By Sam Rubenstein
Why, hello there. Summer breaaaaaak!!! Excuse me… Now that those 3 mogul tycoons are together in Miami, I think it’s a good time to talk about some of the other greatest trios of all-time. As you shall see, they usually end up leaning too far to the individual genius carrying two lesser pieces along, or the two great ones and a third wheel. Some are rap groups, some are iconic fictional characters, and some are breakfast cereal franchises. Without further ado…
RUN DMC. The truly iconic Hip Hop trinity! Definitely a frontrunner for best trio status. Oh, are you angry the Treacherous Three didn’t make it? You are old.
The Beastie Boys. They were brash and disrespectful and I remember we were all obsessed with Licensed to Ill when I was at day camp when I was maybe 10 years old. “I did it with a wiffle ball bat” heh heh heh. Then they grew up, good for them. I still love MCA and Ad-Rock, I’ll leave it at that.
The L.O.X. Jada and Styles P are two of the better rappers out there. Sheek Louch I find amusing at times, and there was a time when people expected the L.O.X. to take over the rap universe. Instead they whined and whined about how Puff Daddy as he was known in those days, was being mean to them and being all corporate and smart about business. I think what we have learned is that you shouldn’t whine, you should hold clandestine meetings in dark rooms, under the secret black hand of the Pat Rilumminati.
BBD. “Michael Bivins here and I’m runnin the show.” And with that, all of this need to be the man, began. If I was Ricky Bell, I woulda smacked the price tag off his starter hat.
A Tribe Called Quest. They were great, and both Q-Tip and Phife Dawg considered themselves to be the greatest individual front man ever. Quiz: Who was the third member? Answer: Ali Shaheed Muhammad. I will assign him Bosh status, which is not mean-spirited in any way. Hang on, we’ll get there.
De La Soul. Legendary, and I have nothing bad to say about them. Too, what’s the word… eclectic, for greatest of all-time status.
DIP SET! Back in the glory days of Cam-Jimmy-Juelz, they began as one talented industry entrenched rapper named Cam’Ron, and his business saavy hustling friend Jimmy, along with some younger guy who could rap a little and starch his bandanas a lot. Now, Tupac once said, and I’m paraphrasing here “I get high and drunk in the studio when I make my music, cause that’s how people are when they listen to it.” Similarly, the Diplomats figured out that the people listening to their music were either really stupid and ignorant or just in the mood to feel like they were really stupid and ignorant, the latter including myself. So, they co-enabled one another and rode that wave to greatness. Well, not greatness, but they were entertaining for a while. Nowadays, as a NYC public school teacher, I have received my comeuppance for listening to that kind of music when I’m teaching a class, and some kid yells out “Gucci!” and someone else has to respond “Brrrrrrrr!”
Brand Nubian. Grand Puba is one of my favorite rappers of all-time. Sadat “Derrick” X has one of the greatest voices of all-time. I hate Lord Jamar so much.
The Fat Boys. YES! But, they were just too unselfish, too team-oriented if you will.
The Geto Boys are my vote for the greatest rap group of three ever. Three great parts combining to make an even greater whole. Scarface is the Rakim of the South, if Rakim were a manic depressive serial killer. Willie D is the pioneer of “This guy is okay at rapping but he scares me so I like the way he raps” phenomenon. Bushwick Bill is a national treasure. Together, “We Can’t Be Stopped!” is greater than anything the new Miami collective can hope to accomplish.
(This was all really old school. Forgive me. I’ve spent the past year teaching, where kids say things like “Was Tupac that bald n-word with the nose ring? Yeah he was cute.” Gucci BRRRR!)
Cream. Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce. As a guitarist myself, I’m more from the Dimebag Darrell school, but Clapton became too much of a dominant figure, and those other two are admired for their incredible skill, but never had a Layla or were recognized in public.
The Police. Sting, Andy Summers, Stuart Copeland. Similar to Cream, but Sting turned into a one-name icon like Madonna. The fact that he was going by just one name back then should have been a big warning sign to the other two.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience. As discussed in White Men Can’t Jump, Jimi had an all-white rhythm section, and those white boys could play. Let’s not make them into a balanced triad though.
Nirvana. Dave Grohl back then wasn’t Mr. Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures. Even so, an amazing tandem of talent, though Kurt pretty much ran the show. The bass player was far too goofy to take seriously. Kind of like Chris Bosh.
Green Day. Um, no. Although I could see this Miami season being turned into a Broadway musical.
RUSH. Before I Love You Man came out, I took my brother to a Rush concert and we were ‘a slappin da bass ‘a slappin da bass. Neil Peart, Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson. I wiiillll chooooose free willllll!!! God I’m white.
Aikman-Emmitt-Irvin. I am a Cowboys hater, and my hatred for this group is tri-fold. Tri-fold! Emmitt was unselfish and giving enough to demand the ball in blowout wins to compile his stats. Irvin was offended that all this talk of LeBron’s narcissism and he wasn’t mentioned as more narcissistic. Aikman could have had better numbers but he chose to be a real leader and balanced and all that. I hate the Cowboys. I also hate Alvin Harper, Nate Newton, Erik Williams, JJ, all of them.
Joe Montana-Jerry Rice-John Taylor. Either John Taylor is the most underrated second (third) banana ever, or he was just so happy to be where he was. He just seemed so content to be the other guy, really the third guy. He caught the winning TD pass on the last drive of the Super Bowl and nobody remembers him except me. I guess Roger Craig could have been in this spot too. Rice was MVP of that game (11 catches for 215 yards and a TD. Whoa). John Taylor was the Chris Bosh of the crew. I like making fun of Chris Bosh now. I couldn’t have cared less about him a week ago. His mission to become famous has succeeded. Well done, Chris!
Snap, Crackle, and Pop. Have you ever poured the milk, then put your ear close to a bowl of Rice Krispies to hear the Snap, Crackle, and Pop sounds? If so, then you are a loser.
Count Chocula, Franken Berry, and Boo-Berry. I know what you’re thinking, some stupid joke is coming about how Bosh is Boo Berry. Not so. There was actually a fourth character in this sugary cereal dynasty. Fruity Yummy Mummy. I owe like 4 cavities to that sugary mummy. As cereals, I only had Boo Berry once in my life, and there is a reason for that. Once again, we have an unbalanced big 2 not 3.
Tyrannosaurus Rex-Triceratops-Brontosaurus. These are the big 3 of the dinosaur kingdom. Don’t talk to me about no Stegosaurus! Wade is the Triceratops with his head down ramming into things. LeBron is the T-Rex, the most ferocious and powerful yet don’t those short arms mask certain “insecurities?” Bosh is a Brontosaurus. Soft. Of course, it only took one random asteroid to end the dinosaurs, or so they’d have you believe…
Maddux-Glavine-Smoltz. That was for Lang. Two amazing regular season pitchers and one incredible postseason pitcher who was also great in the regular season. Still, they usually got smacked around when it counted. Except for, oddly enough the one time they faced a serious power trio…
Albert Belle-Manny Ramirez-Jim Thome. Belle was in his prime as not only the most feared hitter in the game, but as a real jerk. An essential combination for a sluggah. Manny and Thome were young, still learning the strike zone. Belle’s abandonment of Cleveland for Chicago money to team up with the at-the-time other greatest hitter in the game, Frank Thomas, was LeBron-esque. Manny and Thome were still in Cleveland for a little bit, before everyone went their separate ways. Imagine though, if Belle could have kept his sanity (a reach, I know). Oh well. When he returned to Cleveland as a White Sox player, the fans rained boos upon him, and he responded with aggressive middle fingers.
Luke-Han-Leia. Luke Skywalker reminds me A LOT of LeBron James. He was stuck in his hometown and he wanted to leave so badly. When he did, they burned things. For LeBron, it was jerseys that people spent money on. For Luke, it was his Uncle and Aunt’s home and their bodies. From then on, Luke was “about my biiiiiiiiz-ness” as LeBron would say. He became cold and detached by the third movie in the real trilogy, wearing black, changing lightsaber colors like LeBron changes jersey numbers. Wade is Han Solo, swashbuckling, thinks he’s really handsome, and his Millenium Falcon takes a beating like Wade’s body. Chris Bosh is Princess Leia.
Harry-Ron-Hermione. I think the best way to describe THE DECISION is that LeBron could have been Harry Potter, but he chose to be Ron Weasley.
General Zod, Non, and Ursa. These are the arch-villains from Superman 2. This is another pretty good way to look at the three former free agents. General Zod was a megalomaniacal genius, nearly invincible, and walked on water like Jesus. He burned some poor innocent small town on planet hooston to the ground like LeBron did Cleveland, and escaped from a horrible cramped phantom zone where he was cruelly condemned to suffer for all eternity, like LeBron in Cleveleand. He shows up at the White House and corrects the President that it’s not “God”, it’s Zod. Non is a big dumb brute, the second banana that does a lot of the dirty work. So the problem is that both LeBron and Wade should want to be Zod. Nobody wants to be Non, you just one day find out that you are. Going to the well once again with this, but Bosh is Ursa. And you know at their secret meetings during the media rumor frenzy, the conversation went like this:
BOSH: Did you see that? I have powers beyond reason here!
WADE: We all do, my dear.
The Chipmunks. This was more of a Shaq-Kobe-Rick Fox situation. It was always Alvin this Alvin that, and you could tell it bothered Simon. And what was with that pause in the theme song “Alvin, Simon… … … Theodore.” Not a big 3.
The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly. The Spaghetti Western classic. Clint as the good was Clint, and you can’t go wrong with Clint. Before Brett Favre was being Brett Favre doing Brett Favre things, Clint was Clint. The original gunslinger. The ugly was hilarious. Please watch the movie. The bad was bad a$$. If you enjoyed the first scene of Inglorious Basterds, watch the first scene of this movie and you’ll see where he got the idea from. Overall, Good and Bad were great, but Ugly wasn’t on their level.
Red, White, and Blue. USA! USA! USA! Now, blue has its own thing as a square. Red has some stripes. But White gets to be the stripes AND stars? That almost seems like white is given more power, a subliminal advantage. The Pat Riluminati is at work again…
Aaaaand I’m done. Still got it baby!