Cadence Weapon updates hip hop anthem Connor McDavid with the help of wild local extras

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Dozens of Oilers fans obliged Cadence Weapon’s request to show up at the Bob and Doug McKenzie statue Monday afternoon as the rapper’s crew filmed a gonzo video for his new single Connor McDavid — 2024 Stanley Cup Version.

The original hip hop hockey anthem made waves in 2017, but the energy and excitement of this playoff run finally convinced Polaris Prize-winning Cadence Weapon — aka Rollie Pemberton — to do an update and fly back to his hometown Edmonton from Ontario.

“It just felt right,” says Pemberton. “As soon as they got in I was like, I’ve got to be a part of this somewhere. I wanted to come home and feel the energy, anyway, and then I was like, damn, I should remake the song.

“I’ve had so many people hitting me up being like, ‘Can you update the song with the new players? So I had to switch out the roster a little bit and change it up,” Pemberton explains, the new track dropping in nods to Evander Kane and Zach Hyman.

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“I also added a little spin to it at the end, referencing 2006 which was a formative time for me and the Oilers.

“I was 20, now I’m 38,” he laughs amid the Ice District crowd of all-ages fans at the video shoot, including lots of kids, energized Indigenous drummer Superfan Magoo, Mama Stanley (Mary Louwen), a happy little Pomeranian and NDP MLA David Shepard, who correctly noted with a big smile, “What a wonderful activation!”

Rapper Cadence Weapon and Mama Stanley during the Connor McDavid — 2024 Stanley Cup Version video shoot Monday at Ice District. Photo by Fish Griwkowsky /Postmedia

When the Oilers knocked Dallas over last week, the former Edmonton poet laureate rewrote the song and headed to Dream House Studios with engineer Calvin Hartwick, recording, mixing and mastering the track in a blur.

“This is the fastest turnaround I’ve had for any song I’ve ever made,” he notes, “but I wanted to make sure that the fans back home had a new version to play in their trucks, at the Moss Pit and in the city, as we participate in this monumental championship series.”

On a parallel warp-speed timeline, the video was shot on the way from the airport, stopping at the United Cycle Stanley Cup and the Black Dog name-dropped in the song, catching the summoned fans Monday afternoon as bedecked, loud-honking trucks and vans spun their tires at the corner of 103 Street and 103 Avenue.

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Local indie music legend Lyle Bell (Whitey Houston, The Wet Secrets, o.ii.o) shot the footage on his Nikon Z6 rig in a whirl, then fast-edited it for a Thursday drop on YouTube.

“The video is a celebration of Edmonton and all things Oilers,” the photographer explains. “We just wanted to capture some of the kooks and characters — when you look around the Moss Pit, it’s like a hockey Ren Faire, Edmonton has gone above and beyond.”

Our Lady Peace will play at 4 p.m. in the Fan Park east of the arena, Shania Twain doing the same Saturday.

As for Cadence Weapon, this remix follows the recent release of his critically adored Rollercoaster, and the bedroom rapper will perform the song and DJ at Home and Away across the street from the rink after Thursday night’s home game. The event is the official video premiere, and DJ January and a live mariachi band will also complete the vibe.

One last thought from Pemberton, though: “Let’s go Oilers!!!”

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