Zion Williamson has turned into one of the NBA’s most unstoppable players in recent weeks. The New Orleans Pelicans’ second-year standout has made carving up defenses look routine, making the Pels must-watch on a nightly basis and silencing any questions about whether or not he’ll become a constant in conversations about the best players in the league.
As is oftentimes the case when a basketball player ascends to being more than just someone with potential, unique doors are now being opened for Williamson, with the latest coming via a partnership with SLAM. A SLAM cover athlete on several occasions, Williamson will receive an NFT drop of a pair of covers — one from his time at Duke, one during his NBA career — along with a digital basketball.
“I’m really excited to partner with SLAM for the first-ever NFT cover and digital basketballs,” Williamson in a statement. “Through this drop, we hope to deepen our connection with basketball fans, while creating a unique opportunity for them to get in on the action and own a piece of history.”
The collection will drop on OpenSea starting on Friday, April 2. During his second year in the league, Williamson is averaging 26.4 points and 7.1 rebounds in 32.8 minutes per game while shooting 62.4 percent from the field.
Made by muddling sugar and water (or using simple syrup) and mixing it with Angostura bitters, whiskey (typically rye, American whiskey, or bourbon), and a big, honking ice cube plus an orange peel garnish (with a spritz of those citrus oils), this is a serious Donny Draper drink. We mean it, you’re gonna sip on this and then go online to buy skinny ties. Or a Cadillac.
To celebrate the return of spring and (some) socializing, we asked a handful of our favorite bartenders to tell us the whiskeys they use to make their patented version of an old fashioned. Check their picks below.
Pinhook Country Cask Strength Bourbon
Cory Coose, bartender at Tak Room in New York City
Pinhook’s Country Cask Strength Bourbon. This whiskey is beautiful and boozy with a lot of toasted coconut and cocoa notes. Perfect with a brown sugar cube. Rounds out the flavor and tastes like autumn nights in a glass.
If I’m making an old fashioned, I tend to rely on spicy rye instead of sweet bourbon. I like Michter’s Single Barrel Rye because its bright and the spiced notes blend nicely with Angostura bitters. Its orange citrus flavors are accented by the citrus peel garnish.
Patricia Verdesoto, head bartender at Jams in New York City
My favorite whiskey to mix into an old fashioned is Rittenhouse Rye. Yes, Rittenhouse can hold its own with just a cube or two but something about its maple, spiced finish pairs well with the bitters in an old fashioned. It is delicate enough to carry the citrus notes from an orange twist while maintaining the kick that you’d expect from this classic cocktail.
I’m personally a big fan of Woodford Reserve. It’s a delicious whiskey that can stand on its own — or with a dash of bitters and some sugar. It has a complex, sweet, vanilla, and caramel-filled flavor that’s perfect for the iconic cocktail.
Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon
Andy Printy, beverage director at Chao Baan in St. Louis
When creating my version of the best universal old fashioned, I locked in on Elijah Craig Small Batch. Its profile and body are very rich, with toasted oak and graham crackers singing all the way through.
Coming in at 94 proof, it also has the shoulders to support various bitters and sugar combinations.
Wild Turkey 101 Rye
Blake Jakes, director of beverage for The Kennedy Bar in Pensacola, Florida
I’m a huge fan of Wild Turkey 101 Rye. I love the proof on it and the flavor overall just compliments the bitters and citrus oil so nicely. It’s also one of those whiskies that keeps changing, in a good way, as it dilutes.
Old Forester 86 Proof is my favorite bourbon to put into an old fashioned at the bar. We have guests with all different levels of experience, so Old Forester isn’t overwhelming, but the high rye gives it enough backbone to hold its own and not get lost in the cocktail.
Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel. I enjoy this bourbon because even though it is 110 proof it is very smooth. It has a lot of creamy caramel on the nose and taste, along with a bit of oak and spice. I prefer making old fashioned cocktails with whiskey that is a bit higher in proof. The extra alcohol blends with the higher proof whiskey to make a beautiful balance.
Old Overholt Rye is my pick. Not only is it affordable, but it is aged in bourbon barrels, which really brings out nice smoky flavors that work perfectly in whiskey-based cocktails, especially the classic old fashioned.
If you’re looking for an old fashioned that speaks to new American tradition, I’d recommend trying the newly reinvented Hudson Do the Rye Thing. The nose on the reinvented rye lures you in with sweet notes of honey, straw, and apricot, giving an old fashioned a wonderfully complex finish that will keep you thirsty for more.
In a stroke of what could be either genius or insanity, Young Dolph & Key Glock have shared an usual video for the outro from their second joint album, Dum And Dummer 2. While they’ve already put out videos for “No Sense,” “Green Light,” “Aspen,” “Sleep With The Roaches,” and “Penguins,” apparently they really wanted fans to be see their chemistry “Dummest & The Dummest” just plays in the background.
And truthfully, they could be right. While not a lot happens visually, the true treat is in the subtitles that appear on-screen, designating each rapper by a hilarious nickname and literally transcribing phrases like “rich white b*tches.” Set on the patio of the cabin the duo rented out for their “Aspen” video, the two discuss Glizock’s car trouble, scamming the cabin’s owner, and the opulent home decorations. Glock also gets lost on the way out.
Speaking of getting out, it looks like Dolph is ready to get out of the rap game. He announced that Dum And Dummer 2 would be his final release on Instagram, telling fans, “I hope y’all enjoying the new mixtape, it’s my last project putting out. I wasn’t gonna tell y’all but I thought y’all should know I’m done with music.” Of course, we’ve heard that before.
Watch Young Dolph & Key Glock’s ‘Dummest & The Dummest’ video above.
Dum And Dummer 2 is out now via Paper Route EMPIRE. Get it here.
Russ gave his legion of fans insane, crazy bars on his 2020 EP Chomp. Now he’s offering straight gas with his weed line, Chomp by Russ x Wonderbrett. It’s the exact same strain the rapper smoked while creating the aforementioned project’s lush offerings — five songs featuring elite hip-hop lyricists Benny The Butcher, Busta Rhymes, KXNG Crooked, and Black Thought, alongside DJ Premier and… the list goes on.
In collaboration with Brett Feldman and Cameron Damwijk — founders and cultivars of West Coast cannabis brand Wonderbrett — Russ’s cannabis line is a chance for the 28-year-old artist to offer fans a glimpse inside the Chomp creation experience. It’s also the kind of marijuana that any chronic-loving musician would be hyped to smoke during studio sessions.
Since his SoundCloud beginnings, Russ has been in complete control of his career and has become the obvious example of what it means to work independently in the music industry in the digital age. Releasing as many mixtapes as he has and as dedicated to the craft as he is, launching a weed strain (that won’t leave you slumped) with one of the most reputable cannabis companies in the game feels like it was always in the cards. The point being: it’s a good fit.
When the perfect opportunity to dive into the cannabis business arrived, Russ chose to produce a strain that was something that he enjoys himself. And that meant a balanced strain where users could avoid both sleepiness and overthinking.
“I’m not a heavy smoker who’s just gonna sit around and smoke all day but oftentimes in the studio I enjoy experiencing an alternative yet still tuned in perspective, so keeping a joint of something productive nearby comes in handy,” Russ stated in a press release. “I might as well control what’s in the joint so that’s what I’ve done here with Wonderbrett.”
Feldman added, “The result is a great introductory high that really serves to enlighten and inspire artists to create. It doesn’t give you a couch lock effect.”
The strain itself was created with a male from Wonderbrett’s OZK stable and crossed into a Cookies & Cream female. From there they went through 20 seedlings and settled on phenotype No. 4. Currently, Chomp is only available at Stiiizy — a dispensary located in Downtown Los Angeles. But the brand has promised that new outlets will be added on the daily (stay up to date here), including the Wonderbrett flagship dispensary, launching in LA’s Fairfax District later this year.
Chomp by Russ x Wonderbrett dropped on Monday, March 29th, and we tested it that day in both its flower and pre-roll forms. Check out our review below.
The Products & Presentation
1g CHOMP x Wonderbrett Pre-Roll & ⅛ CHOMP x Wonderbrett Box
Dominant Terpenes: Limonene, Humulene, Linalool, Caryophyllene, and Pinene
Retail Price: ⅛ CHOMP x Wonderbrett Box for $60, ⅛ CHOMP x Wonderbrett Bag for $45, 1g CHOMP x Wonderbrett Pre-Roll for $15.
First of all, the packaging. The design. The satin box. The gilded press. The snarling dog, showing its gnashing teeth. The rich, red, gold, and black colorway. The whole Chomp x Wonderbrett branding sets the tone for an opulent affair.
Though I tried Chomp as both flower and as a pre-roll, the experiences were somewhat different. First, let’s talk about what each product has to offer and then what made them different for me.
The pre-roll came prepared inside of a plastic tube container, emblazoned with Russ’s signature Chomp logo and necessary cannabis factoids. Once the top came off and the pre-roll slid into my hand, I was dealing with a Raw cone tightly packed with herb. The light up and pull was smooth to start, then I felt an immediate head rush followed by my nose feeling a bit spicy. This was just the very beginning of what would turn into an intense cerebral high.
After a few minutes, the stinging I felt in my nose disappeared and what arrived was a euphoric sense of happiness and urge to do something. Anything.
Slight overthinking did rear its ugly head, yet the happiness and excitement I was feeling had me floating above it all. Once the high fully set in, I became very grateful and happy — living in the moment. It felt as if all my senses opened up, making all of my perceptions more clear. Not to mention, I had full confidence in my thoughts and wasn’t judging myself for every little thing.
At this point, it’s clear why Russ would dub this as “studio weed” and why sharing a name with his Chomp EP was a necessity.
When it came time to explore the flower option I was met with the soft, sweet aroma of citrus and nuts, and frosted nugs inside a dark plastic container. I love an icy nug and Chomp is fully iced out. The flower itself was pretty rigid to the touch but strong and not brittle.
Once I packed out a raw cone with the minced Chomp nugs and lit it, the immediate head rush and nose-tingling occurred just like with the pre-roll. Once the high settled in though, the happiness I felt with the pre-roll was more extreme, if perhaps more chaotic. Maybe it’s the way I packed it that made the experience different, but I was laughing at everything when I smoked the flower and fell into a fit of laughter more than once. It really made my day fun and gave my mind the freedom for all of my ideas to flow without the weird voice of judgment that I get when smoking Sativa.
The Bottom Line
Chomp is definitely a strain best-suited for catching a late-night vibe at the studio or as a solo mid-day high if you’re a creative working from home. I can also see this as being a great strain to smoke in social settings and, of course, while listening to music. It’s a happy, relaxing herb that gets the creative juices flowing.
When T.S. Eliot wrote “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” in 1939, he probably never imagined his poetry would be turned into a delightfully despised musical. And when unsuspecting show-goers witnessed the spectacle of CATS on stage for the first time, they likely had no idea how much of the largely non-existent plot would be about what, why, how cats are named.
Silly, perhaps, but the naming of cats truly is a difficult matter. Cats are bizarro screwballs of the highest order. They start off adorable little puffs purring fur, and evolve into beautiful animal specimens that emanate strength and grace on the one hand and hilarious quirks and personality on the other. How can you possibly choose a name that truly befits such a magnificently weird creature?
You can’t. Which is why people end up naming their cats the silliest names they can think of.
On Twitter, Jennifer Xiao posted a simple observation that got a hilarious ball rolling: “Dog owners will pick names like max or bailey and cat owners will literally name their cat beef stroganoff.”
Dog owners will pick names like max or bailey and cat owners will literally name their cat beef stroganoff
Someone shared that their friend had named their huge cat Parking Lot. Another had a cat named Beep. Some shared epically long names like Lady Cassandra Johanna Von Mussel Klossowski De Rolo De Conerty II.
One person pointed out that the reason people feel they can name their cats any old random thing is because they never have to call their cats’ names in public. Yelling out “BEEF STROGANOFF!” or “BONG WATER!” or “PARKING LOT!” might be a little…awkward.
@AAmolins @jxiaoo My cat is an indoor/outdoor cat, but he comes when called, so sometimes I have to call for him to… https://t.co/JJv1qD7Zbd
But of course, unique names are not the domain of cats alone. Check out this person who named their snake Minecraft Creative Mode and who once had a dog whose full name was Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga (2007). (Lego for short.)
@jxiaoo this is my snake, minecraft creative mode. i have a cat named Cig (short for Cigarette Butt) i used to have… https://t.co/BS2gxaqHIf
Going back to T.S. Eliot, he wrote that every cat has three different names—one everyday name that the family uses, one name that’s peculiar and unique even among other cats, and a secret name that only the cat knows and enjoys pondering on occasion:
“When you notice a cat in profound meditation, The reason, I tell you, is always the same: His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name: His ineffable effable Effanineffable Deep and inscrutable singular name.”
Perhaps that’s why we give cats such silly, goofy, laughable names. They have their own cosmic, mysterious name we’re never going to know, so why the heck not name them Microsoft Windows or Spam Sandwich or Driveway? They’re just going to ignore us when we say it anyway.
As Major League Baseball’s opening day approaches, the 2021 season appears as though it’ll look a bit more like seasons we’ve seen in the past.
Commissioner Rob Manfred has informed teams that fans will be allowed in the stands this season, but each franchise must adhere to local health guidelines.
However, things will forever be different at Progressive Field, the home field of the Cleveland Indians. The team announced that fans will no longer be admitted if they are wearing “inappropriate dress” referencing Native American culture.
Fans will not be allowed into the stadium if they are wearing “headdresses and face paint styled in a way that references or appropriates American Indian cultures and traditions. Inappropriate or offensive images, words, dress or face paint must be covered or removed, and failure to do so may constitute grounds for ejection or refusal of admission.”
The no-tolerance policy also involves abusive or inappropriate language or conduct deemed disorderly or disruptive and bans people from solicitation of contributions and distribution of literature at the stadium.
Hipster headdress/facepaint wearers, consider this picture before you dress next time. #Cleveland #Indians http://t.co/sueOzF9ve4
Cleveland fans will still be permitted to wear clothing with its cartoonish, red-faced Chief Wahoo logo, although the team removed it from its uniforms two years ago.
Last December, it was revealed the team intends to change the Indians nickname it’s had since 1915. It’s believed that 2021 will be the team’s final season as the Indians with a rebrand coming in 2022.
The team has been known as the Indians since 1915 when its name was changed to pay homage to a former Native American player, Louis Sockalexis, who played for the team in the late 1800s when it was known as The Spiders.
Cleveland’s decision to phase out its association with Naive American imagery comes alongside the NFL’s Washington Football Team, who announced before last season that they were rebranding the team and dropping the former “Redskins” moniker.
Hopefully, this decision ends the ugly, long-standing history of Opening Day showdowns between Cleveland fans and Native American activists.
Warning: The following video contains strong language.
Recently, the team began asking its fans for their input regarding the new name. The questionnaire asks what type of qualities would they like to see in a new name (i.e., hard-working, loyal, inclusive). It also asks how closely the team’s new name should be associated with the city of Cleveland and whether or not it should keep the current red, white, and blue color scheme and the “Block C” logo.
“We can confirm that we sent a survey regarding the name change out to our fans. This fan-solicited feedback is just one portion of a multi-phase process that we vowed to take when we decided to embark on a new name in December. Future decisions will continue to take time due to the complexities of the process.”
Sports has a unique way of bringing people from all walks of life together. Let’s hope that going forward, Cleveland chooses a name that reflects the times and respects other cultures while instilling a sense of loyalty and pride to its fans.
Prior to this afternoon, it seemed like now was a great time to be a Brockhampton fan. They recently released a new video for a fresh Danny Brown collaboration, “Buzzcut,” and a few days ago, they revealed they have a new album coming soon, as Roadrunner: New Light, New Machine is set to drop on April 9.
The outlook changed today, though, when Kevin Abstract took to his Twitter account, which prior to this month hadn’t been tweeted from since 2019, to declare that Brockhampton is releasing another album this year after Roadrunner. After those albums, though, the band does not intend to ever release more albums.
Abstract tweeted this afternoon, “2 brockhampton albums in 2021 – these will be our last.” Shortly after that tweet, Abstract followed up by revealing that a new song is set to drop tomorrow night (presumably on Friday at midnight), tweeting, “New single tmrw night. Summer time vibes. Ride around with the windows down with ya best friend singing super loud to the chorus type vibe – shows the other side of the album. See Yal tmrw.”
2 brockhampton albums in 2021 – these will be our last
If Brockhampton truly does come to an end in 2021, Abstract could pivot to focus on his solo career. His latest solo effort was his 2019 album Arizona Baby, although he later expressed some regret about making that record.
When Wyatt Russell‘s John Walker made his big debut as the new Captain America at the end of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier‘s premiere, fans were not loving him, and that hatred only grew deeper as audiences got to spend more time with the new Cap in Episode 2, “The Star-Spangled Man with the Plan.” You’d think that kind of negative reaction would not sit easy with an actor, but Russell is here for it.
“That’s the goal,” he told The Wrap before detailing how his character is struggling after being rejected (twice) by Sam and Bucky, and that the awkward existence of his new Cap is intentional:
“There’s elements to him where he wants to be able to do it without the super soldier serum. Just be that good,” Russell says. “He does have those ideas in his head of wanting people to like him, like his version of Captain America. It sort of gets rained on and causes him to have to rethink how things are going to be done.”
As for the consequences of that rethinking, Russell sticks to the requisite Marvel secrecy, but it sounds like even more tension is coming down the road. “He definitely doesn’t make life easier for anybody,” Russell says. As for taking on the daunting task of filling in Chris Evans’ shoes, Russell recently told Jimmy Kimmel that just like his character John Walker, he walked into his new role completely unprepared. Outside of Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, which starred his dad, Russell was not too familiar with the MCU.
“I didn’t grow up knowing much about comics,” Wyatt confessed to Kimmel. “My heroes were athletes. So when I came on set, I was asking, ‘What does that mean?’ Or, ‘Who’s that person?’… and finally, Sebastian was like, ‘Dude, stop asking questions. You’re gonna get even more confused than you are… when you get answers, it’s gonna be worse.’”
All the cool kids are on TV these days, which means that all the A-listers (like Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant) are all over your HBO. Well, Kate Winslet has been there and done that (in 2011’s Mildred Pierce), and she’s back with the premium cable channel again to star in Mare of Easttown. Kate portrays a small-town detective (and ex-high school basketball goddess) who’s naturally ignoring the crumbling of her own inner self while burying herself in the town’s murder cases. The color palette of this show is as dreary as they come, although it doesn’t seem that this show is going for the gritty vibe.
Instead, Kate’s simply a detective with a messy inner life. The show’s heavy on the HBO talent, given that it’s directed by Craig Zobel (The Leftovers and Westworld), and the incredible cast includes Jean Smart (following up on Watchmen) and Julianne Nicholson (from The Outsider). We’ll probably see some Emmy nominations coming for this show, which is written by Brad Ingelsby (The Way Back), who hails from Pennsylvania, close to where the series is set. Via the synopsis, the limited series performs “an exploration into the dark side of a close community and an authentic examination of how family and past tragedies can define our present.”
Today is March 31, and no this is not an April Fools joke, fans of Mario that have any interest in Mario 3D All-Stars better make their purchase today, because as of April 1 it is going to be delisted from stores. It’s safe to assume that physical versions of the game will still be floating around retailers for a few months after, but eventually, it’s going to be impossible to find a brand new copy of 3D All-Stars.
Not only that but the 35 player battle royale, Mario 35, will no longer be available to play as of April 1 as well. Yes, not just delisted from the store, but they plan to shut down the servers for it as well making the game unplayable. It’s free with a Nintendo online subscription so anyone that wants to have one last night of fun with Mario 35 can do so tonight.
The final #SuperMarioBros35 Special Battle is now live, featuring a variety of courses! Grab as many coins as you can on your run as each count towards completing the World Count Challenge! pic.twitter.com/TfZJJBb67c
This is a huge bummer! Nintendo has never followed the traditional rules of most video game companies, and it usually works out for them monetarily, but that doesn’t mean this is good for gaming as a whole. Nobody wants to see video games disappear and Nintendo choosing to throw three of them behind a vault, and make one unavailable completely, is a quixotic decision no matter how it’s swung.
If there’s any hope, the common belief is that Nintendo plans to eventually split up the Mario 3D All-Stars pack into individual re-releases that can later be bought at full price. This isn’t great news, but it’s better than three of Mario’s greatest adventures being thrown behind the vault never to be seen again. Of course, you can always go back and play them on their original hardware as well, but that can be said about any port or remaster.
We’ll just have to see how Nintendo approaches this in the future, but for now, this collection pack and battle royale is going to disappear on April 1 and that’s disappointing.
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