Funny. When I bought my E-40 Hall of Game tape from Target on Covington Hwy back in '96 and it opened with this skit/song/diss I was actually happy as hell to hear it.

I was waiting for a looooong time for either Goodie Mob or 40 Water to get at Rasheed Wallace for that bullshit he spat when Joe Clair interviewed him on Rap City, asking him what kind of music he listens to. He sounded just like one of those New York elitists that don't even deserve the right to talk on camera because all they're going to do is prove that they don't leave their block or surroundings physically or mentally. "Voluntary Ignorance" is what I like to call it.

Anyways, nothing really happened after the song dropped. I'd like to think it was because Rasheed Wallace probably never heard the song. I mean shit, he said he didn't "fool with no E-40's." Which he shouldn't...

I mean, Rasheed Wallace is a damn basketball player. Between the NBA's rigorous schedule and fast-paced lifestyle, he shouldn't really have the time to get embroiled in a "beef" with a rapper. And I think the non-happenings that followed this song is what keeps the song sounding good and relevant. Plus, Rasheed knew he was in the wrong anyway. He went on Rap City talking shit about rappers. I would expect him to get angry on the flipside if 40 was to have went on SportsCenter and talked shit about him. Thus, he did just as 40 threatened advised and "stuck to basketball, nigga."

Fast-forward to 2008 where everything is a fucking news event, we have a Soulja Boy/Deshawn Stevenson vs. Jay-Z/Lebron James conflict bubbling. In case you've been busy entertaining your mind and time with more important things, here is a synopsis.

Wizards guard D. Stevenson called 'Bron "overrated"...Cavs guard and Roc affiliate Lebron says responding to Stevenson is like "Jay-Z responding to Soulja Boy"...Cavs whup Wizards ass in the first two playoff games...Stevenson invites SB to Game 3 against the Cavs and he says "Bron better keep my name out his mouth"...'Bron insists there is no rivalry...Friday night Jay-Z debuts a record going at Stevenson at DC nightclub...Cavs in attendance mock Stevenson and the Wizards...Stevenson and some Wizards feel disrespected, vow to boycott the nightclub and offer that its "going beyond basketball now."

Now, we all know that all competitive sports have some quarrellings behind the scenes that happen off the court. You know, like that whole Michael Jordan vs. Isiah Thomas thing that resulted in punk ass MJ threatening to not play on the Dream Team if they put Isiah on the team, hense making them choose Clyde Drexler instead. So, I'm not gonna sit here and act like things don't go "beyond basketball" often, it's just that we don't see it.

But, this 'Lebron shit is getting out of hand now. I mean, you may hate me for this, but fuck it, I like to take a break from Hip Hop sometimes. And enjoying basketball games is one of the ways I get my mind away from it. You know, it appeals to my hunger to see the best compete in an arena that I can only dream of entering. You know, watching mah fuggas do some shit that I can't do. Hip Hop on the other hand...shied, aside from a few exceptions (they know who they are) has turned into an arena where as long as I have a myspace page and a CD burner I can enter the game when I choose to.

So, when I'm trying to watch the game and I'm subjected to hearing the sportscasters waxing poetic about this "feud" as they cut away to SB sitting in the front row, it really bothers me. It's like damn, Hip Hop is EVERYWHERE!

Yeah, there was a time when I kinda adopted the Russell Simmons/KRS-ONE mode of thinking, where Hip Hop was universal and deserved to be recognized everywhere possible. Yeah, there was a time when I used to feel good to recognize one of my favorite rappers sitting front row and center at a game, you know, cause at the time, it felt like it was me sitting there with him on some "yeah nigga, HIP HOP is in the building."

But when the marketing departments in the league and and labels starting having brainstorming orgies it became a lame relationship. Just because I enjoy basketball and rap music doesn't mean I want to watch DJ Clue host a highlight show. Hell, I barely like seeing R&B singers performing at halftime, it's their skin-tight dresses that actually save the performance. At least someone got it right during the Mariah performance by leaving Cam'Ron off.

Yeah, I thought it was cool when Iverson first came in the league and he shocked the world when he came in the Rookie game rocking braids and showing off his new tatoos. Yeah, I thought it was cool when he'd do his post-game interviews rocking the same kind of sneakers and jeans I wore to school that day. Because, it felt like I was there with him...."HIP HOP in the building!"

But now, everybody has braids and/or tatoos. So when they came with the dress code a couple years ago, I wasn't mad. Niggas was out there looking sloppy. I mean damn, these niggas are millionares.

But back to what I was getting at. I'd really prefer if Hip Hop stayed out of my sports. Granted, you can't just keep the two separated, being that most if not all of the generation of athletes who were born in the late-70s and 80s grew up on Hip Hop. It's inevitable, but it can be rationed out in small doses.

You know, playing a rap song during the intros, warm ups and time outs. Nothings wrong with that. Kurtis Blow making songs about basketball, nothings wrong with that. Rappers aspiring to be ball players, I guess that's okay, ONCE!

Ball players aspiring to be rappers? Eh, I guess if it has a jammin little beat, it can be okay. Ball players being inspired by rappers, I guess that's okay. But unless it's of this quality and a rapper wrote it for you, no thanks. "Stick to basketball, nigga." You too A.I.

I guess at the end of the day, I'd really not prefer to have to be brought up to speed on a rap "feud" when I'm trying to watch a game. That's what sites like this are for.

[P.S., what's up with Jay? When he said he "walked like a ballplayer" I didn't think he actually wanted to be one. The nigga roommates with Larry Johnson, recording diss songs against basketball players and shit. Ain't it enough that you are part-owner of a team? Sit down and relax cuz.]