music | 13th february 2017
“Musicians want to be ballers and ballers want to be musicians.”
In the on-going series, “off record on court”, maté vella tries to de-bunk the myth that musicians are good at sports by beating New Zealand artists in a game of H.O.R.S.E! In the first instalment, he travels to Nixon Park to meet up with Auckland based hip-hop artist Randa.
words: maté vella
photographs & video: frances carter
The rules to H.O.R.S.E are easy. The first player announces what shot they are going to make and takes their shot. If they miss, the ball goes to the opponent. If they make the basket, the next player must make the same shot. If the second player misses, they get an “H.” Each time a player fails to make a shot that the other player made, they get another letter until someone gets HORSED m8!
Maté – H
Randa gets to set the first shot as the guest and immediately swishes from the free throw line. Maté rims out, but does not lose confidence yet. Surely he’ll get his shot soon…surely.
MV: Firstly, what is your favourite rap song by a Basketball star? There are a handful of good ones, and many, many terrible ones!
RANDA: I really like Allen Iverson for this, but imma have to go with Aaron Carter’s hit single – How I beat Shaq!
Maté – H.O
Randa steps to the left a couple of steps and again swishes from 15 feet. That’s 2/2 early on. Has Randa found his opponents weakness from the get go? Maté misses again and is starting to sweat…visibly. It’s all ok though cause everyone roots for the underdog right?!
MV: I ask as hip-hop and basketball will forever be intertwined with one another. Why do you think these two cultures go hand in hand so perfectly?
RANDA: Well, I think the two involve the spirit of competition to a large degree. There's also a magic that comes with believing in yourself, as a rapper it's fun going into something feeling bold and talking yourself up. Not in an arrogant way, but in a way that's empowering and rubs off on others. It affects your performance and energy too I reckon. Dennis Rodman always seemed more rock star than actual rock stars
MV: Yeah I totally dig on that you have to believe in every sense that you are the best at how you are trying to make a living in both of these professions. Just like how I believe that I am the best at beating Randa at H.O.R.S.E!!
Maté – H.O.R
Randa makes it 3 in a row, and Mate is irate. it’s become apparent that Maté can’t hit it from distance, or at all really.
SERIOUSLY! HOW CAN I BE DOWN THIS BADLY ALREADY MAINARD HOW ARE YOU SO GOOD?!?! I CAN’T COMMENTATE PROFESSIONALLY AND LOSE THIS HORRIBLY AT THE SAME TIME?! THE TRASH TALK DOES NOT WORK!
MV: Your love for American pop culture has been heavily documented, and I know you have recently gotten back from a trip around the US with your mum(shouts out to your mum!) Given the current climate and overall uneasiness in America at the moment, can you give us Randa’s Lonely Planet (trademark? Please don’t sue me) guide of still cool things to do while one is traveling?
RANDA: Oh man! Where do I start? I think explore as much as possible, I developed a super gnarly blister under my heel from walking the whole of Sunset! It was worth it though! Definitely hit up Fallas Discount clothing store for $1 fluro t shirts ft. & emoji graphics !! Very swag. Randy's Donuts is a must, as is Dunwell Donuts if you're on the East Coast near New York... and just make friends!
Maté – H.O.R.
Randa – H
Finally Randa misses a shot and Mate gets his chance. After a couple of made layups by both players, Maté goes deep and Randa’s shot goes haywire. THE COMEBACK IS REAL…
But not for long:
Maté – H.O.R.S
Randa – H
With Maté's confidence peaking, he puts up an ugly three-point attempt. The air ball is so bad, the kids at the neighbouring skate park yell “yikes.” Randa makes him pay by shooting an elbow jumper he knows Maté can’t make in his current state of mind. Could the basketball dream be over for Maté?
MV: Speaking of donuts, A YouTube hater, lets call him “Steve”… cause that’s his name, said on one of your videos, that you “describing yourself as a Donut”, makes you a wannabe. He also quotes rap as being “done2death” and “overdone.”
Firstly, can “Done2Death” become our new Tag Team stable name when we crack it in the WWE? And secondly, can you call him out in a style similar to a WWE wrestling promo (sorry to all the non-wrestling fans out there but this question is mainly for my enjoyment)
RANDA: I love that name! Alright, here we go...Hey there, you low down stinkin' hater of jelly filled pleasure providing doughy treats! You got one thing right, I am in fact a wannabe! A delicious long john was what I aughtta be but sadly I am but a human. Next week on Monday Night RAW, Done2Death is gonna tear you a new donut hole and make it rain sprinkles on your candy ass!
Mate – H.O.R.S.
Randa – H.O
Mate saves a bit of face with a short-range floater but the result has already become inevitable to both of the players, the photographer, and the people walking their babies in the park. I think we would make a good tag team.
MV: I think you would have to carry the whole team though cause you have both the charisma and the athletic ability it seems... I can bring my shooting sleeve.
RANDA: I was hoping you would just let me stand on the apron! I think I would be good at cheap shots to the crotch.
Maté – H.O.R.S.E
Randa – H.O
Randa seals the deal by putting up a straight on three-point attempt that goes in clean. Maté, who is already trying to salvage his reputation after being clean swept for most of the game acts confident but continues the theme of the day by shooting a second air ball. What a chump.
Congratulations to the champ – RANDA!
OK so that did not at all go to plan... Lo & Behold please don’t fire me! I promise to all my followers that we will get better. The next one is a definite W! Shouts out to my new best friend Mainard for doing this and for being the biggest Basketball Shark in New Zealand. I look forward to the rematch!
Listen to Randa's EP Rangers here: