Flashback Friday Flop: “Back from Hell”

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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: Run-DMC’s Back from Hell (1990)

A valid argument could be made that Run-DMC is the most important act in hip-hop history. They influenced so much of the culture, from the sound to the look and, in the process, became one of the first prominent rap artists to be featured on mainstream media, most especially MTV. Their 1986 crossover smash “Walk This Way” with Steven Tyler and Joe Perry not only revitalized Aerosmith, but also became a landmark in hip-hop, becoming the first rap song to reach the top five of the Billboard 100 (peaking at number four).

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The Pierznik Monthly Volume 21 (January 2016)

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The first 2016 edition of my monthly reading list is now available.

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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.

 

 

The Shifting Narrative of the Manning/Brady Rivalry

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Brady didn’t play a snap his freshman year in high school even though his team was 0-8 and didn’t score an offensive touchdown. He had to send out tapes to get colleges interested. Manning was overwhelmed by scholarship offers. They have taken different paths but wound up in the same place as two of the all-time greats.

— Gary Myers, author of Brady vs. Manning

In sports, very few things change. Stats don’t move. They may lie or deceive, but once a season or a career is over, they’re set in stone. The same is true for championships. Once you win one, it’s yours, regardless of what you do the rest of your career.

The only thing that is truly malleable is the narrative.

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Flashback Friday Flop: “A Better Tomorrow”

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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: Wu-Tang Clan’s A Better Tomorrow (2014)

In the twenty-plus years since arriving on the scene, the members of Wu-Tang Clan have released about 50 albums, both as a group and as individual solo artists. Depending on the criteria used (does Cappadonna count? What about Redman & Method Man albums? How about Czarface?) that number can rise significantly. Of those 50, some are undeniable classics.

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21 Acclaimed Films I (Still) Have Yet to See

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Note: I originally published this in early 2016 and in the 18 months since, I still have not seen any of the films on this list, including the two most recent Best Picture winners. The list continues to grow…

When my wife and I first started dating, I lived in Philly and she lived just outside New York City. Every week, we would meet halfway and have dinner before seeing a movie. For that year, I saw everything, including Batman Begins two or three times.

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