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Houston Music That Should Be On 'Hard Knocks' Tonight

Last Tuesday night, the rest of America got to learn what we already know about the Houston Texans: Their head coach, Bill O’Brien is a foul-mouthed throwback of a head coach. That their All-American poster boy and antithesis to every negative headline in the history of football, J.J. Watt, good as advertised. That Deandre Hopkins doesn’t fear anybody “but God” and will leave your most shit-talking defensive back crawling for excuses on social media.

The Texans are Hard Knocks gold, and we should all be thankful for that. Well, there’s only one gripe about the show. Just one. No, it isn’t that we aren’t guaranteed more screen time of assistant strength coach Sean Hayes delivering a spot-on “Macho Man” Randy Savage impersonation. No, it’s that HBO, save for one song from New Orleans rapper Dee-1, decided to cue up Hard Knocks with the most predictable sports-montage music around.

Remember Fort Minor’s “Remember the Name?” Remember how the NFL and literally every other network that deals with life events of perseverance and struggle until victory is found beat you over the head with it? J.J. Watt rapping along to Mike Shinoda was the corniest thing about Hard Knocks last week. Bun B sort of agreed. Well, he agreed that we needed more local music on the program.

We’re going to forecast the upcoming scenes of this week’s Hard Knocks episode and throw in what we actually should be hearing on HBO in a few hours.

SCENE 1. Deandre Hopkins Gets Ready for the 49ers
Song: The Suffers, “Make Some Room”
Hello, world, you’re about to meet the next star in the league. Also, you need to be made aware of the powers of Kam Franklin and the Suffers. Last week’s early preview of Episode 2 showed Hopkins displaying some of his sartorial choices, so we need something more than string music. HBO did make a gaffe in not recognizing that Hopkins was already the No. 1 receiver in the office (2014 stats don’t lie) and him showing out against DeAngelo Hall. Plus, if the Hard Knocks crews decide to throw in Hopkins punking a nameless 49ers DB on a two-point conversion, that works, too.

SCENE 2. Brian Hoyer’s 59-Yard TD Pass to Cecil Shorts III
Song: Chedda Da Connect, “Flicka Da Wrist”
Oh come on, this was far more obvious than Deadspin ripping the Texans to shreds for all the flaws we already know they have. And you have to give a little credit to one of the more memorable rap singles from the city this year.

SCENE 3. The Fashion Choices
Song: Pimp C feat. Z-Ro, “Isa Playa”/ZZ Top, “Sharp Dressed Man”
When you’re a rookie, you need some lighthearted fun. One rookie is setting himself up to be Hard Knocks material via his socks. He even gets a little credit from J.J. on his sock choices, so that’s a bit of a thing. Plus, if last week’s preview is an indicator of how much fashion from the Texans is going to be a thing (we’re looking at you and your clothing line, Kareem Jackson), then why would you not deal with arguably one of the more flamboyant and greatest dressers in the history of Houston rap? ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man” could also easily serve as a sound-track choice; no one has ever said no to ZZ Top music. Ever. They even sampled DJ DMD’s “25 Lighters,” a song about the packaging of crack rocks for distribution, and people loved it.

SCENE 4. Any Shot of Jadeveon Clowney That Is Immediately Followed Up by a Shot of Brian Cushing or J.J. Watt
Song: Paul Wall & Chamillionaire, “N Luv With My Money”
Here’s what we determined last season. Together, Jadeveon Clowney and J.J. Watt were supposed to be the Paul Wall & Chamillionaire of the Texans defense. Then Clowney got injured in Week 1 and everything went to hell. Clowney came back to work on Monday, feeling good and saying the right things. I still maintain that the two of them — hell, you can throw Cushing in there for added effect — can be one of the best things to happen to Houston’s defense. No wait, ANY SHOT OF VINCE WILFORK DOING THINGS WITH HIS FAMILY. I need to be adopted by the Wilforks for the sake of a future CBS special. We could make millions.

SCENE 5. Jarryd Hayne’s “OMG He Was a Rugby Player” 53-Yard Run/the Offense Failing to Get a Touchdown After 7 Plays at the 1
Song: Bill O’Brien & Mike Vrabel Sling F-Bombs & Other Assorted Curses Set to Circus Music
I couldn’t think of any music to place for Jarryd Hayne, the former Australian rugby player whose 53-yard-run set up the Niners' first touchdown on Saturday night. So I could only think of OB and linebackers coach Mike Vrabel singing a chorus of nothing but “fuck,” “shit” and whatever else their minds could come to. OB could have his own segment watching the offensive line get stuffed not once, not twice, but seven times in goal-line situations. At least we won the game by 13.
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Brandon Caldwell has been writing about music and news for the Houston Press since 2011. His work has also appeared in Complex, Noisey, the Village Voice & more.
Contact: Brandon Caldwell