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The last great American prizefighter

Floyd Mayweather still spends big and draws big. But for how much longer?

He looks around to make sure nobody is watching before holding out a slip of paper cupped in his right hand. It is a bank slip, and Floyd is watching me watch it as my eyes attempt to focus on the balance. I look at the numbers spread out across the thermal paper. I had heard that Floyd does his banking the old-fashioned way: going inside, talking to a real-life teller. He is also known to be a big proponent of maximum liquidity. Still, the amount of digits spread across the bottom-right corner doesn’t seem possible.

I look up to see Floyd smiling. He begins to laugh. I say something unintelligible about too many numbers. I’m not sure what prompted this. Perhaps he mistook my look of fatigue for disapproval? Given his spending habits, is he concerned with pre-empting the inevitable talk that he will end up broke? Or is it simply one more example of the man’s hubris? I look down one more time to make sure I got it right. And yes, it’s right there, 11 numbers long.

There is more than $123 million in Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s bank account.

He nods, folds the slip and says, “One account, baby.”

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Another recent review of mine…

DuckTales Remastered review: A Disney classic is back for all you old 8-bit fogeys

I’m not really a sucker for nostalgia.

While it is fun to reminisce about how great it was to experience some music, movies or video games at some special point in your life, I don’t dwell on it and I never try to recreate that experience. And I usually shun anything that tries to do it all the time (Hi, Nintendo). I like new ideas, new stories and new technology as opposed to remakes, remixes and remasters.

Which brings us to DuckTales: Remastered

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My latest game review…

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified review: The rare prequel unlike the original

With the success and positive reviews of last year’s XCOM: Enemy Unknown, the folks at 2K Games decided to continue the franchise with a spinoff/prequel to the XCOM story. The Bureau: XCOM Declassified takes us back to the 1960s at the beginning of the alien invasion and the formation of the organization that battles them.

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When R&B started needing the rapper

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The other day I was listening to KDAY in Los Angeles and SWV’s “Anything” remix with Wu-Tang Clan came on. The song only features ODB, Method Man and U-God, but still, it was Wu-Tang. This dropped 1994, right when the Wu burst onto the scene and “C.R.E.A.M.” was being played all over.

But it got me thinking about when R&B songs started featuring rappers with hopes that it would push the single farther. It’s obvious that SWV called Wu-Tang because they were hot at the moment. They had no rappers on their debut album.

The first time I heard a rapper on a hit single was when Rakim spit a verse on Jody Watley’s “Friends.” This was 1989 and at the time, Jody Watley already blew up with “Looking for a New Love” and “Real Love.” Her move to include Rakim on “Friends,” seemed like an artistic one. The song was a hit with or without him but as an artist it seemed like she wanted to do something different and shine a light on the hip-hop movement. I think this is what pretty much set off the desire to have rappers on R&B/Pop songs.

It’s not the first time it happened though. Of course Melle Mel rapped on Chaka Khan’s “Feel For You” in 1984. Full Force featured UTFO and The Real Roxanne on their debut album in 1985 and featured them, specifically UTFO, on later albums. Prince also had singer/dancer Cat Glover rapping on “Alphabet St.” in 1988, but the rap wasn’t featured in the video. Rick James and Roxanne Shante collaborated on “Loosey Rap” in 1988 too. Midnight Star actually featured Ecstasy of Whodini on the song and video for “Rock the Boat” in 1988. Which is probably the first time a rapper appeared in a video for an R&B track. But those songs didn’t have the impact on the music spectrum “Friends” did. “Friends” was a top 10 hit in the U.S. and a top 20 hit in Europe.

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My latest review, The Last of Us, one of the best video games I have ever played.

The Last of Us review: PlayStation 3 goes out with a big, big bang

Naughty Dog, the game development studio behind the Uncharted series for PlayStation 3, had a lot to live up to. They had just finished the successful and critically acclaimed Uncharted trilogy and were introducing a new franchise at the 2011 Spike TV Video Game Awards. Expectations were high, to say the least. Thus began hype machine surrounding The Last of Us, a new zombie horror-survival game. The excitement leading up to its release last month was immense in the gaming world, but would it live up to it?

Oh yes, it does.

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