Mic Drop Slam Dunks: Glorious NBA References in Rap

Happy Friday, y’all. Let’s celebrate the best way I know how: by dancing to some great basketball lyrics in hip-hop history.

Jadakiss — “Put Ya Hands Up”

The line: And y’all scared I can tell / That I’mma get Bucks like Milwaukee, cause like Sam, I ca’ sell.

I’m a few months late in watching the show Abbott Elementary, but I just finished the first season.

One character says that Jadakiss stole his signature cough. If you’re a Jadakiss fan, you know exactly what I mean. It’s like a “eh-HEH!” and it’s pretty fun to do. Give it a try.

Anyway, this line is great because it’s got two NBA references in it.

The Milwaukee Bucks are currently in the second round of the playoffs, and though their mascot is an animal, their team name is also a reference to money. Smooth.

One of their former players is Sam Cassell. In this song, Jadakiss is using the name to mean he can sell (probably his music, but it could be any number of things).

Cassell had himself a fine career, but every time I think of him now, I remember when the old Ball Don’t Lie blog did a Photoshop contest for what Stephon Marbury should get tattooed on his head.

One entrant suggested Marbury should get Sam Cassell’s face as the tattoo. Just picture the face of the guy on the right on the head of the guy on the left.

Pharoahe Monch — “Push” feat. Showtyme, Mela Machinko and Tower of Power

The line: My accurate jabs connect like rotary/Make you notice me/Be like, ‘Damn, dudes on some totally/When he rides the bass line like Ginobili

I love me a good homonym. Here, Pharoahe is talking about a groovy bass line, like a smooth jazz lick (or, more accurately, rapping bars over a nice beat).

Yet he also gets to name-drop a guy who made plenty of nifty plays along the baseline, this one being my favorite.

The only thing better would be playing a bass line while tiptoeing along the baseline.

Roc Marciano — “Tek to A Mack”

The line: I’m back for the crown, baby/In the Avi’ that’s brown like gravy/Styles is wavy/Lazy eye Tracy McGrady/Deliver like an 80-pound baby

Okay, the NBA reference in here is Tracy McGrady, who owns two of my favorite highlights: punting a basketball into the stands and scoring 13 points in 35 seconds.

But the real reason I included this lyric is the final line from Roc here: “Deliver like an 80-pound baby.”

The heaviest baby ever weighed 22 pounds, and unfortunately died 11 hours later. This rap baby is more than THREE AND A HALF TIMES heavier than that.

If Roc is delivering the baby himself, he’s probably in for more than he’s bargained for. And if an 80-pound baby is delivering another baby, then that’s just pandemonium.

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