The Dwight Howard Debacle (rant)

Dwight Howard

The ubiquitous story of Dwight Howard’s potential departure from Orlando has been both a distraction from relevant NBA news and annoying.

I can’t tune my TV to ESPN for more than 20 minutes before there’s an update about Dwight Howard and his most recent stance. What’s worse is that these supposed updates don’t contain any new news. The “updates” merely consists of fluctuations from Howard’s previous platform.

In the eyes of media and fans alike, Howard can’t come to a definitive answer about what he wants. Subsequently, the constant switching of “I want to be traded” and “I love Orlando, and want to stay here” has annoyed true NBA fans to no end, regardless of whether their favorite team has a stake in his potential destination.

Howard, as well as his entourage of representatives, should assume fault with much of the ownness falling squarely on Howard’s shoulders. It’s shameful that one of the NBA’s most likeable stars has placed himself in position to have his reputation tarnished forever. Howard consistently leads the league in rebounding, so he better hope his reputation has the same uncanny ability to rebound.

His inconsistency concerning wishes about where to play next year has alienated his teammates and Orlando fan base. It’s absolutely ridiculous how Howard has disserviced his fans and supporters in Orlando. For means of personal gain and the desire to “build his brand,” Howard seemingly has forgotten that acquriring and retaining fan loyalty represents a large portion of brand building. Consumers don’t buy products produced or endorsed by people or companies they dont like.

Orlando may not possess the marquee market status that the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers or New York Knicks have, but is Orlando really that small of a market? How can the home of Disneyworld, Universal Studios, Sea World and Island of Adventures fall into a small market category.

Realistically speaking, people come from all around the world to visit attractions in Oralando. Furthermore, bastketball extends beyond United State’s borders. The 12 teams currently competing in London’s 2012 Olympics offers proof, and that disregards an array of other nations that failed to qualify. Howards concerns stating that Orlando doesn’t possess a large enough market are invalid.

Yet, more has been sacrificed in Orlando’s frantic pursuit to retain Howards Services. The Magic fired capable coach Stan Van Gundy, and separated with their tenured general manager, (GM) Otis Smith, in attempts to appease Howard.

Van Gundy generated 259 wins versus 135 loses in the regular seadson, 31-28 in the playoffs, during his 5-year stint as head coach, and Smith was responsible for building teams that made the playoffs in six consecutive seasons including a NBA Finals appearance in 2009, according to Associated Press.

It’s absurb that Howard caused two competent individuals to lose thier jobs in the midst of his primmadonna soap opera. He should have to reimburse them for lost wages, especially since its clear that he wont be staying in Orlando beyond next season.

LeBron James receieved unparalled crititcism for his role in Nike’s mass production of “The Decision,” in addition to the way fans felt he shafted his hometown, but Howard’s episode may be worse. In essence, Howard makes LeBron’s heavily criticized decision look like an ideal business model. At least Lebron’s decision didnt waver every other week.

Howard’s nickname,  “Superman”, hasn’t served this situation justice. Instead he should be berated with the NFL’s phrase of disapproval “C’mon Man!”

Dwight Howard, his agents, the media and anybody else surrounding this pig sty of a situation could do fans a great favor if they kept these so-called updates quiet. It’s no longer relevant in fan’s eyes, and quite frankly, nobody cares! So when, or if, Howard ever gets traded wait until then to break the news/update.

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The American Dream

Migrants come to America for more reasons than a vacation.

They run from oppression but are simultaneously dream chasin’.

They’ll pack up everything and leave their homes vacant in their former nation

Believing that the American Dream is up for the taking.

 

I can’t fault anybody for seeking a life greater than the one they currently live.

But if you ask me, America…has…nothing…to…give!!!

 

This is just another place where people run the rat race.

The fact that the American Dream is still perpetuated is a disgrace.

 

Take a look at our circumstances….

Our economy’s constant recession means there’s been no financial advancement.

Compared to our recent past America’s dollar is a fraction.

And it seems the only increasing dollar value.. are taxes.

Allow me to get grammatically incorrect, that’s just what the facts is.

Maybe as a nation we couldn’t uphold the standard or we simply relaxed it.

People’s income bypasses as something that’s gastric,

Meaning cash finances were sucked out and was replaced by plastic

 

Discover card, Master card, American Express

What I’ve discovered is that America masters expressed debt.

As for the solution, that’s something America hasn’t expressed yet

but im certain it can’t be fixed with a stimulus check.

 

The American Dream was founded on the principle of Entrepreneurship.

A great principle that has since turned in to manure, shit.

Only a few new businesses succeed, you can Google it.

And once you achieve that.. youll understand how Google did.

 

But this isn’t about Google, let’s focus on mom and pop.

What’s the reason their “mom and pop” shop flopped?

Answer: with goods ‘made in China’, Wal-Mart is now a one stop shop

Where you can get anything you need for all 24 hours on the clock.

 

Entrepreneurship means creating a business and working for yourself.

Instead, the majority of American’s work for somebody else.

With that being said, the American Dream is something I’ll choose to sleep on.

I’d rather dream of life, peace, and liberty and continue to dream on.

 

The American Dream is currently on life support as it lies on its death bed.

Realistically speaking, that means the American Dream is dead.

I’m not sure exactly what the cause of death is, or who should assume ownness.

But in the meantime I respectfully offer my condolence.

Is the American Dream dead?

Cyhi The Prynce – Ivy League Club

Click to listen or download

Cyhi The Prynce may have just taken the hip-hop crown as the king of word play on his most recent mixtape Ivy League Club. He absolutely abuses tracks with interminable references that pile one behind the other.  This G.O.O.D Music member lives up to the name of his clique, and considering rap bars, he makes good music.

On “Food Savers & Scissors,” easily one of the most thorough topical tracks on this tape, Cyhi proceeds to deliver a set of instructions for trappers in the dope game. He makes it clear that by using food savers and scissors an individual can conceal the smell of drugs and transport them to desired destinations.  This track works well with the theme of the Ivy League Club because Cyhi assumes roles as rapper and professor while simultaneously delivering a message/lesson and bragging about his success moving weight.

“Im the man with them O-Z’s my plug call me wizard. Shawty I got some purp, and I got some killer. To you it smell like gas, but to me it smell like vanilla. And all my bud light cuz I don’t f**k with Miller. Not liquor… Reggie, I keep a bag of them veggies”

That’s a reference any smoker will instantly understand. Cyhi saturates his mixtape with exceptionally metaphorical smoking references using any vernacular commonly associated with marijuana.

Anytime you hear Cyhi say “like _________” whatever simile fills the blank as a punch line is a direct hit. Not only are his hooks catchy, but he literally beats the track up with punch lines. Hooks, jabs and uppercuts all connect as he bobs and weaves on the beat.

Yet, his composition is more than a punch line rapper. Songs like “Ivy League” and “Real Talk” exhibit how Cyhi elaborately paints pictures by allowing his references to link two unrelated topics into one cohesive idea.

Songs like “Tomorrow” and “Lives” exhibit charisma illustrating how Cyhi can curb the street edge and cater his flow to charm women.

Although Ivy League Club shines in lyrics and many other facets, there are some drawbacks.

Cyhi quickly tacks on lots of samples. “Lives,” which samples instrumentation from “Summer Madness” by Kool & the Gang, and “Entourage,” which samples “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” made famous by Marvin Gaye, are two examples of sampled beats. Illusive Orchestra, producer of the two beats, masterfully composed the instrumentations, but the industry wants new material, and that’s more Cyhi’s fault than the producer, especially given that the songs “Tool” and “Feet Up” sample the pattern of two other well-known songs.

“100 Bottles,” the only song that shows need for improvement, features Chris Brown and fellow label mate Big Sean. The hook’s redundancy lacks cohesion and is slightly annoying. Furthermore Cyhi’s flow didn’t uphold the standards asserted on the 16 previous tracks.

Apart from those few bobbles, the rest of Ivy League Club is masterful. Cyhi presents fans and haters with the dilemma of deciding whether he is a rapper or lyricist. His clever wordplay is just short of genius and possesses very distinctive qualities. There isn’t another rapper that has the ability to lace bars the way Cyhi does. His unpredictable combination of punch lines, similes, internal rhyme, irony, and relentless references makes him a truly unique artist.

*Review also hosted at http://www.pefferreviews.com/ and http://rapruler.com/

Robert Griffin III and Redskins agree on deal

Robert Griffin III

Robert Griffin III (RG3) signed a four-year deal, with a fifth year organization option, worth $21,119,098 early Wednesday morning with the Washington Redskins, according to Albert Breer of the NFL Network.

Shortly after signing his deal Griffin made the announcement by tweeting: “Well people….It’s Time to go to Work!!! Off the unemployment line and oh yea HTTR!!!”

HTTR abbreviates “Hail to the Redskins,” a key phrase from the team’s fight song.

For the first time in NFL History, especially for a rookie, 100% of the contract is guaranteed. Yes, 100% percent of the promised salary is guaranteed, which could possibly make RG3 a pioneer for the structure of upcoming rookie contracts.

Griffin’s potential is largely responsible for that guarantee.  After all, the Redskins traded their next three upcoming first round picks and a second round pick to the St. Louis Rams in order to move up and obtain Griffin’s Draft rights as the second overall pick.

While in college at Baylor University RG3 obliterated many school records before declaring for the draft as a redshirt junior.

“Griffin, one of the most accomplished dual-threat quarterbacks in NCAA history, set or tied 54 school records in just 41 games at Baylor before declaring for the draft,” according to ESPN and Associated Press sources. “Griffin was Baylor’s career passing leader, completing 800 of 1,192 passes (67 percent) for 10,366 yards, with 78 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. His 2,254 yards and 33 TDs rushing are records for a (Baylor) Bears quarterback.”

Coach Mike Shanahan has clearly stated that RG3 will be starting for the Redskins this season, although he has missed the first two days of rookie training camp. As for his draft counterpart, Andrew Luck remains unsigned with the Indianapolis Colts.

Star running backs ink new deals

Ray Rice

Ray Rice and Matt Forte, two of the NFL’s most productive running backs, signed new contracts with their respective teams, the Baltimore Ravens and Chicago Bears.

Rice’s extension, a 5yr/$40M deal, which includes a first year salary of $17M for the 2012-13 season and another $8M the following season, is structured to be loaded heavily on the front end.  Forte’s deal, on the other hand, is a 4yr/$32M contract which guarantees a minimum of $17M.

The Ravens and Bears both placed franchise tags on their star running backs to secure their services for the upcoming season. Without contract extensions Rice and Forte would have garnered around $7.7M, as guaranteed by franchise tag tender.

Matt Forte

More controversy surrounded Forte’s extension than Rice’s. Bandwagongers petitioning for Forte’s extension often followed his name with “pay him please,” as was notably heard by analysts on ESPN’s Sport Center.

Last Season Rice led the NFL accruing 2,068 yards from scrimmage, 1,368 of those were rushing yards. He also set a Ravens franchise record of 15 touchdowns.

The Chicago Bear’s offense wouldn’t exist without Matt Forte. Last Season he produced 997 rushing yards on 4.9 yards per carry, a total limited by a four game absence from a sprained right medial collateral ligament (MCL). Overall he totaled 1,487 yards from scrimmage.

It’s refreshing to see these two deals completed. Player holdouts have plagued professional sports in recent years. Now both players can return their focus to training camp and the upcoming regular season set to kick off in early September.

Dallas Mavericks extremely aggressive in free agency

O.J. Mayo

The Dallas Mavericks have relentlessly attempted to rebuild their roster this offseason. Jason Terry’s departure made space for the Mavs to sign former Grizzly O.J. Mayo.

According to an ESPN source, the Mavericks and Mayo have agreed to a multiyear deal.  Mayo, who averaged 15.2 points and 2.7 assists last season, will be joining a slew of new teammates. Through a mixture of trades and free agency acquisitions, the Mavericks have added: Darren Collison, Dahntay Jones, Chris Kaman and Elton Brand.

Mayo and the Grizzlies relationship was far from a match made in heaven. A disgruntled Mayo believe he should have been starting instead of fulfilling the sixth man role, while the Grizzlies believed that Mayo’s presence coming off the bench added a much needed scoring spark to their second unit.

Last Season Mayo was prepared to be shipped to Indiana, but management issues caused the deal for Josh McRoberts and other pieces to fall apart. Nevertheless, O.J. Mayo has a new home in the big D alongside Dirk Nowitzki and the rest of the Mavs squad.

Mavericks Land Darren Collison and Chris Kaman

Darren Collison

The Dallas Mavericks swung a sign-and-trade deal to obtain Darren Collison, former starting point guard of the Indiana Pacers, and shooting guard Dahntay Jones.

Dallas and Indiana agreed to a deal that ships away Collison and Jones in exchange for Ian Mahinimi. Collison, the staple of this deal, will likely fill the starting point guard position left vacant by Jason Kidd’s departure to the New York Knicks.Last season Collison averaged 10.4 points, 4.8 assists, and 3.1 rebounds in 31 minutes of gameplay during 60 regular season games for the Pacers.

Next season Collison will have a new set of teammates that he’s responsible for distributing the ball to and keeping involved in the offense. One of which is Chris Kaman.

Kaman, a pure center who averaged 13.1 points and 7.7 rebounds in 47 games for the New Orleans Hornets last season, agreed to a one year deal with the Mavericks, according to an anonymous ESPN league source.

Louis Williams Returning to Georgia

Louis Williams

Louis “Lou” Williams and the Atlanta Hawks have agreed to a multiyear contract, according to reports.

Last season Lou Williams averaged a shade less than 15 points and 3.5 assists while primarily coming off the bench for the Philadelphia 76ers, which led to Williams finishing runner up for the Sixth Man of the Year award.

Williams, a Georgia native, was drafted in 2005 as standout high school athlete in Gwinnett County. As a member of South Gwinnett High School, Williams averaged 27.5 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game.

Many believed Williams should have been starting last season, and he will probably get that opportunity while playing for the Hawks, who traded former starting guard Joe Johnson to the Brooklyn Nets earlier this offseason. Williams has the skill set to play both point guard and shooting guard and should add some much needed flexibility to the hawks rotation.

Dom Kennedy – Yellow Album

Dom Kennedy embodies stylistic qualities often associated with West Coast rap, most notably, a nonchalant demeanor and flow pattern. Kennedy displays how he rose to prominence rapping in California with the Yellow Album.

click to listen or download mixtape

The Yellow Album’s overall sound takes root in west coast beats that promotes it’s listeners to bob their head to simple, yet composed basslines as a dulled snare maintains rhythm. Kennedy has found a niche in delivering lines, followed by a one second pause or “uh” before he delivers the next bar. Often times he repeats the line before progressing to his next rhyme. “So Elastic,” “Gold Alphinas,” “5.0/Conversations” and “P + H,” concisely summarize how Kennedy plans to assert his identity in the rap game.

Yet, the mixtape offers more than slow, relaxing tracks for cocktail sipping as you unwind and close the night of partying. His tracks “Girls on Stage,” “1:25,” and “PG Click” quickened tempos forced Kennedy to show more rap versatility. In comparison to other tracks, his style becomes more fluid and greatly

contrasts his signature, segmented bar after bar delivery. By matching the
Nevertheless, Kennedy speckles wit and clever lines sporadically throughout the Yellow Album. Some of his lines generate laughs or resonate for a few seconds as the elaborate metaphor registers and sinks in.pace of the beat Kennedy transitions smoothly from one line to the next without the aid of a pause or unnecessary adlib. Kennedy needs more tracks like this!

One of the most impressive facets of the mixtape actually rests in what’s absent. Normally rappers overload songs

with references of blasting guns, violence, and endless boastful lines asserting their superiority to assumed haters, but it seems like Kennedy refused to do so. Instead he simply depicts his life as something enjoyable as he reaps the spoils of approaching stardom in rap.

Overall, the Yellow Album’s uniqueness plays a key role generating a favorable review.  Although Kennedy opts
to rap with a pause after many of his lines and it sometimes comes across as elementary, stylistically he’s developing a lane that will make him readily identifiable on tracks. Additionally, the minimal amount of violent bars is something rap can really use. It’s refreshing to hear bars that neglect an over utilized component of rap.  Kennedy’s beat selection is equally impressive. His variety of beats tap into moods of excitement and relaxation, which makes his music more relatable.

*Originally posted: http://rapruler.com/review/dom-kennedy-the-yellow-album/

Tabi Bonney – The Endless Summer

There are more things to love than hate about Tabi Bonney’s fourth, and most recent mixtape, The Endless Summer.

click to listen or download mixtape

Bonney gains instant momentum and credibility as a rapper by asserting a style that runs unparralled to any major artist. Instead of hopping on machine synthesized, trunk pounding bass lines, Bonney chooses more mellow and relaxing beats with genuine instrumentation from bass guitars and a variety of other instruments. This bodes well for the mixtape because his beat selections enhance the title of his work, The Endless Summer. Many of his songs have a Caribbean summer’s tropical, laid back and relaxing feel coupled with bars that bring endless heat.

Bonney’s style is what’s most impressive about the mixtape. Apart from the fact that he possesses a voice similar to old-school rapper Slick Rick, Bonney proceeds to narrate situations with thorough topical verses that consistently use both internal and end rhyme. Unlike many current rappers who recklessly oscillate between topics, Bonney sticks to the concept of each track by developing his analogies with diverse, witty wordplay in each verse. His songs “Senior Year,” “Hang Glide,” and “Parachute” provide excellent examples.

“I don’t need that attention/your girlfriend like no he didn’t/I don’t need no Martin Lawrence and Pamela rendition/but anyways we can kick it, just no real commitment/and I hope you’re in shape if you plan on goin’ the distance,” he flows in his track “Parachute.”

Yet, high praise sometimes warrants criticism. Bonney should work on different delivery methods. He has capacity to become more versatile with how he raps. His flow pattern could use more vocal variation, which would add character and individuality to his thematic tracks.

Overall, Tabi Bonney gains points for style, instrumentation, content, and bar structure. He loses points for conceptual redundancy, (tracks “Parachute” and “Hang Glide”) lack of flow variation, and the evident fact that he still has plenty of room to grow as an artist.

*Originally posted: http://rapruler.com/review/tabi-bonney-the-endless-summer/