/eaudeparfum-fine-fragrance/products/eau-de-parfum-super-musk-50-ml
Abbott NYC

Produced only in the New York City and upstate area, Abbott NYC draws inspiration from stimulating locations and imbues their feeling into a scent. “As a small brand, both of us end up wearing many different hats, which is a balancing act but a lot of fun,” co-founders Jose Alvarez, 36, and Michael Pass, 35, said. They treat fragrance like good wine: Delicious for all, appreciated by everyone and tested for perfection.

In addition to delivering a high-quality product, Abbott is sticking to a mission of offering clean ingredients, master perfumers and fair prices. The large-sized bottles retail for $65, a significant saving to its market counterparts.

Sarah Jacobs / ONE37pm
https://www.instagram.com/sarahjake/

Big Sky

Abbott’s fragrances begin with a beautiful and inspiring destination that the founders want to capture and “create aromatic scents that are very interesting but also clean and concise.” Noted as their most popular current scent, Big Sky is “inspired by Jose’s trips to Montana over the past year,” according to Pass. Dried vetiver, grass, cool water, some spice and fresh cypress exemplify Montana’s lake and glacier terrain. “It’s this frozen, crisp sensation that we strived to recreate in every bottle, but with a hint of a campfire, as a nod to the state’s ranching history.”

It really smells that way, too. Woodsy, but polar, the scent feels like a nostalgic day at a frozen lake, daring you to walk on the ice.


When asked what advice they’d give beginning entrepreneurs, the co-founders say, “Create a great product and keep refining it. Get as much free advice as possible from people in your space or adjacent spaces who are willing to talk to you. And be able to adapt, because things will go wrong and you’ll have to shift gears many times.”

Buy Now
https://abbottnyc.com/products/big-sky
Sarah Jacobs / ONE37pm
https://www.instagram.com/sarahjake/

Mojave

Inspired by California’s Mojave desert, this scent smells like dry sand baking in the hot sun for months. It is light and a bit citrusy, but with grounding notes of tobacco and bergamot. The box is inscribed with a latitude and longitude marking of 35°00’29.9″N 115°28’30.0″W, the coordinates for the exact middle of the Mojave National Preserve.


For these founders, being independent means saying no to consumer research, brand positioning and trends and saying yes to products they can be proud of.

Buy Now
https://abbottnyc.com/products/mojave
Commodity

Commodity, a U.K.-based fragrance brand, calls upon the knowledge of master perfumers to execute a portfolio of unisex fragrances. The result is a cruelty-free, paraben free suite of fragrances sweeping the international smell scene, with their products in 300 Sephora stores, according to Forbes. The founder, Ash Huzenlaub, 42, is a self-proclaimed outsider of the beauty industry, which led him to assemble an expert team. 

With three distinct lines of fragrance, our team gravitated toward the Platinum Collection, described as rich, luxurious and indulgent. Both of our selections sit squarely in this category.

Sarah Jacobs / ONE37pm
https://www.instagram.com/sarahjake/

Tonka

When removing Tonka from its packaging, you immediately smell this fragrance. It is a dominant scent, with powerful forward notes of almond, magnolia and sandalwood. It smells like baby’s breath, the tiny white flowers that fill your bouquets, and jazz music—a bit random, but intentional. 

Perfumer Guillaume Flavigny notes, “Rhythm and music inspire and help me create perfumes and play with sustainable raw materials to bring something different and meaningful to a fragrance. I love to play the piano, and the melodic, syncopated rhythmic patterns of jazz awaken my very personal and provocative style.”

The Venezuelan Tonka bean grants this fragrance its nomenclature and is considered “an ingredient so good, it has to be illegal.”

Buy Now
https://us.commodity.co.uk/collections/100ml-platinum-collection/products/commodity-tonka-100ml-edp
Sarah Jacobs / ONE37pm
https://www.instagram.com/sarahjake/

Orris

Stephen Nielsen created the fragrance Orris based on the orris root, the fragrant stalk of a purple iris flower (you know, the flower that Alice encounters on her way to meet the Caterpillar in Disney’s Alice in Wonderland), calling it his muse. “When I contrasted it with floral elements like iris and combined sparkling aldehydes, an unexpected, cool effervescent effect was created—an inebriating skin-like sensuality,” he says on Commodity’s website

It smells waxy, recalling memories of art class in elementary school, packed with simultaneous artistry and abandon.

Sensual is the perfect word for this fragrance. It is spicy, velvety, and borderline irresistible. There are so many top, mid and base notes at play, but the general essence is one of luxury. 

Buy Now
https://us.commodity.co.uk/collections/100ml-platinum-collection/products/commodity-orris-100ml-edp
Categories
Leaders Style

Kelly Oubre Jr. Is the NBA’s New Style God

The NBA was a very different place before Oct. 17, 2005. On that day, then-commissioner David Stern implemented his infamous dress code policy, requiring all players to wear conservative or business casual attire both before games and immediately thereafter. It was a swift and vengeful blow to the league’s incredible style, which, in hindsight, could easily be summed up by any number of Allen Iverson photos prior to fall 2005. With immediacy, however, players would have to ditch their oversized sweats, 3X tees and elongated jerseys for reluctant Steve Harvey-esque suits and ill-fitting wingtips. If any NBA player in the late 2000s had had a tailor, you’d never know it.

Now under the guidance of the much looser Adam Silver, NBA style is noticeably better than it has ever been. Pre-game walk-ins are almost as entertaining as any regular season game. Emerging from the other end of the XX tunnel are a new crop of style stars. Arguably none rank higher than Washington Wizards forward Kelly Oubre Jr.

Oubre, 22, was born and raised in New Orleans before relocating to Texas—and then Nevada—after Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc on the Gulf Coast. His origins, though, are important to note. The New York City of the South tends to breed fluid and impenetrable style. That enduring sensibility effortlessly drips from Oubre’s slender 6’7” frame. His bottom-of-the-map rockstar aesthetic tastefully accentuates the finer points of monochrome and expertly tailored, grail-worthy streetwear. It’s decades-old rock’ n’ roll edge juxtaposed against a youthful backdrop. Oubre’s style is like a good gumbo: Everything you want, nothing you don’t.

It’s that all-inclusive yet curated palette that’s made Oubre a player to watch, both before he steps foot on the floor for the Wizards and while he’s playing alongside backcourt running mates John Wall and Bradley Beal. He was the first NBA player to wear cult streetwear brand Supreme’s shooting sleeve on the court last season. Though, ever the weirdo as he often admits, Oubre wore the sleeve on his leg. That might have been the moment many took notice of the former one-and-done Kansas Jayhawks star.

Yet it was his consistency that earned him an endorsement deal unlike any other in the league.

When the very first NBA game was played back in 1946, Converse was there, as was the American-based brand’s foundational Chuck Taylor All-Star. The time-honored sporting company, largely removed from basketball for a long while, is poised to re-enter the space with Oubre as their first signee. Perfect for a moment in the league where style and performance run neck and neck with regards to cultural impact, Converse—as did many other potential suitors before Oubre decided on Converse after his Adidas deal expired—saw in Kelly what NBA fans and style aficionados recognized early on: Oubre is on his own wave.

Jerritt Clark/Getty Images

His one-of-a-kind endorsement deal reflects his ability to penetrate culture like few others. Converse, a brand which originated more than a century ago in 1908, will look to Oubre for input on brand campaigns and even product design/rollouts. His influence will be felt inside the heritage-based basketball company.

Converse, a Swoosh subsidiary, will allow Oubre to wear Nike basketball sneakers on the court while lacing up gems from their catalog during more casual settings. Oubre’s affinity for the Nike Kobe series will play out on the floor while curated Converse looks will grace the ever important walk-in looks. It’s the best of both worlds for Kelly, providing him with a freedom few players with similar endorsement deals can claim.

Another notable distinction between Kelly and his contemporaries is that his style is derived from a genuine love for fashion. And if that wasn’t clear by what he wears and how he wears it, he actually interned in Esquire’s fashion editorial department last year. His love runs deep. So much, in fact, that although he can buy just about anything he so chooses, Oubre prefers to thrift just like the rest of us. See, for Kelly style is all about feeling good, not only the brands he’s wearing. Although, when it comes time to pull off designer fits, he, too, does better than most.

While the 2017–2018 NBA season may have been a breakout style campaign for the “Wave Papi,” 2019 is guaranteed to be the year his impact strikes with its greatest force. Aided by an unparalleled Converse deal and assuredly more endorsements to come, Oubre is on his way to full-fledged fashion stardom. So whether he’s strolling through the pre-game tunnel in a steezy fur coat with black leather pants, or a Canadian tuxedo with a tie-dye tee carefully placed underneath, know that there’s thought behind those looks. Know that care was put into it. Know that you’re looking at one of the most stylish guys in the most stylish sporting league in the world.

Categories
Culture Movies/TV

#TheUnknownHustle: Donald Glover

What were you doing when you were in college? Drinking beer and, uh, drinking beer? Regardless, you definitely weren’t overachieving on the level of Donald Glover, who started writing for 30 Rock while he was still a resident advisor, or RA, in his New York University dormitory. 

Just take it from Twitter user Dominique Ariel Toney, or @domtoney, who posted, “All this Donald Glover talk reminds me of that time when he was an RA in my freshman year dorm at NYU. My roommate Marisa & I used to sneak into his programs bc he always had good snacks. Was impressed back then, and impressed to this day. Go Donald.”

Imagine finding out your RA works on the TV show you watch every week. Have you ever gone to school with anyone famous, especially Donald? And most importantly, did they have good snacks?

Categories
Entrepreneurs Grind

A Trip to a Mexican Restaurant Was the Inspiration for This Genius Invention

There are giants dominating our business landscape. Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk are revolutionary, sure, but all across the country, there are small business entrepreneurs leaping toward their dream. Here is one founder’s story.

Born out of a mundane trip to a local Mexican restaurant, entrepreneur Mike Macadaan officially found a cure for Tangled Wire Syndrome, putting a stop to moments wasted trying to unravel headphones without creating a bulbous cord knot. Headquartered in Los Angeles, Macadaan is so familiar with the setbacks of Silicon Valley workers that his leather products ingeniously solve every start-up kid’s tech accessory woes. This Is Ground launched with a Cord Taco—a taco-inspired cord organizer that buttons around your headphones and iPhone accessories—in December of 2012 and has expanded his company’s offerings to include the smartest backpacks you’ve ever seen, laptop cases that just make sense and organizers in rich leather that will simplify your life.

As for the name, Macadaan says that he “landed on This is Ground for a few reasons. One of my first jobs was with the ground crew of a blimp and I had to communicate with the pilots over a VHF radio by saying, ‘560 alpha-bravo, this is ground…’” And of course, David Bowie’s lyrics, “ground control to Major Tom…”

This Is Ground
Mike Macadaan’s Cord Taco

From a simple idea to an official Apple accessory, Macadaan has created a business worth celebrating. Take heed from his entrepreneurial advice.

Describe the “Aha!” moment when you first knew you needed to launch this business.

Mike Macadaan: I made this thing I called the Cord Taco and people were loving it on social media. I decided to apply the same thinking to other products to see if it was a formula that I could repeat and sell. The follow-up product was called the Cordito, and it did great. Both products were for sale at Apple within the first year of the business.


What was your research process like?

Macadaan: I was working in an incubator that was filled with smart entrepreneurs. Our studio was the perfect environment to bring ideas to life, so I was spoiled.



What do you love most about your job? What is the biggest struggle?

Macadaan: The product design process is very satisfying. My biggest struggle is that I like working with small teams—usually the same people over and over. This ultimately pushes everyone to their limits fairly quickly. The struggle is that when those small teams are maxed, your ability to work on several projects at once becomes very difficult.


If you could go back and teach yourself one thing before launch, what would it be?

Macadaan: To speak Italian—since Italy is where most of our products are made.

Categories
Sports Strength

How the Bay Area Is Building New Stadiums the Right Way

After decades of pro sports owners leaving local taxpayers hefty bills for new stadiums and arenas—projects that implicitly promise jobs and public benefits without actually delivering them—fanbases have gotten wise to the fact that they shouldn’t be funding any pro sports facility with public money, no matter how cool or overdue. While that awareness has led to an increase of privately funded projects, it’s also hobbled small market teams (Like the Tampa Bay Rays, for one) from improving dated facilities. But the progress for public good in this realm has been undeniable.

Yesterday, the Oakland Athletics unveiled a plan to build a new, eco-friendly stadium at Howard Terminal, one that contains a bold vision and won’t require public funding. This follows in the footsteps of the crosstown Warriors, whose Chase Center also will be privately funded. (It should also be noted that San Francisco’s AT&T Park was mostly privately funded; SF elite have money, to say the least). What’s particularly exciting about both builds is their dramatic scope; as sports become increasingly intertwined with entertainment, both facilities promise amenities—retail, dining, public space, even housing—that go far beyond the individual sporting events themselves. 

It’s an exciting development to see big, ambitious projects be privately funded from the jump, rather than having the taxpayer help a North American team owner become even wealthier. That being said, it should be interesting to watch exactly how the space around the Chase Center—and Howard Terminal, which is not a done deal because the A’s do not yet own the build site—gets developed and who exactly benefits from that. While the construction is privately funded, some aspects of the funding are not yet detailed and could still potentially saddle the taxpayer with some costs, as journalist Neil deMause outlines on his Field of Schemes blog

It’s a step in the right direction. But don’t take your eye off the ball just yet.

Categories
Careers Grind

#TheUnknownHustle: Psy

South Korean musician Psy’s viral hit “Gangnam Style” is the sixth most-watched YouTube video of all time, with over three billion views.

But Psy had no idea it was going to do that well. In fact, he told South Korean TV show Hidden Singer that he didn’t want to upload the video to YouTube because he was afraid that it wouldn’t get any clicks.

“I didn’t even know what YouTube was back then,” Psy said. “Some friends of mine told me to upload the MV, but I said that it would be a humiliation if the views were too low since I didn’t have any international fans. So, I told them, ‘Let’s not upload this.'”


His friends were persistent. Psy eventually decided to upload the video, and wedding dancefloors were forever changed.

The success of the music video led to millions in advertising money for Psy, and singlehandedly increased the value of South Korea’s music industry by $13 million. None of that would have happened if Psy had decided to play it safe and not throw the video up on YouTube.

Categories
Culture Movies/TV

Brace Yourself for Apple’s Streaming Service: A List of TV Shows It Will Debut

The video streaming world is more crowded than ever. With Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu rapidly pumping out original content, the competition is fierce and options seem limitless. Yet that hasn’t stopped newcomers from trying to enter the fray: Disney and Facebook are making plays, and web video giant YouTube—in many ways the precursor to modern streaming services—has started streaming movies for free in an attempt to siphon some of Netflix’s audience.

But by far the most intriguing company to make a move for the streaming throne is Apple, which reportedly plans to roll out is new TV subscription service in the first half of 2019. Apple’s service plans to operate similar to Amazon’s Prime Instant Video, with original programming and third party content available to stream. And while Apple hasn’t been able to break into the video streaming world yet, they certainly have the resources to make it happen (with at least a $1 billion budget).

But will Apple’s streaming service have enough compelling content to make it worth paying yet another monthly fee? Here’s a breakdown of all the shows we’re most excited to check out when Apple finally unveils its new platform.

1. Oprah‘s new shows

This is a big catch for Apple since Oprah Winfrey might be one of the most recognizable names in television, period. Apple signed the former TV host and media conglomerate to a multi-year deal to develop new shows. “Together, Winfrey and Apple will create original programs that embrace her incomparable ability to connect with audiences around the world. Winfrey’s projects will be released as part of a lineup of original content from Apple,” the company said in a statement. Beyond that, we don’t know much about the projects. Will Oprah star in them, or simply serve as the creator? It’s unclear, but having her name attached to the launch of a new streaming service is a huge win. 

2. Steven Spielberg’s ‘Amazing Stories’

This show is a reboot of Steven Spielberg’s Emmy-winning 1980s anthology series Amazing Stories, which only ran for two years. The reboot will be handled by showrunners Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis, who created ABC’s Once Upon A Time. The show will have a budget of $5 million per episode, reports The Wall Street Journal, and Spielberg will serve as executive producer.

3. Futuristic drama series ‘See’

See is a futuristic drama series written by Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight and directed by Francis Lawrence, who also helmed The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and the following two Mockingjay films. Deadline reports the series is about a “future when the human race has lost the sense of sight, and society has had to find new ways to interact, to build, to hunt, to survive. All of that is challenged when a set of twins with sight is born.”

4. Sesame Workshop’s shows

Don’t worry—if you make the switch from Netflix to Apple, your kids will still have something to watch. The studio behind Sesame Street announced two new shows launching with Apple, one animated and one live-action, according to The New York Times. No word yet on whether Cookie Monster will be on either show, or how he’ll feel being associated with “Apple.”

5. Star-studded morning show drama with Steve Carell

One of the most buzzed about Apple shows is this star-studded drama about the world of morning news shows, based on CNN reporter Brian Stelter‘s 2013 book Top of the Morning, about morning show rivalries. It will star Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, who will also serve as executive producers, according to Deadline. It will also star Steve Carell and is being written by Bates Motel co-creator Kerry Ehrin.

6. Comedy series from Rob McElhenney and Charlie Day

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia masterminds Rob McElhenney and Charlie Day are developing a new show about guys working in the video game industry, according to Variety. If it’s any bit as outrageous as it sounds, part Always Sunny and part Silicon Valley, then this could be a top-notch comedy on Apple’s streaming service, starring two recognizable stars from a respected cult series.

7. ‘La La Land’ director Damien Chazelle’s new series

Writer and director Damien Chazelle is creating a fresh series for Apple, according to The New York Times. The filmmaker is best known for his critically-acclaimed musical La La Land and drama Whiplash. It’s also not his first time working with a streaming service. Chazelle is also the executive producer of Netflix’s upcoming series The Eddy, about a Paris jazz club.

8. Crime series with Octavia Spencer and Aaron Paul

This one is a tad meta: It’s a TV show based on a book about a podcast. According to Variety, Are You Sleeping? is being adapted from a novel about true crime podcasts by Kathleen Barber, about a reporter named Poppy Parnell (played by The Help and Hidden Figures actress Octavia Spencer) who’s investigating the innocence of convicted murderer Warren Cave (played by Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul). This show has a timely subject matter and stellar cast, so it’ll be exciting to see show creator Nichelle Tramble Spellman bring it all together.

9. M. Night Shyamalan’s thriller series

Apple has also ordered a thriller series from M. Night Shyamalan, of “Bruce Willis was actually dead the whole time” fame, according to Variety. The show will be written by Tony Basgallop, who wrote Jack Bauer reboots like 24: Live Another Day and 24: Legacy. The series will be 10 episodes, at 30 minutes each. No word yet on the show’s plot.

10. Space drama from ‘Battlestar Galactica’ creator

Streaming services: the final frontier. Oh wait, that’s space. Luckily, Apple has decided to combine the two, ordering a space drama from Ronald D. Moore, writer on the critically heralded remake of Battlestar Galactica, according to Deadline. The show will be produced by Matt Wolpert and Ben Nedivi, the brains behind FX’s Fargo. Moore is also known for his work on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Categories
Grind Productivity

7 Songs to Amp Up Your Productive Work Day

Your work soundtrack, whether you’re trying to get in the zone in the morning or help stave off the midday slump, is a crucial part of any workday. Everyone has the jams they need to help crank up the productivity, and it goes without saying that everyone’s taste in music can be drastically different. 

So what are the best songs to help you seize the day? The ONE37pm editorial team has a few ideas. 

“Althea” by The Grateful Dead

You can’t listen to the Dead and be stressed out, those two things just don’t co-exist. If I’m ever feeling overwhelmed at work I just put on “Althea” and my blood pressure immediately lowers. Life becomes easy. All of a sudden it’s Sunday morning and everything’s fine. In 2017 it was my most-listened-to song on Spotify — which means it’s a great work song, and that my stress levels were off the charts.

“Waves” by Dean Lewis

I need calm, peaceful music to focus on work tasking like writing. Dean Lewis’ sumptuous voice is like honey flowing from the jar. “Waves” is one of those that you can listen on repeat, and not realize you’ve heard the same chorus 800 times. (In the process of writing this explanation, I started listening to this song, and #tbh I already feel better.)

“Nights” by Frank Ocean

Listening to this song’s lyrics really gets to me. There are lots of songs that you feel like the artist is literally talking about you or something you’ve been through, and this one takes the cake for me. The bridge and beat-switch make the song sound like two completely different tracks, which honestly is refreshing. “Nights” helps me focus because you can play it on repeat when it is time to get busy.

“We Major” by Kanye West feat. Nas and Really Doe

For starters, the production and instrumentals on this track are unbelievable. It creates a heroic, “finally-finishing-the-marathon-or-race” vibe that motivates me to up the ante in my work production. Secondly, Nas annihilated his verse, reminding everyone that after 20+ years in the game, he’s still amongst the most gifted lyricists in the music industry. Finally, Kanye’s performance and epic shit-talking at the end of the song are why I and all true G.O.O.D. Music fans can agree: we missed “the old Kanye.” 

“Electric Relaxation” by A Tribe Called Quest

The name of the song tells you all you need to know about this one. A Tribe Called Quest is famous for its jazzy beats and were true pioneers for this style of hip-hop in an era that was densely populated by gangsta rap. Q-Tip and Phife Dawg trade verses throughout the song, with Tip providing his trademark poetic bars that set the scene and Phife delivering the punchlines.

Containing a sample of “Mystic Brew” by Ronnie Foster, “Electric Relaxation” is the perfect song to ease you into the groove when you need to get shit done.

“To Build A Home” by The Cinematic Orchestra

Is there anything better than a six-minute orchestral piece of music to get you over that last hump of work? I think no. 

You’ll recognize this song from a number of films and TV shows, and it is still as special as that first time you heard it. Sit back, crank the volume, and pretend you’re in your own movie montage where frames are rapidly spliced together to show the passing of time (and the rapid shrinkage of that pile of papers on your desk). 

“Ambient 1: Music for Airports” by Brian Eno

My mind, how she races. A lot of times I’ll use music to help me focus, but choosing a song to work to can be a delicate task. Too many lyrics and I can’t hear my own thoughts. Too much going on musically and my brain waves scramble. I love Steely Dan, but listening to those licks can be a full-time job all by itself.

Enter: Ambient music. Specifically, the intro track on Brian Eno’s “Ambient 1: Music For Airports.” The very first bars seem designed to induce slow, nostril inhalation. There is enough room to let your thoughts bloom, but enough happening to keep you from opening another tab. And, it’s incredibly relaxing. The album, as you might have guessed from the title, was originally conceived by Eno as a means to ease air travelers’ anxieties. If it’s good enough for an overcrowded airport, it’s good enough for a barrage of Slack notifications.

Categories
Careers Grind

This Japanese Company Will Pay You to Sleep (Seriously)

Need a reason to go to bed instead of staying up and watching one (read: four) more episode of Game of Thrones? If you worked at Crazy, Inc, a Japanese wedding planning company, you would have a pretty good one: Money.


The company uses smart mattresses to track employees’ sleep cycles. If workers get six hours of shuteye, five nights a week, they can earn “points” to spend on things like food in the office—and those points can stack up to be worth $570 a year, according to Bloomberg. Making money while you sleep? Not too shabby.


How much sleep are you getting a night? Would you want to work for a company that was tracking your sleep? Tuck yourself into the comments.