Culture Music

How YOUNG036 is Leveraging TikTok in His Music Career

Within the music industry, TikTok can make an artist explode at exponential rates. This is the case with the Fort Worth, Texas-based artist named YOUNG036. Young is currently a junior at Texas State, where he is running OHTHREESIX! Media and managing his music career. YOUNG began seeing traction when his song “Sorority! began to blow up on TikTok during Alabama’s rush week. The song was released in October 2018 but started to catch waves recently, all thanks to TikTok in 2020.

In an interview with the College Chicks Chapel Podcast, he stated that Indiana’s Gamma Phi sorority created a TikTok dance using his song “Sorority.” The TikTok eventually went viral, attributing to YOUNG’s emerging success. He continued to build leverage by releasing “Gphi-Anthem,” which he noted was a song to thank them for helping his music blow up. 

Additionally, YOUNG released the Zeta Anthem with “6 Zetas In This Benz!” The track reached over two hundred thousand plays on Spotify. This led to nearly four thousand videos created using this sound within TikTok. These TikToks were made following the release of Greek Week! and Greek Week! (Deluxe). These two projects are filled with catchy sorority and college anthems. Check out this TikTok below that blew up on the platform, receiving over one hundred thousand likes.

Another wave started around the same time Alabama’s rush week continued to gain traction across TikTok and even within the mainstream media. Alabama’s Zeta Tau Alpha sorority began to use his song “Where Them ZTAs At.” The song caused several of the sisters of the sorority to post them using this song. Furthermore, over two thousand videos were created using this sound. YOUNG even went to Alabama to join the sorority at a Loud Luxury event. The ZTA roll-call was another factor that helped YOUNG reach over sixteen thousand followers on TikTok. Tune in to this TikTok below of the ZTAs using this song, getting nearly four hundred thousand likes and millions of views.

We talked to YOUNG in an exclusive interview to talk about the success of his music, TikTok, and more. 

ONE37pm: How did it feel about going viral on TikTok and having that much support?

It was kind of surprising I never thought it would get this big, so when it did, I didn’t really know what to do; I had to restructure the way I made music to accommodate for what was happening.

ONE37pm: Which song was your favorite to make when creating the Greek Week! album?

“3 A.M. in College Station,” that beat is so different, and I love what I put on it. I constantly challenge myself when it comes to music.

ONE37pm: With the success you’ve seen on TikTok, how do you think emerging artists should approach TikTok?

There is such a dumb stigma from being a “TikTok rapper” that it turns away artists from using the platform, but this platform caused many artists to blow up and do things that probably would take years to otherwise. Like YoungChris, he is still in high school and was in the studio with Freddie Gibbs and Rick Ross because of Tiktok ONLY. So I say use it to the best of your ability and don’t care what other people think, because as an independent, you HAVE to use every tool to your advantage; you’re competing with multi-million-dollar labels. People hold themselves back in music because they think there is a sure way to come up. There’s not.

ONE37pm: What’s next for your career/music? Anything special that you’re working on?

We are working on this college experience where we get DJs and artists all together to invite the community and throw a massive party. I want to work with fraternities and find sponsors to go to the enormous party schools and throw huge shows. However, that’s a lot of logistics, and it will take some work,

I have a whole college album coming out. I had to delay it because of everything that’s going on right now. I am also working on making roll calls for sororities and fraternities.

This one trend that YOUNG successfully developed shows alone how powerful TikTok is as a platform. If you are an aspiring artist, be sure to keep posting TikToks consistently and keeping up with the latest trends. This is evident with YOUNG, as he is beginning to make a splash on Spotify and continue his success on TikTok. Be sure to keep an eye out for YOUNG, as we’re sure this isn’t the last time you’ll be hearing about him. 

Culture Movies/TV

‘The Many Saints of Newark’ Is a Welcome Addition to ‘The Sopranos’ Legacy

Those looking for a Tony Soprano origin story might be a tad bit disappointed in The Many Saints of Newark, a prequel film to the legendary HBO series The Sopranos. However, what they get in return is something more; whether that’s a good or a bad thing is up to the viewer.

Set many years before Tony Soprano takes his first on-screen bite of gabagool, The Many Saints of Newark provides a glimpse, albeit tiny, into the legendary and monstrous mob boss’s early days.

Per Warner Brothers:

“Young Anthony Soprano is growing up in one of the most tumultuous eras in Newark‘s history, becoming a man just as rival gangsters begin to rise up and challenge the all-powerful DiMeo crime family’s hold over the increasingly race-torn city. Caught up in the changing times is the uncle he idolizes, Dickie Moltisanti, who struggles to manage both his professional and personal responsibilities—and whose influence over his nephew will help make the impressionable teenager into the all-powerful mob boss we’ll later come to know: Tony Soprano.”

The Many Saints of Newark is a welcome return to familiar territory for fans of the show. Besides Tony Soprano—played by the late James Gandolfini’s son Michael—plenty of characters from The Sopranos reappear here, including Tony’s mother Livia (Vera Farmiga), his uncle Junior (Corey Stolz), as well as his loyal fellow mobsters, Silvio Dante (John Magaro), and Paulie Walnuts (Billy Magnussen).

It introduces characters such as Dickie Moltisanti (Alessandro Nivola) and Tony’s father, Johnny Boy (Jon Bernthal), who are only mentioned on the show as they are long since deceased by the time The Sopranos takes place.

While Tony and the other characters from the show are present, they appear merely in a supporting role, with Nivola’s Dickie taking center stage as the protagonist of this story.

It is a smart move by series creator David Chase, as the focus is on expanding this universe and not keeping it constrained to what has already happened.

By helping clear up the mystery that surrounds Dickie Moltisanti, it also contributes to the growth and character development of his son Christopher, a supporting character of The Sopranos. Christopher is burdened by the legend of Dickie, and it is here that we get to see it explored.

This also helps the movie strengthen the foundations and themes of The Sopranos, which is considered one of, if not the greatest TV show of all time.

Warner Brothers/HBO

Many of the themes of The Sopranos are present throughout the film as well.

What does it mean to live up to the idea of one’s father? Do we carry the same sins as them? Or are we free to live as who we choose to be?

Given that Tony’s father was in prison for much of his formative years, Dickie takes the mantle of Tony’s mentor instead and, given that Dickie knows no other life, does not do much to steer Tony away from this “thing of ours.” Tony wants to go to college, play football (although I never thought he had the makings of a varsity athlete), and try to avoid the criminal lifestyle.

And although we know where things lead for him, it’s obvious that, at least at first, he does not want to follow in Dickie and his father’s footsteps.

This idea of legacy feeds into one of the other core tenets of the show and fuels the central conflict: Pride, and more specifically, how that sin contributes to one’s downfall.

Many characters on the show and in the film are embodiments of pride and toxic masculinity, most notably Uncle Junior, who, without spoiling anything, bears a growing resentment towards Dickie for a perceived and trivial slight. No man in this world of mobsters can be seen as weak, and if they make that mistake, it can ruin them.

Warner Brothers/HBO

The Many Saints of Newark uses a city in turmoil as the landscape for the story it tells. It begins in 1966, right as Newark is embroiled in one of the worst race riots in the country’s history, caused by the unjust arrest and beating of John William Smith, a black cab driver, by the Newark police department.

Harold McBrayer (Leslie Odom Jr.) begins the film as Dickie’s runner and employee of sorts but gradually grows to become his enemy as Harold yearns to start a criminal empire of his own. As a black man, Harold’s partnership with Dickie does not sit well with the mafia, who still harbor racist attitudes towards Newark’s black population. 

It is here where the film falls short, though. Harold longs to become the king of the Newark criminal underworld as the mob is pushed out, but it’s never explored more than that. His character serves as little more than a foil for Dickie and his personal life, and by the time the movie ends, you find yourself wondering why this plotline exists in the first place.

The film’s runtime clocks in at around two hours, but it is in this case where it could have used an extra 20 or so minutes to dive a little further into the motivations of Harold and his crew.

Warner Brothers/HBO

It is the performances of The Many Saints of Newark that carry the film. Vera Farmiga, Alessandro Nivola, Leslie Odom Jr., and Michael Gandolfini are all fantastic in their roles, with Farmiga perhaps being the best of all of them.

From her voice to her mannerisms and attitude and almost hatred for her children, she nails everything about who Livia Soprano was.

Gandolfini had the most challenging task, who, much like his on-screen character, had to live up to the legacy his father left behind. He is more than up to it, though. Tony is angry; he is rebellious but intelligent and a leader, something that Michael can embody just like his father did.

He won’t be visiting Dr. Melfi for many years, so Tony is forced to struggle with his issues and deal with a world that tells him that his mental health is not a priority.

Warner Brothers/HBO

Fans of The Sopranos, myself among them, will certainly enjoy The Many Saints of Newark. There are easter eggs throughout including, of course, a backroom meeting at Satriale’s but they don’t weigh down the story with simple fan service. They are simply the cherry on top of a story that exists all on its own.

By the time the show’s theme song hits (which gave me goosebumps), you might think “does this movie need to exist?” Maybe not, but you definitely won’t be mad that it does.

Culture Music

A Dive Into Friday Santana’s “Alone in Tokyo” Project

As we consistently look for new music and artists to listen to, we have found ourselves in the land down under. Australia’s Friday Santana is beginning to buzz with his contemporary R&B tracks and lyricism. Friday Santana accompanies his listeners through music about previous toxic relationships, drugs, love, and the heartbreak which follows. 

Santana began releasing music back in 2018 with the initial release of “Evil Girls.” The track, over time, began to gain traction and now has over four hundred thousand plays. Additionally, the song also has three hundred thousand views on YouTube under the Promoting Sounds music platform. The reaction from the song was nothing short of positive and reassuring that Santana’s career will flourish with hard work and persistence. 

Comments included “Fire song and the first one I’ve heard from this guy,” “Love this! You always kill it with the song choices,” and “I found another masterpiece.” The song uses the same sample from Sting’s “Shape Of My Heart.” This sample is the same song from Juice WRLD’s infamous song “Lucid Dreams.” 

Santana’s initial releases eventually led him to collaborate with Ski Mask The Slump God and Traedakidd on “Uh Uh.” The song quickly gained popularity on Spotify, gaining over four hundred thousand streams. While the music was initially recorded in early 2018, it was released until October 2019. The song features a catchy, bouncy rhythm. Quick rhymes from both Ski Mask, Santana, and Traekidd leave a solid impression on the listener. Be sure to tune in below! 

In 2021, Santana released “Thinkin Bout You,” his lead-up single before releasing his album. This song is a slow, reminiscent song full of references to The Weeknd’s “Wicked Games.” The track, in particular, solidifies Santana’s effort to stay within the R&B-sphere of music. As a result, the song gained over one hundred thousand plays within weeks of its release.  

Following the success of the single, Santana released his debut project Alone in Tokyo. This project is a fourteen-track project that goes through the woes of a failed relationship and loneliness. In “All I Know,” with Sy Ari Da Kid, the track features a lonely Santana singing over a tight percussion-heavy beat. Sy Ari Da Kid and his voice compliment each other well, as Ari provides some clever rhymes that fit the track’s theme. In the song “Only One,” you can hear a vulnerable Santana preaching about losing his mind and not wanting the subject to waste his time. 

On the track “Charlie D’amelio,” the underlying beat is a quick, catchy melody. Santana shows off his versatility on this track with his hybrid style of rapping and singing that is hard to replicate. Furthermore, on “Save Me” with Jimmy Levy, Santana’s powerful vocal performance assists in landing a resonating message that the listener may find relatable. Be sure to tune in below! 

A factor that helps contribute to Santana’s career is the mysterious persona that surrounds his brand. Friday Santana has amassed a large following across social media, with nearly two hundred fifty hundred thousand followers on Instagram, but will archive old posts to shift focus on the next project or release. His clever lyrics matched with a unique delivery style helps him stand out amongst playlists and new listeners. 

Be sure to tune in if you haven’t heard of Friday Santana yet!

Culture Movies/TV

Everything You Need to Know About Robert Pattinson’s ‘The Batman’

With Matt Reeves’ interpretation of the famous Batman character only six months away, The Batman will include a version of the character we have never seen on the big screen before. Here I will give you a few things you will want to know not only before the movie, which releases March 4th, 2022, but the first official trailer, which releases in just under four weeks at DC Fan Dome on October 16th. 

The most important thing to note is the tone of this movie. The film’s director, Matt Reeves, constantly talks about the state of mind that Bruce Wayne (Robert Pattinson) will have through this film and the torment that the villain, The Riddler (played by Paul Dano), will put him through. Not only will this movie dive into the psychological aspects of what makes Bruce Wayne Batman, but it will also tackle the identity crisis Bruce goes through while having to be two completely different people. 

hoping that since Reeves is taking inspiration from the Batman: The Long Halloween comic, this movie will primarily take a detective route. It promises to show a closer relationship with Jim Gordon (played by Jeffrey Wright), which is mainly the reason for the more grounded villain choice. Early screeners are calling this movie “dark, scary, and like a horror movie.” The film is also being said to be super graphic, but Batman still doesn’t kill.

Early Screeners Breakdown

Though The Long Halloween is one of the comics that inspired this movie, the primary source material is Batman: Year One

This comic dives deep into the corruption within Gotham and how Batman faces an uphill battle against politicians and high-level citizens. We have never had a Batman on the big screen who faces such grounded issues while keeping the detective tones and being brutal without killing, so this iteration is going to be one like never before.

​​“I felt that we’ve seen lots of origin stories. It seems things go further and further into fantasy, and I thought, well, one place we haven’t been is grounding it in the way that Year One does, to come right into a young Batman, not being an origin tale, but referring to his origins and shaking him to his core,” Reeves said at DC Fan Dome.

Another super exciting thing about this movie is that these characters won’t just be here for one movie. From insiders, we know that they are planning a Batman 2 and 3, and Warner Brothers have already greenlit two spin-off shows within this world of Gotham, showing the fans that they have a lot of faith in this project they are committing to it for the long run. 

The first spin-off show is a GCPD show. Commissioner Jim Gordon leads the Gotham City Police Department, and in these movies and shows, he is played by Jeffrey Wright. From what we can see in the first teaser trailer the Batman and Jim Gordon have a very close relationship which hints even more towards the fact that this universe will be super grounded. Commissioner Gordon also has a daughter named Barbara, aka Batgirl, who will be getting her own movie on HBO Max, and Leslie Grace will play the hero.

“Gotham is a character in a way we haven’t seen before,” Pattinson said. 

The second show that was just recently reported to be greenlit is a show following the Penguin. Colin Farrell plays the Penguin, but he only has 4-6 scenes in The Batman, according to the actor. This information has led many fans to speculate that he will be the main villain in the 2nd or 3rd movie, and his character will be fleshed out in his show. All of these spin-off shows will be going directly to HBOMax.

A Look at the Spinoffs

Though I mentioned this slightly before, the cast for this movie is also absolutely insane. Robert Pattinson is making his return to Hollywood in the leading role of Batman. The cast also includes Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, Paul Dano as the Riddler, Jeffrey Wright is playing Commissioner Jim Gordon, Colin Farrell as Penguin, Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth, and the list goes on.

The Batman 2022 is set up for greatness, and the first official trailer will be coming out October 16th at DC Fan Dome, along with a teaser trailer for Black Adam, The Flash, and a sizzle reel for Shazam 2 and Aquaman 2

Culture News

The Past Week In Crypto Adoption News: September 15th to 22nd

Welcome to the new edition of “The Past Week in Crypto Adoption,” a weekly recap of companies, institutions, organizations, and individuals who are beginning to adopt crypto as a payment/work platform. With the crypto industry becoming more and more dynamic, this weekly report is meant to help you stay in the loop. The last few days saw crypto becoming more mainstream, implemented by some of the world’s most prominent organizations across different industries.

1. AMC will accept Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash

Movie theater chain AMC will accept crypto as payment for tickets. This was announced by the company’s CEO, Adam Aron. The change is expected to go into effect by the end of 2021. AMC is one of the biggest movie theater chains in the world, therefore this represents another major milestone for crypto. 

2. Philadelphia 76ers will be sponsored by

The Philadelphia 76ers announced that they will be sponsored by is a cryptocurrency exchange that has sponsorships in Formula 1, Canadian Hockey League, Paris Saint Germain, the UFC and now in the NBA—specifically with the Philadelphia 76ers.The deal was announced on social media, and is worth a reported $10 million.

3. PayPal UK will enable customers to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash

PayPal, one of the world’s biggest finance apps, will now allow its users who live in the United Kingdom to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies. This was announced by PayPal itself on social media, along with instructional videos. Users will be able to buy as little as 1 Pound worth of cryptocurrency. This move from PayPal marks a new phase of adoption from financial institutions, and is likely to increase mainstream adoption to new levels. 

4. Robinhood is debuting its crypto wallet in early 2022

Stock and crypto trading app Robinhood is debuting its crypto wallet in 2022. The company announced its new product/feature on its blog. Christine Brown, the company’s Chief Operating Officer, stated: “We’ll be giving people from the waitlist access first, and then we’ll have general availability out to 100$ by early 2022.” Robinhood is one of the biggest trading apps in the world, so a crypto wallet with its brand name will most likely be an added value for its users, but also the crypto market in general.

5. El Salvador’s Bitcoin wallet has reached 1.1 million users, 17% of the population

Chivo, El Salvador’s BTC wallet, has reached 1.1 million users. This was announced by the President of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele. This number represents 17% of the total population in the country. What makes this even more impressive is the fact that 70% of the population is unbanked, so the fact that Chivo has managed this level of success so quickly shows that there is potential for a large number of daily BTC users. 

Culture Music

Certified Lover Boy Makes Its Way To TikTok

We’ve got another round of viral TikTok challenges coming in your direction because as you all know, TikTok never ever ever stops. There’s been plenty of action in the entertainment and music world over the past few weeks, and now the trends are finally starting to catch on. Some are obvious, while others you probably didn’t see coming at all. You know we love fun surprises, and we also love TikTok challenges this time of the year because we’re forced to tap into our creative sides since outside is…dark early and cold. We’ve still got a few more weeks before that starts happening, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to sharpen on our skills. Let’s see what’s poppin.

1. “Way 2 Sexy” – Drake

Think back to the night Certified Lover Boy was released. You said you weren’t going to like this song. You also said it wouldn’t get stuck in your head. You were wrong, and you were in denial about just how catchy this track is. This isn’t the only CLB song that’s doing well on both the Billboard Hot 100 and TikTok, but it is arguably the most impactful. Whether you want to create a dance routine or lip synch the lyrics, you’ll come out of this challenge ten times sexier. 

2. “You Are Enough” – Sleeping At Last

Let’s take a minute to rewind back to 2014, the era of feel good songs and believing “every little thing was gonna be alright.” This was a fun time in the music industry (think early Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, Sam Smith, etc), and Sleeping At Last’s single “You Are Enough” was a positive affirmation that we are indeed enough. Life is about appreciating the small things and cherishing the moments with your loved ones. In this challenge, TikTok users are embracing this song as a way to share their love for people in their lives.

3. “Girls Want Girls”- Drake

We told you guys earlier that Champagne Papi wasn’t letting his grip off the music industry with Certified Lover Boy, and his “Girls Want Girls’ ‘collaboration with Lil Baby has created yet another challenge on the app. This track has emerged as part of a trend in which users focus on the lyrics, “I don’t know.” No pun intended, but we don’t exactly know what to do during that exact part of the song as it appears to be freestyled. It seems like it’s up to the individual creator, so we’ll let you make the call on that one.

4. “Vacation Bible School”- Ayesha Erotica

According to YouTube, this song first appeared on the internet sometime towards the end of 2018. Three years later it’s making a comeback, and now the song is being used across a variety of content genres on TikTok. There are no rules to this challenge, you create the rules.

That’s it for this week. Be sure to tune in next week for another update in what’s going on in the world of TikTok.

Culture Music

Midwxst Just Dropped His “BACK IN ACTION” EP

Midwxt, known by friends and family as Edgar Sarratt III, is an eighteen-year-old Indiana-based artist. Midwxst began to grow a following with the release of “Trying,” a blend of hyperpop and rap which gave him a whole new lease on life. Midwxst states that he draws inspiration from artists such as Kanye West, Pierre Bourne, Frank Ocean, and Porter Robinson, to name a few. These artists, all stemming from various genres, have led Midwxst to create a unique sound that is bound to make him a superstar. 

Midwxst looks to serve his audience with his playful energy and vibe. This is done through his unique production and beat selection, from electronic, pop, and hip-hop to create one secular sound. Midwxst’s unique brand contributed to him gaining a cult-like following within the past year, gaining tens of thousands of fans across TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter and helping his music reach the ears of millions of listeners.

Midwxst only began his journey in his music career relatively recently. His debut single “Liar” was released in 2020. The song features an acoustic guitar that is at the forefront of the track. The track is complemented by Midwxst’s raw vocal performance on the music. Although Midwxst shows off his acoustic capabilities on this track, Midwxst persistently developed a new sound. 

Midwxst’s standout song “Trying” blew up in 2020, gaining over 4,000,000 streams on Spotify alone. The song features stunning and attention-grabbing verses on the production of the track. The piece incorporates quick electronic-drawn elements mixed with tight basslines, bright synths, and even sawtooth fillers – an exciting and unique composition that fills the whole spectrum. 

The music video for “Trying” was released in March 2021 and has gained nearly one million views since its release. The aesthetically pleasing visuals compliments what Midwxst’s trying to convey within his music and brand. Be sure to check out the video below! 

In August, Midwxst released “Tic Tac Doe,” a clever hip-hop song that draws elements from old-school video game sound effects, bouncing 808s, and ear-catching synths. The song has gained over half a million streams on Spotify and over one hundred thousand views on the official music video within one month. 

It was recently announced that Midwxst would be releasing an EP on Friday, September 24th, entitled Back In Action. The EP will contain eight tracks and include collaborators including Baby Santana, Slump6s, ka$shdami, and ericdoa. Additionally, Midwxst announced he would be going back on tour for the Back In Action Tour. He’s kicking off the tour with a performance at Brooklyn’s Baby’s All Right with up-and-comers Yung Fazo and WolfFaceJoey. Midwxst will continue to perform in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Las Vegas from October to November.

Update: The EP dropped early on all platforms! Be sure to tune in below!

Be sure to keep an eye out for this buzzing artist and catch him at a show if he’s performing in a city near you!

Culture Trading Cards

Top 7 Sales from Goldin Auctions First Non-Sports Auction

Saturday, September 18th marked the close of Goldin Auctions’ first ever non-sports auction, featuring collectibles such as rare comic books, trading card games and video games.

“The interest in comic books, trading card games and video games has exploded into the mainstream in the last decade and the collector appetite is incredible.” said Ken Goldin, Executive Chairman and Founder of Goldin Auctions. “We’re also seeing the enthusiasm for superhero movies translating into surging popularity for comic books, which was reflected in our record-breaking Thor, Avengers and Superman sales.”

The list below illustrates the top seven sales, kicking off with a record breaking seven-figure sale of the iconic “Caped Crusader”.

1. 1940 D.C. Comics Batman #1 $1,476,000
Grade: CGC 8.0 with “White Pages”
Goldin Auctions

Released in March of 1940, this is Batman’s first solo title. The cover is one of the most iconic covers in all of comics. CGC, a company that specializes in grading comic books for over 20 years, graded this book a 8.0 meaning, the comic has great eye appeal, moderate defect or an accumulation of small defects.

There are only (6) of this comic graded as high as a CGC 8.0, illustrating it’s extreme rarity in this condition! It is the 1st Appearance of The Joker and Catwoman, two of Batman’s classic villains. The $1.47 million dollar price tag represents the all-time record for this comic in this grade.

The comic is known for the battle between Batman and Hugo Strange where Batman ended the battle by killing the monsters. This caused backlash from the readers and forced DC to change how Batman was portrayed. For the next 80 years, Batman would be there to protect Gotham City.

2. 1996 N64 Super Mario 64 $799,500
Grade: Wata 9.8/A++
Goldin Auctions

Released in September of 1996, Super Mario 64 is the first Mario game to introduce 3D gameplay. It was extremely popular, with over 11 million copies sold.

This game is considered to be one of the best video games ever. Super Mario 64, developed and published by Nintendo, completely revolutionized the Super Mario Bros. brand. This particular game was graded by WATA and was given a 9.8 with A++ seal rating. WATA is a company that specializes in grading, authenticating and protecting video games. This is one of the most pristine copies in existence! 

3. 1962 Marvel Comics “Amazing Fantasy” #15 $707,250
Grade: CGC 8.5
Goldin Auctions

This iconic collectible was created by comic icons Stan Lee and Steve Ditko introducing the tale of Peter Parker, a 16-year-old high school student from Queens who gets bitten by a radioactive spider.

Yes, this is the very 1st Appearance of Spider-Man!

Spider-Man was the first teenager to be a standalone hero in the Marvel Universe and ranks as one of the most popular Marvel superheroes. This book is also the 1st Appearance of Uncle Ben & Aunt May – which play a huge role in Spider-Man’s life.

This book, in this grade, is something you do not see everyday and is a part of history!

4. 1985 NES Nintendo (USA) Super Mario Bros. $676,500
Grade: WATA 9.2/A
Goldin Auctions

This is one of the most iconic video games ever produced, as it’s the first game in the Super Mario Bros series. This is what kicked off the Mario we know today. It was one of the most popular NES games to ever be released with more than 55 million copies sold, the 6th highest selling game ever.

This game was graded by WATA as a 9.2 with an “A” seal rating. This sale is an all time record for the game, in this grade!

5. 2002 Konami Yu-Gi-Oh Legend of Blue Eyes White Dragon 1st Edition Case $584,250
Factory Sealed
Goldin Auctions

Coming in at number five is a 1st Edition factory case of Yu-Gi-Oh! Legend of Blue Eyes White Dragon.

The sealed case holds 12 booster boxes. This was the first set in the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game, released in 2002. This is a true holy grail in the Yu-Gi-Oh! world. For comparison, this is similar to the 1999 Pokémon 1st Edition Booster Box. There were 126 cards in the set, highlighted by Blue-Eyes White Dragon, Dark Magician, Raigeki, Black Hole, and Pot of Greed.

6. 1991 SEGA Genesis (USA) Sonic the Hedgehog $430,500
Grade: WATA 9.4/A
Goldin Auctions

This game was released in June of 1991 and was a huge success, loved for its visuals, audio, and gameplay, launching the Sonic franchise with over 15 million sold.

Sonic the Hedgehog also helped boost SEGA into the marketplace, becoming a competitor with Super Nintendo. This particular copy was graded by WATA and given a 9.4 with an A seal rating – illustrating its immaculate condition.

7. 1963 Marvel Comics Avengers #1 $369,000
Grade: CGC 9.6
Goldin Auctions

Without this comic, there would be no Marvel Universe, as this was the first appearance of the Avengers.

This historic debut features the original Avengers team consisting of Thor, The Hulk, Iron Man, Ant-Man, and the Wasp, ironically brought together by the threat of Loki. The story was written by comic book legend Stan Lee, with the cover and art illustrated by Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers.

This copy was graded a 9.6 by CGC, meaning a very well-preserved collectible with several minor manufacturing or handling defects. The population report for this grade is 5, with none graded higher, making this book the most pristine copy in existence!

Culture Music

Get to Know Icewear Vezzo Before “Rich Off Pints 2” Drops on Sept 29th

Hailing from Detroit’s six-mile is thirty-one-year-old Icewear Vezzo, an artist beginning to prosper from years of hard work. Vezzo started his music career in 2012, shortly after he released his first mixtape, The Clarity, in April of 2013. The sixteen-track EP features fellow Detroit artists of Team Eastside, including Babyface Ray, Dame, Snoop, and Peezy. 

Vezzo is coming off his latest release, “Know the Difference,” featuring Lil Baby, released at the end of August. The song quickly gained millions of streams on Spotify and recently passed one million views as well. Tune in to the hard-hitting music below. 

In 2021, Vezzo was featured in “Captain Crunch” off of Trippie Redd’s Trip At Knight. The song also featured the likes of Sada Baby and Babyface Ray. The song quickly gained traction, gaining over three million streams. Additionally, Vezzo hopped on “Up The Sco” with Chicago’s Lil Durk. Throughout the years, Vezzo has continuously delivered on his projects and collaborations with fellow Detroit artists. These consistent collaborations are helping contribute to the success of Icewear Vezzo. 

Since the release of The Clarity in 2013, Vezzo has released seventeen additional mixtapes and albums. One major contributing factor of these long-form releases is that The Clarity is a hexalogy, containing a staggering number of songs totaling over one hundred, roughly 18 songs per mixtape. The embodiment of Vezzo’s grind is a testament to what an artist can accomplish with pure persistence alone.

As far as talent goes, Vezzo’s unique sound and street lyrics catch the listener’s ears for its authenticity. If this wasn’t evident with Vezzo’s past releases, it sure is with his latest album Rich Off Pints. The eighteen-track project contains features from EST Gee, Trippie Redd, Lil Yatchy, Dreezy, and a lot more. This album pays homage to Detroit, with Vezzo preaching about the adversity he overcame to get where he is now. 

The project’s standout song “Choppy Talk” is an exemplary track for songwriting and delivery. Vezzo sets the tone instantly with the chorus at the beginning of the song. Vezzo spits, “I’m a lean sippin’, pill poppin’, dread-headed real rasta. Chopper, shooter, hitter, they gon’ have to find real doctors. Got my nephew with me, he just wanna rob and kill something.” This catchy articulation and unique rhyming style sets this track apart and can be found throughout the album. Be sure to check out the music video below. 

Visual factors are also a significant contributing factor toward Icewear Vezzo’s growth over the past year alone. Over the last twelve months, Vezzo has released over thirty-two music videos on his Youtube channel, sometimes releasing videos every week. These videos have gained upwards of twenty million views in total. To date, his most successful video is his music video for “Up The Scene” featuring Lil Durk. Tune in below! 

Vezzo’s formula of talent and persistence is attributed to his rapid growth, although it wasn’t always like that. Recording over a hundred songs across multiple albums, mixtapes, and singles have helped Vezzo become more than just a name within the Detroit music scene. Be sure to keep a lookout for this artist in the future as he is making significant strides for years to come. 

Culture Gaming

Balenciaga Comes to Fortnite: High Fashion and Gaming Continue to Merge

With the introduction of NFTs into the metaverse and a seemingly never-ending list of surprising brand collaborations over the past few years, the practice of flexing clothing—previously constricted to the real world—is becoming an increasingly larger part of the gaming world. Louis Vuitton made a video game. Gucci bags are in Roblox. And now, Balenciaga has made its way into Fortnite.

Fortnite x Balenciaga

Fortnite is integrating a collection of wearable pieces from the luxury fashion house, including a roster of outfits, backpacks and more. Epic’s post unveiling the collaboration concludes with the line: “Make Fortnite your fashion destination this fall,” suggesting that this collaboration will be the first of many. For all the details on the pieces and availability, head to Epic’s site.

Fashion and Gaming:

While the details of this specific collaboration are certainly interesting, I’d like to focus on what this move means for the future of gaming. The integration of Balenciaga into Fortnite is creating another world of flexing in game; what’s “cool” in video games used to have almost nothing to do with what was cool IRL. You wanted the abyssal whip in Runescape simply because you saw other players in game look “cool” with it equipped, not because you actually love whips. But even as far back as early seasons of Fortnite, Epic began to integrate aspects of pop culture into the game, blurring the line between IRL hype and digital hype.

See: Fortnite x John Wick:

Fortnite’s numerous collaborations and brand of pop culture-infused hype have changed the gaming landscape, but they still exist within a closed ecosystem. NFT technology is opening up the possibility of limitless exchange outside of specific games. We can imagine a future in which Balenciaga doesn’t create a collection for Fortnite; rather, they would create an NFT un-restricted by game affiliation that can be pulled into a wide array of metaverses and used as a skin in other games across platforms.

The possibilities for the future of the gaming/fashion world are truly endless. Instances like the Fortnite x Balenciaga collab demonstrate the merits of hype within a gaming ecosystem, but it’s really just the tip of the iceberg. We will look back on 2021 as a turning point for video games. Flexing and fashion hype don’t just exist IRL; the world of the digital flex has arrived.