gary speed cover

Cover art by Mikael Fløysand

Norwegian rapper Lars Vaular has released a tribute song to Gary Speed.

The song, performed in Lars’ native Norwegian (with subtitles translated into English), chronicles the rapper’s life as a Leeds United fan, paying tribute to famous names such as Lucas Radebe and Alan Smith who Vaular grew up idolising.

Svend Karlsen, editor of The Peacock News – a Leeds United fanzine published for The Whites’ huge Scandanavian fanbase – pointed me in the direction of Lars, describing him as the biggest rap artist in Norway.

The accompanying video, produced by Frode Kvinge Flatland (below), features a child sitting in a room awash with Leeds United memorabilia, watching Peter Ridsdale admit the errors of his “living the dream” exercise. When the music kicks in, Lars appears wearing one of Leeds’ classic Topman shirts (as worn by Gary Speed) accompanied by a number of other fans sporting shirts from different eras.

The video serves as tribute to the legacy of one of Leeds United’s greatest ever footballers, a man who Whites fans across the world hold in the highest esteem. Not only that though, Lars’ tribute also offers a reminder of how large and widespread Leeds United’s truly global fanbase is, and how the events in LS11 effect people on every corner of the globe.

The video of Lars’ song is available to view below (turn on captions for English subtitles). You can also stream the track on his website and follow Lars on Twitter.

Lars was also kind enough to answer a few questions for The Scratching Shed, which you can read below the video.

Q&A with Lars Vaular

TSS – How did you get into rap music?

Lars – I started listening to rap music in the early 90’s, mostly Wu-tang, 2pac and Snoop Dogg, and started rapping and writing songs in the early 00’s. I draw inspiration from other genres as well, for instance I’m a huge Morrisey fan, and my style of rapping comes from a lot of different influences. I’m releasing my fifth album 1001 Hjem (1001 Home) this month.

TSS – How did you come to support Leeds United?

Lars – My brother’s team was Liverpool, in fact most of the kids in the neighbourhood were either Liverpool or Scum. I felt like I had to pick a team that made me stand out in the crowd perhaps…

TSS – What inspired you to write a song about Gary Speed?

Lars – The beat gave me a big stadium kind of vibe, and the Gary Speed chant just came to mind. But I didn’t want to make a song that chronicled his life, instead I started to think of all these fun facts about Leeds players through the years, small bits and pieces of stories that somehow linked together – Lucas Radebe played for Kaiser Chiefs, which inspired a Yorkshire bandname, Lucas Radebe turned down Man U, Alan Smith used to ride motorcross with Whitey from Kaiser Chiefs, etc… A lot of it was just stream of consciousness really. Eventually I came to the part where Ridsdale f***s up, and thought to myself, damn it, we all miss Gary Speed. Football needs more guys like him. And why did he leave us?