Thursday, January 7, 2010

3 Play Thursday - Rappin' Lakers.

It's 3 Play Thursday. Today: Rappin' Lakers.

If the Dallas Cowboys are America's Team, then the LA Lakers are America's Second Team. In the pantheon of star power and glamorous franchises, it's hard to trump the boys in Forum Blue and Gold. And naturally, if you're a Laker, the fame goes to your head and convinces you you can pull off some sh*t you really, really shouldn't. The number of Lakers to try their skills on the mic is stunning. Maybe it's a mere coincidence, but seriously, how many Milwaukee Bucks have released cRap music singles?

Without further ado, spin the records...

Kobe Bryant ft. Tyra Banks - "K.O.B.E."

It takes a special brand of narcissist to drop a single named after yourself (see also: "Nas Is Like"), but when you're the best on the planet at what you do, it's understandable I suppose. Still, man did this song suck! Maybe it's Kobe's Fisher Price "My First Nas Flow", or maybe it's Tyra Banks' lousy autotuned hook, but boy was this awful. Sadly, Bryant's rap career effectively ended when he was booed off the stage at the House of Blues in Hollywood. Tragic.

Shaquille O'Neal ft. The Notorious B.I.G. - "Stop The Reign"

In all fairness, Shaq started "rappin'" long before he came to La La Land, and while you may not believe me (Google it), his debut album Shaq Diesel went platinum, way back when people still actually had to go to the store to purchase CDs. There is even a Shaq's Greatest Hits available, something the venerable Gregory Abbott can't even say. That said, on the mic, Shaq tasted like a$$ (no Kobe) and it's still amazing to this day that he was able to get the legendary Biggie Smalls to appear on this track with him. Then again, child support and Funyuns ain't free, so I suppose Biggie had a price, just like the rest of us do, even though that price didn't include appearing in this cheesy video, which makes it an instant fail. +1 for the obscure Loose Ends sample though. At least he can pick decent beats.

Ron Artest - "Michael Jackson"

Current Laker Ron Artest is still probably best known for that infamous C.Y.I.N. incident in Detroit a few years ago, but it should also be noted that during his suspension, he decided to moonlight as a rapper. Unlike the others on this list, Artest followed the "do it yourself" Master P. approach, so thankfully no record company exec is responsible for the MJ Tribute/botched musical abortion you just heard. And yes, he was indeed crying. So are we, Ron Ron. So are we.

Cedric Ceballos - "Flow On"

Few people outside Inglewood remember that dreadful 2-3 year post-Magic, pre-Shaq dead period, when a journeyman scorer named Cedric Ceballos was the Lakers' "franchise" player for a few seasons. In classic LA form, he was sufficiently famous enough to get his own rap single. This was on the tail-end of the "G-Funk" era, thus the semi-decent Warren G track, and the inclusion of folks like Rickey Harris in this extra-lame video. None of that helped out Ceballos' preschool rhyme structure. This dude makes Soulja Boy look like Rakim. Fail.

Brian Shaw - "Anything Can Happen"

Former Laker (and current Laker assistant coach) Brian Shaw was an unsung role player on those early 2000's championship teams, but even he, an 8th man, managed to leverage his fame into a rap song. I can't even hate on this one. Unlike the other cats, Shaw's spittin' about some real sh*t (losing his parents and sister in a car accident) and this thumpin' track is classic mid-90's Yay Area. Much like Shaw, this one's a winner.

Question: Know any other "Rappin' Ballers" who really need to drop the mic and keep their day jobs?

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