Monday, January 28, 2013

Happy Belated Birthday, Hov; Top 5 Jay-z Verses

Bagels' Note: I originally started this on Jay-z's actual birthday, December 4th, but got sidetracked with other stuff. Figured I might as well let it go now:

It's been said time and again, and with good reason, that hip hop is a young man's game. Like basketball and most other sports, the rap world is no country for old men. This is true for a number of reasons (the average age of rap fans, erosion  of skills) but there are a few exceptions, chiefly everyone's favorite minority basketball owner, Brooklyn's own Shawn Carter aka Jay-z. Hov's been going hard for nearly 20 years now, something unheard of in modern music, let alone hip hop. It's safe to say that he's lost a tick off his fastball, but is still light years ahead of most of his much younger competition, never mind those other veterans his age still grasping to what's left of their career. Today is Jay's birthday (!), and in honor of this occasion we present the top 5 Jay-z verses of all time.  I limited myself to only 2 verses from Reasonable Doubt since I could've basically made that entire album his top 50 verses or whatever. Hov!

5) Where I'm From (second verse)- In My Lifetime Vol.1

Jay's done a few Brooklyn anthems (Hello Brooklyn, Brooklyn We Go Hard), but Where I'm From is by far the best (Brooklyn's Finest is great but isn't really about BK as much as just Biggie and Jay talking shit). It's one of the high points of any Jigga concert. Live, Jay cuts it off after "Who's the best emcee, Biggie, Jay-z or Nas" as a transition to what's usually a Biggie song, but the second verse is the highlight of this one.
I'm from the place where the chruch is the flakiest
And niggas is praying to god so long that they Atheist
Where you can't put your vest away and say you'll wear it tomorrow
Cause the day after we'll be saying, damn I was just with him yesterday
I'm a block away from hell, not enough shots away from straight shells
An ounce away from a triple beam still using a hand-held weight scale
Your laughing, you know the place well
Where the Liqour Store's and the base dwell
And Government, fuck Government, niggas polotic themselves

4) Empire State of Mind (third verse)- Blueprint 3

This is one of those songs that was so relentlessly played to death that it's easy to look past it's lyrics. I'll admit the first two verses are kind of lame aside from all the New York references, but the third verse is sneaky good. Even for what's essentially a party song and a somewhat corny NY standard now, Jay slips in some rather dark lyrics about the dangers for young women in big cities.

"Anna the Wintour gets cold, in vogue with your skin out"

3) Dead Presidents II (first verse)- Reasonable Doubt

As I mentioned before, Jay's lost a bit off his fastball so it goes without saying that the majority of his best verses come from his first couple albums. Of all the greatness on Reasonable Doubt, though, his best verses are reserved for the more "serious" tracks, like the number one and two verses on this list. It's hard to pick one from Dead Presidents but I'll go with the first verse (as you can tell there's a theme of melancholy complexity to my choices even if I like when he talks about money, cash, hoes too). I've said it before, but while Jay-z wasn't the first guy to rap about being a drug dealer or criminal, he was the first to really look at dealing drugs in a complex way, or even express any remorse for selling drugs to his own people (Biggie and NaS flirted with this type of thing but never really went past explaining that they sold crack because they were poor more or less). Even when he's talking about murder, it's in a far more poetic way than any rapper up to this point (or maybe since) is able to.

Fuck em, they hate a nigga lovin his life
In all possible ways, know the Feds is buggin my life
Hospital days, reflectin when my man laid up
On the Uptown high block he got his side sprayed up
I saw his life slippin, this is a minor set back
Yo, still in all we livin, just dream about the get back
That made him smile though his eyes said, "Pray for me"
I'll do you one better and slay these niggas faithfully
Murder is a tough thing to digest, it's a slow process
and I ain't got nothin but time.

2) Can I Live (Reasonable Doubt)

Another classic banger off Hov's debut. If you were to play this for that one lady who never heard of Jay-z and then played something off Blueprint 3 or a verse off Watch The Throne, they'd think that you were playing some kind of not so funny joke on them. The voices are similar but how could the same guy who rapped, also rap "No I'm not a virgin, I use my cojones"? It's the same guy but sometime along the way, Jay (like most rappers) either got lazy off his money or his brain eroded. Either way, you'll never hear him rap like this again.
I don't sleep, I'm tired, I feel wired like codeine, these days
a brother gotta admire me from four fiends away
My pain wish it was quick to see, from sellin 'caine
til brains was fried to a fricaissie, can't lie
At the time it never bothered me, at the bar
gettin my thug on properly, my squad and me
lack of respect for authority, laughin hard
Happy to be escapin poverty, however brief
I know this game got valleys and peaks, expectation
for droughts, for precipitation we stack chips, hardly
the youth I used to be, soon to see a mill'in
No more, Big Willie my game has grown prefer you call me William


1) D'evils (Reasonable Doubt)

I love this song. I tell everyone I know that this is the best ever Jay-z song, and here's the reasons: It has a beat by DJ Premier that doesn't really sound like a Primo beat but is still awesome and Jay raps about serious subjects without getting preachy or doing paint by number psycho babble like "I grew up around drug dealers, my environment made me what I am blah blah" (something he struggled to pull off later in his career) Great song.

We used to fight for building blocks
Now we fight for blocks with buildings that make a killing
The closest of friends when we first started
But grew apart as the money grew, and soon grew black-hearted
Thinking back when we first learned to use rubbers
He never learned so in turn I'm kidnapping his baby's mother
My hand around her collar, feeding her cheese
She said the taste of dollars was shitty so I fed her fifties
About his whereabouts I wasn't convinced
So I kept feeding her money 'til her shit started to make sense
Who could ever forsee, we used to stay up all night at slumber parties
now I'm trying to rock this bitch to sleep
All the years we were real close
Now I see his fears through her tears, know she's wishing we were still
Don't cry, it is to be
In time, I'll take away your miseries and make 'em mine, D'Evils...

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Manti Te'o Is A Liar, a Sucker or Both

By now everyone's heard about Notre Dame star Manti Te'o's strange relationship history. While his motivations are still unknown (as is whether he was in on the dead girlfriend hoax or not), one thing is for certain: Te'o is a sucker. There's no other way to put it. If he was in on the hoax, he's a jerk who manufactured a story to drum up Heisman support and if he wasn't in on it, he might be the dumbest man who ever lived. We can forgive college aged kids for certain indiscretions like drunken shenanigans or what have you, but could a guy born in the 90s really be that dense and unfamiliar with technology to be duped like this? Even if he's a mormon?

If you somehow haven't heard yet (and if you're reading this you probably have) I'll quickly sum it up: Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o had claimed that his girlfriend had died of leukemia, this story made the rounds from Sports Illustrated to CNN to ESPN and the Today Show. It was seen as one of those inspiring stories that transcends sports and would eventually be made into a sappy tv-movie, possibly on Lifetime, starring The Rock as Te'o and Selena Gomez (or someone similarly ethnic) as his dying love who propelled him to new heights (the movie would end abruptly after the starting lineups were introduced at the BCS Championship game). Yesterday, it was revealed that his girlfriend wasn't really dead, and here's the kicker, she didn't even exist. It was all a hoax. The only question now is was Manti in on it, or just an idiot? Either way, he's an idiot. If he thought he could get away with a fabricated story of a dying girlfriend in this day and age, when websites like Deadspin exist for the purpose of breaking wacky stories like this (and their name takes on a new meaning today, I wonder if people just now hearing of Deadspin for the first time think that it's a website dedicated to fake death stories) then he's stupid. And if he believed he was carrying on a love affair with a Stanford student for 3 years, never actually met her, and then believed that she died, he is really, really stupid. I'm a few years older than this guy, but my generation is very familiar with social networks and technology, long distance relationships are made (if not easier) much more hands-on through things like Skype and Facetime. It's virtually impossible to not see a person who you are in a relationship with. He's also a minor celebrity who travelled a lot, there's no way he wouldn't have at least once, seen someone who claimed to be this girl. Was there someone masquerading as Lennay Kukua (a made up sounding name if I've ever heard one)? This is beginning to seem like Te'o was a pathological liar, seeing as how he also told his father that he met her at least once, and that she even visited them in Hawaii. I can't believe that anyone under the age of 30 is that gullible. I realize that there's plenty of suckers out there who've been scammed by people who say they are what they aren't on the internet, enough to sustain a film and MTV series. This whole thing just seems like Te'o was using a fictional story to get attention. He cooked up a scheme to milk sentiment from viewers and Heisman voters. Using death (even fake death) for your own personal gain, lying to millions. That's maybe even more of a sucker move than just being fooled by a prankster. Either way, he's a sucker.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The NBA All-Asshole Team

Kevin Garnett is King Asshole. This is well known in baskeball circles, and basically anywhere that he is well known. The whole world is realizing it now, though, following the events that transpired at the Garden last Monday. While shit talking is an accepted part of basketball and most sports (besides baseball where the "unwritten rules" are longer than the Bible), there are unspoken boundaries that everyone abides by when trying to get in an opponent's head. Everyone that is except for a few assholes like KG. Everyone knows from the playground to the pros, you keep spouses (or girlfriends), family, and kids (or other sensitive subjects like diseases) out of it. Now, saying someone's wife tastes like Honey Nut Cheerios isn't as bad as saying "happy mother's day" to a guy who's mother died a few years prior, but it's still a jerky move. Unsurprisingly, Garnett didn't really give much a reaction when Melo confronted him on the court, doing a backpedal move that was eerily reminiscent of Melo himself a few years ago, as he usually only shows some real fight when his opponent is at least a foot shorter, Euorpean or a combination of both. Of course, he's not the only asshole in the league, the Association is chock full of guys who deserve a kick in the nuts, or in the very least a place on the NBA All-Asshole Team.

Point Guard

Isiah Thomas

My hatred for this guy is well documented, but Zeke holds the rare distinction of being an a-hole throughout two generations of NBA basketball. Not only was he the biggest asshole on a team full of assholes, but he managed to be an even bigger dick in his transition to front office jobs. Let's start with his playing career though. It's often said that teams take on the personality of their best players and never was that more true than the Pistons of the 80s. Regarded now as an example of the "nastiness" that's required for successful NBA teams, the Bad Boys were really just more mind numbingly annoying than bad. This was a squad that featured Dennis Rodman, who even before he turned into a freak show was notoriously dirty and stupid, Joe Dumars, a quiet snake in the grass, Rick Mahorn whose known for two things, his big ass and his dirty play, and of course, Bill Laimbeer, a big White guy so reviled that it's a wonder he never played for the Celtics. He's now paying his penance as a WNBA coach, a hell that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemies. But steering the ship was Isiah. A man petty enough to encourage a freeze out of Michael Jordan in the all star game, and orchestrate a walk off the court without shaking hands after losing to the Bulls. He was such a prick, it's rumored MJ kept him off the original Dream team. His douche bag playing days were equalled if not surpassed by his career as an Executive and head coach. I won't get into everything shitty he did, but if you want to relive the horror, you can here.

Shooting Guard

Kobe Bryant/Reggie Miller

I'm always on #teamkobe. I've spent a better part of my adult life defending him to his legion of haters (a group that has dwindled with the emergence of LeBron James as the guy we love to loathe) but even I have to admit he's a really big asshole. His fans (like me) can always deflect the asshole accusations with "MJ was a jerk too" and "you have to be that way to be great" but that doesn't take away from the fact that Kobe may be one of the more obnoxious humans that ever lived, never mind picked up a basketball. Ever since his early days as a too big for his britches rookie, he's rubbed people the wrong way. And it's not surprising that he would grow into the immature person that he is now, seeing as how he was basically a child star (hard to be well adjusted when you take Brandy to your prom). Not only is he essentially impossible to play with, but he's also a possible snitch, a possible rapist and a definitely bad rapper.  His philosophy on being a leader is from the Jordan school of either berating your lesser teammates to the brink of tears or just ignoring them all together. He doesn't appear to have any friends (even Derek Fisher only barely tolerates him, and this is a guy who is probably his best friend) and he's now entered the latter stage of his career as one of those old black guys who says crazy things because he can ala Bill Cosby, MJ again, and Barkley.

As for Reggie, I couldn't make a list of NBA players who are assholes and leave off this ugly monkey. Known as much for his shooting ability as his flopping and showboating (him bowing to the Chicago crowd right before Toni Kukoc nails a buzzer beater is a pretty sweet video), Reggie may not have been a fake tough guy like KG, but that's only because he's a huge gaping pussy hole. He was annoying enough to goad hot heads like Starks and Jordan into wanting to kill and/or headbutt him, but I can guarantee he's never had a fight in his life. If you thought that he was unbearable when he played, though, just wait until you see him in his post playing life as a TNT "analyst". The classic example of an ex athlete hired because he is "well spoken" (i.e. talks White), Reggie makes more fuck ups when speaking than a drunk George W. Bush. On a channel that employs Shaq and Barkley, Reggie comes off as the dumbest ex player of all time. That's saying something.

Small Forward

Scottie Pippen

To be fair to Scottie, spending your career as the sidekick to the most iconic athlete of all time could turn anyone into a bit of an a-hole but Pip probably would've landed on this list regardless. On the court, Scottie did the type of stuff that lesser players would get suspended for routinely. Besides his tripping players from the ground, and generally being a jerk, what truly grants him entry into the A-hole HOF is his behavior during game 3 of the 94 semifinals against the Knicks. With the game tied and seemingly headed for OT, a pouting Pip sulked on the bench when he learned that the last play wasn't drawn up for him but Croatian sensation Toni Kukoc, who had already hit a few buzzer beaters that first Jordanless season. Now it's understood in the NBA that the franchise player will be the first option in the waning seconds but that's not an excuse to refuse to GO BACK IN like a baby. Kukoc hit the shot, and all was mostly forgiven for Scottie, but he'll always be an asshole to us.

Power Forward

Charles Barkley

Barkley's one of those guys who has a get out of jail free card with fans and the media. He's so outrageous that he can say anything that pops into his demented pea brain, and people will shrug it off as "Barkley being Barkley". He could open up the next Inside the NBA with "Kenneh, I really do not lahk Jews. I rilly don't. Let me tell ya somethin', my agent is a Jewish person, my accountant is also Jewish. But I just don't like them. They smell and are dirty people" and everyone would laugh it off as good ol' Chuck and his down south charm. Well, it's all bullshit. It's not that Charles is outrageous so he gets away with it like Howard Stern or Lenny Bruce or someone who's actually self aware and intelligent to know that what he's saying is controversial. It's just that he's really, really stupid. Maybe the dumbest ex athlete ever (and that is saying something). Sure, Sir Charles probably understands that a lot of what he says will rile people up (he's a first rate troll) but I also think he believes a lot of the nonsense he spews is actually smart. He worships Muhammed Ali but aside from speech pattern (which he imitates like Kobe imitates MJ), the two have nothing in common aside from the fact that they have the same number of NBA championship rings. Let us also not forget that he once claimed to be a Republican (because he was rich), threw a guy through a glass window and spit on a little girl.

(Also Kevin Garnett for the above reasons)


And your starting asshole center is none other than.......

Shaquiiiilllleee O'neeeeal

The world's worst kept secret is that behind the goofy smile and dancing, Shaq is as big of an asshole as the current goofball center to go from Orlando to LA and call himself superman.  Let's start with the fact that he's played for more teams than any other Hall of Famer (I didn't research this statement but am assuming that it's correct). Like Taylor Swift and her many publicized break ups, after a while maybe you have to think it's you, big guy, not them. Shaq routinely showed up out of shape, occasionally resulting in lengthy injuries, beefed with multiple coaches and mostly coasted through a career off his physical dominance. It's no surprise that a sociopath gym rat like Kobe would clash with him. Shaq was too busy focusing on sucking at side ventures like being one of the worst rappers and actors of all time or attempting to be the world's doofiest sheriff. For Kazaam alone, he earns a spot on the asshole list. You might have noticed a trend developing here. Half of the guys on this list are now employed by Turner sports, and Shaq might be the most boring commentator of all time, adding absolutely nothing to a conversation.

Congrats to all of the inaugural inductees into the PTU Asshole Hall of Fame. You guys suck.

Things To Do on a January Sunday if you’re a Marxist

It’s that time of year when men who are “not into sports” hide away in their [legitimate] man-caves, albeit feeling illegitimate as a man. I should know, I've traditionally counted myself among their ranks.

It’s easy to spot one of us by The 3 tell-tale signs:
  1. Shows up to the bar/party during an important and tense part of the game and thinks the silence indicates someone important just died.
  2. Orders/Encourages shots before halftime.
  3. Misuses valuable commercial-break time to try and have conversation about how much he hates the Kardashians. (This is actually 3 things in 1)
Here are some suggestions for the downtrodden
  1. Plan a romantic Valentine’s Day
  2. Go to the gym
  3. Work on a hobby
  4. Take the girlfriend…
…WAIT… Something does NOT feel right about this list…

Here are REALISTIC suggestions for the downtrodden
1. Host a Gameday party. 

No one will look at you weird for not knowing that the whos-a-whats are playing the what-cha-call-its during the AFC Championship because you’re catering to their nutritional vices

Play re-runs of Game of Thrones after the game/between games. 

2. Learn to roll a cigar to impress them later.

3. Play a video game. 
Host a TECMO-Bowl Tournament with the teams that will be playing that day.

4. Go Snowboarding.

5. Make up ridiculous facts that will inevitably start conversation. 

My personal favorite:
Did you know that the Miami Dolphins were named after Dolph Lundgren?

6. Last, but not least: Place Money on a game!
If you’re a highly adaptive rascal like me 
(how else can a Communist survive in America?),
you might consider betting on a game to get into it. Trust me. 
!This even works with golf! 
There’s no better motivator to learn something than thought of the mob leaving a horsehead on your newly purchased Temper-pedic.

!!!Oh, wait!!! What’s this???
A slight variant on this is to bet your girlfriend’s money to get her into watching the game as well. 

Side note:
Although there might be better ways to get your fling/girlfriend/spouse into a game, 
I wouldn’t know any of them. 
I don't wish to know of any of them either.
I’ve seen what happens to men who dabble in the dark arts.

Some of you may be thinking: 
“Marx, what if I’m someone who doesn't like any of those things listed like: partying, socializing, playing video games, joking around, or taking a mobster's money?”

My response to the Capitalist who says that would be: DUDE! Get a life.

Marxist. Out.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Whose Winning the Super Bowl

Well later on today Hater J should give you a good gambling guide on the playoffs games this weekend, but if your just interested in knowing whose going to win the super bowl well , no need to sit back or relax, I'm not going to bored you with formulas or details. The Team that's winning the super bowl is.


If you want to know who they are facing well here it is.


Enjoy the football games this Weekend.