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Perfume Genius Shares An Artistic Fan-Directed Video For ‘Without You’

Around the time Mike Hadreas released his new Perfume Genius album Set My Heart On Fire Immediately, he announced a video competition for the song “Without You.” He asked fans to submit ideas for a visual for the song, and three winning directors were given $1,000 to make the video, along with $1,000 to be donated to a charity of their choosing.

Today, Perfume Genius has shared the first winning video, which was directed by Liz Lian. The video begins with a forager who finds a cassette tape of the song in the brush, which mysteriously starts playing as she holds it up. She goes on to find more unexpected objects and dance along to the song in the visually captivating clip.

Lian, whose chosen charity is The ACLU of Southern California, said in a statement about the video:

“This song, and Mike’s artist’s statement about it, reassures me that moments of comfort and clarity are just as certain to appear as confusing, lonely moments are. It reminds me to be patient and to turn toward conflict within myself and view it as a beautiful, imperfect metamorphosis, rather than hide from it. This music video is about the exploration and discovery of self through the natural world. I aim to depict the unfamiliar, abstract, and jumbled parts of ourselves through elements of surrealism and magical realism. Narratives of self-discovery in media often center around coming-of-age stories of young white people as they enter adulthood. But self-discovery and reinvention occur throughout our lifetimes. Seeds of change sown within us can blossom into exciting, life-altering experiences when we least expect it. Annie Tezuka, who stars in this video, did a beautiful job embodying this experience. I wanted to shine a particular light on the experience of women who, as they age, are increasingly seen as they are in relation to others – mothers, wives, grandmothers – and for this video to be a tribute to the complexities and constant change within all of us, especially those women.”

The two other winners were Samantha Mitchell, whose video will debut on August 4, and Kristin Massa, whose clip will come out on August 11.

Watch the first “Without You” video above.

Set My Heart On Fire Immediately is out now via Matador Records. Get it here.

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Angel Olsen Announces A New Solo Album With The Title Track ‘Whole New Mess’

Angel Olsen released her album All Mirrors last year and the shimmering effort saw some of her most grand production yet. Following the success of the album, Olsen is making a return to her earlier catalog with the acoustic song “Whole New Mess,” which announces an eponymous record due later this summer.

Olsen announced her upcoming album Whole New Mess with a video alongside the poignant title track directed by Ashley Connor, who has been filming her recent Cosmic Streams livestream events. In a statement, Olsen described the events which inspired the new release: “I had gone through this breakup, but it was so much bigger than that — I’d lost friendships, too. When you get out of a relationship, you have to examine who you are or were in all the relationships. I wanted to record when I was still processing these feelings. These are the personal takes, encapsulated in a moment.”

Olsen ventured to Anacortes, Washington to record the album at The Unknown, a studio that Mount Eerie’s Phil Elverum converted from an old Catholic church. “I hadn’t been to The Unknown, but I knew about its energy. I wanted to go sit with the material and be with it in a way that felt like a residency,” Olsen said. “I didn’t need a lot, since it was just me and a guitar. But I wanted someone else there to hold me accountable for trying different things.”

Watch the “Whole New Mess” video above and find Olsen’s Whole New Mess album artwork and tracklist below.

Jagjaguwar

1. “Whole New Mess”
2. “Too Easy (Bigger Than Us)”
3. “(New Love) Cassette”
4. “(We Are All Mirrors)”
5. “(Summer Song)”
6. “Waving, Smiling”
7. “Tonight (Without You)”
8. “Lark Song”
9. “Impasse (Workin’ For The Name)”
10. “Chance (Forever Love)”
11. “What It Is (What It Is)”

Whole New Mess is out 8/28 via Jagjaguwar. Pre-order it here.

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Patrick Mahomes Has Purchased An Ownership Stake In The Kansas City Royals

When the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl back in February, it felt like the coronation of a new perennial favorite in the NFL. With Patrick Mahomes at the helm of the most potent passing attack the league may have ever seen, the Chiefs seem like a team that will be a fixture in AFC title games and Super Bowls for years to come.

Achieving dynasty status is exceptionally difficult, but if you were to pick a team that could take over for the Pats as the NFL’s next, it’d be the Chiefs. It’s why they happily forked over half a billion to Mahomes to be their quarterback for the next decade. Mahomes seems likewise thrilled to be calling Kansas City home for his career, excitedly posting about staying in the city that drafted him long-term after signing his extension.

While every player that inks a long-term deal does this, Mahomes is putting his money behind it. On Tuesday, the Kansas City Royals announced that Mahomes invested some of his newfound wealth in an ownership stake in KC’s baseball team.

In the statement, Mahomes mentions his excitement to “deepen his roots” in the community, and his baseball heritage is well known given his father’s time as an MLB player. Mahomes was a baseball player himself prior to choosing football as his full-time occupation — a good choice, it should be noted — and now gets to be a part of the game he grew up in, albeit in a very different role than he probably anticipated he’d be in at 24 years old.

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Zendaya Could Break An Emmys Record If She Wins For Her ‘Euphoria’ Performance

Even without Better Call Saul standout Rhea Seehorn, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series is still one of the more impressive collections of talent at the 2020 Emmys.

The nominees are: Jennifer Aniston for The Morning Show, Olivia Colman for The Crown, Laura Linney for Ozark, Sandra Oh for Killing Eve, Zendaya for Euphoria, and the reigning champion, huge freaking star Jodie Comer for Killing Eve, who is the youngest woman ever to win the Lead Actress in a Drama category. But her record may not last for long. Zendaya, who’s currently 23 years old, will be 24 by the time the Emmys air on September 20, making her two years younger than when Comer won.

“Swag It Out,” indeed.

This is Zendaya’s first Emmy nomination, although she’s also been up for a People Choice Award, Satellite Award, Critics’ Choice Television Award, and Black Reel Award for her performance as Rue in HBO’s makeup-heavy Euphoria. “I had all of these ideas in my head about what the next move should be, and there was nothing that I felt like I was connecting with. I was starting to stress and bug out because I just didn’t have anything, and nothing was connecting with me. I didn’t want to just say yes to a shitty project because I didn’t have anything else. So, I was just waiting, and other things fell through. Everything was just not going right. And then, Euphoria came along,” she told Collider. “When I read it, I immediately just loved it.” And now the Emmys love Zendaya.

You can see the full list of Emmy nominations here.

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Logic Goes For A Stroll In His Reflective ‘Aquarius III’ Video

Logic is making sure his rap career ends on a high note with No Pressure, but he’s also taking some time to reflect on the last eight years that turned him into a star. In his new video for “Aquarius III,” the latest single from his final album, he takes a leisurely stroll through his suburban neighborhood and reels off nostalgic but defiant bars deflecting the criticism that has come his way through the years.

Of course, plenty of those critics have changed their tune in light of Logic’s curtain call. One of his staunchest detractors, Joe Budden, issued an apology on his podcast, expressing regret over taunting Logic about his retirement. While it sounds like Joe stands by his assessment of Logic as one of the worst rappers ever, he acknowledged that Logic should be allowed to retire with the same relative dignity that led to Joe becoming a popular podcaster.

Logic certainly won’t be following in those footsteps. While podcasting has remained a popular choice even for older rappers who’ve become less active, Logic’s next unconventional career move will see him playing video games for (a lot of) money, thanks to a seven-figure deal with Twitch.

Watch Logic’s “Aquarius III” video above.

No Pressure is out now via Def Jam Recordings and Visionary Music Group. Get it here.

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Pharrell, RZA, Trent Reznor, Beastie Boys, And More Are Nominated For 2020 Emmy Awards

The full list of nominees for the 72nd annual Emmy Awards is finally here. On Tuesday, SNL actor Leslie Jones hosted a virtual livestream along with Laverne Cox to announce nominees in several categories. The ceremony presents awards recognizing the best in television, but several renowned musicians made the nominations list for their work on various TV series.

Along with naming actors and directors for Comedy and Drama TV series, the Emmy Awards also recognizes musicians for theme songs, compositions, and writing. This year, musicians like Pharrell, Beastie Boys, and even a Wu-Tang clan member were nominated for a 2020 Emmy. Pharrell’s nomination arrives for his work on the song “Letter to My Godfather” on Netflix’s The Black Godfather.

Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor, Labrinth, and Kamasi Washington were all nominated for writing a score. Reznor earned a nod for penning music in HBO’s acclaimed Watchmen series, Labrinth made the list for his work on Euphoria as well for composing the track “All For Us” with Zendaya, and Washington was recognized for scoring Michelle Obama’s Netflix documentary Becoming.

A handful of hip-hop artists also made the list. Beastie Boys members Mike Diamond (Mike D) and Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock) were nominated for their writing on Apple TV’s Spike Jonze-directed documentary Beastie Boys Story and RZA was recognized for writing the theme music in Hulu’s Wu-Tang: An American Saga.

Find the full list of 2020 Emmy nominations here. The 2020 Emmy Awards airs 9/20 on ABC.

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Khabib Nurmagomedov And Justin Gaethje’s UFC Lightweight Title Fight Is Set For October

After earning a referee stoppage in May against Tony Ferguson to capture the interim UFC lightweight championship, Justin Gaethje finally has a date for his showdown with the champ, Khabib Nurmagomedov. UFC president Dana White confirmed Tuesday that Nurmagomedov will make his long-anticipated return to the Octagon on October 24 against Gaethje at a to-be-determined location.

“That fight’s going to happen,” White said during an appearance on CNN, per ESPN. “Khabib vs. Gaethje, October 24.”

While Nurmagomedov has shown he can throw hands with the best of them, stunning and knocking Conor McGregor to the mat in their now-infamous bout, it was his ground game that was on full display in his last fight against Dustin Poirier. That spells trouble for Gaethje, who would likely prefer to keep the fight on his feet, with his last four wins all coming via knockout/TKO.

After tapping out Poirier in September 2019, Nurmagomedov has been on the sidelines for much of the year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Ramadan and ultimately the death of his father. Gaethje-Nurmagomedov was originally slated for September but has been pushed back after Nurmagomedov’s father passed away on July 3 following heart surgery for a preexisting condition that was further complicated by COVID-19.

Gaethje was the first fighter to TKO Ferguson and will look to make stop the unbeaten Nurmagomedov in their title unification bout. Should he win, Gaethje previously told ESPN he wants a fight against the now-retired Conor McGregor.

“I’m here to make money,” Gaethje said. “When I beat Khabib, I will fight Conor because I’m trying to cash in.”

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Fontaines DC Figure Out How To Slow Down And Appreciated Life On ‘A Hero’s Death’

When I saw Fontaines DC for the first time, at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City, I found myself caught in the middle of a brawl as the band thrashed on stage under harsh light. The playful throwing of elbows in the pit had turned to throwing of fists, and all of a sudden, I was beneath the scuffle as they collapsed to the floor wailing on one another. As I was pulled off the ground by a kind group of strangers, I found myself reminded of the punk shows that happened on the Bowery in the not too distant past, back when the block was “where you would never want to end up,” according to Talking Heads drummer Chris Frantz in an excerpt from his forthcoming book that was recently published in The New Yorker. He continues: “The long history of the Bowery is one of crime, misadventure, debauchery, desperation, and death.”

It’s a strong contrast to read about through a modern lens, as the route one takes on their way the Bowery Ballroom is peppered with art galleries and boutique restaurants while CBGB’s iconic emblem has been replaced by a John Varvatos logo. Time moves fast, and sometimes it pays to force yourself to slow down and take a look at what truly makes the world around you beautiful.

It’s with this mindset that Fontaines DC hit the studio to record their sophomore album, A Hero’s Death. After years spent on the road supporting their buzzy debut Dogrel, the band was starting to lose touch with themselves. “I think I lost an ability to get out of my comfort zone by touring so much,” guitarist Carlos O’Connell tells me over the phone in mid-July, four months into an international lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. “Playing shows, however big or small, became my comfort zone. And anything outside of that was really uncomfortable for a long time. Socializing became uncomfortable. Things that would have made me happy before, all that stuff became uncomfortable to do.”

The album was completed just before the coronavirus pandemic really set in, but seems prophetic in its emphasis on being comfortable with one’s self in isolation. A bit more brooding and reflective than the band’s debut, the album is a meditation on life, individuality, and finding a home in the midst of constant movement. “It’s hard to remember your identity when you’re seen only as a touring band,” O’Connell explains. When the virus-induced lockdown descended upon the world, he retreated from his home in Dublin to the countryside. “I was very remote. You do that then you just learn to find what was there before the band started taking over your entire life.”

The band sounds wiser on A Hero’s Death, perhaps informed by their newfound worldview, expanded by two years on the road. “We just came to accept that we were feeling differently and the music we were to write shouldn’t in any way keep in mind what we’ve written before,” O’Connell explains. “We should just be allowed to write as honestly at the time of writing it. I look forward to playing these songs live and I don’t really know what the performance will be like. I’m excited to see what it feels like to be full of energy and feeling vulnerable at the same time.”

Where Dogrel was rooted in the desire to do something greater than what was attainable in the small world that existed in the band’s purview, A Hero’s Death investigates the possibility that the thing you were looking for might have been within yourself all along. It encourages the listener to join the band in their musings, and each song could soundtrack a different worldly reaction to introspection — “Love Is The Main Thing” underscoring one’s pacing while “A Lucid Dream” takes on a more aggressive approach.

Before lockdown, you could see a certain intensity in the band as they performed on stage. A Hero’s Death takes this intensity and focuses it inward, finding a young band fully in control of their craft, utilizing their influences and experiences to inform their approach, all the while not compromising themselves or their initial mission. Fontaines DC are as close to “the real deal” as a punk disciple will find in the 21st century.

My lengthy conversation with O’Connell has been condensed and edited for clarity.

What is it like to have a glimpse of how big the world is and then all of a sudden be confined back to your hometown that you worked so hard to get out of?

It’s made me really look back and made me sad that I didn’t take in most of the world. I didn’t get to experience it. I think we kind of always aspired to get out there and do something bigger than what we were presented in our upbringing. Everyone in my generation had that aspiration to get out and do something bigger than themselves. I think if you get lost in that, you lose track of a lot. If you can be fulfilled with not much around you, you’ll be the happiest person in the world. And I think artistically, for me anyways, that’s what happened. I was able to just be completely focused creatively and make more music throughout this whole time knowing necessarily that it doesn’t have to be for a new album or with the band or anything like that. That it’s just my creative outcome. That’s a part of me, not a part of where I am or how big and successful we get.

I’ve seen a lot of friends of mine who wanted to be in music and emigrated abroad, for a better life and a more exciting life. And they’ve all returned because you want to open up your home when a global pandemic is going on. A lot of them are realizing that they don’t really want to go back to what they were doing. They’re actually happier at home than these expeditions they did to bigger cities. At the end of the day, they were stressed out all the time trying to do something that was meaningful, and it didn’t happen. Because it doesn’t happen, it has nothing to do with the outside world or what you surround yourself with. I think there was a lot of good to take with this whole new situation. I just hope that none of that is forgotten.

How did international touring affect your worldview, in general?

I think I lost an ability to get out of my comfort zone by touring so much. Playing shows, however big or small, became my comfort zone. And anything outside of that was really uncomfortable for a long time. Socializing became uncomfortable. Things that would have made me happy before, all that stuff became uncomfortable to do. I think its probably had a detrimental effect in that sense. I don’t think I was able to see things for what they are because I was never grounded or settled.

What would you say is the virtue in finding spaces where you feel grounded and settled?

I think it’s all about being comfortable within yourself and knowing what it is that’s important to who you are. I think for a while, when being so absorbed in touring, you convince yourself that you’re defined by your band and your band’s achievements and your band’s songs and what they have to say. And I think there’s a lot more to myself and each one of the lads than all of that. I think it was easy to forget that. Music for me is one of the most important things in my life but then I developed a sense of anxiety over being able to always be ahead of myself, musically and creatively. I think there’s a lot more to life than your musical outcome.

There’s simpler things in life that will give you a sense of wholeness and they are part of the definition of “self” for each person. I think constantly be on top of all those different things is to be grounded. It has definitely been a bit of a rollercoaster being all over the place, changing city by the day, to being stuck in one place for four months, now. To go from one extreme to the other for me has been a roller coaster. I feel quite grounded here for a time, but I go through areas of not really understanding if I am grounded or if I am fulfilled or if I’m missing something. I suppose I will always miss something if I’m not touring and I’m not writing and I’m not with all the boys because that is a big part of me right now. We’ve all learned a lot from this.

Getting away from the more existential stuff, and into the music itself, I want to ask about your live stage presence. It feels very referential of some of the classic bands from the hey-day of punk.

I’m obviously a big fan of those punk bands and the New York punk scene, as well. But what happens when we play live is a physical reaction to the music. Music definitely has that power to move people, both emotionally and physically, and that’s a beautiful thing, that connection to body and spirit. That’s what happens when we play live, we’re just moved. I don’t think it’s restrained in terms of influence. At the end of the day when we listen to the music, we’re really looking for that connection and if you’re listening to an artist that doesn’t have that connection with their own music, you probably wouldn’t be interested in it. I suppose, if we were to share something, it wouldn’t be any sort of on-stage persona, but a connection with our music.

A lot of bands are talking about how to keep momentum during this period of uncertainty with regard to touring. Some are even pushing their albums to later in the year, in hopes that there will be an avenue to playing shows by the time the record comes out. But A Hero’s Death is so reflective and meditative that it might actually be good to release it during this time when people have time to just sit with it and understand it.

Yeah. I’ve been thinking about it a bit and the record was mostly written last year when we were on tour, and tour, in hindsight, seems like quite an isolation period in my mind. I think it might be really good time for this record to exist in the world because it was written from a point of isolation, trying to find something outside of that. So I actually think that this time might be very good for the record to be out there and people might find some comfort in it in the same way we found when we were writing it.

It also feels like the record is in part about maintaining a sense of individualism and feeling comfortable with yourself as you, especially in a world where having an individual persona is becoming rarer because of the internet.

Yeah, exactly. Everyone wants to be an individual so badly that all the differences become the same. We’re not defined by our differences anymore but we’re defined by the similar, when everyone’s trying to shy away from that which makes you similar to someone else.

And people who do have an individual identity sometimes use it as a brand and not so much as a… person.

So many people having this urge to broadcast themselves and their lives is scary to me. I find it even scarier now that [Fontaines] have this platform where we’re meant to broadcast ourselves, but I really don’t want to. We’ve always tried to only have a presence in the world that is dictated by the music that we put out and not anything else because thats the only part of myself that I want to broadcast. I find it quite scary how people, even though they don’t have something like music or art that can be useful to other people, still have this need to broadcast their daily lives instead of taking it as what they’re made of. Strange world we live in, especially now. It seems like even more now, because we’re isolated and in lockdown, that people are living through their screens even more than they were before. It’s scary.

You would think that all of this downtime would result in a spurt of creative energy but I’ve heard a lot of artists says that it’s actually the opposite because they’re just so confined and there’s nothing to inspire.

Yeah, for sure. I went thru a creative period in the start of this when I went to the countryside because I went to someplace new and I had a lot of time to look within. But as soon as I left the countryside and I was put back into the city, the city felt like the most uninspiring place ever because its the place that should be alive.

I always like to ask this: What would you say is the mission or thesis statement of A Hero’s Death?

It’s quite a dark album. I do feel it’s an overall, positive journey. It’s an album that is not scared to look within and into the deepest and darkest aspects of individual humans and humanity. And you find the light at the very end. Not from the outside world, but that light is within and just needs to be found hiding down deep.

A Hero’s Death is out July 31 on Partisan Records. Pre-order it here.

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The Head Of The Hip Hop Chess Federation On Using Chess-Thinking To Navigate An Uncertain World

Adisa Banjoko is a master of managing time. I know this because he’s got books and businesses and fascinating resume entries to his name. But also because before I was able to say “hello” when I called him one afternoon in July, he was already half-deep into an explanation of stoicism. Before we’d bothered with pleasantries, he’d expounded on his daily practice of self-examination through journaling.

“I ask myself these questions every day…,” he said, coming out of the gate hot. “The first question is: ‘what did I do well today?’ Then it’s ‘What did I do bad?’ ‘When was my self-discipline or self-control tested?’ ‘Why did this occur?’ ‘What do you think was the root cause of those discomforts is, and how can I improve?’”

Heavy stuff, but it seems to be working. Banjoko is a lecturer, author, journalist, actor, and all-around renaissance man. Perhaps most notably, he’s a chess player. When the Wu-Tang Clan’s the RZA is looking to play a game, Banjoko is on speed dial. As the founder of the longstanding Hip Hop Chess Federation — which offers recreational activities, workshops, educational scholarships, and lectures on strategy for individuals in at-risk communities — the Grandmaster has built a career pairing kids with rappers, movie producers, MMA fighters, and other role models for friendly games.

For Banjoko, chess is the ultimate equalizer. It’s a truly level playing field.

“These black and white squares do not care what color you are or if you are rich or poor,” he says. “The only thing they ask is that you come with strategy, patience, and skills.”

Banjoko’s strategies come from the teachings he’s learned from years of playing chess, studying martial arts, and his life-long love of hip-hop. Considering that he’s a man whose approach to living revolves around strategy, we reached out to him to get his take on how to make this particular moment — with daily civil unrest, an economic downturn, and a raging global pandemic — one of self-improvement, rather than existential stress and anxiety.

@MikeRelm

What’s with the journaling?

I just started studying stoicism and this is a practice that Marcus Aurelius used to do. When you first do it it feels dumb! “What did I do good today?” “What did I do bad?” Your answers will be really short, but when you really start looking into your life you will find mistakes, and you’ll start to find where you held your own ground in terms of who you see yourself as, and who you say you are.

Over time, I’ve noticed patterns — maybe when my meditation practice drops off, how does that affect my days? Journaling also makes me more present with people, I don’t take their disrespect personally and I don’t take their praise for a fact. I start to hold myself more accountable when I don’t eat right, or when I say I’m going to work out and I didn’t. Or when I said I’m going to finish a book and it’s still barely touched.

It keeps me accountable for myself.

I wanted to ask you about your passion for chess and how you connect that to life. What lessons can we learn from playing the game?

Chess is one of the oldest games in the world that everyone still plays. When a person plays chess, what are they dealing with? They’re dealing with issues of structure, they’re dealing with issues of risk, and risk assessment, they’re dealing with overcoming after loss, you come up short with your Rook or your Knight, and now you gotta figure out how to make it happen with it with fewer resources. You are dealing with issues of patience, and perseverance. Who doesn’t need that right now? Show me a person who doesn’t need it. The game of chess is one of the few games that can give you all of that every time you play it.

It helps you understand yourself. Are you too aggressive? Are you too passive? Do you understand what you think you see? This is a time when you can’t misjudge that. The move before checkmate determines if you really see a thing for what it is or not. You go “Ha, checkmate! There is my queen,” and they’re like “Nope, my Knight is right there and you just lost your Queen.” It wasn’t what you thought it was. It brings you clarity of mind and presence.

That’s why chess has skyrocketed since the quarantine. You get to play with your friends, you get to play with your neighbor and this builds not just a respect for your own intellect, you have respect for your opponents. When I first started the organization there was a San Jose rapper named Jay the Butcher who passed away not too long ago. He sent me a picture of a homeless man playing a Silicon Valley executive on the east side of San Jose in front of a hot dog store. And I said, “What happened?” The homeless guy you can see he’s got a cart with all kinds of dirty clothes and cans, he beat the Silicon Valley dude!

Why do you think the game resonates with so many hip-hop greats?

Because chess offers a life that honors those with the best thought. If you want to be someone who is honored by the merits of your thoughts and actions, you should be a chess player.

This is why RZA, this is why Will Smith, this is why Jay-Z is in Italian Vogue playing chess. People say “It’s not like everyone in hip-hop plays chess” absolutely true, because only the best play chess. Only the legends. If you want to be an average everyday ass rapper go ahead and leave the board down, let it be so another rapper can outdo you lyrically or in business. Chess has always been an integral part of the hip-hop experience, but not so people can pretend to be Bobby Fischer, and not so people can win tournaments. It’s so they can survive.

Hip hop Chess Federation is about how you take what you see on the board, and apply it to your life so you don’t get killed, so you don’t come up short, so you don’t make a deal that you shouldn’t take. So you don’t make a move at the job that you shouldn’t accept. This is why the top heads play it.

With this new quarantine lifestyle we’re living, what’s the strategy advice we should be focused on for adapting to this new world?

I don’t want to sound too alarmist and I don’t want to sound like a fear monger, but I think we are about to enter a new phase. A phase that’ll be akin to Spartan times, a phase that’ll be akin to the Wild West or Samurai era, things are very unstable, systematically. It doesn’t matter what you’ve been doing with your life, you’ve been negatively impacted with this.

Now we find ourselves indoors, we find ourselves unable to do a lot of the things that were not only fun to us, but unable to do the things that we defined ourselves by. Then we start questioning ourselves, like who am I? What am I about? This is a time where nothing except self-discipline is going to get your through. It’s easy to get lost on your phone, it’s easy to get lost on YouTube, it’s easy to get lost just in your own brain, thinking about stuff that’s not valuable.

So you see this time as an opportunity for self-improvement?

I see this as a time of self-refinement for all of us. Yes, you gotta be home right now. Yes, you don’t get to kick it with your friends the way you use to. Yes, you have to wear a mask when you just want to go to the store and get some gummy bears and some spring water. But this is also a time when you can absolutely be everything you tell your friends and family you would be if you weren’t at work, what you would be if you weren’t at school.

“Man don’t you know right now if I wasn’t in school I’d be hella fit,” but you put on 20 pounds since the quarantine.

“Man don’t you know I hate my job, I hate my manager, my boss sucks, man if it was up to me I’d just be learning coding right now, I’d be picking up over at Google, but I can’t do it because the job gotta be on lock.”

Job ain’t got you on lock, you ain’t coding nothing, you ain’t studying nothing, you ain’t reading nothing, and your diet is out of pocket.

This is the time when humanity can embrace more of what they say they are. I think your identity, no matter what your melanin content, no matter part of the planet you’re from, ultimately your identity is what you study and how you act. That’s who you really are. You can say that you’re a basketball player, but if you play more online than you practice in real life, you don’t really care about the game bruh, have a seat.

Self-actualization via quarantine?

This is the time when people can be the person that they’ve been afraid to be. The person that they’ve been saying they want to be. I’ve taken this time to meditate more, I’ve taken this time to exercise more, I’ve taken this time to read more. We need to come out of this pandemic way smarter than we went in. Stronger physically than when we went in. More disciplined than when we went in.

This thing has messed up my money, this thing has messed up my routine, my ability to see people that I love, but I’ve also had an opportunity to go inward, into myself and face my own fears and face my own shortcomings and build my strengths. I think that’s what a lot of people are missing that they can do for themselves at this time.

What would you say to the argument that it’s hard to grow when you’re struggling financially? How can you sustain that kind of self-exploration while you’re juggling your life and the stress of not being able to pay your bills?

Well, I kind of look at it like this: You may or may not be able to pay your bills but that doesn’t mean you can’t sit peacefully with yourself. You may not know where your next meal is coming from but that doesn’t mean you can’t be kind to someone else. Money or not, will you move with intent and virtue — will you be kind when you don’t have to someone who is very different from you? This is where I found myself. Like I said, my money is not exactly lit right now. But rather than get overwhelmed with “where am I actually gonna get money from?” Okay well let me just be silent within myself and you might find the discipline to go do something that will open the door for you in the future.

I’m not just reading books for me right now, I’m reading books for the future — okay COVID is up, what’s up? I can be more clear I can be more present. I suffer from that same situation of stress, but I don’t let it remove me from my own research. If you’re really worried about where your next check is coming from, then what are you studying? How many people have you called today to see if there is an opportunity for you to get something? Maybe you can work for a few hours at the food bank, get a check, and get some food on the way out. There are all kinds of things we can do and this is where discipline and refining our intention is so critical man.

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The Lakers Are ‘Concerned’ Anthony Davis’ Eye Injury Could Keep Him Out Against The Clippers

The Los Angeles Lakers will re-embark on their quest to win the 2020 NBA title on Thursday when they face off against their chief threat to the West crown in the cross-town rival Clippers.

It’s the first game of the eight-game restart, which already led to some questions about the level of intensity that will be displayed on the court despite it being a possible conference finals preview. Now, it stands to reason that a little more of the shine might come off that opening night bubble showdown as Anthony Davis’ status for the contest is uncertain.

Davis was poked in the eye during the Lakers scrimmage with the Magic over the weekend and has been dealing with discomfort ever since, sitting out Monday’s scrimmage as well as Tuesday’s practice. After practice, Frank Vogel admitted there is some “concern” within the Lakers that Davis’ eye issue could keep him out of Thursday’s opener against the Clippers.

While this is far from a firm declaration of Davis being out, it does indicate that is a very real possibility, which would put a damper on the proceedings. Of course, for the Lakers, the first game of the restarted season means nothing in comparison to ensuring Davis is comfortable and at his best once the playoffs arrive in two weeks, so being cautious with their star big man will be more imperative than hurrying him onto the court for a regular season game that is unlikely to mean anything in the way of playoff seeding.