This weekend’s runs were mixed in location, speed and overall feel, even though both Friday afternoon’s and Sunday morning’s runs were both four miles.
Friday afternoon found me in the gym back on the treadmill with a 7:30 minute per mile pace for the first three miles. The last miles I revved up the pace to 10 miles per hour, or 6 minutes per mile. At that speed on a treadmill, each step carries a stronger force, and therefore louder crash, than a step at a slower pace. At 10 mph, my steps echoed through the entire cardio section at the gym, garnering awkward looks from Max Fitness elite. I take it not many people go 6 minute per mile pace on treadmills.
Saturday was a day off from running as Katie and I went down to the French Quarter for the Red Dress Run. It’s not an actual run, but a bar hop with everyone in red dresses. I wore the finest red skirt Baton Rouge’s thrift stores had and Katie wore a red Target dress, which turned out to be the most popular choice of the procrastinating guys out there.
Sunday’s run was outside, but still feeling the effects of Saturday’s events, it wasn’t easy to get through. At Mile 1 I was fine, at Mile 2 I felt the hand grenade, at Mile 3 the Vieux Carre at Hotel Monteleone made its presence felt, and at Mile 4 whatever whiskey and rye drink I was handed later at Hotel Monteleone voiced its dissatisfaction of the run.
Luckily, at least the music was good. I combined Friday and Sunday’s run music into another Pandora battle, similar to last week’s ‘90s Alternative against Today’s Alternative. Except this week, it’s a battle that’s raged for more than two decades and has claimed the lives of two big-name rapper in Tupac and Notorious BIG. Yes, that’s right, it’s East Coast hip-hop vs. West Coast hip-hop.
DMX — “Ruff Ryders Anthem” vs. Dr. Dre — “Keep Their Heads Ringin”
The first showdown is a good one. You don’t get many bigger West Coast rappers than Dr. Dre, and against any other East Coaster, he would win going away. But this is DMX, and while Dr. Dre’s “Keep Their Heads Ringin” was huge in 1995, “Ruff Ryders Anthem” was huge when I was entering high school in 1998.
With all due respect to the movie “Friday” and its soundtrack, you got knocked the fuck out, man! Point East Coast.
East Coast: 1
West Coast: 0
Method Man — “All I Need” vs. Tupac — “Ambitionz Az A Ridah”
What makes me qualified to decide this rap battle? Absolutely nothing. I am the last person who should decide if West Coast rap beats East Coast or vice versa. I do own multiple Tupac, Dr. Dre and Ice Cube CDs, along with the aforementioned “Friday” soundtrack, and I have a few Kanye West, Jay-Z, Notorious BIG and 50 Cent CDs. So I don’t feel I’m biased in this battle.
This round, though, is all Tupac. There isn’t much that’s going to beat Tupac in an East Coast/West Coast battle, minus a drive-by shooting (sorry, I had to). I won’t deny it, he’s a straight ridah, you don’t wanna fuck with him. Point easily goes West Coast.
East Coast: 1
West Coast: 1
Styles — “Good Times” vs. Snoop Dogg — “Gin And Juice”
The West Coast starts off the battle by bringing out its big guns. Dre, Tupac and now Snoop Dogg. And these aren’t even current Dre and Snoop Dogg songs, which can easily be beaten by lesser East Coast rappers. Instead, these are their biggest works next to “Nuthin’ But A G Thang,” which I have because I think I stole my brother’s Chronic album like 20 years ago.
Meanwhile, East Coast returns with Method Man (OK) and Styles (Who?). This one could get ugly soon. Point West Coast.
East Coast: 1
West Coast: 2
50 Cent — “21 Questions” vs. Tupac — “Can’t C Me”
East Coast rap is refined. You can tell they went into a studio and worked it over and over again until is was perfect. The beats match with the lyrics and everything is in harmony.
West Coast rap is raw. The beats are matched up, but there is a lot less harmony in the music. That missing perfection, though, is replaced with genuine emotion.
It all comes down to which type of music you prefer. Like I said, I have both of these artists’ CDs and I listen to their music often, but for a run, “21 Questions” is probably the worst 50 Cent song to play. Like I said, ugly fast.
East Coast: 1
West Coast: 3
The Game — “How We Do” vs. Dr. Dre — “Fuck You”
Again, where are the big-name rappers, East Coast? Where’s Notorius and Nas? Where’s De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest? Or go further back to Sugarhill Gang and Run DMC? I know I said Dr. Dre and Tupac are hard to beat, but “Rapper’s Delight” or “My Adidas” can do it.
Instead, the station gives me The Game and “How We Do” vs. Dr. Dre. Point West Coast. Game. Set. Match.
East Coast: 1
West Coast: 4
Jay-Z — “Girls Girls Girls” vs. Warren G — “Regulate”
The match is over, but we’ll recap the final two songs briefly. I love Jay-Z and the Black Album, but “Girls Girls Girls” isn’t that.
Craig Mack — “Flava In Ya Ear” vs. Ice Cube — “You Know How We Do It”
Again, big name West Coaster. Ugly.
If only Briantology was around in the mid-’90s, then Notorious and Tupac would still be around and maybe the hip hop scene would have peace. West Coast dominates this rap battle, but don’t for one second believe it’s the best hip hop out there. Pandora doesn’t have a Southern Rap station, but if it did, Lil Wayne, Juvenile, T.I. Ludacris and the countless other hip hop artists to come from God’s heartland would destroy any coast. Make ‘em say, Uh!