Kentucky freshman center Nerlens Noel wants everyone to know he’s going to be just fine. “Flat-top Nerlens I be chillin in the post” is how he opens his new song (alongside the apparent pre-eminent Kentucky anthem-maker, Wesley Grams) about his recovery, called “Number 9.” Noel’s knee injury was gruesome, but his song’s surprisingly easy to listen to. The Wildcats are no longer in the running for the program’s ninth NCAA title after problems all season were capped by Noel’s ACL tear on Feb. 12 in a game at Florida. The injury ended Noel’s shot at going No. 1 in June’s NBA Draft, as well.
Enter rehab, and the song. On the former, Noel has sought the advice of former Wildcat Derek Anderson, who tore his ACL twice in his college career before a 12-year NBA tenure. Anderson didn’t have YouTube in 1997, however, to spread the word that he was OK to the masses by song. Noel does, and even if you discount some of his lines as typical boasts, it’s certainly better than hearing your team’s best player is moping around campus.
Noel’s contribution arrives about 1:45 into the song, and is followed by some promises (“Tore my ACL, but I’ll still make it to the pros”; “shoutout to my team, yeah we still gon’ win it”) and a mental picture of coach John Calipari I don’t doubt for a second (“Yeah that’s Calipari’s place, swagging in the ‘rari”). Give it a listen with an open mind, it’s not that bad.
Just in case there’s any doubt it’s actual Noel on the track, Calipari’s own website vetted its authenticity.
What do you think of Noel’s skills on the mic?
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