Raptor Foot: Is this the new anthem for Toronto?
Published Monday, June 10, 2019 9:02AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, June 10, 2019 2:07PM EDT
If you haven't heard it, get ready, this will be stuck in your head for the rest of the day. Just two words, repeated; Raptor Foot, Raptor Foot.
The chant comes from a video first posted to Twitter just hours before Game 1 of the NBA Finals. It is an infectious 17 second street performance in front of Union Station. The man stomping, pounding, "Raptor Foot." That video has since been viewed more than 37,000 times.
Since then, "Raptor Foot" has spawned a recorded song, inspired two re-mixes, Instagram videos, a choreographed dance, and an official music video expected to drop Monday before game five.
Birth of the Raptor Foot
If the Raptors season seems like destiny, the story of Raptor Foot will only add to that feeling.
The man stomping in the video is Bob Tuner from Scarborough. Originally from Jamaica, Turner is a life-long performer who goes by the stage name General Genius.
"I never thought it would by anything like this,” he says.
It all started during the second round of this year’s playoffs as the Raptors were in a tight game against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Turner was watching at a bar on Kingston Road.
"When we were down by one point I started stomping my foot to put on the pressure like, ‘come on guys.’ I stomped my foot and said Raptor Foot,” he said "Then (the Raptors) hit a three, and ever since then it’s like a good luck charm."
Turner is a long time Raptor fan who was desperate for the team to exercise it's demons.
"I remember the Vince carter era when we lost by one point,” he says.
Turner used the Raptor Foot as much as possible. Soon others joined in, stomping.
He says that at one point the bartender yelled, "you're gonna break the floor!"
Turner stomped right through Game 7 against Philly, "I was like, this time they have to win, and when Kawhi hit that shot." He said. "The Raptor foot is a very dangerous thing. I had no idea how dangerous it was."
Turning Raptor Foot into music
Within days Turner started to think of Raptor Foot as a song. Speaking with friends inside Conrad's barbershop on Lawrence Avenue it started to take shape.
"Since it’s a raptor foot we should have like a beat, like a stomp. Boom, boom,” he said.
By the time the Raptors had defeated the Bucks, Turner wanted to show Toronto.
On the day of Game 1 of the finals, he presented an idea to friends.
"I say we go downtown" he said. "We're gonna get a mic and we're gonna do this. Raptors stomping out Golden State."
He and three friends came downtown and set up at the corner of Front and York streets.
"That right there looked like a stage, and I love stages." He said.
At the corner they would perform for crowds as they walk by. A few stopped to sing along, and dance. The cell phone video was recorded, a tweet was sent, and Raptor Foot was alive.
Stomping through social media
The video was viewed over 5,000 views by tipoff of Fame 1. By the time the game was over, 15,000 views. The next morning, over 20,000 views.
Turner saw the video and said of himself, "Oh my gosh (I was) in the zone so deep, and it looked stylish." He decided that it was important to strike while the stomping was hot, so Turner quickly recorded his own version, on SoundCloud:
Turner's version of the song is not the only one. Beyond the thousands of views and comments, others have tried to jump on the Raptor Foot train. This re-mix appeared just 24 hours after game one.
A few days later, another song and video inspired by Raptor Foot:
RAPTOR FOOT OFFICIAL SONG !! pic.twitter.com/kjYgLPWnkn— TMC Tré (@iamTresor) June 5, 2019
There has also been an attempt at an official dance.
Turners reaction to it all, he says "I love the city, I love Toronto and I love people."
Now he's the Raptor Foot guy.
Turner visited Jurassic Park on Friday night for Game 4. He says that the reception was warm.
"Everyone knows us,” he said. “Kids singing along. We had like 100 people jumping with us."
When people would ask his name, Turner would say, "I'm the Raptor Foot guy."
With the Raptors leading 3-1 in the NBA Finals, Turner plans to head down to Jurassic Park again on Monday night.
He said that winning would be "the most ultimate joy of course, I created the Raptor Foot chant for them."
Turner says he did the song because "it's a historical time in Toronto and being a Torontonian, I have to be a part of that."