Swiperboy takes swipe at Kiffin

Swiperboy has done it again. Sophomore forward Renaldo Woolridge has made waves among the Tennessee faithful during this season.

Seeing his minutes increased since the dismissal of Tyler Smith and the suspension of three other players - two of whom returned to practice this week - Woolridge is living the UT hoops dream.

But as much as his popularity has gone up for his ball skills, his skills off the court have made his name even more well-known.

Renaldo Woolridge has quickly become a new musical voice for UT Athletics, rapping out verses to represent the Orange and White. As part of the "Eric Berry 4 Heisman" campaign, the UT Athletic Department filmed a music video for his song about the former All-American safety.

Yet his latest single may surpass even a big production like that one.

Woolridge was on hand for the high-spirited gathering on campus that took place after former football coach Lane Kiffin left Tennessee after one season to take the head coaching position at Southern Cal.

Woolridge instantly knew he wanted to make a song about it but didn't think about where exactly he wanted to take a song about Kiffin.

On Saturday evening, a television report on Kiffin sparked a creative synapse in his brain.

"I sat down, wrote the song in about 20 minutes, I recorded it, and just put it out," he said.

In that 20 minutes, Woolridge and collaborator Micah Collie wrote "Never Leave You Like Kiffin," a love song with multiple references to the short-tenured coach's abrupt exit.

Collie, who has known Woolridge since the summer and collaborated with him on 10 songs, sings on the three-and-a-half-minute track.

Because Woolridge can easily come up with lyrics, Collie said, the hardest part of making the song for them was doing the sampling.

But after Woolridge resurrected an old beat and Collie recorded an eight-line hook, the two posted the song to YouTube.

Woolridge, also known as "Swiperboy" and "The Answer," makes multiple references to the Jan. 12 skirmish, Southern Cal and even new head coach Derek Dooley.

"You know that I'm a youngin'," the song begins, "but I would never leave you without telling you its comin'. No fakes, no fibs, no bluffin', stay wit ya for a year then leave like it's nothin'"

Collie and Woolridge knew that it would be big, seeing as their fan base is mostly local. But they had no idea that it would get so popular so quickly.

"I'm shocked. It's cool that people are so into the school spirit but also my music, too," Woolridge said.

Within two days, the song began to get press. GoVolsXtra ran a story on it Tuesday and the song even got some radio play on the Sports Animal.

The song has become especially popular among the students at UT. Sophomore Alex Cole went so far as to say that "Swiperboy" is his new favorite rapper.

"I thought it was pretty witty," Cole said. "Renaldo has a way with words. It was very entertaining."

In six days, "Never Leave You Like Kiffin" has over 67,500 views. His video for "Eric Berry" still has more with around 204,000 views.

But the rap about the "very scary" defensive back has been on YouTube since October.

"We were just kind of amazed about how it got around that quick," Collie said. "We know it's going to pass (Eric Berry) but we don't know when."

While the "Eric Berry" music video was on full display at the Auburn game at Neyland Stadium and his other hit "Baller Vol" has gotten a little airplay on the campus radio station 90.3 The Rock, "Never Leave You Like Kiffin" has gotten its popularity primarily through social networking.

And its popularity was not because someone chanced upon it on Twitter or Facebook. Collie said that both he and Woolridge made their best efforts to actively promote the song.

Woolridge may have made a local name for himself with his music, but Collie said that the forward is committed to his basketball skills first and foremost.

The rapping just comes naturally to him.

"People get it confused. They think he's making so many songs that he's not concentrating on basketball," Collie said. "But the thing is he can make a song while he's walking down the street."

As for whether he is upset about Kiffin's departure, mum is the word for The Answer.

"I really don't have a stance or an opinion on it," Woolridge said.

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