Words by Jesse Serwer
The whole basketballers moonlighting as rappers phenomenon seems to finally be dying down after a decade-long surge that brought us such ugh-worthy moments as “K.O.B.E.” and Ron Artest’s “Champions 2010.” But a new era may be upon us: the age of the baseballer turned reggaetonero. First up to the plate, at least as far as big names are concerned, is New York Mets star Jose Reyes.
Mets fans will already be aware of their shortstop’s enthusiasm for reggaeton via his walk-up music (For the baseball illiterate, those are songs, personally selected by the batter themselves, played over the PA as they walk up to bat). And reggaeton listeners may have also caught him in a Hector El Father video, alongside the Yankees’ Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera. Well, recently the electrifying infielder from D.R.— in the midst of the best season of his career—took his hobby to the next level and recurited reggaeton O.G. Voltio and producer SPKilla (of N.O.R.E.’s “Oye Mi Canto” fame) for his debut single, “Bate Roto.” (That’s Spanish for “broken bat.”) While the track marks Reyes’ debut as a professional rapero, he actually has been recording for years, and has even walked up to the plate to some of his own songs before.
According to fellow Mets player Angel Pagan, a video for “Bate Roto,” which borrows its musical core from Bam Bam, the dancehall riddim popularized by Chaka Demus & Pliers’ classic “Murder She Wrote,” is forthcoming. In the meantime, sample the track below and decide for yourself if the kid has something going, or should just keep his day job.