In 1987 while in the midst of a team-collective hangover, Mets OF Darryl Strawberry caught major heat from the NYC media for asking out of the lineup the morning after what was described by the would-be Dick Young’s-of-the-day as a “rap recording session”.
Since I was probably in an individual hangover of my own, I probably mistook this episode for late/lazy reporting on Darryl’s cameo on the very unfortunate “Get Metsmerized” project overseen by former Met/contractual albatross George Foster a season prior (perhaps a remix commissioned by Foster, still nursing a grudge).
But the real lazy researcher was me, because Darryl was in fact, ensconced in a New York recording studio in July of ’87, recording “Chocolate Strawberry” with U.T.F.O. and Richie Rich.
From Sports Illustrated’s Steve Wulf, 7/13/87 :
“Strawberry spent part of the day in a Queens recording studio with The Kangol Kid, UTFO (Un Touchable Force Organization) and another renowned rap group, Whistle. First, Whistle gave its rap (‘The pitcher threw a pitch and we all stared, and Darryl hit the ball to Korea somewhere’), then UTFO (‘Four years in the major leagues, started at 20, once had nothing, now has plenty’) and then Strawberry. Between raps, the female chorus would coo ‘Chocolate Strawberry.'”
“While this was going on, Mets captain Keith Hernandez was in his New York attorney’s office in a quite different session, giving seven hours of depositions concerning his divorce case. It was a bad day for Hernandez all around: Jack Clark of the Cardinals passed him in the voting for National League All-Star first baseman.”
“‘Everybody in the stadium screams for me Strike one, strike two, but no strike three ‘Cause I’m def, that’s right, I ain’t soft, I even get paid on my day off.'”
“For those of you not in the know, “def” is short for definitely, as in definitely cool, definitely strong. When Strawberry declined to play in Tuesday night’s game after another session at the recording studio—arranged primarily for publicity purposes—he was def, all right, definitely in trouble. He also inadvertently lent a certain irony to the last line of the above verse.”
It doesn’t get more gauche than publicly suggesting what your close personal friends could get you for your birthday. But tact never got anybody a Darryl Strawberry/UTFO/Richie Rich 12″.