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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Kicks: M7 Advance

Ahhhhh... The joys of being a Knicks fan... Not only do I get to endure constant ostrasization from sports fans across the world, I am also left out of the loop when special edition gear comes out.

I can remember years ago, desperately wanting for a home Sprewell jersey. Good luck getting those anywhere besides the Garden itself, circa 1999. Truth be told though, I probably dodged a bullet since the jersey was obsolete the next year and downright embarrassing shortly thereafter. Oh, the joys of hindsight.

Despite this wisdom, I am still a stupid and emotional Knickerbocker die-hard, and the current objects of my fashion affections are Carmelo Anthony's latest in the Jumpman collection: The M7 Advances.

I'm not a big fan of the blue/white/orange variation, but these black and whites are hella sick to me and would look great on the rack next to my CP3s.

Just my luck though, they are only gong to be available at the NEW YORK Nike Town, and probably won't even be made available for online purchase. Being that I live in Portland, Oregon, that blows chunks. But... this is the Black Collar Movement and we make our own luck around these parts.

I'm praying these shoes don't sell out like Scottie Pippin, because I'm actually planning a road trip back East at the end of June. No, not just for the shoes. I'm going to visit my parents in Richmond and planned to make a NY stop on the way anyway. So if these are still available when I get there, you might catch me in a pair of the most exclusive sneaks this side of the Appalachians!

NOTE: I'm still looking for a driving partner, so hit me up if interested. (Driving there, flying back.)

Wish me luck!

~Mac Smiff (Knickerbockers/Mets West Coast Afficionado)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Music: Shane Eli

Despite the fact that I listen to a ton of music, create music, and love music, I rarely blog about music. This has to change. So here goes...

When I was down in Austin for SXSW, I had the pleasure of meeting a friendly and charismatic fellow named Shane Eli. He was kinda holding up the wall at the 2DopeBoyz Showcase and while I can't recall how our conversation started, we quickly found ourselves laughing and exchanging info. When I asked what brought him to SXSW, he told me he was a producer, and that he rapped a little too. I told him that I rap, but that I've been slacking on my game and needed to get refocused. He shared some encouragement and let me know he had a free mixtape coming out soon. I promised to check it out.

A few weeks later, I was going through the contacts I'd gained and found Shane's rather stylish business card. So I went to and downloaded his mixtape I Can Do Better. I'd highly suggest you do the same.

Little did I know that this guy writes, records, produces and raps on his own music. I also did not expect to download a 19-track album with top-to-bottom quality. After my first play through, my initial reaction was, "This is free?" I was also surprised to learn that Shane has produced for a range of artists from Diggy Simmons to Earth, Wind & Fire. I'm going to say that again... Earth, Wind & Fire... Wait, is this the same humble dude I met in Austin?

I can't lie, I had to completely re-think my project once I heard this album. Guillotine is my favorite track on the record - there's just something real Black Collar about it - while Bo Jackson, City Never Sleeps (ft. Jenny Bapst), and Let’s Ride (ft. Playboy Tre & Rittz) are in a tight race for second place. Two months later, I'm still banging this in my car on a daily basis. Without doubt, this is in my top 5 albums of 2011, and I don't see it falling off the list. The only knock I can offer are that the intros provided by DJ Skee seem out of place and are kind of annoying.

Enough with the jibber-jabber, do yourself a favor and download I Can Do Better (via DJ Booth) by clicking on the picture below. And yes, I know he looks lke Drake. OK, I'm out.