A different Youtube video every day, just to get you sufficiently pumped.
This countdown post sort of breaks the template of the others, but, whatever. It's got a long preface and whatnot. Just read it.
You see, I'm a hip-hop nerd. You probably figured this out from my first post
, and all the other ones, too. Anyway, I've noticed a trend: behind every successful sports team is a team-specific hip-hop song.
As a New Yorker, this was evident to me from a young age. The Knicks had a song called "Go New York Go New York Go", and they made a new edition of it every time they made the playoffs. It's pretty much the best song of all time. On Youtube, I can find the '94 version
(they made the finals), the '99 version
(they made the finals again) and the '04 version
(the last year they made the playoffs, also the last time the team made the song. (It also should be noted that Q-Tip freestyled about the team when the Knicks made the finals.)
Also, when the Yankees had a dynasty in the late 90's, every year, local radio stations like Z100, which I unabashedly listened to when I was 8, hired random people to make songs about the team every year. I distinctly remember one rapper who had to do it completely copping out and just saying "Hideki Irabu" at the end of a verse, because nothing rhymes with it very well. I can't find any on the internet, besides this song which is less rap
than two fake Italian guys talking to each other, but you get the gist.
And nowhere is this truer than in Northwestern sports. To my knowledge, there are three rap songs about Northwestern football. I present to you: the complete, unabridged glossary of Northwestern football-related rap music.
1) The song from the beginning of the "Purple to Pasadena" video on Youtube.
Year made: 1995.
Wildcats Record that year: 10-2.
They had to make some promotional video about the Wildcats making it to the Rose Bowl, and the producers of the VHS were like, "hey, what do the kids listen to nowadays?" and they ended up with this terrible song. I imagine the questionnaire they used to hire the rapper guy contained questions such as "Have you heard of music before?" and "On a scale of 1-10, how bad are you at pronouncing the word 'Wildcats?'" Anyway, the guy comes on, raps two verses and proves to me that he's vaguely familiar with the concept of words that rhyme with one another, has heard of Northwestern (he kind of rhymes it with "best") and that he's also vaguely familiar with football. Anyway, it's like a how-to of how not to rap. He ends two bars with "running back", and he says awkward things like "the Wildcats uniforms roar when they hit the field," which doesn't make any sense, and he says our offense "has more power than an Amtrak derail", which is bad, because you try not to compare your offense to a horrific tragedy, or something which is terribly misguided, both of which are ways you can describe Amtrak trains derailing. Also, there's the aforementioned fact that he pronounces the word "Wildcats" "waaaaolcats", which wouldn't be annoying, but he does it 14 times, and therefore, I feel it bears repeating that it's really annoying.
2) Mo Greene's "Go U NU" and "Go U NU Alamo Bowl Remix".
Year produced: 2008.
Wildcats record that year: 9-4.
I'm not quite sure who Mo Greene is. I know he's a rapper who went to Northwestern, and that he showed up at the Purdue game last year, was sort of just chilling outside the students entrance while everybody was entering the stadium while music is playing, and that later, he walked through the stands, and stood near me and my friends for a few seconds, and we couldn't decide what to say to him, finally someone was like "hey, Mo, what's up" and he said "Making music, you know how it is" and then answered his cell phone and walked away.
What I do know is that he made two great songs last year about Northwestern football. The songs are catchy, and good game day/stadium listening music. Greene is clever and has lyrical talent, and it shows.
Mo's namechecking skills are off the charts. He manages to mention pretty much everybody involved with NU football, and he manages to make each namedrop relevant, and stays inventive with how he incorporates the names into his flow. In the Alamo Bowl remix (hear it here
) he manages to reference Jeff Yarbrough (who didn't record any catches last year) Ramon Diaz (a backup offensive lineman who never played at NU) Stefan Demos (our punter), Finnish football star David Oredugba, our entire offensive line (yeah, seriously) and, as far as I can tell, every single starter at every single position. And none of them seem forced. (Actually, the "go far with O-mar Conteh" sounds forced, but other than that, it's pretty good.) It's actually really impressive. It's like "Fame
" by GZA except it's a little bit more of a cut-and-paste job, since he had so much less material to work with.
My only complaints about the song are the weird "CHAAAAA!" fake laughing things he does all the time that actually scare me.
Anyway, Greene pretty much sets the bar for team-related hype songs.
You'll notice that of the three rap songs, they were written in two years, and in those years, the Wildcats combined for 19 wins, whereas in the rest of Northwestern history, in years the Wildcats don't have rap songs, the team averages well below 9.5 wins a season. Therefore, I hypothesize that the Wildcats need a rap song written about their season to be successful.
However, the season starts in four days, and we don't have a song yet. I nominate Mo Greene to write one, but, if he doesn't step up, I might just have to. And I think it's in the best interests of everybody around us that that doesn't happen, because although I'm undeniably nice with it, there's a reason I'm a rap nerd and not a rapper, because I'm better at writing about rap, than I am at rapping it, and as you can see, I'm pretty bad at writing about it. But if I have to step into the studio to save NU's season, I might have to take that chance. I'm not afraid, but you should be.