NBA Player Ty Lawson: Chris Brown Is Better At Basketball Than J Cole

ty lawson hip-hop junkie interview

Over the course of his first five years in the NBA, Denver Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson has played with a slew of great players. He has counted, to name a few, Andre Iguodala, Carmelo Anthony, Danilo Gallinari and Kenneth Faried as teammates. Unbeknownst to many, though, the 26-year-old has also encountered some other big names on the court, too.

“I think it was during my rookie year, in the summer, we were all in Miami—me, J. Cole and Chris Brown—and we were playing outside at the W Hotel,” says Lawson, who averaged 17.6 points and 8.8 assists per game this past season. “Cole held his own. Chris held his own, too.”

Starring in the NBA keeps Lawson plenty busy. But when he does have free time, the native of Clinton, Md., can usually be found listening to hip-hop. In a recent phone call with XXL, the NBA veteran point guard discussed what he’s currently up on, how he finds new music, who he’d like to spend a day with and more.—Tzvi Twersky

XXL: Who are your favorite current rappers?
Ty Lawson: Right now my favorite rappers are probably Lil Wayne and Drake. That’s all I’m listening to right now. Those are my top two. I also like Migos, and [in general] people who have good beats. I also listen to YG and K Camp. That’s about it right now.

You listen to more of Wayne’s recent stuff or his older work?
Recently I’ve been listening to old Wayne. Mixtapes and stuff mostly. Not too much of the new Wayne.

I know people from the DMV tend to support other people from the DMV. With that said, do you mess with Wale, Logic and those guys?
Probably more Wale. He hasn’t come out with anything recently, but I listen to a little Wale.

What do you listen to before games?
All hype music. I even listen to, like, Riff Raff before games. I listen to K Camp, Migos, just more like that hype-type music.

Are you up on the newest artists too?
Yeah. I forgot about Young Thug. I’m trying to look through my playlists right now. Before games I listen to all that type of music where they might not be saying nothing but it’s good beats. I forgot Chief Keef, too.

When you’re moving around during the season, how do you stay up on new music?
A little bit friends and a little bit Internet. I look at [sites], and [teammate] JaVale [McGee]. That’s all he does. When we’re on the plane listening to music, I’ll be like, “What’s that?” And I’ll ask JaVale real quick.