Monday, March 31, 2008

The Heat Is Off...Way Off

Last night was a classic showdown between the cream of the crop and the cream of the crap. The Miami Heat fielded a squad full of cats I'm used to seeing at NBA Summer League contests and free agent camps. Besides NBA vets (and former Celtics) Ricky Davis and Mark Blount this team featured a motley crew of whatshisfaces (Stephane Lasme, Blake Ahern, Joel Anthony, Kasib Powell, etc.) and nobodies (Chris Quinn, Earl Barron, Alexander Johnson). Jason Williams, Shawn Marion and Daequan Cook all registered DNP-CD's for the contest as well.

If the Celtics have blown out two of the best teams in the entire NBA (Phoenix Suns and New Orleans Hornets) at home then what would they do to this pathetic squad? The answer was evident when the Celtics were up 27-4 after just 7 minutes of play. The starters got significant rest and the Celtics still lead 50-30 at halftime with little chance for resistance from a Miami team with only 9 available bodies on the bench.

This game was a sad sight as the Celtics held the hapless Heat to 17-59 shooting (.288) and 4-21 from 3 point range (.190) and none of the Celtics starters even played longer than 25 minutes. The Celtics stifling defense managed to hold the Heat to an NBA record low 17 total field goals, the lowest ever total of the Shot Clock Era. Wow.

The game ended with the Celtics winning 88-62 and the fans being treated to yet another early appearance by Gino on the Jumbotron. The C's were led by Leon Powe's 17 points and 13 rebounds (6 offensive) in 27 minutes. Kevin Garnett racked up 12 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists in just 21 minutes, Paul Pierce contributed 10 points 4 assists and 2 steals in 24 minutes and Ray Allen had 10 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists in 25 total minutes. James Posey scored 7 points off the bench and had a team high 4 steals.

Tomorrow, the 58-15 Boston Celtics play the 29-44 Chicago Bulls in Chicago. Hopefully they lose by less than 20...we don't need the Celtics to get big headed on us with playoff time coming up soon.


Saturday, March 29, 2008

29 Up, 29 Down AKA The Quest For #17 Continues

I hate to say "I told you so" but I told you so. Last night, the Boston Celtics were focused on not only sending a message to the rest of the NBA but they wanted to avenge their March 22nd loss to the New Orleans Hornets. After trailing 60-56 at halftime, the green team clamped down on defense and exploded offensively in the 3rd quarter outscoring the Hornets 32-15 in the quarter. David West and Jannergo Pargo, who dominated in the second half of the last contest were both held in check.
Rajon Rondo established the tempo early and drove often, several times he left leading NBA MVP candidate Chris Paul in the dust, only able to read the back of his jersey as he scored the ball. While CP3 finished with 22 points 10 assists and 3 steals he was still -25 for the game (worst on his entire squad) and Rajon Rondo went for 17 points (on 8-10 shooting), 4 assists and 1 steal and checked in at +28 in 6 fewer minutes of work.

Paul Pierce abused Peja Stojakovich (who couldn't guard a mailbox) and Bonzi Wells (he's in shape..he's round) time and time again, ultimately ending with 27 points, 6 rebounds and a team high 9 assists (he also was a perfect 13-13 from the charity stripe) and Kevin Garnett finished the night with 21 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 block. The tandem were both showered with chants of "MVP!" from the throng of Garden faithful during the game.

The Celtics shot just under 60% for the game (44-74 .595) and the outscored the Hornets 56-32 in the second half to win the game going away (we got to see Gino on the Jumbotron again!). The final score was: Boston Celtics 112 New Orleans Hornets 92. The C's have now become the second team in the NBA (Utah Jazz) to defeat every other team in the league at least once this season. At 57-15, Boston now has a 6 game lead on the Detroit Pistons with 10 games left in the regular season.

I fully expect to see Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to move up that damn MVP Top 10 ranking list that scrolls at the bottom of the screen on NBA TV starting on Sunday. It' s time for the rest of the country to recognize and realize that Green is the new Black. Black is the new President and the Boston Celtics are the best team in the NBA. See you all come playoff time.


Friday, March 28, 2008

What's New In Dart's iPod #25 AKA The March Madness Edition

This has been the smoothest writing week for me in about a month. I did almost experience a problem with my mega post of the week about the Sprite Curse (it was supposed to go up last month but I ran into a wall while investigating it) but I was able to post it up (and edit it further this morning) with no problem.

I’ve also moved into sole possession of 1st place in Dallas Penn’s NCAA Tournament Pick ‘Em...too bad I didn’t pick past the Final Four. This week several albums that will be dropping soon hit the internet and the bloggerverse, chief among them being the three I’ll be reviewing today. In order they’ll be LMNO & Kev Brown’s “Selective Hearing”, AZ’s “Undeniable” and the long awaited C.R.A.C Knuckles “The Piece Talks”.

Since so many of you are curious to hear (or read) my take on these albums I won’t waste any more time and just get to business. I don’t rate albums on a scale or assign them a numerical value out of 5 or 10, instead I merely answer the all important question of “Is it worth buying or not?”. Here's how my "Cop It Or Not" ratings system breaks down below:

Oh No! This CD is a drink coaster/table balancer/doorstop/gerbil/hamster room divider/frisbee/discus/makeshift shield/last ditch choice for a visor/alternate shuriken choice. Sell this shit to whoever is dumb enough to buy it from you.

Maeby (Maybe)! Depending on your own set of personal preferences you might like this joint. Give it a listen first to see if it's in your lane or not.

Mos Def! Cop the album when it drops...'Nuff said.

I drop bombs like bad receivers © AG

LMNO and Kev Brown collaborated on a new project called “Selective Hearing”. Kev Brown is a well respected Hip Hop producer from the Maryland/D.C. area and LMNO is a West Coast rhyme veteran with some solo classic under his belt as well as some classic material recorded with his group The Visionaries (if you’ve never heard “Blessings” or “If You Can’t Say Love” then I pity you, fool). LMNO is also a Christian (with some Rastafarian undertones) and he doesn’t hesitate to mention it in his rhymes. Did the Christian Rap aspect hurt the album at all in my opinion? Read below:

Best Joints: Fanfare, The Beat Tape, Who’s That, Show Up, Selective Hearing, Get Away (This song references camping, hiking, veggie links, soy bacon and Jesus...I still like it. Kev Brown, you’re a beast!), The Cause, We Got This, Unheard (Jesus Alert!), Make A Way, Raise

Hot Garbage: N/A

Dart’s Take: If you’re a fan of LMNO, The Visionaries or Kev Brown than this album is a no brainer definite buy already. For those of you not familiar with LMNO (God forbid you’ve never at least heard “Grin And Bear It”) at all then his rhyme style might grate on your nerves. Between Kev Brown’s ill production work and verses plus guest appearances from Oh No, Dudley Perkins, Georgia Anne Muldrow (“I stay woke”) and Ariano this is a nice album (though it’s a little on the short side).

The bonus is the Kev Brown instrumentals (which I’ve been killing!) more than make up for the length of the album. I give this one a recommended maybe because some people don’t expect a dude to profess his love for Jesus repeatedly while his rhyming. Definitely worth checking out.

AZ is one of my favorite all time emcees and he has been since I heard his first recorded verse on Nas’ “Life’s A Bitch” back in 1994. Now, almost 15 years later the one known as The Visualizer hasn’t shown a sign any signs of rust. Ever since his 2002 LP “Aziatic” he’s been on a roll making excellent album after excellent album, does AZ’s hot streak continue? Read my take on it below:

Best Joints: The Game Don’t Stop, Superstar, Life On The Line, Fire, What Would You Do, Dead End, Parking Lot Pimpin’, Undeniable, Go Getta (between this joint and the Styles P song, Ray J’s on quite a run!), Now I Know, A. Game, The Hardest, You Can’t Be Serious (Bonus track)

Hot Garbage: N/A

Dart’s Take: AZ’s masterful flow allows him to kill tracks that 80% of rappers would sound absolutely horrible on. Every track he’s on is an enjoyable listen because AZ can carry the listeners attention and never bore you. He absolutely kills joints like “The Game Don’t Stop”, “Life On The Line”, “Fire”, “Dead End” and “Parkin’ Lot Pimpin”. I have been playing this album damn near nonstop since I first got it (even during this review). I give this a mos def. Go out and cop it April 1st when it hits stores and iTunes.

Blu (Lifted EP, Below The Heavens, Powders & Oils) and Ta’Raach (LOVEE, The Fevers, The Breakfast Club) are C.R.A.C Knuckles (pronounced “crass”). They have both collaborated on the hotly anticipated LP “The Piece Talks”. If you’ve ever listened to Blu’s tracks off of his MySpace page or heard any of Ta’Raach’s music with The Lovelution then you’ll know that it’s going to be some off the wall type shit. Did the final product live up to all of the hype from all of the blogs that have been talking about it for months? I’ll let you all know right now:

Best Joints: What Up (Part2), Buy Me Lunch, Love Don’t, Major Way, Activate Too, CRACHAUSE, Respect, Pop Dem Boyz, 2.16.05, Mr. Big Fizz, Chill, Hello!?, Go!, Activate...As Well, Bullet Through Me, Credits, Shake & Ready (listen past the phone conversation labeled “Ready” and there are two more songs I’ve named “Shake” and “Ready” (it was either that or “One Two”).

Hot Garbage: N/A (This album might frustrate some people...I’ll get into it all in detail below)

Dart’s Take: This album isn’t just straightforward beats and rhymes all the way through. There are some tracks that are just mostly music with ill instrumentation and arrangements. Tracks like “Buy Me Lunch”, “CRACHAUSE” and “Credits” don’t have any rhymin' on them at all. Joints like “What Up (Part2)”, “Major Way”,“2.16.05”, “Chill”, “Hello!?”, “Activate Too” and “As Well” are mad short. Some songs are on the “off the wall” side (“Buy Me Lunch”, “Go!”, “Bullet Through Me” and “Ready”) and may throw some people off.

After it initially leaked from, it made the rounds to every music site and blog. Robbie on didn’t know what to make of it. Some posters on Okayplayer thought it was too unfocused and all over the place. A few heads that had only just heard of Blu and never heard any of Ta’Raachs previous material were completely lost like Bobby and Cindy Brady on a vacation to the Grand Canyon.

My advice is not to overthink it, just play the whole album and listen to it. Go for a walk. Ride the train. Take a drive and just let it play. I guarantee you won’t be able to get “Buy Me Lunch” out of your head (Just like the many bloggers that have had this album for months and not once did it leak)

A lot of people wanted this whole project to be like “Love Don’t”, “Respect” and “Pop Dem Boyz” but you can’t take artists and expect them to put restraints on their creativity because you as a listener aren’t more open minded. Just go with it. I give this album a mos def, easy. Do the right thing this April 22nd and cop it.

Late Passes (For Doz Dat Slept):

Albums I'm Looking Forward To Reviewing Once They Leak...I Mean Drop:

I'm Also Looking Forward To Reviewing The Following Projects:

Santogold-I Believe In Santogold
Tanya Morgan-The Bridge EP
Rhymefest-El Che
Skillz-Million Dollar Backpack
Joe Budden-Padded Room
Jay Electronica-Act II: Patents Of Nobility
Jay Electronica-Abracadabra: Let There Be Light
Soul Assassins III-DJ Muggs vs. King Madallions (Planet Asia)
Big Boi-Sir Luscious Leftfoot
Magnif & J Dilla-Detroit Royalty
Blu-God Is Good
Snowgoons-Black Snow
N.E.R.D-Seeing Sounds
Platinum Pied Pipers-Abundance
Method Man & Redman-Blackout 2
Redman-Muddy Waters 2
B.O.B.-The Adventures Of B.O.B.
The Alchemist-Chemical Warfare

Dart's Fat Tape/CD-R (as of March 28th, 2008):

Gotta Believe-Saigon f/Just Blaze (co-prod. by Just Blaze & Kanye West)
The Game Don't Stop-AZ
Crash-Che Grand
Hard Day's Night-The Knux
I Don't Know-Danny f/Von Pea of Tanya Morgan (prod. by Danny Swain)
Crazy-Royce Da 5'9"
Cappaccino Remix-The Knux
Shake-C.R.A.C Knuckles (Blu & Ta'Raach)
We Got This-LMNO & Kev Brown f/Oh No (prod, by Kev Brown)
Let's Go!-Focus f/Chino XL & DJ Revolution
The Luv-Really Doe
Swing-Che Grand
The Grind-Fairmount Park Commission (Clean Guns, Triple Nickels & 2ew Gun Ciz)
ChicaGo Getter-Naledge of Kidz In Hall
Touch And Go-Joe Budden
K-1 Attack-Mickey Factz f/Nakim
Original-Praverb (prod. by Dirty Beats)
Amazing-The Knux
Where You Goin'-Danny f/Maria (prod. by Danny Swain)
Ignite The People Like Obama-6th Sense
Raise-LMNO & Kev Brown (prod. by Kev Brown)
Plastic-Really Doe f/Kanye West (prod. by Kanye West)
Gorgeous-Pacific Division King Kong with a White girl in my left palm climbing the side of a building that's tall © Black Milk


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Three The Hard Way

Last night, the Boston Celtics bodied the Phoenix Suns 117-97 in front of a national audience (ESPN aired the game) to stop a two game skid and raise their record to an NBA best 56-15. They were deadlocked at 57-57 going into halftime but the Celtics clamped down on D and outscored them 60-40 in the second half of the game.

 On Friday, the Celtics host the New Orleans Hornets, the one team in the entire league they've played and not beaten. I guarantee you that David West (37 points vs. Celtics on March 22nd) will not get off too many open jumpers on that night. My sister, brother in law and mother all went to the game and I watched it at home switching back in forth between Comcast Sportsnet and ESPN.

Gordan Giricek couldn't guard a damn lamp! Steve Nash got shook by Rondo (14 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 1 steal) all night and Kendrick "The Incredible Hulk" Perkins' 13 points, 10 rebounds (5 offensive) and a block held it down in the middle. Kevin Garnett (30 points on 12-19 shooting, 3 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks) and Paul Pierce (27 points, 9-9 free throws, 6 rebounds and 4 assists) were unstoppable and Ray Allen was a decoy and racked up 8 assists while knocking down jumpers at opportune times (14 points on 2-4 from the three point line).

The Celtics are looking at this game on Friday as their final chance to send a message to the entire NBA that they are the team to beat come playoff time. Just 11 games left to go in this regular season while three squads battle for the honor of being crushed by the Green machine in the first round of the 2008 NBA Playoffs. Atlanta, New Jersey or Indiana? It's all good!


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Dart Adams presents Journey Into Mystery: Investigating The Sprite Curse

Over the years, there have been several real or imagined curses ranging from the legendary Curse Of The Bambino to smaller curses like the covers of Sports Illustrated and EA Sports’ NBA Live and Madden games. One of the most discussed in social circles is the “Sprite Curse” said to affect those that appear in Sprite commercials. Is the Sprite Curse just an urban myth, a coincidence or is it something much more real? I’ll tackle that very subject here in this blog. Let’s start at the beginning:


Kurtis Blow is the first Hip Hop artist to appear in a commercial for a soft drink. This year, Kurtis Blow would star in the film “Krush Groove” and record the final hit of his recording career “If I Ruled The World”. Kurtis Blow’s style was too old school and his career went into decline. In 1988, he released “Back By Popular Demand” to a lukewarm reception and abysmal sales. The Hip Hop audience had moved on to acts like Rakim, KRS One, Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, Public Enemy, Ice T and N.W.A. He retired from rapping shortly afterwards.

Heavy D. & The Boyz were riding the success of their breakout album “Big Tyme” when they appeared in their Sprite commercial. Months after the spot first aired, Trouble T. Roy of The Boyz died in a freak accident while on tour. In 1991, a celebrity basketball game/concert starring Heavy D. & The Boyz was oversold and didn’t have sufficient security in place leading to a stampede that killed 9 people and injured hundreds. Both incidents sank Heavy D into a long depression (that he has long since emerged from).

Kid N’ Play was hot off of their hit album “Funhouse” and their successful film “House Party” when they hawked the lymony beverage. Kid N’ Play would release one more album (“Face The Nation”) as well as several movies before their deal with Select Records dissolved and fourth album tentatively titled “Void” was shelved after the lukewarm sales of the “House Party 3” soundtrack and their final single “Bounce”.

Kid N’ Play broke up officially in 1995 and shortly thereafter Play’s clothing line IV Plai and his line of barbershops called Playtime were in dire financial straits. Soon, Play’s marriage would end and he’d be charged with failure to pay child support. Kid was able to continue working as a producer, actor, show host and a touring stand up comedian. Play was recently in a car accident but escaped with minor injuries.


Jermaine Dupri’s newest discovery Kriss Kross went quadruple Platinum with their first album “Totally Krossed Out” and they had released their second LP “Da Bomb” when they appeared in their Sprite ad. Their sophomore album barely went Platinum and their singles sold nowhere as well as the previous project.

Group member Chris Kelly also had to deal with issues stemming from him having leukemia, Jermaine Dupri focused on Da Brat, Xscape and outside production. When Kriss Kross finally returned in 1996 with the “Young, Rich & Dangerous” EP they managed two minor hits and barely went Gold. They claim to have had material for a fourth album for years but Jermaine Dupri hasn’t even attempted to get back to them. I guess he missed the bus.

A Tribe Called Quest was the next group to appear in a Sprite commercial. They had just come off of their classic “Midnight Marauders” album and they were breaking into the mainstream market. In 1996, they would release their least acclaimed project by both fans and critics “Beats, Rhymes and Life”. Tribe’s newest album yeilded only two singles and neither of them fared very well. Two years later, they announced that they would break up and “The Love Movement” would be their final album as a group.

Shortly thereafter, Q Tip, Phife and Ali Shaheed Muhammad would all release other projects. Phife’s “Da Ventilation LP” was filled with several scathing verses aimed at Tip. Eventually, all beefs were deaded and A Tribe Called Quest got back together and toured last summer. As of the writing of this blog, no album is forthcoming.

Large Professor appeared in a Sprite commercial with Grand Puba. He had signed a solo deal with Geffen Records to release his album titled “The LP”. He released two singles and videos for the songs “Mad Scientist” and “Ijusswannachill”. The singles did moderately well but Geffen expected them to do a lot better sales and chartswise. Politics, red tape and internal drama at the label led to “The LP” being shelved and Large Professor was released from his deal. Large Professor didn’t release a solo album until 2002 when his Matador LP “1st Class” hit shelves (when you bought it online you got a copy of “The LP” along with it).

Grand Puba was fresh off the release of his new LP “2000”. The album failed to produce hits like his previous album did and didn’t sell very well. Grand Puba didn’t release another solo album until his indie LP “Understand This” in 2001. He was recorded several projects with Brand Nubian who continue to go strong.

Pete Rock & CL Smooth appeared in the other Sprite commercial featuring two emcees freestyling in the studio. Shortly after it first hit the air, the group announced that they were breaking up after two classic efforts that failed to move a significant amount of units. 

Pete Rock released multiple projects and featured CL several times in recent years but CL Smooth has since come out in interviews and said that they’d never work together again. CL Smooth has released the mixtape “Man On Fire”and the LP “American Me” last year on Shaman Work while earlier this year Pete Rock dropped “NY’s Finest” on Nature Sounds.

The Lost Boyz appeared in a new Sprite campaign based on the classic film “Wild Style”. The Lost Boyz had gone Gold with their two previous projects and were working on their third album “LB IV Life”. In March 1999, group member Freaky Tah was shot and killed months before the album could be released. It would be the first time that an LB album would fail to sell well. They had a brief reunion album tour before group member DJ Spigg Nice would be found guilty on several counts of armed robbery and sentenced to 37 years in jail.

Nas and AZ appeared together in another Sprite commercial based on Double Trouble’s legendary “Stoop Rap”. Nas would go on to record his two most critically panned projects “I Am” and “Nastadamus” while AZ would release his album “Pieces Of A Man” that would just come short of going Gold. Due to internal problems at his record label AZ was released from his record deal.

AZ made the independent album “S.O.S.A. (Save Our Streets, AZ)” and that sold an excess of 100,000 copies independently which secured him another deal with Motown Records. His subsequent major label albums ("9 Livez" & "Aziatic") have each had dissapointing sales numbers  but AZ is still one of the most well respected lyricists in all of Hip Hop. His new album “Undeniable” drops April 1st, 2008.


Sprite unleashes the new Voltron ad campaign on the public featuring different emcees and groups representing different regions of the country and they each occupied one of Voltrons lions:

Goodie Mob was enjoying the success that came with their sophomore album “Still Standing”. Soon they’d switch labels to Arista and change their sound on the third LP, the critically panned and commercially disappointing “World Party”. The fallout from “World Party” lead to Cee Lo leaving the group. The group released two more projects on the indie circuit and have since reunited. A new reunion album is reportedly forthcoming.

Mack 10 of Westside Connection was fresh off of his album “The Recipe”. His subsequent albums began to sell less and less and his marriage to T-Boz of TLC turned ugly in a very short time. He was released from his label deal and signed with Cash Money Records.  When that album also failed to move units he was released from that deal as well. He is still the owner of his own record label but he’s never returned to his former place in the Rap world.

Fat Joe’s career actually took off in 1998 and he began to make hit singles and pervade the mainstream market. Ever since 2005, beginning with his album “All Or Nothing” his albums have been selling less and less and his music is becoming less and less inspired since he entered a feud with 50 Cent who won’t let up on him even for a moment. His last two albums “Me, Myself And I” and “The Elephant In The Room” have had meager sales and the Terror Squad as we knew it is no more.

Common was between two classic albums “One Day It Will All Make Sense” and “Like Water For Chocolate”. Soon afterwards, he’d enter a relationship with Erykah Badu and change his image even more than he had previously. This lead to the release of his worst received album “Electric Circus”. It wasn’t until three years later when Kanye West took the reigns and cosigned Common that his career took off again. He is now one of the biggest artists and up and coming actors in the industry today.

Sprite began a new campaign based on the Kung Fu classic film “The Five Deadly Venoms” but in the place of the original Venoms are five female emcees:

Kool Keith appeared as a villain in the commercials that did battle with the Venoms. His major label debut album “Black Elvis” Lost In Space” was about to drop on Ruffhouse/Columbia. His vinyl had an odd printing defect in which the entire first run of his album’s vinyl pressing repeated side A on all four sides of the two piece vinyl. To make things worse, shortly after his album was released Ruffhouse/Columbia ceased operations and the project wasn’t promoted well and few copies were pressed. Kool Keith is back to recording underground albums for his core audience.

Eve was coming off of her double Platinum debut album when she appeared in this commercial. Even though she’s had hits, film roles and a television show her sales have gone down with each album (from double Platinum to Platinum to Gold). Her present project “Here I Am” had two singles released that went nowhere and it’s been pushed back a full year since “Tambourine” first came out at the time of this writing. Ya gotta love Aftermath!

Angie Martinez released her albums “Up Close And Personal” and “Animal House” to modest sales after appearing in this commercial. She’s managed a few hits in her rapping career and has since retired from recording.

Amil was pretty much just used for guest appearances and hooks when she appeared in these commercials. Her album “All Money Is Legal” was released in 2000 and it failed to sell or produce a hit after “4 Da Fam” and “I Got That” featuring Beyonce both caught a brick. Amil was relesed from her Roc A Fella deal and is currentlty working on an indie project.

Mia X had released three well recieved albums on No Limit Records and was riding the success of her 1998 album “Mama Drama” when she appeared in this Sprite campaign. She ended up leaving No Limit Records shortly thereafter and as of this time she has never recorded another album although she did appear on a mixtape back in 2006.

Sprite started up a new campaign called “What Are You Thinking?” that featured artists in scenarios where people and their own prejudices and issues with racial stereotypes were examined:

Beanie Sigel had several issues with the law and ended up going to jail in 2005 after he recorded the album “The B. Coming”. His group State Property dissolved and Roc A Fella Records fell apart while he was incarcerated. He returned to the world and switched from Dame Dash to Jay-Z and Def Jam. His new album “The Solution” has been out for about six months and has still failed to crack 100,000 units in sales. He has also recently been sent back to the bing for three months because he violated his parole agreement. Damn your crisp lymony flavor, Sprite!

Mos Def has since failed to get back to the heights that he was at when he recorded “Black On Both Sides”. His albums “The New Danger” and “True Magic” have both failed commercially. His marriage of 10 years also fell apart in 2005 and he’s been dogged by accusations that he hasn’t been paying child support in full. His film career is still going well.

Pharoahe Monch had a 7 year gap between studio albums (2000’s “Internal Affairs” and 2007’s “Desire”) and his long rumored deal with Interscope’s Shady Records fell through at the last minute. Several songs that should’ve made that album couldn’t due to sample clearance issues.

Other victims of the Sprite Curse:

Arsenio Hall: After his talk show ended it's run he struggled to find work or successfully pitch new projects to television  networks or movie studios. His friend and fellow stand up comedian  Jay Leno (whom he used to kill in the ratings back in the day) kept him employed and let him do segments for "The Tonight Show".

Hi-Five: After enjoying much success, shortly after Hi-Fives Sprite commercial aired in 1992 one of their members (Roderick "Pooh" Clark) was seriously injured in a car accident and was never able to perform again. Their next album flopped, they broke up and lead singer Tony Thompson went solo. He was found dead in June 2007 in what has been called a huffing accident by authorities.

EnVogue: Found out after the release of their album "Funky Divas" that they signed a bad deal that gave them a poor percentage of royalties. They were broke although they had every possible accolade imaginable. Their sales began to decline with each following album and they had a harder time making hits as the years went on. Dawn Robinson left in 1997 just to sign with Aftermath. Wow.

Grant Hill: Between 2000-2004 Grant Hill's ankle only allowed him to play in 47 total games. He almost died from complications caused by a staph infection in 2003 following yet another ankle surgery where his ankle was purposely broken and reset. He spent six straight months receiving antibiotics intravenously following the incident.

Keith Murray: Did a voice over for a Sprite commercial back in 1996. He went to jail in 1999 and got out in 2001. He signed to Def Jam and got into a fight in the Def Jam offices because they failed to properly promote his project. He was dropped from Def Jam two weeks before his much delayed album "He's Keith Murray!" was finally released in 2003.

Allen Iverson: A scrapped Hip Hop album on MCA Records (as "Jewelz") and some intermittent troubles with the law lie amongst a disappointing showing as captain of the USA Men's Basketball Team at the 2004 Summer Olympics where the Americans came home with the Bronze medal. Team USA C0-captain Tim Duncan also appeared in a Sprite ad as well. Coincidence?

Kobe Bryant: While staying at an Eagle, Colorado hotel in 2003 Kobe Bryant allegedly sexually assaulted a 19 year old hotel employee. This Sprite commercial was pulled shortly after he was charged along with several other endorsement deals with Adidas and Gnutella. I guess homie was obeying his thirst.