The general consensus of rapping athletes is that they’re wasting everyone’s time and polluting the atmosphere with terrible music. But let us not forget that thanks to these monuments of pure vanity, many a rapper and producer has had a truck pull up to their house and begin unloading sacks and sacks of filthy lucre, like that scene in Scarface when Tony, Manny,— and Chi Chi are laundering money at the bank. Here are notable examples of wealthy sportspeople using the cash to pay for the services of people who can actually rap.
Worst on field
The big fella managed to release four albums (2001’s Shaquille O’Neil Presents His Superfriends, Vol 1 never made it past promo CD stage, which is a shame considering it had a song titles such as ‘I Don’t Give A Fuck’, ‘Psycho’, and ‘Do It Faster,’ nullus), enlisting everybody from A Tribe Called Quest to Biggie to Jay Z to the Wu-Tang to distract listeners from Shaq’s rapping. The highlights were ‘Game of Death,’ which featured Rakim over an Easy Mo Bee track, ‘Legal Money’ with Mobb Deep and Lord Tariq on a Havoc beat and ‘No Hook’ with RZA and Method Man. On a side note, it’s been rumoured that Shaq’s first rap appearance with the Fu-Schnickens ruined their career as a result—as if rapping in a flying Chinese take-away box was the height of credibility!
02. Dana Barros and Cedric Ceballos
Dana Barros and Cedric Ceballos lucked out when they were paired with Grand Puba, A.G., Sadat X, and Diamond D for 1994’s ‘Ya Don’t Stop’ from the otherwise dire B-Ball’s Best Kept Secret album. Getting to share air time with such an esteemed line-up, who were all at the height of their powers at the time, is probably the highlight of Dana and Cedric’s careers—NBA time included.
03. 'Neon' Deion Sanders
Not content with winning two Superbowls and playing in the World Series, Prime Time also rolled with fellow winner MC Hammer, releasing a self-titled LP on Bust-It Records and teaming up with Stanley for ‘Straight To My Feet’ from the Street Fighter soundtrack. It’s fair to say that Mr. Sanders rapped about as well as he dressed.
04. John Cena
Regardless of the other not-very-good rap songs that the future Mr. Nikki Bella has been involved in, the video for 2005’s ‘Bad, Bad, Man’ involves the late Gary Coleman, Freddie Foxxx as Mr. T, Cena as Hannibal, and some bloke named Tha Trademarc as Howling Mad Murdock in the greatest A-Team cosplay of all time. The album itself also featured contributions from Jake One, Elzhi, and Esoteric, suggesting that Cena had a deeper interest in rap than simply adopting O.C.’s ‘Word…Life’ mantra.
05. Roy Jones Jr
Even a guest verse from southern rap legend Scarface couldn’t save boxer Roy Jones Jnr from, ironically, playin’ himself.
06. Ron Artest aka Metta World Peace aka The Pandas Friend
This proud Queensbridge resident made a name for himself by taking no shorts on the court and repping QB pretty much every time he was interviewed post game. His 2006 album My World featured Juvenile, Big Kap, and Mike Jones in addition to QBC representatives Capone and Nature, while 2011’s Ball’N Mixtape enlisted Nas, Fat Joe, Gucci Mane, Bun B, and Paul Wall. There was also his Youtube exclusive which is described as ‘Ron Artest Helps Afghan Women With Caring Rap Song‘ for some reason. Sadly, Ron was not asked to be involved with Desiigner’s breakout hit ‘Panda’. For shame.
07. Randy 'Macho Man' Savage
Legendary wrestler Randy Savage was wise to get DJ Kool (of ‘Let Me Clear My Throat’ fame, and not much else) to make 2003’s ‘Hit The Floor’ his attempt at a Fat Man Scoop record. Taken from the album Be A Man, it sounds exactly how you would imagine a rap LP from a former WWF champion to sound, and is a darn sight better than Hulk Hogan’s Japanese-only 1983 rock song, ‘Itch Ban.’