The Saga of Cam Heyward, DeAngelo Williams, and the NFL Rulebook

camheyward

The Steelers have already fallen victim twice this month to the atrocity of a disciplinary code known as the uniform policy. NFL VP of football operations, Troy Vincent, refused Steelers RB, DeAngelo Williams, request to don pink cleats or wristbands season-long in honor of his mother who passed from breast cancer. This came shortly before Cam Heyward tweeted that the league had fined him $6k for writing “Iron Head” on his eye-black, an ode to his NFL running back father whom died from cancer. In one fell swoop, the shield dismissed two cancer victims’ children with rules about shoes and two, one inch, Sharpie scrawled words.

Obviously, I understand you can’t have dudes out there wearing anything they want. I remember when the NFL was hitting guys like Clinton Portis up for $20K for mismatching socks and shoes with 5% tinted helmet visors. But the main point that perplexes me is Cam Heyward has been writing “Iron Head” on his eye black for well over a year now. In fact, he’s been doing it since college. Did the NFL just finally get around to the uniform infractions now that the domestic violence and deflategate issues have died down with the start of the season and everybody distracted? Did they feel the need to pull back on the cancer awareness reigns despite their vast profiting from the pink apparel?

051614-NFL-Panthers-Deangelo-Williams-DG-PI.vadapt.955.high.68

DeAngelo Williams with his mother, Sandra Hill

Probably the worst part of it all is that DeAngelo Williams’ mother, Sandra Hill, was one of the reasons the league originally began letting it’s players wear pink at all. Back in 2009, Williams began working with the league to make October BC Awareness Month. The NFL accepted and has seen the cause generate tremendous revenue in the past five years. However in 2014, Hill passed away after already having survived two cancer bouts. Williams has stated his displeasure with the league as well as the Carolina Panthers organization since, stating that Greg Hardy was the only player, coach, or executive to attend his mom’s funeral and that “the last five or six years during October, (my mom) was celebrated, but then when she was no longer here — let’s move on. (I was) very disappointed. And, somewhat angry…” Now barely a year after her death, the NFL is again telling DeAngelo to move on.

However, DeAngelo countered in a way of his own, reverting to his pink dreadlocks and showing up to games and warm ups wearing as much pink as possible. Also, if you go on the back’s twitter page, he is a full blown breast cancer awareness advocate. It’s a safe bet to say Williams, who has also lost aunts to cancer, probably wouldn’t let any amount of fines or NFL denial take the fight out of his enduring body and soul.

The Steelers' newest running back acquisition sporting his pink dread tips.

The Steelers’ newest running back acquisition sporting his pink dread tips.

It seems that there is really just no fathomable way anyone could sensibly decipher the league’s clouded collaboration between their public relations staff and their disciplinary committee. Why make a mountain out of a mole hill with such a ridiculous issue such as this? I can somewhat understand not wanting a few random players to be the only guys out there with pink bands, caps, and shoes, but really, why get on Heyward?

The shield states Cam’s infraction comes by rule 5 – section 4 – article 8 of the 2015 NFL rule book (in it’s entirety):

Throughout the period on game-day that a player is visible to the stadium and television audience (including in pregame warm-ups, in the bench area, and during postgame interviews in the locker room or on the field), players are prohibited from wearing, displaying, or otherwise conveying personal messages either in writing or illustration, unless such message has been approved in advance by the League office. Items to celebrate anniversaries or memorable events, or to honor or commemorate individuals, such as helmet decals, and arm bands and jersey patches on players’ uniforms, are prohibited unless approved in advance by the League office. All such items must relate to team or League events or personages. The League will not grant permission for any club or player to wear, display, or otherwise convey messages, through helmet decals, arm bands, jersey patches, or other items affixed to game uniforms or equipment, which relate to political activities or causes, other non-football events, causes or campaigns, or charitable causes or campaigns. Further, such armbands and jersey patches must be modest in size, tasteful, non- commercial, and non-controversial; must not be worn for more than one football season; and if approved for use by a specific team, must not be worn by players on other teams in the League.

Why would you really not allow Cam Heyward’s “modest in size, tasteful, non-commercial, non-controversial” 1 inch eye black? Is the NFL really willing to continually fine a guy and raise this much of a stink over something like this? At least they are somewhat consistent on this issue. Back in ’04, the Tagliabue commissioned league turned down “Big” Ben Roethlisberger on wearing “PFJ (Play For Jesus)” written on his cleats. Another thing that is absolutely puzzling is that a player cannot pay tribute or ode to a “charitable cause” within their uniform even though the league was one of the world’s biggest not-for-profit organizations in the world until earlier this year.

A young Pitt student, Craig

A young Pitt student, Craig “Iron Head” Heyward (far right) poses as a Heisman Trophy finalist.

Ultimately, who really cares about what an NFL player writes on his shoes in sharpie? Is there anybody but a few guys in the league’s office that are really upset about this? It’s not going to distract anybody or take away from gameplay and God forbid anyone on the telecast talks about anything but the actual game. One thing that is a big takeaway from this is that Cameron Hayward showed a lot of himself as the bigger man. He and the league have come to a full agreement on a middle ground. Cam tweeted out the letter below explaining the deal where his “Iron Head” eye black can be purchased to support the cause. About two weeks after this all, the league approved a “Tackle Cancer” eye black all NFL players are permitted to wear.

If you want to see more on Cameron Heyward and the backstory of his eye black cause, view this interview with ESPN’s Michelle Beisner.

Advertisements

Top 10 Tweets Ripping Dan Gilbert

Yesterday around 6:45pm Cavs owner, Dan Gilbert, tweeted out a picture and a question and got absolutely shredded (as was deserved). @cavsdan presented the wine and gold faithful and twitter followers alike with 3 absolute fashion atrocities, posing the question, which was their personal favorite? These top 10 answers were absolutely priceless.

The Top 10:

Here, Jesse is imploring Dan Gilbert to give up on twitter and possibly even social media as a whole after that catastrophe of a uniform offering.

They buuuurrrnnn…

Waaay out man…

That just cannot be a serious compliment. If Urkel went to a Cavs game and wore that jersey, the studio audience would laugh hysterically on sight.

Just take the L Dan… take it from upset Drake too.

They’re all particularly unsettling and could be worn by rodeo clowns.

@oTREV0R letting Dan know bluntly that he doesn’t understand this piss poor game time attire.

And I’m sorry but the Canucks have done some shit to uniforms, that should never be done to uniforms.

Dan Gilbert sure has a knack for annoying people, and it looks like he got to Freddy long before this occasion.

Unfortunately, it appears it was a hoax and Danny was just trolling Cavs Nation (as if they haven’t already been tortured enough). And T-Shirt jerseys are very bad.

Much of Cavs Nation is in favor of bringing back the Shawn Kemp-era 1990’s blue/black jerseys, as am I. However, I always have and always will support the Austin Carr ’70’s throwbacks anytime they are donned.

The Answer to Philadelphia’s Questions

The Answer

The Answer

On March 30th, Allen Iverson returned to Philadelphia once again, receiving nothing but brotherly love. Philadelphia’s favorite NBA Player was in attendance for the distribution of a bobble-head commemorating his playing days as a young 76er as well as to present the game ball. But just like every time Iverson revisits the city that showed him his best years as a baller, people talk about his return.

The 37 year-old free agent is still on the tip of everybody’s tongues even though it’s been years since he’s made a bucket or uttered the words “practice”, and for good reason. Despite being bounced around between Denver, Detroit, Memphis, and Philadelphia again since he began his career, AI’s PPG has never fallen below 12 in a season. He is internationally recognized as one of the greatest point guards to pick up a basketball and most analysts would tell you he still belongs in the league. So why hasn’t “The Answer” suited up in an NBA uniform in nearly 3 years?

Allen Iverson's Bobble-head

Allen Iverson’s Bobble-head

Iverson’s unwillingness to participate in a few D-League games to smooth the transition has proved to be a roadblock for teams interested in the leagues 2001 MVP. Iverson wants to start and make a major impact on a team. While AI will always be an offensively gifted player, not all veterans who have taken a 3 year break can just expect to walk right into a team’s starting five. Iverson would prove valuable to a team with a young point guard such as the Sixers’ 22-year old Jrue Holiday. The 11-time NBA All-Star could easily provide a Derek Fisher-like mentorship to the young and talent guard.

The 76ers have nothing to lose in signing Allen Iverson, given the fact that they’re primary investment from last offseason has yet to play a game and they’re record sits well below .500. At the end of the day, AI boasts an extensive and impressive resumé and would be a fan favorite but his unwillingness to take a backseat to younger abilities will probably keep him from playing again. Hopefully, every NBA fan will have the joy of seeing “the Answer” solve some teams problems yet again.

Allen Iverson Returns to Philly

Allen Iverson’s Return to Philly (Last Year)

 

It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Weezy

It Ain't Easy Bein' Weezy

It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Weezy

Barely 4 months into the year of 2013 and Lil’ Wayne has been surrounded by more controversy than most people will be in an entire lifetime. Everything from getting “BAKED” tattooed on his forehead to claiming he made love to one of the reigning NBA Champions’ wives, Lil’ Wayne has had a wild fourth of a year. Let’s start from the beginning.

On January 2nd, Wayne rang in the New Year by getting Baker Skateboards’ logo tattooed on his forehead, a strange but unsurprising move from the tattoo covered, self proclaimed “martian”. Weezy F. Baby managed to stay out of headlines for a little over a month after that, claiming he was, “putting rap on the backburner”, and with a newly founded clothing company known as TRUKFIT, Wayne was busy rolling around the skateboard world.

Lil Wayne's "BAKED" Forehead Tattoo

Lil Wayne’s “BAKED” Forehead Tattoo

Then, during the NBA’s All-Star Weekend, that ran February 15-17, Wayne set off fans and rappers alike after leading the crowd in anit-Miami Heat chants. Weezy claimed he was kicked out of a Heat home game for cheering for his Los Angeles Lakers the week prior. “So I’m @ da Heat game right, rootin 4 da Lakers kuz dats my team & would u believe they got police 2 make me leave?! Wow! F#€k da Heat” Wayne tweeted after the incident. A representative for the Heat organization claimed Wayne chose to leave the American Airlines Arena and was in fact not ejected. Regardless, a week later, the 5’6 rapper stood tall, leading the All-Star festivities crowd in chants, proclaiming “When I say Fuck, you say NBA!”, and “When I say Fuck, you say Heat!”.  Wayne also promulgated, “Fuck all them niggas. Fuck LeBron James. Fuck [Dwyane] Wayde. Fuck Chris Bosh, all them niggas. And, and, and, and I fucked Chris Bosh’s wife.”

Lil' Wayne Leading All-Star Festivities in Chants

Lil’ Wayne Leading All-Star Festivities in Chants

The 30-year old’s comments sparked Miami’s hip hop community into outrage. Miami rap pioneer, Uncle Luke, known best for his work with 2Live Crew, blogged via the Miami New Times, “(Lil’ Wayne) treats Miami like his bitch because people let him.” Luke also called upon Miami natives, Rick Ross and DJ Khaled to “set Wayne straight”. Trick Daddy shared a similar sentiment on a local Miami radio station stating, “I rep my city and want nobody disrespecting”.

This all inspired another Miami born rapper/singer, Pitbull, to diss Wayne over the instrumental for “Harlem Shake”. Though Pitbull’s lyrics aren’t nearly as fierce as the K-9 he took his name from, the diss (“Welcome 2 Dade County”) merited an apology from Wayne… sort of. Wayne claimed he only regretted saying “Fuck LeBron” and took to twitter, posting “Dam pit bull bro I thought u was kool.” The feud has settled down since early March with nothing further really manifesting.

However, the same week Wayne managed to raise some eyebrows, stating via twitter, “I ain’t 2Pac, I’m the new Pac, holla at ya boy!” Wayne has stated he believes he is the best rapper alive before, but Tupac Shakur isn’t alive, making Wayne’s claims appear as a smidgeon of insolent self-credence to some rap fans.

On Tuesday, March 14th, shocking news arrived as TMZ reported Weezy had been hospitalized in Los Angeles, CA after suffering from multiple seizures. Wayne was released from the hospital but supposedly suffered from the same condition a few days later. TMZ claimed a large amount of codeine was discovered in the rapper’s system warranting a stomach-pumping and the assistance of breathing tubes. Wayne’s close friends Birdman and Mack Maine claimed the reports were false and the hospitalization was for nothing more than “dehydration”. Wayne also tweeted, “I’m good everybody. Thx for the prayers and love.” on March 16th.

10 days later, Tunechi’s tenth studio album, “I Am Not a Human Being II” hit shelves. Led by singles, “Love Me” featuring Drake and Future and “Rich As Fuck” featuring 2 Chainz, the album debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200, selling 217,000 copies behind Justin Timberlake’s “20/20 Experience”. The album took a major hit from Wayne’s usual sales, but managed to outsell it’s first installment even though “I Am Not a Human Being” was initially released as an online exclusive.

"I Am Not A Human Being II" Album Cover

“I Am Not A Human Being II” Album Cover

Complex Magazine’s Lauren Nostro took some offense to the albums content, tallying 182 N-bombs, 102 references to female dogs, 49 lyrics tributing drugs, 38 mentions of shooting people, and a whopping 139 allusions to sexual activity. Through the entire 15 tracks, Wayne only managed to promote his clothing brand, TRUKFIT, 6 times while mentioning skateboarding another 5 times.

Lil’ Wayne has slated a few future projects such as “I Can’t Feel My Face”, a collaborative LP with Harlem rapper, Juelz Santana, among other plans. The New Orleans native also claims he’ll retire in 5 years to raise his children and that “Tha Carter V” will be his final work. It’s been a long 4 months of 2013 for Lil’ Wayne thus far, but knowing Tunechi’s knack for mischief, dont be suprised to see even more Weezy headlines before December’s end.

Lil' Wayne With Lebron

Lil’ Wayne With Lebron

The Week in Rap

Waka Flocka and Gucci Mane

Waka Flocka and Gucci Mane

The ongoing 1017 Bricksquad beef may finally be quieting down. Waka Flocka Flame and Gucci Mane’s twitter beef last week escalated into Flocka stating that he would never do business with Gucci Mane “ever in life” to Rap Fix Live viewers. Flocka Flame is now taking a more subtle approach against the incarcerated Gucci Mane. “We in two paths in our lives. Ain’t no beef, no animosity. It’s just that me and him see two different goals.” Flocka said. “Guess we both be at the finish line we just going our own routes.” While Flocka wouldn’t give an exact reason for the split, he did say “Now it’s time to go back to the essence of music.” Waka will be releasing his third studio album, “Flockaveli 2” as “a fresh artist again” this October.

Also in rap news, Action Bronson will be going on tour with most of this years “Freshmen 10”. The entire group will be preforming in New York City, where the magazine that dubbed them this years star rookies is located. Big K.R.I.T., a former XXL Freshmen, will join Action Bronson for their date in Philadelphia and Bronson, Ab-Soul, and Schoolboy Q will be preforming live in Los Angeles’s Nokia Theater.

Nicki Minaj Sits Down with MTV First

Nicki Minaj Sits Down with MTV First

With one of the most audacious comments in recent memory, Nicki Minaj stated “I am lyrically better than most of the male rappers out there” this week in an interview with MTV First. Minaj, who has a side-gig as a judge on American Idol explained, “This time I care less about the acceptance and more about me being the lyrical, ill bitch that I am. Knowing that I am lyrically better than most of the male rappers out there,” Minaj also stated, “Yes, I’m gonna say it. I don’t get the credit that I deserve.” and admitted “Men run the Hip Hop game, let’s be honest…They not gonna recite a female. They just feel funny and it is what it is.”

Minaj, the most premier female rapper in years, is currently prepping her third studio album, due out later in 2013.

Also this week, The Notorious B.I.G.’s childhood residence is up for sale. The Clinton Hills, Brooklyn apartment 3L on 226 St. James Place is available for purchase. The current inhabitants are asking $725,000 for the former Bed-Stuy apartment. “The tour buses that come by regularly are enough,” listing agent, Judith Leif explained. “I don’t really know yet what impact, if any, [The Notorious B.I.G’s connection] will have on the sale. I think it’ll be notable, but I don’t know if novelty translates to a purchase.”

In more current news, Pittsburgh native, Wiz Khalifa, is suing Its My Party Inc. promotion company for the cancellation of a show on George Mason University’s campus, claiming his reputation with fans was damaged by the lack of a live preformance. Wiz, who alleges he was set to receive $85,000 is now suing for a million. It’s My Party Inc. has fired back though, claiming Khalifa never signed any sort of contract and failed to sellout the 7,000 seat venue. TMZ broke the story and there is no

present word on whether the case will actually be seen in court yet.

Cleveland born rapper, Kid Cudi detailed his recent split from G.O.O.D. Music this past week in an interview on LA’s Power 106. Cudi, whose Dream On imprint interconnected with G.O.O.D. Music, decided to leave because, as he puts it, “I’m very forward-thinking. I’m like, ‘Next year, I want to be doing this.’” Cudi also stated that he’s known he was splitting with the label for at least six months. Mr. Solo Dolo even went to great lengths to solidify the split as a friendly one. “Then I was trying to figure out what the right decision would be…how to talk to him about it. I went through a process where I talked to Don C, and then I went and talked to Jay-Z.” Cudi explained, “I got their opinions about how to approach things that I wanted to talk to him about it. Everybody gave me their blessings on how I was approaching it.” Kid Cudi, who has favored a more experimental rap/rock sound in recent years, is due to release his third solo album, “Indicud”, April 23rd.

As far as the Billboard 200, Justin Timberlake maintained the #1 spot this weekend, selling a 1,287,000 total copies of his third studio album, “20/20 Experience”. The album, which dropped nearly a month ago, beat out Lil’ Wayne’s “I Am Not a Human Being II” in it’s first week, which sold about 217,000 copies compared to Timberlake’s 318,000 this week. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s “The Heist” dropped 1 spot, currently sitting at 15. “good kid m.A.A.d city” by Kendrick Lamar dropped 10 spots in it’s 23rd week on the charts with a current position of 35. Also dropping 13 spots to #63 on the charts this week is A$AP Rocky’s “Long.Live.A$AP”, which topped the Billboard 200 11 weeks ago. Drake’s third album, “Take Care”, climbed over 50 spots this week to #75. The former chart-topper is now a mere 2,000 copies away from being certified double platinum. T.I.’s “Trouble Man: Heavy Is The Head” dropped from #70 to #92 in it’s 15th week on the charts while 2 Chainz debut album hung around, but dropped 39 spots, landing at #113. Lastly, The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Greatest Hits” managed to squeak back into the #198 spot, while Frank Ocean’s “Channel Orange” followed suit, dropping into the #199 spot in it’s 38th week.

the Notorious B.I.G.'s Childhood Residence

the Notorious B.I.G.’s Childhood Residence

The All-Rap Team

Snoop Rockin' Chucks at the NBA Celebrity All-Star Game

Snoop Rockin' Chucks at the NBA Celebrity All-Star Game

Honestly, Nelly, Common, and a few other guys I missed could have made this team as well … Either way, I believe Daily $wagg narrowed it down pretty well…

In lieu of the upcoming NBA playoffs, I have decided to throw together an All-Basketball/Rap-Team combining the best rapping basketball players (but more like basketball playing rappers). Thanks to both cultures being tied so closely together, this list was surprisingly easy to put together with the exception of their heights and weights (and their Celebrity All-Star Game stats which was like finding the score to the 1994 Northern Wisconsin Badminton Championship).

Starters

PG-Lil Romeo-5’11 170 lbs. Son of Master P, Percy Miller, managed to land himself a scholarship to USC to play some Trojan basketball (thanks almost entirely to his friendship with current NBA player Demar Derozan). Romeo had a disappointing stint in Southern California but nonetheless, sits atop the short list of “best father-son basketball player-rapper duos ever”.

Lil' Bow Wow as a USC Trojan

Lil' Bow Wow as a USC Trojan

SG-Ice Cube- 5’8 180-190 lbs. “Get me on the court n I’m trouble, last week fucked around and got a triple-double, fakin’ niggas every way like MJ” He played extremely well in the Celebrity All-Star Game he participated in (and that’s here say. Trust me, it’s easier to find records of Hampton Parks and Recreational League games than NBA Celebrity games) Cube is also an outspoken Laker fan.

SF-Master P- 6’3 (believe it or not, I couldn’t find his weight anywhere, even though we do know he challenged Ricky Rozay to a competition of “who could lose 40 lbs in 90 day” about 8 months ago) Though becoming an established No Limit Soldier long before his basketball days, Master P was able to land a contract with the 1998-1999 Charlotte Hornets as well as the Toronto Raptors preseason squad the following year. As well as playing in the CBA and ABA, P. Miller managed to drop 17 pts. at age 41 for his relocated Hornets in the 2008 McDonald’s Celebrity ASG.

Percy Miller aka Master P as a Member of the Charlotte Hornets

Percy Miller aka Master P as a Member of the Charlotte Hornets

PF-Game- 6’3 ½-6’4 220-260 lbs. Despite being raised in the grittiest of Compton areas, Game managed to stand out in basketball and track, even meriting himself a scholarship to Washington State University before eventually getting kicked out for drug possession. (Though WSU denies him ever even enrolling). Game also allegedly threatened someone with a gun after/during a pick up basketball game near his home. Alos, let’s just kill 2 birds with one stone with this video…

The Game vs Snoop in Celebrity Bball game at Compton High School from Taydoe Kidd on Vimeo.

C (had to give Snoop the starting job at C cuz you know Game wouldn’t want it) -Snoop- 6’4 170-180 lbs. The lanky 6’4 rapper was once cast to play in a celebrity game and rocked Converse Chuck Taylors throughout the event. He is also an outspoken Laker fan. Shit, he even drives the Laker-mobile, complete with a hood mural…

Bench

J. Cole- 6’3 205 lbs. The high school basketball player’s obsession with the game landed him in this yea’rs Orlando ASG festivities, participating in the celebrity game. Though he played poorly, Cole still managed to throw down a Kevin Hart-assisted oop.

A Young J. Cole Playing High School Basketball

A Young J. Cole Playing High School Basketball

Slim Thug- 6’6 250 lbs. Did you read that? 6’6-250. One more time… 6’6-250. Thugga even claims he doesn’t have a body guard because he “don’t need one”. Nuff said.. (I’m not even sure if The Boss played basketball at any level)

Lil’ Boosie- 5’5-5’7 140 lbs. – Boosie has stated if he had not gotten into rapping and what not, he would have been a basketball player and is rumored to have received some college offers despite his height. and judging by the video below, Boosie Bad Azz might be needed on the team just for trash talking…

Shaquille O’Neal and Ron Artest aka Metta World Peace (cus it would be kinda unfair to throw them in with the starting rappers… and yes they both had rap careers)

Tupac Back!?!? (And Going On Tour??)

Hologram 2Pac Standing Cross Stage From Snoop Dogg at the 2012 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Hologram 2Pac Standing Cross Stage From Snoop Dogg at the 2012 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

It’s only been a few days since hologram 2Pac was unleashed at music and arts festival, Coachella 2012, performing “Hail Mary” and “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted” alongside former fellow Death Row Records artist, Snoop Dogg, and there are already looming rumors of a tour. The hologram version of 2pac was first conceived when someone got word of Mariah Carey using this technology on tour in Europe last year as a tool to perform in different countries at the same time (because who doesn’t want more Mariah?). However, Dr. Dre has done far from shy away from keeping hologram 2pac to himself. In a recent interview, Dre announced he would be willing to take the optical illusion on tour with him, Snoop, and possibly the likes of 50 Cent, Eminem, and Wiz Khalifa (Maybe Dre should consider making a hologram of himself to go on tour while he finishes Detox!). If you haven’t seen the Pac hologram, not only are you late to the show, but Daily $wagg has the live Coachella performance video for you right here…

As a person who has put Tupac Shakur in the running for “artist I would be most willing to amputate my left pinky to go see live” alongside Bob Marley and all of the Beatles (and possibly Wu-Tang Clan with ODB), I had mixed emotions about the hologram (don’t worry, I won’t cut my finger off to see the hologram). While most of resurrected Pac’s motions were fluent and his visuals were borderline flawless, his walking was somewhat reminiscent of 1980’s Michael Jackson but even that wasn’t my biggest problem. My largest issue with the hologram was his sheer size! I mean, 5’11 165 lb. 2Pac was standing next to 6’4 Snoop Dogg looking relatively the same size, maybe even taller. That’s the downside. The bright side is Tupac back! (I have not so mixed emotions about that song) I mean, legendary rapper Nas has called the technology “genius” while 2Pac friend/fan Jalen Rose has said it “sent chills up (his) back” among other comments. The ability to create holograms as realistic as this sets the music world into an entirely new realm (when do John Lennon, ODB, and Elvis come back?). Is there actually a realistic possibility Biggie will be back too before we know it?

Actual 2Pac Preforming at the House of Blues

Actual 2Pac Preforming at the House of Blues

Revisiting Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (And the last year of his life for that matter)

Ahhh... The Infamous "Kanye Shrug"

Ahhh... The Infamous "Kanye Shrug"

This article was written February 13th, 2012, the day after the 54th Grammys. This article was also written the day after Kanye West single handedly dominated the Grammys. Sidenote: My brother is the biggest Kanye West fan you will ever meet. Seriously, the kid knows more about Kanye West than Kanye West knows about Kanye West… and trust me, Kanye West knows alot about Kanye West…

Kanye West has had one hell of a year and that might be an understatement. The rise to fame and fall from grace has been adequately documented. The Saga of Kanye West saw another chapter yesterday as Ye took home 4 Grammys of the 5 categories he was nominated for and in typical Kanye fashion, he wasn’t present to accept any of the awards.

Nearly one year ago, West released what many would recognize as his magnum opus, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. From the controversial cover to the song featuring 14 singers including Elton John to the 35 minute film accompanying the album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was met with headlines. After months of his own runaway, Kanye west dropped one of the most introspective and absolutely classic albums to date. Kanye poetically conveyed the ups and downs of everyday Kanye life. Depressing sympathetic tones of songs like “All of the Lights” with lyrics like “restraining order/cant see my daughter/her mother brother grandmother hate me in that order/public visitation, we met at borders/told her if she take me back, I’d be more supportive/I’ve made mistakes”. Lyrics like these show a Kanye we’ve never experienced, a broken, humble Kanye admitting his wrongs and stepping back to realize his ego. However in other songs such as “Power”, Ye states “I don’t need your pussy, b*tch, Im on my own dick”. Kanye is able to capture the emotion and feelings of his rise to fame, stint at the top, and fall from grace, all of which attribute to his prodigal son style return to the top. A Kanye West who roughly a year or two ago went onstage at the MTV Video Music Awards and interrupted the most innocent and soft-spoken country singer music fans have seen in years to deliver the message that she didn’t deserve the award, is finally accepted again. It took him My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Watch the Throne to get there, but he’s back. Despite what some may say about Kanye, he deserves every award he’s won (and even some of the ones he hasn’t won). 7 Grammy nominations and 4 of them he was competing against himself. Many also believe (me being one of them) Ye deserved an 8th nomination for “Album of the Year”. With this being said, reflecting on my 4.0 rating I gave Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy when it was released, I completely 100% stand by it. In my mind, Ye has also solidified himself into hip-hops all time elites as “one of the greatest (rappers) of all-time!!” (pun intended). The only question that I continually ponder is “now what?” What is there for Kanye to do from here? Manage GOOD Music and develop younger artists? Collaborate more with Jay-Z? Another solo album? Personally, I believe Kanye will never make a better album than My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and I also believe he should and possibly will go back to the College themed series. Ye has stated he desired one more album within the college theme, but took a different direction with 808s and Heartbreak when his mother died. First and Foremost though, Kanye plans to release Good Music, a collaborative effort with the rest of GOOD Music. Also, Kanye West is a mere 34 years old. This opens and shuts doors. For example, I think retirement should be a viable option. Far too many rappers have overstayed their welcome as far as musical output and are decades removed. Kanye should NEVER soil his legacy with such foolery and should wisely choose when to go out (on top). While 34, seems too young, a solid mid 40’s retirement would place him amongst rap legends and define his body of work as a decade of prime, rather than a later life marred by sputtering paced singles. Whatever it is Kanye West does, he is undoubtedly the largest hip-hop figure of the past 365 days.

This Picture Might-as-well Not Be Photoshopped Considering How Ye Madeout At the Grammys

This Picture Might-as-well Not Be Photoshopped Considering How Ye Madeout At the Grammys

Revisiting “Hell Hath No Fury” by Clipse

 

"Hell Hath No Fury" by Clipse

"Hell Hath No Fury" by Clipse

This article was written roughly 2 months ago. As stated in my last post, I never exactly mustered up the motivation to actually post it but here goes…

This weekend as I was searching through the depths of my attic for a few crates full of my grandfather’s old LP’s, I stumbled upon some old rap CDs and DVDs. After climbing up the fold-down wooden ladder style steps and into the abyss of Christmas decorations and insulation covered walls, I found the 3 boxes I was in search of. After I had my friend assist me in hoisting the records down the 8 foot drop and into my basement, we began looking through them. Reminiscing over the old Gladys Knight and George Clinton records, my eyes came upon a bag sitting on the third box. It was a brown plastic Giant Eagle (if you’re not from Pittsburgh, Google it) bag tied with a knot. Through the plastic I could faintly read the letters “Up in Smoke Tour” and immediately recognized it as my long lost favorite DVD chronicling the infamous 44 show, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Eminem led tour. After seeing this, I immediately tore the bag open in bliss to find my other favorite movie, Friday, starring Ice Cube and Chris Tucker, as well as a plethora of rap CDs I had been searching for for years. (I believe these lost CDs as the doing of my mom years ago when she attempted to prevent my further interest in rap but that’s beside point) Within these CDs, I found 50 Cent’s The Massacre and Get Rich or Die Trying as well as Snoop Dogg’s Tha Blue Carpet Treatment, Laugh Now, Cry Later, Amerikkka’s Most Wanted and The Predator by Ice Cube, Game Theory by the Roots as well as many other compact discs. However, despite these great finds, one stuck out in particular to me. One album I bought but never really gave a chance. One album I listened to maybe once or twice but never really explored. That album is Hell Hath No Fury by Virginia Beach, Virginia duo, Clipse. The CD caught my eye and the next morning before an hour long drive to the South Hills of Pittsburgh with my parents, brother, and cousin, I grabbed my old Walkman and Beats headphones as well as all the CDs and threw in Hell Hath No Fury.

Two days later, after continually bumpin’ the groups sophomore album and critically acclaimed “comeback” of sorts, I decided I should review it. I mean, albums like this one (peaked at #14 on the Billboard 200 in 2006, sold a mere 78,000 its first week) are overlooked on a yearly basis. After numerous delays and disputes with Jive/Artista records, Hell Hath No Fury was released to moderate commercial success but nothing short of rave reviews from critics. It was a coke album in 2006 that more likely than not would have thrived a decade earlier in the middle-late 90s. Despite production on every track solely handled by the Neptunes, the album still lacked mainstream appeal. With all this being said, I figured, “why not give Clipse some well-deserved (and overdue) recognition?” Here is my review for the 2006’s Hell Hath No Fury.

Wu-Tang fans (I am one myself and find it hard to come to this realization), do not overreact at the next sentence. Clipse’s Hell Hath No Fury is comparable and virtually on the same level as Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… From its gritty yet subtle production to its story-telling, movie-like element, Clipse’s second effort lacks but a few things in comparison with Raekwon’s ’95 classic. While the purple tape does combine a few more elements that establish more of a movie like feel (particularly the skits and dialogue), Hell Hath No Fury paints an incredible picture. Ya, sure, it’s another coke album, but like Rae’s it has an incredibly personal feel to it, making it unique and separating it from other coke-themed releases. It details the glitz and glamour of the lifestyle as well as capturing the grittiness and potential dangers of the lifestyle through descriptive verses and catchy hooks. The production in and of itself tells a story of ups and downs, unimaginable wonders and paralyzing fears. Tracks like “Momma I’m So Sorry” and “Dirty Money” manage to convey the hardness and arrogance of a modern day drug kingpin while “Ride Around Shining” and “Nightmares” find a niche subtlety adding undertones of paranoia and insecurity of the future. All in all, Hell Hath No Fury garnered a 3.8 even on my grade point average scale putting it amongst the “undeniable classics”. While I may have thrown it a point lower at 3.7 on the line between “undeniable classics” and “near classic, great album”, ultimately, Hell Hath No Furyis probably the best coke rap album of the last 15 years.

Virginia Beach, Virginia Brotherly Duo, Clipse (Malice and Pusha T)

Virginia Beach, Virginia Brotherly Duo, Clipse (Malice and Pusha T)

Daily $wagg is Back! (Again)

100% $wagg Certified

100% $wagg Certified

I was recently brought to wordpress.com thanks to another wordpress bloggers posts and ended up stumbling upon my own account linked to Daily $wagg. While reunited with my 3-month lost blog i figured, “ah, what the hell, let’s check the views and see if anyone’s still reading it”, and to my suprise, many of you are. With that, I apologize greatly for my absence. My laziness as a senior in high school has grown like a cancerous tumor in the final few months of mandatory schooling. I also apologize for my rustiness with writing which can largely be attributed to my laziness. In conclusion, I plan to keep up with Daily $wagg (I know, I’ve promised like 5 times) and I also plan to post a few articles I wrote while on my hiatus that never saw the light of day thanks to my lack of motivation. Salute to you, the readers of Daily $wagg. Oh.. Ya… this post is 100% $wagg Certified.