Imagine my surprise when I saw that cricket made the front page of the Wall Street Journal today. The story, entitled “In ‘Chap-Hop,’ Gentlemen Rappers Bust Rhymes About Tea, Cricket,” is more about the chap-hop phenomenon, wherein a duo of seemingly old-school upper-class Brits throw down dueling raps.
This single, from “Mr B the Gentle Rhymer,” is the best (uh, only) cricket rap I’ve heard. Sample lyrics: “I’ll take you to the Oval, maybe, I have a a seat in the box daily, or weekly, daily, monthly, yearly/I’m on hand to observe Mike Brearley.”
It’s fun stuff, but it somewhat irks me that cricket is routinely portrayed as an upper-class pursuit in the Western world, and especially in America (see, for e.g., this Esquire cricket photo shoot). That may still be the case in the U.K. — I don’t know enough about the sport there — but the game has obviously acquired more of mass following in India, at least since 1983. Contrast the above rap with photo #21 in this collection.