What in the world is going on in the land of TikTok this week? We’re not sure if we’ll ever be able to predict the direction trends and challenges will go, but we can give you an update on what is happening in the present time. When we first started doing these roundups in January, the majority of what we were seeing on the platform were dance and transformation challenges. In the seven month since, TikTok has evolved immensely and the trends for this week are a reflection of just how interactive and creative the app can be. As we start to turn the corner into the fall and winter seasons, these challenges are slowly transitioning from outdoors to indoors. Here is some of the action taking place on the app in case you want to participate.
This past week in TikTok was full of the usual fun-filled activities that we are used to seeing from the app. The beauty of TikTok is that it’s always changing, and whereas the platform was previously known as a “dance app,” we’ve since seen TikTok transition into a place where you can literally find anything and everything your heart desires. This week, there was a heavy emphasis on a newer “photo-cropping” trend that’s been taking over the TikTok “airwaves”, and oddly enough, little to no dancing. Let’s take a closer look at what’s been going on in the TikTok community so that way you too can get in on the action.
That’s all folks! Catch you next time with the next TikTok roundup.
We have some exciting news coming out of the NFT world today. WAX is partnering with world-renowned photographer Christina Jansen and Dublin-based NFT agency, dMerch.io to bring to life the Muhammad Ali Series 1 digital collection, a 136 unique digital collection that will highlight Muhammad Ali. The collection will be available on WAX blockchain starting on August 10, 2021, at 1 pm EST /10 am PST and will showcase some of Ali’s personal and storied moments through his incredible life and 21-year professional career.
As you all know, Ali had a brilliant career and established himself as one of the best professional athletes of all time. Throughout his iconic 21-year professional career, Ali was unconventional and incredible for the world to watch. He was an Olympic gold medalist, accumulated 56 victories, and was the first boxer in history to claim the heavyweight championship belt three times. During this time, Ali first connected with Jansen in 1986, meeting at a commercial shoot at Fulham Studios. The two formed an instant bond with Ali, recognizing each other’s respective talents and Jansen admiring Ali’s humble nature. Since her encounter with Ali, Jansen has photographed celebrities, athletes, and fashion icons.
“Photographing Muhammad Ali was one of the most inspiring jobs I have ever had . Over a period of two weeks on and off the set I witnessed how he treated everyone who approached him the same. It didn’t matter to Ali where you came from or what you did . I felt so blessed to have the chance to talk to him and get to know this great man like a close friend. Ali told me his Philosophy in life “ If you reach for the moon you might end up next door, but if you reach for the stars you will get to the moon’. He encouraged me and others to reach for their goals and not be afraid to take risks in life.”
Since his passing in 2016, Ali’s life and love for mentoring others will be revealed through Jansen’s intimate, never-before-seen photographs for fans to collect and enjoy as digital collectibles on the WAX Blockchain. In her very first WAX collection, Jansen will offer the proceeds of an extremely special “Boxing Futures” pack featuring a single, ultra-rare Muhammad Ali digital photograph to aid Boxing Futures, an organization that aims to help disadvantaged youth by providing a safe space for them to improve their physical and mental health through boxing all while learning to build relationships and find motivation.
Muhammad Ali had a gentleness outside the ring. He connected with everyone, especially children. He had a generous heart and a great sense of humor and was constantly telling jokes.
Here are some additional details about the upcoming partnership:
The intimate photos of the boxing superstar will be available in six (6) ring-worthy rarities, including:
● Behind the scenes
As a special thank you for their support of the collection, Championship card buyers will be automatically entered into a randomized drawing for a chance to claim one (1) of (3) unique physical prints.
“I took these photographs of the Greatest in 1986 in London. I have cherished these images but I have not shown them to the world thus far. I am so happy that using NFTs I can now share them with the old and new generation of fans. Keeping his unique spirit alive.”
There will be a “stress test” prior to the official launch day on August 9 at 1 pm EST / 10 am PST. Fans can sign-up through the official WAX Discord and will receive a free promo pack as a “thank you” for participating.
We’ll be sure to keep you posted on any new updates in the meantime.
The ability to rap is a gift, and the ability to rap on the spot with little to no preparation is one that sometimes gets under-appreciated. Rap isn’t just a musical talent, it’s a feeling. It tells the beautiful stories of life and all of its highs, lows, and everything in between. In addition to the talent element, it takes a certain amount of grit and toughness to not only make it as a rapper but to elevate to the point where you’re performing on some of the world’s biggest stages. One of those stages is Red Bull Batalla, the world’s largest Spanish-speaking rap competition that gathers some of the best premier freestyle rappers on the planet to go toe to toe and put their talents on display.
If you are anything like me, then battle rapping isn’t an unfamiliar concept. I’m from an era (the early 2000s) where kids would rush from the school bus in order to be home in time to watch 106 & Park. The show, of course, was centered in the heart of Harlem eventually moving to Manhattan, and every Friday was “Freestyle Friday.” The segment mostly consisted of rising underground rappers who would square off in battles to determine the champion. “Freestyle Friday” was fun, entertaining, and full of musical prowess. Of course, you may have even been (or be) lucky enough to live in an area where battle rapping surrounds you every day.
Battle rapping itself is something that has been around for decades, and just about all of your favorite rappers have had to do it at some point. The ability to “spit” is largely determined by what you can do on the spot, and battle rapping is the ultimate test. Sort of like the concept of MTV Unplugged. Sure large-scale performances with insane production and effects were awesome, but if an artist could strip all of that away and perform only with a small band in front of an intimate audience—well that’s how you knew an artist was the truth.
Now let’s dive a little more into the importance of battle rapping. As mentioned earlier, it’s mostly freestyle, aka “from the top of the dome,” and back in the day, winners would get bragging rights for being the better rapper. To be successful, one has to know many different rap styles and have the ability to easily switch their flow and cadence while having memorable one-liners. You also have to know your opponent and be emotional while not letting your emotions get the best of you. Simply put—it’s a skill, and not very many people can do it.
That said, there is a small percentage of individuals in the world who can, and many of them will be gracing the stage as we kick off the newest season of Red Bull Batalla. Having been around since 2005, Batalla has provided a platform for the best hip hop improvisers in the Spanish world to connect, develop and compete, becoming the world’s biggest international freestyle battle competition.
The 2020 season was a record-breaking one, and Red Bull Batalla went through an intense process that required each MC to submit a freestyle video in order to select the competitors for this upcoming 2021 season. The submissions were judged and ranked by a panel of experts, and we spoke with four of them—Yartzi, Jordy, El Dilemma, and Jayco a couple of weeks ago in New York City.
Yartzi, who hails from Puerto Rico, is a 2x Batalla US Champion. Jordy is a 2021 competitor and 2019 runner-up. El Dilemma is the New York King of Spanish freestyle rap, and Jayco is a 2021 competitor. We talked to them about their personal rap battle journeys, and what they want the world to know about Red Bull Batalla.
ONE37pm: When did you guys first start battle rapping?
Adonys: I first started battle rapping officially about two years ago, but when you are freestyling, you are just going off the top of your head in terms of whatever comes out. I’ve been doing that since I was around 12 or 13.
Jayco: I started rapping when I was 14!
El Dilemma: I started rapping around 2007. One of my biggest inspirations is J. Cole, and that’s when I really began tapping into freestyle mode.
Yartzi: For me, I started in 2014. I participated in a National Tournament in Puerto Rico called the Punchline Master. It was my first-time battle rapping professionally.
ONE37pm: What is your mindset when you know you have a competition?
Adonys: Well if I know I have a competition in the upcoming weeks, I tend not to over-prepare myself because it’s too much of a synthetic scenario. It’s freestyle, so you just want to flow off the top of your head. I try not to bring issues from the outside into the battle because that can affect my way of executing an idea. In terms of preparing for the competition, I work on my flow, drill, cadence, and delivery, but there isn’t much. Obviously, you want to be knowledgeable about the things that happen every day in terms of history and geography, but for me, it’s more of a mindset.
Jayco: I go into every competition clear headed, and I always try to be culturally relevant to all different cultures so that way when I travel to these different countries I can connect with fans authentically. When it comes to my mindset, I try not to overdo it by competing in too many competitions, but I am always sharpening my toolset by practicing as much as possible.
El Dilemma: Same thing with me! I try to stay clear-headed by not bringing outside problems in and focusing on what’s ahead. When it’s time for a competition I avoid distractions and stay off social media.
Yartzi: My practices consist of exercises to have my mind stay sharp. I experiment with different formats and situations, and I practice mental agility. Anything I can do to stay on top!
The largest Spanish freestyle rap battle in the world is set to kick off soon, and 36 rappers will have a chance to battle it out. The action starts on August 12th with the prestigious Twitch Battles, a bracket-style battle event where competitors will go face-to-face in battles captured in Austin, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York. These 1v1 battles will be reviewed by a special panel of judges during a live event on the official Red Bull Batalla Twitch channel taking place on August 12 at 7 pm EST/4 pm PST.
The panel of judges, including former Batalla competitors Tito Yang, Kim MC, and Cuban rapper El B, will evaluate the talent and skills of the MCs and decide if one, both, or none of the competitors is selected to move on to the USA National Final. Judges will assess the freestyle ability of each individual MC, and not who beats whom. Multifaceted Argentinian artist and media professional Muphasa is set to host the live Twitch event.
Following the event, 13 lyricists will advance to the U.S. Finals in Los Angeles on September 18th. Additional information can be found below.
U.S. Finals | September 18
The 13 finalists who emerge from Red Bull Batalla Twitch Day victorious will go on to compete with the three returning finalists from 2020 for the U.S. Red Bull Batalla Championship, on September 18 in Los Angeles. During the competition, 16 will become one as the 2021 U.S. Red Bull Batalla Champion is crowned.
World Finals | December 11-12
Following the U.S. National Final, the respective champions from over 10 countries including the U.S., Mexico, Spain, and Colombia, will square off for the Red Bull Batalla World Final – where only one contestant can be crowned the 2021 Red Bull Batalla World Champion.
The Livestream of the 2020 Red Bull Batalla World Finals was watched by over 1.5 million concurrent viewers, making it one of the two most-watched music live streams of the year. To relive 2020 highlights, head to the Red Bull Batalla website. To learn more information about the 2021 Red Bull Batalla season, go here.
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: 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!
You can continue to keep up with Mays on Instagram.
Celebrity tailor Richfresh is designing for a good cause.
The Los Angeles-based creative who has become best known for the custom suits, jackets, tracksuits, and accessories that he has created for celebrities such as Dwyane Wade, The Weekend, A$AP Rocky, good friend Lena Waithe and more, will be partnering with Häagen-Dazs for a one-of-a-kind-tracksuit inspired by the luxurious ice cream brand that we all know and love.
On Thursday, July 22nd, Fresh and Lena Waithe will be teaming up for an exclusive IG Live in partnership with Häagen-Dazs and the #ThatsDazs campaign which will benefit Lena’s nonprofit Hillman Grad, while also discussing their creative passions and Fresh’s custom design. Following the IG live, fans will be given the chance to win this amazing tracksuit.
Here is a rundown of how it will work, and specific instructions on how to enter:
- For every person that joins, Häagen-Dazs will donate $1 to Lena’s nonprofit Hillman Grad, dedicated to providing opportunities for marginalized storytellers to connect, grow, and accelerate their career in television and film.
- Viewers will then want to head to @HaagenDazs_US for their chance to win this Fresh custom piece. All they’ll need to do is follow the account, tag two friends and like the picture to be entered to win. The giveaway starts July 22 and a winner will be announced July 26.
This is truly an exciting collaboration, and we had a fun conversation with Richfresh ahead of the Live to discuss how his partnership with Häagen-Dazs came to be, what it took to design the tracksuit, and the many other projects he is currently working on.
ONE37pm: Congratulations on the partnership with Häagen-Dazs! How did this come to fruition?
Richfresh: Thank You! It really showed up out of nowhere to be honest. I mean first of all it’s with Lena Waithe so that is a no brainer, and I saw an immediate parallel with Häagen-Dazs which is a luxury ice brand itself. It made perfect sense because my daughter loves Häagen-Dazs, and I have been shopping with this brand for years. It was just a great fit all around, and I will be designing a custom Häagen-Dazs tracksuit that I can’t wait for everyone to see.
ONE37pm: Now this is a one-of-a-kind tracksuit inspired by the ice cream brand, how did you come up with the concept?
Richfresh: It took me a long time…you know what I’m actually not going not going to say how long it was! It wasn’t difficult though. I just sat down and thought about the colors, and I wanted to create a piece that feels like all the elements of Häagen-Dazs ice cream. I didn’t want it to be boring, but I also knew that it couldn’t be “too much” either.
ONE37pm: Do you have a “process” when it comes to creating?
Richfresh: Well first I have some Häagen-Dazs, and you know I like spinach too…Kidding! I usually have a glass of water, grab a pen, and get to work. It’s not really difficult because greatness flows through me. Everything inspires me, so I might sketch, doodle, and start playing around with colors. I’m real with myself, and make sure to stay true to my artform.
ONE37pm: You’re teaming up with your good friend Lena Waithe on IG Live to unveil the suit. Can you talk a little bit about the importance of your friendship?
Richfresh: It’s been great! L.A. hasn’t been the easiest place to navigate, but Lena feels like home. She’s like someone you know from high school or a spoken word, and we instantly clicked. She recognizes the God within me, and I recognize the God within her. She really respects my art and cares a lot. Lena never knows what she’s getting from me. She just lets me know that she’s going to the Oscars or an event, and I put together art for this woman. Lena is home, and one of my best clients. I’m having a better Los Angeles experience because of her. I also work with other great people like Terence J, Dwyane Wade, Gabrielle Union, etc.
ONE37pm: Okay let’s talk about the IG live. Fans can expect something special right?
Richfresh: This is going to be different, and the tracksuit is so nice. I can’t wait to wear it, and I’m excited for people to see. It’s actually upsetting me that I can’t wear it right now! The colors are so soothing, and guess what—somebody is winning this tracksuit! A lucky winner is getting a design, and so is Lena. Richfresh has the most coveted garments in fashion that are out of this town. It’s going to be like winning a car, and it will be signed on the inside too!
ONE37pm: Last but not least, what else do you have in store for the rest of 2021?
Richfresh: There is so much in store! We have a lot of evolution for our women’s wear planned, and we’re getting more products. Overall we’re evolving into a bigger business that provides for our customer base and their everyday living. We’ve got even more projects and videos, and a lot is in store for the near future.
Be sure to tune into the IG live tomorrow, and keep up with Richfresh on Instagram.
This latest episode of TikTok’s For You podcast welcomes members of The Crib Around The Corner, the first all-black content creator house. Announced in February of this year by Whalar, a global creativity and technology influencer agency, “The Crib” (also known as The House) is a space for BPOIC TikTok stars based in Los Angeles designed to help the creators elevate their brand to the next level, while focusing on brand partnerships, production, and content strategies.
You can catch a sneak peak of their interview below. A new episode of For You will debut every Wednesday at 5:30 pm PST/8:30 pm ESTon TikTok LIVE. You can also catch it on all major podcast platforms such as Apple, Spotify, and Google.
Broski: Obviously you guys are doing something really special and needed by pulling together and raising more awareness for the lack of diversity in the white-dominated influencer space. Can y’all talk about what started the idea?
Dan: We’ve always talked about having a Black creator house. We’ve seen houses come up, but we haven’t seen it heavily supported. A couple of months ago we were like “Let’s just go ahead and do it,” and we just happened to be lucky enough to bump into Whaler who were really with the vision. After that it just took off.
Broski: The larger discussion here is that there is that lack of diversity, but at the same time it’s almost not as progressive to say you guys are the “Black creators.” Being an individual should be number one, and secondary should be that while you guys are being yourselves, here is the representation that has been missing.
Dare: Definitely! Even with starting this house—obviously it was going to be big for the creativity community in general because it’s an all-Black house, but for me, I never wanted us to be identified as an “All-Black” house. We are a creator group that just happens to be all-Black. I feel like companies sometimes try to put the emphasis on that, and you have to push past it.
Cole Walliser is a film and music video director who’s spent the better part of this last decade working with many of the entertainment industry’s finest. Think: Collaborating with Katy Perry on her 2011 California Dreams World Tour, shooting with Miley Cyrus and capturing the late Whitney Houston. Walliser’s work isn’t just limited to music though. The director has worked on the marketing side for Mercedes Benz, Revlon and COVERGIRL, and is also famous for his “GlamBOTS” series where he spotlights different red carpets looks from celebrities at all the major award shows.
Broski: Can you walk us through ‘GlamBOT’ and explain how high- quality the camera is, and what goes into all of that?
Walliser: It shoots at 1,000 frames per second, and then we play it back at 24 frames per second, so it slows down an insane amount. The camera is also on a rig that is motion-controlled that they use in different commercials and feature films. That is what we use on the red carpet. It’s a high-speed rig, so it moves the camera super slow motion, really fast, and that is how you get the dramatic ‘GlamBOT’ effect. We shoot in 4K and use a lot of lights. What is surprising to some is that we use a ton of people to work on it. There are 13 to 15 people working on those clips to push them out that fast.
Broski: Obviously the internet has played a huge role in that viral success. How have you seen a shift in your career from doing the traditional stuff to what you do now? Do you enjoy it now?
Walliser: I still have the foundation of my career. I haven’t left my directing career, and the ‘GlamBOT’ is really only three or four times a year, so it’s not like I’m spending all my time on it. I will say that focusing on social was a conscious decision I made in 2017 because prior to that I had done the ‘GlamBOT’ for two years, and had directed videos for Britney, Pink, Revlon, etc. I felt I had a career going and there was no lack of work in 2017. I was trying to look at the future, and I asked myself where the industry was headed. It occurred to me that a lot of the people that I looked up to weren’t on social. I figured that we were only going to be more digitally connected as time went on, and that I could either do it at that time, or be forced to do it later.
This week’s episode of TikTok’s For You podcast hosted by Brittany Broski features English musician Yungblud. The 23-year-old has been on a tear since his 2018 studio album debut 21st Century Liability, and is currently enjoying the success of his 2020 follow-up Weird!, which reached No. 1 on the U.K. Charts. Fans and music critics have praised Yungblud’s talent, unique artistry, and musicianship, citing his already profound influence on reigniting interest in pop-punk.
Below is a sneak peek of their interview. A new episode of For You will debut every Wednesday at 5:30 pm PST/8:30 pm ESTon TikTok LIVE. You can also catch it on all major podcast platforms such as Apple, Spotify, and Google.
Broski: You love TikTok don’t you?
Yungblud: I love TikTok because I think it’s punk! Can I tell you something? A lot of my punk rock friends didn’t understand it at first. So I was like let me break it down—there is nothing more punk than any person or any young person from any background being themselves, and they were like, “You’re right!” I remember when TikTok first came into my peripheral vision—my friends told me I was big on there, and I was like “What are you talking about? I’m not on TikTok.” Then they told me my music and the way I dress was big on there. I got on it and like with anything, I wanted to connect with people. It just kind of blew up after that.
Broski: A lot of your songs are about being disillusioned by Hollywood and popular music. If it weren’t for the intense connection that you have with your fans, do you still think you would have the popularity that you do?
Yungblud: No! That’s the thing I’ve got. It’s so funny to me—every time I dabble in that world, it bites me in the butt. It’s like I’m not destined to be there. Every time I collaborate or work with somebody mainstream it kind of feels weird, and the connection with my fans feels weird. It’s all about the message. Yungblud is not a “singer,” it’s a way of thinking.
NFT projects that provide ongoing utility to their buyers always rise above the rest. To celebrate the release of his upcoming album, Detroit rapper Tee Grizley is launching a special edition one of a kind effort called the “The Grizzley World NFT Launch.” As a part of the launch, Grizzley fans will have a once in a lifetime opportunity to purchase three golden tickets, which in turn gives the winners lifetime access to the rapper’s GTA server, and a lifetime pass to any Tee Grizzley concert in your local area. The lucky prize winners of the golden tickets will also receive a physical copy of the passes that can be presented at Grizzley’s concerts mailed to them at a later date.
In addition to the lifetime concert tickets and GTA access, Tee Grizzley die-hards will have an opportunity to bid for a 1/1 Tee Grizzley double sided chain decked out with platinum and rose gold if they are unable to snag a golden ticket. The winner of the auction will also receive lifetime access to Grizzley’s GTA server, and their own personalized avatar version of the chain that can be worn on their characters during gameplay. Talk about utility.
Ahead of his NFT debut, here is what Tee Grizzley had to say about his first launch:
“I’m excited to drop my first NFT with The Grizzley World Collection, especially because I get to combine my music and gaming. Not only will winners get access to my Grizzley World Server, but they will also get a lifetime pass to any of my shows, and an invite to a special album release party to celebrate my new album Built For Whatever.”
If you are looking to participate in Grizzley’s NFT drop, the auction is scheduled to begin on Saturday, May 1st at 12PM PST on GrizzleyWorldNFT.com.