During an interview with WSOC-TV late last week, Vinny Esposito—the owner of a DJ company called Split Second Sound in Charlotte, N.C. and the official game day DJ for the Carolina Panthers—revealed the secret to his success as a DJ for an NFL team.
“It’s just a matter of playing the right song at the right time,” he said.
Prior to the Seahawks/Panthers playoff game at Bank of America Stadium yesterday, Esposito proved that he’s got his finger on the pulse of what NFL fans want to hear when he ran through a series of Future songs during pre-game warm-ups. With Future’s latest mixtape release, Purple Reign, fresh on the minds of rap fans, Esposito, who goes by DJ Vinny, couldn’t have picked a better time to play as much Future as possible.
But of course, that's not the only reason people took notice of Esposito's pre-game music. Many people also raised an eyebrow because Russell Wilson—who is dating Ciara, Future's ex-fiancée—was obviously in town to take on the Panthers.
One fan who was at the game captured this video of Esposito playing Future’s 2014 hit, “Monster”:
And as word trickled out on social media that Esposito was playing Future in the stadium before the game, NFL and rap fans alike reacted strongly to it:
Several hours after the game ended, Esposito took to Twitter to say that he didn't play any additional Future on Sunday because of Wilson. Rather, he said that he is always asked to play Future during home games by Panthers players:
And as it turns out, Esposito may have actually done Wilson a favor . Because while he did play a handful of Future songs before the game, he didn’t play any while the game was going on, even as the Seahawks inched their way back into things after falling behind 31-0 in the first half. Carolina fans pleaded with him to play Future in the stadium while the game was going on:
But to no avail. Esposito seemed to shy away from playing Future during the game itself.
We reached out to Esposito’s wife Diane Esposito, the co-owner of Split Second Sound, to see why he chose to take this approach. She assured us that Sunday wasn’t the first time Esposito has ever played Future at a Panthers’ game. As Esposito said in his tweet above, he plays about six Future songs during every game.
But she also said that, on Sunday, Esposito played all six before the game, as opposed to playing them during it. According to his wife, this was at the request of the Panthers.
“He played the same amount of Future songs that he plays every single game,” she told Complex Sports in an email. “Out of respect for Russell Wilson, the team asked Vinny to omit the Future songs that he normally plays during the game, which he did.”
That probably won’t make Wilson feel any better about the fact that so much Future was played in the first place. All of the memes that flooded the Internet didn't help, either:
But if you can believe it, things could have gone even worse for Wilson than they did on Sunday.
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