Sunday, January 16, 2011

My (Bad) NFL Playoff Picks: An Explanation

Today, I was a loser. Really. I announced my picks to win in this weekend’s NFL Playoff matchups earlier this afternoon, and today I came up empty. The bad thing is I’m 0-2 this so far weekend and my track record for picking big games (Auburn vs. Alabama, SEC Championship, Sugar Bowl, NCAA Football National Championship). The good thing is I’ve realized the problem: I’m picking mostly with my heart, not my brain.

You see, I picked the Ravens to beat the Steelers, Falcons to beat the Packers, Patriots over the Jets, and Bears over the Seahawks. The Ravens signed my friend and former teammate James Hardy to a future contract earlier this week, Ray Lewis is one of my all-time favorite players, and I just love to watch Ray Rice. I ignored to recognize the fact that Ben Roethlisberger has won two Super Bowls and is much better than Joe Flacco. I also chose to turn from the Steelers greater ability to make big plays. I should’ve listened to Colin Cowherd earlier in the week when he talked about the teams who made more explosive plays (runs over 15 yards or more, passes of 25 or more) did better in the playoffs.

The same was the case for the Falcons. My former college running back coach, Gerald Brown, is now the running back coach for the Falcons, and I love Michael Turner in the Falcons’ running game. I should’ve recognized Aaron Rodgers’ greatness and the Packers’ big play ability. Silly me.

I’m hoping tomorrow goes much better for me. I mean, a .500 record for the weekend isn’t so bad is it?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Yelawolf, Slaughterhouse Get Shady

After much deliberation, Slaughterhouse has joined Shady Records and Interscope Records. There were rumored problems in getting member, Joel Ortiz cleared from Koch Records, but the deal was worked out. The group has already recorded with Eminem in Detroit, which is good news for fans anxious to hear their new material.

Alabama-bred rapper, Yelawolf, who was already signed with Interscope Records, which released his most recent mixtape Trunk Muzik 0-60, has made the in-house move to sign with Eminem’s Shady Records as well.

The new signees along with Eminem appear on the cover of XXL’s February issue.

XXL has released these quotes:
Eminem: Yelawolf and Slaughterhouse, it’s kinda phase two of Shady. It’s the new generation of Shady Records and as we’re trying to rebuild our label, it’s exciting for hip-hop and with all of these forces coming together and with what everybody’s capable of on the mic, it’s gonna be fun.”

Yelawolf: Considering where I’m from and the shit I’ve been through, it’s hard to put into words what partnering with Shady means to me, my team at Ghet-O-Vision, and my state of Alabama. I can tell you that when you’re willing to give your life up to see a dream through, the reward is great. And now that I’ve become an apprentice to one of the greatest artists in the world, my potential reaches beyond anything I ever imagined. Let’s kill this shit.”

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Morning Video: Lebron James "Rise (What Should I Do?)" by Nike

Nike doesn't make good commercials - they make great ones. And this one featuring Lebron James is one of the best they've EVER done. It's spot on and very affective. It's Lebron playing the villain and owning it. It's him saying, "I'm going to be who I want to be and I don't care what you think." I absolutely love it. Sure, there's subtle shots at Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley, but Lebron is doing one of the things that makes leaders great - not doing what's popular and being his own man. If he did what everybody else - the people outside his inner circle - wanted him to he'd be a follower. And being a follower isn't bad if you follow diligently, but why follow when you're in a position to lead? You can't. And Lebron won't.

Monday, October 25, 2010

My Jacket of Dreams: The Shawl Collar Dinner Jacket

In many ways the Shawl Collar Dinner Jacket is what I aspire to be. It’s elegant, sophisticated, luxurious, and most of all, it’s so grown up. For about a year now, the shawl collar blazer has been on my “to buy” list. Really, it should be on my “you better buy that shit once you’ve made it” list, but can you blame me? I mean, look at it. When you wear one it says something. It’s a statement all its own. It’s the classic “you can’t tell me nothing” jacket.

Most recently, the jacket has caught my interest because Kanye West rocked it in his movie Runaway, which aired last Saturday. While he is my number one inspiration when it comes to anything creative, the jacket stays on my mind like a beanie in the winter time.

The jacket dates back to the 1860’s, when Henry Pool & Co. designed a short smoking jacket for the Prince of Wales to wear to informal dinner parties as an alternative to white tie dress. It didn’t receive the name “dinner jacket” until 1888.

While many are two-button versions, my favorite is the one-button design. The one shown (above and below) is the Band of Outsiders Shawl Collar Dinner Jacket said to be priced at $1,824. It’s hand tailored, made with natural cotton canvas, and features front flap pockets, back side vents, and functional buttons at the wrist. I love how you can dress up the jacket or dress it down. Ideally, I want one like the Band of Outsiders version here, and one in light gray with a black shawl collar. I’ll own them one day. Then, when I walk by people will fantasize and think, “Damn, that boy made it.”

Can A Brotha Get A Phoenix? (Or just Kanye and Miss Ebanks)

Kanye West's long talked about 35-minute short-movie “Runaway” (below) premiered on MTV, MTV2, and BET Saturday night. In the movie a phoenix (played by model Selita Ebanks) falls to earth, crashing Kanye’s car. He, then, takes her to his home, falls in love with her, and tries to help her adapt to this world in hopes she’ll be accepted by humans, but she is not. It features nine songs off Kanye’s upcoming album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, to be released November 22. While the film was packed with creative, awe-inspiring scenes featuring lively colors, interesting shots, and amazing cinematography, the one thing you couldn’t take your eyes off of was model Ms. Ebanks.

Basically naked with feathers covering her privates and wings on her back, Ebanks looks like a bird – a sexy bird. She doesn’t speak much but she doesn’t have to. She stole the movie just by standing there. According to my twitter feed, I wasn’t the only one who couldn’t take my eyes off her. In case you missed it, peep the photos of Ebanks and you’ll see what I mean. If all birds looked like this, I’d house an aviary.

I also posted this for Men's Health magazine blog "The Cache" here.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tommy Hilfiger "Icon Collection"

Tommy Hilfiger is celebrating the 25th anniversary of his label by launching his Icon Collection this month. The dope paintings you see were made by Marcos Zavros for the occasion. The 25 limited edition pieces are every bit of classic-driven preppy All-American sportswear with a modern twist. The inspiration comes from true American icons is blended into every piece of fabric from the James Dean-inspired leather jacket to the Jim Morrison-inspired leather jeans. Tommy also features traditional button-downs, denim shirts, and shawl cardigans. The collection is currently available at all Hilfiger retail stores and online at

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Morning Video: G.O.O.D. Music BET Hip-Hop Awards Cypher

Incase you missed last night's BET Hip Hop Awards, different groups of rappers entered the cypher (a crew of rappers rapping in a room, basically) and all went hard. There were five in all featuring the star veterans like Kanye West, Common, Raekwon, Rev Run, and Ice Cube as well as up and comers like Big Sean, Wiz Khalifa, Tyga, Yelawolf, and Diggy and JoJo Simmons (Rev Run's kids). All of them were dope, but my favorite was (you guessed it) Kanye's G.O.O.D. Music cypher featuring Kanye, Common, Pusha T, Big Sean, and CyHi Da Prynce. Kanye spit first and last killing it with his signature introspective, boastful, and thoughtful flow, but the most surprising came from Big Sean. He flowed with such ease and he looked like a true pro ready for the flashing lights. I got excited. After you see this, you will, too. Run it back!

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