Book-hop and the making of a book trailer

About, oh, 15 years ago I was at a neighborhood party, thrown by our friends Larry and Diane. There were kids running back and forth. There was chicken and steak and salads and desserts. There was banter.

And there was MC White Owl.

I didn’t actually know there was MC White Owl. Hell, I didn’t know an MC White Owl existed. I simply found myself in a corner, looking over CDs and talking hip-hop with this guy named Aaron—who happened to be Diane and Larry’s brother in law. We talked about Run DMC and Tribe and all sorts of music, and he ultimately told me he, too had a career in rap.

“OK,” I thought. “Whatever.”

The year is 2018. I count the Owl among my close friends. He’s an absolutely amazing talent whose work can be found all over the map, from here to here to here. I actually have the first 40 seconds of his tunes, “Croissants,” leading into my podcast, “Two Writers Slinging Yang.” Why? Because the guy is unambiguously cool and decent. Plus, he’s wildly gifted. And having people hear his work gives me tremendous satisfaction.

Wait. I digress.

Back eight or nine years ago, I asked the Owl whether he’d do a song for my Walter Payton bio, “Sweetness.” I actually remember throwing the request his way via phone, and his immediate excitement. Truly, I didn’t know what to expect—and then this brilliance was sent my way. A few years later we were back at it, this time with “Showtime.” Again, Aaron stepped up in an enormous way (A great moment: When Jeanie Buss Tweeted out the song and said she loved it).

Now, with “Football for a Buck: The Crazy Rise and Crazier Demise of the USFL” hitting shelves in 2 1/2 weeks, the Owl returns with the above tune. I’ve told him we’re the Hall & Oates of books and rap. He terms it “Book Hop”—which (naturally) is far more clever and creative. All I know is the dude knows how to string together lyrics and music. As much as I love the first two songs, this is an instant favorite. I’ve listened to Eminem’s roasting of Donald Trump a bunch of times, and Owl’s song is simply better. It carries more oomph. It’s rawer. The flow is smoother. Again, I fucking love it. And the beats, produced by @TheIllustratedOne, are sizzling.

Also, along the way a cool thing happened. Via Twitter Stephen Ochoa, a recent graduate from the University of Delaware (my alma mater), sent me this DM …

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I looked over his stuff, which was amazing. And while I had no profound words of wisdom, I had an offer—Wanna make a video for a league you’ve surely never heard of? I can pay … something.

He was in.

The end result is the video above. It’s insanely good.

I love when a plan comes together.

Ochoa (left) and the Owl
Ochoa (left) and the Owl