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The Hip-Hop Sports Report Podcast 12.9.2014

The Preseason Podcast of the Year turns one year old! We celebrate our anniversary by college football playoffs (what was the committee’s biggest mistake?), Johnny Manziel starting for the Browns (can he flourish as an NFL QB?) and Lil Wayne exit from YMCMB! Music from J Cole, Erick Sermon & Marvin Gaye. HHSR Podcast December 9 2014

Charles Barkley’s Biggest Crime? His Fairness, Not His Opinion

Never one to shy away from confrontation, NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley has been under fire this week, specifically with African Americans, for his recent comments regarding the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases, as well as his opinions on race relations between police and the Black community. An abundance of inflammatory headlines have trickled onto blogs and social

Who Can Beat The New England Patriots?

Right now, it seems like nobody. But we know that’s not true. Despite the fact that the Patriots have won seven straight games, and since Week 5 have won four games against division leaders (including their last three straight), they could easily find themselves on the losing end this weekend as they travel to Lambeau Field to face the electrifying

The Hip-Hop Sports Report Podcast 11.16.14

After a brief hiatus, The Preseason Podcast of the Year makes its triumphant return! Special guest Kenneth Hicks Jr. calls the “Your Ad Here” Hotline to discuss all things hip-hop. We follow up on last week’s MMG column— is Rick Ross in desperation mode? Also, should fans be worried about Kendrick Lamar’s new album? Plus, we have a lively debate

2014-15 NBA Season Preview: Pacific Division- California Dreamin’ (Plus Our NBA Champion Pick)

We’ve now previewed every team in the league with the exception of the Pacific Division. Check out our Western Conference playoff teams, our West Champion and HHSR’s 2014-15 NBA champion at the end of this column. So without further ado, let’s dive into the Pacific! Phoenix Suns The Suns rose from the ashes like a Phoenix last year (sorry) and

The Hot 16: The Final Two Weeks Of The NFL Season

Thank God for guaranteed money.

We’re down to the final two weeks of the NFL season! What have we learned? The Hot 16 has your back. Peep the knowledge below:

1) It Was All Good Just A Week Ago- Remember HHSR’s article on the Washington Redskins’ handling of Robert Griffin? That was written back when Griffin looked like the new face of the league for the next decade. The fall of RGIII is unlike anything in recent memory. This dude could run like the wind, throw it 60 yards on a dime and was supposed to change the way we thought about sub sandwiches. And now it’s all up in smoke.

2) Who’s To Blame?- Griffin’s time in Washington is pretty much done. And amazingly, he may take out Jay Gruden on his way out the door. Taking out a former Super Bowl winning coach AND a brand new coach in consecutive years may be his most outstanding achievement during his tenure in Washington.

Gruden recently came out and blamed the media for his perceived fractured relationship with RGIII. This is of course ridiculous because he’s repeatedly shaded his QB in front of the press by saying things like, “Robert had some fundamental flaws,” and that “His footwork was below average”.

That’s more shade than 45! Knock it off, Gruden. Read more

The Hip-Hop Sports Report Podcast 12.9.2014

The Preseason Podcast of the Year turns one year old! We celebrate our anniversary by college football playoffs (what was the committee’s biggest mistake?), Johnny Manziel starting for the Browns (can he flourish as an NFL QB?) and Lil Wayne exit from YMCMB! Music from J Cole, Erick Sermon & Marvin Gaye.

HHSR Podcast December 9 2014

Brian Hoyer/Johnny Manziel Conundrum May Have Already Sunk Browns Season

If you have two quarterbacks, you have how many quarterbacks?

The plan was to write a new Hot 16 article on the three-quarter mark of the NFL season last week. But things came up, the Charles Barkley article took precedence and the NFL piece got bumped back.

However one major portion of the Hot 16 was completed— the Cleveland Browns quarterback controversy involving rookie Johnny Manziel and incumbent Brian Hoyer. The vast majority of what your are about to read was written last week, BEFORE the Browns 25-24 heartbreaking loss the Indianapolis Colts. The funny thing is, not much needed to be updated: Read more

Charles Barkley’s Biggest Crime? His Fairness, Not His Opinion

Barkley’s recent comments on Ferguson has many Black people white hot.

Never one to shy away from confrontation, NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley has been under fire this week, specifically with African Americans, for his recent comments regarding the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases, as well as his opinions on race relations between police and the Black community.

An abundance of inflammatory headlines have trickled onto blogs and social media pages from Barkley’s CNN interview, including ones noting Barkley’s assertion that racial profiling is “sometimes right” and that some protesters in Ferguson, MO were “scumbags”.

I’ve followed Charles Barkley’s life and career closely for nearly 25 years, and in so doing have developed a certain understating of the way he thinks. Many people within the Black community have read these headlines or heard these quotes and have drawn the conclusion that Barkley is either an Uncle Tom, an unsuspecting pawn of the media designed to distract white people from the larger issues at hand facing Black America, a flat out imbecile or all of the above. This particularly scathing piece on Barkley was posted to Deadspin, while the Chuckster’s partner at TNT Kenny “The Jet” Smith penned a response via USA Today.

Charles Barkley is a lot of things. Beyond being brash and opinionated, he’s astonishingly fair on everything, including any and all social issues. He’s the most evenhanded public figure you’ll find in an era where celebrities swiftly bypass their publicists to take their misguided ramblings straight to the people faster you can say the word hashtag. Read more

Who Can Beat The New England Patriots?

The Patriots may look Super Bowl ready in November, but they can still be knocked off in January.

Right now, it seems like nobody. But we know that’s not true.

Despite the fact that the Patriots have won seven straight games, and since Week 5 have won four games against division leaders (including their last three straight), they could easily find themselves on the losing end this weekend as they travel to Lambeau Field to face the electrifying Green Bay Packers. And if we’re being honest, nobody would hold that L against them because Aaron Rodgers is dripping lighter fluid from his right arm.

Nevertheless the Patriots — HHSR’s preseason pick to win the Super Bowl — are currently sitting atop everybody’s power rankings (ya know, if you’re into that type of thing) and appear to have all the tools necessary to win their fourth Super Bowl in the Tom Brady/Bill Belichick era.

Of course, there are no sure things in the National Football League— the Patriots know this better than anybody. As dominant as they’ve been over the last 15 years, the Pats haven’t actually won the Super Bowl in a decade. Given their pinpoint precision, professionalism and slight air of superiority, it takes a certain type of squad to knock off this perennial power come January. But what type of characteristics does a team need to beat the Patriots in the playoffs? And which current teams possess those characteristics?

We looked back at some of New England’s past playoff failures in the Brady/Belichick era and tried to connect those dots. Read more

The Hip-Hop Sports Report Podcast 11.19.14

We right back like we left somethin!

We’re droppin a podcast for the second this week! Guest Vince Hicks helps us breakdown our first sample of the NBA season! Are the Cavs on schedule, or is their 5-5 record cause for concern? Who else is a threat in the East? And what superstar’s selfishness could lead to his team’s downfall out West (Note: it’s not Kobe)? Also, we look at the playoff push in the NFL! Can we really believe in the Cardinals? Are the Broncos in trouble? And which teams could sneak in the Super Bowl? Music from Loso, Tupac & Scarface.

HHSR Podcast November 19 2014

The Hip-Hop Sports Report Podcast 11.16.14

After a brief hiatus, The Preseason Podcast of the Year makes its triumphant return!

Special guest Kenneth Hicks Jr. calls the “Your Ad Here” Hotline to discuss all things hip-hop. We follow up on last week’s MMG column— is Rick Ross in desperation mode? Also, should fans be worried about Kendrick Lamar’s new album? Plus, we have a lively debate on whether or not Jay Z is washed! Musical breaks provided by E-40 and Sugarhill Gang!

HHSR Podcast November 16 2014

The Black Album 11 Years Later

“Maybe they’ll love me when I fade to black…”

“Time waits for no man…” were words once uttered by Jay Z on Reasonable Doubt, his debut album.

That was 1996. By 2003, Jigga had seemingly had his fill with the rap game and was prepared to call it a career. In hindsight, it seems rather silly that after only eight official years in the game Jay would even entertain the idea of hanging up his mic and his writtens. Well, Jay “don’t write,” so I guess he’d be hanging up his thoughts??

This is why I never bought into the whole retirement thing even when The Black Album dropped on November 14, 2003. It seemed far too unnatural for Jay to turn a blind eye (and ear) to the rhymes that would inevitably rattle around in his head. Maybe it was all a marketing ploy. Maybe he was tired of the grind. Or maybe he really wanted to pattern his career after Michael Jordan, and becoming president of Def Jam would be his version of playing outfield for the Birmingham Barons. Whatever the case, it resulted in one of the better albums of Mr. Carter’s illustrious career. Read more

Are Cracks Appearing In The MMG Empire?

Is this how bosses are supposed to move?

Slow leaks can be a dangerous thing.

If you’re driving and you run over a rusty nail and catch a flat, it sucks. Period. But, at least you know right away that you have a problem that requires your immediate attention. If you’re lucky, you can change the tire (or call AAA), get the whip to a shop that same day and be driving on a brand new tire just a few hours later. But a slow leak? See, that always seems to get you when you’re running late and you have someplace to be, but as soon as you get out to the car, you have a disaster on your hands.

This could be premature, but Maybach Music Group may be in the midst of a slow leak.

Sure, the era of the rap clique isn’t what it used to be, and when measured by that scale, MMG has been nothing short of wildly successful the last several years. Rick Ross has managed to assemble quite a crew of talented musicians since he birthed MMG in 2009, but the label appears to be slowly losing its stronghold over the industry. Read more

2014-15 NBA Season Preview: Pacific Division- California Dreamin’ (Plus Our NBA Champion Pick)

CP3 gotta be pissed after how last year ended. Steph Curry is coming for his neck though.

We’ve now previewed every team in the league with the exception of the Pacific Division. Check out our Western Conference playoff teams, our West Champion and HHSR’s 2014-15 NBA champion at the end of this column.

So without further ado, let’s dive into the Pacific!

Phoenix Suns

The Suns rose from the ashes like a Phoenix last year (sorry) and won 48 games in a year where everybody — HHSR included — expected them to go in full tank mode. It was the most victories they’ve had since the 2009-10 season when they went to the Western Conference Finals. Goran Dragić would win the NBA’s Most Improved Player award and Jeff Hornacek was runner-up for Coach of the Year. Phoenix showed a lot of promise, but still missed the playoffs in the gauntlet that is the West. So how do they plan to take the next step this season?

Still one of the cheapest most frugal teams in the league, the Suns are currently 28th in payroll. While they let Channing Frye walk in free agency (some analysts have said this will significantly hurt Phoenix in the long run), the Suns did open up the wallet to retain the services of Eric Bledsoe, an HHSR favorite who can thank Rich Paul (and by extension LeBron James) for that lucrative offer. Amazingly, the Suns gave E Bled a five-year $70M extension after the explosive point guard rejected a $48M offer two months prior. Seems like Phoenix was bidding against themselves a bit, especially since they already had brought Isiah Thomas from Sacramento in the fold. Read more