Tag Archives: los angeles

Straight Outta L.A.

Straight Outta L.A. is an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary directed and narrated by Ice Cube. It’s about the Los Angeles Raiders and the rise of gangster rap in the ‘80s and early ‘90s. This was a tumultuous time in L.A. The crack epidemic was going on, police brutality was common, gangs and violence were rampant. The Raiders were a team that was a little rough around the edges and played a little dirty, but they won games and the city of Los Angeles quickly adopted them as their own. Among those fans was a young Ice Cube and the other founding members of NWA. They were pioneers in hip-hop and brought a new, raw style of rapping that came to be called gangster rap.

Ice Cube and the rest of NWA chose to use Raiders gear as part as their image. The iconic pirate logo and powerful silver and black colors became synonymous with gangster rap, and the two became linked for better or for worse. Ice Cube’s film features interviews with Raiders legends like Al Davis, Howie Long, and Marcus Allen as well as hip-hop legends like Ice T and Snoop Dogg to tell the story of how the Raiders influenced rap music and a city, changing the world in the process.

I know a few Raiders fans. I respect them a lot more after watching this documentary.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

Straight-Outta-LA

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A Nice Day in San Francisco

I’m trying to find something to write about, but it’s extremely difficult because it’s perfect outside. People shit on San Francisco’s weather. They say that it’s cold and foggy all the time. And that’s mostly true, but we do get nice days every once in a while. A nice day in San Francisco is a blessing and everyone takes advantage of it. They turn off the TV and go outside to feel the warmth of the sun. Everyone goes to the beach or to the park. They ride bikes and go for hikes. The girls wear skimpy clothes. I lived in Los Angeles, where good weather is year round and they take it for granted. They don’t care that the sun is shining. They drive to the tanning salon while blasting the air conditioner. The girls wear skimpy clothes, but that’s because they are slutty not weather conscious. They don’t appreciate good weather because they have it all the time. A nice day in San Francisco is something that you can’t afford to squander. That makes it more worthwhile.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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California Baseball Teams

Baseball is America’s pastime and California is America’s best state. I’m not being biased, I’m being factual. There are only thirty clubs in Major League Baseball and five of them are based in California. We have two expansion teams and three of the most storied teams in the MLB. The Oakland Athletics have been an American League team since 1901. They’ve played in Philadelphia, moved to Kansas City, then came to the Bay Area. They have won 9 World Series titles: 5 in Philly and 4 in Oakland. The LA Dodgers and SF Giants are both National League teams with roots in New York City, and they are one of the best rivalries in baseball. The Giants and Dodgers both have roots going back to 1883.  The Dodgers have 6 World Series titles, and the Giants have 7 (and are the reigning World Series Champions for the second time in three years). The Angels were an expansion team in 1961. They currently have one World Series title and right now they have one of the most formidable lineups in baseball.

            The Giants and the Dodgers have been rivals since the NYC days. The Giants and the A’s have a mostly friendly rivalry, but there’s some tension because A’s swept the Giants in the Battle of the Bay in the ’89 World Series. The Angles also beat the Giants in the 2002 World Series and bitter feelings still linger in San Francisco (we were five outs away, then they had to bust out the damn Rally Monkey). The Dodgers and the A’s have a rivalry because they are both competing for the love of LA.

And then there’s the San Diego Padres. They are the little brother of MLB teams in California. They have no World Series Titles and no real rivalry with any other California team because they’ve never really been a contender. They have 2 NL Pennants that they can raise, but you’re not a team until you have a ring. They have a nice stadium. That’s about it.

            The era of the East Coast Bias is long gone. It’s all about the West now. And you have a lot of options for choosing a baseball team in the Golden State. Do you support the NL or the AL? Northern California or Southern California? Do you like winners or losers? No matter what, there’s a team for you. But if I were you, I’d go with the Giants. Can’t go wrong with the best.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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