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  • Re: The Official Kanye West - 'T.L.O.P' Album Thread Discussion

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  • Re: The Official Kanye West - 'T.L.O.P' Album Thread Discussion

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  • Re: The Official 2013-2014 Football (Soccer) Thread.

    Look beyond Moyes for reasons for Manchester United's decline


    The club did remarkably well under Sir Alex Ferguson to keep pace with Chelsea and Manchester City because they have been heading downhill ever since the Glazers took over

    By Peter Staunton

    All the talk this week has been about what David Moyes did wrong or what David Moyes should have done differently or why David Moyes was always the wrong man to coach Manchester United. That's all a smokescreen for what's really going on. Louis van Gaal or Diego Simeone or whoever is the next man to occupy the Old Trafford managerial desk will have to contend with the shackles put on the club by the Glazer family.

    Around £700 million has been taken out of the club's coffers to service the debt which arose from the circumstance of the Glazer takeover. At the same time, transfer spending has been less than £400m. Not insignificant by any means but in that time, United lost and failed to replace Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez. As like-for-like replacements went, Antonio Valencia and Michael Owen were brought in. That is corner cutting.

    Three of the five most expensive signings in the history of United were made before the 2005 takeover of the club by the Glazers - Rio Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney and Juan Veron. Since then, despite Sir Alex Ferguson's assertions to the contrary, United have been unable or unwilling to keep up with rivals in the transfer market.

    Last summer, players turned United down in their droves, from Thiago Alcantara to Ander Herrera to Sami Khedira to Cesc Fabregas. They are for one reason or another no longer the top draws in the division with Chelsea and Manchester City paying the best and Arsenal and Liverpool now offering decent wages as well as competition on the field.

    By the latest estimates, United have the third-highest wage bill in the division behind Chelsea and Manchester City - the best-paying sports team on the planet. The general rule is that the team which pays the most money finishes highest up the table. Although Liverpool are doing their best to reverse that pattern this season, it must be said that relative to spending, United are not a million miles off where the projections would put them. Moyes's errors are responsible for points, no doubt, but changing the coach is not going to solve United's difficulties.

    It could be said that his chief weaknesses were spending too much time working on United's defensive shape in training - something which is said to have exasperated the senior contingent - as well as failing to take insights from the club's previous coaching regime. He brought with him his Everton staff. Consequently, United's players were working for what they perceived to be inferior trainers. Failing to tap into the expertise of Paul Scholes didn't win him any favours either. His admissions that he 'over-trained' Robin van Persie, too, caused consternation especially in light of the Holland forward's injury-disrupted campaign.

    But on the bright side, he maintained fine form in David de Gea, he achieved more with Shinji Kagawa than Ferguson did and blooded Adnan Januzaj; there are no guarantees that the Belgian wouldn't have done a Paul Pogba and ditched Old Trafford without significant minutes in the first team.


    Alex Ferguson was a dream owner for the Glazers. He worked within the financial parameters they set him. He was such a good manager that he probably underestimated his own abilities in the end. Those abilities include being able to extract maximum effort and output from his weakest side in at least a decade. No other manager in the world could have done what Ferguson did with this United squad and that is something that the Glazers themselves foresaw in a 2010 bond prospectus.

    "We are highly dependent on … our management … including Sir Alex Ferguson. Any successor to our manager may not be as successful as he has been."

    What Ferguson left in his wake is a creaking institution. Old Trafford these days is a stately home compared to the ultra-modern Etihad down the road. Ferguson obscured many of the United cracks by his very presence - cracks that were permitted to form under the Glazer's watch. Senior players like Rio Ferdinand undermined Moyes in media - inconceivable under the old manager. Without Ferguson, United have to adapt to very new circumstances. Ferguson himself thought it would be simply a case of hand-picking a successor and letting him get on with it. It would be interesting to read if Moyes actually interviewed for the job. Such an appointment in any other industry would be inconceivable - a manager picking his own successor.

    In one sense United are now moving with the times. Edward Woodward has delivered plenty of new sponsorship deals this season to maximise United's commercial revenue. Well, to be frank, they need that at the moment because Champions League prizes are going to be beyond them for a long time to come. The only trouble is that football fans can be fickle. If United are no longer top dogs, their casual support will go elsewhere. That is the path taken by some of the core support too who, since the Glazer takeover, have seen their ticket prices rise exponentially and who have set up their own club in the shape of FC United of Manchester.

    The Glazers are not benefactors. They do not love United. They are not running the club to be successful on a sporting level. They want profit. United's New York Stock Exchange flotation in 2012 earned them around £75m and added plenty more to the value of United. Any potential Red Knight can forget about buying the club. The Glazers would only sell for a sum in the billions. Even Class of '92 graduate David Beckham would baulk at that.

    So United are left now in a desperate situation. The academy is malfunctioning - there doesn't seem to be a Class of '92 on the horizon. The first team is stocked with players in their 30s who are a burden. Players like Ferdinand are past their best but no suitable replacements are keeping the veterans on their toes.

    The Glazer takeover will go down as the single most significant event in the history of Manchester United. It was the moment they surrendered the gains they built up over the course of the previous 12 years of Ferguson's management - at a time when Chelsea were strengthening and when City's billions were on their way.

    Moods follow results in football and United are in a vicious cycle. The mood won't improve unless the results do but the infrastructure is not there now for United to be a contending team. The Moyes sacking, typically under the Glazers, was botched - like his appointment in the first place.

    Players allegedly knew before he did and the news was subsequently leaked to briefed journalists. He may have been sacked the day after Champions League qualification was definitively ruled out but there was more to it than that. It would have been a tough sell to motivate fans to line up this summer to renew their season tickets with Moyes in charge. The money continues to flow out of Manchester United as quickly as it flows in. That seems to be how the Glazers like it.
  • Re: Take the condom with you.

    Bitches be crazy.
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  • Azealia Banks's beefs, and what they say about rap's new generation (article)

    TI’s patronising, sexist response to the Harlem rapper proves that hip hop’s generation gap is finally widening.


    Text:Lauren Martin

    On Chicago hip hop station WGCI’s Tony Sculfield & The Morning Riot show, rapper TI. addressed a beef between Iggy Azalea and Azealia Banks in a manner that has raised a few eyebrows. When asked about the issue, on April 23rd TI said “I know they’re going through their thing, but the fact that she’s speaking upon me and mine and – I never – I ain’t even see it. That is what I consider. And, excuse my language, but that’s bitch shit. You know what I’m saying? I’m a man.” Directly addressing Banks and her more than disparaging recent tweets about him, he went onto say “You ain’t got no business addressing me. Get your man to address me. If you got a man, get him to address me, and he and I can speak on it. But you and me, keep dealing with that woman. Y’all handle that. Me and you, we ain’t got nowhere to go with that. I do what men do.”

    Well, I suppose we should start from the beginning with this one. Azealia Banks has cultivated a rather one-sided beef with Iggy Azalea since February this year, when Azalea was nominated for the XXL Freshman List on the back of her Ignorant Art mixtape. The track DRUGS, which features the line “When the relay starts, I’m a runaway slave…. Master / shitting on the past, Gotta spit it like a pastor.” Banks was not best pleased with the lyric, XXL and Azalea, and took to Twitter to lambast all three by saying “Iggy Azalea on the XXL freshman list is all wrong. How can you endorse a white woman who calls herself a runaway slave master?! In any capacity *kanye shrug*”

    Banks has since taken such issue with Azalea that her executive producer and mentor TI has stepped in to defend her. Azalea herself publicly apologised for the lyric and denied any racist sentiments in a letter to the website MissJia. She insisted that although it was intended as nothing more than word-play, it was nonetheless “a tacky and careless thing to say and if you are offended, I am sorry. Sometimes we get so caught up in our art and creating or trying to push boundaries, we don’t stop to think how others may be hurt by it. In this situation, I am guilty of doing that and I regret not thinking things through more.”

    So, problem solved, right? Wrong. This unsightly feud just got a little ugly because TI has taken it upon himself to introduce two new angles that were previously absent – sex and respect. The fact that Banks and Azalea are having a war of words isn’t that surprising. Beef between female rappers has a lengthy and pretty standardised history. They have usually been based on sexuality though; who is sleeping with who to get where, and so on. Banks’s issue with Azalea is removed from this because it was centred around lyrical content and artistic credibility. She went after her as a rapper first and foremost, not a woman who raps. Sex played no visible role until TI intervened. The comments clearly reek of a sexism and misogyny that I’m not wholly shocked by, but what I am surprised by is TI’s failure to acknowledge how visibly rap is changing.

    Through his comments TI makes himself look like a clumsy old rap dinosaur groaning under the weight of his bones. He represents a generation who see its older, commercially successful and mostly male figures as revered demi-gods who are almost untouchable in their prestige, and for a young female artist to try and burst this bubble is inexcusable. They have earned their place, so let them occupy it without any real hassle. This is a generation in which the long painful journey to the top is what gives them their credibility, and Banks is just an upstart with a few cute videos and a hyperactive Twitter account. From being dropped from labels and spending time in prison he made a bankable comeback, TI is a textbook example of this generation.

    In working with Iggy Azalea, he also commits to a standard rap motif of the pedagogical relationship between mentor and protégée, which works to ensure respect by association. Rap hustle isn’t just about making money. It’s about cultivating a collective long-term reverence in a rather conservative industry that despite its tradition of bravado and shock factor, is not as transgressive as it may first appear. There are unspoken rules on how such confrontations are played out, and if they are flaunted it causes friction. Take the diss track. The diss track is a mechanism for venting in a stylised manner that befits the genre and its heritage, but this is not how Banks approached Azalea and TI. She cut right through this and straight to Twitter to launch scathing personal attacks. She has ignored protocol, and really pissed off TI in doing so.


    What TI has failed to notice is that Banks is not part of his generation. TI knows she’s a young newcomer but he’s working under the assumption that she will play by these longstanding ‘rules’ of rap, and he’s shocked when she doesn’t. She doesn’t because she is representative of a new transgressive generation of rap that seeks to pop the bubble of untouchability and undisputed reverence of TI and his counterparts. Banks’s peers are people like Tyler The Creator, who said on his track Bastard that he’s bored of hearing “40 year old rappers talking about Gucci/When they have kids they haven’t seen in years/Impressing their peers with the same problem.” Or the A$AP mob from her native Harlem, who have voiced their position on the anti-gay aspect of rap culture. A$AP Rocky called out homophobia in rap as tired and unnecessary, and that the game “needs to stop being so close-minded because that will just cause the genre to fail…Who the fuck makes the rules for hip-hop? Who the fuck dictates who’s cool and who’s not? Fuck you.”

    Rap has undergone a seismic stylistic shift in recent years, and Banks really represents this. She works with producers like Machinedrum and Lone. She wore goth boots at Coachella and once covered an Interpol song – and she does all this while also being a great rapper. This new generation are exciting partly because they are talented and creative acts, but also because they take a notable step outside the rap machine. Who knows how the beef will unfold, but it certainly lays out a generational divide that has characterised the rap game in recent years. I just hope Azealia Banks picks her battles, and words, wisely.