Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

jay-z-waving-at-nets-game

I don’t know how to even address this sort of thing, you guys. It’s not every day that the world’s most famous rapper buys a hilariously small piece of one of the most notorious laughingstocks in pro sports, moves that team to his hometown, decides to sell his ownership stake to become an agent and then includes some zingers about the team in a rap song about all the controversies of his past two weeks. As far as I can tell, this has happened exactly once in the history of rap and professional sports and that one time is right now.

Nonetheless, Jay-Z is doing/has done all that stuff in the first paragraph, culminating in the song “Open Letter” (listen below) where he has this to offer about the Nets:

I woulda moved the Nets to Brooklyn for free
Except I made millions off it, you f–king dweeb
I still own the building, I’m still keeping my seats
You buy that bullsh-t, you better keep your receipts.

Oh man, classic receipt slam. In your face, unorganized financial planners.

But I guess this means he’s still going to be a Nets fan even though he won’t have a financial interest in the team. That’s nice for them, especially since he’s still going to show up to like 10 games a season because he’s “keeping [his] seats.” Who knows if Jay-Z being a celebrity fan will have the same effect that Jay-Z being a minority owner of the team did, but at least there will still be a little peripheral Jay juice, if you will.

As for the “made millions off it, you f–king dweeb” part, I guess this could be read as a diss against someone in the Nets’ front office. (Is it you, random executives Fred Mangione or Leo Ehrline?) Personally, I think it’s more of a colloquial “f–king dweeb,” like Jay is bragging about making bank off something he wanted to happen anyways. Rappers have been known to be boastful in the past.

Even though Jay-Z is doing his best to assure anybody who doubts his Nets fandom because he’s selling his shares (I think? Weird stanza topic) that he’s still going to love his team, there are certainly going to be changes when he’s no longer an owner, especially for headline writers. Without a rapper as a part owner, where are they going to look for puns? Until Mikhail Prokhorov finally drops that mixtape he’s always talking about — it’s been delayed so many times that it’s basically Russia’s “Detox” at this point — it’s going to be Carl “Slim” Pickens in the newspaper game. That one’s free. They’re not all going to be this great.

fall-out-boy-and-2-chainz

Those who have lived through NBA postseasons of the recent past will never be able to hear Jamie Foxx’s “Winner” or Linkin Park’s “Burn It Down” without reflexively shuddering and probably twitching a little bit, the songs having been overplayed through endless NBA on TNT commercials to a point that even the Black Eyed Peas could never dream of. It’s not the songs’ fault — though TNT brass never seems to choose songs that are all that good, perhaps realizing getting an actual quality song for their purposes would ultimately be pointless — but some time between the first and second round of the playoffs, they start to trigger reactions of nausea and/or deep depression, until you start watching in fear of the song popping up next.

With the playoffs just around the corner, it’s probably time to acquaint ourselves with the songs most likely to be chosen for such honors this year, if for no other reason than to steel ourselves to their melodic strains, in the hopes of building up an immunity of some sort by the time that TNT attempts to endlessly poison us with one of them. Here are some of the songs I believe to be the most likely candidates, trying not to overlap too much with my alternate All-Star Weekend anthem suggestions, and no, none of them are Ace Hood’s “Bugatti,” as preferable a choice as that would undoubtedly be.

Fall Out Boy, “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light ‘Em Up)”

TNT is already using this song in previews for the new The Rock-starring reality competition series “The Hero,” though I’m not sure if that makes it more or less likely they’ll use it again for the playoffs. Anyway, “My Songs” has the same kind of anthemic, fist-pumping chorus and big, arena-ready production as Linkin Park’s unavoidable theme for last year’s playoffs, and even shares the same incendiary lyrical themes. “Light ‘em up, up, up” even sounds like it could be written as a theme song for Kobe Bryant or Kevin Durant. TNT has even given the song a vote of confidence before as a qualified NBA soundtracker, when Fall Out Boy performed the song at All-Star Saturday Night a few months back.

Zedd feat. Foxes, “Clarity”

Will the crowd-pleasing music directors at TNT programming embrace EDM? (Usher’s “More,” used recklessly and relentlessly to promote the 2010 All-Star Game, only half counts.) If so, they could do a lot worse than with Russian-German DJ Zedd’s soon-to-crossover house anthem “Clarity,” a fairly righteous floor-filler that the Knicks have used to pretty good effect in promotion of their own broadcasts over at MSG Network. Krewella’s similar “Alive” could also potentially work here, though that song kinda sucks — which arguably makes it a more likely candidate than “Clarity,” unfortunately.

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DJ STEVE PORTER IS BACK IN THE BUILDING, Y’ALL!!! (Explosion sound effect)

jimmy-butler-blue-jean-barefoot

“This is real life!”Jimmy Butler, noted NBA cowboy, upon hearing a country song at the United Center

justin-timberlake-dunking

Justin Timberlake has a new album out today. The album’s pretty good, not great — and if you want to have an in-depth discussion about whether “Blue Ocean Floor” sounds more like Frank Ocean or Radiohead, or about whether Jay-Z’s guest verse on “Suit & Tie” is straight-up phoned in or just impressively effortless, hit me up wherever — but it pretty well establishes that as good as Justin Timberlake is as a pop star, at this point in his career he’s probably better at (or at least better-suited for) just being a Professional Famous Person. And for JT, a longtime NBA fan and current NBA co-owner, that includes a healthy amount of crossover with the world of professional (and less-than-professional) basketball.

In honor of Justin’s new album, I’ve compiled a brief list — and shoutout to BallIsLife, who technically scooped me on this and gave me at least one idea — of his 10 best basketball moments, absolutely none of which are his Kobe-referencing rap on FreeSol’s “Role Model.” Seriously, those guys were like an even crappier Far*East Movement.

1. Backstreet Boys vs. ‘N Sync in Germany, 1997.

A decade earlier, and this game featuring boy band stars hooping in Eastern Europe could’ve been a real-life “Rocky IV,” single-handedly ending the Cold War. Instead, it’ll have to suffice for being a hilarious historical document of a time juuuuust before the TRL bubble burst, and it wasn’t totally ridiculous to send prominent members from America’s two most popular boy bands halfway around the world for some exhibition ball.

Admittedly, I haven’t watched the entirety of this game — the footage is a little too grainy, the foreign announcers obviously totally unintelligible, and the drums pounding throughout the first clip are far too intense — but the consensus among the YouTube commenters seems to conclude the following:

1. Brian of BSB was by far the best player (and also had the dreamiest blue eyes).
2. It was ridiculous that A.J. of BSB was forced to play on the ‘N Sync team (though I would counter this was totally reasonable treatment of A.J.).

Most importantly, Timberlake would establish the precedent here of wearing the number 1 1/2 in all his celebrity NBA outings, which probably has a legendary and likely apocryphal story behind it that is already a major part of celebrity basketball lore in Tennessee.

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There has never been anything more necessary in our lives than this song about J.R. Smith. Make this your ringtone and ask your friends to call you, then never answer. Get this in your ears as much as possible.

(via Jojo Castillo)

Here is an open invitation to anyone out there reading this to replicate this song, upload it to YouTube and post it in the comments. This is the new “Harlem Shake.”