Five Reasons Hillary Won’t Be President in 2016

Hillary Clinton’s been unemployed for a little less than a week, and I’ve already read about a million articles anointing her the next President of the Unites States.  Here’s the thing though, she won’t be.  That’s not a slight against her personally (I supported her in 2008 – for the record).  The reasons she won’t have little to do with her and have even less to do with her politics.

There’s no questioning her credentials.  She would probably be one of the most qualified candidates to ever run, she’s tremendously popular (her favorability rating only trail, her beau, Bill and first lady Michelle Obama) and she’s a damn good politician, but none of that really matters.  Here’s five reason she won’t be the President in 2016.

She’s Old

This is very superficial  but very much a factor in Presidential elections.  In 2016, Hillary will be 69 years old, which would make her the second oldest non-incumbent President ever elected.  That’s twenty-two years older than Obama, fifteen years older than Bush 43, twenty-three years older than Bill and five years older than Bush 41 when they each, respectively, took office.  Ronald Reagan was the oldest President to be elected (also at 69), but while deemed a successful President, he was dogged by rumors about his age, his slipping mental health and eventually entered the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s in his second term (not a good precedent).

Next in Line

While being “next in line” seems like a good thing, it’s not, especially if you plan on running as a Democrat.  No “next in line” non-incumbent Democrat has won the presidency in the post FDR era.  Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and JFK, were all considered Washington “outsiders”, who all ran on the same idea.  Change.  Furthermore, experience is often an important indicator of who will not win as a Democratic Nominee.  Democratic “next in line” candidates with strong quantifications have a remarkably terrible record in national elections (see: Al Gore, Walter Mondale or Adlai Stevenson II).

Andrew Cuomo

As of this exact moment, Hillary’s number one threat for the Democratic spot on the ticket is Andrew Cuomo.  The New York Governor who formerly served in the original Clinton administration already has a Presidential buzz following him.  He’s a favorite among liberals, beating President Obama to the punch on same-sex marriage, gun control and tax reform.  He received positive national attention for his handling of Hurricane Sandy.  He’s younger than Hillary, he’s from a popular Democratic legacy (albeit not as popular as the Clinton legacy, but still) and would no doubt be organized and well funded for a Presidential campaign.

The Republicans – Christie, Rubio, Ryan, Bush, Jindel and Super Dark House Petraeus

There’s been a lot made about the changing demographics of America and “the death” of the Republican Party.  To borrow a phrase from Joe Biden, that’s all a bunch of malarkey.  The truth is presidential primaries are very much like NBA drafts.  Some years are full of duds, some years are filled with studs,  The last two Republican primaries have been very much of the dud variety, so much so, that Herman Cain was, for a moment, the front runner in 2012 and that Sarah Palin was second on the ticket in 2008.  That’s not good.  The 2016 crop of potential candidates have the potential to be extremely strong.  To be honest, I think it’s really only a two man race, but some other names have to be given some respect.  First off, Bobby Jindel aka “the Indian Kenneth the Page” won’t win, but is definitely emerging as a party leader.  Paul Ryan is a tea party favorite and a good campaigner, but will probably be sunk by his association with Mitt Romney.  Jeb Bush is also being bandied as a possible 2016er, and even though a Clinton-Bush grudge match would be highly entertaining, being the brother and son of two unpopular Presidents is not going to do him any favors.  That leaves two heavyweight candidates, Chris Christie and Marco Rubio.  Rubio is sort of the Republican version of Barack Obama, a young minority change candidate, who is a strong communicator and extremely likable.  Christie is sort of a William Taft candidate, considering he’ll probably need a customized bath tube in White House.  Also, it’s worth mentioning Gen. David Petraeus as a super dark horse, even though he says he has no political aspirations and he ended his career in controversy, he’d definitely be a force if he decided to run and, if the Clintons taught us anything, it’s infidelity is no deal breaker when it comes to politics.

Barack Obama

More often than not Presidential elections are a referendum on the last President’s popularity.  McCain was sunk by Dubya’s incompetence.  Gore was hurt by Bill’s inability to keep it in his pants.  Bush 41 was buoyed by the overwhelming popularity of Reagan.  The Nixon scandals torpedoed Ford in ’76.  The LBJ policy in Vietnam did nothing to help Huhphrey in ’68.  Basically, what I’m saying is Obama holds a major responsibility in getting Hillary (or any other Democrat) elected in 2016.  If he slips up in his second term, it could spell doom for a potential Hillary Presidency.

The Greatest Kanye Show of All-Time

** GUEST BLOG ALERT**

I’ve made my love of Kanye West abundantly known on this blog before.  So, whenever I can coax a friend into having a long Kanye-centric conversation I jump at the opportunity.  Recently, I engaged in one of these conversations (she’ll better explain how it came about) and doled out some homework.

The Assignment; create your dream Kanye Set-list, which soon morphed into curate your dream Kanye concert.  She did an AMAZING job.  It’s all below, it’s also on her own blog (which is awesome in its own right).

Of course, me being somewhat rude and somewhat self-important, I had to have my voice heard in something called, “The Greatest Kanye Show of All-Time.”

Any of the text below that is in brackets and in bold italic font [they will look like this] are my reactions/comments, as if I were actually at the imaginary  concert.

Now for The Greatest Kanye Show of All-Time.

*******************************************************************************************************

The Greatest Kanye Show of All-Time – by Evron

This assignment quickly turned into someone’s version of fanfic. (mine)

It started out as a conversation about the Coachella rumors that then morphed into a “your dream headliners” discussion, which turned into my Greatest Kanye Show of All Time homework assignment. Here it is. Tell me this isn’t the GOAT and I’ll show you your lies.

Being the greatest imaginary show he’s ever performed, he’s obviously retiring and it’s obviously in Chicago.

Act 1
Flashing Lights
First 20 seconds looped once for hype factor. The best light show happens. Kanye’s light shows are kind of meh. given how much he tells his people MORE LIGHTS. For this one though, he gets in touch with the best EDM light guy and pulls it off. Enters via rising platform, up high mid-stage. [I’ve already popped a molly, I’m sweating…woo]

Can’t Tell Me Nothing
Greets the crowd for the first time afterwards. Tells them it’s going to be the greatest show of all time. The greatest retirement party of all time (“no offense, Jay”). “I WANT ALL YOU MOTHERFUCKERS UP ON YOUR FEET THE NEXT TWO HOURS.” [I oblige]  It’s a celebration tonight but first, take them back to where it started.

Through The Wire
Jesus Walks

All Falls Down
Scenes from Keeping up with the Kardashians play on the big screen. JK

Heartless
Kanye’s center stage with a mic and mic stand. Image on screen is something like a beating heart. Think this but an anatomical heart. Also more accapella, if possible. More vulnerable, less Kanye.

Roses (clip)
Only the first minute before cutting into the next song.

Hey Mama
Lighters light the arena. Stage drops black when song ends.

Act 2
*Wake Up Mr. West
Bernie Mac hologram, if possible. [Bernie Mac hologram!?! This has officially been taken to another level.] If not, some footage of his monologue on the screen would still be cool.

Heard ‘Em Say with John Legend
John Legend singing Adam’s part. He can do it.

Spaceship with GLC, Consequence, John Legend
GLC and Consequence appear, crowd is pumped. John stays on to do the ad libs and vibe out with Chicago. [At this point the entire arena is engulfed in a cloud of weed smoke.]

Drive Slow (remix) with Paul Wall, GLC, TI, John Legend
Again, John stays to sang. Paul Wall throws out free grillz during his verse. [It’s good to see Paul Wall…I guess?] Crowd goes wild when TI swaggers on stage. Afterwards Paul and TI both say something nice about Ye then bounce. Kanye says something about how the night is as much for Chicago as it is for him. Then…

Southside
Chicago goes insane. “IT’S COMMON!” Song ends, Common says something like, “CHICAGOOOO let’s keep this going.”

Get Em High with Talib and Common
Ladies swoon when Talib comes out to pick up his lines. Adorable exchange between Kanye and Kweli. Band goes into Touch the Sky immediately after song ends.

Touch The Sky with Lupe
Lupe enters from some platform up high on stage left… YES, YES, YES, guess who’s on third. Lupe steal like Lupin the 3rd. All the boys are groovin back and forth to the horns section. Feels good to be home. Consequence, Talib, John, Kanye, Common, Lupe, GLC stand in a lineup as the lights dim, while the music’s being faded out. Then it all cuts to black. [Really digging the whole Chicago movement, starting to wonder if Chief Keef is going show up]

Act 3

*Monster with Rick Ross and Nicki Minaj
Completely black at the start until that growl,  [I go insane, my anticipation for Jay builds] which some image of would be flashed on the big screen. Spotlight hits center stage where Rawse is sitting in a throne wearing some fur with no shirt underneath. Kanye comes back on stage. Skips Jay’s verse (cause lbr, it’s weak)  [WTF!?! I’m starting to worry Jay couldn’t find a baby sitter and is stuck at home]. Spotlight hits Nicki on some platform up high on stage right. She makes her way down some steps to the main stage during her verse. Strobe lights are used during her scream “YAAAAA I’M A MUTHAFUCKIN MONSTER.” Cuts right into “I cross the line” part after Nicki’s verse. Hugs and kisses are given to Nicki and she says something nice before she leaves the stage. Kanye asks if Ross has it in him to do one more? [Sort of disappointed Kanye and Nicki don’t perform Blazin’ (super underrated ‘Ye verse) but wasn’t really expecting it anyway.  Very disappointed of a possible Jay-Zless set] 

Maybach Music 2 with Ross and Lil Wayne
Weezy appears during his part slouched over the throne that Ross once occupied [alright that’s pretty cool, but I’m still wondering if Jay is going to show up]. Daps are given to both before they leave the stage. Kanye catches a breath and asks the audience if they’re alive. “Alright, who else we got back there?”

New God Flow with Pusha T and Ghostface Killah
Pusha and Ghostface ambush the stage [I start growing concerned a Wayne – Pusha altercation will happen backstage]. Ghostface takes the chorus in addition to his verse. When song ends the three guys banter with the crowd a little. Kanye asks Push if he wants to stay on a little longer. “Yeah, let’s do it.”

I Don’t Like with Pusha, Big Sean, and Jadakiss
Chief Keef does not come out [WHAT!?! No Chief Keef? This dissapoinment lasts for literearlly less than one second.]. Big Sean obviously does. Teenage panties drop. Jadakiss comes out as well. After the song ends, some cheesy banter like, “Wooo! damn son, what do we like?”

Marvin Gaye & Chardonnay with Big Sean
Completely up to the talent, but this would be the part where girls are invited on stage.

Mercy with Kid Cudi, Big Sean, Pusha, and 2 Chainz
Kid Cudi would come out just to dance and serve as hype man. 2 Chainz will definitely be there. [Me]
After the song, Ye says something about GOOD Music and bringing people together.

Start It Up with Lloyd Banks, Fabolous, Swizz Beatz, and Ryan Leslie
Lloyd Banks, Fabo, Swizz, and RLes are ALL IN THE BUILDING [Place is going HAM, the show is peaking]. Everyone on stage beforehand is partying in the wings. After the song ends, Ye says something like “I did it all for you, Chicago. This is all for you tonight” and brings out everyone that’s performed with him thus far.

Put On with Young Jeezy
Jeezy comes out, everyone in the audience/ onstage loses it.  [Put On is a great call, super excited it made the set list, the entire crowd and I are anxiously awaiting for the Amazing beat to drop]   “Call that bitch ya bodyguard?” Music cuts out, house lights on, “yeahhhh, that’s my bodyguard.” After song ends, Kanye thanks everyone for coming out.  [Amazing not being performed is decidedly not amazing] The fake out before the encore. Him and the 20+ make their way off the stage.

**I Can’t Stop (Flux Pavilion) 

[I assure everyone around me that there is no way the show is over.  I mean he didn’t even play Gold Digger yet, that would be like going to a Jay-Z show where he didn’t play Big Pimpin’]

Act 4
Diamonds From Sierra Leone with Jay-Z
A mash between the original Bonus Track and the Remix. [Okay, finally, I knew Jay was going to show up] The longer beginning of the remix, but K does his lyrics from the Bonus. Just cause I like image of “close your eyes and imagine, feel the magic, Vegas on acid seen through Yves Saint Laurent glasses” a lot.  [Wait.  Why didn’t I hear Jay’s grunts in the background?  My disappointment cannot be put into words] Jay-Z makes his first appearance when he comes out with “YUP I got it from here, Ye, damn.” Crowd goes bonkers [AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!] Diamonds everywhere. Stage drops black after Jay’s “Good night!” Lets crowd go crazy for a second. Still dark, Kanye says some shit like “you seen our little sis? where’s Rih at tonight?” [I die]

Run This Town with Rihanna and Jay
Rihanna enters via rising platform, up high mid-stage. Sings first verse acapella the best she’s ever sang before. Crowd has died. Illuminati takes a hold of the arena. Similar to this. They celebrating Kayne tonight. Diamonds. Song ends. Crowd is nuts. Ye tells them he wants to hear that last part one more time. House lights go up. Rihanna leads, HEYY AYYYAYYAAYY. Crowd follows. POWER drops immediately after.

POWER (remix) with Jay
Rihanna stays on the stage as hype woman, getting the crowd to clap with the song. Swizz does not come back out for his two lines [thank you]. After song ends, Ye playfully teases the crowd with, “my big brother was BIG’s brother.” Rih possibly joins in if she feels like it. Jay says something bashfully like, “hah, come on man, let’s get into this.” [At this point I do the math, T.I. is here, Wayne is here, Jay is here.  Of course, Kanye is here.  Patiently waiting for Swagger Like Us to be performed]

Why I Love You with Jay
Goes immediately into the next song.

Gotta Have It with Jay
Afterwards, some banter about going to Paris.

Paris with Jay
However many times Kanye feels like [If they play this any less than six times, I’m emailing Ticketmaster for my money back]. Thanks audience after song ends again. Rih, Jay and Ye throw it up, pour it up, best night of his life (offense, Kim). The fake out before encore #2.

[Again, I assure the people around me that the show is not over, he still needs to play Gold Digger and Stronger]

Final Act- Encore
All of the Lights (Interlude)
All of the Lights with Rihanna and Kid Cudi
There will be no restarts, Kanye. Cudi finally gets his moment. Cut Fergie’s part [duh]. After song ends, Rih and Cudi stay on stage. “I ain’t done yet, CHICAGOOO.”

Christian Dior Demin Flow with John, Pusha, RLes, Banks, and Cudi
I cease to live at this point.  [Pleasently surprised]

FOREVER with Drake, Weezy and Eminem
Drizzy’s in the HOUSE! Teen girls are crying. Eminem comes out and shits on everyone. [Would have rather heard Swagger Like Us, but whatever.]

Clique with Jay and Big Sean
Everyone that’s been in the concert is on stage. Ignorant shit happens.

See Me Now with BEYONCE
All dreams come true. Kanye thanks everyone that’s ever existed for everything that’s ever happened.  [BEYYYY!!!!]

Home with John
This is half-assedly performed. It’s more like the song that’s played while the credits scroll. Everyone’s crying. I’m crying.  [I’m not crying, still waiting for Gold Digger]

[Still waiting.]

[Still waiting.]

[Security guards forcibly remove me from the arena, while I shout, “HE STILL HAS TO PLAY GOLD DIGGER!!! HE STILL HAS TO PLAY GOLD DIGGER!! IT’S HIS MOST FAMOUS SONG!! IT WENT QUADRUPLE PLATINUM!!!”] 

Greatest of all time. [almost]

The Final List:

  1. Flashing Lights
  2. Can’t Tell Me Nothing
  3. Through The Wire
  4. Jesus Walks
  5. All Falls Down
  6. Heartless
  7. Roses (clip)
  8. Hey Mama
  9. Wake Up Mr. West
  10. Heard ‘Em Say
  11. Spaceship
  12. Drive Slow (remix)
  13. Southside
  14. Get Em High
  15. Touch The Sky
  16. Monster
  17. Maybach Music 2 
  18. New God Flow
  19. I Don’t Like
  20. Marvin Gaye & Chardonnay
  21. Mercy
  22. Start It Up
  23. Put On
  24. I Can’t Stop (Flux Pavilion)
  25. Diamonds From Sierra Leone
  26. Run This Town
  27. POWER (remix)
  28. Why I Love You
  29. Gotta Have It
  30. Paris
  31. All of the Lights (Interlude)
  32. All of the Lights Christian Dior Demin Flow
  33. Stronger FOREVER
  34. Clique
  35. See Me Now
  36. Home

*Outfit change
** Outfit/Set change

Songs that almost made the cut:
Stronger- last minute change [Should have made the list, it’s the second biggest song of his career]
Last Call- No one’s got time for a 12 minute song. (unless I can add this to the rolling credits) [Save this for the DVD]
Wouldn’t Get Far- Sorry, Game.
No Church in the Wild- Sorryyyyyy, Frankie. I still love you.
Because of You (remix)- there was just no place for it =(
Addiction
Gold Digger [I’ve already made my feelings know]
Diamonds (Remix)
Champion
So Appalled

Songs that some might argue, but I don’t care for (in this concert):
HAM [Totally okay with it’s omission]
Runaway [Less okay with this omission, but I get that time was a factor]
Gone
Love Lockdown
Amazing
Say You Will
Dark Fantasy
GORGEOUS

I trust Kanye to choose his outfits at his own discretion. As a fan, I can’t actually attempt to cramp his style when it comes to, well, his style. I do envision and suggest that he progresses from a nicer suit to a throwback backpack to his current luxury black goth to finally, whatever look he’s rockin when this concert happens.

I picture nothing crazy for the stage, no WTT platforms in the middle of the crowd. Very classic, big stage with big screen. It’s a rap concert, nothing more. I have no idea how the stage would change during the set change but again, I trust Kanye. Transitions and dialogues are only what I envision, loosely. He can freestyle all of that. Montages of his childhood, his growth, Chicago, wild animals, video vixens, and random shit are to be expected.

It’s my dream Kanye concert so there are A LOT of guests; meaning, in reality, way too many blown-out-of-proportion egos in one building. It’s definitely probable that some fucked some of the same ladies over the years. Lots of possible swords crossing. But it’s my dream scenario and in my dream scenario, they come together to celebrate the greatness of Kanye because chances are he’s the one that put them on the map. There will be no beefing.

So there it is. Please pass this along to Mr. West. This is my Make-A-Wish wish, God forbid.

Setlist via Spotify
(because of Spotify limitations: Power (remix) changed to Power, Drive Slow (remix) changed to Drive SlowHome changed to Homecoming and Christian Dior Denim Flow and See Me Now omitted.) 

An Ode to Die Hard

Die Hard is on TV right now.  DIE HARD IS ON TV RIGHT NOW!!!  As per Article 84 of The Bro Code, I am obligated to stop whatever I am doing and watch.  Which isn’t as much an obligation as it is a pleasure and a privilege.  I love Die Hard, and I venture to guess anyone who doesn’t love Die Hard hates America.  I have no proof of that, but it’s true.

Here are 11 Reasons Die Hard is better than anything.

1) John McClane

Die Hard, at its root, is just 131 minutes of Bruce Willis being totally badass.  Killing bad guys + blowing shit up + wearing a wife beater = Total John McClane badassery.

2) John McClane’s Bare-feet

Remember when he had to cross all that broken glass without his shoes on, and there was nothing he could do about it, so he just walked across that broken glass with his bare feet…That was awesome. (skip to 2 minute mark)

3) Ellis being the embodiment of everything I hate about the financial sector.

“Show him the watch…it’s a Rolex.”  “Hey babe, I negotiate million dollar deals for breakfast.  I think I can handle this Euro trash.” “Hey, sprechen sie talk, huh?”  “Hans, bubby! I’m your white knight.”  … Ugh, I hate Ellis.

4)  Hans Gruber

One of the great bad guys of all-time.  I hate that there is a generation of kids who only know Alan Rickman as Snape from Harry Potter.  In the words of Lil’ Wayne, “Fuck Harry Potter and anybody that love him.”  #TeamGruber

5) Die Hard on a _______

die hard on

Die Hard spawned an entire sub-genre of action films commonly known as “Die Hard on a ____.”  Whether it was Speed (Die Hard on a bus), Airforce One (Die Hard on a plane), CliffHanger (Die Hard on a mountain), or one of a million other awesome knock offs, we are eternally grateful.

6)  “I Shot a Kid” ~ Carl Winslow

I know this entire monologue by heart.  It’s amazing.  You can just tell this scene means EVERYTHING to Reginald VelJohnson.  If I ever become an actor this will be my go-to monologue for auditions.

7) Grip

As per Adam Carolla’s Theory of GripDie Hard definitely holds up (no pun intended).  Grip Highlights; hanging from a fire hose after jumping off a building, jumping down an elevator shaft and grabbing an air vent.

8) “Opps, Noooo Bullets”

It’s all about the inflection.

9)  Christmas In Hollis

First off, let’s not forget this is first and foremost a Christmas movie.  Second, Argyle is sooo underrated.  And third, Run DMC over everything.

10) It’s essentially the same movie as Paul Blart: Mall Cop

Substitute Kevin James for Bruce Willis,  a mall for Nakatomi plaza, a Hispanic daughter for Holly Gennaro, this guy for Hans Gruber, this guy for Ellis, credit codes for bearer bonds, a gang of X-game themed criminals for European terrorists  and you basically have the same movie.

11) Yippee-ki-Yay Motherfucker

Let’s just leave it at that.

13 Bold Predictions for 2013

1.  A RiRi – Chris Brown sextape leaks/is released.  It replaces the Tommy – Pam sextape as the holy grail of celebrity sextapes.

2.  Like 2011 was the year of Gosling, and 2012 was the year of Tatum, 2013 is the year of Elba as Idris Elba becomes a major star critically and commercially .

3.  Justin Timberlake gets major Oscar buzz.

4.  At least five perennial All-Star baseball players (including one former MVP) test positive for PEDs, reigniting the steroids in baseball conversation.

5.  Kanye West and Lil’ Wayne retire from rap (neither retirement sticks).  Dr. Dre finally releases Detox.

6.  Watch this trailer:

This is how it ends, *M. Night Shyamalan Twist*: It is training.

7.  The ABC Jimmy Kimmel to 11:35 shift is a debacle, which prompts Kimmel to bitterly leave ABC.  At the same time, health problems force Letterman into an early retirement and Kimmel takes over the Late Show.

8.  Apple stock plummets (relatively speaking).

9.  Something happens that drastically changes our perception of Barack Obama.  In a positive way.

10.  People stop using Facebook.

11.  Tiger Woods wins his first Major since 2008.

12.  Trinidad James becomes the 2013 version of 2 Chainz.

13.  Joesph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel start dating.  Hipster everywhere rejoice.

The Rap Game’s Hottest MCs …2012

Every year, around February, MTV announces their annual Hottest MCs in the Game list.  It ranks the top ten hottest rappers of the last year.

It’s always wrong.

So, I’ll preempt them, and give you the real top ten Hottest MCs of 2012.

To be clear, this is the hottest MC from January 1, 2012 to December 27, 2012 (today).  No prior works will be considered.  

By my calculations, there were 58 “relevant rappers” in 2012.  So, let’s start cutting it down.

If you’re not played on Hot 97, you don’t really matter (think, “if a tree falls in the woods and no one sees it” maxim), That immediately cuts 18 rappers off the list, leaving 40 remaining MCs.

If you didn’t do anything substantial in 2012, you’re disqualified.  This eliminates another 15 MCs which includes gods like Jay-Z (sorry Glory and one verse on Cruel Summer doesn’t count as “substantial”) and Three Stacks (Dear Andre, Anyone who’s started listening to rap music post-2006 thinks your name is “Featuring Andre 3000,” you’ve sort have become irrelevant to an entire generation of rap fans, sorry but it’s true).

This leaves us with 25 surviving rappers.  If you’ve been hanging out with Maroon 5, you can get the hell off this list.  That goes double for anyone who’s featuring Paramore or Taylor Swift on their records.  Which leaves us with 23 rappers.

Cutting four more rappers that released decidedly disappointing albums or mixtapes (Jeezy, Lupe, Big Boi, Waka) this year leaves the number at 19.

If you stole your whole sound from 808’s and Heartbreaks and never credited your sources, I have no respect for you.  (If anyone doesn’t know who I’m alluding to, I’m alluding to Future.  Fuck Future.)

If you routinely have the worst verse on any posse track you appear on, you’re out (looking at you Big Sean).

If you’re name consists of a European nation and a mid-western state, I can do without you.

If you only had one really good song of 2012, and it was about strippers you’re also out (cough-Tyga-cough-Juicy J).

If I can’t stand you, you’re out.  That’s you Wale.

That leaves 13.  The last three cut, for no really good reason, are Earl, Tyler and Nicki in that order.

That leaves us 10.

The Ten Hottest Mcs in the Game (according to me).

10.  Meek Mill

Best Moments of 2012:  Burn, Amen, Young & Gettin’ It, So Sophisticated 

Meek dropped Dreamchasers 2 (one of the better mixtapes of 2012) and then released his debut album Dreams and Nightmares (which was very sneaky good).  He may or may not have gotten with RiRi and he may or may not have thrown a champagne bottle at Chris Brown’s head (coincidentally, these are #2 and #6, respectively, on my 2013 New Year’s resolutions list).  He’s also become one of the best “shout rappers” out right now.

9.  Pusha T

Best Moments of 2012:  New God Flow, Mercy, Exodus 23:1, Don’t Like Remix

Pusha went all Omar Little on Young Money in 2012, making it his mission to just be a pain in their ass, which shook up Wayne enough for him to release a terrible response diss track (like really terrible).  There was four good tracks on Cruel Summer, Pusha was on three of them, that was not a coincidence.  Good year Pusha.

8.  A$AP Rocky

Best Moments of 2012:  Goldie, Fuckin’ Problems, Bath Salt

With Kendrick Lamar being old news, A$AP Rocky has now officially taken the perpetual rap mantle of “Next Big Thing.”  He toured with Drizzy this summer, overtook Kanye as the consensus best dressed rapper and got Iggy Azalea to tattoo his name on her – so you know it’s real – (he then subsequently broke up with her).  He’s debut album is set to release next month (although it’s already been leaked), he’s got a ton of internet buzz behind him and now he’s starting to get a real radio push behind him too.

7.  Drake

Best Moments of 2012:  Stay Schemin, No Lie, Pop That, Amen, Diced Pineapples,  Fuckin’ Problems, We in This Bitch 1.5

Drizzy didn’t release any of his own stuff this year, instead he just jumped on every other rapper’s Summer jam, did his thing, then ghosted.  He’d be much higher on this list if I hadn’t seen him be so terrible live (which I had heard before, but didn’t want to believe.)  Also quick thing about Diced Pineapples, is there any other song that that sounds so perfect for a Drake verse that doesn’t have a Drake verse?  Why only a hook, Ross?  There is no doubt in my mind that Drake recorded a verse so out of this world that Ross and Wale just looked at each other and knew if it was ever released Drake would become an unstoppable mammoth, leading to Young Money taking over the world.  Then Rick Ross, in his ultimate wisdom, decided to take the tape of Drizzy’s verse, lock it in his favorite Maybach and drive it off the Venetian Causeway, giving it a water burial off the coast Miami Beach to ensure it will never be heard.  Thereby, saving us from a second slew of #YOLO Facebook statuses, “OVOXO” being screamed on college campuses across the country and an entire Drake-ification of America’s youth.

6.  Chief Keef

Best Moments of 2012:  I Don’t Like, Love Sosa

In 2012, Keef released four mixtapes, an album, caught a charge, and had a kid.  He’s only 17.  He’s also the scariest rapper on this list.  All Facts.

5.  Nas

It’s impossible to find an embarrassing picture of Nas on the Internet

Best Moments of 2012:  The Don, Daughters

Nas stayed relevant into his 40th year, which is an accomplishment in itself.  Life is Good was one of the better hip-hop albums of the year receiving universal acclaim and even grabbed a XXL rating.   I’ve personally never been a huge Nas fan, but I got to give one of the greatest ever his props.

4.  Kanye West

Best Moments of 2012:  Mercy, Clique, New God Flow, Diamonds (remix), White Dress

A down year by Kanye standards, but Mercy and Clique alone put him somewhere on this list and delivering us 2 Chainz puts him on the top half of this list.  My opinion, I think Kim is killing Kanye the artist and this will probably be his last time this high on this list.  It’s just my opinion, but it’s also a fact.

3.  Rock Ross

Best Moments of 2012:  Stay Schemin’, Pop That, Diced Pineapples,  Take it to the Head, So Sophisticated, 3 Kings, Sixteen, Hold Me Back

It should be noted that the top three on this list are so high above the rest it’s not even fair.  One collab album, two mixtapes and one solo album, 2012 was a busy year for the bawse.  From best to worst it goes, God Fogives, I Don’t, Rich Forever, The Black Bar Mitzvah, Self Made Vol. 2.  That’s over four solid hours of rap music, to put that in perspective, that’s nearly double all the music in Dr. Dre’s discography.

2.  2 Chainz

Best Moments of 2012:  All of them.

Tity Boi has officially replaced Lil’ Wayne as the “hardest working man in hip-hop.”  Tauheed Epps is the best dancer in hip-hop, right now.  2 Chainz is also the tallest goofiest rapper in hip-hop, umm, ever.  That’s all I got to say about that.

1.  Kendrick Lamar

Best Moments of 2012: Everything on Good Kid, Maad City

Read thoughts here.

The Only Songs that Matter of 2012

I made a massive, three hour, 50+ track, genre spanning 2012 playlist.  It was an all encompassing soundscape of the year that was.

Then I edited down.  Trimmed the fat and got it to a tidy 20 songs.  A smorgasbord of my favorite songs of the year.  Spanning from Jack White to Kes$ha, from AS$AP Rocky to Passion Pit, from Action Bronson to Sleigh Bells.

Then I got rid of all the extraneous stuff.  (I’ll leave it to Pitchfork and Spin to make the super pretentious playlists of songs that don’t really matter, filled with a bunch of stuff no one outside of Williamsburg actually listens to.)

Seven Tracks.  Thirty minutes.  These are the only songs that truly matter of 2012.

T h e  M a g n i f i c e n t  S e v e n

Pop That – French Montana, Rick Ross, Drake, Lil’ Wayne

If a year ago someone told me that I would be putting a French Montana led track on this list, I would punch said person in the face.  So why is Pop That on the list?  Well, first off, it thrust twerking into the national consciousness. Second off, and most importantly, it gave America this.  The most perfect music video of all time.  Complete with Drake making weird Drake faces, Lil’ Wayne trying to skateboard, Rick Ross being a complete bawse and French Montana trying his hardest to not look awkward as fuck (spoiler: he fails).

Bandz A Make Her Dance – Juicy J, Lil’ Wayne, 2 Chainz

Explained Here.  

Hold Me Back – Rick Ross

Could have went with Stay Schemin’.  Could have gone with So Sophisticated.  Could have picked Diced Pineapples.  But all those would have been disingenuous cop outs.  Maybe it’s not BMF, but I wholeheartedly believe that God put William Leonard Roberts II on Earth to make this song.  Sooo fierce   (One quick minus, the amount of self-censoring I have to do when this comes on is absolutely ludicrous.)

Clique –  Kanye West, Big Sean, Jay-Z

Most people will tell you that Mercy is better.  Most people are wrong.  There are exactly four non-terrible moments on Cruel Summer.  Three of them are on this track.  One, the Hit-boy beat. Two, Jay’s verse. Three, Kanye comparing Maybachs with George Tenet.  (If you were wondering, the fourth is the first 18 seconds of Mercy.)

We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together – Taylor Swift

I want to make this perfectly clear, this is a TOTALLY SERIOUS inclusion, I repeat, there is not a drip of sarcasm in this choice.  It’s just a really, really good song.

Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe – Kendrick Lamar

Poetic Justice has a better beat.  Sing About Me and Swimming Pools (Drank) are more socially conscious.  Backseat Freestyle gives me an excuse to yell, MARTIN HAD A DREEEEAAAM. But, B,DKMV is maximum – well – vibe out music

Thinkin Bout You – Frank Ocean  

If someone ever released a video of me singing-along to this in my car, it would be the most embarrassing moment of my life (like being caught masturbating-type embarrassment levels).   I don’t know if this song technically qualifies for a 2012 list (wasn’t it leaked in 2011?), but every music publication seems banded together in their assertion that it is a 2012 track.  I could have just as easily put Pyramids on this list, but how many songs about strippers can I have before every one of my female friends calls me a sexist, objectifying, asshole?  I mean did you watch the Pop That video (yep, double-linking it)?

T H E  P L A Y L I S T
(to be listened to in this order for maximum enjoyment, no shuffling, thank-you and enjoy)  

The Jordan Stat

First and foremost, you should know, at heart, I’m a huge sports nerd.  While other kid’s my age were devouring the Harry Potter novels, I was nose deep in Michael Lewis’ Moneyball.  Second and secondmost, you should know that in college I once uttered the words, “All I want to do is create my own stat.”  A pretty lofty goal for someone still not 100% on their 8x tables.  While other freshman were trying to sneak beers past their RAs and smoking weed out windows (to cover the smell), I once spent an entire week trying to invent a stat that valued position scarcity in Major League Baseball. (After a long arduous process I basically re-invented VORP expect 1000x less complex.)

Six years later I’m back at it.  Expect I’ve shifted my focus to basketball.

I was born in 1988.  I started watching basketball sometime in the mid-90s.  (I’m not sure the exact year my NBA consciousness kicked it in, but I can definitely remember MJ’s first retirement.)   This means during my basketball watching lifetime, I’ve witnessed the greatest player of all-time, fifteen absolutely monster stars and seven arguably monster stars.

(in no particular order)

Monster Stars

Arguably Monster Stars

GOAT

Hakeem Olajawan

Gary Payton

Michael Jordan

Charles Barkley

Steve Nash

David Robinson

Dywane Wade

Karl Malone

Paul Pierce

John Stockton

Ray Allen

Allen Iverson

Reggie Miller

Kobe Bryant

Dennis Rodman

Shaquille O’Neal

Kevin Garnett

Tim Duncan

Dirk Nowitzki

Scottie Pippen

Patrick Ewing

Jason Kidd

Lebron James

  ** Jury’s still out on: Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony, Blake Griffin and Kevin Love.**

Like a snowflake or a Stanley Kubrick movie, no two star players are alike.  No player has Dirk’s combination of size and shooting.  No player has Barkley’s combination of lack of size, girth, misappropriated athleticism and rebounding prowess.  John Stockton could shoot 40% from three and pick up double digit assists in his sleep.  Steve Nash could also shoot 40% from three and pick up double digit assists in his sleep, but they did it so differently   Nash runs and guns, while Stockton was a master of the half-court offense.  Reggie and Ray could both shoot the lights out, but Ray (at least at the beginning of his career) could take players off the dribble while Reggie was busy breaking my heart.

We accept these players as unique talents.  We accept all of them, but one.  There is one player we will not accept as a unique basketball talent.  It’s why, for the last fifteen years, one question has been asked a million times every season.

Who’s the next Jordan?

Is it Kobe?  Lebron?  DeMar DeRozan?

The simple answer is no one. Jordan is Jordan.  Kobe doesn’t score as efficiently.  Lebron passes too much.  And DeMar DeRozan is – well – DeMar DeRozan.

But, Who’s the most Jordan-like?  That’s the question I set out to answer.

Who can dominate a game like Jordan?  Who can change a game with his prodigious scoring ability?  Who can score as efficiently?  Who showcases an inside/outside game with the same tact?  Who can impact games, not only on the offensive end, but at defensive end as well?  Who has the all-around dominate Michael Jordan Game?

I looked at efficiency, scoring, free throws, rebounding, assists, perimeter defense and outside shooting, threw them all in a pot added some broth a potato and, baby, I got a stew going.

It’s called the Jordan Stat.

Unlike ESPN, I don’t have a team of interns to run numbers on numbers on numbers, but I did my best to run the numbers on the guys that I thought mattered.

I ran numbers from single seasons, careers, playoff runs and single games.  The stat is simple.  A score of 100 is Jordan-esque, the closer to 100 the more Jordan-esque you are.

Careers 

LeBron James – 89.9

No surprise here.  LeBron’s ability to get to the hoop, defend the perimeter and control the flow of the game is the closest to Jordan you’ll get.  Of course the numbers also show some differences.  LeBron doesn’t take the initiative to score as much as Jordan (which everyone already knows) and he jacks up too many inefficient threes (something he’s starting to limit).

Larry Bird – 86.9

Bird and Jordan’s games are similar, in the fact that they were both dominant multi-faceted wing players.  While Bird rebounded more and hit more threes, he didn’t force as many turnovers or score with the same volume as #23.

Dominique Wilkins (Hawks Years) – 86.7

I limited Dominique’s number to only his Hawks’ years considering how hard he fell the second he left.  I was a little surprised to see him finish ahead of players like Kobe and Clyde, but the numbers love his volume scoring at a surprisingly efficient rate.

Kobe Bryant – 86.1

Quick thing about Kobe, there’s no doubt that his early years playing next to Shaq skewed this number.  He’s post-Shaq Jordan Stat is 91.2, a full point higher than Lebron’s.

Other interesting Next Jordan Candidates (and Clyde Drexeler)

Dwyane Wade – 85.8

Kevin Durant – 85.3

Tracy McGrady w/ knees (pre-2010) – 84.5

Carmelo Anthony – 83.5

Allen Iverson (pre-wilderness) – 81.5

Clyde Drexler – 79.2

Paul Pierce – 76.2

Single Season

Michael Jordan (first championship season) 1990-91, 104.0

Jordan has a few 100+ scores.  Since the stat is based on his career averages it makes sense that his best years would be better than his average years.

Kobe Bryant 2005-06, 101.3

Kobe’s most Jordan-esque year and the only single season I tested that came out over 100 since Jordan’s retirement.   The only other player not named Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant to achieve a 100+ season (that I tested) was Bernard King’s injury shortened 1984-85 campaign (101.9).

Tracy McGrady 2002-03, 99.8

One of the most underrated/forgotten great individual seasons in recent history.  With 32.1 ppg, 5.5 assists per game, 6.5 rebounds per game, a terrific steal rate and a propensity to get to the line, Tracy achieved one of the most Jordan-esque seasons ever.

Dwyane Wade 2008-09, 98.2

Jordan led the league in scoring eleven times, so it’s understandable to have a Jordan-esque season you’ll have to score A LOT.  This was Wade’s only scoring title, but what pushes him so close to Jordan was his terrific perimeter defense and, more than just the volume, his scoring efficiency.

LeBron James 2007-08, 96.3

Oddly enough James’ Heat numbers are not nearly as Jordan-esque (though they’re still pretty high) as his Cleveland numbers.  This is simply due to the fact that he was asked to score more while at Cleveland. In Miami he’s able to play a more Magic-esque game (what I suppose he always wanted in the first place).

Other interesting Next Jordan Candidates (and Pippen doing his best MJ impression)

Kevin Durant 2009-10, 93.1

Allen Iverson 2004-05, 90.2

Carmelo Anthony 2009-10, 89.0

Scottie Pippen (Jordanless-Bulls) 1993-94, 79.6

Single Game
(some of the best individual performances of the last decade and one gratuitous Michael Jordan moment)

MJ Game 4 vs. Suns (1993), 132.7

Kobe’s 81 point game, 206.7

Dirk Nowitzki Game 1 vs. Thunder (2011), 137.3 

LeBron Game 6 vs. Celtics (2012), 121.0

Dwyane Wade Game 3 vs. Mavs (2006), 118.9

Playoffs

MJ 1993 Playoffs, 103.0

Jordan’s first last Championship run.  Chicago swept through the first two rounds easily.  Then Jordan delivered a triple-double and a 50 point game against my beloved New York Knicks to send them packing in the Eastern Conference Finals.  Jordan finished his ungodly playoff run averaging 41 ppg, 8.5 rpg and 6.3 apg in the Championship series aginst Charles Barkley’s Phoenix Suns.

LeBron James 2012 Playoffs, 91.8

LeBron’s first Championship run (note first, I expect a few more on the horizon), where he proved the haters wrong.  This run featured a few AMAZING individual performances.  Most notably including his transcendent 45 point, 15 rebound game 6 against the Celtics and a championship clinching triple-double against the Thunder.

Kobe Bryant 2009 Playoffs, 90.1

Kobe’s first non-Shaq title.

Dwyane Wade 2006 Playoffs, 86.1

The run that propelled Wade from great player to all-time great player and for a second (even if it was just a second) made, “Is Wade better than LeBron?” a plausible question.

So, who’s the next Jordan?

Great players can have Jordan-esque games here and there.  Great players can even throw up some aberrational Jordan-equse seasons (keyword aberrational).  In the end Kobe and Lebron are the closest things we have to “the next Jordan” and even they are pretty far off.

Like I said, the only Jordan is Jordan, at least according to the Jordan Stat.