It’s important that you know that the two things I love most in this world are Baylor football and hip-hop music. I have been a fan of both for my entire natural born life, and was simply not born with the skill or knowledge to actively participate in either. One thing I can do, however, is dip the pen and try to connect the dots between the two. I don’t claim to be an expert in either of these arenas, but I’ll do my best to show them both love and share a piece of my heart with y’all in the meantime.
Over the next few weeks, we are going to take a retroactive look at some of the most memorable Baylor games of the last decade-or-so and I’m going to tell you what song they remind me of. No more and no less.
Our inaugural journey will take a look at two of the best to ever do it in their own respective fields. The 2011 Baylor vs. TCU game and Jay-Z’s “Public Service Announcement” are going to get this party started.
For those of you who may be unfamiliar with one or both of these masterpieces, I have provided a few links to refresh your memory:
Baylor vs. TCU 2011
Public Service Announcement - Jay-Z
The 2011 season opener against TCU is widely viewed by Baylor fans as the springboard that launched Baylor into national relevance. TCU was coming off of an undefeated season capped off with a victory over a loaded Wisconsin team in the Rose Bowl. Conversely, Baylor’s 2010 season was pretty unremarkable. By that I mean RG3 balled the hell out against a Texas team in Austin for our first win there in a trillion years and then we ended the year on a 4 game skid. Expectations were relatively low for the Bears in 2011 - we had just gotten our first bowl berth since 1994, and if we could lock in another one by season’s end, the year would be a success. But, we finally had a fully healthy quarterback who could do things that no signal caller in Baylor history could do.
Fast forward to September 2, 2011 - TCU comes into town expecting to continue their winning streak over the boys on the Brazos, having won 3-straight since re-starting the rivalry in 2006. Regretfully, Rob and the boys had different plans in mind.
“Public Service Announcement” is the 10th song on Jay-Z’s Black Album. At the time expected to be Jay Z’s last album before retirement, the album debuted at #1 on the US Billboard 200 chart. It was Jay-Z’s 6th studio album to hit #1 and also gave us hits like “Encore,” “Dirt Off Ya Shoulder,” and “99 Problems.” I won’t pretend to be a voice that carries any weight in a conversation about rap music- that’s not my lane, but what I will say is this album kicks ass and I love it a whole lot.
Public Service announcement opens up with Just Blaze, the song’s producer speaking over the piano line “Fellow Americans, it is with the utmost pride and sincerity that I present this recording as a living testament and recollection of history in the making during our generation” This prelude is immediately followed by Jay-Z coming in with an all-time lyric “Allow me to reintroduce myself, my name is HOV.”
Please stop reading right now, queue that up, and I dare you to come back here and let me know you didn’t feel something stir deep within the caverns of your soul.
Later in the first verse, HOV blesses us with another gem of wisdom where he simultaneously reminds us that he didn’t get here by accident and also lets us know that he is ready for war at the drop of a hat with the line “Fresh out the frying pan and into the fire, I be the music biz number 1 supplier.”
Jay-Z closes this one out with the line “Only God can judge me, so I’m gone. Either love me or leave me alone.” Similarly, Aaron Jones and company didn’t give a damn about a 24 point blown lead- they were going to walk out winners one way or another that night.
Don’t get me wrong, Jay-Z spent the last half of the 1990’s laying the foundation of arguably the greatest rap career in recorded human history. Baylor, uh, did not do anything close to that during the dark days of Chuck Reedy, Dave Roberts, and noted tone-setter Kevin Steele. Jay-Z is currently, right this moment, on a streak of eleven (11) consecutive solo studio albums to hit #1 on American charts. Not only is he considered by peers and critics alike as a consensus pick for the Mount Rushmore of Rap, he is also married to the most talented woman (or artist for that matter) in the entire discovered or undiscovered reaches of the universe, Beyoncé.
Allow us to reintroduce ourselves.
Jay Z’s atomic bomb of a start on PSA is mirrored by Baylor throwing a double pass on the 6th play of the game. Future 1st-round draft pick - and Baylor’s reigning career receiving yards leader - Kendall Wright threw the damn hell out of the ball to fellow Baylor legend Terrance Williams for a 40 yard touchdown. From that moment we were off and running on what would be the winningest decade of Baylor football in history.
Fresh out the frying pan and into the fire.
Three hours, 88 total points, and a blown 24-point lead later, Baylor had the ball at 3rd and 10 on their own 20-yard line. Baylor was down 1 and had exactly 4 minutes to clean up the mess they had made. Baylor has its most talented quarterback in about 4000 years, so naturally we throw a lateral to aforementioned Baylor legend Kendall Wright and send RG3’s ass right up the middle as a de-facto receiver. He catches the ball and immediately gets lit the hell up by about 4 defenders but comes down with the ball and the first down. That play is the ballsiest play I have seen in my entire life and I’m not sure we have a close second out of Waco. Baylor didn’t put up 47 points in 3 quarters on one of the best defenses in the country on accident and wasn’t about to let whatever a horned frog is keep them from closing out the biggest win in a decade at Floyd Casey.
Only God can judge me, so I’m gone. Either love me or leave me alone
One methodical drive later, Baylor legend Aaron “The Stork” Jones hit a smooth one right through the uprights and put the Bears up by one with 1:04 left in the game. After a disastrous 4th quarter on defense, there were about 3 people in the stadium who had faith that we could keep TCU from moving the ball down the field and walking off a winner in Waco. Luckily for everyone, one of those three believers was Waco-born legend Mike Hicks at the safety position. After moving the ball into Baylor territory with under 30 seconds left, the horned frogs were one 1st down completion away from making out like bandits in a game that they had no business winning.
Casey Pachall dropped back with 12 seconds left, promptly threw the lamest duck you have seen in your entire life, and Hicks let that puppy hit him right in the gut. One RG3 knee later, and your beloved Baylor Bears were winners against TCU for the first time since the 1995 season.
While Baylor didn’t walk into Floyd Casey that night on a trajectory anything close to the career of one Shawn Carter, they went home that night after leaving the rest of the country with a Public Service Announcement: Rob and the gang are going to drop about 50 of them things on your head and there just isn’t much you can do to slow them down.