Jeremy Lin! Seriously: Jeremy Lin, though, right? You have heard about Jeremy Lin. You know that Jeremy Lin loves God and reverse layups, that he went to school not in Boston but near Boston, in Cambridge—okay, at Harvard—before playing in the D-League and not playing in Golden State and being cut by Houston and then taking over at point guard for the Knicks recently and enjoying two very great and galvanizing and inexplicable-ish games in a row. You know about his unfadeable Blue Razzbery Ring Pop-tongue swag.
If you are on the internet, you know about all this, because now Jeremy Lin has taken over the internet and that's all there is on there now: Jeremy Lin and whatever niche pornography has not been crowded offline by Jeremy Lin. A great many people have written about him, sometimes very well, in the last few days; I especially liked Emma Carmichael's take on him. I have even written about him, first in the Daily Fix and then in my column for Vice, and I'm generally the last person on most stories like this. To put this in perspective, I wrote about Bucky Jacobsen in last week's Vice column. "Can Buckymania last" and so on*. And even I'm on the Jeremy Lin thing. It's that big, and so is he.
But, leaving aside how much I like what's happening with Jeremy Lin, and how much I enjoy my sports-rap—and you can see the Vice column for my thoughts on the guy and I believe my record in re: sports-rap speaks for itself, albeit with a strong Houston accent that can make it difficult to understand—I think we have to draw the line someplace. I think we ought to draw the line on one side of Mega Ran's Jeremy Lin rap anthem, and then stand on the side of the line that has Mega Ran's Jeremy Lin rap anthem on the other side of it and be firm about not crossing that line.
Look, I'm not going to tell Mega Ran how to do his job. But if I were to do that, I'd say that I think the problem here is taking the Bob Dylan/"Hurricane" approach—or, to put it more in a misfire-rap context, the one used by the otherwise estimable rappers who turned "Hurricane," off the movie's soundtrack, into the movie's rap-along storybook—with a guy who has had all of two good games in the NBA and who, as an interview, makes Tim Tebow sound like Oscar Wilde. As the soundtrack to a highlight reel of every layup Lin has made at the professional level, Mega Ran's Lin tribute sort of makes sense. But I think we can do better than this.
So let's ask the harder questions in our Jeremy Lin tribute raps. Questions like: How are you like Jeremy Lin? How does Jeremy Lin make you feel? How does he represent various things that you also represent? And, most importantly, how does his success remind you of your own issues with haters? In short, if you don't ask yourself how Paul Wall would handle his sports-rap tribute to a given sports personage before you make your own, you are making a mistake and misrepresenting the game.
Thanks, if that's the word, to Harry Cheadle for the video link.
* Note: I actually thought Bucky Jacobsen was the best, and I hope things are going better for him than they were in 2007.