I hate to stray too far into politics because I know how ugly that can get. I don’t want to divide my readers (all two of them), but I just have to say it: I think Black and Yellow is the Steelers new song that wasn’t really written about them but that everyone associates with them.
Black and Yellow, of course, is a song written and performed by Pittsburgh rapper Wiz Khalifa and has been associated with the Steelers since its debut in 2010. What is it about? I read the lyrics, and I really don’t know. A car, maybe? Either way, Wiz pays homage to his hometown quite nicely in it.
No, it doesn’t really have the same dramatic feel as Renegade, the Steelers old/current song that wasn’t really written about them but that everyone associates with them.
Renegade, of course, is a song written and performed by the rock band Styx. The single was first released back in 1979 but wasn’t linked to the Steelers until the 2000s, when they started playing it in the fourth quarter of games at Heinz Field as a means to get the crowd and the defense jacked up.
I think it’s safe to say the song’s zenith was the 2008 season, when Pittsburgh rocked its way to a sixth Lombardi trophy on the back of a truly legendary and dominant defense that really did make opposing quarterbacks feel as if they were so far from their homes.
But that was then. This is now.
True, the Steelers defense has been resurrected, thanks to the emergence of young talents such as T.J. Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick, but do they even know who Styx is? Furthermore, does Styx even know who T.J. Watt is?
I doubt it. Oh, sure, Styx may pretend to like the Steelers now that they’ve helped revive Renegade over the past decade or so, but those guys are from Chicago. Who are they kidding? They probably love Da Bears.
But there’s no confusion as to who Wiz likes. It’s right there in his anthem song: Black and yellow, black and yellow, black and yellow. By the way, I think those lyrics have opened many eyes as to the true color of the Steelers uniforms. I mean, is it really gold? You think about it.
Let’s face it, Steeler Nation, Renegade is old. It’s weak. It’s time for it to be put out to pasture. Black and Yellow is new and hip (okay, so it’s a decade old, but this is Pittsburgh we’re talking about—it’s still in heavy rotation on local top 40 stations).
You might think I’m trolling (and I likely am), but when I hear Black and Yellow, I think of modern Steelers football. When I hear Renegade, I think of Dick Clark’s American Bandstand.
Now, I realize that the Steelers play both songs at Heinz Field, and in a perfect world, there should be room for each. But this is not a perfect world. This is a world dominated by social media. Therefore, I demand that you choose a side.
Renegade or Black and Yellow.
There are no shades of gray when determining the Steelers’ theme song.