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  • O+ Review: Lil Yachty - Teenage Emotions

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    How do you define the word rapper? In fact, how do you define hip-hop? Now take that definition, and try and put Yachty in that box… This is where the divide in opinion becomes more apparent. Those who force him into a genre he’s never claimed to be a part of are going to struggle to listen to him. This is because they’ve already prepared an idea of what he’s supposed to or going to sound like. Once you realise it’s nothing like you expected, and it doesn’t tick the “hip-hop” boxes, you’re left feeling unsatisfied.

     

    However, those who opt to listen to his music with an open mind, and expect nothing more than a happy 19 year old doing what he loves in his own way, then you’ll probably be more inclined to keep listening. Teenage Emotions is a grower, the more you listen to it, the better you understand his different personalities.

     

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    On this project, Yachty effortlessly floats throughout a handful of genres, boasting his eclectic nature. The project is generally all about fun and positivity, but when it does get dark you're never left feeling insulted or affected. He’s the overly ignorant, more staple rapper on tracks like FYI and hit Peekaboo with Migos, but then he creates the soundtrack to your favourite 80’s highschool sitcom on Bring It Back.

    Once you realise that these songs are written and recorded as different characters it becomes a much richer project, and enables you to listen to each track subjectively. The fact that Peekaboo and Bring It Back are even on the same album together proves Yachty's vocal and lyrical diversity, but the calmer tracks such as Like a Star and Lady in Yellow seem to outweigh the heavier ones. If you prefer the happier colourful side of Yachty then tracks like Say My Name and X-Men might be a bit of a chore to get through.

     


     

    It doesn’t take a trained ear to seek out the more polished and label-profitable tracks like Better with Stefflon Don where Yachty just feels out of his comfort zone, and Forever Young with Diplo where you can hear and feel the budget bursting at the seams. We lose that unique, clean rawness that put him where he is today and it begins to feel more like a product designed to sell.

     

    To break it down, the album feels a little all over the place in terms of themes, but it’s not bad music. There are just so many personalities to Yachty's character you find yourself taking breaks then coming back. But I guess I have to think, did I know what I wanted to do when I was 19? Was I burdened with pressure from 4 million fans and a heavily invested label to create something amazing? Maybe Teenage Emotions is a reflection of being young, highly emotional and not knowing what you want to do in life. Maybe the album wasn’t supposed to be a strategic masterpiece with a story by Quentin Tarantino, but series of raw, unarranged emotions captured through an original style of music by a happy teenager. Maybe we should just give him a break and join the sailing team...

    Stream the album on Apple Music and Spotify now.

  • "Time For Reflection" - Blood Brother x Guinness SS17 Capsule Collection

    From London to Dublin, we've teamed up with the sublime and internationally adored brewery Guinness, for a unique capsule range.

    After being approached by Guinness themselves, we looked deeper into the well-respected global giants and found that their brand ethos and direction was something that we didn't only share, but were also led by. Blood Brother's conducts paired with Guinness' like quality and consistency are identical and this ensured us that we could create something special. Their long term commitments to creating a powerful legion were an inspiration to us from the get go and so we didn't hesitate to invest are certitude into the project. With togetherness and quality at the forefront of the campaign, there are 8 pieces that showcase a "nostalgic look at time and reflection".

    We feel that teaming up with Guinness allowed us to open up to collaborations outside of fashion brands and finding common ground was easier than we first thought. The collection sees quality garments that feature blurry graphic t-shirts, outerwear embellished with gold detailing and distinguished fabrication (velvet and studded leather) that is bold, elegant and ever-evolving, which is something we both serve.

    The collection will be sold exclusively at Harrods in pop-up style or online through Farfetch, our site and more of our favourite online retailers. Be sure to stop off at the Guinness Factory the next time you're in Dublin.

     

  • NASA Announcement - 7 New Planets?

    Yesterday, NASA announced their latest discovery through a live-stream news conference via their website. All eyes were on NASA this morning and the pure jaw-dropping news that stunned many quickly catapulted into the headlines. As they casually announced the discovery of seven habitable planets, all a similar size to planet Earth, they also mentioned that these planets circulated around one single star.

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    The newly-found system has been named Trappist-1, which stands for Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope. Within this system you are able to see the other planets that are up close, just like those fantasy films you and I dream of being real. It could be a matter of making a fantasy a reality this time round. With space technology thriving, we may begin to see a lot more during the next few years with the potential of the industry to grow even more. With a consistent growth in the space sector over the past few years, we are hoping that it could be time for us to not just leave the country, but leave the planet.

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    The planets have been listed as B, C, D, E, F, G and H and NASA are already picturing what life might be like. It's definitely something to be excited about, however it's just a small step into uncovering the significant answer to our question of whether life exists elsewhere already. Due to these exoplanets being trillions of miles away, it's debatable whether or not the atmospheres could potentially be sustainable or not.

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  • AW/17 - Behind The Scenes

    London, 9th January 2017. Video shot by Sara Akhtar - @aka.sara

    Last month we proudly presented our AW/17 collection 'Thames' at London Fashion Week Men's. Check out the video above of what went down BTS.

    Inspired by our very own River Thames, AW/17 showcases the city of London and the continuity of motion we live by in this urban landscape. Our very own teddy bear Mr Cuddles even made a feature, as he is the subject of a washed up and culminating environment.

  • Smarter People, Smarter Cities

    With 8 out of 10 of us now living in cities in the U.K, the fight to keep our cities clean and sustainable are crucial more than ever, but what do we have to do in order to achieve this?

    Important elements like, reducing carbon footprint, improving living standards, are just a few of the many global predicaments that we need to consider and we are slowly bringing a solution to these problems, especially in cities. Whether it’s using solar energy or using less paper, each of these small actions are efficient in taking the bigger leap into a healthier and glowing environment. Technological innovation has also been playing it's part in recent years and exciting companies such as Sky Source and Trees For Cities are putting their expertise into practice by offering us environmental friendly solutions to our fundamental needs.

    It’s becoming apparent that we are all a little bit more alert of the world we live in, due to social changes and political uproars, forcing us to react and create this scene of togetherness. And so there are people taking action across the globe and next week the Climate Change Conference 2017 will be hosted in Colombo, Sri Lanka and we are certain that there will be plenty to talk about. Particularly, the increasingly high levels of pollution and smog in China’s over-populated cities; however the ‘Vertical Forest’ was announced just last week and we think this could be beneficial to our own capital, London. Maybe the Gherkin could be the first to see re-construction with it’s quirky silhouette and transparent manner.


    Nanjing is located in the midst of China, and this is where the Vertical Forest will take place. It will consist of 1,100 trees fused with over double the amount of plants and shrubs (2,500) that will be included into tall story buildings, ultimately cleansing the air and maintaining temperature control. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this before though, as in Lausanne, Switzerland and Milan, Italy have already applied the incredible architecture to their buildings and spaces. The architect is Stefan Boeri Architetti who recently stated the impact of his designs via his website: 'Each of these attempts is extremely important for the future of architecture and the future of our planet, because the single thought can have certain impact, but thousands of thoughts can change the world.’ This seems to be the motive on a worldwide scale too, with filmmaker Oscar Boyson highlighting the positive energy across the continents, as we strive to keep up with city life and the changes in which we can adapt to, as long as we tap into the correct state of mind.

    It’s about doing more with less and acting upon the innovative sources that we have on offer. It trickles down to the type of society that we want to be a part of, as the more people who get involved, then the greater the encouragement to seek change, and eventually shaping our world the way we want to see it.

    Check out Oscar's video here: The Future Of Cities

  • Wiley - "Godfather" Review

    After a decade and a half of being the ‘Godfather' of Grime, Wiley has taken the name upon itself and used it as the title of his 17-track album.

    The album cover features a young Eski-boy deep in a home studio doing what he does best. Gaining respect in the industry from an early age, Grime has always been influenced by the 38-year old and his loyalty to the genre and it’s movement. At this time of Wiley’s career you may not think there’s too much to prove. And there isn’t. In fact, his presence is an indication of his passion for making Grime music and bringing back the real OG vibe we love. Wiley addresses the industry as it is "Now it's a new day, everybody's got new ways” (Like It Or Not) but despite this, keeps to his monotonous flow and rhythmic production and makes Grime similar to the early 2000’s, proving his worth and his practicality.

    Tracks like Back With A Banger and Laptop showcase Wiley’s vision to make music fun with no ulterior motive, other than to spit over a liquidy beat that deserves radio plays for it’s sheer originality with the occasional shoutout to his achievements or his ends. But this is what Grime’s about and there is a huge sense of authenticity that breathes within the project. Flows are sharp and repetitive, whilst lyrics praise the work of the Godfather and his crew as he states “nobody ever gonna do what we done again”, identifying his powerful legacy that we can look back on. Other tracks like Name Brand and U Were Always, Pt 2 features his Boy Better Know affiliates, who help shape a blooming combination of an album that is dedicated to a throwback vibe. The most stand-out tracks lyrically for us were Birds N Bars that acts as an internal monologue ("Wiley Wiley, yeah that’s one of the achievers") to introduce the project whilst Lucid possesses a catchy beat that covers everything from Grime, Wiley’s work ethic and his progress over the years, which ends in a result of partying and booze.

    Wiley has had a successful career, but the success now seems to be more real than ever. His distinctive patter is consistent throughout and it hypnotises his growing audiences into a trance like state. You're guaranteed those ones that you can play in the car late at night, or the ones that go off in the club or that are good just for office sounds. As Godfather hits number 2 in iTunes, it’s unclear what else we can expect from the man himself, but what is clear, is that he is sure to stick around whether it’s behind the mic or not.

  • The Evolution of Planet Earth II

    In 2006, the Planet Earth Franchise released a series on our breath-taking natural world. It became popular worldwide, gaining approval from every corner of the globe. With the BBC investing more than ever before in a nature documentary, who else other than David Attenborough to fill the spot and take us on this adventure. This 11-part series released on DVD and was filmed in high-definition, giving us an exclusive insight into our lands.

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    Fast-forward to 2016 and a decade later, it's time for Planet Earth II. At the beginning of the first episode we join Sir Attenborough himself in a hot-air balloon amongst a snowy and mountainous landscape. We are promised that "much has changed" in the natural world, signalling that this time around Planet Earth II is going to be extraordinary for viewers. And it was.

    With each episode focusing on a separate entity, we were guided through the different, intense environments; Islands, Mountains, Jungles, Deserts, Grasslands and Cities.

    So what made Planet Earth II so intriguing and eventful this time round?

    Firstly, it was nature itself and the sheer intensity of each environment and the chaotic uproar it possessed, yet somewhat humorous antics that shaped the beauty of it all. From young Marine-Iguanas literally running for their lives from Racer Snakes (which became viral) to Flamingos dancing in shallow waters, or glow-in-the-dark creatures deep in the Jungle, each episode became more impressive and each encounter became more mind-blowing.

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    Since 2006, there has been an increasing drive amongst young people to dig deeper, find yourself and encourage change. So, every Sunday as you tend to wind down for the week, there’s not a better way to escape it than getting drawn into a world that seems a lifetime away, yet is so near and can offer so much. As the planet changes rapidly within society and the natural world, Planet Earth II highlights the relationship between them and identifies what really matters that all of us could learn from. These are the relationships we form, the places we call home and an appreciation for our own existence and just how distinctive it really is. In a place where we as a society feel the pressure and worry about every little thing, Planet Earth II is a friendly reminder to stay away from toxic things and start living in the real world.

    At the end of each episode we were introduced to some of the brand-new, groundbreaking equipment and techniques that captured these shots, as half the time I’m sure most of us were thinking, ‘how the f*** did you film that?’ - From this point on we gained some understanding to the depths in which the team went to, and some things were left unexplained... however it’s probably better that way. Hats off to the BBC.

    Lastly, the numbers amongst our younger generation (16 to 35) conveyed the proof that we were all curious to learn more about our planet, as more of us tuned in to watch Planet Earth II than X-Factor. As we look to ponder from the uncertainty of our global predicaments and social changes, this valuable series offers us peace and comfort that some of us needed more than ever.

    Don’t forget to check out Benji B’s Planet Earth Playlist to round up the series.

  • Scotland In Pink - Our Top 5 International Kits of All Time

    With Scotland playing in PINK last Friday, it got us thinking. Who else has made an impression in the fashion stakes with a striking jersey.

    Here are our Top 5 of all time.

    ENGLAND 1990 - 3rd Kit

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    This pale blue beauty had two outings, one in a European Championship qualifier against Turkey on the 1st of May 1991, this the first time a third kit had been used since 1970, and by Bernard Sumner in the 'World In Motion' music video, England's world cup song by New Order.

    NETHERLANDS 1988

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    Who can forget this kit, and who can forget THAT goal by Marco Van Basten. This is the only Dutch kit to have ever won at a major championships. They lifted the 1988 European Championship looking fresh.

    FRANCE 1984

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    An undisputed classic. The three colours of the national flag emblazoned on the chest with a proud Gallic rooster. This was Platini in his pomp. Another great kit lifting the European Championship trophy.

    USA 1994

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    A typically patriotic effort from the Americans when they hosted the World Cup in 1994. Alexei Lalas' flowing locks and mighty beard really made the kit though, without him it would have been forgotten.

    WEST GERMANY 1990

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    It pain me to say, but the last West Germany strip before their unification, is a real beaut. Worn by Klinsmann, Voller, and Matthaus in their 1990 World Cup triumph, it will go down as one of the best ever.

  • THIS IS 'AWFUL' - The Atlanta Record Label You Need To Know

    Self taught and self influenced, this Atlanta crew of millennial misfits are currently making some quite major fans in the Hip Hop scene right now. Drake has been quoting lyrics on his Instagram from founder/performer Father, and their collaboration with ILoveMakkonen has had over 7 million views on YouTube.

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    Left to Right : Tommy Genesis, Father, Abra, KeithCharles Spacebar, Lord Narf

    So what is it about them?

    It seems they have a bond that ties them together, that makes them stronger together as a unit, as oppose to individual entities. Tommy Genesis describes it, "We forget that we make music when we hang out, because we're like, 'who's barbecuing, who wants to watch this movie, who wants to cuddle, who wants to chill?" She continues, "I think the reason that it works is because we're not music first -- we're friends and family first." (Quote taken from an interview with Paper Magazine).

    It's a supremely loyal setup, and despite gaining critical acclaim, they have snubbed all overtures from major labels.  “We want freedom,” Father says. “Full 360-degree creative control. It doesn’t work when we get other people involved. We want to be radical.” (Quote taken from an interview with The Guardian).

    We went down to check them out last week at the Church of St John-at-Hackney, for the Red Bull Music Academy UK tour, and were not disappointed. Performances from KeithCharles Spacebar, Tommy Genesis, Abra, and Father, made for a pretty special gig.

    In fact, we're hooked. For us, they are the future, an independent, financially sufficient group, making music free of genre boundaries.

    Check out our 'THIS IS AWFUL' playlist on Spotify ; 'Bloodbrotherflagship'

  • Cinemagraphy by Jamie Beck

    Visual Graphic Artist Kevin Burg saw the potential of the .gif format way back in 2009 but didn’t fully realise the full potential until he ventured to New York Fashion Week with photographer Jamie Beck. From this partnership came the cinemagraph; a subtle but almost magical manipulation of imagery using isolated animation and multiple frames to create a small moment of movement within a seemingly still photograph.


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