In Honor Of Big L Here Are A Few Of The Greatest Cyphers Of All Time

The great Big L died seventeen years ago today.  His potential as an artist was never fully realized – and he missed out on fame, super stardom, and hip hop’s glory days – but Lamont Coleman left behind a legacy as one of the most creative, vicious freestyle rappers of all time. Big L laid the blueprint for every great battle rapper since the mid-90s. As such, I figure it’s only right to pay homage by listening to the man do what he did best. Along with two Big L frees are a few other legendary clips from greats that no doubt used L as inspiration.

Below we’ve got the notorious 1995 Big L/Jay Z freestyle, a ridiculous quick-hitter from Jada, another Big L killer, a tough 8-minute go from Slim Shady on WestwoodTV, and – my all-time favorite – the infamous Shady 2.0 Slaughterhouse cypher (Slaughterhouse with Eminem and Yelawolf).  Enjoy.

Saturday Rollin’ With Anderson .Paak

 

Dr. Dre’s latest Aftermath signee is about to explode. .Paak’s not getting any East Coast radio play at the moment, but that’s about to change real soon.  Malibu has gained critical acclaim and sealed the deal for Anderson’s partnership with Dre.  Vivid storytelling, beautiful construction, killer features, and .Paak’s unique versatility – alternating between fire bars and soulful crooning – make Malibu an early contender album of the year.

Anderson .Paak is that man.

Don’t Talk Politics At the NBA Celebrity All-Star Game Or ESPN’s Sage Steele Will Hipcheck You To Timbuktu

 

Win Butler’s got game, fellas.

I actually love tuning into the NBA celeb game every year because – at least I think – it makes me feel like I’m not that far off an All-Star performance in the Association. The celebrities are absolutely trash every year. Kevin Hart a 4-time MVP?  My man is a funny standup comic but Yappy The Dwarf is straight embarrassing on the hardwood. Somehow, every participant is afraid to give lil’ man a forearm shiver. Put Kevin on his Men’s Size 26 ass and that’s that.  My shamefully concerned Celebrity All-Star Game rant ends here.

Anyway, Win Butler of Arcade Fire actually has some game and ended up being named MVP of the outing.  Despite his status as a native Californian, the Montreal resident led Team Canada to a decisive victory with 15 points, 14 boards, and some sexy play on the block

 

Butler made the most of his MVP speech to announce his celebrity game retirement (smart move) and pop a quick political opine in America’s grillpiece.

“Thank you, I just want to say it’s an election year in the U.S., and the U.S. has a lot they can learn from Canada, healthcare, taking care of people…”

Steele cuts him off, grabs the microphone back and says “We’re talking about celebrity stuff, not politics. Congratulations.”

I meeaaannn, he’s not wrong.  Not wanting to serve as a liberal rocker’s political soapbox during a corporate celebrity basketball game is certainly understandable, but Sage Steele might want to rethink things next time she throws such a vicious hipcheck.  Talk about reckless abandonment.  On CBC no less.

 

After seeing Butler drop tears all over the court in Toronto, you don’t want to mess with that man.  With a guy like Win, there’s always a faint threat of voodoo in the mix.  If not that, he might even break you off on a technically sound Up & Under.  That alone ain’t worth the risk.

It really is ridiculous, but I have an entirely new found respect for Win Butler.  I’ve always enjoyed Arcade’s music, in passing, but would never really seek it out.  Now that I know the big man can ball (in addition to shredding six instruments and assembling a modern Indie orchestra)?  Sign me up.  He seems more approachable.  Maybe next time Sage will let a man finish his valid point and move on.  Be less of a pawn, Steele.

PS – Only the worst dude ever can spend all day with hoop legends, models, and comedians, win the game MVP, and proceed to preach about politics.  Mellow out, Win.

Kanye West Created A Video Game To Make Sure That His Mother Went To Heaven

 

Add “video game producer” to the list of job titles that distract Kanye West from what he’s actually best at – making incredible music. During Thursday’s album release party at Madison Square Garden, Kanye unveiled a surprise preview of his upcoming video game, “Only One.”  The game is based on Yeezy’s 2014 single by the same name and revolves around “the idea… of my mom traveling through the gates of heaven.”

Forgetting that the plot of “Only One” sounds absolutely horrible – more power to Ye for honoring his mother, but, what kind of dipshit would spend valuable time on the sticks guiding dead Donda West to the Promise Land? – the teaser looks trash, too.  Evidently, Kanye’s lead programmer is a 17-year old Japanese Halo enthusiast with a Dragon Ball Z bed set.

This is a perfect example of why Kanye West is so infuriating. Please, Ye, for once in this decade, just focus on making good music.  Focus on making another GREAT album, establishing G.O.O.D. as a powerhouse record label, and taking the title of (second) greatest hip hop producer ever.  The post-Dilla title belt is there if West wants it, but his schizophrenic “worldly” interests suggest otherwise.  Enough with this embarrassing, lame desire to infiltrate the high end fashion world. These fashion idiots are wack and want nothing to do with you – call it even and cut the cord.  Enough with the ridiculous video games about your goddamn mother (r.i.p.) flying through the clouds like Loki and Bartleby. Enough with the advertisements masked as insane Twitter rants.  Please, Ye, get back in the lab like you know you should. Kanye could be a legendary hip hop icon when all is said and done but he can’t quit acting like a pompous, confused dickhead. Even so, he’ll still go down as a legend in the game because his immense musical talent overshadows all of the extracurriculars.

I know that there are several tracks yet to be added to TLOP, but, I’m giving the early leaked rip a tentative 6.6/10.  An average album.  It honestly feels like a project that was cut up last minute and rushed to beat a deadline. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some really interesting, incredible construction on the album.  It seems like Kanye’s natural, megalomaniacal, natural progression since Yeezus combined with an honest effort to put on some talented young rappers and give the early Kanye purists something to sink their teeth into. Only problem is it doesn’t quite connect.  The album feels like all the surrounding hoopla and promo the last few weeks was because Ye totally scrapped and hurriedly redid the records.  The sound quality will obviously be much better when I’m not consuming an illegally recorded release party stream, but, right now, the album is below the standard that Kanye set for himself in February 2004.  And ’05.  And ’07.  And 2010.

Disclaimer: “No More Parties In L.A.” and “Wolves” with Vic Mensa and Frank Ocean are fantastic. No More Parties gets better every time. “Ultra Light Beams” with Chance and Mary J is really cool, too. Also, I haven’t heard “Fade” featuring Post Malone and Ty Dolla $ign, “Silver Surfer,” “30 Hours,” or “Facts.”  I’m due for a hundred more listens this week and my hopes are still very high.

 

h/t Wired

 

 

Actors Dramatically Reading Justin Beiber’s “Sorry” Is Internet Gold

These dramatic reading vids parallel the lip reading videos and “Celebrities Read Mean Tweets” in that they are all either great or fall totally flat.  This one does it for me.  Maybe it’s my affinity for a lineup featuring Landry/Todd, Jon Hamm, that predatorial lesbian from American Pie, and the most perfect woman in the world.  Maybe it’s the fact that any current project with the King Beibs cosign is a guaranteed heater.  Whatever the reason, I thought this video was pretty strong.

A few more thoughts:

  • Anyone else wish that Krasinski’s real personality wasn’t exactly Office Jim? It’s endearing but something about this let’s a little air out of my balloon.
  • Jon Hamm has really embraced that West Village jazz bar dwelling author vibe since leaving Madison Ave, huh?
  • Ditto for Landry.  Jesse Plemmons is aware that it’s too soon for a Philip Seymour Hoffman biopic, right? 
  • Fairly mediocre British impression by my man Thomas Middleditch. Still, who’s ready for Silicon Valley Season 3?????
  •  beckinsale kate
  • Nick Jonas might as well just go full hollywood actor at this point. I know, I know, he’s Pop’s new King of the Twinks, but my man is smoking hot and his MMA show, Kindom, is quality, too. Nick’s on a little thing called a hot streak and he owes it all to whoever convinced him to ditch his born-again virg brothers.
  • How bad was John Legend that he can’t even sneak one line into the final cut?

 

h/t Vanity Fair

 

 

 

Jon Jones Is Practicing A Flying Knee Kick For His #Haters

Take cover, Jon Jones haters, the Bones Redemption Tour now includes flying oblique kicks. NO NOT THAT! ANYTHING BUT THAT!  Jones posted the video above from a recent training session with Mike Winkeljohn, and it looks like the former champ will be incorporating that vicious, sure-to-be controversial, flying knee kick to his arsenal. 

Jones is undoubtedly one of the top fighters in the world, but, his style has come under fire form purists who view some of his techniques as dirty.  The most common criticism of Jones is his propensity for using the controversial, albeit legal, oblique kick.  The oblique kick can cause devastating damage to the knee, leading many in the fight game to call for a ban of the strike.  Jones defended the move in a piece with “Fight Land” on Vice:

“It’s a very controversial move,” Jones said. “But if someone was trying to give us brain damage, we believe it’s an even trade off to give him a little limp for the rest of his life. So try it out, guys.”

Obviously the available practice footage is limited, but that flying kick looks like an even more vicious adaptation of the oblique kick.  With that said, I totally side with Jones on this.  If a fighter values his knee ligaments, he’ll be mindful and find a way to defend kicks to the lower half.  This logic invokes an interesting dilemma across all combat sports.  It’s nearly impossible for a competitor to totally protect all angles and avenues of vulnerability.  Thus, fighters have to balance a defense of prioritized zones with a sound offensive strategy.  The great ones can essentially expand upon their defense and eliminate further susceptibility via a killer attack.  No fighter, though, can ever ensure total protection during a bout. This flying kick, while possessing career-ending potential, leaves Jones vulnerable in the air.  At the very least, the move leaves him weaker – for a split second – than a typical oblique kick.

Jones begins his comeback with a title shot against current Light Heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier at UFC 197 on April 23.  For the amnesic readers, Jones defeated Cormier by unanimous decision in at UFC 182.  He was supposed to fight top contender Anthony Johnson, but a failed drug test for cocaine and a hit-and-run incident in New Mexico led to Jones being stripped of the title belt and suspended from the UFC.  Cormier then beat Jonhson to claim the vacant belt and has held on ever since.  Jones was reinstated in October 2015 and now the overdue rematch is finally game.

Considering the intensity of the first bout, Jones’ desire for redemption, and Cormier’s will to retain his title, 197 should be an all out war.  I can’t wait to see the best pound-for-pounder break out the flying oblique.  Either the kick lands and Cormier crumbles, or DC goes Goldberg on his ass.

goldberg

One way or another, it’s gonna be electric!

Metta World Peace Is Obsessed With Tim Tebow, Had Never Seen Cam Newton Play Before Super Bowl 50

 

metta world peace

Every sports fan’s favorite Queensbridge native hopped on The Michael Kay Show this afternoon to discuss Kobe’s swansong, Matt Barnes v. Derek Fisher, the state of the New York Knicks, Cam Newton, and his beloved New York Jets.  The Johnny formerly known as Ron was his entertainingly erratic self, bouncing from his relationship with Fisher and Barnes to potential Knicks head coaching prospects to analysis of the NYK roster and efficiency of the triangle offense.

The two best moments of this hit come when Metta weighs in with some thoughts on the NFL.  The proud New Yorker is a huge Jets fan, but, admittedly, does not follow the league outside of Gang Green.  Starting around 4:40, Peter Rosenberg asks Metta to share his thoughts on Cam Newton’s post-Super Bowl behavior.  World Peace shares that he had somehow never seen Cam play prior to Super Bowl 50, but, that didn’t stop him from offering advice on an issue which he was clearly unaware.  I’m pretty sure Metta didn’t stay up to watch Newton’s post-game presser.

Then, around 10:25, World Peace goes on an amazing rant professing his love for Tim Tebow.  Somehow, some way, Ron Artest is obsessed with Tebow.  “Never met him, never even heard his voice,” but he still wants Tebow to quarterback the New York Jets.  I’d give anything to watch a Metta/Tebow reality show where the duo visits each others hometowns, trains amateur athletes and gives motivational speeches.  Just picture Tebow getting dragged through the Queensbridge projects; Metta whooping it up at a Jacksonville Waffle House; Tebow giving motivational speeches to inmates while Metta interrupts to tell them how he threw games at St. John’s and smuggled booze into NBA locker rooms. Gold, Jerry, gold!