Featured in the soundtrack for Episode 1, Mac Dre’s ‘Thizzle Dance’ perfectly embodies Laney College Football. [No Spoilers]
Let’s start with Head Coach John Beam. Like Mac Dre, he is a Bay Area icon with roots in the area that go back to the ’80s. Beam is more zen-master Phil Jackson than he is hot-headed Bobby Knight or Rex Ryan – but make no mistake – he is an old-school coach who spits hellfire when a player steps out of line. He provides the theme and tempo of the team, much like the funky, over-the-top, old-school, bouncing bass of ‘Thizzle Dance.’
Laney College departs from the last 2 seasons of Last Chance U in that the majority of the players come from the Bay Area with little national fanfare or major scholarship offers. Much the same, Mac Dre never quite achieved national superstardom but was an absolute legend in the Bay.
The series chiefly follows 4 players: RJ (WR), Dior (QB/WR), Rezjohn (DB), and Nu’u (OL). In watching the series, you’ll find yourself rooting for all of these kids in different ways. They all embody this part of the first verse of the ‘Thizzle Dance’:
… First, I do like this
Put a look on my face like I smelled some piss
Bounce to the beat till it start to hurt
Then I dust all the smirk off me shirt
Dip to the ground as I catch the bass
Then I wipe all the sweat off me face
Hop back up then I start to slide
Popping my collar as I glide…
All have had a hard lot in life, whether it be: abusive homes, violence taking a loved one, a tragic family history, trying to raise children as a teenager, or sometimes a mix of the above. All of these guys have smelled some [proverbial] piss in their lives and bounced to the beat [or the grind] until it hurt.
As you see in the series though, they don’t quit. They dust off their shirt(s), catch the bass (football), wipe the sweat off their faces, and slide and glide on their way out of Oakland. Each of these players grinds and push to try to get a D1 scholarship (and then to the NFL) or any way they can to get a better life for themselves and their families. It looks like Coach Beam and the staff at Laney prepared them pretty well in their attempt to do so, but watch the series to find out.
Last Chance U Season 5 (and Season’s 1-4) are all available streaming on Netflix.