Category Archives: Popular Culture

Popular Culture: Style, Swag, Trends

Platform Specific Businesses

smartphone-wars

There are many tech start-ups that aim to solve a problem by utilizing technology. Most of these start-ups emerge from ‘The Valley’ out in California where Venture Capitalists and wealthy folk throw money hoping to have the next FaceBook or Twitter on their hands – businesses with no real solid business model that makes no money outside of advertising (but I will save that rant for another post). A lot of the start-ups are uber niche – niche is a good thing as a small company does not have the resources to take on a big sector of an industry or market. But I always often wonder the logic that some start-ups take when they support their Web app native app from one platform over the other – especially when the barrier for entry is very low – very low. (Instagram and Vine are examples of apps that were iOS first before Android)

I’m not necessarily talking about the 1-3 start-ups that are working on their apps out of a Coffee house or Momma’s business, but I’m referring to the start-ups that have some funding such as Airbnb, Instagram, Uber, etc.. The dominant mobile platforms are Android and iOS, and many start-ups will usually embrace iOS before they go to Android (though that is slowly changing). But let’s look at how much it costs to publish an app in iOS App Store and Google Play:

  • Google Play – $25/year to publish app
  • Apple App Store – $99/year + SDK/NDK fees ($250)

It is actually cheaper to publish an app on Android than on Apple – now, there isn’t much of a difference there in my opinion, and I would postulate that most sane people would say the same. So the other important factor is programming – and let’s be honest there are many tools that devs can use to port their code OR they can code in HTML5 and JS and use many wrappers. Or if you really want to go native, then there is not a big hurdle in finding native developers, and to be honest most start-ups should have at least 2 devs that can cross-program iOS and Android.

So then if that isn’t the answer, we have to look at the psychology of targeting specific platforms (or at least I choose to ‘take it there’).  To be blunt, there is a perception that iOS is perceived as ‘high class’ in part due to its pricing from Apple. For this article’s sake, let’s just say a snobbery attitude exists hat has been cultivated quite cleverly by Apple that posits something to the effect of “Apple products are for those that prefer the finer things in life with”. From a marketing perspective that is not necessarily that bad because as humans, well in Western society especially, we have a desire to attain opulence and the finer things in life – from as a child with our fascination with Barbie’s and Hot Rods to our adult wishes of BMW’s, designer clothing, big houses, we have been receptors of marketing messages that promote this message. Some of us will spend our money, even when we don’t even have it, to go line-up at the Apple Store at the launch of a new iPhone or iPad. Developers tap into this murky technological psychology of brand perception and exacerbate this phenomenon – as technically, there is nothing that separates what an iOS vs an Android app can perform (the arguments even suggest that you can do more with an Android app). So the issue boils down to something that may seem confusing to someone that is rooted by economics of scale – though there are technically more Android devices out there, let’s produce an app for the platform that ‘appears better’, because we look down on the other platform.

Snobbery exists everywhere – even with something as simple as an ‘app’ – there are social complexities that exist.

.::LiBM::.

Propaganda Posters: Classic to Modern

Art of the Picture Persuasion

Some interesting propaganda posters from the world wars, and to modern politics.  Essentially, propaganda were the first original ‘Memes’ – meant to convey emotion and thoughts.

Some powerful imagery ahead.

wwii-propaganda-posters-500-29
– Powerful, showing that women were in the battle too.
Pacman
– I just thought that Pacman was cool; never was really good at the game though
UncleSam
– Good ‘ol Uncle Sam
Propaganda-Posters07
– I don’t really get this, leave a comment if you do
Obama_Propaganda
– Obama campaign poster
JapTrap-ListPr
– Governments were extremely racist
CarSharing-ListPr2
– I guess they wanted people to save on fuel expenses for the war effort, but this is kind of  a stretch – almost insulting people’s intelligence.
BoobyTrapListPr3
— In this one, they probably should of showed a bit more ‘booby’

 

.:: LiBM ::.

The 4 Types of Rappers

UCN-4_TypesOfRappers

The 4 Types of Rappers

There are 4 Types of Rappers that we all know, love, hate, despise, and secretly want to be like.

The 90’s Rapper

This is the rapper that thinks that Rakim & Eric B are still the President, and hope that Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth will get back together. Baggy pants are still a staple fashion, and using complex metaphors over a classic snare drum & clap mixed with a boring chorus – are the ingredients to ‘Real Hip-Hop’

Top 90’s Rappers:

  1. Jay Electronica
  2. Raekwon
  3. Underground Rappers

The Gangsta Rapper

This is the Alpha Thug, spends his drug money on working with the popular producers and the best studios. Loves Scarface. Is not afraid to take pics or videos of himself with guns, knives, and using banned narcotics. Likes to use a wide range of simile’s to explain how he will shoot and kill you, your family, and even retroactively kill your deceased great-great GrandFather from the civil war.

Top Gangsta Rappers:

  1. Young Jeezy
  2. Rick Ross
  3. Gucci Mane

The Swag Rapper

This is the Rapper whom gets his haircut at least once a week, cause you, black ppl’s hair grows back very fast. Always has the newest shoes and gear, frequenter of the Luxury Car Rental stores – cause appearance is everything, right? Makes sure to buy bottles upon bottles in the club, pouring liquor into his entourage’s mouth, and strangers. And always takes a bad bitch back to the hotel – then when its time to checkout, its back to Mama’s house … Until next weekend, and ‘We Do it again’.

Top Swag Rappers:

  1. Ma$e
  2. Tyga
  3. Any rapper that is highly materialistic (Yes, its a lot)

The Emo Rapper

This is the rapper that likes close fitting jeans, and low V-neck tops. Working out at the gym isn’t that important, food isn’t as important either. Comes from the suburbs, but knows about hardships …. Talks about real problems like bitches that snort too much of your cocaine, those type of issues. Likes to sing too, and thinks they are ‘Pseudo Rockers’ so will have a skateboard and guitar too. Also this rapper is very expressive with his feelings and emotions, sometimes a bit too much.

Top Emo Rappers:

  1. Drake
  2. Drake
  3. And, Drake

Yeah, we know there are more types of Rappers that could possibly be added to this list, feel free to list those types in the comments below.

.:: LiBM ::.

Credits:
Video Produced By: Urban Comedy Network
Director, Writer, Editor: Desmond LiBM B

Push Back and Management

Management Tales 101

Gotta give a shoutout to all Managers of the Independent Artists out there; management is a real tough gig. By definition of the job itself, Management is working for others, and hoping to fulfill their wishes and intent to the best of your capacity; so thus, you are working for people that already think highly of themselves and are a tad bit self-absorbed.

And the management of independent artists is a whole different beast I imagine; as the artist(s) are also co-managers, and necessarily do not have to take heed to your comments and recommendations. As most artists already have a ‘beautiful roadmap’ as to how they will make it in the game. The best thing you can do as a manager is to try and offer advice and constructive criticisms; though this may be a bit hard, because as a manager you are by very nature/definition a ‘control freak’ and/or have control issues – so not having free control over whatever you are managing, can prove to be frustrating.

So, here are a list of resources and potential problems with solutions for dealing with your independent artists:

Recording
How to deal with artists not recording and/or sticking to their schedule?

This is tricky, because part of the reason they may not be recording is due to lack of creativity, or due to laziness. So to sift through this if you are experiencing recording problems, is to stop making the schedules for them, and tell the artist(s) to start scheduling their own damn schedule – this way you can test their seriousness and work ethic.

Promotion & Brand Visibility

What do to with artists whom are not engaging and interacting with fans?
Some artists think that they just make music and perform – and that’s it. But in this day of age, I would liken artists as brands – and their are many ways to manage and promote your brand, and more importantly engaging and communicating with your followers/fans. With the range of tools that are available to us, it is easy to engage in ‘CRM’ (Customer Relationship Management) with a brands following, here are some good tools:

    HootSuite – scheduled sending of tweets (offers free & PRO accounts), and has mobile apps on BB, iOS, Android
    http://www.hootsuite.com
    Gmail – the amount of tools and features that gmail has makes it easy to send and respond from any computer or device
    http://www.gmail.com
    Google Voice – Allows you to get a virtual number that you can use as a business number; and can be managed via your Google gmail account.
    http://www.google.com/voice


Miscellaneous & Organization
Other things to help keep you organized:

    Notebook: bring these to meetings and document major goals and ideas so that in the future you can go back to these failed goals and see ‘what went wrong’
    Calendar: Usually everyone has a smartphone, so teach your artist(s) about how to use the calendar function (you’d be surprised how many people that have smartphones don’t use this feature). And for important events and milestones, add several reminders so that they can’t say ‘I never knew’. I love the Calendar, its a fail-safe bullshit meter

If you have any other items that I may have missed, please feel free to comment and let me know – heck, I’m still learning myself.

P.S.;  and I guess the greatest asset to have is PATIENCE, as you deal with some things and thoughts that make no logical sense.

NFL Films: All About the Score

All About the Score

Of all the major sports leagues, the best league in my opinion that has handled the delivery of media and timeless content is the NFL. The NFL Films branch of the NFL produces not only amazing behind the scenes documentaries of life on the gridiron, but the music score to the films is quite amazing. NFL Films was developed as an offshoot of the NFL in 1962, and has since then been heralded as producing astounding content – here are some of the great scores that have come out of NFL Films.

Main composer: David Robidoux

Old NFL Films theme music

Composer: Tom Hedden

Composer: Sam Spence – The Equalizer

Who would of thought that adding classical orchestra music to scenes of Football players running and smashing into each other would come off so well …

Also, thank god that Football is back, Baseball is hella boring #Fact

.:: LiBM ::.

Little Carl Carlton – Drop By My Place

Little Carl Carlton

A classic Motown/Funk era jam from Detroit native ‘Little Carl Carlton’ with a track called ‘Drop By My Place’ (Back Beat Records 1970).

Some more pictures of Little Carl Carlton, and a note, they were really funky with the album imagery back in the day – besides the quality of graphics, I don’t think much as really changed … I could be wrong:

The Wire Quotes

Snoop, Marlo, Avon Quotes

I don’t know what is the exact term for these types of pictures/quotes; you’ve seen them before – always talking about inspiration, or making a popular culture reference joke.  Anyhow, the great pseudo docu drama TV series ‘The Wire’ (2002-2008) on HBO is known as a critically acclaimed series that never really got is props for telling a real story about the socio-economics and ganglife of inner-city Baltimore.

Came across some classic Wire quotes from classic characters such as Marlo, Snoop, McNulty, and Avon Barksdale.


(click on link to enlarge)

.:: LiBM ::.

Shaft’s Big Score – Don’t Misunderstand

Don’t Misunderstand

This is an actual real music from the Blaxploitation film Shaft’s Big Score (released 1972), this is a song that accurately captures the mood of the ‘infamous’ times of the 1970’s as pimping, gangsterism, and being a ‘playboy’ was coveted and revered. Jumping forward to the current day, I don’t think much as changed – except where this song sounds a bit more eloquent, while the current music is very blunt & direct with their slackness & slackitude.

There are some real funny and classic lines from this song. I’m still trying to figure out who the composer is; as it wasn’t mentioned in the film credits.

Euro-Hop on Hip-Hop

The Euro Flava on Hip-Hop

2010 can probably be seen as the year of the ‘teaser’, where hip-hop got a little sugary taste of euro flavor. And the equivalent to the creepy guy that delivered the sugary snack was none other than Euro house star producer David Guetta. With chart-topping tracks for Kid Cudi, Estelle, Flo Rida, and Black Eyed Peas, other hip-hop and urban artists are taking note and realizing a new potential and opportunity. Some absolute truths exist with the euro market;
A) it is a big-ass market,
B) most Europeans already embrace the hip-hop culture

Thus, as hip-hop grows and continues its syntheses, 2011 will be the year of more and more songs embracing the Euro flava’. Rihanna just dropped a literal euro album, and everyone from Usher to Ne-Yo has singles in the works.
However, some of the hip-hop purists abd your general haters, have voiced some of their dis-taste for this evolution – citing it as ‘pop’, ‘euro trash’, and turning hip-hop into shit. What I think it is actually doing is tapping into a sub-genre that for some reaspn took very long for artists to explore. Hip-Hop has many Flavors, and this particular one will be somewhat on the pop tip; with mindless lyrics about club life, e-popping, and alcohol drinking rhymes, but isn’t it better than the current ‘club hip-hop’ trash of Wocka Flocka and other ‘hits’ that only talk about shooting and drug dealing? I guess I am referring to deciding between picking on one of the lesser evils, but from a societal standpoint, music laced with heavy degradation and negativity can’t be good. We are probably a long way off for clubs to be playing Talib Kweli or Immortal, but give me a euro-pop track with layering instrumental compositions with mindless lyrics, over bass-heavy coke-laced raps.

And really, life is all about innovation & progression, and that is what hip-hop has always done – I’m not saying that this sub-genre should dominate the artform, but it should be a viable repertoire in an artist’s weaponary and should be similied to ‘dirty South’, ‘west coast’ hip-hop style.

David Guetta feat Chris Willis, Fergie, LMFAO


Flo Rida – Club Can’t Handle Me ft. David Guetta

Jared Evan – In Love With You

Jared Evan – In Love With You

Heard this track on the ending credits of HBO’s Entourage episode “Sniff Sniff Gang Bang” from Season 7, episode 8, and the track is infectious. A sort of Pop/Rock/R&B fusion that hits hard. One thing about Entourage: Its not the greatest show, but the music selections are on point. The artist is Jared Evan, the track is ‘In Love with you’.