“When you watch MTV, you can tell all the musicians want to be athletes, and when you watch ESPN, you can tell all the athletes want to rap,” Shaquille O’Neal said. “Remember, a lot of us came from the same place.”
After hearing Eminem’s recent Ben Roethlisberger reference in his freestyle rap, I started thinking about other athlete references, praise and disses) in rap songs. Below is my list. I’m sure I missed a few gimmies, and most of them are basketball related, but you just don’t hear a lot of Joe Mauer lines. Who’d I miss?
*Also, it should go without saying, that a lot of these videos/audio samples are Not Safe For Work, so I included the lyrics bleeped out, as a precaution. I also linked the YouTube videos to the specific time when the lyrics started, so you don’t have to hear the entire song. Of course, the lyrics are only part of the package. Flow is also important, so most of these just aren’t as good as mere words on a page. If you’re at work, have a listen when you get home.
5. Joe Budden’s Grant Hill and Kurt Thomas diss
This was part of Budden’s NBA freestyle, where he also dissed Eddy Curry and Tyus Edney. But this one is the best, taking out two players. This was obviously when Grant Hill was chronically injured and missing seasons at a time. Then, he goes after Kurt Thomas’ post game, which still rings true.
Lyrics: “End up like Grant Hill on the bench in your street clothes/Talk about he real, how he quick with a glock/But like Kurt Thomas he ain’t good for sh*t on the block.”
To hear the clip, click the play button:
4. 50 Cent’s “Flight 187 (Michael Vick)”
Right around the time Vick was being signed by the Eagles, 50 Cent had part of a verse dedicated to the quarterback who went to prison for federal dogfighting charges.
Lyrics: “I spoke to Michael Vick and I told him I’m happy he home,
You tell them crackers ‘sorry ni**a’ then you get back on.
When dogs are fighting in the hood, nobody gives a f*ck
So you get back and shake it on the field, show them whats up.”