Torii Hunter uses a 2013 track from Cleveland hip-hop artist Kid Cudi. (Robin Buckson / The Detroit News)
They’re the songs that fire up the Tigers.
But what do they say about each of the players? We dove into the Tigers’ walkup themes — the songs that play when they’re coming to the plate or heading to the mound — to discover what they mean and how they get the players pumped.
Music: Kid Cudi, “Immortal”
The use of this 2013 track from Cleveland hip-hop artist Kid Cudi — which opens with Adam Sandler screaming, “I am the smartest man alive,” lifted from “Billy Madison” — paints Hunter as a superhero of sorts.
Key lyric: “I’m living my life as if I’ve got powers, and tonight I feel immortal.”
Los Angeles rapper Kid Ink’s boast-filled track from his 2013 EP “Almost Home” is the inspiration for the Tigers’ center fielder, who gets to feel like a boss when he saunters up to the batter box.
Key lyric: “Sunshine, see the glare? No, we ain’t playing fair / and you ain’t really bout that paper if it ain’t enough to share.”
The Tigers slugger forgoes typical hip-hop anthems for off-the-wall fare — he was using Mozart’s “Requiem” earlier this season — and the retro-cheesy “Soul Glo” theme and ’80s English instrumental synthpop act Art of Noise’s “Moments in Love” certainly fit that bill.
Key lyric: “Just let your soul glow baby, feelin’ oh so silky smooth” (from “Soul Glo”).
The Triple Crown winner splits between Kanye West’s 2012 posse cut and the Daddy Yankee jam (whose title translates to “Wild Dogs”); if it helps him hit, we don’t care what songs he comes out to.
Key lyric: “I work them long nights, long nights to get a payday” (from “Mercy”).
Music: Marc Anthony, “Aguanile”
This infectious salsa track, a cover of Hector Lavoe’s original (lifted from Anthony’s soundtrack to his 2007 film “El Cantante”) is V-Mart’s anthem of choice, and its lyrics speak of a spiritual cleansing.
Key lyric: Anthony’s opening “Aaaaaguaaaaaa-neeeee-laaaaaayyyyyy!” sounds like a battle cry, or a call to arms.
Music: The Black Keys, “I Got Mine”
The Ohio blues rockers’ 2008 barn burner (from the group’s “Attack & Release” album) is about settling down, sinking in and making your mark.
Key lyric: “I was a movin’ man in my younger days, but I gone out of my ramblin’ ways / I left that road so far behind, now I know, oh babe, I got mine.”
Pitbull’s 2012 dance track (title translation: “Move (Hands Up)”) and Daddy Yankee’s reggaeton song say that after the game, Infante probably wants to go out dancing.
Key lyric: “I don’t care about the money, I don’t care about the fame / I care about health, family, the future of the kids and my love” (from “Echa Pa’lla [Manos Pa’rriba],” translated to English).
Thanks to its imminent chant-ability, the White Stripes’ 2003 earth-rattler has enjoyed a healthy second life as a sports anthem, and speaks to a feeling of invincibility.
Key lyric: “I’m gonna fight ’em off, a seven nation army couldn’t hold me back.”
Kings of Leon’s 2008 power ballad is about feeling lonely and finding somebody to form a connection with, and it’s also about the urge to feel noticed. Does Kelly feel undervalued? Or does he just like a good love song?
Key lyric: “I hope it’s gonna make you notice someone like me.”
Dr. Dre’s defiant 1999 statement reaffirmed his place in hip-hop by gently reminding listeners of all his contributions to the genre. The lyrics are highly specific to Dre, and while there’s a bananas chorus and verse by Eminem, it’s tough to read too much into this one. Maybe Scherzer just likes the beat.
Key lyric: “Mad at me ’cause I can finally afford to provide my family with groceries.”
Bluegrass-rap outfit Gangstagrass’ “Long Hard Times to Come” is the theme song to the FX series “Justified,” so you could say the Tigers’ outfielder identifies with the show’s lawman hero, Raylan Givens.
Key lyric: “Lonely traveler, ain’t trying to battle ya / but if you’re feeling tough dog, I welcome all challengers.”
Never released as a single, Eminem’s inspirational anthem has nonetheless become one of his most popular tracks, thanks to its tireless “Lose Yourself”-like energy and themes of being the best in your field and earning recognition as such.
Key lyric: “I will not fall, I will stand tall / Feels like no one can beat me.”
Justin Verlander: "'Till I Collapse" by Eminem
Music: David Guetta featuring Ne-Yo and Akon, “Play Hard”
French producer David Guetta’s 2012 dancefloor rager extolls the virtues of working hard and, when one’s work is finished, playing just as hard. It’s the yin and yang of life.
Key lyric: “A hustler’s work is never through.”
From the 2004 album “Collision Course,” this track lays the lyrics from Jay Z’s “Encore” over the instrumental of Linkin Park’s “Numb.” The lyrics reference Jay’s retirement from rap, his dominance in the field and his inability to be replaced. Perhaps Fister feels like the Jay Z of the Tigers’ pitching rotation?
Key lyric: “What the hell are you waiting for? After me, there should be no more.”
More Adam Graham
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Tigers players' walkup songs have something to say
They're the songs that fire up the Tigers. But what do they say about each of the players? We dove into the Tigers' walkup themes to discover what they mean and how they get the players pumped.
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