Going Off: Where is Harlem Heights?

My peoples, My peoples, Pretty McFly here and I want to know where is "Harlem Heights"? Now being a native of Harlem I'm perplexed with this new term "Harlem Heights". Who decided to rename Harlem? Did Harlem need a new name? The Shuck N Jive TV network, that will remain nameless in this post has a whole show focused on this so called "Harlem Heights" where only one of the cast members is actually from Harlem! The rest are these implants who revel in this "new" Harlem.
Well personally I prefer the Harlem of old. With the record shops and the street vendors lining 125th street. Where I could get the best steamed crabs I've ever had right from 137th and Lenox or shoot up to the Rucker (before the courts became lined with endorsements) and catch real ball players gettin' busy. Don't get me wrong I'm all about progress, but not at the risk of Harlem losing its soul.
So you can keep your "Harlem Heights" with it's commerical businesses and it's commerical people. I love Harlem just fine. Peace


Models and Freshness: Shillae Anderson


Today, we salute the oh so gifted, Shillae Anderson. You might've seen her in a few videos, for cats like Ja Rule, Avant or Justin Timberlake. But she's also done hosting work on The Weekend Vibe, which I used to watch faithfully, lol. And she's been "Beauty of the Week" in the classic Jet magazine.

Word is, she's become pretty involved in both finance and real estate, as well as small business development. So we're more then happy to salute not only her beauty, but her drive and business sense. Much respect..and props to BJSkanz for the pics.



Fly Season: Adidas Campus - House Of Pain Edition

Gotta love it...ya just gotta love it!!

Hip Hop fans can't deny, anytime somebody collabs to make a shoe that has anything to do with our music, we must cop, lol! I introduce to you, the new and quite exclusive House of Pain edition, of the Adidas Campus.

Adidas Originals and Hip Hop group House of Pain collaborated for a special edition St. Patrick’s Day shoe called the Campus 80 House of Pain. House of Pain member Danny Boy O’Connor contributed design concepts and feedback while Adidas designers brought the shoe to life. Both parties wanted to create a premium St. Patrick's Day shoe inspired by the band’s Irish roots. Dropped on St. Patrick’s Day – March 17, 2009 this is a one time production of 1,500 pairs. - Sneaker Freaker

Now, I'm not one to brag, but I already got my pair, lol. Please do yourself a favor, and hurry to cop one of these. As noted, they are very limited and sizes are gettin' harder to find. Props to Adidas on throwin' out another fresh one.


Cop This Album: Mos Def - The Ecstatic

This album isn't even out yet, but when it does drop...just cop it, lol.

Mos' has been doin' a lot of actin' for the past few years, and not for nothin', he's actually one of the few MC's, who I think can really act. And though we love seein' the homie doin' his thing on TV and in film, we really like hearin' the cat's music. And so this new album is said to drop on the 10 year anniversary of his debut Black on Both Sides (June 9th).

I remember waitin' for Mos' to drop that album, and hearin' leaks for the stuff he was doin' with Shawn J. Period, at the time. None of those tracks would make the album, but they made waitin' for the album even crazier, lol. Mos' is just one of those MC's that does what he does so effortlessly. We all wish he would drop more music, so when he does, it's important to head out and support. So mark that date down, and keep checkin' to see if the date still stands. We will definitely keep you updated.


Dopeness: Lil' Wayne ft. Dre - Hot Revolver

Yes, folkers!!

Wayne is everywhere right now, but we had to send a quick salute out for his new track, called "Hot Revolver". It's featuring the good homie Dre from production duo Cool & Dre (what up, Dre?), and it's pretty damn serious. This track is supposed to be on Wayne's upcomin' Rock album, Rebirth.

As of today, there's been a lot of talk about the album bein' shelved, due to a lot of skepticism, as far as Wayne's label not believin' the release will do well in sales. We can't confirm that this is actually the case, but we hope that the album sees the light of day, 'cause the few tracks that have leaked have been good money, so far.

Creative control, people, creative control.


Classic Music: Souls Of Mischief - '93 'til Infinity

More of that classic Hip Hop for you right here...let's salute this one heavily.

Early 90's Hip Hop just can't be denied, and it almost seemed like everything that dropped back then was or was damn near a classic album. I copped Souls Of Mischief's '93 'til Infinity the first day it dropped. And this was just one of those albums that blew me away back then. Bein' from NYC, I was a lil' arrogant with other regions, 'cause I thought you had to be from NY to really be lyrical (Souls Of Mischief is from The Bay area), lol. I was a kid then, so that should be forgivable. But this was the album that really got me and my crew hooked on that Heiro' music.

These cats had lyrics for days, and they had really perfected the multi-syllable rhyme flow, that we hear a lot more in music today. I think they were way ahead of their time, and this album showcases that point. I went on to cop their second album that dropped on Jive in '95 too, as well as their indie projects as well. But this first major release, was the one that made me a fan overnight. So I gotta show respect to one of those classic, but slept-on albums that acted as a soundtrack to my wonder years. Peace to the Souls', Casual, Pep Love, Del and the rest of the Heiro' crew.


Fly Season: Air Jordan 11 (Space Jams)

New season, new kicks...y'all know how it is!

I remember seein' these for the first time, back when they initially dropped and not knowin' whether I liked the black or the white joints better. Either way, this is one of Jordan's best releases, and they're comin' back this holiday season.

These are the official release, no disrespect to the bootleg coppers. But if you want the OG version, then go out and cop the authentics on this one. The Space Jams deserve that kinda love.



FlyFlix: Valentino The Last Emperor

Hello McFly Masses, check out the new film Valentino: The Last Emperor a documentary on the life of the designer. A red carpet veteran his fabulous gowns can be seen on some of hollywoods hottest young starlets. Recently retired the film focus on his public and personal life as he completes his final couture show in Rome in 2007.

Fresh, Opulent and fantastic the film is everything you can imagine and more. The film ends with a three day extravaganza celebrating Valentino's 45 years in fashion. A celebration fit for a king. This is a McFly Must see film, a history lesson for you fashion newbies and a homage to one of the greatest designers of our time. Check out http://www.valentinomovie.com/ for more info. Peace



Fly Season: Adidas Superstar - Diamond Edition

My 3 Stripe cats will definitely appreciate this one.

If you're talkin' classic kicks, then you have to mention the Superstars from Adidas, or "shelltoes", as most people call them. I don't know if it gets any more classic than these. This new pair here, is just another one of those rare pairs that you really should own and lock up somewhere.

This is the iconic Superstar, but it's been released in a limited "diamond" edition. The kicks come in a white and black colorway and feature premium materials with stripes with 0.2 carat diamonds. They retail for about 473.84 euros ($612, roughly).

Now some people might not think they're worth the bread. But I can almost guarantee, that you won't see anybody else rockin' these, if you get 'em. Summer's only a couple of months away. Hit the web, it's time to start loadin' up on all of these kinds of rare gems. I kid you not..


Dopeness: Karl Lagerfeld - Lagerfeld Confidential

Yes, folkers! We're back with a lil' somethin' cool for you to rent, or go out and cop.

Karl Lagerfeld is probably one of the coolest cats in fashion, real talk. He's (for those who didn't know) a German-born fashion designer and artist based in Paris, France. He has collaborated with on a variety of fashion and art related projects, most notably as designer at fashion house Chanel. Lagerfeld helms his own label fashion house which produces luxury fashion items (including haute couture, perfumes and accessories).

So when my homie Sheezy recommended that I peep the documentary, Lagerfeld Confidential, I was interested in seein' how Lagerfeld held things down behind the scenes, in the crazy world of fashion, bein' the legend and visionary that he is. People, this is a must see, for all fans of flyness and life on the fresh side. You really get a nice look into how things work both in front, and behind the camera. And if you're into photography like I am, then the visuals on this DVD, will really impress you. Y'all know we don't co-sign wackness here, so definitely try to check this doc' out. 'Nuff said..



Freshness: Russian Vogue (Pharrell Shoot)

What up, Skateboard?

Just showcasin' more o' that freshness we see out here. We just got these pics in from a shoot that Pharrell did awhile back for Russian Vogue. If you know what's up, you know we're mad late on this one, lol. But we wanted to post the shots anyway, 'cause P' is our dude like that.

The model in the shoot is Natasha Poly, the Russian model. The pics from the shoot don't really do her justice, 'cause she's better lookin' than what you'll see in these pics. She's done work for all the big dogs like VS, Gucci, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Roberto Cavalli, D&G, Balenciaga, you name it! And she's reportedly bringin' in like $70,000 a day for shooting advertisements and $28,000 per runway show. So we had to salute that too, lol! Yessur!!


Put On: 88 Keys

88 Keys is one of those cats that really makes a lot of hot music, under the radar. And I don't want to make it seem like the homie is "underground" or out of reach, but this cat's been slept on for way too long.

88-Keys' prestige was established back in the late 90’s when he was producing cuts for lyrical titans like Mos Def and Talib Kweli. This time around though, Keys wants to get something off his chest in front of the mic. On The Death of Adam (Decon), Keys tells the story of a man, Adam, who dies over his love/hate relationship with the sugar-walled juice-box named Pussy.

As far as theme albums go, Keys puts together a sequence with few, if any, holes. On songs like “The Friends Zone” about “BFF - Best fucking friend," and "Close Call" featuring Little Brother's own Phonte, Keys warns against the hazards of unprotected sex, or else risk the perilous fate talked about in other songs like, “The Burning Bush” featuring Redman and “Dirty Peaches” featuring J*Davey.

Thankfully, Keys uses his sophisticated musical sensibilities to keep the theme out of redundancy. Samples of rock and R&B soul classics are fused with smart jazz arrangements throughout The Death of Adam. Philly neo-soul crooner Bilal takes the Sly & The Family stone classic, “Mother Beautiful” and reworks it into an impressive groove, appropriately entitled "M.I.L.F”. Then there’s the album’s first single, “Stay Up (Viagra),” featuring Kanye West and showing off sampling skills reminiscent of the late, J. Dilla.

The Death of Adam’s true obscure twist is when 88 filters his vocals to sound muffled in the majority of his tracks, causing his message to fall faint, such as in "Handcuff 'Em." Still he stands strong, as a singer, rapper and producer, without over-stepping or being over-shadowed. 88-Keys rejuvenates Adam and Eve's original sin, as a headstrong, every-man, pussy-claiming storyteller - Vibe.com

Support good Hip Hop, and pick this album up. We might try to post a few snippets from it, but we really want 'yall to go out and cop this retail. Keep it 100, folkers!!


Dopeness: Fader Magazine

Quick shout out to Fader Magazine for always havin' some of the best interviews around. The issue above is their 10th anniversary special with Kanye on the cover. Kanye liked the interview with him, but hated the cover, lol.

This issue dropped a few weeks back, but it can still be found in true magazine spots around NYC, most notably, the mag' spot on 23rd and 6th and the spot on 59th & Broadway (plug, plug).


Fly Season: B-Unique Tees

Y'all know how we feel about those graphic tees, lol.

So we had to showcase this cool new t-shirt that B-Unique is sellin' now. Sometimes basic is better, and this joint is so straight to the point, you really can't go wrong. Everybody's cryin' "recession--recession", so this t-shirt really is a sign of the times. They're pretty muc sayin', even though the market's down, you can still keep your swag' up. I like that, so we had to show the good people over at BU some love for this one. The shirt retails for about $28. Pick this piece up, if you see it, folks!


Fly Season: Nike Air Yeezy & More

You know they love you, when two different brands release sneakers in your name within the same season!

Kanye's still out there killin' 'em, with the new Air Yeezy's from Nike, and the Kanye edition Louis Vuitton kicks too. That's pretty major right there. So we wanted to send a quick salute to the good homie Kanye, for cornerin' that market and just reppin' how he always does. It's only goin' to get better, so moves like this, should definitely see many followers or biters in years to come. Props, my dude!



Put On: Black Milk

We all need a hot beat to listen to every now and then. Or if you're like me, you need hot production, like you're life depends on it.

Comin' straight outta Detriot, is the good homie, Black Milk. Now I've been rockin' with BM's music for a couple of years now. The first project that really started to get heavy ro' with me, was his joint project with Aftermath's Bishop Lamont, called Caltriot. The CD was hot, and featured everybody from Stat Quo to Busta Rhymes. Black Milk also rhymes, but his production has really put the midwest back on the map, after the untimely passing of the late-great Jay Dilla.

A lot of people say dude is a mix between Dilla and Dr. Dre. It's really one of those things you have to hear for yourself. But he's put in mad work over the last year alone, between droppin' his latest album, Tronic, and also albums with Fat Ray, and producin' for cats like Guilty Simpson and Royce Da 5'9. This guy is the truth, and we just wanted to throw the spotlight on the homie, because he really deserves the shine, as he continues to drop more hot music every time we turn around. What up, Black'?

Check out Caltroit, and keep supportin' Black Milk, by picking up his other releases too:



Cop This Album: The Dream - Love vs. Money

If you're followin' the music game right now, as far as new releases go, you know that major labels haven't dropped anything pretty much yet this year.

So if you're a R&B head, like we are, here at The Academy...then you have to run out and support that new album from The Dream. It's called Love vs. Money, and it's a pretty hot LP. I got a chance to hear it tonight, and it's definitely a good look for R&B right now. The production is sick, and Dream's doin' what he does best, makin everyday convo and topics into slow and hard hittin' R&B jidams. Knock it in the whip, at the crib, whatever. It's hot, go buy it..

The album drops officially on March 10th, make sure you pick a copy up for the homie Dream.



The Cool: Muhammad Ali

I don't care what anybody says, Muhammad Ali is easily the coolest cat alive.

We're all up on his career in boxing, but there was so much more to the man, that really made him the legend that he is today. In a time where Black people were pretty much crucified and persecuted for seeking equality or freedom of speech, Ali was one of the few that never let the system or those who controlled it, to silence his thoughts or opinion. He lived the way he wished to, and made alliances with those he felt would have his best interests at heart, regardless of the judgment or criticism he would eventually receive.

Boxing was an outlet, a talent, but his true gift was in humanitarian work and activism. Using his celebrity, Ali went on to challenge not only the media, and religion establishment, but also the US government, with his views on the bigotry he saw in everyday life, that needed to be eradicated. This is what made the man "cool", and why we will never forget what he's done for not only the sport of Boxing, but also for Black awareness and this country of ours.

For more detailed info, photos, video, etc, go peep: http://www.ali.com/


Throwback Classic: The Low End Theory

We talk music all day, but when you talk about "the perfect album", you have to mention A Tribe Called Quest's 2nd album, The Low End Theory.

The first time I heard this album, was over at a friend's house (what up, Craig?), way back in the young'un years. I don't know what it was about this album, but it instantly became the soundtrack to my little kid years, lol. Whether I was cuttin' school or just runnin' through the hood doin' young cat dumb sh*t, THIS album was in my walkman. And I think because of that, this has gone on to become my favorite Hip Hop album, of all-time.

I miss the effortless sound that ATCQ had on their albums, especially this one. Tip was always so laid back with how he did his thing, it was almost like he wasn't rhyming, but just havin' a convo with you. And that's what makes dude so dope, even today. I also liked the fact that this was the album that really took Phife outta the background, and showcased that The Dog was nice with his too. I don't think we'll ever see chemistry between two MC's, like we did with 'Quest. You throw in ridiculous production, and you have yourself the perfect Hip Hop album, folkers!

There's classic track after classic track on this album, "Scenario", "Check The Rhime", "The Jazz", and those were just the singles. I honestly listen to this album from front to back, no skips! Remember when you could do that? And I still play this joint like it dropped last week. Now that's some real Hip Hop right there. Get this album in your life.



Classic Music: Lord Finesse - Actual Facts

Now this is really what's up! If you're not rockin' with any D.I.T.C. music on your iPod, at the crib or in the whip, than you're not Hip Hop, period.

This video was so classic to me when I saw it for the first time, and I knew that The Awakening album was gonna be just as fire, as it was. Lord Finesse has always been one of my favorite MC's, and I probably tell him that, everytime I bump into him, lol. This joint here though, is just one of those hot posse cuts that we really don't see as much as we used to. You got Sadat X from Brand Nubian, the production legend, Large Professor and the great Grand Puba, also from Brand Nubian (what up, Max'?) on there. Peep all the other cameos too, like Fat Joe and The Teacher, KRS-One!

That's just too much legend status for one track, so if you don't have this song or album in your collection, you should really fix that immediately. Respect to Finesse, for givin' Hip Hop nothin' but hot music. And what up to the entire D.I.T.C. for holdin' down NYC with them crate diggin' classics. You'll definitely be seein' more love for the crew on AA in the near future.



Green Lantern: Rebirth

Just got word that the Green Lantern flick is supposed to be hittin' theaters on December 17, 2010.

Real talk, it seems like every comic book or cartoon from back in the day, is gettin' it's own movie now. The last Batman piece was classic, but every flick isn't gonna be as good as that. And to be honest, we really don't need a movie for every superhero (edit: if Megan Fox happens to get that Wonder Woman role, they definitely have my money though). I'm gonna support the Watchmen, and even that new Wolverine joint that's supposed to drop this summer. But when you start hearin' about or seein' a preview for mad superhero movies, it's only natural to expect that a few of them are gonna be trash, lol.

I think a Green Lantern flick could be hot, if it's done properly. And I hope that they really dig in and make somethin' that real comic heads can enjoy, for the $40 dollars we spend when we end up takin' chicks to the movies. Time will tell..

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