Sunday, August 10, 2008

Hyperdunk Recovery, 8 Secrets of Success, Pandora, Going Green with the Simmons Jewelry Company and R.I.P: Isaac Hayes & Bernie Mac

Hyper…crazy…dunk Recovery by Nike

I’ve been blessed enough to be presented with great advice in my 28 years walking this earth. My uncle Billy told me to never laugh at a joke if I didn’t find it funny. My granddaddy Basnight told me not to wait on a woman to cook for me because I’ll never eat. My mom told me to make things happen for myself and never rely on others to make my dreams come true and my brother, Terry, told me that I had to sit down and watch the new
Nike Hyperdunk Recovery commercial during an episode of AND 1 Street ball Mix tapes and I’d be damned if he wasn’t right {as usual}. Nike and Wieden + Kennedy have done it again with a great spot about Nike’s new Hyperdunk sneakers woven into tales about dudes who fall victim to furious spins and beastly dunks on the basketball court. The humiliation of being dunked on by unsuspecting kats is so disheartening that dudes literally have to go into recovery…hence Hyperdunk Recovery.

There are two spots on Youtube {even though everything I’ve read about the spots said they were banned from TV but I saw the first spot on ESPN…go figure} and both are freaking fawsome {funny + awesome}. Shout out to
Levels barbershop in Brooklyn, NY for being featured in the first spot. Some of the tightest haircuts I’ve had have been made in that barbershop {shout out to my boy T…BK standup!!}. Check out the Hyperdunk Recovery spots and then become perplexed about the fact of Nike and a predominately white ad agency doing better work featuring African-American talent and storytelling than most African-American ad agencies.

Yeah I said it.

To me everything about these spots is spot on. The music, the stories, the casting and of course the kicks. I’ll be picking up a pair of Hyperdunks soon. I don’t play ball but they kicks look fresh.

Nuff said.

St. John’s 8 Secrets of Success

I’ve found another gem in the TED vault. While winding down after a long day last week in Irving, TX {just ask me about the drama and I’ll tell you later} I decided to check out the
TED site and once again what I found delivered on offering inspiration. After watching the video I immediately wanted to share it. This one goes out to all of my people who are continuously grinding their way to success. If this ain’t you then you might want to jump to the next feature cause we don’t need your bad vibes. {What? You still here? Girl, if I got to tell you one more time…}.

Richard St. John had what I call an IQM {innocent question moment}. An innocent question moment is when an expert {or just a regular dude} is caught off guard by a very simple and innocent question. Although thinking of an answer should be easy it isn’t because if the response isn’t presented in a manor as straight forward and innocent as the question was then it’s worthless. {A clear question deserves a clear response}. An innocent question moment immediately leads to the expert saying “I don’t know” but it often lays the foundation for a great idea and/or relationship to take place. I had my IQM during my first year of grad school with Jon Steel and I’d like to think the question and moment turned out great for both of us. {Whaddup Jon!}.

The by-product of Richard St. John’s IQM is the focus of his TED presentation. After being asked what leads to success he went on a journey that took him through hundreds of interviews with successful people over 7 years as he developed an anthology of success and was able to identify 8 themes of success that all of his interviewees shared. These 8 secrets are like a hurricane. Alone the elements are somewhat impressive {nice temperature, wind, rain, a flying cow…big whoop} and we can appreciate them but when the right elements assemble at the right time they create a force to be reckoned with and you’ll never be the same once you witness the end product.

St. John identifies 8 core attributes of success within a 3-minute presentation to the TED audience. The importance of Passion, Push, Service and Ideas are but a few of the secrets featured in his presentation. Give it a look and I challenge you to share it with friends, loved ones and the youth in your life. Richard’s presentation surely fits right up there with the great advice I received from my granddaddy.

Pandora’s Box…be Rocking

Pandora, streaming internet radio, has been up and running for some time now and I will not sit here and tell you that I was one of the first kats to find out about this site although it feels that way because there are still people who haven’t heard of Pandora. For someone who loves music {and Greek mythology} Pandora is nice thick cut of “cool” placed between two slices of bread waiting to be washed down with a nice cold glass of “say whaaaat?”

Pandora is the lovechild of the
Music Genome Project and the brainchild Tim Westergren. 8 years ago Tim and his team collected and analyzed thousands of songs and broke them down into “hundreds of musical attributes or "genes" into a very large Music Genome. Taken together these genes capture the unique and magical musical identity of a song - everything from melody, harmony and rhythm, to instrumentation, orchestration, arrangement, lyrics, and of course the rich world of singing and vocal harmony {}.” Because listeners of Pandora are able to customize their personal radio stations, based on genre or musical artists, they are always presented with music that falls into their particular taste.

For instance, I have a Dwele station on Pandora and every now and then it’ll play a cut from Dwele but it’ll also play music from other artists that shares the same musical genes as a Dwele song. So on a given day I can listen to artists I know {like Mary J. Blige or D’angelo} and artists I never would’ve thought about listening to {like Solange or Politik}. To me Pandora is an amazing invention and, Tim; if no one has said it I will…thank you for creating Pandora.

Going Green with the Simmons Jewelry Company

You can’t be an eighties baby like myself {although I was born 1979} and not be inspired by what Russell Simmons has accomplished. What he’s done for hip-hop can be compared to what Alexander Graham Bell did for the telecommunications industry but what he’s done for enterprise has been phenomenal. Every time I see him on Run’s House Russell is grinding away at something and I can honestly say that dude is my inspiration but as of yesterday something he’s spearheaded has mesmerized the hell out of me.

The Simmons Jewelry Company has a great portfolio of jewelry that anyone would want {I’m surprised my mom hasn’t asked for anything in the Brown Sugar line} but the Green initiative portfolio is what I’ll be focusing on today and one piece of jewelry in particular. Yesterday I picked up my malachite and rough diamond bracelet and it was worth the travel and the wait. The malachite and diamond bracelet {better known as my welcome to Chicago present} is a stunning piece of jewelry that looks good and does good because a portion of proceeds goes to the Diamond Empowerment Fund which raises money for the “development and empowerment of the people and communities in Africa where diamonds are a natural resource.”

Check out the entire Green Initiative product line and be sure to tell Russell I said whatsup.

R.I.P: Isaac Hayes & Bernie Mac

The Genius Syndicate would like to send our condolences to the families of two remarkable men who have helped the world groove, laugh, reflect and love. Thank you Isaac Hayes and Bernie Mac for sharing your gifts.

God bless.

Quote of the Day
"Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today."

-James Dean