10 Nominations for 2010 World Cup Anthems Better Than Shakira's "Waka Waka (This Time For Africa)"
We defy you to unironically enjoy this song.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa kicks off on June 11th. Sports-wise, the tournament promises to be thrilling, with 32 teams from around the world pitting their varied domestic styles and approaches to the game against each other in a bid to decide the globe's greatest soccer nation. Music-wise, the geniuses behind the event have given us the rubbish official song "Waka Waka," sung by the non-South African warbler Shakira, and a secondary rap theme tune performed by the unfathomably-popular Canadian-based and Somalian-born M.C. K'naan. Titled "Wavin' Flag," the latter sees the rapper enunciating saccharine lines like "Learn from these streets/It can be bleak/Accept no defeat" -- sentiments unlikely to strike much of a chord with today's top soccer players while they're cashing their weekly $250,000 pay-checks. Still, there are spicier hip-hop picks to be found in the musical vaults of the competing nations. So we dug around, and came up with nominations for 10 additional, unofficial World Cup theme songs--the wackier, the better. They're below, divided by nation, of course:
Brazil: Rappin Hood, "Gol"
He's never appeared on a Diplo and M.I.A.-curated baile-funk mixtape, but Brazilian sambista Rappin Hood rocks the best rap name a hipster has yet to put on a fake-gold name-plate belt. Bypassing a Babelfish translation, we're going all out and guessing that "Gol" is his homage to the beautiful game, especially as it opens with a sample of a TV commentator hollering, "Goooooal!" After that, a groove you could pass off as an unreleased J Dilla track to some rabid fan of the deceased Detroit producer kicks in, leading inexorably to a chorus that interplays the words "jigga" and "gol!" Back of the net, indeed.
Italy: 99 Posse, "Yankee Go Home"
In soccer terms, Italians are known for being steely-cold defenders who'll resort to any illegal trick in the book to win a match and incubating players who on occasion have been known to give out fascist salutes to the crowd. Which all juxtaposes nicely with the left-wing stylings of Naples-based 99 Posse. Over an eclectic musical backdrop that pillages from jazz, drum 'n' bass, and world music, the group rant about world issues like the G8 conferences and talk about the drawbacks of capitalism. Should Italy meet the USA team at any point in the tournament, 99's anti-Iraq war track "Yankee Go Home" is guaranteed to be flipped into a soccer battle cry.
England: Liverpool F.C., "Anfield Rap"
After blessing the world with the English language and the game of football, England came up with this late-'80s rapped fusion of the two courtesy of domestic club team Liverpool. The song sparks into life with John Barnes rhyming soccer-related lyrics to the opening pattern of LL Cool J's "Rock The Bells" and continues to spiral into a parody of Weird Al Yankovich-esque proportions. Still more palatable to the ears than anything by Lady Sovereign, though.
Bonus Host Nation Trivia: The guy with the over-sized foam gloves at the 50 second mark is Bruce Grobbelaar, a South African-born goalkeeper whose later career years were plagued with match-fixing accusations.
Germany: DJ Tomekk feat. Lil Kim & Trooper da Don "Kimnotyze"
There are many ways to honor the legacy of the late great Notorious BIG, but lifting the chorus to the rotund rapper's club hit "Hypnotize" and re-selling it on to the German market definitely seems to lack a certain tenderness. Still, Biggie's onetime bedmate Lil Kim did just that for the 2001 track "Kimnotyze," a collaboration with DJ Tomekk and the insanely gruff-voiced Trooper da Don. Possibly in response to Tomekk ruining his own chances of appearing on jungle-based German reality TV show Ich Bin Ein Star--Holt Mich Hier Raus! (after Tomekk performed a hail to Hitler in a hotel lobby), Kimmy keeps it nationalistic by gyrating in front of an American flag towards the end of the video. Salute!
Australia: Mighty Big Crime, "School's Out"
Mixing up an Alice Cooper song, early Beastie Boys-styled shout-rap, and cut-off jean shorts, Australian duo Gumpy and Tricky J epitomize the idea of a crap cash-in rap song. "Stuck in this chain gang/Yeah, they'd be better off if they let us hang," they plead at one point, sticking it to the man in a manner that Chuck D and his "Fight The Power" spiel never quite managed. And yep, those are inflatable guitars they're playing...