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Saturday, November 17, 2018

New York State of Mind - The Downrock Records Talks To Hip Hop Talent Manager Rich Strang

It's just one of my favorite songs of all time.  It elicits a sensation and evokes a visualization of New York city, one of the most spectacluar, historic places in the history of the world.  Y'all think I'm about to call out Nas' New York State of Mind but no, I'm talking about the classic Frank Sinatra piped New York, New York.

I, personally have never been to New York City myself but I've been there in my mind via various films, television shows, and songs.  It's romantic, dangerous, adventurous and vast in diversity in arts, cuisine and every other aspect of culture.

Another aspect New York City is known for is its sports culture.  Some of the oldest teams in North America followed by rowdy, passionate fans.  

And that's where we kick off the following interview of New York resident Rich Strang.  Manager of the mega-talented DJ / Emcee, DJ Tekwun.

The Arena:  The Yankees' season is out, what are you expecting from your other favourite teams? 

Rich Strang:  My other favourite teams are all terrible this year as far as pro sports.  The Giants, unfortunately, are one of the worst teams in football.  I don't have a basketball team anymore.  I used to be a Die Hard Knicks fan, but I left them when Isaiah Thomas came in and screwed up the Organization with James Dolan, the owner.  I am not the biggest fan of hockey but I watch the Rangers sometimes.  My favorite college teams should do well though.  Duke in basketball and Notre Dame in football.

The Arena:  Are you a fair weather fan when it comes to any of the city's teams or a ride or die?  

Rich Strang:  Nah I am definitely a ride or die fan for the Yankees and Giants.  Never a fair weather fan here.

The ArenaThose Knicks man.  Do you feel like James Dolan is taking advantage of the New York faithful?  

Rich Strang:Absolutely.  He is one of the worst owners in sports.  He has ruined a once proud franchise.  I used to love the Knicks of Ewing, Starks, Sprewell, Oakley, LJ, Mason....those guys played hard and were a true NY team.

The Arena: What sports did you participate in and who were your childhood sports idols in each sport? 

Rich Strang: I played Baseball, Football, and Basketball as a kid.  I was pretty good in Baseball, but not in the others.  LOL.  My favourite baseball player of all time is Don Mattingly of the Yankees.  In football I think it would be Lawrence Taylor of the Giants.  And in Basketball I would have to say it is LeBron James.  My favourite sport has always been basketball, but I was never good at it.

The Arena: If you could play professionally, which sport would it be? 

Rich Strang: Probably baseball.  I love the sport, but my favourite is basketball.

The Arena: What team would you wanna own if you could afford it?  

Rich Strang: Definitely the Yankees.  They are the most storied and successful franchise in the history of sports.

The Arena: What separates New York fans from those in other cities?  

Rich Strang: New York fans are very knowledgeable and into the games.  They are not like the corporate LA crowd or some other places that don't even pay attention to the games for the most part.  New Yorkers go hard in everything. 

The Arena: What English Premier League team would you want New York to be affiliated with if it were an option? 

Rich Strang: Probably Manchester United.

The Arena: Did your family have any sports traditions when you were growing up?  What are they now? 

Rich Strang: Not much for my family growing up.  With my own family now, we go to Yankee Games (I have a ticket package), watch football on Sundays.  I can't wait until my 2-year-old son is old enough to understand and start going to games with me and playing on his own if that is what he wants to do.

The Arena: What's the best sport to spectate live in New York?  What's the best atmosphere?  

Rich Strang: Definitely New York Yankees baseball, especially if they are in the playoffs.  The atmosphere is amazing in the playoffs.  I haven't been to a hockey game yet, but I hear the Rangers games are pretty crazy.  

The Arena: What does each one of your favourite teams have to do to get back in champion shape, in your opinion?  The Yankees need to get some pitching and a few guys that don't just rely on hitting home runs and they will be right back on top.  The Giants are rebuilding all of a sudden and it looks like it is going to take a few years.  It seems like the Knicks have been rebuilding since Alan Houston left and they can't get over the hump.  They played themselves thinking that LeBron would sign here and it has hurt them.  The Rangers are also rebuilding and look like they need some time.  Luckily I have been alive and seen many championships and attended a lot of parades in my life.  The Yankees have won have won 5 World Series, the Giants have won 4 Super Bowls,  and the Rangers won the Stanley Cup while I have been alive and old enough to see it.  The only disappointment is the Knicks of course.  They made it to the Finals twice but lost.

Love 'em or hate 'em, New York teams and their fans make sports magical.  In New York, sports are more than a past time, they're ingrained in the air of the city, like the scent of street vendor culinary confections and horns from frustrated drivers in downtown traffic idling in the concrete textile weaves of bright lights, and fast street life that will be forever mesmerizing to the common outsider.  And if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.

Check out DJ Tekwun's latest at the link below:

Until the next, Downrock Nation!

(Richard Strang on the right in the photo).

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