It’s funny how coincidences happen. While looking for an old file on an external hard drive I came across a gem that struck with expert timing. It was a photograph that was probably taken roughly 11 years ago. The pic was of three subjects all which share a yellow brick paved road to mega success and perhaps immortality. Funny how it lines up. As we sit days away from the start of the NFL regular season, in the photo there sits a NY Jet Superstar and two up-and-coming rappers featured in the esteemed XXL Magazine Freshman class for the year 2010. By name let’s see how the future turned out for them.
Firstly, there’s Darrelle Shavar Revis: an 11-season veteran considered one of the best cornerbacks of all time. Revis was tagged for seven Pro Bowls and was a four-time first-team All-Pros due to his defensive aptitude. With his penchant for shutting down the best receiver of opposing teams, his territory on the football field was nicknamed “Revis-Island.” With a Super Bowl title added to his resume, having won in Super Bowl XLIX with the New England Patriots, his spot in the Hall of Fame is all but assured.
Next, positioned in the center, there was Airmiess Joseph Asghedom whose born day of Aug. 15 took place a few weeks ago. While he WOULD have been 37 years old, we are left to ponder where he and the lives of hundreds perhaps thousands of African American youths would have advanced to. Under his professional moniker Nipsey Hu$$el, he was about THAT life. As an example, he was the co-owner of a clothing line, but was compelled to open a brick-and-mortar store to move the product. The store, billed as a “smart store,” bridged the gap between culture and technology by giving customers access to exclusive music and other content created by rappers through an app created by a software engineer named Iddris Sandu.
Just as important as what the store was, was where it was. Opening in the commercial district of his hometown Crenshaw was important to him because he wanted to invest and provide opportunities in his neighborhood of Hyde Park. As a musician he was a legend on the streets, being able to sell mixtapes for a HUNDRED dollars a pop but his debut studio album “Victory Lap,” released in 2018 to critical acclaim and commercial success, was nominated for the Best Rap Album at the 61st Grammy Awards in 2019. The following year he won two posthumous Grammy Awards for the songs “Racks in the Middle” and “Higher” in the Best Rap Performance and Best Rap/Sung Performance categories, respectively. The world lost big with his passing.
Lastly there’s Sean Anderson, a.k.a. Big Sean. Very quietly Sean has performed in sold out arenas and sold millions of records throughout his career. This week he celebrated Big Sean the 10th anniversary of his “DETROIT” mixtape.
Upon its initial release, with features that included J Cole, Jhene Aiko, and Chris Brown, it saw nearly a million first-day downloads causing the DatPiff.com site to crash. Complex magazine listed the mixtape in its tally of the 50 Best Albums of 2012. “DETROIT” went on to win Best Mixtape honors at the 2013 BET Hip-Hop Awards.
In 2020, Big Sean went on to release “DETROIT 2,” which became his third consecutive solo album to reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200, and the set’s Nipsey Hussle-featuring single, “Deep Reverence,” earned a nomination for Best Rap Performance at the 2021 Grammys
The newly expanded re-release is available on all streaming services via Def Jam Recordings. The new commemorative edition includes an additional bonus track, “More Thoughts” and an exclusive, limited-quantity CD which can be found at DefJamShop.com.
Memories!!! Over and out. Holla next week. Til then, enjoy the nightlife.