James Harden & Chris Paul Reportedly Had War Of Words After Game 6 Loss

Despite being at a clear advantage with Kevin Durant out the lineup for Golden State, the Houston Rockets were unable to knock f the defending champs in the second round the playfs. The two stars the team, Kevin Durant and Chris Paul were given a heavy dose the blame for the loss and many felt they didn’t do enough to give their team a spot in the Western Conference Finals. After the deciding Game 6, Harden and Paul got into a “verbal exchange” where they showcased their frustrations with each other, according to Shams Charania The Athletic.

Sources close to the team say the two got into it in the locker room before parting ways, as Paul went to the podium for the postgame press conference, while Harden ended up going elsewhere. This war words ended up taking place away from the public which is why we aren’t hearing about it until now.

James Harden & Chris Paul Reportedly Had War Of Words After Game 6 Loss

Lachlan Cunningham/Getty s

In Charania’s report, he also speaks about how Paul was unhappy with Mike D’Antoni’s fense and that it seemed to be stagnating throughout the year. D’Antoni is due for a contract extension so the coach will have to figure it out quickly if the Rockets want to make sure they don’t have a repeat this season, next year.

ScHoolboy Q Congratulates Jay Rock On Receiving The Key To Watts

Jay Rock is set to receive one the highest honors in Los Angeles tomorrow. The City Of Los Angeles and 15th District Councilmember, Joe Buscaino, will be presenting Jay Rock with the Key To Watts on May 24th. The ceremony is set to go down at Jay Rock’s neighborhood, Nickerson Gardens, at the Recreation Center Basketball Courts. 

Rock received praised form many his West Coast contemporaries such as Daylyt and Problem with wack100 showing Jay Rock love for the honor as well. Rock’s labelmate, ScHoolboy Q, hopped on Instagram to congratulate him for his contributions to his community and staying down with Watts even though he could’ve easily left. “WHen u stay down tHis type sHit Happens.. love u fool @jayrock congrats n word,” Q wrote on Instagram. 

It’s already been a pretty big year for Jay Rock already. Earlier this year, the rapper was nominated for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song for “King’s Dead” with Kendrick Lamar, Future and James Blake, and “Win,” respectively. “King’s Dead” ultimately won for Best Rap Performance while also drawing a tie with Anderson .Paak‘s “Bubblin.”

Other than the Grammys, the rapper was also honored by Barack Obama who included the Watts rapper’s collaboration with Kendrick Lamar, “Wow Freestyle,” in the former president’s favorite song list 2018.

With all the work Jay Rock’s put in over the years, it’s nice to see him being recognized by the local politicians in his community. 

"Aladdin" Gets Remade As A Porn Parody Called "Aladdick"

With Aladdin ficially hitting theatres tonight, a porn studio has decided to make a timely parody the live-action classic. One the most anticipated movies the entire year is nearly upon us and much like with every other blockbuster, adult entertainment companies are looking to make some money f the blockbuster. After porn searches went up by an insane margin when Avengers: Endgame premiered, Pornhub has just released a teaser clip for their new Aladdick film which, course, is a parody the Will Smith-starring movie.

"Aladdin" Gets Remade As A Porn Parody Called "Aladdick"
Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic/Getty s

As reported by Complex, the video is presented by WoodRocket, featuring a man in all blue make-up who introduces himself “a fuckin’ genie,” an unconvincing actress looking for someone “daddy enough” to sleep with her, and Aladdick, the title character. The two-minute-long preview features the crew singing along to some very cringe-worthy tunes, the genie saying how embarrassed he is to even be cast in the film, and some censored action. The standard version the parody porn will release today for free while an extended edition will be exclusive to Pornhub Premium subscribers. 

If you’re actually interested in checking this out, peep the ficial synopsis: “When Princess Jizzman goes looking for a prince to satisfy her royal genitals, she comes across Aladdick over and over again. With the help his Vagenie and flying carpet, he disguises himself as Prince All D. But will evil Jafuck, screw him over?”

Bruh… what? Who signs f on this kind stuff?

WWE Superstars And Fans Honor Owen Hart On 20th Anniversary Of His Death

WWE superstars past and present, as well as wrestling fans worldwide, are remembering the life and career WWE superstar Owen Hart today on the 20th anniversary his tragic death. 

On May 23, 1999 Hart, playing the role “The Blue Blazer,” was scheduled for an Intercontinental Championship match against The Godfather at the “Over The Edge” PPV at Kember Arena in Kansas City Missouri. As part his entrance, Hart was to be lowered down from the rafters with a quick release mechanism meant to have him fall flat on his face just before touching down in the ring. However, the release malfunctioned far too soon and Hart fell nearly 80 feet to his death.

Hart’s niece Natalya, his brother Bret, Mick Foley, Ken Shamrock, Kevin Owens and countless others paid tribute to Owen on social media on Thursday. Legendary wrestling announcer Jim Ross, who was ringside when the tragic accident took place, reflected on Owen’s life during a special episode his podcast this morning. Says Ross, “I’ve never met a guy in the wrestling business, or woman, that’s more universally loved, liked and respected than Owen.”

Check out some the heartfelt messages, memories and classic highlights The King Harts below.

Rockets Twitter Account Serves Suspension, Loses 1M Followers

NBA fans were minding their own business this week when all a sudden they realized the Houston Rockets Twitter account had been suspended on Monday. Fans weren’t sure what happened as the suspension seemingly came out nowhere. In a report from the Houston Chronicle, it was revealed that the suspension actually came in light the fact that they were allegedly using copyrighted music in a few their Twitter videos.

Today, the Rockets twitter account was reinstated, although it lost about 1 million followers in the process. They started Monday at 2.8 million but quickly went down to 1.91 million. The Rockets should get their followers back though as it usually takes a full 24 hours before a previously suspended account gets all its followers.

“Twitter will respond to reports alleged copyright infringement, such as allegations concerning the unauthorized use a copyrighted image as a prile or header photo, allegations concerning the unauthorized use a copyrighted video or image uploaded through our media hosting services, or Tweets containing links to allegedly infringing materials,” explains Twitter in their copyright policy.

The Rockets Twitter account posted a GIF today in relation to their suspension, making mention the fact that they’re pretty happy that the whole thing has been resolved. If the team was still in the playfs, this ban definitely would have been a bigger problem.

Rick Ross Called Out By "48 Laws Of Power" Author Robert Greene Over "Wuzzup" Bars

Robert Greene is the author behind several best selling novels in America. It’s been referenced in hip-hop and pop culture on numerous occasions, specifically among some the greatest artists in the game including Jay-Z, Drake, Busta Rhymes, and course, 50 Cent who collaborated with Greene on 50th Law Of Power. Despite his popularity in the world hip-hop, not everyone is a big fan him, including Rick Ross who once called out Greene on his 2015 song, “Wuzzup.”

48 Laws flawed, my dawgs above the law/
Duck-tape Robert Greene, make him read the Qu’ran

Although it’s been four years since the release the Rozay track, it seems Greene had to clarify a few things for the MMG Boss. Greene shared a screenshot the lyrics on Twitter, and replied to Rick Ross’ comments. “No need for duck tape Rick. I’ve read the Qu’ran. Beautiful book. Even quoted it in 48!” He wrote.

Given Greene’s relationship with 50 Cent, that could be a factor that may have inspired Rick Ross’ line. The two have yet to actually make amends and it seems unlikely that it’ll ever happen. I mean, in the midst Rozay’s health scare in 2018, 50 Cent posted a picture Ivan Drago from Rocky IV with the caption, “if he dies, he dies.”

However, Rozay had the last laugh after he took a major win in 50 Cent’s lawsuit against him over the use the “In Da Club” instrumental on the Renzel Remixes tape.

Cardi B’s Rescheduled Concert Ticket Sales Skyrocket

Recent news saw Cardi B having to cancel her headline gig at the 92Q Spring Bling Festival in Baltimore tomorrow, due to cosmetic surgery complications. Organizers the event were worried there would be a backlash and the rescheduled show wouldn’t sell, but TMZ reports that it’s actually done the exact opposite: it’s managed to produce a skyrocket in ticket sales!

The “Money” rapper reported that she had to postpone her appearance so that she could properly recover from her recent liposuction and breast augmentation at the encouragement her doctors. Cardi admittedly had been pushing herself to the limit to honor her commitments, despite having work done, telling a Memphis crowd on May 5 that she should have canceled because “moving too much is going to f*** up my lipo.” 

Cardi B's Rescheduled Concert Ticket Sales Skyrocket

Jason Koerner/Getty s

“But bitch, I’m still gonna get my motherf**king money back, let’s go!” she said, before continuing to perform a couple shows after that. She finally had to postpone her Friday show though, but it seems that the whole ordeal has actually been a blessing in disguise. Event organizers quickly announced a September 8 makeup date, and it’s generated way more buzz, with 5,600 tickets being sold following the cancellation. So it’s looking like the show’s not going to be having any problem selling out its 13k capacity venue.

Common Previews New Album ‘Let Love Have the Last Word’

Nearly two years since his last album, Common is set to return this summer with Let Love Have the Last Word.

During a private listening session at Gold Diggers in Los Angeles on Tuesday (May 21), which Rap-Up attended, the Chicago MC previewed several tracks off the unfinished project, which inspired his new memoir of the same name. The soulful, instrument-driven set was mostly produced by Karriem Riggins, with contributions from J Dilla, Jill Scott, Daniel Caesar, Leon Bridges, Swizz Beatz, and BJ the Chicago Kid.

The album kicks off with “Good Morning Love,” followed by “Her Love,” which serves as a sequel to 1994’s classic “I Used to Love H.E.R.” Over a previously unreleased J Dilla beat, with vocals from Daniel Caesar, Common cleverly name checks today’s rappers including A$AP Rocky, Cardi B, Lil Uzi Vert, and Kendrick Lamar.

It was followed by “Hercules,” an aggressive hip-hop track with a boom-bap beat and a hook from Swizz Beatz. Common joked that the song came about after he noticed that no one works out to his music in the gym.

On the Leikeli47-assisted “Fifth Story,” which recalls 2005’s “Testify,” Common narrates a suspenseful tale of a man who cheats on his girlfriend, while questioning his performance as a father on the Jill Scott-assisted “Show Me That You Care,” inspired by a late-night phone call he received from his daughter.

On the personal “Memories From Home” featuring BJ the Chicago Kid, Common opens up about issues that are rarely discussed in the black community, including mental health, and reveals that he was molested as a child, something he also discusses in his book.

The album caps off with “God Is Love,” a gospel-inspired track featuring Leon Bridges that nearly brought some of the people in the room to tears.

Let Love Have the Last Word is due in August Loma Vista Recordings, while the first single, “Love Her,” is set to drop June 14.

Prior to the album release, Common will kick off his “Let Love Have the Last Word Tour,” starting July 11 in Denver and wrapping July 26 in Newport Beach, Calif.

Ed Sheeran Announces "No.6 Collaborations" With Chance The Rapper & More

Despite primarily operating in the realms both pop and folk music, Ed Sheeran has earned the respect many in the hip-hop community. From collaborating with Eminem, to remixing Tory Lanez singles, to earning himself a Dreamchasers endorsement from Meek Mill, Sheeran has kept it real where the culture is concerned; he even survived a tete-a-tete with Charlamagne Tha God during a Breakfast Club interview. With a new Chance The Rapper & PnB Rock assisted single on the way, Big Ed has ficially announced the imminent arrival his upcoming No. 6 Collaborations album. 

Picking up where his 2011 No. 5 Collaborations Project left f, Ed took to Instagram to reveal the upcoming July release date, chiming in with a couple thoughts on his making- process. “Before I was signed in 2011, I made an EP called No.5 Collaborations Project,” he reflects. “Since then, I’ve always wanted to do another, so I started No.6 on my laptop when I was on tour last year. I’m a huge fan all the artists I’ve collaborated with and it’s been a lot fun to make.”

Look for No 6. Collaborations to arrive on July 12th, with the newest ficial single hitting worldwide markets at midnight. Check out the album cover below, as well as the mysterious tracklist; it wouldn’t be surprising to see this one unveiled on a piecemeal basis in the coming months. You looking forward to Sheeran’s imminent return?

Nike LeBron 3 “SVSM” Returns Today: Purchase Links

The Nike LeBron 3 returns to retailers today, May 23, in a Saint Vincent-Saint Mary’s “Home” colorway for the first time since the kicks debuted in 2006.

The special edition sneakers, retailing for $175, will be available at select Nike Basketball retailers including Foot Locker and SNKRS starting at 10am ET. Check out some early purchase links below. 

Inspired by LeBron’s alma mater, the kicks sport a green and gold color scheme atop a white leather upper. The kicks also feature shamrock detailing on the heels, SVSM logos on the insoles and SVSM branding near the metallic gold eyelets. 

Continue scrolling for a closer look at the SVSM LeBron 3s.

Nike LeBron 3 “SVSM” Returns Today: Purchase Links

Nike LeBron 3 SVSM/Nike

Nike LeBron 3 “SVSM” Returns Today: Purchase Links

Nike LeBron 3 SVSM/Nike

Nike LeBron 3 “SVSM” Returns Today: Purchase Links

Nike LeBron 3 SVSM/Nike

Nike LeBron 3 “SVSM” Returns Today: Purchase Links

Nike LeBron 3 SVSM/Nike

Nike LeBron 3 “SVSM” Returns Today: Purchase Links

Nike LeBron 3 SVSM/Nike

Nike LeBron 3 “SVSM” Returns Today: Purchase Links

Nike LeBron 3 SVSM/Nike

Watch Ashanti Pay Tribute To Biggie: "I’m A Rapper At Heart"

It’s been five years since Ashanti‘s Braveheart, and while the R&B sensation has been making industry moves by picking up acting roles and expanding her portfolio, fans are eagerly awaiting her next project. In a recent interview with Ebony, the singer mentioned how she thought there was something missing in today’s R&B scene: “I feel like there’s a void. I feel like people want it, but there’s not a lot true, passionate, R&B music, when you think about it. Telling a story, being vulnerable and being visual.”

Watch Ashanti Pay Tribute To Biggie: "I'm A Rapper At Heart"

 Leon Bennett/Getty s

It seems like the interview really got Ashanti missing old-school artists, like The Notorious B.I.G, who would have celebrated his 47th birthday yesterday, since the songstress took to Instagram to post a dedication post in the late rapper’s memory last night.

She posts the heartfelt caption honoring his legend, “RIP BIG 🙏🏽 #Classics we still rockin 22plus years later 👑 #NY I’m a rapper at heart 😩😭” to go along with the signature picture B.I.G, from his Ready To Die album. Accompanying the picture, is a video (which you can check out on her Instagram, below) an “impromptu” performance by Ashanti with Anthony Anderson, in which the two perform an homage to Biggie’s “One More Chance.”

How do y’all think she’s sounding?

Here’s What’s Coming & Going From Netflix For June 2019

The time has arrived for Netflix to announce its rollout stellar content for the upcoming month, as well as fering a list movies and shows to say goodbye to. The streaming platform has a stacked set movies and new seasons for its beloved shows that are bound to have fans marking their calendars for a reminded when to tune in. 

We’ve already posted about Wanda Sykes’ upcoming stand-up comedy special Not Normal that will see the comedian share her wit “on the opioid crisis, and deliver a sharp-witted and hilarious critique on the state the world.” 

 

We also shared the latest trailer for season five Black Mirror that touches on a fear everyone must have when their Uber takes an unexpected detour. 

 

With both combined, Netflix is gearing up for a strong month content that also includes Batman Begins,  Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, The Dark Knight, Cabaret, Carrie, Magic Mike, Network, Ralph Breaks the Internet, and The Grinch (the new one).

Peep the full list arrivals soon to be recycled – what are you guys most looking forward to?

June 1

Arthdal Chronicles — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Oh, Ramona! — NETFLIX FILM
50/50
A.I. Artificial Intelligence
Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day
Batman Begins
Cabaret
Carrie
Cat on a Hot Tin Ro
Dynasty: Season 2
Good Night, and Good Luck
Gran Torino
Life in the Doghouse
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
Magic Mike
Network
Platoon
Prosecuting Evil: The Extraordinary World Of Ben Ferencz
Satan & Adam
Small Soldiers
The Dark Knight
The Phantom the Opera
The Space Between Us
What a Girl Wants

June 3

Documentary Now!: Season 3
Malibu Rescue: The Series — NETFLIX FAMILY

June 4
Miranda Sings Live…Your Welcome — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

June 5

A Silent Voice
Black Mirror: Season 5 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch

June 6

Alles ist gut — NETFLIX FILM
Todos lo saben

June 7
3%: Season 3 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Belmonte
The Black Godfather — NETFLIX FILM
The Chef Show — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Designated Survivor: Season 3 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Elisa & Marcela — NETFLIX FILM
I Am Mother — NETFLIX FILM
Pachamama — NETFLIX FAMILY
Rock My Heart — NETFLIX FILM
Super Monsters Monster Pets — NETFLIX FAMILY
Tales the City — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

June 8
Berlin, I Love You

June 11
Ralph Breaks the Internet

June 12
Jo Koy: Comin’ In Hot — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese — NETFLIX FILM

June 13
The 3rd Eye 2 — NETFLIX FILM
Jinn — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Kakegurui xx — NETFLIX ANIME

June 14
Aggretsuko: Season 2 — NETFLIX ANIME
The Alcàsser Murders — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Awake: The Million Dollar Game — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Charité at War — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Cinderella Pop — NETFLIX FILM
Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce: Season 5
Leila — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Life Overtakes Me — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Marlon: Season 2
Murder Mystery — NETFLIX FILM
Unité 42 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

June 15
Grey’s Anatomy: Season 15

June 16
Cop Car

June 17
The Missing: Season 3 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

June 18
Adam Devine: Best Time Our Lives — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Big Kill

June 19
Beats — NETFLIX FILM
The Edge Democracy — NETFLIX FILM

June 20
Le Chant du Loup — NETFLIX FILM

June 21
Ad Vitam — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Bolívar — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
The Casketeers: Season 2 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
The Confession Tapes: Season 2 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Dark: Season 2 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
The End Evangelion
EVANGELION: DEATH (TRUE)²
Girls Incarcerated: Season 2 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
GO! Live Your Way: Season 2 — NETFLIX FAMILY
Jaoon Kahan Bata Ae Dil — NETFLIX FILM
La misma sangre — NETFLIX FILM
Mr. Iglesias — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Neon Genesis Evangelion
Shooter: Season 3

June 24
Forest Piano: Season 2 — NETFLIX ANIME

June 25
Mike Epps: Only One Mike — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

June 26
The Golem
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
The Zookeeper

June 27
Answer for Heaven — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

June 28
20th Century Women
7SEEDS — NETFLIX ANIME
Dope: Season 3 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Exhibit A — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Instant Hotel: Season 2 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Motown Magic: Season 2 — NETFLIX FAMILY
Paquita Salas: Season 3 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
The Chosen One — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

June 29
Scare Tactics: Seasons 4 & 5

June 30
Madam Secretary: Season 5
Date TBD
Marvel’s Jessica Jones: Season 3 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Trinkets — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Last Call

LEAVING

June 1
An Extremely Goy Movie
Apollo 13
Cold in July
101 Dalmatians
The Fox and the Hound 2
The Jungle Book: Mowgli’s Story
Doom
Freddy vs. Jason
Friday the 13th
Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves
I Am Legend
In the Army Now
Inspector Gadget 2
Jason X
Kill Bill: Vol. 1
Kill Bill: Vol. 2
Legally Blonde
Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde
My Bloody Valentine
Playing It Cool
Pretty in Pink
Reindeer Games
Stargate
Terminator Salvation
The Bone Collector
The Constant Gardener

June 4
District 9

June 5
Guardians the Galaxy Vol. 2
Leaving June 6
The Soloist

June 14
Grand Designs: Australia: Season 4
I Own Australia’s Best Home: Season 1
I Own Britain’s Best Home: Season 1
Mother

June 15
Apocalypse Now
Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things
National Lampoon’s Van Wilder
The Pianist

June 16
Death Race

June 24
Mulan 2

YNW Melly’s "Murder On My Mind" Goes Double Platinum As He Faces Death Penalty

We’re all waiting to find out how the YNW Melly saga continues — will he be sentenced to death in his double murder case or will he be set free? — but for now, the only news about the young Florida rapper pertains to the success one his hit songs. When he was arrested for the murders his two friends YNW Sakchaser and YNW Juvy, Melly was in the process building a pretty impressive career for himself. Weeks prior, he had collaborated with Kanye West for the first time, releasing his new album and earning himself another hit song with “Mixed Personalities.” His original smash “Murder On My Mind” is still earning tons airplay with streaming numbers rising each day. As reported by XXL, the song is ficially considered double-platinum, with the status being confirmed by the RIAA last week.

After finding out that he could be sentenced to the death penalty, the rapper finally has a reason to smile. His song has ficially gone double platinum and much like in the photos shared online a few weeks ago, Melly’s probably rocking a goy smile because it.

What’s your take on his music after he was accused double murder? Are you still bumping his most popular songs or is he completely f-limits on your playlist? Learn more about his charges here.

YNW Melly's "Murder On My Mind" Goes Double Platinum As He Faces Death Penalty
XXL

Charles Barkley Admits He Was Dead Wrong About Warriors, Steph Curry

Charles Barkley really didn’t think the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors stood a chance once Kevin Durant went down with a calf injury against the Houston Rockets. At the time, Barkley told his Inside The NBA co-hosts, “They are not going to beat the Rockets without KD, and they are not going to beat Portland or Denver without KD.”

Barkley, who predicted that the Blazers would reach the NBA Finals well before they got swept by the KD-less Warriors, admitted he was dead wrong during his appearance on ESPN’s “Pardon The Interruption.”

“I was 100 percent wrong, but kudos to the Golden State Warriors,” Barkley explained during Tuesday’s episode PTI. “And two things strike me. Steph Curry has put his name back in the conversation, Tony. When we talk about the best players in the world, we talk about KD, Giannis, Kawhi, Lebron. Steph Curry has proven to us he’s a two-time MVP.

“He’s been fabulous.”

Barkley also apologized during Tuesday night’s edition Inside The NBA, which you can check out below.

Curry, who was left f Barkley’s list  the NBA’s Top-5 players in late April, was absolutely stellar in the Western Conference Finals. He averaged a playf series career-high 36.5 points to go along with 8.3 rebounds and 7.3 assists in the four games against Portland, while shooting 46.9% from the floor, 42.6% from behind the arc.

Curry and co. now await the winner the Milwaukee Bucks vs Toronto Raptors series, which is knotted at 2-2 as the series shifts back to Milwaukee. Although Barkley’s Blazers prediction went south, he still has the Bucks, who he predicts will win it all this year.

Kurtis Blow Gives The Oral History Of "Basketball" Amid Raising $20M For Universal Hip Hop Museum

Nearly ever article, book and documentary about Hip Hop history credits Kurtis Blow as the first superstar solo MC in the early 1980s. The culture’s earliest visuals featuring block parties and park jams at basketball courts in the game’s “Mecca” of New York City, MCs coaching and Ice Cube’s fledgling BIG3 League are a few examples of why basketball remains Hip Hop’s favorite sport.

Blow made that official when he released the game’s most memorable ode 35 years ago. The nexus of Hip Hop and basketball has always been Blow’s passion along with being a minister spreading his Christian faith.

“The whole connection of sports and Hip Hop is rhythm,” Blow said. “The same rhythm that it takes for an MC to flow and deliver vocals is the same rhythm for anyone who is an athlete in sports. You’ve heard it over and over before, in order to block a shot you have to be in rhythm with the shooter. There’s a rhythm to dribbling.”

As he’s recovering from his recent heart surgery, Blow spoke with us about the backstory of penning “Basketball” in 1984. He also gave his thoughts about today’s NBA and how he raised $20 million to erect the Universal Hip Hop Museum.

The Creation of “Basketball” Was Intended To Match Baseball’s Beloved Song

HipHopDX: Take me back to the recording process and how you conceptualized your song “Basketball.”

Kurtis Blow: It was 1984 and the idea came from, believe or not, my wife. My one and only rib, 35 years married to this great woman. Her name is Shirley Walker. She said, “Kurt, you should do a theme song for basketball, that’s your favorite sport. You know you watch it all the time.” And I’m a real sports fanatic. Actually football is up there for me, too. She said basketball doesn’t have a theme song and baseball has one. (Sings) “Take me out to the ball game!” during the seventh inning stretch. So, I went to my partner and writer William Waring and told him the idea and he came up with some lyrics that I definitely wanted to include the superstars in basketball’s history as well as the guys who were playing during that time. It was amazing, and it came up when that monumental [NBA] draft year, like four or five Hall of Famers: [Charles] Barkley, John Stockton, [Hakeem] Olajuwon, Michael Jordan…an incredible year.

HipHopDX: What other notable things happened to create the song?

Kurtis Blow: I went to my producers and got them interested in the song. What was really special about the recording process is we wanted to include the sound of a basketball. That was going to be part of our kick drum or bass drum and we did that. Jimmy Bralower, a great drummer and producer who went onto become one of the greatest drum programmers in the world, he actually designed some of it. That’s his snare from when he actually recorded the sound of a basketball and sometimes when basketball player shoots and it rattles (mimics basketball sound bouncing within the rim). It’s one of the predominant sounds that’s repeated throughout the song. And we recorded Mr. John Andariese, the great announcer for the Knicks who just died a few years ago. He starts out the song, “Now rapping at No. 1, Kurtis Blow!” That was a big thing recording him because he was a New York legend.

HipHopDX: Who sang the famous melody?

Kurtis Blow: We used [former Def Jam R&B singer] Alysin Williams who was the vocalist who came up with the melody for the song. She was my college buddy who once worked for Benny Ashburn, the Commodores’ manager. She actually convinced Benny to have her college buddy who was hot with a song called ‘The Breaks” to go out on my first tour with the Commodores on an 80-city tour in 1980 to open up their shows. We, in turn, hooked her up and got her to sing 70 to 80 percent of my songs that had background vocals like “8 Million Stories,” “The Games People Play,” “A.J., and ”If I Ruled The World.”

She was a part of all of it and her partner Audrey Wheeler, sang on them, too. It was a great collaboration of great people, and [R&B legends] Full Force was there working on the guitar parts and bassline helping me out. The other musicians were great, too, like J.B. Moore and Robert Ford. Halfway through the song, everybody knew this was going to be a big hit.

Kurtis Blow Speaks On The NBA & Golden State Warriors

HipHopDX: You mentioned players who are your favorites in “Basketball” Who are some of the players in today’s NBA and legends from the 90s and 2000s who you would namedrop in an updated version of the song?

Kurtis Blow: That would be an incredible list. From the 90s to the 2000s, you have Kobe Bryant and Shaq and, of course, LeBron James, Derrick Rose, Clyde Drexler, so many players. And even today, “The Greek Freak” [Giannis Antetokounmpo], Damian Lillard, James Harden — what an incredible player. Kevin Durant, that whole Golden State team’s starting five! (laughs). You can name all five of them in the song — one verse about the Golden State Warriors — Anthony Davis, Carmelo Anthony, so many players. And every team has a couple players who should be in there, for sure.

HipHopDX: What’s your take on the NBA’s Western Conference dominating the Eastern Conference and the tampering among players and league executives this season, such as LeBron who tried to recruit Anthony Davis to leave the New Orleans Pelicans for the L.A. Lakers?

Kurtis Blow: Yeah that was the talk of the year because LeBron and A.D. have the same agent, trying to make it happen on the low. Look, if you look at the Golden State Warriors, you’d probably call that cheating (laughs).

HipHopDX: But great players joining other great players to be on dominant teams has always happened since the 60s Celtics, the 1972 and 80s and 2000s Lakers squads, the 1983 76ers who had five All-Stars on its roster with “Doctor J” who you mention in the song and 90s Bulls with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.

Kurtis Blow: Right, so I’m not concerned with LeBron trying to get Anthony Davis because they need a couple more players. The Lakers need Kyrie (Irving) or Carmelo and they would probably be more talked about. But it’s a wrap right now. The league is on lock. It’s going to be quite difficult to beat Golden State. You gotta give that team the props. They remind me of the Boston Celtics with Bill Russell, those years when they won eight (titles) in a row.

HipHopDX: You’re a Knicks fans still, right?

Kurtis Blow: The Knicks lost 18 in a row this season. (sighs)

HipHopDX: Knick fans like Fat Joe, Jadakiss, Q-Tip and Spike Lee were hoping to get the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming draft from its worst season ever but got the No. 3 pick instead.

Kurtis Blow: Yeah, that’s wack.

HipHopDX: Do you think the Knicks having that $71 million in salary cap space and having the No. 3 pick in the upcoming draft will help them finally get marquee free agents? Or will they mess it up per usual?

Kurtis Blow: I just pray for the best. I’ll keep my eyes and ears open and I was hoping that when the draft lottery came out that Zion (Williamson) kid might be a Knick.

HipHopDX: Since their chance of getting Zion is out the window now, are you sold on the Knicks signing Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving this summer?

Kurtis Blow: That would be the most incredible. I think Kyrie is an underrated player. He’s definitely top three material in the league and he really, really showed me something when he was with Cleveland and they won that championship. To have him in New York would be a win-win situation.

HipHopDX: Kyrie is from New York and his godfather is (former NBA All-Star) Rod Strickland.

Kurtis Blow: And that’s my buddy, Rod Strickland! I remember him when he was playing big time. We actually met and hung out at a couple events and stuff. He’s a good dude. That’s even better, like family almost.

Kurtis Blow Helps Raise $20 Million For Universal Hip Hop Museum

HipHopDX: Let’s talk about the Hip Hop Museum. You and co-founder Rock Buccano have $21 million invested in this project?

Kurtis Blow: Well, we’ve raised close to $20 million. So far, the city council of New York has us on their books for $4 million in 2020 and we have an LOI and contract from the L&M Corporation for $12 million to start construction for 2019 and we’ll open the doors in 2023, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop.

HipHopDX: Where will this be located?

Kurtis Blow: In The Bronx, the birthplace of Hip Hop, five blocks south of Yankee Stadium which address is 65 East 149th Street called the Bronx Point section, soon to be called the Downtown Bronx City Center. The city is actually putting up like $2.5 million to remodel the whole section of The Bronx over there. It’s prime real estate and where we will be is a huge housing development structure, 25 floors, and that same property will be a mini-mall, an outdoor concert venue, there’s going to be a movie theater. It’s going to be a nice little section of The Bronx and we have the bottom two floors which is about 5000 square feet.

HipHopDX: Will basketball be part of the Hip Hop Museum? Basketball and Hip Hop have been married since the beginning of the culture.

Kurtis Blow: The whole connection of sports and Hip Hop is rhythm. The same rhythm that it takes for an MC to flow and deliver vocals is the same rhythm for anyone who is an athlete in sports. You’ve heard it over and over before, in order to block a shot you have to be in rhythm with the shooter. There’s a rhythm to dribbling. Anytime you hear an announcer say, “He’s out of his rhythm” when missing a shot. The rhythm to hit a baseball, to catch or throw a pass or to run. Anything in sports you use your rhythm more than your any other of your skills.