Wednesday, September 2, 2009

20 Greatest Basketball Rhymes of All Time

20 Greatest Basketball Rhymes of All Time
by Sidik Fofana

Forget what flings Hip-Hop has had with big booty girls, bling, or gang violence. When it comes to basketball, it has always shown its more delicate side. In any give court, arena, or garden, Hip-Hop provides the soundtrack to our fizzing enamoration with roundball culture. From Run DMC to Jay-Z, basketball has been Hip-Hop's sweetheart. It has embraced it. It has cherished it. It was serenaded it. So, without further a do, these are Bounce Magazine's 20 Greatest Basketball Rhymes of All Time. Enjoy.

20. "We drive bulletproof Coupes nigga, go on take your shot/ We used to shoot hoops nigga, now we shoot up blocks"
--Young Buck "Angels Around Me" (2004)

Apparently, Young Buck is 6'0 and can reverse yoke. Ironically, no one has witnessed him shoot up blocks, though.

19. "I tried to say sorry. She said, "Say sorry for Taquisha"/ Chairs come flying my way like balls at basketball practice"
--Fugees "Living Like There Ain't No Tomorrow" (1994)

Two years before their multi-platinum class The Score, the Fugees scored with this hoop simile.

18. "Do you want me to shoot it (NO)/ Do you want me to pass it (NO)/ Do you want me to dunk it (YES)"
--Shaquille O'Neal "Shoot Pass Slam" (1993)

This rhyme may be a bit too tongue and cheek to be on a greatest rhyme list, but it's hard not a believe with four NBA titles under his belt.

17. "Y'all think I'm stupid cuz I shoots 'em up like cupid/ And if you gave me a basketball, I'll show you how to shoot it"
--Andre, Outkast "D.E.E.P." (1994)

If this ATLien could the shoot the rock all this time, how come he didn't share his knowledge with the Hawks?

16. "Coach sat me down from the ball team/ 'Cause I was breakin niggaz on the inseams" --Phife Dawg, A Tribe Called Quest "8 Million Stories" (1993)

Could Phife really ball or was this just the 8th million story?

15. "I used to shoot hoops/ But now I, make, hits, every single day"
--Snoop Dogg "Tha Shiznit" (1993)

At a nimble 6'3, Snoop could have had an advantage at the two. He just could not be caught wearing a red jersey.

14. "Pretty final/ '92 played the city finals Pretty swift, real mvp/ and 55th I can hoop, yo/ All-American in my age group, yo"
--Cam'ron "Sports Drugs & Entertainment" (2000)

We're surprised that Cam doesn't boast more about his ball playing legends on wax. Cam was indeed an All-American high school baller who was offer scholarships to North Carolina, Syracuse, Duke, Florida and Southern California but grades kept him attending a Division I program.

13. "'Cause when it comes to playing basketball/ I'm always last to be picked And in some cases never picked at all"
--Skee-lo "I Wish" (1995)

Though "I Wish" was Skee-lo's only hit, it was not picked last on this particular list.

12. "Sold ya nigga, thought I told ya nigga/ Crossover, slam dunk, game over nigga"
--LL Cool J "The Ripper Strikes Back" (1998)

How better to respond to Canibus's boxing metaphor "2nd Round Knockout" with a very definitive basketball one.

11. "We drinkin quarts on courts so how you handle it/ Shootin bricks or sellin bricks, we still scramblin'/ With offense and defense/ I use the bassline to score points frequent"
--Timbo King, Wu All Stars "Soul in the Hole" (1997)

How many members of the Wu family are there? I bet they could run their own inner clique summer league.

10. "We use to hoop in my yard but now I dribble the rhyme/ It's like rain drops couldn't make our game stop..."
--Common "Nuthin' To Do" (1994)

Common was pretty fiesty at ball in his day. He has good genes being the son of Lonnie Lynn, former ABA player.

9. "I'm the crowd favorite and I believe the fans/ Love the way I finger roll it with either hand/ My handles pull it through presses/ Plus I can play the lane and block shots like bulletproof vestes"
--Fabolous "It's In The Game" (2003)

Real talk, don't Fabolous look my dude, Skywalker from City Slam?

8. "Nothing left for us but hoop dreams and hood tournaments/ Thug coaches with subs sittin on the bench; either that or rap"
--Nas "We Will Survive" (1999)

It's the reign of the thug coach like Tupac in Above the Rim. Nas hits this one on the head with this rhyme about these ghetto Pat Rileys.

7. "Yeah I got on sneaks but I need a new pair/ 'Cause basketball courts in the summer got girls there"
--Fresh Prince "Summertime" (1991)

This a great lyric about the original single's bar. You might meet your next ex-wife, son, just go to the bleachers.

6. "I've seen hoop dreams deflate like a true fiend's weight"
--Jay-Z "Izzo (H.O.V.A)" (2001)

We pray that every boy who grabs a ball becomes Julius Erving, but Hov is right. Not everyone gets a visit from the parquet genie.

5. "The young boss of the cross for four quarters/ And from three point land, he's all water/ Matter fact, call him the king/ The way he breaks down the defense Its like he got the ball on a string"
--Jadakiss, "Reebok Allen Iverson Commercial" (2002)

This televised rhyme that Jada delivered is almost ill as Iverson's crossover.

4. "Not even Pee Wee Kirkland could imagine this/ My team didn't have to play to win the championship"
--Fat Joe "Lean Back" (2004)

Touche. I'm glad you brought this point up, Joe. Who is going to beat the Terror Squad this year?

3. "Get me on the court and I'm trouble/ Last week fucked around and got a triple double"
--Ice Cube "It Was a Good Day" (1992)

Judging by a couple of celebrity ball game appearances, we'll just be nice and say this rhyme was a great metaphor.

2. "Because the streets is a short stop/ Either you're slingin crack rock or you got a wicked jumpshot"
--Notorius B.I.G. "Things Done Change" (1994)

It's the age old hood ultimatum. Either you're sitting at the block or playing at the Square.

1. "Basketball is my favorite sport/ I like the way they dribble up and down the court/ Just like I'm the King on the microphone/ so is Dr. J and Moses Malone/ I like Slam-dunks, take me to the hoop/ My favorite play is the alley-oop"
--Kurtis Blow "Basketball" (1984)

This here is the pioneer of all basketball rhymes. Many have tried to duplicate. Bow Wow had his try and even Penny Hardaway and Chris Rock used the song in a commercial. None have captured the significance and after 20 something odd years, Hip-Hop and basketball is still happily married.


  1. Mos Def, Champion Requiem:

    I stepped on the field from no league just home team
    I Jumped out the stands and I snatched the rock
    With the final seconds dwindling on the clock
    Mos post up to throw up the tie-breakin shot
    I put it through the net and let the world's jaw drop
    Then fled the arena before they called cops
    Tell the players and the coach I wasn't tryin to blow spot
    But the way they was ballin' made it difficult to watch

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