One of the year’s most anticipated hip-hop releases, Schoolboy Q’s “Oxymoron” lives up to its buzz. Both heavy with bass and filled with memorable hooks, Q’s long-gestating major label debut is tight in length and rich with intent. “Oxymoron” arrives in the wake of fellow Black Hippy member Kendrick Lamar's Grammy album of the year nominated “Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City.” That's a lot of pressure for anyone's major label debut, but Schoolboy Q meets those expectations. “Oxymoron” presents 12 bass-heavy tracks upon which the artist born Quincy Hanley explores his neighborhood, his hedonism and his rough-and-tumble early life hawking Oxycontin tablets on street corners near his 51st Street and Hoover neighborhood. (“I can get a hundred of them, make three Gs,” he explains at one point.)
It’s a powerful album with big beats and lyrics that focus on hard truths through a fog of synthetic opiates, crime, cough syrup, chronic and paranoia. “If God won’t help me this gun will, I swear I’m gonna find my way,” he raps desperately on “Blind Threats.” The Pharrell-produced “Los Awesome” features a “backyard full of Crips, county blues, barbecues” on a celebration of all things gangsta. One of the album’s best mergers sees Q join Odd Future founder Tyler, the Creator and longtime L.A. rapper Kurupt for “The Purge.”PHOTOS: Best albums of 2013 | Randall Roberts
The seven-minute centerpiece “Prescription/Oxymoron” is the big payoff: a harrowing snapshot of a man “stuck in this body high” of prescription pills, slipping in and out of consciousness while his child tries to wake him. This is not an album to give your teenage kid without a companion conversation about the dangers of drugs. But after the disclaimer, sit down and wonder on the miraculous ways in which musical talent can germinate amid such a landscape and grow to create work filled with boundless promise.
Three and a half stars
Citing people familiar with the talks, the Journal said Amazon is speaking to about 10 notable vendors, including names such as Neiman Marcus, Abercrombie & Fitch, J. Crew and Ralph Lauren, to list their brands on the e-commerce giant’s website.
The Seattle-based on-line retailer wouldn’t sell the products directly, but instead direct shoppers to each individual retailer’s website. The arrangement would generate traffic for the retailers, while allowing Amazon to make money by charging a fee for sending customers to the retailers’ sites, and collect another payment for subsequent purchases.
Amazon would also gain leverage from the deal by obtaining a wider range of customer data.
If an agreement is reached, not only it would open the door for these retail names to begin selling their goods through Amazon’s online storefront for the first time ever, but it would also be the latest step in Amazon’s quest to beef up its apparel offerings, a move industry analysts have predicted the retail giant would eventually make but that retail companies have viewed with skepticism.
Shares of Amazon closed on Friday at $347.36.
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Thinking about upgrading to a new phone sometime in 2014? If so, you may want to hit up Amazon Sales Buy sometime between Feb. 2 and Feb. 15, because the big box retailer will be running a promo that can save you some cash when you do decide to upgrade.
Best Buy has announced that starting this Sunday, Feb. 2, consumers can register their phone number, email address and up to four other phone numbers on a family plan either in a Best Buy store or on its website. Registered customers can then use that phone number to buy a new handset as an upgrade or port-in anytime between Feb. 2 and Dec. 31, 2014 and receive a $50 gift card. The phone must be purchased with a two-year contract from AT&T, Sprint or Verizon, and Best Buy says that the $50 gift card can be put toward the purchase of the device.
Getting a $50 gift card just for upgrading to a new phone seems like a pretty sweet deal, but this new Best Buy offer is made even better by the fact that customers can register now and then wait to upgrade any time during 2014. That’s nice because both HTC and Samsung are expected to unveil new flagship smartphones in the coming months, and so many consumers may be holding onto their upgrade until those two companies debut their newest pieces of kit.
In addition to its $50 gift card offer, Best Buy will be running a few other notable promotions this weekend. Friday and Saturday will see the Samsung Galaxy S 4 for AT&T and Verizon and the Galaxy S 4 Active discounted to the low, low price of free on contract, and the first-generation Microsoft Surface Pro with 128GB of storage will be available for $499.99, which is a discount of $400. More information on these two sales as well as Best Buy’s $50 gift card offer can be found at the links below.
San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) January 14, 2014
The web hosting review site HostingReview360.com has introduced the new A2Hosting promotion in 2014 which comes with 2 exclusive coupon codes bringing an up to 51% discount that decreases the price of the companies’ shared hosting packages to $3.92/mo. This is regarded to be one of the most favorable promotions that the company has ever carried out.
A2Hosting has been offering a wide variety of products including shared, managed VPS, Cloud VPS, dedicated server and reseller hosting, among which the shared service is powering most of the customers’ websites. There are 2 shared hosting packages named Prime and Prime+SSD, and the only difference between them in feature is that the latter uses SSDs and Railgun Optimizer for free.
The regular price of the 2 packages starts from $5.99/mo and $8.99/mo. As the company offers a 17% discount by default, visitors subscribing to the services directly can get the price down to $4.97/mo and $7.46/mo.
In the current promotion, A2Hosting provides this Amazon Sales link which has already had the coupon code BHSCODE activated automatically. Designed for people who only need a short-term plan to reduce risks, this code brings a 51% discount for both packages and cuts the price of the 1/6/12 month(s)’ subscription down to:
Prime: $5.39/mo, $4.90/mo and $3.92/mo.
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Another coupon code offered by the company is BHSA2CODE which is suitable and beneficial for webmasters planning to use the services for a long time of at least 2 years. This unique code comes with a 34% discount with which the effective price of the 24-month and 36-month billing of the packages is:
Prime: $4.61/mo and $3.95/mo.
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Both of the packages cover unlimited RAID 10 disk space, monthly data transfer, databases (MySQL and PostgreSQL) and email addresses, support to host unlimited domains on a single account, and include advanced technologies like SSH, SFTP, shared SSL, PHP 5.5, MySQL 5.5, Apache 2.2 and Perl 5.10.
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HostingReview360.com is an independent web hosting review site that releases reviews to reveal the secrets in the industry and to help webmasters focus on their own businesses without worrying about the selection of hosting platform.
For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/a2hosting-coupon-discount/2014/prweb11487177.htm
Sports fans hear it all the time.
A superstar player signs a contract, and there’s an almost instant rush to express amazement at the monetary amount of the deal, followed by the inevitable and cynical statements regarding how athletes are overpaid, and how so-and-so won’t ever be worth whatever ungodly sum he was just signed for.
On the one hand, it makes total sense. Most sports fans aren’t millionaires, nor are the writers who cover them. Forget being a millionaire, today’s top professional athletes are scoring deals that are worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Wednesday afternoon, Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers agreed to a seven-year contract extension worth $215 million. That’s over $30 million a year for the phenomenally talented, soon-to-be 26-year-old lefty.
Is he worth that type of money?
The answer is both “yes,” and “no.”
On one hand, there is no way he, or any other professional athlete, is worth that much money. Kershaw throws a baseball for a living, he’s not saving lives, inventing groundbreaking technology, brokering peace deals between warring nations, curing cancer or educating our nation’s youth.
That’s the simple answer, but it denies an equally simple reality.
That’s not how anyone’s salary or earnings are determined in our society.
The reality is that if the Dodgers are not spending the billions of dollars that they’re slated to receive as a result of a $7 billion cable television contract, on player salaries, then that money will end up in the pockets of the owners. Owning a baseball team isn’t an easy job, but the heavy lifting that has the most influence on whether or not at team wins or loses is done by the players on the field.
As big a star as Magic Johnson once was, no one is going to Dodgers Stadium, or tuning in to watch a Dodgers game on television because the current minority owner will be in the stands. The money might as well go to those who actually play the sport that is generating all that revenue.
We can regret that our economic conditions create circumstances in which pro athletes receive such outrageous sums of money, but it isn’t really fair to blame the players.
What exactly was Kershaw supposed to do when presented with that contract offer? Was he supposed to turn it down?
Fans have a tendency to pile on with their critiques of players who ink massive contracts and then fail to live up to whatever standards those fans have assigned to them.
When Carl Crawford signed with his seven-year, $142 million contract with the Boston Red Sox, expectations were sky high for the talented outfielder. He failed to live up to even the most realistic expectations that were set for him. The reality is that there was almost no way for him to live-up to the amount of that deal.
Even if he had replicated his better seasons in Tampa
Twas the night before Black Friday and all through the house, not a creature was stirring-not even my computer mouse.
Ah yes, one of the biggest shopping days is fast approaching. Get your game faces on-this is basically like the Superbowl of Shopping. In preparation, I’d like to relay a little story in hopes of setting some realistic expectations and preventing any potential heartbreak you might endure from disappointing sell-outs. Here goes…
Once upon a time, Target partnered up with legendary fashion design team Missoni. (Warning: this fairytale doesn’t have a happy ending, kids.) Excitement doesn’t even begin to describe the anticipation of this launch back in September of this year. I created an embarrassing amount of calendar reminders and cleared my work schedule for the morning of September 13 th in an effort to maximize the chances of landing the essential pieces from the collection. Flipping through the online look-book previews gave me the same pit-in-stomach-feeling I endured minutes before high school cheerleading tryouts.
Having heard urban legends about the Target website crashing from previous designer collections (none of which as grandiose as Missoni, mind you) I had my game plan ready. Unsure whether the merchandise would go live at midnight EST, I set my alarm to go off every hour between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m., hoping I could sneakily hop online and beat the traffic before the inevitable Target.com meltdown.
My plan worked: around 4 a.m. I was enjoying a cyber version of Supermarket Sweep and throwing anything and everything Missoni in my cart. I figured I could easily return whatever ended up looking heinous and preferred to err on the side of too much than not enough. But with my Type A-ness rearing its ugly head, I still had doubts about effectively capturing every key item from the expansive collection. Luckily, the next day, a fellow Missoni-ite and I catapulted out of bed like kids on Christmas morning and dashed to the nearest Target for the next challenge that awaited: the in-store extravaganza.
We proudly stood first in line for a solid hour before other anxious shoppers organized behind us. When the doors opened, I wasn’t nearly as panicked as the rest of the crowd, knowing I had just hit the online jackpot and would soon see a pile of brown boxes emblazoned with the red Target bullseye delivered at my door step. (Remember that Friends episode where Monica, Phoebe and Rachel go the wedding dress sample sale and end up fighting women and blowing whistles amid the utter chaos? Yep, the in-store scene was kind of like that, but less NBC and more Bravo-aka high drama sans laugh track.)
I walked out of the store with only a few bags-one of which containing a Missoni neck pillow-because I mean, who doesn’t need to look cute while awkwardly sleeping with her mouth wide open in the middle seat of an airplane?!
Fast-forward a few weeks and still no arrival of Target boxes. Patience never being one of my strong suits, I logged in to my order status hourly only to find everything still appearing to be A-OK and on-time. That is until, I got that dreaded email: “We’re sorry to inform you the items in your Target.com order are unable to be fulfilled.” A scream immediately erupted from me, reminiscent of Regina George in Mean Girls when she learns The Plastics called her a ‘fugly slut’ in the Burn Book. I couldn’t believe it-how did all my hard work and planning not result in a house full of colorful chevron stripes? This couldn’t be happening.
If you’ve ever flipped through TBS on a weekend, you’ve undoubtedly run into that movie Serendipity where John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale spend the entire 90 minutes scouring the Earth for a special copy of In The Time of Cholera and the five-dollar bill with red ink on it. Yeah, that’s now me in any Target store looking high and low on random shelves hoping to spot a lone towel, sweater or ballet flat.
Not to get all Disney on you, but the moral of this story in relation to Black Friday is to enjoy the adventure. Whether your quest involves apparel, electronics, toys r us black friday or accessories-I say make a plan, execute and try to deal with any disappointments with a bit more grace than myself (and that fugly Mean Girl, Regina George).
There are plenty of reasons to want the festive, cheery holiday season to go on and on, but angry debate about saying ” Merry Christmas!” vs. ” Happy holidays!” is not one of them. This year, it seems like the tension around the topic is at an all-time high. And sadly, both those who insist on Christmas being the one and only holiday acknowledged or others who want to keep season’s greetings 100 percent secular 100 percent of the time are just plain wrong.
Take, for example, a recent upsetting incident in North Texas: Grace Academy students made Christmas cards for local bedridden veterans at the VA hospital in Dallas, thanking them for their service. But the teacher heading up the effort was told the hospital “can’t accept anything that says ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘God bless you’ or any scriptural references because of all the red tape.’” Oh dear.
According to the local FOX affiliate, an official with the VA later clarified the policy, which is in the Veterans Health Administration handbook, by stating the following:
In order to be respectful of our Veterans religious beliefs, all donated holiday cards are reviewed by a multi-disciplinary team of staff led by Chaplaincy services and determined if they are appropriate (non-religious) to freely distribute to patients. After the review is complete, the holiday cards that reference religious and/or secular tones are then distributed by Chaplaincy Service on a one-on-one basis if the patient agrees to the religious reference in the holiday card donation. The holiday cards that do not contain religious and/or secular tones are distributed freely to patients across the Health Care System. We regret this process was not fully explained to this group and apologize for any misunderstanding.
What a bummer! For those poor kids and veterans! While I understand what the VA is trying to do here by respecting that veterans may be Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, atheist, etc., I feel like this is a case where they’re just going way too far for the sake of political correctness. Just like what reportedly happened at a Mississippi military base where soldiers were told their Christmas football event was to be called a “holiday football event.” Oy! Even Lorne Michaels calls SNL’s annual holiday show a “Christmas Special.” And that’s FINE!
Here’s the thing … As much as we want to try to make it one, this issue is not art christmas cards and white. Public organizations shouldn’t be banning mentions or greetings of Christmas! But at the same time, they should and can be sensitive to the fact that not everyone is Christian. As a Jewish American, I definitely appreciate , secular season’s greetings that don’t assume the recipient is Christian. But I would never begrudge anyone wanting to wish me or a veteran or anyone for that matter a “Merry Christmas!” It’s a lovely sentiment!
What it boils down to: We shouldn’t care what the specific greeting is, as long as it’s about spreading cheer, good will, love, and not forcing religious beliefs on others. That’s what this time of year and all the holidays that fall in December are supposed to be about anyway.What do you think about what happened here with the children’s Christmas cards for veterans? Do you say “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Holidays,” or both?