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The 4Kids One Piece Theme,[1] sometimes referred to as the "One Piece Rap" or "Pirate Rap",[2] was the opening theme music used in every episode of 4Kids Entertainment's dub of One Piece. It was also used in the English localization of the video game Grand Battle! Rush! and an instrumental mix played during the 4Kids anime's closing credits. The song was rapped by Shawn Conrad (also known by the stage name "Freshco") with singing by Russell Velàsquez.

The accompanying opening uses visuals from the first and second Japanese openings, plus some footage from the episodes themselves.

Production

Although an English version of We Are! was used in early promotional material, 4Kids decided to use this theme in its place with the expectation that "it was going to be something that'd have a lot of popularity".[3] Shawn Conrad, who was working for 4Kids as an audio engineer at the time, was suggested as the theme's rapper while he was mixing his own album at 4Kids' facilities. He was provided an early version of the lyrics with a basic description of the series and re-wrote them to be "up to date and cool".[2]

The lyrics and visuals at the end of the opening were revised following the Baratie Arc and Drum Island Arc to reference new members of the Straw Hat Pirates. The version used in Grand Battle has slightly different lyrics that incorrectly refer to Zoro as a samurai.

Lyrics

All versions begin with the following narration by Eric Stuart (with Gold Roger voiced by his regular voice actor Frederick B. Owens).

There once was a man named Gold Roger, who was King of the Pirates. He had fame, power, and wealth beyond your wildest dreams. Before they hung him from the gallows, these were the final words he said:

"My fortune is yours for the taking, but you'll have to find it first. I left everything I own in One Piece."

Ever since, pirates from all over the world set sail for the Grand Line, searching for One Piece, the treasure that would make their dreams come true!

Original

YO!
Ya-yo, ya-yo!

Dreamin'! Don't give it up, Luffy!
Dreamin'! Don't give it up, Zolo!
Dreamin'! Don't give it up, Nami!
Dreamin'!
Don't give it give it up give it up give it up give it up give it up give it up give it UP!

Here's how the story goes, we find out
'bout a treasure in the Grand Line, there's no doubt
The pirate whose eye is on it, he'll sing
I'll be King of the Pirates, I'm gonna be King!

Ya-yo, ya-yo, ya-yo... oh-ho...

His name is Luffy
(That's Monkey D. Luffy!)
Gonna be king of the pirates!
He's made of rubber!
(How did that happen?)
Yo-ho-ho, he took a bite of Gum Gum!

Ya-yo, ya-yo...

His name's Zolo, he's just like a samurai
And a L-A-D-Y Nami's not shy
The pirate crew, comin' through, doin' their thing
With the king of the pirates, he's gonna be king!

Ya-yo, ya-yo, ya-yo, oh-ho...

Set sail for One Piece!
It's the name of the treasure
In the Grand Line!
Ya-yo, ya-yo...
Set sail for One Piece!

First Revision

YO!
Ya-yo, ya-yo!

Dreamin'! Don't give it up, Luffy!
Dreamin'! Don't give it up, Zolo!
Dreamin'! Don't give it up, Nami!
Dreamin'!
Don't give it give it up give it up give it up give it up give it up give it up give it UP!

Here's how the story goes, we find out
'bout a treasure in the Grand Line, there's no doubt
The pirate whose eye is on it, he'll sing
I'll be King of the Pirates, I'm gonna be King!

Ya-yo, ya-yo, ya-yo... oh-ho...

His name is Luffy
(That's Monkey D. Luffy!)
Gonna be king of the pirates!
He's made of rubber!
(How did that happen?)
Yo-ho-ho, he took a bite of Gum Gum!

Ya-yo, ya-yo...

His name's Zolo, he's just like a samurai
And a L-A-D-Y Nami's not shy
Usopp's doin' that marksman thing
Sanji's cookin' for the would-be King!

Ya-yo, ya-yo, ya-yo, oh-ho...

Set sail for One Piece!
It's the name of the treasure
In the Grand Line!
Ya-yo, ya-yo...
Set sail for One Piece!

Second Revision

YO!
Ya-yo, ya-yo!

Dreamin'! Don't give it up, Luffy!
Dreamin'! Don't give it up, Zolo!
Dreamin'! Don't give it up, Nami!
Dreamin'!
Don't give it give it up give it up give it up give it up give it up give it up give it UP!

Here's how the story goes, we find out
'bout a treasure in the Grand Line, there's no doubt
The pirate whose eye is on it, he'll sing
I'll be King of the Pirates, I'm gonna be King!

Ya-yo, ya-yo, ya-yo... oh-ho...

His name is Luffy
(That's Monkey D. Luffy!)
Gonna be king of the pirates!
He's made of rubber!
(How did that happen?)
Yo-ho-ho, he took a bite of Gum Gum!

Ya-yo, ya-yo...

His name's Zolo, he's just like a samurai
And a L-A-D-Y Nami's not shy
Usopp's doin' that marksman thing
Sanji's cookin', Chopper's doctoring!

Ya-yo, ya-yo, ya-yo, oh-ho...

Set sail for One Piece!
It's the name of the treasure
In the Grand Line!
Ya-yo, ya-yo...
Set sail for One Piece!

Grand Battle Version

YO!
Ya-yo, ya-yo!

Dreamin'! Don't give it up, Luffy!
Dreamin'! Don't give it up, Zolo!
Dreamin'! Don't give it up, Nami!
Dreamin'!
Don't give it give it up give it up give it up give it up give it up give it up give it UP!

Here's how the story goes, we find out
'bout a treasure in the Grand Line, there's no doubt
The pirate whose eye is on it, he'll sing
I'll be King! I-I'll be Pirate King!

Ya-yo, ya-yo, ya-yo... oh-ho...

His name is Luffy
(That's Monkey D. Luffy!)
Gonna be king of the pirates!
He's made of rubber!
(How did that happen?)
Yo-ho-ho, he took a bite of Gum Gum!

Ya-yo, ya-yo...

His name's Zolo, he's a samurai
And a L-A-D-Y Nami's the sly
The pirate crew, comin' through, doin' their thing
With the King, with the kid gonna be Pirate King!

Ya-yo, ya-yo, ya-yo, oh-ho...

Set sail for One Piece!
It's the name of the treasure
In the Grand Line!
Ya-yo, ya-yo...
Set sail for One Piece!

Reception

The reaction to the One Piece Rap has always been mixed. While it was praised for being an alternative to the Japanese pop introductions used by the original version, it was down-rated due to its lyrics. Reviewing the Viz DVD release for DVD Talk, Todd Douglass cited replacing the Japanese theme with "a crappy rap song" as a negative aspect of the 4Kids dub[4]. A version prior to the release of the 4Kids dub included a line referring to Zoro as "a samurai", but this was changed prior to the dub's premiere. As crew members joined the Straw Hat Pirates over the time, the lyrics were revised to add the new characters, which critics complained of making the song sound awkward and rushed at time. Further criticism was pulled into question over why it was continued to be used over the original Japanese songs or another alternative song.

Trivia

  • Editing inconsistencies can be seen when it shows Mihawk; in the dub, the hilt of his blade was changed to look less cross-like, but in this opening Mihawk's blade is unedited.
  • The original song could be heard on the old 4Kids corporate site at 4KidsEntertainment.com, and was later released by Cherry Lane Records as part of the digital album Music From 4Kids TV on October 18, 2005, sharing a track with fellow 4Kids originals Be A Pirate and You Can't Turn the Tide.[1]
  • There wasn't a third revision after Nico Robin joined the crew.
    • Years later, Shawn Conrad would independently release an updated version that included Robin, as well as Franky, Brook, and Jinbe.[5]

References

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