Raiders Even The Video Score With A Rap That Raps Their Foes

Posted: September 20, 1986

LOS ANGELES — In football, a "rap" has long been known as a strong defensive weapon, a blow to the side of the helmet to let the opponent know you're there and thinking of him.

Los Angeles Raiders defensive back Lester Hayes is a master rapper, perhaps the player most feared by scampering wide receivers throughout the league. But these days Hayes is doing a different rap - to music.

Hayes is just one of 26 Raiders who rap, rock and dance in "The Silver/ Black Attack," a record and video. On the football field the rap may be a defensive tool, but in the studio these guys made the rap truly offensive.

Here's a sample, from Hayes himself:

I play the corner and I play it great

How do I do it, I intimidate;

When those receivers come off the line,

I greet them in a way that's uniquely mine;

When Lester's on 'em, the receivers say,

Don't let them throw the ball my way;

We wear the silver, we wear the black,

We never retreat, we always attack.

It's the Raiders' answer to the Chicago Bears' "Super Bowl Shuffle," that little piece of twist and shout that provided a sound track to the Bears' championship drive. Not incidentally, the song was a big seller.

When the Bears released "Super Bowl Shuffle" halfway through last season, many football fans, writers and even players viewed it as arrogant and cocky. Some were even outraged by the video and hoped that Jim McMahon, William Perry and company would end up eating their words.

What they really did was to start a hot trend in sports. Last month the New York Mets premiered their "Let's Go Mets" video before a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Those same Dodgers, although not enjoying the success of the Mets or Bears, have done their own song and video, "Baseball Boogie."

Never to be outdone, or even matched, the Raiders released their song and dance before the regular season begins. But then, Al Davis' team had cornered the market on cockiness long before most of the Bears were old enough to shuffle.

As running back Marcus Allen put it, "We're just doing what the Bears did, only (they did it) sooner. We don't have to wait and see how we'll do. We know we're good. Besides, our video is better than the Bears.' "

"The Silver/Black Attack" was previewed at a news conference on Sept. 2 at a West Hollywood hotel. The 4 1/2-minute video is hilarious, bizarre and rancid, but most important, it captures the personality of the team.

It features individual raps by Howie Long, Allen, Todd Christensen, Henry Lawrence, Hayes, Marc Wilson and Matt Millen, and a chorus by all 26 players. Thrown in are locker-room and game footage. There's even a guitar solo by Millen, in full heavy-metal gear.

Unlike the "Shuffle," proceeds will not go to charity. Asked about this at the news conference, Lawrence replied, "It's commercial." Asked to expand, Lawrence replied, "It's commercial."

Christensen said the purpose of the video was to have fun and to entertain.

Quarterback Rusty Hilger shared Christensen's sentiments. "We didn't do it with dollar signs in our eyes. We did it for the fun and did it as a team . . . not only because we were told to."

None of the players questioned believed that the video would cause opposing teams to play harder against them. As Rod Martin put it, teams have always been especially psyched up when playing the Raiders.

But the competition that was once exclusive to the playing field has now been extended to the recording studios. What's next, the Rappin' Rams, the Dancin' Dolphins or the Croonin' Cowboys? And have the Raiders, with their undying commitment to excellence, set a standard with such inspiring lyrics as:

Matt Millen's my name and I'm from Penn State;

Those turkeys on offense are crea- tures I hate;

I find 'em, I chase 'em, I break up their blocks;

Then I catch 'em, I hit 'em right out of their socks;

Defense wins games, it's clear as day;

Offense gets headlines and raises in pay;

We wear the silver, we wear the black;

Rhino Records has released the Raiders song in several formats - a picture disk single in the shape of the Raiders' emblem, a 12-inch single that features an extended play mix (including a rap by Coach Tom Flores), a dance mix, a radio mix and an instrumental titled "Journey to Victory." Another single will be geared specifically to radio stations and jukeboxes.

The video previewed at the news conference will be used for play on MTV and other music-video programs, and will not be available for sale to the public. However, Raiders' fans or music lovers can purchase "The Making of the Silver/Black Attack," which contains the entire rap, plus outtakes and behind-the-scenes footage.

The cost of the videocassette, being released on MPI Home Video, is $19.95. The picture-disk single is priced at $8.98, the 12-inch single $5.98. Besides the usual record and video outlets, "The Silver/Black Attack" is available at gift shops, airports, service stations and convenience stores in the Los Angeles area and, eventually, will be sold around the country.

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