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The Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “Archaeo Brown” Reveal Reflective Heel Panels

Despite several December Jordan releases getting postponed until the first half of 2022, long-anticipated styles like the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “Archaeo Brown” are still on schedule to drop before the year ends. Recently, official images of the sneakers have surfaced, revealing a number of reflective panels around the heel.

First teased mid-summer, the multi-colored pair revels in tried-and-proven tones appropriate of autumn. Akin to ever-popular “Mocha”-accented Air Jordan 1s, the upcoming shoes indulge in a brown suede around the forefoot and at the ankle flaps; “Wings” insignias on the latter components follow suit, but boast a patch-like construction. Hits of rich green, dark purple and vibrant coral leave their mark throughout the retro’s upper, but arguably all of them play supporting roles to the silver sideways-“y” found around the heel and the toe box’s lining. These strips feature a reflective finish that enables the Jordan 1 to make a statement even in less-than-ideal lighting conditions. Lastly. the mismatched shoe box nods to the craftsmanship of the pair, accomplished by its use of contrast stitching and quilted inner-lining.

Enjoy official images of the sneakers here below, and anticipate a Nike SNKRS launch on December 18th.

For more from under the NIKE, Inc. umbrella, check out all upcoming Nike Air Force 1 styles, which includes dozens of pairs prepped for the model’s 40th anniversary.

Where to Buy

Make sure to follow @kicksfinder for live tweets during the release date.

UPDATE (12/01/2021):

A release date is expected on December 18th, 2021.

Air Jordan 1 “Archaeo Brown”
Release Date: Dec 18th, 2021 (Saturday)

Color: Black/Archaeo Brown/Dark Chocolate

Mens: $170
Style Code: DH3097-001

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A Sunset Gradient Joins Neon Green Branding To Make A Statement On This Nike Air Max Plus

The Nike Air Max Plus may not be the most popular visible Air-cushioning model in the Swoosh’s catalog, but it’s historical importance cannot go unnoticed.

Designed by Sean McDowell as a Foot Locker-exclusive in 1998, the silhouette introduced new gradient finishes and Tuned Air-cushioning to Nike’s running sneaker roster. For its latest proposition, the U.K.-favorite harkens back to its inaugural “Magma” release by donning a sunset-reminiscent gradient across its mesh upper. Hits of orange, yellow and white recreate the natural event, while surrounding black TPU overlays and sole unit components balance out the eye-catching arrangement. Yet, profile swooshes and badges on the top of the tongue further animate the Air Max-variant with their neon green flair. Together, each aforementioned component creates a style sure to turn heads.

No firm Nike.com release date has been disclosed by the brand, but that’s likely to change in the coming months. In the meantime, enjoy official images of the sneakers ahead.

For more swoosh-branded footwear, check out the Air Force 1, which celebrates a milestone 40th anniversary in 2022.

Where to Buy

Make sure to follow @kicksfinder for live tweets during the release date.

Nike Air Max Plus “Sunset Gradient”
Release Date: 2022
Color: N/A

Mens: $170
Style Code: DR8581-800

Images: Nike

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First Stream: New Music From Ariana Grande & Kid Cudi, Juice WRLD & Justin Bieber and More

Billboard’s First Stream serves as a handy guide to this Friday’s most essential releases — the key music that everyone will be talking about today, and that will be dominating playlists this weekend and beyond.

This week, Ariana Grande and Kid Cudi look on the bright side, Juice WRLD and Justin Bieber interweave their stories, and Polo G sends us back to the Hall of Fame. Check out all of this week’s First Stream picks below:

Ariana Grande & Kid Cudi, “Just Look Up” 

Adam McKay’s upcoming star-studded film Don’t Look Up focuses on a comet approaching Earth that will destroy all of mankind; Ariana Grande and Kid Cudi, who both appear in the movie, have contributed a soundtrack single that’s presumably more hopeful than the project that inspired it. “Just Look Up” finds Grande steering some romantic balladry with a gorgeous tone and open heart, while Cudi takes a few seconds to fully deploy his croon but sounds comfortable when it arrives.

Juice WRLD & Justin Bieber, “Wandered To LA” 

One week ahead of the release of Fighting Demons, the second posthumous Juice WRLD album, “Wandered To LA,” a pairing with Justin Bieber, hints at the emotional resonance and commercial appeal of the follow-up to last year’s blockbuster-streaming Legends Never Die. “Wandered To LA” combines two artists with masterful understandings of pop melodies and how they can be effectively showcased over hip-hop-leaning beats, as Juice sings about being lost in dreams before Bieber grasps at personal resolution.

Polo G, Hall of Fame 2.0 

Hall of Fame 2.0 is a fitting title for the deluxe edition of Polo G’s 2021 breakthrough album — after all, there are 14 new songs to absorb and even more new stories of the complexities of fame, making the project more a fresh version than an add-on. “Don’t Play” with Lil Baby is as urgent as that team-up requires, the NLE Choppa-assisted “Unapologetic” serves as a dynamic sequel to their previous collaboration “Go Stupid,” and “Young N Dumb” is classic Polo, street-born pain delivered with unflinching honesty.

Shawn Mendes, “It’ll Be Okay” 

Naturally, Shawn Mendes’ new single “It’ll Be Okay” will be viewed through the lens of the pop-rock star’s recent breakup with Camila Cabello, an artistic response to rampant tabloid speculation. Yet “It’ll Be Okay” transcends the headline-grabbing context in which it was released: heartfelt and lyrically potent (“I start to imagine a world where we don’t collide / It’s making me sick but we’ll heal and the sun will rise,” he sings), “It’ll Be Okay” gives Mendes the opportunity to sink deep into his vulnerabilities, and scoop up his best single in years.

SZA, “I Hate U” 

Previously released on Soundcloud over the summer, SZA’s “I Hate U” caused notable fan fervor until it was delivered wide to streaming platforms — understandable, considering how rare solo SZA material continues to be, and how breathtaking this particular song is on impact. “I Hate U” lingers on a relationship that has been extinguished, with SZA providing copious details of what went wrong as well as showcasing the vocal power that’s made her such a captivating figure in mainstream pop and R&B.

Joshua Bassett, “Crisis”/”Secret”/”Set Me Free” 

“Half the s–t you’re saying is only half true, messing with my life as a career move,” Joshua Bassett sings on “Crisis,” the first and most striking in a three-pack of new songs that will surely reignite the online chatter surrounding the singer-songwriter, his High School Musical co-star Olivia Rodrigo and the relationship rumored to be at the heart of “Drivers License.” There’s hurt congealing in these songs, but also the maturation of Bassett’s perspective as a writer and storyteller — personal growing pains that hint at an exciting professional evolution.

Ed Sheeran & Elton John, “Merry Christmas”

While Ed Sheeran returned with his = album this fall and dominated top 40 radio once again, Elton John, another British pop maestro, scored his biggest crossover hit in years with “Cold Heart.” Both singer-songwriters have a lot to be thankful for as 2021 comes t

o a close, and their holiday duet “Merry Christmas” functions as a warm-spirited victory lap, all chiming production and cozy vocal harmonies between two close stadium-conquering close friends.

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Billboard Explains: How Does Spotify Wrapped Work?

On Wednesday (Dec. 1), Spotify users began unwrapping Wrapped, the annual Spotify end-of-year roundup that shows users their top artists, songs and podcasts of the year while also unveiling the top artists, songs, albums and podcasts of 2021 overall. But how does it really work? Though it’s certainly a nice peek behind the curtain of Spotify user data, it’s less clear how these top 5 lists are calculated.

Editors Note: Unless otherwise indicated, the methods Spotify employed to generate 2021’s Wrapped rankings apply to both the overall and individual tallies.

The three most anticipated Wrapped statistics – top 5 artists, top 5 songs and top 5 albums– are based on total number of streams (a stream being counted when a user listens to a track for at least 30 seconds, including offline listens). For the overall lists, streams are counted between January 1 and Nov. 27, though Spotify wouldn’t confirm the specific date they stopped tallying streams for the individual lists, saying only that it was “a few weeks prior” to Wrapped’s Dec. 1 launch date.

Whatever the case, that timeframe obviously privileges songs released early in the year, like Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License” – the most-streamed song on Spotify both globally and domestically in 2021 – which was released way back on Jan. 8. Ditto Lil Nas X’s “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” which was released on March 26 and ended the year as the second most-streamed track on Spotify’s global tally. (Note: Stream count doesn’t apply to the top 5 podcast lists; the overall list is ranked based on the number of unique listeners, while the individual list is ranked based on total minutes listened.)

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Indeed, the majority of songs included on the top 5 global and U.S. lists were released in the first half of the year, including SZA’s “Kiss Me More” feat. Doja Cat (Apr. 9), Glass Animals’ “Heat Waves” (June 29) and Rodrigo’s “Good 4 U” (May 14). The Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber’s “Stay” was released just outside that timeframe (July 9), while Dua Lipa’s “Levitating” remix feat. DaBaby came out in Oct. 2020 but didn’t reach the peak of its popularity until early 2021, giving it lots of time over the course of the year to rack up streams.

By the same logic, it’s easy to see how late-in-the-year chart-busters like Adele’s “Easy on Me,” which was released Oct. 15, simply didn’t have a long enough window to reach the top 5 on either of Spotify’s overall song charts – much like Adele herself, whose 30 album wasn’t released until Nov. 19, just over a week before Spotify stopped counting streams for the Wrapped tallies. While it’s tempting to say “better luck next year” to Adele, streams that come at the high point of 30’s popularity – i.e. the last six weeks of 2021 – presumably won’t be counted for the purposes of the Wrapped 2022 rankings. Then again, Adele’s past album releases have endured far past their respective drop dates, so it’s certainly not outside the realm of possibility.

As for Spotify’s top 5 artist lists, the No. 1 global artist of the year, Bad Bunny – who also finished at No. 5 on the Stateside chart – seems to have attained those rankings based at least in part on his prolific output. The Latin superstar has released seven singles and remixes so far this year, including the Hot 100 top 10 single “Yonaguni” and Hot 100 top 40 single “Volvi” with Aventura. Taylor Swift, who finished at No. 2 on both the global and U.S. artist rankings, released Evermore at the tail end of 2020 (Dec. 11) and this year put out two hugely popular re-recorded albums, Fearless (Taylor’s Version) (Apr. 9) and Red (Taylor’s Version). (Caveat: The latter album was released Nov. 12, just two weeks before Spotify stopped tallying streams for the overall Wrapped lists.) While BTS (No. 3 on the global artist ranking) didn’t put out a proper album in 2021, they did release a plethora of remixes and alternate versions of pre-existing tracks as well as the hit Coldplay collab “My Universe,” which itself spawned a total of six remixes and alternate versions.

As Swift proved with her expansive album releases this year, album length also clearly matters in terms of Spotify’s artist and album tallies (the latter of which counts the total streams of all songs on a given album). Take, for example, Drake‘s Certified Lover Boy, which landed all of its 21 tracks in the top 40 of the Hot 100 the first week of the album’s release. Along with the rapper’s 3-track Scary Hours 2 EP and its Hot 100 No. 1 single “What’s Next” (both released Mar. 5), CLB‘s runtime was no doubt a significant factor in Drake’s No. 4 placement on Spotify’s global year-end artist tally. Kanye West, who finished at No. 4 on Spotify’s U.S. ranking and whose highly-anticipated, chart-topping album Donda contained 23 tracks, seems to have similarly benefitted from his 2021 project’s lengthy duration. It also bears noting that all seven artists who hit one or both of the top 5 artists rankings — a list that also includes Bieber and Juice WRLD — also boast extensive, well-loved back catalogs to goose their annual stream counts on the platform (sorry, Olivia Rodrigo).

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Finally, it’s worth noting that music listened to in Private Sessions – a.k.a. Spotify’s “incognito” mode – don’t count toward any top 5 lists, individual or overall, though they do count toward an individual user’s “total minutes listened” number (a stat that also includes podcasts).

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