June 19, 2011

Can I Kick It?

Posted in Football Rap tagged , , , , , , , , at 4:33 pm by essentiallyeclectic

When The Guardian recently released the hip-hop and R&B section of its weeklong daily pullouts of music genre histories – a great series that includes a fantastic interactive timeline and individual Spotify playlists – they made some glaring omissions.

While it’s true that the milestone tracks and certified classics of the genre – from Sugarhill Gang’s ‘Rapper’s Delight’ to Outkast’s ‘So Fresh, So Clean’ – should be given their correct dues, The Guardian sacrilegiously overlooked the contribution made by that well-known hotbed of musical talent: professional football.

For some inexplicable reason, football and rap have had a close relationship down the years, therefore I have taken it upon myself to suggest a few tracks that could have made The Guardian’s list – 1988 Liverpool team rap not included…

Kicking off with New Order’s 1990 World Cup classic ‘World in Motion’ may seem like an obvious place to start, but I thought I’d ease you in with a genuinely great song considering some of the questionable stuff coming up…

John Barnes of course handles rap duty, managing to simultaneously deliver some on-point rhymes while apparently really needing the toilet.

In 1999, Nottingham’s finest Andy Cole teamed up with garage producer DJ Pied Piper to revive this never-really-a-hit Gap Band song and lacing it with Cole’s hot 16s. It failed to chart, and a couple of years later Cole was shipped out from Manchester United to Blackburn, while Pied Piper was enjoying success with one of 2001’s biggest hits, ‘Do You Really Like It?’.

Cole tackles the big issues of the day with couplets such as “got my kicks from hitting the net/not from drugs, you bet”. He never was great at tackling…

A contemporary contribution here from Fulham’s Clint Dempsey, AKA “Deuce”. It’s terrible, obviously, but at 1″27 in Dempsey does appear to be paying dues to the forefathers of football rap with a little tribute to the John Barnes sway…

Ian Wright’s ‘Do The Right Thing’ , written with The Pet Shop Boys’  Chris Lowe, was released in 1993. But one listen through and glimpse of the video should tell you that anyway…

Let’s face it – the Dutch language has a humourous quality to the English ear, made even more noticeable when it’s coming at you from one of rap’s – let alone football rap’s – greatest storytellers. Throughout the course of this two-and-a-half minute video, ex-Liverpool winger Ryan Babel not only calls out Man Utd defender Rio Ferdinand, but also explains his passion for weaving, how he bought a massive watch but can’t tell the time, and lets us in on the Dutch for “you complete arse”.

Ok, so a quick glance at the comments below this video on Youtube may show that the English subtitles provided might not be completely accurate, but don’t let something as silly as actual facts ruin your enjoyment…

Being the epitome of balance here at EE, we believed it would be unfair to show Babel’s insulting words for Ferdinand without letting the England centre back show some skills of his own. Here he is in a branch of tapas restaurant La Tasca somewhere with rapper Kano, explaining the duo’s indifference to Scicilian-based organised crime.

We couldn’t let you get away without a dose of Paul Gascoigne’s collaboration with Lindisfarne on the group’s hit ‘Fog on the Tyne’. Gazza gives the original’s line about sucking sickly sausage rolls a real air of authenticity here…



  1. kel said,

    I will immediately grab your rss feed as I can’t find your email subscription link or e-newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Please let me realize in order that I may just subscribe. Thanks.

    • essentiallyeclectic said,

      Hi Kel,
      The email subscription link is on the right hand side of the page, under the disclaimer. Hope this helps!
      Essentially Eclectic

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