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15 Of The Best NBA Rappers

Carmelo Anthony And The Denver Nuggets

Standout Song: “Christmas In Hollis”
Best Line: “Don’t forget Rudolph, in Christmas apparel / And each and every year we bust Christmas carols”

This is cute. Before Carmelo returned back to The Big Apple, he was in Denver, wearing braids and writing wicked lyrics. All right, so he barely spits on this one but still, it’s Carmelo Anthony rapping, kind of. Even though this isn’t a real song and technically shouldn’t count, it’s still notable since Birdman is on it. Oh, and Shelden Williams should probably destroy all copies of this.


Brian Shaw

Standout Song: “Anything Can Happen”
Best Line: “Yo when you lose I pay my dues / cause someone’s always trying to stop ya / just to get the rep that they got ya”

Brian Shaw sounds like a true OG on this one. Another one of those super West Coast beats, Shaw basically keeps it real and kicks actual knowledge about life—you can legitimately say this song doesn’t have a single wack lyric. Who knew Brian Shaw was so smooth? He was only 28 when this dropped, but he rhymes like a well-seasoned veteran, bemoaning the loss of people who were claimed by the streets. Nothing but real, actual praise for “Anything Can Happen.” Oakland stand up.


Iman Shumpert

Standout Song: “Anarchy” Featuring PhlyyB
Best Line: “Two and one, who is son? I always get it done / Every track is red rum, backwards rule of thumb”

Iman Shumpert wearing a Carmelo Anthony jersey is ______. Part of it makes sense—rappers don’t wear jerseys of dudes who average less than 10 points a game. Regardless of what he’s wearing, Shumpert may be the closest thing to a real, breathing, hip-hop musician that is also a professional basketball player. His flow is well paced—while you’re still comprehending the line he just spit, he’s already on to the next one. The beat is solid, with drums reminiscent to that of Tunechi’s “A Milli,” and Iman just kind of looks and acts the part of a rapper. Also, the fact that he says he’s a sneakerhead completes this glorious trinity of basketball, hip-hop, and sneakers.


Chris Webber

Standout Song: “Gangsta! Gangsta! (How U Do It)” Featuring Kurupt
Best Line: “Fetish for lettuce from the home of J-Rose and Jerome Bettis”

At one point, Chris Webber exchanged his hoop dreams to be a rapper. He was actually successful, too, with his 1999 debut 2 Much Drama scoring him a top ten record with “Gangsta! Gangsta! (How U Do It).” You wouldn’t expect anything less from an NBA player who produced his own album and wrote his own rhymes. In the song, C-Webb shouts out some homies and tells us how to live lavish. Too bad he couldn’t get more cameos in the video that was supposedly unreleased. The co-signs are everything here. What up Ghost! What up Red!


Ron Artest

Standout Song: “Champions”
Best Line: “My stroke is hole in one / You see the checkered flag / Finish line, here I come, and I ain’t gotta brag / I let the trophies do it”

Metta World Peace (formerly known as Ron Artest) still believes he can make it as a legitimate rapper. The NBA’s most menacing player isn’t afraid to back down from a fight, and he uses that same fervor to go in with his pen and pad. With an album and a mixtape under his belt, Artest is probably the most prolific b-ball spitter out today. “Champions” was a celebratory anthem that name checks all the greatest athletes in sports. Compared to his earlier work, Metta World  got the biggest reaction from this one.

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