Watching England play international football is one of the few mass, shared experiences in this country. It’s relevance to Hip-Hop, to me, is reflected in the occasional sense of frustration fan’s get. “We can do so much better!” is as likely to be heard in a patriotic English pub as it is to be scrawled across the music blogs seem to think they can chart the relative success of our music.
My argument for Swizz Beats (right) stems from how I feel about Peter Crouch (below left). On one of his new tracks, released free under his ‘Monster Monday’ campaign; King Tut (featuring Rakim) Swizzy declares “Didn’t you get the message/Hip-Hop is back”.
“Football’s Coming Home” was the UK anthem of 1996, but sometimes in the faltering delivery of what is absolutely (without question) deservedly ours, the purity of our beautiful game bows to necessity in tough competition and we resort to bringing Peter Crouch on at roughly the 70 minute mark, to increase the threat of our set pieces.
This is not a flippant comparison; Crouch’s goal scoring record reflects Swizz’s bibliography bursting with hits. His awkward, bumbling style but deft touch in the penalty area matches Swizz’s ‘hit-and-miss’ reputation with the critics and the purists. He was going out with Abi Clancey; I think Swizz recently married Alicia Keys (if you’re interested in that sort of thing). The comparisons continue.
My interest in Peter Crouch however, is his ability to guide us en-masse into a kind of dubious but celebratory frenzy- not based in intelligence, instead based in his defiance of intelligent football or of total football. If Hip Hop IS back then it needs to be rocking the clubs. DJ’s need an arsenal of Hip-Hop weaponry to assert into the clubs which the young innovators of the next few years are going too, the same way it did in The Tunnel. Take back the aggressive, ignorant and at times violent manner which is worn well by Dubstep and Electro. They’re sampling Hip-Hop for a reason.
We need Swizz Beats, with his deft touch for a club banger, his awkward egotism and his defiance of the intellect of Hip Hop, to bring Hip-Hop back to the clubs. It’s a set play, but if we can get to the next round, then the creative playmakers of Hip Hop can really test themselves against the best in the world.