If you’ve watched the NFL this season then you’ve probably seen the advertisements for the Pepsi NFL Anthems. If you’re unfamiliar — and chances are you’ve passed on listening to these seven “songs” — the NFL and Pepsi worked with seven platinum-selling artists to create seven “anthems” for the artist’s favorite team. But don’t worry, I took the time to listen to all seven tracks so I could rank them from worst to first. If you wanna give the tracks a listen for yourself, you can find them all here.
7. Wiz Khalifa, “Black & Yellow (Steeler Nation Remix)” – As if this song wasn’t old and repititive to begin with, Wiz puts out a shoddy, electronic-influcenced remix of it. Making matters even worse: HE DIDN’T CHANGE THE LYRICS! I realize he repeats the team (and city) colors over-and-over again, but no new mention of the Steelers? Take it from me, the photoshoot video with Wiz and Lamarr Woodley is worth more of your time more than this song.
6. Travie McCoy, “All In” (New York Giants) – Hundreds of songs have been written about New York, but this has to be one of the worst. If you’re out of ipecac and need to induce vomiting, I would suggest this track.
5. Kid Rock, “In Detroit” – Kid Rock rips off Bob Segar again. Go figure. The organ solo in the bridge was a pleasant surprise, however.
4. Ice Cube, “Come and Get It” (Oakland Raiders) – Like many young and impressionable suburban white males born in the 80s, Ice Cube circa ’87-’95 is one of my biggest heroes. It hurts that Cube makes children’s movies and feuds with cold beer bottles, but it hurts even more when he raps over weak-ass beats like this one. The only redeeming quality of this track is Ice Cube’s knowledge of the Raiders and the franchise’s history; Cube name-drops players and coaches from every decade. Plus, what other rap song is going to name-drop Art Shell?
(Also, Ice Cube’s senior photo never gets old.)
3. Aerosmith, “Legendary Child – Patriots Anthem” – Aerosmith originally recorded this track during the sessions for their mega-selling 1991 album Get a Grip. Steven Tyler changes the lyrics around to match a New England Patiots theme but it’s Joe Perry that makes this track worthy of repeat listening. Perry’s solo and guitar work on the second half of the song sounds like vintage Joe Perry.
2. Kelly Clarkson, “Get Up (A Cowboys Anthem)” – I gotta give Kelly Clarkson credit: I’m not a big fan of her music, but this song is catchy as hell and it actually seems like she gave a shit when making it. The beat is lively and the hook is catchy and I’m astonished to write that Kelly Clarkson actually made a decent and listenable song about football.
1. Lenny Kravitz, “Like a Jet” (New York Jets) – The Jets had a forgettable season, but this Lenny Kravitz jam isn’t half bad. Lenny keeps it simple and uses his guitar and his voice to soar over a simple hi-hat/snare beat to make an arena-rock jam that sounds like an actual Lenny song. Hopefully Lenny keeps making music like this instead of focusing on the Hunger Games movies.