Light it up with all the Milwaukee Bucks anthems through the years
There are many songs about the Bucks. Many good ones too. But also a lot of bums. I am interested in the ones that were written and paid for by the organization. There are no qualms about it, these are propaganda. There is an honesty to their angle that I admire. Because they are works of propaganda they are marred in time and often corny and unartistic. I find that to be beautifully refreshing. These are not art. They are made to pump us up. So let's do it.
Let's start with the Bucks first official Bucks song. You would think the first Bucks song would have been written before the Bucks got off the ground, the name "Green and Growing" even suggests it. But this song was written after the Bucks had already won an NBA Championship, and seen more success than they would in the 40 years since it was written. "Green and Growing" doesn't refer to the organization as a whole, it specifically refers to the 1977 Milwaukee Bucks squad. The previous year the Bucks had finished at a conference worse 30-52. They'd canned the coach, hired Don Nelson, and built a team that was very green. As a sports fan, you always have to imagine that next year is going to be better, so growing as well.
This song was produced by Kevin Gavin and Otis Conner Jr. and played by a handcrafted studio band made specifically for the project called "The Green Music Machine." One can only hope that the Green Music Machine was made up of beer chugging Bucks fans and MKE residents, but who knows, the makeup of the band is lost to time. If you know anything, please reach out. I would love to see a picture of the motley crew.
After another abysmal Milwaukee season, the 2013-14, infamous 15 win, 67 loss Bucks-all-time-low year, Milwaukee's own Kid Cut Up made a remix of this classic song. And you know what, that team was green and growing. They had a young Giannis Antetokoumpo and Khris Middleton, who formed core of the squad on the court today. Cut Up was a prophet of sorts, or a delusional Bucks fan. Hard to tell the difference these days.
This was the last time that the Bucks reached the Eastern Conference Finals and for many Bucks fans this is THE anthem. For a song written in the new millennium is sounds about ten years out of date and it's corny as hell, with a video that is cringey at best. But this is not art. This song was designed to be a phrase that thousands of fans could yell at the same time and get pumped up. It's effective at it's goal.
It also name drops a bunch of players which is a fun idea at the time. Now it is fun to just try to remember a player like Danny Manning who is called to "Light it up, light it up." or Tractor Trailer, who got traded after the 2000 season.
The closest I can find to a songwriting credit on this song is that it may be by "Street Bucks" who may be comprised of Nate Nyze, Viciou$ & Lonely A. But try as I might, I can not verify that.
In 2019, "Light It Up" got an update. New players and new lyrics made it "Let It Fly." I like to think the new lyrics were a reflection of our strategy at the time, which was shoot-more-threes-than-anyone-else. Our center, Robin Lopez, suddenly became our best outside shooter and in immortalized here as "Splash Mountain." Eric Bledsoe and Malcom Brogdon AKA The President, two players long gone, also get recognized.
Then we get to this year's song. The marketing campaign is "History in the Making." And the song used during game intros goes by the same title. I was hoping that they would have paid a young Milwaukee musician who is a Bucks fan and part of our excellent music scene, but no, they went with some dude from L.A. Vo Williams' song is still powerful and anthemic, and hopefully it will be remembered as the song of this unforgettable season for years to come.