MKTO re-creates “Classic” for ESPN’s WNBA coverage


Taking it straight to the basket is just part of the custom lyrics on the platinum hit song “Classic” by Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller of MKTO that was reinvented for ESPN2’s WNBA regular-season coverage. Debuting during tomorrow’s doubleheader (Indiana at Atlanta, 8 p.m. ET; Chicago at Los Angeles, 10 p.m.) the song will be used in games telecasts through the remainder of the regular season.

MKTO’s Custom Lyrics for ESPN

Part of chorus:
living in a world gone plastic
Taking it straight to the basket

Verse (changes in bold):
Baby you’re class and baby you’re sick
I never met a girl like you ever til we met
A star in the 40’s, centerfold in the 50’s
Got me tripping out like the sixties
Hippies Queen of the discotheque
A 70’s dream and an 80’s best
Hepburn, Beyoncé, Marilyn Manson
Girl you’re timeless, just so classic
Baby we’re class and baby we’re sick
You’ve never seen competitors playing like this
Cause we fly from the floor, we rise to the rim
And We never give up, we never give in
Got the drive to win, time to show and prove
Just like Leslie, Staley and Swoopes to the hoop
Anything can happen from the summer to the fall
and now its getting hotter so we everyday ballin’

The duo met in 2010 while filming the Nickelodeon television series “Gigantic,” and later formed together as MKTO, which represents their combined initials.

“Kate Leonard and the production team were looking for a song that had the right feel surrounding the WNBA-themed ‘Summer Hoops’ initiative,” said ESPN Music director Kevin Wilson. “Columbia records pitched us the song, and we thought it would be a great fit for this project. The band and producers used our suggested lyrics, and gave us exactly what we were looking for.”

Front Row caught up with Kelley and Oller to get their takes on working with ESPN and the WNBA on the project.

What were you hoping to capture with your ESPN-WNBA theme rendition of “Classic”?
MK: We want to be able to spread our feel good song and have everyone moving and partying in the arena.

What do you think it will be like to have your music featured on ESPN?
TO: I think it is great our music will be on ESPN. We put a new twist on “Classic” especially for the WNBA, it’s an amazing feeling and can’t wait for them to hear it!

What would be on your ESPN bucket list for MKTO’s music to be featured?
MK: Really having the song on ESPN, period, is something we can take off the bucket list, and we thank you guys. We love going to games or watching it on ESPN, and hearing our fav songs, so if one can be “Classic”, then that’s crazy.

What are two things ESPN viewers should know about MKTO?
TO: We both love sports and video games, especially “NBA2K.”

What are your favorite sports to watch and who are your favorite teams?
TO: We are a fan of all sports, really. We watched the NBA Finals and Malcolm’s team is the Lakers. He used to go to the WNBA Sparks games with my aunts, so it would be nice to have the song play while they are there.

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