It’s preseason and the city is unfurling Who Dat Nation flags, dusting off… Oh let’s face it – this city is year-round ready for a Saints game. We don’t have to dust off a dang thing. But the new season is bringing changes. Like every team, we have some new guys and we lost some old favorites. Friday, I got to hear the leader of the “12th Man,” our MC Jerry Romig announce his last game. He has been on that mic 44 of the 46 years the Saints have been around and announced 445 games. His son will take the reigns. With Romig, they seem to have retired one of my favorite things about going to the Superdome – getting Crunk after a touchdown.
The Saints were not the only team to use Ying Yang Twins Halftime (Stand Up and Get Crunk), but it became our anthem during our march to the Super Bowl. The “Twins,” Kaine (Eric Jackson) and D-Roc (De’Angelo Holmes) are a hip hop duo from Atlanta but they sport Saints jerseys in their VIDEO. The song was as good for their notoriety as it was for our season. Everyone won. I understand that the song has been played in the Dome after touchdowns since 2006 and maybe there are those who’d like to move on. I’m not among them, but perhaps its time to give some credit to the many local musicians who make Saints anthems every year and suggest that we at least choose our new favorite from our own local and abundant talent.
About 2 weeks before the Saints won the Super Bowl, New Orleans rapper/hip hop artist K.Gates released his local take on the Ying Yang Twins anthem with his “Super Bowl Saints Anthem” Black & Gold (Who Dat)! The VIDEO includes the Martin Luther King High School Marching Band, footage from a K. Gates concert just outside of the Dome, game footage, fans and even a few Saints. It’s outdated now with old players names and references, but it’s tons of fun all the same.
Heart Of The City (Who Dat), by X-Man, Bigshott, Big Rec and Kuniqua, is an energizing fight song while remaining a kinda pretty tune. The VIDEO has video footage from games and Drew Brees leading the opening team chant. The song tells us “the heart of the city is in the Superdome.” You’d have to be here and to understand the history of the place, the team and its fans to really understand how true that is. Luckily, there are locals who’ve written songs about that.
Louisiana Saints Superbowl is a Louisiana pride song telling some of the story of how the Super Bowl united our state after the Storm. It’s a beautiful folk-ish song with a strong voice (Jacye Guerin) and a strong point of view (writer Jake Gunter). I feel elevated every time she belts, “We are Louisiana.” The VIDEO features photos of the Storm, the city, the team and the victory.
The entire history of the Superdome up to Dec 20, 2009 is told in Wit da Saints presented by The Village Block Party. They start with the ancient burial ground that was disturbed to build the Dome, the brown paper bag “Ain’ts” years, the Storm, the rebuilding of the team and the then-upcoming Super Bowl. The VIDEO has photos of all the story points accompanied by a brass band and sultry women’s voices. The “Who ya with?” callback is fun for a crowd and the band is a local grown “ongoing musical venture” out of Musician’s Village featuring Gabriel Velasco, Edward Lee, Liese Dettmer and Melissa Fritz.
BUT, back to finding a new anthem (though I’m a believer in, “If it ain’t broke… don’t stop Crunking”). My first choice is probably Get Up Out Ya Seat from NOLA natives and “die hard Saints Fans,” JM3 & TOCA. The song is rap with a great crossover dance beat. The VIDEO of “The Official 2013 Saints Song” runs photos from news and recaps a few seasons. If they recut the song, we could celebrate touchdowns with “gimme 3 claps” and chants of, “Who dat, two dat, do dat, tru dat!”
My other first choice (my blog, my rules), is Choppa’s New Orleans Saints Song. Another homegrown talent, Choppa brings together a fun, peppy, perfect blend of rap, dance, chanting and brass. He samples Grammy Winners Rebirth Brass Band while chanting, “Is Oakland gonna beat us?” (and we chant) “Hell no!” The VIDEO is candid footage outside the Dome on game day. This would be my FIRST first choice except that I’ve been a sports fan long enough to know how hard it can be to rally around a chorus like, “I feel that Black and Gold going back to the Super Bowl,” during a losing season.
Like many of these prideful storytelling songs, My Town (by Prov, Dejavu, Bizzy B. and Caesar) uses players’ names. Though it feels great to call out our guys when they’re on the team, it gets a little harder after they move to another team and stop a score. That said, the song has a hypnotically bouncy beat while remaining powerful. The VIDEO shows game footage and there’s a “Go Saints” chant for the Dome crowd.
Though Christian rapper Andy Mineo is from New York and his intimidating and militaristic The Saints isn’t about football, his supersonic fast rhymes and hard driving beats (with KB & Trip Lee) are a lesson in updating When the Saints Go Marching In as a sports anthem. The VIDEO features an array of photos from games.
When thinking of an anthem, it’s important to remember your audience as well as the morale of the team. To get an idea of our taste in sports music, here’s a VIDEO of Quarterback Drew Brees leading our guys in a supercharged funky pre-game huddle chant of, “Beat everybody” and “I’m in my own zone.” And here’s a VIDEO of Saints fans parading toward the Dome while chanting “Who Dats” and second line dancing to a brass band before the NFC Championship game. A sea of black and gold clad fans pump decorated parasols and burst at the seams with team pride and optimism. It makes me happy just thinking about how unique this city’s fandom is.
One reason I don’t really want to change is because I know how intimidating Halftime (Stand Up and Get Crunk) sounds and how much it pumps everyone up. I like New Orleans Saints Anthem (2010) by Gifted Da Flamethrowa because I think most Saints fans (and players) could dance to the head-bopping, hip-rolling rap hip hop song. I keep emphasizing the chants available in these songs because Saints fans love a good callback. This song’s chant is, “You done lost your mind, going to war with a Saint (x 3). You might think that you can, but I promise you cain’t,” and it’s fun to shout. The VIDEO is just photos from games and Googled images but West Bank native Gifted earns his name musically.
It’s clear to me that I’ll have to create a Vol. 2 of this post. I’m stuck on this because one of my favorite things about being in the Dome instead of watching a game at home was standing up and getting Crunk with thousands of ecstatic fans. At Friday’s game, the ugly rumors were confirmed – plenty of touchdowns, no Cruncking. I can adjust to a new energizing, intimidating local-feeling dance song to celebrate touchdowns, but I cannot adjust to the hard metal screaming matches they played that no one could move a hip to. The worst thing about it wasn’t the feeling that I was trapped at a teenager’s basement-party attempt at devil worship, but that I felt like I was in Pittsburgh or some other city nothing like New Orleans.
I liked the new pulled-pork nacho offering and it was great enjoying all the traditions like the traveling brass band and the Who Dat chants from black & gold clad fans, but music is so important to this city so I will preach on and leave you with a VIDEO of the good folks of Our Lady Star of the Sea Church getting Crunk being led by their Saints-jersey-wearing preacher in a celebration of the Super Bowl victory.