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Not an official option, but “North Cack” rapper thrilled by support for Canes’ goal song

Rapper and poet G. Yamazawa’s “North Cack” isn’t one of the eight official options for the Carolina Hurricanes’ new goal song, but it’s gaining traction among fans.
Rapper and poet G. Yamazawa’s “North Cack” isn’t one of the eight official options for the Carolina Hurricanes’ new goal song, but it’s gaining traction among fans. Mark Peaced

The Durham-born rapper G. Yamazawa doesn’t spend as much time on Twitter as some other social-media platforms, but he couldn’t help noticing his name and one of his songs popping up Wednesday afternoon.

In an N&O discussion of the eight options the Carolina Hurricanes are offering fans for their new goal-celebration song, Superchunk frontman Mac McCaughan suggested Yamazawa’s “North Cack” as a fresher alternative to Petey Pablo’s “Raise Up,” the consensus front-runner.

And man, did people seem to like that idea. One way to gauge the volume of the response: the Hurricanes immediately followed Yamazawa on Twitter.

“To me, the conversation was just so cool,” Yamazawa said Friday night, back home from Los Angeles and on his way to Fayetteville for a concert Saturday. “People were fighting on my behalf for the song.”

“North Cack,” a love letter to North Carolina and Yamazawa’s hometown – the album is “Shouts to Durham” – includes a chorus that refers to his love of Carolina barbeque sauce (with the slaw) and a killer bass drop that would, given the opportunity to be amplified over arena speakers, shake PNC to the core. Yamazawa said the in-house DJ’s at ACC basketball games have played the track, but he loves the idea of having it tied to the hockey team as well.

“I’m all for ‘Raise Up,’ but even trying to be as unbiased as possible, that’s such a tired song,” Yamazawa said. “What’s cool about ‘North Cack’ is it’s the second coming of an anthem for a state that doesn’t have a particular identity in hip-hop. It’s something folks could really rally around. North Carolina hasn’t had a great reputation, politically speaking, but here you see an Asian guy and a black guy and a white guy all rapping about how much we love the food.”

Yamazawa said he would be fine if the team just looped the chorus to celebrate goals, and he’d even be open to working with the Hurricanes on a remix that might keep the tone and spirit while making it more arena-friendly or better suited for post-goal celebration.

At least one fan submitted the song when the team was collecting suggestions and it wasn’t among the final eight choices, so he knows the team has passed on it once. But he’d really like to see it become a late addition to the options before voting closes Monday night, just to see what happens.

“I think they should just throw it in the hat,” Yamazawa said. “I think it could still win. From my perspective, too, I know the goal song is a really big thing, so even if they just drop the record at any point in any game, I’d be cool with that. If anyone can get some footage of that, let me know.”

Sports columnist Luke DeCock: 919-829-8947, ldecock@newsobserver.com, @LukeDeCock
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