I have to apologize for how late this post is.
Between visiting with relatives who arrived from overseas and the traffic jams / power outages experienced yesterday as a result of the Toronto floods, this blog entry toiled in the draft section longer than it should have.
Nevertheless, we’re here now.
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While many of the crew discussed their favourite anthems you would hear at a live sporting event, my train of thought veered a little left and I began to think of songs that are literally about sports.
I know where your mind is headed right now and I am sorry to inform you that you are, in fact, WRONG: this post will NOT be about “Marlins Will Soar“.
To be honest, the choice was obvious to me from the jump.
The lyrics can be viewed here c/o RapGenius (@RapGenius)
[complete with authentic #beigelife annotations!]
For the uninitiated, Breaking Atoms is universally heralded as one of the greatest hip-hop records of all-time.
Large Professor (@PLargePro), a.k.a. Extra P, a.k.a. “the greatest producer on the mic” (Lord Finesse [@LordFinesseDITC] notwithstanding) was the driving force behind Main Source (ed’s note: i’m a rapper).
Acting as MC and handling the bulk of the production duties, he fell out with the group soon after the release of their debut album and went on to forge a very successful solo career, especially on the production tip.
Anyway, back to the song.
“Just a Friendly Game of Baseball” is peppered with all kinds of baseball references and allegories that any aficionado of the game would have no trouble deciphering.
Yet, the entire song is a metaphor for the extreme brutality and institutional racism that blacks and other minorities were (and continue to be) subjected to on a routine basis.
Groundbreaking track in terms of lyrical dexterity and content. And one that still holds up to this day, in my opinion.
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BONUS EDIT: As an aside for those who aren’t rap heavy, Breaking Atoms launched the careers of both Nas (@Nas) and Akinyele respectively – the former of whom was only 17 years old at the time and showing he was wise beyond his years / the latter of which being a criminally underrated MC who holds the distinction of being the only rapper to have an album produced entirely by Large Professor!
Both were featured on the classic posse cut, “Live at the Barbeque”, which can be heard below: