Intro music is, in my opinion, one of the underrated and under-appreciated parts about baseball. Think about it; for a team sport, baseball can often be glaringly individual. At certain points, it's like the only people that exist are the batter and the pitcher, and depending on which side your allegiance falls, you're really only concerned with the well being of one of the parties involved.
So, it only makes sense that the players be allowed to pick their own entrance music to get themselves (and the crowd) into the moment. If you're anything like me, a well chosen at-bat song sticks with you. How many Reds fans still associate "Paint It Black" by the Rolling Stones with our own Joey Votto?
Unfortunately, as Cy mentioned in this space just last year, the fact is that most baseball players have really crappy taste in music, so the execution of "choosing the perfect walk-up song" is generally lacking. Nonetheless, it's a conversation starter among baseball fans and, per usual, Jamie Ramsey has the deets at Better Off Red. Seeing as though we've reached one of those horrible spring days where Reds baseball isn't occurring, let's talk about music.
I'm not going to bother to rehash all of the music that remains unchanged from last year, nor is this meant to be my personal ranking of the songs, lest I reveal my own horrid taste in music. Rather, this is just a list with a bit of a personal assessment of each song.
Zack Cozart - "Ain't Nothing Wrong With That," by Robert Randolph: Yeah I know I said I wasn't going to repeat from last year (and this has been Cozart's song for as long as I remember), but I want to go back to what Cy wrote last year;
A little cheesy, but handclappy-as-heck and enthusiastic. Basically the exact opposite feeling of watching a Cozart at-bat, but hey.
What a difference a year makes, no? About Cozart, I mean. That song's still stupid.
Billy Hamilton - "Cut It" by O.T. Genasis: "Cut It" features a nice piano opening before the beat starts and, I have to say, it sounds like a fire joint. And, you know, it is and everything. The subject matter? Drugs. It's a song about drugs. Genasis ends the first verse with a seriously good rap, though. And really, we probably shouldn't expect much different from an artist whose latest hit is all about his love affair with cocaine.
Joey Votto - "Desperado," by Rihanna: Last year, Joey departed from the aforementioned Stones song and dipped his toes into the hip hop waters and, well, did what Joey Votto does: he knocked it out of the park with Kendrick Lamar. Unfortunately, Joey just can't leave well enough alone. When it comes to Rihanna songs, the record is hit and miss. Desperado is certainly in the "hit" column, but once you make your commitment to Kendrick, I'm not sure how you look back. Besides, Joey coming out to a song that sings, in part, "There ain't nothing here for me, there ain't nothing here for me anymore," makes me extremely sad, all things considered.
Brandon Phillips - "Work," by Rihanna ft. Drake: Brandon uses like 20 songs a year, but we'll focus on this one for the time being. Remember what I said about Rihanna being hit and miss? This is definitely a huge miss and annoys me to no end. Can we just all agree it's a Bad Song and move on?
Eugenio Suarez - "Andas En Mi Cabeza," by Chino & Nacho ft. Daddy Yankee: I mean, I have no idea what they're saying in this one, but I dare you to listen to it and try and keep your head from bobbing. It's not possible. Plus, you can't deny Daddy Yankee. He's a Puerto Rican treasure. Interesting fact: Daddy Yankee aspired to be a professional baseball player, and looked to be on his way to playing for the Seattle Mariners. However, he caught a stray bullet from an AK while taking a break from recording and spent a year and a half recovering. Who says you can't learn anything from Wikipedia?
Jay Bruce - "Cameras," by Drake: This is pretty dull for the occasion, and I find a little bit of amusement in Jay Bruce picking a Drake song that's five years old like he probably just discovered that Drake is a thing (even though he used Drake last year, too). If I were going to pick a song off Take Care, it'd probably have to be "Headlines." What an extremely arrogant song.
Adam Duvall - "I Took a Pill in Ibiza," by Mike Posner: Hey, speaking of Bad Music, Adam Duvall comes in with Mike freakin' Posner. Seriously, how God awful and 2010 was this song? Very, very bad. I'll had it to him for this; this song is pretty self-reflecting. "I'm just a singer who already blew his shot / I get along with old timers / Cause my name's a reminder of a pop song people forgot." Indeed, Mike.
Tucker Barnhart - "Fly Over States," by Jason Aldean: I'm pretty sure if you had to think about it, this would be Platonic ideal of a song Tucker Barnhart would choose. Sure, the lyrics and chords might change, but they'll all sound like this. Plus, Aldean shouts out Indiana, where both Tucker and I are from. Respect.
Ivan De Jesus, Jr. - "Bajo la Tormenta," by Sergio George's Salsa Giants: Again, I have no idea what's being said, so I can't speak to the subject matter, but English music wishes it could sound this fun.
Jordan Pacheco - "Krispy," by Kia Shine: Thank you, Jordan Pacheco, for taking me back to senior year of high school and what rap music sounded like my senior year of high school. This song has to be a joke. Then again, "krispy" might be a word I use to describe Jordan Pacheco.
Tony Cingrani - "Black Nurse," by Glassjaw: Okay, so I had no idea who Glassjaw was, because I've apparently been living under a rock for the last two decades. Here's how they're described when you Google them: Post-hardcore, progressive rock, experimental rock, nu-metal. Tony Cingrani is a prog rock fan? Imagine that. The song is appropriate for the situation, either taking a turn at the plate or for hard noise to set up a relief appearance. Apparently, the band is known for their intense live shows. Take it away, Tony:
Brandon Finnegan - "New Level," by A$AP Ferg ft. Future: This is a generally decent jam, but can we stop with Future? Like, when are people going to realize that this is officially Not Good music? What the hell is wrong with his voice, anyway? Death to Auto Tune.
Dan Straily - "My Kinda Party," by Jason Aldean: Here's our second Aldean entry. I don't really know enough about Dan to have an opinion of his personality. The song is fun if not generic (really generic), and based upon the timing of it's release and where I went to college, I'd be lying my tail off if I said I hadn't drank several dozen cheap, macro brews to this jam. Found some peace at the bottom of a real, tall cold drink, if you will.
It's a question that's been asked many times before, but everyone has their ideal walk-up music thought up, just waiting for a chance to use it. What's yours? And better yet, if you had to re-choose a walk-up song for any of these Reds, what would it be?