Hoops: The 5th Pillar of Hip Hop

This is normally a topic for the audience (all 4 of them!) of Two Turn Tables and a Blog and The Free Shai World Report (the 2 other two members of the Hyphy Bloggin' Network -HBN- trinity), but here goes...

In Jeff Chang's recent interview with John Jay (the director of the ad giant that helped Nike develop it's seemingly authentic Hip Hop persona and connections) for the PBS POV Border Talk special, Jay pronounced basketball as the 5th pillar of Hip Hop culture with the other 4 pillars being MCing, DJing, Breaking, and Graf. The marriage between Hip Hop and Hoops has been going strong for nearly two decades. They have both grown tenfold and shaped each other to the point that one rarely exists without traces of the other.

Evidence of the influence these two subcultures have had on each other are demonstrated with magazines such as Slam and Dime as well as the proliferation of Hoops threads in any Hip Hop music video. There's a reason recent sneaker ad runner-up "My Old Coach" is cut to the classic Onyx track "Slam". Hip Hop and Hoops are intertwined and inseparable like Shawn and Marlon Wayans. There's a reason why I can write "Golden State of Mind is super-duper-hyphy-hyphy-hyphy-hyphy..." and many of you know what I'm talking about.

Hip Hop and Hoops are not just Black and White. As Jay notes in his interview with Chang, both of these cultures are global- just like the Bay Area and just the Golden State of Mind team and readers.

It is painful that Commissioner David Stern and the rest of the powers that be in the NBA seemingly go to no end to reject this marriage of Hip Hop and Basketball. This past year's enforcement of a dress code that rejected players from wearing retro jerseys and other hoops gear on the sidelines, during post game interviews, and even on plane rides against their own marketing and economic interests typifies these extremes. Recent All Star half time shows have even featured artists like Meatloaf and intentionally excluded Hip Hop performers. Why did the Rolling Stones have the main track for NBA commercials for an entire season? Not that there's anything wrong with Meatloaf or The Rolling Stones or those music genres and cultures, but to purposively try to destroy connections between Hip Hop and Hoops is both calculated and unfortunate.

ABC's recent coverage of the playoffs seemingly tried to phase out Hip Hop connections by minimizing its play during fadeouts and collages to commercials. Thankfully, TNT (whose NBA coverage is all around 100x better than the ESPN/ABC duo) featured a pretty fresh Hip Hop track "Remember the Name" by Fort Minor.

Why does the NBA try to reject the existence of the 5th Pillar?

Track of the Day: Lil' Bow Wow- "Basketball"
(It's a PG-13 blog! Were you expecting NWA?)

They're playing basket-ballllllllll!

In addition to being a die hard Hoops and Warriors fan are you a fan of Hip Hop culture?
Everyone try to post on this one. Even a simple Yes or No. It makes for a great discussion.

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