Daily Dose: 7/5/16
President Barack Obama is still just a dad
10:00 AMHope everyone had a good holiday weekend. While you were busy worrying about what Kevin Durant was planning to do with this life, NASA was busy putting a spacecraft into Jupiter’s orbit. That’s pretty wild.
It’s an important day for Hillary Clinton’s campaign. That’s because it’s the day that President Barack Obama will make an appearance with her on the trail. His endorsement was pretty obvious considering the way that the race is shaping up at this point, but for two people who once fought so hard against each other, for Democrats this is a big moment, optics-wise. Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump would love nothing more than for a president to show up somewhere with him. ABC News’ Meghan Keneally has the story on what they’ll be doing.
Speaking of the president, we are going to miss the first family so much in the White House. It’s not just the four of them, it’s the guests at the state dinners and the invitees to the parties, among other things. So, for Obama’s oldest daughter Malia’s 18th birthday, you can bet the list was relatively star-studded. And in typical dad fashion, even with rapper Kendrick Lamar and singer Janelle Monáe in the building — two Grammy-nominated artists — Obama decided to sing Happy Birthday himself. It’s not like we haven’t heard him break out in song before. ABC’s Brian McBride reports.
To say that I’m skeptical of self-driving cars would be a supreme understatement. If I had my druthers, I’d be happy going the rest of my life without ever sitting in a vehicle operated by a robot. But, they’re everywhere. Tesla has one, and recently a guy died while driving it. How did that happen? Well, the computer screwed up and a tractor-trailer slammed into the car. But can you blame the car? FiveThirtyEight’s Maggie Koerth-Baker explains how we can ever really expect any technology to be perfect or safe.
The Golden State Warriors turning into the most hated franchise in the NBA was unexpected. But there were quite a few moves around the league that turned heads. Mainly because the new TV money has ballooned the salary cap, readjusting what we once thought were big contracts. There’s also the small question of what happens with free agent Dwyane Wade. The Miami Heat are in a tough spot because he had a solid year last season with the team, but he’s also getting up there in age. So, paying him what he deserves is going to cost them a lot. ESPN’s Michael Wallace reports that $40 million might not be enough.
Coffee Break: With Independence Day just behind us, let’s have a little history lesson. It’s easy to presume that the men we call the Founding Fathers were old, wise gents, relying on years of life experience to form this nation. Alas, that’s not really true. They were all pretty young, as these things tend to go when it comes to revolutions.
Snack Time: If you haven’t seen this week’s cover of The New Yorker magazine, you should check it out. They’ve been on a great run, recently.
Dessert: There’s a way to play basketball on a public court. This is not the way to do it.
Summer, summer, summertime
so just sit back and unwind
The 2016 Roskilde Festival is underway in Denmark, and Greek artist Insane51 is here for it. The culture and music event has been around since 1951 and its purpose is to “support initiatives benefitting children and young people and to support humanitarian and cultural work,” according to festival’s website.
This piece, however, is perfect. Stateside, it’s officially summer and this Super Soaker redux looks extremely vivid. In case you forgot, that water gun was invented by an African-American engineer named Lonnie Johnson back in 1982. He’s from Alabama, went to Tuskegee University and holds over 80 patents.
Whether the artist or anyone at the festival is aware of that or not, who knows. But now, you know.
Independence Day goodies
Big Dick’s Hardware style
We’re not necessarily here to highlight people’s promotions, but when it comes to the Fourth of July, some retailers really let it all hang out. This particular setup was just so clean and so cool that it needed to be shared. Three MTN spray paint cans in a six pack of beer type container? Genius.
More importantly, though, is that Big Dick’s Hardware, the all-purpose streetwear and art supply store, was started by the iconic Los Angeles graffiti writer, Slick, whose work you probably first saw in the form of the cover of hip-hop group The Pharcyde’s 1992 classic album, Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde, from record label Delicious Vinyl.
Last year, Slick opened the location as kind of an art/retail/workshop hybrid in Gardena, California, where he’d moved his studio two years prior. “I never thought that I’d be doing a retail spot here. It wasn’t so planned as it just happened organically out of necessity,” Slick told The Hundreds when BDH opened. “I needed paint for my projects and there was nothing for miles.”
So, he started his own. That’s the American way.
Adidas’ ‘Away Days’
feature-length skate film is dominating the summer
7:00 AMAway Days, the first-ever, feature-length skate film from Adidas that was released in May, is excellent on many levels, particularly for a debut. The footage comes from three years worth of skating and rounds out at just over an hourlong. It is more than worth the $5 or so it’ll cost you to get it.
Things really turn up when DGK skater Rodrigo TX gets his feature, with him nailing incredible tricks in the tightest of spaces while wearing a variety of soccer jerseys. The story follows your basic “have board, will travel” model, with a ton of great cityscape scenes shot in between. The soundtrack moves from anywhere between airy cloud pop to trap hip-hop. The best part of the movie is watching a young Nakel Smith (pictured) imitating the late soul artist James Brown in a home video, before the film cuts to Smith and a few others shredding to Brown’s song, I Feel Good. Skater Benny Fairfax is a monster, too.
Anyway, the film is dope. On Tuesday, The Skateboard Mag caught up with skater Miles Silvas to talk about his five favorite tricks from the movie. It’s always interesting to see which tricks impress other skaters the most.
Here’s a more in-depth interview TransWorld SKATEboarding magazine did with Adidas. You can rent/buy the whole film here.
has some new action, and sports specific, earphones for you
If you don’t remember skater Chaz Ortiz, let me remind you. As a kid, he burst onto the scene — a Chicago native who catapulted to relative fame after going pro, then became a street-league star and found himself cleaning up parks with model Kate Upton and skating with rapper Lil Wayne.
Now, he’s the latest face for the speaker company JBL, which has a new line of earphones out called the “Grip 100,” specifically designed for action sports. The Zoo York rider is repping his team in Barcelona, before heading out. It’s a short, albeit fun, video, but these appear to be some pretty sturdy earbuds.
No word on whether he’s rocking Lil Wayne while laying down those tricks.
O.J. Mayo will not be in the NBA for some time
The eight-year veteran has been kicked out of the league for two years
1:54 PMWhen O.J. Mayo was in eighth grade, there were people in Ohio who were mentioning him in the same sentence as LeBron James. Sure, it might have been the second clause, but that’s how much people in that state thought of Mayo when he played at North College Hill High School. Alas, that never panned out.
Now, he’s been dismissed and disqualified from the NBA for two years. The disqualification is also known as “The Birdman,” in reference to the punishment that Chris Andersen received in 2006. If we’re being honest, I didn’t necessarily even realize he was still in the league. He’s been languishing with the Bucks for more seasons than people outside of Milwaukee care to remember. That team was supposed to be somewhat upstart, but that didn’t exactly come to fruition, partially because guys like Mayo never re-blossomed.
You may recall that his time in college at the University of Southern California could be described as “rocky” at best, ending with the sanctions that affected the football team and Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush, as well. According to the NBA, “drugs of abuse” (which he was kicked out for) include: “amphetamine and its analogs (including, but not limited to, methamphetamine and MDMA), cocaine, LSD, opiates (heroin, codeine and morphine) and PCP.”
Your “O.J. Yayo” jokes aside, trying to get back in to the league at 30 — while averaging 14 points and less than three assists a game, with both of those stats declining in his 26 career playoff outings — is going to be extremely difficult.
PUMA’s getting in on the sock shoe bit
The Ignite evoKNIT channels soccer cleat trends
11:42 AMA couple years back, Nike changed the game by basically including built-in socks in its soccer footwear. Now, that feature has migrated over to running shoes, via PUMA. It’s called the Ignite evoKNIT, and sports what the company calls “disruptive streetwear design.” While that adjective is up for debate, it is remarkable how quickly flyknit, as a look, has spread through pop culture.
I saw a tourist woman in her 60s rocking one of the most vibrant pair of neon flyknits I’d ever seen in real life the other day, unironically lost on a corner with a man who appeared to be her husband. My own stupid stereotypes aside, the point is, the fabric is universally recognized as fly, hypebeast or not.
Of course, while PUMA’s newest offering is a performance product, it ostensibly will also double as a casual shoe for the active brunch crowd. “It intertwines fashion and design with innovation and technology [and] … is made to be the boldest on the block,” according to the press release. “It’s designed to be unstoppable, whether it’s worn hitting the streets or heading out for the night with friends.”
Here’s a look:
The black colorway is dope, but those shorts might be the best of the bunch.
Daily Dose: 7/1/16
Don’t let things get too hot this July Fourth weekend
10:08 AMFor those of you skipping out on work early today to get a jump on the Independence Day holiday, a couple of guys in Spain have had you beat for the better part of two decades. These dudes got paid for 15 years without working.
If nothing comes from the Freddie Gray case in terms of justice, at least the Baltimore Police Department understands that some things need to change going forward. On Friday, new regulations begin for the BPD that require it to, you know, put a priority on keeping people alive when doing their jobs. Look no further to understand why the basic concept of Black Lives Matter exists as a movement. The technical term here is “sanctity of life” which, again, should not have to be explained. ABC News’ Catherine Thorbecke reports.
Let’s take a look at some vice presidential hopefuls. First, there’s Democrat Tim Kaine, who’s from Virginia, and has been in talks for a long time to potentially join presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on a ticket. But things are getting a bit awkward because, before he became governor, he accepted quite a few gifts as lieutenant governor. It has been known to be a problem there. Over on the other side, there’s Chris Christie, who’s apparently now being vetted for the Republican vice president slot. Which is also awkward, because, well, yeah. ABC News’ Josh Margolin has the details.
Did you have a summer job? In my hometown of Washington, D.C., the late Marion Barry made them famous as a staple of youth culture, but that’s not the case everywhere. What’s clear, though, is that far fewer teens are working and not because they don’t want to. It’s typically because they can’t find anywhere to work. Why? Because it’s typically the kids who don’t actually need the jobs who get them. FiveThirtyEight’s Ben Casselman analyzes the numbers.
Yes, it is the first day of NBA free agency. There have already been some pretty wild signings, including the Los Angeles Lakers giving a guy who played next to zero minutes in the NBA Finals more than $60 million, but whatever, the salary cap is going up! Hassan Whiteside is going back to the Miami Heat, as Jordan Clarkson is going back to the Lakers, but there are still quite a few big names out there, including, technically LeBron James. That list obviously includes Kevin Durant, but there’s also Dwyane Wade. ESPN keeps you up to date with this 2016-specific live breakdown.
Coffee Break: Musical artist Maxwell just dropped an album. Meaning, if you’re going when you go to a cookout this weekend, be sure that you keep things tight if you don’t want to wind up with a baby come April. Because they will be on the way once it starts playing over those speakers while you’re two-stepping with the E&J. Safety first, kiddos!
Snack Time: Cool and interesting news from the radio biz — Questlove is joining the board of trustees at WNYC, one of the better public radio stations in the country. Sounds like a great opportunity. Also, happy birthday, Missy.
Dessert: Never forget. July 1 is Bobby Bonilla Day. The day he proves to be the smartest American of us all.
P.K. Subban is going to Nashville
and that’s a good thing for American entertainment
2:35 PMOn its surface, it sounds weird.
The biggest star in hockey being traded from the most popular hockey city on the planet, which also happens to be in his native country? Nightmare scenario for a league that is still relatively marginal in many pockets of the country that don’t have a team nor care to. But for Canadian defenseman P.K. Subban, who was traded from the Montreal Canadiens to the Nashville Predators on Wednesday, it might the best thing that’s happened to him in a long time.
The last NHL All-Star Game was in Nashville, Tennessee, and the entire weekend was an interesting display for a town that is emerging as a destination living location for A-listers and a relatively popular place outside of just country music. From a hockey standpoint, which we won’t dwell on, the trade is bizarre. “The Montreal Canadiens have made possibly the worst trade in the history of their franchise, for no reason at all,” Andrew Berkshire wrote Wednesday. “This trade is so lopsided that it’s hard to believe it happened at all.”
PK Subban, the closest thing the NHL has to a superstar, is going to play in Nashville. Gary needs to cancel the trade CP3 style.
— Dieter Kurtenbach (@dkurtenbach) June 29, 2016
Subban is a star. The Toronto-native’s skills are just one part of it. Personalities like his don’t come around leagues like the NHL very often, and aside from the matchups on the ice, having him in any U.S. market is better for him than being stuck in his home country of Canada. With his sense of humor and style, his marketability in a city like Nashville is sure to make his brand shine far brighter than it did from Montreal.
There, of course, he was a legend. The city is losing one of its favorite people. Nobody wants to see that, but there have to be people in the NHL who are applauding this. Nashville is only a wasteland in the context of hockey, but in the American entertainment system, it’s a juggernaut.
oh my god no pic.twitter.com/Rc8xd1fsIB
— p – alana 4/16 (@paciorettys) June 30, 2016
P.K. is short for Pernell Karl, which is what he needs to start going by once he moves to Tennessee. The city itself over the past five years has been getting a lot more shine, nationally for what it has to offer. Nowville, Nashvegas, the nicknames keep coming, as corny as they have always been.
“Music celebrities are attracted to a state with no income tax and a ready-made talent pool. But they also just like it,” Kim Severson wrote for The New York Times in 2013. “As if to underscore Nashville’s position in the nation’s musical hierarchy, the city hosted the annual Grammy nomination concert in December. It was the first time the show was not held in Los Angeles.”
He’s been making hockey fun again for some time, and now Nashville will get to see it front and center.
has had enough with Nick Young
11:59 AMThe defecation has officially hit the ventilation for NBA player Nick Young.
Details of the Los Angeles Lakers guard’s fallout have come out, courtesy of his ex-girlfriend herself, rapper Iggy Azalea. My man is just sloppy on all levels. But we all saw this coming. We told you last week that hanging out with former NBA player Gilbert Arenas was an awful idea. On Thursday, the singer of the hit track Fancy aired him out via Twitter and some other bizarre details have come forward, too.
Dog, WHAT?! Cheating on your fiancée with your baby mama is reason numero uno why people don’t want to get involved with folks with children. The bond is effectively unbreakable and, unless you’re the most emotionally stable person on earth, it can create problems.
Not only has Young been super reckless with it, he’s also just openly being a jerk, too, reportedly. After Azalea was gracious enough to give back the engagement ring he gave her, he is being super shady about where it is, according to hollywoodlife.com. She also saw other women in their own home, on the security footage, which is beyond brazen.
This whole episode is nothing short of a A-1 ratchet mess.
Iggy Azalea living like three different Mary J. Blige songs on her timeline right now.
— Craig Bro Dude (@CraigSJ) June 30, 2016
Young is going into the third year of a four-year, $21 million contract with the Lakers. His son is named Nick, Jr. Keonna Green is his mother, who owns her own boutique. Azalea has her life together. Green does, too. Young, get it together.
Daily Dose: 6/30/16
Things are not getting better in Brazil for the Olympics
9:35 AMThe Undefeated team went out to Nationals Park to see a ballgame Wednesday night and it was a great time. Before that, we taped the podcast to talk BET Awards, Stephon Marbury’s shoe line and soccer in black America. Check it out.
“Make America Great Again” is a term wretchedly fraught with ahistorical nonsense. The obvious implication is that this country needs to have more white faces in positions of power, which, ahem, is racist. Why? Because the man spouting said tagline seems to believe that anyone with brown skin is an automatic problem that needs addressing or elimination. Check out the work of a New Mexico artist Vanessa Bowen who’s creating hats that say “Make America Native Again,” which makes a ton more sense. ABC News’ Avianne Tan has the story.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is making moves. The #OscarsSoWhite controversy that took over the internet — highlighting how incredibly nondiverse the nominations have been, not only in the past but specifically the last two awards shows — apparently has had a real effect. Today, the academy sent out nearly 700 invitations for new members and of that group about 40 percent were people of color and or women. OK, we see you. ABC’s Lesley Messer breaks down the exact numbers and what that means for Hollywood.
Istanbul is reeling after terror attacks rocked its international airport Tuesday. Forty-three people died and hundreds more were injured. As disturbing, there is relatively clear video footage of much of the incident, which for some reason makes the entire tragedy harder to digest. According to officials, none of the three attackers were from Turkey. However, while it feels like every week we’re seeing another terrorist act, the truth is that on a global scale, they are down. FiveThirtyEight’s Andrew Flowers explains though, where they have not decreased.
So, how are preparations for the Summer Olympics shaping up, you ask? Well, aside from the political unrest, disastrous anti-doping setup and nobody wanting to go, they’re great! Oh, what’s that? Body parts are washing up ashore in the very location of the beach volleyball venue? I see. Well, at least they’re aren’t drug traffickers running around creating havoc and occupying police resources that could otherwise be used for protecting the event? Oh, that’s happening, too? Alas. ESPN details how violence in Rio de Janeiro is not slowing down.
Coffee Break: If you haven’t been paying attention, Mother Jones reporter Shane Bauer decided to take a job as a corrections officer in Louisiana. He’s been documenting the process and, throughout, it’s been pretty terrifying. The publication released a five-part series on what it’s been like for him, and the final one is about prison riots. Yikes.
Snack Time: I tried to warn y’all, but NBA player Nick Young’s life is getting even more hectic. Rapper Iggy Azalea went on a serious Twitter rant about how he got his baby mama pregnant while the two were together. This is getting very ugly.
Dessert: Video of adorable panda twins just born in Macau? Clicking every single time.
All Day Podcast: 6/29/16
BET Awards, Stephon Marbury’s ‘$15 Kicks’ and soccer in black America
5:42 PMThe crew was back in the studio this week after staff writer Justin Tinsley had quite the eventful weekend in Los Angeles for the BET Experience festivities. Spoiler alert: He didn’t actually attend the BET Awards show, but was on the ground for a plethora of events.
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Tinsley, host Clinton Yates and senior style writer Jill Hudson break down Sunday’s entire show, including the tribute performances for the late musical artist Prince. They also discuss the latest installment of Spike Lee’s Lil’ Joints series, titled $15 kicks, regarding the rise and fall of former NBA player Stephon Marbury’s affordable sneaker line, Starburys.
Does it matter that soccer isn’t that prevalent in black America? The group tackles this question in the third and final segment of the show.
Give it a listen, and if you have any feedback or show ideas, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, if you’re in Washington, D.C., on Friday, join Tinsley for the #MarchOnUStreet, a long overdue celebration for LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, the winners of the 2016 NBA title. Hit him up on Twitter @JustinTinsley for details.
DeRay McKesson is back
in Baltimore, this time for the school system
3:39 PMWhen civil rights activist DeRay McKesson first announced he was running for mayor of Baltimore, many looked at it as the first step of the Black Lives Matter movement transforming from collection of protestors to an actual political force. It didn’t quite work out that way, as he finished sixth in the Democratic primary. Now, he’s going back as a school administrator in his hometown.
On Wednesday, Baltimore City Public Schools announced that McKesson would serve as the interim chief human capital officer, according to The Baltimore Sun. It’s a return to his old career where, in Minneapolis, he worked in the school system, before he became the most famous demonstrator in America.
The main question is: Will he wear the vest to the office?
Daily Dose: 6/29/16
Might LeBron James be leaving Cleveland again?
9:26 AMLook, let’s get something straight. I’ve been listening to Cher.
The attacks in Istanbul are devastating. I’ve never been there, but for a long time, I used to make an idiotic joke in which every time someone brought up the city, I’d ask them if they knew how to spell Constantinople, and refer to the location as such for the rest of the conversation. That bit ends today. A terrorist blast killed 41 people (the count as of now) and the images of the scene are terrifying. We won’t get into the political situation in Turkey and that whole history, but mass murder is never cool. ABC News has the story on the ground, and a first-person view.
I met someone yesterday who told me that I can’t afford to not watch Game of Thrones. It was the most compelling argument I’d heard for not being a fan in a long time. I don’t do dragons and trees (sorry, Lord of the Rings) but I do enjoy robots and lasers. I also don’t like sweet things, but I do like salty treats. However, Game of Thrones is something that I feel like a loser about. Don’t email me about this, please, I get it. It’s a great show, that was never in question. I just don’t watch it. Anyway, there will be two more seasons, TWO, according to the showrunners.
With the Olympics coming up, there’s a discussion we need to have. It’s about the mouth-breathers who can’t seem to understand the concept of gender as a relatively fluid matter and will inevitably freak out about something regarding an athlete, in the name of the “sanctity” of a competition. Caitlyn Jenner is an example of how that malleable framework can create issues for people who live in a world of hard regulations. Yet, the details of the scenario of who can compete and when are important to those who care. FiveThirtyEight’s Christie Aschwanden explains.
Now that Cleveland has its identity-changing championship, let’s talk about LeBron James. Technically, if he wants to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers again, he can. As in, his contract allows for such. And according to his agent, he declined his player option, which would have earned him a couple dozen million bucks. You never know, he might just peace out and create Team Banana Boat, just to make a complete mockery of the NBA, which would be glorious. If you’re a conspiracy theorist, now is the time to start worrying. ESPN’s Chris Broussard has the details.
Coffee Break: It’s worth pointing out that the movie Coming to America was released 28 years ago today. There’s a pretty solid argument that it’s the best comedy in movie history. Actor Eddie Murphy has done a ton of brilliant things, but that one was his magnum opus, as I see it. ESPN’s His & Hers paid tribute a while back.
Snack Time: The story of Zurlon Tipton is about as sad as it gets. In a situation that is so uniquely American, he accidentally shot himself and died, while trying to buy a car. He used to play for the Indianapolis Colts in the NFL.