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Hip-hop Dempsey joins Fulham crew

last updated Friday 12th January 2007, 12:47 AM
Clint Dempsey
Clint Dempsey

The Barclays Premiership has its fair share of household names but the ranks of the rich and famous are about to be swelled by the top flight’s first authentic hip-hop superstar. Clint Dempsey, or “Deuce” as he is known in the rap world, completed a £2 million transfer to Fulham yesterday from New England Revolution and the quiet, friendly club on the banks of the River Thames may not know what it has let itself in for.

As well as excelling on the pitch for his former club and the United States, Dempsey has succeeded where every wannabe Premiership prima donna with an iPod has feared to tread — the hip-hop jungle. Before the World Cup finals in Germany last summer, the 23-year-old attacking midfield player hooked up with Big Hawk, a rapper from Houston who was a founding member of the Screwed Up Click, the rap collective, to record a song to mark the participation of the United States.

David Beckham and Co had to contend with the forgettable dirge that was World At Your Feet by Embrace, the northern rockers, but Deuce and Big Hawk hit the big time with Don’t Tread. The uncompromising song, which was used as the soundtrack for a Nike commercial in the US, went down a storm Stateside and the video was downloaded more than one million times. The lyrics should send a shiver down the spine of any Premiership hardmen who think that Dempsey will be a soft touch — as should Big Hawk’s unsolved murder in May.

“Game took hold like the roots of a tree,” Dempsey raps. “Thank God soccer’s a sport and Nike sign me, Cuz I got on my job and made the game ferocious, I was born with the drive I got that from no coaches.”

While the United States had a World Cup to forget, finishing bottom of group E without winning a game, Dempsey’s impressive performance and goal in the 2-1 defeat by Ghana in Nuremberg on June 22, caught the eye of Chris Coleman, the Fulham manager.

“He has everything in his locker to become a Premiership player,” Coleman said. “He is not coming here to sit on the bench, he is coming here to make a big impact. He also has a great attitude towards the game which is very important to me when I sign a player.”

The transfer was in limbo until Wednesday as Dempsey and Fulham waited for the outcome of a Home Office hearing in Sheffield into his application for a work permit. According to the letter of the law, as Dempsey had played in less than 75 per cent of his country’s matches in 2006, his application was unlikely to be granted, but lawyers representing the club convinced the tribunal that he was an exceptional talent and the transfer cleared the final hurdle.

The granting of a work permit was good news for Fulham and the player. “It’s official. Y’all heard right ya boy got the green light to go ahead,” Dempsey wrote on his website, clintdempsey.com. “It’s been a long time waiting but this move is a dream come true. I appreciate all the support and it goes to show grindin’ pays off. I’m a represent to the fullest. Be easy and God Bless.”

While Dempsey’s arrival will please Fulham supporters, it is unclear how the signing of a player who namechecks Fat Pat and Yung Jock as his musical inspirations will go down with his new team-mates and especially Moritz Volz. The German defender’s idea of a slamming tune is anything by David Hasselhoff.

Clint Dempsey signed for New England Revolution after leaving Furman University, South Carolina, four years ago

The attacking midfield player is the 2006 MLS Honda Player of the Year and has become the fourth United States player at Craven Cottage. The 23-year-old is famous for scoring with diving headers and for his rapping

His 2006 single, Don’t Tread, showcased his rhyming skills:
“Don’t wake a sleeping giant unless u wanna c him pist/
Though I’m quick with my feet you ain’t seen the fist/
It be a one hitter quitter then class dismissed/
Better think twice before u try and tread on this/
I’m gonna just do it like Nike/
Spit it nicely, when I'm done some ain’t gonna like me/
I’m going to say it politely but it is likely/
I might come across a tad bit feisty”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source Kaveh Solhekol at The Times

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