The spirit and uniqueness of a city should shadow every element that it’s population can hold. And when it comes to standing apart, no city labors on it’s own like New Orleans.
But that flavor isn’t always represented the way it should by our professional sports teams if you ask most throughout the town. Until recently, the Saints most known arena song was “Stand up and get crunk” — an Atlanta product. And for the Pelicans? Unfortunately for Kevin, it’s probably that damn “Cha Cha Slide” by DJ Casper out of Chicago.
The New Orleans Saints have brought many smiles as of late though, not only with their winning ways but their beautiful sideline admiration to several New Orleans classics. The energy witnessed in these moments is almost unexplainable as it is amazing.
For the players and fans to have the opportunity to dance, the scene has to be set. One can argue we’ve waited long enough. NOLA’s influence on the music scene within it’s flexible areas of prestige has shaped many phases of the culture we live in today. The reluctance to embrace those sentiments in professional sports locally are slowly starting to fade away.
But it’s going to take much more than this.
And a cover like this!
After starting the season ‘on fire,’ can New Orleans get it how they live and find their winning ways again tonight in a tough road matchup against Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and the Trail Blazers? ( @bbsketch) pic.twitter.com/f4hZjOItqd— The Undefeated (@TheUndefeated) November 1, 2018
The game day experience is what can truly shift it all. It can bring back memories for those in attendance and be an introduction for those from a distance. Finally, Kevin Barrios and I have you covered — we are going to Kane & Abel this shit for you. — CC
One more thing, with the invention of the City Jersey, it’s time we move on from the tried and tired Mardi Gras themes. Cities like Minnesota and Brooklyn have embraced the local music scene which put them on the culture map with Prince and Notorious BIG inspired jerseys. While I’d expect to see a jersey made up of old newspapers with letters and numbers constructed from crawfish before I’d see us follow suit, it’s a crime that we don’t infuse the New Orleans hip hop culture into the Pelicans branding. I’d love to see a city jersey that references the Cash Money and No Limit aesthetics: a blue and red camouflage with an abundance of gold trim (perhaps with a nod to a herringbone) and ornamentation combined with diamond inspired print filling all of the lettering — Nike could even make Jrue a matching camo bandanna.
Also, imagine an alternate court design where the Pelicans logo looked like it was a piece of blinged out jewelry. I don’t expect it, but I long for it as Chris, a huge portion of New Orleans and myself long for some local flavor in the game day presentation. Here’s how we’d fix what’s been broken. — KB
WARNING: SOME CLIPS ARE NOT SAFE FOR WORK
Warmups: Juvenile, “Nolia Clap”
I love the hook in, “Nolia Clap” it’s so simple and so perfect. This is my first attempt to force more usage of this banger into the game day production. A neighborhood roll call, a whistle and a great uptempo beat to usher the Pels onto the floor for warmup jumpers should help set the tone. — KB
If you’re a player, you’re trying to get loose one last time. If you’re a fan, you’re either in a anticipated mess or drinking early to get your bathroom trips out of the way. You’ll have to put that drink down for a second, but tell me you don’t enjoy this four spaced clap. That’s probably not even the right way to explain it — but it’s going to make you want to do it. Mission accomplished. — CC
Player Intro Video: Mannie Fresh, “Real Big”
At this point you’re hyped, and almost at that amusement park level of forced yelling. That’s right, the players are about to be introduced. And what’s a better “playa” intro video for a player intro video? See what I did there? Alright I’ll stop. — CC
For two years straight, the Pelicans’ marketing team has embraced the narrative of playing big with the hashtags #DoItBig and #DoItBigger passing over the much punchier and more culturally connected #RealBig. It’s almost a criminal offense. Even more offensive is that they haven’t figured out a way to feature this classic hip hop anthem in the in-game or marketing experience. As a former college-level teacher of an advertising class, this oversight would result in a failing grade. — KB
Pre-Tip Off: Ricky B, “Shake it for Your Hood” (the Quickie Mart Remix)
My partner in season tickets nicknamed me Kevin B for Bounce in high school — a nickname that pays homage to one of the more underappreciated pioneers of the New Orleans rap game — and it is now my Twitter and Instagram handles. Ricky B’s iconic moment is definitely, “Shake it For Your Hood,” drawing from that early NO hip hop relatable and common theme of being both simultaneously proud and scared of your neighborhood. This cleaned up and gentrified version not only appeals to the BUKU crowd, but should also serve as a great primer for the opening tip.
First time bringing the ball up the court: Mystikal, “Here I go” BUT WITH LYRICS.
You already took part in the tradition of standing until the Pelicans score. Hell, you might still be waiting, so why not scream in the most ridiculous manner about the man being “right here”.
Nothing frustrates me more than the James Brown of rap making appearances via instrumental only. You have actual fans in the arena. Just play the chorus and let the fans scream “HERE I GO” after Mystikal as the Pelicans prepare for an offensive set we hope doesn’t end up in a turnover. — CC
Hard Screen: Master P, “Make ‘Em Say Ugh”
I have so many jokes here for Anthony Davis, but I’ll leave that to Kevin. IF a hard screen is set, there should be cause for celebration. And if you’ve seen this video, you know the party doesn’t get much better than this. — CC
So I almost didn’t include this one in the mix as we are the worst screen setting team in the league as Emeka was replaced by the missing in action Jahlil Okafor. Anthony Davis sets screens like Subway puts meat on sandwiches — there’s nothing there — just soft bread with a meaty essence. However, in the unlikely event that someone summons the ghost of Gerald Wallace getting murdered, you could see his soul rise out of his body like when you eat a ghost in Pacman — I’d love to hear a hearty, “Make ‘em say ugh!!! Na na na na.” pump through the arena. — KB
Illegal Screen Call on Opposition: Master P, “Make ‘Em Say Ugh”
In this scenario, it’s the same song as a hard screen, but we use the Master P imposter from the intro skit’s weak, “Ugh.” — KB
Somebody’s more than likely flopping here, but you’re going to cheer because well — we’re hypocrites. But this part of “Mr. Ice Cream Man’s” classic skit should be used literally at any arena. — CC
Offensive foul drawn: Silkk The Shocker and Mystikal, “It Ain’t My Fault.”
Just like several other Mystikal chants. His possibly Steve Urkel inspired “Did I do that?” is perfect while the opposing team is probably pleading a case. Silkk’s long off-beat list of reasons why your life isn’t his fault also finish in a close second. — CC
Steals: B.G., “I Want It”
“I want it. You got it. Don’t make me have to go in yo pockets.” It’s almost like B.G. wrote this for the Jrue Holiday First Team All NBA Defense highlight videos. — KB
I mean...some lyrics just speak for themselves. — CC
Blocked Shots: Lil Wayne, “Tha Block is Hot”
Whether it’s you or somebody on the court...the words “get that shot out of here” will be said. It’s nothing wrong with turning into teenage Lil Wayne in the process. — CC
When Wayne almost whispers, “Tha block is hot..ha..ha” in a subdued breathy manner it reminds me of how the Pelivision screen received a huge upgrade to a monstrosity of a size, but somehow now shows us less stats. The main stat missing is blocks — a huge peeve of mine considering we have one of the all-time great rim protectors as the face of our franchise. — KB
Alley-Oops and Poster Dunks: Big Tymers, “Number One Stunna”
Alley-oops and poster dunks are the feats of athleticism that get the fans off their asses and on their feet. Anthony Davis is the king of the difficult and awe-inspiring oop — often courtesy of a sketchy as hell E’Twaun Moore pass. He shows off and stunts hard for his people.
“I’ma hard stun’n like Evil Knievel
Jumpin’ out Lexs and Hummers - showin’ off for my people
I’m the # 1 stunna!
Wh-what, wh-what, what?
The # 1 stunna!Wh-what, wh-what, what?” — KB
Travel: DJ Jubilee, “Get Ready, Ready”
Considering how good of a person Jubilee is — years of coaching and teaching at risk youth — and how family friendly and danceable his music is, it’s disturbing how little he’s been utilized by the Pelicans in the game day experience. For years I’ve suggested dumping the traditional Dance Cam for a live Jubilee dance party segment, but at a minimum, they should at least hire him to record some Pelicans’ specific dance move roll calls for the Dance Cam on days he can’t be there in person. I’d also suggest replacing things like the Bongo Cam or Carlton Cam with more localized ideas — like a “Do the Mario Cam”
But back to the the transgression at hand — the Pels already go here from time to time — and the use of Fats Domino’s, “Walking to New Orleans” is also very acceptable — but for total NO hip hop branding tie in purposes, Jubilee should punctuate every travel with a, “walk it like a dog, walk it like a dog....” — KB
If you know the game, you’ll do the “get your roll on” dance here anyway to be in sync with the referee. And as Kevin explained, dogs are fantastic animals and always fit in great with New Orleans music. — CC
Alternate Travel Song: Bust Down, “Putcha Bally’s On”
The neighborhood roll call in this classic Skate Country jam can be used throughout the game as well — maybe in out of timeout situations. — KB
Offensive Rebound: Webbie, “Wipe Me Down”
I thought about using this for a Julius Randle bucket clip as a sweaty doing work reference, but I like the, “Wipe me down. Cause I’m On” out of context as a cleaning the glass reference. — KB
And 1: B.G. featuring Big Tymers and Hot Boyz, “Bling Bling”
The extravagance of being able to make a basket while being fouled with a free throw to floss is probable the basketball equivalent of a platinum grill or diamond encrusted nameplate. — KB
Bling Bling Cam: B.G. featuring Big Tymers and Hot Boyz, “Bling Bling”
Marketing people: here’s a great co-branding opportunity with a jewelry store or even a dental center. The cam would focus on those that are already iced out, or could be used to super-impose grills, chains and/or watches onto those in need of an upgrade. — KB
Technical Foul: DJ Jubilee, “Get Ready, Ready”
This song is a goldmine of pull quotes for in-game situations. In this instance we should clip the, “Talk that stuff now, roll wit it.” — KB
When a Pelican Misses the 1st Free Throw, but Converts the 2nd: Juvenile, “Bounce Back”
Some may call this the E’Twuan Moore special. All jokes aside, there’s a certain level of resilience needed after bricking an initial free-throw. This is better than the Ric Flair “Woooh” anyway. Sorry, not sorry. — CC
Opposing Team Timeout to Stop a Pelicans’ Run: Partners n Crime, “Pump Tha Party”
The Start of the 2nd Half: Master P, “How Ya Do Dat”
You just bought another high-priced drink and some food to fill up for another exciting half. You also made it back to your seats right as the ball is bring inbounded. There’s only one question to ask. — CC
A quick little regional roll call from the intro of this song would alert the crowd that the 2nd half has started. — KB
After a three-pointer made: Juvenile, “400 Degreez”
There’s not a possible reason that can be formulated as to why “If I ain’t a hot boy then what do ya call that?” shouldn't be a sound clip blasted throughout the Smoothie King arena. A long range bucket provides the ultimate opportunity to set the blender in flames. — CC
The Start of the 4th Quarter: TRU, “Hoody Hooo”
It’s time to get rowdy. And I mean obnoxiously rowdy. This might lead to you taking your shirt off and pissing off a few people around you, but you made the sacrifice for the team. — CC
Pelicans player fouls out: Lil Wayne, “I Miss My Dawgs”
It was either this or “I Miss My Homies” with Master P making another appearance. P for sure laid the groundwork first, but in respect to those who have lost friends and family to afterlife I chose not to use it.
Lil Wayne’s version paints a picture of what could have been and what was. A broken friend reminiscing on the good times, with separate allies and promising to have their back still in the roughest of times.
Call this what you want but this a ballad for a friend unlike many others. It’s the perfect appreciation for an alliance paused, or a Pelicans player exiting too soon. — CC
Last 2 Minutes: Juvenile, “Back That Thang Up”
Fun fact: If you put some 6x9s facing the ground in a New Orleans cemetery and drop the needle on this track by the second note on the violin, you will see hands prying open mausoleum doors from the inside, and by the time you hear “Cash Money Records taking over for the 9-9 and the two-thousands,” it would look like the “Thriller” video was filmed on a tricked out old school bus that’s equipped with strobe lights, a stripper pole and a cognac bar. Nothing gets New Orleans more buck than this Juvenile track — so let’s use it in the clutch. — KB
Arguably the most important NOLA hip-hop song in history, for the most crucial time in the basketball game. — CC
Coming Out of the Last Timeout in a Close Game: C-Murder, “Down For My”
One last chance to get bucked up and pull together for the stretch run. — KB
The Start of Overtime: The Sqad & Lil Wayne, “We Ready”
This song made me forget there was an actual group who made it first. That’s simply what Lil Wayne was starting to do at this time. And him telling you “Weeee readddyyyy we sooo squad” was only the beginning. THAT mixtape series was also deeply slept on. — CC
After a win: Birdman ft. Lil Wayne, “Pop Bottles”
I remember this video so vividly. Jadakiss (his sample is involved in the hook) is coaching a basketball team filled with Young Money and Cash Money talent. Dressed in red New Orleans Hornets themed (at the time) jerseys, Lil Wayne with a champagne bottle in hand assures coach kiss of his confidence.
After a wink to a cheerleader, a MJ/Byron Russell pushoff, and a shooting form best described as unique, Wayne drills a game winner. A celebration commences and a happy crowd can go home. “We poppin champagne like we won a championship game. Look like I got on a championship ring.”
That’s a perfect ending to any victory. We’re tired of hearing T-Pain tell us how much he wins anyway.— CC
Locker Room Social Media Celebration: Da Entourage, “Bunny Hop”
The music doesn’t stop these days on the floor in sports. The travel of localized music has become a part of several post-game celebrations. We saw the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles tap into their inner Meek Mill blasting his eerie “Dreams and Nightmares” anthem last season. And the Saints this season have continued that wave with their recent and refreshing “Choppa Style” celebrations.
A locker room get-down has to be exciting and bring either a soul-train line or a club style dance battle/mosh pit atmosphere. The bunny hop may bring me back to elementary school dances but for some it may just be an upbeat track that gives a chance to not be “worried about Josephine”. — CC
After a Loss: Big Tymers, “Still Fly”
This is a nice way to lick our wounds and still love ourselves. — KB
When the Offense Slows Down to a Half Court Set and Anytime That They Currently Play That Awful, “Clap, Clap, Clap Your Hands” or, “Everybody Clap Your Hands” Junk: Juvenile, “Nolia Clap”
Live Ball Instrumentals: DJ Jimi, “Where They At (Instrumental)” Lil Boosie, “Set it Off (Instrumental)” August Alsina, “I love this shit” (Instrumental) Hot Boys, “We on Fire (Instrumental)” and Juvenile “Set it off (Instrumental)”
Defense Chants: MC Thick, “What The Fellas Be Yellin” mashed up with your typical, “DEFENSE” chant.
Flagrant or Hard Foul: Prime Time, “Tell Me Why”
“Why you actin’ bad? Why you actin’ bad? Why you actin’ bad?” — KB
Anthony Davis Bucket: TRU, “Bout It, Bout It”
When he isn’t settling for a fadeaway mid-range jumper, Anthony Davis’ buckets are mostly rowdy, rowdy. — KB
Jrue Holiday: Soulja Slim, “Slow Motion”
“Slow motion for me, slow motion for me, slow motion for me. Move it slow motion for me.”
Slow motion may seem like an insult when you are talking about a basketball move, but this Soulja Slim classic is all about the sensuality of a slow glide. Jrue has become may favorite player to watch get to the rim. His dribble, his footwork, his glide are things of beauty. I also went with the original Soulja version of this song over the more popular remake by Juvenile because Jrue is still criminally underappreciated nationally (as he once was by me as well on my couch, locally). — KB
Julius Randle Bucket: Mystikal, “Danger (Been So Long)”
I once described Julius Randle’s play style as tumbleweed made out of chainsaws being propelled by a jet engine. A raspy Mystikal, “Danger!!!” seems like a fitting companion to that type of score. — KB
Elfrid Payton Bucket: Most Wanted Posse, “It Was a Westbank Thing”
My heart swells with, “I grew up in the shadow of John Ehret high school” pride whenever Elfrid does anything. — KB
Nikola Mirotic Bucket: Ricky B, “Who Got Dat Fire”
Recently, Mirotic has been more of a Snap ‘N Pop than a flamethrower, but we will chalk that up to a minor slump, the flu and an ankle on a Pelican. He’s that irrational deep shot guy that will napalm the opponent from deep when he’s got dat fire. — KB
E’Twaun Moore Bucket: Soulja Slim, “I’ll pay for it”
Most 6’4 guards that lack supreme athleticism struggle finishing close to the basket. E’Twuan Moore doesn’t fall into that category. Thanks to elite touch and a patented floater, Moore lives among the trees in a way that would make the retired Andre Miller smile from ear to ear. Sometimes the contact he has to take simply pays an ultimate price for a guy his size. The late great Soulja Slim deserves his shine on this list, and E’Twuan gives the first perfect landing. — CC
Darius Miller Bucket: Kourtney Heart ft. Magnolia Shorty, “My Boy”
Darius simply possesses many of the traits the Pelicans need from a wing player. When he’s shooting with confidence, his defense shortly follows suit as well as some underrated passing skills. Miller, however, has struggled with consistency and has been gun-shy too often this season to say the least. But if he’s contributing, he deserves to be shown appreciation as the score should reflect favorably in the Pelicans direction. Kourtney Heart and the late Magnolia Shorty do the honors here. — CC
BONUS CUT: I left this one out because Rich Boy is from Mobile, but it’s at least kind of regional. — KB
Cheick Diallo Bucket: Kevin Gates, “I Don’t Get Tired”
“I don’t get...get...I don’t get tired” is a perfect homage to Cheick’s most reliable skill — his energy. — KB
Frank Jackson Bucket: Lil Wayne and Birdman, “Stuntin Like My Daddy”
I think there are two acceptable uses from this song for Frank’s scoring clip. First, “V’room on a Yamaha chromed-out eleven hundred. What I’m doing? Getting money.” Coach Mike G calls Frank our Ferrari, and as much as I love and believe in Jackson he isn’t there yet. However, he may already be a chromed out crotch rocket.
The other clip could be the chorus, “And I be stuntin’ like my daddy, stuntin’ like my daddy. Stuntin’ like my daddy, I be stuntin’ like my daddy. I’m the young stunner, stuntin’ like my daddy.” Jackson’s idol is Jrue Holiday and he even spent the summer sleeping at Jrue’s house. — KB
Solomon Hill Bucket: Soulja Slim, “Love Me or Love Me Not”
“Either you love me or you love me not imma be me. I’m known for keeping promises I can’t keep”
There’s no medium when it comes to the name Solomon Hill in NOLA, you either love him, or you don’t. Either way he’s going to continue to go out nightly and give his best efforts. He won’t complain, and he’ll continue to shrug the criticism, as maybe he sometimes thinks to himself “you knew what you was dealing with from day one”.
Hill will never live up to the contract given to him. Nor will he deliver on any of the promise some Pelicans supporters were expecting. But in the end, he will continue to be his own man, and at worst we all should respect that.
Soulja Slim’s declaration on acceptance rightfully ends our list on a strong note. -CC
Chris and I have been talking about doing this piece for about six months now. We’ve finally gotten around to it, and over the last few days we’ve conducted a listening party through DM and struggled to find ways to fit in songs we loved and deemed important to the city (we never found a spot for, “Ha” — if only DeMarcus Cousins had left Nike for Reebok instead of Puma we would have had a great troll), but I think we have a solid foundation to work from.
While the on-court product has been producing a lot of panic throughout Twitter, the blogs, the paper and the pods, we felt it was time for some fun. We hope you dug it, we hope it influences game day programming and we hope you keep this idea alive with your own suggestions via the comments section and Twitter. — KB