Who would have thought that Weezer and Kanye would work so well? Well, probably nobody, not even Chuckie Nugget the nineteen-year-old producer who created the viral Yeezer album. The 10 tracks are worth a listen. A DCMA request recently took the album off Audiomack. However, the Internet. Check it out here:
We interviewed Producer Nugget about his first mashup. Check it out below:
Are you a fan of Kanye and Weezer?
CN: Obviously I’m a fan of both. I think it’s weird that so many people are thinking that this is two different worlds coming together because you can listen to Kanye’s music and know he takes a rock-oriented approach to how he writes music. Black skinhead is essentially a 2010 version of a rock song. The look at Weezer songs like ‘el scorcho‘ and’buddy holly’. Rivers probably likes hip-
hop just as much as Kanye if not more. So I think most people would be fans of both if they actually unbiasedly listened to them.
Kanye’s my favorite rapper. I got in2 him back in high school when my friend wrote a review of his new album & I wanted to see what was up. He approaches hip hop a lot differently than most. I don’t even know if I would consider his recent output “rap.”
I got into Weezer more recently. My impression of them was Beverly Hills, and I wasn’t huge on it. But then I listened to Pinkerton one summer And I couldn’t stop. To the point where I had to burn the album to disc and take it with me to friends cars just so I could keep listening Something about how oddly confessional, it was really struck a chord with me. The lyrics shouldn’t have worked, but they do I had never really been into emo before but the way it was written was so refreshing. It wasn’t trying to be poetic; it was just the emotion
No matter how goofy it ended up sounding. Which is really where the connection between the two, ye and Weezer, really align
Kanye’s lyrics aren’t written to be traditionally poetic. There’s humor; there’s crassness, it’s just a projection of himself. Same with rivers.
How old are you?
What sort of tech did you use?
CN: Logic Pro X. I use a lot of presets honestly. I use the Massive VST a lot as well. I don’t really use anything else. I don’t even have a speaker system, which probably explains why the mixing sounds so shitty haha.
What experience do you have mixing music like this?
CN: None at all. I produce comedy hip hop beats for me and my friends to rap over as a joke sometimes. Beyond that, it’s really just trial and error. I guess that background should also give you context for the tone that this album was made in.
What other mashups inspired you?
CN: Obviously Danger Mouse is a big one. If anything comes of this, I just want to meet Damon Albarn, haha. And obviously Kanye and Weezer! I also really like The Beatles and Kanye mashup album called “What’s a Black Beatle.” I would compare what I was working on to his a lot, and just try to reach that same level of quality. I don’t think I succeeded, his is a lot more creatively and professionally done, but it was a good goal to shoot for. I wasn’t obviously really looking into how his album was doing at the time in terms of internet popularity, but I would assume it had to be the same level right?
What do you want people to take home with you?
CN: What do you mean? Like what do I want people to get out of the album? I don’t know, haha. Just enjoy a silly album I made on my laptop, I guess. There’s not much to think about it; it’s sugary pop music, which is why I think Weezer’s first album is so beloved.
Where do you live?
CN: I’m from Pittsburgh, but I go to school at Ohio State.
How has the Internet responded to your work?
CN: It’s been insane. I’m getting way more response than I ever expected. I feel like I accidentally birthed a monster that I can’t even control anymore. It started as just a tongue in cheek joke and now has evolved into a piece that’s being written on by Time and Billboard.
Weezer even mentioned it. I just don’t know haha. I guess if it’s getting this much attention, there must be something to it that people like. I’m not really a good judge of what’s good or not. My favorite songs on the album are songs that people seem to hate, and a lot of the songs I don’t like people are in love with.
At the end of the day, it’s just a mashup album. I’m not sure what struck a chord with so many people. It kind of hurts though because I’ve become a victim to its own popularity. A lot of people seem to be very against it, because people are so enthralled with it. I don’t mind the criticism; I just wish the album hadn’t been dissected so much.
Much like Weezer’s music, it wasn’t meant to be put under a microscope. I just made it because I like both artists a lot, and I like corny puns. It kind of hurts now to see some of your favorite internet personalities tear up on things you made. A week ago I was nobody and would have loved to be in the spotlight. Now… I kind of get where Kanye’s frustrations come from, although obviously on a significantly smaller scale.
How do you feel now that it has been taken down?
CN: Eh, it was inevitable. If the Grey Album couldn’t stay up (an album that samples the source material a lot more unconventionally), there’s no way my project was going to. The only thing I’m surprised about is that it was Kanye’s camp that apparently took it down and not Weezer’s. You would think that Def Jam would get the mashup concept more than a rock band would…
Thank you for answering some questions!
CN: Thank you!
Images from Shutterstock & Pixabay.
Blockchain Asset Manager Ambisafe Talks About Institutional Guarantees, Parity Debacle
Ethereum platform Ambisafe has quickly emerged as one of the blockchain’s most promising asset managers. Hacked recently spoke with representatives from the company on their product, institutional bottlenecks and other contemporary issues facing the cryptocurrency market.
Ambisafe Asset Platform
In the world of blockchain, Ambisafe is well established. The company has been involved in the cryptocurrency space as far back as 2010, and is today one of the blockchain’s leading asset issuance and management firms. The company provides many go-to-market offerings, including ICO services, asset issuance and custom Ethereum development solutions.
Ambisafe operates several other companies, including Orderbook, an Ethereum token exchange. Orderbook has 25,000 active users and is averaging about two ICO launches per week, according to a company spokesperson. Combined, ICOs launched via Orderbook have generated more than $35 million in funding.
Orderbook claims to provide full transparency and immutability by recording all transactions on the blockchain. In this sense, it is entirely trustless and stores all assets “on-chain.”
The companies (both Orderbook and Ambisafe) areled by Andrey Zamovskyi, who has been coding since the age of nine. He has his fingerprints all over first of their kind blockchain projects, such as wallets, merchant services, exchanges and trading platforms.
A Lack of Institutional Guarantee
Ambisafe told Hacked that one of the biggest challenges facing the crypto-sphere isn’t payment processing, but a lack of institutional guarantees. This could make it difficult to attract new investors as the market eventually stabilizes and cools from its recent streak of record-setting gains.
In explaining this issue, Ambisafe drew our attention to account guarantees in the United States. In the U.S., all savings accounts held at banks are backed by a guarantee of $250,000 from the federal government. This is essentially a guarantee that your funds will be protected for that amount if the bank fails.
Moreover, if your credit card is stolen, U.S. law limits personal liability drastically so that you are not left on the hook for a massive bill payment.
These same guarantees are not present in the cryptocurrency space. Quite the contrary, as a matter of fact.
For example, if my Trezor is stolen or Coinbase is hacked, I simply lose everything. Large-scale trusted and insured institutions need to back vaults with extensively audited multi-sig wallets before we’ll see widespread displacement of credit/checking accounts.
Ambisafe also chimed in on the recent controversy surrounding Parity Technologies, whose account holders were locked out of $190 million worth of ether tokens. When asked about how the accounts could be unlocked, Ambisafe referred to the fact that there are some Ethereum Improvement Protocols (EIPs) on how to recover the funds. However, the discussions appear to be ongoing with no immediate solution in sight.
“In our solutions, we make sure to have a test coverage,” Ambisafe said. “Also, we don’t publish our code out in the wild just for the hell of it. We share the code by request though.
Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.
Does ‘CryptoRuble’ Threaten the Point of Cryptocurrencies? Jean-Yves Sireau Weighs In
Last month, Russia said it would move to regulate cryptocurrency by bringing mining and exchange under the purview of the central government. Investors rejoiced in the decision, as it signaled that another major economy would not ban cryptocurrency. However, as one prominent blockchain expert notes, the advent of a government-controlled cryptocurrency – i.e., CryptoRuble – would threaten the point of cryptocurrencies all together.
Binary.com Founder and CEO Jean-Yves Sireau (JYS) was recently in contact with Hacked.com, where he answered some of our most pressing questions. Below are excerpts from our most recent email exchange.
JYS Weighs In
According to the Binary.com founder, Russia’s plan to centralize the mining process is probably feasible, but will likely hamper the CryptoRuble’s popularity. That’s because this arrangement practically ignores one of the key selling points of cryptocurrency – that is, the potential for a universal token.
“Indeed, the attraction of cryptocurrencies is that they are like cash: easily transferrable, essentially anonymous and open to everyone,” JYS says. “A currency that doesn’t have these features is going to be at a competitive disadvantage. There are already hundreds of competing cryptocurrencies, hence creating one that has limitations is not likely to be a success story.”
As many of our readers know, Russia isn’t the only country looking to create a state-run cryptocurrency. Kazakhstan and Estonia are in the process of creating a state-run digital currency, with several others considering the idea. There has even been talk of China – a country that recently banned cryptocurrency trading – implementing its own state-run digital currency.
In Sireau’s view, there’s no guarantee that these currencies will be popular. As he rightly notes, “there are hundreds of cryptocurrencies with a very limited following.”
Russia has given mixed signals about how it plans to regulate ICOs. According to Sireau, this reflects broader confusion about how to secure a market that so few know about. Apparently, JYS doesn’t think too highly of ICOs, either.
“In my opinion most ICOs are worthless or scams, and investors will lose 98% of their money. Even if regulators do come up with regulations, it will be too little too late. In 1-2 years’ time there is going to be a flurry of lawsuits surrounding ICOs, especially in the US where law firms can organize class-action lawsuits. I think these lawsuits are what are going to tame the market, not regulatory action.”
On whether any jurisdiction approaching cryptocurrency regulation the right way, Sireau said flat-out no. That’s because “the core issue is that regulators are typically lawyers or compliance people who don’t understand the details of the technology. It’s like trying to create grammatical rules for Greek without having any knowledge of the language.”
The future of cryptocurrency looks promising, but will be marked by volatility and many failed projects. In Sireau’s view, this is especially the case with ICOs, which could “implode in a flurry of lawsuits, especially in the form of class-action lawsuits, in the U.S.”
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.
Minerva’s OWL Token Fights Inflation and Offers Merchants Unique Revenue Stream
Luxembourg-based Ethereum startup Minerva has developed a platform that will reward merchants for using its tokens. Through a system of “reverse transaction fees,” Minerva will supply merchants with its newly minted OWL tokens when they agree to offer discounts on goods and services that can be paid for in the cryptocurrency.
In other words, merchants who accept the OWL as a form of payment will receive more tokens simply by propagating its use.
The Decentralized Central Reserve
Observers and participants of the cryptocurrency market are no doubt aware of the volatile nature of this new asset class. Just last week, the global crypto market shed $65 billion – some 40% of its value – after China launched an attack on the blockchain community by banning ICOs and bitcoin exchanges.
Minerva’s platform aims to do much more than just incentivize the use of digital tokens; it seeks to tame volatility once and for all. This can be accomplished through the Minerva Volatility Protocol (MVP), which in some way functions like a “decentralized central reserve.”
MVP works by smoothing out price movements in the OWL token. When the price of OWL increases, Minerva’s algorithm mints new coins for approved merchants during transaction. This is the “reverse transaction fee” everyone is talking about. When OWL’s price drops, the platform incentivizes users to temporarily take coins out of circulation with smart contracts that resemble bonds.
OWL is essentially modelled from basic economic theory, which states that a currency – be it crypto- or fiat-based – is determined by the law of supply and demand. The price of a currency rises when its demand outstrips supply, and falls when its supply exceeds its perceived utility.
The smart contracts implementing OWL work to ensure that the basic law of supply/demand is maintained by targeting currency fluctuation. The algorithm does this by targeting the supply of OWL under present conditions to achieve zero or near-zero inflation.
When the inflation rate is smaller than targeted, additional OWL tokens are created; these OWL tokens are delivered to approved merchants, with a portion “taxed” and placed into a reserve vault. When the inflation rate exceeds the target, additional MVP contracts are made available for purchase at a calculated incentive rate, which is paid at a future time from the reserve vault. No MVP contract is offered for sale unless there is sufficient OWL reserved to pay the incentives.
Key Challenges Facing Adoption
OWL’s impeccable delivery method isn’t without its challenges. While cryptocurrency is the biggest thing since sliced bread, the market is still in its formative stage. This means ease-of-use and broader mainstream appeal remain limited for now.
“Our biggest hurdle is what we look forward to solving the most: achieving the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency through ease-of-use and utility incentivization” Minerva co-founder Kevin McSheehan told Hacked.com.
Although many in the industry have told McSheehan that integration with merchant processing ISOs is a non-starter, Minerva appears to be ahead of the curve. The company has a long and established working relationship with some of the world’s biggest merchant processors. We’ll just have to wait a little while longer to find out who they are.
Regulatory uncertainty and volatility surrounding the crypto-sphere more generally are also key challenges companies like Minerva are facing. These issues have spawned another community pushing SAFTs as the next major breakthrough in the debate over regulation.
To combat these and other challenges, Minerva has put together an impressive team of advisers, tech gurus and legal counsel. There’s even an economist on board. The ensemble of powerful minds clearly shows there’s still a lot to think through in this uncharted industry.
Minerva is planning to launch its ICO in the near future. According to the website, 60% will be allocated to presale and final public ICO.
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