As the blog The Basketball Jones reported last week, Baker and head sound engineer Nathan Black have created a new sound for Memphis basketball with their thoroughly local compilation of musical selections that Grizzlies fans can get behind. They feel as comfortable calling back to a soulful Otis Redding hit as they do banging out Al Kapone’s “Whoop That Trick,” the crunk anthem made famous in Hustle and Flow. It’s a refreshing change to what we’re usually subjected to in arenas: Played out pop and “jock jams.”
Here’s how it works: Baker operates a live audio program called Click Effects — which he describes it as “basically, a glorified soundboard” — during all moments when the ball is in play. Black controls the music during timeouts and other breaks. They split duties so that Black, who oversees all sound in the arena, doesn’t get too bogged down. The duo work well together, which could be a function of both being raised in Memphis. It also helps them select the music.
“Growing up in Memphis, everything was always very diverse,” recalls Black. “So that had an effect on what I would listen to — a little of everything — which in turn helps me play to a diverse crowd and give everyone a little something of what they want.”
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