The 5 Best NBA Basketball Players Who Rap

For decades, basketball and hip-hop have had a close relationship.

Whether it’s rappers like Jay Z calling out star players like Nick Van Exel in the song “Crazy In Love” or wearing retro jerseys in the music video or star athletes working on their off-season rap game, the two are inextricably linked.

But who are the best basketball players who rap? Who holds the title?

Here, in honor of the new NBA season kicking off this week, we’ll dive in to find out. Here, we’ll see who would be the “Starting Five” when it comes to animating the NBA.

1. Shaquille O’Neal

Shaq’s rapping career began in the early 90s. He released five albums and one compilation. His 1993 album, Shaq Dieselachieved platinum status and he’s released songs with gaming stalwarts like the Notorious BIG. He was featured on Aaron Carter’s 2001 single, “That’s How I Beat Shaq,” and even entered a bit of a roster. hot water with a freestyle aimed at former teammate Kobe Bryant.

In 2017, the former Laker released a diss track aimed at LaVar Ball, father of NBA point guards Lonzo and LaMelo Ball, who said he and Lonzo would beat Shaq and his son Shareef in hoops. Shaq is the granddaddy of them all when it comes to spitting balls.

2. Damien Lillard

The American songwriter chatted with Portland Trailblazer guard Damian Lillard about his 2021 record, Different to levels the Lord has permitted. Lillard is no showboat when it comes to rhyming (not that it would be a problem if he was). Instead, he works brick by brick, building his craft and his career slowly but surely. Lately he’s really taken off, releasing songs with famous artists like Lil Wayne and Snoop. Check out Dame’s skills below.

3. Allen Iverson

In 2000, super popular former Philadelphia 76er point guard Allen Iverson recorded a rap album under the name “Jewelz”. According to tradition, he planned to release it the following year in 2001, but that effort was canceled by then-NBA commissioner David Stern, who had heard the lyrics and thought they were bad for Iverson. and the image of the NBA. What a stick in the mud. Iverson did, however, release a track, titled “40 Bars”. Check out this single below.

4. Ron Artest

In October 2006, Ron Artist, later known as Metta World Peace, released a rap album titled My World. The former Lakers forward’s album was released on Lightyear Records under Artest’s own label, Tru Warier Records. It features big names like P. Diddy, Juvenile and Capone. The record caused an uproar among NBA fans who thought Artest might not be doing all he could for his team. But the result is catchy work, especially on the “Haterz” track. Check it out below.

5. Lonzo ball

While LaVar Ball challenged Shaq and his son to hoops, it might have made more sense to challenge them to a rap battle, as Lonzo is also good at it. The Chicago Bulls point guard has released two albums, born 2 ball in 2018 and BAA in 2020. He says he’d be a full-time rapper if he wasn’t in the NBA. Her debut single, “Melo Ball 1,” is an ode to her younger brother, Charlotte Hornet’s star goaltender, LaMelo Ball. Lonzo even appeared in the 8th season of The Masked Singerthat’s how dedicated he is.

Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

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