Footballers who rap need to stop it right now
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A recent BBC Sport video feature saw Charlie Sloth examining the sad and largely inept forays footballers have made into the world of rap. Big name offenders are present, and John Barnes offers what’s arguably the one redeeming contribution in his now strangely iconic moment in New Order’s ‘World in Motion’. Some of the highest praise Charlie Sloth dished out was in saying that Crystal Palace winger Yannick Bolasie could ‘almost rap’ (and he was a distinct highlight) - so why hasn’t continued ineptitude killed off the link between football and rap? Gazza, Andy Cole and Ian Wright all appear in embarrassing fully recorded tracks, whilst Rio Ferdinand makes an equally embarrassing appearance rapping to a waiter in an empty restaurant. The comparison is one that has drawn footballers back time and time again, the glitz and glamour of the music industry and the boisterous confidence carried in a lot of rap music has clear parallels with the increasingly moneyed lives of the footballing elite. Perhaps the lowest point in this regretful relationship came with Liverpool’s 1988 offering, which features the whole squad from the time, some terrible lyrics and a small disjointed rendition of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ that is clumsily shoe-horned in and makes up the chorus. The ‘Anfield Rap’ really has to be seen to be believed… The single redeeming ray of hope for the horrible but seemingly un-killable marriage between football and rap music (one latest addition saw Paul Pogba feature in a Stormzy video, seemingly just to emphasise his record breaking price tag) remains John Barnes contribution to World in Motion. Barnes’ performance is a staple for England fans and was further immortalised in Gavin and Stacey when James Corden and Matthew Horne re-created it in heart-warming fashion. That aside, the main message though has to be loud and clear - this link, other than one enjoyable exception, has never worked, can it please stop now?