Fuck. I really don’t like when these young meddling kids make me chuckle. But when they do, I have nothing to do but tuck my old, grey, geriatric tail between my legs and tip my foam front/webbed-back AARP trucker hat to them. And that’s exactly what I’m doing for this video.

It’s just such a simple prank. Tricking people into doing something stupid with their eyes closed and walking away. Genius. There’s no big reveal or master trickery going on. No shock value. No one having to scream, “CHILL DUDE IT’S JUST A PRANK!” like some kind of asshole. Nope. This was just pure, goofy, innocent fun. And you can tell it was legit, too. It’s not something so out of this world that you’d HAVE to get people in on it to pull it off. You just convince a stranger that you’re practicing to be a street magician, and boom. You’re in.

Is it the funniest prank I’ve ever seen? Definitely not. But it’s refreshing to see a harmless gag from a young prankster. Even in the Jackass movies, sometimes the simplest pranks made me laugh the most.

 

 

 

 

I’m not joking when I say that was legitimately a good NBA fight. It’s 2017 and beggars can’t be choosers. Did anyone actually connect on their punches? No. But at least they got after it a little. This qualifies as a Donnybrook by basketball standards.

As much as we all love Ron Artest for being a lovable lunatic, you can give him a big thanks for the Pussification of Basketball. Since the Malice at the Palace, the league has raised suspensions (without pay) and fines for fighting to such ungodly levels, most players won’t even bother throwing hands strictly for the financial reasons. Then, add to it that they want nothing to do with the potential internet humiliation of losing a fight on national tv, and you get the bitch made NBA we have now. Shit, guys won’t even go up to challenge a dunk anymore out of fear of being posterized. They sure as shit aren’t gonna have the balls to square up and fight another man.

But just remember, even the great Heat/Knicks brawls of the mid-90s had whiffs like we saw tonight. And with bigger stars than C-listers like Serge Ibaka and Robin Lopez. Never forget…Alonzo Mourning and Larry Johnson.

 

 

 

 

 

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(Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V)

Can you believe it? We’re halfway through the countdown! There’s so many exceptional works of art that we’ve already had the pleasure of discussing, I’m beyond excited to dive into the Top 5. This is the cream of the hip hop crop. These are the albums I can listen to front to back, no skips, any time, any place, and enjoy the hell out of them.

Number 5 brings us to our most recent album on the list. It came out in 2012 and helped push this artist into the upper echelon of the rap game. He became well-respected not only by his fans, but his peers. He proved that he was much more than “just a rapper.” This album showcased his incredible storytelling abilities. He made a legitimate concept album, which is something super rare in the hip hop genre.

Today, if you ask any real HipHopHead who the best rapper in the game is, you’ll of course get a variety of answers. But any list that doesn’t include this man in their top 5 can be immediately thrown in the trash. His talent level is so clearly above 99% of the rappers out there that he needs to be referred to as simply, an artist.

He’s Kendrick Lamar, and this is Good Kid, M.A.A.D City.

Number 5: Kenrick Lamar – Good Kid, M.A.A.D City (2012)

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Man, I was late on this dude. In past reviews I’ve been late on albums because they came out when I was a little youngin’ and I didn’t start digging into hip hop until I was 15. But for Kendrick, I have no excuse. By 2012 I was deep into the game and listening to new music weekly. I’d heard about him from a few different friends who swore he was dope, but for some reason I never took the time to dig into his stuff. I think it was his voice. It was initially a turn off for me. It didn’t sound like a normal rap delivery. But one day in the summer of 2013 when I was driving around exploring my new city of LA, a Kendrick track came on my shuffle. I got deep into the lyrics and all of the sudden, boom. It was a hip hop epiphany. I finally understood why Kendrick was getting the hype from all my respected hip hop sources. I was finally ready to sit down and listen to Good Kid, M.A.D.D City.

Almost all of the albums on this list have exceptional intro tracks, which I’ve made clear I’m a fan of. This intro track, “Sherane,” doesn’t have the juice that some of the others do, but it’s a nice setup for the story that the album follows. We’re introduced to a teenager in the city of Compton (presumably a young Kendrick), who’s trying to get with a girl named Sherane. It all seems innocent enough. Just a young guy trying to get his sex life into gear. But the eerie, ambient echoes give you an uneasy feeling. You can sense that this isn’t going to be a typical teenage summer love story. A skit (tons of very important and storytelling skits on this album), warning Kendrick to stay off the street and finish school seamlessly transitions into the first hit from the album, “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe.” The silky smooth guitar sample layered over bumping 808s works in perfect unison with the laid back chorus lyrics. It has a breezy, beachy feel to it. One where you can close your eyes, release all of the stresses in your life, and tell off anyone who tries to fuck with your vibe. Within the story of the album, it puts our subject in the shoes of a typical teenager who just wants to live life and not be bothered. We all remember the feeling. Can’t nobody tell you nothin’. Kendrick puts you back in the shoes of your teenage self. This young and chill Kendrick then transitions into the loud, aggressive, and braggadocios Kendrick on “Backseat Freestyle.” The setting is exactly as the title suggests. Kendrick is drinking and smoking with his friends while driving around LA. They’re bumping music (and I mean BUMPING) and spitting rhymes about how badass they are. It’s yet another great representation of teenage life in the city. Young Kendrick is starting to get that liquid courage that lets him show off to his friends. This track goes almost as hard as any Kendrick track ever. Almost (just wait for it).

Then, after two songs where Kendrick sounds like he owns the world and can do no wrong, we peel back the outer layer of his personality and realize that it’s mostly a front. “The Art of Peer Pressure” is one of my favorite songs on the album. It’s where the young Kendrick first reveals to the listener his introspective side. He’s just a young man trying to figure out life on the fly. He’s really not into the drinking, smoking, and gang banging. He just does it because he’s “with the homies.” The second half of the track follows Kendrick and his homies running up on enemies, robbing a house, and dodging the cops with vidid imagery. Another skit transitions into the trippy “Money Trees,” a track that on the surface might appear like a standard rap song about “gettin’ money.” But a deeper look into the lyrics within the context of the album’s story shows that young Kendrick, although aware he’s gang banging mostly out of peer pressure, knows that it’s one of the only ways he’ll ever get the money he dreams of. Skip ahead to the Pharrell-produced “Good Kid,” and we’re back to the Kendrick with a good soul who’s stuck at a crossroads between good and “madd.” He talks about life being a tale of “Red and Blue,” and getting beaten for being affiliated one way or the other. Cops harass him because he fits the gangster profile, and he’s looking to faith for guidance in the middle of this war he finds himself in.

Then we get to what I consider to be the climax of the album. There’s not a song in recent memory that made me lose my shit as much as “M.A.D.D City” did the first time I heard it. It’s the penultimate BANGER that I can think of off the top of my head. It. Goes. So. Hard. And Kendrick just rips the beat to absolute shreds. It’s one of those rare instances when the perfect beat meets the perfect rapper, with the perfect lyrics and the perfect delivery. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the nod to one of the old school west coast legends MC Eiht on the second verse. This is an all-time track that will be remembered way down the line. Next up is the biggest single from the album, “Swimming Pools,” which is a unique, introspective look at the affects of alcohol, but masked as a club hit. On it’s surface it sounds like another song about poppin bottles, but the verse lyrics reveal somewhat of an anti-drinking message. Yet another instance where Kendrick takes a typical rap subject and flips it on its head to have a positive message. We’re then treated to the epic, 12 minute long “Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst.” This was the first track I heard from the album and it really stuck with me. Kendrick again raps with vivid imagery and describes an almost certain and peaceful death in the streets. The track then has a brief intermission with a skit where Kendrick declares he’s, “tired of fuckin runnin,” and decides to seek revenge. The music changes from a peaceful guitar melody to creepy choir hymns and dark distorted drums. The track ends with Kendrick’s grandmother giving the young, angry men a calming talk and leading them in prayer. It’s an amazing story within the novel that is the album.

Young Kendrick seems to come to terms with himself in “Real,” where he celebrates the person he is and not the fake one he thought he was. “Compton” isn’t a bad song, but it felt forced. It seemed like an excuse to fit Dr. Dre on the album where he really didn’t have a place. Also the beat sounds like Just Blaze got lazy and tweaked “Exhibit C” session template, which kind of annoys me. I also didn’t mention the Drake feature, “Poetic Justice.” Again, it’s only because I feel like it’s forced simply to have a big name included on the album. I actually like the song a lot. I’m glad Kendrick did the chorus, and Drake was perfectly fine on it. It’s just inserted into the album at such a key moment where the story is really hitting it’s stride and kind of hurts the momentum, IMO.

Good Kid, M.A.D.D City is a special album by a special artist. If the last 5 years are any indication, Kendrick Lamar is gonna be around for a while and will go down as one of the most talented hip hop artists of all time. 2015s To Pimp A Butterfly solidified him as a true artist in a generation of rappers that struggle to create meaningful music. Nowadays it seems like you either dumb down your content for commercial success, or keep your artistic integrity and struggle as an underground artist your whole career. Kendrick Lamar has proven that trend wrong, and Good Kid, M.A.D.D City is the album that launched him into what should be a long, prosperous career that blesses us with a number of projects of the same quality. Fingers crossed!

 

It’s a cool Wednesday night in mid-March, and our country is in a brief lull. It’s the calm before the storm. The sleep before the show. The bubbles before the squirts. We’re all taking one last breather before we embark on the greatest annual sporting tradition in our great nation: The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. For the next three weeks we get treated to 63 games of emotional, passionate, and nail-biting basketball. Like clockwork, this tournament takes the nation by storm and seemingly never fails to be loaded with dozens of dramatic finishes that any sports fan will appreciate.

But why is that? Why is it that this specific sporting event, amongst all the other great ones our country has to offer, always lives up to the hype? It’s really the only one that does so every year. The Super Bowl is the most-watched sporting event, but there’s only about a 50/50 shot the game itself is actually entertaining. A lot of Super Bowls are unwatchable after one team seizes control. The NBA and MLB championships are seven game series and rarely get to a winner take all Game 7. Same with hockey. The only other major sport is College Football. We’ve been lucky enough to have a few great championship games lately, but overall the final game tends to lack the drama and quality of play that was built up by the media.

So to me, what makes March Madness consistently great is easy: the players. We know the numbers because we see the commercials for it every year. 99% of these kids don’t go on to play pro. So this is really it for them. It’s the highest point of competition in their athletic careers. There’s approximately 750 players in the NCAA tournament when it starts, and there’s 60 picks in the NBA draft. About half of them will be foreign. So even if every college player drafted is playing in the NCAA Tournament, that’s only about 30 out of the 750 total that will go on to the NBA. It’s an insanely small number when you really think about it. But it’s what helps make this tournament so great. There’s no tomorrow for these kids.

I think this feeling of, “Oh shit, this is what I’ve been playing for my whole life,” gives the players an extra boost of adrenaline that brings all everyone to a relatively even playing field. Yes, the higher seeds still have more talent, but these lower seeded teams loaded with juniors and seniors get that adrenaline boost and bring their game to a whole new level. It’s like those urban legends of mothers who gain super human strength and are able to lift cars if their child’s in danger. The low seeds know this is their last chance to do something memorable in their competitive athletic career. Good luck getting pumped up for a rec league game at age 30. Not gonna happen. They end up playing out of their minds and before you know it, there’s 2 minutes left and they’re leading by 3 with the ball. They start believing they can pull off the upset because it’s been long established that every year upsets do happen. Once they truly believe they can do it, the upset manifests itself. They all know there’s gonna be a Cinderella Story, it’s just a matter of who it will be.

I can’t tell you how excited I am for this weekend. It’s the best four days of sports in the calendar year. Basketball games on four different channels from noon to midnight, all having equal importance. It’s a special feeling seeing that first buzzer beater. The pure joy and elation on the winning side, contrasted by the dejection and tears from the losers. It’s as cinematic as sports get. At this time tomorrow, 16 games will be in the books and we could be saying the same thing we say almost every year…

Was that the greatest first day in NCAA Tournament history?

Probably not. But one thing’s for sure – March Madness never disappoints.

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Oh, how time flies. Can’t believe it’s already been 1,973 years since the great Julius Caesar was betrayed by Brutus, Cassius, and their fellow rebels in front of thousands of blood-hungry Romans cheering them on in the Coliseum (that might be some #altfacts I just made up there but I like to imagine the assassination happening that way). I feel it’s only right to give a hat tip to one of the great JC’s of all time on the Ides of March.

Just a quick reminder – the death of Julius Caesar actually resulted in the start of the Roman Empire. Many people think he was a great Roman Emperor. #AltFact. He unified Rome through victories as a civil war general and was appointed Dictator for life (hence, the murder). Once he was killed, there was another civil war and his adopted son, Caesar Augustus, became the first emperor of what we all know as the Roman Empire. Boom. Droppin’ straight knowledge bombs on y’alls asses.

P.S.

A complete list of other great JC’s, according to one of the greatest JC’s, below…

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(Source) –  Canada’s Carleton University removed the weight scale from its campus gym after several students complained about being “triggered” by it. A sign has been put up in place of the scale, explaining that the decision to remove it is “in keeping with current fitness and social trends.” The school’s manager of health and wellness programs, Bruce Marshall, told the school newspaper that focusing only on weight had a negative impact when it came to fitness and athletics. “We don’t believe being fixated on weight has any positive effect on your health and well-being,” he said to the Charlatan. “The body is an amazing machine and even when we are dieting and training it will often find a homeostasis at a certain weight.” He added that it can take a long time for anyone to notice a change in weight, so there was no point in obsessing about it. Marshall may have a point that measuring the circumference of your girth can be a more effective indicator of fitness than a number on a scale. However, removing the weight scale will only make it more difficult for students who want to lose or gain weight to track their progress at the gym. After all, being overweight or underweight is a major health concern. The scale is also important for athletes who rely on those measurements to gauge their weight class in sports like boxing and wrestling.

Several students were completely onboard with the decision. Per the Charlatan, one student named Samar El-Faki said it was a good call that accommodated people with eating disorders.“Scales are very triggering,” she said. “I think people are being insensitive because they simply don’t understand. They think eating disorders are a choice when they are actually a serious illness.” But she was in the minority, as many other students criticized the college for pandering to special snowflakes. “Next it will be the mirrors,” wrote another student on Facebook. Speaking to CBC, Marshall says that the school will reconsider its decision to remove the scale due to the backlash. “We shouldn’t remove something because some people abuse it,” said Marko Miljusevic, a second-year student. “If they can’t handle the number that shows up on the scale then don’t step on it.”

Lol. Fuckin Canada. What a bunch of pussy hosiers. Can you imagine this happening in the great U-S-of A? Not a chance, bucko. In America we eat scales for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We’re not gonna let no scales tell us how to live. Nope. Not no way, not no how. I dare a scale to try and make me feel bad about myself. I’ll put on weight just to break that shit. Slavery is illegal in this country and we sure as hell ain’t gonna start being slaves to no dumbass scales. Not now, not evah. We don’t bow to scales and we definitely don’t bow to triggered snowflake PC millennials. The day that happens is a sad day for America.

I guess Canada forgot the good ol’ correlation between weight and wealth. What happened to the days when the Skinnys used to gaze with endearment at the Fats with envy? When 5’5 250 lb men were swimming in it with the finest wenches in the kingdom? When being covered in grease and hot oil was a luxery, not a slight toward kitchen workers and mechanics? Those were the days, man. All fat people had to worry about was keeping a large geographical distance between themselves and the other 95% of the population that were carrying life-threatening pathogens. Now they’re subjected to constant scrutiny from peers, doctors, and the “beautiful” – or “malnourished,” as I like to call them. It was a more simple time, and now, it’s ass-backwards if you ask me.

Fat pants = Fat wallet. Always has, always will. The sooner those syrup suckers up north realize that, the sooner they’ll be as great as America.

2009 MTV Video Music Awards - Show

(Source) – A new app listens in on women’s conversations with men, providing data about how many times they’ve been “manterrupted.” Developer BETC São Paulo claims that “manterruption” is “one of the types of violence against women.” To help stop it, women can download the app for free, calibrating their voices in its system. Then, using a phone’s microphone, the app listens in on conversations, analyzing them for interruptions and factoring in which voices are likely male. The app doesn’t store recorded conversations, but it does provide real-time data about the number of interruptions and their duration, BETC São Paulo says. The app also stores this data, which it will use to determine which places globally women are most frequently interrupted, and at what times “manterruption” most often occurs.

The Woman Interrupted app, developed in Brazil, operates in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. The Woman Interrupted website cites several studies, including a Journal of Language and Social Psychology report that found men interrupt women 23 percent more frequently than they interrupt other men, as well as a Columbia University study that found female students are frequently interrupted in class. The website also features “portraits of silence,” inviting app users to submit art depicting manterruption to “promote the fight against Manterruption.” So far, two of the three reviews for the new app are from men. “YES, it can be used by either men or women,” wrote one male reviewer. “I consider myself very good at allowing women equal space to speak, but it’s helping back up my self-assessment with an objective one.”

Yes! Finally, an app that tracks how much more girls talk than guys. Whether directly or indirectly, that will be the end purpose of this app. To provide solid data supporting how many times men need to stand up for themselves and butt in to a conversation just to get their voice heard. It’s long overdue, really. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been out at a bar and been stuck talking to a girl that goes on and on and on about her trip to Africa when she was 23 and how she’s completely woke to her western caucasian privilege. That’s wonderful, sweetie. But what about me? Maybe take an interest in my life for once. I’d love to tell you about the rec league basketball playoff thriller I played in last week, but you won’t give me the chance to speak.

So yes, I’m very glad this app is finally hitting the streets. My only complaint is that it doesn’t record and store the conversations. Bull corn. That would be the icing on the cake. “Oh honey you never listen to me…” Really? Let’s take a look at how many times this has happened…

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When I really wanted to do this…

 

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(Part I  |  Part II  |  Part III  |  Part IV)

Editors Note: I started writing this blog a week ago. It just so happens that the last blog I wrote before I finally finished and ended up publishing this was a blog DJ Premier. Music, man. Mahalo. 

Last week we talked about a conscious rap record that hit the streets in 1998, and we won’t veer too far away from that description as we get into my number 5 pick. This album was also released in 1998, and also featured a duo. Except this duo was the classic rapper/DJ combination. One man on the mic and the other on the 1s and 2s. As hip hop as it gets.

By the time they released this album, they had quite the lengthy discography. They’d been on the grind for over a decade, consistently producing quality hip hop without ever achieving mainstream success. But their music helped shape the sound of New York hip hop for an entire generation.Which is kind of funny considering neither of them are from New York (Rapper from Boston / DJ from Houston).

This album is revered as a late career classic for the group. Everything is on point. Everything was elevated. But as the intro says….it’s still Guru and Premier. Gang Starr.

Number 6: Gang Starr – Moment of Truth (1998)

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I got high before school ONE time in my life. I was a junior in high school (prime pothead year if you haven’t noticed), and my neighbor who used to drive us to school told me we were gonna take a detour before going in. We picked up two girls I knew and rolled a blunt. As the blunt was burnin’, one of the girls put on a cd. It had this raw street beat with these jazzy, chopped samples. Then this unique, raspy voice came in and started rapping. It was so freakin cool. That’s the best way I’d describe it. “Cool.” I’d never heard anything like it, and I had to know who it was. She said, “Dude you’ve never heard Gang Starr? Holy shit I’m burning you this CD after school.” Well, she did. And I had in my possession an album that put me on to my favorite hip hop producer of all time.

You know what, I’m gonna do something totally different with this review. Something I have’t done/won’t do with any others on this list. Moment of Truth doesn’t really have a concept to it. It doesn’t have a special ebb and flow to the tracks. It’s simply the best collection of tracks the greatest hip hop producer of all time put together in his long, illustrious career. It’s just track after track of Tom Hanks stuck on an island by himself screaming Fire flames beats. So I’m gonna do a Top 10 within the Top 10. I’ll rank my favorite tracks on this album from 10-1. Leggo…

 

10. “My Advice to You” 

 

Smooth. Heartfelt. Guru spitting knowledge per usual. Telling the youngins about what’s really important in life. His plea to the kid to strive for better than what the streets offer. The last line in the chorus, “You need to stop, before you get caught again / before you get shot and I lose another friend.” Damn.

 

9. “Betrayal”

 

This is a smokers beat. Premo samples some beautiful, trippy keys that sound like bells. And anytime you can get a Scarface feature, it’s usually top notch. This is no exception. Scarface’s old, wise-man style matches Guru’s, but his delivery is much more in your face and bassy. They both trade tales of street friendships that went sour. Also, the same samples were used on one of my favorite Mac Miller tracks, which is always dope to hear them flipped differently.

 

8. “Work”

 

Definitely one of the more braggadocios tracks on the album. Guru steps away from his normal street knowledge rhymes and talks about the glamorous life. My buddy and I used to laugh at the line, “Your bitch don’t really got no ass, she just poked it out.” That line couldn’t be more true than in today’s social media world where girls find the perfect pose to maximize their “curves.” Also one of the most energetic beats on the album. Fun track.

 

8. “New York Straight Talk”

 

This is Guru and Premier’s ode to the city the Big Apple. The city that gave them the opportunity to become the legends they are. There’s really nothing special about this track and whenever I tell people it’s one of my favorite Gang Starr songs, I get crooked looks. I just like the simple bass line. It’s so fun and playful. Premier’s beats are sometimes so gritty and dark, it’s funny to hear one that’s the total opposite.

 

6. “What I’m Here 4”

 

Ugh…the piano samples in this track are so freaking beautiful. I had one of those special high experiences the first time I heard this song and it’s always held a place in my heart. Beautiful. That’s the only word to describe it. ‘Nuff said.

 

5. “JFK 2 LAX”

 

A story of Guru getting arrested and incarcerated, sprinkled with knowledge that was so uniquely Guru. The ending rhyme perfectly sums up what Guru was as a man and rapper. “Read, study lessons and build your inner power ’cause the next level doesn’t tolerate cowards.” He was a spiritual man and a teacher. Someone who always tried to better others lives. Sad that we lost him so early.

 

4. “Royalty”

 

Premier is so, so good at sampling keys. Similar to “Betrayal,” this song samples keys that sound like bells and really put you in a trance. You rarely hear sung choruses on any Gang Starr tracks because Premo is usually scratching samples. But 90s legends KC & JoJo provide the perfect R&B vocals here. They don’t overdo it by any means and fit seamlessly with Guru. Also, the drum breakdown at the end is so hip hop it hurts.

 

3. “Above the Clouds”

 

Man, these last three could all be number one. This track features the criminally underrated Inspektah Deck. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a sub-par verse from him. He just brings it every time. Obviously the asian-sounding sample is what makes this track stand out as unique, but the intro manages to sample JFK and Jerry Seinfeld back to back. Pretty unreal stuff from Premier on this one. One of the more universally loved tracks all time by HHH’s.

 

2. “Moment of Truth” 

 

To me, this sounds like the track you’d hear walking through the gates of hip hop heaven. It’s very angelic. The strings, the bells, the piano. Everything just gives me the feeling of peacefulness. Like I’m…ABOVE THE CLOUDS! Lol suh. But on the real, this song has always been one of those tracks that I just close my eyes, nod, and say “yes” to myself when it comes on. The fact that Premier can make beats as dark and gritty as “NY State of Mind” and “D. Original” then make a song that sounds as heavenly as this one does, really speaks to his versatility within his little niche.

 

1.“You Know My Steez” 

 

Y’all should know by now how much I love a good intro track. This is one of the best ever. The second the beat comes in and you hear “The reallllllll / Hip Hop / MC’in / and DJ’in.”
Ugh. It gets me hyped just thinking about it. This was the first Gang Starr track I heard on that fateful morning blunt ride, and it’s stuck with me as the best on the album. I’ve never met anyone who isn’t totally blown away by how jazzy it is. It’s one of those tracks that I’d put on a mix CD to introduce non-hip hop fans to real hip hop. It’s the art in its purest form. Premo scratching, Guru spitting, and a beat that’s infectious. Impossible not to love this track. I dare you to tell me different.

 

That was fun! A little different than I’ve been doing, but nice to change it up a bit. Amazingly, we’re halfway through the countdown. Next week we enter the top five. As if the first five albums on this list weren’t great enough, the next five are even better, and they cover a wide range of years. Pumped to get into it.

 

As a DJ Premier fanboy, I see it as my duty (and honor) to let the masses know when my man drops some heat. No thanks needed. I do it because I love y’all and want you to be exposed to the most fire underground hip hop available. So sit back and enjoy this banger with a great vocal feature from Miguel.

Now, Premo doesn’t come out with nearly as many songs as he used to in his hay day. It’s only natural. Someone reaches the apex of their profession and slows down a bit to focus more on passion projects instead cranking out material at a rapid pace just to #staygrindin. So when he does put out a track, us HipHopHeads (hereon out referred to as Triple H’s) owe it to ourselves to listen up.

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I’ve been living in Los Angeles for the last four years of my life. During that time I’ve had the chance to take in the LA sports scene (or lack thereof). First, let me say this loud and clear: LA people are soft as a bag of baby shit when it comes to their sports teams. It’s the main reason I wrote about how idiotic it was to bring not one, but TWO NFL franchises to the city. However, the one team that LA fans are actually passionate about is the Lakers. Well, it just so happens that the four years I’ve been out here have been the four worst in franchise history. They’ve been a complete trainwreck from the second they gave an aging, injury-plagued Kobe Bryant a final contract worth almost $50 million over two years. It handicapped the franchise during crucial rebuilding years, and with the first post-Kobe year coming to a close the Lakers sit with the second-worst record in the league and one of the most underwhelming rosters to show for it.

But I cannot tell you how many people I hear saying they’re, “one-player away” from being a contender. How Magic Johnson and Jeanie Buss are going to have this team competing for a championship in three years. How the core of Brandon Ingram, D’Angelo Russell, and Julius Randle can be a playoff team next year.

Psst…Lakers fans. I have news…

 

You’re not good.

You’re not really even close to being good. You’re a bad team. Plain and simple.

Now obviously the Kobe contract really screwed them over in terms of signing any real pieces during those two years. But honestly, Kobe himself deserves a lot of the blame. He wasn’t willing to ease his way out of the spotlight and hand over the keys to the Laker kingdom to anyone but himself. He basically had a stare down with management, and won. They didn’t have the balls to cut ties, and in turn let him control the way he was going out (which was absolute robbery). Lakers fans will defend Kobe to the death, and I don’t blame them one bit. He brought you enough joy to last you a decade of shithole seasons without competing. As a Celtics fan, there was no one in the league I feared and respected more than Kobe. But y’all Lakers fans need to take a step back and just admit that he ran you through the ringer at the end. Doesn’t mean you can’t love him. Just accept and admit that Kobe said, “Fuck you. Pay me,” and bounced.

I happen to listen to ESPN LA radio which covers the Lakers. All day I hear fans calling in and having legitimate conversations about playoff scenarios within the next year or two. I understand that as a fan, you have to have optimism or you’ll just be miserable. But Lakers fans – have you looked at your last two drafts? Your back to back number 2 overall picks? Brandon Ingram and D’Angelo Russell are the most lethargic, lazy-looking, next-generation NBA burnouts that I’ve seen on a team together in a while. Combined, these guys have the collective drive of Billy Madison on his first day of school. They just coast through games with no emotion or fire. I get that it’s just their style and personality, but I have serious doubts about them being able to will their team to wins and step up as leaders of men. Some people just don’t have that quality inside them, and I think Ingram and Russell are two of those guys.

The only saving graces I see for the Lakers are 1) the fact that Southern California is the birthplace of a lot of talented NBA players. And since everybody grows up dreaming of playing for their home team, I could see them landing a Russell Westbrook or Paul George in the next two years. LA is still LA, and players want to play there. Especially in today’s world where athletes are very brand-conscious. LA or New York gives them added opportunities to make money during and after their career. And 2) the brand new shift in power within the organization could turn things around. If Magic can use his ore and stories of championships past to lure players to the Lakers, this could turn around pretty quick.

BUT…

I’m judging based on the team the Lakers currently trot out onto the floor every night. It’s a GARBAGE squad with mediocre players at best. This team is nowhere close to making the playoffs, and their young core looks like a group that will underperform expectations in the long run. Unless the can lose the Billy Madison attitude and adopt the Happy Gilmore mindset, this team will be at the bottom of the NBA totem pole for many years to come. I hope they get better soon, because the NBA is more fun when the Lakers are good. But I just needed to be the one to serve you unreasonable Lakers fans a slice of humble pie. Look at what’s in front of you and digest it. But be warned – I hear humble pie tastes a lot like doo doo pie.

 

So RIP to these legends…

f61-di

 

…and this snake-tongued freak.

STXEw

 

Hopefully y’all can come to terms with reality: The Lakers stink.