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Showing posts from November, 2012

Hip Hop x Basketball -- 7: The Spirit of Competition

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7: The Spirit of Competition      It is no secret that basketball, like any sport, is competitive in nature.  The fact that score is kept and a winner is declared at the end of the competition defines that.  What may or may not be up for debate is just how similarly appointed as a competitive medium that hip hop is.
On the surface, Billboard releases their Top 200 and Rap/R&B-specific charts once weekly to outline who sold the most copies of their songs/albums each week.  In a 2012 economic climate, every album or song sale is a hard-fought-for sale, and it stands to reason that artists and executives are cognizant of this and work hard at either bending tastes of their audience to the enjoyment of their work or bending their work to the will and tastes of their desired listening public.
     With these things in mind, the heat of the battle has the tendencies to cause the participants to become a bit testy while competing in their craft.  Night in and night out, obscenities are yel…

Phlip - 1, Black Friday - 0

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So it’s 4:30pm on Black Friday.  I had successfully managed to not have to leave my house to do anything other than pay a couple of bills as I might do on any payday Friday I should so happen to not have to work.  Hell, it is what I would do if I HAD to work.  Stops also include also payday standards Food Lion and ABC (grocery and liquor for those who don’t live here) for the items I would normally acquire to get me through a weekend.
            As my child is still only one year and four months old, she does not yet have the tastes that even MIGHT require that I stand out in the ball-chillingly 25ยบ morning before a store opened to buy her anything.  Responsible adulthood has unlearned me the habit of really wanting many things for myself that aren’t directly tied to the experiences of holding down my house for Ava and my wife.  About noon, coming in from taking my mother with me to the grocery store for a second time and returning back after dropping her off and returning…

Hip Hop x Basketball -- 6: "Who Can I Trust"

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6: “Who Can I Trust?”      It has been said that when you reach a certain income/exposure level, you can never date a “regular” person – at least not one who didn’t know you before you had anything.
The same is to be said for the people you will have in your circle.      What remains in application is the exhibited fact that the only person/people you can trust to understand your situation and problems are the ones who have been through similar circumstances themselves.  When, as we have discussed, NBA players and rappers more often than not come up through the same ills we understand the connection that they come to have.  As nothing is ever perfect, we’ve seen even these situations go sour and end ugly – usually just with the loss of a friendship and hopefully not the loss of a friend.  To that ends, the “bosses” of both camps spend major time and resources on educating and guiding them to the building of healthy interpersonal relationships, and even THEN it falls on deaf ears.  They …

2012 Election, The Aftermath pt IV

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Trump:  “Okay, Governor Christie, are you with us or are you against us?”

Christie:  “I never said I was against you.  I questioned who stands to benefit from being WITH you?”

Trump:  “AMERICA stands to benefit.  It is high time we take back America!”

West:  “Yeah!!! Take back America!”

Christie:  “’Take back America’ from who?”

Mitt:  “From the moochers.  From the people in America who are only here for liberal handouts.  From those people who want to take, take, take but can never be bothered with putting back into the system themselves via working for a paycheck and paying taxed, from the people who--…”

Christie:  “From the people who watched their houses washed away from a hurricane and genuinely NEED FEMA?  And let us not go talking about taxes, buddy!  Right now, I am apparently a hot commodity in the party.  The President came up and spoke with me, he spoke civilly and we got stuff done in the interest of doing right by those who needed it most desperately while YOU tried to play it…

2012 Election, The Aftermath pt III

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We resume with the same cast of characters sitting at the meeting room table.  Romney still seated at the head of the table and Chris Christie, Donald Trump, Allen West, and Todd Akin flanking him.  Paul Ryan is still in the hallway with Ron Paul and does not appear to have left for the day.  Karl Rove is nowhere to be found and no one has bothered checking the basement to see if he stayed there or simply left on his own.
Trump:  “Paul, if you promise to shut up until addressed, you may rejoin the group.”
Paul Ryan:  “Thank you”
And with that, he rejoined the conversation.
Mitt:  “Okay… our problem here is that the American people are beginning to see a divide between ourselves and the other party.  They have apparently tired of being kicked and insulted.  The numbers of the gays, women and minorities are matching those of White Anglo-Saxon Protestant males in numbers well enough to dictate that we appear to stop pandering to the richest among us.”
Christie:  “Appear?”
Mitt:  “Yes, app…

2012 Election, The Aftermath pt II

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With all eyes on the door to the room, in walks New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie.
Chris Christie: “Hi guys!”

Mitt: “You sonofabitch! Why the hell did you have to give that--… *looks at Allen West*  Why did you give him a damned reacharound on national TV?”
Christie: “Easy, Mittens… I am a sitting Governor, and I have PEOPLE to govern.  If my PEOPLE are in need of help after a natural disaster a week before it gets cold, it serves my own best interest to not be the only house in the state with electricity  Election year politics be damned.”
Romney: “But, but… you made him look like a GOOD president!”
Christie: “Unfortunate timing I know, but at that moment he WAS doing what good Presidents do.  By the way… I figured you guys might be a little hungry since it IS 4 in the morning, so I brought some donuts.  5 of them are gone, but I only ate 4 myself.  Ron Paul looked pitiful out there, so I gave him the strawberry one out in the hallway.”
West: “SHIT!  Strawberry is my favorite!”
Trump: “Cu…

Hip Hop x Basketball -- 5: "Let's Do This Together"

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5: “Me Too!” and “Let’s Get Money Together”      No, this is not related to any basketball players’ attempts to rap or any rappers’ attempts to show how much “like Mike” he was in the gym.  It is more related to each side recognizing the other’s validity in the arena of entertainment.  There is a possibility that this could have been taken along with the “Acknowledgment” we previously discussed, but the level that this is taken to has a life of its own, beyond simple acknowledgment.  It almost becomes necessary to point to the fact that each experienced a bit of a burst in popularity right around the mid-80s, directly in line with the spikes in the popularities of – all at once – national media outlets (broadcast and cable TV, radio, etc.), the renewal of the Lakers/Celtics rivalry and perhaps most importantly, the previously mentioned marketing juggernaut named Michael Jeffrey Jordan.
     A term born of this mutual respect and endearment from the hip hop community to that of sports st…

2012 Election, the Aftermath pt I

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As a matter of fair warning; my imagination is apparently one of the most dangerous places on this planet. This morning (well, the morning as of when I type this sentence – 7:39pm on Sunday November 11th), while I was cutting my grass I had this strange idea related to the fact that we have not much heard from Mitt Romney or anyone in his camp in the days since his failure to make good on his ascension to the office that he apparently felt that he was entitled to.  I do not recall how long it was before we heard from Old Man River John McCain in 2008, and I didn’t care how long it was with Gore and Kerry in 2000 and 2004, respectively.
     This morning, my imagination intervened and created a situation that serves it that politicians and their ilk are these vast teams of supervillains, who sit around at large marble conference room tables and make conspiratorial plans to take off their rivals, and that each failed attempt – like last Tuesday’s embarrassment – represents a chance to get…