world cup music roundup
  • TUESDAY, JUNE 08, 2010

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It's that time again! World Cup 2010 goes down in South Africa in just a few days and there are some pressing questions to consider: Will America beat the English this Saturday? (I hope so!) Will Italy defend their champion status? (I hope not!)Who will emerge as football's leading man in this post-Zidane era? To help us weather this tumultuous storm of what-ifs, some of the world's leading pop stars have put together some inspiring World Cup anthems.

First and foremost, English grime wordsmith Dizzee Rascal, (who we caught at Webster Hall a few years ago) has emerged with "Shout For England" which uses Tears for Fears' "Shout" as the basis for a rousing pro-English number.

The song is at once a fight song and an advising platform with lines like "We need teamwork/We don't need a miracle" and "set aside your ego/we're tired of bragging about 40-odd years ago" (though he should have also told this guy to calm down).

Dizzee Rascal: "Shout For England"


Next up, Colombian pop star Shakira along with South African group Freshlyground gives us "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)", which has been chosen by FIFA as the official song for the 2010 World Cup. Though the cover art for the single is unnecessarily sexy, the song is a good fit for the international event with it's African rhythms, Latin American singer, and rousing chorus. My only question: who forgot to call Ezra Koenig!?

Shakira feat. Freshlyground:


Last, but not least, my personal favorite: R. Kellz, king of all things anthemic (see: "I Believe I Can Fly", "World's Greatest"), brings us "Sign of a Victory" featuring the Soweto Spiritual Singers (of course). I bet FIFA is wishing it could go back in time and make this the official World Cup song. The song is pretty standard fare lyrically with Kellz making references to victory and overcoming boundaries. One line that really stuck out, however: "Now I can see the distance of your journey/and how you fought with all your might/You opened your eyes to global warming" Umm...what?

R. Kelly feat. Soweto Spiritual Singers:


Unfortunately, no word on South African Zef-masters Die Antwoord's World Cup contribution so far. -ben krusling

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