Thursdays with Thurl: Takin it back to '04 (and '84)
Hello Freedarko faithful, it's Thurl Bailey. Back for my second column and here to drop more musical gems on you. Today's first two selections come from Twista and J-Zone, both depicting the NBA world of 2004, an era that seems like eons ago even though (ostensibly) only a year has passed. If anything, these songs help make me realize how irrelevant that time was for The Association (pre-Lebron really taking flight, post-Kobe announced as rapist, etc.).
I have sort of fallen off the J-Zone map, but I love the guy's first three albums, and he knows his hoops. Evidently he has a song called "A Friendly Game of Basketball" in which he disses rappers who hoop and hoopers who rap. Excellent concept, but I instead decided to go with his 2004 NBA Preview, "Alley Oop." I believe this song was released on its own as a single and wound up on some Fat Beats compilation. Hilarious assessment of the Trailblazers and the Knicks. By the way, if you see this, Zone, and want us to take it down, holler at us.
J-Zone: "Alley Oop"
The Twista joint--a promotional "freestyle" for NBA Live 04--reminds us that it was not long ago when you could boast of a "big 3" featuring McDyess, Sprewell, and Allan Houston. Ah, the glory days that were 2004.
Twista: "NBA Live 2004 Freestyle" (turn the volume up)
Finally, because you know Big T likes to get smoove with it, here is a throwback from The Master, Marvin Gaye. This is his controversial and legendary rendition of the National Anthem at what would also be Marvin's last public appearance. Kelly Tripucka and Otis Birdsong (I kid you not) helped lead the East to a 154-145 victory that year.
Marvin Gaye: "Star Spangled Banner at 1984 All-star game"
As always, Thurl says...ennnjoy.