Dear Local Musicians: No Rockets Playoff Songs, Please
We'd bet real money that James Harden doesn't need a well-meaning rap song to inspire him to beat Dallas.
Photo by Groovehouse
The Houston Rockets are our snake-bitten, sometimes insufferable and nationally bemoaned basketball team. We love them. The city of Dallas absolutely cannot stand them. When we get to the NBA's Promised Land, a.k.a. meaningful basketball from April to June, we act as if we've never been there even though we've won two titles.
For example, last year our playoff T-shirts wanted to tell the world where we're from. The Clippers, a team searching for an identity, are doing the same thing this year. The Spurs? Our rather curmudgeonly yet amazingly consistent and put-together cousins three hours away have won five titles since Houston won our last one. Just playoffs. Just...playoffs.
Music often goes hand in hand with sports success. It's akin to a marriage, or like when you get a girlfriend and want to show her off to the world. Houston, however, hasn't pulled off such a feat. Nope, all the different anthems we've had have usually led to cosmic repercussions. Take 2012, for example. The Texans, pegged as preseason Super Bowl favorites, not only decided to rock letterman jackets into Foxboro for a late-season game against the Patriots, they also got an unofficial theme song from Slim Thug via his Thug Thursdays imprint.
You remember the "Houston" track, where GNB basically fixed up the FOX NFL Sunday theme music to let Slim, Paul Wall and Z-Ro make a bunch of punch lines about J.J. Watt and others. Arian Foster appeared in the video, as did the aforementioned Watt and Brian Cushing. It was beautiful. Then, you know -- the wheels fell off on the actual Texans season and we basically cursed everything around us. Letterman jackets didn't look the same, and rap theme songs about the sports teams didn't sound the same. Nothing.
Right now, the Rockets are up 2-0 in their first-round series with the Dallas Mavericks, same as they were ten years ago; also back then, Houston was beaming with pride about the rap scene finally getting its just due. Now, here's something I'm going to beg of every rapper within a five-mile radius of anything that could remotely be considered Houston or even a suburb of it.
Do. Not. Make. A. Tribute. Song.
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I apologize, local musicians, if I'm asking you to stay away from a proven cash cow, but I beg of you: Just don't do it. We don't need to be corny; we don't need a bunch of metaphors and punch lines about Terrence Jones dunking on any goober who represents the Mavericks organization. We definitely don't need any lines with Jason Terry doing the jet motion all in Mark Cuban's face. Save us the national embarrassment and little-town feel.
Chedda Da Connect has "Flicka Da Wrist." It's not a true anthem per se, but it's a moment of bombast that leads to James Harden's version of a cooking dance. There's also his and Bun B's "Dunk 'On Em," which, although decent, deserves not to be thought of in a larger bubble the same way "Flicka Da Wrist" is.
Let's leave it right there. No need to create Houston Rockets-themed versions of the track, no need for Dwight Howard or Harden to turn into their own version of the Sauce Twinz, no need for a Bun B came...oh, wait, Bun's already tied into to the "Pursuit" campaign. Never mind.
Tracy Murray never needed a theme song. Vernon Maxwell, even though he was arguably ripe for one, didn't need a theme song. Pete Chilcutt didn't get one. Tim Breaux, Scott Brooks, Chucky Brown, Carl Herrera, the list goes on. Theme song? Nada, zilch, zip. Hakeem Olajuwon has a theme song, courtesy of Roosh Williams. George Young baptized the two titles in glory with "How Sweet It Is." Let us please leave it there.
The Rockets, and to a larger extent their fan base, need to come to grips with things. People hate us because we cry when the TNT announcers throw hissy fits over the construction of our team and how we play basketball. We're not the '90s Knicks trying to fight everybody; we just happen to play defense (6th best in the league in efficiency), score a ton of points with a guard who draws fouls the way Rembrandt painted and have a cast of characters who have been the butt of memes and jokes for a while now.
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So embrace being the bad guy. Act like you've been here before, and for the love of Jesus, don't do anything to bring back the idea that we can dunk on Shawn Bradley's living soul and then lose four out of the next six.
Let the Rockets be the Rockets, and the universe will naturally play itself out. Then when we raise a banner next October for the 2015 NBA title, we can remember how crazy the summer of 2014 was and how there's going to be a long line of stories about James Harden's insane strip-club exploits. I'm speaking it into existence.
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