Usher

Sports and celebrities have always been intertwined; all athletes want to be celebrities, and all celebrities want to be athletes.  Most superstars satisfy these desires by following their favorite teams, wearing their jerseys, and cheering at games. From Spike Lee to Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio to President Obama, famous people everywhere bleed their team’s colors.

This holds especially true with rappers. Something about the rap industry brings out the true fandom in these performers, and it often carries over into their work. Here is a list of the top ten rappers who are defined by their teams.

10. Usher – Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA)

Although it is unknown to even many Cavs diehards, Usher has been a fan since he became a part owner in 2005. Usher attended nearly every game the first year, but once the initial thrill wore off, fans stopped seeing him at the stadium. Rumors swirled that Usher was unable to pay his $50 million stake in the team, but as of today he remains a minority owner.

9. Drake – Toronto Raptors (NBA)

Although he can be regularly found at the club with NBA stars, from Lebron James to Chris Paul, the Canadian-born Drake is a fan of Canada’s only NBA team, the Raptors.  The rap game’s representative of the Great White North is pretty serious about his dedication to this team. He once said, “I am a Raptors fan to the death.”

8. Snoop Dogg – USC (NCAA Football)

While Snoop has several other professional fan allegiances, his true devotion lies with the cardinal and gold. He can often be found wearing his Trojan jersey at the Coliseum on game day. Athleticism even runs in his family; his son, Cordell Broadus, is a four-star wide receiver recruit with scholarship offers from ten schools, including USC.  If his dad has any say, his decision will be obvious.

7. Eminem – Detroit sports

Eminem grew up in and was molded by Detroit, and he has repaid the city as fan for a while. In the video for his new single Berzerk, Em can be seen rocking a shirt commemorating the late ‘80’s bad boys Pistons teams.

Slim Shady also discussed his Lions fandom in classic Eminem style during this recent bizarre interview during the Michigan vs. Notre Dame football game.

6. 2 Chainz – Atlanta Hawks (NBA)

Born Tauheed Epps in Atlanta, the 6’5” rapper now known as 2 Chainz has an athletic past. He received a scholarship to play D1 ball at Alabama State, where he played one season before he found his calling and joined the rap game. On his dunk at the end of this video, it seems as though 2 Chainz had a sense of flair on the court as well.

In Kanye West’s song The One, Mr. Chainz name-drops his favorite team, describing “sittin’ courtside at the Hawks game” before going on to explain that he is close enough to the action to trip a player with his Louis Vuitton shoes.

We love you, 2 Chainz. Never change.

Stay tuned for the second half of this list, coming next week.

Love, Interrupted

Photo Credit: Carlos Pagan | Daily Texan Staff

If a relationship’s single greatest strength is the ability for both people to trust one another, then its greatest enemy is infidelity. Not so conveniently, the college environment — with its alcohol-fueled parties, high concentration of people in the same age group, and freedom from curfews and other parental rules — isn’t exactly conducive to staying faithful.

From Usher’s Confessions album to tabloids emblazoned with celebrity cheating scandals, it seems that cheating has become more sensationalized than ever before. According to a 2011 study published in the book, “The Science of Relationships,” by Gary W. Lewandowski, Timothy J. Loving, Benjamin Le and Marci Gleason, roughly one in three men and one in five women have committed sexual infidelity. With so many cheaters roaming wild and unmarked, it seems that getting cheated on is some kind of twisted rite of passage.

Whether the cheating was a drunken encounter with an ex at your fraternity’s formal or long-distance relationship adultery, the single biggest consequence of infidelity is the loss of trust. Without trust, a relationship will not succeed in making both partners genuinely happy and instead could take an ugly turn down the road to resentment.

Often, what’s more difficult than actually finding out your partner cheated is dealing with the consequences afterward. As Justin Timberlake bitterly crooned, “just so confused about it,” in his single “What Goes Around Comes Back Around,” confusion almost immediately sinks in as you try to figure out if cheating is a forgivable offense. On one hand, there’s the “once a cheater, always a cheater” theory, and on the other hand, there are your partner’s genuine apologies that suggest a second chance is within reason.

While a breakup following infidelity is a surefire way to protect yourself from future betrayal, it also disregards the love or feelings you may still have for your partner. Second chances should be considered only after each person in the relationship has established that they would like to move past the betrayal and both agree to stay faithful to each other.

Sometimes the shame associated with cheating is not limited solely to the cheater, as the person who was cheated on often feels embarrassed and made a fool of. Even if the person who was cheated on didn’t do anything to deserve it, they may blame themselves for their partner’s infidelity before they judge their partner.

For those who have been on the wrong end of infidelity, the easiest way to avoid blaming yourself is to remember that your partner’s unfaithful act is not a reflection on yourself. For the cheaters who are interested in continuing the relationship despite your betrayal, you should be willing to accept the responsibility for your actions by openly admitting why you were unfaithful.

Both partners deserve to know the truth no matter how painful it may be to fully move on, instead of leaving things to the imagination that can be more torturous than the truth.

Katy Perry - ‘Part of Me’

Though her last single, “The One that Got Away,” was eerily timed with the announcement of her split from Russell Brand and the tabloid speculation of her shock and sadness, it seems Perry has gotten way over it and released this break-up anthem, “Part of Me.” She sings in her usually shrill vocals that he can “keep the wedding ring. In fact, you can keep everything (yeah, yeah) except me.” Get it, girl.

Producer Dr. Luke doesn’t stray from the formula that gives the duo five No. 1 singles (now six). In fact, you can hear parts of “California Gurls,” “The One that Got Away” and “Teenage Dream” melded into this pop machine of a song. Insufferably reductive? Sure. Painfully addicting? You betcha.


Nicki Minaj - ‘Starships’

Before the release of Nick Minaj’s “Starships,” the latest single off her yet-to-be-released Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, you can assume the conversation between her and the record executives went similar to this: “While we appreciate the frank honesty of ‘Stupid Hoe,’ we’d love to hear another ‘Super Bass.’ So fun — and so successful! If you don’t have any inspiration, take a listen to some LMFAO and Katy Perry.”

Although “Stupid Hoe” was aggravating and annoying, at least it felt genuine. This mess, on the other hand, feels like Minaj turning into yet another alter ego: the record executive drone. The beats are stale, the lyrics cliche. Maybe “Super Bass” was a fluke, but at least preserve the pop sanctity of it by not trying to repeat it.


Usher - ‘Climax’

Knowing Usher’s predilection for bedroom slow jams and the title of his latest single, “Climax,” this song didn’t appear to be anything more than R&B sexy-time jam. But Usher pulled a fast one on listeners and has somehow managed to stay ahead of the curve. A complete 180 degree turn from the Euro-trash of “OMG,” “Climax” drenches itself in the slow, dubstep-inflicted synths of James Blake and The Weeknd.
It’s a smart move for him, as the dance craze wanes down. However, more importantly, it works damn well. Usher’s smooth falsetto, crooning for a lover to stay against the icy beats goes down like a good drink.

Madonna - ‘Girl Gone Wild’

Despite the huge hype of her Super Bowl performance and worldwide radio release that preceded Madonna’s first single “Give Me All You Luvin,” the song has all but disappeared from consciousness after the Super Bowl. For an entertainer that thrives on cultural relevancy (in the best way possible), it was likely a big scare, explaining the rush release of second single, “Girl Gone Wild.”

And oh dear. Against a four-on-the-floor beat heard time and time again from Benny Benassi, Madonna unconvincingly sings, “I’ve got that burning hot fire” in paper-thin and high vocals. Madonna proved with 2005’s Confessions on a Dance Floor that she could still groove even with Euro-dance beats. Apparently, she now equates fun with stupidity, reaching the for the lowest common denominator. Where she once commanded listeners to Vogue, she’s now picking leftovers from Deadmau5’s musical trashcan.

Published on Tuesday February 28, 2012 as: Nicki, Madonna sound stale, Usher impressses with single