New Study Suggests Vaping Is More Dangerous Than First Thought

Vaping could be more dangerous than previously believed, according to a new study. Published in the respiratory journal Thorax, the study found that the vapor from e-cigarettes may cause inflammation and impair certain cells responsible for clearing bacteria and allergens from the lungs.

The study looked at eight non-smokers who vaped over a 24-hour period. The study’s lead author, Professor David Thickett, said, “[E-cigarettes] are safer in terms of cancer risk, but if you vape for 20 or 30 years and this can cause COPD [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease], then that’s something we need to know about.”

He added, “I don’t believe e-cigarettes are more harmful than ordinary cigarettes, but we should have a cautious skepticism that they are as safe as we are being led to believe.”

What do you think of the findings? Do you vape? Let us know in the comments below.

In other news, here’s your first look at Nike’s Virgil Abloh-designed Serena Williams collection.

Watch Nicki Minaj Rap About Stephen Colbert in a “Barbie Dreams” Update

Nicki Minaj was a guest on last night’s episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Discussing her new album Queen, Colbert brought up “Barbie Dreams,” in which Minaj calls out the likes of Drake, Meek Mill, and DJ Khaled. After noting that he isn’t mentioned in the song, the Bronx rapper launched into a freestyle about Colbert. “I might [bleep] Stephen after the show/He gon’ come back to work with a magical glow,” she began. After a few moments of the talk show host getting visibly flustered, she offered a second line – “But when you [bleep] please don’t stare/Just address me as Queen Nicki Colbert.” Check out the whole clip above.

Later on, Minaj talked about other men she referenced in “Barbie Dreams,” saying two of them spoke to her about their mentions on the track. Not naming any names, she explained, “Well, only one person so far got a little irritated. And then one person, he was just laughing.”

She later shared her thoughts on Joe Biden’s butt size preference, saying “I find that genuine men like big butts.” Colbert then attempted to rap to her Queen track “LLC,” with Minaj returning the favor by delivering a cut joke from Colbert’s Trump monologue.

Nicki Minaj released her fourth studio album Queen on Friday, featuring Ariana Grande, Lil Wayne, Eminem, The Weeknd, Future, Swae Lee, and many more. On the weekend she released the Nas-featuring “Sorry” and dropped the video for “Ganja Burn” yesterday, which you can revisit below.

In other music news, watch Wiz Khalifa and Swae Lee’s new music video for “Hopeless Romantic” right here.

Post Malone Smashes Michael Jackson’s Billboard Chart Record

Post Malone has beaten a record previously held by the King of Pop, Billboard writes. The Texan rapper’s debut album Stoney recently clocked its 77th week in the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart’s top 10, surpassing Jackson’s 1982 album Thriller. 

Previously, Jackson’s monumental LP spent 76 weeks in the chart’s top 10 rankings and held the accomplishment for 34 years. The record was narrowly missed by Whitney Houston’s self-titled debut at 64 weeks, and The Black Eyed Peas’ The E.N.D. at 63, respectively.

Billboard notes that a change in sales has likely contributed to Malone’s success. As of February 11, 2017, chart rankings went from “a strictly sales-based formula to one calculating multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums and streaming equivalent albums.” Jackson still holds the record for most weeks spent at number one with 37 weeks against Stoney’s three.

The 2016 album spawned the singles “White Iverson,” “Rockstar,” and “Congratulations,” and was followed by the sophomore project Beerbongs & Bentleys which also broke Spotify streaming records.

In other music news, Drake and Migos kicked off their “The Three Amigos” tour with a Michael Jackson tribute.

A Closer Look at Serena Williams’ OFF-WHITE x Nike Blazer Mid “Queen”

Brand: OFF-WHITE x Nike

Model: Blazer Mid “Queen”

Key Features: A white and gray upper is complemented by yellow and orange detailing on the tags and zip-tie. A gradient midsole that fades from pink to purple to gray is the highlight of the sneaker. An oversized black Swoosh and OFF-WHITE branding complete the look.

Release Date: TBC

Price: TBC

Buy: Nike, SNKRS, and select retailers TBC

Editor’s Notes: An OFF-WHITE x Nike Blazer Mid with a pink gradient sole was unveiled yesterday as part of Serena Williams’ Virgil Abloh-designed “QUEEN” collection.

This Blazer Mid design had been leaked previously and was considered to be Abloh’s most daring colorway yet, thanks to its eye-catching midsole. Now Abloh and the Swoosh have officially announced that the sneaker will be part of Williams’ “QUEEN” collection, comprising three sneakers alongside tennis apparel. The other sneakers in the pack are the similarly colored Nike Air Max 97 and the Williams “Queen” NikeCourt Flare 2 PE.

Select styles from the collection will launch exclusively in NYC, although Nike hasn’t announced exactly when or how the drop will go down. A release in conjunction with the US Open, which starts on August 27, is a possibility.

In the meantime, check out the sneaker above and leave your thoughts in the comments.

To stay updated on everything happening in the sneaker world, follow @Highsnobietysneakers on Instagram, check our sneaker release date calendar, and subscribe to our sneaker chatbot on Facebook to receive lightning quick updates to your inbox.

What Does “Live Your Best Life” Actually Mean?

“I’m livin’ my best life / Made a couple Ms with my best friends / Turned all my Ls into lessons.”

So starts Chance the Rapper’s intro to Cardi B’s 2018 track “Best Life.” A couple of months earlier, Wiz Khalifa dropped a single also carrying that name. And last month, UK rapper Hardy Caprio did the same. On Instagram, the #liveyourbestlife hashtag has clocked more than 865,000 posts and counting. HuffPost has an entire section dedicated to the idea. “Live Your Best Life” graced the cover of a September 2005 book comprising the best articles from O, The Oprah Magazine. A quick Google search of the phrase, meanwhile, delivers 6.1 billion results, including articles, books, social media accounts, and websites dedicated to helping you do just that.

But what on Earth is meant by living your best life, how do we achieve it, and why does it feel like so many people other than ourselves have the formula locked down?

Spoiler alert: they don’t. Scroll through the #liveyourbestlife feed on Instagram and what do you see? I’d wager you’re faced with shot after shot of stunning landscapes, beautiful girls in itsy-bitsy swimsuits posing on beaches, plants in full bloom, perfect Scandi-style interiors, covetable apparel, goddess bowls, avocados, third-wave coffee shops, yoga poses… the list goes on and on. The posts are tagged #liveyourbestlife because people appear to believe drinking a $10 kale smoothie is the key to life at its fullest — when in reality it’s key to a life of fulfillment only if that life is lived on Instagram.

In 2017, clinical counselor Rebecca Turnbull spoke to CBC Radio specifically about the issue, summarizing the “best life” criteria perfectly: “Get up before sunrise — extra points if you catch the sunrise on a hike or a run — slurp back some green juice with your avocado toast, and then get to work in your minimalist home for the company you believe is making a difference.” Turnbull noted how the entire concept is built around mantras of “Live the life you love, love the life you live” and “Love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life.” This is admirable in many ways, of course, but as Turnbull states, it also requires a “lot of free time and financial privilege,” which she describes as an “obnoxious privilege, not a choice.”

Admittedly, Turnbull’s outlook is pretty cynical. But while her words highlight the problems with living your best life, they also deliver the tools to help us see these phrases objectively and then figure out how to make them work on a personal level. In a society where the correlation between rising social media use and declining rates of mental health is becoming more apparent by the minute, it’s important to know how to differentiate a happy juice drinker and one posting a photo to humblebrag and gain kudos from people they’ve probably never met. What’s more, realize that just because you’re not doing the same things with your life as Instagrammer XYZ, that doesn’t mean your life is shit by any yardstick. They’re just photographs, after all.

Are you getting the most out of your food? I always make sure my meals are as nutrient dense as possible (including my snacks) this way I’m really turning my food into fuel! There’s this sweet spot in between breakfast and lunch when my digestive fire kicks in and I’m super hungry. I found making a superfood nut milk elixir is the best way to satiate my growling tummy and keep me focused and full until lunch time. I’m loving @crucialfour line of products! They are the cleanest I’ve ever tried and are on a mission to fill the gaps in today’s nutrition with the best quality supplements to help bodies everywhere Self heal (also @ritzfit_ approved ✅) Green goddess milk: • 1 1/2 cups almond milk @califiafarms • 1 tbsp #crucialfour Black gold spirulina (improves cellular function, supports immune system, promotes brain health, and supports a healthy metabolism) • 1 tbsp Black maca (mood booster, libido booster, muscle building, increases energy) • 1 tbsp collagen (promotes gut health, hormone balance, bone health, beautifies skin) • blend it up and enjoy! 🌿 #liveyourbestlife #selfhealingrevolution #greendrink #superfoods #nutrientdense

A post shared by Lifestyle Leader🌟IG Stories (@noellekovary) on

So what actually is our best life and how do we live it? The most important word in the phrase “Live your best life” is “your.” Strip away the Instagram filters and look at your own values objectively and with honesty. Figure out what’s most important to you, what matters on an achievable level, and go from there. What do you need to do to be satisfied with your life? Once you’ve figured that out, set some goals. Hate your busy city life? Then make time on the weekends to escape to the country. Don’t reap energizing rewards from your job? Do something about it. Take tiny steps to inject things you like into your workplace, set new goals, talk to your boss about new responsibilities, or look for something new. Take a class, learn a skill, take up a new sport or hobby — everything is within your control.

Take chances, take risks, try to appreciate the things you do have, and surround yourself with people that bring out the best in you. Sometimes our happiest moments are among the most mundane made special by those they’re shared with. Don’t hinge your happiness on things you think will impress others — that’s not living your best life, that’s only living someone else’s idea of it.

Are you annoyed by all this #bestlife bragging? Let us know in the comments.

Next, here are all the ways social media is affecting your mental health.

This Unopened Stack of Pokémon Cards From 1999 Just Sold for $56,000

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An unopened box of original Pokémon cards from 1999 has sold at auction for a mind-boggling $56,000 in the United States, Kotaku reports.

The first edition box was sold by Huggins & Scott auction house last week with the bidding starting at $20,000. While the final price is astonishing, memorabilia and collectibles from the multi-billion dollar franchise have commanded similarly crazy prices before now. For example, a single pristine holo Charizard card sold for $55,650 on eBay last April. So while you gotta catch ’em all, you also gotta fork out to do so.

According to Huggins & Scott, the item is one of few unopened first-edition booster set boxes with a limited printing English base. The description notes that the box contains 36 packs of 11 cards, with each pack including five common, three uncommon, two energy, and one rare or foil card, giving the buyer the chance to land a Charizard all of their own.

In its listing, the auction house also noted the sealed box “has been in the possession of our consignor since release decades ago.” That’s some pretty long-term thinking.

For further details, visit Ludkins Collectables.

Next, check out the trailer for ‘Pokémon the Movie: The Power of Us.’

Copenhagen’s Got All the Fire When It Comes to Summer Accessories

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Location: Copenhagen

Season: SS18

Key Looks: The stand out accessory here belongs to the guy in slide #15 who has opted for a very low-key waistcoat-style bag. This works because although being unobtrusive, and hardly even registering as a “bag”, this subtle accessory could easily carry passports, sandwiches, wallets and other essentials without interrupting the silhouette of the outfit.

Editor’s Notes: Sidebags – the ubiquitous roadman style from the past few seasons – has moved down the body to be worn around the waist for SS18, with a few chest rigs and backpacks thrown in too.

Here, at Copenhagen Fashion Week, we can see how bags can be used to elevate a style a hundredfold, complementing other elements of the outfit, and giving a pop of color as in slide #5, or to reinforce a monochrome color story like the all-green-everything look in slide #12.

Which bag do you think works the best here? Let us know in the comments.

In other style news, here’s your first look at Nike’s Virgil Abloh-designed Serena Williams collection. 

McDonald’s Stunning New Chicago Flagship Looks Like an Apple Store

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A new McDonald’s restaurant in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood is totally unlike any other McDonald’s in the world. Its clean, industrial design has drawn comparisons to Apple Stores around the world thanks to its cross-laminated timber construction, which mimics the appearance of concrete and steel.

The McDonald’s Global Menu Restaurant — as the special eatery is officially called — is part of the Golden Arches’ new global headquarters, which spans an entire city block off West Randolph Street.

The restaurant’s dining room features a garden planted with ferns and white birch trees, while shared tables are outfitted with wireless charging and outlets. A row of harvestable apple trees can be found on the kitchen roof in an attempt by the fast-food chain to utilize underused space.

McDonald’s has designed the building to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification in a corporate push to “make sustainability the new normal.”

Check out some of the images above and leave your thoughts on the “world’s most beautiful McDonald’s restaurant” in the comments below.

Next, get your first look at Disney’s live-action ‘Mulan’ here.

Rivals Better Watch the Throne, Nicki Minaj Is Back On Top With ‘Queen’

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It’s been almost ten years since Nicki Minaj first scaled the rungs of rap royalty, carving out a throne with the help of her various personalities, but heavy is the head that wears the crown. Prior to the release of her fourth album, the self-proclaimed queen boasted that her next project will be “my best body of work,” ushering in an era that’s “a billion times more epic than anything ‘Anaconda’ could have delivered.”

However, behind her typical bravado, numerous delays and last minute changes to the tracklist hinted that Minaj actually felt genuine pressure for perhaps the first time ever, and it’s easy to see why. After all, much has changed in the four years since “Anaconda” and its accompanying album first slinked its way up the charts. Where Minaj once sat astride her throne alone with only the voices in her head for company, the last year has seen other female rappers rise up and vie for her crown too, including a certain Love & Hip-Hop star who trended on Twitter immediately after Queen dropped, despite never being explicitly mentioned on the album.

The last 12 months haven’t been easy on Nicki’s loyal subjects either. Early single “Barbie Tingz” was quietly cut from the final tracklist early on, and other songs like “Bed” and “Rich Sex” didn’t perform to the usual high standards of previous releases either. An eagerly awaited song sampling Tracy Chapman also didn’t make the finished product, and controversial career choices have soured the public perception of Minaj at a crucial moment in her career. Even in the early hours after Queen finally hit streaming services, the Trinidadian star continued to tweak the album, promising fans that she’ll rework sung vocals and some specific bars too in the coming weeks.

A lesser artist might have crumbled under such pressure, but instead, these hardships have crystallized Minaj’s resolve, sharpening her focus once again like the diamonds that adorn her crown. Album opener “Ganja Burn” is quick to make “them cunts learn,” reminding fans and haters alike that “a Queen is what I embody.” Over a tropical island beat, Minaj calls out her rivals with a dexterous flow, explaining that “You can’t wear a Nicki wig and then be Nicki.”

It’s not just her bars that impress here either. Whether you read “Ganja Burn” as a savage takedown track or a melancholic rumination on success, the ascending hook in the chorus is tinged with just enough emotion to support both interpretations in different ways, and this newfound complexity becomes the mission statement for everything that follows.

On her new Apple Music radio show, “Queen Radio,” Minaj told the Barbz fandom that Eminem’s work on the album’s second track, “Majesty,” would “go down in history as one of the best verses in the history of rap.” With his lightning-fast delivery, the rap god certainly does make an impact on Queen, but her highness is smart enough to contrast this standout moment with an eerie, child-like voice at the end which slowly and dutifully informs rivals to say their prayers because “you ’bout to die slow.”

However, if the initial online reaction is anything to go by, then “Barbie Dreams” is the true jewel in Minaj’s crown this cycle. On this album highlight, the Queen puts her own spin on The Notorious B.I.G. song “Just Playing (Dreams),” swapping out his love of women for a savage and hilarious roasting of numerous men in the industry. Although Minaj insists that the song isn’t a diss track in the conventional sense, the scathing lyrics on display number among her best and most brutal, even taking aim at friends like Drake, who are “worth a hundred milli, always buying me shit/ But I don’t know if the pussy wet or if he crying and shit.”

With an old school flow reminiscent of her mixtape days, Minaj is truly feelin’ herself at this point, while also calling out the sexism that characterizes the music industry at large. DJ Khaled in particular is read for absolute filth, and although he’s since congratulated the Trinidadian star online, we’d like to think that the following couplet has encouraged him to at least momentarily question his previous views on oral sex: “Had to cancel DJ Khaled, boy, we ain’t speaking/ Ain’t no fat n*gga telling me what he ain’t eatin’.”

The bars that Minaj drops here leave a dent on the album that’s hard to match, but Queen still earns its royal title thanks to a streak of songs that could be Nicki’s most consistent yet. “Rich Sex” didn’t blow up on release, but the hypnotic trap beat combined with Lil Wayne’s guest verse works far better on the album, and later tracks like “Hard White” and “Good Form” prove that Minaj is still on top of her game lyrically, playing around further with her signature combination of humor and bravado.

As her wordplay on “Barbie Dreams” proves, Minaj’s lyricism is usually at its most effective when directed against others. What’s most surprising about this latest album though is that the Queen doesn’t just fight to defend her crown, but also celebrates those who she considers to be her peers. While taking out her pretenders on the record’s opening track, Minaj simultaneously pays homage to artists like Kanye West, JAY-Z, and André 3000, and she’s clearly humbled by the impressive list of guest stars that join her on the rest of the album.

Despite the fact that Minaj is often maligned for doing little to help the women who try and follow in her footsteps, the star’s aforementioned adoration for other rappers also extends to some female peers here too, including Lauryn Hill and Foxy Brown. Plenty of fans believe that Foxy is one of the three influencers mentioned above, but whether that’s true or not, the fact remains that their duet together on “Coco Chanel” paves new ground for Minaj, delivering a filthy one-two punch that brings out the very best in each other’s work.

Minaj has no time for rivals, explaining on Queen that if anyone tries her, she’ll “double back, kill bitches, bury the body,” but you can’t deny that there’s something rather empowering about the way she openly talks about money and sex with such confidence, subverting traditional gender roles with lines like “My body’s a work of art, he eatin’ this Van Gogh,” and “I got the money and the power now.” If this swagger summed up the extent of Queen, Minaj’s fourth album would still be one of her best. What’s most impressive about her latest effort is how she opens up emotionally too, moving beyond just cocky brags into more introspective offerings that build upon the intimate material she started playing around with on The Pinkprint.

Last October, Minaj discussed the process behind recording Queen, telling T Magazine that “I am getting Nicki Minaj figured out with this album and I’m loving her,” but it seems like things still get lonely at the top. Intimate moments that explore the pain of loss and loneliness are threaded throughout the tapestry of Queen, most notably in songs like “Run & Hide” and The Weeknd duet, “Thought I Knew You.” Although “Chun Swae” also impresses with a dreamy soul hook from Swae Lee, adding an almost fairy tale like texture to the record, it’s towards the end of the album where Minaj becomes most vulnerable on the song, “Come See About Me.”

Ever since Minaj released “Right Thru Me” as a single off her debut album, R&B ballads have always played a role in her discography, but on a record that largely eschews typical pop leanings, the chart-friendly hook of “Come See About Me” nonetheless stands out as one of Queen’s most memorable moments. Minaj herself admitted online that she cries every time that she hears the song and now that the album has been released, she’s since teased the possibility of a reconciliation with the mysterious subject of the song too.

On an album full of A-list collaborations, it’s heartening for fans to see that most of the standout verses come from Minaj herself. While Queen could have used a few more flashes of the eccentricity heard on the killer lead single, “Chun-Li”, it was smart of Nicki to evolve in this more open and mature direction. After all, there’s no point sitting up on high as the Queen of Hip-Hop if no one can relate to you anymore.

Like its predecessors, Queen spans a potentially exhausting length, but Minaj’s fourth album also differs from the others in one vital aspect. Much like her personality on record, Nicki’s work has often been split in two, flipping back and forth between mixtape realness and pop/dance numbers that bid for chart success. Queen might lack some “Va Va Voom” in the singles department, failing to match the airplay she won with songs like “Starships” and “Super Bass,” but the pay off is that Minaj has finally managed to combine these two sensibilities into one cohesive whole, appealing to both mainstream pop lovers and the hardore hip-hop crowd without ever compromising for either.

Sure, her highness could have drawn some inspiration from the G.O.O.D. Music rollout and trimmed the album down a bit, but with this fourth record, Minaj has created her purest hip-hop album to date, and perhaps her very best too. Whether Queen is the “classic hip-hop album” that Nicki wanted remains to be seen, but in a year where the competition for the throne is stronger than ever, her subjects should be thrilled that such pressure has brought out the very best in their monarch, proving once again why she’s worthy of the crown. Long may Barbie reign supreme.

Nicki Minaj’s ‘Queen’ is available to buy or stream. For more of our album reviews, head here.

Wiz Khalifa & Swae Lee Are Surrounded by Women in “Hopeless Romantic” Video

A month ago Wiz Khalifa dropped Rolling Papers 2, the sequel to 2011’s Rolling Papers. Now, the Taylor Gang head honcho is back in support of the project, sharing the official music video for standout cut, “Hopeless Romantic,” featuring Swae Lee.

Both Wiz and Swae Lee star in the clip, as they are surrounding by a sea of giant, naked women. Yeah, you’ll just have to press play above to soak in the TK McKamy-helmed aesthetic, then, revisit Rolling Papers 2 below.

For more music, listen to Lil Uzi Vert and Gunna’s new release, “.223.”