Editor’s Picks: Athletes Who Gave Rapping A Shot


Metta World Peace released a track this week, and if you haven’t heard it, it’s… exactly what you’d imagine. The former Ron Artest is a noted NBA star, and also a noted crazy person, and this song definitely sounds like something a slightly unbalanced basketball player would create. But he’s far, far, faaaaar from the only athlete to pick up the mic and give hip-hop a try. Maybe when you’re a superstar on the court, you feel like you can be a superstar on stage as well. Usually, it’s not the case. But I wanted to compile some of my favorite hits and misses of athletes jumping on the mic – guys who just weren’t satisfied with dominating with a ball in their hand. Metta World Peace Ron-Ron is a never-ending source of delight and insanity, and he loves his Queensbridge so much. But he’s definitely less of a Nas, a fellow QB native, and more of a… Ron Artest. This video isn’t even produced well, and like, come on Ron – you’re a millionaire, you can afford a shirt.

Tony Parker The San Antonio Spur and former Eva Longoria partner also gave rapping a try, with the added hilarity of rapping in his native French. Now, there’s a lot of awesome French hip-hop out there, but this is decidedly not. The beat sounds like a Pitbull rejected track, and the video is super embarrassing and not at all cool. Also, the Frenglish he speaks throughout is even more disturbing, and the fact that he has to name check himself – “Tony P, NBA All Star!” – is the lamest thing possible.
Allen Iverson Iverson’s music career never even had a chance to start, thanks to the circumstances. AI was such a polarizing figure during his NBA career that it’s no surprise he had some grievances to air, but when he tried to release an album in 2000, the lyrics caused an uproar. NBA commissioner David Stern put the kibosh on the album release, and this sat on the shelf forever. Some nuggets have slipped out, however, and truth be told Iverson is not so bad.
Kobe Bryant Everyone blasts Shaq for his goofy rap career and his equally goofy acting career, but it’s Kobe who really did himself a disservice. Kobe had a weird street cred phase a few years back that coincided with his sudden abundance of tattoos and his self-created nickname. Maybe this was just a part of that phase, but it definitely puts a whole damper on the whole Kobe/Jordan argument. Jordan definitely would not have done this – he just did Space Jam instead.
LeBron James Ah, but was Kobe better than LeBron? This gem came out while Bron Bron was still a Cavalier, and it seems redundant for him to just tell us he has a lot of money. We know, buddy – your contract is public knowledge. The rest of it is kind of that old school, emcee, “My name is Bron and I’m here to say!/I’m good at basketball all day!” quality. Plus his voice sounds super weird and high, and he name-checks Sprite, which is not a cool drink.
Roy Jones Jr Always a big personality in the ring, the boxer just had to drop the gloves and attempt to rock the mic. Body Head Bangerz and Youngbloodz had a hit with “I Smoke, I Drank,” but it’s not like Jones Jr. added all that much to it. He definitely looks the part in the video, but his lines are as weak as his jabs were strong.
7th Floor Crew Oh man, the filthy Super Bowl Shuffle was a fairly big college football scandal back in the day. A few Miami Hurricanes record a rap song in their dorm in 2004, and when it leaked a year later people were aghast at the lyrical content. Future NFL players like Jon Beason and Greg Olsen had some fun and offended a bunch of folks, and gave yet another black eye to The U at a time when they were already in hot water with the NCAA.
Kevin Durant Maybe KD has a little Kobe in him. He’s a pretty clean-cut guy to this point in his career, but a foray into rap certainly is a change of pace. He loves his fellow DC bama Wale, and he has about the same level of tattoos as Waka Flocka – they’re just all confined to his torso, and are invisible on the court. He should probably stick to basketball, but a guy’s allowed to have hobbies.

Iman Shumpert Ok, I like this. Sorry. I’m a Knicks fan and Shump’s hair is great and he manages to take a song full of curse words and make it sparkly clean and mostly about Kurt Thomas. Kurt Thomas only listens to big band music from the 1930s.

Tags: hip-hop, Music, NBA, NFL, sports