Issue 15: More Great Basketball Lyrics in Music

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Issue 15: More Great Basketball Lyrics in Music

The very first installment of Crisp Bounce Pass featured some of the finest basketball references in music. Of course, if I wanted to cover every such reference, you’d still have roughly 879 months of reading left.

Instead, let’s take a look at three more great examples of artists slipping in terrific basketball magic into their songs.

J. Dilla feat. Guilty Simpsons and MED — “Jungle Love”

The line: “I don’t write raps for free/If I did, I won’t make it, like Shaq from 3”

Nowadays, Shaquille O’Neal is more well known as an analyst on TNT and the spokesperson for brands like The General Auto Insurance and Papa John’s. I missed out on the Shaqaroni promotion the pizza company ran, but that’s probably for the best. After all, it was a Shaq-sized pizza, and he’s more than seven feet tall.

When Shaq was playing, though? He was nearly unstoppable. He broke multiple backboards over the course of his career, which should either disqualify you immediately or give you ten bonus points (I vote for the latter).

O’Neal did have a few weaknesses during his playing days, though. Namely, free throws and three-point shots.

In fact, he broke more backboards (two) during his career than he did make three-pointers (one). In 19 seasons in the league, he sunk exactly one three-pointer in 22 attempts. That’s good for a .045 percentage. You don’t need to be a math whiz to know that’s terrible.

Just like writing raps for free.

Wale feat. Meek Mill and Rick Ross — “Ambition”

The line: “But I’m limitless mentally, I’m lyrically ZMT/LeBron sh*t, I was hitting 6 after 23”

There’s quite a bit of double meaning in these bars. ZMT is a drug used to cure headaches, implying Wale’s flow is so smooth it will make you feel better.

ZMT is also the Zoom Technology used by Nike. And who is Nike’s current biggest athlete? LeBron James.

James wore the number 23 for his first seven years in Cleveland, then donned No. 6 when he went to the Miami Heat.

When Wale was 23 years old, he was a big enough star in the rap game that he was making (at least) six figures. NICE.

Depending on who you ask, this line could also be about getting a Mercedes Benz 600 car at age 23.

Also, this isn’t about basketball, but Wale released an entire mixtape about the show Seinfeld, and that’s worth a ton of extra points.

Chiddy Bang — “Fresh Like Us”

The line: “I do this thing nobly like Manu/Ten I know, grand like piano”

This song has multiple NBA references, but this is my favorite of the bunch. Anytime a song uses a player’s name as a pun, I’m all for it.

Manu Ginobili was one of those players that irritated the heck out of you if you were playing against him, but you loved having him on your team.

He played with crazy intensity all of the time and would use these nifty dribbles and drives to weave to the basket.

More impressively, he once caught a live bat during an NBA game.

Everyone was freaking out that there was a bat flying around the arena and Manu just stuck his hand out and caught it. Badass. Or noble, you might even say.

Again, this is not NBA related but Chidera Anamege (the “Chiddy” of “Chiddy Bang”) holds the record for the longest freestyle rap, clocking in at a whopping nine hours, eight minutes, and 22 seconds.

His performance included two bathroom breaks, which takes a level of concentration I simply do not have. Way to go, Chiddy.

That’s all ’til next time. Thanks for reading! Want more basketball lyrics? Check out the original issue of Crisp Bounce Pass.


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