It’s hard to deny the glory that is Madden NFL 2004 on PS2. Debuting in the summer of 2003, the Madden with the Mike Vick cover set a standard that will never be surpassed. It had everything. Playmaker was a real game changer. Training Camp mode was completely unnecessary yet that’s what made it splendid. Vick escaping the pocket with a well-timed O-button spin move was unstoppable. And don’t even get me started about Owner Mode.
What’s this? I can control the virtual prices of virtual hot dogs? I AM GOD!
But what really sets apart ’04 from the rest of the pack is the soundtrack. It is BY FAR the best in the history of video games. With honorable mentions to “Give up the Grudge” by Gob, “Unstable” by Adema, and “All That’s Left” by Thrice, here are the top ten reasons why Madden 2004 sits alone in the Top Tier of greatest soundtracks.
10. PUMP IT UP – JOE BUDDEN
”Hold up she want work that twork that
Then again let me hurt that murk that
Til you gotta hurt back
Can’t spit it out, boo you gotta slurp that
Can’t cuddle after we done, it wasn’t worth that.”
Do you see what kind of picture Mr. Budden is painting? He is mumbling about bad, VERY BAD things, people! Things best left for when a Mommy and Daddy love each other very much and keep a bottle of Listerine nearby. Things that are WAY too inappropriate for a football simulation approved for everyone all ages 3 and above. It’s like that one Chappelle’s Show skit about white radio execs finding out what the word “skeet” means after they’ve already allowed “Get Low” on the radio. MY GOD, WHAT HAVE WE DONE?!?!
Innocence in this country died when Joe Budden sang about dames slurping twork gravy on Madden 04.
9. THE LEAVING SONG PT. II – AFI
”Break down and cease all feeling!
Burn out what once was breathing!
Reach out and you may take my heart away!”
This was 9 out of 10 times the first song you heard when you flipped on the console. Really sets that “let’s say goodbye to our wife and kids, shoot ourselves in the heart, and donate our parietal lobes to science” kind of mood. The musical group AFI- advocating concussion awareness since 2003.
8. MAYHEM (MADDEN REMIX) – THE FEDERATION
”If I was on offense, I would be a Packer,
But I’m on defense so I am a tackler.”
“Mayhem Madden Remix” perfectly captured that weird time capsule when Nu Metal was hip, and any dude from the suburbs could pass for being “hood” just by randomly interjecting barks like DMX. With dope lines like “Fallin’ on this turf feels just like the street, you better not try no quarterback sneak”, I just hope Billy Shakespeare got his royalties check. I’m talking poetic genius of SEVERAL generations, you guys.
7. CHURCH – OUTKAST
”But what about repentance?
What about detention?
What about you eating dinner in the devil’s kitchen?”
Totally the most underrated song in the game. It’s just so goofy and randomly thrown in, I love it. However, I do have a bone to pick with Andre 3000. If I want to eat dinner in Hot Piece’s kitchen, that’s my own stinking’ business. Keep your Bible thumping out of my Training Camp, jerk.
6. WAY AWAY – YELLOWCARD
”I think I’m breaking out.”
This song really hit home with all of us whose prepubescent, oily, moon-cratered faces made masturbating 4 times a day instead of actually talking to girls, a sad, lonely, necessary reality.
5. FEELING THIS – BLINK 182
”Show me the bedroom floor (I’m feeling this)
Show me the bathroom mirror (I’m feeling this)
we’re taking this way too slow (I’m feeling this)
Take me away from here (I’m feeling this).”
That’s right, Blink. You put that peddle to the fleshly metal, and you pressure the hell out of her to spread those legs. We’re on your time over here. Respecting a woman’s sexual boundaries is so NF.
4. ARE YOU GONNA BE MY GIRL – JET
”Big black boots,
Long brown hair,
She’s so sweet with her get back stare.”
Here lies the beauty of Madden ‘04. It had so many gems that you completely forget that one of the biggest songs of that summer made a cameo appearance in the Vick cover Madden. It’s like seeing Jack Nicholson chilling in the first row at Staples Center. Sure, The Departed was pretty neat and all, but also in attendance is Denzel and Snoop and OMG OMG it’s Leo DiCaprio AND HE PARTED HIS HAIR 10 DEGREES IN A DIFFERENT DIRECTION!
3. NEVER SCARED (MADDEN MIX) – BONE CRUSHER
“It’s time to go head to head on the gridiron
Watch out because the turf is flyin’!
It’s just the second quarter, 4 seconds ‘til halftime,
It’s a Hail Mary pass, it’s football time!”
Contrast that with the original lyrics:
”No matter yo religion, you Muslim, Hebrew or Christian
She indiscriminate with punishment, she send ‘em missin’,
My gun’s my favorite bitch
And she got permanent PMS so she stay bitchin!”
I love the FCC. The unintentional hilarity abounds.
2. AKSHON (YEAH!) – KILLER MIKE
”New new! That new new!
New new for you you!
New new for you you!”
This song has it all. Unintelligible vocals that disguise the fact that the song is about all the street dawgs making the kittens meow in the bedroom. A completely uncensored “MAMA’S A SCHOLAR, SHE’S BLOWING MY BRAIN.” A catchy, lightning-quick hook that no one of Caucasian descent could dream of keeping up with. A chorus straight out of the mouth of Austin Collie. There’s only one track holding it back from taking the title.
1. BACK IN THE MUD – BUBBA SPARXXX
”Back in the mud I’ve been in
I confess, I’m so happy here
There’s nothing you can do to make me stay away, away, away.”
Much like Kobe Bryant, there was no stopping “Back in the Mud” in the summer of 2003. In fact, the Georgian native’s song got so big that popular demand forced ESPN to throw all types of coin at Bubba, who ended up filming a weekly remix for College Game Day. It’s one of those songs that you can’t help but flail your arms around gaily and sing every word the moment that the chorus pops off. After all, we’re all just that country boy, city slick, pit bull temperament.