2016IXTEEN Gave Me the Most Life

On December 31, 2015, I was sitting on the beach in Hermosa reflecting on the past year and writing a list of goals for the following year.  Today, December 31, 2016, I’m sitting at home in Pittsburgh, PA doing the same thing – sans the beach.

To kick-off 2016 and with inspiration from Karen Civil, I started a blessing jar.  What is a blessing jar?  It’s a jar, of any kind (feel free to decorate it!), where every time something positive happens to you throughout the year, you write that moment on a notecard, date it, and drop it into your jar.  At the end of the year, dump out your jar and see all of the epic things you’ve accomplished and been a part of during the year.  This is my first time doing a blessing jar, and I’ve actually kept up with it – see below!

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So needless to say, 2016 has been a GREAT freaking year for me.

The biggest highlight in 2016?  Getting a new job.  Holy smokes, I can’t even begin to explain my excitement with this one.  My #1 goal for 2016 was to get a new job.  And even better, this new job doesn’t even feel like work.  I would always get SO jealous of those who said that and wondered if that would ever happen to me.  Well, I can say it now.  I work with creative and talented people, have met so many epic movers and shakers, and am constantly surrounded by like-minded individuals.  I can actually hold conversations with my coworkers about the new Migos or Drake track and they know what I’m talking about.  It’s the little things.  Very, very happy.  Shout out @airmikey.

And three additional epic moments this year would have to be my 27th birthday, sitting in the 10th row at the last night of the Summer Sixteen tour in LA, and being invited to and attending the Live Civil Brunch.

27TH BIRTHDAY
Reunited with friends (minus Mandy – she gets her own weekend during the 4th <3) (and not sure where Pelke is…typicalllll)

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SUMMER SIXTEEN TOUR
More life
 with friends

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LIVE CIVIL BRUNCH
Networked 
with new friends

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But really.  This year has been so so great and for those of you who say 2016 was the worst and needs to go away, how do you think 2017 will be any different?  Yes there were a lot of shitty things that happened in the world, but TBH shitty things will happen every year.  So all you can really do is focus on you and do things that make you happy.  That will help to push and block out the negativity.

So for me personally in 2017, I will continue to do the following –

  • Do things that make me happy with people who make me happy
  • Be selfish – sounds terrible but I only have to take care of myself so this is the time to do as much as I can
  • Attend even more concerts and listening parties

And a few new things –

  • Be more thoughtful and proactive when it comes to those in my life
  • Refinance my school loans (v. important)
  • Step away from all negative energy.  Ain’t no time from that.

What are you going to continue to work on?  Try something new?  Make a blessing jar?  Do it!

Wishing all of yinz a safe, healthy, and happy start to 2017.  Now to whip up a quick top album and concert post from 2016…

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WATCH OUT WEDNESDAY: COMPLEXCON

Now I know this week’s watch out WEDNESDAY isn’t a song or artist to watch out for, but it should still be on your radar.  And yes, I’m also aware today is Thursday.  I started writing the post yesterday but got caught up watching game 7… #SPORTS.  So what to watch out for this week and weekend in particular is…

– ComplexCon –

What is ComplexCon?  I don’t know if there’s a real defined answer as to what this is but it’s been promoted as the ‘first of its kind pop culture convention.’  Well, you know I love anything pop culture related so I can’t miss out.

What will ComplexCon entail?  Panels, performances, food, shopping… all the things.  Again, you know I have to be there.

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Definitely tune into my Snap (ergense) so you can get an inside look this weekend.  I will be there  both days and will be attending the Snoop Concert on Sunday night.  It’s lit!

Oh, and tonight I’ll be going to the Penguins vs Kings game at Staples Center so check out that #californyinz action on my Snap as well.

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#PittsburghPapi

You know I had to post about this moment.  Last night Drake made a stop on his and Future’s Summer Sixteen Tour in the epic city that is my hometown of Pittsburgh and repped the city HARD.  I like that (Khaled voice).  Amazing.

Check it below!

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I don’t really have much else to say about this other than that my favorite is wearing my favorite.

Happy almost Friday, yinz!

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NEW: KH of Mo’$crill – ‘Potion’

Hey yinz!  Made it back from our annual 4th of July trip alive and well.  Not extremely well but  alive enough to make it to work on time and get through the day.  I’ll be crafting a post for Miss Mandy but am wanting to wait for the official video to be made first :).

What helped me get through the day though?

Coffee, a lot of work, a chocolate chip cookie, my new Travi$ Scott dad hat that arrived in the mail, and most importantly music.  Not just any music but new music from my fellow Pittsburgh native, KH.

Produced by Justin Cicco and Sledgren, KH’s newest song ‘Potion’ gives off the right amount of vibes for this day of recovery.  The chill yet sexy sound is the perfect mix.  Listen below!

I’m also excited to announce that I’ll be starting a new series on on californyinz where I’ll be highlighting new artists or artists that I think you should be listening to on WATCH OUT WEDNESDAY (WOW).  *watch out lil bih* I’m super pumped about this because I always feel like I’m listening to new artists or being recommended artists, and I need to spread the word about these epic and talented people.  While I may highlight new songs, I want to stick to the people who create those songs.

Now I can’t promise it will be every Wednesday, but I will definitely be starting next week on July 13 with the artist featured in this post, KH.  What better artist to start off with than someone who is also from Pittsburgh?  Not to mention, we did a dope interview, and he’s so down to earth, and I can’t wait for you to e-meet him.

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So listen to the track *DRUMMA BOY VOICE* and let me know what you think!

Hope yinz had a great 4th!

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Positivity Post!

PI don’t know about yinz, but I need some happy social media posts in my life right now.  Good thing there are a lot of good and exciting things currently happening in the hip-hop (and sports) world!

First and foremost, I can’t believe I didn’t post about the freaking PITTSBURGH PENGUINS winning the STANLEY CUP.  I mean.  I’ve been waiting for this moment since 2009 when they won their last Cup.  So, so proud of and happy for this team of yinzers.  Wondering where I watched the game?  The couch.  And I couldn’t have been more content.  A big congrats to the Pittsburgh Penguins and glad the Cup is back in the city of Pittsburgh.  I hope everyone who is at/went to the parade today had fun and stayed safe!

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pens parade_Shop412Photo Credit:  Pittsburgh Penguins Instagram & Twitter pages

Now, back to hip-hop…

YG | STILL BRAZY

Late last night, well late for East Coasters, YG dropped his highly-anticipated album Still Brazy.  It’s currently only streaming on Apple Music (subscribe if you haven’t already) and will more than likely be available on more streaming services on the actual release date of Friday, June 17.  And if you’re in LA on Friday through the 28th, stop by YG’s pop-up shop and art installation on Fairfax!

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LIL WAYNE RELEASED FROM THE HOSPITAL

After TWO seizures and emergency plane landings, Lil Wayne is out of the hospital and doing well.  To reiterate, this is a ‘positivity post,’ so I won’t be ranting on bashing him (and never would actually) on why he shouldn’t be drinking that lean.  Seriously.  Life is too short, Weezy.  But very glad he’s doing okay!

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BEYONCE x FLINT, MICHIGAN

Beyonce back at it again with the good deeds.  Most recently, Queen Bee has donated more than $80,000 towards the Flint water crisis.  More specifically, the money went to the United Way of Genesee County at a Detroit high school in partnership with Bey’s philanthropic platform, BeyGOOD.  As if that wasn’t generous enough, 14 Detroit-based high school students were selected to receive “college gifts” for educational expenses and surprised with tickets to Beyonce’s Tuesday night show at Ford Field in Michigan.  Love, love, love reading about this type of stuff!  More on Bey’s good deeds here.

DRAKE x VIEWS

Shout out to Drizzy Drake whose recent album VIEWS just went DOUBLE PLATINUM.  It’s official via the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America).  From what I thought wasn’t his best project, I do find myself listening to it more and more.  From the album, One Dance, has now spent five consecutive weeks at #1, while VIEWS itself has spent six.  As for overall streams – VIEWS has surpassed the one BILLION-stream benchmark in the U.S.  So epic.  6 God status for real.

KANYE WEST x SAINT PABLO TOUR

We on a ultralight beam!  For real.  As Kim’s Tweet promised, Kanye revealed the tour dates yesterday morning for his HIGHLY-anticpiated tour.  The tour starts in August in Indianapolis and wraps up in October in Sin City.  He’ll be making two stops in LA at The Forum on October 25 and October 26.  And sorry, yinz, he isn’t stopping in Pittsburgh.  You have some options though:  drive to Philly to see him on October 4 orrrr fly to me and get lit at The Forum.  Although, I don’t know why, but I think it would be dope to see Ye perform in Seattle.  Really not sure why, but in my head it seems cool.  General sale tickets go on sale this Saturday.  Cop them or miss out on what will probably be a sold out tour.

Oh and can’t forget what else Kanye delivered yesterday.  Later in the evening Kanye added the final (assuming so) version of the song ‘Saint Pablo’ to The Life of Pablo album.  He’s been making changes to the album since it dropped in February.  This only continues to make me think that TLOP is a work of art.  Always evolving and changing!  And it’s another reason why I like and respect Kanye.  He takes his projects and passions seriously, as do I, so I can appreciate him and his ways.  UPDATE:  Kanye added additional tour dates.  Check those here.

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And to conclude this post, I’d like to shout out Disney World for donating $1 million to the victims of the Orlando tragedy.  My thoughts go to the families and friends of those who are no longer with us, and my prayers go to the innocent lives who were taken way too soon.  I really hope the Facebook bantering and blaming simmers down because what truly matters is that we all come together during a time like this to lift one another up and fill the world (real and digital) with positivity and to remember those lost.  I’m sure they wouldn’t want all this finger pointing.

Thanks yinz for reading – be back soon!

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LET’S. GO. PENS.

Yinz.  I don’t even want to say anything because I’m too afraid to jinx it, but if we win you know what… I will actually lose it and have the most #californyinz moment.  Honest.  Even.

But I just want this post to be out there and to be semi ready to go should anything happen…

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Soon, I’ll be heading into our conference room at work to turn on the TV and watch the Pens do their thang at Consol Energy Center.  Serious FOMO I’m not there.

Be back soon…

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Holy smokes…

I feel like I haven’t posted anything in EONS.  The last time was what, RiRi’s concert review?  Unacceptable!  But I’m back now and definitely off of a good note because…

THE PENS WON…

…and are advancing to the next round of the Stanley Cup playoffs!  Major #californyinz moment. What does this have to do with California?  Well, I’m here, duh.  Anyways.  Super pumped we beat the Capitals!

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Now back to the culture and hip-hop.  What have I missed?

Most recently, we were gifted with the (weird) music video for Desiigner’s banger ‘Panda’ with a cameo from Mr. Kanye West himself.  Watch the loopy video below and you’ll catch Kanye towards the end.  Since it’s a TIDAL exclusive, I unfortunately cannot embed the video into this post, so you’ll just have to watch here on Rap-Up.

Can’t forget about Drizzy Drake!

His hit ‘One Dance’ TOPS (aka No.1) Billboard Hot 100.  That’s major!  This is his first as a lead artist.  Props, props.  What was a close one last time?  ‘Hotline Bling’ came in at No. 2.  Big moves for the boy.

Drake is set to appear on ‘The Tonight Show’ Thursday, SNL (serve as the host and musical guest) this Saturday, and then to return to ‘Ellen’ on May 18.  *sets DVR*  Watch the hilarious and creative promo vid for the Ellen show appearance below!

And I want to share this just because Kendrick is not only one of my favorites but his content more times than not gives off good vibes only.  The 30-second spot was shot in a California mansion and features Kendrick sporting his Reebok Classics.  Watch and listen to his words in the newest Reebok commercial below.

Have a good one, yinz, and let’s go Pens!

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Yinz!

Why didn’t I think of this post sooner!  Today is April 12… 4-12… 412!!!

For those of you non-yinzers, 412 happens to be Pittsburgh’s area code.  You can even see it branded on Wiz’s body in the form of a tattoo – see below – right across his chest.  Represent.

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Now let’s look at some rappers sporting 412 memorabilia.  Scroll over the pics for captions.

And it’s also my grandma’s 91st birthday – yayyy ❤

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Wiz Khalifa LA Listening Party 2.8.16

Last night was LITTY!

What I thought would have been a chill night of me standing in the background, listening to Wiz play some tracks from his new album at last night’s listening party, turned into a LIT SITUATION.  I shuffled my way to the front, per usual, and was essentially at the main table with Wiz, Juicy J, Travi$ Scott, and Ty Dolla $ign.  And was great seeing JCruz from Power 106, as well!

The party was at the Blind Dragon and hosted by the one and only Ms. Karen Civil.  She gave updates on Wiz’s arrival time, introduced him, and then handed the mic over to Wiz.  She also gave a shout out to Wiz’s mom and said, “Shout out to Wiz’s mom who is here.  Whenever I’m in Pittsburgh, she always takes good care of me.”  #californyinz

Wiz went over different meanings behind the tracks, rapped a little, and just had a great time. And DJ Bonics, Wiz’s official DJ was spinning.  It was dope, and I’m really glad I was able to go!  It was all truly a big #californyinz moment.

I even rocked a Pittsburgh shirt, which gained a little attention and served as a conversation starter. #netWORQUE

Peep the video to see just how close I was.

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And even more #californyinz-ness… shout out to the Pittsburgh Penguins for unveiling their 50th anniversary logo for the upcoming season.  Check it here.

Merry Christmas, Yinz!

First off, I hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas and that you are celebrating the holiday with those who matter most!  And I hope that you all got a nice present or two under the tree.  Unfortunately, I didn’t wake up to Drake under the tree, so maybe next year!  And we still don’t have Rihanna’s new album.  Anyway.  This year, I flew back to Pittsburgh for Christmas Eve and am actually flying back to LA today.  Yes, on Christmas.  Flights have been pretty dang expensive, so this was all I could swing this year, but I’m actually looking forward to spending Christmas day with my West Coast family, Anne and Freddie, and my friends who I do consider family out there.

But while I was home, I saw so many of my friends and family.  It was wonderful!  From tailgates to dinners to high school reunions and more, I did quite a lot in a few days.  And thank you to my mom who prepared a delicious Christmas Eve dinner… per usual.  Pictures below!

I wanted to keep this post short and sweet, so that’s all I have to say!  Until then… back to LA!

goinghomeYou non hip-hop readers, that’s Drake in Santa’s sleigh, and the lyric is obviously from Drake, as well.

Merry Christmas!

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