Jay-Z serenaded Yankee fans last year with his New York street anthem “Empire State of Mind.” Although the song wasn’t directly about baseball, it was adopted by New Yorkers as an unofficial anthem for yet another championship season nonetheless.
You wouldn’t believe it but there are probably more baseball-themed rap songs out there than there are Yankees with World Series rings. Okay, maybe not, but there are still plenty of rap hits about America’s favorite pastime. With yesterday being the official opening day of the 2010 MLB season, XXLMag.com compiled a list of some of the best rap songs dedicated to baseball. Batter Up! —Brooklyne Gipson
MAIN SOURCE – “JUST A FRIENDLY GAME OF BASEBALL”
Toronto/New York-based hip-hop group Main Source used baseball as an analogy for police brutality in their 1991 track off Breaking Atoms.
BIRDMAN FEAT. LIL WAYNE & DRAKE – “4 MY TOWN (PLAY BALL)”
“Take yourself a picture when I’m standing at the mound/Man, I swear it’s going down/I’m just reppin’ for my town.”
KANYE WEST FEAT. LIL WAYNE - “BARRY BONDS”
West scored yet another hit with this track off his Grammy Award-winning album Graduation (2007).
THE CROOKLYN DODGERS – “CROOKLYN”
Spike Lee’s 1994 film Crooklyn served as a catalyst for the formation of this rap supergroup (originally Buckshot, Special Ed, and Masta Ace). If you listen closely you can hear that the song samples an actual radio broadcast of a Brooklyn Dodgers game. Brooklyne wins!
ST. LUNATICS – “BATTER UP”
One of the more humorous takes on the sport, Nelly’s squad used baseball to announce their arrival in the hip-hop game. Swing and a miss.
EAZY-E – “SORRY LOUIE”
Eazy delivers a sincere apology to his Louisville Slugger for having to use it to beat a fool down. Cryptic comedy.
LIL WAYNE, BOW WOW, LIL ZANE & SAMMY - “HARDBALL”
Remember that one song, from that one Keanu Reeves movie with Bow Wow, Wayne and that other kid? Yeah, we almost forgot, too. *The movie was called Hardball if anyone cares.*
JUELZ SANTANA FEAT. LIL WAYNE - “HOMERUN”
“They know I got that juice, and they just wanna taste or sip it/I be batting, they be pitching, Barry Bonds the way I hit it.”
CROOKLYN DODGERS 95 – “RETURN OF THE CROOKLYN DODGERS”
Chubb Rock, O.C. and Jeru the Damaja stepped up to the plate for the second coming of the Dodgers and took back Ebbets Field.
K7 – “COME BABY COME (SWING BATTA SWING)”
Somewhere before reggaeton was K7 and this hyperactive jam with just enough sexual innuendo to swing for the fences and hit one out of the park.