By Chris Yuscavage
Are you ready for some football?!?
If you live in Pittsburgh or New York (or, more appropriately, New Jersey!) this weekend, there's a good chance you are. That's because the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New York Jets are set to square off in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday afternoon for the right to represent the AFC in next month's Super Bowl.
But the battle between the two teams actually kicked off earlier this week when G.O.O.D. Music's own Consequence leaked a new record called "J.E.T.S. (Put Your Arms Out)" — a track meant to inspire his hometown Jets and will them to a victory in the big game this weekend.
The song also serves as an indirect response to Wiz Khalifa's "Black And Yellow," a song that dropped last fall and has served as the Steelers' anthem for much of the NFL season. They've been using the track throughout the NFL Playoffs to keep the crowd at Heinz Field hyped and they're looking to play it early and often once the game kicks off Sunday. And that rap rivalry got RapFix to thinking: If you took the actual NFL teams out of the equation and just considered the anthems created by the rappers from each respective city, which squad would come out on top?
Though "Black And Yellow" wasn't originally intended to solely be used for the Steelers (the MLB's Pirates and NHL's Penguins also use the song's colors for their uniforms), Wiz's use of the Steelers trademark "Terrible Towels" in his video indicates that he definitely had the squad in mind when he created the song last fall. "It's gonna be the Steelers' anthem," Wiz predicted when he talked to MTV back in October. The team eventually adopted the song and, this Sunday, Wiz will even perform the song in front of the hometown crowd in the Steel City.
Throughout the course of the song, Wiz makes it crystal-clear that he's putting on for his city. On the hook, he raps: "Reppin' my town when you see me, you know everything/ Black and yellow, black and yellow, black and yellow, black and yellow." He repeats the names of the colors nearly 50 times on the catchy Stargate-produced track — which helps Steelers' fans get into the spirit every time the song is played during a game.
Consequence, on the other hand, only released his song recently once it was clear that the Jets were headed to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers. And because it's not intended to be as big of a radio record as Wiz's song, he got the chance to devote nearly every bar on his two verses to the Jets franchise and used the hook on the song to recite the infamous Jets chant: "J-E-T-S/ Jets! Jets! Jets!"
In the opening verse, Cons starts off by showing some love to Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez by rapping: "You would think that I was Sanchez if you never knew me/ I throw bullets and I play QB/ But you'll see right after the coin toss/ Once that money's in the air, your boys lost."
Later, he continues boasting about the team on the second verse before throwing a quick jab at Wiz and the rest of the Steelers Nation. He raps: "We on top in the AFC East/ So these fools are just a KFC feast/ But we know what they say in these streets/ So we out to prove that we're playin' for keeps/ Whether we the favorite or underdogs/ Rain, sleet or snow or under fog/ The Brady Bunch or Big Ben/ The Packers, the Bears, we came to win/ So diss to 'Black And Yellow' and the Taylor Gang staff/ But Coach Ryan 'bout to get a Gatorade bath."
And Cons wraps up the song by shouting out Jets players Braylon Edwards and Bart Scott and making a bold prediction about the Jets' immediate future. "Ain't no time to get cozy," he raps. "Until we bring home the Lombardi Trophy."
So, which track ultimately wins out as the better team anthem? Well, if we're headed to the club or kicking it at the crib or, hell, it's a month from now and football season is over, we'll take "Black And Yellow" all day. Months after it was released, it still packs the same punch it did the first time we heard it.
But for this weekend, Cons and "J.E.T.S." are flying high. It might not be the better record overall — and the Jets might be the underdog in Sunday's game — but as far as team anthems are concerned, Cons had created really G.O.O.D. Music for all the football fans out there.
So press play — and enjoy the final Sunday of NFL football before the Super Bowl.