True Mamba is a local rapper whose song “We Lit!” was inspired by the Calgary Flames. PHOTO COURTESY: TRUE MAMBA

With more than 25,000 views on YouTube, Calgary rapper True Mamba’s We Lit! is gaining traction as the Calgary Flames anthem for this year’s NHL playoffs.

True Mamba, whose real name is Akrit Jawanda, grew up listening to rap and hip-hop and has been making music for many years now. He’s had the opportunity to open for Snoop Dogg and put on a performance with Roc Nation, an entertainment agency founded by Jay-Z, in New York. 

On top of being an up-and-coming performer, he is also a huge Calgary Flames fan. Ever since being introduced to the team as a kid in 2000, he’s been a loyal follower of the franchise. 

“I just knew from that moment like the Flames was our team, you know what I mean? Like that was the team I’m supposed to follow,” says Jawanda. 

After 20 years of cheering them on during games and going to watch practices with his parents, the team is using one of his songs for a hype video on social media.

“I think the thing that really hits me the most is the fans are just rallying around me.”

true mamba

We Lit! was written to be an anthem for the Flames, and he released his first version of the song last year. 

“As an artist, I wanted to try to do something original and I think I saw a lot of cover songs in the past.”

The most notable being 2004’s In Da Dome, which was a play on 50 Cent’s In Da Club and ended up becoming an anthem for the Stanley Cup run that year. 

“I remember that just growing up as a kid I was like, ‘Man this is awesome, this is dope,’” says Jawanda of the song. 

But when he decided to write his own Flames-focused song, he wanted to create something new to catch fans attention. 

“I was like, ‘Man, I want to do something original. I want to do something where it’s good musically, it’s good from a music video standpoint.’”

“As an artist and as a fan, I put those two things together, and this is just an extension of who I am as an artist too. right, not just a fan,” he says. 

The main difference between last year’s original release and this year’s is the energy. Jawanda says last year’s original version was written to be more aggressive and contained more player references, while this year’s version is meant to feel more triumphant and focused on the team and the city.  

“As much as it’s the Flames anthem for the players, as much as it’s theirs, it’s ours as well, right, as fans. So, I think I wanted to kind of make it broad and make it more about the team more about the city.”

The song has garnered attention from a variety of local media outlets this year and has even been shared on Twitter by Mayor Naheed Nenshi. But for True Mamba, it’s the fans who are really making it special. 

“I think the thing that really hits me the most is the fans are just rallying around me. Like man, they’re listening to it. They’ve got my back. There’s so many great messages and tweets.”

Ultimately, he hopes the song will be around for many years, even if that means changing lyrics occasionally to accommodate potential roster changes on the team. 

“That ‘we lit’ kind of theme, and that kind of mantra that I’m kind of creating with it, I hope that can stay and we can build off that for years to come,” says Jawanda.

“This is a reflection of who I am as an artist and I definitely want people to ride with me to this song, but I want people to ride with me as an artist as well.”