This summer was filled with conquerors who grabbed life by the horns. Check to see who we nominated as our season champs underneath the jump.
What defines our winner you ask? Well now, our individual is nominated for a variety of reasons: social impact, self improvement, outreach, and current level of social status in which this counts as merit points [smiley face]. All these things must be done with a touch of ultimate swag.
Ever since she made the decision to leave behind her full ride scholarship as a junior at George Washington University to focus on her then side-project, Shop Jeen, the 23 year old CEO’s life has not been the same. At the time, she was rapidly growing in internet fame as she gained 400,000 Instagram followers for her e-market of pop culture inspired accessories, shoes, and clothing and couldn’t keep up with her influx of orders on top of classes as well as working in retail part time. This is when the 20 year old made the bold decision to drop out of school to return back to New York, where she and creative director Amelia Muqbel would lead a team of interns into running one of the most popular e-markets on the internet.
Three years later, Erin has received accolades from NY Magazine, The Fader, and MTV News being hailed “Queen Bee of the Internet,” by MTV News. And its true, Shop Jeen’s entire theme is based around nostalgic 90s and early 2000s pop culture references, down to the pixelated text and all over cartoon face prints and features streetwear brands such as HUF and more. This year she was invited to the VMAs, where she proceeded to document the event in her own special way via hilarious posts, memes, and videos on her Instagram feed.
We are wishing her continuing success, while she unloads her new temporary office space in LA as she searches for a more permanent one, as well as for a new west coast team of employees. To say that Erin is dominating the online shopping scene would be an understatement. She is the scene, and she knows it, her brand embodies it, and people around the country are starting to take notice.
He’s living his life like a total boss. Retire from work, put a South African black guy in the Daily Show hot seat, and become a WWE superstar? What? [Stone Cold Steve Austin voice].
The Daily Show retirement was quite shocking because it’s pretty unimaginable to see someone else take his spot. Electing Trevor Noah as the man to hold down the fort takes Stewart’s satire credibility to whole other level. Noah is an outsider who will be analyzing our country with a new light bringing forth his cultural differences and experiences while growing up. His comedy stand ups are also worth checking out to get familiar with his style. Plus, with Stewart on the loose the world is begging for him to moderate the presidential campaign. With Donald Trump running, it’ll be a campaign of the galaxy.
To enjoy his summer, Jon Stewart caps it off by becoming the host of Summer Slam after getting his revenge against the heavy-weight champion, Seth Rollins. Other than living his childhood dream who knows the real reason why he entered the ring? With all the fun he’s been having, he still remains aware of our society.
Straight Outta Compton:
Just when summer is starting to wind down, movie theaters are hit with NWA’s musical biopic, that exceeded every expectation set against it. In its first weekend it more than doubled its budget with $60.2 million (tops for a R-Rated Film in August). Now the highest grossing music biopic.
It couldn’t have dropped at a better time, with the added racial tension from the last two years. Centered around the origins of “the most dangerous rap group in the world”, the film still touched on social issues of police brutality, battling socioeconomic issues, and the quest for free speech not only in Hip-Hop but in America. 25 years later those same issues still remain prevalent in our society.
From the music standpoint, we even got an album from Dr. Dre even if it wasn’t the mythical Detox album. If I wasn’t on the edge of my seat fixated on the plotline, then I was bobbing my head to the great movie soundtrack that featured classic tracks from Roy Ayers, NWA, and a few cameos from Snoop and Tupac. By the time I left the movie theaters, there were already rumors circulating of a Straight Outta Compton sequel, Dogg Pound 4 Life.
Socially: I’m sure everyone saw the “Straight Outta ______” meme/ viral campaign flooding various social sites like Instagram and Twitter, prompting users to promote where they were from. Not only was this a promotional success, the internet also gifted us with some comedic gems. #ByeFelicia!
It’s been a year of quality over quantity for Lil B in which he’s simmered down on the mixtape releases and focused on polishing his legacy as the Almighty Based God. Amongst all incredible feats of notable individuals, he’s nominated as master chef of the summer.
The last time he made quite an appearance virally and publicly was during the time of the “Hoop Life” mixtape. Unlike his other well known diss tracks (T-Shirt & Buddens is my shit you can catch me boxing to that jam), “Fuck Kevin Durant” was a direct shot at someone in a different league.
I shamelessly bumped the track like an anthem while pre-gaming before heading out to party. This marked the beginning of the infamous Based God Curse. If he could make this track hot then it doesn’t matter what he does people will definitely hop on the bandwagon. Despite being underground the world remains in his home court.
The ESPN appearance on Sports Nation puts the Based God character in light and also adds legitimacy to his outlandish characteristics. To list some of them, he’s known for challenging social status in society and approaches them with a “no fucks given” attitude. Witnessing him explain the curse and letting the world know which NBA player is cursed or who isn’t was amazing to watch. Simply because he defined on his own character and was invited to share it on national TV. James Harden’s tragic loss against the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals was just perfect timing. Even Iman Shumpert had to show some respect. Not legit enough for you? To prove that him challenging social status worked, Brandon Armstrong is also following suit impersonating every NBA player and he made his own appearance on Sports Nation, weeks after Lil B’s show, clowning Javale McGee. The Based God may have added the curse to the large list of superstitious events in sports. And to rub it in even more, the Bay Area (his hometown) snags an NBA Championship for the first time in 40 years.
On the flip side of Lil B, Brandon McCartney, appears on CNN discussing his political views and favoring Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton. His opinion on this matter sort of touched a very popular subject because let’s be real here, Hillary Clinton seems to be the #1
favorite candidate at the moment. You gotta give him credit where it’s due here. Especially since the last time he made a news appearance was when he tried out for the Golden State D-League team. He deserves respect because he brought the attention of the youth to watch and listen to his views on politics and ultimately Black Violence. It’s great to see a young leader in pop culture to do that.
I did mention the decline in mixtape releases. He’s only released ONE. That mixtape features Chance the Rapper and a free verse from Noname Gypsy. Does this top his discography? No, not at all. This time it was a surprise. He even got Chance out of his element a lil bit. Lil B’s hot streak shows no signs of slowing down. Who knows where he’ll appear next?
Honorable Mentions: Zoey Kravitz, A$ap Mob, New Jersey, Vince Staples, Nas, Bernie Sanders, Ian Connor, Fetty Wap, Future