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    Tuesday, August 15, 2017

    #ThemeSongTuesday: Bring the Swag

    It's about damn time we got the Street Profits on NXT, and it's about damn time we got to hear their theme song in full.

    I've been waiting to hear their theme in its entirety since their vignettes started airing on NXT, and the hype has been worth it—at least on the theme song front.

    "Bring the Swag" is the official title of the Street Profits' theme, and based on the Ear Test—defined for this column as "on the first listen"—the song evokes the swag that Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford want you to feel from them even before the beat drops.

    The rapper on this track is J-Frost, a battle rapper from Mesa, Arizona, who actually has a page where his stats—I didn't know they tracked those for battle rappers—are kept. The easiest knock against J-Frost is that he obviously sounds white. In fact, he sounds whiter than guys like Lil Dicky, Macklemore, Machine Gun Kelly, and Mac Miller. Not that white rappers can't get the job done—my favorite rapper of all-time is Eminem and I'm a huge Macklemore fan, too—but the theme wouldn't have sounded whiny instead of swaggy if CFO$ got a black rapper instead. To J-Frost's credit, he actually has decent flow. The rhymes go together well enough not to sound forced. You might even say J-Frost raps like a poor man's Ludacris and I wouldn't disagree.

    As for the lyrics, let me just say HALLELUJAH THERE IS ACTUALLY A SECOND VERSE.

    Not that it's such a game changer. Each verse only has eight lines, which means he only went through four bars per verse. Looks like Mr. Frost is a graduate of the Damian Lillard School of Rap. (#4BarFriday)

    On its own, the beat is something I actually dig because it doesn't sound generic. Sure, you can get that there's an urban feel to the beat—and that it's something you might even hear on Wave 89.1. But it is a breath of fresh air compared to majority of wrestling themes today, which are rooted in rock. I like how it builds up to the important parts of the song, like the hook, or when the verse actually starts. That's a crucial element in entrance themes because it's an additional part of the song that a talent can play around with when he/she actually puts his/her entrance together.

    The beat takes a life of its own during the verses, making me imagine a tick hopping from point A to point B, avoiding capture, with the way it speeds up the song with the help of the vocals. As for the hook, you have to give CFO$ a bit of credit for trying to jazz it up with the use of horns. But as we've been accustomed to, they didn't go all out and instead opted for the synth horns, which keeps this theme from entering the territory that a song like "The Rising Sun" occupies.

    Thankfully, "Bring the Swag" brings enough... well... swag that you want to bring out the red plastic cups. You want to rock your gold chain and your shades. And much like Chef Curry and Angelo Dawkins, you want to stir the pot because we about to start cookin'!

    Now, I get the opinion of our NXT reviewer, Jocs Boncodin, towards the Street Profits' gimmick. I understand that it could very well be part of what perpetuates certain stereotypes about African-American people. I also think that it's very well possible that such a gimmick is something the men behind the Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford characters actually envision for themselves in the ring. And if that's the case, then God bless them, I'm all for it. I think it's a fun gimmick, they've got a great theme that gets me pumped to see them, and I'm excited to see how far they can take this over at NXT. The Street Profits are slowly building their hype train as they continue to keep it 100. I'm in.

    Photo from WWE


    Stan Sy (@_StanSyis the Editor at Large of Smark Henry, and is also a radio broadcaster, events host, a freelance writer, and one of the hosts of the Smark Gilas-Pilipinas Podcast. He also used to be one of the hosts and writers of The Wrestling Gods on FOX. He enjoys watching WWE, NXT, Lucha Underground, and the occasional New Japan match. You can also catch him every month attempting to keep order in a fancy suit as PWR's General Manager.
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    Item Reviewed: #ThemeSongTuesday: Bring the Swag Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Stan Sy
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