EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Victor Cruz is somewhat of a hip-hop aficionado, a fan of fashion as well as the latest music burning up the charts.
He’s hung out with popular artist Wale and calls Jay Z not just a friend, but somewhat of a mentor considering he is represented in part by the latter’s Roc Nation Sports.
So what does the Giants wide receiver think about the hit single dropped in a DirecTV commercial by the unlikely rap duo of star quarterbacks Eli and Peyton Manning?
“Rap is all about two things: your swagger and your presentation, which I grade as at least a 10,” Cruz told The Record, cracking a smile as he began his critique before practice Wednesday. “Because the swagger and presentation was definitely off the charts for both of them.
“But from a lyrical standpoint? I don’t know. We’re gonna have to work on that. I’ll give them at least a 6.5 or 7, with room to improve. The lyrical content wasn’t exactly there; things weren’t always rhyming and making sense.
“But it’s a catchy tune.”
Eli Manning’s hilarious debut as a rapper singing “Football on Your Phone” alongside fellow Super Bowl MVP Peyton — with a cameo by their father, Archie, of course – not only went viral on the Internet, but spread as quickly through the Giants locker room.
The video revealed a side of the two-time Super Bowl MVP quarterback that the world does not often see: the younger Manning ditching his iconic No. 10 jersey for a Justin Timberlake perm from his ‘N Sync days, a Snooki spray-on tan, acid wash jeans and a zippered leather jacket stolen from the early 1990s.
A video of a different sort involving Prince Amukamara, Jason Pierre-Paul and a cold tub from training camp caused quite a stir last summer. No one would have predicted video of the rapping Mannings would be creating similar buzz a year later – minus the hazing debate that followed.
“I think I’ll stay with my day job, keep playing football for as long as possible,” Eli deadpanned. “This is a one-and-done, a one-hit wonder probably.”
Filmed in New Orleans over the span of a few hours this spring, the spot promotes a new DirecTV service that allows fans to watch NFL games on a mobile device with the purchase of Sunday Ticket.
“He surprises you all the time,” cornerback Aaron Ross said. “It’s classic ‘Easy E.”’
Added punter Steve Weatherford: “I think it’s a consensus that Peyton is a little more outgoing, a little more outspoken, but I thought Eli stole the show.”
Manning said he caught teammates humming the beat while waiting in line for food inside the team’s cafeteria Wednesday, leading him to quip: “If I hear [them], I say, ‘I think it’s got you.’ That song gets stuck in your head all day.”
“I’ve never heard Eli sing period,” guard Chris Snee said. “When he controls the radio it’s usually country or something nobody really wants to listen to besides him … I just laugh at the way he looks. No favorite lines yet. I’m sure I’ll listen to it more closely.”
The Giants certainly have heard it plenty since the Mannings’ “hit” dropped.
“I went home yesterday singing, ‘Football on your phone, football on your phone,’Ÿ” Cruz said with a laugh. “I’ve never seen that side of Eli to that extent. I’ve seen him joking. I’ve seen him laughing. The rapper side? I have not seen until now, but it’s cool.
“I think we all would prefer to keep him as our quarterback, though.”
Distributed by MCT Information Services