When I told Brett that I wanted to write a Stock Watch piece about HBO, he asked me if I understood what we were supposed to do in Stock Watch pieces. I laughed, insulted his sexuality, then just went ahead and wrote it. Clearly, I know that HBO has been the TV network of TV networks since The Sopranos and me telling you to buy stock in HBO is the most obvious thing of all time, but hear me out…
In the last few years, other TV networks have made a run at HBO’s seat on the throne. AMC may have even surpassed them for a couple years when Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and The Walking Dead were all in their prime. Netflix has had a lot of success with House of Cards and Orange is the New black, FX has the Americans, the Strain, and had Sons of Anarchy too. But AMC is about to be so irrelevant in the TV business it’s unreal. Breaking Bad done. Mad Men done. And their big plan to follow The Walking Dead is a show called Fear The Walking Dead, that focuses on what happened before Rick woke up in that hospital. Oh okay, AMC, you’re gonna show us what happened, for I don’t know, like 10 days while Rick was in the hospital then it’s just going to be The Walking Dead all over again with new characters. Good plan (not really).
Anyways, HBO has massive hits currently in the middle of their seasons with Game of Thrones and Silicon Valley. The Entourage movie (which is probably going to suck, but I get really sad when I think about this so let’s not talk about it) comes out June 3rd and although that doesn’t have much to do with HBO, they had a show become popular enough to be turned into a movie, which is pretty cool (and I’m sure they will make a boat load of money off of it somehow, even if it sucks.) Then June 21st, 2015 is going to happen. If you don’t already have your calendar marked, stop reading right now and go circle the date.
Just a week after Season 5 of Game of Thrones ends, June 21st, 2015 will be one of the best television watching days of all time. The season 2 premiere of True Detective starts off the night at 9:00 pm ET, and that alone is enough to carry a night for any TV network, but HBO has more for us. At 10:00 we get the pilot episode of Ballers staring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Put that dude in anything and I’m going to watch it eventually, but make him the star of an HBO series and I’m not missing that for anything. As if all of that wasn’t enough, at 10:30 we get the pilot of The Brink which is a show starring Tim “where the fuck have you been” Robbins and Jack “I swear to God, I thought he overdosed and died like 4 years ago” Black and it looks awesome. That’s right HBO has 3 shows premiering that night, all with movie stars in them. The True Detective cast has Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, and Racheal McAdams, all movie stars. Robbins and Black were movie stars once upon a time and The Rock is the biggest movie star on the planet right now. Why are legitimate movie stars doing television? Because not just television, it’s HBO. Get ready because June 21st is coming.
While getting in on HBO now may not be like getting in on Apple before the iPod, it is like getting in on Apple when the iPhone 4s was dominating the phone market. Because right after that, Apple came out with Apple TV, iPad minis, MacBook Air’s, The iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6, and 6+. If you got in then would you really be upset now?
You might not know who Vic Mensa is right now, but you will, and my guess is it will be sooner rather than later. Vic released one of my favorite and one of the catchiest non-Drake rap songs of the last few years with U Mad. (Click here to listen) Next, Vic released a weaker song Down on My Luck (Chuck Inglish Remix) and while I don’t love it, I definitely don’t hate it either (Listen Here). Every time I’ve heard a feature from Vic, I have enjoyed that too. He’s already had a feature piece on Grantland.com (which can be read here) where he admits that he had no idea who U2 was and that it pissed him off when their album got uploaded to his phone. If that doesn’t make you like him, I don’t know what will. Fuck you, Bono (Bono’s one of those people who is such a good person it’s annoying. I wouldn’t say I really hate Bono, but I definitely kind of hate Bono and his monopoly over the “mom-music” genre of super average rock).
So, why get hype about Vic’s first album Traffic?? (which is coming out soon, although no official release date has been set) Because it was produced by Kanye West. Just in case you forgot here’s some other EP’s Kanye has produced or helped produce: The Black Album, The Blueprint, and The Blueprint 3, by Jay-Z, Get Lifted and Once Again by John Legend, D12 World by D12, Chicken and Beer by Ludacris, Finally Famous by Big Sean, The Carter III by Lil’ Wayne, and that’s just to name a few. Here’s a full list. Oh yeah, and every Kanye album ever.
With Kanye and the whole Roc Nation team on his side, I see no reason Vic Mensa won’t be as big as any name on that list in a couple years. He has the Chicago, acid-rap, Chance the Rapperish kind of feel to his music, except with a little Kanye thrown in and it sounds awesome. I can’t wait for this EP, which Vic described himself as “a unique blend of hip-hop and rock and roll.” So get in now while stock is cheap and next summer when everyone can’t get that new Vic Mensa song out their heads, remember you heard it here first.
– Jake Kandel (@Jkandy33), Co-Founder, Co-President, CFO of Writing Wrongs, Senior Vice President of Stratton Oakmont, King of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, Protector of the Realm, and your favorite Uncle