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Jamie Foxx’s Bad National Anthem Has Nothing On These Performances

Originally posted on UPROXX:

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As we saw with Jamie Foxx at the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, performing the National Anthem in front of judgmental sports fans (not to mention everyone watching and on Twitter) runs the risk of being a minefield of disaster for any celebrity. Screw up just one of those awkward notes or crescendos, and you might find yourself plastered on a viral vine in a matter of minutes. A great Anthem doesn’t tend to move the needle at all, but a bad one? It’ll make you immortal.

Still, for all the Anthem performances that have gone sideways, there have been more than a few a well-executed ones that have been downright inspiring. Here are some of the best and worst celebrity Anthem performances:

Best: Whitney Houston, Super Bowl XXV (1991)

Not only is Whitney’s voice on point, but the whole atmosphere here is just spectacular. This set the standard for Super Bowl Anthems.

Worst: Roseanne…

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Watch Metallica Show Jamie Foxx How A National Anthem Performance Is Done

Originally posted on UPROXX:

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Jamie Foxx mutilated the National Anthem ahead of the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight on Saturday night, and you would think that our great nation’s thirst for pushing the acceptable limits of the anthem would be satisfied. But earlier in the day, another performance reminded us why we continue to try.

At the third-annual Metallica Day at AT&T Park, hosted by the San Francisco Giants, Metallica’s James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett played a dueling guitar rendition of the Anthem. Lars Ulrich later threw out the first pitch.

Basically, Hetfield’s and Hammett’s performance was the complete opposite of what came out of Foxx’s mouth at the MGM Grand later that night, which means it was great. Compare for yourself:

The Bay Area-based Metallica are massive Giants fans, but they have not been timid about lending their infamous guitar riffs to teams and colleges across the country. “Enter Sandman” is played at every Virginia Tech home football game

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Why To Pimp a Butterfly is So Good

None of us will be perfect. No matter how much we work toward perfection, we will never achieve it. Whether you’re a lawyer, a gangster, white, black, purple or blue, its impossible. We will always be flawed humans, which begs the question: Why bother?

In To Pimp a Butterfly, Kendrick asks: “Because why not?”

We can spend a lifetime doing incredible things and barely move the needle of humanity progress. Even Kendrick Lamar, one of the most influential artists of his time, isn’t going to stop any wars or pass any bills with some beats and rhymes. But he, like any great musician, can save a kid’s self-destructive perspective on life. He can help someone get through a tough time. He can make someone’s commute shorter or give an outlet from a broken home.

In the grand scheme of things, its a ton of work for essentially no reward. But its worth trying, dammit.

“But iono, I’m not Mortal Man. Maybe I’m just another ni**a.”

Kendrick says, at the essential conclusion one of the best albums of the decade. Well over an hour of beats and rhymes that question our everything from his decision to skype his dying friend to Killer Mike’s underrated popularity, all he has to say for himself is “I’m just some guy.”

What makes Lamar different, however, is how conscious he is of his creative beast—his butterfly. As he beautifully summarizes to Tupac:

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The butterfly is caterpillar are separated in how they respond to Lucy (Lucifer). The bulk of TPAB, starting with Wesley’s Theory (referring to Snipes, who succumbed to Lucy), depicts Kendrick’s personal battle with Lucy.

This album, also laced with incredible bars and doused in daring, 70-funk production that would scare most any other artist away, attacks themes and topics from a perspective never really taken from an artist of this prominence—which, to me, makes it one of the best pieces of music made in our generation.

Darrelle Revis Returns

Where is Alf? ¯¯\_(ツ)_/¯

My contract with Bleacher Report will end at the end of this month, as it has every year since in 2011. This time, however, it will not be renewed. I don’t have much of an explanation for you other than B/R is going in another direction with their NFL coverage, which is completely in their right to do.

I would be lying if I said I was totally cool with this, but by the same token, its somewhat of a relief. Since I graduated college and entered the shitty adult world (sorry youngins, enjoy it while it lasts), keeping up the dream of writing about sports for a living, while, you know, making an actual living took a lot of sacrifice. I worked a job where I commuted about 4 hours a day, worked 9 (nights), wrote for 3 or 4 (or more), did some bullshit workout to not get fat and filled in the space with sleep. My days began to build around how I was going to balance getting my writing done that day without falling asleep mid-paragraph.

I developed a bad relationship with a game I used to love. Football got me through some tough times as a youngin. It was becoming a burden through no one’s fault but my own.

I thought I was losing my fanhood because I was becoming more analytical, but it wasn’t just the Jets I didn’t care about. NFL Sundays were becoming a chore, and not because I had to write—just watching the games became work.

It hit me that my relationship with football was changing when I was watching/blogging Jets/Ravens with my brother in 2013. Ed Reed (of course) watched a ball sail over his head to further embarrass the Jets; all I was worried about was the time of the touchdown so I could update it on my blog, completely emotionless as to what had happened.

“You just really don’t give a shit anymore, do you?” My brother asked.

He was right. A younger version of me would have his head buried in a pillow (just as a younger version of Reed would have never let such a thing happen, but that’s another topic).

I was compensated fairly for the work I did put in, but money was just a byproduct of why I put myself through this season after season. I definitely gave a shit—about the product I was putting out every day. Every article with my name on it was my best possible work. I just didn’t give a shit about what makes the NFL so fun.

For most people, football is an escape. For me, it was just a second job—which is the last thing I wanted it to be. I wanted to do something I loved so I would never have to work, not work so much I never got to do anything I loved. Taking out a tough day at work by going into detail about how terrible Stephen Hills’ releases are off the line of scrimmage is not an ideal stress reliever.

So, that’s why I have been keeping away from twitter, taking a step back to re-evaluate what I really want out of this. I’m not sure what the future holds for my writing career, but I do know I still want to write – its a form of communication where, I, a stutterer, am on an equal playing field as everyone else. I have to write.

Eventually I will likely pursue other writing opportunities and return to heat up the TLs with #takes on the reg, but I will probably take the next few weeks to step away from the game. If you’ve followed/read/RTd/favorited/sent me hate mail/made fun of my Revis #lust, thank you – you guys helped keep me going more than you think. I’m truly grateful for the opportunity B/R gave me as a nearly-broke college kid and to have kept me around for as long as they have.

To the next chapter.

Alf