When you think of famous football songs, there are the usual bunch that spring to mind.
Baddiel and Skinner’s “Three Lions” is the anthem that sums up three generations of woe and unfulfilled promises on the international stage for the England national side. New Order’s World in Motion did the implausible and entered an unsuspecting John Barnes into the race for the title of ‘best emcee on the planet’. And Fat Les’ Vindaloo – the curry flavoured mockery of the Verve’s ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ – is the ethically questionable hooligan anthem at had the nation singing back in 1998.
The art of the football-themed chart topper seems to be that of a dying one in the UK, with artists now seemingly reluctant to make an England orientated hit single for fear out of what it will do their careers and indeed the national team itself. Even more reluctant are the listeners, who have had more than their fair share of red and white musical vomit damaging their ears over the past few decades. (Meat Pie Sausage Roll (Come on England Give Us a Goal) is a notable example)
However just across the channel in France, the craft of the aforementioned is very much still alive and well, most notably in the genre of hip-hop, with a number of French rappers keen to show their adoration for their favourite football stars in their music.
Amongst those shunned into the spotlight of the French charts are a number of Chelsea players, including N’Golo Kante, who was named as the PFA Player of the Year on Sunday night following his terrific season with the Blues.
Don’t worry I don’t understand French either, but it is difficult to deny the catchiness and urge to to move your feet to the sanga/dancehall infused rhythm of Nixo’s ode to the former Leicester City midfield and France international, no matter how aggressive the lyrics may seem. I can’t see this one catching on down at the Bridge.
And he is not the only one. Next in the firing line – and quite literally in this case – from Antonio Conte’s star studded squad, is the Belgian star Eden Hazard. Youtube star Yahziz is this time the guilty culprit with his street styled trap banger and it’s chorus which repeats Hazard’s name over and over. The French rapper could be mistaken for the Blues very own Michy Bathsuayi with a hairdo like that, however we expect the Chelsea striker probably wouldn’t condone the very obvious use of vulgarity, middle fingers and semi-automatic weapons if he were really to be behind the ballad. Are they angry at Eden, or are they celebrating him? Who is to know. Readers from France, please feel free to chip in.
Even Chelsea legends cannot avoid the warpath of French MC’s. My pick of the bunch, it is this time former Ivory Coast international and Blues striker Didier Drogba who finds his name turned from that of footballing legend to hip-hop sensation. Shadow030 loudly delivers his attempt at a 16 bar freestyle donned in various footballing attire, which altogether leads to an all together laughable effort at entering the the scene of gangster rap. Again boys, any need for the hand gestures?
There are plenty more on the weird world of YouTube to find, however I fear that me spending anymore time searching for such atrocity’s may have implications for the worse on my own mental well being. Feel free to search for yourself.
So is it a trend that could catch on here in the UK? Who knows. Come next year we may have Wiley with a nod to Harry Kane. Skepta shouts out to Romelu Lukaku. Who knows, we may even have man of the moment Stormzy collaborate with Paul Pogba. Hang on a minute …