Hip-hop and basketball are very popular amongst the youth and American culture, maybe now more than ever. You hear it in stadiums and gyms across the globe and a lot of players from high school to the professional level like to listen to hip-hop as their pregame music. We see often how NBA players want to be rappers and how rappers want to be ball players, and even though those situations don’t usually turn out that well, it’s interesting to see how they do in that other world.
A few members of Basketball Society convened and put together a list comparing NBA players and hip-hop artists. This is not a list based on looks but more based on personalities, style of play, and impact. Take a look at Part One of our Basketball/Hip-Hop Comparisons series.
DJ Allen – @djallen23
Martin Soaries – @marsoaries
Alex Fischbein – @fisch21
Cyril Mpacko – @cee_armel
Rick Ross x Dwight Howard
Rick Ross and Dwight Howard are two guys that, when at their best, can dominate the game. Howard led the Orlando Magic to two consecutive Eastern Conference Finals appearance and one NBA Finals. However, following those seasons, he never seemed to be able to return to that dominant presence he once was. Like Dwight, Ross came into the game and made his presence felt. There wasn’t a track out that you got through without hearing one of his infamous grunts. The self-proclaimed ‘Boss’ had numerous hits but as he began to seek outside ventures and run into trouble with the law, we saw a bit of a down-slide in his solo career.
Big K.R.I.T. x DeMarcus Cousins
Anyone who has watched DeMarcus Cousins knows how special of a player he is. He brings grit and passion to the court and that’s what elevates him over the rest. That same tenacious attitude that he possesses mirrors the style of Big K.R.I.T. If you’ve ever listened to K.R.I.T.’s music then you know that he raps with that same hunger and passion. He truly makes you believe in what he’s saying and that’s what artists are supposed to do.
Boogie Cousins tweeted out his pre-game music back in 2012:
— DeMarcus Cousins (@boogiecousins) February 7, 2012
King Los x Kawhi Leonard
What King Los and Kawhi Leonard share is the title of “overlooked”. It could be because they’re still on the rise and making a name for themselves, but with their dynamic talent, it’s very hard not to acknowledge what they can do. Leonard, the 2013 Finals MVP, made his presence felt as he became an intrical part of the San Antonio Spurs winning the 2013 NBA Championship. Los gained his notoriety by consistently releasing mixtapes and freestyles, in which he got a lot of high praise following his freestyle on Sway in the Morning. Both of these young guys are on the come up in their respective fields and it’s only a matter of time before they breakout and are considered superstars.
Wale x John Wall
Washington, D.C. holds two talented individuals in Wale and John Wall. Even though they share that comparison of D.C. being the place they represent, they are also similar when it comes to the status of their careers. Wall and Wale both had tons of hype when they first jumped on the scene, but now when they’re critiqued, some may just consider them “good“. It could be a lack of that major breaking point that has kept their career stagnant. John Wall hasn’t been able to lead his team deep in the playoffs and Wale came out with four studio albums, but none of them reached that “classic” title that everyone strives for. Both of these guys are very gifted, but we’ll still see if they can’t break out from the current state of their careers.
Side note: Wale might want to leave basketball alone and stick to rapping. Check out his highlights from the 2014 NBA Celebrity All-Star Game below.