INDIANAPOLIS -- Gordon "G-Time" Hayward has officially gone platinum. The "Too Big Yo" smac rap surfaced on YouTube two weeks ago, was taken down quickly when the track went national, and then the rescued audio was posted here on this site. We've made attempts to offload some of the traffic to other places, but you can't stop the bum rush. In the past 15 days, thanks to links from just about every national media outlet and basketball blog in the universe, the embedded MP3 track has been accessed over 1.1 million times.
"Too Big Yo" is officially a phenomenon, and there's only one thing for us to do... that's to have a symposium about it.
We have three esteemed guests today to discuss "Too Big Yo," and also to dissect the lyrics with the intention of divining greater meaning from them. We have a true veteran of these things, Eric "Extra P." Angevine of the seminal college basketball blog Storming The Floor. Sarah Black, assistant sports editor of the Butler Collegian newspaper, is on our panel to represent the future of journalism, dead trees, and girls. Also, please welcome Mike Miller, TMM's resident No. 1 Butler supporter, Certificate of Investment holder, and the person who tipped us off to the TBY experience to begin with. He's here to provide the longtime Bulldog fan perspective.
TMM:Everyone in place? Let's begin by taking a look at the opening verse, by B-Rizzle.
Yo, I drive to the cup, just call me Ronnie. Step back, 3-ball, wet like Dasani. I got balls... waiting on the rack. I pull out charges, call me Mr. Mack. Rebound time, I go hard when I crash. I can be a point, dish, dime like Steve Nash. Call me Rip, 'cause I got the midrange. Game on the line? Call me King James. Yeah. Just want to be on top with a triple-double, I practice at the Church, I practice at the Buckle. Both those places are my home court. Check the ball, rook, I defend my fort. I'm too big yo, too big yo. I'm too big, too big, too big, too big yo.
TMM:One of the notable things about B-Rizzle's flow is that he presents himself as five players at once. At any time in history, has there been a player who could play all five positions as well as B-Rizzle claims to?
MM: When you compare yourself to Ronald Nored, Shelvin Mack, Steve Nash, Rip Hamilton and LeBron James, he is obviously channeling Indianapolis native Oscar Robertson, who is the only person in NBA history to average a triple-double, and won two Indiana state championships in 1955 and 1956 on the hardwood at Hinkle Fieldhouse (and lost in the semifinals to Milan in 1954). B-Rizzle is like many Rucker Park legends who never were seen at the next level.
TMM:We might assume that the "Church" is Hinkle Fieldhouse. But perhaps B-Rizzle is a devout member of a church league team, which would undercut a lot of his braggadocio. What do you think?
SB: I think you're overthinking these lyrics. I'm pretty sure he means that he practices religion at church and practices folding overpriced jeans at the Buckle.
EA: Yes, The Buckle is clearly this place. I think it makes a lot of sense that he might have learned how to handle the ball in traffic (and picked up some sweet discounts on clamdiggers) by practicing hoop in an overpriced metrosexual shoppe.
MM: The Buckle is apparently 'Burg slang for Arbuckle Acres Park in Brownsburg, the Rucker of the western suburbs of Indianapolis. Based on comments posted from Luke Winn's article about "Too Big Yo," it is indeed a church in Brownsburg, not Hinkle. But it's not your run-of-the-mill old guy league, there are some ballers. B-Rizzle may or may not have dropped 40 one game.
TMM:Mike, you're my fact-checking cuz. The careful wordplay in the third line is worthy of note. "I got balls... waiting on the rack." I know that Brad Stevens wanted to make sure that the rap was clean, but this is as risque as "Too Big Yo" gets. Is this gonadical reference over the line?
SB: I'm the only girl in attendance at this Symposium, so forgive me for not knowing what the metaphorical "rack" symbolizes in this equation.
TMM:Let's move on to Geno.
Yo, my name is Ge-no. Let me spit-spit this real quick flow. My trigger's quicker, you already know. But I stop ain't [????] (Oh!) I'm movin' on, I'm trying to get on V-Smoke like LeBron, Others call me J.J. Redick, 'Cause when I shoot it, they say "cash or credit?" So good on defense, you might as well forget it. Like Ronald Nored. He regrets it. I'm too big, yo.
TMM:Geno's rap is by far the most mysterious of the three. Many of the words are cryptic and muffled. Why do you think this is? Should they have brought on a star producer on this track?
MM: Geno is Too Big Yo's Willie Veasley. His contributions go unnoticed by the general public, but the insiders and true believers know his power. Geno is happy to hang in the background (probably too far from the mike, yo) and hold the track together.
EA: His track is muffled because he's a little confused by the earlier balls on the rack reference. For instance, now that the testicular reference has been dropped, do you really want to cop to having the quicker trigger? Last I heard, that was a bad thing.
TMM:J.J. Redick exited college after a full year of the Dan-vs.-Dave style hypemongering featuring him and Adam Morrison. Then he tried to start his own smac rap career. Which one typifies his professional path best: cash or credit?
MM: Credit. Mr. Redick currently earns $2.8 million per year as the back-up SG for Orlando. Redick averages 22 minutes a night and scores 9.4 points per game. 22 minutes a night adds up to slightly more than 30 hours of actual game time. So J.J. earns $93,000 per minute played. Most NBA teams in this economy are spending with money they don't have, taking losses, hoping to recoup the lost money upon sale of the team.
EA: Redick's career path seems to be credit. He bought a pro career with his hot shooting at Duke, and now he's retroactively having to pay his dues against players who can generally handle him night in and night out.
SB: I will say "personal check," only because I feel trapped being given just two options.
TMM:Okay, it's on to the main course.
Yo, yo, the name's G-Time. Big frame, big game, call me big time. Ball hard every night and every day. From the Burg, I rep it in a big way. Come too close, I'll hit you with the blow-by. Straight to the rim, I'm just too high. Stay back and I'll hit the J. Try to stop me, there's just no way. But it's not about me, it's about the team. Going to the tourney with a full head of steam. Chip's so close, it's at our back door, Hit a few dubs, we'll be in the Final Four. Not stopping there, that's not in store. Push it to the limit, we want more. Yeah. I'm too tall, yo.
TMM:Let's get this out of the way first. How do you feel about Spank's rhyming "Time" with... "time?"
EA: Rhyming "time" with itself is weak flow, especially with the basketball-ready slang term "dime" just sitting there, waiting to be called in for the assist.
MM: Initially, it does seem disappointing for someone who is an academic All-American in computer engineering. But like he does in many games, G-Time's just starting slow to lull everyone to sleep before he delivers his lyrical devastation in later lines.
SB: I'm pretty sure it's allowed as long as one of them is a proper noun.
TMM:I have never heard Gordon Hayward say, "This is for Brownsburg" at a press conference after a big win, or delivering a shout-out after a gigantic #omgdunx. Do you really think the residents of the town feel repped in a big way?
SB: They have to. At the risk of steering this conversation away from mid-major teams and the Spankmaster, I would like to point out that Mark "The Shark" Titus, walk-on for Ohio State and sensational blogger is also from Brownsburg. You can actually read about "The Battle of the 'Burg" on the internet.
MM: Club Trillion tried to rep the 'Burg, but a sweet blog and YouTube video can only get you so far. Drew Storen, who is Hannah Storm's nephew, and a pitcher in the minors for the Washington Nationals, hasn't had the exposure to rep yet. Beside, G-Time has real bling, a gold medal from this summer's FIBA U-19 World Championships.
TMM:Do you feel that G-Time has misrepresented his game at all in this verse? If so, why?
MM: Is you crazy? G-Time's J from outside may have dipped a bit from this year, but he's shown that it is back in full effect the past two games. He will blow by you, he will hit the J and he is just too high, whether for big#omgdunx or gigantic #omgblox.
SB: I'm worried that he's overworking himself--balling all night AND every day? Take a breather, G-Time.
TMM:This is all very eerie, two weeks later. G-Time's As-You-Go Bracket looks just like the one he filled out ahead of time. My current theory is that he went to the future with a Magic Time-Traveling Robot, and came back and told us about what's going to happen. What are your thoughts about his Hoopsputin skillz?
SB: Perhaps G-Time's life has taken a sort of Sideways-World Lost turn, in which he has been there and back and can already predict the outcome of the game. I kind of think that if Hayward took one of those "What Character from Lost are YOU?!!" quizzes on Facebook, he would be Ben, because he looks like a total wimp but always kicks everyone's ass and is full of secrets.
MM: Not sure Gordon went to the future, but maybe he is from the future. There is a resemblance to Jimmy Neutron and one of the Monstars from Space Jam. Either that, or he found that sports almanac from 2015 that was in Back to the Future II.
TMM:It's like you guys knew that we couldn't end the season without more Lost and Space Jam references. Maybe all you Butler people are in on this freaky Robot business. What in hell do they teach you at this place?
Okay, let's wrap this all up by putting this in context. Sports smac raps are nearly as old as rap itself (and sports). After the Super Bowl Shuffle and its many imitators, there was a long drought with no smac rap. Now, it's back! By the end of the week there might be a full album of Dawg Jams. Why do you think this team has inspired so many smac raps?
EA: This team has inspired smac raps because no other team in the Final Four can qualify musically. With the economic downturn in Michigan, the Spartans are limited to scratchy recordings of depression-era acoustic blues. West Virginia hasn't been able to figure out how to put out a smac hoedown, because local square-dance callers refuse to brag, preferring to give complicated directions on which partner needs swangin'. Duke... well, I have it on good authority that they don't even like music, because they have no souls.
MM: May be something about Butler and its outstanding fine arts programs. Brian "Big Lig" Ligon, who played on the 2007 Sweet 16 team, minored in music production at Butler (in addition to a pre-dentistry major) and produced some CDs back in his hometown of St. Petersburg. Butler just has a lot of creative people on campus that want to let the world know about the team and rage against the disrespect the team has received from the talking heads all year.
SB: There is nothing rap loves more than "Lils." Lil' Wayne, Lil' Kim, Lil' John, Lil' Flip, etc. In the media, Butler is perpetually called the "lil'" team (Paraphrasing. I am grasping at straws to find some tenuous connection). Or it could be because Butler students are taking advantage of the coverage and becoming fame-mongers (myself included, see: The Official Butler Basketball Banner�, above).
TMM:You're right, everyone's getting in on the act. Panelists, be honest about your feelings about "Deuces on the Inside, Treys on the Outside," created by two male Butler cheerleaders.
MM: While the word "deuces" invokes more icky feelings than good, and the video is filmed in a mirror for some reason (all the logos are reversed), there are some solid lines in there. Name dropping the school president (Bobby Fong), the senior walk-on (Nick Rodgers) and the classic "Players now crying when they gotta face Butler, team won't throw it away like Cutler" make it a solid effort.
SB: They actually had a second release two days later featuring some of the female cheerleaders. I don't really like to think about a bunch of private college cheerleaders sitting around reworking "Ice Cream Paintjob" and "Hot in Herrre," so I'll keep my answer purely informational.
Okay, moving on. "We Dancin'" is very catchy. And the meta-matrix has grown in such a way that it actually contains a "Too Big Yo" reference. But there's that title. Thoughts?
MM: The title is a bit disappointing, that's so four rounds ago. But without it, you couldn't say that the tournament is [Butler's] like we're holding it for ransom.
SB: I think, as far as production goes, this is the most well done of the smac raps. I love the use of "The General" in reference to Brad Stevens and "Mr. Too Big" for G-Time (I'm expecting a collaboration once this whole dance is done). Can we talk about this "Jukes" chant toward the end though? A low point in what could've otherwise been a Top 10 SMAC RAP hit.
TMM:We're actually out of time. Just trying to cut it off before we have to vamp with a "Jukes" chant. Thanks to Eric, Mike and Sarah for participating!