On Tuesday, Ole Miss Sports dot com released the 40-something baseball walkout songs that the players have chosen as their theme music of sorts. I, being someone who listens to music, have offered my praise and criticism for 20 of these walk out songs. This is a completely scientific and not-at-all controversial endeavor.
First, the top ten:
- Colby Bortles: "Shake It Off" by Taylor Swift
I love T-Swift. I'll fight you if you disagree, and Blake Bortles' brother will be in my corner.
- Cameron Dishon: "Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars
I also like Bruno Mars. Right now you're thinking "geeze, Ghost, I didn't realize you were such a pop music fan." Well, I'm not, per se, but Bruno Mars is pretty talented and has released some pretty good stuff. He's kinda like a funkier, less eccentric Prince, which means he might not have the staying power of someone like, say, Prince, but he's not an artist that music fans should feel embarrassed to enjoy. Also, Uptown Funk is catchy as hell and mentions Jackson, which is neat.
- Connor Cloyd: "Keep Their Heads Ringin'" by Dr. Dre
Dr. Dre pre-Chronic 2001 produced some of the best rap ever. Hell, it's tough to make a case against the first Chronic as one of the best rap albums of all time. "Keep Their Heads Ringin'" isn't from that album, but it's well before Chronic 2001 (it was on the 1995 soundtrack to "Friday") so it's all good in my book. I like the violent, slower, funk-heavy West Coast rap of the late 80's and early 90's, of which this song is one of the later prominent examples. It's a cool walkout. Nice choice, Connor.
- John Wesley Ray: "Black Skinhead" by Kanye West
Oh shit! Yeezus! So I know people hate Kanye West because he's an asshole who stands up people at awards ceremonies and called out George W. Bush during a Katrina fundraiser, but I don't give a damn about any of that. Hell, it almost makes me like him more. I like bravado in my rap, and I like it when rappers display a little bravado in real life. "Black Skinhead," aside from having an absolutely powerful and almost intimidating beat, is directed squarely at West's detractors. Consider this:
Baby we living in the moment
I've been a menace for the longest
But I ain't finished, I'm devoted
And you know it, and you know it
Basically, he's saying "I know you hate me, and I don't give a shit." That's a good attitude for a baseball team.
- Austin Knight: "No Diggity by Blackstreet" ft. Dr. Dre, Queen Pen
The 1990's was the golden age of R&B. We all know this. "No Diggity" was one of the most ass-shakinest song to emerge from that decade. It was so 1990's R&B that Lil' Penny made an appearance in the music video! If that means something to you, then you're probably not a current Ole Miss student.
- Sikes Orvis: "Pour Some Sugar on Me" by Def Leppard
So I'm torn on 80's hair metal. A lot of it is almost like a parody of the genre, as if bands were trying to outdo each other with each subsequent single. That said, if you're going to walk out to one, and if you're Sikes "Big Bad Beacon" Orvis, you can't do much better than Def Leppard. It was also his walkout music last year, so he's clearly dancin' with the one that brung him.
- Kyle Watson: "Cum On Feel The Noize" by Quiet Riot
Hilarious intentional misspellings aside, this is probably a better choice than Sikes', but I don't know who this Kyle Watson guy is. He doesn't excite us like our favorite once-mustachioed, #WHISKEYANDMEAT consuming first baseman, so he doesn't get the benefit of the doubt. Still, good choice, Kyle.
- Drake Robison: "You Shook Me All Night Long" by AC/DC
AC/DC is one of those bands that people like and I'm like "why?" Everybody digs a few AC/DC songs, but is anybody really a fan of theirs, as in do people get geeked about AC/DC albums and concerts? "Yes," you say?! How? Well, whatever, this song's alright.
- Will Stokes: "Summer of 69" by Bryan Adams
This song is not literally about June, July, and August of 1969. It's about Bryan Adams having sex. It's weird because he's Canadian. But it's a catchy tune that always reminds me of Ole Miss baseball (the other is "Your Love" by The Outfield) because it's usually played while the grounds crew does their thing just before first pitch.
- Errol Robinson: "Here I Go" by Mystikal
I like the choice, Errol, but if you're going to go with Mystikal, you've gotta go with "Shake ya Ass." You're such a fan favorite that even little blue-haired ladies will twerk in the grandstands if you (politely) asked them to.
Now, the bottom ten. I did not take into consideration that it's very likely that many of these songs, which are for freshmen, were not chosen by the baseballers themselves. The upperclassmen on the Ole Miss baseball team have been known to choose walkout music for the freshmen, which explains why Tim Ferguson would dare walk out to "Fergalicious" in 2008.
Those shenanigans aren't of my concern in the creation of these rankings. I'm judging these songs based on a few very important criteria, namely whether or not I like the song and whether or not I would find it entertaining or even appropriate when played over the PA system at Oxford-University Stadium. The following ten songs hit on both of those points in varying degrees, as well as are disliked by yours truly for largely inexplicably arbitrary reasons.
- Henri Lartigue: "I Feel Good" by James Brown
More like "I Don't Feel Good," amirite? This song is towards the top of the "songs way overplayed at sports venues" list, and if this Lartigue guy become a solid catcher then we'll have to put up with it a lot at Swayze.
- Blake Bennett: "Danger Zone" by Kenny Loggins
Pretty much everything I just said about James Brown's "I Feel Good," but worse.
- Sam Smith: "Louisiana Saturday Night" by Benjy Davis Project
If Sam Smith actually picked a Sam Smith song, he'd get points for inappropriately filling Oxford-University Stadium with the dulcet, velvety tones of the finest R&B singer England has to offer. Instead, he picked a cliched band known more for eliciting drunken "whoooooooos" at Ole Miss fraternity parties than actually making good music.
- Sean Johnson: "Burning Love" by Elvis Presley
If you're picking an Elvis song, you pick American Trilogy and you somehow figure out a way to have the whole damn thing played before you step into the batter's box.
- Will Golsan: "Without Me" by Eminem
Eminem is a terribly overrated rapper. That isn't to say he isn't good, because he is. He's lyrically proficient and diverse in his subject matter. Everything from government criticism to suicide to "workin' at Burger King/Spittin' on your Onion Rings" are covered by his songs. But he's far from the greatest rapper of all time, a distinction often heaped onto him by his incredibly obnoxious fanboys (who, rather appropriately, are all angsty, white, teenage boys). This bothers me a lot, for some reason.
- Holt Perdzock: "The Joker" by Steve Miller Band
I remember when I was 17 and thought Steve Miller Band was cool.
- Josh Watkins: "Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynyrd Skynyrd
Ole Miss is the University of Mississippi. It's located in Oxford, Mississippi. You don't play that song at Ole Miss.
- Tate Blackman: "Return of the Mack" by Mark Morrison
Tate Blackman will start at second base for a top-25 SEC baseball team. He has been pegged by D1 Baseball as the preseason SEC Freshman of the Year. He is considered to be one of the top high school baseballers of his class. And yet even he must walk out to some upbeat, obnoxious gibberish.
- Nic Perkins: "Blow" by Ke$ha
You couldn't pick the one good verse of the one good Ke$ha song?
- Moises Castro: "Gasolina" by Daddy Yankee
This is hazing, right? Like, racist hazing? Making a guy named "Moises Castro" come out to a damn reggaeton song? Seriously?
Not finding a spot on either list was a song that deserves a mention if only for it's originality, and that'd be Scott Weathersby's walkout tune of "Ole Miss Rebels (Christian Rap Original Mix)" by K Zoe. I have no idea who K Zoe is, and I think Christian Rap is a genre that probably shouldn't exist, so I can't imagine this being a good song at all, but I'm sure someone put a lot of hard work into it and it gets a nod for the dedication to the Rebs.
That said, there's only one Ole Miss-themed rap song that's ever appropriate in any context ever: