Spotlight is the newest film from director Tom McCarthy that follows the “Spotlight” team of investigative journalists from the Boston Globe, which exposed the Archdiocese of Boston’s cover up of pedophiliac priests from the last 70’s until the early 2000’s. The film stars Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams and Mark Ruffalo as the main investigators into the church and follows the actual investigation launched by the team at the Boston Globe.
It probably isn’t a popular opinion for this site to say that the newest Avengers movie is a dud. Marvel and comic book fans seem to love this film and yet I couldn’t have been more bored or dumbfounded by the choices that Whedon eventually made. The film centers as all of these films seem to have done on machinations made by Tony Stark. Tony Stark is easily the least interesting of all these characters and there isn’t really a reason anyone in the group should like or respect him. As such the movie fails in large part because of this reliance and the fact that it has an equally uninteresting villain.
There are certain rappers whose legacy is debatable… Raekwon The Chef is not one of them. Rae’s spot in the hip hop mural has been etched in stone since 36 Chambers and his unforgettable verse on “C.R.E.A.M.” After the buzz of Wu-Tang’s debut album, Rza stuck Rae 3rd in the line-up behind Method Man’s “Tical” and Gza’s “Liquid Swords.” In 1995, when it was Raekwon’s turn to release his debut solo album, he unleashed arguably the best Wu-Tang solo album to date (in my opinion), “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx.” That shit right there is in the exclusive, penthouse, luxury suite of classic albums. Rae’s been trying to capture that critical acclaim and commercial success ever since. “Fly International Luxurious Art” is Raekwon’s latest offering.
It was 2009 when LA hip hop collective (Tyler, The Creator would be offended being labeled “hip hop” because he’s evolving…) Odd Future started buzzing on line. It took half a blink for the entire world to be mesmerized by their antics, music, and interviews, perhaps in that order.
Warning: The mildest of SPOILERS if you really don’t want to know anything. Continue reading
For some time now hip hop has surfaced as the overwhelming voice of the youth. Corporations that once shuddered at the thought of this genre representing their products, now throw millions at artists for endorsement deals in hopes to of capitalizing on this wave that seems permanent. What has been lost during the rise of popularity and paychecks however, has been the art of the music. Albums specifically. More and more the search for the radio hit takes precedent over the constructing of an actual body of work. With so much competition nowadays, a rapper has a small window from getting your attention, to producing quality verses, to actually graduating to an artist that can carry their own project. The Flushing Queens MC has had the attention of hip hop fans for a minute, Mr. Wonderful is the attempt to make you a permanent fan.
Out of everything I’ve written forthis site so far, this review is by far the most daunting. Siike Donnelly, the brains behind Solestar, is a friend. I’m honored that he included me as a member of the “press” with the ability to review this. Granted, my plan was to write this review prior to the book being released, but since it was released 11 days earlier, I’m a little behind the eight ball. The point of that little ramble is that I’ve been trying to ramp myself up to write this review, because it’s difficult reviewing a friends work, especially if it isn’t very good. Luckily, that’s not the case with this book, and I don’t have to worry about padding any blows. What I am worried about is it sounding like I’m not be impartial in my review. The book has been released, and the luxury of ramp up time has come and gone.
The Adventures of Solestar started it’s life as a Kickstarter project, and was initially released in 2012. In the interest of transparency, when the book was first released, I skimmed through a copy of the book that a friend had purchased. Skimming it was as far as I got. I d idn’t know Siike at the time, and I knew virtually nothing about the book or what its goal was. My reason for not reading it wasn’t because I thought it was bad. It was because I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea that there was a different artist on each page. At the time, it was a distraction for me, but after finally reading it, it is one of the things I enjoyed the most.
Since the book’s initial release, Siike has become an amazing friend. It started off with him simply being a guest on Mad Scientist Party Hour, and through interacting regularly, he’s become someone I talk to regularly and someone I admire tremendously. The reason this is important to the review is because it’s important that you get an idea of the man behind the book. Siike is one of the most warm-hearted, sweetest, most genuine human beings that I’ve ever met. All of those traits come through in this story. Through getting to know Siike, I learned how much work it took for him as an aneurysm survivor to make this story happen. If there’s any one deserving of your admiration, it’s him. He’s overcome so much, he’s doing everything he can to bring awareness to brain aneurysms. He didn’t write this book for fame, glory, or profit. He wrote this book to raise money for the Brain Aneurysm Foundation.
Every page of this book, whether it’s the actual story, or his explanation at the end, is filled with his everything that makes him who he is. In an effort not to spoil too much of the book, the story focuses on the main character, Solestar, spending his last days trying to make sure he’s leaving the world a better place. He manages to find the good in those many consider “Super Villains”. While that sounds like a plot device that’s been used again and again, it’s delivered in a unique way with 150+ artists lending their talents to this book. I’ll admit not all pages were my thing, and I have no problem with admitting that. My dislike for some pages paled in comparison to the pages I loved. I keep trying to find intelligent words to accurately describe The Adventures of Solestar, but I keep coming back to the same thing: Solestar has more heart in its pages than anything I’ve ever read, and that is truly and honestly a reflection of its writer.
Buy “The Adventures of Solestar – Book 1: Give More Than You Take” right now on CreateSpace or through our Amazon link (search Adventures of Solestar). $8 from every copy sold on CreateSpace goes towards the donation being made to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation, and $3 from every copy sold on Amazon goes towards those funds.
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