On Wednesday, while recovering from a broken nose (and preparing for Portugal), U.S. soccer star/occasional rapper Clint Dempsey dropped a new single, “It’s Poppin,” which is available now through DeuceandXO.com. Here’s our take on the track.
Before mocking Seattle Sounders “footballer” and U.S. National Team captain Clinton “Deuce” Dempsey as yet another athlete treating the culture like an egotistical indulgence, it’s important to remember that Deuce dropped “Don’t Tread” in 2006, one of the last records to feature Houston legend Big Hawk. (Hawk, a founding member of the Screwed Up Click and older brother to H-Town hero Fat Pat, was killed that May.) That puts him just a degree removed from the legacy of DJ Screw — real cred! — and although the song isn’t liable to transcend novelty, propelled as it is by its auteur’s profession, it’s also…not bad at all.
This is in part because the Texas rap blueprint has always been open to a degree of amateurism, a culture that was more about proximity and participation than any ideas about forward motion. After all, it’s a scene where the artists are more interested in elongating time, transforming bullshit sessions with friends — the wisecracks, the japes, the jokes — into a kind of torpid canvas.
Lyrically, of course, neither Deuce or his partner, XO, are especially innovative — they paraphrase E.S.G. one minute, and indulge in the meat-and-potato similes (“Problem, Houston, I’m a Rocket”) the next — but that’s hardly the point. Dempsey’s proven he’s fluent in the style, and considering Texas is just now emerging from a long creative lull thanks to new stars like BeatKing, the song’s uptempo sparkler production is an entertaining-enough trip.
Here’s to The Redux, Deuce’s 13-track album due out after the U.S. conquers the world in the 2014 World Cup…and Clint recovers from that broken nose.