Categories
Gaming New Releases

Epic Games Is Getting Into the ‘Fall Guys’ Business By Acquiring Mediatonic

One of the 2020 game releases that came out of nowhere to dominate Twitch streams and plenty of gamers’ playtime was the platform/battle royale hybrid known as Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout. The shocking success behind developer Mediatonic’s cute (and also rage-inducing) party mode experience has been amazing to watch: it’s already managed to sell 11+ million copies alone on PC and also became one of the most downloaded games on PlayStation Plus.

The good news for Fall Guys just keeps on coming, it seems. Epic Games, the publisher/development studio giant behind Fortnite and the Epic Games Store, is in the process of acquiring Mediatonic. This major announcement falls in line with another big-name game studio purchase from Epic that saw the company obtain Psyonix (Rocket League) back in 2019.

Both sides expressed their excitement regarding this surprising reveal. “It’s no secret that Epic is invested in building the metaverse, and Tonic Games shares this goal,” said Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney in a blog post. “As Epic works to build this virtual future, we need great creative talent who know how to build powerful games, content, and experiences.” Dave Bailey, Tonic Games Group Co-Founder and CEO, noted that “at Tonic Games Group we often say that ‘everyone deserves a game that feels like it was made for them.’ With Epic, we feel like we have found a home that was made for us. They share our mission to build and support games that have a positive impact, empower others and stand the test of time, and we couldn’t be more excited to be joining forces with their team.”

An FAQ posted on behalf of Mediatonic made sure to quell any fears Fall Guys fans may have about this latest development. The game itself will still be available on Steam, plus it’s still slated for release on the Xbox and Nintendo Switch platforms. Fall Guys also won’t be going free-to-play anytime soon. “Your gameplay isn’t changing and neither is our mission to bring Fall Guys to as many players as possible,” Mediatonic stated. “Each season, we’ll continue to expand the game with new content, features, rounds, and costumes.” Speaking of seasons, Fall Guys is preparing its player base for the upcoming fourth season. And by the looks of things, everyone can look forward to even greater Fall Guys content and brand new games thanks to this Epic Games/Mediatonic deal.

Categories
Culture Music

Esteemed ATL Producer Hoodrich Keem Is Now Looking To Conquer L.A.

Hoodrich Keem has established a reputation as one of ATL’s finest producers and DJs and is now looking to conquer the Los Angeles music scene. Having been around for years, Keem has worked with the best of the best when it comes to ATL musicians. With 21 Savage, Babyface Ray, the Migos, Peewee Longway, and plenty more on his resume so far, the producer has been a part of many memorable collaborative efforts on numerous rap albums and EPs. Checking in from the City of Angels, Keem goes in-depth with ONE37pm’s Mike Boyd to talk about his evolution as a producer, plans for 2021, and what he has been working on lately. Below is a glimpse from their conversation, and you can catch the full interview as a part of our ONE37fm series.

Boyd: I first met you when I put together the Young Thug  ‘Loaded’ music video, and you were there as Thug’s DJ. How was it, doing that?

Hoodrich Keem: The crazy thing is I wasn’t Thug’s DJ; I was Rich Home Quan’s DJ! Me and Thug were coolin on a daily basis because my homie was managing him at the time. So I was always there, and we would be riding around the city and then go off to record in the studio. I was on the road working with Rich Homie Quan and Peewee, so I was just connecting the dots. So that is how that came about.

Boyd: People still want the mixtapes from you!

Hoodrich Keem: People still ask me about that. Every week I get at least five or six people who come up to me asking me the same thing. I’ve actually got a new Bodeine Withdrawal mixtape on the way. It’s just for the people! I’ve got exclusives for it, and I also have a new EP, Slurred Words with Babyface Ray—so we are definitely bringing that back for 2021, and I am trying to bring that fun back again. I think everybody got sidetracked on what really got us here, so we are going to go back to the basics.

Boyd: Speaking of Babyface Ray and Slurred Words, talk to us about working with Babyface Ray and how you guys first met.

Hoodrich Keem: People are just seeing the ‘right now stage.’ We have been locked in for I’d say about three or four years. It was really the growing stages. You know how it is when it comes to dealing with an artist—sometimes they are going through their own issues. We came through problems, and now three or four years later everything is elevating and working. It’s really just a blessing from God because the Babyface Ray situation is from the ground up. Slurred Words was something I started in 2020, and I’m finishing it now. I just finished the Unfuckwitable tape and I’ve got two songs on there. It’s just going well!

Boyd: Being around Future, Rich Homie, Migos, etc., who taught you something that changed the way you move?

Hoodrich Keem: Peewee Longway. Longway taught me a lot—that is why I have so much respect and love for him. Now that I am older, I figured out that I was a kid during those times. I’m not from Atlanta, I’m from South Carolina and I ended up moving there (Atlanta). Peewee really played a role in helping me. I kind of always knew the Migos when I moved to Atlanta through text and convos, but it was never just a link-up. I finally met up with Peewee, and he would bring all these artists around. Longway showed me how to balance all of these artists with real life, and that you actually have to grip the game. He showed me how to go out there and get features and have a real hustle. I always had it but seeing someone way older than me still going after it was humbling.

Be sure to check out the full interview, and follow Hoodrich Keem on Instagram and Twitter

Categories
Culture News

TikTok’s ‘For You’ Podcast Featuring Special Guest Jason Rodelo

TikTok’s For You podcast series starring host Brittany Broski continues with Episode 5, featuring content creator Jason Rodelo. Considered one of the best dancers and comedians on the platform, Rodelo has built a strong following and talks to Broski about his TikTok rise, dancing background, and plans for the future.

The budding TikTok star currently has over 350,000 followers on the app, with 6.5 million likes and counting. As a trained professional, Rodelo will often make several videos in a row to fully break down his choreography to his audience. True to his style, he also rarely misses an opportunity to provide comedic relief, never straying too far away from his humorous roots. The dance/comedy combo has helped take Rodelo’s TikTok career to the next level as the Los Angeles native continues to be one of the most talked-about and re-posted comedians, turning the hashtag ‘Affirmations’ into a global trend on TikTok with his Motivational Warriors series.

Below is a snippet from Broski and Rodelo’s conversation. A new episode of For You will debut every Wednesday at 5:30 pm PST/8:30 pm EST on TikTok LIVE. You can also catch it on all major podcast platforms such as Apple, Spotify, and Google.

Broski: “You have been dancing for a long time. When did that transition to ‘TikTok dance’ come about? When did you download the app and what kind of drew you to it?”

Rodelo: “My relationship with TikTok is so interesting! As a professional dancer, and this is the energy of a lot of dancers in the industry who have been training, taking classes have—when a thing like TikTok came around, a lot of us laughed. It was all of these simple dances and I was like ‘I’m working ten hours a day and doing music videos. I’m out here eating one meal a day!’ I honestly used to dislike the app, but that was me misjudging it. I started seeing it pop off after quarantine began, and that is where the transition happened. The dance world shut down, and all of my opportunities and income stopped. After that, I really started looking at TikTok.”

Broski: “I wanted to ask you about having a platform in general. Are there any issues that you feel pressured to speak about? Are you passionate about anything? Do you see yourself as a creator more or a choreographer?”

Rodelo: “I think I definitely see myself as a creator for sure. I have to pay respects to that because I did create, and people gave me a response, and that response has been doing wonders for myself and my life. I’m also showing different sides of what I have to offer as well. You see comedy—and a little bit of everything. There is one issue though, and I would say it’s a general thing. There is this weird incohesiveness with people and their expectations with this thing called viral. You have to find something deeper within your content in terms of what you really want to put out.”

Categories
Culture News

This Week In TikTok: Going ‘Up’ with Cardi B, DIYs, and More

We’re back with another week of viral TikTok challenges, and this edition is loaded with throwback jams, dance trends and DIYs. While creating dance routines are always a good source of fun, the majority of the top recent trends have been dominated by creators showcasing their choreography skills, making this week a bit refreshing from that standpoint. With the bulk of us still spending most of our time at home, these challenges are fun interesting concepts that you can do by yourself, or with a group of people. So let’s dive in!

1. ‘UP’ – Cardi B

Cardi B has been sparking trends ever since ‘Bodak Yellow,’ and her song ‘UP’ has inspired the latest challenge to take over the platform. The recently released single made history this past week by debuting at number one on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and fans didn’t waste any time creating a new challenge for Cardi’s latest hit. For this one, you can literally do anything you want! Some have created dance routines while others have used the song for makeup challenges. Use your imagination and have fun with it!

2. ‘How To Save A Life’ – The Fray

A major throwback to 2005, many had forgotten about this record—that is until TikTok brought it back. This challenge is for everyone who has been dying to let out their inner ‘weird’ side (and let’s face it—we all have one.)  Get creative with this challenge! One TikToker made a video about her boyfriend’s obsession with his hamster, and another creator recorded herself playing house with her favorite plushies. The options are limitless, but just remember to make it weird!

3. ‘Just Water’- Bryansanon

Even Chance The Rapper had to get in on this challenge! Another dance trend, the theme of this challenge is…water. Bryansanon just might have one of the most catchy TikTok trends of 2021 so far, and all you have to do is pretend like you are drinking a bottle of water as you bust out your dance moves. Simple right? 

4. ‘Born For This’- Foxxi

Ah the memories of 2018! Sometimes certain songs are so upbeat and positive that makes you dig deep  and tap into your talents, and that is exactly the case with the ‘Born For This’ challenge. A ‘DIY,’ TikTok creators are using the song to display their arts and crafts skills, showcase their recipes, and more. So if you have a special talent that you want the TikTok universe to know about, then this trend is right up your alley!

That’s going to do it for this week’s roundup, but as usual we will be back next week with the latest trends and challenges.

Categories
Gaming New Releases

Here’s Why You Should Be Playing ‘Valheim’

One of the most addicting games of 2021, Valheim is the newest game that is beginning to capture attention but still remains relatively underrated. Recently passing two million sales, the game is challenging, thrilling, and sometimes frustrating, providing an adventure like no other in recent memory. Playing Valheim is a similar experience to games like Minecraft and Ark and even has the aesthetics of Outward, making it visually captivating. 

Released on February 2nd, Valheim already has two million active users in just two short weeks, making it one of the fastest-growing games on the market. Via Stream Charts, Valheim has ranked twelfth globally in the last seven days on Twitch alone with over ten million views total and a peak of 137,464 concurrent viewers.

Valheim is a testament to why Survival Multiplayers are going to be the next genre of gaming to blow up. When the Battle Royale game mode exploded, it exploited the strong desire for an open-world MMO, which is something that many gamers want to see more of. The reason I’m saying this is because right now, we are seeing the stage set of how we may actually get a new, strong MMO in the future. We started off with Battle Royales, and now we are witnessing a lot of people getting super interested in other popular SMPs like Terraria, The Forest, and Rust.  

Valheim is a great game! I love how you don’t fully know the map until you discover and explore it. The further you travel from ‘Spawn’ (the origin point), the harder the game gets—which is cool because it forces you to actually use your skills and play in order to learn the essentials and mechanics necessary for survival. In other games, you can see a crafting table, and it shows you everything that you can build—which can be a spoiler in a way. In my opinion, not knowing everything ahead of time makes it more exciting and the game more rewarding. Why? Well, because in real-time survival, there are two things: you only know what you know, and what you don’t know is what you don’t know.

I don’t know yet if Valheim will be trending in the sense that you will see big-time streamers playing it, but I do think people will enjoy playing it. In a world where we see a lot of free games become among the best, Valheim is worth paying. If I could pay $20 again, I would. 

Categories
Culture News

TikTok’s ‘For You’ Podcast Starring Brittany Broski Welcomes Boman Martinez-Reid

Last week saw the official debut of TikTok’s For You podcast starring Brittany Broski.

This week Broski is back for Episode 2 with TikTok content creator Boman Martinez-Reid. Also known as ‘The Bomanizer,’ the social media star has become popular on the platform due to his hilarious videos. He takes everyday activities and turns them into reality show spoofs. Since joining TikTok in December 2019, Martinez-Reid has amassed a whopping 1.4 million followers on the app, with nearly 29.9 million likes. His success on the platform has since earned him representation from talent agency powerhouse CAA, and when scrolling through his account, it is not hard to see why.

The TikTok creator’s latest skits feature reenactments of reality show confrontations, hilariously showing ‘The Bomanizer’ as he pretends to address his sister at an upscale restaurant (think Real Housewives). Videos like these are just additional examples of Martinez-Reid’s talent. He sat down with Broski to cover a number of subjects, including his success on the platform, creating content during a pandemic, adapting to TikTok’s many changes, and more.

Below is a snippet from their conversation, and a new episode of For You will debut every Wednesday at 5:30pm PST/ 8:30pm EST on TikTok LIVE. You can also catch it on AppleSpotifyGoogle , and all major podcast platforms.

Broski: You came to TikTok in 2019 right?

Boman Martinez-Reid: December of 2019! And it was the perfect moment because that was when TikTok just took off! Personally, I’m very thankful and grateful that I came to TikTok at that time because that was when it was all about creativity and putting in an effort. 

Broski: For the people that don’t know about your content—it is extremely well-produced! You do spoofs of reality shows the perfect sound effects, music, and stuff like that. So I want to know, what was the video that really boosted you?

Martinez-Reid: There are two parts to this. I started this reality TV series where I would take these small problems and make them larger than life. The first one was my professor sending me a syllabus email, and I acted like I was ‘stabbed in the back.’ Nobody saw that one except my friends, and they were like, “That’s pretty good!” I kept going with it, and one morning I woke up and saw a pile of dirt on the floor because my roommate had swept, but he didn’t clean up the dirt! I thought to myself, “Am I the one that is supposed to clean that up?!” So I made a TikTok where I was ‘shot in the gut’ from the disrespect and ‘passed away’ from it. I kept making more of those videos, and part two ending up being when the pandemic hit. I made a video where my friend coughed—and it was the cough that was heard around the world!

Broski: Earlier, you were talking about quarantine—you know we have all been stuck inside. Has that boosted your creativity, or has it gone down?

Martinez-Reid: I would say it is a mixture of both. The pandemic hit, and suddenly I was getting millions of views. All of my DMs were like, “Make more now!” Every week I was focused on making one good reality TV TikTok, and not only do we shoot for about two hours, everything is all improv to get that reality feel to it. It has boosted my creativity in the sense that I am exactly where I need to be. I have so much room here in the house alongside my mom and best friends to help me with my videos. At the same time, it’s been absolutely exhausting!

Categories
Culture News

This Week In TikTok: Migos, Billy Joel, And More!

A new week means new viral TikTok challenges. Continuing our weekly update series where we bring you all the top trends in TikTok, this week was a little quieter but still brought forth some unique and interesting challenges that are relatively easy to participate in. So let’s dive right into it!

1. ‘YRN (TikTok)’- Tyler April

Migos have become such a phenomenon over the past several years that it is almost hard to believe that there was once a time where they were just rising stars trying to establish themselves in music. Taking it back to 2015 when the trio released their single ‘YRN’ featuring Young Thug, this remix is an electronica spin of the song, with the main objective of this challenge being to dance until you can’t anymore. There is no set choreography with this one—you can come up with your own routine or simply freestyle it. Whatever floats your boat.

2. ‘Zanzibar’- Billy Joel

Rockin and Rollin all the way back to the 70s, this latest trend was inspired by Billy Joel’s 1978 hit single ‘Zanzibar.’ The song was a moderate success then, and is experiencing a revival over forty years later thanks, in no small part, to the power of TikTok. Another dance trend, all you have to do is create a robotic dance routine while mouthing along with the lyrics. A simple and easy challenge that’s fun to do.

3. ‘Can You Feel My Heart’- Bring Me The Horizon

Released in 2013 to praise from fans and critics, ‘Can You Feel My Heart’ is yet another throwback to make its way to TikTok. A melodramatic rock single, this challenge involves people lighting their mirrors on fire with different shapes to match the beat and lyrics. Be careful if you’re taking this challenge on, as this could either go very good or very bad depending on the outcome. We recommend you sit this one out if your fire-making skills aren’t up to par.

That’s it on the challenges for this week, but we will be back next week with another round of TikTok trends. Stay tuned!

Categories
Culture News

How R/WallStreetBets and Reddit Broke the Internet

Elon Musk. Meme stocks. Flows before pros. College kids out-trading hedge funds. Who is r/wallstreetbets? Why are people using GameStop and popular in the same sentence?

It’s time to make some sense of this r/wallstreetbets hysteria.

A tale of teen traders

Here’s the back story.

Investing apps like Robinhood gained serious popularity among the youth in 2020. WE WERE BORED. Now, any iPhone with a few hundred bucks can access capital markets with the press of a button.

In comes r/wallstreetbets – the hero-we-never-asked-for Reddit forum that’s doing finance and having damn fun doing it.

Throw together the pandemic, an idle workforce, civil unrest, unprecedented mass communication and democratized access to fintech….and what did you expect? Tech-induced populism has hit the markets, baby.

The result? Market manipulation (nothing new to see here), gamified stocks, social media bans, armies of amateur traders, and spooked-out institutional investors with billions of dollars in the toilet.

Re-defining capital markets

Traditionally, capital markets were set out to achieve one goal: A more efficient means of allocating capital.

A traditional investor buys a stock because it is perceived to be cheap, relative to its potential profitability or valuation.

When you throw in a mob of r/wallstreetbets stans, a dead-end company like Gamestop can suddenly break the boys’ club. The problem, you asked?

Well, retail investors (fancy term for plebeians) with a beer can, a laptop and an Econ 215 test later tonight may not treat stocks the same way a typical securities analyst would.

It’s like the 2008 financial crisis in reverse, but the result is inevitably the same—every bubble’s gotta pop.

Here’s how the strategy works

Two words to remember: short squeeze.

You convince a bunch of people to buy stock options (an option is a contract that allows the holder to buy or sell the stock at a predetermined price) from a company identified as ‘short-friendly.’

Short-friendly companies are dying companies that Wall Street whales like to short for quick gains. Shorting a stock is basically betting on it to go down in price. When tons of people start call-buying a trade, it forces the short-sellers to hedge their risk and buy the stock. That pushes the price of the stock up again in a feedback loop.

This strategy has created some pretty comical and cringe-worthy reactions from the financial elite:

How are they pulling this off?

What’s that old saying? Any way the wind blows…

If a large enough mass of humans throws shit at a wall, some of it is bound to stick. A stock price can go up whether or not the fundamentals suggest that the price is reasonable.

If you watched CNBC on a boring Wednesday in 2015, everyone would be talking about the fundamentals: cashflow, balance sheet, intrinsic value. This is how boring people determine a stock’s value. Not us!

No one ever considered retail flows as an indication to follow pitchforks.

Where do we go from here?

This was the question asked by moderators of r/wallstreetbets this week.

Given it’s not some well-run organization, but rather a bunch of finance bros who sparked a national movement, I don’t think anyone can answer that question right now.

Even regulators themselves have yet to catch up with the impact of mass media on trading.

One thing’s for sure—whether it’s Brad from Barstool or Kip the Portfolio Manager—someone’s going to lose a lot of money. As the stock goes up and up, each trader is hoping the next guy will be the one holding the bag when shit hits the fan and the price plummets.

Or maybe GameStop will just keep going up forever.

Bottom line: Beneath the hype and fanfare, there are five or six real-human-run companies that are trending but really struggling to stay profitable. Long-term, even an amateur army cannot solve their problems.

Categories
Culture News

This Week In TikTok

2020 was a groundbreaking year for TikTok. While the platform was already rising in popularity, the Coronavirus pandemic and subsequent quarantine meant people had to find new and innovative ways to stay entertained while also tapping into their creativity. Simply put, there was no better platform more suited to do that than TikTok. 

TikTok has become so popular that many artists are now beginning to use it as a promotional tool for their music. One viral TikTok post could suddenly find your song rising in streams, and as a result, many previously unknown songs have even been able to make their way onto various music charts.

While TikTok has helped newer music find a lot of success, a lot of older tunes have gone viral on the platform as well, allowing those artists to get a second dose of success, or even garner attention for those songs that may have been previously ignored on mainstream radio (songs from the 1940s have been able to resurface on TikTok).

We can go on and on for days about the power of TikTok, but by now you are probably very aware of it too. Every week we will be bringing you a roundup of the top trending tracks on TikTok. So let’s get it started!

1. ‘LSD’

Artist: TisaKorean

You remember how we said a song could go viral long after its official release? Well ‘LSD’ is an example of that. A hip-hop song released in 2019, ‘LSD’ has become another one of those catchy dance tunes that is perfect for TikTok. This isn’t TisaKorean’s first time dominating on TikTok but this is his first viral dance video. So if you want to create a new routine, be sure to check this one out.

2. ‘Buss It’

Artist: Erica Banks

By now you have probably heard of the ‘Buss It’ challenge as it was causing quite a commotion over the weekend. Similar to the ‘Makeup Challenge’ where participants have to do a ‘transformation,’ the single going viral is just the tip of the iceberg for Banks, who recently signed a deal with Warner Records in a partnership with 1501 Certified Entertainment. We are sure to be hearing a lot more from Banks (and probably some more viral TikToks as well), but for now, she definitely has a lot to be happy about.

3. ‘Thotiana’

Artist: Blueface

‘Thotiana’ is on the rise yet again with a new TikTok challenge. For this one, all you have to do is hit the search button on Google Trends, find one that catches your eye, and simply put yourself into the searches with a greenscreen or photoshop. Some of these TikToks have been absolutely humorous, and you definitely get clever with these if you are feeling witty. The ‘Thotiana’ challenge has had many variations, but this particular version is a different take that is actually pretty unique.

4. ‘I’m Legit’

Artist: Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj remains one of the most influential artists in music, and she proved that yet again this week with the ‘I’m Legit’ challenge. Featuring Ciara, the song was originally released in 2012 off Minaj’s Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded— The Re-Up album, once again proving how TikTok can bring an older song back to life. This is another makeup transformation challenge, so you could easily do this one right along with ‘Buss It’ for some extra fun.

That’s going to do it for now, but we will be back next week with another roundup on what is going in the music world of TikTok. Stay tuned!

Categories
Culture News

Juicy J and GaryVee Team Up On Asterisk*, Changing the Weed Game Forever

Juicy J’s brand Asterisk* is dropping more than just a strain today. In addition to the release of the “Chronic Frog” strain (dropping exclusively at MMD Dispensaries in Los Angeles), the brand is releasing an apparel capsule designed by the legendary Cody Hudson and the first-ever Juicy J Beat & Sound Pack.

When the collab between Juicy and GaryVee’s Green Street was formally announced through the release of “Gah Damn High” back in August, it was clear something big was on the horizon. This week’s drop builds on that hype. In 2021, a cannabis brand is more than just a curator of fine flower; Asterisk* is a multimedia lifestyle brand, developing high-quality merch and music, all packaged in a beautiful design. The days of the dull dime bag are over.

https://asteriskgoods.com/
Asteirsk*

I mean, just look at the beautiful packaging of these beat packs. You can cop the beat pack at Asterisk*’s website today. 

Asterisk* has done three drops so far. The first came alongisde “Gah Damn High,” and the second drop coincided with the release of the Juicy J / NLE Choppa track, “Load It Up.” The latter video heavily features the flower in all of its glory. Check out our writeup of the last release, which, like this one, demonstrated that cannabis drops can include much more than just weed. 

If you want a closer look at the bud, we’ve got you covered. After all, Asterisk*’s multimedia approach doesn’t mean they skimp on the flower. Just take a look at this ridiculously frosty nug. The new “Chronic Fog” strain—cultivated by the award-winning geneticists at Cream of the Crop—is available at MMD dispensaries in LA.

Asterisk*

You may know Cody Hudson from his work with Nike or just from being one of our generation’s most impactful graphic designers. Hudson is more than just a designer for Asterisk*; the Chicago-based artist is another one of Juicy J and Gary’s partners / co-owners. Hudson designed the merch capsule (in addition to the brand’s packaging), and like everything that’s come from the cannabis brand, the pieces are aesthetically stunning.

https://asteriskgoods.com/
Asterisk* / Cody Hudson

https://asteriskgoods.com/
Asterisk* / Cody Hudson

Today is a big day not just for Asterisk*, but for the whole cannabis space. Cannabis brands don’t just sell weed anymore; they sell a lifestyle and all the music, vibes, and gear that come with it.