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Erica Banks Sets Herself Apart On The Confident ‘Diary Of The Flow Queen’

The RX is Uproxx Music’s stamp of approval for the best albums, songs, and music stories throughout the year. Inclusion in this category is the highest distinction we can bestow and signals the most important music being released throughout the year. The RX is the music you need, right now.

Ever since making her debut as part of the growing roster of 1501 Certified Entertainment, Dallas rapper Erica Banks has contended with comparisons to her predecessor as the label’s crown jewel, Megan Thee Stallion. The parallels are obvious; the two women are Texas natives who pride themselves on their lyricism and flow, and both embrace an unapologetic approach to their sexual subject matter.

Megan’s standing with the label complicates matters. In early 2020, Megan attempted to renegotiate her contract with 1501. The process has since grown increasingly contentious, with lawsuits, countersuits, and disparaging statements flying from both sides. The timing of the label signing and introducing Banks only served to highlight the ongoing drama – and unfortunately, Erica found herself paying the price.

Tabbed by some fans as a replacement for Meg, signed specifically to spite and undermine Thee Stallion’s successful run in the face of her feud with her erstwhile benefactors, Erica Banks was initially mocked when footage of early performances circulated online. As her viral breakout “Buss It” became popular on TikTok, increasing her exposure to a wider audience, the comparisons likewise became more prominent, even prompting speculation that the two women had beef of their own.

But the thing that gets lost in all of this is that Erica Banks is an accomplished, established rapper in her own right, with four mixtapes to her name already – three self-released — before 1501 ever entered the picture. And now, her debut studio album, Diary Of The Flow Queen, has arrived to further differentiate her from her esteemed colleague and establish her as an artist worth giving attention to on her own merits.

Within moments of pressing play, it becomes apparent that the superficial similarities between Erica and Meg remain on the surface level. While the latter’s punchy delivery can occasionally subsume her Texas drawl, Banks’ accent determines her tempo, slowing her flow down even on the more uptempo tracks. Since she’s still in the early stages of her career – think Meg on the Tina Snow and Fever EPs – Banks has yet to experiment with pop-leaning musical styles, sticking to bass-forward, trunk-thumping Texas beats for the majority of the album.

This works to her advantage on tracks like “Slim Waist” and “Nasty” with Bankroll Freddie, on which she also shows that she has multiple vocal tones to match the mood of the song. While her voice is usually a low-register growl, she can pitch up an octave or two for more sultry come-ons when she isn’t straight-up bragging about her sexual prowess. On the penultimate song, “Work,” she even does some singing – an area where her ostensible rival has stumbled in the past – weaving between her usual rhythmic attack and the melodic flow that dominates rap playlists these days.

There are also few features; the aforementioned Bankroll Freddie, fellow Texan BeatKing, and rising New York rapper DreamDoll (who both appear on “Toot That“) are the only voices other than Erica’s on the album. This allows the DeSoto native to show that she’s capable of holding her own for a full project without growing stale – a testament to the above-mentioned malleability of her voice. Diary Of The Flow Queen may not meander far afield of the same lyrical territory that has been explored by many of the other women in hip-hop taking over the charts lately, but as Cardi B once explained, that’s what the fans want.

More importantly, the album establishes that Erica Banks has her own branch of that lineage, with all the potential to reach the same heights of notoriety as peers like Cardi B, Latto, Saweetie, and yes, even Megan Thee Stallion. She could very well be just one hit away; hopefully, 1501 learned its lesson and extended a contract that will keep their latest star happier than their last.

Diary Of The Flow Queen is out now on 1501 Certified and 300 Entertainment. Get it here.

Erica Banks is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.

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Tea time: how this boutique blends cultures from around the world

The Tea Collection combines philanthropic efforts with a deep rooted sense of multiculturalism into each of their designs so that kids can grow up with global sensibilities. They make clothes built to last with practicality and adventure in mind. But why “Tea”?

Let’s spill it. Tea is a drink shared around the world with people from all different cultures. It is a common thread that weaves the world together. The Tea Collection was born from a love of travel and a love of sharing tea with different people in different places. Inspired by patterns from around the world, these clothes help children develop a familiarity with global communities.

Tea sources their materials ethically and ensures that each of their partners abide to strict codes of conduct. They have a zero-tolerance policy for anything “even slightly questionable” and make sure that they regularly visit their manufacturing partners to ensure that they’re supporting positive working conditions.

Since 2003, The Tea Collection has partnered with the Global Fund for Children and has invested in different grassroots organizations that create community empowered programs to uplift kids in need. They donate 10% of their proceeds and have already contributed over $500,000 to different organizations such as: The Homeless Prenatal Program (San Francisco, CA, USA), Door of Faith Orphanage (Baja California, Mexico), Little Sisters Fund (Nepal) and others in Peru, Sri Lanka, India, Italy and Haiti.

But the best part about the Tea Collection? They’re also an official member of the Kidizen Rewear Collective, which believes that clothes should stretch far beyond one child’s use. They have their own external site for their preloved clothes that makes rewearing affordable. Families can trade in gently used Tea clothes and receive discounts for future products. Shopping the site helps keep clothes out of land fills and reduces the environmental impact of the fashion industry.

By creating heirloom style clothing made to last families can buy, sell, and trade clothes that can be reworn again and again. Because “new to you” doesn’t always have to mean never been worn. And let’s be honest, we all know how fast kids grow! Shopping preloved clothes is a great way to keep styles fresh without harming the environment or feeling guilty about not getting the most out of certain styles.

But don’t just take our word for it! Head over to the Tea Collection and see for yourself!

Upworthy has earned revenue through a partnership and/or may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through links on our site.

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Sun’s out! 5 of our fave beauty products for summer

Here comes the sun… and a whole new arsenal of beauty products to make the most of the sunny seasons ahead. But with Beauty Pie buyer’s club you can get luxury, top of the line products for a lot less, because they cut out all the middlemen. By going direct to wellness manufacturers, Beauty Pie has access to hundreds of beauty products without the outlandish mark ups. Same luxury, but for 10xs LESS! That’s why we’re all about these picks that give the “I’m on Summer Break” vibe and not the “I sprung and broke the bank” side-eye. Here are our faves:


1. Super Cheek Cream Blush – toss your powder palette to the side, because yes, cream blush really is that much better. With rich colors like French Raspberry and subtle Sexy Berry, this blush collection lets you get some color in your cheeks, without having to log all of that sun time on your face. Made in Italy, these super gorgeous makeup tins will have you swooning from the moment you open them all they way to their post-blend natural finish.

2. Dry Glycolic Soft Feet 7-Day Peel Socks – it’s care from head to toe and with sandal season approaching soft feet are a MUST have. This exfoliant has natural extracts of grapefruit, orange, lemon, almond and coconut. Use these socks for one hour and they will have your feet ready for those new wedges in no time… err.. 7 days later, after the peel of course.

3. Super Healthy Skin Nourishing Body Polish – there’s going to be some sun on that skin so let’s start this season off right. This Italian made scrub smoothes, softens and moisturizes! By harnessing the power of apples, tonka beans, coconut milk, papaya enzymes and Omegas 3 and 6, this body polish will keep your skin fresh and glowing, all summer long.

4. Superdose Vitamin C Bio-Vitamin Brightening Body Lotion – with firming brown algae and brightening vitamin C this lotion is perfect for sun damaged skin. Ideally used for daily brightening and rejuvenating it helps keep your skin one step ahead of the game this season. Clean, vegan, cruelty-free and made in the UK.

5. Shine Up Lip Colour Balm Stick – this collection of lip color is a must for summer Match to your natural skin tone or go with a darker or lighter shade to add in a bit of contrast. Made in Italy these high-cushion, brilliant balms moisturize and soothe. Chic colors like Berry Jane, Baby Bare, Love.Love.Love, and yes even the fave Sexy Berry from the blush collection, leave you with only one problem: how could you possibly chose only one!

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Billie Eilish And Finneas Received An Invitation To Join The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences

Three months ago, Billie Eilish and Finneas both won their first Oscar award after they took home the trophy for Best Original Song thanks to “No Time To Die.” The feat joined Billie and Finneas’ past Grammy wins, thus putting them halfway towards securing the coveted EGOT title, something Jennifer Hudson recently did. As they continue to work on that, the successful duo may now assume a new role with The Academy. Billie and Finneas were two of 397 artists and executives that were recently invited to join The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences.

The news was shared by Deadline, which said that this year’s class includes 71 Oscar nominees and 15 winners, with 44% being women and 37% coming from underrepresented communities. The grand total of 397 invites is two more than last year’s class which was preceded by a jump in membership as The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences worked to diversify its rolls and expand its international footprint following the #OscarsSoWhite backlash in 2015.

Other invitees to the 2022 class include actors Caitríona Balfe, Jamie Dornan, Jesse Buckley, Michael Greyeyes, Olga Merediz, and writers Zach Baylin, Jeremy O Harris, Adele Lim, and Jon Spaihts.

In addition to winning Best Original Song for “No Time To Die,” Billie and Finneas also performed the song at the 2022 Oscars, and prior to that, they won a Critics Choice Award for it.

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The Russo Brothers’ Next Film Finds Them Teaming Up With A ‘Stranger Things’ Star (And Maybe With Chris Pratt Again)

Anthony and Joe Russo can do whatever they want, and so far whatever they want doesn’t include yet more returns to the comic book well. They’ve done a crime drama (Cherry), a forthcoming thriller (The Gray Man, with Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans). For their next trick, they’re heading to the past with one of the breakout stars of Stranger Things.

As per Deadline, the Russos’ next project is The Electric State, based on the illustrated novel (note: not a comic book) by Swedish polymath Simons Stålenhag. The film will follow an orphaned teenager traversing the American Old West in a retro-futuristic version of the past. She seeks her long-lost brother, her companion is a robot, and, oh right, the Stranger Things cast member who plays her is Millie Bobby Brown.

Chris Pratt’s name has also been floated for the project, but at least as of now nothing’s locked down. Pratt, of course, has appeared in the Russos’ two Avengers movies, and if he’s not too busy voicing Mario the plumber, the three can reunite. The project is obviously still in the larval stage, and by the time it gets made and released, perhaps everyone will have found the time to finish the extra-extra-extra long new episodes of Brown’s starmaking show.

(Via Deadline)

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Angels Pitcher Archie Bradley Broke His Elbow During The Gigantic Brawl With The Mariners

The fallout continues just a few days after a memorable and enormous on-field brawl between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners. Members of the two teams were engaged in a large scuffle on Sunday afternoon, leading to eight ejections and 12 player or coach suspensions. Famously, newly-promoted Angels interim manager Phil Nevin received a ten-game suspension, but he reportedly did not suffer the longest absence associated with the brawl.

In fact, Angels relief pitcher Archie Bradley will be out of action for a while, though his hiatus is not related to suspension. Bradley suffered a fractured elbow during the fracas, and the injury happened when he tried to scale a railing on the dugout while attempting to join the fray. Angels athletic trainer Mike Forstad addressed the media on Tuesday and indicated that Bradley, who has a 4.82 ERA in 21 appearances in 2022, will be out for at least four weeks and perhaps longer.

The 29-year-old veteran reliever reportedly fell when trying to scale the railing and, in short, Forstad could not find another reason why Bradley may have suffered this injury. While Bradley is not one of the more prominent players for Los Angeles, this is a real loss and also a bizarre reason to lose a key bullpen piece for several weeks in the middle of the season.

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Kevin Durant On Shaq Saying He’s ‘Mad’ About How Much Money Rudy Gobert Makes: ‘You’re A Billionaire Bro’

Shaquille O’Neal has made a whole lot of money in his life. Whether it’s through basketball, music, acting, business ventures, or something else, Shaq is one of the richest basketball players in the world. Still, he has an issue with the amount of money that the current generation of player pulls in, something that Kevin Durant finds very funny.

On a recent episode of The Big Podcast, Shaq spoke about the current generation of players and mentioned Rudy Gobert. The Utah Jazz center agreed to a 5-year extension worth $205 million at the end of 2020, which Shaq said is the sort of thing that makes players from his era a little upset.

Now, Shaq and Gobert have a bit of a history with one another, with Charles Barkley recently using the Jazz center as a way to prod his Inside the NBA colleague. At the very least, this is an interesting way to learn where some of Shaq’s thoughts on Gobert come from. Beyond that, Durant saw the tweet and thought it was worth pointing out that Shaq has more than enough cash sitting in his bank account.

This isn’t the first time KD has touched on this, as he recently said that comments Barkley made about him stemmed from Chuck being “a hatin old head that can’t accept that we making more bread than them.”

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The Very Best Chicken Sandwiches From Every Big Fast Food Chain

The best part of this massive fast food chicken sandwich renaissance we’re living in is not that every fast food chain from Burger King to Shake Shack has revamped their chicken sandwiches to compete with Popeyes. It’s that aside from the generally better stock of chicken sandwiches we have to choose from, each chain has absolutely spoiled us with options. In 2022, just about every major burger chain has not one, but several solid-to-great chicken sandwiches. And just like the cheeseburger, we’re getting all sorts of inventive variations on the traditional recipe.

You can get bbq chicken sandwiches, fried chicken sandwiches, grilled chicken sandwiches with bacon and avocado, buffalo chicken sandwiches, hot honey chicken sandwiches, spicy chicken sandwiches… It’s (arguably) too much chicken! To help you navigate the plethora of sandwiches availing and ensure that every time you buy one it’s the best your money can buy, we broke down each chain’s best chicken sandwich and why it’s worth your order. We didn’t stop at on-menu fried chicken sandwiches, either. We also hit the grilled stuff! And the hacks!

So here they are — the best chicken sandwiches from every chain in the fast food universe.

Arby’s — Buffalo Chicken Slider

CHicken Sandwiches
Arbys

The Build:

Chicken tender, buffalo sauce, parmesan peppercorn ranch on a slider bun.

Why It’s The Best Choice:

It might be the best choice, but that isn’t saying much. Arby’s isn’t a place you go to if you want chicken. Sure, they’ve had a great chicken sandwich in the past. But the bird is not the focus here, the beef is.

If you must order chicken, this is your best bet. It’s bite-sized, a bit spicy, and sweet with a cool creamy aftertaste that helps to reign in that heat.

A Simple Hack To Make It Better:

Add a slice of Swiss cheese. Cheese is never a bad thing, unless of course you’re lactose intolerant. In which case, still add the cheese — this thing is going to mess your stomach up anyway!

The Other Options:

Chicken Cheddar Ranch: It’s a more substantial meal than the slider but, two tenders in a sandwich does not make for a great sandwich, it makes for a sandwich that falls apart after each bite.

Chicken Slider: It’s the same as the buffalo slider, but without the buffalo and ranch sauce, aka without the flavor. It’s topped with Swiss cheese. It’s too dry.

The Bottom Line:

There aren’t as many buffalo chicken sandwiches out there in the fast food universe, so we appreciate Arby’s for at least trying. Still, it’s probably a better move to stick with the beef.

Find your nearest Arby’s here.

Burger King — Spicy Ch’King

Best Chicken Sandwiches
Burger King

The Build:

Spicy-breaded chicken, thick-cut pickles, savory sauce on a potato bun.

Why It’s The Best Choice:

It’s not just BK’s best chicken sandwich, it holds the title for the best single menu item at Burger King, period. Each bite is a perfect marriage between the savory notes of the comeback-style sauce and the briny and earthy pickles backed with a burning cayenne-pepper kick.

My only major criticism is that this chicken sandwich is too big, you can easily cut this in half and share it with a friend and still feel satisfied. Being too filling is a minor complaint though — so good for BK for knocking it out of the park with this one.

A Simple Hack To Make It Better:

Add bacon and you get more crunch and smokey notes that mingle nicely with the spice and pickles.

The Other Options:

Ch’King Sandwich: It’s good but when it comes to BK’s sandwich, we have to go spicy over regular. This has that classic buttermilk sandwich flavor, but it feels too tame in comparison to the spicy version.

Ch’King Deluxe: If you’re not about pickles, this is a nice substitute if you still want to bite into a thick filet of hand-breaded chicken. Add bacon and you’ve got a much better sandwich more deserving of the “Deluxe” moniker.

Spicy Ch’King Deluxe: It lacks flavor, the pickles are replaced with a flavorless and watery tomato and a truly sad leaf of lettuce. There is nothing Deluxe about this thing.

The Bottom Line:

You can’t go wrong with the Spicy Ch’King, it’s one of the few menu items that actually warrants a trip to BK.

Find your nearest Burger King here.

Carl’s Jr. — Gold Digger Hand-Breaded Chicken Sandwich

Best Chicken Sandwiches
Carl

The Build:

Hand-breaded chicken breast filet, bacon, tomato, green leaf lettuce, mayo, and Carolina Gold sauce on a toasted sesame bun.

Why It’s The Best Choice:

This is Carl’s Jr’s newest fried chicken sandwich and easily the best tasting. It’s very similar to the Bacon and Swiss hand-breaded sandwich, but the cheese is replaced with a Carolina Gold Sauce, which is a tangy and sweet spin on BBQ sauce that uses yellow mustard as a base.

That tangy-sweet sauce pairs nicely with the fried chicken filet, and the bacon helps to bring forth any smokiness offered by the Carolina Gold.

A Simple Hack To Make It Better:

Add the Swiss cheese back in for a slightly nutty infusion of flavor.

The Other (Fried) Options:

Hand-Breaded Chicken Sandwich: Too basic. Mayo always feels like a compromise when you have sandwiches that offer savory, BBQ, or spicy sauces.

Bacon Swiss Hand-Breaded Sandwich: It’s the same thing but with mayo instead of Carolina BBQ — way less interesting.

Spicy Chicken Sandwich: This is dollar menu filler and Carl’s Jr’s OG chicken sandwich before the Popeyes Revolution. Don’t ever order it unless you want to feel sick.

The Bottom Line:

Carl’s Jr has great grilled sandwiches (see below), if you’re open to that definitely try one of those (they’re generally better). But if you like it fried, this is your best choice.

Find your nearest Carl’s Jr. here.

Carl’s Jr. — Charbroiled Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich

Best Chicken Sandwiches
Carl

The Build:

Why It’s The Best Choice:

A Simple Hack To Make It Better:

It’s not so much a hack as a necessity. You have to ditch that American Cheese. American Cheese and chicken is an awful combination of flavors, the chicken here has the slightest hint of citrus and it pairs awfully with the salty flavors of the cheese.

Substitute the American cheese for Swiss or skip the cheese entirely.

The Other (Grilled) Options:

Charbroiled Chicken Sandwich Club: A great option, you get bacon and Swiss, two beloved combinations with a charred pepper-forward breast filet.

Charbroiled BBQ Chicken Sandwich: Also great, Carl’s Jr’s sweet and slightly smokey BBQ tastes great against the chicken.

The Bottom Line:

You can’t go wrong with any of Carl’s Jr’s grilled chicken sandwiches, but the Santa Fe offers a vegetal spiciness that tastes completely unique and makes the grilled chicken sandwich something to look forward to, rather than a healthier compromise.

Find your nearest Carl’s Jr. here.

Chick-fil-A — Spicy Deluxe

Best Chicken Sandwiches
Chick Fil A

The Build:

Chicken breast filet hand-breaded in spicy breading, dill pickles, green leaf lettuce, tomato, and pepper jack cheese on a toasted butter bun.

Why It’s The Best Choice:

It’s the perfect spicy chicken sandwich, the chicken filet is well-seasoned with pepper, cayenne, paprika, onion, and garlic powder, and brined in pickle juice, helping to provide a juicy and tender bite.

The lack of sauce might sound like an oversight, but the chicken is so juicy and the flavors are so delectable, that you actually don’t need a sauce to tie this sandwich together, which results in a less overwhelming experience.

This comes across like a lighter chicken sandwich when compared to the food-coma-inducing sandwiches offered at Wendy’s and Popeyes. Sometimes, that’s just what you’re looking for.

A Simple Hack To Make It Better:

I called this the perfect spicy chicken sandwich, but I think it tastes even better when you sub the pepper jack cheese for Colby jack. Colby jack is creamier and sharper, and the sandwich is already spicy enough that you don’t really NEED the pepper jack cheese to make it good. Not a lot of the heat is coming from the cheese anyway.

Your Other Options:

Chicken Sandwich: It’s also a winner.

Deluxe Sandwich: It’s still a great sandwich even without the spicy filet, but I don’t love the use of American Cheese.

Spicy Chicken Sandwich: Even better than Chick-fil-a’s OG sandwich, this is one of the most flavorful chicken filets in all of fast food. Without the lettuce, cheese, and tomato, the flavors are very focused, but order a side of Chick-fil-A sauce and dip this sandwich for the best result.

The Bottom Line:

The perfect spicy chicken sandwich.

Find your nearest Chick-fil-A here.

Chick-fil-A — Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich

Best Chicken Sandwiches
Chick fil A

The Build:

Grilled chicken breast, Colby Jack cheese, bacon, lettuce, and tomato on a multigrain bun.

Why It’s The Best Choice:

Chick-fil-A’s grilled filet is surprisingly flavorful and juicy. This tender chicken is marinated in lemon juice and herbs and that extra level of craft really pays off. Together with bacon and Colby Jack cheese, you get more flavor here per bite than you’d expect from a grilled chicken sandwich. Some days it’s so good you won’t even miss the fried stuff.

A Simple Hack To Make It Better:

Pepper Jack instead of Colby will add a subtle spice aftertaste. Definitely pair this with Chick-fil-A sauce or Honey Roasted BBQ.

Your Other Options:

Grilled Chicken Sandwich: No cheese, no bacon, no flavor.

The Bottom Line:

Chick-fil-A is famous for the fried chicken sandwich, so we get it, this doesn’t have the same appeal and allure. But it will surprise you just how juicy and flavorful this sandwich is, and you might even opt for this over the fried version… on occasion.

Find your nearest Chick-fil-A here.

Dairy Queen — Crispy Chicken Sandwich

DQ
Dairy Queen

The Build:

Breaded chicken breast filet, tomato, lettuce, and mayo on a toasted bun.

Why It’s The Best Choice:

It’s not, it’s your only choice. Dairy Queen has one chicken sandwich, but as far as we’re concerned, they’d be better off having no chicken sandwich. There isn’t a single thing about this sandwich that is good. The lettuce is always dry, and lifeless, the tomato is watery, and the chicken itself is awful.

It’s dry and ultimately tastes cheap. Popeyes inspired a lot of fast food establishments to change their chicken sandwiches, I guess Dairy Queen didn’t get the memo.

A Simple Hack To Make It Better:

Order something else. No really, there isn’t a single thing that can be done to redeem this sandwich.

The Bottom Line:

Under no circumstances should you order a chicken sandwich from Dairy Queen.

Find your nearest Dairy Queen here.

Dairy Queen — Grilled Chicken Sandwich

DQ
Dairy. Queen

The Build:

Grilled chicken fillet, lettuce, tomato, and mayo on a toasted bun.

Why It’s The Best Choice:

If you were hoping things would get better with DQ’s Grilled sandwich, we’re sorry to say this is just as bad if not worse.

This chicken is truly awful, it’s chunky, and separates in this really strange and unnatural way — like it was assembled from random meats into the shape of a chicken breast.

A Simple Hack To Make It Better:

Honestly, eating the wrapper it comes with might be the better move.

The Bottom Line:

Save your money; buy a soft serve.

Find your nearest Dairy Queen here.

The Habit — Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Best Chicken Sandwiches
The Habit

The Build:

Breaded chicken breast, tomato, pickles, lettuce, and mayo on a brioche bun.

Why It’s The Best Choice:

Again, it’s your only choice but unlike Dairy Queen’s crispy chicken sandwich, this one is actually edible. The chicken is tender, and the breading features a nice combination of cracked black pepper, and garlic and onion powder flavors, with lettuce and tomato adding a sense of freshness with some depth from the pickles.

The breast filet here is double battered, giving it an extra crispy crunch. But The Habit does grilled better.

The Bottom Line:

It tastes good, but it’s not worth ever ordering.

Find your nearest Habit Burger here.

The Habit — Chicken Club

Best Chicken Sandwiches
The Habit

The Build:

Chicken breast filet, green leaf lettuce, tomatoes, hickory-smoked bacon, avocado, and mayo served on toasted sourdough.

Why It’s The Best Choice:

Similar to Carl’s Jr, the Habit is much better and making grilled chicken sandwiches than the fried stuff, and their chicken club is unlike any other grilled sandwich currently in the fast food space.

The chicken filet is thin and marinated in some sort of lemon-herb marinade that keeps each bite tasting juicy and not dry. The fresh avocado is a nice touch that adds a creamy texture and earthy buttery flavors that pair well with the smokey bacon.

That bacon does more than add simple smoked notes, it helps to add more texture to the sandwich so that the avocado doesn’t make it too mushy.

A Simple Hack To Make It Better:

Ditch the mayo. You have marinated chicken and avocado, you don’t really need to worry about dryness. The mayo just gets in the way here.

Your Other Options:

Grilled Chicken Sandwich: This sandwich is much drier and less flavorful than the club. You get cheese, but no bacon, and no sourdough.

The Bottom Line:

Proof that way more fast food grilled chicken sandwiches need to utilize avocado.

KFC — Chicken Sandwich

Best Chicken Sandwiches
KFC

The Build: Extra Crispy style chicken with thick crinkle cut pickles, and double mayo on a brioche bun.

Why It’s The Best Choice:

KFC has a chicken sandwich only because they have to. Considering how huge of a success Popeyes had, it would be stupid for a fried chicken chain NOT to have a sandwich. As far as chicken sandwiches go thought his one is mid-tier at best.

The first issue is the filet, it utilizes KFC’s Extra Crispy style breading, which provides a nice crunch but lacks any discernible flavor aside from salt. The pickles are just fine, the mayo is doing the bare minimum, and the brioche bun is way too thick and bready, where it should be light and buttery.

A Simple Hack To Make It Better:

Skip the mayo, ask for a side of Mac and Cheese or gravy, and use that instead. It makes for a way more interesting sandwich, which is at least something.

The Other Options:

Chicken Little: It’s the same sandwich but worse. A lower quality smaller chicken filet and a smaller sesame bun only highlight the lack of effort KFC put into their sandwich lines.

The Bottom Line:

Stick to the Original Recipe. KFC isn’t a great place to go for a chicken sandwich — which is disappointing.

Find your nearest KFC here.

Jack in the Box — Cluck Sandwich

What the Cluck
Jack in the Box

The Build:

Breaded chicken filet, crinkle-cut pickles, Good Good Sauce (comeback-style) on a brioche bun.

Why It’s The Best Choice:

I keep going back and forth over what I think the best Jack in the Box chicken sandwich is, which is stupid because Jack in the Box chicken sandwiches, in general, aren’t great.

This is above Dairy Queen, Arby’s, KFC, and McDonald’s in terms of flavor and quality for sure, but it’s not good enough to be crave-able and chances are Jack in the Box has some sort of burger that probably tastes twice as good as this thing.

But we’re going to give it to the Cluck Sandwich, Jack in the Box’s simplest chicken sandwich is also its best. The flavors are fairly straightforward, you have a garlic and onion powder — all pair with a chicken filet that is heavily battered, topped with a good number of thick slices of pickle, wrapped together with a savory sauce JiB calls “Good Good.”

The sauce is good, not good enough to warrant a repeat though.

A Simple Hack To Make It Better: Bacon.

Your Other Options:

Jack’s Spicy Chicken: It feels like a compromise. On one hand, you get a spicy cayenne pepper filet, on the other hand, you get no pickles and no Good Good sauce and get tomatoes and mayo instead.

Jack’s Spicy Chicken with Cheese: Better than the Spicy Chicken because you get two slices of something called “Swiss-style” cheese. Which tastes enough like Swiss cheese for us not to care to think too deeply about what it actually is.

Homestyle Ranch Chicken Club: Some people swear by ranch on chicken sandwiches, but I’ve always thought it gives this sour undertone that makes the sandwich less enjoyable. It’s hard not to think this wouldn’t be better with Good Good Sauce in its place.

The Bottom Line:

When it comes to Jack in the Box chicken sandwiches, simple is King.

Find your nearest Jack in the Box here.

Jollibee — Spicy Chicken Sandwich

Best Chicken Sandwiches
Jollibee

The Build:

Hand-breaded breast filet, fresh jalapeños, sriracha mayo on a toasted brioche bun.

Why It’s The Best Choice:

It’s simple, it’s the fresh jalapeños. There are a lot of ways to make a chicken sandwich spicy, you can do a sauce (this is always the least effective way), opt for a spicy breading (the best choice), or just do what Jollibee did and throw some actual jalapeños in the thing.

Not just jalapeños, fresh jalapeños, this isn’t the pickled stuff — which means it really brings the heat and also adds a fresh vegetal component. Backing up the jalapeño is a sriracha mayo which adds a touch of sweet heat and brightness to the flavor, with a crispy crunch supplied by Jollibee’s light and airy breading.

A Simple Hack To Make It Better:

Substitute the sriracha mayo for umami mayo, the depth of flavor pairs nicely with the jalapeños. You lose some of the heat, but it makes for a better sandwich.

Your Other Options:

The Original: It’s great, but jalapeños make it better.

Deluxe Chicken Sandwich: The fresh tomato and lettuce don’t add a lot to the flavors of this sandwich. It tastes watery in comparison.

The Bottom Line:

We wish more fast food chains would take influence from Jollibee. Jalapeños might not seem like a staple of the chicken sandwich, but we actually prefer them to pickles.

Find your nearest Jollibee here.

McDonald’s — Spicy Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Best Chicken Sandwiches
McDonald

The Build:

Breaded chicken breast filet, pickles, spicy pepper sauce, on a toasted potato bun.

Why It’s The Best Choice:

McDonald’s recently revamped their entire chicken sandwich line and while things have definitely improved, they still aren’t quite as good as a chain as giant as McDonald’s deserves. What we really want but don’t want to admit out of McDonald’s is a giant Chicken McNugget in sandwich form, but this tries too hard to be “natural” and comes across as bland and dry as a result.

The filet doesn’t have a lot of flavor — it’s almost neutral — but I love the super light and airy batter that is reminiscent of McDonald’s McNugget. The other strength of this sandwich is the spicy pepper sauce, which packs more heat than we’d expect a masses-pleasing establishment like McDonald’s to have.

But that dry filet and the wet and slimy pickles don’t do it any favors. And when the weak point of your sandwich is the chicken itself, you’ve got a problem.

A Simple Hack To Make It Better:

Throw bacon and fries into this thing and it instantly becomes much more interesting.

Your Other Options:

Spicy Deluxe Crispy Chicken Sandwich: Dry lifeless lettuce and watery tomatoes do this sandwich no favors. You’ll end up missing the weird slimy pickles.

Crispy Chicken Sandwich: It’s like the spicy version, but without the flavor.

Deluxe Crispy Chicken Sandwich: McDonald’s chicken sandwiches are already bland, removing the spicy sauce for mayo and ditching the pickles, just makes this one taste even more basic.

McChicken: An affront to food itself. Avoid at all costs.

The Bottom Line:

McDonald’s hasn’t quite nailed the best chicken sandwich for them yet. This comes close, but if you want chicken from McDonald’s your best choice is still the McNugget.

Find your nearest McDonald’s here.

Popeyes — Spicy Chicken Sandwich

Best Chicken Sandwiches
Popeyes

The Build:

Hand-breaded chicken filet, spicy sauce, and pickles, on a potato bun.

Why It’s The Best Choice:

Now we come to probably the most famous chicken sandwich of all time. This thing is great, it’s so good in fact that it actually lives up to the ridiculously high expectations you’ll have before you take your first bite. The breast filet is heavily battered, providing an audible crunch that actually adds to the experience.

The chicken itself is mouthwatering, tender juicy white meat housed by a breading that combines black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt in the perfect ratio. There is a fragrant and sweet butteriness to every bite, and the spicy sauce adds some complexity and some gentle lingering heat to the aftertaste.

A Simple Hack To Make It Better:

A packet of honey. Believe it or not, Popeyes has made a better sandwich than this. The limited-time-only Megan Thee Stallion Hottie Chicken Sandwich added a sweet and spicy sauce to this sandwich that actually improved the flavor, but sadly that isn’t on the menu anymore.

A bit of honey is the closest we’re going to get until they bring it back.

Your Other Options:

Classic Chicken Sandwich: Mayo instead of spicy sauce. It’s not that the spicy sandwich is even that spicy, it’s just that it has more flavor. This mayo-based sandwich tastes bland in comparison.

The Bottom Line:

The current GOAT in the chicken sandwich space. It doesn’t get better than this… for now.

Find your nearest Popeyes here.

Raising Canes

Chx
Raising Cane

The Build:

Three chicken tenders, green leaf lettuce, and Cane’s Sauce on a toasted sesame bun.

Why It’s The Best Choice:

This sandwich is a straight-up joke. Raising Cane’s has probably the best fried chicken in all of fast food, and instead of giving us a proper sandwich they thought putting three chicken tenders into a single sandwich was a good idea.

They couldn’t be more wrong. First of all, three tenders is a lot of f*cking chicken. This thing is too substantial to be enjoyable, you’re better off ditching the bread and just dipping the individual tenders in the sauce, or you know, ordering tenders instead of this stupid sandwich.

A Simple Hack To Make It Better:

Don’t order the sandwich, order a three-finger combo, add an extra order of toast, get the toast buttered on both sides (this will ensure both sides of the bread are grilled and garlicky), and wedge a single tender with Cane’s sauce between the two pieces of bread. You instantly have a better sandwich.

Your Other Options:

See above!

The Bottom Line:

A missed opportunity. Raising Cane’s could easily own the fast food fried chicken sandwich space if they just bothered to try.

Find your nearest Raising Cane’s here.

Rally’s— Bacon Brewhouse Mother Cruncher

Best Chicken Sandwiches
Rally

The Build:

Breaded chicken breast filet, bacon and beer cheese sauce, bacon bits, bacon strips, spicy pickles, and fried onions on a toasted bun.

Why It’s The Best Choice:

Of all of Rally’s sandwiches, this one packs the most flavor. It’s heavy and decadent in a way that chicken sandwiches never are. The sauce is salty and savory with the title dose of bacon adding a lot of pronounced smokey notes to the sandwich, which has a great crunch courtesy of the fried onions, bacon, and crispy breading.

Spicy pickles help to give this sandwich a bit of a kick, but they mostly get lost in all of the other layers of flavors.

Your Other Options:

Classic Mother Cruncher: Good, but better options exist.

Bacon BBQ Mother Cruncher: The BBQ version of the Bacon Brewhouse. Smokier, but not as flavorful.

Spicy Chicken Sandwich: Avoid this one at all costs. Too basic for its own good.

The Bottom Line:

Find your nearest Rally’s here.

Sonic — Chicken Slinger

Best Chicken Sandwiches
Sonic

The Build:

Breaded chicken breast filet, mayo, and pickles, on a brioche bun.

Why It’s The Best Choice:

This is one of the few occasions where we’re choosing the cheaper-priced chicken item. The Chicken Slinger is essentially a side order at Sonic, it’s small enough that you can add it to your order without feeling like you’re eating too much.

This isn’t a great sandwich but it gets the job done, the chicken filet tastes fine, the pickles are briny, the mayo is mayo and the brioche bun isn’t too thick and bready.

Having said that, this is by no means essential.

A Simple Hack To Make It Better:

Order pickle fries on the side, insert them into your sandwich, and thank us in the comments.

Your Other Options:

Crispy Chicken Sandwich: The same sandwich but bigger, and with lettuce and tomato instead of pickles.

The Bottom Line:

When at Sonic, stick to the snacks like jalapeño poppers, and mozzarella sticks.

Find your nearest Sonic here.

Shake Shack — Bourbon Bacon Cheddar Chicken

Best Chicken Sandwiches
Shake Shack

The Build:

Breaded chicken breast filet, white cheddar cheese, bourbon bacon jam, and pickles on a toasted potato bun.

Why It’s The Best Choice:

This is Shake Shack’s newest chicken sandwich on the menu and by far its best. Our biggest issue with Shake Shack’s sandwiches is that they feel unimaginative and inessential when compared to the mighty Shack Burger, this sandwich, on the other hand, holds its own.

The secret is in the sauce, this sandwich features a bourbon bacon jam made with Maker’s Mark that adds a deep, decadent, and smokey savoriness to every bite which tastes great alongside Shake Shack’s tender marinated chicken and light and crispy batter.

Each bite melts in your mouth, but it’s one ingredient short of being perfect.

A Simple Hack To Make It Better:

Add bacon. It’s clear that bacon should be part of this sandwich, the only reason Shake Shack didn’t put it in is because they’d have to charge more than $10 for it, and that feels like a price too big to stomach.

It’s worth it though for some extra crunchiness and smokey notes.

Your Other Options:

Avocado Bacon Chicken: Until the Bourbon Bacon Cheddar came around, this was our number one choice from the Shack.

Chicken Shack: It’s great, but avocado and bacon make it way better.

The Bottom Line:

Shake Shack’s newest sandwich is their best. The more this fast-casual chain takes a gourmet approach to their sandwiches, the better they taste. This is the only Shake Shack sandwich that we’d call essential.

Find your nearest Shake Shack here.

Wendy’s — Spicy Hot Honey Chicken Sandwich

Best Chicken Sandwiches
Wendy

The Build:

Breaded spicy chicken breast filet, Pepper Jack cheese, bacon, dill pickle chips, and habanero hot honey sauce on a toasted bun.

Why It’s The Best Choice:

This was a tough one for me because I until recently Wendy’s Spicy Asiago Ranch Chicken Club was my go-to, and then this chicken sandwich hit the scene this year, and now my Wendy’s world is all upside down.

Hot Honey sandwiches are the most recent fast-food chicken sandwich chain, everyone is rolling them out, but Wendy’s is far and above the best. The honey sauce here isn’t overwhelmingly sweet because it’s infused with habanero, giving it a serious kick and a citrusy brightness that helps to balance it out.

This sandwich triples down on the heat by adding pepper jack cheese, and Wendy’s spicy chicken filet, but there is also a lot of earthy smokiness courtesy of the bacon and fried dill chips. It’s sweet, spicy, crunchy, and overwhelming in all of the best ways.

Your Other Options:

Asiago Ranch Chicken Club Classic/Spicy: This sandwich would’ve taken the top spot if not for this new bourbon-backed sando.

Hot Honey Chicken Sandwich Classic: Just as delicious, but significantly less spicy.

Big Bacon Cheddar Chicken Classic/Spicy: It’s fine, but tastes better in burger form.

Original Chicken Sandwich Classic/Spicy: Too basic.

Crispy Chicken Sandwich: The dollar menu version of Wendy’s chicken sandwich. This is highly processed patty territory, avoid at all costs.

The Bottom Line:

The best hot honey chicken sandwich in all of fast food.

Find your nearest Wendy’s here.

Wendy’s — Grilled Asiago Ranch Club

Best Sammich
Wendy

The Build:

Grilled chicken breast filet, bacon, asiago cheese, romaine lettuce, tomato, and ranch.

Why It’s The Best Choice:

I don’t feel too badly about ditching my old favorite Wendy’s chicken sandwich for the hot new thing because the Asiago Ranch Club still gets to shine in the best grilled category.

The Grilled Asiago Ranch Chicken club offers a bouquet of flavors with every bite. An herbed chicken filet backed by creamy and nutty cheese, smokey bacon, and tangy ranch, that when combined with the lettuce and tomato give this sandwich a fresh salad vibe.

A Simple Hack To Make It Better:

I think this sandwich works better without the ranch. Substitute it for bbq instead.

The Other Options:

Hot Honey Chicken Sandwich Grilled: Weird. The spicy-sweet heat doesn’t pair well with the grilled filet.

Grilled Chicken Sandwich: Good, but the Asiago Ranch is better thanks to the bacon and cheese.

The Bottom Line:

You should almost always order a fried chicken sandwich from Wendy’s, but if you’re keeping things grilled, this packs the flavor.

Find your nearest Wendy’s here.

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Megan Thee Stallion Sang Katy Perry’s ‘Thinking Of You’ And It Might Lead To Them Collaborating On A Song

Megan Thee Stallion is never afraid to show off her fun side as we’ve seen multiple times in her career. She recently teamed up with Cardi B to display her football skills with some help from the Los Angeles Chargers, and prior to that, Megan and Normani had a grand ol’ time at prom for the former’s Off Thee Leash Snapchat series. Recently, Megan showed off her laid-back spirits during some time on Instagram Live as she was seemingly doing her hair and makeup. It was here that she launched into singing mode as she delivered a cover of Katy Perry’s “Thinking Of You.”

It was quite the entertaining moment as Megan was hilariously off-key as she cruised through the 2008 song’s chorus with a bottle of hairspray in hand as her microphone. Towards the end of the video, Megan noted that the song was one of her favorites as an eighth grader. A fan recorded the livestream moment and posted it on Twitter, and soon enough, Katy Perry herself caught wind of it and shared a response. “Omg lez duet ily Meg THEE katycat @theestallion [blowing a kiss emoji],” Perry wrote. Megan replied, “Omg yes hot girl Katy ! Let’s do a song [fire emojis].”

With that, it’s only a matter of time until Megan and Katy release a song, one that would be their first collaboration together.

You can view Megan’s cover of “Thinking Of You” and Katy’s response in the posts above.

Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.

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The ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ Show Was Once Supposed To Not Only Be A Movie But A Movie TRILOGY (Then ‘Solo’ Underperformed)

Obi-Wan Kenobi ended its six-episode run last week, allowing Star Wars heads to catch up with an old pal well into middle age and see some other famous faces as well. It was the franchise’s third-ever show, though earlier reports revealed it was originally supposed to be a big screen romp, not a small screen one. But now we’re learning there was, at least originally, not supposed to be just one.

In a new interview with Direct, Stuart Beattie, who wrote the script that the show was based on — and who received a writing credit on four of the episodes — reveals he had more where that came from. Indeed, he claims he pitched Lucasfilm and star Ewan McGregor a “full trilogy” connecting Obi-Wan up to at least around the events of the original 1977 Star Wars. Alas, then Solo: A Star Wars Story came out and underperformed, at which point, he says, the decision was made not to make any more spin-off films.”

But when there was, Beattie took his shot. “So when I pitched my Obi-Wan story to Lucasfilm, I said, ‘There’s actually three stories here. Because there’s three different evolutions that the character has to make in order to go from Obi-Wan to Ben,’” Beattie explained.

The first stage was what you saw in Obi-Wan Kenobi. But the second was much more introspective and heavy. It was about, Beattie says, “thinking about where Kenobi ends up,” namely the part where he sacrifices himself on the Death Star during a duel with Darth Vader (spoiler?).

“Great moment, you know, makes you cry. But, if you stop and think about it, it’s a pretty sudden thing, to just kind of go be fighting a guy, to see Luke and go, ‘I’m gonna die,’” Beattie explained. “You know, that to me, that required forethought. That required pre-acceptance that this was going to happen.”

And so the second film would be about Obi-Wan coming “to terms with our own mortality.” Beattie was a little fuzzy on how that would have happened, saying it ight have been “somehow in a prophecy, or Qui-Gon [Liam Neeson’s Jedi master] telling him, ‘There’s going to come a moment where you’re gonna have to sacrifice yourself for the good.’” By the end of the second film, Beattie says, Obi Wan would have “accepted the idea that he’s going to die, and that he’s going to die willingly at a crucial moment, and you will know when that moment presents itself.”

Beattie didn’t discuss the third part, possibly because he was too busy working on the script for the first film when Solo came out and scotched the idea of three big screen Obi-Wan movies. (Though he says, “I like Solo, personally.”) But at the time, he says, everyone was very into this being a new film trilogy.

In the meantime, you can watch the six-episode show Beattie’s script became on Disney+. And you can wait and see if that Taika Waititi Star Wars film actually comes out this year as teased.

(Via Direct)