Sorry Emancipator, but today isn’t about you. Today is about the Golden State Warriors, so I’m going to keep this short and sweet.
I first heard Emancipator during my junior year of college, in 2008. Mashups were one of the hottest things in music at the time. The Hood Internet was hugely popular, and Girl Talk was on his way to becoming a household name (sidenote, I was surprised to see Girl Talk headline Treasure Island Music Festival in 2012. He has done a remarkably good job of continuing to grow his brand while making music that has a really low barrier to competitor entry. That is, someone could train for 10 years and not be a good rapper, but someone could train for 10 months and make the music Girl Talk makes. I think; maybe not. He was AWESOME, by the way).
Emancipator doesn’t really make mashups. But he did make one mashup, and it’s one of the best I’ve ever heard. It gets you revved up, chomping at the bit, ready to go. It starts out quite relaxing, but crescendos quickly into an engaging beat, and when Mobb Deep starts rapping, the track springs to life with an undercurrent of aggression and dominance that represents exactly what the Warriors need tonight. Wait for it. You’ll see. That’s why “Shook” is today’s track.
As for the Warriors… they started out the first 15 games of the season looking like a decent team. About midway through the season, they looked like an EXCELLENT team, at one point holding a 30-17 record, which put them on pace to go 52-30, which would have been their best season since 1991-1992. In the end, they won 47 games, finishing the rest of the year going only 17-18.
For that 17-18 stretch, though, Stephen Curry, who was left off the All-Star team (not inexplicably, due to the strength of Western Conference guards), LIT UP. After the All-Star break, he averaged 26 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 steals a game on 48% shooting and 46% from three. Those numbers (especially the shooting percentages) are ridiculously nice – like top 5 player in the league nice. He had games where he scored 54, 47, 39, 38, 35, and 35 points.
So the Warriors barely made it into the 6th seed (literally on the last day of the season), where they’re matched up with the fearsome Denver Nuggets, who went 57-25 and lost at home THREE TIMES the entire season. Unfortunately for the Nuggets, they lost one of their best players to a knee injury a few weeks before the end of the season, but they still looked like a force to be reckoned with.
So the Warriors go into Denver for Game 1, in a series where all the pundits say they’ll lose in 5 or 6 games, and they lose by 2 points on a shot with 1.3 seconds left. Game 2, they smoke Denver, in Denver, handing Denver only its fourth loss there in 43 games this season. Game 3, in Oakland, Golden State wins by 2. Game 4, Golden State crushes Denver, again in Oakland. They’re one game away from winning a series no one pegged them to win, and in convincing fashion. Game 5, in Denver, they get crushed. Tonight is Game 6, in Oakland, and I am not going. But this is the season. No one expects them to win in Denver again.
Look up at the picture for this post. After Stephen Curry, the best player in this playoff series, took this shot in Game 4, he turned around and stared at the Denver bench. He didn’t even watch as his shot dropped through the net. Now that’s sick. LET’S GO WARRIORS!
Here’s Emancipator’s “Shook.” Download available through SoundCloud.