What – Take Care – Could’ve Been

take care couldve

The other day Aubrey ‘Drake’ Graham won his first Grammy when Take Care took home the award for Best Rap Album (an award that should have gone to Good Kid Maad City, which wasn’t even nominated).  For all intents and purposes Take Care was a very good album, but by no means, no matter what others may say, is it a “classic.”  There is too much filler, too many extraneous features, and the last third of the album is almost completely unnecessary.  And in the hip hop world, were a classic or bust mentality is starting to develop, that’s important.

Every great rapper needs a “classic” album to be considered truly great.  Without a “classic” you fall into a level of rap with the likes of Ludacris, Nelly and Mase, never completely respected and often cast aside as a phase or a trend.  With Drake’s third album slated to come out this year and no “classic” on his resume (remember, rapper’s best material usually come early in their career, not late), he is in danger of becoming nothing more than a fad, something we look back on and wonder “what were we thinking?”

The only reason I bring this up is because I honestly think Take Care had great potential to be a “classic” and I still think somewhere in there lies a “classic” album.  So, I’ve taken it upon myself to classic-ify Take Care.  Scraping redundant tracks, remedying puzzling song choices and rearranging the track list.

What Take Care Could’ve Been

1.  Over My Dead Body
2.  Shot For Me
3.  I’m On One (feat Rick Ross, Lil Wayne)
4.  Crew Love (feat The Weeknd)
5.  Take Care (feat Rihanna)
6.  Marvins Room
7.  Buried Alive Interlude (Kendrick Lamar)
8.  Dreams Money Can Buy* 
9.  Lord Knows (feat Rick Ross)
10.  Camera / Good Ones Go Interlude
11.  Doing It Wrong
12.  Look What You’ve Done
BONUS:  HYFR (feat Lil Wayne)
BONUS:  The Motto (feat Lil Wayne)

KEEP Over My Dead Body and Shot For Me, they both are nearly flawless in kicking off a Drake album.  “I think I killed everybody in the game last year, man. Fuck it, I was on though.  And I thought I found the girl of my dreams at the strip club (mm-mm).  Fuck it, I was wrong though”, is the prefect start to any Drake album.  Also calling out Alisha on Shot for Me, so necessary.

SCRAP Headlines, although the first four bars are exceedingly amazing, any song that has Drake talking about catching bodies has to go.  

ADD I’m on One, I know this is a supposedly a “DJ Khaled track”, but c’mon this is a Drake track and everyone knows it.  Drizzy has to grow a set and tell Khaled to “suck it.”  This may have been the best hip-hop song of 2011 and DJ Khaled has nearly nothing to do with it.  

KEEP Crew Love, Marvins Room and Buried Alive.  Obligatory Weeknd feature has to be there.  Marvins Room is sooo Drake it’s not even funny.  Buried Alive is on the fence, Drake doesn’t even appear on the track, but Kendrick is too good to bump.

SCRAP Under Ground Kings, We’ll Be Fine and Make Me Proud.  Non of these songs are even remotely needed, I don’t even feel like going into detail.  

ADD Dreams Money Can Buythe Jai Paul sample alone should have qualified this as an uncuttable track, plus lines like “I feel like lately I went from top five to remaining five.  My favorite rappers either lost it or they ain’t alive” is exactly the kind of sass this album needs more of.

KEEP Lord Knows, Camera/ Good Ones God, and Doing it Wrong.  The Just Blaze beat on Lord Knows is too triumphant for words.  Camera/ Good Ones God is one of those sleeper tracks that breaks up the album and grows on you with repeat listens.  Doing It Wrong is basically Drake’s dissertation on the “hook up generation,” so generation Y.

SCRAP The Real Her, Practice and The Ride.  Sorry Andre, but there is no reason for Doing It Wrong and The Real Her.  Sorry The Weeknd, but there is no reason for Crew Love and The Ride.  Redundancies.  As for Practice, if Drizzy could have coaxed Wayne into reprising his role from the original, this may have been a different story, but really why re-invent a song that needs no re-inventing?

 KEEP Look What You’ve Done.  This album needs to end with Drake’s grandmother’s voice mail.  How did Drake not see this?

 BONUS:  HYFR and The Motto.  Okay the “official” album ends with Look What You’ve Done, but HYFR and The Motto are too infectious to end up as leaks or mixtape fodder.  They get tacked on to the end as bonus tracks.

There you have it.  Classic Album.  Credits.

*(note Dreams Money Can Buy is not available on Spotify)

Ranking XXL’s Classic Albums

While not as prestigious as The Source’s Five Mics an “XXL” rating is a pretty big deal.

XXL Magazine has only given 22 albums a perfect “XXL” rating.  Kendrick Lamar became the latest to earn the honor with good kid, m.A.A.d city.  Officially anointing it a classic.

That made me think.  How do these 22 classic XXL albums stack up against each other?  Because I love hip-hop music, love ranking things and love forcing my opinions on others as fact, I decided I had to do this.

No fancy Nate Silver logarithms.  No internet polls.  No Metacritic orgy of reviewer scoring.  Just me, listening to each album from start to finish and ranking them from least classic to more classic to classicest.

Now for the list.

Note: If you’ve read any of this blog before you know I’m a pretty bias person.  I tried to take the bias out of my rankings, but I’m not promising anything.

T H E  L I S T

Tier VI – The Fringe Classics

22.  Life is Good – Nas (2012)


“I wrote this piece for closure”

Why it’s a classic:  Nas is one of the four or five best rappers alive.  At 40 (or 140 in rapper years), Nas is far from the 20 year old wunderkind he was when he released Illmatic, but even at his advanced age he’s still lyrically sharper than most.  Life is Good works effectively as a retrospective: Nas all grown up.  He delves into his failed marriage, fatherhood and all around nostalgia for hip-hop’s Golden Age.  Think the last scene of a TV series when the main character looks around, montages, smiles, turns off the lights and leaves.  That’s Life is Good.

Why it ranks where it ranks:  It’s not Nas’ best, second best or arguably even his third best.  He’s still 40 in a young man’s game and the album never rises to WOW status, there’s no single track that make you stop whatever you’re doing and just vibe out.

Trademark Track: Cherry Wine

21.  The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory – Tupac Makaveli  (1996)

“Brothas getting shot, comin’ back resurrected”

Why it’s a classic:  Makaveli AKA Tupac is an absolute rottweiler on this.  You know the “angry black male” stereotype, well 2pac takes that to a whole new level.  He takes shots at Nas, Mobb Deep, Jay-Z, Dr, Dre and, of course, Biggie.  It’s the epitome of East coast vs West coast.  The 7 Day Theory was recorded two months before Pac was shot and listening to the album, it sounds like he knew it was just a matter of time.

Why it ranks where it ranks:  I have a theory that posthumously released works are almost always overrated.  I don’t think it’s bad, I just think it’s a little overrated.

Trademark Track: Hail Mary

20.  The Diary – Scarface (1994)

“I see some motherfucking ‘Gs'”

Why it’s a classic:  H-Town’s in the house.  This is deep fried southern rap smothered in gravy served with a biscuit on the side.  Scarface employs his thick, heavy, slowed down flow while rapping about gangster violence with surprising thoughtfulness.  He also says “motherfucker” more than anyone you’ve ever heard in your life.

Why it ranks where it ranks: Their are no valleys on this album but the highs just aren’t high enough when comparing it to 22 other classic albums.

Trademark Track: Hand of the Dead Body

19.  Hell Hath No Fury – Clipse (2006)

“Young, restless, talk so reckless”

Why it’s a classic:  Back before Pusha T was BFFLs with Kanye, Pusha and his bro (Malice) were the top coke rappers in the game.  Hell Hath No Fury blends The Neptunes blinged out sound with Clipse’s (and especially Pusha’s) unflinching flow.  The juxtaposition between the glossy production and gritty lyricism make Hell Hath No Fury one of the best hip-hop albums in recent memory.  The Neptunes deserve equal credit to that of Clipse on this album, their deep and intricate sound drives each track.

Why it ranks where it ranks: Malice and Pusha aren’t the other rappers on the list.  It’s as simple as that.

Trademark Track: Trill

Tier V – The Classically Average Classics (undoubtedly classic, just average by classic’s standards)

18.  2001 – Dr. Dre (1999)

“Haters say Dre fell off, how nigga? My last album was The Chronic”

Why it’s a classic:  Dre’s first solo album, The Chronic, was released in 1992, seven years later Dre released his second album, 2001, and basically just ran it back.  Fat G-funk beats, a bunch of Snoop features and a lot of west coast gangster sensibilities.  Dre added his new protege Eminem to a few tracks (some of the best tracks) and finished the album with The Message a very sentimental, very out of character track for Dre.

Why it ranks where it ranks:  Sequels rarely live up to the original.  It needs more Snoop.  It needs more Em.  There’s too much filler and the beats aren’t as fat as their predecessor.  

Trademark Track: Still D.R.E.

17.  Get Rich or Die Tryin’ – 50 Cent (2003)

“If David could go against Goliath with a stone, I can go at Nas and Jay-Z both for the throne”

Why it’s a classic:  GRoDT is the Die Hard of hip-hop albums.  It is more a favorite than a masterpiece.  When Die Hard comes on TV I’m cancelling all my plans for the next two hours and watching it from start to finish (if Die Hard comes on a half hour before my wedding, the wedding will be postponed).  When a GRoDT track comes on the radio it’s impossible to change the station, there are at least ten “driveway tracks” (a track that will make you sit in your driveway for four minutes to finish listening to) on this album.  GRoDT is Fitty effortlessly straddling the line of gangster creditably and gangster marketability.  This album (even if it was only for a second) made Fitty the king of New York, unfortunately it also had the negative effect of causing a million suburban white kids (including me) to shout, “G-G-G-G-UNIT” for the early part of their adolescence.

Why it ranks where it ranks:  In the irony of all ironies 50 ended Ja Rule’s career by calling him out for being sappy and corny then 50 released 21 Questions (quite possibly the sappiest hip-hop song ever) and no one even batted an eye.  I even really liked it at the time.  What was I thinking? Oh yeah, that’s what.  Maybe it’s because of how hard Fitty’s sold out since, but a lot of this album feels kind of dated.        

Trademark Track: Patiently Waiting

16.  The Infamous – Mobb Deep (1995)

“cause ain’t no such things as halfway crooks”

Why it’s a classic:  PRODIGY!!! This is classic headphone music filled with intricate rhymes and complex flows.  It’s a great representation of ’90s New York hip-hop street tale storytelling, it doesn’t glorify the hood, but instead paints a bleak picture of drug dealing, poverty and crime.

Why it ranks where it ranks:  Mobb Deep didn’t try to reinvent the wheel, they just tried to make a really good street album and succeeded for the most part, although their unbelievably hard lyrics did take a hit after some embarrassing revelations.

Trademark Track: Shook Ones (Part II)

15.  Life After Death – The Notorious B.I.G. (1997) 

“You’re nobody till somebody kills you”

Why it’s a classic:  Like a three hour James Cameron movie or a 700 page Ayn Rand novel, double albums take a real commitment and are always intimidating.  In Biggie’s posthumously released Life after Death he skillfully balances very violent hardcore raps with swagger happy pop appeal hip-hop.  On some tracks his dark imagery combined with the menacing production bleeds gangster. While other tracks employ loose boasts and glossy beats that exude swag.  No matter what track though, Biggie showcases his knack for metaphors and ability to string together complete thoughts in rhyme form.

Why it ranks where it ranks:  I’m sure a lot of people may insta-close this page the second they see this “abomination of a ranking,” but at twenty-four songs long, Life After Death could have easily been edited down to a slimmer more efficient album .

Trademark Track: Choosing Hypnotize or Mo Money Mo Problems would be to easy, I got to go with, Kick in the Door.  

Tier IV – The Overlooked Classics

14.  The Lost Tapes – Nas (2002)

“No cameos.  No hype.  No bullshit.”

Why it’s a classic:  Comprised of unreleased tracks from I Am and Stillmatic sessions The Lost Tapes have a more Illmatic feel than either of Nas’ previous releases.  Nas abandons glitz and pop for what made him famous, gritty lyricism and complicated rhyme schemes.  On The Lost Tapes Nas reminds everyone he is a street observer first and foremost.

Why it ranks where it ranks:  The Lost Tapes is often overlooked because it (like all Nas’ projects) is stuck in the massive shadow of Illmatic and while it’s not Illmatic, it’s the closest Nas has come since his debut release.

Trademark Track: Doo Rags

13.  Be – Common (2005)

“As a man we’re taught to hold it in”

Why it’s a classic: Following the flop that was Electric Circus, Common said, “Hey, I’m Common and I’m extremely likable, so why don’t I just do Common things instead of doing weird Electric Circus things?”  Then he paired with Kanye (who produced nine tracks) and J Dilla (who produced the remaining two) and made one the most soulful and cohesive hip-hop albums of all-time.  By the time the Intro is over you know exactly what you have in store, an unflappable Common rapping over some of the best beatmakers in the game.

Why it ranks where it ranks:  I guess it can be dismissed as “safe,” but that’s not fair.  While it’s not overly ambitious, it executes perfectly.

Trademark Track: The Corner

Tier III – The Really Really Really Good Classics

12.  The College Dropout – Kanye West (2004)

I could let these dream killers kill my self-esteem. Or use my arrogance as the steam to power my dreams.”

Why it’s a classic:  When The College Dropout dropped it was a drastic shift from the dominant gangster voices of the time.  It focused on institutional and racial prejudice, religion, family and personal struggles.  Like every Kanye album it boasts flawless production and strong features.  In Kanye’s debut effort he showcased his propensity for punch line heavy rapping and social consciousness.  Most Ironically Kanye shows remarkable self-awareness, painting himself as an extremely endearing underdog.  What happened?

Why it ranks where it ranks:  On Kanye’s earliest project he proves raw as a rapper with not much technique or complexity, but Kanye being Kanye throws enough production value and trots out enough killer features to make it an undeniable classic.

Trademark Track: Jesus Walks

11.  good kid, m.A.A.d city – Kendrick Lamar (2012)

“this piru shit has been in me forever”

Why it’s a classic:  Tabbed as the savior of the West Coast, tabbed as the next Pac, tabbed as the next Nas, Kendrick’s debut came with considerable expectations.  And he delivered.  In a day where gloss reigns supreme, Kendrick uses intricate rhymes, storyteller flows and complex themes to create an album that never looses steam and is always interesting.  Like a young Nas or Pac, Kendrick is a smart socially conscious rapper with something to say and says it well.  GKMC plays like a John Singleton movie, it’s gangster from a decidedly non-gangster point of view.  The ominous, dark production compliments Kendrick perfectly and even the skits add to the downright cinematic atmosphere of the album.

Why it ranks where it ranks:  It’s hard to rank an album this fresh.  How will it hold up?  What will its impact be? Where will K Dot be in three years?  Ranking this album eleven almost feels a bit safe, in a few years I may look back and say I ranked this entirely too low.  It’s an absolute classic, Ya Bish.

Trademark Track: Sing About Me

10.  The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill – Lauryn Hill (1998)

“hip-hop started in the heart”

Why it’s a classic:  Kicking off the top ten is the only women on the list.  The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is much more than just a hip-hop album, it’s a genre bending neo-soul meets reggae meets hip-hop project.  Whether you call her a rapper that can sing or a singer that can rap, she’s just about the best dual threat ever.  Compared to today’s duel threats, she’s (easily) a better rapper than Trey or Breezy and (equally as easily) she’s a better singer than Drizzy or Nicki.  Lauryn’s voice is just – ugh- and her bars don’t quit.  The driving beats and the soulful melodies combine to make a deeply personal album about love in all its forms.

Why it ranks where it ranks: This album has so much going on in it and it’s nearly perfect.  It runs a little long but still packs so much greatness it’s hard to complain.

Trademark Track: Doo-Wop

9.  The Marshall Mathers LP – Eminem (2000)

“I don’t do black music, I don’t do white music, I make fight music for high school kids”

Why it’s a classic:  The Marshall Mathers LP is a direct rebuttal and middle finger to all the critics who called The Slim Shady LP misogynistic, homo-phobic and violent (which it was, but still).  The Marshall Mathers LP is insanely dark and sometimes feels like a direct peek into the mind of a psychopath as Em never backs off his ultra violent and sadistic content (cough-Kim-cough).  Employing just the right amount of deadly wit and angst Em casts himself as the perfect anti-hero for anyone high-school age (a role Tyler the Creator has filled for the current generation).  It’s not just the content though, Em’s rhyme schemes are air tight, his flows are fast and complex and he never wastes a word.  He gives an emphatic “fuck you” to the pop scene, political correctness, parents (his included) and sometimes even his own fans.

Why it ranks where it ranks:  The highs on this album are Mount Everest, but it doesn’t sustain, outside of Kim the last third of the album lags behind the rest.

Trademark Track: Stan

8.  The Chronic – Dr. Dre (1992)

“This should be played at high volume preferably in a high residential area”

Why it’s a classic:  (The Chronic isn’t on Spotify? WTF!??!  I had to stream this on YouTube like it was 2008 or something.)  If this album doesn’t make you want to drive around with the windows rolled down and the volume at full blast, I prefer we never meet.  These beats are Gabourey Sidibe fat.  It’s the holy grail of G-funk.  Dre’s production is out of this world.  And even though it’s a “solo project”, it’s as much a Snoop album as a Dre album.  Snoop’s verses litter the album and he kills everyone of them.  This is the album that brought rap to the suburbs and created a million little David Faustinos with it.

Why it ranks where it ranks:  Like The Marshall Mathers LP the highs on this are unbelievable, but it struggles to sustain throughout.

Trademark Track: Nuthin’ but a “G” Thang

Tier II – The Near Perfect Classics

7.  Late Registration – Kanye West (2005)

“I ask if you talkin’ bout classics, do my name get brought up?”

Why it’s a classic: The amazing thing about Kanye is that every album he makes is top notch (sans Cruel Summer) and every album (production-wise) out does his last.  Late Registration is one of those rare times a sequel exceeds the original.  It builds on everything The College Dropout gave us.  It expands past simple soul sampling into a deeper range of musical influences including jazz, blues, rock and pop.  Kanye spits with more confidence and more skill.  He has a grander vision on this album with bigger ideas and goals and meets almost all of them.  It’s one of those rare albums that can be blasted while driving with the windows down, played over headphones just trying to relax or cranked while you’re throwing back shots at a pregame.

Why it ranks where it ranks: While ‘Ye still isn’t the most technically proficient rapper in the game (see Diamonds and We Major where Jay and Nas murder him on his own tracks) he undeniably knows how to put together an album like no other.  Late Registration is as complete as any album on this list.

Trademark Track: Gold Digger

6.  All Eyez on Me – 2Pac (1996)

“So mandatory my elevation.  My lyrics like orientation” 

Why it’s a classic:  This is Thug Life Pac at its finest.  It’s a rare combination of complicated flowz and pop appeal.  Nearly every song has a catchy hook spliced with air tight versez.  This should be required listening for any young rapper.  Pac is brash, in your face and all bravado.  Recorded following Pac’s stint in jail he throwz everything he has on this album and soundz hungrier than a fat kid at Krispy Kream.  It’s Pac’s celebration of freedom.  He showcasez diverse flowz and his extreme talent for rhyming.

Why it ranks where it ranks:  Even though it’s a two hour long double album (see Life after Death for my feelings on double albums), there aren’t many holes.  That said, it could have been cut down to 20ish trackz and been holeless.

Trademark Track: Ambitionz Az a Ridah.

Tier I – The Classic Classics (These classics have absolutely no flaws.  None.  They are prefect.  Ranking them at this point is just a matter of which one is more perfect.) 

5/4.  Reasonable Doubt – Jay-Z (1996), The Blueprint – Jay-Z (2001)

“you can’t knock the hustle”

Why Reasonable Doubt is a classic:  Sometimes I get in trouble when I say Jay-Z is the best rapper alive when I should probably say he’s the most accomplished rapper of all time.  Well, no matter how you cut it, this is where it all started.  Reasonable Doubt is the best lyrical performance of Jay’s illustrious career.  His undeniable coolness is on full display as he shows off his untouchable flow and his unparalleled confidence throughout the album.  Even though it’s all about the hustle, the whole album sounds smooth and luxurious.  Jay could be rapping about kittens and unicorns and this album would still be a classic on beats and production alone.  The hustle has never sounded so good.

“If I ain’t better than Big, I’m the closet one”

Why The Blueprint is a classic:  The album where Jay decided to stop living in Biggie’s shadow and takeover New York was The Blueprint.  Like all of Jay’s albums (even the bad ones) the beats on here are ridiculous.  Between the soulful (then unknown) Kanye tracks and the huge (also then unknown) Just Blaze instrumentals this album changed the game.  Jay slowed down his flow, went decidedly less street and more swag to expand his pop appeal, something Pac, Biggie and Dre all did before him, but none did with the same tact.  Jay shifted from talking about the hustle to talking about the spoils of the hustle establishing nearly every rap theme any rapper under 30 (minus Kendrick) prescribes to.  The album never looses steam and never missteps, it’s impossible not to feel like the coolest person alive while listening to it.  Also, for full disclosure, it has to be pointed out that Jay doesn’t even own the best verse on this album.  That distinction goes to Em for his feature on Renegade.

Why they ranks where they rank:  Maybe it’s not impossible, but I can’t choose between these two.  They are both perfect Jay-Z albums.  Reasonable Doubt is better lyrically.  The Blueprint is more complete.  They’re four and five in some order, I’m just not sure which.    

Trademark Tracks:
Dead Presidents II may not be the best hip-hop song of all-time but it may be the most perfect.

Takeover may be the best diss track of all-time (explained here).

3.  Illmatic – Nas (1994)

“Straight out the dungeons of rap”

Why it’s a classic:  Illmatic is the Citizen Kane of rap.  It was an instant classic the moment it came out.  A masterpiece so far ahead of it time it’s just silly.  Nas was only 20 when he released Illmatic and it immediately made him a legend.  The whole album is only 10 songs and 40 minutes long but each track is so packed with rhymes and lyrical skill that it demands careful re-listening.  Nas puts New York on his back, goes Bruce Lee on every single verse he spits and makes it all look insanely easy.  Also BIG SHOUT OUT to AZ for one of the best features of all-time.

Why it ranks where it ranks:  If you didn’t insta-close this at Life after Death, I’m sure you’ll insta-close it right here, but before you do hear me out.  I know, I know, Illmatic is a perfect album and nearly every hip-hop fan in the world is in agreement that it is the best rap album ever and so on and so on.  I’m not going to try and discredit it at all because – well – it really is a perfect album, but like Citizen Kane (a perfect movie) time has given us more perfect projects.

Trademark Track:  NY State of Mind

2.  Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) – (1993)

“we form like Voltron”

Why it’s a classic:  Enter the Wu-Tang is so unbelievably dirty and gritty sounding.  From RZA’s production (every beat is AMAZING) to the lyrics (every verse is amazing) to the kung-fu samples (predictably amazing), the whole album just sounds perfect.  Between Method Man, U-God, Inspectah Deck, Raekwon, Ol’ Dirty Bastard (my favorite), Ghostface, RZA, GZA and Masta Killa, there are no weak links, no weed carriers, it’s a murders’ row of lyrically talented MCs.  Each verse is brash, funny, violent and lyrically dense.  The album has no weak moments, it never ceases to entertain and is sprinkled with classic cuts through out.  It’s the most fun hip-hop album of all-time.

Why it ranks where it ranks:  The whole album is timeless.  It sounds like it could have been released in 1993, 2003 or 2013.  Eight of the twelve tracks are all-time great cuts and the remaining four are still really really good.  Like Twinkies, it hasn’t aged at all

Trademark Track:  The real answer is CREAM but just to be contrarian, Mystery of Chessboxin’.

1.  My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy – Kanye West (2010)

“Let’s have a toast for the douchebags”

Why it’s a classic:  Released after Kanye’s year long self-imposed exile, MBDTF can only be described as Kanye’s Magnum Opus.  It’s Kanye vs the world.  To say this album is epic would be a gross understatement.  It aspires to be unlike any hip-hop album before it and succeeds.  Whatever “real hip-hop” is, this is decidedly not, that’s not a knock, it’s just an observation.  From Nicki’s faux English accent preamble (?) to four minutes of inaudible auto-tune that sounds like a dying Decepticon to the Gil Scott-Heron conclusion, nothing on Earth sounds anything like this album.  While Kanye’s ego explodes to record levels he seems oddly aware of it (and his flaws) and furthermore relishes in it (flaws included).  The lyrics are equally punch line heavy and wrought in deep emotion.  While never the most skilled rhymer Kanye covers his deficiencies with confidence, production value, tenacity and quotable line after quotable line.  The entire album drips with grotesque beauty, it sounds like what the Palace of Versailles looks like, gaudy and grandiose with no room for subtlety.  Whether it’s utilizing Cudi’s crooning hooks, wringing out the best verse of Nicki’s career or incorporating hipster favorite Bon Iver, Kanye uniquely understands the abilities of other artists and pushes them towards their maximum value (that said he still hasn’t figured out what to do with Swizz Beatz, but who has?).  MBDTF is an album that could only come from the mind of Kanye West.

Why it ranks where it ranks:  About 4,000 words ago I said, I would try to take my bias out of these rankings.  Well, at least I tried.

Trademark Track:  Runaway

If you stuck with me this long, thank you.  If you skimmed through, rolled your eyes and sighed at my love for Kanye, thank you too.

I’m sure a lot of people won’t agree with these rankings and that’s cool.  I wasn’t trying to showoff my hip-hop cred by doing this, I just thought it would be really fun to re-listen to all these classic albums, some of which I haven’t listened to in years and put them in rank order.

Feel free to tell my why I’m an idiot.

——————————————————————————————————-

P.S.  That’s not a mistake.  There is no XXL Outkast album.  WHAT THE FUCK XXL?!?!  Southernplayalisticadollacmizik isn’t good enough for you? ATLiens isn’t good enough for you? Aquemini isn’t good enough for you?  Stankonia isn’t good enough for you?  Speakerboxxx/The Love Below isn’t good enough for you?  Idlewild isn’t good enough for you? Pfff.

VP Debate: The Analysis

Last night was a busy TV day, between  new episodes of 30 Rock and The League, there was also Yankee playoff baseball and Thursday Night Football, but none of that  could compare to the most entertaining thing on TV last night.

The Vice Presidential Debate.  Well to be more specific Joe Biden’s facial expressions during the Vice Presidential Debate.

Because, I’m your go to political analyst (or at least I should be).  I broke down Joe’s best facial expressions and what was going on in his head.

The Legendary Roots Bracket – 2012

A while ago I did this.  Truth be told, I made a lot of mistakes on it.  This is my redemption.

After a string of lazy posts it was time to do something big, something important, something noble.  This is just about the most noble thing I’ve ever done.

I trudged through 10 studio albums, 2 EPs, 2 collaborative albums, 2 compilation albums and 1 live album worth of songs and compiled a 64 seed tournament, March Madness style, featuring The Roots’ greatest tracks.

It was a labor of love.

Now it’s time for the unveiling of The Legendary Roots Bracket – 2012

(Click Bracket to Enlarge)

Break Down

Do You want More?!!!??! – 8
Illadeph Halflife – 8
Things Fall Apart – 8
How I Got Over – 7
Phrenology – 6
Game Theory – 6
Rising Down – 5
The Tipping Point – 5
Organix – 4
Undun – 4
The Roots Come Alive- 4
Wake Up! – 1

Rules

1. Seeds – Based on popularity of song, determined by Google hits.

2. Advancing – Best song advances, determined by me.

3. Eligibility – Quest must be on the drums and Black Thought must make an appearance (I’m looking at you Wake Up Everybody).

**DRINKING GAME: if you’re of age and want to get wasted, EVERY TIME I use the word “SO” TAKE A SHOT (you’ll be drunk by the sweet sixteen, trust me)**

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First Round

Southside

You Got Me may be the best rap love some of all-time (yea, I’m looking at you Meth and Mary) .;  MINI-UPSET:  Concerto Of The Despardo is so lyrically dense it has to win.;  UPSET:  With a beat that doesn’t quit and Black Thought ‘s ferocious flow Thought @ Work stuns the more laid back Star.;  It’s hard to pick against a Jill Scott hook, but Black Thought and Malik B do some heavy lifting on Proceed.;  UPSET:  Common + Black Thought = Round of 32.  The Show moves on.;  Arguably the best matchup of the first round.  Each track could make a strong argument to be in the Elite Eight, but instead one track will get bounced in the the first round.  DJ Jazzy Jeff’s scratches give The Next Movement a big assist and pushes it ahead of I Will Not Apologize.;  UPSET: Soulful hook.  Check.  Tight flow.  Check.  Al Hirt sample. Check.  What else do you want?  Stay Cool takes it.; GIGANTIC UPSET:  Combine Black’s smooth storyteller flow, D’Angelo’s soul and  ?uestlove’s relaxed metronome drumming,  The Hypnotic out finesses Game Theory.

Northside

First off let me say, I LOVE Anti-Circle, but I can’t bring myself to knock out How I Got Over this early.;  I Remain Calm is absolutely dizzying,  Black Thought and Malik B (especially Malik) are  all over the place, in a good great way.;  Black Thought slows down his flow on Silent Treatment and raps about an ex.  It came out in ‘94, 8 year old Drake probably vibed to this hard.;  What You Want may have the jazzy instrumental edge, but it doesn’t matter.  Tip The Scale is an uber-tragic street ballad, that demands respect.;  Water was inspired by Malik B’s drug addiction.  Can’t Stop This is dedicated to the late hip-hop producer J Dilla.  The Dilla beat on Can’t Stop This is the epitome of soul, but the trippy Pink Floydian second and third act of Water cannot be overlooked.;  Break You Off  is just plan-ol’-good-hip-hop.  Good hook, good rhymes, good beat.;  Black’s at his most audacious in 75 Bars, one of the rawest Root’s songs ever.; This region holds serve.  No major upsets, no minor upsets.  What They Do advances comfortably.                              

Westside

Why isn’t Cody Chestnut bigger?  Datskat is good, but The Seed (2.0) is too good.;  MINI-UPSET:  It’s hard to pick against Mos and Black trading bars, but Black Thought and Malik are on another level in Mellow My Man.;  UPSET:  Good Music, you had me at “peace to all the hip cats, the nappy sweets,  this is your brother ?uestion…”  This ain’t even close,  just sit back relax and dig the groove.;  Here I Come just overwhelms Don’t See Us, too much drums, too much energy, too much everything.;  This is the closest matchup in the region, it’s a battle of battle raps. All the verses on Clones are ridiculously vicious.  It’s awesome.  Sorry Beans, you can’t rhyme “them” thirteen times in a row and expect to make it to the second round.;  UPSET:  The menacing beat and the mush mouth hook on Don’t Say Nuthin’ work, but they can’t even come close to touching Black’s verses on No Alibi.;  How good is Dice Raw’s hook?  Throw in Phonte’s verse and ?uest’s drums.  Now or Never  advances easy.;  Big KRIT hijacks Make My, which is probably the best track on Undun.

Worldwide

#1 SEED UPSET:  Only one of these songs has a human beat box.  60% of the time that song wins all the time.  Plus Malik comes back hard.  Nothing against In The Music, but 100%Dundee has to take this one.;  MINI-UPSET:  Walk Alone kicks off How I Got Over and any song that references Robert Guillaume deserves a special place in the second round.;  ?UESTLOVE RAPPING!!!!!  Yea, Black’s verse on Push Up Ya Lighter  is probably better, but ?UESTLOVE IS RAPPING on Pass the Popcorn, I can’t pick against Questo rapping in the first round.;  “More beef than broccoli,” I don’t believe Common incorporates any Chinese stir-fry references into Act Too, nope he doesn’t, Dear God 2.0 wins, sorry Com.;  Live, BOOM! is insane, too bad this isn’t live.  In Rising Up, Black rattles off rhyme after rhyme like only he can, Wale also contributes a pre-MMG verse which is pretty nice.; UPSET:  I Can’t Help It is so antsy and on edge, from the beat to the hook to the verses, it all just fits.;  UPSET: Black just rhymed “silly concoction” with  “Botulinum toxin”?  WHAAATT!?!?! Black Thought wins.  Unfortunately, Radio Daze is just a better song, Blu and PORN spit crazy verses and of course Black Thought doesn’t disappoint.;  GIGANTIC UPSET:  It’s becoming clear that this is easily the deepest region.  This is the fifth upset (and there could have easily been two more).  This is another real close one, so what if Essayhuman?!!!?! is mostly just onomatopoeias, I promise you, after just one listen, it will be stuck in your head for the rest of the day.

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Second Round

 

Southside

Ms. Badu isn’t going anywhere just yet.  You Got Me strolls into the sweet sixteen.;  It’s a clash of relaxed (Proceed) vs. frenzied (Thought @ Work).  Is that a human beat box in the second verse?  Yep, Proceed sneaks into the next round.;  Simple arithmetic.  The Roots + DJ Jazzy Jeff > Black Thought + Common.  The Next Movement moves on.;  Stay Cool is The Tipping Point’s sole survivor.  It narrowly slips past The Hypnotic, thanks to a dope horn section.

Northside

How I Got Over is the turning point of the album sharing the same name.  It flips the switch from melancholy to upbeat and Dice Raw murders the hook.;  The last act (or first, depending on how you look at it) of Redford Stephens’ story (Tip The Scale) over some chick who’s not returning Thought’s calls (Silent Treatment).;  UPSET:  An intra-album matchup, Phrenology vs. Phrenology.  Black’s ode to Malik B (Water) or Black’s ode to OPP (Break You Off).  Got to go with the more personal Water.;  Black is SO aggressive in 75 Bars and I really want to choose it, but I can’t.  What They Do is just too hip-hop (plus the video is perfect).

Westside

Mellow My Man is an absolutely fantastic rap song, just bars on bars on bars over a good beat.  The Seed (2.0) is a  fucking awesome rock song.  The fact that The Roots can make a fucking awesome rock song just shows how talented they are, especially when other rappers have tried and failed (cough-Wayne-cough-Cudi-cough-Lupe-cough).;  UPSET:  Here I Come is crazy to see live, but ?uest’s  too-cool-for-school drumming on Good Music  kills it.  And Kid Crumbs is so underrated, he’s like the irreverent fun ODB of the early Roots.;  UPSET:  This is undoubtedly the marquee matchup of the second round.  Clones is unbelievably militant and everyone’s verse is on point, but the second verse of No Alibi is just about better than anything anyone has ever done ever.;  UPSET:  Now Or Never is the ultimate, “I got to make a move” song.  If you’re stuck in a rut, PLAY THIS SONG.

Worldwide

CINDERELLA ALERT:  The shoe fits.  100% Dundee continues its improbable run, it’s The Roots at their most bombastic.;  Dear God 2.0’s Monster of Folk sample followed by the beat drop followed by Black rapping to God edges out the light and loose Pass The Popcorn.  Good-bye rapping ?uest, you will be missed.;  UPSET:  I Can’t Help It owns a ominous beat and Black Thought at his darkest.  The whole song is sort of sinister and twisted.  Sonically it all just works.;  I’ve never wanted to pick song where the highlight of the song was “I’m the b-ling-ling-ding-ding-ding -b-ling-ding-ding-ling rhyme displayer” so much, but unfortunately there are too many really good words in Radio Daze.  Sorry Essayhuman?!!!??!.                    

Who’s Left?

HowI Got Over – 4
Things Fall Apart – 3
Illadelph Halflife – 2
Phrenology – 2
Organix – 1
Do You Want More?!!!??! – 1
The Tipping Point – 1
Rising Down – 1
Undun – 1

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Sweet Sixteen

 

Southside

#1 SEED UPSET:  You Got Me is The Root’s biggest hit, no questions asked.  It’s the Duke of this bracket.  It features an awesomely sultry hook by Erykah Badu.  It features an air tight verse from Eve.  It’s undoubtedly a top five hip-hop love song of all time.  All that said, Proceed is better.  Black’s flow on Proceed is so effortless, soooo effortless.  Malik B rhymes just as easy.  ?uestlove’s drums are the ultimate “headphones on, head bobbing” beat.  It’s just an overall great groove.

Stay Cool isn’t even in the same stratosphere of The Next Movement.  This is easily the easiest call to make in this round.  The Next Movement encapsulates The Roots’ sound better than just about anything else in their discography.

Northside

Both, How I Got Over and Tip The Scale are street anthems, but How I Got Over is more anthem-y.  Maybe it’s not fair to call Tip The Scale an anthem, it’s more of a ballad.  Tip The Scale is sadder, it has tragedy built into it.  How I Got Over has an upbeat pessimism, almost like, “the game may be rigged, but FUCK IT, I can make it,” whereas Tip The Scale is resigned to its impending failure.

Water has three parts.  The first is Black trying to encourage Malik to get his life back on track (it’s some of his strongest verses).  The second is a long interlude of dulled sounds and drums.  The third is a wild all out musical-clash-orgy of guitar, drums, keyboards and screams.   It’s easily the most experimental route The Root’s have ever taken.  It runs an unbelievable TEN MINUTES LONG!!  It’s really quite weird.  What They Do is basically a manual of what keeps The Roots, The Roots.  What makes hip-hop, hip-hop and what makes posers, posers.  “Never do what they do,” should be The Root’s credo.  Water is a bit too weird, while What They Do is just so “Roots.”

Westside

This is easily the most stacked region.  The Seed (2.0) is better than Good Music, but instead of spewing praise on The Seed (2.0) (there will be time for that later) I want to show some love to the criminally under seeded Good MusicGood Music is off The Root’s first album, Organix.  I have no doubt this is exactly the kind of music they intended to make for their entire careers.  ?uestlove’s drumming is amazing, there’s a funky undertone, Black spits like an old school MC and Kid Crumbs plays the role of hype man.  Good Music is just fun.  I’m sad to see it go.

UPSET: No Alibi owns one of Malik B’s best verses.  It’s actually probably his best verse.  Add that to Black Thought’s first verse (the second verse of the song) it’s no question this 14 seed is going to the Elite Eight.  Lyrically Black’s doing back flips, somersaults, roundhouse kicks and judo chops on his verses.  Dice Raw’s hook on Now or Never is nice, but Black’s verses on No Alibi Chuck Norrises it.

Worldwide

FUCK GEORGE MASON:  When I was doing the seeding I couldn’t believe 100% Dundee was a 16 seed.  It bodies Dear God 2.0Dear God 2.0 is tender and sensitive, which is fine, but 100% Dundee is so hyped.  Black and Malik go HARD, REALLY HARD.  Oh yea, and the human beat box doesn’t hurt.

UPSET:  The region of upsets continue.  I Can’t Help It wins simply because no other song makes me feel so tense.  Sorry Blu, if it’s any consolation you really did kill your verse on Radio Daze.

Who’s Left?

Illadelph Halflife – 2
Things Fall Apart – 2
Do You Want More?!!!??! – 1
Phrenology – 1
Rising Down – 1
How I Got Over – 1

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Elite Eight

 

Southside

It’s hard to find a song that better defines The Root’s sound than The Next Movement.  You hear it in the drums, the keyboard, Black Thought’s ad-libs, the Jazzyfatnastees’ backup vocals and just about everything else that goes into the track.  Proceed is more old school and more classically hip hop, but what makes The Roots so great is they’re not classically hip hop.  I mean Black Thought is a classic MC in every sense of the phrase, but musically they are not classic hip hop.  The Next Movement takes full advantage of the best band in hip hop, combines it with Black’s unflinching flow, throw in DJ Jazzy Jeff for good measure and you have a Final Four Roots track.

Northside

Love the tempo, love the hook, and even love Black’s singing in How I Got Over.  It’s the centerpiece of an awesome album predicated on the collective sigh of relief following Bush 43’s tenure as the most powerful man in the world.  Here’s the thing though, it’s hard to get more chill than What They Do.  Such a laid back beat, such a melodic hook.  Plus Black spits what can be seen as The Root’s mission statement: “Never do what they do.”  Here’s what The Roots do: live instrumentals, concept albums, rock songs, Radiohead samples, political awareness.  On the other hand, the “they” Black speaks of, don’t/can’t do any of that.

Westside

Hardcore Hip-Hop fans will tell you No Alibi has to win this matchup.  Like I’ve said, Tariq (after 2,000 words I’m comfortable using Black Thought’s real name) is so out of this world on the second verse of No Alibi, it may be the best verse of his career.  But The Seed (2.0) is so big.  It’s a spectacle.  I can and have listened to it on loop for hours.  I remember driving in a friend’s car, I put on The Seed (2.0), she said, “ugh, this is so played out.”  I gave her the side eye, DIDN’T change it and turned it up.  Needless to say we don’t talk anymore.  The Seed (2.0) marches on.

Wordwide

Earlier I described the Worldwide region as “deep.”  Well, it comes down to a 16 seed and a 14 seed, so yeah, that’s pretty deep.  I Can’t Help It is dark.  100% Dundee is pointed.  I got to go with 100% Dundee.  It’s a great bravado track.  It’s raw.  It’s in your face.  It hits hard.  It doesn’t pull punches.  It’s forceful.  It’s in the Final Four.

Who’s Left?

Things Fall Apart – 2
Illadelph Halflife – 1
Phrenology – 1

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Final Four

The Next Movement, What They Do, The Seed (2.0), 100% Dundee

Four songs left.  Four distinct styles left.  Textured, Chilled, Rock, Bombastic

From the Rick Flare-esque “WOOOOO” opening to DJ Jazzy Jeff scratches to the cymbal crashes to the unprocessed hook, The Next Movement embodies The Roots sound like no other.  On the other hand, What They Do offers a lyrical road map of how the The Roots maintained their underground hip-hop credibility by not selling out (and no, being Jimmy Fallon’s house band is NOT selling out).  Here’s the thing though, when you want to listen to a Roots’ song, you want to hear something like The Next Movement.  Something were the band and the music doesn’t take a back seat to the lyricist, but instead they’re on the same plane and that’s why The Next Movement trumps What They Do.

In a bracket, matchups mean EVERYTHING100% Dundee is a really good track, but part of the reason it advanced so far is because the Wordwide region lacked any true juggernaut.  On the other hand, even as a #1 seed, The Seed (2.0) had the toughest road to the Final Four (by far).  The Seed (2.0) has an unbelievable listenability factor.  You can listen to it over and over again and it will never get old.  In college, during finals week, I’d play this song on loop in the library, whenever I started to feel burned out or just needed a break to refocus I would play it.  It was like a rebirth every time.  It picks your energy up and gets you ready to go.  Another quick story.  I saw The Roots live for Dick Clark’s Rocking New Years Eve.  They played The Seed (2.0) but the sound levels were off, so they played it again, again the levels were off, they played it five more times.  They never lost energy playing it and the crowd never lost energy listening to it.  The Seed (2.0) is a juggernaut.

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The ‘Ship

D U N Z O

The Winner: The Next Movement.

C’mon, the definitive Roots song had to be a rap song.  It had to shout out Philly.  It had to be the HOT music, the HOT-HOT music., the HOT music.  

A big THANK YOU to:

Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter
Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson
Kamal Gray
F. Knuckles
Captain Kirk Douglas
Damon “Tuba Gooding Jr” Bryson
James Poyser
Mark Kelly
Malik B.
Kenyatta “Kid Crumbs” Warren
Josh “Rubberband” Adams
Rahzel Brown
Karl “Dice Raw” Jenkins
Scott Storch
Ben Kenny
Kyle “Scratch” Jones
Martin Luther
Leonard “Hub” Hubbard
and Owen Biddle

Thank-you for reading.  Thank-you for sharing.  I hope all y’all liked it.

I want a Philly Cheesesteak.

I have no more words.

**If you played the drinking game, you probably have ALCOHOL POISONING and should go to the hospital IMMEDIATELY**

Get At Me

Recently I’ve been watching a lot of cable news (FOX, CNN, MSNBC).  

In this time I’ve developed a major crush on Alex Wagner.

Like a – if we were in high school, I’d slip a note in her locker and tell her to meet me after ninth period – type crush.  

Alas, we’re not in high school, so here’s an open letter to Ms. Alex Wagner.

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

Dear Alex,

I don’t know if you have a husband or boyfriend, but I’d like to officially put my name in for consideration.

You’re articulate, witty, and have the cheekbones of a young David Bowie.  Your hair is shiny and parted well.  You have kind eyes and a nice smile.

Before you mistake this for a letter of straight flattery, let me stop myself and make my intentions clear.  The intent of this letter is to convince you to date me.   So, let the convincing commence.

We’re compatible.  You’re an accomplished journalist.  I write a blog that garners over 200 views a week (impressed?).  You work for MSNBC.  I worked at NBC.  You were an editor at Fader Magazine.  I like music. So yeah, compatibility, check.

I come with references.  My Grandmother thinks, and I’m quoting here, that I’m “very handsome,” and “smart.”  Those sentiments are echoed by my Mother and Aunt.

Now, let me paint a picture of our first date.  I take you to a smart, thought provoking, edgy movie or something starring Dwayne Johnson The Rock.  I buy you popcorn, goobers and an orange soda.  Then it’s off to dinner.  We go to an ethnic restaurant, you laugh at my inability to pronounce anything on the menu (believe me, my general ineptitude is more charming than you think).  We have a few drinks.  We share a conversion.  I hail you a cab.  Date over.  I’m confident over that span I will have thoroughly wooed you.

I know our age difference may concern you (10 years, according to Wikipedia), but younger men and older women can work.  Look at Ashton and Demi, if you discount the whole cheating thing, the whip-its thing, and their subsequent break up, they made it work.  Okay, bad example.  What about Madonna and Guy? David Gest and Liza? Okay those are bad example too, but what about Mariah and Nick Cannon, you got to give me that one.  She may be crazy and he may be a terrible rapper, but they’re making it work. Let me be your Nick Cannon.

I live in New York, you live in New York.  I’m only asking for one date, you won’t regret it. If not you’ll just end up with someone like Jason Sudekis, and trust me I’m better than Justin Sudekis*.

Yours Truly,

Gregory A. Massaro
631-680-xxxx(yep, those are my real digits)

*I have no proof to support this claim.

A Complete and Comprehensive Guide to the Mic Drop

For a long time this was the best Mic Drop, bar none…

There were some solid competition…

(click for full video)

Even some surprising competition…

(click for full video)

Some Mic Drops disappointed…

Some, sort of, Mic Drops…

One potentially game changing, but oddly awkward Mic Drop…

(click for full video)

But after 24 years, Coming to America, finally has a worthy peer…

(click for full video)

The Amalgam of Me

A while ago, I shameless stole this idea, tweaked it a bit, and then called it my own.  Well, I’m up to it again.

Truth be told, I steal a lot of things and call them my own.  Sometimes, I consciously steal them, sometimes, I don’t even realize I stole them.  Now, I’m not talking about stealing tangible items, I’m talking about stealing the intangibles of a person, their character traits, habits, style, views, sayings, inspirations, etcetera.  All these things create an Amalgam of Me.

The pie chart below will effectively explain, how exactly I became me. Twenty-three years, nine months and six days in the making.

****The Amalgam of Me in Pie Form****
(click pie to enlarge)

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

Derek Jeter – 18%

A complete aversion to doing  anything controversial.
Showing minimal emotion.
Leading by example.
Never airing out grievances.
Deflecting personal question.
Never making excuses.
Playing through injuries.
Fist Pumping.

Giving the women I bed gift baskets.

George Costanza – 14%

Overall disposition to the world.
Views on career.

Views on women.
Views on baby names.

Sleeping at work.  

Steve Carell (Michael Scott) – 7%

Saying “That’s what she said.”
Doing things so unfunny to the people around me, that I (and only I) find hysterical.
Writing a terrible screenplay based on myself.
50% of my sense of humor.

Steve Carell (The 40 Year Old Virgin) – 7%

Saying “This is not a good look for me!”
Screaming “Ahhh Kelly Clarkson!!!”
Being completely awkward.
Playing the underdog.
Other 50% of my sense of humor.

Jimmy Fallon – 6%

Calling people, “pal.”
Laughing really hard at things not necessary funny.
Acting overly enthusiastic.
Slim fitting suits.
Wishing I was best friends with Justin Timberlake.

Paul Rudd – 5%

Relishing the sidekick role.
Saying “Totes Mcgotes.”
Making fun of Coldplay.

Frank Sinatra – 4%

Drinking red wine.
Acting like a stereotypical Italian-American.
Acting like a stereotypical New York-American.

Ernest Hemingway – 4%

Inspiration to write.
Desire to run with the bulls.
Romanticizing boxing.
Drinking.

Drake – 4%

Wearing crewneck sweatshirts.
Irrational love for sweaters.
Saying “be you” and “I’m doing me.”
Beefing with Chris Brown.

Ryan Gosling – 3%

An attempt at the haircut above.
Sporadically growing a beard.

Seth Rogen – 3%

Making extremely obscure pop culture references.

Rembert Browne – 3%

This entire blog.
This specific post.

 Peter Gibbons – 3%

Destroying office equipment.
General apathy.

 Crash Davis – 3%

Everything I believe in.

 Joseph Gordon-Levitt – 3%

Listening to The Smiths.
Desire to make Alex Mack my girlfriend, circa 1999.
Desire to make Zooey Deschanel my girlfriend,circa present day.

Always believing in my team.

 Luke Skywalker – 2%

Unwavering crave to be the good guy.
Realizing girls like the bad boy.

Ben Stiller as Starsky – 2%

Dance-offs.

Lloyd Dobler – 2%

My plans for the future.
Dating behavior.

Kenny Powers – 2%

Loving America.

Ronaldo – 1%

Wearing long sleeves with shorts.

C.T. – 1%

Getting drunk and making my voice deeper.
Getting drunk and instigating fights.

Tom Cruise – 1%

Wayfayers.

 Vince Vaughn – 1%

Trash talking during sports–based video games.
Telling people they’re “so money.”

Martin Luther King Jr. – 1%

Believing that Love will save the world.

So yeah, that’s basically me.  All summed up.  As Jay-Z would say, “either love me or leave me alone.”

Greg. Out. (mic drop).