Professional Athletes in Music

We see athletes as these freaks of nature who just dominate their respective sports. However, many past and present superstars are not only taking it to the field or court,  but to the mic as well. Of course, some have found success, while some are just simply unbearable.

The Good

The first athlete I have to mention is Portland Trailblazer superstar, Damian Lillard. Lillard’s rap alias is Dame D.O.L.L.A, and he just dropped his first official album, “CONFIRMED”. At first, I was skeptical about Lillard dipping his hand into the rap game and making a fool of himself like previous superstars. Before listening, the first thing that will catch your eyes is the features. Lillard features many artists, but the most notable are Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz. Lillard has a very good flow, verses, and the beats aren’t too shabby either. The thing that impressed me the most is that I do not think Lillard says one curse word, yet still manages to poke fun at some things in the NBA (cough, cough KD’s snake ass).

Bernie Williams was a 4x World Series champ and 4x Gold Glover for the world renowned New York Yankees. Being born and raised a Yankee fan, this makes me smile. Bernie was one of my personal favorites to watch. When Bernie wasn’t helping the Yankees win 4 of their 27 World Series titles, he had a burning passion for classical guitar. Bernie Williams was strongly influenced by jazz music and his Latin roots. He would have two albums crack the top five on Billboard’s Jazz chart. Bernie was a world class musician and collaborated with many greats, but the most notable was when he and Bruce Springsteen remade the classic “Glory Days”.

The next athlete is probably the most badass guy on this list, Ron Artest, or, Metta World Peace. Artest only has one song that I know of. Hold on ladies and gentlemen, nostalgia is about to hit you like a train. Remember how hype you got when playing 2K11, and you just hear “Moment of silence for the champions!?” Well that was Ron Artest, and this is one of my favorite songs ever featured on a video game.

The final athletes in discussion have to be the Ball brothers. Love them or hate them, they are all talented on and off the court. You can catch the Ball brothers often on snapchat or Twitter spitting a few bars. The funniest thing, to me, is the fact that, when it comes to rap, Lonzo is the best, followed by LaMelo, then finally LiAngelo (simply because there is not much to go off of), just like basketball.


The Bad

Now it takes a lot for me to say somebody is bad at something. The first athlete that comes to my mind is the Indiana Pacers’ guard Victor Oladipo. Not to take away from Oladipo, he has pipes and just released his debut album “Songs for You”. As you probably guessed, Oladipo is a R&B artist. As I said before, he can sing, but his lyrics are terrible. Oladipo also commands a 2 Chainz feature just like Damian Lillard. Oladipo tried to take elements of rap and sing it in R&B form. This lead to an album so bad I only listened to three songs. However, because I like Oladipo here is a video of him singing at Midnight Madness back in college.


The final bad artist can not really be defined as bad. You define his musical career like his professional career: ok. I am of course talking about one of the Reds’ fan favorites, Bronson Arroyo. Arroyo was a big righty who was an effective pitcher in the MLB for 17 years and is still playing. The first time I was made aware of Arroyo was when I went to a Reds game a few years back. Arroyo wasn’t scheduled to pitch so he was playing guitar outside the stadium, and it was not bad, but it was not good either. Arroyo reminds you of the douche you see around campus carrying his guitar with long flowing hair in the wind, and all you can think is “please stop.” Arroyo covers many classic songs, but his originals are just awful.


The Ugly 

These next three are hard to talk bad about because they are some of the best the world has ever seen. This is hard for me say, but this starts out with the Laker great, Kobe Bryant. Kobe Bryant is in my top 5 best players of all time (a discussion for another time), but top 5 worst rappers I have ever heard. Kobe was a great on the court, but his rap game comparison is Brian Scalabrine. Just listen, and try not to cringe.


Next up is the dual sport, dual threat, Deion “Primetime” Sanders. While I personally cannot stand Primetime, he is one of the greatest football players of all-time, and was fun to watch play baseball. Sanders took a dip in the music scene, and it is safe to say it just was not a good idea.


The final one is another Laker great, and he also cracks my top 5 of all time, Shaquille O’Neal. The big 7 footer dominated the game of basketball for years, and hoped to do the same to the rap game. Big Diesel’s rapping ability is about as good as his free throws. When I say listening to this puts me in pain, it truly does. Sorry, Shaq.


Honorable Mentions 

I am sure I missed plenty of athletes, but here is just a list of some that could have made this list.

  • Le’Veon Bell (Good)
  • Wayman Tisdale (Good)
  • Iman Shumpert (Good)
  • Allen Iverson (Scary…… as hell)
  • Clint Dempsey (Good)
  • Kevin Durant (Good)
  • Lou Williams (Good)
  • Rajón Rondo (Bad)

Hope you all enjoyed this article and hope you all continue to read our articles here at Mid-American Culture. Please leave any feedback, positive and negative.

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