The “Big Game” (an industry term for Super Bowl) is less than a month away, and the collective football fever is contagious, even behind the mic.
This week, Jermaine Dupri dropped a Falcons-centric remix of his signature hit “Welcome to Atlanta.” It’s not the first time that the pigskin has touched down between two turntables and a microphone, either. For over 30 years, football and hip-hop have tackled each other and made some memorable Gridiron grooves. Here’s five of our favorites:
The Chicago Bears Shuffling Crew – “The Super Bowl Shuffle” (1985)
Raising over $300,000 to benefit local Chicago charities, the Chicago Bears have much more to be proud of in their 1985 season than just winning Super Bowl XX. Their rap single “The Super Bowl Shuffle” helped hip-hop explode and continues to be a pop culture staple, including being referenced last month on the season finale of South Park.
LL Cool J – “Football” (1986)
When you think “football” and “LL Cool J,” you typically think his role in Oliver Stone‘s 2000 film Any Given Sunday. Me, an intellectual, first thinks of the theme song from the mid-80s Goldie Hawn comedy Wildcats. If you’ve ever wanted to hear Goldie Hawn on the hook of a rap song – and who hasn’t?, the credits version can be seen and heard here.
The Perceptionists – “The Razor” (2005)
20 years after rap lead the Chicago Bears to a Super Bowl victory, Boston rap legends Mr. Lif and Akrobatik recorded “The Razor” to celebrate the New England Patriots’ gridiron dominance. The song’s success lead to Akrobatik doing a rapping sports report on local New England news stations.
Wiz Khalifa – “Black and Yellow (Steelers Nation Remix)” (2011)
The 2010 football season saw local rappers nationwide mimic Pittsburgh native Wiz Khalifa’s hometown anthem “Black and Yellow” for their own teams by following the template: “Uh-huh, you know what it is, Name-two-colors, Name-two-colors, Name-two-colors, Name-two-colors.” The song’s influence is understandable as the infectious Wiz original made the perfect soundtrack for the 412’s amazing year.
Super Bowl Rap Battle – (Falcons) Ness Lee vs. (Patriots) Chilla Jones (2017)
While on-field trash talking has become especially frowned-upon in the days of social media, thankfully, no such mores apply to the world of battle rap. In this video, battle rap legends Ness Lee and Chilla Jones represent the Falcons and the Patriots, respectively, for some tight-end wordplay.