Category Archives: Entertainment Blog

Kingpen Slim “Life After Doubt” (album stream)

 

Life After Doubt (released: November 11, 2016), is the latest and possibly greatest work to date from Uptown DC’s independent heavyweight, Kingpen Slim.

I say possibly greatest, solely because I’ve been a fan of the kitchen magician for a minute. And I don’t throw out grandiose proclamations all wild.

But to be clear…#LAD is dope.

From past projects, Slim has shown himself as an MC that does two things really well. Rhyme and talk that slick shxt. And keeping that in mind, I can definitely say this feels like one of his more complete offerings to date– which is saying a lot in and of itself.

Life After Doubt, an homage to iconic hip-hop titles Life After Death (Biggie) x Reasonable Doubt (Jay-Z) is a throwback to the type of lyrical storytelling popularized on the mainstream level by the aforementioned projects.

For those scoring at home, it’s a sonic backdrop to memories of the old DC. So if you can’t rock with that or your ears are averse to slick wordplay, this is not the project for you.

Since it’s release, the 14-track project with production from Mark Henry, J Buttah and The Directors to name a few, has been reviewed favorably by the likes of The Crew2Dope Boyz, ThatsEnuffBrightest Young Things, Dirty Glove Bastard and Fashion Citizen.

But judge it for yourself.

After the jump, roll thru the album stream + visuals for one of the standouts on #LAD, “Bad Guy”. Thank me later.

https://soundcloud.com/kingpenslim/sets/life-after-doubt

 

 


Life After Doubt, AVAILABLE NOW! | #LAD #doubtkills

Redskins Coverage | FootballDrafting.com

In April of this year, I began blogging/fan reporting on the Washington Redskins, for a site called Football Drafting.

The opportunity somewhat fell in my lap, at a time when I was beginning to brainstorm how I could set up a full fledged freelance side business.

I mean, talking about my favorite football team, while honing my writing/research/reporting skills– it’s a no brainer, if one ever existed.

Below you will find links to the thirteen (13) articles I’ve penned to date.

If you are a Redskins, NFL or football fan…please click below and let me know what you think. The same goes, if you are searching for a potential freelance writer or guest blogger. You should definitely be able to gain a feel for my writing style– if you haven’t before now.

#HTTR

Summer Over Everything (audio stream)

From somewhere in the land of bowties, Timbs and fudge rounds, comes my latest playlist:

“Summer Over Everything”

The latest installment in my newly coined, what urban radio should sound like series, contains the usual suspects plus some, found on most contemporary urban-leaning radio formats thru the beginning of August 2016.

Current work from DJ Khaled, Kevin Gates, Rihanna, Ro James, Joey BadA$$, Dreezy and Meghan Trainor are a few of the names found throughout the UNEDITED 23-track stream.

#parentaladvisory #notadultcontemporary #urwelcome

[press play after the jump]

Podomatic.com | MrRLW

 

KD to Golden State, Deal With It

Kevin Durant has opted to take his talents to the Bay Area (and the professional basketball world has been set on its head once again), yaddadamean! Sorry…

KD, the kid from Seat Pleasant.

4x NBA Scoring Champion.

1x NBA MVP.

Olympic Gold Medalist.

He of the greatest Mother’s Day speech of all time and all around good guy, has done the unthinkable. Well at least in the minds of everyone born prior to 1986.

Following the move made by that one guy back in 2010, there is zero reason going forward for any basketball fan to ever be surprised by these types of decisions ever again.

** cough-cough **

In fact going forward, we should be more surprised when big name, big game talents don’t make super team forming moves.

So where does the rubber meet the road here? Why are former and current players, sports talking heads and fans so upset with Kevin?

I’m not one for assuming, so I’ll just give my $ .02 on why I was…disappointed.

For one, I’m old school when it comes to sports. Call it antiquated thinking, but I was raised on you go through whoever’s in your way to get what you want. Secondly, Kevin has been with the same organization since being drafted. But I understand there coming a time, when you may need/want a change of scenery. Lastly, he had a legit superstar beside him in Russ + they had a nice team from top to bottom as support for their star power.

So is there more to the KD + Westbrook dynamic then the public knows? Were previous rumors of tension, in fact legit…and have been all this time?

Only those on the team, within the organization, agents and true insiders will have any real insight.

BUT YOU CAN’T TEAM UP WITH THE TEAM THAT JUST BEAT YOU KD! Can you?

The squad you had down 3-1 in the Western Conference Finals? The team that just broke the regular season record for wins, the 73-9 Dubs? Not the Heat to challenge Bron in the East or a young Celtics squad. Not the Spurs as the latest piece in a retooling effort that has possibly been the most seamless in professional sports history.

But the W A R R I O R S ?

Could you imagine Jordan joining the Bad Boys? C-Webb joining Kobe, Shaq and the Lakers? Hell, LeBron joining KG, Ray + Pierce in Boston?

In my opinion, it’s not so much that he left, but the situation he left and the team he chose to go to. Well, there’s also this tweet from 2010:

Which came during the same offseason where, the original Super Team (the Miami Heat) came together like Voltron. In no uncertain terms, he was viewed as the anti-LeBron to old heads (the other reason why I think this move stung).

Damn, damn, damn Kevin! I mean, good luck to you. All things being equal, I can respect his decision for the same reason I grew to understand James’. When you’ve accomplished everything else in the game, that win at all cost mindset takes over.

But that doesn’t mean I have to like it! Imma go cry in the car with my old man beliefs.

Peace.

 

_____________
featured image:  “Kevin Durant flag football at Oklahoma State” by KT King is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Puzzling Obsession with RGIII

Robert Griffin III, is one of the most faux-polarizing professional athletes of recent memory.

The former Heisman trophy and NFL Rookie of the Year winner, is four and five years removed from his highest of heights on the football playing field.

Looking at the calendar, the former #2 overall draft pick and former quarterback of the Washington Redskins Burgundy & Golds (depending on your team name stance), has been in the city of his new team for almost two months now (shouts to the #DawgPound).

This same professional football player formerly ALL IN FOR WEEK ONE, has not played in a competitive football game that counts since December 28, 2014– a 44-17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

 DECEMBER 28, 2014

Yet for some reason, after a 2015 season that found Griffin’s former franchise making an official quarterback change and winning the division for the first time since his rookie season– he has still found a way to dominate a news cycle or two (both locally and nationally).

Recently. Not formerly, as in the past.

It is absolutely no secret, that I am a fan of Mr. Griffin. Just as it goes without saying, that I’m not a fan with blinders. I wholeheartedly recognize every iota of his role in what went bad here in DC. But what I refuse to understand is, why there are some that continue to regurgitate the same information and situations about a player who hasn’t started in two years.

RGIII did not leave DC on bad terms. RGIII’s last season in DC was actually a good one, and he had nothing to do with it. RGIII TO A MAN, was the perfect teammate all season long.

However here we are. With a former Post reporter who had a penchant for reporting on and talking about Griffin, even when it served zero purpose– composing an article for ESPN’s new offshoot, The Undefeated, about Robert’s “puzzling plummet”.

FWIW, I reluctantly skimmed through the article, despite my initial lack of desire to. Thinking, what is there to be learned from a piece that has been written in varying degrees by this same journalist and others, numerous times before? A piece with yet more information to be offered up by the same sources in Mike Shanahan and anonymous teammates, who’ve already bumped their gums about said player.

For a man that supposedly few seem to like. Who many talking heads feel can not play. Who hasn’t played in a regular season NFL game in eighteen months. Explain to me, how that man, is constantly wheeled out whenever you (and I mean that universally) need some attention on your pen or your ratings? And not even in the sensible sense, but instead, to again drudge up the past.

For those that wanted him gone, he is, so let him be. Wish him well or don’t. But if you need traffic, get creative. Try being a journalist. Find a new story. EXPLETIVE!

Welcome again to the puzzling plummet of American sports journalism.

Feel free to RT that.

 

 

 

Prince Rogers Nelson, found dead at 57

“Dearly beloved
We are gathered here today
To get through this thing called life

Electric word life
It means forever and that’s a mighty long time
But I’m here to tell you
There’s something else
The after world

A world of never ending happiness
You can always see the sun, day or night

So when you call up that shrink in Beverly Hills
You know the one, Dr. Everything’ll Be Alright
Instead of asking him how much of your time is left
Ask him how much of your mind, baby

‘Cause in this life
Things are much harder than in the after world
In this life
You’re on your own

And if the elevator tries to bring you down
Go crazy, punch a higher floor”

The above are the opening lyrics to one of Prince Rogers Nelson’s, many recognizable hits, Let’s Go Crazy off of the Purple Rain album.

It’s almost eerie, how these opening lyrics read as a lasting message from the ‘genreless’ musical icon, to his fans. A group of people in something far more hard to explain, than a mere state of shock at the news of his passing today.

Here’s to you resting peacefully in a higher realm of consciousness Purple One.

D’Angelo Russell, a cautionary tale

Guys are teammates.

Guys are cooling.

Guys are shooting the shit, talking freely among some of their peers.

Guy records other guy whose speaking freely.

Somehow, some way, recording gets in the wrong hands and all hell breaks loose.

I want to say welcome to your 2015-16 Los Angeles Lakers, but that wouldn’t do this situation justice.

More like welcome to the pitfalls of being a part of the social media generation. Where everything is share-worthy, and everything is funny.

Ladies & gentlemen, welcome to DEFCON 3!!!

__________________________

D’Angelo Russell, the Los Angeles Lakers #2 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, was hanging with a teammate, Nick Young. Nick, is currently engaged to Iggy Azalea. The Australian born, southern fried (when she rhymes) emcee of “Fancy” fame. You may have heard of her.

The other day, while in what would easily be perceived as a bro-safe zone, Nick spoke of some…things. Those…things, were documented by D’Angelo and somehow, later were released to a gossip site.

How the video footage was leaked, we don’t know. But the fact of the matter is, shit’s fucked up now things are all messed up. And all because of what was originally said to have been a prank gone wrong.

A prank. Involving a man who is engaged, saying something his fiancée might not find too kosher. On a camera he doesn’t know exists. Effin’ kids maaan!

Thanks to some insider knowledge from Postgame Pass, by Jill Munroe, we know that team camaraderie can be destroyed by things that have absolutely nothing to do with basketball. From gambling debts to messing with a teammates former sidepiece– it is extremely easy to throw off the chi of a professional locker room.

Now imagine the effects of what basically amounts to dry snitching on a teammate, even if done unintentionally. You can get in a fight with someone on your squad before you go telling on them. And word out of the city of angels, is that D’Angelo’s teammates are freezing him out. Giving him the cold shoulder at basically every turn. Can’t say that I’m surprised.

Even while steering clear of the cliché tales of males, teammates and locker rooms– success in sports, is built on the trust of the guy suiting up in the same jersey as you. And that level of comfort can be gained just as much off the practice court as on it. So the new question being thrown around sports radio is how does Russell get thru this?

“It’s tough. There’s a lot to learn. I’m sure [Russell will] evolve and grow and be better from it…the guys are understanding. We are all human beings. Everybody makes mistakes. Important thing is to show compassion.” – Kobe Bryant

Maaan, if it hasn’t been done already, his agent needs to seek the services of a good PR/crisis management firm. They need to call Olivia, Quin, Huck and the new guy.

Ultimately D’Angelo will be the chief deciding factor of how this situation will frame the rest of his career, as a player and brand. He’s needs to ball out next season and don’t do anything else stupid for awhile. Because there are definitely ways, this could affect him professionally if not careful.

As long as this is just an aberration, his long term career on the court should not be affected (this will definitely follow him though). I definitely think it’s safe to say, he can forget about any and all future bachelor party invites.

Lesson, hopefully learned:  this isn’t the playground, high school or college. The consequences of your actions at this level (both on and off the court), based on the situation, can equal comma(s) of damage. And what this means for Nick and Iggy (who are being treated as an afterthought in all of this), only time will tell.

“I can’t really show my face anywhere without people hating me right now.” – D’Angelo Russell

Welcome to the big leagues D’Angelo. You really broke out a camera though…smh. Ain’t no recording bih.

because she released a video for a single that included a pro-black lyric or two and visuals that spoke to issues being faced in black America today– that spotlight the abhorrent ugliness of this country, she’s being “thinkpieced” to death. Still. Three weeks later mind you.

“Formation”…why you mad?

Beyoncé.

Formation.

S U P E R B O W L 50.

Black Panthers.

Insanity, hysteria and faux outrage…ACTIVATE!

Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter, simply put, is one of the baddest motherfuckers human beings walking the planet.

The singular monikered, iconic (had to slide that one in for her detractors lol) megastar, has transcended the normal feats of what we consider the modern day superstar.

She, of drop an album in the middle of the night with no warning or pre-released single, fame…released a brand new song on February 6th entitled “Formation”. Then performed that again, brand new song, on February 7th– on arguably one of the biggest stages an artist can perform on.

HALFTIME AT THE S U P E R B O W L!

And ever since she performed this new song on that massive stage, all hell has broken loose. Formation, a song that contains lyrics about:

  • discrediting the typical illuminati rumors
  • liking black features, widely viewed as negatives
  • being a Texas bama (not to be confused w/a DC bamma)
  • liking hot sauce
  • rewarding wonderful sexual encounters, with some fi’ Cheddar Bay Biscuits from Red Lobster
  • working hard for what she wants
  • slaying

 

THIS song, has America in a collective uproar! Not white America, not black America, not rich America, not poor America…but all of America. America as a staff, record label, and as a motherfucking crew. You understand me? See the video for yourself after the jump…

 

 

Ah, it’s the imagery that’s the problem.

The same visuals that were not depicted anywhere in the song, save for cute little Blue Ivy, running around in her afro, that was once slandered by people of all colors when she was younger. Got it.

But she wasn’t on top of a cop car, or in what appears to be a city under water at SB50. She was just singing and dancing. There wasn’t a little boy dancing in a hoodie in front of a line of police officers. So what triggered the outrage from the performance?

A photo posted by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

Her dancers? Women, dressed in back up dancer attire has the country shook to its core? Not a businessman with zero political background, even hinting at some semblance of a plan to make America great again. But some backup dancers in afros and black berets?

Ohhh, it’s because their outfits depicted a homage if you will to the Black Panthers, on the eve of the 50th Anniversary of their being founded in Oakland, CA. Which is a part of the Bay Area, which is where SB50 was held earlier this month. Gottttttt it.

A false narrative of who the Black Panthers were and are x Beyoncé’s style of dress during her halftime performance = ANTI-POLICE!

It all makes sense now, :jozydead:.

Why does it make some, so uneasy whenever a black person says aloud, “I love and am proud to be black”?

Look, Beyoncé is an amazing entertainer, who is also a shrewd businesswoman. And because she released a video for a single that included a pro-black lyric or two and visuals that spoke to issues being faced in black America today– that spotlight the abhorrent ugliness of this country, she’s being “thinkpieced” to death. Still. Three weeks later mind you.

On one side, she’s anti-police and has police unions voting to not follow thru on their duty to protect and serve, when she visits different cities on her upcoming tour.

On the other side, you have ultra pro-black individuals, taking her to task for using the culture and black plights for economic gain. Saying, this isn’t a political song, you’re no activist.

But…she never said she was. She never claimed this song to be a political song. It’s a Beyoncé song. Listen to the lyrics. Red Lobster, Jackson 5 nostrils, I’m kind of a big deal, slaying.

For some reason, we as a people are so constantly on edge and ready to attack any and everything, that we go in half cocked at ALL times. So because your auntie whose a Bey fan saw the vid and listened to the beat, texted you that Bey got political– YOU took it as her saying I’m the new celebrity face of the cause?

And because you, are so unable to think for yourself, you half listened to a song, watched the clip of a video or her performance, listened to what politicians and talking heads fed you…now you’ve fully embraced the false narrative– that the song is anti-Police?

Because heaven forbid an artist or any regular Joe who isn’t a card carrying member of (insert name of preferred cause/movement here), ever spotlight an issue directly or indirectly. There’s no benefit to that ever.

WTF is wrong with you people! Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But every now and then, just step back and voice it out loud, then revisit your stance. Do you have the receipts for it?

“You know you that b_tch when you cause all this conversation…” – Bey

^^^ #FACTS #notOPINION

 

Candid CAMera

Cam…

Ohhh Cam…

Caaaaaaaaaamm…

Don’t explain yourself to me (yeah…dum-dum-diddy, and all that there).

The great thing about blogging, when it’s not attached to some larger imprint, is you can respond to things when you want– not when you have to.

By now, we all know that the Denver Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers in #SB50 aka “The Big Game” (for those who do not wish to be sued for copyright infringement).

We all also know that this year’s NFL MVP, one Cameron Jerrell Newton, fresh off of an amazing statistical season– did not have his best game for a number of reasons.

try a few of these on (in no particular order):
the Broncos defense, playcalling, the Broncos defense, dropped balls, the Broncos defense, special teams gaffe, the Broncos defense

But for some reason, we’ve seen more coverage regarding two instances involving Cam (only one of which was related to the game), than we have coverage of:

  • a 1st ballot HoF quarterback, winning his second championship w/a different team
  • a stud outside LB, who was #SB50MVP having an inhuman game, in basically a contract year
  • a HoF quarterback and 2x World Champion, turned team exec who helped guide his former team to its second championship game in three years– winning it this year (2016)
  • think pieces on just how good this Broncos defense was in comparison to other Championship level defenses (i.e. the ’00 Ravens & ’85 Bears)

Any of those or something totally different would be totally acceptable and appreciated. Instead however, we’re talking about the fumble recovery that wasn’t. And the postgame press conference. THREE DAYS LATER!

pole-ladder[1]

(this is an apparatus, to climb all the way out of your feelings with)

Sorry, we’re also talking about Cam’s non-apology and of course the faux-outrage over Beyonce’s halftime performance. Which fwiw, was vintage bad ass Beyonce, with a hard to miss political backdrop that even dropped my jaw, having heard the song the day before– that has far too many people armpit deep in their feelings.

Granted, I’ll give you the fumble issue. Mathematically, the Panthers were still in the game at the time of THAT particular fumble. However, if you had watched the game from the beginning until that point, you knew better.

But the presser? Look, ever since Cam has been in the league, he hasn’t exactly been a joy to cover during Panthers losses. So, people honestly expecting him to take losing in the championship game well, are foolish. Pay attention, because here comes the best part.

Am I condoning his getting up and walking away from his responsibility of talking to the press after the biggest game of his life, despite the loss? Nope.

Could he have handled it better? Yup.

Am I as a life long sports fan, interested in hearing your typical canned responses from athletes who just took an “L” after a game? To be frankly honest, not really. I’d prefer to hear their thoughts the next day. You’re more apt to obtaining something worthwhile (but of course I understand, it’s not possible to work that way).

My main thing is, why are we making this a bigger issue than the actual game? Those that are anti-Cam, now have added fuel. Congrats! You never liked him anyway. Those that are opposed to his antics on the field and clever quips when he’s winning, would be far more often than not, mimicking those same things– much like all of the new Carolina Panthers and Cam fans were this season.

The most poignant thing Cam has said since losing in #SB50 is that, he’s a sore loser. Dammit, those are his words. So you (those that choose to criticize him, as though he’s the first person on planet to earth, to not act as you would like them to) all that are riding this man, for unapologetically being himself, I’d love to borrow some of your free time.

The same man that has literally jumped over people for touchdowns…thrown rocket like passes in traffic to WRs who didn’t come out of last offseason as his 1st or 2nd options…FOR WHATEVER REASON goes out of his way to hand footballs to kids in the stands after TD’s…dramatically points after first downs…and dabbed the dab into gross overuse by corporate America…

The minute that man, who admits he loathes defeat, is at his professional lowest and responds in kind– now he’s spoiled. Now he’s a bad guy. Now he’s selfish. Now he’s a boy that needs to man up.

I get it.

Because what’s real. if he would have sat through his presser and sulked through answering all of those questions, there still would have been those that took issue with his posture. His body language. Why he had his hood on. Why he had socks on with sandals.

The only thing I wish he would have done differently, would have been to say, “I really do not feel like talking to anyone right now. So what ever answers you get, that’s all I got right now.”

And that may have appeased a small percentage of detractors. But honestly, even that would not have been good enough for many. Which is why I agree with something else Newton said. “This isn’t a popularity contest, I’m here to win football games.”

Stay candid, Cam.

 

 

 

“Postgame Pass” – BOOK REVIEW

Postgame Pass: Access to the Life, by Jill Munroe is a riveting cautionary tale, of the fast life of today’s modern day professional male athlete.

It details stories of sex, drugs, rock’n’roll, Pac-Man, gambling, violence, dragons and the incomparable Robin Givens.

And as over the top as the above statement reads, only a very small percentage of it is false. I’m still trying to decide how I feel about that.

In the book, Jill speaks to a few different audiences, in what one could frankly describe as a manual for all interested stakeholders, involved in the day to day off the field dealings of big time American professional athletes.

From young soon to be pros (w/aspirations to become a recognizable brand), to their wives/girlfriends, to aspiring fun girls hoping to become reality TV stars to those regular people that keep VH1 + Bravo’s ratings so high– there really is something in it for everyone.

Now for the pure sports fan who only cares about what’s going on on gameday or the necessary training and discipline needed…this book is NOT for you. However, you should really be able to discern that from the title. But alas even for those types, what you can gain, is a greater appreciation for what your favorite athletes have to go thru on a day to day basis. Because nothing is ever as cut and dry as it seems (i.e. why two teammates seem to suddenly have a problem with one another, and can no longer co-exist).

My favorite parts of the book:

  • Time-Outs- true stories/situations involving players recounted for poignancy to that point of the book (w/names changed unfortunately lol)
  • Chapter 4- Recycling, Chapter 7- Zero to One Hundred Real Quick, and Chapter 15- Exit Strategy
  • the glossary- a number of these terms I was familiar with prior to reading, but others not so much (for fun, read thru the glossary and then go to a pro athletes timeline on twitter and scan it…#thankmelater)
    • my new favorite terms that I can not use loosely in public *cough-cough*:  HoFax, Slash

My take:

All in all, Postgame Pass is a quick, easy and entertaining read. And would make a nice stocking stuffer for anyone who is into the life (off the field, glitz, glam, drama and trappings) of today’s milennial athlete. Initially, the book begins very “listy”. Meaning there’s a lot of, this is this, that is that, type of info. Yet after I finished it, I went back to the beginning and re-read the first couple chapters and better understood why things were presented in that fashion.

As a life long junkie of all things sports, I enjoyed it. And a number of the Time-Outs, had me thinking back long and hard to past rifts between players– in an attempt to figure out who the author was talking about. Additionally, we won’t even discuss the things I actually have done on social media, that athletes + celebrities do (according to this book). But I swear, I didn’t do it for the same reasons…well not the exact same reasons.

Without giving too much away, you’ll just have to read the book to understand. I will simply say this…”birdcall” lol.

 

POSTGAME PASS (www.postgamepass.com) « AVAILABLE NOW!

 

Follow the author:
Jill Munroe (StilettoJill on most platforms)
jocksandstilettojill.com – “ESPN meets Sex & the City”

twitter: @StilettoJill | instagram: @StilettoJill | youtube: StilettoJill | facebook: JocksandStilettoJill