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Questioning "The Answer" 

Soundbites shares the rap on Allen Iverson.

A matter of hours after torching the Seattle Supersonics for 41 points and another matter of hours before punishing the Cavaliers with a 54-point performance, Philadelphia 76ers guard Allen "The Answer" Iverson was at Metropolis, the dance club on the West Bank of the Flats, getting his party on. "It's his party," a box office attendant told us, but to call Iverson the host for the gig (which had a rather steep $15 cover charge) would be an overstatement. Followed by an entourage of basketball players, security personnel, and leather- and fur-clad women (a.k.a. "hoochie mamas"), Iverson rolled into the club at about 1:30 a.m. and headed straight to the V.I.P. room, where he stayed until close to 3 a.m., chatting with Cavs forward Robert "Tractor" Traylor, among others. He mingled briefly with the crowd on his way out, but never spent any quality time with the masses, who had filled the club to capacity to hear a DJ spin a predictable mix of mainstream hip-hop (DMX, Jay-Z, Outkast).

Given that Iverson, who wore baggy jeans and a gold chain as thick as a rope, is an aspiring rapper (his album comes out this spring on Universal Records), it's not surprising that he would lend his name to a club night when the Sixers are in town. But we were hoping to at least hear him perform or get a sneak peek at the record. After all, his album has already created controversy for its lyrics (lots of references to niggas and bitches) and made that tight-ass NBA Commissioner David Stern suggest Iverson rethink some of its content. And Iverson reportedly did, even issuing a public apology to anyone who was offended by the heavy use of obscenities. But why not preview some of the material instead of staying holed up in the recesses of the club? Anything would have been better than having to suffer through the club's continuous mix of commercial hip-hop that could be heard any night of the week on 107.9. Iverson could have at least addressed the audience in some way beyond the occasional soul shake. But, hey, it's his party, and he can rhyme if he wants to. He is, after all, "The Answer."

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