If you’ve been around sports and hip-hop long enough, then you’ve come across this quote– “Rappers want to be like athletes, and the athletes want to be like rappers.” The two very influential entities, specifically basketball and hip hop, have a special chemistry. It has become familiar as the sunlight to find our favorite rappers sitting courtside at games or our favorite players quoting their lyrics. But their relationship is sustained by tributes (or plain disrespect); rappers pay homage to ballplayers in their songs, which sparks another round of conversations.
Down below are the ten best NBA-inspired lyrics from hip-hop.
1. Ice Cube, “Today Was A Good Day,” 1992 –
“Get me on the court and I’m trouble.
Last week f—– around and got a triple-double.
Freaking n—– every way like MJ.
I can’t believe today was a good day.”
2. Jay-Z, “Encore,” 2003 –
“As fate would have it, Jay’s status appears.
To be at an all-time high, perfect time to say goodbye.
When I come back like Jordan, wearing the 4-5.
It ain’t to play games with you, it’s to aim at you, probably maim you.”
3. Drake, “Thank Me Now,” 2010 –
“I can relate to kids going straight to the league.
When they recognize that you got what it takes to succeed.
And that’s around the time that your idols become your rivals.
You make friends with Mike but got to ‘A.I.’ him for your survival.”
4. Lil Wayne, “Kobe Bryant,” 2009 –
“Kobe doin’ work, 2–4 on my shirt.
He the greatest on the court and I’m the greatest on the verse.
Going for the fourth ring like it was his first.
Gotta get the bling, do it for Kareem.”
5. Jay-Z, “Pump It Up (Remix),” 2003 –
“Go ahead, bug out, I’ll Raid, n—-, scurry.
Worry, I’m, not, the Mike Jordan of the mic recording.
It’s Hovi, baby, you Kobe, maybe; Tracy McGrady.
Matter-fact, you a Harold Miner.
J.R. Rider, washed up on marijuana.
Even worse, you a Pervis Ellis.
You worthless, fella; you ain’t no athlete, you Shawn Bradley.”
6. Kendrick Lamar, “The Heart Part IV,” 2017 –
“Tables turned, lesson learned, my best look.
You jumped sides on me, now you ‘bout to meet Westbrook.
Go celebrate with your team and let victory vouch you.
Just know the next game played I might slap the s— out you.”
7. J. Cole, “Return of Simba,” 2011 –
“Ced said, ‘Look, my n—–, we got a foot in’.
Being good is good, that’ll get you Drew Gooden.
But me, I want Jordan numbers, LeBron footin’.
Can’t guard me, Vince Lombardi, John Wooden.”
8. Jadakiss, “Put Your Hands Up,” 2001 –
“And y’all scared I can tell.
That I’ma get Bucks like Milwaukee, cause like Sam, I ca’ sell.”
9. Kanye West, “New God Flow,” 2012 –
“Went from most hated to the champion god flow.
I guess that’s a feeling only me and LeBron know.”
10. Drake, “0 to 100 / The Catch Up,” 2014 –
“I’ve been Steph Curry with the shot.
Been cooking with the sauce.
Chef Curry with the pot, boy… 360 with the wrist, boy!”