Exclusive: Cardiff City strikers team up to release rap record
Cardiff City strikers Jay Bothroyd and Michael Chopra enjoy a telepathic understanding on the pitch and a deadly eye for goal, between them boasting over 100 strikes for the Bluebirds. Now they are teaming up off the pitch to release an album with a twist. We caught up with Jay to talk through the decision.
Footballers have long been trying their hand at rapping. John Barnes made a famous contribution to New Order’s England 1990 World Cup song World In Motion, while the efforts of then Manchester United striker Andy Cole are more likely to go down in infamy. Former Liverpool forward Ryan Babel also steps up to the mic on occasion. So who was the inspiration for this unlikely recording?
“To be honest”, says Bothroyd, “we were going for more of a cross between Jay-Z, 50 Cent and Goldie Lookin’ Chain. Those are our influences. Mainly Goldie Lookin’ Chain, obviously.”
Chopra was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press, as he was rolling around Pontypridd with his windows down and his sound system up – a ritual he performs every Friday morning before training much to Bothroyd’s amusement.
“Yeah, you can always tell when Chops arrives for training. You can hear the sound from miles around. To start with, you think it’s Whitts (Peter Whittingham), but when he gets closer, you can tell who it is. Whitts always listens to some kind of classical music anyway. Besides, everyone knows Chopra hates opera…”
Hmm. So what finally persuaded the pair to get into the recording studio?
“It was a gradual progression”, says Bothroyd. “To start with, we’d just lay down some lyrics. Literally. We used to leave them in the dressing room to see what the lads thought. We had to stop doing that though when Chops wrote a line about a wack DJ and the gaffer (Dave Jones) went mental.”
Jones doesn’t seem like the type of man to listen to hip-hop. So is he welcoming of this new career move? Bothroyd laughs loudly.
“The gaffer would prefer that we concentrate on our football, but all we can think about is playing at Wembley… supporting Kanye, obviously.”
And what about that other manager – England boss Fabio Capello? He is known for his strict disciplinarian regime, so surely he can’t be in favour of a hip-hop side project after giving Bothroyd his first international cap recently?
“On the contrary… he’s got a guest spot on the record.”
Bothroyd fixes The Seventy Two with a serious stare.
“Straight up. F-Cap. He was big in Milan but hasn’t had a chance to spit his rhymes over here, what with being quite busy with his football and stuff. But he’s a big hip-hop fan and he can’t wait to get the chance to record more now that he’s learning the language. His skits on our record are pretty basic. Mainly just says “hello” and “he was good” over and over again, but we’re delighted to have him on board. He’s a huge name and he’ll help to sell the album in Italy.”
This is all becoming a bit far-fetched now, The Seventy Two wonders to itself.
“Yeah but… why would anyone go to the trouble of making this up?”
Bothroyd has a point.
“Plus, it’s not like it’s April Fool’s Day or anything?”
“The Blue Album” is released by Jay-B and MC Hopra soon.
- The Ballad of David Marshall Mathers
- McNaughton but a G Thang
- Walk This Rae (feat. Jam Master Jay Emmanuel Thomas)
- Gabor Freak On
- How I Could Just Keinan
- Burke It
- Rock the Bellers
- 3 MC’s and one Dave Jones
- Darcy Blake That (and that’s the way it is)
- Bonus track – Wannabe (Olofinjana be my lover, you gotta get with my friends…)