Sunday, December 27, 2015

In the Mix's 2015 End of the Year Extravaganza in 3-D On Ice with ThatDude and Kali Tripodis!

I’d like to welcome you all to In the Mix,
As we await the arrival of year 20-1-6,
A lot has happened up to this end,
So I enlisted the help of my two good friends
To close out the year, because it’s only right,

I present to you an Extravaganza in 3D… on Ice. 

Disclaimer: This section is only looking at mainstream releases. 

This year in hip hop there was just too much to do and not enough time. Every camp dropped some work this year. TDE had titles, ASAP Mob represented and Pro Era had one of the first releases of the year. 2015 hip hop was like being at a good buffet. With all these entrees in front of us, a lot of them couldn’t get a fair shake. We had to get our portions and keep it moving because everything was coming out hot and fresh and the lines were out the door. Despite all of this many of us still found ourselves looking for new music.

6th Man of the Year
Travis Scott
Rodeo dropped on September and did pretty well. Overall it was solid work and further proved my main thought about Travis Scott: He’s a waaaaay better producer than he is a rapper. I’m sorry, but when 2 Chainz, Quavo from Migos, and Justin Bieber have more memorable verses than you, you’re not a lyricist. Which is exactly why he makes a great 6th man. Like Lou Williams or Jamal Crawford, he’s not going to lead the team, but he can bring some much needed energy to the game. Hey, it worked for Rihanna on “BBHMM.”

I Can’t Watch This Anymore Award
Iggy Azalea
I haven’t felt this bad for a white girl since Britney shaved her head. 

Tempur-Pedic Sleep AF Award
To Pimp a Butterfly
There comes a time for some when being great is expected and no longer marveled at. Such is the case now for Kendrick Lamar. The fact that To Pimp a Butterfly didn’t go platinum says it all. TPAB is a very special album. 95% of its content flew above our heads and will need to be revisited and analyzed for the next 20 years. The man spent two years working on this and all he got was a pat on the back. 

A.Z. Scene Stealer Award
Chance the Rapper
Chance might’ve had the verse of the year on Action Bronson’s “Baby Blue.” Most rap songs about exes are vicious and spiteful or downright somber. Think about it, Big Sean’s “IDFWU” was the closest thing to this song. Chance’s verse is hilariously petty and somewhat innocent. Elementary school kids could remix it and it’ll go viral. Don’t be surprised if you see this song appear in a Rom-Com one day.

Most Improved Player of the Year
Big Sean
Big Sean has come a long way from “My Last.” I still don’t believe he’s reached his full potential yet, but he’s getting there. He said himself that this is the best year of his career. Dark Sky Paradise was his first #1 album and he stayed on the charts quite a while with all of his singles. 

One Hit Wonder of the Year
Post Malone
“White Iverson” came out of nowhere and it was bumping for a while, but now it’s time is over. It’s not that it got played out, it just can’t go any further. Post Malone swears he’s here to stay, but his time is just about done. Maybe it isn’t, it wouldn’t be the first time I was wrong about a rapper. I actually know a few Post Malone fans so buddy has a bigger fanbase than his runner-up, Silento.   

Rookie of the Year
Fetty Wap and Jidenna
I had to give it to Fetty because it’s only right. No newcomer made more noise than him. I honestly thought he was a one hit wonder after “Trap Queen” but then came “My Way” and “679.” There’s still a chance that he can become a one album wonder, but for now, let’s enjoy all the “Yaaaahhh baby” and “Squaaaa’s” while they’re still fun.
Jidenna was my personal favorite newcomer. “Classic Man” was awesome and he hasn’t put out anything wack yet. His story is interesting and his swanky style is refreshing. It’ll be interesting to see what he does with a solo album which he should have next year. 

Defensive Player of the Year
Drake could’ve replied to Meek’s diss on Twitter and kept it a social media thing. Instead he got in the booth and made two…maybe three, songs. Gotta give him credit for that, but it stops there. Drake knew he would win that battle and he did. The so called “beef” was amusing to say the least. Meek came out looking like a dunce, but he wakes up next to Nicki Minaj every morning. So all isn’t lost for him. 

This was a tough one. Drake and Future were neck and neck in the race but when it comes down to productivity, I had to give it to Future. Sure he got bodied on WATTBA but keep in mind that Future dropped two mixtapes and an album. I’m not the biggest Future fan, but his work ethic and productivity are unrivaled. He might not have dominated the charts, but he had the streets on smash all year, wore the ridiculous hat better than Pharrell, delivered two of the best lines on the diuretic effects of cough medicine on “3500” and “Thought it Was a Drought,” and he did all of this while mumbling.  

What to Watch For in 2016 
       J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar’s collaboration. If you’re like me you’ve been waiting for this since 2012. The Black Friday thing didn’t mean anything to me until I heard the hint at a February release. Could we possibly hear Cole and Kendrick rapping on a track together? Are my wishes from "What a Time to be a Cynic" going to come true?! We’ll see in February. 

      We need some new material from Isaiah Rashad. I know it’s coming, “Nelly” was just a sample, a darn good one too. I’ve been bumping Cilvia EP Demo long enough. I am itching for Isaiah Rashad to shake things up. ScHoolboy Q is also expected to drop an album next year.

Up next is the Great Sports Debater,
A near and dear friend although he is a Gator,
So without further ado,

Here’s some sports talk with ThatDude.

ThatDude's 2015 Highlights
Ducks and Indians Switch Roles: Ducks go Indian Hunting
HOW ABOUT THEM APPLES FSU!!!!!!! It took damn long enough for you to be put back in your place. Winston was a hell of a quarterback, but without him, you guys are about as threatening as a small poodle with a bark. You got the Tebow Syndrome. That one special player comes into your life and spoils you. He wines you, dines you, and you fall deeply in love with him. But you know that this relationship won’t last. He’s just a summer fling and eventually he’ll leave you for something new. Once he does leave you, nothing is quite the same. The water tastes funny, you don’t sleep as well and deep down in your heart you know it’ll be almost impossible to find someone better. He was the one. You find people who can take his role, but they don’t satisfy you the same. You’re optimistic that they’ll be just as good, but everyone, including yourself, knows that they won’t and that your one moment of happiness is gone. Now everything will be downhill for some time until you recover. UF is recovering right now, FSU. You’re about to enter a depressing downward spiral. EnjoyJ

Seahawks Didn’t Run It
It’s almost been a year since the Superbowl and I still can’t believe the Seahawks didn’t run it. Do they know who they have on their team? Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch. His nickname is “Beast Mode” for crying out loud, and you decide to pass it?! Pete Carrol, do you think this is Madden? You want to be cute with your play calling and throw a pass from the half-yard line? Buddy could have tripped forward and he most likely would have scored. Buddy could have sneezed and he still probably would have scored. You know why he’s there, use him.

Fight Night: Jonathon Papelbon vs. Bryce Harper

I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing I loved more than when I saw Jonathon Papelbon try to knock Harper out. Buddy!!!! You’re a cancer to any team you’re on. Harper literally was the MVP of the league and you try to take him out? I honestly don’t care if he wasn’t running hard, his hair flips have done more for that team than your busted, overpaid arm. I heard the Marlins were one of the teams on your no-trade clause list. THANK YOU!!!! Being a Marlins fan is hard enough, but if I had to see your ugly, pale ass in the bullpen every day, I might have to send the Marlins my letter of resignation. I legitimately hope you try to fight Harper again. Hope you get a good punch in that breaks that million dollar arm of yours so that you can’t pitch that season.

There’s a lot of beef with this fight, and honestly, I don’t know what everyone was expecting. Mayweather is a defensive fighter, he’s not there to knock you out and fuck your bitch. He’s there to win. As they say “Defense wins games,” and that’s what he does. No, he wasn’t running away scared, he was fighting the same way that has made him undefeated. And after that fight y’all want to call him out? Nah, I smell bull. Mayweather beat Pacquiao fair and square and I thought it was a good fight. Personally, I’m a fan of some great defense. Mostly because I can’t score on the basketball court, but I sure as hell will do what I can to shut you down. As Action Bronson said in “Baby Blue,” “Floyd Mayweather walked into a McDonalds and ordered 8,000 chicken mcnuggets. Now that’s a champion!”

American Pharaoh Wins Triple Crown
HA! You guys thought I was going to talk about a horse, didn’t you? Lol nope.

Warriors Take Home Larry
My biggest grief with the Warriors is there isn’t any hate on them. Why isn’t there any hate on them? Everything they do is seen through rose colored glass. Steph Curry could punch a baby and most people would see it as him blessing the child with a shooter’s touch. I’m not saying Curry is a bad dude, but who is his antagonist? When LeBron was in Miami, he had a grown ass man blow in his ear and ride up on him to annoy him. Who is going to step up and make this man uncomfortable? I appreciate Delly doing what he can, but we know he isn’t about that life. Lance Stephenson lived and breathed the douche role. I’m calling on you, Point Guards of the NBA, for someone to step up and give this man an antagonist. The Warriors in general could use an antagonist. When the Heat had LeBron, not only was everyone against them, but they had to go through the Celtics in year 1, and Pacers in years 2 and 3. There was a legitimate struggle where they had to put on their big boy pants and put these teams to bed because they just weren’t about that Finals life. No team has rivaled the Warriors like the Pacers did with the Heat. Don’t even say the Clippers because they’ve been the biggest pretender to be in the NBA since Kwame Brown.

PorFlopis Fans
If anyone should be boo’d, it’s you, Knicks fans. You go from booing this man, on his draft day if I may add, to worshipping this man like he’s the second coming of Patrick Ewing. PorzinGod? Are you freaking kidding me? Not only is that a stupid ass nickname but it might as well be sexual harassment with how hard you’re riding him. First, you’re kind of dicks for booing him on his draft day. That’s like booing your son as he walks across the stage on his college graduation. But then you worship a man who, to be frank, hasn’t proven himself. Has he shown potential? Yeah, but then again so did Carmelo Anthony and how many rings have you won with him?

US Women Take Home the World Cup
Let’s be brutally honest here, it’s a minority that regularly watches soccer in the United States. It’s just not our sport. America was built on using every advantage we have to succeed. It’s why we gave the Native Americans small-pox blankets and bought New York for basically magic beans. I, like most of America, am a seasonal soccer fan: Every 4 years in that awkward stage where none of the 3 major sports are popping off. Now the Women’s World Cup? Let’s be honest again, women’s sports can sometimes (always) be pretty agonizing to watch. When I see women’s basketball on ESPN, I’m pretty damn sure it’s a slow day in the sports world. So, congratulations to the women’s soccer team, it was nice being a fan for a couple months, but you’re back to being irrelevant to me and a large majority of America once again.

Mamba Out
It’s been a long 20 years, but the Black Mamba is finally hanging up the towel and picking up a Corona to enjoy with his feet in the sand. For some, this is sad news and a departure of a legend. For others, it’s a time of rejoice as finally the Lakers will become irrelevant after consistent decades of non-stop media coverage. It certainly has been a great career for Kobe and he will surely go down as one of the best to play the game. He’s influenced many of the top young players in the NBA today. But on another note, could we turn the hype down a notch? ESPN has been eating up this retirement and using any reason to show Kobe's face. If I see #vintageKobe one more time and see him just making an open jump shot, I might implode. However, I do enjoy seeing Kobe’s press conferences now. He’s a different Kobe out there. Gone is the intense, serious, “you know why I’m here” Kobe Bryant. Here is the relaxed, open, joking Bryant who actually gives us insight into who is Kobe off the court. To be able to say “Oh! That’s what Vanessa sees in him.” I’ve learned a lot about Kobe in this span. Mostly, that this dude can speak more 3 languages. I enjoy seeing that, I don’t enjoy seeing #vintageKobe under a video of him making a layup.

Ronda Rousey
Ronda Rousey sure had a turbulent year this year. She went from top of the totem to bottom of the scrotum real fucking quick . . . and thank goodness that she did. I couldn’t do it anymore! Everything was Ronda Rousey on ESPN. Did you see that commercial she did where she was training in a Pikachu costume? What the actual was that?! Maybe if you took your training serious you wouldn’t have gotten knocked the fuck out in your fight. You deserved it, Rousey. You were getting on mine, and a whole lot of other people’s nerves as well. Surprised that big head of yours even fit in that Pikachu costume. Humble down, we all know there’s not much serious competition in women’s UFC.

You’ve read a lot, believe us, we know,
But we have one more section, before we close,
From fuckboys and Netflix to wishes and movies,
A review of pop culture from Kali and yours truly,

Pop Culture with K&D  

Most Likely to Make You Change Your Cell Phone Provider goes to…
Milana Vayntrub aka Lily Adams for her AT&T commercials. Milana, if you’re reading this, when my screenwriting career pops off I’m putting you in a movie. Even if you play an AT&T sales rep, I’ll make sure you get more than 30 seconds of screen time.

Kali at a Matinee
From worst to first, here are the top five biggest movies of 2015 ranked on a highly scientific “Lit/Not Lit” matrix.
50 Shades of Grey
This disappointment raked in an alarming $570 million and with the unnecessary $40 million budget they couldn’t cast any big names, or at least more attractive people? I mean, c’mon, Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan—do those sound like sexy people to you? No, those are names you read in the soap opera TV Guide. The hot but irrelevant Rita Ora was right there, and that’s how you use her? That’s cold.
Let’s stop glorifying abusive relationships and gratuitous lip-biting. Seriously, Beyoncé remixed “Crazy in Love” and The Weeknd made “Earned It” for this? Please. But, hey—if elderly women got off to it then I guess the movie did what it wanted to do. And if you’re one of the few and the proud who did get off to this movie, have you ever heard of porn? Thank me later.
     Verdict: Not lit.

Entourage – Jesus. The best way to illustrate the total ludicrousness of this movie is with this interaction that happened between my friend and me as we were walking out of the theater.

Totally real non-imaginary friend: Sooooo, how’d you like the movie?
Me: Man, I was really into it then I dozed off during the part where the main hot guy actually gets his movie made, so I got pretty lost in the second half.
Totally real non-imaginary friend: Uh, no… That part never happened. You didn’t fall asleep.
Me: [dies of stupidity]

Even with the badass cameo of Amber Rose’s lesbionic crush Ronda Rousey, this way-too-long episode could not be saved. But hey, you know that guy you like? The one you always see at the bar.. downing Jägerbombs, wearing a fedora? Yeah, him. Pretend you like this movie and he will be forever yours.

Verdict: No, no, no. NOT lit.

Straight Outta Compton

This. Movie. Was. Phenomenal. It may not have told the whole story of the N.W.A., the world’s most dangerous group, but did you not get goosebumps hearing Eazy-E lay the first few bars for “Boyz in the Hood”? That was beautiful. This movie caused white kids everywhere to blast that and “Fuck Tha Police” in their Range Rovers, and if that’s not a sign of the movie’s accomplishments then I don’t know what to tell you. I really hope this film starts a trend for other rap biopics to be made. The same way Marvel has a master calendar of movie releases for all of their universe’s characters, I’d like to see that for rap films. Here’s to crossing our fingers for a Wu-Tang movie.
     Verdict: Straight Outta Lit-ville.

Mad Max: Fury Road – What do you get when you mix a legendary action movie with the excruciating hotness of Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy, subtract Mel Gibson, and sprinkle in some serious headbangers for the soundtrack? One of the best reboots in film history. This movie is next-level eye candy, and I’m not just talking about the lead actors. It has an aesthetic of its own, comparable to everyone’s favorite Spartan movie, 300. The killer visuals, the constant sound effects, the unexpectedly coherent plot—this movie is inspired, unique, and most of all—empowering.      
     Verdict: Mad Max, more like LIT Max.
Ex Machina – Bet you didn’t expect this to be the best movie of the year. You know why? Because you probably expected something easier to pronounce, so let’s get this out of the way: imagine you’re at the mall with your mom and you awkwardly run into your ex-girlfriend, named Keena. Your oblivious mom asks, “Who was that?” You respond, “It was my… ex, Ma! Keena.” Boom. Now, I’m not normally into sci-fi, but to say this movie made an impact on me would be the second biggest understatement of 2015, right before “Miley Cyrus is weird.” I saw this movie in theaters when it came out in April and I literally have thought about it every day since. I’ve thought about how you can make a killer movie set entirely in one house, I’ve thought about how awesome Oscar Isaac is, and mainly I’ve thought about how terrifying robots can be. This movie is haunting, and without a doubt the best movie I saw this year.
     Verdict: Lit to infinity and beyond.

Death to Meme Culture
Deion here. Imagine being at a party where someone tells a funny joke and everyone laughs. For the remainder of your time there you hear everyone repeat the same joke with little to no variation and laugh as if they heard it for the first time. That’s what Twitter and Meme Culture have become. This was the year that Meme Culture became incredibly annoying. Every event, whether big or small received a plethora of memes. I’m on Twitter seeing this madness and looking at the thousands of retweets these things get thinking “Stop it, you’re only encouraging them!!!”

It’s always the same setup. I’m on Twitter, there’s a tweet with a caption which reads something along the lines of: “I’M DYING” or “I laughed way too hard at this” with numerous skull emoticons or face with tears of joy emoji. 9.9 times out of 10 the material wasn’t half as funny as the caption made it out to be, which leads to a very disappointed and disgruntled Deion.

It’s become a process. There’s a headquarters where teenagers report to after school and sit in front of their laptops waiting for something relevant to happen. Once they see a trending topic, they quickly get on Photoshop or Dreamweaver, create a vine or meme and email it to Worldstar Comedy accounts. The accounts then compose tweets with the material and distribute it through their multiple accounts.

Nothing exemplifies this more than “Hotline Bling.” Before the video was officially released the Meme Team went to overtime. The fact that this one dance
Produced enough remix vines such as this to create a compilation, really shows the amount of dedication and creativity that goes in to creating a fleeting joke. 

Six Second Sensation of the Year goes to…. 
Nicholas Fraser aka @downgoes.fraser for his “Why You Always Lying” Vine. Never before has calling liars out been so fun.

Word of the Year
According to Oxford dictionaries, the word of the year is the “face with tears of joy” emoji.
It makes sense, it’s a great substitute for the members of the Lol family. An emoticon being word of the year though? If this happens for two more years in a row we’re going to be getting closer to communicating through hieroglyphics. 

Kali's 2016 Wishlist
Hold on, let me get a message out real quick. ATTENTION: space creatures, it is almost 2016. This means your fellow creature Miley Cyrus has been terrorizing our airwaves for ten years now. Please abduct her, or at least turn her into a human again. Thank you.

Okay, hey guys. Now, 2016 will obviously be known as the year Miley Cyrus finally spun off into her own extraterrestrial dimension far, far away. However, next year will be huge, and I am praying to God or Beyoncé or whoever is up there for some things that I really hope happen next year.

2015 was the Year of the Fuckboy, and here’s to hoping that 2016 will be the Year of the Fuckman. Seriously, acknowledging fuckboys in the first place has made one thing painfully official: chivalry is fucking dead—and it was murdered by Netflix and Chill. That trend is done, and I hope that 2016 brings in Netflix and Talk, Netflix and Cook Her Dinner, or maybe even Netflix and Chill with Her Parents Before Asking Her Dad for Her Hand in Marriage. Like, is that so much to ask?!

Oh, and just to get off my chest—I pray to the dear heavens that no one who I see on December 31st that I plan on seeing the very next day says “See you next year!!” This joke is done to death by grandmas and uncles and other self-proclaimed comedians. Let’s stop this madness once and for all.

Deion here. In addition to the lame “I haven’t seen you in a year” jokes we need to do away with the people who always advertise how they’re cutting people off and not putting up with anything next year. I’m grouping these people with those who post things like “same shit different year” and “page 1 of 365.” We get it, the year’s been tough on you, seek counseling in 2016. Deion out. 

One thing I absolutely love and I hope gets even stronger in 2016 is the hating of anything “basic.” 2015 may have been annoying, heartbreaking, terrifying—but, damn—it was weird as hell. And weird is a beautiful thing. By hating on and actively avoiding becoming basic, we are learning how to unapologetically be ourselves. I pray, O Yoncé, that 2016 is filled with even weirder, crazier ways to rid the world of unoriginal, conforming, pizza-meme-loving, Instagram-whoring, Lauren Conrad-loving basicness.

Is Lauren Conrad reading this? Nah, this isn’t Cosmopolitan.

This has been real. See you next year!!

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