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Shelli's 1990 World Cup Music Quest


SHELLI'S GOAL:
With the U.S. in another high-profile match, we reflect on how much the World Cup has grown as a stateside cultural phenomenon. A new post on The New Yorker blog puts this somewhat in perspective. When the U.S. team qualified for the World Cup in 1990, it was the first time the Americans qualified for the prize since 1950; the team's alliance with Shelli Azoff led to the creation of a rap video intended to boost viewership and support for the surging American club. At Shelli's request, Delicious Vinyl head Mike Ross tapped artists Def Jef and DJ Eric Vaughn to compose the hip-hop anthem; the U.S. team members were joined by ringers like O.J. Simpson (still known as a football great and sometime actor), Marcus Allen and Cathy Lee Crosby for a video directed by Marty Callner (Aerosmith, Cher). You can see it here. The athletes marveled at the home and cars of Shelli and supermogul hubby Irving during production, reports New Yorker writer Adam Edler. Shelli then approached MTV's then-SVP Abbey Konowitch about putting the vid in rotation, and several team members sat with VJs to promote it. It didn't exactly catch fire, but perhaps Shelli's dedication to the cause of U.S. World Cup glory was merely ahead of its time. We'll know more today, as the American team battles Belgium. (7/1a)

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