Takeoff: the Last Remaining Migo

With the 2017 release of their debut album, Culture, Migos have solidified their place among the upper echelon of rappers. Mastering their craft for quite some time now, it is safe to say that this was their breakthrough year. Quavo, the head huncho, brings charisma and melodies to the group. Offset brings raw aggression. Takeoff brings a silent mystique that unfortunately leads to him being widely considered the lesser of the three.

Despite the immaculate chemistry between the three, each member has what it takes to be a standalone artist. Offset recently teamed up with 21 Savage on their joint project, No Warnings. Quavo is rumored to be working on a project with Travis Scott, but with no release date in sight or singles released, it’s difficult to tell if this is just a myth. This brings us to Takeoff. Could Takeoff be working on a solo project or teaming up with another artist? If so, who could it be? Let’s take a look at a couple artists who could make a good partner for a Takeoff project.

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Young Thug is an underrated rapper. When it comes to music, Thug is an unpredictable rap kamikaze; you’ll never know what you’re going to get. He’s released a ton of work this year; Beautiful Thugger Girls, Young Martha, and the most recent Super Slimey just to name a few. Young Thug isn’t afraid to experiment, even if it’s at the risk of being slandered and excoriated by the rap community, hence the kamikaze reference. His willingness to experiment makes him a possible candidate to team up with Takeoff.

Thug and Takeoff share a unique attribute that sets them apart from the rest: their voices are actual instruments. It’s not always what they say or even how they say it, you just want to HEAR them say something, their voices are that alluring. Thug, of course has more range and diversity, but Takeoff brings a distinct sound that is deep and intimidating, two necessary traits for any street/trap rapper. A collaboration with Takeoff would likely force Young Thug to ditch the antics and bring the bars we know he’s capable of producing. At the same time, he can offer melodies and hooks, making up for Takeoff’s lack of vocal range.

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Future sounds good with anyone. Annoyingly considered by most a mumble rapper, Future fits well with Takeoff’s rapid fire flow. Similar to the point made about Young Thug, Future can bring diversity to a Takeoff project in the form of melodies and hooks. Future already has a track record with Migos (literally) with songs such as Iced Out My Arms, No Pressure, and Patek Water. The latter of the three featured Offset, and Takeoff easily could have been swapped in here.

Future had a huge wave from 2015-2016, which somewhat died down this year. Future stayed consistent, dropping Hndrxx and Future in back to back weeks and the aforementioned Super Slimey was released only last month in October. The fact is, you know what you’re going to get from Future and he probably over saturated the market by dropping project after project for the past few years. A tag team with Takeoff could help rejuvenate a Future buzz heading into 2018.

2017 was the year of the Migos. As each artist branches out and collaborates with other artists, they remain relevant while displaying their versatility. This is a great strategy for them since it not only provides them an opportunity to show that they can be successful on their own, but it also builds great anticipation for the Culture 2 album. With Quavo and Offset already making solo moves, Takeoff is up next to step out of the shadows and show what he’s got.

 

Is there anyone else you think would sound good on a Takeoff project? Leave your answers in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

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Relax NBA Fans, The Cavaliers will be Just Fine

“The Cavaliers are struggling.”

“Cleveland looks terrible this year!”

“The Cavaliers are choking, there’s no way they’ll make it to the Finals!”

We are barely two weeks into the 2017 NBA season and the sports world is already losing their minds about the Cleveland Cavaliers’ abysmal 3-4 start. Yes, the defending 3-time eastern conference champions are underachieving. Yes, they are losing to teams they should beat blindfolded with an arm tied behind their backs. Yes, it’s impossible to beat anybody in basketball blindfolded with an arm tied behind your back, but that’s beside the point. The point is this: the Cleveland Cavaliers will be just fine.

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The Cavaliers have lost 3 in a row in their 3-4 start but there’s no need to worry

The 82-game season just started. We are only in week two of the new season and teams are seven games in.  We’re not even 10 percent into the year and critics can’t wait to bash the underachieving Cavaliers! The season is a marathon, not a sprint, and it takes about 20 games for teams to really get an understanding of what potential they truly have as they progress into the year. With dramatic roster changes over the past offseason, it’s going to take time for this team to build chemistry.

To begin with, the Kyrie Irving trade took everyone by surprise. Irving’s unforseen demand then led to a restructuring of the team which gave the Cavaliers a completely new look from last year. Bring in Isaiah Thomas, Dwyane Wade, Jeff Green, Jae Crowder, and 2011 MVP Derrick Rose. This adds tons of experience and depth to a team that couldn’t even tie the Golden State Warriors’ shoes last year.

With a revamped roster, the Cavaliers have a serious challenge to overcome: crafting a starting lineup. With Isaiah Thomas out until at least January, the Cavaliers are currently juggling LeBron James and Derrick Rose for the starting point guard position. Dwyane Wade and J.R. Smith are playing rock paper scissors for the starting two guard spot. Kevin Love has no idea where he fits on the team. Seven games into the season and we have already seen five different lineups from Cleveland. There is clearly a struggle with chemistry here as Coach James and Assistant Coach Tryonn Lue try and figure out which starting five gives them the best chance to win. With 75 games in the season remaining, these guys have more than enough time to figure it out.

Next, there’s the issue of Cleveland losing to teams who didn’t even make the playoffs last year. What’s more, the Cavaliers are losing by wide margins; these games aren’t even close! They lost by 21 to a young, relatively unknown Orlando Magic who is off to a surprisingly good start. In their 3 game losing streak they lost by 22 points to the Pelicans then by 19 to the Knicks.

The main issue here seems to be lack of effort and awareness. Guys seem like they don’t know where they’re supposed to be or who they’re supposed to be guarding. Not only are the Cavaliers struggling to defend, they’re underperforming on offense. The offense just is not clicking yet and the defense consequently suffers. The Cavs are only shooting 34% from three while their opponents are shooting 40%. This means that Cleveland’s missed shots are leading to more transition opportunities for their opponents. The Cavs are averaging 16 turnovers per game while their opponents only average 11. This leads to more possessions and, again, more transition opportunities for their opponents. Starting to see how bad offense leads to bad defense?

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The Cavaliers’ losses have been frustrating to say the least. They have 75 more games to get it together.

The Cavaliers should be cut some slack though. Even with Lebron’s return in 2014, the Cavaliers have not exactly been known for their defense. Currently ranked 24th in the league, they could be considered pushovers on that end of the floor. However, you may be surprised by who sits three spots below them in the defensive rankings. At 27th in the league, the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors are not doing too well on defense either. Not to mention this team is only  off to a 4-3 start to the season, losing to the Rockets, Grizzlies, and Pistons. This team, expected to mop the floor with the competition seems surprisingly vulnerable but that’s a conversation for another time.

Led by the greatest small forward of all time in Lebron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers are off to a shaky start this year. With an ever changing lineup due to injuries and chemistry imbalances, this team is struggling to find their way. There are over 70 games remaining in the season, and as players and coaches get a better feel for each other they will surely figure things out. Their defense will improve as they become more consistent on offense and they will surely put in more effort as the playoffs draw nearer. Relax NBA fans, the Cavaliers will be just fine.

Why Childish Gambino’s Last Two Albums are Already Classics

Donald Glover is an artistic savant. Commonly known as Childish Gambino, his rap alias derived from the Wu-tang Clan name generator, Glover masters crafts seemingly with minimal effort. From TV sitcoms to stand up specials, from short films to rap albums, Glover expertly transitions into and conquers mediums of creative expression as gracefully as one changes lanes on a highway. Highly underrated, Gambino may have crafted two classic albums and, shockingly, no one is talking about it.

Because the Internet, Gambino’s second studio album was released in December of 2013. Released a couple years prior to the prevalent mumble rap era, Because the Internet had alot to say about society at the time. Released concurrently with his short film Clapping for the Wrong Reasons, Gambino tells a seemingly unrelated story of a fictitious character named The Boy. The Boy, in Gambino’s dreamworld, is the son of real life Rick Ross. The Boy partakes in the frivolous lifestyle of partying, drinking/smoking, and dating beautiful women; the american rap dream. The film’s title could be a nod to society’s current infatuation with supporting nonsense, a theme mirrored in his satirical song, “Worldstar“.

 

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Because the Internet has tremendous replay value.

Because the Internet features 3 songs that all went gold; “Bonfire,” “Sweatpants,” and “Heartbeat”; his breakout and ultra catchy “3005” went platinum. The album itself went gold in February of 2016, with over 500,000 units sold and counting. Gambino was nominated for a grammy for best rap album of the year in 2015 but lost to Eminem (Marshall Mathers LP 2). With so much being said on the album at a time where no one was saying too much, Because the Internet was unlike anything else and Gambino’s marketing strategy of releasing his short film simultaeneously was genius. To this day, the album has tremendous replay value and is highly underrated.

 

After Gambino sunk into the shadows and was unheard from for three years, the world wanted more music. At the end of 2016, Childish Gambino gave the world more music but no one could have predicted what would come next.

Awaken, My Love was released December 2, 2016. Now in the peak of the mumble rap

The bone-like head piece was made by designer Laura Wass for Awaken, my Love. The album cover was inspired by Funkadelic’s album, Maggot Brain.

era, hip hop was taking what many considered a turn for the worst. At a time like this, people expected the most notable figures to take a stand and bring real hip hop back. Would Gambino showcase a new rap style or would he take a stab at the ultra popular mumble rap style and show the newbies how it’s done? He did neither.

Instead, we got Awaken, My Love (AML), which is not a rap album at all! AML is psychedelic. It’s soulful. It’s funky. It’s unlike anything that has been released since the 70’s/80’s and it is wonderfully refreshing. Childish Gambino’s talent cannot be measured and his musical talents are on full display here. What separates Gambino from any other musician is his musical range. On the first listen you will undoubtedly say to yourself “no way this is the same guy from 3005!”

AML is a socially conscious soul album that pays homage to the good ol’ days of funk. In a time where social injustice was omnipresent and racial tensions were the highest in years, AML came right on time. Whereas Because the Internet was a satire of a dumbed down society with no apparent values, AML was a wake up call to society. Inspired by his father’s old school music, Gambino dug deep and went back to his roots.

Not taking himself too seriously, Gambino spreads messages of peace, love and positivity evidenced by tracks like “Have Some Love” and “Stand Tall”. The standout track on this album is, without a doubt, his platinum hit “Redbone” (which you may have recognized as the intro music to the movie Get Out). This album is “woke” without being in your face about it, and it is quite soul cleansing to listen to. Debuting at number 1 on the R&B album charts and 5 on the Billboard charts at the time of release, AML had quite the buzz and is currently gold with over 500,000 units sold.

Impact and longevity are the two key ingredients to create a classic album. Four years later, Because the Internet still has replay value and still has a relevant social message. Although it is not quite one year old AML’s soul-funky sound and heartfelt peaceful theme already makes it timeless. Both albums have sold considerable amounts of units (not to mention streams which makes album sales much trickier to count) so the impact is apparent. You can call him Donald or you can call him Childish, but you have to call his last two albums classics.

 

Why you Attract the Woman you Don’t Want

You have the worst luck when it comes to dating. Why does it seem like you always attract the woman you don’t want but the one you do want wouldn’t even let her dog kiss you? A common reason for this is that you are not treating all women the same. Although there is no solution to attract ANY woman you want, by treating all women the same you have a better chance of evening that ratio.

If you’re in the dating world, it’s imperative to know that there are social skills involved in the process. Just like with any other skill, your dating/social skills need to be consciously practiced. The more time you put in, the better you’ll get and the more results you’ll see. First, let’s try and figure out why you seem to always get attention from the woman you’re not interested in.

You’re more aloof when you’re interacting with women you have no romantic interest in. You’re less cautious about your choice of words, you’re more relaxed, and you’re just more comfortable with being yourself. You’re being genuine. You have nothing to prove to a woman you have no interest in and this ironically could lead to her liking you even more.

Why is that?

People are attracted to independence and sincerity. The fact that you’re comfortable and relaxed in your own skin puts people at ease, you give off a positive vibe which attracts people to you. Your nonchalance with the woman you’re uninterested in tells her, “I don’t take myself too seriously and honestly, I’d be fine with or without you in my life.” It’s odd, but people want what they can’t have and your independence is what draws you to her. Well how will I get to practice my dating/social skills if I’m constantly around women I’m not interested in? Good question.

You’ll never know when you’ll meet the love of your life, but you want to be prepared when you do. If you’re not comfortable having fun, normal conversations with any woman, you’ll likely freeze up when you meet the one who takes your breath away. When interacting with a beautiful woman it’s important to remember not to let her beauty intimidate you. If butterflies are in your stomach, don’t ignore them but embrace them. This woman ignites passion within you and the last thing you want to do is creep her out because you’re a bumbling idiot. Take a deep breath, forget about the fact that she’s drop dead gorgeous and carry on your interaction with the same self confidence you would with the average Jane.

Here’s an interesting thought: beautiful women don’t get approached as often as you think. Even when they are, most of the guys who approach them have no idea what they’re doing or they’re putting up a front. Women see straight through this. Didn’t I say that people are attracted to sincerity? Women (most of them anyway) don’t necessarily want to be idolized, they want a partner–someone who isn’t glorifying their beauty. They want an equal. When you interact with them as if they were just a regular girl, you communicate confidence. You’re communicating to her, “I know I’m good enough for you.”

Treating the woman you like the same as the woman you don’t like helps you build confidence and provides opportunity for you to work on your “game”. Remain aloof and true to yourself at all times and you’ll be surprised at the results you get. Remember, the most gorgeous women are only human, they die too. Appreciate her beauty, let that energy inside of you rejuvenate and inspire you but don’t let it consume you.

ATTENTION FOLLOWERS!!! I will no longer be posting dating and relationship blogs on this site. Please follow my dating site for future updates on the topic!

LeBron James vs Giannis Antetokounmpo: Who Will Win NBA MVP?

We’re only one week into the 2017-2018 NBA season and it’s been thrilling so far. The Warriors have been vulnerable, the Cavaliers and Celtics have suffered injuries to key players, while the Suns have made it their personal mission to lose by as many points as possible. Although it’s really too early to tell, a hot topic is this year’s MVP race. At the moment, the two frontrunners are leaps and bounds ahead of the competition.  These MVP candidates are LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Let’s dive in and discuss what each player brings to the table and what it will take for them to hoist the trophy next summer.

Let’s start with King James. First of all, LeBron James should win the MVP every single year. Regarded as “the chosen one”, James brings immeasurable value to any team he plays for. He’s the best passer that we’ve seen since Magic Johnson in the 80s. He’s the most physically dominant player we’ve seen since Shaq in the 90s and early 2000s. As perhaps the most consistent scorer of all time, he has the record for most consecutive seasons averaging 25 points per game with 13 and counting! The record was previously held by Karl Malone with 11.

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Is this the year Lebron wins his 5th MVP?

 

LeBron’s biggest blemish on his legendary resume is his 3-5 record in the NBA Finals. This devastating flaw is actually what could fuel James to relentlessly pursue the MVP title this year. James, a 3-time NBA champion, has won the heralded MVP award 4 times (’08-’09, ’09-10, ’11-’12, ’12-13).  Last year, LeBron James specifically said he has nothing else to prove. He’s won championships, the most important one being the 2016 championship he won for his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers. With the dominance of the Golden State Warriors over the past 3 years, it’s difficult to see anyone else winning it for at least the next 2. With this in mind, LeBron (32 years old in his 14th season) could perhaps sense futility in chasing another championship against the unbeatable Warriors and instead shift his focus to showing the world he is still the king by earning his 5th MVP.

Next, we have Giannis Antetokounmpo. Yes, I had to google his name to find the correct spelling. The “Greek Freak” is a physical monstrosity. Giannis is seven feet tall, handles the ball like a guard, scores like a forward, and protects the rim like a center. Not to mention he can get from halfcourt to the rim in just ONE dribble! We literally have never seen anything like this! Similar to LeBron, he can play and guard positions 1-5 so the value he brings to his team is undeniable. Unlike LeBron, Giannis took several years to develop his game. Drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2013, he has improved his game exponentially year after year. The Greek Freak is currently averaging 37 points per game with 5 assists and 11 rebounds. Yes, it is still early in the year and that staggering 37 points per game will undoubtedly drop but those are crazy numbers to start a season!

What does each player have to do specifically to ensure they win MVP?

LeBron and Giannis are the two frontrunners for MVP.

 

King James and his Cavaliers face the Greek Freak and his Bucks four times this year. Whoever wins the most games in this series will likely earn a step up on the other in the MVP race. Defeating the Bucks this past Friday, King James already holds the lead in that respect. Next, LeBron has to at least reach the NBA Finals. With a season ending injury to Gordon Hayward, the Celtics are unlikely to prevent the Cavaliers from doing this. Should the Cavaliers upset the Warriors in the Finals, LeBron will undoubtedly earn his 5th MVP award. Giannis and his Bucks have reached the playoffs only twice since he was drafted, both times losing in the first round. Giannis has to not only lead his team to the playoffs through the weak eastern conference, but they also have to advance into the deep rounds for him to get the nod for MVP over LeBron. If the Cavaliers and Bucks face each other in the eastern playoffs, the winner will likely determine the winner of the MVP award.

Although it’s highly likely that the Golden State Warriors will win their third championship in four years this season, it should still be a highly entertaining year! The MVP race is currently a 2-man race between the current greatest player in the world and a young phenom prepared to take his crown. Who will end up raising that MVP trophy next summer? Only time will tell.

Stop Attaching Your Happiness to People and Things

How many times have you said “If I could just have … I’d finally be happy”?

You probably said it this morning when you woke up for work as you wished for 100 million dollars so you could quit your job and tell your boss where to shove your last paycheck. We’re constantly bombarded with advertisements for products we don’t need. We scroll through our timelines and are force fed pictures of lovey dovey couples and we feel two emotions: envy of their fairy tale romance and longing for fulfillment through an intimate bond with a significant other. Life would be so much better if we could have what we want. These are all external goals and there’s nothing wrong with wanting more for yourself. However, the happiness these things bring is fleeting and it never brings the contentment you thought it would.

Once you finally get what it is you set out for you will often tragically find that it’s hardly ever as good as you expected. Ladies, have you ever gotten that guy you’ve been desperately flirting with just to find out he’s a clingy pushover? Guys, have you ever dated that girl you’ve been instagram stalking just to find she’s shallow and annoying? What about those of you who finally got that high paying job and only after a few months asked yourselves, “where’d all my money go?” As I said before, there’s nothing wrong with wanting more for yourself, you should have these aspirations because you deserve it. Just understand that there’s something you need to realize that’s way more important than actually attaining these things.

It’s about the journey.

When you tell yourself you want something, you’re essentially setting a goal for yourself. Setting goals ignites a fire within you, you’re working towards something. This gives you purpose. When you want something you don’t have, you’re forced to grow. You have to do what you’ve never done to get what you’ve never had and this sets you on your personal mission of acquisition (I like that one).

Once you get what you wanted you experience an abundance of joy, you’re walking on air.  However, it’s not the actual object of your desire that brings you joy, it’s the contentment of knowing your hard work has paid off. You’ve been hitting the gym, updated your wardrobe, and finally got that girl. You picked up extra work, saved up your money and finally bought your dream car. Congratulations, you did it!

Accomplishing these goals you’ve set for yourself gives you proof that you actually can do something if you put your mind to it. This builds self confidence. Once you reach one goal, you should use that momentum to set another and continue the process. This is why the rich get richer; they love the challenge and are confident enough in themselves to pursue endeavors that push them out of their comfort zone and forces them to grow.

You should want more for yourself, it’s encouraged. Just realize that it’s the journey of self discovery and growth that is the real reward. That “thing” you want is just a trophy of your hard work!

Why You Should Embrace Mediocrity

All your life you’ve been taught something along the lines of “shoot for the moon. If you fail, you’ll land on the stars.” This inspires you for the moment. You actually are convinced that if you believe in yourself you can accomplish anything. Let me be the one to burst your bubble: you’re probably mediocre and you will probably never accomplish anything of significance, and that is perfectly okay.

There’s something endearing about a good success story. People love stories about an average Joe (or Joanne for all the feminists) who does the unthinkable and overcomes the impossible en route to a fairy tale ending. These stories are captivating, tantalizing, stimulating, blah blah blah. They make us feel like anything is possible if we believe in ourselves and shoot for the stars. It fires us up, but what do we do with all this fire within us?

Some people dive into books. Give this post a like if you’ve heard of at least one of these books:

  1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  2. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
  3. Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins
  4. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
  5. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

If you’ve read one self help book, you’ve read them all. Do you really have what it takes? If not, that’s fine, stay true to you!

 

If you’ve read any of these books (or any self help book) you may find an awakening within you. With this newfound knowledge, you’ve developed a self confidence you haven’t experienced in maybe ever. As you move to apply what you’ve learned you may discover a devastatingly discouraging truth.

 

You don’t have what it takes.

Ten out of ten of the self help books you read will tell you that the most successful people have routines that the average person overlooks. Ten out of ten of the self help books will tell you to work your butt off and never stop pushing. Ten out of ten of the self help books will mention that self discipline and an iron will is what pushes you to the top. This is all true, but it may not be true for you.

You will apply these philosophies and you may notice that it’s just too exhausting. You enjoy treating yourself when you feel you deserve it. You hate waking up before the sun to workout. Staying up late to work on your business idea is exhausting. Is all this even worth it? This is where self awareness kicks in.

At this point, you really need to sit and think about who you are and why you have embarked on this journey to “success”. The key to remember is this: success is subjective. Success to you may not mean the same thing to me. You really have to determine what it is that makes you fulfilled. For some, it’s raising their kids to become decent human beings. For others (or me), it may be living on an secluded tropical island making a living as a writer. It’s not necessarily the millions of dollars and fleet of foreign cars that we’ve been brainwashed to believe determine our self worth.

 

This is the American Dream. But is it your dream?

It’s important to stay true to you. If you partake in the success routines described in the self help books and struggle to develop the unwavering self confidence to achieve anything extraordinary you should consider the fact that you may just be average, and that is fine! Sleep past 10 AM if you want. Skip the gym if you don’t feel like going. It’s your life, do what you want to do. Once you let go of expectations, you’re free to live life on your terms and that is what true happiness is. 

This is not an attempt to discourage you from pursuing excellence. It’s about being true to yourself. Sure, the hard work and discipline will likely pay off, but a lot of people just don’t have it and you may be one of those people. I’m one of those people. I embrace my mediocrity and you should too.