Thursday, February 3rd, 2011
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Super Bowl Anthems: Lil Wayne Vs. Wiz Khalifa


Who will win the Superbowl this Sunday between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers? If the comparative performances of the teams' high profile rap-star fans can be used as a predictive gauge, Green Bay will win. Lil Wayne's Packer's-boosting remix of Wiz Khalifa's hit Pittsburgh anthem "Black and Yellow" is better than the original.

To give credit where it's due, Wiz Khalifa is a perfectly likeable pothead. And it's really great to have a rap star emerge out of Pittsburgh. A great city, Pittsburgh, with a strong tradition of heroic sports teams living the high life and grooving to good music. And it is pretty cool kizmit that the success of the Steelers has dovetailed so nicely with that of his first national hit—one that celebrates the team colors, his city's colors, over a super-catchy keyboard riff. It must have been a hug thrill for him to get to perform it at Heinz Field Stadium before the Steelers beat the Jets in AFC conference championship game last week.

"Black and Yellow" currently sits at no. 4 on Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart, down from no. 3 last week. But you have to think if Pittsburgh wins Sunday, it might push it up to no. 1.

For a hook, the phrase "black and yellow" is a good one, it certainly rolls off the tongue more easily than "green and yellow." But other than that, as far as the rhyming goes, "Black and Yellow" strikes me as lazy—nothing terrible, but nothing much inspired, either. Which, again, Khalifa is a super-stoner. You find a nice beat, ride it on the radio. It's fine. But Lil Wayne is a virtuoso, and he just completely eats Khalifa alive over his own beat. From the minute he calls him "Cheez Whiz," you know what's happening, and by the time he toasts the Steelers as "pop tarts," it's a done deal: there's ten times as much cleverness and verve in Wayne version. And it's nice of him, too, to repeatedly point out that this is not a diss song, but the friendly ball-breaking that goes on between fans of rival teams. You wouldn't want a real rap beef to break out over something so trivial. (Not that such things haven't broken out over less in the past.)

It's supposed to be a close game this year, so maybe this will help with the gambling. I'm taking the Packers by three.

11 Comments / Post A Comment

matt_t (#4,426)

psssssssst, it's WIZ Khalifa not wHiz.

BLACK AND YELLOW BLACK AND YELLOW BLACK AND YELLOW BLACK AND YELLOW BLACK AND YELLOW BLACK AND YELLOW BLACK AND YELLOW BLACK AND YELLOW BLACK AND YELLOW BLACK AND YELLOW BLACK AND YELLOW BLACK AND YELLOW BLACK AND YELLOW BLACK AND YELLOW BLACK AND YELLOW BLACK AND YELLOW BLACK AND YELLOW BLACK AND YELLOW BLACK AND YELLOW BLACK AND YELLOW

Alex Balk (#4)

Fixed, thanks.

Graydon Gordian (#3,206)

It's suddenly become clear to me that the decent-to-bad segment of the hip hop world won't stop until they've remade Black and Yellow for every team in the NFL, which is a disconcerting thought.

hockeymom (#143)

Go Pack Go.

Abe Sauer (#148)

This is the same Lil Wayne that's posed wearing hats for The Braves, Yankees, Dodgers, and Reds… The Lil Wayne that rocked the Chicago (CHICAGO!) Bulls throughout Veterans day.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X445pGlE3Gc
Hmmm, Pack can't lose now.

Graydon Gordian (#3,206)

At the AFC Title Game, Wiz Khalifa performed before the game began. My 77-year-old grandfather, who, along with my grandmother, braved the single digit temperatures like a badass, turned to me and said, "Who the fuck is this asshole? He sounds like a piece of shit."

I guess my point is some Steelers fans are old.

Dave Bry (#422)

I'm guessing he didn't bother to put the "this isn't a diss song" disclaimer on there either, did he?

Joey Camire (#6,325)

I don't know, I like the Wiz version better. Wayne's just sounds like he is trying to get his ass onto a sports center montage… but that's me.

William (#142)

This isn't exactly a fair comparison, I think? Wiz set out to make an ordinary song. Wayne set out to make a "no-diss, diss" track based around a football game and an already existing song. Wiz wasn't in competition when he dropped his track. Wayne's trying to school him — and he does — but it's hardly a battle when only one of them is playing the game. Apples, meet Oranges.

Gleu (#469)

This is divorced from reality. Wayne's song is so lazy, his murder line is about Polamalu's hair. Khalifa's is /fucking/ Truffaut on that track, re-write this post to reflect that.

TheWalbert (#7,392)

We can argue on the merits of style, sure, but then we miss the larger and more disturbing point: Wayne is from New Orleans, home of the Saints, and yet he's repping cheeseheads and Packers country. The timing of his drop is clearly just a blatant attempt to cash in on the popularity of B&Y and of football in general. It feels incredibly cynical to me, and makes me want to stage a lockout on sports-rap for, I don't know, eternity maybe.

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