Hip-hop ode to Ichiro looking like a hit

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Holy Smoke, in the latest bit of Ichiro info that has the Japanese media abuzz, the bona fide, bearded Seattle Mariners superstar has endorsed a song written and produced by a group of Seattle guys.

In a fortuitous event - because someone knew someone's brother who knew Ichiro's agent - Xola Malik, the former recording artist known as Kid Sensation, is the voice in a hip-hop single that's been played at Safeco Field and on local radio stations.

Popcorn. Cracker jacks. C'mon, Ichiro, swing that bat!

The single, recently remixed by Sir Mix-A-Lot (of "Baby Got Back" fame), is headed soon to retailers on this and the other side of the Pacific, says Wayne Perryman, a local consultant working with Malik and producers Frederick Montgomery and Curtis Midkiff.

The local men signed a contract with Ichiro last month to endorse the single, Perryman said. It's an unusual deal, Perryman said, because Ichiro is being courted by so many companies eager to have the one-name wonder endorse their products.

The Mariner right fielder will be co-owner of the song and share in any profits it may generate.

The local men haven't finalized a distribution agreement, but because they have Ichiro's blessing, they are being courted by companies ready to market the single, especially in Japan, Malik said.

"I have to say it's just a blessing," says Malik, the former West Seattle High kid who grew up in Rainier Valley. "I'm really excited about the whole thing."

Ichiro, fond of greeting teammates with "Whassup dog?" and a bit of swagger, reportedly thinks the song is "cool."

Florangela Davila can be reached at (206)464-2916 or fdavila@seattletimes.com.