Nas narrates US Open ESPN commercial

The US Open begins on Monday and leading up to the last major of the year, and the lone major America hosts, we have none other than Nas adding his New York flavor to the ESPN promo.

Of course, the US Open takes place in Flushing and so his voice is the perfect fit for this wonderful capture of the everyday man and woman playing tennis in NYC. This year’s major is not without its captivating storylines in both the Men’s and Women’s draw.

Will Novak Djokovic get his 3rd major with contenders like Roger Federer (who beat him this past week in Cincinnati), French Open champ Stan Wawrinka, Andy Murray, and Rafa Nadal (who he could play in the quarters) all lurking. And bigger than that: can Serena Williams cap off her Serena Slam and solidify herself as a top choice as greatest women’s athlete of all time? (And will Drake be there?! Haha.) I’ll be watching and Nas just gets me more amped for it.

Lil Wayne on ESPN First Take

Lil Wayne made it a trending topic all morning — his appearance once again on ESPN First Take that had many speculating about such actual appearance. Wayne talks softly and he may be construed as aloof, but it doesn’t seem that unusual to me. Maybe it’s because he predicted the Lakers are making the playoffs?

It was about the content of the whole segment for me though and Weezy talked about his beloved Packers losing Jordy Nelson yesterday to a torn ACL, how he became a Packers fan in the first place, his views on Tom Brady & Deflategate, and finally: a rave review of Straight Outta Compton. ICYMI, enjoy up above.

Big Sean & Jimmy Butler on ESPN’s First Take

Yesterday’s pre-ESPY edition of First Take had a couple of big name stars roll through the debate desk.

Up above: Big Sean comes through to highlight his new “One Man Can Change The World” video and of course talk some sports, namely his Detroit Lions.

Down below, no offense, but I was more interested in Jimmy Butler’s visit with Skip & Stephen A. The full 16 minute segment touches on Butler’s alleged beef with teammate Derrick Rose (I still don’t believe this and Jimmy’s words are further evidence), the coaching change from Thibs to Hoiberg, and Butler’s increasingly fun off-court personality, including listening to Taylor Swift before games. The ESPN tweet of the clip likely led to Taylor Swift following our own Jimmy Butler on Twitter… Oooohhhh… Enjoy below.

Lil Wayne & Papi rap “HYFR”

ESPN’s Highly Questionable has been money with the rap guests all year and this time, Lil Wayne joined Le Batard, Bomani Jones, and Papi out in Miami.

There are no sports opinions from Wayne on the interwebs just yet, but we do get this great outtake of Weezy and Papi rapping HYFR, substituting coughs for swear words. I got a good chuckle outta this. Hope you do too:

Lion Babe to cover Curtis Mayfield for NFL Draft

UPDATE 05.06.15: The cover is released and can be heard here.

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With the NFL Draft just a couple weeks away, it has already drawn some local buzz for Chicagoans not because we may or may not take a quarterback (hope so, please) but because the Draft itself will be in Chicago this year for the first time in over 50.

Adding to the flavor is this great hip hop/soul crossover as ESPN announced that emerging duo LION BABE will be providing the Draft’s theme song. And not only that, they’ll be covering Chicago legend Curtis Mayfield’s “Move On Up”.

Browse the gallery above for some BTS photos of the video shoot that will showcase Lucas and Jillian throughout many Chicago landmarks, including the beautiful Lincoln Park Boardwalk designed by Studio Gang (who this week revealed renderings for the 3rd tallest building in Chicago, btw).

“Chicago has such a great music tradition and since the draft is here for the first time, we really wanted to use the song of a legendary artist from this city,” said Kevin Wilson, ESPN Music director. “Curtis was a perfect fit and his ‘Move on Up’ has such an iconic sound and the idea of ‘moving on up’ fits this event in so many ways as these players go from college to the NFL, and then ‘moving on up’ in rounds and picks.”

Needless to say, lookin’ forward to the Draft and lookin’ forward to LION BABE’s next big look and cover that I think will be a great fit for their fresh style.

ICYMI: “Wonder Woman”

Penny Hardaway returns home

A little late #TBT for ya guys with this timeless E:60 documentary segment on one of the most beloved 90s NBA superstars: Penny Hardaway.

This aired around this time last year but I saw it today for the first time when a friend sent it over who, knowing him I know resonated with Penny’s loyalty to a friend and loyalty to home. Given his suggestion and that Penny was one of my favorite non-Bulls growing up, I had an immediate framework of intrigue so I pressed play right away.

As the story was told and developed, I was torn as I felt the emotions (both tough and joyful) and at the end of it, I only appreciate Penny Hardaway even more. It’s a touching watch so definitely carve out the time for it and find out the story for yourself up above! (Best told if you just watch and I leave it at that.)

Kevin Hart, Fabolous, & Nelly on First Take

Today’s NBA themed First Take took place at All-Star Weekend and a trio of guests came thru the debate desk. Kevin Hart is back and it’s always a good time. He has some real nice burns on Stephen A. so watch above and below for that.

Fab and Nelly also came through and offered some serious insight on the NBA. This was one episode I went out of my way to tune into live so with that said, press play ICYMI.