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"D-O Double G takin' over. Best cop them Playspan goods, beeyotch!"

The Panda is a little late to the party on this one, but Snoop Dogg hitting up the virtual world is something that just can’t be ignored . From the Hip Hop Press to Virtual World News, the word has spread – Snoop Dogg exclusive items hitting IMVU through virtual goods monolith Playspan. From the mouf of the dogg –

“It’s a proud day for all Snoop Dogg fans in IMVU.  I always look for ways to reach out and touch my fans, wherever they may be online or on the streets.  My licensed items are off the chain and it’s a win-win situation for everyone, ya dig?!?” said Snoop Dogg .

Or, to paraphrase – “It’s a proud day for all Snoop Dogg fans in IMVU. I always look for new avenues for my fans to express their appreciation by sending me moneyy – whether they’re hustlin’ in the streets or keeping it real in the virtual world. My items have my likeness all over them and I’m really looking forward to the paycheck.”

Did I just say that? Blasphemy! Jokes aside, Snoop Dogg is the man and his brand is a multi-million dollar a year business. Much of which, to his credit, he spends on sponsoring and participating in football programs for inner-city youth. That’s reason enough to give the former gang banger some serious love. Snoop’s virtual good store will follow in the footsteps of Metric and Ice-T who also have a line of goods on IMVU.

His virtual items will start at $2 a pop and some will be limited edition items. The “Snoop Dogg Extreme DJ Sytem” for example, runs at $20 bucks with a limited number available. It comes with speakers, subwoofers, and animated turntables with DJ and vocalist animations. The set also includes a light mixer and animations. Pretty cool to see these branded virtual goods take on interactive items, beyond just t-shirts and other accessories.

Yet nothing will ever compare to be able to throw up the dub on Meez. Can I get a suuuuuuuu?

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Every now and then I like to pretend the Electric Panda is a pure music blog and share a little of my favorite music. He’s not brand new and not exactly cutting edge, but Elvis Costello is the hipster Jesus. In a couple weeks I’ll be taking my little sister (henceforth known as “little panda”) to see Elvis Costello perform with the Dallas Symphony. So, in honor of that and #MusicMonday, the Electric Panda offers tribute to Elvis Costello.

The funny thing about Elvis Costello being the hipster Jesus is that he’s almost the anti-thesis of someone like, say, Conor Oberst. Straightforward, honest lyrics cut deep into the very core of a damaged soul and alternately offering upbeat tracks to move a shaky spirit. Today I’m offering up one of each from the timeless Costello.

Elvis Costello & the Attractions – “The Beat”

Elvis Costello – “I Want You”

(Right click and choose “Save Link As” to download)

Pioneers of the Metaverse

I get very excited about musical elements in virtual worlds. Well duh, otherwise I wouldn’t blog about this stuff now would I? So the usual process is finding something musically related to virtual worlds and then telling you all how cool it is and why. Or sometimes just going into journalist mode and statin’ the facts.

So rare is it to come across something that earns an eye roll yet Rocktropia, the new music virtual world from NEVERDIE Studios, earns just that. Yes, this is the same Jon “Neverdie” Jacobs – famous for purchasing a virtual asteroid in Entropia for $100,000.

A minor profit and one crappy song later, he’s built a planet in the Entropia Universe and labeled it the “1st Virtual Music World” which, of course, is a ridiculous lie. The world is billed as a way for artists to share and listeners to discover but  it looks like an over-glossy romp in an 1980’s metal band album cover. Screenshots and video released about world show avatars with bad 90’s rock haircuts running around with guns and shooting virtual vixens in the crotch. What does any of that have to do with an immersive music discovery experience?

Motorhead signed on to the project with lead singer Lemmy Kilmister having his own dark castle in the Rocktropia planet. If a world is attempting to become a musical destination for discovering new music and for new artists to profit, there needs to be a focus on music that is relevant and um, new.

As a lover of music in virtual worlds, you’ll have to forgive me for being such a hater about it. Everyone should be entitled to their own place and voice in the Metaverse. Rocktropia will appeal to 35+ metaverse metal heads but the realm is far from revolutionary or original. Feel free to check it out and let me know if I’m just being an ass!

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