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Monthly Archives: February 2011

Nas – Illmatic Feature: 1.’The Genesis’

THIS STOPS ME FROM COMITTING SUICIDE BECAUSE…….Live in the Barbeque is an awesome track.

‘Illmatic is supreme ill. It’s as ill as ill gets. That shit is a science of everything ill.’


The Genesis (1:45mins) is a short introduction to Nas’ belief of the origins of hip-hop as a legitimate genre and his hip hop life. It begins with the sound of a passing elevated train, with some rhyming in the background. The background rhyming is Nas’s first ever recorded rap from Main Source’s ‘Live at the BBQ’:

Then starts the apparent beginnings of an argument. The heated conversation is between Nas and other members from his hip-hop group, ‘The Firm’. One is AZ and the other is unknown. They seem to have come back from a successful hustle,

Aiyyo yo, pull down the shade, man.
Let’s count this money, nigguh
Aiyyo Nas, put the Jacksons and the Grants over there
You know what I’m sayin?
Cause we spendin the Jacksons

There is a sample of a Wild Style (1982) soundtrack by Grand Wizard Theodore called ‘Subway Theme’. Wild Style is an influential movie to many rappers as it was the first major movie based centrally on hip-hop.

The dialogue ends with:

I’m saying man, ya know what I’m saying?
Niggaz don’t listen man, representing
It’s Illmatic.

Nas sees himself as the voice of reason in an area and generation of trouble and is summed up by his last lines.

Music Writer Mickey Hess sums up ‘The Genesis’ well:

“Nas tells us everything he wants us to known about him. The train is shorthand for New York; the barely discernible rap is, in fact, his “Live at the Barbeque” verse; and the dialogue comes from Wild Style, one of the earliest movies to focus on hip hop culture. Each of these is a point of genesis. New York for Nas as a person, ‘Live at the Barbeque’ for Nas the rapper, and Wild Style, symbolically at least, for hip hop itself. These are my roots, Nas was saying, and he proceeded to demonstrate exactly what those roots had yielded.”

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Posted by on February 28, 2011 in Hip Hop

 

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The Best Players in the NFL – Top 5 Safeties

THIS STOPS ME FROM COMITTING SUICIDE BECAUSE…….Safeties can do everything

 
This is the first part of my top 5 rankings for every position in the NFL. It will culminate in an overall top 10 players in the NFL list.
This is arguably this weakest position in the league. It is suprising when the position has become so valuable in recent years with the opening up of the NFL passing attack. Maybe it is for that very reason. It is hard to play safety at a high level consistently for many years because you have to be able to play the pass and tackle in the open field at a very high level. I can name former all-pros whose bodies are now catching up with them (Adrian Wilson and Brian Dawkins), and safeties that have inconsistent seasons (Jairus Byrd, Kerry Rhodes, Laron Landry). Although lacking depth, the elite safeties (positions 1 and 2) are two of the best players in the league and two of the best in their positions in the history of the game:

5. Antrel Rolle (New York Giants)

Adrian Wilson, Oshiomogho Atogwe and Kerry Rhodes could have been picks here but Antrel Rolle just takes it. He’s a good player but only makes this list due to lack of other options. He thinks he is better than he actually is. He is very good in run support, but can make mental errors that lead to big plays in the passing game. He has very good games and then a bad game. I do appreciate that he is a very good playmaker and very dangerous when he has the ball in his hands.


4. Antoine Bethea (Indianapolis Colts)

Underrated and a very good player for the Colts. He is the perfect Colts defensive player; a reliable, athletic, football-smart player that flies to the ball. In his 5 seasons in the NFL, he has had two 100 tackle seasons and two 90+ tackle seasons, fantastic for a safety. He is arguably the surest tackling safety in the league. Although it would be nice to see him develop into a better playmaker especially his ball-hawking skills, he was worth the $27 million (4 year) contract extension he got in June 2010.


3. Nick Collins (Green Bay Packers)

Coming off a Superbowl where he had a huge pick-six, he gained the national attention that his play over the last few years have warranted. In my opinion, he is by far the 3rd best safety in the league. He does play in a very good defence but he has played on average to poor defences in the past and he played at a high level then. He is an above-average tackler and has outstanding range and ball skills. When he gets the ball in his hands he is dynamic too. Very good all-round safety entering his prime.

2. Ed Reed (Baltimore Ravens)

Ed Reed is the probably the best deep zone ball-hawking safety in the history of the NFL. His range in the passing game is unbelievable and he has probably the best hands for any defensive back in the league. He rarely drops an interception opportunity. He is also known to be a big hitter and his open-field tackling is solid. His returning is one of the best the league has ever seen for a defensive player. He has 54 INTs and judging by his 8 INTs (to lead the league) in only 10 games last season, he will add a lot more to that tally. A certain hall of famer.

1. Troy Polamalu (Pittsburgh Steelers)

My favourite player in the league. You cant go wrong with either Reed or Troy but I chose Troy for his impact and versatility. There is nothing he can’t do. He is a tremendous blitzer, he makes crazy interceptions and (although he isn’t the classic big hitter) he is a crunching tackler, who specialises in below the knee wipeouts. He is the definition of a playmaker and his closing speed is unbelievable. The first quarter and a half of the 2009 season opener was the most impactful individual half-game performance I have seen. The fact that he can have such an impact on an already amazing Steelers’ defense is a credit to his unique talent.



Other Awards:

Overrated: Brandon Merriweather (Patriots) – He lost his starting job for the Patriots mid-season but made the pro bowl.

Underrated: Patrick Chung (Patriots) – The best safety on the Patriots and a less dynamic version of Nick Collins. A good all-round safety.

One for the future: Eric Berry (Chiefts) – Earl Thomas is a possibility here but Eric Berry just has more natural talent that Thomas does. Berry reminds me of a more talented Antrel Rolle. Future perennial pro-bowler.

Best of all time: Ronnie Lott (Longest Tenure: 49ers)– No arguments expected

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Posted by on February 26, 2011 in NFL, Sports

 

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The Best Players in the NFL (Feature)

THIS STOPS ME FROM COMITTING SUICIDE BECAUSE…….It’s the greatest sport with the greatest athletes.

I am starting a feature on the best players in the NFL.

I will eventually make an overall top 10 list. To help me reach that position I will make top 5 lists for each position:

QB, RB, TE/FB, WR, OT, OG/OC, DE, DT, ILB, OLB, CB, S

I can only pick 5 from each position and ten from the whole league so I CAN’T NAME EVERYONE!

I will also have name for each position:

  • One overrated player
  • One Underrated
  • One for the Future
  • The Greatest of all time

We will start with Safeties.

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Posted by on February 26, 2011 in NFL

 

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Extreme Laziness…

THIS STOPS ME FROM COMITTING SUICIDE BECAUSE…….What’s wrong with some people?

A friend of mine’s excuse for not turning up to a lecture.

He turns up to a lecture hall where there are 4 doors leading into the 4 corners of the room.

He tries the usual door but it is locked but can hear people inside.

Not trying the other doors, he goes home. (20 mins on bus)

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Posted by on February 25, 2011 in Story

 

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Illmatic: Hip-Hop Masterpiece

THIS STOPS ME FROM COMITTING SUICIDE BECAUSE…….Best Rap Album…EVER!

This is hands down the best rap album of all-time.

I have been a hip-hop fan for all my short life and there are so many great albums. I may eventually do a similar piece on albums like ‘Paid in Full’ and ‘ATLiens’ but nothing touches this.  You cannot be a true hip-hop fan if you don’t appreciate the brilliance of this album.

History:

Nas released this album on the 19th April 1994. When it was released he was 21 but started writing it at a mere 19 years of age. The rise of Death Row Records and its west-coast gangster rap had left the east-cost (more specifically NYC) desperately searching for a momentum shifter. Two albums caused this shift towards the East-coast and New York became the epicentre of hip-hop once more. One was Enter the Wu Tang (36 Chambers) and the other was this very album, Nas’s Illmatic. This led to a stream of superb albums from east coast rappers.

Style:

Nas is a street poet and he realistically portrays the life of Queensbridge but always maintains an aura of hope and belief. It is incredible that at 19-21 years of age he can rhyme with such maturity and effortless poetry.His deep self-analysis, charistmatic narrations and cunning observations give in some ways a soft vibe to serious topic matters.

This album further shows that young rappers do not need to collaborate with superstars create a classic record. I do not want to hear any other voice than Nas on this album. When there are other contributors it is simple, subtle and fits the style of this classic album.

Thus, I have decided to do a day-by-day song-by-song dissection beginning with ‘The Genesis’

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Posted by on February 25, 2011 in Hip Hop

 

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World’s Funniest Joke (Courtesy of Me)

THIS STOPS ME FROM COMITTING SUICIDE BECAUSE…….It’s rindokulusly hilarious!

Me: Knock Knock

Victim 1: Who’s there?

Me: I needap

Victim1: I needapwho?


Get it?

History: Created by yours truly in 2006

Variations: Mymommaneedap, Mysisterneedap

Delivery:

  • Say with confidence
  • Timing
  • Emphasise the ‘p’

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Posted by on February 25, 2011 in Funny

 

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Zeno’s Paradox – ‘Tortoise and the Hare’

THIS STOPS ME FROM COMITTING SUICIDE BECAUSE…….Maths is wrong

Zeno’s Paradoxes:

Generally believed to have been thought of by Zeno of Elea, these are a set of problems to support Parmenides’ ‘all in one’ doctrine especially the notion that motion is nothing but an illusion.

“In a race, the quickest runner can never overtake the slowest, since the pursuer must first reach the point whence the pursued started, so that the slower must always hold a lead.”

Aristotle, Physics VI:9, 239b15

One famous example is ‘Achilles and the Tortoise’. I have changed it to a ‘Tortoise and the Hare’.

‘Tortoise and the Hare’

Imagine straight-line race between a tortoise and a hare.

Assumptions:

  • Assume that the tortoise was given a 100m head start
  • Assume both the hare and the tortoise are travelling at constant speed and the hare is travelling faster.

[After time period x0] The hare has travelled 100m and reached the tortoise’s starting point. During this x0 time period, the tortoise has moved a certain distance, let’s say 20m.

[After time period x1] In another period of time, the hare has moved 20m and reached the tortoise’s starting position after time period x0. Meanwhile the tortoise has moved a further 4m ahead

[After time period x2] In another period of time, the hare has moved 4m and reached the tortoise’s starting position after time period x1. Meanwhile the tortoise has moved a further 0.8m ahead

[After time period x3] In another period of time, the hare has moved 0.8m and reached the tortoise’s starting position after time period x2. Meanwhile the tortoise has moved 0.16m ahead

Thus, after infinite time periods, the hare reaches an infinitely small distance from the tortoise but never passes it. We know that in real life this is not how it works and the hare would overtake the tortoise. Thus this is a paradox. Listverse.com explains this well (http://listverse.com/2010/05/28/11-brain-twisting-paradoxes/):

JFrater: I will point out the problem with this paradox to give you all an idea of how the others might be wrong: in physical reality it is impossible to transverse the infinite – how can you get from one point in infinity to another without crossing an infinity of points? You can’t – thus it is impossible. But in mathematics it is not. This paradox shows us how mathematics may appear to prove something – but in reality, it fails. So the problem with this paradox is that it is applying mathematical rules to a non-mathematical situation. This makes it invalid.

An interesting paradox that just makes you think about certain things in a little more detail.

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Posted by on February 25, 2011 in Random

 

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