ON STAGE WITH LIL’ SEAN — The tapes have been released.
Utah Business Revival held its long-planned, oft-relocated concert in Iron County over the weekend, after being rejected by previous plans to hold the event in Kaysville and Grantsville due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Country music star Collin Raye headlined the concert, which was originally scheduled for May 30 in Davis County. After Kaysville Mayor Katie Witt’s approval was turned aside due to COVID-19 concerns, the concert moved to Grantsville — where a Tooele County judge ruled that it would not be allowed, for similar reasons.
The complications sent event organizer Eric Moutsos to Cedar City, with few problems.
"We’ve got all the sound. We’ve got the stage. We’ve got all the vendors lined up,” Moutsos told KSL NewsRadio prior to the concert. “And we’ve got the permit.”
They also had a headliner. And with all due respect to Raye, we’re not talking about the country music superstar. We may be talking about Food Network star and celebrity restaurateur Guy Fieri, who reportedly made an appearance — but an even more local name stole the show.
As a warm-up act, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes appeared on stage with a cowboy hat, thanked the crowd for attending, yelled “God bless America and God bless the great state of Utah” while thanking “every one of you patriots who are here today” — and performed one of his off-brand rap acts as the “innovating, rhymenating, devastating AG,” much to the delight of the crowd.
“I think we thought that if we could get country music fans and rap fans together, somehow, that we could solve all the problems that we have in our nation,” Reyes said in a video obtained by Utah’s Blacksite Podcast and posted to Twitter. “When I wasn’t working on the farm, I went back to school in downtown LA — and Eric knows that I was a rapper — so he asked me, is it OK if I break out some rap before we have the most amazing country singer?”
A boxing fan and former amateur mixed martial arts fighter, Reyes has experience in the ring, which he used to describe his experience as Utah's attorney general.
"That rap combined different issues but it was about two things," Reyes said in a statement to KSL.com. "First, predators are exploiting COVID to victimize Utahns, and my AG team and I are on watch tracking and taking them down whether they are human traffickers, drug cartels, child pornographers or other abusers. We don’t rest just because COVID has paralyzed much of America.
"Second, I was a boxer growing up and later fought MMA. Ali was my favorite fighter. He fought clean and was the greatest. If any political opponents want to take my job as AG, they can take their best shots but they will have a battle. I fight clean but will do everything to beat them in an election like I would in the ring or figuratively in a rap. Organizers said my primary opponent would be there. That’s what the rap was about. Anyone trying to say otherwise didn’t hear it or just doesn’t understand it."
It’s not the first time Reyes has shown off his mic-dropping talents. In an interview with “All Due Respect” in 2015, Reyes spontaneously flowed into an original round of rhymes and bars, followed by an ancient Maori war dance, and a cover of Elvis Presley’s “Love Me Tender.”
However, this particular rap has stirred controversy for Reyes, due to its hard-on-crime lyrics amid nationwide protests against police brutality, and the ironic nature of the song being delivered at a concert which breaks local COVID-19 health directives.
Reyes became Utah’s Attorney General in 2013 following the resignation of John Swallow, and he’s running for re-election (again) this November.
Have You Heard This?
Here's the full lyrical melody of Reyes' performance, reprinted with permission from the Attorney General's office:
I’m a Dragon Slayer;
Out of all them haters;
As I chase down,
In my town,
Like a Bloodhound,
On the scent,
Till they’re found;
Infiltrate their compounds,
Engulf em like surround sound,
Don’t mess around, in my town,
Or I’ll take you down
I’m an Innovating, devastating
Repping 801, Utah, SLC;
Don’t waste your time
Trying to battle me,
Cuz I’ll knock you out—
You're Frazier ... I’m Ali.
Yes, Ali, aka Cassius Clay,
You wanna take my title?
Best step away;
I don’t play;
Feeling lucky punk?
Come on and make my day!
Cuz I can rope-a-dope,
Give you hope,
Take your best hits;
But when I’m standing there smiling
You’ll know I’m legit;
You’ll be punched out, tired and ready to sit;
Then I’ll rain down blows till you beg me to quit.
Round one or fifteen,
It don’t mean a thing,
It’s who’s wearing the belt
When we step out of the ring;
So I’ll overcome whatever you bring,
Cuz I’m the undisputed heavyweight and pound-for-pound king!
Editor's note: An earlier version of this story included misheard lyrics of Reyes' rap, due to the sound quality of the recording. It has been corrected through the Attorney General's office.