These should get you to the end of hump day
4:56 PMEvery once and a while, I’ll drop in with some music suggestions to get you through the afternoon. Nothing crazy or over the top, just a few tracks as a pick-me-up in the afternoon. Today, we’re a little mellowed out on a couple fronts. This won’t necessarily be a weekly feature, but it might just end up being that way. In the meantime, enjoy. This is what I’ve been rocking today.
First up is the latest from Curren$y Spitta. The New Orleans don has been dropping projects left and right, not dissimilar to his run eight years ago when he put out a tape a month, just because. He’s got five out so far in 2016: The Owners Manual, The Carrollton Heist, Weed & Instrumentals, Revolver (with Sledgren) and Bourbon Street Secrets. Frankly, we’ll take a mixtape a month with five to seven tracks over waiting two years for a 20-song album anytime. Far more digestible and exciting from a fan standpoint.
Now, he’s got The Legend of Harvard Blue project dropping soon and his latest track is called “Supply and Demand,” produced by YoungStarr. It’s another smoked-out banger with a just ominous enough beat to make you want to make sure it plays in the ride after the sun goes down.
Secondly is Joyce Wrice, the 24-year-old Californian songstress who started off singing YouTube covers. Her latest extended play is perfect for riding to the beach, which makes sense, considering she’s from San Diego. It’s called “Stay Around” and features production from everyone listed above.
Last is the homey Clams Casino who is one of the best in the game when it comes to instrumental hip-hop. His latest “Blast” delves into his dreamy, atmospheric zone, which works well with the long holiday weekend coming up. The new album 32 Levels is set to drop on July 15. The man they call “clammyclams” has done it again.
New AZ documentary
highlights the Brooklyn native’s ascent and legacy
4:27 PMIn the mid-’90s, there was so much incredible talent coming out of the New York hip-hop scene that even the best artists have lived complete careers as effectively “underrated.” AZ is one of those guys. As part of its #20YrsLtr series, BET released a mini-documentary last week called “Doe or Die: Heartbeat of a Classic.” The half-hour film takes you back to East New York, Brooklyn where the man née Anthony Cruz, but known simply as “A,” was reared as an emcee.
What makes this an appealing watch is not so much revisiting the old days, although the footage of shows at the Apollo Theater and stories of a young A being awed at a Stetsasonic show as a kid (Daddy-O would later become a mentor) are heartwarming, but hearing the respect he has from other artists of his era and how it still holds today. AZ himself also gives you an in-depth look at his approach to his craft and breaks down exactly how some of the more popular tracks on the album Doe Or Die came to fruition.
His signature hit, “Sugar Hill,” went gold for EMI Records, with the entire album eventually reaching platinum status on its own. Before Doe or Die, AZ burst on to the scene on Nas’ “Life’s A B—-,” from the 1994 album Illmatic with a verse and hook that no one will forget where they were the first place they heard it.
A’s style as a Brooklyn head is still impeccable. At 44, he looks like he could step into any cypher to this day and body it. “AZ knew how to spit it, and talk about that life, like a book author,” Nas said of his one-time-partner-in-rhyme’s flow. “He was that well written.”
With a zillion biopics about this era of music littering the scene, an extended feature of a rapper who falls somewhere between beloved and forgotten for casual fans — and was a definite game-changer — is welcome.
Daily Dose: 5/24/16
Man on death row freed decades later due to racially biased jury selection
9:31 AMMonday night was a big one in my household. The season premiere of The Bachelorette aired and JoJo looks like she’s going to be great. Expect a lot more analysis of the show in this space — aka the “Black Guy Power Rankings.”
Once you’re on death row, it’s not easy to make it off. But one man in Georgia suddenly has a chance at said miracle after the Supreme Court overturned his sentence for capital murder almost three decades after he was initially sentenced. The dispute centered not around the crime, but how the all-white jury was selected. Perhaps more intriguingly, the justices voted nearly unanimously in the decision. I’ll bet you can guess who the lone dissenter was. ABC News’ Audrey Taylor and Geneva Sands have the details.
A friend of mine is moving to Australia soon. At her going-away party, a discussion about hot air balloons came up, as its popular there. We all discussed our fears surrounding the activity, joking them off mostly as rationally. But my buddy brought up one thing that actually happened in Melbourne just recently. A hot air balloon steered off course due to faulty wind conditions. Everyone made it out alive, but the details of how a wakeboarding father and son combo helped them are pretty wild. ABC News’ Kelly McCarthy reports.
MC Hammer’s importance to music is undeniable. Whether you are or were a fan of his music, his largesse was the kind of thing that the industry will never forget. Yet, for many, he symbolizes all that was wack with hip-hop/black music in the ’90s. Those critiques were always harsh, but the man is somehow still in the business and still thriving, to a certain extent, even if not balling like he was back in the day. ABC’s Michael Rothman and Karu Daniels sit down with man from Oakland named Stanley Burrell, who was boys with Tupac and Prince.
There was a Raptors game in Toronto last night, so Drake was there. His entrance wasn’t exactly the most star-studded, but his city still loves him. And the 6 God was in full annoying fan mode, getting in people’s faces and slapping five with players. The longer the Raptors continue to win, the more I enjoy this bit. If you’re the Cleveland Cavaliers, while his presence isn’t necessarily as huge deal, it’s gotta be irksome to watch the series slip away while a guy who warmed up with the Kentucky Wildcats once and threw up an air ball is yelling at you from point blank. To add to the fun, Drizzy is even roasting Cavs players on Instagram.
Coffee Break: If you haven’t been paying attention, Chris Webber has turned into one of the best broadcasters in the NBA. His career was stellar without being necessarily super celebrated and I imagine his career in the booth will take a similar path. Here’s an interview with the former Michigan Fab Five member, who talks about his new life.
Snack Time: Mike Epps is a quality comedian. But he never graduated from high school. He’s also 45 years old. This week, he finally completed the task and even wore the cap and gown. It’s a nice tale of being goal-oriented.
Dessert: James Fauntleroy has a new track out. Let me know if you like it.
Freddie Gray case
Justice system produces familiar results
3:59 PMThe saddest part of the whole situation is that Freddie Gray’s death was entirely avoidable, had he not been wrongly arrested. Instead, he was, and one “rough ride” later, he died. The officer who initially arrested Gray walked free Monday, a soberingly unsurprising result for the second of six officers who will be tried for his death.
Edward Nero was acquitted of all charges, 13 months after Gray died from a spinal cord injury he sustained in a police vehicle. His death sent Baltimore into a frenzy, with pockets of violence cropping up in the city’s most underserved but highly policed neighborhoods.
The situation was so tense that Major League Baseball moved a scheduled night game to the morning, then didn’t let fans in to watch, for fear of some type of spillover effect of violence. Bizarre doesn’t begin to describe the scene. I remember, because I was inside the ballpark.
On a larger level, we’ve seen this cycle of police violence, then no real accountability, so many times before that the collective conscious of people who consider themselves woke isn’t remotely surprised.
One can debate the specifics of the case, and the specific burdens of proof versus charges levied, until the cows come home, but the apparent reality has set in that the system is not broken. This is the system working. Some people, however, have to be on the victim end in order for the system’s full capabilities to be understood.
When Baltimore District Attorney Marilyn Mosby stood on those steps and promised justice would be served, it was a transcendant moment, even though many legal experts at the time said it was a bad idea to make such a public proclamation. The case was going to be difficult no matter what, but it felt like a win in the name of common decency.
Derrick Coleman, former Syracuse hoops standout and No. 1 overall pick of the 1990 NBA draft, responded on Twitter to Monday’s news of Nero’s acquittal.
— Derrick Coleman (@44TheLegend) May 23, 2016
no excuse for loss of life
— Derrick Coleman (@44TheLegend) May 23, 2016
Last year, Qadry Ismail, who played for the Baltimore Ravens’ Super Bowl XXXV-winning team and is still a broadcaster with the team wrote this on Facebook:
“The way in which this tragic event has spun out of control is indeed sad. A man lost his life and however it may have been, there needs to be accountability to the highest level of the Baltimore city government. No spin no politics but justice. However, the city as a whole is not a place of evil and malcontent. I have LOVED this greater Baltimore area as a player and now as a resident. I have enjoyed speaking to so many people and their love of the culture of the Baltimore area. I refuse to believe and accept some ignorant narrow minded people who have nothing better to do but loot and break into stores and cause disorder and lawlessness to spoil my view of what Baltimore and the surrounding counties have meant to me. I have met many a police officer as well, and can say the ones I have met are decent family people who do there jobs with integrity. I pray for peace for them and their families; for restoration of order; for those who broke the law to be brought to justice, and for healing for the City of Baltimore.”
Contrarily, you might recall that one Chicago sportscaster recently was fired over a joke he told about the situation.
“Sox in their Freddie Gray road uniforms in Baltimore tonight,” he tweeted on the one-year anniversary of the ghost game.
A man who broadcasts news for a living made a joke about a young man who lost his life for no reason and lost his job. The people who are responsible, but apparently not culpable, are less likely to lose theirs.
Rihanna stole the show at Prince’s tribute
Everything else about it got dragged
12:01 PMSunday night at the Billboard Music Awards on ABC, Madonna and Stevie Wonder performed a tribute to the late, great Prince. Let’s just say it wasn’t exactly well received.
This "Prince tribute" was just……. pic.twitter.com/jruBqtnjqe
— VIC JAGGER • ♡ (@VictoriaOnPaper) May 23, 2016
I don't think I could have watched the Prince tribute even if I'd liked the choice of performer. I'm stuck in anger/denial.
— Jamilah Lemieux (@JamilahLemieux) May 23, 2016
— Marlow Stern (@MarlowNYC) May 23, 2016
Alrighty then. Now, whether or not you thought it was a little too soon for such a thing, or if the choice of performers was a tad off base, there was one undeniable fact: Rihanna is winning. Watch as she charms with this “I know the camera’s on me but I’m gonna act like I don’t and just dab on them folk” move, which should net her a separate award of its own. (Meanwhile, BET is upping its own ante.)
— Karen Civil (@KarenCivil) May 23, 2016
Daily Dose: 5/23/16
Draymond Green involved in low blow
As details of Prince’s death continue to trickle out, each becomes a tad more unfortunate. First, we learned that he was a day away from an intervention when he passed. Then, we learned that the doctor who prescribed him medicine was suddenly no longer working in said capacity. Also, we learned that he had no will, meaning his family will be left to fight for what he left behind. Now, perhaps the most macabre tidbit has been revealed. According to sources, Prince had been dead for hours when his body was found. ABC News’ Joi Marie McKenzie reports.
The Padres have some serious explaining to do. On Saturday’s Pride Night at Petco Park, the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus was supposed to sing the national anthem before a game against the Dodgers when things went horribly wrong. Instead of hearing their voices, the crowd was played a recording of a woman singing The Star-Spangled Banner. And after that played, they didn’t even get a chance to sing themselves and were led off the field. Pretty much a colossal fail all around, nevermind how embarrassed each of those chorus members must have been. ABC News’ Brian McBride explains.
It was 2011 when I first heard The Weeknd. I had no idea what he looked like, no clue as to where he was from or really what he was about. Then Drake showed up on a song of his and you had to presume that maybe he was from Canada. A couple mixtapes later, he was a star to music heads. Then, fast forward a couple years and people are saying that at least vocally, he sounds like the next Michael Jackson. “I Can’t Feel My Face” was the song of the summer in 2015 and, now, he’s got the trophies to prove it. He dominated the Billboard Music Awards Sunday night.
Kicking someone in what we call the “man region” is a serious no-no. If it’s done intentionally, one is presumably looking to either start or end a fight and all offenses possible should be taken. On Sunday night, as the Oklahoma City Thunder were blowing the doors of the Golden State Warriors, Draymond Green found himself on the delivery end of one of said blows. Steven Adams was the recipient in this case. Green says it was an accident, but everyone else in the world seems to think otherwise. See for yourself.
Coffee Break: As an architectural canvas, fire stations are such an interesting subject. The space and layouts they require are so unique, but can be executed in a ton of different manners. You can tell a lot about any locale based on what its firehouses look like. In Dallas, fire stations are on the cutting edge of all that’s hot in the design world.
Snack Time: Someone on a train didn’t want to sit next to former NBA baller Etan Thomas. So, he blew up their spot in the smartest way, as he tends to do. Check it out.
Dessert: Stories of self-absorbed rich people freaking out always has, and will, make me laugh incessantly.
No Flex Zone
Unless you’re having fun at the YMCA
Turn your canvas
to figure out what’s going on with these carpets
Except not really, it just sort of looks like the movie
More people should do this
is the most talented person on YouTube
2:00 PMGary Rogers hosts a show called SKATELINE. Sort of like Nightline but whatever, you get it. He’s genuinely one of the funniest people on the Internet. “Gary Responds” is like the after-show to his own show. He keeps it beyond real when it comes to commentary snd he curses a lot, which makes me laugh. You don’t have to care about skateboarding to like it, but it does help.
managed to show up after a long night
Los Angeles highways
are apparently littered with skaters trying the #FreewayChallenge
10:00 AMHighways are made for cars. In California, cars are a way of life. You know what aren’t meant for the roads? You guessed it. The #FreewayChallenge isn’t exactly new, but it’s obviously super dangerous and when ambitious riders are armed with a hashtag, anything can happen. The California Highway Patrol is supremely upset about this whole situation, according to KTLA.
Some of these “tricks” are rather insane. Look at this.
And this. Dudes taking pride in getting themselves on TV executing the challenge.
LA’s gonna LA.
Nas’ latest movie
is a tale of Cleveland skaters trying to make it
8:00 AMNasir Jones is best known for his rap game, but he’s been in the movie business for some time. The Queensbridge emcee co-wrote the classic Belly back in 1998 with Hype Williams, and over the years has become a preeminent hip-hop philanthropist and businessman beyond his contributions to the culture as an artist. His latest project is a skate flick, titled The Land.
Jones teamed up with Erykah Badu for the soundtrack and the film is about four youngsters from Cleveland, Ohio who are looking to make it as pro skaters. Directed by Steven Caple, Jr. and executive produced by Nas, it’s set to debut in theaters in July 2016. It aired at Sundance in January and Variety described the film as “promising.” You might recognize Moises Arias from his role as Rico years ago on Hannah Montana.
From the trailer, it appears that this will be an intriguing story outside of the skate factor. It also appears to be a decent visual love letter to Cleveland, which we’re here for beyond shots of the Quicken Loans Arena. Also, Machine Gun Kelly, who claims the city as one of his hometowns is in it, which means if nowhere else, this flick will do well in its hometown.
Oh and Yeezy’s on the soundtrack, too.
feels sting of stereotypes as white football player
7:42 PMWhen we think of racial stereotypes in sports, we think of black men not being intellectually capable of playing quarterback, wide receivers and basketball players being nothing but self-indulged “divas” and black athletes only marrying white women.
But what about the other side?
Stanford running back and Heisman Trophy runner-up Christian McCaffrey recently explained to Sports Illustrated how race affects the perception of him as a collegiate running back because he’s white.
“When you read about white athletes these days and white skill possession receivers specifically, one word you’ll always find is tough,” McCaffrey said. “You’ll rarely see explosive, athletic, stuff like that. … You get a little bit upset.”
McCaffrey has a point: Last season he broke the NCAA single-season, all-purpose yards record, led his team in receiving and rushing yards — the only FBS player to do so in the country — broke the Rose Bowl record for all-purpose yards and still lost the Heisman to Alabama running back Derrick Henry by almost 300 votes.
When you type his name into Twitter’s search, fellow white running back Danny Woodhead’s name pops up alongside McCaffrey’s.
But while it can be frustrating to be taken serious as a white rusher — and that arguably led to some of McCaffrey’s success last season — there’s a long history of racial stereotypes portraying black athletes as intellectually inferior to their white counterparts.
Academic research has found that the media connects the success of black athletes to their superior natural ability — “They were just born that way” — compared to white athletes who had to, ironically enough, work twice as hard to be successful at sports.
McCaffrey, the son of Super Bowl-winning wide receiver Ed McCaffrey, has a fair point about the preconceived notions of him as a white running back, but is that really the worst thing in world?
changed the course of Memphis’ history
— seo (@odonovanse1) May 2, 2016
It’s a shame #memphismassacre1866 wasn’t a trending topic on Friday.
What happened in Memphis this month 150 years ago is a history lesson deserving to be told, however uncomfortable the details. Rising tensions stemming from the end of the Civil War and Reconstruction helped produce three days of unspeakable violence between May 1-3. Less than a month earlier, the Civil Rights Act of 1866 passed, essentially guaranteeing citizenship and forbidding discrimination based on race or previous condition of slavery.
Black soldiers who supposedly killed a white police officer attempting to arrest a black soldier ignited the brutality. Gen. George Stoneman, Fort Pickering’s commander, ordered black soldiers to the barracks and confiscated their weapons, leaving a nearby black neighborhood and black refugee camp completely defenseless.
From there, carnage ensued. White mobs, which included law enforcement, attacked the camp and black neighborhoods. Men, women and children were hunted down and shot in South Memphis. Some houses were even set afire and armed officials guarded them to guarantee no one escaped. Every crime from larceny to murder to rape took place. Think of the movie The Purge, but only on black people.
John C. Creighton, the Memphis city recorder, defined the moment’s evil in one quote. “Boys, I want you to go ahead and kill every damned one of the n—– race and burn up the cradle.”
Blood tattooed the streets of Memphis. Families were physically and psychologically shattered. Approximately 50 people were killed and the psyche of the city’s black community was scarred permanently moving forward.
But most unsettling, yet unsurprising?
No arrests were made. Congress explained the chain of events in a detailed report, but not much happened to remedy what Memphis’ black residents were forced to endure. The government essentially washed its hands of the slaughter.
If you’re searching for an in-depth account of the horror inflicted on the city where Martin Luther King Jr. took his last breath, The Atlantic has an incredible breakdown well worth the read.
Figure it out, Kyle
the game and series aren’t over
4:20 PMKyle Lowry leaving the bench and walking to the locker room to “decompress” in Game 2 shouldn’t be the Toronto Raptors lone Eastern Conference finals highlight. But alas, here we are. The 9-year guard out of Villanova has been getting roasted all morning — as he should — but the issue is two-fold. Lowry is wrong, but so are the Raptors.
Toronto, perhaps inadvertently, threw Lowry under the bus. Sometimes a franchise has to save a player from himself. Say he had a hamstring tweak, bruised elbow, stomach ailment. Something, anything, that doesn’t scream “abandonment.” Chances are you’re going to get dump-trucked by the Cavs anyway, so make that the headline. The moment it was announced Lowry essentially walked off the court because he wanted to throw a pity party for himself is when this non-story became a story.
But ultimately, the mistake falls on Lowry. Who knows what’s going on in his life outside of basketball, if anything. But leaving your teammates in the middle of a game you absolutely had to win because you’re feeling bad about yourself isn’t the route to go. The All-Star point guard has played terribly in long stretches in the playoffs, shooting 35.7 percent from the field. Not a soul is going to feel bad for Lowry because he is cooking himself (get it, like Lawry’s Salt). And not to quote Jay Z, but “cry me a river, build a bridge and get over it.” For what it’s worth, too, the “decompress” session didn’t do much good. Lowry finished 4-for-14 from the field for an earth-shattering 10 points and five turnovers.
Reputations are everything in sports, and no one wants to be known as the guy who abandoned his team with a trip to the Finals on the line. However unlikely that is to happen.
You know you’re getting older when …
you realize Fresh Prince’s final episode was 20 years ago
Twenty years ago today, the final episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air aired on NBC. pic.twitter.com/UCOFlLPgHj
— evan auerbach (@evboogie) May 20, 2016
Accept it. You’re old. Twenty years ago today, Hillary and Ashley were moving to New York. Carlton was moving east as well to start school at his father’s alma mater, Princeton. Uncle Phil, Aunt Viv and Nicky headed east to be closer to the rest of the family. Geoffrey, everyone’s favorite butler, gladly accepted his one-way ticket back to London.
But Will was still unsure what direction his life was headed in.
If anyone’s been living under a rock the past quarter century and doesn’t recognize the names, Friday marked the 20-year anniversary of the series finale of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Debates have raged for years about the two Aunt Vivs, the best episode or funniest character, but it’s impossible to deny the show’s legacy and staying power.
For what it’s worth, too, Will figured out life pretty quickly after everyone moved out. Less than two months later, he stumbled upon an acting gig in some movie called Independence Day. Sources say it performed marginally decent at the box office.
your life changed the game
1:20 PMWhen the images of Michael Brown’s dead body lying in the summer Missouri heat began to circulate the Internet in August 2014, the world was introduced to the town of Ferguson.
Today would have been Brown’s 20th birthday had he not been shot and killed by Darren Wilson, an officer with the Ferguson Police Department.
He'll never know how much of an impact he made. Happy birthday Michael Brown. Rest in Power. 👼🏿
— . (@___JustBrandon) May 20, 2016
In my mind, the images are still haunting. The fallout and unrest in that town and in many other American cities after Wilson was not charged by a grand jury made global headlines and laid bare the grim reality that in the United States of America, when in doubt, shoot first, ask questions later is not just an idiom, but actual state-sponsored policy.
Black Lives Matter. Hands Up, Don’t Shoot. Deray and Netta. For all of the movements, characters and symbolism that came out of that fateful summer, there is still the memory of a young man who had his life cut short.
Brown’s death didn’t just impact the law enforcement, social justice and political spheres. The circumstances of the case were so poignant that many athletes were compelled to chime in with their thoughts.
— Kenny Smith (@TheJetOnTNT) November 25, 2014
Wow. Just wow. Shameful. What will it take???
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) November 25, 2014
America lost its innocence before it was ever technically created as a nation, but the word “Ferguson” will hold as much import on U.S. history as Selma or Watts. The days of standoffs between military-grade police forces and protestors brought rise to a new frontier of technology with Twitter and live-webcasting that democratized how we shared information with each other.
Brown’s life and celebrating his birthday is so important to people because he was exactly who so many of us are at that age: just kids trying to figure it out.
Earlier this month, the town of Ferguson hired its first permanent black police chief. But that won’t be enough to erase the memory of that summer in Missouri — for anyone, anytime soon.
told an incredible Prince story on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
12:05 PMPrince’s basketball prowess was well known among sports fans, particularly those in Hollywood who’d seen it in person. There’s of course, Charlie Murphy, who recounted the tale of his defeat with aplomb on Comedy Central’s Chappelle’s Show, which forever cemented the term “game, blouses” into our lexicons. That was also recently confirmed by Samuel L. Jackson on Instagram, not that anyone would have actually cared if it wasn’t.
But a lesser-known story, until Magic Johnson revealed as much last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, was one the three-time NBA MVP told Thursday about hooping with the Minnesota legend once. “He talked so much trash, he thought he had a real jump shot,” Magic said. “I had to remember it was Prince that I was playing against so I had to back off.” Of course, the way Murphy told it back in 2004, Prince’s jumper was nothing but wet. Murphy ain’t Magic.
The best part of the interview, though, is about a time when Prince called Magic to tell him he wanted to see a movie. Naturally, he showed up at 2 a.m. with his whole squad in pajamas. The tales of the late musician’s night-owl antics are legendary. Personally, I’d love to believe that whoever the person running the projection that night had the time of their lives.
While things are sorted out with Prince’s estate and we learn about the details of his final days, expect a lot more stories to come out that celebrities had in the recesses of their minds. Let’s hope that all those memories are as fun as this one.
Daily Dose: 5/20/16
Serena isn’t stopping any time soon
10:54 AMHey gang, I’m headed to Asheville, N.C., for the weekend to watch a friend get married, dig for sweet vinyl, tour breweries, watch minor baseball and basically just act like I’m Crash Davis, which is the move. Should be fun.
If you haven’t been paying attention to Boko Haram, there is something resembling good news on that front. Earlier this week, a schoolgirl who was captured by the group was rescued. If you don’t recall, this is where the #BringBackOurGirls movement started a couple years back that suddenly had everyone in America tweeting about West African politics. That aside, the schoolgirl who was one of hundreds kidnapped was found with child. On Thursday, she got to meet the president of her nation, a small consolation indeed. ABC News’ Morgan Winsor has the story.
For all the political banter over bathrooms in this nation, there’s a separate matter regarding the issue that is at the core of the debate: signage. Beyond the specificity of urinals versus toilets, what the door to the facility says is, in fact, hugely important. Hence the clash in philosophies. And because of that, the people who make those actual signs are about to experience a serious boom due to demand from people who support gender-neutral bathrooms. And they come in different shapes and sizes — the signs that is. ABC News’ Susanna Kim breaks it down.
People go to sporting events for various reasons. Some do it to hang out with their friends, others to drink beer and some even like to watch the competitions. In all seriousness though, the potential added incentive of some free food tends to get people really excited. Just check out any basketball game where free chicken is on the line for missed free throws in the fourth quarter. In Major League Baseball, pizza is a big deal and also a fascinating index for where each local economy is per team. FiveThirtyEight’s Ben Lindbergh and Rob Arthur analyze how market forces affect which ballpark is most likely to get you a discounted slice.
Serena Williams is my favorite American athlete of all time. She recently supplanted Deion Sanders on this list, so in my eyes she can do little wrong. She dominates her opponents then uses whatever language of the country she’s in to gracefully accept her trophies. Even when she doesn’t win she’s awesome. Anyways, with the French Open coming up, we’re rolling back around to the time of year when people start questioning whether or not she’s motivated to play tennis. Sidebar: Have you seen her apartment in Paris? It’s tremendous. ESPN’s Johnette Howard explains how Serena has been rejuvenated.
Coffee Break: Mascots have extremely difficult jobs. You have to jump and run around in a sweltering hot suit and entertain people who can’t even tip you. Beyond that, you’re not even allowed to talk. But how do people get that job? Well, they go to school, just like for anything else. Here’s how it goes when a reporter tries to do the same.
Snack Time: I can’t think of anything more peak hipster than an Apple store in Brooklyn. Maybe an artisanal tea and crumpet station INSIDE an Apple Store in Brooklyn. Hey, guess what? An Apple store is coming to Brooklyn.
Dessert: Here’s a lovely collabo between Willow Smith and Michael Cera of all people. Happy weekend, kiddos!