So Jay-Z's booked to perform "Empire State of Mind" before the opening game of the world series at Yankee Stadium. Hard to beat something that makes that much sense. A big, bombastic anthem about the bright lights of the big city to match the big, bombastic Bronx Bombers and the bright lights of their big new stadium. (Even as that googolzillion-dollar monument to avarice and ostentation is already falling apart.) Alicia Keys on the chorus and everything. A-Rod's bound to pop a boner. The Evil Empire is stacking the deck.
How's Philadelphia-a place already afflicted with a severe second-city complex-supposed to compete? Who can open the show Saturday, when the series moves down the Turnpike to Citizen's Bank Park? Beanie Sigel and Freeway have been suggested. But they both came up under Jay at his Roc-A-Fella Records. They'd look like little brothers in hand-me-downs. Same goes for the Roots, who often serve as Jay's back-up band. How about Will Smith, in his ol' Fresh Prince rapper mode? Points for star power, but it's hard to imagine that would help the Phillies get their game face on. What's he gonna play, "Parents Just Don't Understand"?
No. The Phillies need to recruit someone that even Jay would have to doff his Yankee fitted to: the Philadelphia MC many people credit as the originator of gangsta rap. Help us, Schooly D, you're our only hope.