Nelly f John Tesh & The Lincoln University Ensemble Choir - Heart Of A Champion
I’m not good at running. When I run it looks like my muscles, bones and joints are participating in a jail break going in ten separate directions. I’m moderately aware of how ridiculous I look, but while running I always have my iPod in tow. This means I’m too busy in my world of pretend Rocky montages to notice how I’m scaring and scarring passers-by.
Often I’ll shout out lyrics and make nonsensical gestures during these jaunts. When I’m on my treadmill there’s rarely a session that doesn’t include me shouting out Cam’ron lyrics and gesturing in a manner that I consider to be menacing.
Scene From An Average Run
Me: “I’m on the westside of Chicago, lookin’ for a bust down/And make me put my two arms up, Touchdown!”
(I pop the front of my sweat soaked Bruce Springsteen shirt. Contemplate throwing up. Elect not to throw up. Spits more lyrics while determining the day’s future masturbation plans)
My iPod “Run” playlist is just as uncool as I am. And the lamest track on the playlist is Nelly’s “Heart Of A Champion”, which I’ve posted on this blog as a public service.
I hated Nelly growing up. I just completely despised him. Admittedly, this makes it sound like I was viciously attacked by a man wearing a fashion Band-Aid as a kid, but that’s not the case. The real reason is much more dull: Nelly was everywhere. He was inescapable. I was smothered by his offensively inoffensive doofus-rap. Even worse, he brought his anti-talent pals along for the ride. Sherman Hemsley should be cameo-ing in better videos, damn it!
My Nelly hate dissolved in 2004 as his star began to fade. I liked the lead single off Sweat (the Neptunes-assisted ode to leg spreading, “Flap Your Wings”) and I went absolutely buckwild for “Heart Of A Champion”. “Heart Of A Champion” is built around a sample John Tesh’s NBA On NBC theme. Unnecessary pomp is layered on (the horns are turned up, a choir is brought in, Nelly hyperventilates through the quiet bits) while ol’ bandage-face racks his brain for sports-related puns. Occasionally there are sound effects of Nelly pretending to lift weights. I should remind you that this is a man that runs multiple million dollar business ventures. Tremendous.
I hope to see a day when John Tesh’s “Barcelona” gets sampled for something I can run awkwardly to. Get on it, music industry.
It’s an inelegant eulogy, but Malcolm McLaren’s legacy is that he fucked shit up. In a good way. He was a great fucking-shit-upper. He also wrote and put out some good tracks, assembled some good bands, created some interesting film and fashion and had funny looking hair in the process. It’s a cool legacy to have, really.
I’m not sure if we ever sorted out whether or not this song is about a venereal disease, but if it is, this an incredible cover of a very good song about STI/STD complications. Otherwise, it’s only an incredible cover of a very good song about the death of a relationship. You can’t lose with either option, really.