The Game and Snoop Dogg release the video for 'Purp & Yellow' remix
Basketball and rap music have been intertwined since the days of Kurtis Blow. As the shibboleth goes: Rappers want to be ballers, ballers want to be rappers, and occasionally, Shaquille O' Neal accomplishes both. Then again, it helps when you can get the Notorious B.I.G. on a track (or a vintage Jay-Z verse or beats and rhymes courtesy of Mobb Deep).
It's probably for the best that Matt Barnes, Shannon Brown and Ron Artest steer clear of the mike in the video for "Purp & Yellow," Game and Snoop Dogg's interpretation of Wiz Khalifa's ode to the colors of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Penguins and Pirates. With the second half of the season starting Tuesday, the erratic Lakers need all the encouragement they can get, considering the Eastern Conference is the deepest it's been since O' Neal was in Orlando.
Beyond an infectious Stargate beat, the genius of Khalifa's song is that it's essentially open-source, paving the way for remixes by rapper fans of the San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers and the Northwestern Wildcats (courtesy of the great Chet Haze). Khalifa and Snoop have been collaborating of late, so the remix has a natural feel to it (also, because Wiz is inevitably massively influenced by Snoop). But Jayceon Taylor drops a scene-stealing verse, rapping in tricky double-time signatures and continuing a recent hot streak.
As for the remix itself, it suffers partially from the problems that plague most rock band reworkings of rap songs. Rather than search for the funk or soul of a beat, DJ Skee's Skeetox band piles up car crash guitar solos and hard drums -- giving it an almost rap-rock aesthetic.
But fans of the Laker show will be hard-pressed not to find this at least slightly endearing. If nothing else, it will be something to play at Staples come playoff time to give everyone a break from "I Love L.A." Let's just hope that Kobe doesn't decide to hop on the next remix.
-- Jeff Weiss