J2: Under Armor Micro G Blur Review

Test Subject: Micro G Blur

"Sneakerhead" was sort of the term for who I am to some. But I realized, I'm no sneakerhead, I'm a Nikehead. I really don't wear anything other than Nike. It's not that I don't like wearing other brands, but I'm just a HUGE fan of Nike Inc and everything that revolves around it.

But once in awhile, I'll step outside of the orange box and try something totally different. This week, as promised, I would wear a different brand of footwear, should it go on sale at my local store. For the one's that have been listening to the podcast, I decided to succumb to the ever expanding footwear society and purchase a newcomer into the basketball world - Under Armor.

Under Armor has been world renown for their products in all-purpose cross training, thermal fitted work out gear and running apparel. It's very risky for any new brand to step into the basketball market when you have companies like Nike, Adidas and Reebok. That being said, it would be interesting to see how the Micro G stacks up against the top performers of the hardwood. Will under UA take step further up the sporting goods pedestal? Or will they fall short on certain aspects for a well built basketball shoe?

Thanks to a local hook up at Sport Chek on the Friends & Family Sale, I was able to cop a pair of my current test subject, the Micro G Blur, in gray/white, for a very fair price of $55. My first test wearing was a fairly positive one. Here is my official review of the Mirco G Blur.

For one, the shoe looks great overall. Not something I'd wear on the daily, but it looks great on the basketball court. The colorways need to get back to simplicity, some were too busy for me, but the gray/white ones looked great.

Stepping into the shoe initially was a little narrow, but wearable and didn't give me any problems during my test run. The height from the floor, the height of the upper and overall fit was similar to the Jordan 13. The lacing system was similar as well, but my only beef aesthetically was the flat laces. When running with a narrow sneaker with an inner lacing system, use round laces. Not only did I catch them untied in some occasions, but they just looked ugly with a lacing system like that.

Perforated toe-box

Ventilated upper with UA's Heat Gear and the UGLY but effective lacing system.

Breathability was a major issue. The shoe looks like it breaths really well . The upper is ventilated with small holes, but there is a layer of fabric under that area which, for me, didn't allow the shoe to breath. The Micro G Blur is also equipped with Heat Gear, UA's Dri-Fit type material to keep your skin cool. For me, the ventilation and Heat Gear did very little. I felt hot inside the shoe and my feet ended becoming a little sweaty. Although, it didn't breathe it didn't cause any discomfort. But it didn't do what it claimed to be doing.

The sock liner is also thin. It reduces the lockdown fit that many slashing guards might be looking for. The molded collar is a nice touch, but the toe box and inner sock liner could use some improving.


Ankle Support
The ankle support, I found was a little better than the Jordan 13. Albeit the Jordan 13 is a 12-13 year old shoe, it still remains as one of my favorites for ball wear as far as Jordans go. The heel cup and TPU support on the Blur were solid. This allowed the upper heel counter of the shoe (right above the achilles tendon) to fall low for more maneuverability. Overall, I didn't have major issues with ankle support, but the shoe could be wider for more stability.


 Low cut upper heel counter

TPU heel counter

This is where the shoe falls short. The phylon midsole is great, but the outsole doesn't do so well in this department. It's narrow at the arch of foot, which doesn't respond well in latteral movements. And it would have improved much more with herringbone traction. It didn't grip as well as I would have thought, but it wasn't shitty either.


Midfoot was a little too thin for me

Traction comparison: Air Jordan 13 (L), Micro G Blur (R)

I'm not sure if the Mirco G technology requires significant break-in time, but the cushioning was very stiff. Parts of the shoe in the heel and forefoot provided some good impact cushioning, it's hard to say if the cushion was good or bad, because honestly, I don't know what Micro G does. If it's strictly for explosiveness or impact stability, it does a good job. But if the shoe is supposed to respond like Zoom Air does, it's not as good. Micro G does however, provide a nice court feel and is also very light weight, with the shoe weighing only 13.8 ounces.

I didn't feel a solid response from the Micro G as I would have liked. And it also appears to be lacking a midfoot shank at the arch of the foot. It could be inside the midsole, but I won't know anything about the cushioning until I dissect the shoe and see what's inside. This may be my first subject for an "Unlaced Autopsy".


I enjoyed wearing these, to be honest. Other than small traction and transition issues, it's nice to say UA came in with a solid effort to bring us a shoe for the hardwood for the first time and come out a success. Again, the shoe was very similar to the Jordan 13s, with the usual pros and cons compared to MJ's '98 signature. If you're a forward in the post, spot up shooter or clutch 3-pointer, these babies are mighty fine. If you're a picky guard with a cut and slash game, I wouldn't recommend these. But overall, for a first timer in the basketball market, Under Armor can actually be a solid contender at a fair budget. The Micro G Blur provides a solid performance at a retail price of $99 CDN.


Similar looks and feel
Air Jordan 13 (L), Micro G Blur (R)

Unlaced: Episode 5 - Thursday, March 24, 2011

What's good people! Unlaced is back with another episode. This week we discuss what's on the feet of the Fab 5, non-Nike sneakers, Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino, the NBA's MVP candidates, SLAM's Top 500 NBA players list and another new segment, "This or That?". Hope you've been listening. Thanks for your support. One.

Unlaced - Episode 5

This podcast contains language some listeners might find offensive.
Discretion is advised.

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J2: The Air Jordan 2011 Review

I choo-choo-s you!

The Air Jordan 2011 was probably the most anticipated sneaker in the Jordan line since the XX3. I've made a preview post about the 2011 and since then, up until release, have been waiting to lace them up and try them out. Finally, after much procrastinating, here is my take on the Air Jordan 2011.

For starters, the 2011 lives up to the hype straight out of the box as far as first impression goes. The box, like always, since the XVII, has always been a stretch from the regular shoe boxes. Pros: looks great and makes it unique; Cons: it fucks up your box stacking in storage, hahaha. The box is a simple pop open case with a divider inside, equipped with a cleaning towel, information cards and of course, the interchangeable insoles.

My All-Star pair, with instructions, towel and insole set

I played ball a couple times since the release and had to opportunity to try these out using both the Quick insole (Zoom Air) and the Explosive Insole (Encapsulated Air). Upon lacing them up, I noticed the amount of foot room inside the shoe. I'm glad to find out that this shoe is ankle brace friendly.

Game worn

Again, very ankle brace friendly with plenty of room inside. The lacing system actually wraps around the sock liner and locks down the inner booty, rather than the outer portion of the sneaker. This, not only provides a locked down fit, but prevents any necessary lateral foot movement inside the shoe.

One thing I did notice, is the amount of discomfort when wearing thin low cut socks. Which probably shouldn't be used here. Since the insole is loose and is able to come out, my heel and arch began to chafe when playing for long periods of time. I used thick crew socks for the second wearing to alleviate the discomfort. I also like how the shoe breathes, it's very well ventilated front and back and my feet don't sweat as much.


Ankle Support
Tinker, the designer of the Huarache, used a similar approach to the support for the Air Jordan 2011. The shoe incorporates a thin, breathable upper, wrapped around an inner booty/sock liner. I could have used a little more ankle support for this one, maybe a molded collar or at least a thicker or higher heel cup.

I also noticed the shoe has a low center of gravity to compensate for the minimal ankle support. The top portion of the upper is at its lightest, and the base of the shoe is slightly heavier, so it somewhat makes the shoe more stable. It was sufficient, but takes away my confidence when transitioning in lateral movement. It was great for spot up shooting.


For me, the traction was similar to the Kobe IV or the 2010 Air Jordan. That being said, it was excellent. It stuck to the floor with very limited slip. Although the lacing system provides a locked down fit, I did experience some minor foot movement inside when transitioning in lateral movement due to the nature of the shoe allowing more room inside than normal.


Initially I felt absolutely no difference in the cushioning. But upon breaking in both of the cushioning systems, the differences become more apparent. Both became softer and softer and I began to feel the differences in both insoles.

The Air became a softer, pillowy ride. It gave me that impact cushioning I want from something with air. Because the full length encapsulated air bed isn't max air, it required very little break in time, and was sufficient for my 5'7" frame, although, I'm a little heavier than most my height, it felt great for my feet. It felt very similar to a 2001 Retro XI. I actually like these better than the Zoom, and I'm a big Zoom enthusiast. And until my knee heels, I'll be spot up shooting until the cows come home.

The Zoom was very responsive. Because the Zoom was in the forefoot and heel and NOT full length, foot transition was better for my feet hopping from heel to toe on the launch. I liked the responsiveness of the Zoom  in this shoe. It felt similar to the Kobe IV or the Zoom BB low. I didn't experience the full extent of the Zoom in cuts and drives due to my injury, but I was able to feel the feedback on my toe-offs.


Trying out 2 completely different cushioning systems for exact same shoe is a first for me. And it was nice isolating the cushioning for review since that's really the only variable in a system like this. Trying out both and finding the differences becomes more apparent than trying out something like the Lebron 7 and the Lebron 7 PS.

I was happy with the traction. If fact, it worked too well. While it sticks to the hardwood, my foot moved around slightly inside. Provided the snug fit in the sock liner, the shoe itself had lots of room, which allows for easy breathing and ankle brace entry without the discomfort, BUT, your foot moves around in it slightly. I guess I could do a half size smaller in the 2011 for next time (maybe in white/red or Year of the Rabbits?).

This shoe is great overall and fit it for the all around player. Depending on your style of game, whether it be a spot up shooter, high post, elbow or slashing guard, the 2011 can accommodate with 2 different rides. Forget it if you're a big man looking for high impact cushioning in the low post  or if your ankle is prone to rolling and are in need of a tad bit more stability- the 2011 may be lacking in the ankle support department. But overall, I liked the shoe. It's one of the better ones in the past couple years. I liked it better than the previous 2009 and 2010. And as well as the XX3 (Articulated Zoom) and XX2 (IPS Technology). Back to basics I say.

8/10 overall. Give me a molded collar and tougher heel cup, and you get a 10. I found the low cut Kobe IV to be more supportive in this area.


Unlaced: Episode 4 - Monday, March 21, 2011

Good evening, SNKR FRKRs!

Unlaced is back with this weeks podcast! J2 and Soled Out are at it again with more sneaker talk inspired by March Madness. Thanks to everyone who listens to the podcast every week, we appreciate the support you've given us so far. Again, if you have any questions, concerns, suggestions or constructive criticisms, you're more than welcome to leave us comments.

Unlaced - Episode 4


This podcast contains language some listeners might find offensive.
Discretion is advised.

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J2: Searching for love

Yes, J2 is searching for love. I said it. There. I have no idea why I haven't found it, nor why I don't have it yet. I haven't been looking, I guess neglected it for a little while. But in light of recent events, it occurred to me that "Damn, I need you...and I need you bad".

You've come and gone since the second grade. I haven't come to notice you until my adult years, and now in recent days, I've realized that I want you.  I don't know why I couldn't get you sooner, but if ANYONE out there has a pair of dead stock Nike Air Flight Huarache Retros (or OG; long shot lol) in a size 9, get at me. I need them. White/Royal-Varsity Purple, Hollar! 'Da fuck you think I was talkin' about?

Find me

J2: March Madness kicks in

Well, it's that time of year. I've never followed the NCAA quite as closely (or at all, in fact) as this year. Reason being: There is money involved. Because a pot of cash is on the line, I've been watching games all day and all night hoping my picks go through to the second round. Here is MY bracket after round 1.

Greens are my correct picks.

Hmm so far I'm 3rd. I did TURRIBLE in the Southwest Division. But, most of my higher seed picks went through. Morehead St.'s win hurt my bracket in the Regional Semis so yeah, fuck you Louisville for losing. I was hoping  St. John, Nova, GTown and Michigan St. would take the wins, but noooo. The rest of the pics that I lost were wild pull-out-of-my-ass guesses. And some wins were total guess as well. So far, I'm 3 points behind first place. And hopefully later down the road, I can win that pot of $300. 


Unlaced: Episode Double Header

Hello, everyone! Unlaced is back with a new podcast special double header. Last weeks episodes discuss random sneaker tidbits, minor NBA recap, and the "in-betweens" discussing the NHL, Kim Kardasian, Luper Fiasco and everyone's favorite celebrity, Charlie Sheen.

Unlaced - Special Episode (guest: ATP)

Unlaced - Episode 3

This podcast contains language some listeners might find offensive.
Discretion is advised.

The Unlaced Podcast is powered by Podbean.

JDM Source: T-Shirt Sale for Japan/Tsunami Relief

In light of the recent and unfortunate happenings in Japan, my friends at JDM Source, one of Calgary's top dealers for used JDM parts, cars and engines, is having a T-Shirt sale in support for the Japan Tsunami Relief.

The T-Shirts are available in 3 colors and run about $15 each. All the proceeds go to Red Cross to support the relief in Japan. Every little bit helps! Should you choose to donate, thank you very much in advance.

And props to Shoaib, the owner/founder of JDM Source, for setting this up! Click the link below for purchase.



J2: Asians in the library

So, like um, so I was like, watching this video, and like, I'm not offended, just because I'm Asian, like come on. I know what she totally means. Like...totally.

For real, B? Hahaha. 1. When you post a video, don't look like an idiot. 2. No one is going to take you seriously when you talk like you're 16 years old. Provided some Asians are noisy in the library, but EVERYONE does this from time to time. I cannot believe the level of ignorance in this video. Reach an epiphany? How did this hot bitch get to UCLA? While we're on racial stereotypes, I can also say that attractive blonde white girls are retards that don't belong in college, but that would be down right mean. Hahaha. I just love the fact that she tries to make a funny, witty and valid rant on YouTube and thinks people will tune in to hear what she has to say. Which worked, but if it weren't for her awesome rack pouring out of her shirt and me imagining my face in it, I probably wouldn't finish the video. I'm not really offended, nor am I angry at this video, because at the end of the day, I'd smash. :D

The responses, hahaha:


By the way, ching chong ling long ting tong!

J2: Kicks on Court vol: NBA 2K11

Kicks on court can be seen all over the internet from NikeTalk to Sneaker Files, you can always find out what the players are wearing. Particularly one Gilbert Arenas, who wears everything from old to new and the latest Nike and Jordan Brand players.

This time, on my blog is Kicks on Court during my Season on NBA 2K11. 2K11 brought out something into the game that I enjoy in real life: and that is collecting Jordans. I'm not that deep into it yet, I try and find time to play.  But whenever I can, I try and unlock a pair per week. If anyone who hasn't played the game isn't familiar with it, the Jordan's can be unlocked by playing the game. The more you play, the more you unlock. Each sneaker ups a certain attribute of the player wearing them, which I think is interesting. You can also play with colorways, which personally, I think is awesome. 

Here are screen shots for the "Kicks on Court" for my Thunder team, hahaha:

Nenad Krstic
Air Jordan II Retro (white/red-white)
+2 Shot Low Post

Serge Ibaka
Air Jordan II Retro (white/red-white)
+2 Shot Low Post

Eric Maynor
Air Jordan XVII (white/college blue-black)
+2 Strength

James Harden
Air Jordan IX (white/black-true red)
+2 Hustle

Thabo Sefalosha
Jordan MELO M7 (white/university blue-yellow)
+3 Shot Medium

Marcus Camby
Jumpman Pro Strong (white/obsidian-red)
+2 Defensive Low Post

Jeff Green
Air Jordan X "Steel" (white/steel grey-black)
+4 Hands

I also acquired Grant Hill on a trade, I'll probably assign him a pair as well. In the mean time, there is my Thunder, all Jordan-heavy. 


Unlaced: Episode 2 - Friday, March 4, 2011

Sorry for not keeping up to date on the podcast. This one is from last week. It's not like a ton of people have been anticipating our second episode, but for the very few solid listeners, here it is - our second podcast for Unlaced.

This episode recaps last weeks NBA games, more player movement, the Miami Heat, and more footwear talk about Peak from China, Under Armor, and APL. As well as a quick, short run down of Nike and Jordan releases for March.

All constructive criticisms and comments are welcome, we want to keep improving the podcast as time goes on. Enjoy. EDIT: By the way, if you'd like to download it, just right click --> save as the "Download" link.

Unlaced - Episode 2

This podcast contains language some listeners might find offensive.
Discretion is advised.

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J2 gets a ticket...Again

While my family was still enjoying the sunny weather in the Philippines, I flew home early to bask in the glories of work life and -30 degree days. Upon my arrival, I check the garage to see my car, all cleaned up and ready to go. Problem: it was messy out and I didn't want my car to get dirty...and I was out of gas. My parent's SUV was out of gas as well as my sister's Mazda 3 (doesn't anyone fill up around here?!). I check my other sister's car and find half a tank of gas. And my parents, being very great parents as always, cleaned my sister's car while she was in the Philippines with us.

Backstory: I left in November for my trip. My sisters left in mid-December and my parents left on Boxing Day. While my parents were still in Calgary, they took the liberty to clean my sisters car without her really knowing.

Anyway, since ALL the cars other than this one were low on gas and me, refusing to fill at the time (yeah, I'm a cheap fuck), I decided to take my sister's car for a few spins, and since she probably doesn't know her car is clean, I can jack it and return it and walk away a hero. The perfect crime.

It wasn't until 2 weeks later I get this piece of shit in the mail:

Oh and this note that came with it:

When I confronted my sister, trying to play dumb, saying it "wasn't me", she wouldn't have it. Here's why:

J2: "This wasn't me, this was probably you!" (please buy my lie)
Sister: "You stole my car and got that ticket, look at the date! I was still in the Philippines!"
J2: *blank look* 
Dad: *laughing* "...Ka tanga tanga." (he's calling me "very stupid")
Sister: "Pay that, it's $287!"
J2: *sigh*

Upon walking away, I hear this at the top of the stairs:

Sister: "Oh...and YOU OWE ME A CARWASH!"

Thanks, Karma, you fucking asshole. 

J2: Pick-ups

I haven't been keeping up with taking pictures and posting up pick-ups for my J2: Pick-up segments. I've been pretty busy lately. But I haven't retired yet! Haha. I'll probably post everything up when I get everything in. But here is a preview of my latest of a few pick-ups. As of late I caught a sneaky quickstrike release of Nike Air Zoom Kobe VI's "China Edition". Very sleek and sexy design this year with the snake skin pattern, low cut upper and the usual Kobe flyness that comes out every year, this time in Pewter/Ink-Crimson. I may have to do a performance review on these sometime but in the mean time, here is a pic:

Grab a pair if there are still any left. SPC at Footlocker for $150!

J2: Who put out the flames?

Hahahaha drilled, son.

They may be third in the east, but you know what? They beat on lower seeded teams and then get spanked against the teams that actually matter and that WILL make it to the playoffs and do the same thing to them. Ring? I don't think so. Even with Bibby as an addition, (Rose, Rondo, Billups and even Fisher > Bibby) the Heat have lost 3 straight with all 3 Superfriends on the floor and have been slipping and on a verge of mental breakdowns. Boston and Chicago are undefeated when it comes to the Heat. 2 teams that will make Miami look like (as Charlie Sheen would put it) droopy-eyed armless children. And with New York on the rise - Yes, I said it - like Soled Out pointed, they've only been playing together for 6 games, yes, they lost to Cleveland, but the team is out-of-the-box-new and were able to beat the Heat with newly acquired Melo and Big Shot. Having said that, with the Knicks on the rise, the Heat have a tough road to Finals.

If my predictions are correct, this is the NBA Playoff tree that the Heat would have to go through to get to the Finals. As a 3rd seeded team, thanks to the Spurs publicly undressing the Heat on national TV, it goes like this:

Round 1: New York
Yes this team is practically new, playing only 6 games of regulation with Anthony and Billups. But they've won half of those games with leg room to improve as a team. Remember, it takes a bit of time to play together as a whole, but the Knicks, so far have done an outstanding job winning 3 of 6 right off the bat. With 6 weeks left in the regular season, they can only get better in that amount of time.

Round 2: Chicago
So you get passed NY, but Derek Rose is top pick for MVP next to Bron for a reason. Dude averages 25 a game, he can pass, he can make plays, he's young, he's got strength.With support from their bigs in Boozer and Noah, Wade and Bron have to get through these road blocks to get to the basket, which is what they do other than rack up points on transition. And with Deng on the corner jacking up shots, this is a championship contender.

Round 3: Boston
I don't need to say much. I hate Boston, but they are THE best team in the league. Experience, experience, experience. The Big 3, despite their age, have the experience and still have the talent to get to the finals, and with one ring on their belt and 2 finals appearances in the past 3, they can still achieve that with another one of the best point guards in the league in Rondo. In my opinion, I may be overselling Jeff Green, but with that little piece in addition to the Bostons bench, it just got deeper.

The NBA Finals

LA, San Antonio, or Dallas. And if I get my upset, OKC, but it's a long shot. You choose which team you wanna lose to, IF everyone above sprains a knee and you fly by the EC and make it here. I'll leave it at that. Why LA? Yeah ok, I'll take the L on the Christmas game, but at this rate, the Heat will lose to LA, ESPECIALLY in the playoffs. LA has all kinds of experience, D-Fish wakes up during this time...ALWAYS. A lot of people are saying Kobe isn't the clutch player people make him out to be, but Kobe (and the Lakers as a whole) is BETTER in critical game situations than any player on the Heat squad. Even 3-bricking, sore loser Le Bron. And if Pau works the paint, jacks up elbows and converts and Bynum is healthy, it's a win all the time.


Unlaced: Episode 1 - Friday, February 26, 2011

Good morning all!

The Unlaced Podcast is now up and running! It's not much yet, but as time goes on and hopefully, if we get more listeners, we can start upgrading a few things. For now, it's just me and Soled Out (www.twitter.com/soled_out) casually discussing the happenings within the NBA, game recaps and of course, sneakers.

Last week, we launched our first unofficial podcast entitled "Episode 1", in which we decided to re-up the podcast by officially kicking it off last night with another version, but decided to move on to Episode 2 instead. Having said that, our unofficial episode just became "official". This podcast is available for streaming below and is also available for download. Episode 1, as unprofessional as it is, casually discusses the NBA All-Star Weekend, the trade deadline and player movement, and a preliminary review of the Air Jordan 2011.

Unlaced - Episode 1
The podcast contains language some listeners might find offensive. Discretion is advised.

The Unlaced Podcast is powered by Podbean. 

J2: A Break

Well, this weekend 'should' be eventful and active. I've been trying to stay active for the past month, since I've been so busy at work during the weekdays. I'm wrapping up a project for approval and hopefully will be sent out the door mid-week next week. Apparently this whole lead designer thing isn't temporary. I was just given a new project to lead for Alta Gas up in Harmattan. I'm excited and scared at the same time. It's a HUGE project. When I mean huge, I mean a 21,000HP-expansion-on-a-gas-plant type huge. It's only my second lead project and they throw that in my face. But, I guess if they're confident in my work, then I guess I should be as well. We'll see how this goes. I also can't wait for my first field trips. Hopefully I'll be on site in Regina later this month and I'll be taking at least 3 or 4 up in Harmattan this spring. Career wise, things are looking, I'm very happy.

Oh the other side of the spectrum, I've been trying to stay active. I didn't get a chance to go snowboarding yet (I know, goddammit!), however, I've placed a good chunk of my time in ice hockey and basketball. That should keep me busy for a little bit. In addition to that, we start our official inaugural podcast tonight! Last week was good, but I think with some structure and minor tweeking, we can get this thing right, Hopefully it goes well. It won't be live, but hopefully tonight, we can get the ball rolling and I can finally post it up on here. Stay tuned.


J2: My New Favorite Actor


This guy produces gold every time he opens his mouth! Gotta love his candidness, honesty and his don't-give-a-flying-fuck attitude. The guy is obviously on crack with his weird, erratic behavior, massive ego and delusional "I blame everyone else" state of mind. And he openly admits it.

"I used to bang 6, 7 gram rocks a night and finish 'em, 'cause that's how I roll.."

I don't condone doing drugs nor do I admire him. But when a dude who get's paid millions to work 1 or 2 days a week, where the rest of the days are spent partying until the wee hours of the morning, doing mountains of snow that can probably fill a run at Lake Louise,  and banging hookers and porn stars, you gotta LOVE the entertainment value it holds for the public eye. And the interviews...I can't stop watching them. LOL.

I can't embed as per ABC News but here's the link:

This goes to show you, when you do drugs, bad shit can happen in the long run. I know a few people in this deep fried state of mind where they talk out of their ass incoherently and literally don't check themselves before they speak or act. And the best part is, these people think they're fine. And the sober ones always end up messed up in some sort of way from years of doing what they do.

I wonder if Charlie Sheen is on vitamins?!
I also love how he quotes Allen Iverson. Hahahaha.


J2: Retro Music

You can't tell me "hip-hop" today is just as good as "back in the day" 
when hip-hop was great. And relevant.

For you new schoolers.