As a suburban homeowner and middle-aged white guy who writes about boxing, I’m often called upon to arbitrate important matters in the world of rap music.
Scott and the gang have so far resisted my offers to bring that voice to our work here at Bad Left Hook. Presumably, they want to avoid potential beefs with the likes of The Source or HipHopDX, outlets that would no doubt be furious over inevitably losing their audience to my impeccable credentials as a tastemaker and influencer of hip hop culture.
But, when one of the most controversial figures in boxing decides to record and release a music video targeted at the biggest and most controversial figure in MMA? No editor can keep me bottled up. The world needs my opinion. And, they need to hear it before Chris Mannix steals my thunder and crowns Jake Paul the Breakout Rapper of 2022.
So, what’s the definitive word on Jake Paul’s blunt, if unimaginably named, “Dana White Diss Track?” Will it live forever alongside “Checkmate,” “No Vaseline,” and “Ether” in the pantheon of all-time acoustic assassinations?
It’s probably exactly what you expect.
Things start with a quick hit bar extracted from mid-song, rhyming a claim that Jake Paul’s flow is “all gas like propane” with a suggestion that Dana “lay off all that cocaine.” Before anyone can take umbrage on behalf of Hank Hill over the flagrant disregard for propane’s compression into liquid form for transportation and storage, or on behalf of Dana White for the implication of recreational drug abuse, we transition into the weakest and most obligatory text disclaimer this side of South Park.
Anyone well schooled in the history of battle rap knows that all the best diss tracks start with a carefully crafted legal statement aimed at protecting the artist from any claims of defamation. I paraphrase Eazy-E only very slightly in saying that “real muthaphuckkin G’s” make it a point to consult with their lawyers to make sure they’re minding all their Q’s and P’s with respect to potential libel and slander exposure.
“Dana White Diss Track” is no exception. Jake Paul’s legal team and graphics department share the first silent verse on the song, making it clear from the start that everything from the song and video is “fictitious and should not be taken as factual reporting.” All portrayals are “strictly intended to be impersonation and personality parody.” Both song and video are “merely an opinion and artistic interpretation.”
At this point, Jake Paul could presumably drop the mic before he’s even picked it up in the first place. After getting blasted by that hardcore disclaimer, Dana White is undoubtedly being helicoptered to the nearest trauma unit for extensive skin grafts, assuming of course he isn’t already deader than Thich Quang Duc.
Instead, we transition into what true old heads know is the most widely beloved and timeless part of every classic rap album: the extended comedy sketch.
In a scene that will feel very familiar to anyone who lived through the era of music television when “F— Wit Dre Day” played every hour on the hour, we get a glimpse inside of “UCF Headquarters” in Las Vegas. There we see a bald white man in a black shirt talking a woman into a three fight deal at $12,000 per fight with no long term health care benefits.
It’s all very subtle, and I’m probably missing a few clever allusions. The unnamed bald guy in the black shirt pressures the woman into signing, and she exits. Then, our unnamed bald villain cackles with his coterie of besuited business types and muscular polo shirt models about how “they do all the work, we make all the money” and “they never read the contract.” Fist bumps are exchanged, and a fun time is had by all. It isn’t made entirely clear what any of this has to do with Dana White, though, and I would never dare to draw any conclusions after that thorough and definitive opening disclaimer.
Just about the time I was double checking to make sure I hadn’t clicked the wrong link, Jake Paul enters, armed with what appears to be a children’s aluminum baseball bat painted teal, and flanked by a muscular posse of his own. Jake calls our villain a “greedy bald bitch” and directs everyone’s attention to a white dry-erase board hanging on an off-white wall. There, in the sloppiest attempt at carrying out unethical corporate strategy since Krusty the Clown’s banker in the Cayman Islands, we see “Dana’s To-Do List.”
- Raise PPV Price $$$
- Pay Fighters Less
- Send Connor “I Love You” Text
Reader, the picture is finally made clear. This scene has nothing to do with the University of Central Florida moving their administrative offices to Nevada. This bald white guy in a black shirt is meant to be a (hopefully not legally actionable!) analogue of DANA WHITE HIMSELF!
Our villain breaks into a sweat. Jake tells “Dana” that it’s time to put an end to this. Jake takes a quarter-effort check swing at the camera with his youth baseball bat that makes John Goodman’s performance in “The Babe” look like Hank Aaron in his prime. The force of Jake’s swing mildly shakes his “PRBLM CHILD” necklace, which likely cost more than my house despite not having enough of a budget to include all load-bearing vowels.
BOOM! One minute and four seconds into this three and a half minute diss track, it’s finally time to drop rhymes. Wisely, Jake leans heavily on well-known white battle rapper film portrayals to bolster his credibility, starting off by shouting “Now everybody from the
three-one-three UFC, put your motha f—ing hands up and follow me!”
Jake raps “F— Dana, F— Dana White!” while wearing a t-shirt that reads “F— Dana White.” We see octagonal ring cards bearing the message: “F— Dana White.” This all constitutes around 8% of the actual song, for the record. It may not be efficient, and it may not be subtle, but the message is clear. Jake Paul seeks to have passionate manly congress with UFC president Dana White.
With that established, we move on to other targets of Jake’s ire. With a voice more powerful than Stevie Kenarban and rhythm that would knock Navin Johnson on his ass, Jake next takes aim at Jorge Masvidal.
Masvidal “ain’t rich,” a line of attack that self-made billionaires like you and I will no doubt find comically relatable as we hear Jake mock Masvidal for pocketing a pathetic $5 Million. If I were a better person, I would immediately try to contact Jorge Masvidal and help him register for food stamps and other essential government assistance.
Dear reader, I must confess I am a contemptible, compassionless disgrace of a man, and my only reaction was to laugh at the abject poverty of the wretched Mr. Masvidal.
As we proceed, we see and hear the following:
- Nate Diaz is flagged as having a “lisp” that might indicate he “speak [sic] a different language,” presumably Spanish.
- Jake name drops a team of Canadian YouTubers.
- Dana is accused of covering up dalliances with prostitutes.
- “Tyson Fury’s brother” gets dismissed without even the dignity of his own name.
- Jake makes an awkward and forced comment about “infrastructure” and rhymes it with “kickbox instructor” in another line of attack on Dana White.
- Connor McGregor is a “rich little weirdo” who has “ugly-ass veneers” and Jake hasn’t seen him “win in five years.”
- Jake wears shoulder pads under a Patrick Mahomes jersey between reprise chants of “F— Dana White” and a shot of Definitely Not Dana’s actor with his face buried in Jake’s crotch, Jake’s legs wrapped intimately around Definitely Not Dana’s neck and shoulders.
Ultimately, it’s all closer to Marky Mark than Eminem. Less “The Story of Adidon,” and more akin to MC Skat Kat taking swipes at Garfield or Heathcliff. Jake Paul presents as unlikely to emerge victorious against Rhymefest as he would against a prime Mike Tyson.
BUT! All jokes aside, I actually agree with Chris Mannix on most things Jake Paul. Not the notion of Sports Illustrated labeling him last year’s “Breakout Boxer,” but the rest of his thesis. Because if Mannix is using viewership as a criteria for a breakthrough athletic performance, we can just use that same logic to cancel this year’s Academy Awards and give the Oscar for Best Picture to whatever has the most views on Pornhub.
However, I have no problem or complaint with Jake Paul making a fortune as a fighter. I suspect that not a single dollar ever spent on a Paul Brothers fight ever came at the expense of any other professional boxer’s PPV revenue or gate receipts. He’s brought very casual eyeballs to Badou Jack, Regis Prograis, and Daniel Dubois. He’s boosted the profiles and bank accounts of Amanda Serrano and Montana Love.
Jake Paul isn’t killing boxing. Jake Paul is proof that boxing is indestructible. If the Paul Brothers decided to challenge other celebrities and athletes to a 100 yard dash or a free throw shooting contest, there’s no way they’d generate $50 million in PPV sales. But put gloves on them, and the inherent drama and potential life-or-death stakes of a boxing match makes the most casual of observers take notice.
I also have no problem with what’s been criticized as very cautious matchmaking. Because the equivalent of a participation trophy for recklessness in combat sports isn’t a ribbon. It’s brain damage, or worse.
Whatever you think about Jake Paul as a man, a boxer, or a rapper, you ought to tip your hat to the spoken word closing verse of his song:
“Dana, pay your fighters more.
Give them healthcare, you scumbag.
I haven’t met a single person who says anything good about you.
[...] Stop raising your pay per view prices on the fans and not paying fighters more.”
We live in a world where an amateur pornographer/diarrhea tea pitchwoman also happens to advocate for criminal justice reform, and help earn clemency and early release for victims of mandatory drug sentencing laws. It doesn’t excuse dumping two decades worth of toxic waste all over unscripted television and the body image of a generation of young girls. But, it’s an undeniable positive outcome for the men and women breathing free air.
Likewise, if Jake Paul wants to take a break from a carefully curated boxing career to cosplay as a battle rapper, and he’s using that platform to advocate for combat sports athletes? Good for him, good for them, and good for the sport.
It took until the year 2000 and the passage of the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act for boxers to earn fundamental protections and legislative acknowledgment that they are human beings worthy of humane treatment, and not just featherless roosters with opposable thumbs. Almost 22 years later, those basic protections still don’t extend to mixed martial arts fighters.
So, while I have no intention of ever watching or listening to “Dana White Diss Track” ever again, I’m glad it’s out there in the world. And I hope that some of the two million people and counting that have watched the song walk away with at least a general awareness of the push for improved conditions and compensation in the UFC.
If Jake ever wants to release a follow-up, he should call me. I have some white-hot slant rhymes for “Mauricio Sulaiman.”