The Run of Play is a blog about
the wonder and terror of soccer.

We left the window open during a match in October 2007 and a strange wind blew into the room.

Now we walk the forgotten byways of football with a lonely tread, searching for the beautiful, the bewildering, the haunting, and the absurd.

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Ryan Babel’s Rap Lyrics: A New Translation

There’s no getting around it: Ryan Babel has dropped a new rap video. I thought the last one, in which he menacingly threatened to marry any woman who would go on a date with him, would be, well, the last one, but now some desperately optimistic young man from Zoo Magazine has gone and incited another freestyle. (One in which the Zoo Magazine guy participates, no less.) You can read translations of Babel’s Dutch lyrics elsewhere online, but…I don’t know. They all seem a little off to me.

Now, granted, my Dutch isn’t what it ought to be, but I’ve gone ahead and compiled my own translation. Read it below. Please note that this is taken from the album cut of the same rap, so there’s an intro that isn’t present in the video.

[Intro. Ominous synths, as though a curtain is slowly lifting on the worst place in the world.]

Yo…check it…a lot of y’all haters had a good year last year…when I came into the league…set to tear that motherfucker up…then only got 19 minutes of playing time spread across 67 matches. Well, guess what? That was then. It’s a new year, bitches. And a lot of people laughin’ now…ain’t gonna be laughin’ much longer. You feel me?

[Hard bass beat kicks in.]

We up two-nothin’ eighty-six minutes in it,
Now you know Rafa must be nervous cause he puts me up in it
I am impervious to pressure like Gunga Din is
I got that hunger to win this
And I can bring it like the Hun for as much as six minutes.
Throw me a bone, and I’ll chase it like Rin-Tin-Tin did,
Leave my man scared and alone like an orphan at Christmas.
I am a menace, and I’ll crush you like my God crushes sinners.

[Instrumental break. Samples from “Too Shy” by Kajagogo and Juice Newton’s “Angel of the Morning.”]

You know I got to be upright in this universe,
But don’t think just ’cause I look nice that you ain’t gettin’ hurt,
Hell yes I cry at Bambi and my cheeks are soft
But if you think you understand me I will put you aloft.
And if you say my gentle manner is a reason for doubt
I’m gonna make your face look like the face of Dirk Kuyt,
And if you think my sleepy meekness means that I don’t come hard
You gonna make me get my beer mug back from Steven Gerrard.

That’s Stevie G, y’all…hey, it don’t matter to me…
Or Jamie C…Fernando T…
We all out to destroy a cat called Wayne Rooney,
For LFC—the big dog’s name is Rafa B,
I got to send a shout-out to my man Xabi,
And pass along a little warning to that chump Robbie.
You little bitch—listen up, the next time we shootin’ skeet
We gonna stamp them motherfuckers with K-e-a-n-e,
And when we kick ’em out the sky into smithereens,

We be high-fivin’, countin’ down to the last day of the season,
I got the rhyme, motherfucker, now just give me the reason,


Ryan Babel’s Rap Lyrics: A New Translation

by Brian Phillips · February 18, 2009

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