How a Dallas Cowboys YouTuber ended up on Kendrick Lamar's new album

By , Audacy Sports

Daren Dukes -- known to many professionally as "SHANGO" -- isn't the most famous entertainer in his own family. Not even close.

His wife, Shanola Hampton, played Veronica Fisher on the popular Showtime series "Shameless." While her previous credits included "Scrubs" and "Reba," Hampton became a star alongside William H. Macy in one of the most popular shows of the last decade.

But at least for a few days, SHANGO says he became "the cool uncle" last week.

That's because a video that SHANGO made nearly a decade ago has become a sampling favorite of Pharrell Williams, one of the greatest producers in hip-hop -- and probably just pop, for that matter -- history.

SHANGO, a die-heard Dallas Cowboys fan, was one of the first to realize that you could create a successful small business by just turning on a camera and ranting after a disappointing performance.

When a rookie named Russell Wilson and the upstart Seattle Seahawks blew out the Cowboys 27-7 in Week 2 of the 2012 season, SHANGO turned off his camera and unleashed a NSFW rant that garnered over half a million views:

"I am the guy who pretty much invented after-game rants on the internet," SHANGO told Audacy Sports this week. "In 2012, my team, the Dallas Cowboys, lost to an up-and-coming Seahawks team. We lost, I made the video and it was one of my biggest viral hits."

To this day, the video remains SHANGO's most viewed video, having received 502,276 views on YouTube. A large part of that can be credited to the fact that there are plenty of Cowboys fans and detractors who enjoy watching rants like this online. Another part can be credited to Williams becoming aware of the video, and falling in love with a specific line that he's now sampled on multiple occasions.

While there were many great one liners in SHANGO's Stephen A. Smith-style rant, "I couldn't sleep last night!" has become a line that Williams will occasionally mix into a song that he produces. He did it on Beck's "Lightning" in 2019. But with all due respect to Beck, the sample reached a different stratosphere when it popped up on Kendrick Lamar's new album "Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers" last Friday.

When Williams and Lamar link up on a song, it usually ends up being a classic.

On Lamar's critically-acclaimed 2012 album "good kid, m.A.A.d city," Williams produced and did the hook for the project's seventh song "good kid," which offers a haunting look into Kendrick's teenage years in Compton.

Three years later, Williams again produced and sang the refrain for the seventh song on Lamar's album "To Pimp a Butterfly," which would go on to win Best Rap Album at the 2016 Grammy Awards. "Alright," the song that Lamar and Williams collaborated on, won Grammys for Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance, and became the anthem of the fight for racial equality in the United States that ramped up right around the March 2015 release of the album.

Both "good kid, m.A.A.d city" and "To Pimp a Butterfly" are considered among the greatest albums in hip-hop history, with Rolling Stone naming the latter the 19th greatest album in the history of all genres. It's too early to tell how Lamar's latest album will be viewed from a historic sense when compared to the two aforementioned albums, or 2017's "DAMN.", which was the first album in the history of rap music to win a Pulitzer Prize.

But with all due respect to Pusha T's "It's Almost Dry," it's probably not too early to say that "Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers" has become the favorite to be crowned the album of the year in 2022.

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In the fifth studio album for Lamar, he grapples with some of the culture wars that society is currently dealing with -- the fight for trans equality, vaccine hesitancy and "cancel culture" -- while also undergoing a second coming of age. Where "good kid, m.A.A.d city" was a coming of age story in the more traditional sense, "Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers" sees Lamar, now 34, admitting to "lust addiction" and seemingly trying to mature beyond whether people who have never met him regard him, Drake or Kanye West as the King or even God of rap music. The beautiful part of the project is that, whether by design or not, there are moments where it feels like Kendrick is trying to convince himself of his maturation beyond some of his most toxic tendencies as much as he is the listener.

And again, one of the most impactful moments of the album is a song that Williams produced for Lamar entitled "Mr. Morale." Wedged in between a song where Kendrick reveals he has two trans family members and another focusing on some of the trauma that has affected the life of his mother and trickled down on how he's viewed the world is the Williams-produced track that feels like a follow up to West's 2013 hit "Black Skinhead."

At the outset of the song, a more extended sample of SHANGO is heard, as he screams "It was one of the worst performances I've seen in my life! I couldn't sleep last night because I felt this s---!"

"I knew it was going to be sampled beforehand, and I gave it clearance," SHANGO said. "I didn't actually hear the song, though, until its release."

Now that he has heard the song -- which is part of a double album that's one hour, 13 minutes and 11 seconds long -- SHANGO is amazed at the impact that the sample of his rant has had.

"My friends, family and followers were all through the roof," he admitted. "... I have listened to the song and album [in its entirety]. It's on a loop in my car, and probably will be for a long time. He's a thinker, and a thinker makes you think. I love thinking. It is a real honor for me to be part of something so special."

When SHANGO initially uploaded the video Sept. 16, 2012, only real hip-hop heads knew Lamar. Less than six weeks later, Lamar released "good kid, m.A.A.d city," which propelled him into superstardom.

Nearly a decade later, SHANGO's voice plays a small part in the album that will cement Lamar as an inner-circle member of the greatest rappers of all-time. As it turned out, an uninspiring performance from Tony Romo, Dez Bryant and company in September of 2012 may be the one Cowboys loss that SHANGO learns to appreciate.

You can watch SHANGO on the Dallas Cowboys Show at YouTube.

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