Saturday, 13 October 2012

SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION-QUESTIONS WITH TYRESE GIBSON

It's The Remix.

By TIM DAVID HARVEY

In our bonus video interview me and Tyrese Gibson are in London discussing some hot topics.

Hey this is is Tim Harvey I'm with Tyrese he's in London filming 'Fast & The Furious 6'. I've got some hard questions for you Tyrese you ready?

Tyrese: I'm ready.

Q. So TGT, Tank, Ginuwine and Tyrese all together, why now?

Tyrese: R&B needs this. You know it's been a vision of ours for awhile now to do this group and visions and dreams are important but it's real now. Atlantic Records gave us the biggest deal ever. It's a three album deal and we're all very excited. It's about to be a problem. You know what I'm saying there's nothing like going to one concert and seeing three of your favorite artists on stage, bringing what we're all bringing to the stage musically, having fun and reminding me people why they fell in love with true R&B in the first place. You know R&B is very insecure right now. People feel like they can't do a full song by their self without a rapper featuring at the end of it. People feel like they need to do house or techno. There's nothing wrong with having your music to travel abroad with and have a new fanbases be created but ultimately the reason you stopped doing full R&B is because the sales in R&B are low and you jumped ship. But we're here and although we want to sell a bunch of records we're not doing it for record sales. We're doing it for true R&B.

 

Q. You've been in Miami, you've been in Brazil and now 'Fast & The Furious' is in London. What makes this film different from the rest?

Tyrese: Fast 6 is going to be big man. I'm on the set everyday. You know I'm really shocked there are so many stars in one movie yet Justin Lin-the director-who I think is a genius. We call him the Zen master because how can you have all these different personalities and ego's and energy on one set yet we feel like our characters have been individualized. You'll never catch Vin saying something that Roman Pierce would say. You'll never catch Dwayne Johnson saying something Paul Walker would say. Or doing anything anyone else should be saying or doing. So we all think we have big moments in the movie and it's a big deal. We're very grateful that 'Fast Five' is the biggest one to date and I think 'Fast Six' is going to be a problem when it comes out Memorial Day weekend.

Q. 'Fast & The Furious' isn't the only franchise you're a part of.  You're a part of 'Transformers', but 'Transformers 4' will you be in it?

Tyrese: Erm...I don't know. Me and Michael Bay have been exchanging text messages and I hope it works out. I mean things fell apart with Megan Fox and so we had to do what we had to do to pick up the pieces and keep moving and that’s when we started to rock with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and now things have fell apart with Shia. Business is business and I think Shia has expressed this openly but when you're associated with movies like 'Transformers' other than the box office receipts as an actor, like a full on actor a lot of people can arguably say that they don't treat you serious in this town called Hollywood as they can say "the only reason this movie did big is because of the robots, or the big action and special effects". In a certain capacity it could diminish your value as an actor and what you bring to the table even though it's huge for your brand and your image and your celebrity around the world, but Shia is one of them real actors. Full-on real actors and I think whether it's an independent role and he's just getting paid per diem, or if it's a role that he's just passionate about that he can do for free, as long as he's associated with these heavyweight actors that's the space he's in. But for me I started this shit with Shia, Josh, Michael Bay and the team and sometimes you lose a team member. For me not being a part of 'Transformers 4', if that's what’s happening, it would fuck me up if I'm honest. I love it you know it's a childhood movie favorite of mine I don't want to not be a part of that franchise period and sometimes when you lose a team member you just have to keep it going...period.

Q. The new question is. How do you follow 'How To Get Out Of Your Own Way' with Rev Run on 'Manology'?

Tyrese: 'Manology' is the new book I did with Rev Run and that's coming around February. You guys can pre-order that book around the world right now. You know I'm excited man. There's nothing like sharing and giving people inside information about life live, love, relationships, challenges, things that people are struggling with. We should assume that until we speak on it, no one is listening because we have fans that hold on to the things that we speak on in our minds and our views and our perspectives. So you know 'Manology' is definitely coming, it's going to be some shit. It's going to shake up the world, I believe.

Q. Even with all this it looks like your triple-threat 'Black Rose' is looking to be your biggest project. Is this true?

Tyrese: Well 'Black Rose' is going to be very different. I think it's going to mean something very controversial you know. It's going to be a double album. It's going to be one side Tyrese, me singing and the other side Black-Ty, me rhyming, rhyming again like I did with 'Alter-Ego' and I'm also releasing a book called 'Black Rose'. So you know it's going to be some shit man I'm excited.

Q. I think the most important question is what is your biggest fear?

Tyrese: My biggest fear I think is...erm death. I fear death and I don’t fear death for a reason most people fear death. I'm not afraid to die because when its time to go it's time to go. I'm afraid of dying because I've got a lot of shit to do and I've I'm not here then it can't be done. I'm a giant. I'm a game changer. I'm fearless. The size of this building can't handle my thoughts, my visions, my dreams. I dream beyond what I can afford. I dream beyond my finances. I have visions beyond my circumstances. I've never claimed to be the biggest star in the world but I'm unstoppable in my mind and none of this stuff could be lived out if you're dead. So I got shit to do.

You can catch the full video interview on Tyrese's Mobli site.

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GETTING OUT HIS OWN WAY-An Interview With Tyrese Gibson



An Open Invitation.

By TIM DAVID HARVEY

What more can we say? To be on top of your game in the entertainment industry is one thing, but to be at the top of four games is just incredible. When someone has versatile and diverse talent in two fields like say a Frank Sinatra, or a Dean Martin did, or a Harry Belafonte everybody credits the singer/actors as being a double threat. Still, recently triple-threat territory has been traversed by the likes of the multi-talented actor, singer and comedian Jamie Foxx who really is everything entertainment...but then there's someone else. Someone who dominates the industry across the board. That someone is Tyrese Gibson.

Ever since this 'Baby Boy' got film credits and record deals after catching a bus for a commercial and singing about Coca Cola, this model talent has kept on top of his game all whilst keeping it real and never selling out. Right now Tyrese is in England's capital London following the Olympics keeping a Heptathlon of events on the go. You can currently find him with multi-talented likes of Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, The Rock, Ludacris, Sung Kang and more revving up 'Fast Six', the latest in the full throttle 'The Fast and The Furious' franchise. Still, even though he's hard at work you can best believe he doesn't stop motoring on when he heads back to his trailer.

It's almost like he's trying to best his career year of 2011. A year which saw 'Fast Five', the latest in the 'Transformers' series (his 'other' big franchise pictures) and just a few more things. Those things being an inspiring, New York Times best selling book ('How To Get Out Of Your Own Way') which has made it into the hands of everyone from Will Smith to Michelle Obama and a new album. Did we forget to mention this Grammy nominated, platinum certified star was a force in music too? After all it's his singing on a bus which has ensured he will never have to ride on a bus again. Reference his critically acclaimed book to see just how far the man who now "just pulls up in a McClaren" has come.

He's making it all look too easy. Last year-after his self-titled debut and more classics like the '2000 Watts' juggernaut and the breakthrough 'I Wanna Go There'-Tyrese released his fifth and arguably best R&B album 'Open Invitation'. A classic which ignited his independent imprint 'Voltron Records' to rave reviews and hit singles like 'Too Easy' (with 'Fast' co-star Ludacris in tow), the sublime 'Stay' and the hands down 'Nothing On You' to join an all killer no filler record. This was the 'Sweet Lady' singers first release since his ground-breaking double disc set 'Alter-Ego'. An album which showed both sides of his musical personality.

To follow his classic R&B side, Gibson gave us his rap alter-ego, Black-Ty with the singers most diverse and bold work to date. Last month we we're reintroduced to Black-Ty via the free 'Invisible Bully-The Lost Tapes' mixtape. A more than generous offering of 53 tracks, that already broke download records just days after its release. The inspired Tyrese and Black-Ty look to double up again on the forthcoming 'Black Rose' album (oh and that's coming with another book too). That will come in between all the other movie deals and projects this multi-skilled man looks to offer up in-between tweeting and video and audio-tuning inspiration to his two million plus Twitter followers.

Tyrese looks to get even more numbers out of his collaborative projects too. We haven't even begun to mention his next book 'Manology' with Run-DMC legend Rev Run or the legendary legacy he looks to make with fellow kings of R&B, Tank and Ginuwine with the supergroup TGT and their album due next year. Did we forget anything? Movies, books, R&B and rap, that's four. That's a quadruple talent. It looks like Tyrese Gibson is working this year to make next year even better than his last. What more can we say? Maybe it's time to hear from the man himself?

We caught up with Tyrese in London.

"Every single day I just try my best to be the best version of me I can be. That's pretty much it. I think we're all a gift and some people don't recognize their own gifts and that's why they don't use them and some people want to give up on their gifts and the timing, the energy and like these random kind of stars line up. Then you start paying attention to you gift and work hard to elevate it to another level. So you know its kind of the gift that keeps on giving. You have a gift and you're not afraid to use your gift."

Q. So Tyrese it's safe to say you've been a busy man of late, your looking to make next year even better than your last. Where do we start? How you doing?

Everything is alright man. You know just taking it all in. You know what I've up to you've seen it on Twitter.

Q. Paris!


Paaaris.

Q. Getting into a bit of trouble?


Just a little bit,

Q. Nothing you can't handle?


I got it all covered.

Q. You've been in London for awhile now filming how are you enjoying this city and country?

Its cool man you know I don't go out as much as I should. There's a lot of history and architecture out here. You know I'm still trying to get adjusted to the time zone 'cause we're 8 hours ahead of L.A. but you know it’s been good man. We getting a very, very big movie shot and everyone's enjoying themselves, the cast, the energy is right we just having a good time. It's beautiful.

Q. Your return to the 'Fast & Furious' franchise really has helped re-energise the series. What's it like to be properly back in the driving seat?

Well you know I think its very powerful to be part of such a huge cast, but yet Justin Lin and the writers as well as us-I don't want to discredit the work we've put in-we've all figured out a way to coexist and we've all figured out what we individually bring to this franchise. Nothing that I'm doing will remind you of Vin, nothing that Dwayne is doing will remind you of Paul, nothing that Ludacris is doing will remind you of Sung or Gal. I mean everybody is playing their role and it’s very incredible to be part of this process you know. If it was horrible I'd tell you but it’s been very powerful to be a part of this franchise.

Q. What can you tell us about 'Fast Six' and the location of London? A lot of people have wanted me to ask you about a tank on the motorway. I was thinking TGT, like what's Tank doing on the motorway.

Well a lot of the tank stuff has been happening in Austria I think or Oslo, I believe, don't quote me but they've been doing a lot of second unit stuff out there with a whole other crew. Doing a lot of big action, so a lot of the tank stuff has been going on over there. I haven't done anything with a tank. Shit the car that Dwayne drives looks like a tank but he hasn't done anything with a tank. I got a big action sequence coming up with a tank but I haven't got to that yet.


Q. Can you share with us some of your favourite memories and experiences being a part of the 'Fast Five' and '2 Fast, 2 Furious' movies?



You know I feel very honoured to be a part of this franchise you know if it was a guest appearance or a leading role I'm just very grateful man. I mean there are so many actors, so many actresses out there and the fact that we've been chosen to be a part of this is an honour man. It's beyond amazing. I didn't look at it as replacing Vin or out-doing him or out-shining him. I just look at it as sometimes you lose a team member and you got to pick up the pieces and keep on moving and the movies have got to be made regardless of who's in them and whatever happens behind the scenes you have to keep it moving. Keep it going and that's what happened with '2 Fast'.

Q. It's hard to believe it's been ten years since '2 Fast 2 Furious'.

Shiii...10 years?

Q. Yeah I was 16/17.

You where 16? How old are you now?

Q. 27

Damn

Q. Ludacris had the 'fro, you where wearing the Allen Iverson armband.

You know I had Allen Iverson say to me; "yo I love you man, as soon as the movie came out my kids went to see it and they saw you rocking the wristband man and I became their favourite dad for like a year" because I wore that 'The Answer' wristband. You know things that you think nobody would notice. I'm also the biggest Allen Iverson fan whether he's in the NBA or not. He's a legend. He's on fire man. He reminds me of Derrick Rose, just that fire just so aggressive going to the basket and always smooth at the end. Like (mimics a lay-up) 'heeeey'.

QKeeping it basketball, you're from L.A. does that make you a Lakers fan?

Oh absolutely.

Q. Me too (we shake hands) we got a good team this year.

Dwight Howard and who else did we just get Steve Naaaash from Arizona, Phoenix Suns right? Yeah.

Q. Still, that's another blog. Keeping it on screen, in 2011 you had a big year with 'Fast Five' and 'Transformers-DarkOf The Moon'. Any plans for more 'Transformers' or other pictures in the pipeline?

You know I don't really know how this 'Transformers' thing is going to work out man. You know the idea of not being a part of something I helped build really hurts man. I just hope Michael Bay decides to figure out a way to make it work. You know Shia has gone public and clearly said he's not interested, in a different space as an actor and doesn't want to come back and do 'Transformers'. I just hope Michael specifically figures out bring some of the other parts back. They're in the middle of production and tweaking the script and doing everything else they're doing. I hope they call and say 'hey we figured something out' I don't know. But Michael Bay created my character out the clear blue sky. My character didn't really exist at all. As a matter of fact a lot of people don't know this but Michael actually wanted me to play the role Bernie Mac had in 'Transformers 1' but then when we hung out more he just created Robert Epps out the blue and put me in this crew with Josh Duhmel, you know Lennox. I just hope he figures something out and we can move from here.

Q. Speaking of Shia thanks for the 'Lawless' recommendation that could be the film of the year?

(Nodding) Shia is a motherfucker (in a good way) man. Shia.is.a.motherfucker.

Q. This is the burning question I've been meaning to ask you; who would really win arm-wrestling out of you and The Rock?

I don't know. I think I would definitely give it my best shot you know what I'm saying. I'd go all out. I don't know if I could take him out but I'd try.

Q. Is he brave enough?


I don't know if he'd actually do it. But I'd challenge him to it.

Q. You could take Paul Walker  (in an arm wrestle)though right?


Yeah, I could prob...yeah.

Q. You could definitely take me.

More than likely, yeah.


Q. From 'Baby Boy' to now could you share with us your favourite movies that you've been a part of? A personal favourite of mine is 'Four Brothers' you all really brought it with that one.

You know I’m going to be honest man. At this point my favourite movies tend to be the experience you know what I’m saying. The ones that I have fun while we're making them. 'Baby Boy', 'Four Brothers' man we laughed all day everyday, all four of our personalities man. Mark, Andre, Garrett we laughed so freaking hard. I wonder if we actually had a gag reel, we cracked so many jokes it was unbelievable. You know for me nothing compares to the outcome of Transformers, the special effects and the way Michael Bay moves that camera. There's no comparison. I just hope you know it works out.

Q. Speaking of 'Transformers' I love that scene when that building in Chicago snaps in half and you're all sliding down it, how much of that was C.G and how much was real?

That was all the combination of reality and C.G. we where sliding down the side of something. It wasn't quite that building but it was something. If you get the Blue Ray, you'll see the making of how it happened. It's pretty elaborate.

Q. Vin Diesel and Paul Walker aren't the only guys your teaming up with in music you've just made your group with Ginuwine and Tank official with Atlantic Records. What can you tell us about that and the forthcoming album?

You know it's a passion project and I don't really know if anybody see's how big this will really can be the way I do. Ginuwine and Tank can see it but I don't even think they see what I see as far as how big this can go. Right now when it comes to fans because of social media fans are spoilt and they have access to their favourite stars in a way like never before in the history of fans and stars. Also iTunes has single-handedly outside of Napster contributed to creating a shift in a major way in what we call the music business. As we all know iTunes created the lazy feeling of 'I don't feel like going to four or five different record stores to buy an album now I can just click a button and have it'. So therefore all of the traffic that was physically moving into the record stores like Virgin and Tower Records is gone. All these music companies aren't where they used to be. We're talking about full on music stores that have been shut down. A few of them still exist but for the most part their wiped out because the convenience of itunes, great for them, bad for the music business. Then you have chains like Walmart or Target, where if they where just in the music business they'd be wiped out but because they have 75 to 1000 options of things beyond C.D's and DVD's that you can buy then it becomes a one stop shot. So as crazy as an analogy that is that's why TGT makes all the sense in the world, because you got me, you got Ginuwine, you got Tank. We're all young legends in the music business so to speak individually but the idea that it becomes a one stop shop where you can get all these different flavours and colours and energy musically. It's going to contribute to the game in a major way. Where you can get everything you want to experience musically in one concert and one album. I'm not saying that me, Ginuwine and Tank are Walmart or Target but you get everything in one store and that's what makes us the R&B Avengers.

Q. I’m loving the logo, it’s like something out of ‘Tron’.

My man.

Q. You guys work very well together and have a great chemistry especially on tracks like the 'Please Don't Go' and the Let Me Grind' remixes, as well as 'One Night Stand' and 'Can't Blame You'. What do each of you bring to TGT and what influences and inspiration can you bring from both Ginuwine and Tank

Basically what I'm getting out the fans right now they want more. They want more. If you think about Young Money, if you think about people with clicks of talented artists and they're all touring together everyone realizes the power of combining the energy and effort. If you look at the success of 'The Avengers' it just goes to show you. All of the stars and the comic book characters have had huge success on their own and it's the ultimate fan experience to get Superman's biggest fan and Iron Man's biggest fan in the same row. They would probably decide they don't want to coexist in one theatre but because all of their favourites are in one movie that's why they're here. That's what we are. I've tweeted a picture of the three of us and said 'ladies just pick one' and they'll say 'Tyrese is my number one hands down, I like Ginuwine or Tank but they can't touch him', or 'Tank all day or every day, end of story. I got love for y'all but Tank is my baby' and it's the same for Ginuwine. You know it's arrogant to assume that fans of Ginuwine and Tank will love me too, but you know what? They will love me because now we're all in the same movie. You can come to the concert to see Ginuwine but they got to see me. I'm not sharing any of these screams, I'm not sharing any of these photo-ops. I'm stingy. They getting screams over me I ‘aint having it.

Q. Ginuwine say's he's Wolverine and Tank's the hawk so which Avenger are you?

I'm Iron Man. I'm Iron Man. Only because-damn this just hit me right now thank you-because I'm a very shrewd businessman. I think compared to Ginuwine and Tank's personality I'm the one that has the strongest bottom line. I'm very aggressive about everything and anything I do. That's just it man, that's where I'm at with it.

Q. Is it safe to assume that Tank will be manning some of the production? With the three of you already you have enough people but who are you looking to work with on the album? Maybe Tank's protégé Kris Stephens?

Yeah, I like her as a songwriter a lot but more importantly as a person. She's very very sweet, she's been to the house with Tank a few times while we where doing R&B boot camp. I told Tank she should be writing on the album.

Q. Can we expect to hear that friend of yours Black-Ty guest featuring on the album?

We'll see what happens. Right now Black-Ty is chilling waiting to be unleashed on this 'Black Rose' album. You know I'm full throttle right now.

Q. With that in mind congratulations on the huge success of your 'Invisible Bully' rapping mixtape how does it feel?


It feels great man. We're well over a million downloads right now. You know it's been about three or four weeks since it dropped. I think we're well over 2 million downloads if you really think about it, because outside of the DUBCNN download, people have created their own sites and tweeted the shit out. So the downloads are pretty endless. It was just my way of reintroducing Black-Ty. It's like Chris Rock said it best "you don't want to be the first black man to do anything". Of course I wasn't the first R&B singer to rap its happened plenty of times before. I think when I did it, itwas so full on, it wasn't a gimmick, I wasn't like me fucking around it caught a lot of people off guard. It messed a lot of people up. Now all of sudden you got Chris Brown, Trey Songz, you got Beyonce, Mary J. Blige and a bunch of different R&B stars rapping and they got alter-ego names. So for me I'm not looking at it like them trying to be like me but I will say I was the first one to jump into that world and make people think it's possible to fall all the way in love with an R&B singer and then listen to them rap at the same time. I will also say a lot of rappers have cleaned up their looks and image. If you where at home watching 106 & Park on mute you wouldn't know who's singing or rapping, because everybody looks the same. Everyone’s got the sexy girls in the video. R&B singers are wearing the big chains, the big earrings with the fancy cars and all the girls.

Q. I think what sets you apart is the concept rap songs. Like 'Lost With Guns' over Jay-Z's 'Lost One' or the 'Alter-Ego' one where you go back and forth with yourself. Where do you draw that creativity from? The acting maybe?

That's some other shit man.

Q. 'Alter-Ego' started it off with a great mix of tracks like 'One', 'Roses', 'Come Back To Me Shawty' and 'Fly Away' and now another double rap and R&B album 'Black Rose' will come next fall. It's early days yet but what can you tell us about the new album?

Well you know this word just dropped on me right now. I am on a mission to takeover emotions. That's what I'm on. So there is a lot of emotional outlets. You weren’t feeling that way till you heard that song. Or you weren’t feeling that way to you went to see that movie. Or you weren’t feeling that way, or considering those things until you read that book. So I'm on a mission to takeover emotions and you can't just do it through music you have to do it through as many areas as possible and so I'm very grateful that people have given me emotional access to them and ama ride this shit all the way out. Ama keep going.

Q. We can't not talk about 'Open Invitation' and the tracks 'Stay' and 'Too Easy'. We thought your previous work was classic but you really knocked it out the park with this one. First off congratulations, how does your return to music feel? I guess that so called expert that said you couldn't sell independently is on his own now


You know its so good man. I think more than anything I came into it very confident but equally as insecure because a lot of people are very consumed in other people’s opinions. What they should do, how they should do it, when they should do it and if they should even do it at all. I've decided all of a couple of years ago ama live my damn life. I'm not going to base what is successful in the eyes of the world to what it is successful to me. What's successful to me is I had a vision, a concept and idea and I got it out of my heart, out of my mind and I put it out there. When you release it to the world then people will decide whether to show up or not. You can't give power to the numbers. What is successful is getting it out. For you to have an article or a vision or a story in your mind Tim and it stays in mind because you're allowing people not showing up, paying for your hotel room or committing to interviews with the Lakers or whatever the fuck it is. You can't give them power because they're diminishing the gift and they don't even know they're wiping you out. They're just doing what they do. "Oh we where going to send you but now we're going to go with someone else", then you decide to shut your whole fucking career down and they don't even know they wiped you out, "oh shit I took him out". They don't know, but you know. I didn't know my album was going to sell the way it did 400,000 plus thousand. I didn't fucking know, but it happened, I went all out. So this TGT album....we're going to do our best album...period and when we hit the road motherfuckers better get ready. That should be the headline (taps table) motherfuckers.better.get.ready.


Q. What's it like working with someone like Ludacris both in movies and music?

I love Ludacris man. Ludacris is a good man. That's what I have to say about him. He is a good dude man for real. I hope to be friends with Ludacris for a very long time. We may never do another movie or record together...I hope we do, but that's my friend hopefully for a long time. He's a gift.

Q. You say your latest video is your greatest. You had a great time it looks filming 'Too Easy' and have acted alongside some leading ladies recently too but what remains your favourite video you have done?

I love the 'Stay' video because of my girl Taraji and you know this 'Best Of Me' video is going to take me to another level.

Q. How about your own favourite guest features your spot on the posthumous 2Pac album was truly inspired?

Yeah you know what scary man is. I don't know what's about to happen bro. This dude knows me (points to his friend G. Flowers) no two days are ever the same when you're around me. It's always some other shit. This is what's scary-in a sarcastic way-about my life is that this is normal for me. When other people come around and respond to me like "oooh shit" I realise it's not normal and the thing is it's not that I'm taking any of my blessings or access for granted. In the midst of everything I'm forever grateful for what's happening but this is my world and you come into my world there's a likelihood that you're going to be exposed to some life changing shit. And where not just talking about hanging out with stars, but where talking about one person who is literally involved in at least 12 or 15 different world simultaneously on an extreme level. I'm liable to be hanging out with Michael Bay and get a text from Vin Diesel. I'm in my back yard with Martin Luther King's son and daughter and Will Smith, Vin and Paul Walker are sitting to my right, the King kids to my left. I'm hanging out with a fucking holiday. Ooh shit, what the fuck? Like this is normal. It's some other shit man and they don't come to my house for like an hour, motherfuckers come to my house like 14, 15 hours straight. Me and Vin Diesel are in our house playing basketball in my backyard for like 6 hours, drink in hand. Vin comes to my house and buys me Starbucks (mock voice) "Hey Ty, (holds up cup that I brought him) I brought you some Starbucks". Like what the fuck is going on right now, I'm telling you man. It's some other shit I never take it for granted. Here I am man. The only Olympic game I go to I get on the phone I have a conversation with Elaine Wynn, the first lady of Las Vegas from the Wynn Hotel. She invites me to the Olympics. We have dinner, I bring her to the set the next day. She invites me to the Olympic Games. I have the best seats in the house. I get Vin to come down, Ludacris was there, he ended up blessing my whole friends with tickets to the game, that's why I love Luda man he's just a giver and I'm here to witness the American basketball team win the gold medal and whup some ass. With Elaine, Vin, Ludacris and everyone and their momma. Like, what is going on right now. I could of paid to go to the game but the way I went was on some other shit and that's my world man. That's my world bro and that's my shit.

Q. Even Jamie Foxx should be jealous of you.

Jamie ‘aint jealous of me. There are definitely some worlds that Jamie needs to jump into. Jamie's got so many stories to tell.

Q. More importantly from your self-titled debut to now what remains your personal favorite album and song?

My favourites are the ones I love listening to as well as performing. When you experience the reactions of the fans to the songs. The feeling you get when you're on stage, when I do 'Stay' it's bar non. 'Stay', 'Sweet Lady', 'How You Gonna Act Like That' these are records that are going to be around for a long time. When they come on in concert it's like some shit you'll never see, it's like the Holy Ghost. When the intro for 'Sweet Lady' comes on (mock sings and cheers) I don't even know if they're in church yelling like that. If it looks like when these songs come on it takes these peoples problems away.

Q. Is it safe to say in five or ten years that 'Stay' could be as big as 'Sweet Lady'?

It's already there. It is and I'll tell you why. First of all 'Sweet Lady' technically is not as big a song as 'Stay'. 'Stay' was number one for eleven weeks'. 'Sweet Lady' got to number 3 but it still did a lot for women’s confidence and is a classic record that everyone loves. 'Stay' is a record that's going to be around for a long time. It's pretty scary.

Q. Although you're all different. The thing you Tank and Ginuwine share is that you represent that more mature side of R&B, singing about themes like settling down instead of the throw away stuff that won't be around in years. Can you tell us more about what sets you apart? 

You get in the vocal booth you put your heart on the mic and you just hope people can relate and identify to what it is. Whenever you do anything and it comes from your heart it's going to find hearts and connect with hearts. This is why Autotune-even though I've used it a couple of times- with Autotune there's a disconnect because you can't feel peoples soul sounding like a robot. People can't connect to that. So you know that's it on that.

Q. Is TGT going to follow in the footsteps of the classic nighties R&B acts like 112 or Jagged Edge and even going further back then that Boyz II Men, Blackstreet, etc.?

I don't really know if we can be compared to anybody. Naturally because Gearld Levertt, Johnny Gill and Keith Sweat did LSG before. We don't even compare to them. Now the concept of three solo artists doing a three can be compared, but they where a much more mature and older demographic. We're young gunners. We about to get that...

Q. Maybe you represent that mid-point-because you're all in your thirties-bridgin the gap between the younger and more mature generations?

The thing is we just don't compare. If you heard our songs there's some other shit going on right now dawg. It's not fair that this TGT album sounds this good. It's not fair. Because this isn't coming from an arrogant place I'm just speaking facts. Like if you look at all three of us that's going to get women to show up but it's not FAIR that our music sounds this good. It's almost expected that the three of us getting together with all this much hype, we'll end up getting together and doing an album that is trash and horrible. But this shit sounds SO good it's scary.

Q. You guys on Slim Thug's 'Let Me Grind' remix and 'Please Don't Go' and you're duet with Ginuwine on 'One Night Stand' have already shown great chemistry and am sure we can expect more.

Yeah it's definitely way different then that.

Q. All this hard work has really paid off congratulations on the success of Voltron Records and your recent award nominations? How does all this feel? I guess it motivates you to just keep going? 

You know what it's one of them things where you put your best foot forward and the rest is on God and the fans. You know I worked my ass off on that 'Open Invitation' album and I had to remove the spirit of doubt. You can't go into anything having any type of doubt in yourself. You have to just say 'fuck it, if nobody is checking for this, that's what it is'. People said, there where comments like 'this is not todays R&B', 'this is like R&B of the nighties' 'R&B is very different these days'. Well R&B today ‘aint selling. So what's missing is the R&B you used to love, the albums you used to love where you could press play and listen to top to bottom. Albums these days sound like mixtapes because they have 12 different producers and I wanted to get back to the formula. Like when Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis did Janet Jackson's whole album, like when Jermaine Dupri did Usher's whole album. This is the formula. All the Wyclef and Lauryn Hill albums.

Q. Like Timbaland producing Brandy's 'Afrodisiac' which was easily one of the best R&B albums of the last ten years.


I don't know if that was her best. When she got with Rodney Jerkins for the 'Full Moon' album that was way better in its entirety. They where classic fucking albums. One producer, one batch of songwriters and just take flight. For me that's the formula.

Q. Which artists past and present influence and inspire you?

People compare me to other artists and I listen to a lot of other artists. I don't get into the vocal booth to purposely sound like anyone else. I'm just me you know. Just me man at all times and I'm a self confessed weirdo. It always has such a negative connotation but I think weirdoes are the most forward thinking individuals. You know I've tweeted this before. There is no such thing as thinking outside the box in my mind there isn't a box. I'm on some other shit. I've left earth a long time ago. I'm on Google maps. Motherfuckers looking up at me, everybody down there doing the same shit, I'm on some other shit.


Q. Of course music and movies aren't your only fortes. You recently penned a very inspiring book 'How To Get Out Of Your Own Way' which congratulations was a New York Times bestseller. Can you describe what its like to inspire your fans in a different way and reach an even wider audience?

You know it's the most amazing thing man. First of all the timing of releasing that book was very important. Because there's a lot of people with the gift of the gab who just know how to talk a good game. You know people in the world respond to success. Statistics, numbers, results. I've never claimed to be the biggest star in the world. Nor do I think I'm interested. I don't like the pressure that comes with being a fucking megastar. Barely can move anywhere, can't go anywhere without being recognized, everyday, all day. It becomes this non stop feeding frenzy that becomes too much. I don't know if I want that always, always. So you know I just want to do me and be me and however far that goes and takes me, I'll take it.

Q. And now the 'Black Rose' book is coming with the double album what can you tell us about that?

'Black Rose' is in the embryo stage and where going to get that book in motion I'm very excited about that. I'm going to fly the woman who I wrote 'How To Get Out Your Own Way' to London so we can just try and get into it. It's going to be one of those real game changers. I'm excited. 'Black Rose' is going to be scary, that's going to be one of those books that have a flow and an energy to it like 'woo'. It's going to fuck people up.

Q. Is that what some of the video blogs you've posted on Twitter have been for?

We used a lot of that content for the 'Manology' book. Whenever I did a video these two girls that are beautiful would transcribe that and we'd use it for the book.

Q. You inspire a lot of people and we thank you but in and outside your industries who inspires you we know your close with R. Kelly, Will Smith, Michael Jordan and the Obama's?

You know I'm inspired by a lot of different people man in a lot of different areas. I'm inspired by people who think outside of the box. People who are unapologetically, boldly, doing their motherfucking thing period. Like, just do your thing. I'm a force I believe that, like the size of this building can't handle my thoughts. That's how I rock. I'm a giant in my mind that's how big my spirit is. If you don't have this type of mind state you're just average and I'm not average. So Denzel, Oprah, Will Smith, Steve Jobs, R. Kelly, Michael Bay, Steven Spielberg, I mean I just saw that trailer for that movie 'Lincoln'. Are you fucking kidding me son!? I'm ready for that Dr. King role because of that trailer. I got a lot to do. Let me tell you something man my biggest fear is dying. I don't fear anything but death and they say you don’t fear death and I'm not afraid of dying because of death. I'm afraid of dying because I got a lot to do man. I can't do shit if I'm gone. I don't want to die. That's why I'm kind of like a hypochondriac, as soon as I find myself under the weather man I go straight to the doctor. Fuck that. I'm feeling something in my chest (taps veins in his arm) man hook me up. Something ‘aint right. C'mon man.

Tyrese thank you it's been an absolute pleasure and really appreciated. I remember Ginuwine wrote in the thank you's of his 'Senior' album that "the game owes you". Things really are paying off now, I guess good things really do happen to those who work hard and patiently. I guess you won't have to sing 'Taking Forever' that much anymore hey!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

REVIEW: STEVEN TYLER-DOES THE NOISE IN MY HEAD BOTHER YOU


5/5

Sweet Emotion.

By TIM DAVID HARVEY

"Life is short. Break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that makes you smile.” We’re not quantified; there’s no chart of desire. When the roaring flames of your heart have burned down to embers, may you find that you have married your best friend. Hunch, conjecture, instinct…a blind allegiance to anything can get you killed, and always remember…sing as though no one can hear you; live as though heaven is here on Earth."

And so begins the greatest, most inspiring, 'live by these words' intro and the autobiography of one of the greatest Rock N Roll frontmen ever for one of the greatest bands of all time (if at times both a little too underrated and undervalued even with all their critical and commercial success). With the moves like Jagger, the swagger of Freddie, the charm of Michael Hutchence, the charisma of Prince and all the one of a kind, in a million traits that make him uniquely who he is the great Steven Tyler and his awesome American band Aerosmith have given us some of the best rock music from 'Dream On' to 'I Don't Want To Miss A Thing'. It's about time beyond the press and beyond the stress we got a little insight and some of the greatest Rock N Roll tales from the horses lips.

"It's like Vuja De, and that's when the miracle manifests...you're trading faces, places, spaces, and graces,"

Read how Steve lays it down with sweet emotion, coming together in unjaded devotion. This memoir is one for the memory banks, existing in moments across the pages that will keep you turning like the band keeps rolling (there's a new studio album due very soon). Honest, heartfelt, poignant and perfect, this book is a classic. A lot of times these days-especially with disappointing autobiographies-you want to finish as quickly as possible and move on to something else.

"I've been...New Orleaned, collard-greened, Peter Greened and tent-show queened; woke-up-thus-mornin'ed and given' you a warnin'ed, Seventh sealed, cotton field; holler-logged and Yeller Dawged; sanctified, skantified, shuck-and-jived, and chicken fried; black-cat boned, rollin' stoned, and cross-road moaned; freight-trained, achin-heart pained, gris-gris dusted, done got busted..."

Not with this beautiful beast, you won't be able to put this animal down as you slowly absorb yourself in each chapter and their hilarious names (for reference 'Ladies and Genitals, I'm not arrogant, I'm just ego-testicle'). You'll want to get to the end of pages as quickly as you turn and burn through the paper, but when you do your disappointment will lie with the fact that it's over. Steve Tyler 'Jerry Maguire's' you on this one. He has us at the semi-prologue. SHOW US AN AFTERWORD!

"Not so in the woods. In that silence I heard something else there, too. I lost all that mystery when I was on drugs."

It's the vivid way he writes that really draws you into his Rock N Roll world, painting pictures like the pretty as a picture photo album middle. It's more than a fly on the wall experience, or a journalist on a tour bus one. It's more like you're on stage right there next to him from his country beginnings to taking over the whole, wide world. Sure this isn't Shakespeare (it's Steven) and at times our Boston boys frontman comes across incoherent but it's always, always inspired.

"And just then, the highway opened up-right at the junction, right at that spot on the highway where you see the skyline of Boston, and you go, "What!?" Because it suddenly goes from trees, woods, and crickets to cars flashing by and skyscrapers and apartment buildings...Just at that moment, I went "Oh, s***, the city""

His stream of consciousness flows like the purest water. Now that's what makes it just a great read. Plus unlike most fake memoir's at least you know its really him, writing beautifully from the paper to the spine, the woods to the stadiums with all his terrific Tylerism's. Telling us about his trips with L.S.D. (Lead. Singer. Disorder) and his golden rules including getting "nekkid". Most of all with all his fame and the great places he's seen this confident but humble straight-shooter tells us like it is with no chaser "New York City was filled with very odd folk-which I loved". Boom! Now I'll drink to that.

"My relationship with Joe is complex, competitive, fraught, really sort of fascinating in a hair-raising kind of way."

Of course everything from Aerosmith to American Idol is touched upon these pages but nothing brings more unflinching depth and honest beauty then his relationship with his family and his band and his friend and brother from another Joe Perry. Through the thickest and the thinnest these acid twins have bonded no matter how caustic the times or tides. It's an inspiring story that holds influence. It comes apart over the pages and comes together in real life. These guys who grew up on The Beatles are Rock N Roll survivors like Springsteen...tougher than the rest.

"First it' "Hey, jaded!" Which later on in a magic moment turns into "Hey, ja-ja-jaded," which puts it in a very rhythmic meter with a four-four time signature. It's a picture of my temperament set to music"

Not only that Tyler takes us vividly and coherently through the process of songwriting from the scraps of paper, right through to the melody and the final song. From 'Cryin'' to 'Hole In My Soul' the lyrics-which are just as quotable as the book itself-are all laid out bare and beautifully. These prose give further proof that in front of all the left behind critics, Steven Tyler is one of the deepest, greatest and again most underrated writers around. This is a songwriting master, detailing his craft. Take note. It might be time to really appreciate him. It doesn't get much more brutally truthful with all the comforting introspection than this.

"And everybody I know said the same thing except the one person that I wanted to say it to me, and she left me. So it's really lonely being who the f*** I am"

From the births and the marriages to the divorces and deaths it's all detailed here. The chapters of drug taking may be abusive and hard for some to take but there's substance behind the style Steven's writing. He gives honesty without asking for sympathy and still we feel sorry for a man so thankful. A man who was-at a time-so broken-hearted. It's just in the way he walks the walk and talks the talk. He just writes this way. It's the word of a lesson learned teacher that never turns preacher. It a frank but fantastic, dark but delightful reading experience that tells you all about life as you set out yours.

"'Hole In My Soul' was playing...Chelsea and Taj walked into the studio with Teresa. I looked over and I said to them, "Good night, Chelsea. Good night, Taj". Its whispered at the end of the track."

After all isn't that what autobiographies and memoirs of a life's story are supposed to do? It's clearly not all about him as he shows love and devotion to all those who helped him get to the place he is now from his parents to his kids. He even praises the ex's who he says would never give him "accolades"...hey, we all know the feeling. With some beautiful secrets shared outside the family, Tyler keeps it relative and real with what's most important.

"Liv called me and said she got offered a part in a movie with Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck...Little did I know that Kathy Nelson, who was picking the music, would put it in the same Jerry Bruckheimer movie, Armageddon, that Liv was talking about."

The good times roll with the rock legend as he details his legacy. It's a refreshing read from a man who's personal life has been trashed by the press badly with little respect for the good...pardon me the great in him. The man who gave Aerosmith it's wings affords both sides of the coin for your dollar here. From breaking down rap/rock and cultural barriers with Run-DMC, walking the way for this generation to blowing up the world with 'Armageddon's' (Rest Peacefully Michael Clarke Duncan) 'I Don't Want To Miss A Thing' Tyler stands by it all for better of worse like he does with his band, his family and his fans. It doesn't come more devoted than this and to you Steven for the record on book or wax we thank you. The noise in your head broadens us. Thanks for bothering.

"I may not have been quite sure of what I was doing, but I was on to something. Just saying..."

REVIEW: MICHAEL JOHNSON-GOLD RUSH-WHAT MAKES AN OLYMPIC CHAMPION


4/5

Pure Gold.

By TIM DAVID HARVEY

It's 1992, the year of the Olympics 20 years ago. We're in Barcelona and Dream Team's and records are descending on Spain. An archer lights his bow with the Olympic flame, aims it at a cauldron and truly passes it, shooting towards the sky as he ignites the games with conviction and spectacle. The same conviction and spectacle that comes with the buzz and hype of a young runner by the name of Michael Johnson who's about to go the distance. Still some bad ham and some diminished speed and strength meant our Golden Shoes would have to burn through another four years before striking Gold in his home country in the '96 Atlanta games. After all, we all have a journey and a story to tell.

The 2012 London Olympics may nearly be over (Sigh! But at least the Paralympics are closing everything out perfectly) but that doesn't mean Michael Johnson's autobiography of sorts isn't still a great, inspiring read. In this 'Gold Rush' the record breaker and holder makes the case to answer the question 'What Makes An Olympic Champion'? Featuring testimony from the likes of Usain Bolt, Seb Coe, Steve Redgrave, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Cathy Freeman and Ian Thorpe (a young Thorpe's return from injury to Gold is truly inspired) and Johnson's own account of his success and failure.

If this years games has inspired you to take part in athletics or dust off that oar or cross-brow this motivating book would be a great start. From detailing his every move from out of the blocks to crossing the line head raised high M. Johnson takes us through the magic tricks of the trade that made him an Olympic champion and icon. Through "Olympic Fever" to the "Mental Games" and "Technique and DNA" Johnson chapter by chapter breaks down "Doing What It Takes To Win" in "The Heat Of Battle" with "No Shortcuts". Poignant and perfect this quick read (it really is a 'Rush') reads like Mike runs or pundits, quick, frank, detailed and to the point...the point of success.

This book served as the perfect warm-up for the buzz and excitement of this years games but still holds more than memory for the timeless quality after. This retired runner turned BBC pundit and honary Brit benefits us with inspired and intriguing interviews with the cream of the crop of Olympians, especially British ones as Sally Gunnell, Chris Hoy and Daley Thompson among others take part in this prose for positive reinforcement from the professionals.

When it comes to sport the stage doesn't get bigger than the Olympics and Olympians don't get much better than this 200 and 400 meter Gold crowned athlete. Therefore books about what makes an Olympic champion don't get bigger and better than 'Gold Rush'. The Times columnist whose first book-'How To Slay The Dragon' came with a forward from the greatest Muhammad Ali-writes another classic. From channeling the greats to drawing on his inner legend, Johnson's legacy extends from the track and field to the pen and paper.

The mind over matter man gives praise to everything including his personal life (one that makes a beautiful backstory) and scathes that, that is wrong (like cheating and drugs). Doing the right thing Michael Johnson gives us a memoir that serves as a manual to be the best and a true champion. It's a hard worked piece that mirrors his life and will have inspiration and influence for generations and Olympics to some. Now that's the gold.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

REVIEW: MICHAEL OHER-I BEAT THE ODDS: FROM HOMELESSNESS TO THE BLIND SIDE


5/5

Touching Down.

By TIM DAVID HARVEY

The story of NFL star and Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Michael Oher is one real, genuine account that is even more inspirational than the influential book "The Blind Side" by big-hitting "Moneyball: writer Michael Lewis and the incredible film of the same name that garnered leading lady Sandra Bullock more Academy certification. With all due respect to the Oscar-worthy performance from Quinton Aaron and the book that started the reels of the motion picture, nothing compares to the words from the horse's mouth and the one who really and truly inspired all this interest.

The man himself, Big Mike, towers above it all with his own penmanship on 'I Beat The Odds.' His autobiography with Don Yaeger truly blindsides you, with true grit, realness and iconic inspiration. You couldn't script it any better, with all due respect. This bold, brave and beautiful book takes us from the unfathomable (to those lucky ones) perils of homelessness to the pure joy of what dreams are made of being drafted into the NFL and the star turns that now come with the unselfish and non-complacent individual Michael is.

The path from one extreme to another is a hard-worked and inspiring journey of family and education, and like students of Ole Miss or members of Mike's family, it's something we can all be incredibly proud of beyond the words. It's something we can all learn from and relate to as well, and most importantly, this read serves as a novel way to inspire us all. No matter who we are, or what we've been through, no matter what culture, country or creed we belong to, whether we've shared this man's experiences or not, we can all take something from his struggles and successes.

From sharing the stories of those touched to touching on the specific organizations and prescribed routes that can help, Oher doesn't just paint a picture of his life, he also illustrates the ways one can improve, be the best they can be and therefore beat the odds too. From reaching out to those who have nothing to putting his foot down on how rich superstars should look after their money, this book accounts for everyone. Furthermore, this writing is right up there on the shelf with the most inspiring autobiographies—up there with President Barack Obama's greatest prose and a champion among other sensational sports-star reads.

What separated this book from the rest is its realness. This genuine spirit doesn't mince words, whether it be in admitting his own shortcomings to the troubles and turmoil created from others letting him down. Still giving credit where credit's due, all praise is given to those who truly helped, and all motivation and encouragement is given to those who need a real role model in their life—and what a perfect one Michael Oher is.

Far from the almost "dumb" perceived kid he was unfairly portrayed as in the otherwise perfect vision of The Blind Side movie, Michael—with artistic integrity—fields the right story, running back through all the life changing moments of his young life, from the highs to the lows. Quarterbacking an insightful and indispensable run of pages, this really is one paper-turner that will become a fast learner for anyone willing to give it the time. From the reality of this smart guy's vision, it's no wonder he achieved his dreams.

From the hunger to the big games, Michael Oher has made it, and looking back and lending a hand to anyone who picks up his story, he shows how we all can, too. May the odds always be with him.

REVIEW: SHAQUILLE O'NEAL-SHAQ UNCUT


4/5

The Big Autobiography.

By Tim David Harvey

SUPERMAN

'Shaq Uncut', this writer has to admit. It took a long time for him to get round to this book, but not a long time to read and that wasn't because of the 'Large Print' edition I was accidentally ordered for Christmas. Then again a larger than life character like Shaquille O'Neal could only do it B.I.G. like this. The only reason it took me so long to get round to this tell-all autobiography penned only months after his retirement announcement was because I was still finding it hard to accept that the most entertaining figure in basketball who got an 11 year old English kid from a small seaside town in the U.K. into this great sport of Basketball was done.

The same kid, now 26 who purposely shaped his American holiday last April around trying to catch a glimpse of the big fella in action before he retired while in Boston, Chicago and Miami, even if it was for the Celtics and even if it was in the twilight of his career. I still had dreams of Jeanie, that the Buss family would bring Shaq back to L.A. for an All-Star redeeming, reunion with Kobe for one more go at Larry O'Brien. Still literally the biggest star of the NBA called it a one of a kind career.

THE DIESEL

It seems whether on or off the court, Shaq was always going at full-speed and never running on fumes. Whether it be his jam and rim dropping power plays, or his generous charity work, or extra-curricula entertaining activities. It's little wonder he crafted the follow up to his funny first autobiography ('Shaq Talks Back') so quickly, of course with the help of another Hall Of Famer in the form of Jackie MacMullan, the co-writer of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird's New York Times Bestselling 'When The Game Was Ours' dual autobiography. Jackie really brings everything together with her descriptive, nostalgic chapter openings and stories.

THE BIG ARISTOTLE

Coming out around the same time as Jerry West's highly anticipated book 'West By West, My Charmed, Tormented Life', this is another great gift that many Laker fans would have loved to have found under their trees this Christmas gone. Another purple and gold Laker legend colours his career over his scribes. Of course with Shaq, your bound to get more than a few smiles and belly laughs. Just check out what he bench pressed during one Celtic team talk last year in one of the last chapters. Still Shaquille knows how to move us with his words. The 'Little Warrior' details his upbringing and troubles that he didn't over-indulge in complaining about during his career. There is also a fitting and moving tribute to his late, great friend the legendary, rapper The Notorious B.I.G.

SHAQ FU

The NBA's biggie shows focus throughout these pages as he talks about his approach to the game and how the league works. Telling stories of how he developed his Magic passing skills in Germany when he couldn't dunk and the sealed with the blow of a kiss moment the light hit him that is was time to enrol in LSU University Shaq's nostalgia paints a picture of him we've never seen before. He also gives us a deep, through inside-knowledge analysis of his teammates, peers and the players that rule the league now and how far they can and should go. Shaq may be an NBA analyst on T.V. now but if that gig ever falls by the wayside (yeah right) he could seriously make it as a sportswriter.

BIG DADDY

Still it was on court where Shaq made his bread and butter, as he spread his talents into platinum, decent rap albums and some big Hollywood pictures. Shaq truly was the man and from his Orlando rookie days, to being the biggest Laker since Magic it really is interesting and inspiring to read about one of the biggest influences on the modern-day game. Any Laker fan looking to take a trip down memory lane, are drawn right into the greatest moments of the Lakers three-peat. With insight to how it all went down...and then how things fell down soon after, these are the words from the horse mouth that the media have been galloping after for years.

THE BIG SHAQTUS

Still Laker fans needn't stop reading or put the book in the fridge like Joey from 'Friends' once Shaq takes his talents away from Chick Hearn and the Lakers and to South Beach. What follows is some hot pages about O'Neal's time with the Heat and his relationship with former coach Pat Riley. Like the great coach, this take is slick but thoughtful, concentrated but at times humorous...and in the end it all seems in good nature. After all the two men that where known to keep guaranteeing championships at parade probably have more in common than they think. As Shaq takes his talents from South beach to LeBron and Cleveland via Phoenix we are in for even more terrific tales from the tall man.

WILT CHAMBERNEEZY

Shaquille O'Neal also gives it up to the legends before him. Speaking candidly about the giant greats that came before him and paved the way. Although his relationship with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton doesn't seem the best, he gives uppermost praise and respect to the 'Lord Of The Rings' forefather Bill Russell. He also respects Wilt Chamberlain's privacy with a testifying, tribute to the late, great, big Basketball God. From Penny, to Wade and LeBron Shaq also shares his insight and time with his sidekick guard greats with all due respect and consideration...and then of course there is the talk on Kobe. Which is humbly and honestly written with love, respect and consideration over the pages. The highs and the lows are reached here and it's all done without the usual B.S. that comes with other peoples biographies.

THE REAL DEAL

This is because Shaq really is the genuine article and over these chapters it's clear to read the reason this players career was so classic. It was more than just the power, problems and perfect game (minus the free-throws)...it was about the personality. In the character stakes even if Shaq was as tall as Muggsy Bogues he still would have towered above the rest. That contagious smile and enthusiasm keeps the pages of this book turning and although the man that has done so much details every distinct aspect it's often downplayed. Even though the character's ego is big, his humility is notorious too. The kid from Newark that always honors his parents and upbringing is still here.

THE BIG SHAMROCK

Even 'The Big Fellas' last season as a Celtic are worthy of praise as you read more into it. From his contributions to his battles and his funny frolics around Harvard. The A* basketball student also shares with us his studied in the entertainment and social-networking industry and his graduation through the ranks of law enforcement. Often times it seems like O'Neal's career has been 'Shaq vs The World' but as you finish this book all those who are against him will even start to realise there is no one quite like Shaquille O'Neal on this earth. A legendary personality, player and generous, genuine man. Whether you know him as a Laker or a Cavalier, a platinum rapper or a genie from a boom box, a charitable force or a cop, after this real, revealing read, you'll know the everyone man simply known as...

SHAQ

REVIEW: JERRY WEST-WEST BY WEST, MY CHARMED, TORMENTED LIFE


4/5

Going West.

What else can we say about Jerry West? A Los Angeles Laker champion and legend as a player and a general manager, immortalised in bronze for an overdue statue this year. Olympic champion and one of the greatest players the league has ever seen. The man is the image of the logo of the NBA for heaven's sake...he is a basketball God. What more can you say than that? Or what more can be said about this man than Roland Lazenby's incredible read 'Jerry West: The Life and Legend of a Basketball Icon'? Well how about some words from the man himself? A shy, at times troubled man who isn't one for interviews, press conferences or even events honoring him. What more do we need now than some words from the horses mouth?

So one of the Lakers greatest knight's finally opens up with Jonathan Coleman for the magnificent, moving memoir 'West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life'. A book that covers everything from the highest of Mr. West's highs to the lowest of his lows on and off the basketball court. Recounts of a classic career that saw Gold on the national and international stage, a bevvy of legendary teammates and associates and a reputation for being one of the best closers in the game are detailed here.

Relationships with Laker legends like Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, Gail Goodrich, Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Pat Riley, Mitch Kupchak, Jerry Buss, Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant and the lack of one with Phil Jackson are detailed here. As our his relationship with Bill Russell and the Lakers bitter, storied rival the Boston Celtics who ignited the competitive fire by beating them six time in one decade. Extended testimony's from his closest friends and players, plus his dream team, dream game are also thrown in for different and interesting measures.

Still it's when Jerry details the facts about his personal life that things become more open and revealing. A private and sensitive side that should truly be explored if your read this book and not this review. Jerry tells his story best with humble honesty and touching tenderness. The guy said to have a regular Joe name could almost change it to Frank Forthright. The silhouette of the NBA comes out from the shadows to shed some light on his troubles and in a way helps illuminate the darkness of fellow depression sufferers. Jerry shows fellow sufferers that you can live with the mental affliction...and live happily too. It's an important lesson learnt throughout Jerry's life and this book. It's a bold and brave move which Jerry executes as precisely and perfectly as one of his buzzer-beating shots.

The Big Shot player doesn't clutch for sympathy or fish for compliments, instead he inspires with his profound, poignant look at the fragility of life and the strength of one's character. Mr. Clutch will have you in his grasp in a one-sitting, page-turning read. This is a influential portrait and as this pro confesses over some pros he remains even in retirement the consummate professional. One of the greatest finishes of all-time yet again sends a shiver down our spine with a big play that leaves everyone better off for it. Once again Mr. West finds his range and strikes the right chord. The man that won a championship, a gold medal and brought 'Showtime' and Shaq and Kobe to L.A. scores one of his biggest and most significant hits yet. TIM DAVID HARVEY.