“I keep it realer than real,” Thee Stallion rapped. “Fuck all the critics and fuck how they feel.” Recent releases “Savage,” “WAP” and “Girls in the Hood,” with an electric guitar accompaniment, rounded out the performance with a reminder of the high bar Thee Stallion has set for rap — even in a pandemic. Her infectious laughter, neverending sex positivity and always impressive talent is exactly what the world needed in a virtual performance. After introducing her “Fever” and “Tina Snow” alter egos with “Simon Says” and “Freak Nasty,” the black stage, one second emblazoned with red and purple lights and shooting of flames and a fiery “Megan Thee Stallion” on the screen, was in the next completely dark and silent. “And hotties, it’s been a very very rough 2020, it’s been a very rough few months for me. I didn’t think I was going to even be able to do this show but I did, and I just wanna tell y’all that I appreciate y’all so very very much, because if I didn’t have y’all, then I wouldn’t have a lot of people pushing me as hard as they do and I probably wouldn’t be Megan Thee motherfucking Stallion.” Anyone who’s seen one of Megan Thee Stallion’s Instagram Lives knows that the Texas rapper has an uncanny ability to invite people in and make anyone watching feel starstruck. Performing live on stage to thousands of virtual viewers Saturday was no different. “I usually don’t address internet bullshit, but y’all are so so sick!” she wrote in the caption. “Sorry I’m not ass sad and miserable as a lot of y’all lol, but ima keep being Megan Thee Mf STALLION.” In between bouts of choreography coordinated by JaQuel Knight, who also oversaw choreography for Thee Stallion’s BET performance and the “WAP” music video, Megan introduced every one of her back-up dancers — Ashley, Caydee, Dominique, Dnay, Corbin and Taylor — to the stage with freestyle dances to songs ranging from “Back That Thang Up” to “Who’s that Girl” to “Bald Head Hoe Shit.” Hyping them up from on and backstage, Megan continuously brought immense energy and spirit that made you forget you were watching from a screen miles away. Photo from @theestallion on Instagram The concert, hosted through Live Nation and Tidal, was Megan’s first day back after taking time off for herself and her health, and follows the massive success of her single “WAP” with Cardi B that released Aug. 7 and topped the Billboard Hot 100 ever since. Megan made a fiery return to the stage with her energetic opening song “Realer.” Just a month after she was shot and received surgery on both feet, the red stage lights illuminated Thee Stallion standing firmly in her sparkling heeled boots as her name, and the stage lit up in flames. Outlined in bright white and illuminating, the silhouettes of Megan and the dancers read the words, “This shit is exhausting.” With heads bowed and hands up in a Black Power fist, the performers stood by as the names of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Aura Rosser, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Stephon Clark, Botham Jean, Elijah McClain, Atatiana Jefferson, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Jacob Blake passed the screen along with the circumstances of their deaths and debilitating injuries at the hands of police and white supremacists and the dates of the incidents. Before fading once again to black, the screen asked those watching to consider, “Why is it so hard being Black in America?” Thee Stallion and her six back-up dancers took to the front of the stage with an interlude of “Slob on My Knob.” It was a much needed reminder of a tweet earlier in August where she responded to misogynistic comments about “WAP” with “Lol dudes will scream ‘slob on my knob’ word for word and crying abt WAP bye lil boy.” Donned in a black leather bodysuit adorned with green, red and yellow sequins, Megan took the stage for her first ever virtual performance and dominated. Shrugging off technical difficulties toward the middle of the show with the quip, “I’m not perfect, never said I was,” she brought the latest and greatest of her discography, features and salutes to her oldest fans. Megan both received and radiated unwavering support and compassion for those affected by hate crimes and state-sanctioned violence with friends in the audience and on stage. She brought the lights back up slowly with a return to her mantra that has graced the tongues of millions, “Hot Girl Summer.” Thee Stallion proved she is unstoppable and unbothered by the noise, and “Realer” serves as a reminder that this hot girl is still on fire. Always loyal to her fans, Thee Stallion performed audience requests and favorites “Captain Hook,” “Pimpin” and “Cash Shit” with bright and bold graphics of swords, muscle cars and sex talk-telephones never overshadowing her presence. Megan’s struts across the stage are the same way she tackles her critics like the hot girl she is: with confidence and veracity. Following the shooting, Stallion faced criticism mainly from men accusing her of feigning injury because she had resumed her normal hot girl activities. The rapper posted a picture of her wounded foot on Instagram upset that people would accuse her of lying. With a setlist packed with 20 of her songs, there was never a moment to sit down — not that you wanted to — as Megan urged “I need all my hotties to stand up, wherever you at, and shake that ass.”
Facebook Twitter Google+ [View the story “Former SU athletes on Syracuse-Clemson” on Storify] Comments Published on October 13, 2017 at 11:25 pm
2011 Ghana premier league top scorer Emmanuel Baffour has told JOY Sports that he is hoping to rediscover his form under new manger Pitso Mosimane, who was appointed as manager of the Mamelodi Sundowns after the exit of Johan Neeskens last Sunday.The 25-year-old striker has lacked playing time since leaving Ghana Premier League’s New Edubiase in June and he has been losing his sharpness on the bench.Baffour, who was tipped to be an instant hit after his impressive last season performance in the Ghana Premier League, has made only three appearances for the Sundowns.However, he refuses to give up and hopes that the appointment of a new coach will improve his fortunes.“The new coach I’m sure has a different philosophy to overturn things for the club, so I’m praying that I will fit into his style of play to revive my career,” he told JOY Sports“It has not been easy since coming here but I hope this is going to be the turning point of my career.” Baffour is likely to start playing for the Sundowns now that current leading Sundowns striker Nyasha Mushekwi is on his way to the German team Bundesliga.
FIFA also wants to please fans and broadcasters in “major markets” by creative scheduling of kickoffs in their prime time back home rather than in the host nation. Revenue could rise almost 20 per cent to $6.5 billion, using the projected $5.5 billion income from the 2018 World Cup in Russia as a base comparison. Though organising costs would also project to rise, from around $2 billion to $2.3 billion, the potential profit would increase by $640 million, the research said. Still, FIFA cautions ahead of its ruling Council’s planned January 10 vote in Zurich that “it should not be a financial decision”. “Instead, the goal of expanding the FIFA World Cup is to further advance the vision to promote the game of football, protect its integrity and bring the game to all,” the document noted. However, it does not specify a detail that UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin asked for how the 16 extra places would be shared among six continental confederations. UEFA now has 13 qualifying slots and could be in line for 15 in a political process set to best reward Africa and Asia. FIFA acknowledges that quality of play could drop by adding 16 more of its 211 member federations. The “absolute quality” of football with high-ranked teams playing each other most often is achieved by the 32-team format being used in Russia and at the 2022 event in Qatar. FIFA said it made 10,000 tournament simulations to reach that conclusion. Keeping the 32-team format is one option, but FIFA’s research shows clear intent to change that was promised during Infantino’s election. He campaigned for a 40-team tournament that would give Europe a new quota of 14. Infantino now points to “16×3” being the most popular option. “The big, big, big majority is in favour of the 48 teams with the 16 groups of three,” the FIFA leader said after a December 7 meeting of some members in Singapore. Infantino previously promoted 48 teams with an opening playoff round involving 32. That idea failed to persuade FIFA members and commercial partners who want more certainty, less short-notice travel for fans, and a minimum of two matches per team. Expansion for the first time since 1998 is “viable without major concessions on the sporting aspects of the tournament”, FIFA insisted. The biggest change a 16×3 format could force is penalty shoot-outs after drawn group games to ensure there is a ‘winner’. That radical change to football rules, first reported by the AP, would help stop teams conspiring to arrange a favourable result in the final group game. FIFA has sent the research document to Council members and member federations who want more World Cup slots to help encourage young players and sponsors at home. CREATIVE SCHEDULING GENEVA (AP): The best and most profitable way to expand the World Cup is a 48-team tournament of 16 three-team groups, according to FIFA’s in-house research, which accepts that the current 32-nation format produces the highest quality football. The preferred format announced by FIFA President Gianni Infantino this month rates highest in a 64-page analysis of five options for the 2026 World Cup, the first when change can be made. FIFA concludes that “the 48-team (16×3) format would appear to offer the most tangible and intangible value”, in the document seen by The Associated Press (AP). With extra knockout games in a new Round of 32, the format of 80 matches each in an exclusive time slot over 32 days appeals to broadcasters and sponsors and would raise income, FIFA suggested.
Giving feedback creates positive experiences for customersAt the same time, account-based analytics can create a positive customer experience by giving users opportunities to understand which features are used most and to dialogue with vendors about the product. For customers already using Revulytics’ licensing compliance tools, the addition of account-based analytics can make visits by vendors or resellers less likely to be viewed as simply audits or sales calls and more likely to be seen as ways of collaboratively sharing information. “A customer might say, ‘Why am I paying for a feature I’m not using?” DeMarines noted. The ISV or partner might then negotiate a new consumption-based pricing model for the customer. At the same time, the vendor can also draw attenion to the features the customer is using most, helping the customer to appreciate the value in the product.Findings from the licensing compliance tools can be part of the discussion, too. These tools can help to protect customers from the legal and financial risks of licensing violations as well as security risks related to using software that’s been tampered with, said the Revulytics exec. Like Revulytics’ usage analysis tools, the licensing compliance module provides both location- and account-based information. In viewing the stats, the ISV and customers might note that most instances of piracy are happening in company subsidiaries in certain parts of the world. The vendor might then develop special editions of the product with anti-piracy features for those international markets.ISVs often think that they can build account-based intelligence into their own products. “But in reality, if this happens, it’s usually just an afterthought, because vendors can’t spend a lot of time on this feature. Also, customer support for this built-in feature tends to me minimal,” according to DeMarines. Built-in functionality for communicating and displaying dataRevulytics tools also include contextual in-app messaging, a Web reporting API, and the capability to conduct customer surveys. After noticing that a new performance evaluation workflow received widespread use right away, an HR software firm took a customer survey to help figure out how to improve the feature for inclusion in future releases. ISVs can use the Web reporting API to build data visualizations for display on customer portals. “By allowing customers to see what they are using and even compare their use to the general community, this provides a gamification experience to increase adoption,” he said. As adoption of consumption-based pricing keeps gaining ground, many ISV’s and software customers are using Revulytics’ account-based intelligence to gain insights into product use throughout the lifecycle, said Vic DeMarines, VP of product strategy for the analytics toolmaker.As Revulytics defines the term, account-based intelligence refers to mapping of aggregated software data to customers’ processes to see how ISV’s software is actually being used according to criteria such as specific features, OS and hardware environment, and application versions.While Revulytics continues to be a leader in tools for analyzing licensing compliance, too, more and more customers are combining tools in both categories, DeMarines maintained.Initially, Revulytics’ account-based intelligence tools support on-premise desktop and server applications, but the ability to track and understand end user behavior to improve software products and drive revenue is key for traditional ISVs as they introduce SaaS offerings supporting hybrid environments as well as pure play cloud deployments and embedded technology.The timing is right for account-based intelligence across the customer’s software environments. By 2018, almost 50 percent of organizatons will have tools and processes in place for metering their own major on-premise software, according to analyst group IDC.ISVs communicate with customers about used and unused featuresIf Revulytics’ analytics demonstrate that customers are not using a particular feature, the vendor can work with customers to determine the reasons why, DeMarines said. “If for a certain percentage of customers the feature doesn’t improve the value of the application, the vendor might use this feedback to eliminate the feature,”,he elaborated.Alternatively, the ISV might conclude that the feature is so unnoticeable in the product that many users don’t even realize it’s there.For instance, if users of a packaged security solution are making big use of the antivirus software but little use of the firewall included in the package, the ISV might decide to redesign the UI, DeMarines illustrated. Recognizing the a feature needs to be made more visible can give the vendor a competitive edge, he said. Customers might be less likely to buy a rival firewall solution, for example, if they realize they already have a great firewall at hand from a trusted vendor.