#PSBPopCulture: “Views From The Lab” – Oct. 2, 2017

“Views From The Lab” is a quick, daily snapshot into my views gathered from countless hours entering information into the BrandonClayScouting.com & PeachStateBasketball.com databases.

By: Brandon Clay @PSBPopCulture

iTunes Track of the Day: “Run It Up” – DAME D.O.L.L.A.

NBA All-Star Damian Lillard has become one of the premier young guards in the league. The Weber State product is the face of the Portland Trail Blazers franchise. 2017 marks the second straight summer that he’s released an album at the start of the NBA campaign. This time around, Lillard has chosen the title “CONFIRMED” and released his first single with Lil’ Wayne two Fridays ago.

My new album CONFIRMED drops this Friday on all major digital music platforms, including @spotify. It features @liltunechi, @hairweavekiller, @nickgrantmusic, @allstarbozzle, @bjthechicagokid, @versesimmonds, @em_i_see, @brookfieldduece and @dannyfromsobrante. — Why did I name the album CONFIRMED? One of the definitions of confirmed is "fixed in habit and unlikely to change." I named the album that because there's always been something said about me spending time in the studio, even though I've always shown up and produced for my team every night. I've never had issues with stardom. I'm also not new to music. I've always created music while playing at every level of basketball. But now this is no longer an experiment. This is my second album. I'm putting out respectable music yearly. I've invested in that. I'm settled in. I don't feel the need to answer questions or address concerns. This is who I am and what I do. #CONFIRMED — Inspiration behind the album cover? I wanted the cover to pay homage to some of my favorite artists. Crown: Biggie Prayer hands: PAC Gold rope and Rolex: @nas Highlighting my chest tattoo: for the art culture and community in Oakland. Shoutout to Olugbenro Ogunsemore (@olugbenro) for the 📸 work and @kampashai for the design work and 📸edit. #DameDOLLA #FrontPageMusic @frontpagehits Distribution partner: @human.re.sources

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iPhone Group Message Topic of the Day: Damian Lillard’s Sphere of Influence

With a major push from Oregon-based adidas and his ability to connect with the core NBA fans who also like music, Lillard has risen to the top of the game in a hurry. Despite his lack of postseason national exposure, he has the No. 14 most popular jersey in the league. He also has a song on the new NBA2K18 soundtrack, “Wasatch Front,” that was featured on his first album “The Letter O.”

Lifestyle Assist:

Sticking to the theme of Lillard as a star trending upwards, check his latest signature release from adidas.

Today’s Takeaway:

The shootings in Vegas reinforce how important it is to tell the people you love and care about how you feel on a daily basis. No person knows the day they’ll be taken from this earth. I love you all for the motivation and support of the vision. Let’s keep this thing headed in the right direction.

Brandon Clay serves as the publisher of PSBPopCulture.com. A self-professed entertainment, music and sports junkie, Clay has been on his game since picking up his first Nintendo and Sony Walkman in the early 90’s. Adding in a SLAM (Basketball) Magazine subscription in the late-90’s had him setup up for lifelong success. Clay is also a founding member of the “Luxury Boys Club” designed to stay on top of whatever is next in the world of PopCulture. You can follow him on Twitter @psbpopculture.

#PSBPopCulture: “Views From The Lab” – Sept. 28, 2017

“Views From The Lab” is a quick, daily snapshot into my views gathered from countless hours entering information into the BrandonClayScouting.com & PeachStateBasketball.com databases.

By: Brandon Clay @PSBPopCulture

iTunes Track of the Day: “Found A Way” – Dave East

Nas has made East his priority artist over the past 18 months putting the resources behind him to garner over a million followers on Instagram. A former college ball player, East released his second full-length mixtape on Apple Music just before the summer came to a close. Found A Way caught my attention. It isn’t a radio-friendly track but much like the majority of East’s music to date has some depth buried inside witty lines.

iPhone Group Message Topic of the Day: The Federal Investigation of Men’s College Basketball

There is a lot of information still coming in on this topic. There have been double digit arrests made in addition to legendary Louisville coach Rick Pitino being fired.

I read the 120 plus pages that the Federal Bureau released on the different charges involving college assistants, Fortune 500 corporate executives and other people in the community trying to advance their bank accounts off of the backs of fast-rising NBA prospects.

I’ll save you some time by passing on this ESPN link. It’s a concise, relatively short summation of the document.

Lifestyle Assist: Grab a Crisp Set of Luggage

As someone who travels a good amount, there’s a certain appreciation I have for people with matching luggage sets. The key isn’t to spend a lot of money but create a certain pop that can set you apart wherever you go ob the road. I love the combo that NBA All-Star Chris Paul (see below) developed with Hook and Albert as a guide on how to get it done. Taking it a step further, Asos has essentially the same backpack for $40 and Amazon has a duffle bag for $85. The black set is key as it goes with any outfit but Chris has a nice grey set available that can be built off of too.

Today’s Takeaway:

Brandon Clay serves as the publisher of PSBPopCulture.com. A self-professed entertainment, music and sports junkie, Clay has been on his game since picking up his first Nintendo and Sony Walkman in the early 90’s. Adding in a SLAM (Basketball) Magazine subscription in the late-90’s had him setup up for lifelong success. Clay is also a founding member of the “Luxury Boys Club” designed to stay on top of whatever is next in the world of PopCulture. You can follow him on Twitter @psbpopculture.

#PSBPopCulture: “Views From The Lab” – Sept. 19, 2017

“Views From The Lab” is a quick, daily snapshot into my views gathered from countless hours entering information into the BrandonClayScouting.com & PeachStateBasketball.com databases.

By: Brandon Clay @PSBPopCulture

iTunes Track of the Day: “Best Part” – Daniel Caesar feat. H.E.R.

They performed it live in Canada last week. I actually prefer the studio, album version but the audience cheers when Caesar’s part start let me know he’s a star in the making.

My iPhone Group Message Topic of the Day: Missouri Men’s Basketball

Cuonzo Martin has the Tigers poised for a big season like his last at SEC counterpart Tennessee in 2013-14. Martin led the Vols to a Sweet Sixteen appearance and 24 wins. With the nation’s most highly touted incoming freshman on the roster in Michael Porter Jr., expect similar things from this year’s Tigers. All but four of their SEC league games are on national television. That’s mighty impressive for a program who hasn’t made national noise in years.

@SEC TV Times ✅ #MIZ 🐯🏀

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Lifestyle Assist: Follow Gucci

Since getting out of prison, Gucci Mane has changed his style to match his revamped frame. Regardless of how much money you have to spend, there are plenty of options to give your wardrobe that custom tailored look. For men, Polo Ralph Lauren v-neck shirts are about the same as a combo meal at Chick-Fil-A and show off the work you’ve put in during your gym sessions. With fall and winter coming soon, check H&M / Asos for slim (and inexpensive) sweaters for looks like the one Gucci has on below.

Guwop just having one helluva year!

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Today’s Takeaway:

Life is short. If healthy, no one sits on their last day and says that life was long enough. Take advantage of today.

Brandon Clay serves as the publisher of PSBPopCulture.com. A self-professed entertainment, music and sports junkie, Clay has been on his game since picking up his first Nintendo and Sony Walkman in the early 90’s. Adding in a SLAM (Basketball) Magazine subscription in the late-90’s had him setup up for lifelong success. Clay is also a founding member of the “Luxury Boys Club” designed to stay on top of whatever is next in the world of PopCulture. You can follow him on Twitter @psbpopculture.

#iTunesSounds: Daniel Caesar – Freudian – August 29, 2017

Daniel Caesar‘s voice doesn’t have the sound of a 22-year-old dropping a debut album but that’s the case for the Canadian born singer. The album, “Freudian,” is a 10-track work consisting of some of the most complete work I’ve heard in a while. Caesar samples popular artists including Kirk Franklin‘s “Hold Me Now” on both the tail end of “Hold Me Down” into the beginning of “Neu Roses”

By: Brandon Clay @PSBPopCulture

THE BREAKDOWN:

At times, it feels that Caesar’s voice is floating over the tracks. The album caught my attention to the point where I’ve talked to Alli Lhamon, Hailey Higashi, Taya Reimer, JD Davis and Peyton Little about it in the past 24 hours.

Caesar loaded up the album with quality features from up-and-coming female artists in the game. My favorite track is “Best Part” featuring H.E.R. I actually just saw her in person two weekends ago in Seattle with Larry Rhinehart and the aforementioned Davis. The two combined to make a track is incredibly smooth and reminds me of “Spend Me Life With You” by Eric Benet and Tamia years back. This is a must add for RnB fans.

Watch the “We Find Love” Video:

Brandon Clay serves as the publisher of PSBPopCulture.com. A self-professed entertainment, music and sports junkie, Clay has been on his game since picking up his first Nintendo and Sony Walkman in the early 90’s. Adding in a SLAM (Basketball) Magazine subscription in the late-90’s had him setup up for lifelong success. Clay is also a founding member of the “Luxury Boys Club” designed to stay on top of whatever is next in the world of PopCulture. You can follow him on Twitter @psbpopculture.

#iTunesSounds: Kea – As In Music, So In Life – August 29, 2017

Normally, the #iTunesSounds section focuses on an established artist or group who has just released new music. In this piece, I turn my attention to a young man who is just scratching the surface of his musical abilities. Keagan “Kea” Stromberg is from Kentucky and is an incoming freshman at Oglethorpe University. He will be a member of the basketball team but is also starting to pursue his path down a musical journey. He released a six-song EP this month called “As In Music, So In Life.”

By: Brandon Clay @PSBPopCulture

THE BREAKDOWN:

For a new artist, the production is solid. My favorite track is “Eye.” It’s an uptempo beat with Stromberg’s voice bouncing across the melody. I like Kea’s vision musically and style. As he says on his Instagram, he is still finding his voice. Along the way, I look forward to hearing the progression.

LISTEN ON SOUNDCLOUD:

Brandon Clay serves as the publisher of PSBPopCulture.com. A self-professed entertainment, music and sports junkie, Clay has been on his game since picking up his first Nintendo and Sony Walkman in the early 90’s. Adding in a SLAM (Basketball) Magazine subscription in the late-90’s had him setup up for lifelong success. Clay is also a founding member of the “Luxury Boys Club” designed to stay on top of whatever is next in the world of PopCulture. You can follow him on Twitter @psbpopculture.

#PSBSportsChop: The Most Expensive Pickup Run in 2017? – August 16, 2017

NBA superstar Carmelo Anthony has been on one this offseason. From his late night training to sparking a trend while wearing a hoodie during his shooting workouts, Anthony has been the league’s most visible figure since the season came to a close. He might have pulled off the most expensive pickup run in recent memory bringing in Kevin Durant and LeBron James this week. Both took private jet trips costing five figures a piece for the action at the Lifetime Fitness that has served as Anthony’s workout hub this summer.

My group message was buzzing this morning about the run. After seeing a clip of Anthony get by LeBron off of the dribble drive, Donte Grant and Jermale Wilkerson both chimed in with, “Melo can still score that basketball.”

The NBA should let Anthony rock the hoodie all season. He might post all-time career high numbers.

By: Brandon Clay @PSBPopCulture

WATCH CLIPS:

Brandon Clay serves as the publisher of PSBPopCulture.com. A self-professed entertainment, music and sports junkie, Clay has been on his game since picking up his first Nintendo and Sony Walkman in the early 90’s. Adding in a SLAM (Basketball) Magazine subscription in the late-90’s had him setup up for lifelong success. Clay is also a founding member of the “Luxury Boys Club” designed to stay on top of whatever is next in the world of PopCulture. You can follow him on Twitter @psbpopculture.

#iTunesSounds: The Chainsmokers & Jhene Aiko “Wake Up Alone” – August 14, 2017

I’m a huge Jhene Aiko fan dating back to her collab with Big Sean on “I’m Gonna Be” in 2012 so Aiko coupled with The Chainsmokers is right up my alley. This one should find its’ way to the national airwaves sooner than later.

By: Brandon Clay @PSBPopCulture

LISTEN:

Brandon Clay serves as the publisher of PSBPopCulture.com. A self-professed entertainment, music and sports junkie, Clay has been on his game since picking up his first Nintendo and Sony Walkman in the early 90’s. Adding in a SLAM (Basketball) Magazine subscription in the late-90’s had him setup up for lifelong success. Clay is also a founding member of the “Luxury Boys Club” designed to stay on top of whatever is next in the world of PopCulture. You can follow him on Twitter @psbpopculture.

#FreshStyleFits: Supreme x Louis Vuitton Collaboration – August 14, 2017

Supreme and Louis Vuitton announced the launch of a collab back in January. In the meantime, the streets anticipation of the drop led to the release of arguably the hardest collection to get in recent memory. Resell prices reached as much as 10 times the retail list price based largely in part to who was wearing it on social media: 2 Chainz, DJ Khaled, Justin Bieber and Odell Beckham Jr., amongst others.

By: Brandon Clay @PSBPopCulture

Here’s a look at how people who got their hands on this are rocking it:

My 24 hours in Miami was a breathe of fresh air. I saw a kid wearing a shirt while I was there that made me think. It said: "sell drugs / rap / go to (the) NBA." J. Cole said that on his latest album. My issue is we hear about only being able to succeed in those areas from people who have made it off of rap. To me, those are the Old Rules. My goal in life is to be a living example of the New Rules that with consistent hard work that you can help others, win at life without doing one of those three things and still chase then catch all of your dreams. I do this for the kid coming behind me who has the mentality to be a Fortune 500 mastermind, the world's premier hand surgeon or perhaps a college professor. Don't let people box you in as to what you should or should not aim to become no matter your economic background, gender or race. If I can Level Up, anyone can. Strive for what you believe in, set goals and you can achieve em. {shot by @ktaylorjohnson35, assist to @palmtreejd of @parallels} —————————————— •🎩: @chancetherapper •👕 & 👖: @supreme @louisvuitton ___________________________________________

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I hear em talkin say it twice so I kno u mean it… #illest😷

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Happy Sunday

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"Iveee hadd it with these +^%**%% snakes, on this $*£€^%+ plane…" @samuelljackson

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Brandon Clay serves as the publisher of PSBPopCulture.com. A self-professed entertainment, music and sports junkie, Clay has been on his game since picking up his first Nintendo and Sony Walkman in the early 90’s. Adding in a SLAM (Basketball) Magazine subscription in the late-90’s had him setup up for lifelong success. Clay is also a founding member of the “Luxury Boys Club” designed to stay on top of whatever is next in the world of PopCulture. You can follow him on Twitter @psbpopculture.

#PSBSportsChop: How Good is Devin Booker? – July 1, 2017

Devin Booker has proven himself as the face of a struggling Phoenix Suns franchise looking to get back to being an annual contender like they were when Steve Nash and Amare Stoudamire led the way. Just finishing his NBA second season, Booker has established himself as a capable scorer even hanging a 70-point barrage late in the season against the Boston Celtics. At just 20 years old, Booker is the youngest player in NBA history to score 60 or more in a game.

By: Brandon Clay @PSBPopCulture

The Breakdown:

Coming out of Kentucky, Booker was known as a shooting specialist but had multiple question marks from draft pundits and general managers alike about his skill level to be consistent in other areas.

BrandonClayScouting.com Director of Domestic Scouting, Jonathan Hemingway said this about Booker as a high school prospect, “Booker is a silky smooth guard who projects to an impact wing next year at Kentucky. This evening, in front of his future coach John Calipari, he put up 40 points vs. Ballard HS. He did it in an array of ways by hitting the long range 3, getting to the rim to finish and tallied a number of points at the free throw line. He showed his athleticism on a tremendous tip-dunk where he had to hang in the air to control the ball & then brought the ball up to dunk it. His slender frame may be cause for worry, since he is not ready for the physicality of college ball at this moment. After a year of consistent training in a weight program, that concern will be alleviated.”

Booker’s NBA stats backup Hemingway’s claim that Booker can score the basketball with the best of them while displaying the athleticism needed to be an elite perimeter option in the league for years to come.

Brandon Clay serves as the publisher of PSBPopCulture.com. A self-professed entertainment, music and sports junkie, Clay has been on his game since picking up his first Nintendo and Sony Walkman in the early 90’s. Adding in a SLAM (Basketball) Magazine subscription in the late-90’s had him setup up for lifelong success. Clay is also a founding member of the “Luxury Boys Club” designed to stay on top of whatever is next in the world of PopCulture. You can follow him on Twitter @psbpopculture.

#iTunesSounds: 4:44 Album – Jay-Z – June 30, 2017

First of all, Jay-Z came at everyone himself included. This is his most self revealing album to date. That said, no one is exempt here. From Al Sharpton taking selfies at 70 to Eric Benet messing up his relationship with Halle Berry to Kanye West calling everyone crazy, Jay literally has a lyric for every situation on this one.

By: Brandon Clay @PSBPopCulture

The Breakdown:

As opposed to a traditional review, I am going to add quotes to this list under the song title as I come across them.

I will say that “Family Feud” is probably my favorite song on the album but with all the relatable content littered throughout, it’s hard to say that for sure.

I told Jermale Wilkerson earlier that this is more than Jordan with the Washington Wizards. I feel like Jay’s 2013 release of “Magna Carta, Holy Grail” was that. HOV is Jordan winning if he had won titles with the Wizards on this one.

Shoutout to everyone I’ve talked to about this album:

Corry Black, Ed Geth, Donte Grant, Tonishia Haliburton, A.G. Hall, Chris Hansen, Buck Jenkins, Shane Laflin, Dain Pool, Carl Reed, Kris Watkins, and John Woods…

I have a feeling this list is going to be crazy by the end of the summer.

1) “Kill Jay-Z”

“You got high on the life. You dropped out of school, you lost your principles. I know people backstabbed you, I felt that too. But that forget everybody attitude ain’t natural. You gave em 20 million without blinking, he gave you 20 minutes on stage what the heck was he thinking? What’s wrong with everyone is what you’re saying but if everyone is crazy you’re the one who is insane. Crazy how life works…”

Jay speaks out for the first time at length on a record about Kanye West and his current issues. West called HOV out during his last tour for not arranging a playdate with their daughters.

“You almost went Eric Benet, let the baddest girl in the world get away. I don’t even know what else to say. Never go Eric Benet.”

Beyonce mentioned possible infidelity on her “Lemonade” album last spring. Jay gives us a glimpse into his mindset during that time. Eric Benet’s infidelity cost him his relationship with actress Halle Berry who is considered one of the most beautiful women in the industry.

“I don’t even know what you would have done. In the Future, another dude playing football with your son. You would have lost it.”

Russell Wilson. Ciara. Future. Enough said.

2) “The Story of O.J.”

“I’m not black, I’m O.J. (pause) Okay.”

On the O.J. “Made in America” 30 for 30 ESPN documentary series, the narrative says that at the height of his football career O.J. Simpson did not want to be viewed as a black man but as a man. With all of the racial dialogues that exist on a daily basis, Jay’s simple sarcastic response of okay lets us know that in no way does he agree with the possibility of this occurring for any black male regardless of status, finances or popularity.

“I’m trying to give you a million dollars worth of game for $9.99. Y’all out here still taking (record label) advances. Me and my crew out here taking real chances. You still on (Insta)Gram holding money to your ear. There’s a real disconnect. We don’t call that money over here.”

Exhibit A: Meek Mill

3) “Smile”

“Legal in Colorado, yet we deny black entrepreneurs free enterprise. That’s why it’s a Black Market. That’s why it’s call a trap. That’s why it’s called the project cause it’s exactly that. All these people is gonna kill me cause the more I reveal is the more they’re afraid of the real me. Welcome Back Carter. Smile.”

Jay manages to tie in a reference to marijuana being legal in Colorado but illegal for sale to his modern day position as a high level executive in multiple genres of line. The Welcome Back Carter is a mention to the 1970’s television show “Welcome Back, Kotter.”

Brandon Clay serves as the publisher of PSBPopCulture.com. A self-professed entertainment, music and sports junkie, Clay has been on his game since picking up his first Nintendo and Sony Walkman in the early 90’s. Adding in a SLAM (Basketball) Magazine subscription in the late-90’s had him setup up for lifelong success. Clay is also a founding member of the “Luxury Boys Club” designed to stay on top of whatever is next in the world of PopCulture. You can follow him on Twitter @psbpopculture.