The Lastings Impression
There are many things we will do and say on this here particular blog, but there are also junctures along the road of this written journey where we have no choice but to draw the line. And one thing we will not do is spank Lastings Milledge – via the written word or otherwise – for his use of derogatory lyrics in a rap song with his friend Manny D.
Never mind that the lyrics don’t really seem to stand out as particularly offensive within the greater context of rap music as a whole (as one Mets player joked, "Language like that in a rap song? Shocking!"), the fact is it just doesn’t sound like that much fun to get up on the soap box and be the four-point-eight thousandth person to chastise the young Met for being overly vulgar.
What is fun, however, is singling out a handful of amusing subplots of this episode as a whole.
Consider first Mr. Milledge’s wardrobe, as pictured above. As one of modern cinema’s great villains (El Guapo from Three Amigos) gleefully said when he was handed a surprise birthday gift from his loyal soldiers, “It’s a sweater!”
And by the way, is that some kind of mock turtleneck underneath the sweater? In any case, it’s a pretty spectacular look. Though we’ve never really been fans of the v-neck sweater vest. Our mother knitted us an ill-fitting one of those back in first grade and forced us to wear it to school one day, and we really haven’t been able to even consider putting one on since. Kind of traumatic just thinking about it, actually. Also, they look stupid.
Now shifting topics because clearly v-neck sweater vests aren't good for anyone's mental health, here's a question: We realize that Manny D’s not the most high-profile rap artist out there, but couldn’t he have at least tried to get a more established athlete to help promote his album than Lastings Milledge?
Honestly, he probably would have been better off asking Damion Easley to twirl a few profanity-laden verses. At least he hit 27 dingers in a season once. To this point in his career, L Millz (to use his rap moniker) is pretty much synonymous with some reasonably spectacular braids, a cheap imitation of Gary Sheffield’s batting stance and a whole bunch of hype. Not necessarily what we’re looking for in a rap album.
But without a doubt the best element of this saga comes courtesy of New York City Councilman Leroy Comrie, who was very vocal in his disgust at Milledge’s behavior, and made certain that he wasn’t alone in that regard. Reports the New York Daily News, "Comrie said he played the song for two female interns who were 'horrified' by Milledge's words."
Okay, first of all, this is a hilarious image – a City Councilman playing a rap song for his interns? Is this really the best way that local government is able to determine how it will publicly react to so-called sensitive material? Can we do no better than throwing the CD into the portable boom box in the office and playing the song for two college kids?
And for the record, given that they’re interns (and therefore are probably close to college age), there’s no way that these two were actually "horrified" by the song from a moral standpoint. More likely, it just offended their sensibilities as fans of rap music.