Crime and Punishment Part 2

Friday, August 14, 2009

As I write this the talking heads are going crazy discussing Vick's signing by the Eagles. My personal take is that I think its a good spot for Vick. Good organization and McNabb seems to be in his corner. There's also very little pressure for him to contribute immediately. If he and McNabb click and with Dungy already in his corner, I honestly think this could be a great thing for Vick. There's also the angle that Andy Reid has gone through quite a bit with his children. But, I'll have more on all this later on after the official press conference. For now, the callers on Mike and Mike are presenting pretty much the same drivel about him never getting another shot in the pros, blah blah blah. Whatever. Again, Vick has paid a stiff penalty for his crimes. He deserves this second shot.

For now, I'm taking a step back to discuss the other two high profile NFL cases, Donte Stallworth and Plaxico Burress.

Stallworth is actually brief. Although I still am not 100% on Commissioner Goddell, I can't argue with his punishment of Stallworth. If the average person does this, they're still in jail right now and it would be very tough for them to get back working afterward. Hell, for a doctor or lawyer the punishment could be even more severe. This is the case where everyone in America should have been outraged. Drunk driving is a much larger problem in our country than dog fighting both in terms of occurrence and impact.

Then there's Plaxico.

Its tough for me to say anything in his favor because I think what he did (if he actually did shoot himself and there is something else more serious going on) was just so dumb.

Loaded gun in the club.
Safety not on.
Shoot yourself in the leg?

Come on.

But, I have to speak out against the way the NY mayor and DA office has treated this.

Declaring guilt before trial? Check.
Trying case in media? Check.
Ruining jury pool? Check.
Overblown reaction to a crime that only hurt the person involved? I gotta check here too.

I completely understand taking a tough position on crimes and guns. Far too many black men are killed due to gun violence.

But I think that's my problem with this whole thing.

A real thug probably would have been on the streets with this after a few days. I have had a hard time getting stats on this specifically for New York, but I have a hard time seeing someone with no priors getting two years for this.

Plaxico's attorney's tried to get him in for a year for this. That sounds like more than enough here. The push for more time in this case reeks of grandstanding and I think the trial will be a massive waste of public resources.

Meanwhile, real thugs will still be on the streets shooting people and dealing drugs. It just doesn't make sense.

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The Fives

I have been keeping track of my iTunes play counts for a while, and as I figured, the songs I think I like and the songs I actually end up listening to are not always the same.

Anyways, in between ranting about the world I'm going to plug in posts about my top five songs from artists based on the number of times I play them. I'll start out with a handful of the past and present kings of rap and work from there.

My recent posts on Jay-Z and arguments with others has created the thought that I don't like him. That's not true at all. But, I have to be honest and say that he's not been bringing it like he used to. No one would like to hear a return to glory from Jay-Z as much as me and I'm hoping the Blueprint 3 is that (even though I found D.O.A. to be alright at best).

5. Tie - Hard Knock Life - the one that made him a star / Song Cry - About as real as a song gets for a rap artist. If this list wasn't based on play count, I might have put this one Number One. Everything from the lyrics to the sample are on point.
4. What More Can I Say - title speaks for itself.
3. Girls, Girls, Girls - this is one of my favorite beats and I just felt the whole vibe of this song. The video, while not groundbreaking, really threw it over the top for me.
2. Bring It On - Probably my favorite track on Reasonable Doubt. The beat by Premier was on point and everytime I hear this, I wonder what would have happened if Jay, Jaz, and Sauce Money had kept on rhyming together. The chemistry between the three was incredible. Oh well, time and money have destroyed even the strongest of friendships.
1. Public Service Announcement - The White Albulum Remix - "Well, allow me to reintroduce myself....My name is HOV...Oh, H to the O V.." Not sure if its actually the best song, but its the one I listen to the most. The White Albulum by DJ Kno seemed pretty slept on, but I thought it was the best of the Black Album remix projects.

I go back and forth over Nas' place in the rap Hall of Fame. His ability is unquestioned, but his inability to truly follow up Illmatic shadowed his whole career in my opinion. But, he’s managed to create plenty of hits over the years. If this was purely on my favorite songs, there's no way The World Is Yours and One Mic wouldn't be on here.

5. Life's A Bitch - Nas and AZ at their best.
4. Ether - If Jay'z Takeover was the Empire Strikes Back then this was the Return of the Jedi. Not many people thought Nas could answer Jay-Z in that battle (even Jigga himself I would imagine). I thought Nas was being underestimated and he more than proved it on this track. Takeover was a good track, but I thought Jay-Z wasted the first verse and delivered a much stronger shot at Prodigy than Nas. "Put it together, I rock ho's, ya'll rock fellas." It was also the first time Jay-Z was called out for his....liberal...use of Biggie's lyrics.
3. Made You Look - Probably my favorite of Nas' more commerical songs
2. NY State of Mind Part 2 - The Premier beat seals the deal on this one.
1. It Ain't Hard to Tell - "Nas' raps should be locked in a cell, It ain't hard to tell." The first song I ever heard from Nas is still the one I listen to the most.

50 Cent
Like Nas, I think 50 also released his best cd first. More known now for beefs, I'm also kind of hoping his next cd is a return to just the music. There is no middle ground on him though. Either you like him or you hate him. But I still think 50 is a better artist than most give him credit for and him and the G-Unit are definitely in constant rotation while I workout. I can't dispute that the beats on most of the songs really take them over the top. I could probably listen to instrumentals of all of them except number one.

5. Ski Mask Way - overlooked song on 50's second cd. I go back and forth over whether the Massacre was really not a good cd or just not nearly as good as Get Rich or Die Trying. It definitely sold a lot, and I guess that's all the mattered to 50 in the end.
4. What Up Gangsta - When this song comes up, my intensity instantly goes up in the gym.
3. If I Can't - Dre just gave 50 some great beats on this one. I really hope Detox comes out before I die.
2. Back Down - Once again, 50 at his best + Dre beat = hit. Probably the final nail in Ja Rule's coffin.
1. G-Unit Anthem - Like Nas, the first song that I heard from G-Unit is still my favorite. Definitely not for the kids, this song is about as violent as it comes...and yeah, i love it.

Next time - Tribe Called Quest, Outkast and Wu-Tang

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