Rapper Guvna B has told William Hill’s Stripped Podcast that a joke about West Ham’s transfer targets was the reason for his debut at top of the UK music charts.
Speaking to William Hill’s Stripped Podcast, a new series in which ex-footballers and celebrities are invited to take a trip down memory lane by revisiting their favourite shirts, Guvna B said: “It was random. I was on Sky Sports and they just asked me to do a little freestyle and I did a joke thing about the players that West Ham were looking to get in. Someone on Twitter saw it and put it out online and it went kind of mad. I released the song but donated the proceeds to a young girl called Isla Caton who was struggling with cancer at the time. It was a great thing to be involved in.
“I was a bit pissed off at the time, though, as I’ve been making music for like 10 years and none of my music has gone to number one until I did a joke thing about West Ham!”
The 33-year-old from East London is a big West Ham fan, although they weren’t the club the rapper originally supported, with a certain Hammers legend the reason for the change of heart.
“Paolo Di Canio was the reason I fell in love with the Hammers shirt,” he said after selecting the West Ham shirt from the 1999-2001 seasons. “A friend of mine was the ball boy at West Ham and he got me tickets to some of the games. One of the tickets he got me was to a Wimbledon game where Di Canio scored that scissor kick goal. Trevor Sinclair pinged it into him and I was there and from then I was West Ham. I actually grew up supporting Man Utd which not many people know. I’m from East London so it made sense to support West Ham.
“The best thing about Di Canio for a West Ham fan is that if you’re in the playground and you’ve got the Man Utd fans talking about [Ruud] Van Nistelrooy, Arsenal fans talking about [Thierry] Henry, we didn’t have no-one like that. With Di Canio, you can say his name and it gets respect in the playground.”
While West Ham are in a healthy position in the Premier League these days, it wasn’t that long ago that the East London club were struggling for survival and Guvna B thanks a certain Argentinian signing in 2006 for the reason they kept their league status.
He said: “It was the year when we signed Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano. I knew not to ask questions, but I knew there was a problem because [Alan] Pardew started them on the bench because even he knew something wasn’t quite right! The reason this kit [2006/07 home kit] is special to me is the last six or seven games we went undefeated and it was [Alan] Curbishley who came in because Pardew got sacked. Tevez started carrying us virtually single-handed along with Bobby Zamora up front, and I remember the last game of the season against Man Utd at Old Trafford, Tevez scored to keep us up. He was an absolute beast of a player.
“Mascherano did a good job for us, but Tevez was the main reason we stayed up. He saved us that season.”
Guvna B was born in London, but his parents are from Ghana and he also recapped that infamous night at the 2010 World Cup against Uruguay which saw the Ghanaians knocked out – the reason for him choosing the Uruguay 2010 home shirt.
He said: “It was the only time I’ve ever cried at football. I was in Menorca with my manager at the time who was getting married during the World Cup. I was watching the game with my ex and up until that game, Ghana were having a sick cup run and the squad was good. Against USA I wasn’t that confident and then we beat them, Asamoah Gyan scored in extra-time and people were starting to believe. It was at that point that all the neutrals became Ghana fans.
“[Luis] Suarez handballs it on the line and I know it’s not the rules but just give us the goal! I’m confident in Gyan with the penalty, though, but he hits the bar. Obviously I’m hurt that he hits the bar, but Suarez celebrating was bad. I remember I was walking down the beach with tears streaming down my face, it was painful.”
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