Every week, a whole bunch of hip-hop gets released, whether it’s in the form of free mixtapes or proper studio albums. And when rappers rap, they often rap about sports. I love both sports and rap, so I’ll be choosing one hip-hop sports mention a week and sharing it here.
Quakers is the new project from Geoff Barrow, a member of trip-hop mavens Portishead. Barrow partnered with eminent indie-rap label Stones Throw — home of Madlib and his ilk — to create a massive 41-track, 69-minute collection of positively evil, tectonic beats, complemented by a huge variety of rappers. (Some of the bigger names that show up include Dead Prez, Guilty Simpson, and Aesop Rock.)
Our song in question this week is “Belly of the Beast,” featuring conscious rapper Emilio Rojas. And the bars?
“A lot of promises were never kept,
Yeah them issues they had no air time, like Detlef Schrempf.”
Detlef Schrempf! One of the greatest-named ballers in NBA history, Schrempf played for the Mavericks, Pacers, Supersonics, and Trail Blazers over a 16-year career. He was a three-time All Star and two-time Sixth Man of the Year, topping out at 19.1 points and 9.5 rebounds per game in the 1992-93 season.
Although Schrempf could throw down — dude was 6’9”, after all — he’s better known for his skill and finesse play than high-flying acrobatics. He also was a trailblazer for European ballers in the NBA.
This isn’t the first time Schrempf has show up in popular music. Beard-rockers Band of Horses recorded a solid song in his name a few years ago.
As for “Belly of the Beast,” it fits squarely into the mold of anti-police screeds that have long been an institution in rap. It also fits nicely next to what might be the song of the year so far, “NYC Cops,” by Das Racist MC Himanshu, aka Heems.