Categories
Books Hip-Hop Rap Reviews

Biggie Smalls Was the Illest – “It Was All a Dream” Book Review

There are different kinds of biographies.

Some attempt to tell the subject’s story objectively, recounting what happened and placing it in context, but without editorializing or offering opinion. Others are planned as hit pieces, hatchet jobs with a clear intent to damage the person. Still others come from a place of admiration, presenting the individual in a glowing light at every turn.

It’s difficult to tell what It Was All a Dream: Biggie and the World that Made Him by Justin Tinsley was originally aiming to be, but the final product certainly falls into that last category.

Categories
Books NBA Reviews

The Science of the NBA — “The Midrange Theory” Reviewed

To sports columnists and talking heads of a certain age, the word “analytics” has become a pejorative, a shorthand for nerds that are so engrossed in their algorithms that they can’t see the actual game being played on the court.

The truth, as always, is far more complex.

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Books

Drew Magary’s Books

Photo by Christopher Pierznik

I love Drew Magary’s writing. Virtually everyone else online does too.

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Books Reviews

How I Review Books

Yesterday, I posted my review of Dilla Time Dan Charnas.

Today, I thought I’d explain how I review books.

Categories
Books Hip-Hop Rap Reviews

So Much More Than Just a Biography of a Man and a Movement — “Dilla Time” Reviewed

For the most part, whenever I heard a J Dilla (previously known as Jay Dee) beat, it sounded…off, wrong, maybe even sloppy. I couldn’t totally follow it. I wanted to like it, but I couldn’t fully appreciate it. It made me feel a bit discombobulated.

Only much later did I realize that was the intention. Dilla was not only reinventing what was known, he was inventing what was previously unknown.

As Dan Charnas writes, “What Dilla created was a third path of rhythm, juxtaposing those two time-feels [straight time and swing time], even and uneven simultaneously, creating a new, pleasurable, disorienting rhythmic friction and a new time-feel: Dilla Time.”

Categories
Books Reviews Wu-Tang Clan

The Reality Behind the Myth – “From Staircase to Stage” Reviewed

As the Wu-Tang Clan has transitioned into elder statemen of rap where a majority fans want to hear thirty year old classics instead of anything recorded lately, there has been a renewed interest into their superhero origin story. In recent years, the incredible and unprecedented story of the nine-(sometimes ten-)man crew’s ascension from the front of the project building to the top of the hip-hop world has been told multiple times in multiple formats, including a Showtime documentary, a Hulu scripted series, and a pile of books courtesy of both journalists (Chamber Music; From the Streets of Shaolin), and some the group’s members themselves (RZA’s The Wu-Tang Manual and The Tao of Wu; U-God’s Raw: My Journey into the Wu-Tang).

Categories
Books Reviews

A Sufficient Yet Sycophantic Recollection of Roger Federer’s Career – “The Master” Book Review

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Roger Federer is one of the greatest tennis players in history, his game an incredible combination of grace and power. He’s a worldwide superstar with various endorsement deals and an estimated net worth of $450 million.

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Books Wu-Tang Clan

An Amazing Though Asymmetrical History of the Wu-Tang Clan — “From the Streets of Shaolin” Reviewed

photo by Christopher Pierznik

The Wu-Tang Clan is more than a hip-hop group. It’s more than a mere musical collective. The Clan and its members are a movement unto themselves.

“At this point, it’s fair to say they have even transcended the rap game, claiming their place in the cultural zeitgeist.”

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Books In Appreciation of

In Appreciation Of: Don Winslow’s Cartel Trilogy

“You don’t read these books; you live in them.”

– Janet Maslin, The New York Times

Most novels are not good.

Categories
Books NBA Reviews

Lottery Picks, Politics & Process – “Built to Lose” Reviewed

Here’s a riddle: When is losing the best way to win?

The answer, for a long time, was the NBA Draft, as teams that lost – sometimes purposely – were rewarded with a chance to choose the best players coming into the league.