MEMPHIS, Tenn. — “The energy is about to go to another level,” said legendary Memphis rapper Al Kapone.
That's how Al Kapone describes the moment each time his hit song "Whoop That Trick" rings out in the FedExForum during Grizzlies games.
However, Kapone never thought his song would be the anthem for Memphis sports more than 17 years after he wrote it.
“I just wanted to try to make a song that was raw for the clubs that could get some radio play and it went from that to the movies and from the movies to the anthem,” said Kapone.
It all started during the "Grit and Grind" era, as Memphis entered the Western Conference Playoffs hosting the LA Clippers in the 2011-12 NBA season.
Fans chanted the song as they watched the Zach Randolph and Blake Griffin showdown.
“The chant came from the people, it just resonated out the crowd out of…I don’t know where it came from, or who started it,” said Kapone.
From then, the song took on a life of its own.
“It’s mind-blowing how “Whoop That Trick” turned into this will to win motivation,” said Kapone.
“We are the underdogs, we’re always looked at as the underdogs, we’re David always going against Goliath, that song represents the underdog fight and we’re definitely here to be victorious,” said Kapone.
Much like the Grizzlies this season, Kapone said the song forces everyone else to finally give Memphis the respect it deserves.
“We’ve pushed past that ceiling now, we’re on a whole different level with it at the same time and it just feels amazing to be a part of breaking through the threshold and really showing that we belong here and we’re going to keep doing what we have to do and we’re going to whoop that trick, get them,” Kapone explained.
Now, as the Grizzlies lead the series against the Minnesota Timberwolves 3-2, fighting to put the Timberwolves' jerseys in mothballs and shift their focus to Golden State, Kapone had one thing to say.
“Let’s get the 'Wolves out of here, get ready for the next team. Let's “grit and grind” and get them out of here,” said Kapone.
He added that no matter the outcome, the Grizzlies have made the city proud.