Meek Mill, J Cole highlights Iona’s pregame playlist

Ryan McFadden, Sports Editor

Before any Iona College men’s basketball game, graduate transfer Zach Lewis has his ears plugged up to his headphones, listening to music. It’s a part of Lewis’ pregame routine, which features getting a good meal and getting shots up.

“I listen to a lot of music,” Lewis said. “It helps me focus and gets me mentally ready to go.”

Music plays a big role in Iona’s pregame preparation. From Lil Pump and J Cole, to Meek Mill and Jay Critch, the Gaels listen to various artists and songs to get them in the mood.

The effect music has on players is seen on all levels of sports. Just look at the Philadelphia Eagles, who used Mill’s songs such as “Dreams and Nightmares” to fuel their Super Bowl run.

“Before each game, Meek is getting us riled up for the game,” Eagles wide receiver Rashard Davis told ESPN’s Jason Reid, according to an article from “You can’t help but get riled up. You just feel that energy. And our crowd feels that energy. Just play Meek, get the crowd riled up and just go ball out.”

Junior guards Rickey McGill, Schadrac Casimir and Lewis are fans of the Philadelphia rapper. McGill enjoys listening to “Dreamchasers” while Casimir vibes to “Wins and Losses,” Mill’s last album before he was sentenced to prison.

“I like to listen to Meek Mill and Dave East,” Lewis said. “Meek Mill’s ‘Tony Montana’ freestyle gets me hype because of the beat.”

Sophomore guard E.J. Crawford spends 30 minutes before every game listening to tracks from Critch, G Herbo and Cole.

“After I listen to J Cole, I know I have to get in my bag,” Crawford said.

For senior guard Deyshonee Much, his taste in music is based on the day and mood he is in.

“It depends,” Much said. “Some days I listen to a lot, some days I don’t listen to nothing.”

When Much does listen to music pregame, his go-to is Cole’s “The Warm-Up,” the artist’s second official mixtape that came out in 2009.

Graduate transfer TK Edogi has a mix of old school music in his pregame playlist.

“I listen to two or three songs, it all depends on the mood I’m in,” Edogi said. “I would play some old school nineties hip-hop or afrobeats. I also throw in some new school like Lil Uzi or Lil Pump’s ‘Gucci Gang’ just to get me going before the game.”

Music has integrated itself in the sports culture. The two have grown to parallel one another in some way.

“Rap is such a competitive thing. That’s why I have to watch sports. I got to keep up,” Cole told Sports Illustrated in 2013. “I look at that and parallel it to rap music, ’cause it’s such a competitive game.”

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