Flashback Friday Flop

Flashback Friday Flop: “The Best of Both Worlds”


Welcome back to the latest edition of Flashback Friday Flop, a weekly feature in which I examine a hip-hop album from years ago that was considered a flop, either critically or commercially or both, when it was released and see if it has gotten better – or worse – over time. 

This week: Jay-Z & R. Kelly’s

The Best of Both Worlds (2002)

In May, 2001 Jay-Z kicked off the remix to R. Kelly’s “Fiesta.” It was a great record, one that became the most popular R&B/Hip-Hop song of 2001 according to Billboard. The two had worked together several times before that. First, they had linked up, along with Changing Faces, for “All of My Days” off the Space Jam soundtrack in 1996, as well as a posse cut, “We Ride,” alongside Cam’Ron, Noreaga, and Vegas Cats on Kelly’s 1998 double album, R. before working on “Guilty Until Proven Innocent” from Jay’s 2000 album, The Dynasty: Roc La Familia album.


Movie What Ifs

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It is often said that so many things need to go right on a movie set that it’s amazing that any films survive long enough to make it to the theater. Also, many scripts and plans take years to develop with various directors and actors becoming attached to productions before dropping out of them and pursuing other avenues of work.

Here is a short list of just some my favorite what ifs in the film industry:

  • What if Will Smith had not turned down the lead roles in The Matrix and Django Unchained?
  • What if Marvel Studios had not let Jon Favreau cast Robert Downey Jr. as the lead in Iron Man?
  • What if Quentin Tarantino had gotten his dream cast for Pulp Fiction?
  • What would The Dark Knight Rises had been if Heath Ledger had lived?
  • What if Jim Carrey and Steven Spielberg had made Meet the Parents (Carrey is the one that came up with the last name of “Focker”)?
  • What if Jack Nicholson had not turned down the role of Michael Corleone in The Godfather?
  • What if Francis Ford Coppola had not waited so long to make The Godfather Part III?
  • What if Robert Duvall’s salary demand not have prevented him from starring in Godfather III?
  • What if Robert De Niro hadn’t dropped out of the role of Frank Costello in The Departed?


  • What if the ending of I Am Legend not been changed?
  • What if Molly Ringwald had not turned down the lead role in Ghost?
  • What if Leonardo DiCaprio had not turned down the role of Dirk Diggler in Boogie Nights?
  • What if Forrest Gump had been made with any of the studio’s first three choices as the titular character – John Travolta, Bill Murray or Chevy Chase?
  • What if Brad Pitt had played the lead in Memento?
  • What if David Lynch had directed Return of the Jedi?
  • What if Lucas had let others direct (and write) the prequels?
  • What if Brandon Lee and River Phoenix had lived?

Christopher Pierznik is the author of eight books, all of which can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. His work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business Insider, The Cauldron, and many more. Subscribe to his monthly reading review newsletter or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

I Was There

I Was There: Drinking Wu-Tang Beer with Inspectah Deck


The Wu-Tang Clan has been referred to as hip-hop’s answer to The Rolling Stones. From their classic output to their logo to their lasting impact to their longevity to their popular live shows to the lukewarm response to their later albums, they are rap’s version of older rockers.

Greatness Hip-Hop

Collaborations of Busta Rhymes, Jay-Z, B.I.G. & DMX – All of Whom Went to High School Together


There have been a multitude of studies and stories done on the connection between geography and success. In the history of hip-hop, one of the most fertile grounds for superstars has been Brooklyn. For proof, think about the fact that Busta Rhymes, Jay-Z, The Notorious B.I.G. and DMX all went to George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School together.

Documentary Tuesday

Documentary Tuesday: “The Death of ‘Superman Lives” [2015]


In the mid-to-late ’90s, Warner Brothers began development of a revival of Superman. Kevin Smith even wrote a script for it before Tim Burton became attached and brought in his own writers. He immediately cast Nicholas Cage as Clark Kent and there are rumors that Jim Carrey was in talks to portray Brainiac.

The project never took off for a variety of reasons, a major one being the fact that Batman & Robin was so awful that Warner Brothers decided to remove itself from the entire comic superhero universe for a few years. So Joel Schumacher, who has made some great movies in his life, ruined not only Tim Burton’s Batman franchise but also his Superman franchise.

Still, this is a fascinating film about a film that was never made. Seeing Nicholas Cage with the giant S logo on his chest and listening to what they had planned makes one wonder how it all would have turned out.

Update: The film has been ripped off YouTube so here’s the trailer:

Previously in Documentary Tuesday:

Room 237 | Exit Through the Gift Shop

Christopher Pierznik is the author of eight books, all of which can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. His work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business Insider, The Cauldron, and many more. He has been quoted on Buzzfeed and Deadspin. Subscribe to his monthly reading review newsletter or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

In Appreciation of

In Appreciation Of: Stephen King

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“I had a period where I thought I might not be good enough to publish.”

– Stephen King

Stephen King’s latest collection, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, comes out tomorrow (November 3rd). It is his sixth collection of short stories and tenth collection in total. At 68 years old, with millions in the bank, and almost 60 books and 200 short stories to his name, it would be natural for King to retire or slow down.

Instead, he’s still cranking out at least two books per year, adding to his legacy.