#MERCHMONDAY: 2 Chainz Shop Edition

Happy Monday, yinz!  Today’s #MERCHMONDAY involves one of my favorite – and most consistent – rappers out there.  My dude 2 Chainz.  Not only is his music fire, but he also knows what he’s doing when it comes to #MERCH.  Unfortunately, the 2 Chainz Shop is currently unavailable, but when it’s live… it’s live.  You can visit his actual site here in the meantime.

Since 2015 and around Christmas time, he’s been selling the Dabbing Santa sweaters where a handful of proceeds go to fundraisers and others in need.  He’s raised well over $2 million from that #MERCH.  So great.  More info on that line of #MERCH here.

This past holiday season, he launched a new line of clothing.  One was a Christmas sweater print inspired coaches TRAP jacket, which is what I purchased after a few glasses of wine in, obviously. Today is my first day wearing it, and I love it.  It’s also the perfect day to wear this jacket since it’s raining in LA, and the material is made for such weather.  Check out each individual image below to get a closer look.

Quality: When I first took it out of the package last night, it was a little stiff.  So I hung it up over night, and luckily it softened.  And as I mentioned before, it’s great material to wear in the rain.  So far so good!

Design: Less is more when it comes to #MERCH.  And this jacket fits that mold.  The black exterior with the small white logo on the front and then the “sweater” print in black and light pink on the back is great.  Perfect for men and women to wear.  I will say though when I first saw the logo on the front, I thought it was misshapen.  Then after a closer look and also seeing it on the back, I realized it’s a thumbs up.  Phew.  Didn’t want to have to send that back.

Cost: I paid about $50 for this jacket, and that included shipping and tax.  I know I’ll get a lot of wear out of this, so I think it’s a all-in price.

Overall, I’ll continue to support 2 Chainz – both in the forms of concert tickets and #MERCH.

 

 

 

Photo of 2 Chainz wearing his “Dabbin’ Santa” sweater by Joseph Moore.

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SERGE’S SELECTIONS 1.7.18

Playlists poppin’!  One major goal I have for californyinz this year is to step up my playlist game.  I definitely fell off, and I’ve realized that music is the one thing that makes me truly happy.  So a message to myself – DO BETTER – in 2018.  I plan to make this a weekly thing, preferably on Sundays so you can enjoy the sounds on your day off and also enjoy them throughout the week to keep you moving.

This first playlist is titled ‘strip club shawty.’  Now before you get all judgmental, chill.  I went to a strip club last February for a friend’s birthday, and I couldn’t help but notice how fire the music was that the dancers were dancing to.  Songs that I love, songs that I forgot about, and songs that I had never heard before.  I mean Sam Hunt’s “Speakers,” which is a country song, was one of the tracks.  Who would have thought:  1) at a strip club  2) that I would have liked that song. So, I decided to Shazam a majority of the songs while I was there and turn them into a playlist. Yes, I know – almost a year later.  Two hours and 12 minutes (33 songs) of strip club sounds. Track listing below and the link in pink.  Check it.

playlist 000: ‘strip club shawty’

And follow me on Apple Music because that’s where I’ll be uploading the heat.

 

 

MUSIC: Justin Timberlake – “Filthy”

Yoooo.  I am here for this track.  Justin Timberlake is back with the first single from his upcoming album, Man of the Woods, titled “Filthy.”

While the song is nearly five minutes – pretty long – I think it sets up a good intro to the rest of the album, whatever that may be.

The song starts super loud and continues to build.  It builds to the point of making you think, okay I’m ready for what’s next.  Then cut to the 30 second mark and YASSS.  That’s what I was waiting for AND wanted.  The sexy and electronic sound was giving me major FutureSex/LoveSound vibes.  One Twitter friend, @DanteMarquis, described it as “Last Train To Paris meets Prince vibes.”  I dig that.

You’re jamming until about the 4:30 mark where it all starts to slow down a bit, and we’re greeted by a female speaking voice.  Could it be JT’s wife, Jessica Biel?  IDK, but the ending has me excited for what’s to come.  So don’t blow it.  JK.  But seriously.

Listen here!  And Man of the Woods is expected to drop on February 2.

 

 

Feel Good Friday – #GLOBALMERCH Edition

Yinz!  First of all, I hope you had a great week.  Secondly, wait until you see this #MERCH I recently received.  It’s super cool.  Super unique.  And for a super good cause.

Let me tell you about this organization before I jump into this #MERCH.

One of my longtime friends, like have known since elementary school long, is the co-founder of United Underdogs – a company that works with sports organizations and fans everywhere to protect our environment and improve lives globally.  They partner with brands to not only inspire a global sports audience but more importantly to impact the world’s most pressing social and environmental issues.  It’s a pretty dope concept.

And what makes this organization even more dope is the fact that they have #MERCH, or as I like to call it – #GLOBALMERCH.

You can purchase a piece of handmade #MERCH – in this case a unique artisan gift – to support.  Upon purchase, Underdogs United will contribute one carbon credit – their funding mechanism – to their clean cookstoves project in East Africa to help those breathe cleaner air and save trees from deforestation.

SUPPORT #GLOBALMERCH here

I love this whole entire concept and the #MERCH.  Thank you again, Steve… and to the entire Underdogs United team.  Appreciate what you guys are doing!

MUSIC: N.E.R.D FT. FUTURE – “1000”

Wowowow.  This song is giving me life.  I was hooked right from the first five beats.  The uptempo, high energy beat is everything, and I can guarantee it will make you move.

Just as you’re getting into the feels of N.E.R.D, Future’s voice begins to emerge at about the one minute mark.  You can hear him saying “one thousand,” which is the title of the track.  And this little Future intro got me too ready for the rest of the song.

And then at 1:07min, we get that *fire emoji* pumped up verse which has almost a suspending-like sound.  Future ends at about 1:40min, and we are back into the high energy beats of N.E.R.D.  To me, Future’s verse + the beat resemble Jim Jones and Ron Browz “Champagne” ft. Jules Santana.  Can you say throwback?  Compare below.

Cut to 2:10min, and we are blessed with a new sound – an almost electric, fantasy sounding beat.  It reminds me of the Mario Kart Rainbow Road theme song tbh.

The rest of the song you’re pretty much guaranteed to live your best life, and then with only 30 seconds left, you are hit with that fire.  I would love to watch some choreo (or participate in some) to this outro.

**LISTEN TO “1000” HERE**

If this and Lemon are any indication of what the rest of the album will sound like, I’m all about it. No_One Ever Really Dies is expected to drop on December 15.

November 18th on November 18th

Currently listening to November 18th on repeat today.  I’ve realized I posted about this song on November 18th in 2015, but this post is a bit more informative.

“Up so high even when I’m coming downnnn.”

When Drake begins the song with those first words, I die.  His voice is so smooth and sultry sounding, and he’s singing to us in that deep voice… wowowowow.

And as I’m trying to catch my breath, the beat switches up at about one minute in, and I die again.  The whole song is straight vibes.  I can’t handle it actually.  Then cut to about 1:22, and Drake is now singing.  Swoon.  And back to that chopped and screwed vibe at 1:45.

And I’m not one to typically listen to (and actually like) a chopped and screwed song, but this one is done in a tasteful and subtle enough way that you’re not thinking WTF is happening while listening.

As I listen to “November 18th,” it truly takes me back to 2009 when I first became a fan of Drake and when this song was initially released, as well as the project you can find it on – So Far Gone.  It gives me all the feels, and I really can’t explain it.

Now Drake opens the song with a Houston (H-Town) reference and mentions the city a few other times throughout.  People ask why Drake is so tied to Houston.  “I thought he was from Toronto.”  Well, yeah.  I’m from Pittsburgh, but I feel like I’m tied to Los Angeles.  Can The Boy live?

Let me educate –

Houston is where Drake flew to meet Lil Wayne for the first time after Wayne heard his music and wanted to meet him.  This was before Drizzy was signed to any record label or was even really heard of in the music scene.  That and Drake sold out his first show in Houston at the concert venue Warehouse Live.  I meannnn.  Those are pretty big tings, so I can fully understand why Drake has such appreciation for that city.  He even hosts a Houston Appreciation Weekend every year.  Need to attend that.

Now go and listen to this song before the day ends.

 

FIRE MUSIC FRIDAY

We didn’t receive just any new music today.  We were blessed with new music from some legends – Eminem, Beyoncé, N.E.R.D, and André 3000.  Like, come on now.

“WALK ON WATER” – EMINEM FT. BEYONCÉ

I’ve read some mixed reviews on this song.  Actually, the first review I read was “this is trash.”  Chill.  I highly doubted a song with the rap god, Eminem, and the queen, Beyoncé, would be “trash.”  And I’d bet that those who are hating on the song are all about that mumble rap life.  Bye. “Walk On Water” is real and truthful.  Eminem comes off as super humble to me in this as well.  The combination of Eminem’s raw poetry with Beyoncé’s angelic and powerful vocals makes for a moving track.  Listen below, and let me know what you think.  Em’s Revival album is expected to drop on November 17.

“ROLLINEM 7’S” – N.E.R.D FT. ANDRÉ 3000

This sounds like it picked up where “Lemon” left off  with that same bouncy beat, and I am here for it.  The initial instrumentals make me feel like I’m at a super dope jazz club.  Around 2:54, we get a switch up on the beat.  Digging it.  And then for the final verse, we get the legend who is André 3000 aka Three Stacks who continues to spit that fire.  Listen below!

#MERCHMONDAY: Anti Running Running Club

What.  Up.  Fam.

Hope yinz had a great weekend!  I was busy running around the insanity that was ComplexCon down in Long Beach, CA.  I have v. mixed feelings about that whole scene, but we aren’t here to talk about that right now.  Let’s focus on #MERCH because it is #MERCHMONDAY.

Last week I was gifted the following fire – an Anti Running Running Club t-shirt.  Like are you kidding me?  You know I don’t run, so this is the perfect piece of #MERCH for me.  Yes, I understand it says “running club,” but like it’s anti.  It makes sense to me so that’s all that matters.  Major shout out to the good people at @nevernotbootleggin and especially Hector for this one.  THANK YOU.

#MERCH RATING

Quality: It’s solid!  It’s a Gildan tee and those have always held up nicely for me.

Design: Those of you familiar with this logo and design should already know it’s a “bootleg” version of the Anti Social Social Club.  I’ve always been a fan of the look of that brand – it’s super recognizable but also clean.

Cost: This one was a gift, but it does retail for $30 which is pretty average for a t-shirt.  Definitely worth it.  Buy it here!

I also customized my own piece of #MERCH, courtesy of the JanSport booth at ComplexCon.  Check it on my IG.

Until next time.

#MERCHMONDAY: 4:44 Tour

Hi, fam!  It’s definitely been a minute.  I admit I’ve been blowing it in regards to posting – I haven’t posted anything since mid-September.  Not okay.

Anyways.  Here to talk about really the only thing that’s become my life as of late – #MERCH.  For those of you who don’t know – yes, some have asked me what “merch” is – merch is short for merchandise.

Merriam-Webster defines merchandise as the following –

Now that we’re all up to speed, my focus is on concert and rapper #MERCH.  It truly  makes up 95% of my wardrobe.  What #MERCH am I wearing today?  Check it below –

I copped this at Jay-Z’s opening night of his 4:44 Tour in Anaheim at the Honda Center on Friday, 10/27.  And the concert was freaking amazing BTW.  I bought the Paris edition because they didn’t have LA.  They were selling Brooklyn and New York versions, but I thought Paris was the most unique.  And it reminded me of Watch The Throne, and I miss Kanye and Jay-Z together sooooo.  Yes, I think that much into my #MERCH purchases.

#MERCH RATING

Quality: AMAZING.  Seriously, this is not your standard janky t-shirt that you feel is going to fall apart after one wash.  Well done, Hov.

Design: Now I’m no fashion designer or stylist, but I’m giving you my opinions anyway.

Color: I definitely don’t have a piece of #MERCH in a peach or tan colorway so glad to add this to my collection.  Not sure it’s the best color on me as sometimes I appear to be jaundice in yellow / tan colors.  IDGAF.  I like it.

Front: Clean and simple.

Back: I wish I would have gotten a better look at the back of the other city’s shirts so I could compare, but I was a few beers in and don’t remember.  I like it though.  Black and white, newspaper vibes.

Sleeves: It may be a little much to have “4:44” on one sleeve and “Jay:Z” on another, but because the front of the shirt is so simple, I think it works.

Tag: Love, love, love a custom shirt tag.  It makes the shirt that much more meaningful.

Cost: $50 – This isn’t bad for the quality.  Trussssss mi.  The quality is v good and well worth the price.  And the concert ticket was free so all is good.

What will I wear next Monday?  Wait on iiiiiiit.

 

 

MUSIC: GUCCI MANE FT. THE WEEKND – “CURVE”

I am too happy about this collaboration.  Gearing up for his next album, Gucci Mane calls on The Weeknd to join him on the Nav produced single “Curve.”

The track starts with The Weeknd and then once that initial beat hits… say less.  He also has the voice of a got damn angel.  Pretty sure Abel could sing about anything, and it would sound amazing.  Ugh.  Love him.

TBH though, “Curve” sounds like it could be a Weeknd track featuring Gucci.  Either way, I really enjoy it.  Listen below on YouTube or on Apple Music here.

Gucci’s album, Mr. Davis, is set to release this Friday, September 15.