In recent decades, music and sports have proven to be important facets of human society and entertainment. They compliment each other in so many ways. In this article, we are going to look at a particular genre of music and a particular sport that is beginning to form a very strong marriage in the hearts of fans on both sides.
Hip Hop and Football.
In the words of Aubrey Graham, better known as Drake – “Damn, I swear sports and music are so synonymous. Cause we want to be them, and they want to be us.”
We all know about the love affair between Hip-Hop and Basketball, and how both sectors shape up American culture, but while Hip Hop is very popular outside of America, basketball is not the most popular sport in the world. However, football or soccer (as Americans love to call it) is played all over the world in different continent and spheres of the world.
The relationship between football and Hip-Hop is ever-growing, especially in areas where Hip-Hop is relatively dominant. Places like the United Kingdom, Ghana, South Africa, France, Nigeria, and Brazil. A lot of rappers from these countries use footballers as inspirations and muses. In fact, you see it in footballers too. If you looked at Karim Benzema and Memphis Depay’s lifestyle videos, you’d confuse them for A-List rappers.
And, with European football being branded as the best in the world – it’s only natural for rappers in the UK and France to have close knit relationships with footballers. A good example of this is the relationship between Manchester United’s forward, Marcus Rashford, and British rapper, Santan Dave. They both inspire the younger generation on both sides. Every young black footballer in the UK wants to be like Marcus, every young black rapper in the UK wants to be like Dave. Dave’s an avid football fan (particularly supporting United) and he even went as far as releasing a grime song inspired by Thiago Silva.
In the same manner, Nigerian drill rapper, PSIV @psivmusic dedicated an entire song to honour the skills of French forward Kylian Mbappe in his debut EP, Gangland. Even American rappers are now getting in the fun, Louisville Rapper, Jack Harlow has an open admiration for fellow American and Chelsea forward Christian Pulisic. Over the next few years, fans are going be seeing a lot of interactions from both sides.
And it’s not really British rap without a football reference, innit?
“I'm back with a sick vendetta, Dutch, I was left back like Evra.” – Dutchavelli on “I Dunno”
“Bad boys from the UK, we don’t drive no Chevys,
Can’t call a foreign a foreign, unless it’s a ‘Rari like Balotelli’s” – Ghetts on “Mozambique”
“Some people can’t see straight, need to find direction
If I clock an interception, Cruyff turn, watch your knees break.” – slowthai on “Play With Fire”
“I know they put me on the poster, just to match the quota
I'd rather be a Lionel Messi than a Frankie Zola
'Cause these old guys are washed and they're just getting older
And I ain't sending for the legends, that was for the cobras.” – Stormzy on his cover of Kanye West’s “Ultralight Beam”
“If you wanna be a big boy for your dogs,
My team take you from your Dons like Alli
Army of 2 or Kane and Lynch, when I’m on road I ride with a shooter.” – Dave on “100M’s”
It’s a cultural shift. More rappers see footballers as their peers. More footballers listen and some even go as far as making music (like Memphis Depay). As a genuine fan of both sectors, I can’t help but notice and write about this, it’s amazing to see. Hopefully we’ll get to see a combination of sports and Hip-Hop at festivals. The next generation of kids are going to benefit a lot from this profitable union.
Written by Joseph Whyte Ukor | Twitter @biggWhyte
Edited by Dithekgo Mogadime | Twitter @DithekgoM