For as long as we can remember, rappers have wanted to be basketball players and basketball players have wanted to be rappers. After Shaquille O’Neal and Damian Lillard traded barbs (and subsequent diss tracks) over who was the better rapper, the internet and NBA Twitter absolutely blew up.
This got us to thinking… of all the NBA players who have dabbled in rap over the years, which player ranks as the best NBA rapper? From hilarious dabbles in rap from guys like Jason Kidd to secret collaborations between Kevin Durant and LeBron James and legit fire from guys like Shaq and Dame D.O.L.L.A., check out our list of the top 5 NBA rappers of all-time.
(Not So) Honorable Mentions
When he’s in rhythm, there’s no more unguardable player in the NBA than two-time MVP Steph Curry. If only that same rhythm could’ve translated to his Asher Roth “I Love College” parody cameo back in his Davidson days.
The five-time NBA champion and third-leading scorer in league history was an on-court assassin and as fierce a competitor the sport had ever seen. But over January 2000, a then 22-year-old, small fro-sporting Bryant released “K.O.B.E.”, a track filled with blowing horns and featured (of all people to put on the hook…), the one and only Tyra Banks. The track was widely panned and his performance of it at NBA All-Star Weekend didn’t quite go as well as he’d hoped.
People want to know what the Kidd did… and apparently right after being drafted second overall in 1994, the Kidd made a song over a smooth West Coast beat. Jason Kidd, the nightly triple-double threat who has the second-most assists and steals in NBA history, released “What the Kidd Didd” on B-Ball’s Best Kept Secret, an album released by Epic Records of songs exclusively made by NBA players, including Shaquille O’Neal, Gary Payton, Dennis Scott, and Brian Shaw. Kidd’s monotonous delivery didn’t put forth the most inspiring couple of verses we’ve ever heard, but it’s forever preserved thanks to the internet. Kidd told the New York Times of his rap debut: “that’s something on my bucket list that I can say I’ve done… because I’d never do it again.”
All due respect to Iman Shumpert, Cedric Ceballos, and Lou Williams who just missed the cut, but click ahead to Page 2 as we get to our top five NBA rappers.