Google Celebrates the 44th Anniversary of Hip-Hop in THE Dopest Way

Hip hop turned 44 today and Google gave me beats…and life.

Today’s Google Doodle marks the 44th anniversary of the Bronx party credited as the birthplace of hip-hop. The artwork is swagged out with by Def Jam founding creative director Cey Adams, but the fun starts when you click through to the interactive turntable game: Pull from an animated record crate stocked with classic sample material by artists like the Isley Brothers and the Incredible Bongo Band, then match it up with a Google-created beat. Former Yo! MTV Raps host and hip-hop legend, Fab 5 Freddy narrates, prompting users to unlock achievements like “scratch a record.”

The complexity level is kid-friendly, but it’s more than enough fun for adults. Don’t miss the records’ info buttons, which will tell you the BPM and the most famous hip-hop songs to have used the sample. Google’s blog also has an interview with Adams, Fab, and the game design team—read that here and check out one of my faves below.

 

P&G’s, “The Talk”

Proctor & Gamble’s newest commercial shows black mothers sharing truths about bias and racial stereotypes likely to be encountered while growing up in America.

The ad is causing quite a stir. I won’t say anything further, just take a look:


 

Michelle Obama Teams Up With Spotify

Michelle Obama continues to show her love and support for the development of the youth in our country by attending the recent, Beating The Odds Summit. Partnering up with executives from Spotify, including Troy Carter, VP of Creator Services, and Danielle Lee, VP of Partner Solutions, Mrs. Obama gave an important address to the students of Washington, D.C.’s Dunbar High School.

Topics such as overcoming obstacles and learned lessons were shared by the powerful individuals to their student counterparts. 35 high school students spent a day long trip with the former First Lady as she inspired the college-bound students to consider majors or careers in the tech industry. College transition workshops, a panel where Spotify execs discussed the important role music plays, as well as a performance by R&B artist Kevin Ross all happened. The students definitely won the day by having the former First Lady invest in their future.

I don’t know about you, but I miss Michelle.

MO

 

 

You Can Paint Like A Legend

You don’t have to be an art expert to be familiar with Norwegian Expressionist artist Edvard Munch’s masterpiece, “The Scream.” If you aren’t familiar, here’s a refresher:

The Scream by Edvard Munch, 1893

Munch is making news that turns the focus away from big-ticket sales and thrilling heists and back to the nuts-and-bolts of his artistic process. Munch Museet, the Oslo-based museum responsible for safeguarding the artist’s archive, has teamed up with Adobe, the mega-software company behind Photoshop, to bring Munch’s paint brushes back to life.


In an effort to promote one artist’s legacy—and, of course, to launch a saleable product—they retrieved seven of Munch’s brushes from the depths of climatized storage and transformed them into digital tools.


When Munch died in 1944 at the age of 80, he left around 1,150 paintings, 17,800 prints, 4,500 watercolors, 13 sculptures, a stash of drawings, and the contents of his Norwegian studio to the city of Oslo. This massive trove included several of Munch’s masterpieces, as well as the paints and brushes he used to make them.


While Munch’s canvases are regularly on view in museums around the world, his materials rarely see the light of day, due to their inherent fragility. Photo documentation of the tools isn’t readily available to the public, either. Up until now, the only visual evidence of Munch’s process online has existed in several grainy, black-and-white photos of his studio.


Starting last year, Adobe and the Munch Museum set out to give Photoshop and Sketch users a first-hand understanding of the artist’s process. Their approach was unorthodox and unprecedented: Transform Munch’s age-old brushes into digital mark-making tools. When taken up by Photoshop- and Sketch-savvy millennials, the brushes would have the ability to imitate the artist’s strokes.


The custom brushes have been licensed by Adobe and used by graphic designers, illustrators, and artists the world over. Wired reported that Webster made over $100,000 in 2013 alone selling his virtual brush packs.


brushes.jpg


These custom brushes double as a marketing campaign for both Adobe and the Munch Museet. But they also connect a vital art-historical practice to contemporary artmaking in the digital age. the future of art.


This, my friends, is the future of art.

Beyoncé Teams Up With UNICEF

Beyoncé is giving back in a big way to help better the lives of African children.

 

The singer recently announced that she has teamed up with global humanitarian organization UNICEF to launch BEYGOOD4BURUNDI, an initiative to help supply water to kids in need in the landlocked East African country.

 

As part of the multi-year partnership, Bey plans to support programs that aim to improve the quality of and access to water in some of the hardest-to-reach areas of a country, where nearly half of the population struggles to find a supply of safe water. This deeply affects children, who not only become more susceptible to diseases because of a lack of water but are also forced to skip school in order to walk long distances in search of it.

“Access to water is a fundamental right,” Beyoncé said in a statement. “When you give children clean and safe water, you don’t just give them life, you give them health, an education, and a brighter future. I am committed to helping drive lasting solutions to the water crisis in Burundi.”

 

The singer is leading this effort on behalf of her philanthropy-focused brand BeyGOODwhich she started in 2013 as a way to give back and pay it forward. Now, in teaming up with UNICEF, she plans to help support the construction of new, easy-to-use wells and to improve the water and sanitation facilities in schools in four priority regions across the country.

 

“Addressing the global water crisis is one of the defining challenges of our time, and the children of Burundi are among the most vulnerable,” Caryl M. Stern, President and CEO of UNICEF USA, said in a statement. “This unique partnership combines UNICEF’s decades of expertise in providing clean water to children in Burundi and around the world with the power and influence of the entertainment world to bring about social change.”

Will Tech Take Hollywood?

Technology is giving Hollywood a run for its money.

It’s happening fast. Recently:

  • Apple hired away from Sony Pictures Television a pair of executives to oversee its entertainment efforts;
  • Facebook made its first-ever long-form original-series orders;
  • Vice received a $450 million infusion from private-equity firm TPG to fuel its content efforts;
  • Musical.ly launched its first set of short-form original series from NBCUniversal and Viacom;
  • Snapchat added 10 more such series via a $100 million deal with Time Warner.

What could this all mean? Who knows. What’s certain is that media executives had better get up to speed quick, fast and in a hurry if they don’t want to be deemed the biggest losers.

Read more here.

tech-envy1

This Art Exhibition Is Raising Money for Women to Run for Office

The art exhibition “She Inspires,” which opened May 2 at the Untitled Space in New York, showcases artwork inspired by women who left their mark on history. The massive collection includes portraits of historical figures like Egyptian queen Nefertiti, Nina Simone, and Queen Elizabeth II, and contemporary icons including Michelle Obama and Alicia Keys. Ten percent of the show’s proceeds will go to She Should Run, an organization that encourages women to run for office.

Nineteen paintings from the show appear in the exhibit and each image is noted with the women who inspired the piece. Artist Rebecca Leveille explained choosing Michelle Obama for her portrait State of Grace: “What she represents in all her actions, in her very identity, the best things about what a powerful woman is and what they can do with the grace of their spirit — she inspires,” she said. Click the image below to preview the exhibit.

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IBM Watson is an Art Instructor…and I Love It

Almost three-quarters of Brazilians have never been inside a museum, according to a 2010 study from the Brazilian Institute of Economic Research. There are probably many reasons for this, but among them is the feeling that art can seem inaccessible unless you’ve studied it.

For the launch of IBM Watson in Brazil, Ogilvy Brazil created an interactive guide that lets people have conversations with work housed at the Pinacoteca de São Paulo Museum. “The Voice of Art” replaces pre-recorded audio guides with a Watson-powered program that gleans data from books, old newspapers, recent articles, biographies, interviews and the internet.

It took IBM six months to teach Watson how to make sense of all that content. Hosted on cloud platform IBM Bluemix, its AI capabilities were put to work answering spontaneous questions about art by renowned Brazilian creators like Cândido Portinari, Tarsila do Amaral and José Ferraz de Almeida Júnior.

Witness the magic below:

I recently got to experience this technology hands on. IBM is sponsoring “Art with Watson,” a special exhibit at the Cadillac House gallery, 330 Hudson Street, in New York City’s SOHO through 4.7.

The show includes portraits of pioneers of science, society, business and design — including Marie Curie, Nikola Tesla, Charles Darwin, Eleanor Roosevelt, Josephine Baker, Thomas J. Watson and Paul Rand — all created by modern artists with the help of IBM Watson technology. Watson provided the artists with unusual insights into each subject – from Nikola Tesla’s patents and journals, to Marie Curie’s correspondence with her children.

The exhibit also features a “cognitive photobooth” that puts Watson in the hands of individual attendees. Based on responses to a series of questions, Watson creates a personal portrait with the same APIs used to create the gallery portraits. Check mine out below and learn more about Art with Watson here.

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Beyoncé is Helping Young Women Get in Formation

By way of her  website, Queen B has announced she is awarding four college students with scholarships under her recently launched “Formation Scholars” program. In celebration of the one-year anniversary of her award-winning album Lemonade, this scholarship was formed to “encourage and support young women who are unafraid to think outside the box and are bold, creative, conscious and confident.”

The college and universities selected for participation are Berklee College of Music, Howard University, Parson School of Design and Spelman College.

The scholarship will be awarded to one female student, incoming, current or graduate, pursuing studies in creative arts, music, literature, or African-American studies during the 2017-2018 academic year.

lemonade.jpg

Speaking of Lemonade, It’s been a little more than a year since B’s album by the same name had its surprise release on April 23, 2016, following an HBO special that featured videos for every track on the record. The album was actually the world’s best selling in 2016. To celebrate, the Queen has assembled “The How to Make Lemonade Box Set,” described as a “momentous tome and comprehensive look” at her “’Lemonade’ journey.”

Selling for $299.99 in a limited edition of 2,500 copies, the set will offer “unprecedented insight” into the making of the album, with a numbered, collector’s, 600-page coffee table book, a first pressing of the double-vinyl LP, and assorted audio and visual album downloads.  The vinyl discs come in a lemon color, of course.

The Return of TRL

Get your pink, crystal-studded Razr phone out and text a friend: TRL is coming back.

The show originally ran from 1998 to 2008, and it was an MTV masterpiece. As well showcasing the 10 most requested music videos of the day, TRL featured a plethora of celebrity guest stars and aired from the network’s studio in Times Square. So news that TRL is coming back to MTV is a major cause for celebration.

According to Adweek, the show will be returning in June, rebranded as MTV Live (or at least that’s the tentative title). The resurrection is the brainchild of MTV’s newest president, Chris McCarthy, who told Adweek, “That ability to be live, in culture — not responding to it but driving it — is where we belong.” His passion for the magic of TRL is something ’90s kids will be able to relate to, especially if it means seeing all of our favorite stars on MTV on a daily basis, live from Manhattan.

Apparently, MTV’s Times Square studio space has also been renovated, so it is now double the size and could broadcast as much as “three or four hours live from the studio each day.”

As an MTV alum, this gives me all the feels. I’ll be watching!

TRL

Destiny’s Child with Carson Daley at TRL