Sports Lyrics in Hip Hop – First Edition

Title: Sports Lyrics in Hip Hop – First Edition
Date: May 14, 2008
Original Source: The On Deck Circle
Synopsis: This isn’t really an article, just a collection of sports in hip-hop lyrics I thought of with help from some friends. It is, to say the least, not comprehensive, exhaustive, or authoritative. Just a list.

To me, hip-hop and sports are tightly intertwined. I’ve never really been able to put a finger on why, exactly, I have trouble separating my love for hip-hop from my love for sports at times. It’s not a race thing, either – I associate hip hop with sports, period, not just with basketball or football (oh, and I’m white…so, so white). From thinking of which song I’d come out to if I were a fighter or batter to which songs I would play during breaks in play at NBA or NHL games, this less than obvious duo has stumped me for a long time.

But it’s not just me, apparently. And 1 Mixtapes are set to hip hop music. Fighters and boxers come out to hip hop songs. I drafted Warrick Dunn in a fantasy league once because ESPN did a feature on him to the song “Fireman” by Lil’ Wayne. And on it goes. The basketball-hip-hop tag team combination may make sense on the surface, but it’s my opinion that sports and hip-hop are intertwined regardless of a game’s prominence in urban areas.

What makes me think this? Other than my own glaring self-serving bias, I have a body of evidence on the part of rappers and athletes alike supporting my claim. So, what follows is a collection of my favorite hip hop lyrics that are related to sports, whether they mention athletes, teams, or just sports in a topical manner.

The list is by no means a ranking and is by no means exhaustive. When it comes to hip-hop music, I like what I like and don’t listen to the rest, as I’m sure most people do. Thus, I’m imploring all of you to contribute to this list in the comments. I probably missed a lot, anyways. There’s a good chance I’ll re-release this piece down the line as a more comprehensive piece that includes your inputs (hence the ‘First Edition’ in the title). For now, have a chuckle at some of these gems and duds, and please play homage to the sport-lyric awesomeness that is Lil’ Wayne.
 More after the jump!

The Lil’ Wayne Division
“Weezy F Baby, for the team I rep daily / I come to the defense like Champ Bailey” – Lil’ Wayne, Shine On (by Baby)

“I’m like what it do, what it do / there’s a full court pressure, I’m just going for the two / if I’m open for the three, I’ma take it in a second / even if there’s one second, I’ma make it like it’s nothing” – Lil’ Wayne, Hustler Musik

“Now you know I play it, like a pro in the game / naw, better yet a veteran, a Hall of Fame” – Lil’ Wayne, Go DJ

“And I aint gettin Hitch / I’m gettin paid for, call me Money Mitch / ballin’ like Tony Gwynn” – Lil’ Wayne, I Took Her

“Then the style switch so quick / have you think the disc skipped / pimpin’ serious / make them bring it back like pass interference” – Lil’ Wayne, Diamonds & Girls

“I can play basketball with the moon, I got the whole world at my feet / playin’ touch football on Marijuana Street / or in a marijuana field, you are so beneath my cleats” – Lil’ Wayne, I Feel Like Dying

“N***a please, we on J-E-Ts / like Curtis Martin in white and green” – Lil’ Wayne, Kush

“Never talk to those that sit on the benches / I was in the game on 4th and inches” – Lil’ Wayne, Hard Body

“Still got Mami limp-oh / little bitty put his thang down like Mutumbo” – Lil’ Wayne, You Know What (by Avant)

“And when it’s cold, I turn into Wayne Gretzky” – Lil’ Wayne, I’m Raw

“And when it comes down to this recording / I must be LeBron James if he’s Jordan / no, I want rings for my performance / I’m more a Kobe Bryant of an artist” – Lil’ Wayne, Dough is What I Got

“You see me with my Marbury posture / I don’t play ball, I point-guard every dollar” – Lil’ Wayne (can’t find which song)

“I’m just headlinin’ the game / Won’t quit ‘till I’m A-Rod in the game” – Lil’ Wayne, Lightin’ Up My (La La La)

The Fabolous Divison
“I play them diamonds well like I get that jewellery on / they should call me Karat Jeter, or maybe Canary Bonds” – Fabolous, Diamonds on My Damn Chain

“They tried to put two nine’s on me, just like Gretzky / but my lawyer saw through it, just like wet T’s” – Fabolous, In My Hood

“In Houston I pass hoes in the Astros” – Fabolous, Throw Back

“I get the spirit in St. Louis, how could the God lose? I do back flips in the Ozzie Cardinals” – Fabolous, Throw Back

“I pitch game, you should see the change up I throw / aint gotta get ‘em a ring to get ‘em to swing” – Fabolous, Change Up

“And I’m a good player, I listen to the coach / she show me the playbook and said this is the approach / if you ever wanna score / ‘cuz some players rush they shot, and that’s why they’re never on the floor” – Fabolous, First Time

“They’ll throw it to you faster than Schilling and Clemens / but feelings aint the only thing that you can catch now” – Fabolous, Holla at Somebody Real

My Favorites
“I used to run bass like Juan Pierre / now I run bass high-hat with the snare” – Jay-Z, Deja Vu (by Beyonce)

“Bottom of the 9th and I really gotta score / if not I gotta move on to the next w**re” – J-Kwon, Tipsy

“When I get done it’s smooth sailing once I pull that ‘Lac out / next destination: I move forward like Jerry Stackhouse” – Ludacris, Woozy

“Life of a don, lights keep glowin, comin’ in the club with that fresh s*** on, with something crazy on my arm / and here’s another hit, Barry Bonds” – Kanye West, Barry Bonds

“You make me feel like I just hit the lotto / other girls, I give ‘em a shoulder colder than Chicago / but in your center I Heat it up in the Mourning like Alonzo” – Ludacris, Woozy

“When it comes to these women, dawg, aint no one f***in’ with me / they runnin’ back, you think I had a T.J. Duckett with me / that’s cause I throw it like Vick from the yard line / menage a trois, it’s safe to say I’m havin’ hard times” – Ludacris (f. Notorious B.I.G.), Living in Pain

“If you a thug or a rap artist, respect me like Pesci / and if rap was hockey, I be Gretzky” – Styles, N****s Done Started Something (by DMX)

“I got heart like John Starks” – Beastie Boys, Get it Together

“She ordered Kobe beef like Shaquille O’Neal / second I stepped in, the whole room gets still / I don’t know how to put this, but I’m kind of a big deal” – Kanye West, Back Like That Remix (by Ghostface Killah)

“I’ma Crip Walk to get Dre, and Blood Bounce back / Heat on the track, dribble rock like Wade and bounce like Shaq” – The Game, Bang

“You’re in a hurry, slow down, I don’t like how you’re actin’ / treat you like you from Milwaukee, send you Green Bay Packin’” – Nelly, Pimp Juice

The Not-So-Gangster, Not-So-Good Division
“We don’t think the same / I’m like Josh Howard, I need time out, but it’ll cost the game” – Joe Budden, Crazy Remix (by Gnarls Barkley)

“I leave ‘em shakin like the hands on Muhammad Ali / on the mic, I’m like the man Muhammad Ali” – Shawn Jay (of Field Mob), It’s Over

“You’re wicky wack with your ticky tack calls, didn’t touch you at all / I didn’t touch your hand, man, you know it’s all ball” – Beastie Boys, Hey F*** You

“You know how we do / we stay on your crew / like Mario Lemieux” – A Tribe Called Quest, Keep it Rollin’

“Focused on every word and line, like a young Cassius Clay in his prime” – Killer Mike, Flip Flop Rock (by Big Boi)

The “Full Song” Division
Halftime Show – Cam’ron (tonnes of sports references)
Right Thurr (NBA Live 2004 Remix) – Chingy
Flipside (NBA Live 2004 Remix) – Freeway
NBA Live 2004 – Twista (yes, that’s the song’s name)
Battlegrounds – T.I. (street basketball song)
Batter Up – Nelly (baseball song)

Ron ArtestThe Athlete-Cum-Rapper Division
Ron Artest (on his own record label, Tru Warrier Records) – decent, but crazy
Allen Iverson (aka Jewelz) – decent, but generic
Roy Jones Jr. – good on a Youngbloodz track (I Smoke, I Drink remix) but otherwise unimpressive
Master P – kind of the reverse, he had a try-out with the Raptors
Lil’ Romeo – son of Master P, rapper heading to USC as an 18th string point guard
Chris Webber – couldn’t find the song but allegedly he tried it
Shaquille O’Neal – Shaq Diesel, baby!
Kobe Bryant – appeared on a few mixtape tracks, debatable if it was actually him
Deion Sanders – ditto to Kobe
Tony Parker – raps in French, even had Fabolous on a track with a lame video
Cedric Ceballos – I have no proof, but I read about it before
Andre Rison – ditto to Ceballos
Gary Payton – ditto to Kobe and Neon Deion
Troy Hudson – weak, weak, weak

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