By definition, the word gentrification describes the process of renewing and rebuilding by infusing the affluent, or middle-class, into a deteriorating urban area, thereby displacing its own residents. Such is the case of Toronto’s Regent Park, where, since 2005 residents have been slowly ushered out of their dwellings to make way for the “New Toronto” order, like Tory Lanez would say.
One of the most recognizable baselines in hip-hop history is Special Ed’s (pictured in column artwork) wildly famous, head-nodding late ’80s anthem “I Got It Made”. When he told us he was our “Idol, the highest title, numero uno,” we took his word for it, and allowed him to make that claim.
First things first, my apologies to my readers – I know you have been yearning for the latest release of your favourite column. After being thrust into the abyss affectionately known to me as my summer, I’ve finally been able to sit back, reflect and collect my thoughts on a number of events that have transpired in the sports and entertainment industry.
Thank God for the Internet. It gives the average Joe a platform from which they can throw some words together in somewhat of a structured format to belittle, berate and bemuse the average professional athlete. Having been a former pro athlete myself, I tend to write from a different lens. But, through my lens I’m able to see the greatness and the beauty that is NBA basketball.
Having been thrust full-throttle into this year’s first round of the NBA playoffs, it has become apparent that the youth movement has manifested itself in full-blossomed effect. The names of yesteryear are still under-whelmingly active and present, however a new breed of hungry superstars has hastily threatened to stake their claim as contenders to the proverbial throne.
It’s almost sacrilegious, with half a dozen “The Grant Slant” column submissions written to my credit for Urbanology, I have managed to, for the most part, spend little to no time discussing Canada’s most successful hip-hop export. I’m talking about none other than Aubrey Graham, affectionately known as Drake. It’s not that there has been a lack of relevant subject matter to discuss surrounding Drake, however given the recent successes of the Toronto Raptors; I would be remised not to give some attention to the anointed Raptors’ brand ambassador.
Reasonable Doubt is easily archived as one of the best debut albums of all time. Don’t believe me? Ask someone with enough sense to know right from wrong, or better yet someone who can stake a claim to have actually copped the original copy on vinyl or audiocassette. Unfortunately, you can’t ask me, because that joint was listed as an import at HMV, priced at $22.99; far too expensive for my deep pockets and disproportionately short arms back then. At that time, I’d have much rather spent that money on videogames like NBA Jam, NBA Live and Techmo Bowl.