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Believe the Hype! Olympians Say Hip Hop Prepares Them to Go for the Gold

Rocky had "Eye of the Tiger." Hell, even Popeye had the spinach theme song. You know, the one song that is needed before one competes. The one that makes you go a few extra miles on the treadmill. The one that gets you focused and ready to take on all comers. What is it?  The "hype" song, of course. From "The Star Spangled Banner" to "Chariots of Fire," the hype song has been around about as long as the Olympiad. However, now that golden boy swimmer Michael Phelps revealed last week that Lil Wayne's "I'm Me" stays on repeat as he prepares for his events (and then went on to win eight. gold. medals!), it's been proven that most athletes would rather sway to hip hop's swagger than carry around a patriotic torch song. 

On Monday, NBC's Today Show conducted an informal "iPod investigation," polling the athletes in Beijing to see what rocks in their ears as they prepare for competition. When you think about it, the results aren't that surprising. Phelps, in addition to Weezy, claimed Def Jam artists Jay-Z and Young Jeezy as inspiration, while Jamaican sprinter Dwight Thomas seconded Lil Wayne as his voice of choice. True, some competitors claimed Beyoncé, and even Garth Brooks and Shania Twain as their fuel. Those seem to be the exceptions to the rule, though, as hip hop has always served as an accelerator, with the booming bass and braggadocious banter causing people from the streets to track meets to feel invincible. For me, it's always been about two songs: Freeway's "What We Do" for when I'm driving (the beat is sick!) and Naughty by Nature's "Uptown Anthem" (hello? Harlem!) for when I'm about to go play ball. Put either of those on, and I'm mean-muggin' and ready to go!
 
What about you?  What's the one song that gets you ready to rumble?  What's your "hype" song?

More Olympians Say Rap Music Helps Them Compete [HHDX]


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16 Responses

  1. When I imagine myself sprinting for the gold, I always have Jay-Z's "Show Me What You Got" on repeat. Like Colt 45, it works everytime.

  2. I wouldn't consider Jeezy hip hop.He nothing but a cocaine rapper.

  3. Avatar

    T.I. "Motivation"
    Jay-Z "U Don't Know"
    Youngbloodz "Damn

  4. definitely prince's "baby i'm a star"
    one time i got so amped offa the song before a presentation, i actually came in and forgot my intro!
    honorable mentions:
    james brown- get up, get into it, get involved
    groove theory- keep tryin'

  5. Ditto on Freeway, love him.
    The songs that get me hype are:
    DMX "Who we Be"
    Biggie "Unbelievable"
    Busta "Woo Hah" and on that note Tribe's "O My God"
    Fabolous "Breathe"
    And Since I am from the Dirty....Pastor Troy "No More Playing GA"

  6. Lately American Gangster soundtrack! It has me hype as hell. Also Rick Ross Hustlin, Outkast -Royal Flush, Camaron Down and Out. That is just off the top of my head.
    I have noticed the worldwide impact of hip hop throughout the olympics- High Fives, b boy stances, fist bumps, and etc.

  7. Beyonce's B'Day fuels me up throughout the whole day without fail. That's my absolute favorite album. Ever.
    *gets ready for the tomatoes that will be thrown in my general direction*

  8. There's something about the angst in PE's "Bring The Noise" that gets me pumped every time. Especially when Chuck D goes, "Get from in front of me, the crowd runs to me...

  9. Nas "Made You Look"
    Eric B & Rakim "Don't Sweat The Technique

  10. Cee-Lo "Under the Influence(Follow Me)"

  11. I love the momentum that builds in Nas' One Mic, also Kweli-Get By & Hot Thing, and I also love Common- Go!

  12. for me its "champion" by Kanye
    if I'm doing a party? "Get me bodied" always hypes me up
    When I did my first dj gig it was Eminem "Lose Youself"...and I killed lol

  13. Hmm...hip hop hype songs? I have alot of songs but I'll pick the first few that pop up in my playlist.
    Who You Wit? - Jay-Z (Something about the beat on this just gets me dancing)
    Just to Get A Rep - Gang Starr
    The Choice Is Yours - Black Sheep
    This Is It (Luchini) - Camp Lo
    Money, Cash, H--s - Jay-Z
    Hate Me Now - Nas
    What?!! I really don't like these new cats in Hip Hop, lol.

  14. "Mama Said Knock You Out" LL Cool J
    "Shook Ones" Mobb Deep
    "Ready Or Not" Fugees

  15. IN this order, mp3 playlist before kickboxing:
    "Hate on Me" Jill Scott
    "Here Comes The Fuzz" Mark Ronson/Jack White/Freeway/Nikka Costa
    "Mama Said Knock You Out" LL Cool J
    "Fight The Power" Public Enemy...
    "Golden" Jill Scott for cool-down

  16. As I am always the chick who has left-field suggestions for such things, I'm gonna shout out De La's "Stakes Is High", Basement Jaxx ft Meshell "Right Here's The Spot", and just about anything from Janet Jackson's "Velvet Rope" album for my hypeness. Can't listen to any of that while I'm driving or a ticket may be imminent. LOL



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