We all know basketball and hip hop music have been connected since the early 90′s, which happened to be a golden era for both the sport and the music. With basketball players pursuing rap careers and vice versa, it’s not surprising to hear a lot of NBA references in songs anymore.
Recently, I’ve noticed a new trend though. A lot of songs are being released that are named after 90′s NBA players. Let’s see if calling you song after a better balled makes for a better song, by breaking down 6 recent player-titled songs.
Asher Roth - Rik Smits (listen)
Roth decided to go with a fellow whiteboy and severely underrated center from the 90′s in this freeverse over Saigon’s Come On Baby. Though it’s named, Rik Smits, while rapping he flips it into ‘Rik Spits’, in the Mick Swagger, Trill Cosby type of wordplay.
“My fault that I feel I’m the realest in rap, dog // Black Thought, mixed with a kid ripping on Falkor // more like Rik Spits, spin without using a backboard”.
Stalley - Larry Bird (listen)
Unlike Asher Roth, Stalley is not white like the NBA player he raps about. The song is rather short and has all the average rap-ball comparisons you and I could think of, from shooting to posting up on the block. The only Larry Bird reference is “ride Chevy with Dayton wires, with tons of boom in the back // the black Larry Bird, run, tell ‘em the bruisin’ is back”.
Kendrick Lamar feat. Schoolboy Q - Michael Jordan (listen)
Right from the start, the tone is set as a woman is heard singing “I used to wanna be like Michael Jordan”. The rest of the song is entirely basketball focused, but the chorus has plenty Jordan references starting with his jersey number. Although Kendrick is a very talented rapper, this song doesn’t have too much replay value.
“I’m 2 much for these n—-, I’m 3 much for these hoes // Michael Jordan, bitch // bounce, bounce”.
Actual Proof - Rod Strickland (listen)
The boom bap beat produced by Khrysis provides a good backdrop for a classic sounding song that fits Rod Strickland. Overall a very solid song, though a New York mention in the chorus would’ve made it better than the hometown connection Act Proof went with.
“Rock, rock to the rhythm // Rod Strickland keep shaking it // Raleigh keep making it // Durham keep taking it”.
Curren$y feat. Freddie Gibbs - Scottie Pippen (listen)
Curren$y has been on a great streak latelty, so when paired up with Alchemist on the beat and the very 90′s sounding Freddie Gibbs on the second verse, it makes for a great song. Not much basketball references here though, as the title just stems from a line in Curren$y’s verse.
“Windy City Bulls Mitchell & Ness wool jackets // some sweats and Scottie Pippens // My description, high off that fuzzy green prescription”.
The Cool Kids feat. Ghostface Killah - Penny Hardaway (listen)
This track off the long awaited Cool Kids album definitely lives up to everything you could expect it to be. Chuck Inglish provides a really dope 90′s backdrop for him and Mikey to rap on, with a guest verse from the legendary Ghostface. The Cool Kids are known for their vintage style, both in clothing and rhymes, so expect no different here. By far the best song out of all of these, The Cool Kids are ready for the big leagues.
“Them Bally loafers and them Cartiers // I do my thing Penny Hardaway”
I’m sure I’ve missed songs too, so if you know any drop a comment. Also, what do you think is the best NBA inspired song ever made?
By M2′s very own Chuck Inglish