J. Cole’s New Album Title Has Three Distinct Meanings

J. Cole is releasing a new album this week. Yesterday (April 16), at the Gramercy Theatre in Manhattan, Cole played his latest project for fans lucky enough to attend the free show. Shortly after, the Fayetteville rapper posted on Twitter that the album would be titled KOD and is dropping on Friday (April 20).

According to Rap Radar’s Brian “B.Dot” Miller who was in attendance, KOD has three meanings: Kidz On Drugz, King Overdose, and Kill Our Demonz. Miller also shared that the album was recorded in two weeks and features about 12 songs.

KOD is Cole’s fifth studio album. His last full-length release was 2016′s 4 Your Eyez Only. Since then he’s been relatively quiet, featuring on a select few songs like Cozz’s “Zendaya,” Jeezy’s “American Dream,” and Miguel’s “Come Through and Chill.”

Yesterday (April 16), was an exciting day for hip-hop news. Drake announced he’s releasing a new album in June, Kendrick Lamar became the first non-classical and jazz artist to win a Pulitzer, and now Cole is throwing his hat into the ring. It will be interesting to see what artist ends up running the summer.

If Dreamville fans have it their way, the hot months might turn into a Cole world.

Dank Customs Outfits Entire Spurs Squad

Thanks to noted sneaker customizer Jake Danklefs, the San Antonio Spurs will be making a colorful statement in their first round matchup against the Golden State Warriors.

The Spurs contacted Danklefs before the start of the playoffs and asked him to give every players’ shoes a fiesta-inspired customization. Using San Antonio’s 90’s logo as a template, Dankflefs somehow customized all 18 sneakers in just 24 hours.

From Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News:

The Spurs reached out to Danklefs on Wednesday evening while in New Orleans to play the Pelicans. Once he agreed to take on the job, Danklefs picked up the sneakers on Thursday morning, begin working on the designs at 9 a.m. and did not finish until 3 a.m. Friday morning.

After a short nap, Danklefs then delivered the sneakers to the Spurs’ practice site before the team practice.

“I would say this is one of my best projects,” Danklefs told the Express-News.

Danklefs said he usually needs a few weeks to prepare for most projects. Danklefs requests are so long it usually takes six months to a year to complete. But understanding the Spurs were short on time, Danklefs designed 18 pairs of sneakers in 24 hours.

The Spurs will debut Dankfels’ creations in Game 1 against the Warriors on Sunday. See the whole slew of sneakers below.

Kanye West Returned To Social Media To Talk About Tattoos, Shoes, And Consciousness

On Friday (April 13), Kanye West made his miraculous return to Twitter. Last May, Kanye deactivated his Twitter and Instagram accounts, but re-activated the latter as part of Kim Kardashian’s Valentine’s Day gift. Over the weekend, Kanye made sure his tweets covered a wide range of topics including, tattoo ideas and his favorite Saint Pablo merch. However, he also started to show off the inspiration behind various models of his Yeezy sneaker line.

The reasoning behind this might come from a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, where Kanye sat down with interior designer Axel Vervoordt. During the discussion, Kanye admits to being upset after multiple publications describe Virgil Abloh — recently appointed to Louis Vuitton’s menswear artistic director — as his creative director, instead of creative collaborator.

“It’s not bad or good, it’s my creative collaborator being the head of Louis Vuitton,” Kanye said. “Because [Abloh and I] have been fighting to make apparel at a certain price that still has the same credibility and desirability as something at a higher price…But when they say he was my creative director, that’s incorrect. He was a creative collaborator.”

Later in the discussion, The Life of Pablo-artist shares his ultimate goal with his fashion line.

“At Adidas, I have Yeezy, but it’s a namesake brand,” West continued. “It’s my nickname. We do these sneakers that sell out and we get, ‘Oh, this is the number one brand on Women’s Wear Daily.’ And I don’t wish to be number one anymore, I wish to be water. I wish to be closer to UNICEF or something where I can take the information that I have and help as many people as possible, not to just shove it into a brand”

Hopefully, Kanye will start getting the credit he deserves and keeps dropping mental jewels on Twitter.

Kyrie Irving Unveils Alternative Nike Kyrie 3 “Bruce Lee” for Mamba Day

Kyrie Irving may be out for the remainder of his debut season with the Boston Celtics after having surgery on his knee, yet production hasn’t slowed on his signature sneaker collection with Nike. Looking back to last year’s Nike Kyrie 3, one of the standout colorways was an ode to Kobe Bryant and his love for Bruce Lee.

The sneaker was dubbed the “Mamba Mentality” Kyrie 3 and it directly took from Bryant’s Nike Zoom Kobe V “Bruce Lee.” Largely finished in yellow with red secondary coloring, the shoe remains one of the most sought after Kyrie 3’s to date. Today, though, Irving has revealed an opposing colorway dressed predominately in red with yellow contrasts. This alternative colorway doesn’t appear to be a retail release. Just a little something special Kyrie pulled out for Mamba Day.

My take on Mamba Day!! For the culture only…. ?? @kobebryant

A post shared by Kyrie Irving (@kyrieirving) on

Kid Cudi’s ‘The Rage’ Gives The Rock A Perfect Soundtrack To Fight Huge Monsters

Kid Cudi, Dwayne Johnson, and Billy Corgan walk into a bar. After a couple of beers and a jolly old time, Johnson asks Scott if he’ll lend his talents to the Rampage soundtrack. Scott smells exactly what The Rock is cooking, then looks at the lead singer of The Smashing Pumpkins and says, “Not without my man Billy.” That isn’t how “The Rage” came about, but one can hope.

“The Rage” samples Smashing Pumpkins’ 1995 hit “Bullet with Butterfly Wings.” During the chorus, Corgan’s iconic refrain blares “Despite all my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage” as Cudi adds his characteristic hums underneath. To Cudi’s credit, the hook could’ve gone horribly wrong. Instead, the juxtaposition from Cudi rapping about being “born in the rage” to Corgan’s nasally wail compliment each other nicely.

Kid Cudi has been ramping up his appearances throughout 2018. The Cleveland singer performed at NBA All-Star Weekend with Kanye West. The “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1″ duo were are also rumored to be working on Kanye’s new album on a Wyoming mountaintop.

With Cudi so active, fans can only hope that he is also working on a new album. The last full-length project from the elusive star was 2016′s Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’. However, the Man on the Moon artist is still getting acknowledged for his overwhelming influence from artists as varied as Timotheé Chalamet and A$ AP Rocky.

Rampage, starring Dwayne Johnson, is in theaters today (April 13).

Sheck Wes Previews Travis Scott x Air Jordan 4 “Cactus Jack”

Earlier this week teaser images of the Travis Scott endorsed Cactus Jack Air Jordan 4 took social media by storm. By the looks of it, Scott and his closest collaborators may already have their pairs locked.

This afternoon, Cactus Jack Records signee Sheck Wes took to IG to post a story featuring the “Team Shoes” while hanging out with La Flame on Los Angeles.

No release date just yet, but with more buzz building around this exclusive iteration of the Jordan 4, it’s safe to expect a spotting of these this weekend with all the Coachella festivities. Check out some more images of the sneaker below.

Juicy J On The Rebirth Of ‘Who Run It’: ‘Three 6 Mafia’s Music Will Never Die’

Juicy J is humble. He has ample reason to brag, but still, he’s humble. In 2018, the Billboard charts and radio are filled with interpolations of, samples of, and homages to Three 6 Mafia, the Memphis group he helped found in 1991.

G-Eazy, A$ AP Ferg, and Future all lifted lyrics from Juicy’s “Slob On My Knob” to chart-topping success. Rae Sremmurd’s “Powerglide” features a sample of “Side To Side.” G Herbo, with the expert timing of DJ Bay Bay, introduced the “Who Run It” beat to a new generation. Now A$ AP Rocky, 21 Savage, Lil Yachty, Trippie Redd, and CupcakKe are updating the 1999 classic.

Somehow, Juicy knows all of this and stills comes off modest. Over the phone, his words tumble out with the same ferocity as his bars, but his energetic disbelief juxtaposes the delivery. In a conversation that most will read and never hear, he still comes with the same exuberance of a radio show. He plugs new artists like Hendry AZ, gets excited to describe how he’s executive producing a new $ uicideboy$ album, and shares that his new production for Project Pat sounds like ’90s Juicy.

On Monday (April 9), Juicy updated “Who Run It” with a new freestyle, which is hilarious considering two things. First, the Delfonics-sampling track still sounds so current that it doesn’t need a facelift. Second, the Juicy of 2018 sounds as fresh as the Juicy of 1999.

In an interview with MTV News, Juicy discusses the reception of “Who Run It,” its iconic music video, and how it feels to know that Three 6 Mafia is arguably more relevant in 2018 than they were in 1999.

MTV News: How has it felt to see the reception to “Who Run It” almost 19 years later?

Juicy J: Man, it’s amazing. I always figured that the music would be bigger than what we thought when we was doing it back in the day, cause it was so different. Our style is different. Our sound of music is different. The way we make beats is different. And I always just felt that it would impact sometime. Back in the day, we was underground music. It was only a certain amount of people heard it. A lot of the songs that people are discovering now, nobody had never heard of those songs.

I always felt like the music was bigger than what we was making. We making the music, but I felt like it was going to be something bigger than what we thought. And here it is. Now 20 years later you see everything reocurring, “Slob On My Knob,” “Chickenhead,” “Who Run It,” “Late Nite Tip.”

MTV News: Did you guys envision that type of longevity?

Juicy: It’s such a blessing. Coming from a little underground group from Memphis, Tennessee and then winning an Academy Award, selling millions of records, performing at the Academy Awards, we won an American Music Award, I mean, like, an MTV Award. It’s such a blessing. It’s just incredible. The music is classic.

MTV News: Have you seen G Herbo’s original freestyle that started this whole new wave?

Juicy: I saw it. Shouts out to G Herbo. Shouts out to Hollyhood Bay Bay. That’s my dawg. That’s the DJ that pulled the beat up. He pulled the beat up and Herb just killed it. Shout out Trippie Redd and Lil Yachty, A$ AP Rocky, you know, everybody that’s paying homage. I seen that flow. I was like, wow.

MTV News: So far who do you feel has done the beat justice?

Juicy: Man, I think everyone did their thing. Everybody has their own style. The way they do their music. I enjoyed them all.

It just feels good to see these youngins pull that instrumental up and just rip it like that. That’s a good feeling, man, that this music is timeless. It’s classic. Three 6 Mafia’s music will never die.

MTV News: Do you remember what is was like making that song back then?

Juicy: Man, when we made our songs, we used to get high and go into the studio and just turn up. [laughs] You know what I’m saying. I remember the video and everything too. Man, we was just crunk, drunk. You know what I’m saying? High as hell. High as hell in the studio. High as hell in the video.

MTV News: That video was iconic. What do you remember about that day?

Juicy: Man, I remember we was hanging out the car. I thought I was gonna fall off the car and shit. The way we was sitting on that car. It was a truck, riding down the street in this truck, and we was doing this action scene. I thought we was going to fall of that motherfucker, man.

That was a crazy video and it was all underground. All this stuff was underground, you know? We made amazing music that was straight underground. We didn’t get much radio play back in the day. We didn’t get a lot of radio play. Nothing like that. Just to see the impact on it now is just amazing.

adidas Harden Vol. 2 “Nightmare” // Available Now

In a bit of foreshadowing, adidas is predicting that Rockets All-Star James Harden is going to be a nightmare for opponents to deal with throughout the playoffs. Because of this, the latest version of Harden’s signature shoe is called the adidas Harden Vol. 2 “Nightmare.”

Drawing inspiration from Harden’s ability to make defenders afraid of his offensive prowess, the “Nightmare” iteration of the Harden Vol. 2 sports a triple black silhouette. Harden’s logo on the tongue and adidas branding on the side completes the look.

Available now on adidas.com, the adidas Harden Vol. 2 “Nightmare” can also be copped by calling or texting 1 (800) 613-4862.

adidas Harden Vol. 2 “Nightmare”

adidas Harden Vol. 2 “Nightmare”

adidas Harden Vol. 2 “Nightmare”

adidas Harden Vol. 2 “Nightmare”

adidas Harden Vol. 2 “Nightmare”

adidas Harden Vol. 2 “Nightmare”

adidas Harden Vol. 2 “Nightmare”

Princess Nokia Is The Savior Of Emo Rap That We Deserve

Once upon a time, I was just another misunderstood teenager with a sensitive soul from the suburbs experiencing the thrill of being emo. As far as the “scene” kid identity goes, it was a fleeting phase that my parents are grateful I grew out of, but the sad and angst-driven anthems that became the soundtrack for such a tumultuous period of my life still hold a special place in my tender heart. Fast-forward to 2018 and the emo revival has expanded from the corners of pop punk to the hip-hop world. Real ones know that rock and rap have more in common beneath the surface—rage fueled ballads that attract marginalized outcasts who escape from the chaos of their lives by congregating in mosh pits—but “emo” is having a major cross-genre moment right now. The late Lil Peep was hailed as one of the leaders of the emo rap movement alongside artists like Lil Uzi Vert, Yung Lean and Lil Xan.

The rise of the “sad boys” continues as lo-fi, teary-eyed messages of pure self-destruction are dispersed to the masses, but women are often moved to the side and non-consensually cast as muses for all the pain and suffering. Instead of waiting for an invite to the melodramatic party, Princess Nokia counters the male gaze that the emo scene can shamelessly thrive on, presenting a fresh narrative from the mind of an Afro-Latina with her A Girl Cried Red mixtape. In a recent interview with DAZED, the New York rapper explained the concept of “alternative culture” within black and brown communities of the urban world and the underlying connection with emo music.

“There’s a vulnerability in associating with pain and sadness that has always lived in that narration,” she said. “This is our shit. Very naturally, that’s why we return to it. It’s ours, it will always be ours.”

The title of the mixtape was directly inspired by Dance Gavin Dance’s 2006 song “The Robot With Human Hair” (just last week, the band released a new song called “Midnight Crusade” that’s featured on their forthcoming eighth album Artificial Selection). Princess Nokia grabs the opening line of the track for her project’s lead single “Your Eyes Are Bleeding Red,” a menacing anthem about self-sabotage and the unstable path that follows when depression is treated with a heavy dose of denial.

“I always loved that image, and it’s a big motif in my work,” she told DAZED. “The mixtape name is supposed to mean a girl cried blood or a girl cried fury. There’s so many interpretations of what red is.”

The only collaborations on Princess Nokia’s mixtape come from producer Tony Seltzer and Phony Ppl member Elijah Rawk on guitar. Similar to the iconic bands that influenced the project like Blink-182, Paramore, Fall Out Boy, Panic! At The Disco and Silverstein, the core that strings all eight songs together is the reccuring theme of battling demons that are deeply rooted in depression and loneliness. During a livestream on Instagram, she declared that her intention is not to ride the “sad girl wave” by glorifying or romanticizing mental health issues. Through this collection of autotune and acoustic jams, Princess Nokia offers her personal experience within the context of the ongoing dialogues about the stigmas surrounding depression and how different aspects of your life can spiral out of control as a result.

Despite the negativity that comes attached with this overarching theme, A Girl Cried Red isn’t solely immersed in bad energy. About halfway through the mixtape, Princess Nokia slips in “Look Up Kid,” an upbeat and uplifting track where she encourages those who “suffer in silence” not to give up on themselves because things will get better eventually. It’s like a cry for help reversed from the perspective of a concerned friend.

If A Girl Cried Red doesn’t earn Princess Nokia a spot on the lineup for the last-ever Warped Tour this summer, someone may have to catch these hands! When you’re ready to have your heart ripped out and smashed into pieces, let your inner scene queen roar and stream the mixtape in full below.

Like what you hear and want more? Princess Nokia will be on tour the following dates:

4/15 Indio, CA – Coachella Festival

4/20 San Francisco, CA – 1015 Folsom

4/22 Indio, CA – Coachella Festival

4/29 Chicago, IL – The Metro

5/5 Brooklyn, NY – Elsewhere

5/6 Brooklyn, NY – Elsewhere

5/12 Miami, FL – Rolling Loud Festival

5/25 Barcelona, Spain – Secret Location TBA

5/26 Madrid, Spain – Tomavistas Festival

5/27 A Coruna, Spain – Inn Club

5/31 Athens, Greece – Piraeus 117 Academy

6/1 Copenhagen, Denmark – Distortion Festival

6/2 London, UK – Field Day Festival

6/16 Richmond, CA – FEELS 6 @ Craneway Pavillion

7/7 Turku, Finland – Ruisrock

7/8 Zamárdi, Hungary – Balaton Sound Festival

7/13 Dublin, Ireland – Longitude Festival

7/14 Dour, Belguim – Dour Festival

7/15 Berlin, Germany – MELT Festival

7/19 Benicassim, Spain – Benicassim Festival

7/ 20 LisbonPortugal – Super Bock

7/21 Seyðisfjörður, Iceland – LungA Art Festival

8/18 Hamburg, Germany – Dockville Festival

8/20 London, UK – O2 Forum

8/21 Leeds, UK – Belgrave Music Hall

Nike Air Max CW // Throwback Thursday

Discreet. Quiet. On the DL.

Unlike any other basketball shoe at the time, these came from out of nowhere and were made for Chris Webber, a man whose game was anything but quiet. Welcome to today’s Nice Kicks Throwback Thursday special Chris Webber edition, where we pay tribute to CWebb’s original signature sneaker: the 1995 Nike Air Max CW.

Donned for only a short stay, the Nike Air Max CW was worn by Webber during his tenure with the Washington Bullets. Featuring a high-quality leather upper, visible, thick Max2 heel air sole unit with 25PSI+5PSI chambers, a visible forefoot air sole unit, and iconic “Air Max” logo on the tongue, the Air Max CW was one of the most groundbreaking and forward-thinking silhouettes of its time, truly pressing the design envelope and bubble, both literally and figuratively.

The sneaker’s stunning and appealing provenance was also attributed to the use of the now defunct “CW” and #2 logos. From a greater historical standpoint, the CW served as the first Nike Air Max sneaker to feature visible forefoot Air Max technology, a revolutionary and groundbreaking achievement in its own right.

The Air Max CW released in three original colorways: white/midnight navy-neon yellow, black/white-varsity royal, and a white/black-true red Bullets colorway at an original retail price point of $ 140.

In the late 90s, a retro version called the Air Max Sensation released sans the trademark CW and #2 logos, which were removed most likely due to copyright issues. Over the past several years, updated versions of the Air Max Sensation released which incorporated a plethora of colorways and exotic materials, including crocodile.

An OG-correct retro complete with two-tone OG-style Air Max box is long overdue but remains highly unlikely in the foreseeable future for myriad reasons. A truly pioneering and trendsetting silhouette, the Air Max CW remains as timeless today as compared to back in the day.

The 1995 Nike Air Max CW: Air Max box, CW and # 2 logos included. Blown timeouts, torn ligaments, and dates with Tyra Banks are not.

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