Hey, Here's A Rap Song By Some NBA Players
There's an adage floating around the flotsam and jetsom of pop culture that goes something like, "Every rapper wants to be a pro athlete, and every pro athlete wants to be a rapper." That's probably not 100% true, but it would explain why Wale sounds less like MMG's sixth man and more like an ESPN analyst sometimes, why Lil Romeo ended up playing basketball on scholarship at USC, and also why this song exists. It's by Stephen Jackson of the San Antonio Spurs and Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder, and, well, it's probably a better rap song than I could have come up with, but it's still not a very good song. It's from a mixtape that Jackson is threatening to release soon entitled Jack Of All Trades.
While "Lonely At The Top" is a particularly bland take on the "I Am Very Successful And Everyone Is Jealous" subgenre of rap song, it's probably somewhere in the middle of the compendium of rap songs made by NBA players. The worst is probably "40 Bars" by Allen Iverson, which fails precisely because of how close it is to succeeding. It's basically a three-quarter-baked Will Smith track, as written and performed by someone with none of the optimism and charm that Will Smith exudes. Instead, it's just kind of bizarre and cocky for no reason, and includes Iverson commanding everyone to "Swing it" a lot, which probably has something to do with sports.
As you probably know, the best rapping NBA player of all time was Shaquille O'Neal, who didn't pretend to be really awesome at rapping, instead letting the production (usually by awesome dudes like Warren G, Erick Sermon and DJ Quik) do the work as well as allowing the guests (who were very famous professional rappers who were very obviously excited that Shaq was letting them rap on his track) distract you from Shaq's flow. On Shaq's albums, he served as something of an audience surrogate, getting to play the part that we wish we could. Watch below as he gets to pretend to be in the Wu-Tang Clan with RZA and Method Man, and get wistful for a simpler time, when our NBA players didn't insist on doing all of the musical heavy lifting themselves.