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The Graduate

Once May comes then we graduate for the summer.

Those aren’t The Encyclopedia’s words, they’re Jack Harlow’s, and he certainly had himself a weekend didn’t he?

Releasing a new album that coincided with the Kentucky Derby, the Louisville native was all over NBC’s Churchill Downs coverage. Getting carried across the tracks by bodyguards, and doing TV spots with Drake, Harlow’s new “album” was essentially an ad campaign to highlight himself, and not hip-hop.

As Andre 3000 once said, "that ain't hip-hop, you find that shit in the gift shop."

Life is full of irony, and going back to your hometown to graduate from budding backpack rapper to pop-star soaking up the limelight is inconceivable for any guy, including Jack Harlow.

What rappers do when they’re not rapping, actors do when they’re not acting, and athletes do when they’re not playing has always been an odd obsession by our culture, in particular with pro athletes.

Once May comes, pro athletes like Jameis Winston get an opportunity to go back and slide the tassel to the left. For a football player May falls in the offseason, but not for a basketball player that’s team is in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.

Vince Carter left North Carolina after three years without his degree, and became the 5th overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft. It’s crazy how little time “can’t miss” prospects used to get to prove themselves.

In only his second year, V.C. played all 82 regular season games, averaged 25.7 ppg., and made his first of what would be eight consecutive All-Star appearances.

Could you imagine if big Tom Callahan’s son didn’t have the convenience to spend as much time as he needed at Marquette?

If Carter thought the national media was overly scrutinizing his decision to attend his commencement on the same day the Raptors played in a road elimination playoff game, think about the pressure Tommy Callahan hand to cope with. Pitching a sale to Ray Zalinsky knowing that Callahan Auto would fold under the wrath of Zalinsky's auto part monarch if it didn't go through.

The 6-year plan allotted Tommy Boy time for his natural salesman skills to mature, culminating in his half a million break pad deal.

Everybody knows that in 2001, Vince Carter took a shot, and missed.

Phife Dawg said that the worst thing in this world is a sucker emcee, and if you couldn't tell by my intro, I whole heartedly agree. But I also believe that having regrets are up there with worst things to hold on to.

In his 45 years of walking the planet, and 22 years as an NBA player, I don't think the guy dubbed, "Half Man - Half Amazing" would say he's had many.

People forget that Vince Carter is a talented musician.

Before he leapt over Frédéric Weis at the Olympics, he was offered band scholarships from Bethune-Cookman and Florida A&M.

If Vinsanity opted for the drums and the sax, he could've jammed with the multi-year senior's at PCU and George Clinton. that's hip-hop.

Graduating with honors in high school, V.C. had the pick of college's he could've enrolled in. I'm sure Harvard would've gladly accepted his application, and given him a spot on the men's basketball team, hell, the band too probably.

If Silas and Jamal found a way into the Ivy League institution by putting something magical in the air, imagine what Air Canada would've done for the Harvard Crimson.

Vince Carter's accomplishments far out weigh his choice to go back and walk in 2001 at Chapel Hill. If he doesn't attend the ceremony, does that mean the shot definitely goes in?

Besides being able to still dunk at the age of 43, he was the first star of Canadian basketball, has his own show on ESPN, and will waltz into the Hall of Fame in the near future.

In 2001 his decision was looked at as a rite of passage that he hadn't earned yet, when it should've been viewed as a guy that earned the right to go back and better himself, move on, and do whatever he wants...with no regrets.

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