Some Washington Redskins fans dress up in women's clothes. They paint their faces, put on hog snouts and feathers, or do living-room renditions of corny end zone dances.
Chris Paul, sidekick on WPGC-FM's "Donnie Simpson Morning Show," is a fan. But he also considers himself an artist. An MC. A funky Redskins microphone controller. And every week during football season for the past six years, he's shared his flow with the world.
Detroit you suck
Now Tampa Bay is up
You're Dead Bucs
That's the hook to his latest offering, "Dead Bucs," matched beat for beat, syllable for syllable with the current single "Dead Wrong" by the late Notorious B.I.G.--Paul's 17th song this season. (For anyone who's got the nerve not to be a fan, the Redskins play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers today.)
With sophisticated production set to popular hip-hop favorites, Paul's songs usually debut during the morning show the Wednesday or Thursday after a game, and recap the drama--booing the scrubs, cheering the heroes and talking big trash. "The Wack, Wack Jets," a takeoff on Will Smith's "The Wild, Wild West," debuted after the Redskins beat the Giants and fans were hungry for the New York Jets. A week later, it was this little ditty set to "Rosa Parks," by OutKast:
When Kenard Lang rocks um to the pocket
He's scarin' QBs like that 'Blair Witch Project' . . .
The Carolina Panthers are a bunch of no-names
And they have no chance to get the Redskins in a home game
If Norv Turner was a pharmacist, then guess what?
He would prescribe them 50 milligrams of [butt] whup
"Every week you're listening for the next one," says Redskins running back Brian Mitchell. "We play a game on Sunday, and boom, he has a song." Because the songs mention specific plays and players, Mitchell says he and his teammates listen for their names during morning workouts in the weight room.
Fans are listening just as hard.
Tonia Jewell Vines, an assistant manager with Cellular One in Greenbelt, says her dad "raised her in the stadium." On Tuesday, after "Dead Bucs" dropped, she called the station to gush. Vines says fans are feeling the songs' team spirit and streetwise analysis. "For instance, he did 'Hard Knock Loss' off of [Jay-Z's] 'Hard Knock Life,' " Vines says. "He still comes up with things to say even when they lose."
It's a hard knock loss for us
It's a hard knock loss for us
'Stead of whoopin
We got whipped
'Stead of kickin
We got kicked
It's a hard knock loss
It's been a loopy season for the Skins. They're up, they're down. They have a food stamp's chance in Dan Snyder's wallet of making the playoffs, then--bam!--they're in. Now it's Round 2, and going to the Super Bowl is starting to take shape like some maroon-and-gold oasis in a seven-year desert.
It makes doing the songs a lot more fun for Paul. When "We had really bad losing years, I bailed out after the first six songs," he says. "It's ridiculous to say we're going to kick your [butt] and we get crushed."
The songs are heavily produced, which gives them an uncanny similarity to the originals. Hooks and verses are layered and often feature guest MCs like station personalities "Snoop Donnie Don" Simpson. And producer Tony Blaze might reach into his bag of tricks and pull out a video like "Money Talks" for a Chris Tucker "I will beat your [butt]" riff or "Shaolin Death Squad" for some kung-fu effects.
"A lot of times you're fooled. You never know if it's the real song or the Chris song," says Jamal Terry, an analyst for an Alexandria pharmaceutical company. "Then you listen to it, and it's like, okay, here we go. It gets you hyped for the game."
It is 4:02 p.m. on Tuesday at WPGC's Greenbelt studio and Paul is at the mike layering one of his "Dead Bucs" verses. "I want to throw a little laugh in there," he says to Blaze, "a little light, airy, Puff Daddy semi-feminine laugh."
When we hit Tampa, we'll serve those suckers up like Sampras
[Insert Puffy track here]
So Tre don't be given the ref a smack
Ditto: What were you thinkin' big guy, huh?
This week's song was "hard to do," says Paul, "but it was a good one to do because last week was so hot."
"Dead Wrong" won out over "Hot Boys," or "Back That [Thing] Up," Paul says, because "now doubters are starting to believe in the Redskins, so I was like, wow, we really got to come hard this week. That's why I didn't want to do a fluffy party song. I wanted to do something hard-core, dark. This week the Redskins are about serious business, serious work. I needed a track that echoed that."
After 17 songs, it's getting a little tight on a brother.
Paul has never had to reach this deep into his lyrical well, and says he's running out of hip-hop tunes to jack.
Still, he adds, "As much as a challenge as it is for them to go out there, if they keep winning, I'll keep making songs."
And if the unspeakable happens and they, well, you know, lose?
Ain't going to happen, Paul says.
But if they do?
Then, "I'm going to get busy on my Michael Jordan welcome-to-the-Wizards song."
CAPTION: Deejay and Skins fan Chris Paul, putting his music where his mouth is.
CAPTION: WPGC-FM's Chris Paul roots for the Skins with his "Dead Bucs" rap.