First Look at the Upcoming 50 and Meryl Streep Collaboration

Image

 

At yesterday’s Knick game, this happened and nearly broke the internet.

For those without any knowledge of the popular culture of the last couple decades, this is a photo of Meryl “Fucking” Streep, the greatest actress of our age, laughing and holding hands with founder of G Unit and hip hop icon, 50 cent. It’s America captured in a single moment. 

This meeting has a lot of wide-ranging implications.

Like, does this mean that we can see some Streep-50 collabs in the future. I’m thinking yes.

Here’s the pitch.

50 cent essentially plays himself, because I’ve only see him be a decent actor in Get Rich or Die Tryin’, and I don’t want to concern him too much with acting, because we need to save those creative juices for his final album aka the soundtrack to the movie, which will encompass all human emotion and fully display the artistry of Curtis Jackson, ultimately winning him a Grammy and Oscar. 

Besides, we have Meryl “Fucking” Streep in this picture and she can carry several times her own weight in acting responsibilities. Meryl plays the wife to a Bernie Maddoff-esque man. She is an influential socialite and the self-appointed moral compass of the country, routinely bashing hip-hop music, specifically 50’s character. When her husband is caught and jailed for defrauding everyone, Meryl is left with a fraction of her former wealth and influence.

Fast forward ten years, 50 is living the Jay-Z mogul lifestyle. He is incredibly successful and respected, even meeting with the president on occasion. Meryl has become a bit of a laughingstock in the country, a Sarah Palinesque character who is irrelevant in major politics, but who maintains a rabid and devout following.

Then, in parallel scenes we see them receive the news that they have cancer AND (here it comes) they are put in the same hospital room and have to rely on one another for moral support, like sponsors in AA. At first they are standoffish, but they begin to like each other when they make a deal for 50 to trade his applesauce for Meryl’s Jello at every lunch, which starts the running joke of 50 loving Jello throughout the movie.  Their friendship blossoms as these two opposed parties converse and begin to understand the lives of the other. Fiddy teaches Meryl basic rhyme schemes and how to freestyle, Meryl teaches Fiddy how to knit and cook her famous beef stroganoff. Then in a scene that will instantly become immortal, 50 guides Meryl in her first smoking of medical marijuana, because, c’mon that would be hilarious.

Over time, Meryl begins to improve and eventually gets the cancer to go into remission. 50, on the other hand, is not so lucky and looks as though he is on the verge of death when Meryl is healthy enough to leave. They share a heartfelt goodbye and Meryl promises to visit often. 

A few days later, Meryl is tapped by the Republic Party to run for Governor of New York. They explain that enough time has passed since her husband’s trial to allow for her to be credible again, and with her surviving of cancer, she is a candidate that they feel can win the election. The only problem is that they want her to return to her old role as “moral guardian” of country and bash the music and culture which she has now grown to respect through her friendship with 50. 

She sends 50 a message from a limousine that is taking her to her candidacy announcement speech telling him she will be unable to visit today, but to watch her speech. 50 reads the text in the hospital bed, inches from death, and flips to the channel broadcasting the speech. Meryl steps up to podium, takes a deep breath, and is overcome by waves of flashbacks of her and 50. She declines to run and instead delivers a speech about love and acceptance based on her experiences with 50 and slays it, dropping the mike at the end. A lone tear rolls down 50 stoic face.

Next, is an emotional deathbed scene between Meryl and 50, where 50 slips away. 50 delivers an equally touching speech to Meryl about what she has meant to him where his last words are “I’m glad I met you.” Meryl holds his hand, cries, and acts as perfectly as only she can. We are sad, but also happy because this was what these two people were put on this Earth for, to meet one another and take a sledgehammer to the wall of racism that divides us. 

Final scene, Meryl takes over the 50 Cent charity and she is freestyling with young black kids, a la the last scene of School of Rock when Jack Black is jamming with the kids. She spits the greatest freestyle ever (Ghostwritten by 50) and she is swarmed by the children in happiness. The credits run over a remixed “Ebony and Ivory” by 50 and Meryl.

Is this too much too ask from them after their first extended meeting?

I don’t think so.

Ball is in your court Hollywood.

 

 

 

Advertisements

The Slim Reaper

Image

 

48, 30, 33, 37, 36, 54, 30, 46, 36

That’s the amount of points Kevin Durant has scored in the past 9 games, sans the injured Russell Westbrook. It’s gotten to the point where the sentence, “Kevin Durant only scored 30 points last night” is a perfectly normal thing to say. 

The man is now a full-blown serial killer. Durant taken the will to live of any defender foolish or unfortunate enough to test him. After a game, the court runs red with the blood of Kevin’s vanquished foes. He is the Genghis Khan of basketball. KD is now officially NOT NICE. 

Yet, he plays the game with the effortless grace of a master violinist rehearsing scales. The basketball court is Kevin’s new natural habitat. It is the place where he is most comfortable, able to adapt, and dominate his surroundings. Playing basketball is to Kevin as swimming is to sharks, painting is to Picasso, and publicity is to Kim Kardashian. 

The fallout from this scoring explosion is that Kevin Durant has a new nickname: “The Slim Reaper.” It replaces the less desirable “Durantula” which was a clever play on words, but since Kevin doesn’t have spider-like qualities, the name never really jelled. Slim Reaper on the other hand is perfect. It describes his impossibly athletic physique, captures the effortlessness of his game, and bestows him with a killer alter ego. Mild-mannered, multi-millionaire Kevin Durant transforms into the frightening, merciless Slim Reaper when he steps on the floor. It’s  Clark Kent to Superman, Bruce Wayne to Batman, Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta to Lady Gaga. 

The amount of metaphors I’m using should give you an idea of how excited I am for the Slim Reaper Era.

It blows doors wide open for announcers to make all sorts of plays-on-words when Kevin Durant is playing. For example, if he’s heating up, announcers can say, “The Slim Reaper is sharpening the Scythe!” I can hear that in Kevin Harland’s voice already! We can finally contextualize what Kevin Durant has been doing to his opponents for years. 

It’s also important because there has been a drought in great NBA nicknames. The plains of Nicknamedom have been barren, desolate deserts for years now and “The Slim Reaper” is the torrential downpour the thirsty landscape needs. 

So what does Kevin Durant think about this new nickname?

According to his Twitter, he says, “I like KD better.”

This is heartbreaking because I really want him to like his nickname, but you know what, it doesn’t matter what Kevin Durant thinks. “The Slim Reaper” is too good of a nickname to push aside just because he likes his boring initials more. Kevin will have to sacrifice what he likes, and give into the will of the mob, because this time the mob is right. 

Willingly or reluctantly, the name stays. Nicknames aren’t for the players, they are for the fans. They add spice to the game.  They endow players with larger than life personalities. They just downright make the game more fun. 

So for all of our sakes Kevin, just accept the nickname, and keep ushering defenders into the afterlife.

 

The Case for HGH in the NBA

Image

This season has seen an uncommonly large amount of injuries that have sidelined many of the marque stars of the league and has drastically changed the fates of several teams this year. 

The growing list of stars who have been sidelined for an extended period at one point this season include Derrick Rose, Kobe Bryant, Russell Westbrook, Rajon Rondo, Brook Lopez, Andre Igoudala Mark Gasol, Chris Paul, Al Horford, Eric Bledsoe, and more. This list is massive and the league is obviously better when these players are on the court and not donning pseudo-hipster suits on the sidelines. 

We all want to see these players back out on the court as soon as possible and there is a way for it happen, but the solution may be hard to swallow for some purists of the game. Human Growth Hormones can help players build muscle faster, recover quicker from injuries, and be playing in top form on the court sooner than they would without them.

HGH has been taboo in sports ever since they were discovered to be as plentiful as molly at a rave within the Cycling and Baseball communities. No substances have been more demonized. HGH violates the sacred goal of sports to use fair and honest competition to determine who among us is the greatest and to push ourselves to our limits. The best and hardest working athletes may be pushed aside by juiced-up megamen, who took shortcuts to greatness. We want our athletic heroes to be the ones putting up jumpers in dark gyms hours after everyone else has gone home, not injecting drugs into their arms.

To be clear, that’s what I want too, but what about when those heroes are injured?

Mark Cuban thinks it’s a shame that since HGH has been so tainted by cheaters that there is no research being conducted on how HGH could potentially help a player recover from injury. I’m inclined to agree with him. 

Technology has always been used to decrease the likelihood that a player would go down with an injury and the time that it takes for him to recover from that injury. It has gotten to the point that Kobe and many other players have embraced the cryogenic freezing chambers that plunge the body into sub-freezing temperature, in order to help it recover. I’m not entirely sure how it works, but the very old 2011 Mavericks who took down the Heat in the Finals used them and swore by their efficacy. Could the Mavs had pulled off such a victory without the machines helping them recover from the wear-and-tear that is inflicted on the body over the course of an NBA season? Maybe, Maybe not. But the fact of the matter is that the machines were used, helped the players return to fully healthy form, and win the championship.

Now if these machines can be used, I see no reason why HGH that could help the body recover should not at least be researched. HGH would not be allowed to be used for a healthy player, all use would have to be regulated by the league, and only trained medical staff would be allowed to administer the substances. If these regulations were put in place and research was conducted that returned positive results, we could reduce the amount of time that our star players spend in suits and increase the amount they are playing at their peak levels. 

So we can retain our sanctimonious ban on HGH and let players like Derrick Rose spend the year on the bench or we can set aside the taboo and look at HGHs for what they could be, a technology that helps players recover. Because as important as Russell Westbrook is to the fashion community, he’s much more important to the basketball-playing community and I’d like him and players like him on the court sooner rather than later. 

Image

THE RETURN OF THE G(s)

Image

In the most important announcement since the ending of World War II, Outkast has been confirmed to headline Coachella.

This is glorious, life-changing news as it was uncertain if this team of geniuses was ever going to reunite. They changed the entire landscape of Hip-Hop, expanding the possibilities of sounds for the genre, while still maintaining a credibility that vaulted them to the top of the game. Their influence on the genre is nearly incalculable and their return is something that should be treated with similar reverence as the Resurrection.

The reason for the split-up can be largely attributed to the enigmatic, soulful, and smooth Andre 3000, who decided to reject his god-given gift of riding a beat like Kelly Slater rides waves and took a brief hiatus from rapping. Like all geniuses, “Three Stacks” is a bit hard to decipher and I still put about a 1/10 chance that he pulls out at the last second. He eventually ended the hiatus and has been a featured artist on several songs such as the “International Players Anthem” with UGK and “Pink Matter” with Frank Ocean which are delicious verses that are bittersweet to the ear because 3000 is giving us small appetizers and side dishes when what we really want is a five course meal. Andre is routinely referred to as one of the greatest rappers of all time, and all you need to do is hear one of his flows to understand why, but what separates Andre from others is his commitment to experimentation and keeping things fresh, which is probably why he took a hiatus from rapping in the first place. What makes him special is also what is so frustrating about him. All we want is more, but Andre will always and only do what Andre wants.

Big Boi, the other half of the duo, has been keeping much more busy than his partner, releasing solo albums and crushing his live appearances. Daddy Fat Sax has been seen as the Garfunkel of Outkast, a talented artist who only shines when his more talented partner is collaborating with him. This is an unfair characterization as Big Boi is an equivalent genius and allows the more outlandish and experimental Andre to do his thing, while he holds things down with refined rapping, top-notch flow, and gorgeous wordplay. Sir Lucius Left Foot is no Garfunkel, he is McCartney to Lennon. By the way, Big Boi can rock a crowd. I saw him at Outsidelands, a music festival not known for having the most passionate hip-hop fans, and he slayed the crowd. The man could rock a funeral.

In closing, begin researching the going rate for your extra organs in order to pay for admission to Coachella and let us rejoice for the Return of the G.

The Importance of Andrew Bynum

Image

 

After a thoroughly unremarkable stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Andrew Bynum has been traded to the Chicago Bulls for Luol Deng and a first round draft pick. Bynum will be waived almost immediately so that the Bulls will not have to take on the extra 12 million that would have been guaranteed to Bynum had he still been on an NBA team. This is an expected development as Chicago has accepted its fate as a non-contender at least until Derrick Rose returns from his second season ending injury, and has decided to trade away arguably the best uninjured player on the team for cap space and a high draft pick. The move signifies that the Bulls are punting this season in order to build around Rose, the promising Jimmy Butler, and their solid front court of Boozer and Noah by adding free agents and developing younger players.

This trade makes sense from the Cavaliers perspective as well because Bynum’s desire to play for the Cavaliers has waned and he has looked like a shell of a shadow of his former self. When he was on the floor, despite from occasional flashes of skill, he looked like he had just emerged from a nap that he wasn’t not quite ready to wake up from. This move shores up the Cavaliers at their vulnerable small forward position and gives them a legitimate chance at playoff contention featuring a probable Kyrie Irving, Deng, Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters, and Anderson Varejao starting line-up. It’s a solid starting line-up that could play some defense and vault the Cavs high into the putrid Eastern Conference standings, where they will be demolished by either the Heat or the Pacers during the playoffs. However, it’s a trade that has made them better and brings them much closer to their beginning of the season goal of reaching the playoffs. 

However, these two developments pale in comparison to the seemingly unimportant waiving of Andrew Bynum, when in fact this move could be the one that has the most impact on who the wins the championship this year. In recent years, Bynum has become a bit of a laughingstock in the league. After the ill-fated Dwight Howard to the Lakers trade, the Sixers received Bynum, but decided to trade away their swiss army knife all-star Andre Igoudala. They figured that a championship team could be built around Bynum, but not Iguodala, so they took a risk that unfortunately resulted in Bynum playing no games for the Sixers, donning ridiculous hairstyles, and reinjuring his knee while bowling. 

Image

Image

Image

 

 

He was then traded to the Cavs where he was given a contract that guaranteed little money and presented little risk for the Cavaliers to take on. The contract was structured so that if Bynum did not bring the team closer to playoff contention, they could execute a move like the one they did yesterday. Questions about whether or not Bynum loves basketball enough to be motivated every night have arisen and Bynum’s stock is probably lower than ever at this point. 

However, this is the perfect opportunity for a contender to pick up Bynum on the cheap, sell him on the idea of championship glory, and benefit immeasurably from his imposing presence in the key. We must not forget that before all of this nonsense, Bynum was the starting center on a Lakers team that won two championships that relied heavily on his ability to block shots, rebound, throw down dunks, and all things that can be expected from a fairly agile seven footer. Whether or not Bynum still has his championship caliber talent is up for debate, but he has expressed an interest to play for either the Clippers or the Heat, two teams that are contenders, but could use a player like the Bynum of yesteryear. 

Either proposition should be terrifying for any team that would have to go through the Heat or Clippers to win the title.

The Clippers have long thought of DeAndre Jordan as a player who is not consistent and reliable enough to finish games. His highlight slams, decisive blocks, and tremendous athleticism are trusted during the first forty or so minutes of the game, but when one mistake could lose the game, the Clippers have been hesitant to use DeAndre and have often substituted him for a steadier veteran. Bynum is a championship level center who has been on the most stressful stage a few times and understands the steel nerves necessary for winning championships. Regardless of whether Bynum can still bring it, adding him to the Clippers is interesting, though I’d like to see Chris Paul and Blake Griffin win a few playoff series before I anoint them true contenders with Bynum. 

However, the team that needs Bynum the most, is the two time defending champs. The Heat are a fearsome team built around the strengths of one the greatest and most unique players to ever play. Despite having Lebron, Wade, Bosh, and a capable cast of veteran role players, the Heat have struggled to defend dominant big men and rebound seeing as they have never had a dominant big man of their own. Should the Heat pick up Bynum, they finally have someone to contend with the formidable Hibbert who terrorized them in last year’s Eastern Conference and will be even more effective after another season jelling with his teammates and working hard in the off-season. A motivated Bynum could be the solution to the Hibbert problem and finally fix the final chink in the Heat’s otherwise impenetrable armor. The Heat’s work ethic after winning two titles has also been questioned as players like Wade have taken nights off to conserve his strength for the playoffs. The addition of Bynum might give the Heat another weapon, that they have not had since Shaq, who could help shoulder some of the regular season load and give them a big boost in the playoffs. If the Heat land Bynum, and Bynum plays decently, the Heat are in a very very good position to win their third championship.

So it’s fair to make jokes about Bynum’s hair, work ethic, and penchant for bowling, but if a motivated Bynum lands on a championship caliber team like the Heat, the laughter from those jokes should become very nervous.