Budden_Migos

The Everyday Struggle crew are involved in yet another rapper confrontation. And this time, DJ Akademik wasn’t the target.

It all started with a  standard red carpet interview with Migos. The trio, never known to be the most expressive during interviews, seemed immediately on guard due to Akademik’s kicking off things by referencing the “running joke” of Takeoff being left off the group’s smash single “Bad & Boujee.” Things got more awkward as Akademik’s appeared to not hear or couldn’t make out the group’s Georgia drawl, and Budden suddenly interjected to cut the interview short.

As he left, he brushed by Offset and dropped the mic right in front of Quavo (while mouthing off, no less). As expected, the group took it as disrespect and stood up, prompting their entourage to swarm.


Fighting at award shows? Real Hip-Hop is truly back! In all seriousness, this was more posturing than anything else. Yes, I’m aware that the Migos once Superman-punched a fan from the stage, but 99% of the time rappers are not trying to get their hands dirty. The Migos’s money is a little longer these days, so they were ready to let the goons handle Budden.

Joe confirmed on Twitter this morning that his beef was indeed with the Migos and not his co-host’s questioning. Budden went on to call the trio “sassy.” Say what you want about Budden’s well-documented L’s (like the Raekwon incident), but he’s also on camera confronting folks one-on-one to resolve any tension (see Consequence).

Was Budden unprofessional? Absolutely. But you don’t watch Everyday Struggle or listen to his podcast looking for objective news. You do so because he’s unfiltered, much like Charlamagne and Star’s fanbases.

Still, being unfiltered doesn’t necessarily protect your jaw. Unless Complex cuts the security check, it might be time to start taking bets on who gets snuffed first this summer between Joe and Akademiks.

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Power S4.E1 Recap: A Ghost Under Pressure

Posted: June 25, 2017 by Ismael AbduSalaam in Concert/Film/TV Reviews
Tags: , , , ,

Power_GhostTrial

Prison is the abode of regrets and failure. Nothing drove that home more than the opening scene of the season four premiere of Power, where we find our embattled protagonist, Jamie “Ghost” St. Patrick, in custody for the murder of federal agent Greg Knox.

Snatched from his club by Angela, Ghost replays all the events leading up to his worst nightmare. Tommy calling him a fool for dating a fed. His estranged wife Tasha echoing those sentiments. Whereas before Ghost had a measure of control over Angela’s emotions, he now finds his pleas of innocence returned with the icy glare of a woman scorned.

The problems are coming from all angles. Inside the jail, Ghost has to contend with a brutal C.O. (Charlie Murphy) that takes physical liberties on the basis that Ghost is a cop-killer. There’s little clean money Ghost and Tasha can put their hands on since Ghost cleared out their joint account during the brief war with Milan and Lobos. Adding to the humiliation in the St. Patrick household in a fed raid at the home, led by none other than Angela Valdez.

Power_TashaHomeRuined

As expected, they trash the place and even confiscate Tasha’s (legal) gun. Neither Tasha nor Angela hold their tongue with each other, but Tasha clearly gets the upper hand by listing Angela’s discretions within earshot of her colleagues.

Long-time watchers of the show should find immense irony in Tasha’s current predicament. In season one, she took immense pride in her husband being the “biggest drug dealer in the city” and discouraging his desire to go legit with Club Truth. Well, here’s the other side the game — your man facing life in prison and the feds potentially seizing all your assets.

Power_TashaAnger

With that said, no one told Ghost to go have an affair with a federal agent. You feel the pain, anger and disappointment on her face when she goes to see Ghost in prison. In the coming weeks, it’ll be interesting to see who she relies on. Tommy is there, but there’s someone else who might be a better confidant…

Power_Keisha

LAKEISHA’S BACK FROM VACATION!

Well, back from hiding. Turns out that Tommy only had it in him to kill one woman last season. Instead of taking Keisha out like Milan suggested, he had her lay low until Milan was out of the picture. Now Keisha’s back to handle her portion of the shop and armed with the knowledge that Tasha and Tommy are using it to launder money. She was by Tasha’s side during the raid and ready to throw down on Angela, so don’t be surprised if those two lock horns in future episodes.

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON

We got a bit of a swerve on this storyline. Last time we saw Tariq, he was drugged on Kanan’s couch being held for ransom. At the pleading of Dre, Kanan decides to back off the plan and have Tariq tell his Mom it was just a bad joke. Note how naturally lying comes to Tariq when Tasha and Tommy press him about who he’s been with all night. It mirrors the duplicity that Ghost has used with everyone in his life. And like his father, expect it all to come crashing down by season’s end.

Speaking of Kanan, the only one that senses his work behind these recent events is Tasha. It’ll be interesting to see how much more havoc Kanan can do with Jukebox and Ray Ray. If I had to place a bet, look for them to drop some bodies within Tommy’s distribution ring.

 

Power_Tommymeet

A SECOND OPTION CAN NEVER BE #1 

With Ghost locked up, Tommy’s now running things. That’s never worked too well in the past. His partners in the drug distribution conspiracy are already worried about how Ghost’s arrest, on an FBI murder rap no less, will affect their business. Plus Tommy will have to figure out how to placate the Serbian connects, who have also been informed of the brewing mess by Petar.

We also see that Julio, who we thought was the level-headed one of the crew, is a sucker for love when he brings a former prostitute to Club Truth for Dre to employ. With all the heat coming down on Ghost, you’d think the one place they’d want to keep clean is his supposed legit business.

Power_RainaAngela

ANGELA’S POWER STILL A FACADE

For all of Angela’s bravado this episode, there were several moments to remind her of her own culpability in this mess.

First was being confronted by Raina. All that abrasive energy Angela had for Tasha went out the window under that young girl’s questioning. What happened to wanting us to live with you? Angela had no answers, and the moment served as a strong reminder that the biggest victims of affairs tend to be children.

Power_Mak

The second moment came with the introduction of a new character in smug, hotshot district attorney John Mak (Sung Kang). He taking over the Ghost investigation and makes it plain to Angela that her reckless bedroom romps with Knox and Ghost disqualify her from publically working on the case. However, Mak still expects her to work full-time sans any credit.

Still, I have faith in Angie to have Ghost’s back once the truth comes out. Angela’s not as smart as she thinks she is, but she goes hard for love. Once she realizes the worst about Ghost isn’t true, she’ll find a way to sabotage the case.

OTHER STORYLINES TO WATCH FOR

  1. A season ago, Dre was just an ambitious hustler on the corner. Now running a nightclub and staying alive despite his loyalties being boxed between two dangerous forces in Tommy and Kanan. Unfortunately, I think the young gun is on borrowed time. There’s only so long you can play both sides. Tommy already knows he’s lying about who “Slim” is, and Kanan won’t hesitate to put a bullet in him the first time that $50k a week payoff is low.
  2. For Proctor to be such a savvy attorney, who else found it hilarious that his baby momma is strung-out, loudmouth cokehead? They wouldn’t interject his home life for no reason, so we’ll see how it impacts the storyline in the weeks ahead.
  3. The only person breathing a sigh of relief this episode is corrupt FBI agent Mike Sandoval. No one suspects he killed Knox, but he made the idiotic mistake of not disposing of the murder weapon after receiving that call on the pier. When the case against Ghost starts unraveling, Angela should finally start connecting the dots.
  4. If Ghost wants protection in prison, he should look no further than Tony Teresi. But what will mobster ask for in return?
  5. Y’all see how the judge was leaning towards bail until Proctor brought up that he was a successful African-American businessman? Foul. SMH

Was the premiere worth the wait? Sound off in the comments and be back next week for episode 2!

Sarafee_MeekMill

I think it’s safe to say Nicki Minaj must have that fire. Although Sarafee and Meek Mill are long broken up with the Queens beauty, the two have not ceased their hostilities.

Well, at Meek hasn’t. In a clear videotaped setup from DJ Khaled’s BET Mansion Party, an unsuspecting Sarafee is accosted by several men as Meek conveniently exits a truck. Not one to have his all-white attire sullied, Sarafee escapes the melee with the help of a friend. Unfortunately for that friend, the knuckles turn in his direction, and he takes several flush shots standing and on the pavement before he too gets away.

As expected, social media is having a field day with both parties. This marks the second time that Meek’s people have jumped an easy target (see Quentin Miller), while ignoring the repeated requests for a fade from Game last year. There’s a smaller contingent that has been criticizing Sarafee for not coming to the aid of his distressed homie.

Look, as someone who’s been on both sides of the jumping equation in my foolish teenage years, I will fault no man from retreating when two or more adversaries are on his head. If we’ve learned anything from that tragic incident at Irving Plaza, getting into all-out brawls with random goons can have severe consequences. Second, none of us were ever under any illusions that Sarafee was some type of tough guy. With that said, he needs to at least give that entourage member a bonus for doing his job (and then some). I would like to think most would double back to help their friend once they saw what was happening.

As for Meek, that is a big step backward. He had just begun getting to the point where people were focusing on his music over the extracurricular nonsense. It’s not a good look for any man, let alone a star artist in his position, to be rolling around in the streets with his EX’S EX-BOYFRIEND.

$5 bucks says we get a Sarafee diss track by Monday.

 


GOT_season7_Beric

Where to begin? If you thought the first trailer for season 7 of Game of Thrones was intense, this second installment might just give you a heart attack.

Sansa bookends the trailer, which emphasizes her importance to the season. Her conflicted look and the whisperings of Littlefinger remind us she’ll have to make a heavy decision on where her loyalties lie. We get glimpses of the fiery seige on King’s Landing from Daenarys’s forces, complete with a cool shot of Jaime Lannister charging through the flames.

The most mysterious storylines come when we venture North. We see Jon brooding and hear his voice speaking on the importance of an alliance (probably to Dany). The Hound and the Brotherhood of Banners look to be taking the fight to White Walkers. Arya’s location is anyone’s guess, but I’d wager she’s headed to King’s Landing to take out Queen Cersei.

Winter is here on July 16.

Broner_Garcia

Showtime Sports will offer a live stream as Adrien Broner and Mikey Garcia go face-to-face for the first time at a New York City press conference today to officially announce their blockbuster showdown on Saturday, July 29. Look for Garcia to go in-depth about the weight jump, and we’ll get our first idea on if Broner is keeping his weight issues in check for the big fight.

 

Ward 2

Photo Credit: Hogan Photos

Sergey Kovalev promised to end Andre Ward’s career. He vowed that the man he renamed “Son of Judges” wouldn’t get the chance to be saved by favorable scorecards. Today, it is the Krusher’s future that is in doubt following a dramatic and controversial eighth round stoppage loss at the Mandalay Bay. The tagline going into the fight was “no excuses,” and yet less than 24 hours removed, Kovalev and his promoter Main Events are preparing to protest the verdict and prolong the war of words between the camps. Unfortunately for Kovalev, the narrative that played out last night in the ring coupled with historical precedent does not bode well for his hopes of a reversal.

The rounds preceding the knockout showed both men were well-prepared. Ward did not repeat the sluggish start of the first bout; he looked for left hook counters upstairs to stifle Kovalev’s rushes and body work within clinches. Kovalev, now respectful of Ward’s ability, emphasized a higher work rate to counter Ward’s accuracy and inside work.

The fight was a nip-tuck affair with neither man jumping out to significant advantages. If Ward landed a good body shot, Kovalev was right back with several hard, clean jabs. If Kovalev got in a sneaky right, Ward returned the favor by getting right in his chest to maul and work the body.

As with any Ward fight, this wasn’t a clean affair. The clinching resulted in headlocks and rabbit punches from Kovalev, and borderline to clearly low blow shots from Ward. However, Ward was the more comfortable man in this domain — Kovalev’s complaints were more demonstrative and with expectations that he’d be given time to recover.

After seven rounds, my scorecard reflected an even fight (67-67), but not my eyes. Kovalev had noticeably become more labored in his breathing. His punches lacked its usual snap while Ward, never a huge puncher even at his prime weight of 168, looked more powerful and determined.

A right cross in the eighth badly hurt Kovalev. His attempts to hold were shrugged off with additional body shots. Kovalev sagged into the ropes, where Ward pounced on his doubled over opponent with shots that ranged from borderline to low. Assessing Kovalev’s body meek body language and no return punches, referee Tony Weeks opted to stop the contest. There was no protest from the former champion. 

This brings us to the big controversy of the night. Was Kovalev robbed by the non-call on the low-blow? His promoter, Kathy Duva, seems to think so. In the post-fight circus of a press conference, she was absolutely livid.

***

Here’s the big problem that Duva and Kovalev will run into on Monday. There isn’t boxing commission in the world that would have the balls to reverse a decision in a fight of this magnitude. Look no further than the undercard bout against Rigondeaux and Flores (where referee Vic Drakulich and the commissioner look absolutely terrified to make the call between a DQ, No Contest or KO).

Even more daunting is the last time Main Events filed a low blow protest. In 2011, the company was promoting Zab Judah, in the midst of one of his many comebacks, this time against Amir Khan. Judah was thoroughly dominated in every round. In the fifth, a bloody Zab was grappling with Khan in a clinch and bent forward, much like Kovalev last night. Khan fired a borderline shot that resulted in the KO. Main Events filed a protest with Nevada, the WBA and IBF that went on deaf ears to the point we never heard another word about it.

Like any sport, boxing is predicated on momentum. In basketball, teams that go on runs seem to get all the calls while the losing team’s complaints are often ignored. If your getting hands placed on you in the ring, your complaints will come off as looking for a way out, leading to a referee making a quick call like we saw last night. It’s also important to note that unintentional fouls caused by the fighters movements are usually not acknowledged. Case in point — if I’m constantly bending down and away from an opponent, resulting in boderline rabbit shots to the top/side of the head, I’m going to be the one the ref will admonish for causing the “illegal” blow. Check out the KO years back of Glen Johnson on a crouching Allan Green who complains of a rabbit punch.

***

There are certain realities you need to accept when you face certain fighters. Against Bernard Hopkins, be prepared for a night of mauling, sneaky low blows and butts. Evander Holyfield? Again, watch the butts. After 12 rounds against Andre Ward last November, Sergey Kovalev said he was prepared for the rematch, going as far as to say Ward was overrated and he had trained too hard. But last night showed that the Krusher had neither the mental nor physical ability to handle a rough and tumble fight where he couldn’t be the frontrunner.

“I was breathing, he was breathing, but I’m used to working tired,” said Ward. “I’m comfortable being uncomfortable; that’s how we work, that’s how we train. When I saw him put his arms on the ropes in between the rounds – I watch all that stuff – that’s trouble for him. I just needed to keep being smart… I think it was plain to see that I broke him mentally and physically.”

Consider the Ward-Kovalev rivalry closed.

Ward_Kovalev_rematch

Starting at 7 p.m. ET, you can live stream the untelevised undercard of the big rematch between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev. The two hours are scheduled to include the following preliminary bouts.

Featherweights: Tremaine Williams (10-0) vs. Christopher Martin (30-8-3)

Super Middleweight: Fabiano Pena (19-7-1) vs. Vaughn Alexander (9-0)

Light-heavyweight: Junior Younan (11-0) vs. Zoltan Sera (29-13)

Welterweight: Enriko Gogokhia (4-0) vs. Jonathan Steele (7-0)