DJ Khaled returns with the most star-studded album of his career with ‘Grateful.’ At nearly 90 minutes, it’s jam-packed with hits. Continue reading DJ Khaled, Grateful | Highlights
Logic debuts at no. 1 on the Billboard 200 with ‘Everybody.’ Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, and Justin Bieber rise to no. 1 on the Hot 100 with “Despacito.” Logic had an awesome week. He took his third album, Everybody, to no. 1 on the Billboard 200. (247,000 units with 79% pure sales). Chris Stapleton also earned a piece of the Billboard 200 pie as … Continue reading Billboard Takeaways | Logic No. 1 on the Billboard 200
Kendrick Lamar (‘DAMN.’) spends a third week at no. 1 on the Billboard 200 while DJ Khaled (“I’m the One”) debuts at no. 1 on the Hot 100. Continue reading Billboard Takeaways | Kendrick Lamar Three-Peats at No. 1
The Single Wrap-Up runs down the list of singles and tracks reviewed over the past week. Ed Sheeran, “How Would You Feel (Paean),” is this week’s best bet. Continue reading The Single Wrap-Up: Ed Sheeran Is a Best Bet
Ed Sheeran spends a fourth nonconsecutive week at no. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Shape of You.” Zayn and Taylor Swift are on the rise at no. 2. Continue reading 10 Hot 100 Takeaways: Zayn & Taylor Swift No. 2
Migos do a sound job of sharing their ‘Culture’ with the world. ‘Culture’ is chocked full of hard-hitting, rhythmically-driven bangers. Continue reading Highlights: Migos, ‘Culture’
The soundtrack to box office smash Suicide Squad tops the Billboard 200. Continue reading 25 Chart Takeaways: Suicide Squad Debuts at No. 1
Track reviews are something I’m incorporating more into the up-and-coming music site, The Musical Hype. Continue reading Track Review: DJ Khaled ft. Drake, ‘For Free’ — The Musical Hype
The first four, second round, and third rounds of the NCAA Tournament are over my friends, and after numerous upsets and the birth of those Cinderella teams looking for another shot to slay the giant, the tournament marches on with the upcoming Sweet 16 and Elite 8. What better way to celebrate and prepare for these deep tournament runs with a playlist of 16 songs fit for the Sweet 16? Let’s go #TEAM!
“We Will Rock You”
Most spirited lyrics:
Buddy you’re a young man hard man / shouting in the street gonna take on the world some day / you got blood on your face, you big disgrace / waving your banner all over the place” (verse one)
“We will, we will rock you!” (Chorus)
Swag, swag, swag! The big boys are going to take down the little boys – the fakes are out! “We Will Rock You” isn’t ultimately about basketball, but the ‘fight’ within the lyrics of the song sounds much like the moxie and the mind-set required on the court. “We Will Rock You” is confident, much like a veteran, and experienced team that understands their roles should be. Nope, it’s not basketball specific, but there are more than enough parallels.
(From Lift Your Spirit)
“Well you can tell everybody / yeah you can tell everybody / go ahead and tell everybody / I’m the man, I’m the man, I’m the man”
Athletes and musicians have something in common, even if they come from completely different worlds – they have a swagger, a confidence, sometimes an arrogance. A lead singer, guitarist, or lead trumpeter can be likened to the star player on a basketball team (regardless of the position he plays be it guard, forward, or center) in the sense there is that fearlessness and confidence. On “The Man”, Blacc wants everybody to know that he’s “the man”.
Jeezy featuring Kanye West
(From The Recession)
Most spirited lyrics:
“I put on for my city, on, on for my city…put on (east side)…put on (south side)…put on (west side) / put on”
Sure, Jeezy didn’t even mention basketball or championships in his song about representing his city, but the sentiment can be transferred into college basketball. After all, don’t all college basketball players want to represent both college and hometown? Winning the national championship would definitely be away to do so!
Wale featuring Meek Mill & Rick Ross
“For my ambition / easy to dream a dream, though it’s harder to lie it / They gon’ love me for my ambition…Beautiful music, painting pictures that be my vision.”
There’s a number of ways one could interpret the “ambition” of which Wale speaks. One such way is just having dreams in general, taken contextually within the tournament, means winning the national championship. A more liberal interpretation is that Wale is referencing the Cinderella teams, which aren’t favored to win, but ultimately ‘shock the world’. Yes, the Dayton Flyers (defeated Ohio State 60-59 and Syracuse 55-53) and Mercer (defeated Duke 78-71) among others. Sigh… if the slipper fits!
Most spirited lyrics:
“I’m a balla (say what) high, roller baby (baby, baby) / shot caller (that’s right) aint nobody this crazy (like me) / you a hater (you a hater) why you tryin’ to play me (I don’t think he know) / Fake player (fake player) ain’t nobody killin’ (hey, I’m a balla for real)”
There’s really not a lot that needs to be explained here… Chingy is the point guard (“Shot caller”). We all know that besides the coach that the point guard is like the coach on court. And if the point guard doesn’t have a clue, the team is toast. Horrendous guard play definitely kills the vibe. Word.
“I am a fighter and I / I ain’t gonna stop / There is no turning back / I’ve had enough”
I know what you’re thinking – why the hell is a Christina Aguilera song about a broken relationship on a March Madness-related playlist? Well it’s the ‘sentiment’ of ‘fighting’ more so than the lyrical content. Aguilera is a “fighter” because she decided not to play the ‘victim’ card and has shown strength from a bad situation. College basketball players and teams face a different sort of fight – the fight to advance further in the tournament and to live up/meet expectations whether they are realistic or unrealistic. Blue blood schools in particular are expected to be competing for championships, not merely a sweet sixteen. That “fighter” mentality that Aguilera refers to apply to collegiate basketball after broken plays whether it’s poor transition defense, a bad foul, a missed shot, etc. “Fighter” mentality!
Drake featuring Kanye West, Lil Wayne, and Eminem
“…I’m shutting down sh*t in the mall…I want this sh*t forever, man” (Hook)
“Forever” is the ultimate baller’s anthem. Sure, the song really has nothing to do with being on the court, but like many of the cuts on this playlist, there are parallels to having ‘swagger’ on the court. Drake’s opening rhymes from his verse exhibit the grit and confidence players must show: “Last name Ever, first name Greatest / Like a sprained ankle, boy I ain’t nothing to play with.” Kanye West’s swagger is even more pronounced on the second verse, in which he claims “I stuck my d**k inside this life until that b**ch came / and went hard, all fall like the ball teams.” Ignore the overt sexual references, and West is the MVP…he’s already claimed victory. For good measure, Lil Wayne references Space Jam while Eminem just goes H.A.M.
DJ Khaled featuring Ludacris, Rick Ross, Snoop Dogg & T-Pain
“All I Do Is Win”
Most spirited lyrics:
“All I do is win, win, win no matter what / Got money on my mind, I can never get enough / and every time I step up in the building / everybody hands go up / and they stay there, and they stay there…” (T-Pain, on the hook)
Confidence is essential to playing sound basketball – it’s part of the whole teamwork aspect. The best teams have the confidence knowing they will be playing deep into March. Teams that lack the resolve and the “winning” spirit exemplified by “All I Do Is Win” go home with their heads hung down. T-Pain sings it best on the hook – ‘nuff said.
I’ll admit that during the month of October I missed out on a couple of albums (Pearl Jam, Scotty McCreery, Korn, Paul McCartney, etc.). Alas, that is the life of a music journalist and music critic – you can’t listen to ‘em all. Despite this, from the albums I did partake of, I’ve assembled a list of ‘gems’ to start out November 2013 just right! … Continue reading November’s Playlist: The Best of October 2013