ALL BLOGS · SPORT & FITNESS

Workout Logs 6/8/18 – 6/13/18

gym image

 

 

6/8/18

Home stretch and foam roller

Gym 10:20 PM to 11:30 PM

  • Total body (body weight focused)
  • H.I.I.T. (5 min sets) at beginning, in between strength training sets, and at the end of workout on treadmill, cycle, and battle ropes (20 min total)
  • foam roll and stretch to end workout

6/10/18

**Tried out and signed up to new gym with many added capabilities and equipment.

Gym 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM

  • Crossfit box workout including kettlebells and TRX (total body)
  • Interval cardio before, between, after strength training including rowing, cycling, and treadmill (25 mins total/5 min sets each)

Home stretch and foam roll

6/12/18

Outdoor basketball drills and shoot around (30 mins in the morning at around 10 AM)

6/13/18

New Gym (12:30 PM to 2:20 PM)

Home stretch and warmup

  • H.I.I.T. cardio rowing (5 min sets) beginning, in between, and at end of strength training sets.
  • Total body strength training focused on legs with heavy weights.
  • Basketball drills and shoot around (indoor gym) for 30 mins after workout

 

ALL BLOGS · MUSIC

The Revelations and Relevance of “Ryan”- Impressions of “Book of Ryan ” an album by Royce Da 5’9”

The Book of Ryan cover

 

Hot off the heals of his second, classic collaboration with the legendary producer DJ Premier with Prhyme 2, Royce stuns us with this solo effort out of nowhere.

In what may be the most mainstream attempt on the album in some ways, and a tag team effort with his Bad Meets Evil partner and fellow Rock City brethren, Eminem, “Caterpillar” is a strange, extended metaphor for the current state of rap from the perspective of these two older rap legends.  Although Royce and Em spend the song talking about how they are the caterpillars and are destroying these butterflies, the better analogy here is how Royce as an artist has morphed into something new and great with the “Book of Ryan”.

Sobriety and self realization has spelled the artistic demise of many artists in the eyes of fans, especially in artistic genres associated with debauchery and hedonism like the gangster rap era that Royce came up in.  Take that away from the artist and many times you are left with an empty soul that has either has lost their edge artistically or is still attempting to sell a fake image of what they use to be.  Royce has gone way past these possible outcomes with this work.  This album shows how brutal honesty, thought , and introspective can work artistically.  How he pulls it off in a music genre that epitomizes the antithesis of this is nothing short of remarkable.  From the Intro to “Woke”, to songs like “Godspeed”, you witness a man who has overcome the pain and suffering of an addiction and life’s tribulations and has recovered and matured and sees a light at the end of the tunnel.  He is gleaming with self assurance and confidence but without cocky bravado and ego, and he constantly reminds us of the ghosts and pain of his past without ever indulging and surrendering in self pity.  He sobered up and grew up and created a masterpiece here.

“Book of Ryan” has all the hallmarks of what makes a classic hip hop album or better yet a great album in any genre.  The guest appearances are minimal which further solidifies the power of this solo effort. When he does have them on, he makes them count and they are relevant choices, like with J Cole on “Boblo Boat” or the NY all star line up on “Summer on Lock”.  Just when you think you are witnessing a personal memoir as an album,  with the story telling on songs like “Outside” and “Strong Friend”,  Royce the emcee bites down on his mouthpiece and delivers vintage performances like his verse on the aforementioned “Summer on Lock” and the song “Legendary”. Like a lot of hip hop classics you have skits and the Royce’s skits are powerful and well done and all relevant to the theme of the album.  Also his interjection of humor goes a long way and sounds totally natural whether on skit or within song verse.  The choice of production, song length, and structure all are fitting to the overall theme and are strong but play a secondary role to his powerful lyrics and stories.  His versatility as a musician is showcased throughout this album as well, as he changes up his cadence, delivery, tone, and you even get to hear him sing certain passages and quite well I might add!  The album’s title and reference to “Ryan” talks a lot about seeing the world through the eyes of his dad and his relationship with his dad, and is a brilliant cryptic take on his own life, sobriety, and achieving manhood. Overall, despite the absurd prolific output here (count it, 21 tracks) everything is seamless and comes off as a well crafted, well thought out, and cohesive from beginning to end.  It never manages to lose the attention of the listener and there is a dense work with much to unpack, so it bears repeated listening, yet manages to never get old or fatiguing after multiple listens.

Modern Rap can learn a lot from this work.  The articulation of self and feelings that Royce manages to convey, so unabashed and unapologetically is refreshing and you just don’t see it these days, especially in this kind of music.  His surrendering of ego and his honesty about his battles with addiction are so relevant in the modern space of human existence.  He tackles the issues at the forefront of modern life and has made a profound statement that all people from all walks of life can relate to.  His organic choice of music and lyrics combine synergistically and turn this to a very sophisticated piece of art that any one can enjoy and study for a long time.  It is a modern manifestation of hip hop evolved that is capable of changing the landscape of what this music is, can be, and should be.

 

 

ALL BLOGS · SPORT & FITNESS

Workout Logs: 5/1/18-5/6/18

kettlebell pics

 

5/1/18- Gym (10: 20 PM to 11:25 PM)

  • Home warm up stretching and inversion table
  • Total body strength training ( compound/body weight focused with heavy dumbell sets)
  • H.I.I.T  cardio sets (5 min) before and after workout and in between strength training sets

5/3/18- Gym (10 :30 PM to 11:30 PM)

  • Home warmup (foam roller)
  • Total body strength training (compound, heavier weights, and stretching)
  • H.I.I.T  cardio sets (5 min) before and after workout and in between strength training sets

5/5/18- Home active recovery (foam roller and stretching)

5/6/18- 30 min outdoor basketball drilling and shoot around

ALL BLOGS · MUSIC

Impressions: “Dirty Computer” album by Janelle Monae

dirty computer cover

 

Janelle Monae has quickly risen to my favorite “diva” among her contemporaries, however she is much more than that.  In only her third album she has really peaked as an artist and her ever growing and critically praised  Hollywood acting career further prove that she is a “true tour de force” and can do it all.  She reminds me of a futuristic Lauren Hill if you will.  As a matter of fact when she says she is from the future I believe it.  The scope of her talent and depth of her art whether singing, dancing, or acting seem extra terrestrial, otherworldly, and hard to define and categorize when considered in the context of her fellow modern entertainment peers.  As a matter of fact her recent admission of being “pan sexual” sums it up best and truly personifies thos multi-faceted being from another time and place, that we call Janelle Monae.

Just like her first two albums, the production and structure is cohesive, entertaining, and captures her wide gambit of talents from beginning to end.  Actually this third effort is the best one yet and I think she pulls this off by the going in a confident and explicit direction with tracks like “Screwed” and “Pynk”.  The opening and title track “Dirty Computer” produced by the legendary Brian Wilson, lays a brilliant foundation for what is to come on the album.  Not only does the analogy of her being a virus laden computer afflicted with the filth and dirt of cyber sin brilliantly sum up the modern onslaught of information we deal with today, it also sets the tone for the aforementioned more explicit version of Monae that we get to witness.  Each track is a show case of this women’s incredible array of artistic skill such as “Django Jane” in which she brilliantly displays her vocal prowess as an MC and with one track easily eclipses the efforts of fellow female MCs like Cardi B and Niki Minaj, not to mention a whole generation of modern male Soundcloud, dare I say “MCs”, or “rappers”.  Her choice of production and ability to capture the producers signature sounds like on “I Got the Juice” with Pharrell cannot be understated and never seem contrived or derivative of that producer.  Her work with her mentor, the late, great Purple one continues, the long legacy of beautiful, talented divas that he was able to discover and groom, and as a matter of fact she establishes her position as the best among them.

 

ALL BLOGS · BOOKS & FILM

Currently Reading…

own the day cover

 

Own the Day Own Your Life – by Onnit founder Aubrey Marcus

This is a  profound and easy to read book about  optimizing a single day from the morning when you wake up to evening when you go to sleep.  In the vast world of self help and improvement literature, this one stands out for it’s easy to follow guidelines, easy to understand concepts, and both it’s humor and very relevant modern references.

ALL BLOGS · SPORT & FITNESS

Workout Logs 4/21/18 – 4/27/18

 

gym image

 

I decided to keep this in the very brief, multi days format from last time.

4/21/18 :

  • 5 on 5 outdoor Full court basketball (2.5 hours total)

4/22/18 :

  • Yard work (4 hours total)

4/24/18 :

  • Home warmup (inversion, stretch, lacrosse ball therapy)
  • Gym (body weight and hi rep total body focus with interval cardio between each 2 strength training sets) 1.5 hours total

4/26/18:

  • Home warmup (inversion, stretch, lacrosse ball therapy)
  • Gym (heavier weight compound lower body excercise focus with interval cardio between each two strength training sets) 1.25 hours total
ALL BLOGS · SPORT & FITNESS

Workouts 4/14/18 – 4/19/18

kettlebell pics

 

**Since I was unable to record the exact details of my workouts during this past week, I thought I would try something new and just simplify things by recording a very brief summary of my workouts during this time.

  • 4/14/18 – Full Court Basketball Outdoors , 5 on 5 (around 2.5 hours total)
  • 4/15/18- 3 mile green way hike around lake with family
  • 4/17/18- Gym (strength straining- lower weight and body weight/higher rep focus with interval cardio at beginning, middle, and end)
  • 4/18/18- Active recovery (very light and including foam roller)
  • 4/19/18- Gym (heavier weight lower body focus and TRX full body, and also interval cardio at beginning and end)