Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

A hip-hop challenge, Cap’n Crunch coffee, and Ratchet & Clank

Mass Appeal’s Rhythm Roulette webseries

Finding out about an ongoing webseries three years after its debut is bittersweet—in exactly that order. You wish you’d found out about it sooner, but suddenly you have a crapload of past episodes to enjoy. I’m legitimately shocked that no one alerted me sooner to Mass Appeal’s Rhythm Roulette series, but working my way through it has brought me unspeakable joy. Rhythm Roulette challenges hip-hop producers to go into a vinyl shop, choose three records while blindfolded, then make a beat out of them—or, in the case of the 9th Wonder episode, an early favorite of the ones I’ve seen, three beats. It should be harder to choose a favorite installment considering Roulette has featured producers like Large Professor, Georgia Anne Muldrow, and Oh No (who samples from Nintendo 64 games.) But 9th Wonder’s enthusiasm is infectious as he finds his moment of inspiration on each of his records, and his musicianship is undeniable. His sample face rivals anyone’s guitar face. [Joshua Alston]


The Cap’n Crunch Frappuccino at Starbucks

There’s a whole secret menu at Starbucks, but I’m here to recommend the Cap’n Crunch Frappuccino. It’s specifically the Oops! All Berries version of Cap’n Crunch that this Frappuccino tastes like, so much so that it’s powerfully unnerving. (It must be the exact same combination of artificial flavors.) Every time I’ve ordered it at a Starbucks the Starbuckatier has either known how to make the drink or looked it up in what must be the Starbucks secret drink book. The recipe is the strawberry and cream Frappuccino base, plus caramel, toffee, and hazelnut syrups (so if they claim to not know the recipe, just order that). You think a Starbucks blended drink can’t possibly taste like the cereal of your youth, but you’re wrong. Try it for a real treat. [Caitlin PenzeyMoog]

Ratchet & Clank

No, not the new movie based on the game. I’m talking about the new game based on the movie… based on the game. Given the series’ consistency, it’s not the least bit surprising that this latest Ratchet is another success. It’s both a reboot and a remake of the original game that incorporates the great elements the developers introduced as the series evolved. That means you’ll see recent weapons like the stoic, bloodthirsty robot Mr. Zurkon right alongside classics like the Glove Of Doom. As in later Ratchet games, all your tools evolve into more powerful and ridiculous forms as you use them, which is as effective a hook as ever. The big difference is the game’s visual splendor. With the power of the PlayStation 4 on its side, this new Ratchet & Clank is stunning. The world and characters are colorful, and the amount of chaos and debris your arsenal generates is supremely cathartic. There are few feelings in gaming more satisfying than annihilating a room full of enemies and watching the hundreds of giant bolts that exploded from their corpses magically fly into your pockets. [Matt Gerardi]


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