Tales From Tito's Mind

Wild stories about real life, sort of.

6 Super Bowl Predictions and the Bets to Make

superbowl-party1

Good morning everyone! The sun is chirping, the birds are shining, and last night’s acid is still coursing through my veins. We’ve been blessed with a truly beautiful day for staying inside, chugging cheap beer, and spitting obscenities at T.V. screens. Football is my favorite drug-like pastime, so Super Bowl Sunday is the last euphoric dive into ecstasy I get before going on a cleanse. To kick-start this final high, I’m going to predict and bet on everything that’s going to happen in Super Bowl 50.

  1. The National Anthem

america

I don’t know who’s doing it this year, but I sure do hope he/she sucks. When our National Anthem is played beautifully, it can bring a tear to the eye of even the most hardened of war vets, but when it sucks, we get to laugh about it forever! It’s one of those things that can become a cultural running joke. No one cares when it’s sung well. The singer is getting paid to do it, they should at least do it well, right? Fuck no! The Super Bowl is a massive 4+ hour entertainment extravaganza! Let’s start it off with the shittiest singing performance in the history of mankind.

Bets Placed:

  • A ratio of no less than 10 notes sung per each syllable with an over/under 15 notes sung one the words “home” and “brave” in the last line.
  • The singer will forget at least one line.
  • The camera will pan to the Golden Gate Bridge at least twice.
  • The camera will pan to a crying spectator. Bonus points if that spectator is on the Golden Gate Bridge.

 

     2.  The Coin Toss

Joe

The last Super Bowl the Broncos played in was played in MetLife Stadium, home to my New York Jets and a lesser home to the New York Giants. Who came out to perform the coin toss? Broadway Joe Namath, famous quarterback for the New York Jets’ Super Bowl III win. He looked like a deflated leather football and was wearing about 10 foxes worth of fur; it was fucking hilarious. He was a manifestation of PETA’s worst nightmare. This year, the Super Bowl is in San Francisco, home of the 49ers. The 49ers have a famous Super Bowl-winning quarterback too, Joe Montana, a man who is more famous now for silly Papa John’s Pizza commercials. I’m hoping he comes out in some sort of tacky, Papa Johns’ themed leather jacket and carrying a large Papa John’s pepperoni pizza.

Bets Placed:

  • The pizza will land pepperoni side down.
  • The pizza will taste better than Domino’s Pizza even after it hits the ground.
  • Phil Simms will mention he played against Joe Montana at some point (even if he doesn’t actually do the coin toss)
  • Jim Nantz will be contractually obligated to mention his stupid “Garlic Nantz” slogan.

 

     3.  The First Snap

football

When Peyton Manning lined up under center for the first time in Super Bowl XLVIII, the ball launched over his head and into his end zone resulting in a safety effectively destroying the Broncos’ chances of winning. This year, I’m hoping something else happens. Literally anything else. A hawk swooping down and carrying the football to its nest would be less destructive. Odds are that the first play will run smoothly, but I’m not here to bet on the good odds. The real money is where the astronomically bad odds are.

Bets Placed:

  • The first snap will catapult itself 60 yards down the field, get kicked around by defenders and referees alike, spin around in circles resulting in a Scooby Doo-esque chase scene, and finally be recovered by the offense for a touchdown.
  • They’ll miss the extra point.

 

     4.  The Half Time Show

beyonce

It’s Coldplay this year, so, uhh, it’ll be pretty boring. There won’t be any petrified-looking anthropomorphic dancing sharks or giant, mechanical bulls like there were last year. I haven’t listened to Coldplay since “Viva la Vida” came out in 2008 and I refuse to believe they’ve been famous since then. So, I’m going to act like it’s 2008 again when I was 15 and thought Metallica and wallet chains were still cool. I’m going to go to Hot Topic, buy Misfits sweatbands, purple jeans with pre-cut holes, a Monster Energy drink and loiter at my local 7/11. Then I’ll go play Call of Duty: World at War and shout your mama jokes and racial slurs until my bedtime. Sounds like fun.

Bets Placed:

  • I’ll be too drunk to give a shit about Coldplay by half time. Or:
  • I’ll be drunk enough to actually enjoy Coldplay by half time.

 

     5.  Peyton Manning’s Arm

peyt

Peyton Manning is 39 years old. That’s pretty young in normal human years, but in a sport where a car crash is comparatively safer far you, 39 is fucking ancient. His arm hasn’t been good in years and he runs away from defenseman like a baby giraffe does from lions, but he still finds ways to win football games. He’s the most mentally prepared athlete in almost all of sports, he is still impeccably accurate with the football, and he’s probably on enough HGH and painkiller injections to shrug off a few gunshot wounds, but that doesn’t mean his arm will survive 60 minutes of torture.

Bets Placed:

  • Peyton Manning makes it until the 3rd quarter before his arms flies away with a pass. Both will be intercepted by Luke Kuechly and be returned for a touchdown.
  • John Elway comes in relief of Peyton Manning and wins the Super Bowl after a 98-yard game-winning drive.

 

     6.  The Outcome

trophy

In all seriousness, this Super Bowl is shaping up to be a fun one. Cam Newton is a young, super-athletic black man who plays the position like no other has before. Peyton Manning is the crotchety old professional who refuses to let age bog him down. These men are Bernie Sanders metamorphosed as football players and we get to watch them take each other on in a 4 hour spectacle of physical prowess. It’s gonna be a fun one.

Bets Placed:

  • Panthers win 34-30.
  • They jump out to an early 28 point lead, the Broncos come back to take a 30-28 lead in the fourth quarter, but Cam Newton leads the Panthers on a game-winning drive.
  • They miss the extra point.
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An Airing of Grievances (Part 1)

corporate vince

Look at corporate Vince Vaughn.  LOOK AT HIM!  That’s the face I made after the Jets’ season ended.  I’ve finally snapped out of my Post-football Month of Sadness and I’m finally ready to pinpoint what went wrong.  But first, I smell like shit, so I’m going to take care of that real quick.  For the time being, enjoy this stock photo of a corporate Dave Franco pointing at a really vague chart.

Dave Franco

I’m glad we got to enjoy those pictures together.  After bathing in holy water and ingesting a hearty breakfast of Jesus toast and Holy spirits, I’m ready to exorcise the demon that was the Jets’ 2015 season. With a fresh attitude and a new lens, I’m going to start combing through the braids of why they didn’t make the playoffs. Hopefully by the end of this excursion we’ll see a straight answer and can find some areas where the Jets can improve. If I can find ’em, the Jets’ staff should be able to find them too. If not, I’m looking for a job, so, hit me up Big Mac!

The Power of Chris(t) Compels You…to Run

I’m sorry for that shitty title, but sometimes you pick a weird theme for your article and gotta roll with it. The Jets found a theme for their offense, too, a theme that I absolutely love: Chris Ivory and the ground & pound. They rolled with that theme for better or for worse, most of the time for the better though. Unlike Rex Ryan who once called 10-or-so straight running plays out of sheer spite, Todd Bowles and Chan Gailey were able to find a healthy rhythm that, when it worked, was the primary contributor to their 10 wins. It’s easy to stick with what is working, but every champion that you’ve ever seen has had to adjust their game. This is a professional sport we’re talking about here. Guys and gals (thanks to the Rooney Rule finally applying to women) are getting paid stupid amounts of money to analyze film, they’re going to figure out what you’re doing and figure out a way to stop it. The winners stay ahead of them, the losers drop 4 straight games and miss the playoffs. You all know which one the Jets were. So, what didn’t they see? A slow offensive line.

I don’t know what was wrong with them, but whenever the Jets were struggling it was because the offensive linemen were making tackles in the backfield. I swear, I saw Breno Giacomini and James Carpenter fall on top of the Jets’ running backs more often than a defenseman. It was abysmal. It was as if they never knew what the snap count was. Constantly, play after play, 3rd down after 3rd down, the linemen started off the play a couple of yards in the back field. To make it worse, it felt like neither Bowles or Gailey realized it! Or even worse, they did realize it and had waaaay too much faith in Ivory. The man runs as if every punishing hit he gives out gets us closer to world peace, but he can’t do it all by himself. The troubling this is that the blocking schemes looked good. When big plays happened it was because the line worked as a unit and figured out who needed to block who (As a side note, Fitzpatrick did a wonderful job pointing out blitzers, assigning blockers, and changing plays pre-snap this year. Let’s not forget how valuable that is and how terribly bad Geno Smith is at that).

Some sort of adjustment needs to happen during the offseason. We have a tough schedule coming up, so we’re going to need to excel in every facet of football. Even though he had a solid year, I wouldn’t expect Willie Colon back. He’s aging, injury prone, and Brian Winters played well in his place. The Jets aren’t too far away form having a solid group of linemen, I expect them to draft a guard in one of the first two rounds in this year’s draft. The other position we need? Outside linebacker.

Exodus: Linebackers

Let’s get the good out of the way. David Harris. He has been with the Jets since 2007 and has lead them in tackles every year except for 2008 and 2011. He is a God amongst men and deserved the contract he got with them last year. To put it simply, he ain’t going nowhere cause he ain’t the problem. His supporting cast is a different story.

Calvin Pace, the already departed Quinton Coples, and to some degree Demario Davis were a problem. To put it simply for Pace, he’s old and can’t play against the spry youngsters of the NFL. I’m not quite sure what was wrong with Coples, but he never made a mark on the team. He was just kind of there. He didn’t suck, but he wasn’t good enough to keep his spot on the roster, so he got cut. Demario Davis is about to meet a similar fate. The dude is pretty quick, he can get in the backfield, disrupt the quarterback, and he is 95% sure tackler. So, why are the Jets going to cut him? If you can, look at Jets vs Eagles game tape, that’ll answer the question for you. He just can’t cover anyone to save his life, or to save his job apparently. I’m not a football expert, I can’t tell you what kind of scheme the Jets run outside of the basic 4-3 (4 down linemen and 3 linebackers). What I can tell you is that it’s now obvious that Bowles wants to use his linebackers in coverage. Davis can’t do that, so he gets the boot. Pace can’t do it either, so he’ll likely get the boot too. Harris can barely do it, but he’s too strong of a leader to let go. The Jets need to get younger and faster at the linebacker position. Thank God for the 3rd round marvel that is Lorenzo Mauldin, he’s going to make Mike Maccagnan’s job of filling out the linebackers a little easier. The Jets are going to keep Erin Henderson, an older player, but one who is similar to Harris and played well for them late last season. Expect the Jets to draft a linebacker at some point in the draft again, probably in either the 2nd or 3rd round. Our options in free agency aren’t that great this year, unless we can sell Von Miller on a criminally tiny contract. Zach Brown from Tennessee and Mark Barron from Tampa Bay are intriguing free agents, so keep your eyes and ears open to free agency news, I guarantee the Jets will pick up some linebacker.

Job: The Special Teams Couldn’t do Theirs

Atroci-teams is a more appropriate name for the Jets’ special teams. First off, our punter. There are only 32 teams in the NFL, every team should have a solid punter, yet the Jets managed to find the most mediocre of them all. I know punting isn’t easy, but it also isn’t that hard when it’s literally the only thing you have to do to keep food on your plate and a roof over your head. He shanked so friggin’ many punts at the worst of possible times. Punters are critical when they punt from their own end zone, Ryan Quigley was at his worst in those moments. He was solid, exceptional even, when we got him close to the 50 yard line, but that doesn’t cut it for me. I need a punter who can deal with all types of punting conditions, it seriously can’t be the hard. Of course, though, he wasn’t the only source of our special team’s failures. The worst of them all had to have been the newly departed coach, Bobby April.

My God man, even when Quigley made an exceptional punt pinning Darren Sproles against the sidelines, the team wasn’t even able to push him out of bounds because their tackle lanes were non-existent. When it comes to special teams, that is really the only thing a coach has to get down and he couldn’t even do that. What a putz. What a joke of a person. I…I’m honestly speechless over how horrible he was at his job. If I were an NFL coach with access to thousands of hours of tape I guarantee I’d figure out a successful kick coverage strategy. That’s not even a part of football that has evolved. It still goes off of civil war-era combat strategies: Make a wall, fire together, kill the other guys. That’s the basis of kickoff coverage and he couldn’t get that together. Months upon months of preparation, 4 preseason games, and 16 regular season games and he never found a way to make us better. Heaven help the team he goes to next.

Good Bye (For Now)

Slow linemen, slow linebackers, and stupid special teams. That just scratches the surface of my grievances. I know the Jets’ front office guys and coaches know where they went wrong. They’re already making moves to get better. Sadly, we’ll have to wait until September to see if we truly improved. Until then, I’ll keep complaining to you guys about what made the Jets bad enough to miss the playoffs. Thanks again for reading!

4 Reasons to Love the Jets

Gahh!—Are computer screens always this bright? You’ll have to excuse me, I’ve been huddled under a throw blanket of depression and contrite metaphors since January 4, which commenced the “Post-football Month of Sadness,” also known as PMS. Symptoms include irritability, muscle spasms, and spontaneous holes in nearby drywall (Sorry, John, I swear I’ll fix it).

This month affects football fans the world over, but it would have to take one hell-of-a convincing argument to convince me my Jets-brethren and me are feeling it the worst. The only thing that could have been worse is if the Jets moved to L.A. after they lost, leaving New Jersey in $140 million in debt and no team would be so rude—What’d you say Jack Daniels? The Rams…Oh. Well, it’s not like Rams fans are having imaginary conversations with sentient bottles of whiskey like I am, right? I’m still convinced I’m worse off. We were doing so well—well enough to be ranked in the top 12 of the NFL’s power rankings after the season ended. We broke franchise records, beat the Patriots, and we were having fun with it. It’s really a shame we lost to Rex Ryan of all people—by the same score, no less! It’s such a heartbreaking way to go out that I’m feeling physical pain just writing this article. I love this team that much. I know you all love ’em too, so lets embrace the end of the NFL season with a celebration of what we accomplished and look forward to what we will accomplish next season.

All Hail Fitzmagic!

The man. The beard. The legend. He threw for 31 touchdowns which not only set our single-season franchise record, but eclipsed our total for the past two years. Two friggin’ years! That turnaround is impressive and by no means a fluke. The one-two punch of Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker will keep blessing the raining touchdowns in North Jersey. They caught 26 of those blessed balls. Jeremy Kerley and Devin Smith were the only two other wide receivers to score a touchdown—a disparity we have to address. Quincy Enunwa made his case to me on that overtime drive against the Pats. He can be a solid number 3 guy, filling the role as a hybrid tight end—he can do crack-back blocks like few others and he can go up and make a catch when he needs to. If the Jets can find suitable roles for Kerley, Kenbrell Thompkins, and some yet-to-be-signed free agents and draftees, they’re looking to repeat on a pretty successful offensive season.

Fitzpatrick didn’t always look pretty doing his job, sometimes gashing his forehead in the process, but by God he got his job done. The Jets converted a total of 329 first downs, 210 of which were on passing plays. Last year they only had 289 first downs, 154 of which were passing plays. Jets nation has Fitzpatrick and Chan Gailey to thank for most of that. Their third down play calling was remarkable most of the time. Other times, it felt like they were running into a wall thinking they could throw enough heavy stuff at it they’d break through. Hopefully they learn from that. This was the first time I can ever say that I felt confident when the Jets were in a third-and-long situation. With Geno, I knew the odds of us converting anything over three yards was nearly impossible, so I’d just not bother to third down plays most of the time. Sure, it gave me an extra minute to grab a beer/tissue/pizza slice depending on the situation, but I’d much rather go thirsty, snotty, and hungry if it meant I’d see the Jets play well. With Fitzpatrick at QB, Jets fans got to be excited when their offense was on the field. They weren’t able to feel that way with Geno are Sanchize and far all of Fitzpatrick’s faults with his 15 interceptions and coming up un-clutch against the Bills, the Jets are better off with their balls in his hands.

All Hail the Defense!

15 total forced fumbles, 18 total interceptions, the league’s 4th best yards per game at 318, and giving up only 19 points per game. I’d say they Jets defense is something to be pretty darn happy about. Remember last year when the defense exploded against the Steelers? Remember how astonishing that win was? The Jets had no legitimate starters in their secondary that year. Darrin Walls is barely good enough for special teams, Antonio Allen isn’t a conerback at all, yet he started the entire year at the position, Pryor was just a rookie, and I don’t even want to talk about the dumpster fire that was Kyle Wilson. The fact that we went from atrocious to ferocious in just a year’s time means great things for the Jets.

The Secondary

Marcus Williams lead the team in interceptions with 6 on the year, he’s only 24 years old, he shows a great amount of promise, and he is poised to take Antonio Cromartie’s job next year. I think that will be a drastic improvement. He’s not as lanky as Cro, but he makes up for it by being aggressive and making a play on the ball, disrupting anything that comes close to him.

Buster Skrine played pretty well, he’s far from perfect and can’t cover guys on the outside that well, but he’s perfect for the slut. Quick and aggressive and actually plays with speed and heart unlike that ungrateful first round pick Kyle Wilson.

Then there’s that guy named Darrell Revis. He ain’t getting any younger. He can’t cover the young guys like he used to, but now that can be what Williams does. You don’t have to write much on Revis, his story is already written. He’s one of the best and he’ll continue to play at a high level for the next couple of years.

Pryor played extremely well after his so-so rookie season. He’s perfect for Bowels’ blitz-heavy defense because of his speed and ability to cover man-on-man and can run up and tackle the ball carrier.

Marcus Gilchrist is your average ballhawk. He plays well in zone, not too well in man-on-man, but when you air the ball out, you don’t leave it in his eyesight, he’ll come and get it.

This secondary houses a bunch of ballers and if you watched them play at all, you watched them have fun. That is something I haven’t seen happen in Jets’ green in a long time. I expect that Cromartie won’t be resigned next year in the interest of getting younger and faster on the outside. I’m sad to see him go, but I know the Jets are better off without him.

The ‘Backers

What a disappointment. I’ll talk more about why they were disappointing in an upcoming “Airing of Grievances” article, but for now just know that we were way too slow in the linebacker core and it eventually cost us a playoff bid. And now back to the good stuff!

The D-Line(!!)

Do I even need to say anything about them? They were so good, opposing teams basically just stopped running the ball. That’s how they beat the Patriots. They made them one dimensional, put Brady on his pompous, deflated bum, and won the game. Our success hinged on the linemen’s success. When they were in the backfield hurrying up throws, the secondary was able to make important plays. They clogged up holes and took away blockers allowing our linebackers and defensive backs to get a sack. They were obviously the highlight of the defense and they need to come back in full force next year. To do that, the Jets have to make some smart monetary moves. They already dumped Demario Davis (more on that in the “grievances” article), they will most likely get rid of Cromartie, they will restructure Revis’ contract, and, depending on cap hits, they’ll dump some bit players they don’t need such as Jeff Cumberland and Jamari Lattimore who do their work on special teams. Moves like these will open up the cap room necessary to resign Damon Harrison and Mohammad Wilkerson. They’ll probably franchise tag Wilkerson and sign Harrison to a backloaded 4-5 year deal not as criminally high as Ndamukong Suh’s $114 million contract, but high enough for him to be satisfied. He worked hard, he’s one of the best in the league, he deserves it. Does he deserve it from us though? Yes, but the business side of the NFL is a fickle one. With Leonard Williams looking like an all-star in the making and Sheldon Richardson playing as hard as he races, Harrison might end up being the odd man out. We need Wilkerson, we don’t necessarily need Harrison.

More to Be Said, but Sleep to Be Had

There is so much more to say about this team, but I just don’t have the time to say it right now. I haven’t written anything in a while and I really just wanted to get something out there again, so I started writing this, realized I had thousands and thousands of more words to say, and decided to say them at a later date and in a better way. This team made me really happy this year. I hope they made you happy too. With the dreaded offseason trudging its way closer and closer to us, tune in to my blog to read more about my thoughts on the Jets (and other stuff!). Thanks for reading!

“Compton: A Soundtrack” First Thoughts

Hello again!  This is a follow-up to my preview of Dr. Dre’s latest album, Compton: A Soundtrack.  If you scroll down you can read it there.  This is gonna be a short column, just my initial thoughts on the album.  So, let’s get right into it.

I was right about one thing from my preview, this album was nothing like any other Dr. Dre album before.  It was a completely different style and sound, but not necessarily an original style and sound.  It played around with some 70’s, P-funk beats.  It played with drill music (think of frat basements and trap music), a style i think is just awful and overdone by many one-hit wonders of this decade’s rap stars.  Dre actually did it pretty well which is a testament to his creative genius.  You could hear some jazz influences coming through a lot of the beats.  There were a lot of nuanced sounds going on too, like the snare drum emulating gun fire.  Dre mixed a lot of different styles throughout this album and the music fluctuated in the songs themselves too.  If I had one thing to complain about, though, it’d be;  where was Dre?  Locked in Eminem’s basement still?

His voice did not come through this album at all, so much so that I’d go 2 or 3 songs before I remembered I was listening to a Dr. Dre album.  I think Dre mixed his voice to oblivion.  When I finally was able to tell that he was the one rapping and not just some no-name featured artist, it sounded too rough, too filtered, it blended in with the backing track and sounded too similar to his featured artists.  When it’s your album, it’s your voice we want to hear.  If I put on a Wu-Tang song, I know when I’m hearing Method Man.  When Biggie Smalls starts rapping, I know it’s him.  Kendrick, Snoop, Tupac, Eminem…they all have a definitive sound to their voices, Dre doesn’t.  And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but he should’ve done a better job alerting his audience to his voice on his own album.  With that being said, the album is still incredible and you should definitely listen to it, just don’t expect Dr. Dre’s voice to come through too much.

Seriously, I thoroughly enjoyed this album from top to bottom, especially Kendrick’s songs.  He stole every one of them, which is to be expected from arguably the best rapper today.  For 16 songs, there really aren’t any ones that standout as being terrible.  Check out “Just Another Day”, “One Shot One Kill”, “Loose Cannons”, and “Darkside/Gone”.  But like I said, the whole album is really good so, listen to all of it.  It’s streaming on iTunes until midnight, but I’m sure you can get an illegal copy totally legitimate copy tomorrow.  Thanks again for reading!  I hope you all enjoy the album as much as I did.

“They Say Rap’s Changed, They Want to Know How I Feel About it.”

Dr. Dre, the man with questionable Ph. D origins, is about to release his long-awaited 3rd album to his very patient (pun intended?) fans. Rap has changed since 1999 (and a lot more since N.W.A.’s debut in 1988) and a lot of that change is thanks to Dre. If I asked you who the most prominent rapper to emerge since 1999 is, odds are you’d either say Eminem or Kendrick Lamar. Thing is, Dr. Dre launched both of their careers, as well as the careers of Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent(less), and The Game. Dr. Dre no longer has to tells us how he feels about the ever-changing landscape of hip-hop. He is the change, and, on August 7th, we’ll see how 27 years of defining an entire genre presents itself in the form of 16 tracks. For the time being though, I’m gonna tell you, my lovely audience, what we can and can’t expect from this album.

What Compton: A Soundtrack Won’t Be.

It won’t be Straight Outta Compton. Dr. Dre hasn’t produced anything that sounded like that album since it’s release in 1988. Even their follow-up didn’t sound like it. That’s because Dr. Dre invented a new style of hip-hop called G-funk, and it is fucking smooth. Just listen to his 1992 album The Chronic. It’s smooth and funky, like a St. Ides 40. A lot of that album has samples and influence from Parliament and Funkadelic’s Mothership Connection (1975). That band’s nickname is P-funk. P-funk, G-funk, get it? Dre obviously likes that band and you can hear it in his earlier works like The Chronic and Snoop Dogg’s debut, Doggystyle (1993).

It probably won’t be like 2001 or The Slim Shady EP either. By 1999, when Eminem jumped on to the scene like a wild animal, ripping everything in his path to shreds, Dr. Dre’s beats got hard, hitting on the down beats instead of the upbeats like a lot of Dre’s earlier songs did. That’s not a bad thing, in fact I’d say it’s the reason Eminem works. His flow is so quick and rhythmic, he doesn’t need a free-flowing beat underneath him. His rapping is free-flowing. Dre’s beats compliment that by being hard and tight. Listen to “Guilty Conscious”, it’s the perfect example of what I’m trying to say. That style basically stayed the norm for the next 10 years. All the way through fiddy’s (I’m white) “In Da Club” (so white that I had to ask a black friend to write “Da” for me) and Eminem’s albums up to and including Relapse (2009), with the occasional emotionally down songs like “Stan”.

Relapse was the last album Dre had a major hand in. It wasn’t until 2011’s “I Need a Doctor” when Dre came back onto the scene with a new sound. That song is powerful in the same way Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” is powerful. It’s emotional. It’s angry. The beats, melodies, and lyrics are all beautifully despondent and Skyler Grey’s voice sends chills through my body as she wails in the chorus. It was the perfect song to bring Dre back into mainstream consciousness. Hell, I still get chills thinking back to their performance at the 2011 Grammy’s. But will that song’s sound make its way to Compton: A Soundtrack? Sort of. I’ll explain in a minute.

The closest thing we’ve had to a new Dr. Dre song since 2011 was 2012’s “The Recipe” by Kendrick Lamar. It was a special released track off of Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City. This song is where I think Dre will pull most of Compton‘s sound from, especially the lyrics. Look ’em up. Dre’s verse is basically him telling us how awesome his millions of dollars are. At least he had the decency to do it with a good song rather than with terrible family movies. You see, after two decades of making millions upon millions of dollars (his net worth is $650 million), a rapper who made his mark spitting lines about his life in the ghettos of L.A., hating police officers, and toting guns around (I’m so sorry about my whiteness) can’t write about that because his life isn’t like that anymore. Compare the lyrics of “The Recipe” to any track off of The Chronic or 2001, they’re completely different. I think it is safe to say that we’re gonna hear more lyrics about smoking legal weed then we will about holding illegal guns.

What Compton: A Soundtrack will be:

Take a look at the album’s featured artists. Kendrick, Eminem, Snoop, Ice Cube, etc., they’re all masters of rap music (and one mastered losing his job on his day off and also the trials and tribulations of driving children around). But the no-namers, like Asia Bryant, Marsha Ambrosius, Jill Scott and Candice Pillay are all really talented R&B singers, especially Jill Scott. Definitely check her out, she’ll give you chills. Collectively, those singers are on seven tracks, which is why I think Dre is taking inspiration from “I Need a Doctor”. I’m assuming these singers will sing the hooks and the choruses, which will give those songs the nice, spacey counter-point to Dre and his friends’ harsh and heavy rap styles. Then there are the featured rappers. I’m gonna focus on three for now and I’ll keep it short because I’m edging into the 1,000 word territory and I’m in need of a bathroom break.

The Good:

King Mez. I hadn’t heard of him before I saw the track list, but I am so glad I checked him out before the album dropped. He’s got a similar flow to Kendrick, which might be a bit of an over zealous comparison, but what ever. His beats groove nice and slow and his flow compliments it with a percussive diction. He’s on 3 tracks, “Darkside/Gone” with Kendrick, “Satisfaction” with Snoop, and “Talk About It” with Justus (whoever that might be). Keep an eye out for “Darkside/Gone”, King Mez and Kendrick are gonna feed off each other and give us what might be the best track on the album.

The Bad:

Jon Connor. Dr. Dre may turn out to be the Terminator to Jon Connor’s…John Connor. That is to say that Jon Connor is nothing more than your average rapper with average lyrics that sound plain and uninspired. He doesn’t have a flow that jumps out at you. His beats don’t jump out at you. He’s just the definition of plain. Maybe Dre’s beats can save Jon Connor’s averageness.

The Ugly:

Cold 187um. Woo boy, this guy. This fucking guy is something else. Holy shit. I can’t tell if he is trying to be funny with how awful he is or if he’s trying his best and coming up short. Like way short. Like he tried to jump his Razor Scooter and flipped over the handle bar short. “The Psychopathic Assassin” is an actual title to an actual song this guy actually wrote, recorded, and filmed a video for. Oh, and 1-8-7 is the police code for murder. His pen-name is Cold Muderum. Cold Murder ’em. Cold. Murder. Them. Like….what? What is that? What does it mean? I wish I knew what he wanted to convey with that name. So, please tweet me @eric_f_tito (orginal as hell, I know) and tell me your best guess. Anyway, he’s on a track with Xzibit, so that’ll be interesting.

Final Verdict:

This album should be far from what made N.W.A. a national phenomenon. Dr. Dre’s style has changed drastically since 1988. He isn’t a punk kid lashing out at the “man” any more. He is the “man”. He’s a multimillionaire and a hell of a business man. His first album was very much of its time. He was rapping about the L.A. Riots and about black culture in the 80’s and 90’s. Times have changed and I feel like Dr. Dre’s voice isn’t in the heart of black culture like it was in 1992. So, he’s not gonna give us the same stuff we fell in love with 20+ years ago (or for me about 5 years ago). Hell, he’s not even gonna give us the Eminem stuff we fell in love with just 10 years ago. He’s gonna give us something different. Looking at the track list and featured artists, my best guess is that it’s gonna be smooth beats with hard lyrics undercut by beautifully chilling female vocals. And his lyrics will be about vegan weed or whatever the hip Californians are into nowadays. Anyway, thanks for reading and stay tuned for my Compton: A Soundtrack review post coming up after the release.