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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Games - Call of Duty 6: Modern Warfare 2

 - A nearly new PS3 (courtesy of the homie Aracelia ( $200
 - Bluetooth Headset: $30
 - Used copy of Modern Warfare 2: $55
 - Cursing at little kids that play M-Rated games online: Priceless

OK... So I know I'm late but I must admit that while I have no problem paying $45 bucks for a bottle of Hennessy Privilege, I sincerely disdain paying the sticker price for new video games. So I am the type that waits a few weeks for everyone to agree that a game is super-dope, then I go buy it used when some kid's overly-strict mom returns the terribly inappropriate birthday gift. Yes, I win.

So for the last month or so, rather than standing in line so I could be first to buy the most expensive copy of Modern Warfare 2 available to man ($70), I borrowed a co-worker's husband's copy - yes, with his permission - of the first Modern Warfare and decided I'd treat it like a bootleg movie. Needless to say, I was rather impressed with the game, spent countless hours playing it, and built up my own internal anticipation for the new one. In fact, I enjoyed the first installment so much that I started to question what could possibly be improved upon and debated whether I should even get the second!

But everything can be improved on, right? So this weekend (which just happens to be my birthday weekend - details of debauchery to come) I went out and bought Modern Warfare 2 for myself. I was also gifted with a wireless headset. I win again.

I haven't even begun playing the critically acclaimed Campaign Mode yet - which apparently has a level so offensive that the game has an option upon first load to turn the level off (yes!!!) - and I'm already saying that this might be the most amazing game I've ever played. The online multiplayer mode is amazingly clean, and I think I'm actually better at the new one than I was at the prior! There are so many options, and the level-up system in online mode is as intriguing and addictive as I've ever seen in any multiplayer game. The graphics are cleaner, the precision is ridiculous, the arsenal's are nuts, and the competition is amazing. Seriously, I played a little in the evening, went to bed at 11 PM, woke up at 1 AM and played till nearly 6 AM. And I'm not really even into games all like that... 

So anyway, I woke up this morning (I know, I don't sleep much) and had the urge to blog on it. If you own a next-gen system, I implore you to acquire a copy of MW2. If you own a PS3 - and you should - I dare you to add me online and get whooped! My gamer tag is "MacSmiff"... Imagine that. 

Aaaaand I'm out!

~Mac Smiff

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Music: Northe'n Lights - Cut 'Em Or Pay 'Em

My first music blog might as well be in regards to a record on which I'm featured, no?

The production duo known as Northe'n Lights - comprised of Sonny & Terminill - have created a record which exists outside the bubble known as Northwest Hip-Hop. By capturing the voices of a variety of artists and melding them over hi-energy, synth-heavy beats, NL has created a sound which shatters the perception of local music. Long known for it's grimey, underground sound, the NW Hip-Hop scene is forever changed by the level of production offered by the duo's freshman project.

As eclectic as the creators themselves, the record draws from a variety of sources yet manages to maintain a shared vision. To name just a few, Cut 'Em Or Pay 'EM boasts features from:
- Portland-area mainstays Cool Nutz, Braille & Kenny Mack
- Battle circuit heavyweights Illmaculate & 9DM
- Nationally recognized non-local artists Playboy Tre and Punchline
- R&B veterans Toni Hill and Arjay

Throw in proven up-and-comers such as Luck One, Grynch, Mikey Vegas, Serge Severe and... *ahem* Mac Smiff (shameless plug, I know) and you've got as diverse and talented a cast as could be found on any commercial record. In all, 33 artists grace the album with their voices

... And make no mistake, this IS a commercial record. Despite a cast of largely underground artists, the production work on the album is top notch, making it consumable by the widest variety of hip-hop fans. No basement recordings or stock beats here, Terminill and Sonny have delivered a high quality product which by all accounts seems ready for mass distribution.

So don't sleep on this one! Check it out, and pay special attention to track 13 "For The Gifted"... Why? Because that's my song and it's hotter than liquid lava. I also seriously dig Cop Cars (Kenny Mack), Soldier's Burden (Toni Hill) and On Dat Other Shit (Playboy Tre). But - to quote Lavar Burton - don't take my word for it; check it out for yourself. Cut 'Em Or Pay 'Em is available for download and preview at the following sites:

If you prefer your music on a disc and in a case, holler at me here or on my Twitter page and I'll be sure to hook you up. By far the best $10 you'll ever spend.

Signing out,

Mac Smiff

Northe'n Lights - "Cut em Or Pay 'em" from Chase.Freeman on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Introductions Necessary

Welcome to my blog. I've created this page because as an aspiring artist and social media nonpareil, I have been told on countless occasions that I should blog. So, as usual, I am giving the people what they want.

I dedicate this page to everything that is Mac Smiff--from art to science; from politics to satire; from consciousness to debauchery; from order to chaos. So hold on to your seats, and check back often. I'll be here, making the most of every moment, and bringing you life through a slightly different lens.

So without further ado, I bring you...