How the NBA’s work stoppage could affect OKC’s baseline.
News Clifton Adcock
As the NBA and the National Basketball Player’s Association
continue to negotiate a deal that would allow teams to play ball,
concern is growing that the regular season may be affected by labor
In all this, I’ve noticed how much this guy cares about music (exclusively hip-hop and R&B, from what I’ve seen), as he’s constantly talking and arguing about what he’s listening to. Just a few days ago, Durantula defended West Coast mixtaper Dom Kennedy via Twitter, after arguing with @waldorfsfinest (apparently a friend?) between Pusha T and Young Jeezy the night before. He’s also been pushing Big K.R.I.T., an upcoming Southern trunk rapper/producer, extensively the last couple of weeks.
So I thought it might be fun to tune into No. 35’s Skullcandy headphones and analyze what he’s saying about it. Here’s your first installment of “What’s good, KD?”
Let’s consider his recent brief assessment of Clipse member and Kanye collaborator Pusha T. From Durantula’s Facebook, around about 2 a.m. yesterday:
Clipse’s 2006 street-rap manifesto “Hell Hath No Fury” set a high bar for mean hip-hop, and Pusha’s work since then’s been similarly aggressive. He loves to set your expectations much lower with especially playful beats and samples (the “Bohemian Rhapsody” sample on “Open Your Eyes” is textbook), then skewer them by comparing himself to, say, the genocidal Hutu tribe, as he does on “Fury”’s “Wamp Wamp (What It Do).” It’s one of the reasons he’s been so great with Kanye, who’s been similarly aggressive and graphic lately.
I’d be inclined to agree with KDTrey5 here then, except Pusha doesn’t really hit you that hard lyrically, and certainly not in the same place. On “Open Your Eyes,” he’s more earnest about his drug-dealing past, and proud of his success (“bigger homes, with bigger guns and better cameras”) than he is aggrandizing. It’s less intimidating, especially when you compare the track with his recent “Fear of God” mixtape (from standout song “My God”: “I gotta voodoo doll / Every time I pin the verse / Not only do they say they feel it but they say it hurts”).
This seems to me more like post-game wind-down music than a really gritty, mean, pre-game warmup track. So KD, while I do love that you’re into Pusha T, dig into some of his other work for stuff that’s truly “MEEEAAANN,” and you’ll instill the “fear of God” within the heart of every three-man in the league this season.
Commentary Jonathan Willner
There is no question that the arrival of the Thunder has been a boon to
basketball fans in Oklahoma. Having wrangled roughly $180 million in
subsidies out of the city and state, we find the main beneficiaries of
this largess at odds with each other.
What does Durantula think about the new Drake record?
You might recall my first entry in this series, wherein I tried to guide Oklahoma City Thunder some European basketball club’s starting small forward Kevin Durant toward meaner hip-hop from Pusha T, but judging by his recent Facebook post, “mean” and its many derivatives (“MEEEEAANN,” “MEEANN,” “MEEEEEEEAAAANN,” et. al.) is just a general term for a rap track he likes.
Early Tuesday morning, the reigning NBA scoring champ recommended the new Drake album, “Take Care,” via Twitter, and invited people to discuss it by way of Facebook. It’s a clear endorsement from a guy who’s long been singing the Canadian rapper/R&B crooner’s praises. Recall this ditty from December 2010, less than a month after the release of Kanye West’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”:
It’s easy to see why KD digs Drake. They’re both über-famous youngsters (Drake’s 25, Durant’s 23), coming of age amid worldwide stardom. Drake captures that feeling and shoots it up with some serious swagger on “Under Ground Kings” when he says, “It’s been two years since somebody asked me who I was.”
It’s been even longer than that for the prodigious Durant, who, at 6’9’’ and a freshman starter at Texas, commanded the spotlight in high school and during a brief college layover on his way to being drafted second overall in 2007. Drake’s rise shows a sharper upward trajectory (known first or his work on the teenage show “Degrassi,” he boasts nearly four times Durant’s Twitter followers), most likely because he’s rocketed to international pop star-status.
One Twitter follower asked KD what his favorite tracks from “Take Care” were. He responded with the opening track, “Over My Dead Body” (airy and slow, it’s a sonically curious selection, but a sensible one when you consider the opening lyric), and the more hype “Under Ground Kings,” which is built on wafting notes that vaguely recall the Chicago Bulls’ iconic intro music. The typically smug Drake sandpaper verse “I think I killed everybody in the game last year” is the aforementioned lyric, and if there’s a better description of two-time NBA scoring champ’s offensive prowess, I’d love to hear it.
If there were such a thing as an NBA season right now, every KD highlight video on YouTube would be soundtracked by “Under Ground Kings,” but the way things are going now we’ll probably just have to wait until he formally signs with whatever overseas ball club offers the best deal. Anybody know how much it costs to get the Israeli Basketball Super League package on cable?