A New Knicks Beatz

Jonah Ballow


Basketball and hip-hop are intertwined on many different levels.  The free-flowing use of individualism on the floor mirrors the same lyrical style in the studio, which generates an incredible creative element in both art forms. 

Last season, the Knicks embraced a slogan, symbol, and word that built camaraderie inside the locker room. 

KnicksTape or better yet for the social world, #KnicksTape.  Rocking an old school flattop, Iman Shumpert, one of the biggest proponents of the #KnicksTape, simply defined the #KnicksTape as a mixtape of guys wearing a Knicks uniform.  Walking through the hallways at MSG Training Center, boarding a plane to an opponent’s city, and all over twitter, fans will see, hear, and feel the power of the #KnicksTape.

A strong force fueling the #KnicksTape is one of the top hip-hop artists and producers in the game.  Swizz Beatz is back with the Knicks following up his extremely popular 2011 remix to the Knicks anthem, “Go NY Go!”  The Grammy Award-winning mega-producer created not one but three tracks for this upcoming season.  “Set It Off” is the track for the opening video and player introductions sequence to begin every home game at Madison Square Garden.  The exclusive song will accompany an intro video featuring Swizz Beatz and one particular All-Star knew the special track was going to be a big NYC hit.

“He's been telling me that last year he did the track but he said it was kind of rushed due to the shortened season,” Carmelo Anthony explained.  “This year he took his time with it, he kept telling me ‘Man you got to hear it, you got to hear it.’ I heard it the other day for the first time and we have something that we can say is ours.”

Swizz Beatz performed, “Set It Off” at the Knicks Tip-Off event at the Beacon Theatre and the players were ecstatic to hear their new anthem.  While waiting backstage, Anthony even peeked behind the black curtain to watch his good friend rock the stage with the song that will be bumping through the MSG speakers at every home contest. 

The Bronx native, Swizz Beatz described the thought process behind the new track, “We'll right now it's a very competitive time for the Knicks and I just wanted to give them something that felt aggressive, that they can come out, and when that music is pumping in the Garden, they know that they're at home, they know that they're coming to handle business and just to make the music the soundtrack to their greatness.”

An aspiring rap artist and hip-hop expert, Shumpert voiced his excitement , “It's going to be special, coming back to the Mecca at the end of the summer, coming back in during the basketball season, I think hearing that and seeing this with all the lights, it’s going to be crazy. The fans are going to love it, New York's gonna love it, we gonna love it. It's going to be a good year.”

The Knicks host the Heat in a highly anticipated home opener on November 2.  Friday night at Madison Square Garden with the defending champs in Gotham sets the perfect stage for the debut of “Set It Off”.   The track, intro video, and team are taking #KnicksTape to the next level with the perfect blend of hip-hop and basketball inside the World’s Most Famous Arena.

Shumpert provides the perfect statement on the collaboration, “We do it big, you know this is the #KnicksTape, that’s how we do it, we do everything big.”

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