WNBA’s New York Liberty Share Their Warm-Up Playlist
The mood before a game is contingent on the music and for the WNBA’s New York Liberty, there’s no better way to loosen up than to blast feel-good hip-hop jams.
For their warm-up playlist, the team bumps nostalgic party-starters like Juvenile’s 1998 hit “Back That Azz Up” and gets equally excited for fellow New Yorker, rapper Cardi B, and her viral smash “Bodak Yellow.” Center Kiah Stokes and guard Shavonte Zellous even enthusiastically note that “Bodak Yellow” gets play before every game.
While Stokes typically plays DJ and Zellous busts out her moves in the locker room, they say that each song goes through a team litmus test.
“If you really wanna know, I’m the dancer of the team,” says Zellous. “Certain songs get me in the dance mood. I use my umbrella like my prop. It’s just an exciting time to lift the spirit before we go out on the court and play a physical game.”
Zellous, who often picks up new tunes when she goes out, adds, “When I’m out in the clubs, I hear new stuff so I download it or Shazam stuff if I don’t know and then we bring it in here and everybody [says] yay or nay.”
Stokes notes that hip-hop is a go-to pick-me-up for the Liberty. “This year’s been a little rocky. Sometimes, [critics] would say we were a little too uptight,” she says. “We’re just trying to have a good time and I think our music reflects that.”
Whether the night results in a win or loss, the players aim to melt any semblance of stress before the game. “It’s just more stress relief for us, just getting to laugh, watching me dance before we go on the court,” jokes Zellous. “It’s just for us to be relaxed before we go out, play, have fun and enjoy it.”
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