Tracey Lee has released a reworked version of his breakout hit “The Theme (It’s Party Time)” to celebrate the classic cut’s 25th anniversary.
Originally released on February 4, 1997, as the lead single from the Philly rapper’s debut album Many Facez, the D-Dot and Amen-Ra-produced track spent a total of 37 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (peaking at No. 55) and was a regular party anthem in clubs in the mid-late ’90s.
For “Party Time XXV,” Tracey Lee has teamed up with producer Ojizz on the Trak who besides remixing the original also sings the song’s hook.
Coming with the same energy as its predecessor, T-Lee salutes his team — and even delivers some slick wordplay geared around a certain NBA family. “You know the theme, everywhere that my crew go/ Keep family on the team, Antetokounmpo,” he raps on the song’s second verse referring to Greek-Nigerian brothers Giannis and Thanos Antetokounmpo, who won an NBA championship together in 2021 with the Milwaukee Bucks. Their younger brother Kostas also won a chip in 2020 with the L.A. Lakers.
Elsewhere in the verse, the rapping lawyer/author shuts down those who questioned his dedication to Hip Hop: “So when they ask where I been, I been busy/ To hear them say I stop rappin’ sounds silly/ Bars stay heavy and the shape-up crispy/ Throw the Bul anywhere on the globe, I’m still Philly.”
The updated version of ‘The Theme’ comes with a video directed by Don Trunk and T-Lee’s longtime friend and engineer extraordinaire Young Guru. Check it out below.
When he’s not rapping, Tracey Lee represents a wide range of clients as an entertainment lawyer. He graduated law school at Southern University, an HBCU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and is one of, if not the only rapper to transition from a major label deal to being an entertainment lawyer.
He returned to music in 2014 as an independent artist under the LLeft Entertainment imprint that he owns with his wife, Lori Nelson Lee. He’s released three projects via the label: ESQ. the Revelation (2014), Expect the Unexpected (2019), and the acclaimed Glory (2021).
Besides co-directing and appearing in the video for “Party Time XXV,” Young Guru — who is also the Director of Operations for 9th Wonder’s Jamla Records — has been tight with T-Lee ever since the pair attended Howard University together.
Back in August, JAY-Z’s trusted engineer shared some never before heard conversational audio from The Notorious B.I.G. which was captured on the night Biggie recorded his show-stealing verse for Tracey Lee’s “Keep Your Hands High.”
“It’s crazy what you find in the archives,” Guru wrote at the time on Instagram before tagging Biggie’s son CJ Wallace. “@cjordanwallace your dad was schooling my crew early. He was an incredible man. This is a conversation on the night he made ‘Keep Your Hands High with @traceyleeesq.”
He continued: “This is the reflection of someone concerned with growth. The language is straight and to the point because that’s how we talked in our twenties. But the point is still the same!! These are the men that I was lucky enough to call friends!! @lancealotlinks763 I see you!!! Lol.”