Friday, August 22, 2008

What's New In Dart's iPod #44 AKA The Danny Ainge Edition

One of the most polarizing Boston athletes of the 80's was Danny Ainge. He was brought in to be a backup point guard or a shooting guard for the Boston Celtics after they lost Tiny Archibald and acquired Dennis Johnson. Ainge was regarded as one of the best all time athletes to ever come from the state of Oregon. He was a top prospect in football, baseball and basketball and he chose to attend Brigham Young University and play basketball and baseball (cuz he's Mormon).

He could run all day long, shoot like a sniper and he could stand in front of the hoop jump straight up and touch the top of the square on the backboard. After a successful college career at BYU, Danny Ainge decided to sign with the Toronto Blue Jays of MLB rather than play basketball. Red Auerbach drafted him anyways and waited. After three seasons he was out of baseball and on his way to Boston after the Celtics bought out his contract. At first, he sucked something terrible but he worked to get back to basketball shape and he cracked the rotation. Soon he was knocking down jumpers, diving for loose balls, dropping dimes and filling the lane on fast breaks.

Danny Ainge was a hard nosed player, a fierce defender (during his younger years) and he did whatever needed to be done on the court in order to win the game. This made him pretty unpopular across the league because he was never the one to back down from a fight..not even with his own teammates. All Danny was concerned about was getting the job done at whatever the cost. If the point of the game is to win, then let's do it.

Danny's dead eye shooting, pesky defense and willingness to run and find the open man resulted in him earning a spot in the starting lineup and he was a main factor in the Boston Celtics winning the 1984 and 1986 NBA Championship. He was also a key member of one of the all time greatest teams in NBA history with the 67-15 1985-86 Boston Celtics. After the Celtics 1988 season was over he told Red Auerbach that he needed to move some of the older guys and get younger because it could be years before they contend again. Auerbach ended up trading Ainge instead in 1989.

Danny Ainge came out of the analyst's chair in 2003 to become the Boston Celtics GM of basketball operations. After years of floundering Danny Ainge had several excellent drafts where he amassed a wealth of young talent that when the time was right he traded off to bring Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett to Boston. He also wanted to bring in his old pal and rival Doc Rivers to coach the squad. These decisions led to the Boston Celtics winning the 2008 NBA Championship. I think it's about time that Boston Celtics organization did the right thing and retired the number of the last great Boston Celtic from the 80's.

It's only fair that #44 should be in the rafters next to Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish and Dennis Johnson to complete the original starting five. Enough of this shit, on to the reviews section. For those of you new to the party, 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.

Esco went in! © Young Jeezy

Best Joints: Leave Of Absence, Bad Blood, New Me, Word Has It, Worst Enemy, Wrong, Evil Money, Thankful and It's All Over

Hot Garbage: N/A

Dart's Take: Even though this project has been floating around since late 2007 it finally sees a proper release on CD this summer. There isn't a dull moment on this EP, the beats are ridiculoid and Supastition (Kam Moye) spits nothing but heat on all 9 collected tracks. If you sleep on this then you need to smack yourself with a sock full of nickels repeatedly. Just about every joint could be considered a "banger". I can't give "Leave Of Absence" anything but a mos def.

Best Joints: Trouble Is, Gol' Dust, Slow Cure, Back Home (The Return), 40 Furrows, House, Winter Takes All, Weather Vane, 40 Acres, Nina Sing, Certitude, 40 Thieves, Spits, Nothin' At All, Swell and Tobacco Road

Hot Garbage: I wasn't feeling "The Crucible" that much and the album's second half had a slight drop off from the first half.

Dart's Take: I absolutely loved Common Market's "Black Patch War" EP and this album is more of that Sabzi production with RA Scion spraying some excellent bars over the top of them. This album is all about the concept of farming, harvesting and cultivating your own organic product and seeing all of your hard work come to fruition just for other people to try to jump in and tell you what you can and can't do or put rules and restrictions on you.

This album was largely be seen as "grown folks Hip Hop" or "backpacker Hip Hop" but I maintain that it's just "Hip Hop", period. "Tobacco Road" picks up where Cunninglynguists "Dirty Acres" and Blue Scholars "Bayani" left off and continues in the tradition of excellent releases that can be considered among the best albums of the year. I give Common Market's "Tobacco Road" a highly recommended maybe, just short of a mos def. Cop it when it drops September 9th and support real Hip Hop music!

Best Joints: Finally, Up All Night, Half A Knot, Mama Always Told Me, Go For The Gusto Room, Wow, The Only Way, In The Building, Bout It Bout It, Get The Name Straight, Long Time Gone, Still Up All Night, Perfect Picture, Anything Is Possible, The Oath and Hold On John

Hot Garbage: N/A

Dart's Take: If you're not one of the people that jumped all over the Blu & Mainframe project "Powders & Oils" late last year thinking it was the Johnson & Jonson album and had it on your iPod wondering why it wouldn't play all the way through on it but it played fine on iTunes then chances are you're not a blogger. I have been waiting on this project to drop forever and the only reason I'm reviewing it so early is that so many albums leaked the past couple of weeks that none did this week.

Mainframe's production perfectly complements Blu's delivery and his lines will have you pressing your clickwheel again and again. Several of the joints you loved from "Powders & Oils" made the final project but this time in CD quality audio for a change. Gems like "Half A Knot", "The Only Way", "In The Building", "Bout It Bout It", "Long Time Gone", "Perfect Picture" and "The Oath" will have your neck hurting something fierce. If you've been living under a rock and haven't been checking for Blu then you'll have no excuse for not doing so after "Johnson & Jonson" drops on September 23rd. It gets a much deserved mos def.

Late Passes (For Doz Dat Slept):

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

Rhymefest-El Che
Jay Electronica-Act II: Patents Of Nobility
Jay Electronica-Abracadabra: Let There Be Light
Big Boi-Sir Luscious Leftfoot
Magnif & J Dilla-Detroit Royalty
Blu-God Is Good
Sean Price, Guilty Simpson & Black Milk-Random Axe
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
Billy Danze-Behind Gatez
AG & O.C.-Oasis: Together Brothers
Common-Invincible Summer
Omen-Be The Judge
Capone-N-Noreaga-Reporting The War
Phat Kat and Elzhi are Cold Steel
Royce Da 5'9"-The Bar Exam 2
The Beatnuts-The Planet Of The Crates
Skepta-Microphone Champion
Statik Selektah-Stick 2 The Script
Ski Beatz-Half Man, Half Amazing
Evidence-Cats & Dogs
Rapper Big Pooh-Rapper's Delight
New Jack Hustle (Shawn Jackson & Newman)-Sound Check

Dart's Fat Tape/CD-R (as of August 22nd, 2008):

Finally-Johnson & Jonson (Blu & Mainframe) (prod. by Mainframe)
Talking To God Pt. 2 (Resurrection '08)-Termanology (prod. by DJ Premier)
Straighten It Out-Crooked I f/Sauce
Trouble Is-Common Market (prod. by Sabzi)
Text Me (Remix)-Parker Brothaz f/Big Pooh, Naledge & Talib Kweli (prod. by Tha Bizness)
Calmly Smoke-Evidence f/The Alchemist (prod. by Evidence)
True Magic-Cambatta f/Skyzoo
God & Satan-Pain Language (Planet Asia & DJ Muggs) (prod. by DJ Muggs)
Me And This Jawn-Murs
New Me-Supastition
My Life-Chamillionaire f/Trae & Slim Thug
Wik Wik Wak-Big Lou f/Probz, Torae, Kel Spencer & Skyzoo (prob. by Tekneek)
Slow Cure-Common Market (prod. by Sabzi)
Angel Dust-Hasan Salaam f/Lord Jamar (prod. by Lord Jamar)
Amillincredible-Spec Boogie
Perfect Picture-Johnson & Jonson (Blu & Mainframe) (prod. by Mainframe)
Money-The Primeridian f/Pugz Atomz & Rashid Hadee
Guilty As Charged-Gym Class Heroes f/Estelle
Why Not? (Remix)-Cashis &Young De f/Freeway & Kurupt
High Powered-Scarface
Cyphr-Wale f/Beanie Sigel, Freeway & Young Chris
Cloud 9-Reks (prod. by DJ Premier)
It's All Over-Supastition f/Torae, Don Johns & Finale
My President Is Black-Young Jeezy f/Nas (prod. by Tha Bizness)
The Oath-Johnson & Jonson (Blu & Mainframe) (prod. by Mainframe)

I had crazy visions, son! I'mma rock niggas this Summer! © Ghostface Killah



Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reviews. It's not at all surprising that Danny Ainge could touch the top of the square from a standstill. Basketball Reference has him listed at 6'4". The top of the square is 11'6". That leaves 5'2" before you account for how far his arm and fingers extend above his head. I'd say it's at least 22 inches giving him a standing reach of 8'2" or 98 inches. So he only needs a 40 inch vertical to touch the square. It's very good but it's nothing special for a professional athlete.

Dart Adams said...

@ most felonious:

So...A White Mormon kid from Eugene, OR having a 40" plus vertical is NO big deal considering that very few kids are that athletic? I was making the case that he was a legendary all around athlete (which he was). Keep in mind that he could do this BEFORE he grew to his full height of 6'5" and he was STILL in high school.


Anonymous said...

i didnt know the j&j project "leaked" different is it from the old version?

"hold on john" was my shit, so how did that beatles sample get cleared? hopefully its not different...

fill me in my man

Rebecca V. O'Neal said...

unrelated to this post but between ur love for comics and your taste in music

i love this blog.

u have exquisite taste.

Dart Adams said...

@ andrew:

Neither the Common Market or the Johnson & Jonson have leaked. I was forced to review them because so many albums leaked in the past two weeks that I had to review something that I had promo copies of that haven't leaked to the public.

Common Market "Tobacco Road" drops September 9th and Blu & Mainframe "Johnson & Jonson" drops September 23rd. "Hold On John" is a bonus track that wasn't even credited on the album.


Anonymous said...

^ cheers u just answered my question

DocZeus said...

The 2008 Boston Celtics - Made Possible By Kevin McHale.