EDITOR'S NOTE: The following song contains a couple of instances of foul/NSFW language. Discretion is advised.
The last time that most of us heard from Steve Francis, he had been unceremoniously cut by the Beijing Ducks (the same team fellow expat guard Stephon Marbury would later lead to a Chinese Basketball Association championship) after a brief, glory-free stint that saw him log just 14 minutes over four games, during which he managed to check into a game with ice packs on his ankles. It was a whimper of an end for the three-time NBA All-Star and 2000 Rookie of the Year, and if you were a fan of his dynamic (if often reckless and self-serving) game during the '00s, you likely wondered what would become of him.
Well, wonder no more: The former Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic and New York Knicks guard is now the impresario behind fledgling hip-hop label Mazerati Music, which is sort of like Maybach Music except with fewer rappers you've heard of (READ: probably no rappers you've heard of). He's even spitting some himself, as evidenced by the official video for his new cut, "Finer Things." The song itself is very perfectly Steve Francis, in that it is pretty soundly stuck in the mid-2000s.
Not only does the beat's bounce feel about 10 years old, but the highlighted bits of iconography — private jet parties (that presumably never leave the hangar), popped bottles, sandy beach frolics, diamond-studded crucifixes, the tender romancing of ladies in white tank tops, and so on — all make Francis seem like someone trying to hit a version of the sensitive thug pose less in line with today's model (e.g., Drake) than with, say, Ja Rule. It also features Francis trying to make "'RATI!" into an ad-lib drop that people will say, which I predict will be unsuccessful.
Still, I think it's nice that Francis is finding things, finer or otherwise, to occupy his time in retirement. It's hard to pick a single favorite element of this Steve Francis Presentation, but I think mine is either the very long black-and-white dinner scene, the multiple shots of Francis delivering nice, sweet sitcom smooches, or the string of "da-da-da-da"s at around the 2:10 mark. I mean, you could write another few bars of lyrics to close out the R&B breakdown before heading back to the hook, but then you wouldn't be enjoying all of those finer things. You can see the bind that'd put us in.
Hat-tip to ESPN's Chris Palmer.