It’s NBA Saturday night and Damian “Dame Dolla” Lillard will be performing on stage and this time I don’t mean the basketball court. Dame has had a passion for rap since his college days and coming into the NBA nothing has changed. The NBA & social media has given Lillard an even greater platform to display his musical talent. Dame used his social media to push a music movement named “4 Bar Friday” where Lillard pushed artists to send their best 4 bars and he would crown a winner every week. This movement allowed Dame to not only be seen as a ball player but gave him the chance to be seen as a music artist as well. Dame has put out 3 mixtapes with some great features that include Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, BJ The Chicago Kid and Jeremih. Check out some of Dame’s work down below as well as some of the NBA’s greatest rappers.
Another current player in the rap game is Iman Shumpert. Shump has played on his share of teams but most recently won a championship ring with LeBron James and the Cavs in 2016. Being drafted by the New York Knicks gave Iman an easy jump into the rap game as New York has great hip hop history and radio stations. Check out Shump spitting a freestyle on Funk Flex.
The first NBA player in the game was Shaquille O’neal and he didn’t disappoint. His career expanded when he joined the Los Angeles Lakers because Hollywood gave him the green light on just about anything. That anything included acting and rapping as Shaq put out movies in “Kazam” & “Blue Chips”. Scroll below to see one of Shaq’s music videos from the late 90’s.
Now you can’t have Shaq without Kobe, am I right? Yes I said Kobe… just like Shaq Hollywood allowed Kobe to put out a couple rap songs. A couple fun facts regarding Kobe’s music career: 1) Kobe was featured on a Brian McKnight song and 2) Kobe met his wife Vanessa on his music video shoot.
Allen Iverson really bridged the gap between the NBA & Hip Hop as not only his playing style was street but his wardrobe was as well. He’s one of the main reasons for the NBA dress code but he’s also one of the main reason the NBA & America’s culture changed in the 2000’s. Sports & music have the greatest impact on any culture and A.I. left his mark on both.
Metta World Peace, Ron Artest, Panda Friend whatever you want to call him the guys is a character! Metta coming from the Queensbridge New York projects he grew up in the mecca of Hip Hop. Just like all the players before him basketball has given him an opportunity to pursue music. After winning the championship with the Lakers, Artest dropped his song Champions.
The NBA & Hip Hop have always had a tight bond but that bond is only getting stronger with the help of Damian Lillard. Check out Dame Dolla’s music on all streaming platforms and make sure to watch him ball out all season long!