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The Kingsman: Prodigy Or Problem Child? DeMarcus Cousins States His Case As The NBA’s Best Big

Part Rasheed Wallace, part Tim Duncan; DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins is being talked about by some as one of the 10 best players in the NBA, and that was before being selected for his first All-Star appearance. The four-year pro is averaging 24 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 block per game, to accompany a PER of 24.43, which is

Young Man’s Game: Lil Wayne’s Departure From Cash Money And What His Future Holds

One of the most polarizing figures in hip-hop, Lil Wayne crawled his way to the top of music by heating the streets with a barrage of mixtapes and features between 2005 and 2008. By the time his highly anticipated album Tha Carter III hit sore shelves, the title of “Best Rapper Alive” seemed to be very much within his reach.

The Hip-Hop Sports Report Podcast 2.2.15

We put a bow on a classic— Super Bowl XLIX between the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots! Why did the Patriots win? Is Pete Carroll to blame for the Seattle loss? Does Richard Sherman hate HHSR and is Tom Brady the greatest QB of all-time? The Preseason Podcast of the Year has you covered! Get well soon, Sherm! HHSR

The Hot 16: Super Bowl XLIX— Who Wins And Why?

I’m gonna level with y’all— I damn near have the shakes I’m so hyped for Super Bowl XLIX. Sure, Tom Brady going for his fourth championship in six trips is part of it, but it’s deeper than that. There’s also the fact that HHSR had the Patriots winning the Super Bowl before the 2014 season began, and with a New

The Seattle Seahawks And The Many Faces Of Leadership

We love the NFL Draft, don’t we? The 40 times, the collegiate statistics, the Wonderlic— the draft represents the undying dream for every couch potato in America to feel like a general manager for one day a year (now a weekend). Each spring, name after name is called, and despite the fact the average football fan can only identify about

Don’t Believe The Hype: The NFL Combine

Rich Eisen running the 40 is the best thing to come from this every year.

It’s that time of year again when the NFL hype machine prepares new storylines for the upcoming pro-day and draft portion of the offseason— the Scouting Combine has officially come and gone, ladies and gents!

As always, the event was held in Indianapolis and players from all across the country performed various athletic tasks highlighted by the 40-yard dash and the bench press. Players were asked to jump (in ways they’ll never need to in a real game), squat, run and they had their measurements taken. As a result, there will be risers and fallers, athletic freaks and big man teats, and in the end, all of it means…

NOTHING THAT WE DIDN’T ALREADY KNOW!

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Tale Of The Tape: J. Cole- 2014 Forest Hill Drive

Do you wanna be…free?

Fighter: J. Cole

Trainer (Gym): Mark Pitts (Dreamville, Roc Nation, Columbia)

Cut Men: J. Cole, !llmind, Phonix Beats, Vinylz, Willie B, Pop Wansel, Ron Gilmore, Jproof, Nick Paradise, Dre Charles, Cardiak, CritaCal

Weight Class: Rap Superstar, Lyrical Heavyweight

Notable Fire: January 28th, No Role Modelz, Intro

Notable Trash: None

Tale of the Tape: How do you know you’ve reached “the next level”?

In hip-hop, there’s many ways gauge the plateau a rapper has attained. Radio spins is one way; record sales/app steams/iTunes purchases is another. Peer recognition, awards/accolades are others, and these days, just releasing three albums on a major means you’ve had quite the successful tenure as an emcee.

By just about any measure, J. Cole has reached “the next level”. It’s time he be judged as such.

Cole even dropped his latest project, 2014 Forest Hill Dr. Drive, with just two weeks notice with no promotion, lead singles or marketing— a bold move for an artist who was undoubtedly popular, but not necessarily of A-list stature (Cole even refers to himself as a “B-list celebrity” on the album). The bold move paid immediate dividends for the 30-year-old, who not only set Spotify records, but also notched the third #1 album of his career (the second to debut at #1).

Interestingly, the success of Cole World: The Sideline Story and Born Sinner set the stage for sky high expectations for FHD, yet the lack of build-up, or even as much as a single, left fans in the dark about what type of album to expect. All we knew was the title was the address for a home he purchased and the cover art showed an afro’ed Cole sitting atop (ostensibly) said home. While Cole World depicted a struggling artist yearning for his breakthrough and Born Sinner unveiled a man grappling with fame and his commitment to women, Forest Hill Drive illustrates Cole’s quest for freedom and fulfillment. Read more

The Kingsman: Prodigy Or Problem Child? DeMarcus Cousins States His Case As The NBA’s Best Big

Is the world ready for Boogie? Is Boogie ready for the world?

Part Rasheed Wallace, part Tim Duncan; DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins is being talked about by some as one of the 10 best players in the NBA, and that was before being selected for his first All-Star appearance.

The four-year pro is averaging 24 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 block per game, to accompany a PER of 24.43, which is top 10 overall. This, all while carrying a franchise and possibly a city on his massive shoulders. Defensively, Boogie is far from the slouch that basketball talking heads will tell you; the Kings are 19.5/100 possessions better with Cousins on the court….that’s an insane ratio!

But then there’s this.

The problem with Cousins — and with a lot of athletes — is when he does something that confirms a negative perception of him, it goes viral regardless of any other information. Cousins has been labeled a coach killer, malcontent, loose cannon who will never reach his full potential…or worse.

While few take shots at his talent, Boogie’s detractors point to his team’s harrowing win loss record as proof he is a classic, “good stats on a bad team guy”, à la T’Wolves era Kevin Love. The Kings are an abysmal 120-243 in Cousins’ career— if Boogie is to ascend to the pantheon of NBA greats and the return the Kings franchise to their former luster of the early 2000s, he’ll need help. It’s a fact because his individual performance has been dazzling. Read more

Young Man’s Game: Lil Wayne’s Departure From Cash Money And What His Future Holds

Birdman (right) & JR were more than business partners for the last 20 years, they were family.

One of the most polarizing figures in hip-hop, Lil Wayne crawled his way to the top of music by heating the streets with a barrage of mixtapes and features between 2005 and 2008. By the time his highly anticipated album Tha Carter III hit sore shelves, the title of “Best Rapper Alive” seemed to be very much within his reach. It has been quite some time since the rock star lyricist seemingly had the world at his feet. Many say he is past his prime. To be fair, people thought his career was over before he went on his second epic run in the middle of the last decade. Regardless of whether Weezy has fallen off or not, rap music is driven by the youth, and the youth of 2015 seem to be enamored by a new sing-songy, tatted dread-head— the enigmatic Young Thug.

When Thugga stated that Wayne was his “sole musical influence”, it seemed like a match made in heaven once Birdman took him under his wing (pun intended) and brought his into the YMCMB family, AKA “the house that Weezy built”. But all is not right in the Cash Money household. In what appears to be an unceremonious gesture, Carter is being shown the backdoor, replaced in an almost Wally Pipp-like fashion by his own artistic offspring. An avid sports fan, Wayne has seen this play out before. As a self-proclaimed cheesehead, he’s even witnessed it firsthand. It always ends the same way. Read more

Remembering The Legendary Big Pun

Hard to believe it’s been 15 years, but the rap world tragically said goodbye to Christopher Lee Rios on February 7, 2000.

Few rappers have ever left behind a legacy more majestic than Big Punisher did. Aside from being (in the eyes of most, myself included) unquestionably the greatest Latino emcee of all time, Pun is actually one of the great lyricists the game has ever seen, from any demographic. The tongue-twisting tales told by the Bronx-born Pun put him on par with any of the great rhymers from the mid/late 90′s, aka “The Golden Era of Hip-Hop”.  He proved this time and again by going bar-for-bar on records with future legends, like he did on “John Blaze”. Read more

The Hip-Hop Sports Report Podcast 2.2.15

Are you not entertained!? ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!?

We put a bow on a classic— Super Bowl XLIX between the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots! Why did the Patriots win? Is Pete Carroll to blame for the Seattle loss? Does Richard Sherman hate HHSR and is Tom Brady the greatest QB of all-time? The Preseason Podcast of the Year has you covered! Get well soon, Sherm!

HHSR Podcast February 2 2015

 

The Hot 16: Super Bowl XLIX— Who Wins And Why?

Who you got?

I’m gonna level with y’all— I damn near have the shakes I’m so hyped for Super Bowl XLIX. Sure, Tom Brady going for his fourth championship in six trips is part of it, but it’s deeper than that. There’s also the fact that HHSR had the Patriots winning the Super Bowl before the 2014 season began, and with a New England victory, would continue a Cal Ripken-like streak of prognostications on this site.

Going in chronological order, we’ve correctly predicted the Miami Heat to win the 2013 NBA Championship, the Seattle Seahawks winning Super Bowl XLVIII and the San Antonio Spurs winning the 2014 NBA title, ALL before the season started. We also had Ohio State beating Alabama AND Oregon in the inaugural College Football Playoff. HHSR even had LeBron going back to Cleveland, Macklemore dominating the 2014 Grammy Awards (but not enough to win Album of the Year) and we told you to keep an eye on the San Francisco Giants during the Major League Baseball playoffs (we said the same thing about the St. Louis Cardinals, so partial credit).

Sidebar: For the record, all of this is documented on hiphopsportsreport.com and or The Preseason Podcast of the Year.

But most importantly, this is shaping up to be an incredible football game, which is why HHSR felt compelled to come at you with a new Hot 16 to help explain how we arrived at our prediction for Super Bowl XLIX. Read more

The Hip-Hop Sports Report Podcast Super Bowl XLIX Edition

The Preseason Podcast of the Year wraps up Championship Weekend and previews Patriots vs Seahawks! Who’s really to blame for the Packers collapse? Are the Colts a bunch of punks? Which star playing on Sunday might be overrated? And who wins Super Bowl XLIX? Guests: Anthony Hueston, Adam Clark & Vince Hicks join the “Your Ad Here” Hotline!

HHSR Podcast Super Bowl XLIX

 

The Seattle Seahawks And The Many Faces Of Leadership

Lynch, Wilson and Sherman have collectively shaped a potential back-to-back Super Bowl Champion.

We love the NFL Draft, don’t we?

The 40 times, the collegiate statistics, the Wonderlic— the draft represents the undying dream for every couch potato in America to feel like a general manager for one day a year (now a weekend). Each spring, name after name is called, and despite the fact the average football fan can only identify about 10% of the 260 some odd players selected, people keep showing up in droves and watching in prime time. Mock draft websites somehow thrive every year, regardless of how ridiculous that entire process might be. They even made a movie about it the draft.

We love rankings. We love lists. We love the construction of a team. We love the dance.

And even with all of the empirical evidence one could ever ask for at hand, the highest paid football talent evaluators money can buy miss on players all the time. The draft is inexact science that never ceases to get about half the league fired every half decade, primarily because football is often more about the stuff between your ears and what’s pumping inside your chest, rather than how well you perform in shorts with no defense. A simplified word for this: intangibles, of which Seattle Seahawks GM John Schneider has become proficient at locating.

You can build a team in any number of ways, but without leadership — arguably the most significant intangible — your team won’t get far. Like water bending around each contour of a prehistoric river, leadership can take on an endless number of forms, while consistently rushing towards the same direction. As we approach Super Bowl XLIX, the spirit of the the defending champion Seahawks, who seek to become the first repeat champs since their counterpart New England Patriots 10 years ago, is embodied by three Black men that are extremely different from one another. The path these men took to this point are equally unique, yet their teammates manage to respond positively to each of these individuals, resulting in the trio serving as the catalysts for championship-caliber football. Read more

Tale Of The Tape: Rick Ross- Hood Billionaire

“I’m a billionaire in my hood.”

Fighter: Rick Ross

Trainer (Gym): DJ Khaled, Diddy (Maybach Music Group, Slip-n-Slide, Def Jam)

Cut Men: Timbaland, DJ Toomp, Metro Boomin, Beat Billionaire, Big K.R.I.T., Cardiak, CritaCal, Lex Luger, Deedotwill, V12 The Hitman, MoneyBag$, Tracy Tyler, Ben Billions, Bassivity, The Remedy Production Group, Eddie ‘eMIX’ Hernandez

Weight Class: Rap Superstar, Luxury Rapper

Notable Fire: Hood Billionaire, Trap Luv (Feat. Yo Gotti), Family Ties

Notable Trash: Coke Like The 80′s, Elvis Presley Blvd (Feat. Project Pat), Movin’ Bass (Feat. Jay Z), Burn

Tale of the Tape: If for no other reason than how he speaks about himself through song, we all know Rick Ross considers himself one of the supreme rappers in hip-hop. Historically, many elite emcees have attempted to climb the unclimbable mountain of dropping a classic double CD. Biggie, Tupac, Scarface, Jay Z, Nas and others have all done it, with varying degrees of success. These days, artists can rarely pull this off (save for E-40 who has seemingly redefined multi-album release), as dropping just one studio album in a calendar year is a tall task for even popular rappers. So this is what we’re left with: Rick Ross has dropped two albums within a eight month window.

Released on March 3, 2014, Mastermind was unable to live up to the rotund marketing campaign and lofty expectations Ross set for himself. Not without its share of bangers, Mastermind — an LP Ross sought to be more musically harmonious, as opposed to the more street-focused followup — can simply be categorized as inconsistent. But the opportunity presented itself for Rozay to end a tumultuous year for MMG on a positive note. Read more