Sound For Sound: Daniel Jacobs (Straight Outta Bucktown)

Sound For Sound is a recurring column that further explores the relationship of rhythm and boxing by celebrating the music that influences and motivates fighters as they prepare for, and to excel under, the game’s brightest of lights

There may not be a more fitting, or honest, rap bar for IBF Middleweight champion Daniel “Miracle Man” Jacobs (35-2, 29 KOs), to quietly spit to himself as he exits his dressing room to face WBA/WBC Middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (51-1-2, 35 KOs). Who is also the division’s lineal champion.

The bar would be from Brownsville, Brooklyn rap group Smif-N-Wessun’s Tek, when he opened the second verse of the group’s single “Let’s Git It On”:

Git it on, I’ve been payin my dues for the longest
(No more callin from chest to chest) to whose the strongest
I got ya block on lock, now you gettin dropped
New law and order, {Smif-N-Wess, settin up shop}
(The underground flavor is major, I check ya later
Gotta get with my peeps and get paper)
No time for sleep, gotta hit the streets
With my peeps (get with Mr. Walt)

Brownsville – one of Brooklyn’s residential neighborhoods renown for its hip hop representatives – is also the hometown of the Miracle Man. Incidentally, “Let’s Git It On” was mainly built off a sinister sounding bass and guitar sample lifted from “After The Race” by Mandrill, a group formed in 1968 that included three Panamanian-born brothers who hailed from Bedford-Stuyvesant – another noteworthy area of Brooklyn. For the fans of hip hop production, you may also appreciate where the track’s drums were snatched

Saturday night Jacobs must truly personify the popular Brownsville mantra he’s repeated on-camera multiple times while talking the s— boxing often calls for: Never ran, never will.

And, once the final instructions are given and the bell rings, he won’t.

The question will become whether or not his focus can remain as tight as Tek and Steele’s signature back and forth style often used for delivering their verses. The two-man game wasn’t present on the duo’s first single, “Bucktown”, from their debut album Dah Shinin’ (Wreck/Nervous 1995)but the two expanded it to the triangle offense – in 1998 during their Cocoa Brovas era – when Wu Tang Clan’s Raekwon briefly subbed into the lineup for their “Black Trump” single and video.

In “Git It On” the two seamlessly began alternating lines after Steele opened the first verse with some vivid imagery of their Brownsville environment:

Raise like a rock, on the block, where the cops carry
And the hard rocks carry, with props and black hearts
(Meet up with my people on the corner) {in the morn}
(Get zoned get {on} now prepare to get it {on})
What does it take, to get the break in the world of snakes
And those who fake (may be a taste of this here…)

Jacobs’ shot at Canelo is the culmination of everything its taken the 32-year old cancer survivor for this break that represents both an opportunity for a career-defining win, and a reported 8-figure payday. In addition to the 12 months-plus Jacobs lost battling and overcoming osteosarcoma, he boldly made a decision to leave from under the Premier Boxing Champions banner to sign with Eddie Hearn as the initial step that would lead to him being in the position to unify the Middleweight titles Saturday on DAZN.

April 15, 2019; Port Washington, NY, USA; Daniel Jacobs holds an open media workout for his May 4, 2019 fight against Canelo Alvarez. Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA

While Jacobs paid his dues he moved on from Showtime, to a PBC stop on Spike TV, to HBO Pay Per View (his final deal brokered by advisor Al Haymon), and finally to HBO for a few of the networks final boxing telecasts. Jacobs suffered his second loss in the main event of the Pay Per View appearance, after rallying back from a fourth round knockdown against unified Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin to lose by the narrowest of margins.

In late-September 2017 Jacobs became the face of Hearn’s newly formed Matchroom Boxing USA outfit, and agreed to the multi-fight deal with HBO. ESPN’s Dan Rafael reported that both moves had received Haymon’s blessing. They were also moves that enhanced Jacobs’ chances at a rematch with Golovkin, or possibly a coveted fight with Golden Boy Promotions’ box office attraction Alvarez.

Now that only the scale can derail Saturday’s mega-fight with Canelo, Smif N Wessun’s chorus of “Let’s Git It On” is more than enough to get Jacobs charged up for the upset bid. But, Jacobs may need to channel a version of himself that’s somewhat been missing in action since he brutally stopped then undefeated rival Peter Quillin by TKO at 1:25 of the first round in December 2015. That explosive moment happened on Showtime.

The Bonus Play

The following weekend after Canelo-Jacobs, Showtime airs the first episode of director Sacha Jenkins’ four-part limited docuseries Wu Tang: Of Mics and Men. Fans will undoubtedly be reintroduced to one of Brooklyn’s most charismatic and unique M.C.s in the Wu’s Ole Dirty Bastard.

April 15, 2019; Port Washington, NY, USA; Daniel Jacobs holds an open media workout for his May 4, 2019 fight against Canelo Alvarez. Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA

Now, Jacobs can’t enter the ring Saturday, proceed to toss caution to the wind and just run down on Canelo. The red-headed 28-year old is as skilled a fighter as you’ll find in the entire sport, and has been a fixture on various Pound-For-Pound lists for the past several years. However, it would behoove Jacobs to maintain an internal fire equivalent to Dirt’s temerity from his lead-off solo single “Brooklyn Zoo”, a song which spared no opposition from being threatened over the course of its 3:40 play length:

N—- wanna get too close, to the utmost
But I got stacks that’ll attack any wack host
Introducing – yo f— that n—-‘s name
My Hip Hop drops on your head like rain
And when it rains it pours, cause my rhymes hardcore
That’s why I give you more of the raw
Talent that I got will r-iz-ock the spot
MCs I’ll be burning, burning hot
Whoa-hoa-hoa! Let me like slow up with the flow
If I move too quick, oh, you just won’t know
I’m homicidal when you enter the target
N— get up, act like a pig trying to hog s—
So I take yo a– out quick

Back in March 2017 Jacobs may have given Golovkin, and the aptitude of the judges, a little too much respect, as he seemed to never truly utilize his size and athletic advantages to hurt Golovkin in an attempt to annul him being knocked down in the fourth. Despite the Golden Boy banners and Canelo’s status as the A-side, Jacobs must put it all on the line and combine all of his skills to punish the fighter the majority of the crowd will be there to see – on Cinco de Mayo weekend.

After today’s ‘grand arrivals’ at MGM Grand, Jacobs’ remarks to reporters confirmed his awareness that the mistake, over the latter part of the fight with Golovkin, must be avoided.

“I have a job to do, but I do my job with mean intentions… So, for me, I wanna go in there and not only gain a couple fans, but, you know, go in there and do damage in front of his fans. I wanna embarrass him.”

Golovkin, at 34-years old, played it by the numbers down the stretch over the balance of the fight with Jacobs, knowing that he had a 10-8 round in his favor, and a future career-high payday to be made in the future with Canelo. Saturday Canelo will wisely engage Jacobs in a fashion that reminds folks why DAZN invested $300-plus million in the Mexican superstar over the next five years, and leave fans with a performance that spurs a sharp uptick in new subscribers to the streaming app.

Canelo may strike first with any one his heavily disguised power punches to stop Jacobs for the second time in his career. DAZN’s record-breaking deal for a boxer was offered because of Canelo’s commitment to preparation and improvement in the lab, he will enter the ring capable of making a statement to the 17,000-plus in attendance. For $30-plus million for Canelo’s purse, he has to be thinking to himself, “It would be truly legendary if I showed the world ‘How I Could Just Kill A Man‘, in against a type of fighter they say I’ve yet to face.”

Come Saturday night may the best man win, so afterwards we can all Wrekonize!

Honorable mention but the blank tape ran out

How About Some Hardcore” – M.O.P. (To The Death, 1994)

Broken Language” (ft Trigga The Gambler) – Smoothe Da Hustler (Once Upon a Time in America, 1996)

All lyrics were verified at genius.com

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RL Woodson

I'm all over the place, literally. Click on something and I'll explain it all. A Tribe Called Quest fan, Good Will Hunting, HTTR and Michigan athletics... #DLTCYO

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