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Thursday, December 30, 2021

Steer Me! Impressive whips to consider for 2022!


The 2022 Lexus ES300h Ultra Lux provides amazing value.
 

Hey Everyone!

Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, and all that! Here are some more impressive vehicles I enjoyed reviewing throughout 2021 that you should consider that are 2022 editions. I included a many of them in the new app called TheCut that I happily contribute to as well. I also have lifestyle Andrea Janise providing her perspective below. 

Keep coming back because I will be adding more to this post. 

Cheers!

2021 Volkswagen ID.4

Volkswagen takes us to the future with the ID.4!

Reviewed by Andrea Janise

Volkswagen took a gangster leap into the future with their brand-new ID.4 model adding a gem to their lineup. This progressive electric vehicle kicks in the door of the crossover SUV segment with its curvy, futuristic frame combined with Volkswagen engineering’s universal EV setup leading to a definite standout for environmentally conscious drivers. On the head-turning tip, the ID.4’s exterior is accentuated with a black roof complete with silver roof rails, panoramic fixed-glass, and an electric sunshade; 20-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires; and the automatic LED package is complete with inclement weather lights for optimal visibility.

Inside the cabin, besides the various advanced tech enhancements rivaling Blade Runner including the “intuitive start” where everything turns on as soon as you enter the driver’s seat when having the key fob in handVolkswagen makes comfort a top priority. The V-Tex leatherette seats; heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel; a center console with USB data and charging ports; multi-color adjustable ambient lighting; and heated front seats with 4-way lumbar support and massage capability collectively make every errand a blessing. Safety gets a serious nod too including an advanced airbag protection system, Intelligent Crash Response System (ICRS), and travel and lane assist. The most highlighted perk, of course, is the savings on gas mileage at a EPA estimated range of 260 miles with a full charge which further justifies why the ID.4 EV was voted 2021 World Car of the Year. You want the future? Here it is.

What the sticker says: The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 is $45,190 MSRP

For more information, visit Vw.com.

Photos courtesy of Volkswagen.

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2022 Genesis GV70 3.5T AWD Sport Prestige

Genesis continues to shine in all facets with their 2022 sedan and SUV

The highly anticipated, all-new GV70 3.5T AWD Sport Prestige has lived up to the hype in virtually all facets. Eyes will be glued to its sleek body design and stealthy LED lighting presentation, this compact luxury SUV provides two engine choices—a turbocharged, 2.5-liter four-cylinder version, and the reviewed twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6—with both using an eight-speed automatic transmission. The latter engine labeled the Sport Prestige trim pushes 375 horses, plus the AWD capability makes maneuvering sharp corners a breeze.

The interior is already plush including a panoramic sunroof, but the strongly suggested Select Package (Nappa leather, ventilated front seats; Genesis digital key; surround-view camera system; and banging 16-speaker Lexicon audio system) and Sport Prestige package (21-inch alloy wheels, carbon fiber trim, 12.3-inch digital cluster, three-zone climate control) are highly recommended for the full Genesis experience.

Simply put, this is easily nominated as one of the top debuts of the year. It’s fire!

What the sticker says: The 2022 Genesis GV70 3.5T AWD Sport Prestige is $52,600 MSRP.

For more information, visit Genesis.com.

Photos courtesy of Genesis.

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2022 Lexus ES300h Ultra Lux

Lexus brings a lot of bang for the buck with this ES300h Ultra Lux!

For the ultimate luxury hybrid sedan experience, the 2022 Lexus ES300h Ultra Lux is among the top autos of the segment in features, looks, and value. After getting used to the ignition’s silent start, drivers will dig the cloudlike ride powered by the 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine delivering a responsive 215 horsepower regulated by three driving modes—Eco, Normal, and Sport—complete with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters still rolling at a wallet-friendly 44 mpg combined gas mileage.

The posh cabin’s experience is embellished by a 12.3-inch color display with navigation and voice command including Amazon Alexa; wireless charging; WiFi; quilted heated leather upholstery; a woodgrain steering wheel; Apple/Android CarPlay; and theateresque 17-speaker, 1,800-watt Mark Levinson audio package to list a few of the generous amenities. This sedan sits on 18-inch “Split V-Spoke” alloy noise reduction wheels, and flaunts a stunning, refreshed grille to stand up to the bank-breaking exotic cars it pulls up on. To ease the mind, Lexus is consistent in maintaining safety through their revered 2.5 pre-collision system, 10 airbags with Smart Stop technology, pedestrian detection, lane departure and steering assist.

An overall safe, comfortable, and impressive option for hybrid enthusiasts ranked the highest of the ES 300’s four trims—base, F Sport, Luxury, and this Ultra Luxury—its price tag under $55K fully equipped makes this whip a strong consideration. Oh, and the Nightfall Mica blue this was reviewed in was a good look. Lexus keeps it poppin’.

What the sticker says: The 2022 Lexus ES300h Ultra Lux is $51,080 MSRP and $54,450 including the triple beam headlights, Navigation/Mark Levinson Audio Package and destination fees.

For more information, visit Lexus.com.

Photos courtesy of Lexus.

 And again, Happy New Year!





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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

It's Gift Guide Time!

 

ORCA Coolers keep drinks ice cold for hours! They look fire too.

Cheers to you!

Once again it's on! 

Welcome another one of my popular Gift Guides where I show love to some dope products and ideas that save you the time to research what to get someone who deserves it including yourself! Taking the time and energy to either review or experience what's listed below, I think you will dig what I compiled below. I also shared a lot of these selections with a really cool app/website recently featured in Forbes and Black Enterprise called TheCut; it's an ingenious resource for barbers and millions of customers worldwide Providing a more lifestyle approach for fun reading, I joined the team to post the hottest Whips to drive; now, I'm expanding the content to include gift guides and soon, travel. 

And with that, get your shopping on! I also included direct links (just click on the product's title), my two cents, and even some descriptions straight from the source. More items will be added throughout the season so be sure to check back!

Now let's make the days leading up to 2022 and beyond count! Happy Holidays!

(Photography provided.)

Smell Goods.

Atlanta’s own Tony Rouse is an award-winning entrepreneur and brand strategist who has utilized his globetrotting to create a collection of candles that are not only aromatically complex and satisfying, but come with empowering names to inspire those who strive for excellence. Check out their descriptions:

·         God, a blend of fresh mist and amber.

·         Kingpin, a combination of spiced bergamot and leather.

·         Mogul, a motivating mix of citrus and sandalwood.

·         Power, the joined aromas of smoke plum and cedarwood emulating fire.

·         Savage, a scent that infuses dark chocolate and pine.

·         Titan, ideal for relaxation, is a union of lavender and musk.

Brother Rouse also has a Signature Tony Rouse Cologne highlighting notes of spiced citrus and patchouli that’s more than worthy to wear to those affairs and business meetings where you want to make a serious impression. It’s safe to say he has the smell game on lock!

They Say: The six-candle sample set includes 4 oz. travel tins of each fragrance in matte black tins and is delivered in a gift box for $95. The individual 10 oz. candles are housed in an illuminating, custom etched matte black glass jar and boast an engraved natural wood logo for $100 each. Additional sizing options are available on the website. With the holidays approaching and ideal for any occasion throughout the year, from decompressing at home to gift-giving, each Tony Rouse candle is a proprietary soy wax blend, made from the finest ingredients and hand-poured with care.


Speaking of smell good, don’t sleep on Ovation for Men by entrepreneur Shawn Crenshaw. A Black Cornell University graduate who defied the odds to become a success in the olfactory industry, this Eau De Parfum proudly boasts an impressive combination of notes including cardamom, leather, tobacco, vanilla, vetiver and amber that lasts for hours. Every bold and proud man deserves an Ovation.

* Feeling generous for the holidays, Ovation is also blessing us with a $20 discount using the promo code “ovation21” on the site!

They Say: Ovation is a celebration of the king inside every man. Experience a magnetic fragrance rich in the confidence, style, and attitude of today’s influential men of color. Confidence exudes from its aromatic citrus and lingering woodsy notes. Style is characterized by the bottle’s sleek, timeless design. Attitude is defined by the long-lasting impression each spray leaves behind. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Stand out with a uniquely gentle, yet masculine fragrance worthy of applause.

Body Love.


I mess with method due to their dedication of preserving Earth by various means when producing soaps, deodorants, lotions, and cleaning products presented in three lines: method, method body, and method men. They use biodegradable formulas made without parabens, phthalates or sulfates; plant-based ingredients that actually smell great and moisturize at the same time; refuse testing with animals to produce cruelty-free products; and use bottles made with over 50-percent recycled plastic. Anyone dedicated to make this world a better place while simply loving quality cleaning and hygiene products would dig this brand. Evidently, I do.  


Get Lifted.

For those who love the flowers that can be smoked—okay, cannabisVESSEL is making sure it’s done with style and optimal design. Hit up their site and look at the various luxurious accessories available to pack dry herb in to enjoy. From dope vape pens like the Craftsman in Walnut, to batteries, grinders, and the “just add flower” Eclipse Kit complete with a “…waterproof stash jar, an inverted lighter and Air one-hitter which is tapered like a pre-roll and handcrafted with a sandblasted, smoked glass finish” enclosed in a zippered case, VESSEL brings that fire.

They Say: Vessel is a community-led, Korean-American-owned company that uplifts the cannabis consumption experience with its luxury accessories including a high-end line of vape pen batteries and a new dry herb kit. Thoughtfully designed with the user experience in mind, Vessel batteries feature details including optimized airflow technology, low-temperature settings and extra-long battery life.

 

Sip Time.

Proudly family-owned producers of artisanal bitters and canned cocktails, Dashfire boasting to be produce the first-ever Old Fashioned Variety Pack, you get a trio of variations including Bourbon (38% ABV), Rum (35%), and Rye & Ginger (35%) packaged in stylish 100ml cans. Great for concerts, outdoor events, parties, the beach or simply inside the house, Dashfire helps spirit enthusiasts get their sip on when on the go.

They Say: Dashfire owner Lee Egbert says, “This variety pack collection of Old Fashioneds has allowed us to use unique base spirits and then build an entire flavor profile around that base spirit. So, if you know someone who loves Old Fashioneds, we think this is absolutely the perfect gift for them.”

 

Staying on the canned adult libations, Drift Cocktails just hit the shelves and is making a huge splash in the South featuring organic spirits fused with natural fruit flavors and carbonated mineral water but with a kick at 7% ABV. Currently, they have a duo of organic vodka concoctions—Meyer Lemon and Blood Orange—with Tequila Lime crafted with agave tequila blanco, and Passion Fruit Rum using dark and white island rums coming next. For those watching their waists, Drift’s cocktails are a mere 85 calories per 12-ounce can. Delicious, refreshing, and perfect for any occasion, Drift is blowing up and for good reason.

They Say: “Drift is so much more than refreshing cocktails conveniently presented in cans,” says expert distiller and co-founder Doug Mulford. “Drift is a lifestyle, it’s a feeling, it’s a state of mind. For those that just want to ‘Sip Back and Relax,’ or those who want to ‘Go Awesome,’ Drift is for mixes concocted by people that love the outdoors, love experiences, and love being together!” 

 

From the minds of a collective of Black entrepreneurs including lyrical assassin Willie The Kid and the Saint Julian Winery in West Michigan, the Motu Viget Brut (Mo-To Vi-Jay) sparkling wine has lovers going in a frenzy to cop more. Tasting notes include fresh pear, apple and semi-sweet finish of honey packaged in a swanky foil-crowned bottle set at 13% ABV.

You can cop this bubbly online for a wallet-friendly $15.99 retail, so show off with multiple bottles at the next celebration, food pairing, nightcap… you pick the venue to pop the cork. Look out for their Avani Supreme vodka and Eye Candy sweet rosé as well. They’re making moves!

They Say: Welcome to your moment with Motu Viget. We are a heritage wine and spirits company based In Grand Rapids, Michigan that crafts authentic and original offerings including Motu Viget Brut – a semi-dry, sparkling wine; Avani Supreme – a corn-distilled vodka; and Eye Candy – a floral, sweet rosé. With Motu Viget Brut, grab one for yourself, surprise a special someone or delight the whole crew with our premier bubbly. No matter the occasion, our namesake Brut is sure to keep things sparkling.

 

Sure, it’s a shameless plug because it’s my beer, but one taste of this silky, smooth collaboration I did with brewing giant New Belgium will make any lover of especially dark chocolate and vanilla an instant fan. Brewed at a potent 10% ABV coming in a four pack of 16-ounce cans, every purchase supports Fair Trade workers in Uganda, and gives a percentage of the proceeds to progressive organizations. So far, purchases have benefited youth organizations, aspiring chefs, Black farmers, and community gardens in especially the Atlanta area via the BrewGether fund. Trust, Piano Keys is the truth in taste and addressing community initiatives.

We Say: Piano Keys is an ongoing collaboration with New Belgium Brewing Company and craft beer ambassador, Ale Sharpton, that features rich and roasted specialty malts married with Atlanta's own XOCOLATL cocoa nibs and Ugandan vanilla beans. Decadent aromas of fig and dark chocolate are balanced by the soft, sweet flavor of vanilla for an Imperial Stout that rewards in more ways than one.

There’s more than one type of “brew” in this category. Keurig is perfect for that coffee lover who doesn’t want to commit a whole pot to make one cup. The Keurig K-Express justifies its moniker; it takes under two minutes to put your cup at the bottom, insert a signature K-Cup pod—there are literally hundreds of flavors and brands to choose from—close the K-Express’ top, press the cup size, and be out in seconds.  The STRONG button for coffee intensity, three cup sizes—8, 10, or 12-ounce per session—and the slick look and “Keurig” on the machine overall simply steps your kitchen counter’s game up. Don’t feel bad if you keep it for yourself. I did.

 

Fresh Victor Mixers are the perfect complement to especially holiday gatherings. These 16-oz bottles come ready to pour with flavors ranging from Cucumber and Lime to Cactus Pear and Pomegranate. Great for having in the refrigerator for when company comes over or to bring to friends as a gift, just add your liquor of choice, pour over ice, hook up a garnish, and you'll be whipping up artisanal cocktails for your guests in seconds. Even more impressive is all the boxes they check, including being gluten free, vegan, kosher, non-GMO, and clean label. Not mad at them!

They Say: Fresh Victor is here to let you put down the citrus press and get back to the party. These mixers are elegantly balanced to perfectly incorporate everything from your favorite spirit, beer or wine to seltzer, tonic or tea for a kicking mocktail. Drink up!


Game On.

If you want to step up your rec room and you’re balling like that, Sawyer Twain’s got your back with luxurious, handmade pool tables, card tables, shuffleboard, and even traditional furniture. This Monaco Table Tennis Table made with select walnut and maple wood is dope enough to serve as a dining table and whatever else you find to make it functional. Game on!

They Say: This ping pong dining table brings style and versatility to any game room. The table’s handmade maple and walnut wood construction is captivating and contemporary. A sleek profile helps conserve space while a removable net allows you to easily transform this wood ping pong table into a dining surface or craft space. 


Keep Cool.

When it comes to transporting beverages, camping, hitting up the beach, hiking, bussin’ spades in the park, or whatever your move is for the day, Orca coolers is all about that life. Regardless of your beverages of choice, the ORCA Walker 20 cooler can fit 20 cans of them. Featuring high-tech insulation for multiple-day cold retention, a magnetic split handle, padded shoulder strap, and ability to hold 20 pounds of ice lasting up to 24 hours, everything is chill about this mobile device. Orca also has cups and other products geared towards anything you sip being ice cold. As an added plus, all coolers come with a lifetime guarantee. Oh, they look fly too.

They Say: At Orca, we pride ourselves on making coolers that will stand up to the test, no matter what your adventure. So much so, we guarantee every one of our coolers for life.


Gear Up.

Started by a group of influential natives who are all about promoting the brilliance and innovation Georgia’s capital produces, rocking their gear will certainly add you to the list of the city’s true believers. Shirts, sweatsuits, masks, bags… whatever you choose, the “Atlanta Influences Everyone” message is one of the most profound statements in the nation. More importantly, it carries validity.

They Say: Atlanta Influences Everything is a creative consultancy, focused on combining civic, corporate and cultural understanding to harness the influence of Atlanta culture to do good and connect communities.

 

I mean come on, you can never go wrong with getting someone either a physical or “EGift” card version to this iconic denim company. Focused on being more inclusive to everyone’s lifestyle, their jackets, jeans, shirts, bags and even models they use have evidently gotten funkier and more diverse. If there is one clothing company to pick from where someone can find something to wear without breaking the bank, it’s Levi’s. Don’t sleep on their free Red Tab member program for exclusive perks, too. Someone got me a gift card and I was definitely feeling the thought, so I had to share the love.

Happy Holidays y'all!



 

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Monday, October 11, 2021

Steer Me! Standouts For 2021!


Check out this 2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4XE!

Regardless of a few challenges, 2021 has been an awesome year for automobiles. Let’s continue to spotlight those cars that deserve a little extra shine from various price brackets and styles. Lifestyle writer Andrea Janise is also contributing to this roundup of what’s impressive on the road. See some of these cars and other reviews on my Whips column for TheCut.co.
Photography courtesy of the automakers


2021 Mustang Mach-E First Edition eAWD

Admittedly, a compact electric SUV is not super sexy when mentioned, but a five-passenger Mustang Mach-E surely is. This highly anticipated head turner raises the bar for this car segment and will surely bring conversation wherever its driven; this is especially true with its optimal handling, athletic frame, optional signature Rapid Red Metallic exterior, and 19-inch wheels adorned with black accents and red-painted calipers. Under the hood, there’s impressive power regardless of the Select, California Route 1, Premium and GT trims; specs start at 266 horsepower and 6.1 seconds from 0-60 miles per hour all the way to 480 horsepower and 0-60 at 3.8 seconds in the GT. Battery life also has options from 210 to 305 miles on one full charge. (The reviewed model included an 88-kWh extended-range battery and AWD for optimal handling.) 

Note that besides charging stations throughout the US, you can power up the Mach-E with a standard 120-volt outlet, a 240-volt outlet, or an available Ford charging station for the home. Saving money on gas, eliminating emissions, and getting a tax credit up to $7500 while wowing onlookers certainly doesn’t hurt either.

What the sticker says: Starts at $42,895 (MSRP); reviewed with eAWD and Extended Battery is $58,300

For more information, visit Ford.com.


2021 KIA K5 GT  

Entering the market in grand fashion, the all-new K5 line has heads turning for numerous reasons. Shelving the Optima sedan, KIA flexes a lot more muscle with this more sleek, muscular and powerful four-door variation. This GT version reviewed comes stacked with a 2.5-liter, turbo 4-cylinder engine topping out at 290 horsepower, an 8-speed dual clutch transmission, and a panoramic sunroof sitting on 19-inch sport alloy wheels. The special GT 1 Package adds 10.25-inch touchscreen, a BOSE premium sound system, LED projection headlights, the signature UVO link and numerous safety features ideal for this kind of car. Looking stunning especially in Sapphire Blue and incredibly value, KIA did a great job with this addition to the family.

$35,705 MSRP including the GT 1 package costing $4000

For more information, visit Kia.com

 

Jeep carries a legion of loyalists for more than half a century and this top-of-the-line Rubicon got more looks than a supermodel. While maintaining the virtually limitless off-road capability this automaker is renowned for, Jeep gets environmentally responsible with this all-new, highly anticipated 4XE plug-in-hybrid version coming in three trims; it blesses drivers with an impressive, combined city/highway 49 miles per gallon-equivalent performance. 
The soft top and doors are removeable after using its custom tool kit for those gorgeous days in the sun, plus a user-friendly infotainment system (Uconnect), spacious “Unlimited” four-door cabin with leather-trimmed seats, push-button start, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot, two additional USB ports, an Alpine premium sound system with satellite radio on an 8.4-inch screen, and a plethora of safety features to name a few standouts. As for the heart, it’s a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (plus two electric motors) with an eight-speed automatic transmission yielding 375 horsepower, 470 pound-feet of torque, and a 370-mile driving range sitting on rugged 17-inch x 7.5-inch black-painted wheels. Already garnering environmental awards left and right, this Jeep is going to kill it in the second half of 2021 and beyond.

Starts at $51,695 (MSRP); reviewed with optional features in the Customer Preferred Package, it’s $62,660.
For more information, visit Jeep.com.


2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer AWD RS

This all-new SUV provides drivers with both style and durability in this head-turning vehicle. The 2021 version has upgraded its exterior from its previous Chevrolet model so the body is more attractively sculpted. The Trailblazer’s numerous amenities consist of keyless entry and start; 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity; 10-way power seat adjustment with lumbar control; roof rack and side rails for mounting bikes (or any personal outdoor equipment); Apple CarPlay/Android Auto capability; wireless charging; and Bose Premium 7-speaker system. The Trailblazer does not disappoint when it comes to safety with the automatic emergency breaking, lane departure warning and forward collision alert coming standard in every vehicle. We also appreciated the combined 28 MPG for short and long trips. This value and style combined make the Trailblazer a great option for those wanting a vehicle that will fit a busy and ever-changing lifestyle.

$30,580 MSRP as reviewed
For more information, Chevrolet.com.
 

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport

If you are looking for safety coupled with reliability and performance, the upgraded Subaru Crosstrek will fit certainly the bill. Consistently providing the dependability we have come to love from the Subaru name, the 2021 Sport model comes standard with the 2.5 liter 4-cylinder Subaru Boxer engine—making it the most powerful of the line—and a new exterior trim element giving it a more rugged look, while maintaining a combined 29 MPG. Standard features include keyless entry with push button start, a 6.5-inch touchscreen with smartphone integration and Bluetooth connectivity, a 6-speaker audio system, dual USB charging ports in both front and rear consoles, roof rails and a power moonroof. The adventurous motorists will appreciate the water-repellant StarTex upholstery beautified by yellow contrast stitching, and durable floormats made from recycled materials. 
Regarding safety, the Crosstrek’s advanced adaptive cruise control with lane centering, tire pressure monitoring system with individual wheel display, blind spot detection and rear seat reminder will steadily give you peace of mind. Base prices starting as low as $22,245 MSRP, the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek combines affordability and appeal for a truly multi-functional and worry-free vehicle.

$26,495 MSRP as reviewed
For more information, Subaru.com.
 

There are a good number of redesigned vehicles that hit the market this year, and the Buick Envision is one of the more welcomed alterations in 2021. The standout change is the muscle under hood; the engine is now a four-cylinder turbo version powered by 228 horses, while the ride remains smooth with AWD maneuverability. Justifying its luxury compact SUV designation, standards include 4G LTE WiFi; 18-inch aluminum wheels with a charcoal metallic finish; remote start; handsfree liftgate; dual-zone climate control; a user-friendly infotainment system with a 10-inch touch screen; various drive modes; numerous driver assistance features via the Buick Driver Confidence Plus (lane change alert, departure warning, rear parking assist, front pedestrian braking); plus the beloved OnStar service GM provides. The Technology Package is a highly recommended option thanks to the HD Surround Vision; a Bose nine-speaker premium audio system; wireless charging; wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay; head-up display; and front park assist. Promising reliability and a competitive price tag compared to the Envision’s classmates also ease the mind when considering a long-term buy. Nice job, Buick!

Starts at $37,600 (MSRP); reviewed with optional features in the Technology Package, it’s $41,790.
For more information, visit Buick.com.


Future Shock!

Check out what the future has in store for us in 2022!

 

2021 Hyundai Veloster N + 2022 Veloster N M/T

Let’s be frank: Hyundai is killing it. One of the reasons for such a successful boom is their aggressive approach to design, quality upgrades and increased power allotment; the 2021 Veloster N is a perfect example coming in both automatic (8-speed Wet Dual Clutch Transmission with paddle shifters) and the 2022 close-ratio 6-speed manual (M/T).

Hyundai is showing racing enthusiasts major love with its N series, named after the research and development center for high-performance automobiles based in Namyang, South Korea, and world-famous test track in Nürburgring, Germany. Racing means muscle, and the Veloster gets an aggressive jolt—a 2.0-liter turbo engine packing 275 horses and 260 lb.-ft. of torque—in both trims. The N Grin Control System provides five driving modes, plus electronic controlled suspension with 5 G-Force sensors, and sport exhaust for extra roar. This series also has its exclusive embellishments to please the eye from the glowing “N” on the racing seats, to the 19-inch alloy wheels with Pirelli tires, two-stage rear spoiler, custom “N” floor mats, glossy black side mirrors, and leather-wrapped steering wheel to help terrorize the roads. Coming with a plethora of standard safety features, high-tech amenities, and generous free maintenance for 3 years or 36,000 miles (whatever comes first), there is virtually nothing negative to say about the Veloster N and M/T. (See what I did there?)

Look for other models of the Hyundai legion to be presented in the N version soon as well.

The 2021 N is $34,745 (MSRP); The 2022 N M/T is $33,525.

For more information, visit Hyundaiusa.com.

 



 

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Thursday, July 29, 2021

Peep My New Article in Thrillist!

 

You know I love my IPAs!

Whaddup?!
Thrillist has always been a fun media resource to write for and when it comes to brews, it's icing on the cake! Make sure you check out the 34 Hottest IPAs, my favorite style, and see if you agree. Some of my brewery shout outs include Creature Comforts, Crowns & Hops, Dogfish, Good Word, and many others. I want to shout out fellow scribes Kate Barnot, Zach Mack, and Ezra Johnson-Greenough for adding their dope picks as well!
Enjoy this article everyone.
Happy Sippin'!



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Friday, June 18, 2021

The 2021 Last-Minute Father’s Day Gift Guide

If you're balling, why not this Escalade?!

Hook Pops Up!

After doing a lot of digging, I discovered some standouts that would make that special dad, husband, uncle, brother or whoever grin ear-to-ear for my annual Last-Minute Father’s Day Gift Guide. Besides my two cents, I include the descriptions shared directly from the providers for additional information when applicable. And if you still need more options, be sure to check out last year’s Ultimate Gift Guide for even more great choices, including colognes, hats, watches, and cars… I got ya covered!

Photography provided.

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Take pops ‘clubbing’!

After such a successful concept excelling overseas, the high-tech Puttshack folks have made Atlanta’s newest West Midtown multi-use complex, The Interlock, their first US location. From the golf balls having actual microchips in them to keep score while playing on their innovative courses throughout the 25,000-square foot venue, there’s beats, eats and sips to seal the deal. It’s like a club with, well, clubs. Note that it’s family friendly most of the time; just check the hours online for when the carding happens. It’s dope!

They Say: On Sunday, June 20th, treat Dad to his ideal activity, hitting a hole in one! Any king of the green will enjoy a day or evening at Puttshack, the newest tech-infused mini golf spot in Atlanta and first in the US. Located at The Interlock in West Midtown, this 25,000-square foot venue is the complete Father’s Day experience and ideal activity for the entire family.  With competitive mini-golf courses, creative cocktails, and a wide variety of decadent dishes, Puttshack is sure to be a Father’s Day he can’t “fore-get”.  Puttshack is located at 1115 Howell Mill Rd, Atlanta, GA 30318.  
Puttshack.com

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Book It.

I had the amazing experience in partaking in a beer-pairing dinner hosted by the multi-talented, nationally renowned Chef Matthew Raiford who passionately shared his life’s learnings which formed the backbone of his amazing cookbook, Bress ‘n’ Nyam: Gullah Geechee Recipes From A Sixth-Generation Farmer. The stories and numerous recipes in this hardback will help any dad not only step out of his culinary boundaries, but also get an invaluable understanding of the Gullah Geechee culture.

They Say: Heirloom recipes, ancestral land, and a landmark cultural exploration, Bress ‘n’ Nyam: Gullah Geechee Recipes is the breakthrough cookbook from Chef Matthew Raiford. Here, Chef Matthew, with collaborator Amy Paige Condon, explores the ancestral recipes of Gullah Geechee cuisine and the story of a community brought together by food. The phrase “Bress ‘n’ Nyam,” Gullah for “Bless and Eat,” captures the essential spirit of this important cultural and culinary exploration into Gullah Geechee tradition. Filled with delicious food, endearing stories, and important history, Bress ‘n’ Nyam is as nourishing for the mind as it is for the appetite. Chef Matthew’s exploration into his family history, the roots of Southern cuisine, and his place as the custodian of his great-great-great grandfather’s legacy is a vital study into an essential American cuisine. Bress ‘n’ Nyam is poised to be as culturally impactful as it is culinarily enlightening. As Chef Matthew says, “The legacy is in the soil.”

Strongroots9.com

 

If you haven’t been to West Midtown Atlanta’s award-winning Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours, get your late pass and head over there to treat yourself to delectable comfort food of the South with, hey, a twist! Restauranteur and celebrity Chef Deborah VanTrece’s debut cookbook The Twisted Soul Cookbook: Modern Soul Food with Global Flavors compiles nearly 100 recipes, stunning photography and chapters of storytelling which will collectively bring every reader along VanTrece’s amazing journey starting with her Kansas City upbringing. This vibrant book is sold both online and at her Twisted Soul restaurant.

They Say: Deborah VanTrece's Kansas City roots, wide travel, and celebrated career in Atlanta have gifted her with a uniquely rich way with food--keeping soulful recipes fresh and fun while honoring cultures, ingredients, and tradition. In her first cookbook, the Twisted Soul chef makes clear that soul cooking has always been as seasonally driven as la cucina povera, as versatile as California cuisine, and as impressive as French technique. The Twisted Soul Cookbook offers almost 100 fresh salads and side dishes, generous main courses, exciting seafood, rich desserts, and brilliant pantry staples to enhance everyday cooking, including dressings, relishes, and sauces. VanTrece is an able teacher and storyteller, guiding the reader through techniques both simple and sophisticated.

Twisted-soul-cookhouse-and-pours.myshopify.com

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Hot Wheels!

Dads have to roll in style, right? Ball out and consider rolling off the lot with the 2021 Cadillac Escalade 4WD Premium Luxury which is exactly that: Luxury. This three-rowed vessel comes with a 6.2-liter, V8 engine; 4G LTE WiFi; a rear-seat entertainment system including wireless headphones; and a banging 36-speaker AKG Studio Reference sound system while sitting on 22-inch wheels. The four-wheel drive capability makes it a lot easier on the maneuvering as well. The “Super Cruise” option drives the Escalade by itself on certain highways, plus there is the 16.9-inch infotainment screen with HD surround vision, and the panoramic sunroof to list just a few of the numerous highlights. This opulent SUV starts at $85,995, but there is a plethora of customization options for pops to choose from.

Cadillac.com

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Dad, put your ‘Big Boi’ pants on!

Already considered one of the best music venues in the South (let alone Atlanta), Terminal West now has a highly anticipated sibling is about to make its debut in a BIG way. I’m talking about Outkast co-member, actor and entrepreneur Big Boi kicking in the doors of the Reynoldstown-based complex, The Eastern, with his crew on September 1st!  Have pops be a part of history, grab him a couple tickets, and kick it with “Daddy Fat Sax.” It promises to be an unforgettable evening. Get your tickets here before they’re gone! Oh, and maybe make sure he pregames at the phenomenal Three Taverns Imaginarium adjacent to The Eastern for a brew or three.

They Say: The Eastern venue boasts a multi-tiered floorplan which offers unrivaled sight lines, top of the line sound and lights, spacious floorplan, and rooftop which includes a covered performance space, bar, restaurant and open-air seating.

Axs.com/events/402392/big-boi-tickets

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Woooooooosah!

No father would turn down something to truly help him relax and get his “wooooosah” on. Sign him up for Utopia Foot & Shoulder Massage’s Father’s Day Package between Friday, June 18th and Sunday, June 20th in Grant Park. For a mere $70, he will get a 60-minute foot and shoulder massage, 15-minute scalp massage, foot detox salt and Mary’s essential oils. Book here and instantly become his favorite. Gift cards are also available for future appoints as well.

Utopiaatlanta.com

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Styling for a cause.

I came across this awesome concept developed by fellow Cornellian Jordan Ar and had to show love. Jordan’s ArtistsUntold, LLC is a Black-owned online retail platform that showcases the apparel and fine art of Black and other underrepresented artists for monetization at no cost to them. Hit up the website and find product that will truly have pops stand out while supporting burgeoning talents who could use the love. 

They Say: ArtistsUntold is a Black-owned online retail platform that provides up-and-coming Black and underrepresented artists with the opportunity to promote and monetize their artwork through apparel and fine art sales. Creating art is expensive enough, so we provide our platform at no cost, leaving the artist with an income stream that allows them to buy that new paint brush set, 64-inch canvas, or camera lens. ArtistsUntold’s collection of elevated streetwear features art by up-and-coming Black and underrepresented artists to promote and monetize their work. Artists receive a direct portion of each sale.   

Artistsuntold.com

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Now listen here!

Want to keep dad active? I found the answer with these lightweight, fast charging MPOW Flame Solo True Wireless Earbuds which not only comfortably hug the ear, but also provide a stylish look in matte black. With noise-cancellation capabilities and high-quality sound plus some bass boost, pops can customize his listening experience with the “twin” or “mono” mode capabilities; basically, you can go full noise-cancellation or keep one ear open. With one-step pairing, these waterproof and sweatproof MPOW earbuds will keep a 7-hour battery life, and you can get 28 hours of battery life in total with the portable USB-C charging case for non-stop listening for a day in change.

Xmpow.com/products/mpow-flame-solo-wireless-eardbuds

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Be sure to hit up my Ultimate Gift Guide for more ideas on guaranteeing a happy Father’s Day, birthday, or whatever the occasion is.

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

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Friday, March 12, 2021

These Piano Keys Hoodies Are Fire!

Hey Beer Lovers and Fashion Aficionados!

I had a blast designing these soft, lightweight hoodies so that my Piano Keys Chocolate and Vanilla Imperial Stout collaboration with New Belgium had some gangster merch. Perfect for now all the way through the summer on cool nights, I love these coming in red and black. Get you one of each color, hook a fellow beer-loving friend up, or simply rock it because it's dope. I appreciate you in advance. 

Here is the official description:

Piano Keys Imperial Stout is a collaboration brew by New Belgium Brewing x Atlanta Craft beer ambassador, Ale Sharpton, with a goal to uplift the importance of diversity and inclusion in craft beer.  Rock this lightweight hoodie to celebrate economic empowerment for underrepresented communities in the beer industry.  Much like the stout, this Piano Keys hoodie will keep you relaxed and relevant. 

Here is the link

Look for the actual beer coming back in mid-March. 

Peace!




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Friday, March 5, 2021

March 6th is Georgia Beer Day!


 Yo!!!

One of the most burgeoning states for craft beer, Georgia, is celebrating the beautiful beverage during its annual Georgia Beer Day! Along with the list below of more than 50 breweries throughout the state officially celebrating it, these Georgia Craft Beer Guild members, they also have the dope glass designed by Larry Choskey brandishing the state bird, flower, insect and tree which you get when you buy a pint at their locations.

Below is the updated list of participating breweries. Hope to see you at a few of these. Be safe, get your sip on, and enjoy! 

To learn more about the Georgia Craft Brewers Guild, check out georgiacraftbrewersguild.org

Peace!






The Breweries:

Anderby Brewing
Arches Brewing
Athentic Brewing
Atlanta Brewing Co
Barrier Island Brewing
Best End Brewing
Bold Monk Brewing
Cherry Street Brewing
Creature Comforts
Dry County Brewing
Eagle Creek Brewing
Eventide
Fire Maker
From the Earth Brewing
Gate City
Halfway Crooks
Horned Owl Brewing
Indio Brewing
Kettlerock Brewing
Left Nut
Line Creek
Monday Night Brewing
Monkey Wrench Brewing
New Realm
NoFo Brew Co
Pendley Creek
Piedmont Brewery & Kitchen
Pontoon Brewing
Pretoria Fields
Red Hare
Reformation Brewery
Round Trip
Sceptre Brewing Arts
Schoolhouse Beer
Second Self Beer Co
Service Brewing
Six Bridges Brewing
Social Fox Brewing
Steady Hand
Stillfire
Sweetwater
Tantrum Brewing Co
The Dahlonega Brewery
The Georgia Beer Co
Three Taverns
Torched Hop Brewing
Tucker Brewing Company
Two Tides Brewing
Variant Brewing
Wrecking Bar

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