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One Man’s Crusade Against the ‘Epidemic’ of Fake MCs

Keep your eyes peeled. A new poster, featuring rapper Big Daddy Kane, claims that “real MCs” are absent from the world of modern hip-hop. Zeps, a hip-hop artist turned children’s book author from Brooklyn, is the guy who made the poster, and according to him, there’s a new trend to blame for the disappearance of authentic artists. It’s that thing where, instead of singing during live performances, rappers just yell sloppily over the studio version of their song. He said his poster should be considered a public service announcement.

It reads: “There is a horrible new trend among today’s rappers: RHYMING OVER VOCALS LIVE. This is unacceptable. You are ruining the essence of live hip-hop, it’s lazy and means you have no stage presence.” The 36-year-old has been putting up signs with this message for a few years, and said that there’s a whole generation of rappers who think this style of performing is cool. But according to Zeps, it’s taboo and makes you look foolish.

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Pour One Out For Pourt

(Photos: Matthew Silver)

Pourt, an upscale java joint at 35 Cooper Square, got a bit of attention (including from B+B) when it opened in late January, for using a business model that incorporates a pay-to-stay work area. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough. Its windows have been papered over, and a message on its website quells any hope that the shop is undergoing upgrades.

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See This La La Land Parody, Even if the Poster Is ‘Slightly Alarming’

You might have seen Jimmy Fowlie, the star of So Long Boulder City, on a poster in Greenwich Village. He’s standing high above the midnight Los Angeles cityscape, wearing high heels and an elegant yellow dress, the Hollywood sign small but distinctive in the distance. The poster is an obvious parody of La La Land (a lamp post is officially synonymous with a movie), the Oscar-gobbling musical drama that had Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling waltzing through the streets.

“I think for some tourists, seeing my poster is slightly alarming,” said Fowlie, a writer/actor/comedian based in LA. “I’ve been told that in drag I actually look kind of upsetting.”

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How Do Bushwickers Feel About Living in America’s Second Coolest Neighborhood?

“We’re peaking. Bushwick is peaking. Do you think it’s gonna get to one? No way. The Mission has been around. Bushwick’s peaking. You can’t sustain this kind of a boom.”

Congratulations to the people of Bushwick! Your neighborhood was just named the second hottest in the United States, falling closely behind The Mission in San Francisco. So, we hit the gritty, graffiti-stained streets to see how locals feel about being one of the “25 coolest neighborhoods in America.” (That’s right, it’s hot and cool!) Is that ranking just right? Totally bogus? Does landing somewhere on a coolness ranking preclude you from actually being cool? Click through the slideshow to find out.

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Battered Big Bird Shows PETA Isn’t Down With Canada Goose

A giant bloodied goose was spotted outside of the Canada Goose store on Wooster Street shortly after noon on Wednesday. This was, of course, just a costume. The disgusting eight-foot-tall creature, with bulging eyes and exposed flesh, stood with a group of protesters from PETA, who gathered in the wake of undercover footage released by the animal rights organization last week. The footage was allegedly taken from a slaughterhouse that supplies Canada Goose’s down, the fine layer of feathers the clothing company uses in their luxury garments.

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Barbara Kruger’s New Skatepark Art Has Skaters Flipping Out

(Photo: @markatthemusuem)

Have you ever wanted to land a nollie heelflip on an art installation? Maybe you can’t skateboard (like me), and would simply prefer to enjoy the artwork as a work of cultural commentary? (I totally did an ollie once, but that was in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4 with the cheats on.) Either way, Barbara Kruger’s latest work, Untitled (Skate), is on display at the Coleman Skatepark under the Manhattan Bridge, now through Nov. 19.

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Will Janice Gunter Be America’s Next Top Ghost Hunter?

Beware, boils and ghouls. The season finale of Janice Gunter: Ghost Hunter will be available on YouTube and Facebook Oct. 31, just in time for a Halloween fright. After a season of haunting misadventures with her Ma behind the camera, it’s Janice’s opportunity to hit the big time, when she lands an appearance on America’s Next Top Ghost Hunter. Will the amateur sleuth rise to the occasion, or disappear in spooktacular fashion?

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Surviving the Cage: A New York Newbie Steps Onto the West 4th Street Courts

(Photos: Matthew Silver)

The West 4th Street Courts are some of the most fearsome in New York City; their reputation for physical play and cutthroat competition is the stuff of documentaries. They’re known as “The Cage,” which helps describe the four towering walls of chain-link fence that surround them, along with the openly hostile territory inside. It’s said that none other than NBA legend Julius Erving used to play here in his heyday. I, on the other hand, was cut from my high school basketball team (in Canada, no less). So, when I rolled up to The Cage with a freshly bought basketball, I had more confidence than actual talent.

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On a Bus with Ai Weiwei, Or So I Thought

Bus stop in Harlem. (Photo: Matthew Silver)

Is there going to be food on this thing? That’s my first thought when I board a tour bus with about 20 other journalists, before heading on a trip to see installations from Ai Weiwei’s new citywide exhibition, Good Fences Make Good Neighbors. To my delight/surprise, there’s a black tote bag sitting on every seat with some snacks.

Maybe it’s too close to Halloween and I’m paranoid about hidden needles, but I don’t want to eat some random apple or the cheddar-flavored Skinny Pop. Instead, I’ve brought along a breakfast burrito from a local bodega. I can sense my seatmate, a German named Andreas who works for German Public Radio, is a bit jealous.

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Cosplay Diplomacy: How 10 Comic Con Goers Would Defeat Their Enemies

Trump says “only one thing will work,” but the attendees of New York Comic Con know better. We asked them how they’d defeat their mortal enemy (in the comic book universe). Click through for their answers.

<strong>Wonder Woman</strong>

Wonder Woman

“I try not to kill people. So, probably in a nice way and put them in jail.”

<strong>Dream</strong>

Dream

“I would probably trap him in a nightmare of his own devising.”

<strong>Dark Phoenix</strong>

Dark Phoenix

“It would have to be the Joker, because he’s just so psycho. It would be interesting to get into his head, and since Jean Grey can get into people’s minds, I could destroy him from within.”

<strong>Flasher</strong>

Flasher

“I’m the friendly neighborhood Flash…er. I’m not here to save the world, I just want to show people my junk. Who wears the most clothes? Batman. Rip ‘em all off. That’s how I would kill him. Without his suit, who is he?”

<strong>Deadpool</strong>

Deadpool

“Probably T-Ray with as many Katanas as possible.”

<strong>Namor the Sub-Mariner</strong>

Namor the Sub-Mariner

“It’s humans in general. He would send tsunamis to drown them. If you have oil tankers and you’re poisoning the water, you’re his mortal enemy. Anybody that hurts the ocean.”

<strong>Tracer</strong>

Tracer

“It would probably be Red Skull from Captain America. Because, I love Captain America. My main superpower is that I can throw a sticky bomb, and it basically blows up everyone in a certain radius. Definitely the bomb.”

<strong>Batman</strong>

Batman

"Most likely it’s the Riddler. Dispose of him? It’s pretty easy. You just need to figure out his riddles and stay one step ahead of him. I would probably just lock him away forever and throw away the key.”

<strong>Octopus</strong>

Octopus

“I’m an octopus. I would squeeze them with my tentacles and possibly drown them in ink.”

<strong>Mercy</strong>

Mercy

“Loki with Thor’s hammer.”

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The Ai Weiwei Installation in Washington Square Park Already Has People Talking

(Photos: Matthew Silver, unless noted.)

The metal-wire Ai Weiwei installation that will reside underneath the Washington Square Arch from October 12 to Feb. 11 isn’t completed yet, but it’s already garnering mixed reviews from people in the neighborhood.

The project, “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors,” is part of a larger exhibition by the Public Art Fund in celebration of its 40th anniversary, and the tall fence-like structure is just one of more than 300 installations that will be scattered across the five boroughs. Another Ai Weiwei installation is going up at Cooper Union.

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