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Kenney Dennard Publisher

When the Perfect Pieces Don't Fit Together

by Kenney Dennard

In light of the recent signing of LaBron James and Chris Bosh to the Miami Heat, where the two will join superstar Dewayne Wade, the topic of will this create a super team has been running rampant.  Most seem to think that it should and they will.  Many others doubt it for several reasons.  Although it seems that it should be a given, many times in many other instances, when the so-called perfect pieces have been brought together, the outcome has been only average at best, but sometimes disastrous. 

The keys to any unit being successful is chemistry of all parties involved while everyone stays focused on one major goal.  But most important of all, everyone must know their role and play it.  Everyone cannot be the star, rather team sports, stage, big or small screen.

This month, The Informer has compiled a list of scenerios of when the best of the best have been brought together to create something of a masterpiece, yet in these cases, they seemed to barely please or just not hit the intended jackpot.

1. R. Kelly and Jay Z

The Best of Both Worlds

Russell Simmons was still heading Def jam and had hyped this release.  At the press release Johnny Cochran was the Master of Ceremonies.  P. Diddy, Ron Isley and others were all there as everyone gave their thoughts on this "bomb" that was about to drop on the music industry.  The album dropped March 2002 and barely went gold.  Before the tour got started, R. Kelly and Jay Z were already feuding and their entourages as well.  Finally, after a member of Jay Z's crew sprayed R with pepper spray before a show, the tour, partnership and friendship was over.  The two would sue and counter sue each other and never talk again.  So it was the end of the Best of Both Worlds.

2. Harlem Nights

Eddie Murphy was the top comedian of the 80's, surpassing both Richard Pryor and Red Fox, who were the top comedians of the 60's and 70's.  He had starred in blockbuster movies such as "Beverly Hills Cop," "Trading Places" and "48 Hours."  He then stepped up and wrote "Coming to America," which was a huge success starring an all Black cast. 

By now it seemed everything Eddie touched was gold.  His next project he planned to write, direct and star in.  To make it even better, he decided to bring back his favorite comedians, Richard Pryor and Red Foxx, meaning three generations of Black Comedians would be in one movie. Fans couldn't wait for this masterpiece in the making.  Although this movie has had somewhat of a cult following by some and does have a couple funny lines, it was a huge canned by critics. 

Murphy was nominated for "Worst Director" at the 10th Golden Raspberry Awards.  The film won "Worst Screenplay."  Richard Pryor had seen his better days in Film.  He was in the beginning stages of Multiple Sclerosis and seemed to barely be there in times.  The film did gross three times what it cost to shoot but for the star power it had, it just didn't pack the punch.  Murphy never directed another film.

3. 1983-84 Philadelphia 76ers

The final piece of the 76ers' championship puzzle was completed before the 1982 season with the acquisition of center Moses Malone. They went on to capture the franchises second NBA Championship as they stormed through the play-offs sweeping the Knicks, then finishing the Bucks in 5 games and finally sweeping the Lakers.  Coach Bill Cunningham would say, "The difference from last year to this year was Moses." Their team consisted of Julius "Dr J" Erving, Moses Malone, Maurice Cheeks, Andrew Tony and Bobby Jones.

The very next year, the only change in the roster was the addition of Charles Barkley, who was a rookie in 1984.  Barkley had been a star athlete at Auburn University.  That year the 76ers would make it to the play-offs but barely do the damage they had done the previous season.  They were put out of the Eastern Conference finals by the Boston Celtics.

4. We Are the World (For Haiti) 2010

"We Are the World," is a charity song originally sang by a super group, named USA for Africa consisting of almost every artist who was anyone in 1985, including Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springstein, Ray Charles, Diana Ross and Bob Dillon.  Proceeds of the single and later album went to send money to help stop famine in Africa.  It was the brainchild of Harry Belafonte being produced by Quincy Jones and written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie. The song was a worldwide commercial success, topping the music charts around the globe. It became the fastest selling American single in history, winning three Grammy Awards and one American Music Award.

After a major Earthquake hit Haiti in 2010 killing thousands, someone decided to do a remake of "We are the World," but this time for Haiti.  Artists were brought in on Feb. 2010 to record.  The remake consisted of artist such as Mary J Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Janet Jackson, Usher, Jamie Fox, Lil Wayne, LL Cool J, Snoop Dog and Kanye West.  Lionel Richie and Quincy Jones were brought in to orchestrate.

Although this seemed like a wonderful, heartfelt idea, the song went nowhere.  It received negative reviews from critics and was even made fun of on Saturday Night Live, where they said, "Recently, the music world came together to record 'We are the World 2," a song to raise awareness of the Haiti earthquake disaster; sadly the song itself was a disaster," with several impersonators dubbing the parody, "We are the World 3: Raising the Awareness of "We are the World 2" Disaster.  

5. 2005 Los Angeles Lakers

This Los Angeles Lakers team had won 3 NBA Championships in a row with Shaquille O’Neil and Kobe Bryant.  The two had begun to hate each other more and more though as time went on. In 2005 Utah Jazz Power Legend, Power Forward Karl Malon did at the end of his career what LaBron James just did after 7 years of his. He left his team and chased a championship.  He and Gary Payton, another superstar in his own right, joined the Lakers to make a powerhouse NBA team that would seem to be a sure win for the title.  Malone would get hurt, Kobe and Shaq would continue to fight and this would be the last year of that Lakers Squad. 

6. Mike Tyson Vs Evander Holyfield

This battle had been brewing for years.  Although Mike and Evander started out cool with one another in the early 80's there would come a time when the sports world thought Mike, who was undefeated at the time, was dodging Holyfield.  Before the two had a chance to meet, Tyson was knocked in and out the ring.  Buster Douglass knocked him out, he was divorced by Robin Givins and he was convicted and jailed for rape.  By the time he was released he was a different man.  The world still wanted the fight.  It would be that generations Thriller in Manila.  Once the pieces were put together it was said to be the biggest fight in history.  The world waited for the outcome.  Tyson had become a Muslim in jail and some looked at the fight as Christian vs Muslim.  All the hype, and all the buildup was for the perfect saga. Once the day came to battle, Tyson got frustrated and bit off Holyfield's ear, garnering a disqualification.

 7. The 2001-02 Portland Trailblazers

The Portland Trailblazers had been on a downward path since the early 90's when Clyde Drexler had led the team to the NBA Finals against Michael Jordon and the Chicago Bulls.

Because of the quality of players they had been acquiring, they were known around the league as the "Jail Blazers". Several of their team members stayed in trouble with the law.  In 2001, Portland traded for several NBA has beens including Scottie Pippin, Detlef Schrempf, Steve Smith, Bonzi Wells, Rod Strickland, Stacy Augman, Dale Davis and Shawn Kemp to add to a team starring Rasheed Wallace and Arvydas Sabonis.  Fans were excited.  On paper they seemed like the team to beat.  Unfortunately, Shawn Kemp never regained his "Rain Man" Status, Scottie Pippin was not the same player without Michael Jordon and Rod Strickland disrupted the team chemistry.  They would be swept 3-0 in the first round of the play-offs by the LA Lakers. 

8. Self Destruction 2009

After legendary rapper KRS One's DJ Scott La Rock was gunned down in the late 80's he became an advocate for nonviolence in the black community.  KRS would get some of the top rappers together in 1989 to record a record aimed toward young blacks doing the right thing.  It was a huge hit featuring MC Lyte, Doug E Fresh, Kool Moe Dee, Heavy D, Public Enemy and Stetsasonic.  For some reason in 2009 KRS decided to get the current rappers together and make a current version of the song, this one entitled Self Construction featuring Nelly, Redman, Method Man, Busta Rhymes and a host of others.  The song went largely unnoticed.

9. The Firm

In 1997, Nas had made it known that he was one of the best lyricist of the that time.  With two albums under his belt, one a classic and the other a hit, he had earned respect on both coasts.  His partner in crime, AZ, whom had guest appeared on his debut album and nearly outshined Nas  on the song, "Life's a B" had also made a name for himself with the hit "Sugarhill," in 1995.  Jay Z had brought fellow Bedstuy, Brooklyn native Foxi Brown into the spotlight on his 1995 debut "Reasonable Doubt," in the song, "Aint no Nigga."  Dr Dre had been widely considered one of the greatest producers in rap since his debut with legendary rap group, NWA. 

So when all four artist agreed to come together as a group to creat The Firm, it was widely thought that this was going to be one of the best rap groups ever.  Dr Dr had only just begun to produce artist on the East Coast.

The album didn't even garner a hit single and had to be one of the most disappointing albums of the decade.

10. Brooklyn's Finest

Wesley Snipes had not done any relevant movies in years.  Since his legal troubles had began he had gone somewhat undercover.  Most of his fans loved him best in one of his first starring roles as Nino Brown in the 1991 Cult Classic, "New Jack City," where he played a Notorious New York City drug lord alongside ice T and Chris Rock.

When previews began to pop up of Wesley Snipes starring in another movie as a drug dealer in New York City almost 20 years later alongside Don Cheaddle fans got excited, thinking this would almost be a guaranteed Box Office Smash.  It wasn't.  The movie started nowhere and went nowhere.  Wesley Snipes barely acted in it and although he went out with a bang in NJ and audiences applauded to see such a villain die, it was hard to watch him die in this movie and almost turned you off from the entire picture.  Terrible writing killed this movie.

 

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r kelly pic

R. Kelly