Monday, February 10, 2014

Cilvia: Isaiah Rashad

Last week, Top Dawg Entertainment's newest member, Isaiah Rashad, released his debut project Cilvia. The 14 track EP taught us more about the rapper. Last October, I read that TDE signed a new Artist, before that anything the label released I hopped on. If ScHoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Kendrick, or Jay-Rock released any material I was one of the first to be blasting it out of my '04 Intrepid, so when I read that they had a new artist I took to YouTube do my research. I didn't come across much but a few videos, like his TDE introduction Video "Shot You Down" which was remixed for the album and now features label mates Q and Jay-Rock. The EP also features Jean Deaux, the up and coming Artist and Director from Chicago, IL.

The video was shot in Isaiah's hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he lived with his mom and dad until his father walked out on him when he was 3. He talks about that subject a lot throughout the album, like on the track "Banana". In the second verse he says

"My daddy left me with no details Came back with a b*tch and a stepson I guess he forgot that he left somethin"

After listening to this album back to back I'm positive Isaiah could hold his own against King Kendrick and his other label mates but only them against the whole current Hip-Hop roster. Cilvia is just one of 6 projects Top Dawg Entertainment plans to release this year, with ScHoolboy Q's Oxymoron looking like a Feb 25th release and Ab-Soul announcing he's up next after Q, Cilvia will not be the only piece of work you here Isaiah Rashad on.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Plugged In: The Growing Disconnect

By Charleco Scipio II

Everyday technology is advancing. Today we see advancements in technology our ancestors would never believe possible. Life is becoming seemingly easier and easier as new devices, apps and operating systems come into existence. Vast amounts of information are available at our finger tips, our friends and family are only a click away. Machines can now do what took 2-3 people to do. Yes, essentially less work for you. But is this technological future all bliss?

There are many people who are inadvertently becoming addicted to technology. You have the individuals whose first contact in the morning is with a piece of tech. There are those who can't go 5 minutes in a social setting without looking at their phone. Then there are the ones who are just glued to their phone or tablet, 24/7. No one cares to remember information that was once revered and taught, simply because if they need to pull it up it's right at their thumbs. Most people don't go deeper than their social media profile. Kendrick Lamar put it perfectly:

"...So what's your calling?
Oh, You left your phone behind? Identity Crisis"
These days the phase "Down to Earth" means a whole lot more. People are putting their whole identities on their smart devices and social profiles, were they to lose the device they are essentially losing themselves. It is becoming increasingly acceptable to disconnect from the real world and stay connected on some device. You can hardly have a conversation without the interuption of some piece of technology. Seeing this a lot more lately begs me to ask the question: What is the cause of this growing disconnect?


So I did some research, and to my great suprise I wasnt the only one noticing these frightening changes. I came across a Talk by Author and Professor Sherry Turkle called "Connected, but alone?" and she laid out the bottom line completely.

"We're getting used to a new way of being alone, together."
The perfect example of where we're headed: Spike Jonez's new film Her, Joaquin Phoenix. At first glance this looks like a film about a man falling in love with his operating system. As Gizmodo Writer, Adam Clark Estes put it in his film review of Her:

"Its a movie about the loneliness we all share and our increasingly futile attempt to pacify that yearning with technology. When we're alone these days, we typically don't embrace the silence and think about things. We instinctively reach for our phones..."
And he is spot on. Having broken my phone, I realized how often I reach for it. I look around and I see how often other people reach for theirs. It happens in every social situation. In board room meetings, in classrooms, in conversations with family and friends, on the elevator, on the bus, at family dinner.

"Being alone feels like a problem that needs to be solved so we try to solve it by connecting."
Says Sherry Turkle, and I agree. Never before in history has being alone been a problem in society. Before people would use the time alone to learn more about themselves, to ponder and wonder about all types of things, to think!

This fear of being alone is being passed on to the next generations. Its not odd to see a child today with a more up to date smartphone than the one you have in your pocket. Children are not learning how to have real conversations. Social situations are becoming more and more awkward and difficult for them. Nothing can replace the social interaction of a real conversation. Nothing.

There is an increasing lack of humanity as we move forward with new technological advancements. We're OK with just commenting on a status. We're OK with just replying to a tweet. We're OK having whole "conversations" through text. As Sherry Turkle put it: "The illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship."
I'm not asking you to completely unplug. I'm not asking you to delete all your social accounts. I'm just asking you to remember the most important word in Social Media, SOCIAL. You're a human, so act like it. Set the phone down and be real.

Monday, January 6, 2014

New Year. New Collaborations.

By Charleco Scipio II

Its always great seeing your peers pursue their dreams. It makes pursuing yours that much more satisfying and thrilling. It lets you know that you aren't alone in the "Dream Big" club. For us here at Flight Ave. we were founded on mutual respect of work and ambition. We came together with different gifts but similar goals and aspirations. Connecting with ambitious individuals in our generation continues to be the driving force for us.

For 2014 we brought in the New Year with Circuit Project Management Group, Morganize Photography and Peace Up. Call them friends, call them colleagues, call them associates, but we call them Family. Together with Flight Ave. these three organizations make up the Young Entrepreneurs Association of Los Angeles.

Who is YEAxLA?

Circuit Project Management Group

Let's start with Circuit Project Management Group, CPMG is a consulting firm managing original art projects of the entertainment, retail and community outreach industries. They're thorough, organized, and professional individuals with a flare for creativity and collaboration. Their creative direction will be helping many of the upcoming projects YEA will produce come into fruition.

Morganize Photography

Then we have Morganize Photography. A freelance photographer from Los Angeles who has created her own personal brand and displays her talents through a wide range of photography based projects. Through hard work and great attention to detail her shoots just keep getting better. With Morgan's help YEA will be producing a variety of photo and video content.

Peace Up

Then there is Peace Up. Strong positive vibes are what comes to mind when I think of Peace Up. Their positive energy makes working with them a complete pleasure. This energy shows through their artistic work. With the efforts of Peace Up YEA will be able to produce wonderful video and production projects.

What is YEAxLA? 

We're the next generation of business minds and creators who are creating our own lane in today's industries. We're an organization of aspiring business associates focusing on group orchestrated projects to achieve individual business goals. We're a collaboration, a mutual understanding, a team.

YEA like its member organizations are based in Los Angeles, CA. From Compton to Westchester and everywhere in between.

Our Year

Without doubt, this is our year. In 2014 you will see YEA and its member brands coming to the forefront. You will also see the meanings of creativity and collaboration in action. We are not only big dreamers but we can do as well. We seek to make these dreams and ideas a reality and with the help of one another we will achieve goal after goal. It is inspiring to be apart of this team, this movement. Its unstoppable, so buckle up, we'll be here for awhile.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Wale vs Complex Magazine

By Gary Lee

So every year Complex Magazine and their round table of "Knowledgeable Writers" compile a list of the best albums so far in the year 2013. Kanye West led the list with Yeezus being the number 1 album. Other names that made the list were Daft Punk, Mac Miller, J. Cole, Dom Kennedy, A$AP Rocky, Ferg,  Vampire Weekend. So pretty much everyone you could think of that released good music this year even though some of the places on that list should have been drastically switched. I mean come on, Migos over Big Sean? Young Thug over Dom Kennedy, hold on who is Young Thug anyway? Thank You Complex. To make list that more of a joke Wale's 3rd album was not on the list.  An album that featured over a dozen great artist, not to mention it debuted at number one, over Kanye, Cole and Mac, who all released albums on the same day and some how Wale's "The Gifted" was snubbed and wasn't mentioned on the list at all. This made many mad, most noticeably Wale himself, so he called  Complex's HQ "Spazzing" and threatened the writers. For some odd reason Complex was recording the phone call and released it to the public, which could be heard at the bottom of the screen.
Wale's 3rd album
After watching an Interview with Wale and Hot 97, a little more light was shed on the situation. Wale explained how he feels Complex has always had it out for him ever since his small beef with then former friend, Kid Cudi in 2010. He talks about how they perpetuated the beef for more than it truly was.

     I am a Wale fan, ever since the XXL cover with him, Asher Roth,Curren$y, B.o.B and everyone else who
was apart of that list. I feel that was the time I actually fell in love with the art of hip-hop. To say an obviously great album isn't a great album is ludicrous, but at the end of the day you are entitled to your own opinion but let me know yours in a comment below.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Google Experience

By Charleco Scipio Jr.

 Ever just look at the kind of phone the people around you own? If it's not an iPhone, odds are it's an Android. If they aren't playing a game or reading/sending tweets or commenting on a Instagram/Facebook photo, odds are they are checking their email. And whether they are using an iPhone or working an Android, it is a strong possibility that their email provider is Google's Gmail. So then it is safe to say that they are probably synced to 1 or more additional Google Apps. Put simply : Google is easing its way into almost every part of digital and mobile life.

Google Search

If Google should go down in history for anything, it should be for their search engine. Think about it. When someone is confronted with something they don't know, they don't say "lets do an Internet search on it.". One, because that's a mouthful. And two, 9 times out of 10 the search engine they will use is Google, so they just say "Google it."

Google search can also serve as a spell-check, encyclopedia or dictionary. It can be used to find pictures of that music artist that you still have yet to actually see. Or to find the name of that one song you heard, but don't know the name of, but vaguely remember part of the lyrics to. I find my self constantly checking to see if I am spelling something right, Google Search's predictions are mostly on point. Or if you are feeling lazy you can always click on "I'm Feeling Lucky" button. I guess they figured they didn't want to actually call you lazy, plus "lucky" sounds nicer.

The Google Search Engine is very much popular. It's only real competition being Microsoft's Bing and Yahoo! Search. Yet Google will always be most peoples go to choice for a search engine because they have associated web search in general with Google.


Perhaps a year ago you could say Hotmail or even Microsoft Outlook were the top email service providers but not this year. Gmail has certainly gone through some incredible new changes that have brought them to the forefront of the email service game. Their new inbox design takes the headache and confusion out of checking your email, allowing you to focus on what must be done. This set up is great if you use your email for multiple purposes such as personal, business, finance, etc. If you are a business owner, Gmail is the ideal route to go when considering how to keep your business connected. Gmail makes sharing information fast, fluid and efficient something critical to business success.

Google Drive

For you business owners, entrepreneurs, freelancers, writers, photographers and artists Google Drive is the perfect tool for sharing and storing important documents, photos, art, music, etc. You can easily send meeting minutes to the entire team with a few clicks. Or send the new photos you took to your editor for editing. Sync Google Drive on all your devices and your work is accessible anywhere. Type up that report on the go, review notes before a meeting. The uses are endless, it is beyond useful.

Google Calendar

Extremely useful for teams. Sync the calendar with a group and keep everyone up to date with what's going on. You can receive SMS and Email notifications and reminders. You can sync it with your phone or mobile device and have your schedule readily accessible at a moments notice. Google Calendar works well in tangent with your Gmail account making sharing easier and simpler.

Google Play

Google Play has to be one of my favorites by far. Other than the ample amount of storage, uploading songs to Google Play is effortless. With the Google Play Manager I can set it up so that it automatically uploads any song that is put into one or more selected folders. My folders are Music and Downloads so any song I download is automatically synced. And with the mobile app you can take your music anywhere. Download it at home and it will be in your Library by the time you get in the car. Google Play is great for people with large music libraries. It is also useful considering your music is on the cloud, so it is there unless you delete it and its immune to any freak accidents.

Google Maps

Face it, there are times where you don't know where you are going. Whether you are in a car, taking the bus, biking it or walking everyone could use a little direction. Google Maps is the perfect GPS tool. Find the quickest route, avoid traffic, time your travel, and never be late. You can divorce Mapquest now, and download Google Maps.

Google is providing more than just Internet services, they are providing an entire experience. All their services scream simplicity and user friendly. This experience is beginning to reach even farther with the release of the Chrome book, Google's Chrome operating system, providing a unique user experience on a laptop. Which they are steady improving on. Google has an experience for everyone, regardless of what it is you do, Google can be of use to you. This is a great example of how technology can be used to make everyones life a little easier. Dive into the Google Experience.

What is your favorite Google app? Which one do you use most frequently? Leave your comments below!

Advertising on Instagram: The Future of Advertising

By Charleco Scipio II

A few weeks ago Instagram released a sample of what ads will look like on the app. Considering the 150 million active users of the app this presents a massive advertising opportunity for brands, companies and small businesses. Here is the sample they released:

"We want ads to be creative and engaging, so we’re starting with just a handful of brands that are already great members of the Instagram community. If you see an ad that doesn’t interest you, you can tap the “…” below it to hide it and provide feedback about what you didn’t like. This will help us show you more interesting ads in the future...Our focus with every product we build is to make Instagram a place where people come to connect and be inspired. Building Instagram as a business will help us better serve the global—and ever growing—Instagram community, while maintaining the simplicity you know and love."

The news was received with mix reviews by users. Many users are opposed to seeing ads on Instagram. This might be due in part to the spam ads and clutter they have experienced on other apps and would explain why they fail to see the innovation behind the idea. This is essentially taking advertising to new levels and really enforces the ideal that the ad should shed more light on the product/service than itself. Having an ad on instagram would automatically mean that the ad would have to be visually stimulating to not be immediately hidden from ones feed. In a sense if the ad did not have the "sponsored" sign next to it you might not even realize it was an ad, IF it was done correctly. (Like the Starbucks Instagram Photo below)

Instagram is definitely embarking on new experiences, considering it is not too far from its release of video features. It will be interesting to see where they go with this and if advertising features will be allowed to other brands. It will be even further intriguing to see how these ads by the selected brands are received by the millions of active users.

What are your thoughts about ads on Instagram? Would you mind seeing them? Do you consider them clutter? Leave your comments below!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Confessions: Getting It Off Your Chest

By Charleco Scipio

Everyone has them. We don't all voice them. Maybe its not the right time, maybe it never will be. Some are large, others not too big. Confessions come in all forms. And after one, a feeling of relief washes over you. We all know the feeling.

Candy Chang, a Taiwanese-American artist who specializes in public art projects, created a project called "Confessions" which she hosted at the Las Vegas Hotel, the Cosmopolitan in 2012. Chang created an environment that allowed people to share their deepest confessions anonymously in individual booths, on squared slabs of wood. The slabs were put up and the good ones were painted onto a canvass. Reading through the confessions it is a nice reality check showing everyone that regardless of what you are going through, you are not alone.

Check out all the confessions here:

Confessions: Candy Chang