NBA players have started being around more and more rappers and music artists, and there seems to be come kind of connection between the two.
A lot of rappers played basketball in high school and even college with the dream of becoming an NBA player. When many didn’t make it due to the overwhelming talent, some players turned to their studies while others turned to the microphone. NBA players often used rap as a hobby when they’ve got some time off from their tough professional schedule.
Some of these players have taken this hobby to a whole new level throughout their careers, recording songs and even releasing a few albums. Here are 10 NBA players who attempted a career in rap, starting with number 10.
10. Chris Webber – 2 Much Drama, 1999
Going by the name C. Webb, Chris Webber released this independent label album in 1999. Most of the people on our list were never able to put together a full album and release it, so Webber clearly put some thing and thought into this one!
Click “Next Page” for the ninth NBA player who attempted a career in rap!
9. Delonte West – Livin Life Fast, 2011
The NBA lockout had many players out of a job in 2011, so Delonte West decided to take his talents to the rap world. We should give him credit for trying, but most pundits found this track to be wildly disappointing.
Click “Next Page” for the eighth NBA player who attempted a career in rap!
8. Iman Shumpert – Anarchy, 2012
Shumpert’s rap game has seemingly subsided since his move to the Cleveland Cavaliers. When he was still balling for the Knicks, Iman released this track while walking the streets of the Big Apple.
When he joined the Cavs, he focused on basketball for a while. At the start of the playoffs, Shump released his Cavs playoff anthem and then also rapped the theme to ESPN’s First Take during the NBA Finals.
Click “Next Page” for the seventh NBA player who attempted a career in rap!
7. Steve Francis – Finer Things, 2012
The music video for this song is something out of the 1990’s or early 2000’s, when Francis still had a career in the NBA. His flow is also pretty terrible, if you have to choose between him and Delonte for a Youtube viewing, I would recommend Delonte.
Click “Next Page” for the sixth NBA player who attempted a career in rap!
6. Gary Payton – Livin Legal and Large, 1994
This was at the beginning of the NBA and rap industry merge (at least attempted merge by some players). Payton songs almost identical to Too Short, and this track gets pretty funky. I wouldn’t say his rapping skills are all that great though.
Click “Next Page” for the fifth NBA player who attempted a career in rap!
5. Kevin Durant – Worried About Tomorrow, 2012
After falling in the NBA Finals in 2012, Kevin Durant took the mic to express his mentality moving forward. The song has a solid beat and some other nice aspects, but KD doesn’t quite have the edge of other rappers.
Click “Next Page” for the fourth NBA player who attempted a career in rap!
4. Ron Artest – My World, 2006
Ron Artest might be known better for the Champions track he released after the Lakers won the NBA title in 2010, but back in 2006 the future Metta World Peace released this album. Take a listen, he’s probably one of the better rappers on our list.
Click “Next Page” for the third NBA player who attempted a career in rap!
3. Kobe Bryant – Ft. in Hold Me, 1998
Even though it was only a few lines, it’s hard not to include the Mamba on this list. He’s not all that bad with the mic, but I think it was wise for him to stick to basketball.
Click “Next Page” for the number two NBA player who attempted a career in rap!
2. Damian Lillard – Freestyle, 2015
Lillard has proven with his Instagram account and this freestyle with Sway that he really can spit. Skip to the 2:45 mark in the video to hear Lillard go at it:
In the summer of 2015, Lillard released a brand new track. Take a listen below:
Click “Next Page” for the number one NBA player who attempted a career in rap!
1. Shaquille O’Neal – Shaq Diesel, 1994
Shaq was the original NBA player to take on the rap industry, and he was the most successful at doing so as well.
O’Neal’s Shaq Diesel album went Platinum, and he sold over 500,000 copies of two tracks that both went gold.
Click “Next Page” for the bonus player!
BONUS: Allen Iverson
David Stern made sure that Iverson’s rap career would never truly blossom, but we did get a glimpse of the possibilities here!