The Story Behind The Personnel of JAY-Z's 4:44

Producer: No I.D.
Prior to the release of the record it leaked that the entire project would be produced solely by No I.D. This was met with skepticism by most, including myself. Jay had never released a project produced by one person. The closest he'd come was Magna Carta, Holy Grail, on which Timbaland had a production credit (collaborative production credit on most tracks) on 12 of the 17 tracks. We know how that turned out. Even more foreboding, his collaborative LP with R. Kelly, Unfinished Business, relied almost exlusively on Tone from Poke and Tone. He had a hand in the production of every single song on that record, and all but 3 songs on their first collaboration The Best of Both Worlds.

So who exactly is No I.D., and how did he come to produce every single track on this record? You might know him as Kanye West's mentor, and he received a shout-out on a track that links all three artists, Kanye's "Big Brother". No I.D. was heavily involved in the Chicag…

Trends JAY-Z Ended (And The Ones He Couldn't)

On 4:44 track "The Story of O.J." Jay rapped:
Y'all on the 'Gram holding money to your ears / There's a disconnect, we don't call that money over here These two seemingly innocuous bars have sent shockwaves through the industry.  This article chronicles all of the major responses, including a passionate video by Lil Boosie, a shade-filled snap by Future, and an Instagram picture posted by 50 Cent and featuring the filthy rich Floyd Mayweather happily displaying their money phones.

Jay probably isn't trying to "end" the practice of placing money to your ear. After all, his label manages Meek Mill, and Jay has even given the Philly rapper advice on beefs, as well as being pictured with him regularly, and Meek is one of the most avid "money phone"ers.

But just because Jay has no intention of ending this trend doesn't mean he lacks the power to do it accidentally. On 2003's "What More Can I Say" Jay effectively ended the …

40 Condiments, Ranked From Worst to Best

Condiments make life worth living. No-one should ever endure my rubber-like chicken schnitzel without a mountain of sweet chilli sauce. Sushi sucks without soy. And being forced to eat a plain hot dog is like being forced to sit down and watch Australia with Nicole Kidman.

These are the generic condiments, not branded. I've also kept it simple. I know there's 80,000 kinds of hot sauce, but I've kept it to sweet chilli, mild chilli, and uber hot chilli. I've also kept it Aussie, and only included the popular types of dip.

40. Wasabi Inedible, and renders any food it touches inedible.  
39. Hot English Mustard

See above. I once put way too much on a sandwich, and my head felt like someone had reached in my ear and was twisting my brain around to wring it of any knowledge it may have amassed. Because of that, I had a second bite. 

38. Chutney / RelishOh dear.. If those are Passionfruit seeds, I am out. Every single thing you make chutney out of is better in its original for…

Why I Still Choose To Ski Australia

Just got off the phone with Kosciuszko Tourist Park, my parents and I are booked in for our annual ski trip at Perisher Blue (and maybe a sneaky day at Charlotte's Pass). It will be my 25th year down there, and I'm only 28. 

Apparently, Australia had it's "second worst start to a season in 21 years". Naturally, the headline doesn't tell the full story. Both Perisher and Thredbo have been making snow at an alarming rate, opening up whole areas every week. Mount Perisher looked like my backyard 5 days ago, now it looks like a New York blizzard hit it. In fact, they just got their season starter dump of around 50cm, it's looking high quality. 

I am now an adult, with a savings account, a car, and a passport. I don't have to return to Australia every year, I could hop over to New Zealand or ski South America. I prefer Australia, and until global warming progresses to such a stage where our slopes are uninhabitable fiery peaks, I will continue to ski Austral…