Culture Music

The History of Breakdancing and a Conversation With Red Bull Breakers

New York City. The city of dreams—the city of talent. A place where some of the finest musical acts, legends, and prodigies have originated. If you have ever had the pleasure of living in or even visiting New York, then you are already well aware of the musical gifts that surround the Big Apple. It’s not uncommon for music to be blaring from cars, apartments, and bodegas, and it’s certainly not uncommon to see people dancing (even in the streets and subways). One of the most common forms of artistic expression to emerge from the city that truly never sleeps is breakdancing. Through the years we’ve seen breaking take on different names and forms mostly depending on which region you are in.

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On the East Coast, the common term was “breakdancing,” whereas on the West Coast you may have heard “Pop Locking” or “Krumping.” Nowadays, the art form is referred to simply as “breaking,” and through the decades, we’ve seen the style evolve along with music and popular culture. Now “breaking” is elevating to an even higher level.

We’ve always heard the term “dancers are athletes,” and they truly are in every since the word. It takes a tremendous amount of skill and discipline to be an elite dancer, and oftentimes dancers use the same energy and muscles as athletes in other sports.

Think about it—from a breakdancing perspective, dancers often incorporate gymnastics (I.E. flipping), karate, or even Capoeira into their routines, along with heavy cardio, and bodyweight training (for example when they do headstands). So, this next step of breaking being recognized as an Olympic Sport was a long time coming.

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Officially announced in December 2020, breaking will make its formal debut at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, and to understand how we got to this moment, we have to rewind all the way back to the late 1960s and early 1970s.

When looking at vintage tapes of dancers from that time period, you can literally feel the magic from that era. Music as a whole was transitioning from the Motown sound that had pretty much dominated the entirety of the 1960s into the Funk and Disco sound that defined the 1970s (think Kool & The Gang’s “Hollywood Swinging.”)

In that aspect, the timing was perfect as breaking matched the heavy beats and live instrumentation that accompanied songs from the 1970s (which ultimately paved the way for the rap and hip hop beats that followed a decade later.)

As hip-hop continued to evolve, so did breaking, and we have consistently seen breakdancing go through many different variations in the last five decades. In the 1980s, breaking began to take on the pop-locking form as the music transitioned into heavily synthesized disco beats. The street dancing, Soul Train lines, and freestyles from the 1970s carried over into the earlier part of the 1980s, and it was a fun era where people expressed themselves creatively through dance and music. Of course, as the 80s progressed, we saw the emergence of hip-hop as a musical genre.

When looking back at the history of hip-hop, it’s important to understand that it was around long before its official “introduction,” as there was definitely an underground movement happening before it went “mainstream.” From a popular culture standpoint, however, “Rapper’s Delight” is culturally recognized as being the first hip-hop song. Gone were the days of “disco,” and hip-hop emerged as the defining musical genre for breaking with its heavier beats (which we now refer to as “hard”), and transitions.

New rappers such as LL Cool J burst onto the scene (think “Jingling Baby”), and new breakdancing styles were formed by the many different B-Boys and B-Girls such as Mighty Zulu Kings and the Lady Rockers, who told their stories and life experiences through their passionate dancing. 

Now, this is where it starts to get interesting. For all of the breakdancing in the 1970s and 1980s, mainstream coverage of breaking slowed down considerably in the 1990s. Here are a possible few reasons as to why—for starters, the late 80s and early 90s brought in the New Jack Swing era.

New Jack Swing is hard to express verbally because it’s a specific sound that you instantly recognize (songs like “Motownphilly” by Boyz II Men are good examples), and while breaking moves like the running man, splits, etc. were incorporated into routines, the early 1990s mostly had its own style. The same could also be said for the 90s era of rap as well. Moves like the c-walk were introduced and later heavily incorporated into early 2000s breaking, and rap music became “harder” to dance in terms of a breakdancing perspective.

That largely remained the case until the early 2000s when breaking saw a resurgence. Again, that coincides with the musical change and style of rap and hip-hop. In the 90s, hip-hop was “darker,” but as breaking legend and Red Bull BC One judge Ericka “Baby Girl” Martinez points out, breaking never went away.

Sean Millea
Ericka “Baby Girl” Martinez Speaks With ONE37pm’s Jael Rucker

“For me, I feel like the 1990s was a golden era. I think there was a lot in the community of B-Boys and B-Girls within that time period. I remember being at events that were huge. There was a transition as we started getting closer to the 2000s, where it started to die down a little bit. I was really lucky enough to see Yo! MTV Raps, and all of the music videos. I saw Lady Champ when I was young, and she has since become a friend of mine. I think back then, it was huge, but we didn’t have as many platforms to showcase it.”

And while it may not have been as popular in the United States at times, that popularity never waned abroad, says Neguin, another breaking legend who judged Red Bull’s Red Bull BC One New York Cypher over the weekend.

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“Maybe some places like New York weren’t as big at the time, but places like Brazil and Korea were booming. I’m lucky enough to travel the world and see how much it has evolved over the years. For me, hip-hop is going to always be alive. Some might say people weren’t dancing as much, but it was always around.”

So, now we’re in the 2000s, a time period where at least from a mainstream standpoint, breaking began to experience a resurgence. We saw classic moves like the Harlem Shake and crip walk making a comeback, to go along with the popular early 2000s rap classics that we all know and love, but as B-Girl Sunny points out, breaking has continued to remain a staple through the remainder of the 2000s. Sunny herself was introduced to breaking in the mid-2000s, making her official debut in 2008.

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B-Girl Sunny

“Funny enough, the interview was kind of new, and my brother showed me a clip of some B-Boy’s doing airflares. I remember thinking it was kind of “cool,” but I was a gymnast, so I also didn’t think it was that big of a deal. I didn’t think anything of it. When I went to college in Philly, I saw some people dancing late at night, and they invited me to a popping class. I was terrible at it, but they suggested different tips since I was a gymnast. I was basically addicted after that.”

So there you have it. The legends themselves say that breakdancing has always been here, and always will be. That was evident this past Saturday at the Red Bull BC One New York Cypher, where the B-Boys and B-Girls competed in a showdown to determine the finalists for the upcoming U.S. Red Bull BC One National Finals in Orlando. 

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Bgirl Marta

The event was hosted by Nemesis and b-girl Trinity, and Judges included Kid Gylde, Red Bull BC One All-Star Neguin, and the 2020 Red Bull BC One World Final contestant, b-girl Sunny

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Bboy Frankie

The Red Bull BC One competition continues this weekend in Los Angeles, with additional regional qualifiers to follow in Boston and Houston before the U.S. Red Bull BC One National Finals, which take place in Orlando. One b-boy and one b-girl will represent the U.S. at the Red Bull BC One World Finals taking place in Gdańsk, Poland, on November 5 to 6. 

Culture Music

ONE37pm Sits Down With Leon Sherman of SoundCloud

Anybody embarking on a career in music will have a lot of memorable moments, but nothing will be quite like your very first show. Atlanta artist SoFaygo recently experienced that feeling for the very first time in his career, and ONE37pm got the chance to be a part of it.

Making his on-stage debut as part of SoundCloud’s new artist accelerator program “First on SoundCloud,” the show was an absolute success from start to finish, and fans who RSVP’d quickly filled the venue until it reached capacity. That venue by the way was an Atlanta landmark called The Loft, and the crowd wrapped all around Peachtree St, with fans waiting for hours to have a shot at seeing SoFaygo. 

The show itself was magical and a memorable night that we were happy to be a part of. SoundCloud brought SoFaygo’s “first” to life by making his dream of performing live a reality, co-producing an Atlanta show for him to connect and interact with his fans for the first time before heading out on tour with Trippie Redd and Iann Dior. The artist was joined by supporting acts Metro Marrs, Sportvvs, and YellaBandanna, and Pusha T was also in attendance to support SoFaygo for his live debut, which was an exciting way to cap off the evening. At the event, the first 300 fans at the door were gifted a limited edition original SoFaygo x SoundCloud t-shirt, designed in collaboration with SoFaygo himself, and the rapper lit the stage up with hits like “Off The Map” and “Knock Knock.” TyFontaine also surprised the crowd when he jumped on stage and performing his collab track with Faygo, “Run It Up.”

The “First on SoundCloud” artist accelerator program features 9 breakout emerging artists celebrating their “first” major career milestones with original, collaborative projects co-created by SoundCloud. We spoke with Leon Sherman, editorial lead at SoundCloud, a few days after the show to find out more about the program, and what’s in store for the future.

ONE37pm: We know that this “First on SoundCloud” project is something that you guys are very passionate about. Could you give a little more detail about this program?

Sherman: The program itself has been going on since 2018, and it’s a correlation between SoundCloud and discovery essentially. It is very much well known by the rising stars that you see today whether it’s Lil Uzi, Billie, or Chance, etc., and we wanted to carry on that mantle that you see from SoundCloud with this program. It started in 2018 with Little Simz and Kehlani and moved on to the likes of Lil Tecca and Baby Rose. Then in 2021, we wanted to figure out how Soundcloud could have more skin in the game of discovery. There are a lot of rising artist programs out there, and with us, we wanted to work with the artists over the course of one year. We are working on creative first projects with these artists, and for SoFaygo that was his first show. 

We actually work with the artists—we don’t just want to give them a list of things to do for us. It’s more of a “let’s work together” scenario because that is how you get the most out of an artist. You get the best content and you have an artist that’s engaged. That was something that was really important to us, and a new aspect is that it goes on for the full year. We are putting our money where our mouth is, and we’re hoping to support our artists through our own platform through these career first milestone projects that all of the artists will overtake over the next six months. We feel really excited about this, and it’s very special!

ONE37pm: If you went back, let’s say 20 years ago, there was a full artist development program. How important is the developmental process?

Sherman: It’s super important. I think there are two lanes that artists go down. The lane of influence can be great, but it can also be a little toxic as well. Sometimes people think that because they have gotten here that they have automatically made it, and that is not the process, really. Even with SoFaygo as an example, he didn’t come out of nowhere; He’s been doing this for a couple of years now, and he was releasing songs on SoundCloud getting buzz. The development process isn’t just the music, but it’s how you carry yourself in certain spaces. He’s got the looks, music, and fashion, which is an important part of the development and creates careers. 

If you can have places like SoundCloud or DSP labels help you with development, that is super important. One thing I will say to rising artists is that there is a whole suite of channels that you can utilize, and you need to do so. Teach yourself—you don’t need to be the kid in the class that needs somebody to teach you. If you are willing to put in the effort and hard work, you can achieve it. Obviously, in my opinion, the music has to bang, but the development process is key, and artists can do it themselves.

ONE37pm: What makes you know that someone is special?

Sherman: I’m thirty-five years old, so I don’t pretend to be on TikTok every day! For me, it’s a few things. For one, the power of building a community is something that is key. That piques my interest because if somebody I know and trust is telling me that an artist is something special, and then you kind of go on that search to check them out. All it takes is for someone to get that word of mouth, and then you can go on these multitudes of platforms to learn more about these artists. Having a story to tell is also something that piques my interest. We shot a content series with SoFaygo, and his story was one that a lot of people could relate to.

He was making digital moves, but prior to his Atlanta show, he had never rehearsed before. It was his first time picking a rehearsal space, and it took two hours to set up the equipment. Those types of stories really catch my eye. Your digital footprint is important because you never know who’s watching.

ONE37pm: Okay, let’s talk about the man of the hour, SoFaygo. When we pulled up, that line was wrapping around Peachtree St.! This show was completely sold out! Were you guys expecting that response?

Sherman: That is almost like SoundCloud in real life. It’s a couple of things—it’s the community of SoFaygo and his fans. He has a huge following. We were expecting it to be absolutely busy, but he actually had to go outside and speak with some of his fans. Even before the show, we knew he was special, but when you have an artist that has that many people show up when they have never performed before—now you are on to something. The people that got in were very lucky, and the people that didn’t were still singing Faygo’s songs outside. Even to be a part of it is super special because you will always remember an artist’s first show. Harnessing that many people says a lot about Faygo and his community. 

It was just a really great night, especially since we have gone through a lot in the last year. Music is such a special connection point, and people like myself have missed live shows. That’s so special to me. For me personally, there is nothing like going to live shows because you get to meet like-minded people and those who like what you like. It’s a sign of good things to come.

ONE37pm: What is your advice to anybody in the music industry that wants to make it?

Sherman: I always used to have that question when I was a teenager. I would say there is no guide as far as how to do it in the music industry. My career like others goes all over the place and it flips all over the chart. If you are really into this and about that life, don’t give up. I was balancing an internship along with working at a bar. I’d moved back to the capital (London), and I knew I wanted to work in the music industry. Make those connections, work hard, and don’t give up. Be that annoying person that speaks to everyone. Some people don’t want to do that, but that’s now how it works. You have to roll your sleeves up and put in the work. That’s the best advice I can give.

Be sure to keep up with all things SoundCloud on Instagram. 

Culture Music

Reggaeton Artist Feid Talks Musical Growth, Success and Family

This week’s guest on Monday to Monday hosted by Mike Boyd is none other than Feid, a 28-year-old Colombian singer and songwriter known for his Reggaeton style and R&B crooning. Being an artist hasn’t been easy during the course of this pandemic, but Feid has managed to still be incredibly consistent, along with his dedicated fan base of 1.8 million followers on Instagram. 

Feid has been hinting at working on more projects over the past few months and is set to drop his newest effort (which will be a completely different musical direction) in August. Feid recently sat down with Boyd to talk about his musical journey and artistry. Below is a preview of their interview.

Boyd: You have been doing so well! I’ve been following you on Instagram, and we’ve known each other for so long. It seems like everything is at this point where you are on fire. Talk about it!

Feid: First of all—Thank You for the support, your playlist, and all the ways you have helped my career too! I’m so happy right now. Everything that I have been working for and every dream that I had when I was a child is getting real. Right now I am super focused on working on new music. My album is coming out in August, and I’m working on another new album. I’m super happy and hyped!

Boyd: Let’s talk about the new album. What should people expect? I know you are working with Sky and a lot of other people that you have worked with before. How has your music changed?

Feid: I guess this is the first time that I am using a formula. When I do my albums, I normally don’t think about the business part of it. I’m just all about the music, vibing, and dropping it if it sounds good—I typically don’t think about it being a “super smash.” With this album, it was the first time that we spent many hours in the studio looking for that special sound and space in the Reggaeton music, and I think we found it. We have a lot of different Reggaeton styles, and there’s only one trap and R&B sound on the album. The other 12 songs are 100 percent Reggaeton, which people aren’t familiar with. It’s going to be cool, and that is what’s different!

Boyd: You are so creative, and so is your family. I was talking to a lot of your followers and fans, and they wanted to know if your family is involved in this album.

Feid: Yes! I am always dropping my ideas to my sister because she is the only one that can understand my mindflow. It’s so good because I just tell her what I need and what I want to feel, and she creates exactly what I had in my head. My father is super creative as well. He’s 64-years-old, but I can speak with him about music and art. He gives me feedback on how to get better and this time around he used a print technique on the cover that is like a “standstill.” It’s not hard to do, but my father has a certain technique and it’s so cool. Everybody is going to see exactly what I’m talking about when we drop the album.

We definitely don’t want to spoil this conversation, so make sure you check out the full interview above. In the meantime, you can keep up with Feid, and all of his latest releases on Instagram.

Culture Movies/TV

15 Shows Like ‘Rick and Morty’

Adult cartoons are a dime a dozen these days, but there’s something unique about the way Rick and Morty took hold of the cultural zeitgeist. Created by Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon, the Adult Swim original series is an outrageous and hyperbolic twist on the relationship between mad scientist Doc Brown and his teenage companion Marty McFly in the Back to the Future movies. The episodic series follows the adventures of the titular grandfather-grandson duo of Rick Sanchez and Morty Smith, both voiced by series co-creator Roiland, that sees Morty constantly being pulled into intergalactic danger thanks to his genius, alcoholic grandpa. 

People who are unfamiliar with Rick and Morty may know that it’s full of vulgar catchphrases and flatulence, but underneath that crass layer is a show that is actually incredibly complex and bold in its storytelling decisions.

Every new dimension explored and character introduced becomes an opportunity for the show’s creative team to either poke fun at something or introduce a bit of unexpected sorrow or trauma to an otherwise silly moment. Even though there’s something wholly original about Rick and Morty’s comedic sensibilities and a cast of characters, a lot of other shows out there are similarly bold in the way they deliver their humor or look at the world. So put down the portal gun and check out these 15 Shows like Rick and Morty! 

15. ‘Community’

If the overwhelming amount of pop culture references and meta-humor in Rick and Morty is your cup of tea, then you should definitely check out Community. Created by Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon, the NBC sitcom follows a group of misfits at the Greendale Community College as they bond and “study” together in a study group. The show is so much more than this simple premise, though, as each episode gives the quirky ensemble- featuring hilarious performers like Donald Glover and Alison Brie- ample room to get into shenanigans and bond both inside and outside of the classroom.  

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14. ‘The Orville’

Clearly, Family Guy, American Dad, and The Cleveland Show weren’t enough for Seth MacFarlane, as the prolific show creator also turned his attention to the final frontier in The Orville. A live-action series that plays as a Star Trek parody, The Orville follows the crew of the USS Orville as they explore the galaxy in the 25th century. The ensemble show is led by MacFarlane as officer Ed Mercer and, despite its comedic undertones, it sometimes feels like a more genuine Star Trek series than some of Viacom’s recent attempts.

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13. ‘The Venture Bros.’

Adult Swim has evolved a lot since it first launched in 2001, but throughout most of its existence Jackson Publick’s The Venture Bros. has been a staple on that “channel.” A satirical spin on old cartoons like Johnny Quest, the show follows the exploits and adventures of the Venture Family as they interact in a mad scientist and superhero-filled world. The phenomenally voiced show lasted for seven seasons and evolved into a hilarious parody of modern nerd culture rather than just fixating on old Hanna-Barbera tropes. 

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12. ‘Loki’

One surefire way for a series to feel like Rick and Morty is for it to be written by a Rick and Morty alum. The newest Marvel show streaming on Disney+, Loki, is a time-travel-filled adventure series created by Michael Waldron, a former producer and writer on the Adult Swim hit. Tom Hiddleston once again plays the Norse God of Mischief, but this time he finds himself supervised by the Time Variance Authority, a seemingly all-knowing organization that wants to defend the sacred timeline. The show definitely rewards long-term fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it is accessible and entertaining for people who just want to check it out due to its connection with Rick and Morty.  

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11. ‘Archer’

Premiering in 2009, Archer is an animated parody show set inside a dysfunctional intelligence agency. The series is witty and has a unique structure- certain seasons ditch the intelligence agency setting all together to see the characters become Miami drug dealers or Noir detectives- but what really sets this show apart from other adult cartoons is its exemplary ensemble cast, led by H. Jon Benjamin as the womanizing Sterling Archer. For all the hardcore Jerry Smith fans out there, Chris Parnell also lends his voice to Archer as Cyril Figgis, a straight-laced agent who is often the butt of many of Archer’s jokes.

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10. ‘Doctor Who’

The tagline “A moody genius and their companion travel around space and time going on adventures” perfectly describes both Doctor Who and Rick and Morty. The BBC series follows The Doctor, an alien from the planet Gallifrey who uses his brain and handy sonic screwdriver to solve problems and help people across the galaxy. A sometimes silly, sometimes extremely serious show, Doctor Who remains fresh after 50+ years thanks to the Doctor’s natural ability to reincarnate and keep exploring the cosmos with a new personality and new face. 

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9. ‘Avenue 5’

Thanks to eccentric billionaires like Virgil Bronson and Jeff Bezos, rich people doing whatever they want in space doesn’t sound as absurd as it should anymore, but Avenue 5 injects some delightful chaos back into the subject. From the satirical mind of Veep and The Thick of It creator Armando Iannucci, Avenue 5 follows what happens after an artificial gravity accident causes an interplanetary cruise ship (the Avenue 5) to veer off course. With only eight weeks of supplies onboard to sustain everyone, panic sets in when it is revealed it could take up to three years to return to Earth. The ensemble show was renewed for a second season in early 2020, but no official premiere date has been set due to pandemic-related delays.  

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8. ‘Disenchantment’

Matt Groening swapped suburban America for the medieval castles of Dreamland in the Netflix original Disenchantment. The series follows Princess Bean (Abbi Jacobsen), a notorious and happy alcoholic, who is unhappily set to marry a Prince. While peaking at her wedding gifts, Bean discovers a little demon named Luci (Eric Andre), who despite being sent there to curse Bean, ends up empathizing with her and discouraging her from getting married. With Luci and her new friend Elfo (Nat Faxon) by her side, the three of them embark on a series of adventures as the elites of Dreamland jostle for power thanks to the abandoned wedding, and the alliance could have solidified.

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7. ‘BoJack Horseman’

Rick and Morty is often praised for the way it handles complex emotions and addictive personalities, but the Netflix original BoJack Horseman tackles these ideas in a much more direct manner. Created by Raphael Bob-Waksberg, BoJack Horseman follows former television actor Bojack (Will Arnett) as he struggles to revamp his Hollywood career and come to terms with his depression and narcissistic tendencies. Set in a world where talking animals and people interact with each other and work side-by-side, the whimsical and silly nature of the show obscures a tragic engine that constantly picks at and explores the insecurities of each of its lead characters.  

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6. ‘Reaper’

Sam Oliver’s (Bret Harrison) life flipped upside down on his 21st birthday when his parents explained that they had actually promised his soul to Satan (Ray Wise) before he was born. Now, the college dropout and hardware store employee must accept his new destiny as a “reaper,” a bounty hunter who tracks down souls that have escaped from hell, or his mother will be banished to hell. The show only lasted for two seasons, but its unique blend of supernatural elements and “stoner comedy” tropes makes it the perfect binge for anyone looking for a show similar to Rick and Morty. 

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5. ‘Adventure Time’

Adventure Time may have been marketed primarily to children because it was on Cartoon Network rather than the after-hours adult swim, but watch just one episode, and it’s clear the creators were aiming to please and entertain viewers of all ages. Created by Pendleton Ward, Adventure Time is a fantastic and consistently silly show that follows a boy named Finn (Jeremy Shada) and his talking, transforming dog Jake (John DiMaggio) as they go on adventures in the psychedelic and post-apocalyptic Land of Ooo. Finn and Rick themselves don’t have a lot in common, but they are the anchors for two of the most absurd, hilarious shows to come out in the last 25 years.

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4. ‘South Park’

The townsfolk of South Park and the space-traveling Rick and Morty may not appear to have a lot in common on the surface, but take a deeper look at both shows and the main characters are all deeply raunchy individuals who are not afraid to speak their minds about what is unfair about life and the world.

For those who are somehow unaware, South Park is a deeply satirical show that follows the lives of four elementary school children, the most notorious among them being the extremely crass Eric Cartman, as they constantly find themselves being swept up into ridiculous and dangerous situations. It’s fair to say that the longevity of South Park has paved the way for shows like Rick and Morty to succeed and even earn a whopping 70 episode renewal back in 2018.

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3. ‘Futurama’

Similar to how Disenchantment let Simpsons creator Matt Groening dabble in fantastical storytelling, Futurama allowed him to tell silly science fiction stories. Futurama follows Fry (Billy West), a man from 2000 who is accidentally cryogenically frozen and subsequently thawed out in the year 2999. Despite its futuristic sheen, Futurama can really be boiled down to a hilarious workplace comedy as Fry quickly finds himself working alongside the crew of the Planet Express delivery company.  Each episode finds the ensemble on a new adventure as they dart across the galaxy, but it’s really the quirky personalities and relationships between the three core characters, Fry, Bender (John DiMaggio), and Leela (Katey Sagal), that makes the show so addictive.

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2. ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’

Similar to Rick Sanchez, no topic is off-limits for the gang over at Paddy’s Pub. In It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, recently renewed for four more seasons, a group of self-centered, angry friends operate a bar and argue about the state of the world. Whether it’s critiquing Escape Rooms or solving the Gas Crisis, this group of drunks has opinions on just about everything. The gang has never been to another planet or entered a spaceship, but they have the same narcissistic, self-destructive tendencies that both Rick and Morty do.

Watch Now On Hulu
1. ‘Solar Opposites’

Due to Rick and Morty‘s overwhelming success, Hulu ordered another space-themed comedy from co-creator Justin Roiland: Solar Opposites. The animated sitcom follows a family of literal aliens as they try to adjust to life as refugees in the middle of the United States after their home planet of Shlorp was destroyed.  A fun twist on the fish out of water trope, Solar Opposites is full of Roiland’s signature outrageous and sometimes heady humor, but it also does a good job at making the audience empathize with its central characters as they enter difficult situations in a new environment. 

Watch Now On Hulu
Culture Gaming

HyperX Signs Multiyear Deal with JuJu Smith-Schuster

We’ve got some exciting news in the world of esports.

HyperX, the gaming peripherals team at HP Inc. and brand leader in gaming and esports, is announcing a multiyear renewal with pro football player JuJu Smith-Schuster as a global brand ambassador. You probably already know this, but just as a refresher, HyperX is the Official Gaming and Audio Partner of Smith-Schuster and is now also the Official Peripheral Partner of his esports organization, Team Diverge. This deal is now officially the longest ambassador deal in HyperX history, and Smith-Schuster is equally as excited about his growing role as a leader in esports.

Juju Smith-Schuster

“I am so excited about renewing my partnership with HyperX, and also so happy to bring my eSports team, Team Diverge, into the HyperX family. HyperX has been a brand partner of mine since my first year as an NFL player; they’ve seen my vision and excitement about gaming and its growth and have supported me every step of the way. I’m honored to continue working with the brand and am grateful for their continued support.”

As a part of his deal, Smith-Schuster will take on a growing role with HyperX as he will step into a variety of marketing activities representing HyperX during promotions, advertising, social campaigns, events and more. Additionally, Smith-Schuster will continue his position as a global ambassador for the company, and will continue both his YouTube and podcast duties. 

As Team Diverge’s Official Peripheral Partner, HyperX will be their exclusive audio products partner on stream and the team will promote headsets, microphones, keyboards, mice, and mousepads during streams and tournament sessions. HyperX will also provide marketing activities to Team Diverge as the two continue to grow in their partnership.

Juju Smith-Schuster

“HyperX is thrilled to continue our relationship with JuJu Smith-Schuster and expand it to include his esports org., Team Diverge”, said Dustin Illingworth, celebrity and athlete marketing manager, HyperX. “His passion and love for esports and the community is effervescent, permeating everything he does. It’s a pleasure to continue growing our brands together, both with JuJu and Team Diverge.”

Fun times are on the way for Juju Smith-Schuster and HyperX, and this is only the beginning. You can keep up with all of their latest updates on the HyperX website and Instagram.

Culture Movies/TV

Why Graded VHS Tapes Might Be The Next Big Thing

The alternative investment realm has exploded, turning collectibles such as trading cards, comics and video games into viable investments with demand far greater than the current supply. 

There is a new category of collectible that has captured my attention: graded VHS tapes. Below, I will break down all the details about this emerging market and why I think it’s set to explode.

1. What is VHS?
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VHS stands for Video Home System. Invented in 1977, VHS tapes are plastic cassettes that allowed for movies to be watched from the comfort of your own home. The main goal was to create a system that would be compatible with any ordinary television set, while having the picture quality similar to a normal broadcast.

The home movie industry has changed over the years, but ask anybody over the age of thirty and they will tell you all about their weekly trips to Blockbuster Video and the “New Release” aisle.

2. Why VHS?

VHS movies were a big part of people’s lives. There is a nostalgic aspect that comes along with VHS tapes – similar to trading cards or video games. There were many well known movies that were first released via VHS such as The Lion King, Star Wars, Toy Story and Pokémon. These brands have longevity. Generations of people have enjoyed these movies – creating demand and collectibility.

3. Should I Grade my VHS Tapes?

The benefits that come along with grading are: 

  1. Authentication
  2. Preservation
  3. Valuation of the item

Grading VHS helps you understand the condition of the item, which is the most important factor in determining the value of a collectible. With that said, grading VHS tapes that are in good condition makes sense. The movies with iconic brands (Disney, etc.) are absolutely in play. The horror genre also has a huge market. In the end, grading any VHS tape that you enjoy could be worth it, but you should do extensive research to better understand why. 

4. Who Grades VHS Tapes?

Investment Grading Service (IGS) is at the forefront of grading VHS. IGS is to VHS what PSA is to trading cards. Currently, IGS will only grade factory sealed items. The current cost to grade a VHS tape is $65. 

Recently, IGS partnered with Goldin Auctions. This is big for the VHS market as they will have one of the most notable auction houses behind them giving the category added exposure. Goldin is known for record breaking sales, so I expect IGS to be the grading company that sets those record breaking sales. 

5. What are the Grading Standards?
Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm

IGS grades on a 1-10 scale, with 1 being the worst and 10 the best. IGS grades the condition of the box & the seal. When grading the box, IGS evaluates the corners, edges, and surface. A corner keeping its shape is one of the most important factors in determining the grade. When grading the seal, surface, tightness and edges are important factors. Below are the deductions IGS uses when grading.

Minimal Deductions:

  • Slight whitening of the corner but keeps a good shape.
  • Corner point is minimally rounded past its normal shape compared to its other corners. ​

Moderate Deductions:

  • Corner has been slightly smashed but none or little crease in the box. 
  • Extensive whitening
  • Moderate scratch in corner area. ​

Extensive Deductions:

  • Puncher hole in the corner area 
  • Extensive smashed corner 
  • Extensive smashed corner that caused a crease
6. What Should I Do Next?

In conclusion, there is inherent risk when investing in something new. My suggestion would be to do a minimum of 50 hours of research before spending money on VHS tapes.

With that being said, a new market brings untapped opportunities. Buying notable sealed VHS and sending them to IGS for grading could be very profitable. I hope this guide was helpful!

Culture News

This Week in Comic Collecting: The Best Masters of the Universe Books

So much of this hobby and industry is driven by nostalgia. It’s that unexplainable emotion that takes you back to a time that is easy to romanticize. It’s why so many of us, when we finally reach adulthood, spend a lot of our money attempting to buy back our childhood. It seems like the comic market is no different. Kids who grew up in the 80s want GI Joe and Transformers, while kids from the 90s love Spawn and Power Rangers. 

This sentiment has existed in the hobby for years. This week, Hollywood will try to tap into that nostalgia with a major film and a show release. Today, Snake Eyes hits theaters and Masters of The Universe: Revelation lands on Netflix. We already addressed some Snake Eyes books to be on the lookout for, but since I imagine a lot of you will be indulging in some He Man this weekend, it felt only right to bring you to Eternia for a top 5 Masters of The Universe books to look out for.

5. He Man and The Masters of The Universe #1 – Dave Wilkins Variant (2012 DC Comics)
9.8 Price: $3500
DC Comics

This is “THE” variant to get for MOTU collectors. Yes, there are some other valuable modern variants, but this is the grail for many MOTU fans. Skeletor covers always seem to perform better than covers featuring He Man, and this cover is a prime example of that trend. Wilkins is also an iconic artist who has stepped away from doing comic art over the last several years—minus a few exceptions. 

One of those exceptions is a return to MOTU with a brand new cover for Dark Horse Comics new series by Kevin Smith to go alongside the Netflix Series. Wilkins provided art for a Revelation Exclusive Variant from Wanted Comix. If the $600 that the 2021 book commands on the open market is too rich for your blood, you can still grab the Wanted Comix Variant for $21.95 on their site.

4. Masters of The Universe #1 (Image 2002)
9.8 Price: $220
Image/MV Creations

Masters of The Universe has a storied publishing history, having been published by DC Comics, Marvel, Image and Dark Horse over the years. This #1 issue from their IDW run was the forgotten child among #1 issues for many years, but that is largely changing. 

There are two main things this book has going for it: an awesome early cover from cover art superstar J. Scott Campbell and a preview of an upcoming Image series featured in the back of the book. That series was the smash hit and new Amazon Prime animated series Invincible. While that preview may have nothing to do with MOTU, it is an appearance of Invincible that predates Invincible #1.  

For those reasons alone, I expect collectors to continue to seek out high grade copies of this book. It is the most affordable on this list and not one to sleep on. 

3. Masters Of The Universe #1 (1986 Marvel Comics)
9.8 Price: $600
Marvel Comics

While not the first Masters of The Universe #1 to exist on the market, this is possibly the most popular as it kicked off the iconic MOTU Marvel run that spanned 12 issues and is a centerpiece for MOTU comic collectors. 

Star Comics was an imprint of Marvel that focused on properties that were geared toward a younger audience—such as Alf, Care Bears, Kid and Play and Muppet Babies. Among those series sits this 80s classic, which remains the one piece of Star IP in demand today. 

2. Masters of The Universe #1 (1982 DC Comics)
9.8 Price: $750
DC Comics

As I mentioned earlier, there was a previous #1 issue for MOTU collectors to chase, and that is this one right here from DC Comics. DC was a part of the creative force that brought us the initial story elements that gave life to this iconic toy line. 

While the 1986 Marvel counterpart lasted 12 issues, this mini series lasted just three, but can be extremely tough to find in the wild these days. Combine the reignited fandom of this IP with the fact that these comics were essentially published as a compendium for kids who were playing with the toys; collectability of the comics themselves was a bit of a secondary thought, if one at all. Hard grade copies can be tough to find and prices of this issue have been rising in recent months. 

1. DC Presents #47 (DC Comics 1982)
9.8 Price: $2,325
DC Comics

The no-brainer number one entry on this list is this issue from the popular DC anthology series, DC Presents. This series was used to showcase one-off stories, often pairing up unlikely characters or spotlighting unheralded ones. This issue does both as it features Superman and He Man. The issue gives us the first comic appearance of He Man as well as Skeletor. 

This issue was originally used to build awareness for the toy line and has always been popular with collectors. For years you could find copies in the wild ranging from $15-25, but those days are becoming a distant memory as Masters Of The Universe: Revelation excitement has sent this one skyrocketing with raw copies selling for a couple hundred and a 9.8 costing over $2k. 

I still think this is a book with meat on its bones. Will there be a live action film at some point? Is this just the beginning of MOTU’s return to prominence? Time will tell, but I am banking on nostalgia. I love investing in these properties. When people shop for items they are nostalgic for, price often becomes a secondary factor and when that happens, there is usually some ROI to be made. 

I am loving writing my weekly columns here at ONE37pm! Bringing comics and comic book investing to a new audience is my passion. With that in mind, catch me next weekend in Chicago for the National Sports Card Convention where I will be hosting CBCS Live from the main stage of the convention bringing comics to NSCC. 

Culture News

Renowned Stylist Courtney Mays Joins eBay’s “ReOpen Ready” Campaign

This ongoing pandemic has been challenging in a lot of categories, but it has also hit us in areas that we could have never previously imagined.

Many of us transitioned into remote work at the start of the pandemic and as a result, we ditched our business attire and formal/semi-formal outfits for comfortable loungewear and casual clothing. Some of us have since gotten stuck in a style rut, and even for those that haven’t, there has been an adjustment period fashion-wise in terms of returning to the office, or even with regular events that don’t include the grocery store. That is where renowned stylist Courtney Mays is here to help.

Mays is the mastermind behind the scenes responsible for styling Chris Paul, Kevin Love, Deandre Jordan, Anthony Anderson, and plenty more, and is now partnering with eBay on their brand new “ReOpen Ready” campaign. 

The “ReOpen Ready” campaign is a brand new microsite that features up-to-date trends and data tied to the world “reopening” after a year in quarantine. As a part of this campaign, Mays will be offering fashion tips and favorite items for being Front Row and Office Ready. Courtney’s picks for being Front Row Ready include a Burberry trench coat, Chanel bag, Garrett Leight sunglasses, a Les Tien’s yellow crewneck, an iPhone 12 Pro Max, and Reebok x Pyer Moss sneakers.

We had the opportunity to speak to Mays about being a part of “ReOpen Ready,” and what to look forward to in the future.

ONE37pm: This eBay “ReOpen Ready” campaign you are a part of is super exciting! What attracted you to the opportunity?

Mays: I’ve always loved the hunt…searching for a rare sneaker or designer collab, or even better a vintage watch or antique. eBay has always been the plug!  

ONE37pm: You’re offering some dope style tips to be “Front Row Ready,” could you talk a little more about that?

Mays: Outside is open! We’ve been at home in our Zoom-friendly pj’s for over a year now. So now that we can go out into the world, it’s fun to actually put on real clothes, or even well-dressed pajamas or sweats! However, No matter what you wear, do it in confidence! 

ONE37pm: What is your advice to those of us that may be stuck in a style rut from being in a pandemic for over a year?

Mays: I think this is a time for reinvention.  Now is the time to try those pieces you maybe never would have, or go for ALL your jewels or crazy frames you were too afraid to wear. We’re back to being ReOpen, so it’s time to show out!

You can continue to keep up with Mays on Instagram.

Culture News

ONE37pm’s ‘From Scratch’ with Jeff Staple is Here

ONE37pm’s latest series has finally arrived. From Scratch focuses on innovators in their lanes who have built up their brands—as you may have guessed—from scratch. Each episode will focus on a new creator and reveal details about their creative process and how they brought their vision to life.

The very first episode of the series features Jeff Staple, streetwear icon and founder and creator of the brand, Staple Pigeon. Jeff’s career spans decades at this point, and the mainstay of sneaker culture has collaborated with the likes of Nike, Beats by Dre, Adidas and more. His Nike Dunk from 2005 is—to this day—one of the most sought after and expensive pieces in the sneaker game. The man is a legend.

Jeff Staple embodies the ethos of From Scratch perhaps better than anyone. In the inaugural episode, he talks about how he settled on the pigeon motif, which has become inseparable from his reputation as a designer. In his early days hustling on the streets of NYC, he began to develop an affinity for pigeons scrambling for crumbs every day: “All the time, I’m seeing these guys, pigeons, everywhere, 24/7, doing the same thing I’m doing. […] You’re me. No one likes you, everyone hates you, but you out here eating somehow.” He goes on to joke: “Wait. Could the flying rat be my mascot?” And thus the Staple Pigeon was born.

They spend part of the episode diving into the Pigeon Dunk, which is one of the most iconic dunks in the history of streetwear. Especially in light of the revival of dunk hype over the past few years, the sneaker was ahead of its time.

Staple provides insight into his creative process in the current moment and addresses the contemporary state of streetwear. They also explore a massive collaboration of Jeff’s this year: the Perspective Pigeon x Staple Pigeon collab. When Gary first debuted his Perspective Pigeon drawing, fans of Gary and Jeff alike drew the connection, blowing up their phones. They got on a call immediately and the rest is history.

From Scratch aims to highlight the mechanisms by which creators build their identity and find success with their vision. No one demonstrates the From Scratch mentality better than Jeff Staple, who built his empire, literally, from scratch. Watch the inaugural episode above and stay tuned for more.

Culture Trading Cards

The Top 10 Fastest Growing Sports Cards This Week

This week’s top 10 fastest growing sports cards are a mix of baseball and basketball cards. For a card to be on this list, it must be graded and hold a minimum value of $250.

1. Ronald Acuna Jr. 2017 Bowman Prospects Chrome Mega #BCP127 PSA 10 | +97.33% Growth

Ronald Acuna is out of the season with an ACL tear and this pop 1,137 card hit a low price of $375 on July 13th. 

Just 3 days later, the card bounced back to $739.99: 


In April of this year, the card sold for a peak price of $919.99. 

2. Reggie Jackson 1969 Topps PSA 6 | 82.17% Growth

Reggie Jackson played 21 MLB seasons, is a Hall of Famer, and was nicknamed “Mr. October” his postseason batting performance. George Steinbrenner has also said that letting Jackson go was one of his biggest mistakes. 

The pop 1,673 card sold as high as $895 in March before hitting $400 in late June. 

On 7/16, the card sold for $411.71 before jumping to $750 on 7/17: 


3. Michael Jordan 1992 Upper Deck #AW9 | 77.83% Growth

This pop 90 Michael Jordan card has only sold 5 times since September of 2020 and has shown a fairly linear growth pattern. 

On July 13th, the card sold for $368.33 before selling for $655 on July 18th: 


4. Dominique Wilkins 1986 Fleer #121 PSA 8 | +76.83% Growth

Nicknamed “human highlight reel”, Dominique Wilkins was known for his dunking ability. He was a 9-time NBA all star, won 2 NBA dunk contests, and is ranked 14th on the all-time NBA points leaders. 

This pop 1,786 card is nearing its previous high this past February when the card sold for $470. It hit a low in May when it sold for $175, but sold for $427.49 on 7/15: 


5. Don Mattingly 1984 Donruss #248 PSA 9 | 69.57% Growth

Mattingly is a former MLB player and is now the manager for the Miami Marlins. He played 14 seasons in the MLB and is often referred to as the best New York Yankee player never to win a world series

In February this pop 2,673 peaked at $460 and sold for $177.50 on 7/14 before bouncing back to $300.99 on 7/16:


6. Alex Rodriguez 1994 Upper Deck Star Rookies Base #24 PSA 10 | +65.75% Growth

After hitting two highs of $560 and $561, respectively, this pop 373 card dropped to $127.50 on 6/13. 

On 7/13, the card sold for $154, before selling at $255.25 just a few days later:


7. Devin Booker 2015 Select Courtside Silver #203 PSA 10 | +64.10% Growth

This pop 39 Select Courtside Silver rookie card came up just $100 shy of it’s previous record sale in April of this year after selling for $4,800 on 7/17: 


Its previous sale on 7/16 was $2,925. 

For reference, Devin Booker’s Prizm Silver PSA 10 rookie has a population of 170. While Select sometimes isn’t recognized as the flagship rookie card set, this card offers a much lower count of supply. Booker’s Prizm Silver PSA 10 is currently valued at $6,400.

8. Larry Bird, Magic Johnson & Julius Erving 1980 Topps Scoring Leader PSA 7 | +62.73% Growth

The PSA 10 version of this card sold for $513,570 on 7/10, so it’s not surprising to see some upward movement from lower graded versions of the card. 

This specific card is a population 3,040 and sold for $2,247 and 7/12 before hitting $3,742.89 on 7/16: 


The card sold for $6,327 in early February of 2021. 

9. Mike Trout 2010 Bowman Platinum #PP5 PSA 10 | +60.75% Growth

Two weeks ago, the PSA 9 version of this card was #10 on our fastest growing cards list after it achieved 78.18% growth week-over-week. 

This time, the pop 487 PSA 10 sold for $860 on 7/17:


10. Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, & Julius Irving 1980 Topps Scoring Leader PSA 9 | 59.60% Growth

The second copy of this card (different grade) to make our list, sold for $32,400 on 7/18:  


On 7/14, the card sold for $20,300, which represents $12,100 in absolute value growth in just 4 days.