VAUGHT: Johnson has winning rap

Once you hear Steve Johnson's pregame rap, it's easy to see why his teams not only enjoy his lyrics, but also could be motivated by them. However, it's a little hard to believe that a veteran coach like Rich Brooks endorsed this type of pregame ritual.

Wasn't it only a few years ago that some players were complaining Brooks couldn't relate to them and fans wondered if he could motivate a team? So how did Johnson convince Brooks to let him rap before each game?

"I like to keep everything live in the locker room and making sure your guys are ready to go to war with you," Johnson, a San Francisco native, said. "Actually it started in the bowl game. I knew the bowl game was very big and playing against a team like Clemson, it was like we needed a little bit of extra motivation.

"Nobody even knew I was going to do. I just stood up out of nowhere and started saying a rap. I seen the reaction and it was a lot of love. Then you seen what we did when we went out there. It was surreal."

He didn't ask Brooks' permission at the Music City Bowl, but the coach obviously has no problem with what he did, especially since the Cats are 5-0 with Johnson rapping going into Saturday's game with Florida Atlantic.

"Wait. What are we? 4-0 right now. Wait. The bowl game. I don't want to think like that. I don't want to turn superstitious. I will just leave it at what it is right now. Don't say anything about that being part of our streak," Johnson said.

Johnson's father is a music producer. "All my life I have just been writing raps and lyrics and stuff. I have a cousin who is like major now and he taught me how to do this thing. I met Marcus McClinton on my visit. We did a little song and I saw the kid had a lot of talent. So I thought before the game, maybe I can pump these guys up a little bit more," Johnson said. "Before the game, it is nerve-wracking a little bit. To get everybody loose, I just say my little rap to get everybody hyped, motivated and ready to play. Everybody feeds off it. I keep it going as long as they like it and want to hear it.

"I have a few different ones, but I always get requests for one in particular, so I always say that same one over and over. They seem to like that one a lot more."

Why not? It's worked five times in a row, so superstitious or not, he has to keep it going.

Here is Johnson's rap in case you have not heard or seen it:

It's about power, respect, hustle and heart.
Dedication is a must. If you ain't got that part — then your soul is weak meat for Wildcats.
We are about to get it popping like Joker from way back.
It's way more than touchdowns, sacks and field goals yu'all.
We have got to study, do our work and live strong. UK will live on.
But now we are here. It is our turn. We are about to take over for this year, yeah.
We got the whole town yelling Big Blue.
It's true.
I have heard babies yelling this, too.
Oh, boy.
UK, let's make some noise. Let's break these boys and have our crowd jump for joy.
It's not just about putting on this white and blue. If one fight, then we all start fighting, too.
We like our crew. Better yet, call us a fam.
There's no I on this team cause we all are the man. Now let's go.

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