WLA – 19
FOR – 21
SBL – 10, 18, 24, 17, 14
WLA – 27
YIM – 12, 18, 14
SBL – 12, 24
Confidence & trust.
Critics say the new Kayne album (My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy) is “one of the all-time greatests,” but I disagree… I get that it’s supposed to be an “ambitious” and “progressive” project, conceptually—but what about the execution?
I just don’t really get the hype. I think the album is a good example of Kanye’s innovativeness as a producer, along with his deficiencies as a lyricist. I like my hip-hop/rap to be a combination of great poetry and killer tracks/beats. To me, this album doesn’t deliver much of the former.
Granted, I do like some of the tracks (Power, All of the Lights, Lost In the World), but those are mostly for the overall sound of the tracks—the words weren’t particularly moving. The album as a whole seems to be far from his best work. I prefer the likes of Late Registration and Graduation over this new release. Even 808’s.
I’m also disappointed that “See Me Now” was left off the album… I thought it was the best track from his G.O.O.D. Friday releases, and it just ended up as a bonus track on iTunes. Not sure what the thought process was for that.
I’m not saying that it’s a bad album—I actually think it’s pretty good. I’m just saying that it ain’t the greatest hip-hop album ever to grace our headphones, and that I don’t think it warrants all of the glorifying reviews that it seems to be receiving so far.
Anyway, if this is the direction that hip-hop is headed—as some of these critics claim—then I’m not so sure that I’d want to join the movement.
I was looking back on some old Xanga (omg so 2004!) posts from the past, and found one of those entries that make you think “Wow, did I really write this back then?” Not to sound arrogant or narcissistic, but I find it surprisingly well-written for a 19 year old… Ok, at least for this 19-year old.
Anyway, I found it very typical of me–making analogies to life lessons based on basketball principles. I guess some things never change.
Here it is in its entirety:
Wednesday, December 15th, 2004:
So after conceding defeat to my Econ final, I proceeded to the near-empty Wooden Center to go knock down 100 freethrows. It was 10am and indeed, I was not in the right state of mind after a long night of battle with Aggregate Expenditures and Marginal Return Products.
Somewhere in between throwing up shots and slipping in/out of consciousness, I came to the realization that freethrow shooting is a lot like studying. First of all, it’s hard to consistently knock down freethrows. It takes discipline, concentration, and practice. The same goes with studying; you need the discipline to sit yourself down and tell yourself, “Okay, I’ve gotta do this,” and proceed to concentrate on the task at hand. If you normally never study, it’s hard to lock yourself down and accomplish a good amount of studying. In essence, it takes practice to study efficiently and effectively.
When I began to get in a groove and hit about 10 freethrows in a row, something always came up that prompted me to lose concentration and miss the next shot. Whether it was a roar coming from the sweet play made on the other court (there was one game going on) or some dude yelling and dropping f-bombs about some ticky-tack foul, these distractions took away my concentartion. It was just like when you’re studying, and you’re really starting to get into the study-mode, and then someone barges into your room, or calls you on your cell phone. Sometimes, it’s like your computer and the internet. You think, “Oh, I need to check my email,” and then you proceed to waste more time surfing the net, long after you finished checking the mailbox. It’s just like how once you miss a shot, you tend to keep missing and it becomes harder and harder to get back in your groove.
Another thing, when your goal is to knock down 100 freethrows, you tend to get tired and start thinking about other things around your 60th make or so. Then you start to miss, and it seems like you’re stuck on 67 forever. It’s like when you’ve been studying for a long time, and after a while you start to daydream, and oftentimes you get to a point where you’re not even sure whether you’re learning anything anymore. Man, I hate that feeling. And I hate being stuck on 67, too.
So after knocking down 100 and feeling some sense of accomplishment (since the final stripped me of all satisfaction), all I could think of was “Man, I should’ve worn basketball shoes” so that I could play 5 on 5 with those guys at Wooden. Anything to keep me from preparing for my other final tomorrow morning.
Remember: Discipline, Concentration, Practice, and avoid Distractions. Then go shoot some freethrows after your final.
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John Legend & The Roots (feat. Melanie Fiona & Common) released their rendition of the ’70s classic by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, “Wake Up Everybody.” I really like it. Legend & Fiona produce such complex harmonies with (what I assume is) relative ease. So smooth! I wish I had want that kind of musical sense and vocal range.
Aside from the musical goodness, the song carries a message that still resonates in this era despite 35 years of time past since it’s original release. Probably not as strong as back then, but still relevant.
I like how they managed to shift from present-day to a ’70s themed atmosphere in the video, complete with the digital/analog film feel for each respective era. Editing technology is so advanced these days.
Oh yeah, nice “Good Morning” cameo in the beginning of the video. Self-promotion at its best.
Chick Hearn passed away on August 5th, 2002. It’s hard to believe that it’s already been 8 years.
Do yourself a favor and go check out the tribute to Chick from TNLP blog.
I never had a chance to meet the man himself but it seemed like I knew him forever because I grew up listening to him and because we shared that one common ground of basketball. Chick Hearn brought people together with his infectious enthusiasm of the game… and his enthusiasm of life itself.
With Spero Dedes gone, I’ll miss Chick even more during the upcoming season…
Such sick chops…