November 15, 2017
In 1988, members of the Philadelphia Eagles – including Randall Cunningham, Reggie White, Mike Quick, and Jerome Brown – recorded a rap song referencing head coach Buddy Ryan.
It's called "Buddy's Watchin' You." And if you have no idea what I'm talking about, then you're in for a real treat.
Today, that song turns 29 years old – it was recorded on November 15, 1988.
If it seems like a copycat version of the 1985 Bears' "Super Bowl Shuffle," that's because it kind of is. For some reason, terrible rap songs featuring your favorite pro football team were a fad in the mid-late 80s, but at least they were typically used to raise money for charity.
Let's not be mistaken: This song is awful. But it's awful in the best ways possible. It's one of those things that's so bad it's actually good (or at least funny) – like "Batman & Robin" or the Cleveland Browns. And while it seems fairly obvious, even to the mildly deaf, that "Buddy's Watchin' You" never cracked the Billboard charts, I'll be the first to admit that I'm no music critic. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I could use an expert.
Enter Chill Moody, a Philly-born rapper who has his own beer – nicethingsIPA from Dock Street Brewery – and has been watching the Birds since he was a kid.
Although he doesn't specifically remember the first time he saw the video, he remembered it well enough to know that it was "epic." And, interestingly enough, it was the visuals, not the song itself, that left the biggest impression on him.
"I mean, I was young. My memories of it aren't from when it first released, because [the first time I heard it] I was old enough to know what was going on and to laugh about it," Chill Moody told PhillyVoice earlier this week. "The funniest thing – what I just remember most – is a lot of the old heads around my way, my uncles, a couple of my older cousins, they dressed like Randall [Cunningham] and like how Reggie White was dressed in this video. So it just looked liked them singing karaoke. I vividly remember this, that's why I'm saying I must have seen it again recently because I was like three years old when this dropped. But it's just hilarious."
However, it had been a while since Moody had actually seen the video, so we asked him to re-watch it along with us and offer his thoughts as we went through.
From which Eagles player sounded best to why Randall Cunningham ruined the whole video, we covered it all. Below you'll find a verse-by-verse breakdown of "Buddy's Watchin' You" as well as some overall thoughts on the song (and the players' style).
You can also listen to the full interview here.
* * *
Jerome Brown, with a lot to say / I back it up by the way I play
Guys look at me, know what to do / I said, "Look out! I'm comin' on through"
Chill Moody: Jerome Brown wasn't that whack. Jerome Brown was a strong start for them. Like, how much did you expect? It's a football player rapping. He did good; he didn't embarrass himself or anything.
Randall Cunningham, quarterback / The guy everybody wants to sack
Now you see me, now you don't / Think you will? No you won't
CM: And then Randall comes in announcing his name. Come on, Randall. Everything about Randall is bad right there.
Quick six, wide receiver / They thought the name was a joke, but I made them all believers
Go up, guys all around / Who's got the ball when we hit the ground?
CM: [singing] "And I made them all believers." That cadence, that's rap cadence right there. He sounds like a rapper... Yeah, he had a good cadence. You could understand what he was saying.
Buddy's watchin' you [He's watchin'; yes, he's watchin']
And the Philly fans are too [Philly fans are too]
So you better hold the line [Hold it, hold it, hold it]
If you don't you're gonna make us go out our minds
CM: That's not a bad 80s hook right there. It's not bad.
Luis Zendejas, I kick field goals / Am I nervous? Yeah, I suppose
Win the game by hitting the mark / This game's over before it starts
CM: No, Luis. Your verse was over before it started.
Keith Jackson, tight end / [YEAH BOY!] Quarterback's best friend
On the field, I'm bad and bold / But the best thing about me, I got hands of gold
CM: Yo, Keith Jackson just wanted to dance. He was there for the moves.
MM: What did you think of Randall's "Yeah, boy!" is there?
CM: Uncalled for. Uncalled for. They should've thrown a flag at Randall for this. Where did that come from? Get out of here, you had your turn.
Reggie White, defensive end / Hit quarterbacks like they committed a sin
Like a good minister, when I'm through / I help them up and say, "God bless you"
CM: So that might be what it is, because I remember Reggie White's bars – I know Reggie White's whole verse. So I think when I saw it again recently, it was something around Reggie White, so maybe back when he passed is when I saw this for the first time that I can remember. But, yeah, The Minister. He had bars and he had something clever, you know, puns or whatever you want to call it. But I would just say that Reggie had bars. I wasn't mad at Reggie.
So far, it's Mike Quick, Reggie and whoever started it off. Jerome Brown. Yeah, Jerome wasn't whack. They could've left Randall though.
Wes Hopkins, don't come my way / Catch the ball, you gotta pay
When you think you're in the clear / I'm the man you've gotta fear / Wild, Wild Wes
CM: I don’t know about that. I don't know about – no, no "Wild, Wild Wes."
Dre Waters on safety, see / I'm just as nice as I wanna be
Two hundred pounds of skin and bone / The best advice is leave me alone
CM: He committed to it. His bars were whack, but he committed to it.
Gregg Garrity, the trash man / I make play any way I can
When they say it's an impossible catch / That's when my body starts to stretch
CM: This guy was a receiver? [Laughs] Yo, I need his stat line. Who is this guy? I don't remember him.
MM: Gregg Garrity.
CM: And everybody else had to jump in with him because he was sleeping.
MM: He never had more than 20 catches in a season.
CM: He shouldn't have gotten a verse, yo.
Roynell Young, they call me "The Ruler" / I'm the one that's cooler than a cooler
Hit 'em high, hit 'em low / Good god almighty, gotta get the ball though
CM: Who is this with this deep voice?
MM: Roynell Young, cornerback.
CM: Nah. He's kinda whack too. But all-in-all, so far, they're not that bad.
Dave Little, all purpose man / I'll do anything, I'm Buddy's man
No. 1 job is special teams / I make my living busting spleens [YEAH BOY!]
CM: Another one!? Another "Yeah, boy!?"
MM: From someone else.
CM: First of all, if you had one guy designated to do the "Yeah, boy!" he should've just done them the whole time. It couldn't have been Randall and [somebody else]. So did he steal Randall's thing or did Randall jump the gun? What's going on there? And he did it better than Randall.
MM: Randall's the quarterback, so he gets to do what he wants?
CM: I think Randall feels that way. You must've played quarterback when you were growing up too. [Laughs]
MM: No. No, I did not.
* * *
And now, some overall thoughts from Chill Moody:
MM: What stood out after watching it again?
CM: Everything Randall is doing, I hate. I hate everything he did in this. And Randall was probably one of my Top 5 players of all time – love Randall Cunningham.
MM: Yeah, he doesn't look nearly as smooth in the studio as he did on the field.
CM: I hate everything Randall Cunningham just did.
MM: Now that you've seen it again, how would you grade the style of the Eagles players?
CM: Some of the stuff is good today [still]. Reggie White was fresh. He had the best fit, for sure. The outfits aren't that bad. The jeans are pretty much all terrible. I can't give the outfits that bad of a grade. They get, like, a "C" [for the 80s].
It's just that Randall throws the curve off. He has a wife-beater on and a sports coat and a chain. It's bad. It's a bad look for Randall. But, yeah, Reggie White, I'd wear that outfit tomorrow.
MM: What overall grade would you give it?
CM: I depends on what your expectation is coming in. Like, did you come in expecting a classic posse cut? Or did you come in expecting some football players to rap? As far as football rap, I don't think any team probably could've done better at that time. It's great 80s music. I think as far as football rap, it's a timeless classic. Get the Ickey Shuffle out of here. I would give it a "B+" as a football rap.
MM: That's fair.
CM: Only reason it's not an "A" is because of Randall Cunningham. Actually, no. I'm giving it a "B" now because Randall holds a lot more weight and he should've made a better executive decision and not been on this record, as the quarterback.
MM: What about compared to other rap songs?
CM: Oh, probably an "F."
MM: You think it's better than "Party All The Time?"
CM: "Party All The Time" is a classic. Don't ever disrespect "Party All The Time." [Laughs]
* * *
There you have it. "Buddy's Watchin' You" isn't the worst thing ever made – and it might not even be the worst to come out of the city.
We'll have Chill Moody back closer to Christmas time to discuss this:
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