Thursday, June 20, 2013

The "Magna Carta" of 2013

We live in a culture where popular public figures, such as musicians and athletes, are our Nation's trend setters, and have become more influential than the people in our Government. Now, I am not talking about how we politically think--yet some people cast their ballots depending whom their favorite Public Figures support--but rather how we dress, think, eat and communicate to the rest of the world. I put my money that most sports fans can name the star player for every NBA and NFL team, but can't give me the names of 10 Senators, 5 Governors and 2 Judges for the Supreme Court. (For those who can, remember, there are always exceptions to the rule.)

I bring this up because on Father's Day, Samsung released a 3 minute commercial featuring Jay-Z, Pharrell, Swizz Beatz, Timbaland and Rick Rubin announcing the release date of the "Magna Carta Holy Grail", Jay-Z's up and coming album. The moment the commercial was shown the Twitter and Facebook worlds exploded. There was a fair share of excitement, curiosity, criticism and anticipation as everybody sits and waits. One of my favorite tweets was someone stating that they would die a happy person if this "Magna Carta" will become a more popular search than the actual one. Other people tweeted things such as poking fun how most people do not know what the actual "Magna Carta is, what year it was created, and what country it involves. (Without searching on the internet, can you answer the questions above? To be honest I only remembered its purpose and what country it involved) And as funny as these tweets are, I think there is definitely some truth to it. If you go on Google right now and put in the words "Magna Carta", the first couple suggestions are about Samsung and Jay-Z. Already the world has shown that this album will be significant in our Urban culture. With people like Jay-Z, there is always a method behind the madness, and only time will reveal the overall impact of this project. 

The other major significance about this commercial is that Jay teamed up with Samsung making Magna Carta Holy Grail a Platinum Record before it has even released, let alone hit Platinum before it is even completed. Samsung agreed to buy 1 Million copies at $5 a piece, giving Jay $5 Million without anybody listening to his latest production. On June 24th Samsung Galaxy III, 4 & Note II users can download an App which will make them eligible to download the album on the 4th of July; 3 days before it is released to the rest of the World. Unfortunately, not all eligible Samsung customers will get the album as Samsung has only bought 1 million copies. A random selection process will be used to determine who gets the album.

Talking with friends and skeptics about whether or not Jay can produce a top album such as Reasonable Doubt and The Black Album, I say this album will be a top 5 album at the least, and I truly believe it will be one of his top 3 albums ever! Hey, it might be wishful thinking, but History tells me it will be a hit! In 2003 Jay teamed up with Nokia to sell the phone above with the album preloaded into the phone. And at that time it was not just significant because it was his "retirement" album, but back then preloaded albums on phones were rare. Technology back then seems light years away, but it has only been 10! Jay has always been a pioneer in the Music industry, and it makes sense he is taking a page out of his own book and reusing a revolutionary PR campaign that was so successful for him a decade ago.

I am definitely excited about this project. Everybody has been asking when Jay would release his next album, and we finally got an answer. The tracks in the commercial are hot, produced by the same people who did the majority of his work for The Black Album. Yes, I am bias because I am a huge Jay fan (I mean just look at the title of my blog), but the fact there is a specific direction Jay wants to go with this album will make it a dope album. The way it sounds, feels etc will all be parallel to each other, and if you have seen his documentaries for Reasonable Doubt and The Black Album, than you know having all the components tied to each other will produce an awesome album.

So, the question is what do you make of it? Will this project have a huge impact on the Urban and Street cultures? Labeling it the "Magna Carta Holy Grail" is a statement, and Jay himself in the video states: 'We have to write the new Rules' because the 'Internet is the Wild, Wild West.' It is not a far reach that our generation and the next generation will associate the "Magna Carta" with Jay-Z, and not England. The crazy thing is the fact we haven't even heard a track yet. God knows what subject matter he will be talking about, and influence and impact it will have. 

He is cognoscente about music being downloaded illegally, so in a Business and Promotional move, he became Platinum over night, and he is letting the World share it, which I am sure will spread like wild fire. Hip Hop has changed not just in its production and lyrics, but how we listen to it, and how we share it. A month or so ago, Kanye released his first single, "New Slaves" from his controversial and highly criticized album Yeezus, across 80 cities by projecting the video on the side of random buildings. 

In their own ways, Kanye and now Jay have rewritten how and where we can listen to their music. In music you have to be creative in all aspects or you will just burn out and be irrelevant. You might not like his music, criticize him and what not, but Jay has definitely been the most consistent Rapper of all-time, and yet he is still not satisfied and continues to be a pioneer in a genre which most people say it is dead!


Check out the commercial if you haven't done so! The video features top-notch producers, and it reveals the direction in which Jay wants to take this album. The instrumentals are ridiculous, hopefully the lyrics compliment them! The video is already approaching 11 million views.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Father's Day

I know Father's Day was on Sunday, but just like Mother's Day, they are artificial "Holiday's" to me. We get caught up in this country about only celebrating certain things, and people because the calendar reminds us about those days. I am doing this post this "late" for 2 reasons: 1) I hate doing things because somebody or something tells me I have to do it on a certain day. (And I am not talking about like your duties at work or school, I am taking about artificial things like Holidays) 2) I was too busy with my dad and family celebrating what a lot of people were gathering for on Sunday.

Let me tell you about my dad:

He stands at 5'8'' even though he says he is 5'9'', and if you question or tease his height he says check his Driver's License. He calls himself and is known on the streets as "Indio", and if you haven't figured out why, take a closer look at the picture. He is dark, with long black hair (including a few white hairs even though he is in denial), and wears a ring that has the face of a Native American Chief. He has a few teeth missing, but it never discourages him to laugh and crack jokes constantly. He hasn't been to the Doctor for years, and I mean years, if ever at all, even though he has so many things wrong with his body. He just chugs along and works hard. Already over half the Century mark, he is an Independent Mechanic for FedEx. He gets home at 1:30 a.m. and wakes up at 6:30 a.m. to make his so-called famous smoothies, and starts "fixing" things even though most of the time he makes it worse. I have never meet anyone in their life fall asleep so fast, but I guess I can cut him some slack because how hard he works. My mom jokes how sometimes she has to go check if he is still breathing and alive, because he literally goes into a deep coma-like sleep. He is 1 of 11 kids, and he never graduated High School or Middle School; and to be honest I am not a 100% sure he graduated Elementary School, but it doesn't take away from the knowledge he has obtained, both as a Professional and a Father. 

Back in my Middle School days into High School, our family had some serious struggles. My dad had to work like crazy; to the point where I wouldn't see him for days. He never came to all my football games or Award Ceremonies, but I never judged him for it. A lot of people use to ask me if I had a dad because they would never see him. I never took offense to those questions, but I wish my dad could've come to all my games, but life is never planned the way you want it too.

My dad has made a fair share of his mistakes, but who hasn't? My best memories are going to work with my dad every summer at his old Mechanic shop when I was in Elementary School, and him letting me drive the Fork Lift all over the place. We use to hop into his massive service truck and drive all over L.A. fixing cars, treating me to lunch and giving me some money every week. Taking a step back, I have to credit "Can I Live?" to my Mom and my Dad. He came from Mexico when he was 17/18 fixing airplane engines. When I was born he had to get a second job to support us. When he opened up his Shop, his brothers followed in his footsteps and came to the U.S. to work for him. The last time I went to his small town in Mexico (Sombrerete, Zacatecas) I was 4/5 years old, but I still remember it like yesterday. The house that his dad currently lives in was built by him, his brothers and with some helpers something like 40 years ago.

He really did come from the bottom-a long way and place-most people haven't seen, because to be honest, there is nothing to really go see.  My dad has made me a believer that you really can make a better life for yourself. I have a weird relationship with my dad, we don't go hangout and do things together, but we love eating and talking about life, sports and just anything that pops up. I love my dad and though he has not always physically been at my games and other events, I know he is one of my biggest fans.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

#TheTakeover II

I hope everybody has had a good start to their June! Can't believe we are already half way through the year. How many of you are still on your New Year's Resolution?! I won't judge, can't say I have fully stayed true to mine, yet again, not sure if I had one! Anyway I am back with another installment of my #Takeover Project for my blog. Can't thank enough to everybody who has been involved and supported me through this. I am really excited as I am going to be celebrating my 1 Year Anniversary for "Can I Live?" I am currently in the works of some awesome art campaigns for my movement, so make sure to follow me on InstagramTwitterTumblrFacebook as well as my blog to get all the latest updates and next big thing for my movement!

Below are the images sent in by people that have been participating with the Project. It has been awesome getting submissions from random places around the country. If you are still unaware what this project is, click on the link below to see the entry in which I released this awesome interactive feature for my fans and followers!

My boy Neyson, CEO and Founder of Young Fame, always supporting the movement! Stay tuned for an up in coming collaboration with "Can I Live?" and Young Fame!

NYC, you were so good to me, best believe I will be back because only this is just the beginning!

Cant have said any better myself! People are to preoccupied with others, when they should just be focusing on themselves. Always strive to be the best you, and only you!

Austin, have officially been "TakenOver" (University of Texas)

Major shout out to @ThePhatStartup for showing love!! Thanks to my boy Nick for linking me up with them! Make sure you also check out my boy's work with a revolutionizing App called @Sportflowapp

Dope photo! 

R.I.P. to all who lost their lives on 9/11. I know its been a few years, but if you live in NY or have been there, it is still  something that is remembered throughout the City everyday. Lets remember and honor our loved ones by "Living" life everyday to the fullest and making them proud!

Thursday, June 6, 2013


Today I want to give a huge shout out to one of my 3 ninjas a.k.a my younger brother Christian! Today he goes from being a sarcastic, ugly teenager to a sarcastic, ugly young adult! (just kidding, but not really lol) In all seriousness. I know I can count on him for anything, and can't thank him enough for being  one of my biggest supporter's throughout my "Can I Live?" journey so far.

Me and my brother have had some rough spots, I mean which brothers don't, but I am really proud of everything he has accomplished and where he is headed in life. Currently he is at Baylor pursuing International Business as his Major, and playing for the Club baseball team at his University. I was lucky enough to visit him and see what his current home away from home situation is like, and I definitely feel proud that he is excelling in everything he is doing.

Oh, and if you are wondering why I titled this entry "Milkduds," you guessed wrong if you think it is my brother's favorite candy. I dont want to embarrass him (what am I talking about, yes I do lol) but I will leave you guys with this hint: there is a reason why he may be hestitant to take off his shirt during the summer, and it has nothing to do with his little gut!

Love you man and I hope it is a good one! Enjoy because you are not getting any younger!

On a side note, I want to give another shoutout to my little cousin Melissa today! She is graduating from High School, and I know that it hasn't been the easiest path for her. But just like my brother, I am proud of her huge accomplishment. Now it is on to the next one!!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Arch+Details: Roofs

I am glad to be back with another installment of my Architecture series: Arch+Details. A lot of people have been asking me when the next entry would be released and.......BOOM!! It is here!! This time I am focusing on roofs. I guess it is safe to say that this feature of the structure is the icing on the cake; but as we all know, not all icing is good, and too much icing is not a good thing. Luckily most structures are capped really well, and leave a lasting impression. From my research and education throughout the years I really feel like the roof has, and is the one feature that has dramatically changed over the years; Both in material and function, roof design has become more sophisticated and more creative than ever.

Being from Los Angeles and going to school in New York I really saw the craze and fascination of roofs. In the present they have gone from a protective structural feature to a luxurious and social status where the wealthy, relevant and popular people escape to from the rest of reality. They skylines of both cities include dozens of high end bars, clubs, lounges etc. at the top of the most expensive and prestigious buildings. Not to say I am wealthy and popular, but I have been to a couple, and they really are fun and an awesome opportunity to overlook the city, (and for me personally) enjoy the architecture that defines the city. But most roofs don't offer high end clubs, but rather something economical and environmentally friendly: gardens. In New York especially, gardens are sprouting all over building tops because there is no room on the ground to have them. It is both aesthetically pleasing, and compliments the steel and glass, but it helps the environment and helps save a few bucks reducing energy costs. These I enjoy because if you have ever been in the Concrete Jungle, it is nice to escape to an Oasis not named Central Park. (And for you non-New Yorkers', Central Park is not the only park in the city, even though it feels that way.)

Anyway, check out the examples below! From traditional high pitched roofs to roof-top gardens and so on, this architectural feature has changed dramatically. Still providing the basic and essential function of protecting the inside from the elements, roofs have been stretched in their functionality to maximize its potential. Whether it is for a luxurious purpose, or environmental one, roofs really do bring the house to life. Below you will see a variety of materials and design concepts. Again, let your imagination run wild! What roof would you like to cap your house? Just like your imagination, Architecture is endless, and trust me, you can use almost any material to build, including tires!! Which roof below do you think is made from recycled tires?! ENJOY!!