Inner Circle leader Chris Jericho has revealed which songs AEW tried to license to use for the Stadium Stampede at Double Or Nothing.
Due to the cinematic nature of the Stadium Stampede, the background sound often played a big part in setting the scene, which is something a lot of thought went into.
One of these specific scenes was the brawl between FTR and Santana & Ortiz in the club, which they’d considered using country music for to match FTR, but decided it didn’t match the environment.
Chris Jericho revealed on Talk is Jericho that they actually tried to license X Gon’ Give It To Ya by DMX, saying:
“The dichotomy of that was so great, and the original idea was, Max mentioned we should try and get DMX. So to kind of talk about the music for a bit, first of all, we tried to get Van Halen ‘Running with the Devil’ when Max and I teamed that one time. They came back and said for one time use is $500,000, which is basically a nice way of saying go f**k your ass. Frank Sinatra was a lot cheaper, but it was really hard to get, ‘Me and My Shadow’. This is a big time guy.
“He didn’t write the song, but it’s the publishers who own it. Even like for ‘Judas’, when I want to use ‘Judas’, I can’t just use it. Sony, who owns our publishing, has to approve. So DMX was the idea, and I thought, well, there’s no way, so I asked Megha, who’s, as Konnan would call, the AEW legal girl. She kind of does this. That’s kind of one of her fortés for the NFL to get licensing for songs. They came back and said yes, for ‘X Gon’ Give It to Ya’, and it was for not Van Halen money and not Frank Sinatra money, which is 15 grand but somewhere lower than that where it was affordable. I even said I’ll go half. Let’s just get this.
“So then a couple days before, poor Darrell, one of our production managers, he’s on the field with us during the Stampede, you got the guys in the truck, and you got us and he’s the middleman. He tells me, ‘So I heard that we don’t have DMX’. I’m like ‘What are you talking about?’ So then this domino effect goes to where we were originally given permission, but the family has to sign off on it, and they didn’t sign off. So that I have to break the news like, oh man, we don’t have DMX.”
Fellow Inner Circle member Santana then mentioned some backup songs they’d considered, saying:
“I was trying to reach out to some of my friends that are part of Griselda Records, which is this popular hip hop group now with Westside Gunn, and Benny the Butcher and Conway the Machine. Then I reached out to my other friend Smoke DZA, so I was just trying to reach out to all the guys that I knew that are popular, and have a really big following and enjoy wrestling. It’s funny because I messaged Westside Gunn the day before when we were trying to figure things out, and he didn’t see the message until Monday. And then Monday he responds, ‘I’m so pissed that I missed this message. The next time you ever want to use anything, you have my sign off any time’.”
As it turns out, when it was clear that options were off the table, they asked AEW’s Music Producer Mikey Rukus to make something similar to X Gon’ Give It To Ya. Chris Jericho added:
“We’re looking to try and find anybody with a certain vibe to it, and once DMX was out, I was like, what are we gonna do? We were offered Kurtis Blow ‘The Breaks’. I listened to it, and I go, this thing is way too happy. It needs to be dirtier and vibe, and then she came up with a couple others. God bless her, she was working hard, trying. We just couldn’t get anybody. My hip hop knowledge is limited, so I was asking you guys.
“I had Eddie Kingston come in. I know he’s from the streets. A lot of his ideas are the same as yours, and we just couldn’t find anything. So then I asked Mikey Rukus, ‘Can you make X Gon’ Give It to Ya but just not where we’re gonna get sued’. He came back with one, and Megha said, ‘You gotta change the horns or whatever’. And he came up with one that was pretty close. He got some rappers from Atlanta that came in.
“Mikey Rukus, he’s an unsung hero because he said, ‘How much time do I got?’ I said, ‘You get 24 hours, find some rappers and do it’. So he really did, and it came through in the clutch for that for us. The last thing I’ll say is we originally tried the country music, but I was like, okay, this doesn’t fit at all because this is lit like a club. It feels like a club. Everyone’s dressed like a club, and Konnan’s the DJ. He would never put on country music.
“The funny thing is because we’ve just gone through all this stuff on DMX and the library music where they had this country music, it was really bad. I’m like, well, FTR wouldn’t hang out in a place like this. Just find some really s**tty EDM and they used that, and then when the transition came to the hip hop, I thought it really worked.”
The Inner Circle won the Stadium Stampede with Sammy Guevara pinning Shawn Spears, but the Pinnacle will be returning on tonight’s AEW Dynamite.
Quotes via Wrestling Inc