Those who have lived through NBA postseasons of the recent past will never be able to hear Jamie Foxx’s “Winner” or Linkin Park’s “Burn It Down” without reflexively shuddering and probably twitching a little bit, the songs having been overplayed through endless NBA on TNT commercials to a point that even the Black Eyed Peas could never dream of. It’s not the songs’ fault — though TNT brass never seems to choose songs that are all that good, perhaps realizing getting an actual quality song for their purposes would ultimately be pointless — but some time between the first and second round of the playoffs, they start to trigger reactions of nausea and/or deep depression, until you start watching in fear of the song popping up next.
With the playoffs just around the corner, it’s probably time to acquaint ourselves with the songs most likely to be chosen for such honors this year, if for no other reason than to steel ourselves to their melodic strains, in the hopes of building up an immunity of some sort by the time that TNT attempts to endlessly poison us with one of them. Here are some of the songs I believe to be the most likely candidates, trying not to overlap too much with my alternate All-Star Weekend anthem suggestions, and no, none of them are Ace Hood’s “Bugatti,” as preferable a choice as that would undoubtedly be.
Fall Out Boy, “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light ‘Em Up)”
TNT is already using this song in previews for the new The Rock-starring reality competition series “The Hero,” though I’m not sure if that makes it more or less likely they’ll use it again for the playoffs. Anyway, “My Songs” has the same kind of anthemic, fist-pumping chorus and big, arena-ready production as Linkin Park’s unavoidable theme for last year’s playoffs, and even shares the same incendiary lyrical themes. “Light ‘em up, up, up” even sounds like it could be written as a theme song for Kobe Bryant or Kevin Durant. TNT has even given the song a vote of confidence before as a qualified NBA soundtracker, when Fall Out Boy performed the song at All-Star Saturday Night a few months back.
Zedd feat. Foxes, “Clarity”
Will the crowd-pleasing music directors at TNT programming embrace EDM? (Usher’s “More,” used recklessly and relentlessly to promote the 2010 All-Star Game, only half counts.) If so, they could do a lot worse than with Russian-German DJ Zedd’s soon-to-crossover house anthem “Clarity,” a fairly righteous floor-filler that the Knicks have used to pretty good effect in promotion of their own broadcasts over at MSG Network. Krewella’s similar “Alive” could also potentially work here, though that song kinda sucks — which arguably makes it a more likely candidate than “Clarity,” unfortunately.