Meet the One-Legged Veteran Who’s Healing His PTSD Through Sneakers

Every morning that Daniel Lister wakes up in his Georgia home and is able to put on a his sneakers, he’s reminded of how lucky he is to be alive. As he reaches down and struggles to pull his Air Jordans onto his prosthetic left leg in his, he’s helping himself heal on the inside, far away from the battlefield in Afghanistan that claimed his limb, his marriage, and a chunk of his sanity.

Lister has gained notoriety on Instagram, amassing over 68,000 followers, through his daily photos of him wearing his sneakers with his prosthetic decorated with Marvel Comics superheroes, but he had to go through a living hell—a life riddled with physical and emotional pain and addiction—to get where he is today.

His legs have always affected his shoe choices. As an overweight child, Lister had to wear corrective footwear, a la Forrest Gump, before he could purchase his first real sneakers. “I was a big-ass baby. I was super fat. I had bow legs because my bones were too soft and couldn’t hold my fat ass up. I had to wear corrective shoes with a bar between my legs,” he says. “The first pair of actual sneakers that I got was the “White/Cement” Air Jordan III in ‘88. I remember getting those and being so excited about it. They changed everything.” He also fell in love with “Aqua” Air Jordan VIII after Michael Jordan wore them in 1993 All-Star Game, and it fostered an appreciation for shoes that wouldn’t fade over the years.

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Image via Daniel Lister

Lister’s passion for shoes has also driven him to start a YouTube channel, where he routinely gives a view of his life from his sneaker room. He posts unboxing videos, shows off his collection, and expresses his views on topics within the footwear industry. The latter is also found on a podcast called The Monday Midsole, which he co-hosts Buckeye City Sole, Polos n Jays, and Unboxed Mike, where they This group of friends has become a support system for Lister, and he’d learn to build a similar brotherhood with them like he had with his fellow soldiers.

The now-36-year-old Lister says he never had much of a decision in life to do anything other than join the military, which he did in 2002. He grew up in various places across the country as a military kid and didn’t know where else to turn when it came time to figure out what he was going to do with his life.

“The reality of it is that I got married super young, cause I’m fucking dumb,” Lister says. “I had to figure out a way to pay bills. I needed medical insurance, because I started having babies. The only way I could do that is through the military. I knew that was how I could pay my bills.”

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Image via Daniel Lister

The Sept. 11 terror attacks didn’t completely inform Lister’s decision to join the military, but they made it easier for him to meet the requirements to join the U.S. Army, as branches lowered requirements for new recruits after 9/11. “I have a GED. I didn’t do so good at high school. When 9/11 happened, it made it easier for me to join, because they started accepting people with GEDs again,” Lister says. “They knew we were going to war, and I joined in February [2002].”

Lister ended up doing four tours in the Middle East (three in Iraq and one in Afghanistan), and it made him feel alive in a way that he couldn’t capture back home in Georgia. The prospect of being in a war—or a fight for that matter—is supposed to chill someone to their core. Violence, and the threat of being killed, is never supposed to be exciting, but it gave Lister a calmness and camaraderie with his fellow troops. “I got to Iraq in September 2003, and that was the only time I was ever truly afraid,” he says. “After you get shot at the for the first time, that shit changes very quick. You’re no longer afraid. There’s anger and power that goes along with that. I was more comfortable there than I ever was back home.”

His job was to clear the way for other troops to make their way across the battlefield, He would blow up bridges, build them, and make sure fields were safe of mines. “If there was something in our way, I’d blow that shit up,” he says.

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Image via Daniel Lister

During his final deployment to Afghanistan, Lister went from safely leading fellow soldiers through war zones  On June 2, 2010, he took the wrong step. Lister’s foot landed on an improvised explosive device, and it went off. “I got lit up,” he remembers. “I had 17 soldiers on the ground. I was doing my job. After a bad step, it blew me up. I never lost consciousness during the event. I remember every detail of it. My foot was gone immediately after the explosion. My right leg was ripped from my ankle to my hip.”

It took about 45 minutes for the medics to get to him, Lister recalls. He was then put on a Blackhawk and flown to the closest aid station where he received 20 blood transfusions to help keep him alive. “Once I got to the aid station in Afghanistan, I don’t remember anything else,” he says. “I think they had me in a medically induced coma. They had to perform a ridiculous amount of surgeries just to stabilize me. With my injuries, by all accounts, I should be dead. It’s a miracle that I’m up and walking. I got blown up on June 2 and I hit Stateside on June 3. Mail doesn’t move that fast. It takes longer for Nike to send me a pair of sneakers than it did for the U.S. military to get me out of Afghanistan.”

Lister says that the medics weren’t able to stabilize him and he kept dying. He was then taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where he received serious treatment for his injuries and started an 18-month program to help his life get back to as normal as it was ever going to be ever again. This included revisions on his stump to make it better fit his prosthetic limb. It wasn’t just his right leg that was affected, but doctors also had to fix the tib-fib in his right leg, both of his femurs, and his right hip. His left hand, right arm, and both of his knees had to be reconstructed, too, on top of six skin grafts.

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Image via Daniel Lister

“I was miserable,” he says. “I spent four to five months in a hospital. I wanted to stay in the Army. The Army is how I define myself. Throughout my adult life, that’s what I was. This explosion took that from me, and I had to become something different. If it was just the amputation, I would have been fine. But three out of four of my limbs are trash. I wanted to stay in, because I had grown up in combat since I was 21 years old. I became a man in combat. I was more comfortable there than I was being a father or a husband.”

That’s when it began to set in for Lister that he was going to have to leave the military and do something else with his life. “I went through the tests to see if I could stay in, and I failed them miserably,” he says. “I had to start over. Who was I going to be now?”

Back home in Georgia, riddled with the pain and stress leftover from his nearly life-ending injury, Lister relied on drugs and alcohol to get through his days. After nearly dying, he chose to get sober.

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Image via Daniel Lister

“I had gotten to the point where I was hiding in my room and drinking and popping pills,” he says. “The doctors said, ‘Look, if you want to die at 35, keep doing what you’re doing.’ I said, ‘Bombs can’t kill me, booze isn’t going to kill me.’’

At the height of his addiction, Lister was consuming a half an ounce of weed, an eightball of coke, and a handle of Crown Royal every two to three days. He took the money that he was spending on drugs and alcohol and put them into sneakers, which he didn’t own many of at the time due to the divorce he was going through.

“There was a time when I had a whole lot of shoes, but I also had a really pissed off ex-wife,” he says. “My shoes didn’t survive the divorce. You’ve seen pictures of when people have their cut-up sneakers? I had maybe 10 pairs that made it through that extravaganza.”

It wasn’t just the pursuit of sneakers that inspired Lister to get sober, but rather the effect it would have on his children. “I’m a single father. Unfortunately, my kids got to experience what it’s like to live with an alcoholic and a drug addict. I had to get sober for them,” he says. “I didn’t want to die and have my kids in the foster system.”

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Image via Daniel Lister

Once he became sober, the sneakers started to pile up. “If you go from buying an eightball of coke every other day to not doing that, you’ve got some income,” he says. “So I went and got all these sneakers that I missed out on back in the day.”

The sneakers started to roll in, and Lister started posting them on his Instagram account, One Legged Lister, and he noticed that people were engaging with his content because they rarely saw sneakerheads with a prosthetic limb. “I started posting sneakers that I was wearing everyday on my Instagram, then it started to take off. A lot of people feel shame about [having a prosthetic]. They think it’s ugly. I think it’s the shit. That’s my leg,” he says. “What really hits me is when these kids reach out to me who have cancer or have gone through a tragic accident. They say, ‘You make it OK for me to be this way.’ Those messages are the most humbling experiences I’ve ever had. That was never my intent, it was just about, ‘Here are the kicks I’m wearing today, what do y’all think?’”

There have been negative remarks made on his Instagram page, too, but Lister doesn’t have to police the comments — his followers do it for him. “You’re bound to get people who are like, ‘Ewww gross. Put your leg away,’” he says. “I don’t have to say anything. They get the sort of attention where they have to delete their own comments. Their negativity doesn't define who or what I am.”

He’ll never get his leg back, but Lister has found some sort of peace within his life, and it’s  partly thanks to sneakers. His collection has boomed to over 200 pairs and he’s a regular at sneaker conventions, where kids come up to him to say hi and take pictures. But he still feels the pain every day—that won’t go away. He says his day-to-day pain is consistently a four or five on a scale of ten, but the psychological torment is something that won’t go away. “People can relate to pain, but they can’t relate to PTSD, because they can’t see it. It will be one of the hardest things I have to go through. It’s brutal.”

Lister is piecing his life back together, one sneaker at a time, but it’s not the shoes themselves that make him happy: It’s the relationships he’s forged through collecting. “This sneakerhead community has given me my life back, to some extent,” he says. “It’s made me feel whole again. My friendships that I have now are worth more than my entire sneaker collection to me.”

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Quavo Claims He Didn’t Actually Lose Any Money to Drake on Alabama/Georgia Bet

Alabama beat Georgia in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game on Monday night, and when they did, the Crimson Tide helped Drake earn a lot of cash, courtesy of Quavo. Drake took to Instagram to share a video of him talking to Quavo about a bet they had apparently made on the game.

“I need all my chips!” Drake yelled at Quavo. “Ay, I need all my chips. Quavo, I need my chips with the Huncho Jack dip, my boy! What’s up?”

But as it turns out, the “chips” Drake was referring to may have been, well, actual chips.

TMZ Sports caught up with Quavo on Wednesday to talk about taking an L to Drake. And while he admitted that it was a tough one to take, he also flashed a bunch of cash and claimed he didn’t really lose any money to his fellow rapper.

“It was a friendly bet, that’s all,” Quavo said, before responding to the money Drake showed off on IG. “He had some money in his hand? How much money did he have in his hand? [flashes money] But nah, it was a friendly bet, just a friendly bet. We bet on Huncho Jack chips with dip. Just Huncho Jack chips with dip. We got a sauce. He want to be the first one with it. No money.”

Based on the reaction Drake had to Alabama winning the game, we don’t know if we’re buying Quavo’s story here. It doesn’t seem like Drake would have been as worked up as he was if a “friendly bet” was the only thing he had on the line with Quavo. But regardless of whether Quavo is sending Drake real chips or the “chips” Drake was talking about in his Instagram Story, it appears as though Quavo will be just fine. Check out the clip above to hear him talk about the more heartbreaking aspect of the CFP final—the loss that his Bulldogs took in overtime.

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It Looks Like Drake Won a Lot of Money From Quavo When Alabama Beat Georgia

Alabama beat Georgia in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game on Monday night in improbable fashion. After falling behind 13-0 at halftime, the Crimson Tide put freshman backup quarterback Tua Tagovailoa into the game at the start of the second half and ended up winning 26-23 in overtime to give Alabama head coach Nick Saban the sixth national championship of his legendary career. And no one—not even the guys on the Alabama team!—were as happy about the Crimson Tide win as Drake.

Drake watched the CFP title game with 2 Chainz, and it seems as though he had a large stack of money riding on it after making a bet with Bulldogs superfan Quavo. It’s not clear how much the two rappers bet on the game, but when it ended, a video of Drake celebrating the win surfaced on his Instagram Story. It featured him talking to Quavo on the phone and telling the Migos rapper he was expecting to be paid promptly following Alabama’s win.

“Oh yeah! Excuse me, excuse me, I gotta move this, excuse me. I need all my chips,” Drake yelled into the phone. “Ay, I need all my chips. Quavo, I need my chips with the Huncho Jack dip, my boy! What’s up? What’s up?”

Later in the clip, Drake gave props to Saban and referred to him as the “best coach of all time.” He also showed a wad of $100 bills in his video and said it represented just a small portion of whatever he won when he bet on Alabama.

“This just the beginning, too,” Drake said. “This like one-fourth of it. This just the beginning. Come on, man. You know how we rocking, man.”

2 Chainz posted a video on Instagram as well that showed Drake screaming about the Alabama win in the background.

This isn’t the first time Drake has made a large wager on a sporting event with a fellow rapper. He once lost a grip of money to French Montana on an NBA Finals bet. He’s also dropped some serious money on the Kentucky basketball team in the past. But it looks like he may have made a bunch of that money back, courtesy of Quavo.

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Shia LaBeouf Found Guilty of Obstruction and Disorderly Conduct Following July Arrests

Shia LaBeouf was arrested in Savannah, Georgia and his case is finally coming to an end.

6th Grade Teacher in Hot Water for Asking Students to Create Mascot for Nazis

A teacher in Georgia had a terrible homework idea this week, implemented that terrible idea, and is now being called out for its terribleness.

Shiloh Middle School officials are “addressing” a teacher's Nazi mascot assignment following complaints from parents, WSB-TV reported Thursday. The teacher's assignment, given to sixth graders Monday, asked students to create a “colorful” mascot representing the Nazi party. Students were also asked to give this Nazi mascot a name.

“This assignment is not a part of the approved materials provided by our Social Studies department and is not appropriate and the school is addressing the use of this assignment with the teacher,” a Gwinnett County Schools spokesperson said of the assignment. Echoing the concerns of parents who presumably said “What the fuck?” as soon as they were informed of the assignment, the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP succinctly outlined the preposterousness of the unidentified teacher's Nazi-themed homework.

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Image via WSB-TV

“When you think about a mascot for something, you think it's a good thing—mascot for your college, mascot for your high school,” chapter president Richard Rose said. Rose added that Nazis are “nothing to celebrate.”

While teaching children about the rise of Nazism and its far-reaching societal effects is indeed something that should happen as often as possible, asking them to basically draw up a cuddly Nazi mascot is one of the worst ideas I've ever heard, particularly when taking into consideration the emboldening of neo-Nazi groups in recent years.

And as for those modern-day Nazis, they already have a mascot:

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Quavo Reveals He’s Working on a Script for Migos Movie

Quavo, who is hopefully quite busy crafting a new and improved national anthem, shared another update regarding his upcoming collaborative project with Travis Scott Monday. During a Migos x Zane Lowe discussion on Beats 1, Quavo also also opened up about the Georgia trio's cinematic ambitions and how the continued success of their crossover supersmash “Bad and Boujee” is affecting their new material.

“The job was not to just chase it, you know?” Quavo told host Zane Lowe of how they reacted, creatively, to “Bad and Boujee” mania. “Try to chase that same feeling, that same creation? You can't, you know what I'm saying? It's like a painting that's already been painted. And like, only way you can do it is create you a whole 'nother masterpiece. And hopefully it'll be bigger, but you will never create that 'Bad & Boujee' moment, because it was a moment, like you said. It's about timing and it's done.”

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Though Quavo sadly did not reveal a release date or any other specifics regarding his much-anticipated Travis Scott collab, he did confirm that the two have been working on “figuring out” the project. “We got all that we wanna do,” Quavo said. “We just trying to, like, get all the track listing.​”

As for plans to break into cinema, Quavo revealed he's currently working on a script for a Migos movie inspired by his love of '90s and early '00s films like Menace II Society and Baller Blockin. “I always been watching movies and, like, my favorite musicians do movies and they really used to do that a lot in like the '90s,” Quavo said. “So I'm a '90s baby and all my favorite movies got all the dope artists in them.”

Catch the full Migos x Zane Lowe discussion, during which the trio confirms they've recently been in touch with Atlanta star and creator Donald Glover, below:

For reasons not entirely clear, Zane Lowe failed to ask Quavo about his progress on the new national anthem. Come on, Zane!

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6 Dogs Shares “Faygo Dreams” Video, Explains His Unique Perspective on Life and Music

Like many fans, I had already heard pieces of the story behind 18-year-old artist 6 Dogs' upbringing before we met—he was homeschooled and raised in a religious household in Georgia, and his mom grounded him when she discovered his music. He persisted, and his unique blend of minimal hip-hop elements, hypnotic deliveries, and dream-like melodies earned him a dedicated and enormous following. Many of his songs have millions of plays, and “Faygo Dreams” has over six million on SoundCloud alone. But throughout his rise over the last year, he's remained an enigma, maintaining distance from the spotlight and holding onto his private lifestyle.

In late July, 6 Dogs came to New York City for the “Faygo Dreams” video shoot, and we planned to link up in Washington Square Park. Going into our meeting during a sunny day in New York City, I knew I wasn't hanging out with the average teenager. I expected someone shocked and possibly overwhelmed by the chaos of New York City, but I couldn't have been more wrong.

If I were to take a guess, I would say 6 Dogs was unimpressed by NYC. After speaking with him, I would even go so far as to say 6 Dogs is pretty unimpressed with the entire world that he was somewhat sheltered from his entire life. 

There couldn't be a crazier time for 6 Dogs to experience the world, but he's taking full advantage of the outsider perspective he has on life, and he's wrapping his head around a plan. Check out the video for “Faygo Dreams” above and keep scrolling for our full conversation with 6 Dogs.

6 Dogs
Photo by Jonathan Astacio

How did “Faygo Dreams” come together?

When I was making the song I just had the hook and my friend had this amazing beat. We made it in the library during lunch. We went in the library for a week, just tweaking and stuff. I was writing some stuff down and it all was corny. I decided to scrap the entire song and rewrite it about five minutes before I left to record it. Then I thought, “What’s something really cool? Faygo.” Then I thought, “What’s something else really cool? Dreams.” Then I put it together.

What about the video?

The video was a dream that I had. It was one of the craziest dreams I’ve had in my life, and I’m very into my dreams and trying to decipher them. You ever have dreams where you just know things without them being explained, even if it doesn’t match up in real life?

Yeah, like the dreams are an alternate reality.

So basically, I was in this arcade but it was purgatory. It wasn’t scary or anything, it wasn’t hellish. It was just a regular arcade, you could get food at the concession stand, you can play games. I was in this corner of the arcade playing one of the games and I ended up beating the game.

After I beat the game, it brought up three prizes that I could choose from. The first prize was that I could bring this kid I grew up with back to life—he killed himself last year. The second one was that I could bring Michael Jackson back to life, and the third prize was a bouncy ball and some quarters.

I was going through my options. I was looking at the kid I could bring back to life and decided, “I don’t need to bring him back. He’s at peace, he’s in a better place.” So then I got to Michael Jackson and I was like, “He doesn’t need to come back.” I just got an extremely negative vibe looking at the screen. So I ended up taking the bouncy ball and some quarters. It wasn’t like I wanted it, but it was the only option.

Did you ever figure out or look deeper into this dream that led to the video?

The thing with the video is, there’s a lot going on. You know there’s something there, and it’s something profound and incredibly deep, but you don’t know exactly what it is. By the end of the video you’re probably going to have more questions than answers.

For me as an artist, it’s not really my job to give you everything in a nice box with a bow on it. I’m not just going to give it to you, I kind of want to just give you this big mess and let you take a whack at it. That’s what this video is going to feel like.

The thing is, this dream could mean very much more but I haven’t explored that. With some things, you just don’t know and that’s kind of where I’m at with life. I have a few things that are solid in my life and aren’t moving, but there are other things where I have more questions than answers.

It’s interesting to think about. I have so many questions. The other day I was walking around I was like, “Yo, this is crazy. We’re on this ball that is just floating in space and we call it Earth. That is insane.” Things like that just make me wonder what is actually going on—this all is so weird. I’m enjoying it and I love it, I just don’t understand it.

That’s just kind of the thing with a lot of my stuff, some things contradict each other, some things don’t make sense, it’s really up to the listener.

Talking down about other people and talking yourself up and disrespecting women is crazy. It’s sickening how bad it is. The fact that people are putting that on a pedestal and applauding it is crazy.

I think in life you get put in situations like in that dream where you have the option to change certain things, but after thinking it through you just don’t do anything. That’s what the quarters and the bouncy ball reminded me of—sometimes things are fine the way they are.

Exactly, I didn’t even make that connection but me choosing the quarters and the ball is where I am in life. I don’t really know what’s going on but I’m cool with it. It’s nice, existing is a really nice thing. I don’t take it for granted or anything.

Where did the curiosity come from?

I’ve always been like that since I was a kid. Take Legos, for example. I would never use the instructions with the Legos, and I would never build what was on the front of the box. I would always build something random. I’ve always questioned everything because everything is so weird. Why would you not question everything?

I question everything, but at the same time I’m not freaking out. I’m just like, “Yo, that’s crazy, that makes no sense.” It’s in the back of my mind, but I’m always chilling. It’s a weird combination. I have friends who are deep and philosophical and I’m kind of like that too but I just have accepted that there’s nothing I can do about it. I’m just not gonna know, I’m gonna keep trying and sometimes it’ll work, sometimes it won’t. At the end of the day I’m just chilling and creating.

Do you think that your music will inspire the deeper thinkers and help them find some of the answers they’re looking for?

Yeah for sure, I feel like I’m helping them understand themselves. It sounds corny, but everyone doesn’t have to be like me. Everyone doesn’t have to think about the deepest thing ever with a blank look on their face. If I inspire them to understand themselves, that’s cool, because for me, I’ve just been talking about how I feel. With the whole flexing, talking about myself, money, and talking about girls stuff, I’m not really with that. That’s another thing that makes absolutely no sense to me, and that is what rap is currently. I don’t understand it at all. It blows my mind on a regular basis.

Rap as a genre?

Not as a genre, just the content. I love the sound, but the content feels like someone sitting in the booth with headphones on, rapping into the mic while they’re looking in a mirror saying, “Dang, I look good” and then talking about themselves. I just don’t understand it, if someone was just bragging in person in front of me, I’d be like, “Yo, get out of my face, you’re weird.” Then there's the stuff that’s said about women, if you said any of that stuff in a public area you’d get jumped. The stuff they’re saying is wrong.​

Isn’t that trippy how in rap, that kind of talk is normal and it’s the kids that don’t talk about those things that are labeled weird?

Talking down about other people and talking yourself up and disrespecting women is crazy. It’s sickening how bad it is. The fact that people are putting that on a pedestal and applauding it is crazy. That’s one thing about humans that makes me think like, “Yo, you guys are weird.”

So then who or what inspired you to become 6 Dogs and make your music?

I grew up homeschooled in Georgia, kind of in the mountains. My mom’s Christian so I was completely removed from music as a whole. All we really listened to was Christian music. I think that plays to my advantage, because I have an outside perspective and I’m not influenced by certain things that most people would be influenced by. That really attributes to why I’m so different.

The first rap that I ever really listened to was MC Hammer, and then when I started actually getting into the genre it was Lil Wayne, some Drake, Kanye’s hits. “All Of The Lights,” “Power,” stuff like that. Then I started progressively getting more into it, but a few months ago I just stopped listening to rap completely.

I have friends that’ll play stuff and be like, “You know that Pharrell song?” and I’ll be like, “No, I don’t know that Pharrell song.” They’ll show it to me and I’ll take a little inspiration. That’s why I think being so removed is an advantage, because whenever I do hear stuff, it’s later than everyone else and I’m hearing it for the first time.

What made you decide to do music? It seems like you put a lot of thought into it.

I was a lifeguard and I would work six hours a day just thinking about it. I’m not a normal person, I don’t want to be another sheep. Making music is one of the biggest stages in the world, and music is the universal language. I’m good at coming up with ideas, eventually I want to get into movies. I want to make an anime show one day. It’s not just music, it’s creating. I want to create every day.

Also I was going through stuff when I started and needed an outlet, so music helped me a lot. That was the catalyst—me feeling bad and wanting to do something about it.

Are you in a better headspace now?

Totally. I’m just existing. I’m chilling and enjoying what comes my way.

I was just trying to be trendy. I’ll be real with myself. But the stuff that I have been starting to make doesn’t sound like anything else I’ve made. It sounds really good though

Did you already know what to do as 6 Dogs, and what would and wouldn’t work for your music?

Nah, I was just trying to be trendy. I’ll be real with myself. But the stuff that I have been starting to make doesn’t sound like anything else I’ve made. It sounds really good though, and I'm talking about stuff that I find important. That’s it. I’m not trying to do what everybody else is doing. Let’s be honest, it’s about time. I feel like everybody knew that the idea of what everyone considers to be a rapper was going to collapse eventually, because it doesn’t make sense.

How do you think you’re going to adjust to the music industry?

A ton of labels have already hit me up. I have a manager now, I’m getting a lawyer. I know how it works, I know that there are mistakes and you have to watch your back at all times. It’s fine, it’s nothing I can’t handle. I already get the gist and I have my foot in the door.

It’s about to get crazy, I know a bunch of people are going to hit me up. It’s going to be challenging but I have my friends, I have a girl, she’s sitting right across from me. I have everything I need already and I don’t really need anything else.

The only thing that’s going to change is how much money is in my bank account. I’m not clout chasing or anything, that’s so dead. I’m just making solid music. People get too caught up in all this stuff and make it all complicated. There’s a formula, but a lot of people get tripped up and hang out with people that only say yes.

Where do you see 6 Dogs in a few years?

I’m going to be doing the same stuff with the same people. Again, the only thing that’s going to be different is the money in my bank account. I’m not trying to sound cocky, but I’ll be a household name. Sooner than four or five years, probably a year, maybe two. The stuff that I’ve been working on… I think I’m starting to find my groove and starting to get into a rhythm. I see things going really well.

Do you have a name for your project or a timetable for your plan to release?

I don’t have a name, and I don’t want to set a date because I don’t want time to be a factor in the project. I want the project to be perfect. I’m not saying it’s going to take a year, but I don’t want to say two months and then be pressured to make that time. I want to take my time and make every song really good.

6 Dogs GIF
Image via Jonathan Astacio

 

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Most Fire Teacher Ever Raps Geography Remix of “Bodak Yellow,” Class Goes Crazy

Cardi B is on another level. She's been shutting it down at her FOMO-inducing live shows, which feature her performing the No. 3 Billboard Hot 100 single “Bodak Yellow.” The hit transitioned from underground to mainstream with the quickness, catapulting the Bronx rapper and all-around entertainer to the top of numerous music charts and earning her regular spins at radio stations nationwide. The song is so popular that Cardi even dropped a Spanish version. (Why not? “Despacito” has been killing it on the charts.)

With this much visibility, it was only a matter of time before someone got creative and put their own spin on it. Cue Erica Buddington. The Brooklyn author and arts educator posted a clip to Twitter Thursday that showed her rapping “Bodak Yellow” to her 6th grade Capital Prep Harlem class. (The school was opened by Diddy and renowned educator [and noted enemy of teachers unions] Dr. Steve Perry just last year.) Of course, it came with a twist: she made it all about geography.

She got a stamp of approval from the Money Mover herself.

According to her website, Erica is the founder of a company called Langston League, which “designs equitable and culturally relevant curriculum, with an emphasis on literacy, for children of color.” She's also the Social Justice and History Curriculum Lead at Capital Prep Harlem. On Friday afternoon, she gave an update on the reception of her version of Cardi's banger:

I reached out to Erica on Twitter, and she told me this isn't the first time she's flipped a song for education purposes.

“We've used the 'Panda' beat for figurative language,” she said via DM. “And we have poems and little verses for little things. 'Panda' was more so them. This was mostly me. We have another for history, modifying 'Mask Off' so they can learn their presidents. Last year, to learn rocks, a science teacher did 'We Will Rock You.' They love it!”

Erica emphasized that these remixes don't always come from just her.

“[My students] say little phrases in class and I put most of the rest of it together,” she said. “I helped them write it, but I want it to be about them. They deserve it.”

Teachers these days are going above and beyond to connect with their students. Just earlier this year, a Georgia middle school teacher remixed “Bad and Boujee” to recap the Civil War.

Representation matters, y'all.

As for Cardi B, she's officially on one: she performed at the Mayweather/McGregor weigh-in on Friday.

May good fortune continue to rain down upon all who recognize “Bodak Yellow” for the blessing it is.

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A Last-Minute Guide to Watching the Solar Eclipse If You Forgot It Was Coming

By now, you’ve probably heard someone mention the upcoming solar eclipse. While many of us don't pay much attention to the astronomical developments of our time, this one, my friends, is the eclipse of the century. 

If you’re looking for a quick catch-up or a last-minute refresher, here’s everything you need to know.

What in the world is a solar eclipse?

It’s when the moon passes between the sun and earth, thus blocking part or all of the sun for a time.

How rare is this?

We haven’t been able to see one from the States since Feb. 1979. It’s even rarer for one to be visible from coast to coast. The last time that happened was June 1918. So, yeah—it’s a big deal.

How long will it last?

It will take approximately 90 minutes for the eclipse to cross through the country. No one will see the totality of the eclipse for longer than three minutes.

When is this thing going down?

Monday, beginning at approximately 10:15 a.m. on the West Coast, and ending at approximately 2:50 p.m. on the East Coast.

Will it look the same for all states?

Nope. Most states will experience a partial eclipse. Fourteen states will experience a total eclipse, where the entire sun is blocked by the moon for a time. These states are: Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

How do I know what it will look like and what time it will come through my area?

Use this calculator, fam.

Am I definitely going to see it?

Not necessarily. If it’s rainy or cloudy, you could miss out. Sorry.

Anything I should know from a safety perspective?

Some have cautioned drivers to stay off the roads during the eclipse. At the very least, make sure you have your headlights on and, if you are going to be on the roads, follow this advice to be prepared. Don’t look at the sun during the eclipse, even if the moon is partially blocking it, as this can seriously damage your eyes. If you want to watch it, you need to buy some fancy eclipse sunglasses.

Can I watch it online?

Yes you can, my Millennial friend. NASA will have a livestream and even an eclipse pre-show, which begins at noon EST Monday. Follow the stream here.

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Justin Bieber Gets Exposed Trying to Pick Up Gym Employee Through Instagram DMs

If you're a rich and famous star, you should get one thing straight: your DMs are not going to remain private for long. The ease of screenshotting has turned every conversation into fodder for social media, so you better get used to hiding your thirst.

Unless your name is Justin Bieber, I guess. The Biebs is still waltzing through DMs with no fear, and this time he found a rather obscure target to set his sights on.

Jessica Gober, a 22-year-old employee at Fitness on Broughton in Savannah, Georgia, has been tasked with increasing the social media presence for her employer. That directive led to this boomerang, with Gober modeling an energy drink for the page:

At the time, the gym only had 73 followers on Instagram, but somehow, someway, the page attracted a very famous follower with the post. After spotting Gober on their page, Biebs did what any fired up young man does when a thirst trap is thrown in front of them: he fell right into it, reaching out through the generic gym page to holler at Gober. She documented the exchange on her Twitter page, sharing the receipts of Bieber's interest.

justin bieber is thirsty
Image via Instagram

I'm all for shooting your shot, but I have a lot of questions about how/why Bieber was trolling through a page for a Savannah gym with minimal social media presence. Best believe that if this was any old person off the street thirsting after random gym employees, they'd get hit with the “creepy” tag and shunned by the public.

In any case, the reactions were mixed to Bieber's attempt to get with Gober. The Bieber hive was out in full force, shaming her for sharing the exchange or condemning her for not trying to finesse some cash out of the superstar.

But outside of the Bieber fanatics, Gober has plenty of supporters, and you knew people were going to come out and roast the Biebs for this one.

And bless little Bieber's thirsty-ass heart, because he inspired a wave of copycats with his DM slide heard 'round the world. Fans of Bieber's decided they'd join in on the fun, mocking the DM to Gober in messages sent to him personally.

Though the pile-on will continue, Gober has actually stuck up for Bieber in interviews conducted since the DMs went viral. She insisted Bieber never went over the line, and says the gym actually reached back out to him at some point over the last few days.

“We didn't think Justin Bieber was being creepy, the gym did respond to him on Instagram,” Gober told Buzzfeed. “I don't think he had any inappropriate intentions by simply asking who I was.”

And hey, the gym now has over 1600 followers on Instagram, so Bieber indirectly helped them get the publicity they were searching for. No harm, no foul.

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