Standout Song: “What the Kidd Did”
Best Line: “Don’t sweat it everything’s gonna be alright / Yeah the people wanna know what the Kidd did / But all you really need to know is I’m tiiiiiiighhtt”
If you’ve ever listened to Jason Kidd talk during press conferences, odds are you’ve noticed that he says “You know” about every seventh word or so—and if you haven’t noticed before, you’ll probably notice now. Either way, it may have been better if he gave us a couple of “You knows” during his debut track, “What the Kidd Did,” instead of the jumbled whatever that he spits (although he does drop us a pretty good dime with that Jim Kelly from Enter The Dragon line). First off, the beat is decent—it’s on some “Ain’t No Fun if the Homies Can’t Have None” shit—but hearing Jason say “the hos treated me different” is just … weird. It’s Jason Kidd. He’s a nice guy. He sprints to lend his teammates a hand to help them up when they’ve fallen. He oozes confidence and makes locker rooms healthier with his presence. Again, it’s just weird. But hey, he tried. And for a top five point guard of all-time with the second most assists ever, his ability to pass really made the game all the more fun for his homes.
Standout Song: “Livin’ Legal And Large”
Best Line: “And that’s real we all know the deal / And for all those that criticize / I’m not trying to be Shaquille”
Gary Payton can spit. For real. The man was just born to talk. The hardest working mouth in the NBA during his time is actually not a piss-poor master of ceremonies. For all the trash that he talked on the court, it’s surprising his track wasn’t a diss song aimed towards the likes of John Stockton. But instead, GP gives us a pretty decent look into his ability to flow, almost-maybe-kinda-sorta sounding like a lesser version of Warren G. It’s surprising that “Livin’ Legal And Large” wasn’t already the name of a song, but the Glove locked that down and kept the whole track pretty clean and positive, which is surprising since we’re pretty sure the things he said to opponents on the court was not in fact, pretty clean and positive.
The Blazers (Damon Stoudamire & Rasheed Wallace)
Standout Song: “No One’s Ready To Deal With Us” (No Escapin’ This Remix)
Best Line: (Damon Stoudamire) “Go left, go right, 360 degrees / Here comes the pain, Kobe (Pippen and he’s poppln’ a three!)”
This song is a puzzle. How the hell did the Beatnuts get Rasheed Wallace and Damon Stoudamire in the booth? You’ve all heard “No Escapin This,” but the remix might be hotter, especially since Damon and Roscoe take shots at the Lakers, whom every Trailblazer fan hates more than anything you’ve ever hated in your life. It’s almost unfair to include them on this list since they rapped alongside legitimate, real hip-hop artists, but the track is too solid to leave it off. There are so many gems on this cut it’s hard to break it down, but a highlight is his Arvydas Sabonis line, which was probably the best Sabonis lyric ever recorded until Vince Staples dropped “Versace Rap.” The samples of Blazer announcers calling games is a terrific touch, and again, the Laker hating makes this a classic Portland gem.
Standout Song: “K-O-B-E” Featuring Tyra Banks
Best Line: “Can’t get witcha, when the door hitcha, when the Lord splitcha / I figure, hour-glass figures could be dangerous / Cause if your times runs out, they frame you for your clout”
Magnify Michael Jordan’s failure at baseball times twenty four thousand, and you have Kobe Bryant’s rap career. You’ve all heard the hot garbage that is Mamba on the mic, but a list of rapping basketball players would be completely incomplete without Number 24. There’s really not much to say here about this song — just picture Kobe’s decorated, spectacular NBA career, then picture the exact opposite. But hey, he was on top of the world around this time and in his early 20s, so why the hell not? It’s too bad Brandy couldn’t have given him music advice when he took her to the prom. Vino gets a pass here for this mishap though, because after all, he has given us great, great basketball moments.
Standout Song: “Wired (Paid in Full)” Featuring Privaledge
Best Line: “I keep it chill, yeah I keep it chill / Man I’m looking like a prince / While I’m thinking I’m Uncle Phil”
If someone told you about a song by “Trey Five” and you heard “Wired (Paid in Full),” you probably wouldn’t think it was Kevin Durant. KD is a unique superstar—he’s complacent with Russell Westbrook legitimately thinking that he is better than Durant, he keeps a pretty low profile for the caliber of star that he is, and he plays in Oklahoma City, of all places. Trey Five is pretty solid with his flow—he doesn’t seem like he’s trying too hard, and he’s not waxing poetic about how mean the streets of DC are. He even throws in a Cash Money Millionaires-type lyrics about having a “Roley” and not even needing to know the time. Even though he’s arguably the second best basketball player alive at this moment, more heat from Trey Five wouldn’t be a total disaster.