Yungblud dropped the blood-pumping new single “The Emperor” on Friday (Aug. 5), which will serve double-duty as the official anthem for ESPN’s coverage of the 2022-2023 college football season, which kicks off on Aug. 27.
“It’s a massive honor to have my song ‘The Emperor’ chosen as the anthem for ESPN’s college football season,” said Yungblud in a statement. “I wrote this song when I was 17; it was just an outburst of unfiltered energy that I knew would have its moment one day. I played it live for years, but never found the right time to release it until now. College football is such a massive part of American culture, and all I ever want to do is bring energy to people, so I can’t wait for the song to bring that energy to the fans and the players at the games all season.”
The track with the galloping tempo and a “whoa-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh” chant features Yungblud bellowing the urgent question “are you the emperor?” on the frenzied chorus. The team-up continues the long-running collaboration between ESPN and Interscope Records, which has included tracks from Imagine Dragons, Juice WRLD and Thirty Seconds to Mars during ESPN’s coverage of the NBA postseason, previous college football seasons and more.
“In previous years we’ve selected music that matched the tone of college football. This year, with ‘Emperor,’ we partnered closely with the artist to custom build a song for football. The chants, hype, and tone match perfectly to what we expect to feel around and inside college football this season,” said Curtis Friends, senior director of sports marketing for ESPN, in a statement.
“The up-tempo pace and energy of the song feels like the release of all the bottled up energy and intensity fans, players, and teams have had in anticipation for the upcoming season. It’s the perfect fit thematically for the ebbs and flows of the season that will end with one team being crowned the next ‘Emperor’ of College Football,” adds Friends of the track that will be featured within ESPN’s college football programming, promotion and games this season, as well as the network-produced college football hype trailer.
In addition to Yungblud, this season college football fans will hear music from other Interscope Records/Capitol Music/Disney Music Group artists including Halsey, Ciara, Quavo & Takeoff, Tyler Hubbard, DNCE and Dreamers.
Yungblud will release his self-titled third studio album on Sept. 2, which will feature the previously released singles “The Funeral,” “Memories” (feat. Willow) and “Don’t Feel Like Feeling Sad Today.”
Listen to “The Emperor” here and watch the ESPN trailer below.