From oldies to 2019 hits, there has been a variety of mainstream and underground artists who have released basketball-focused related lyrics and songs. From referencing current All-Stars to their favorite college players to getting players tatted on them, these artists have continued to bridge music and sports. Even some of your favorite athletes have jumped into the game to drop some heat.
No NBA season would be complete without tracks from all across the music realm. So, in that spirit, here are the top 10 tracks referencing the game of hoops to get you hyped to see your favorite players hit the court. Maybe you can save a couple for your next Instagram caption or Snapchat story.
Basketball by Kurtis Blow
Best Line: “Just like I’m the king on the microphone, so is Dr. J and Moses Malone / I like slam dunks, take me to the hoop my favorite play is the alley-oop / I like the pick-and-roll, I like the give-and-go / Cause it’s basketball, uh, Mister Kurtis Blow.”
An ode to his favorite sport of basketball, Kurtis Blow took the music world by storm with this super lit track. It was also the theme song of an NBA 2K video game
Kobe Bryant by Lil Wayne
Best Line: “Two-four so nice, my flow so mean / catch me at the game sitting next to Goldstein, Kobe Bryant Nikes, purple gold strings / Kobe in the game dunkin’ on the whole team.”
Fresh off his mixtape “Tear Drop Tune 2”, Lil Wayne made this track about his favorite basketball player.
Sideline Story by J. Cole
“But, you’ll never play me like LeBron vs. Jordan / Twenty years, wonder who they gone say was more important / Both changed the game, came through and made a lane / Who’s to say that who’s greater, all we know, they ain’t the same”
J. Cole uses “getting up off the sideline” as a metaphor for his life and rise to fame in the rap game.
(I Know I Got) Skillz by Shaquille O’Neal
“Knick-knack shaq-attack, give a dog a bone / Rhymin is like hoopin’, I’m already a legend”
O’Neal shows that he is more than just a basketball player by dropping rhymes on this track with Def Jam.
Jumpman by Drake
“Jumpman, Jumpman, Jumpman, them boys up to somethin’, woo! / Jumpman, Jumpman, Jumpman, fuck what was you expecting? Woo! / Chi-Town, Chi-Town, Michael Jordan just had text me, woo!”
A reference to the classic shoe made by basketball star Micahel Jordan, this track is one for the books. MJ and Drake collaborated before on a pair of Jordans featuring the OVO and jumpman logos.
Mo Bamba by Sheck Wes
“I be ballin’ like a mothafuckin’ pro (Like a mothafuckin’ pro) / I be ballin’ like my n*gga Mo (Bamba, Bamba)”
Sheck Wes paid homage to his childhood teammate and friend Mo Bamba on this track. Though Sheck is now making music and Bamba plays for the Orlando Magic, the two are ballin’ in their own respective ways.
NBA by Joe Budden
“Do I really need to beg your pardon? / And my jersey say James I don’t play games / Like Bron when he in that Garden”
Budden collaborated with Wiz Khalifa and French Montana over this track filled with clever references to the NBA and the players.
Nonstop by Drake
“Got a sneaker deal and I ain’t break a sweat / Catch me ’cause I’m gone (Outta there, I’m gone) / How I go from 6 to 23 like I’m LeBron?”
Drake pops up again on this list because this man just can’t get enough of basketball. From sitting courtside to sliding clever references into his music, Drake’s tracks can get any basketball fans excited for the season.
The Dream Shatterer by Big Pun
“Shatter dreams like Jordan assault and batter your team / your squadron will be barred from rap, Like Adam and Eve from the garden”
Likening himself to NBA superstar Michael Jordan, Big Pun dropped one of the hottest verses of its time on his debut album Capital Punishment.
White Iverson by Post Malone
“Double OT like I’m KD, smokin’ OG / And you know me, in my 2-3s and my gold teeth / Bitch, I’m smiling, bet you see me from the nosebleeds / I’m a new three and I change out to my new 3s”
Virtually unknown before this track, Post Malone channeled the energy of basketball great Allen Iverson to skyrocket his career. Filled with metaphors from Iverson’s life and the game itself, Malone is ballin’ on these haters just like Iverson on the court.
Turn up that volume, roll down the window, and blast these tracks using this Spotify playlist.