This is part two of a three-part series. [Part 1]
Yes, this is a women’s soccer article referencing a rap album. Yes, there is foul language. Yes, this is your Parental Advisory.
Back in August, Backline Soccer published Part One of a WoSo Remix series featuring Chance the Rapper and the Chicago Red Stars. In honor of Chance the Rapper’s recent groundbreaking SEVEN Grammy nominations for a streaming album, we present Part Two of WoSo Remix: Chance The Rapper and Chicago Red Stars.
If you’re from Chicago and are unfamiliar with hip hop or have been living under some rock the last four years, Chance The Rapper is an artist from the south side of Chicago who has been receiving tons of critical acclaim for his new release, Coloring Book. The album has been nominated for seven Grammys this year. If you haven’t heard it yet, go do yourself a favor and download it. It is free.
WHY WOMEN’S SOCCER & HIP HOP?
It’s no secret athletes are into music. They use it to motivate their workouts and hype up game days. Here at Backline Soccer, we’re into a whole bunch of cool shit like WoSo, tacos, and music. So when Chance The Rapper dropped that mix-tape, I immediately downloaded it. It was released back in May 2016, about a month after the National Women’s Soccer League kicked off their historic 4th season.
Like athletes, music usually accompanies me whenever I do any writing. So, it only seemed appropriate to do a review and remix of the mix-tape that has taken the music world by storm with the squad that literally reps Chicago’s notorious stars on its crest, The Chicago Red Stars. While going through Coloring Book from start to finish, I will be comparing players from the 2016 active roster to specific lyrics in its tracks.
AGAIN. This album contains a Parental Advisory for Explicit Content. So chill the fuck out. Also, not all players will be used in this WoSo Remix to the album. Mostly active starters & players from this season to date, with some honorable mentions.
CHANCE THE RAPPER – COLORING BOOK (Tracks 6-10)
If you would’ve told me that when I grew up there was going to be a rapper from the south side who would take two of my favorite things – the Peter Pan movie adaption ‘Hook’ and Hip Hop – as inspiration for a song, I’d have called you a terrible person. Turns out I am the terrible person for not realizing this could be possible because Chance does exactly that in this track.
This song–accompanied by somber, yet melodic piano–has Chance reminiscing on former lovers and friends. While using drugs as a metaphor for changing interests and personal evolution, he takes us through the thoughts and processes of realizing that sometimes people just grow apart.
The lines “Where did you go to end up right back here? When did you start to forget how to fly?” have us selecting Stephanie McCaffrey for this remix. McCaffrey was originally drafted by Chicago in 2015 only to be traded to Boston in the same round back, a transaction that brought Danielle Colaprico and Sofia Huerta onto the roster. Despite having struggled with Boston early in the 2016 season, a mid-season trade brought McCaffrey back to the windy city and her arrival added a spark to the Red Stars offense. In her first three games back with the Red Stars, McCaffrey netted three goals. Welcome back, Hoodrat.
MIXTAPE (ft. Young Thug & Lil Yachty)
On this track, Chance invites Young Thug and Lil Yachty to rap along with him on themes about being an independent artist and releasing mixtapes. The freedom that comes from producing your own content, label-free is represented by each of the artists featured on this track.
The lyric “I like my women real tall ayy, type that can really play ball, ayy” will be remixed for Red Stars 2016 rookie Katie Naughton. Standing at 5’10, the Notre Dame draftee proved she could ball. Naughton came up huge in her very first start with Chicago when she was asked to fill the shoes of Julie Johnston against the visiting Alex Morgan and the Orlando Pride.
Naughton held her own and proved to be a viable option as a defensive sub throughout the remainder of the season. During this off-season, Naughton signed with Australian W-League team Adelaide United FC. The defender had a strong presence for AUFC, playing all games for her Australian side this 2016 season.
ANGELS (ft. Saba)
This track was released with a video about a month before the entire Coloring Book album dropped. While the entire mixtape showcases Chicago as muse for Coloring Book, this song (and the video) is laced with love for the city Chance calls home. It features SABA (another Chicago grown rapper), lyrics with references to Chief Keef and Kanye West (more Chicago rappers), and shout-outs to locally known urban radio stations WGCI 107.5 (Chicago) and Power 92 (Hammond/Northwest Indiana).
The Red Stars have many local players in Chicagoland natives like Vanessa DiBernardo, Casey Short, and Katie Naughton. However, the lyric “I just had a growth spurt, it done took so long my tippy toes hurt” is what will be remixed for Jersey girl, Danielle Colaprico. Yes, she is listed at 5’3, and yes, she has laughed at herself in regards to her height.
— Danielle Colaprico (@dannycolaprico) September 5, 2016
However, it’s hard to ignore Colaprico’s ‘growth spurt’ this past season. She showed no signs of a sophomore slump, and I wrote about her earlier in the season as a mini-fortress. Her strong efforts got the attention of U.S. National team coach Jill Ellis and earned her a national team camp invitation. She joined Katie Naughton in Australia this off-season, and played for Australian W-League team Adelaide United FC.
JUKE JAM (ft. Justin Bieber & Towkio)
The track ‘Juke Jam’ comes right in between two tracks that get you moving. Chance reminisces on his youth and the past feelings of a former romantic interest. Spending time at the roller rink, and too young and intimidated to advance the relationship to the next level, he settles for the closeness of a typical Chicago dance move, juking. The ‘slow jam’ of Coloring Book, this song features Justin Bieber singing the smooth hook.
However, it’s the line Towkio echos, “You came with your best friend, came up for the weekend” that will be remixed for Red Stars players Alyssa Mautz and Taylor Comeau. In a national team cycle that saw national teamers leave for friendlies and Olympic duties, both players were often relied upon to come off the bench and help fulfill the role of absent players.
A veteran of the team since the WPSL, Mautz has been a reliable utility player providing depth in the Forward and Midfield roles. Comeau arrived via the Portland Thorns for the 2016 season. The former Thorn scored a game winner for Chicago in a crucial game against Orlando to maintain playoff positioning.
*Honorable mention: Janelle Flaws. The reserve player literally ‘came up for the weekend’ and played 45 minutes against the Washington Spirit. You can find her lighting it up for the Red Stars Reserves, way to go Flaws*
ALL NIGHT (ft. Knox Fortune)
‘All Night’ is a bit of a dance track for the Chicago House Heads out there. Historically known as the birthplace of House Music, Chance uses this track to crack jokes at various moments on a night out in Chicago. He pokes fun at his insecurities around his new fame and those around him asking for favors when he’s just trying to have a good time.
The lyric “So back up, back up, I need space now” will be remixed for Sofia Huerta. After a breakout 2015 rookie season that saw her become the secondary goal scorer for Chicago, many fans were looking forward to seeing more production in 2016. Huerta may have got off to a slower start for some, but broke through the scoring barrier in week seven when she was given a bit too much space to score.
Huerta finished the NWSL season strong with seven goals and two assists. This off-season she joined teammates in playing for the Australian W-League team Adelaide United FC and was named Player of the Month for January. She netted eight goals in 12 matches for AUFC.
The Grammy’s will be airing this Sunday, February 12th. You can find the Chicago Red Stars playing at Toyota Park, in Bridgeview, IL.
Check their website for season tickets.