Shot Clock: NBA vs. Hip Hop

Is that Talib Kweli? It sure is. Find out why we think he is the lyrical version of the Clippers' Chris Paul.

The NBA wraps up All-Star Weekend tonight when the East stars battle the West stars. Andre Iguodala will represent the hometown Sixers in that one. The game will most likely be meaningless, a high-scoring talent show that will play second fiddle to the Oscars.

But we wanted to incorporate the NBA into today’s Shot Clock offering, so we decided to take 10 of the best players in the league (nine of our 10 are 2012 All-Star selections) and pair them up with the rapper they most remind us of. Some are stretches and some actually make a lot of sense. Anyway, take a look and fire away with feedback — negative or positive.

Rapper: Drake
NBA star: LeChoke James
» They both come off as whiny and egotistical, yet their talent is unmistakable. Drake shines brightest in collab projects (see: Rihanna, Lil Wayne), as does LeBron (see: D-Wade, Bosh). And the fact that the emo rapper laid down the lead track on LeBron’s documentary is bitter irony.
 
Rapper: Tupac Shakur
NBA star: Kobe Bryant
» Two East Coast boys that forged West and became synonymous with California Love. Both are Hall of Famers, once in a lifetime talents, who can command a verse — or team — all by themselves. Only difference: Kobe, five rings; Tupac, never won a Grammy (how is this tragedy even possible?)
 
Rapper: DMX
NBA star: Kevin Garnett
» They bark. They yell. ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!!! Player and rapper love to talk trash – fans, teammates, opponents, doesn’t matter – and both put in their time and endured a lot of lean years before finally striking it rich. Also, welcome back DMX.
 
Rapper: Nas
NBA star: Kevin Durant
» Durant doesn’t always get the love reserved for LeBron or Kobe, but there are no flaws in his game. He does everything well: pops threes, drives, dunks, rebounds, dominates. Same goes for Nas. His raps are meaningful, his beats are dope and he can kill you on a diss.
 
Rapper: Ice Cube
NBA star: Blake Griffin
» We’re talking old school Ice Cube, not the fake one doing Coors Light commercials. Ice Cube owned NWA tracks with his hard-hitting lyrics, just like Blake does to Kendrick Perkins and most NBA rims.

Rapper: Kanye West
NBA star: Dwyane Wade
» Kanye and D-Wade are corny. Corny in a good way. They like lavish parties, big sunglasses, runway models and fashion. And they are forever connected with one flow: “In two years Dwayne Wayne became Dwyane Wade.”
 
Rapper: Talib Kweli
NBA star: Chris Paul
» CP3 might be the NBA’s best true point guard. He’ll get you the ball in tight spots and wants the rock with time running out. Kweli’s soft-spoken flows are equally multi-dimensional. Whether he’s rapping about The Beautiful Struggle or just trying to Get By, Kweli is the total emcee.
 
Rapper: Common
NBA star: Dwight Howard
» The gentle giant, aka Superman, is a man-beast on the court for his athletic prowess and off it for his charitable deeds. Common is applauded as much for his complex lyrical content as he is for his community activism.  Dwight just has to work on his acting.

Rapper: RZA
NBA star: Derrick Rose
» We’re not comparing ages here, just talent. Rose is a one-man wrecking crew and already drawing very faint comparisons to Michael Jordan. RZA, the de facto leader of Wu-Tang, is an innovator of beats and a terror on the track (see: What’s Goin’ On).

Rapper: Lil’ Wayne
NBA star: Andre Iguodala
» We had to get a Sixer on the list, right? Iggs and Weezy have nothing in common stylistically, but the way they are viewed is almost identical. Philly fans see Andre in the same light true hip hop heads see Wayne — as an overpaid, hype machine or sidekick, not a superstar.

WHAT ABOUT … You might notice that two of the greatest rappers of all-time (at least, in our humble opinion) drew no comparisons. Of course, we’re talking about Notorious BIG and Eminem. Why? Well, we couldn’t make any direct correlations with any current NBA superstars. However, if you want to throw in some retired players, then you could make the following arguments:

Rapper: Notorious BIG
NBA star: Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal
» In terms of his far-reaching influence and pure skill, it’s got to be Michael Jordan. MJ is the unquestioned greatest hoops player of all-time and Biggie is certainly in the conversation when discussing rappers. However, due to his size and overall personality, we can’t help throwing Shaq in the mix. Couldn’t you see him portraying Big in a movie?

Rapper: Eminem
NBA star: Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird
» Eminem is one of the most respected emcees to ever grace stage and screen. He’s got the respect and admiration — and hardware, with 13 Grammy awards — of all his peers, even ones that don’t particularly like him. Wilt, a four-time NBA MVP,  is generally listed as No. 2, behind Jordan and shared some of Em’s uniqueness. However, it’s hard to ignore the fact that he’s white — and from the Midwest — and not compare him to Larry Bird.
 
 
 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MTA announces service changes for Sunday

The MTA has announced service changes ahead of Sunday's People's Climate March, which will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Riders using…

Local

NYPD launches Twitter account for L train

The NYPD recently launched a Twitter handle dedicated to the L train and its riders. According to @NYPDLtrain, officers went underground Thursday morning to hand…

Local

Bushwick community space offers activists a place to…

A new Bushwick community space offers community activists to meet, create, learn and throw back a few cold ones. MayDay, located 214 Starr Street in Bushwick,…

Local

Activists gearing up for Sunday's "historic" People's Climate…

If all goes according to plan, more than 100,000 people will gather near Central Park West on Sunday morning and march through midtown to raise…

Movies

Kevin Smith makes peace with the Internet

I was thinking about Ain't It Cool News and Harry Knowles last night, wondering if anyone from Ain't It Cool had reviewed my new movie…

Movies

Art imitates life in 'Swim Little Fish Swim'

There's a certain comfort to be taken in finding that young artists are still moving to New York and trying to make it — and…

Movies

Review: Terry Gilliam's 'The Zero Theorem' is better…

Terry Gilliam's latest, "The Zero Theorem," concerns a reclusive malcontent (Christoph Waltz) struggling with the search for the meaning of life.

Music

Esperanza Spalding and a being called Emily get…

Esperanza Spalding is about to spiral off in a brand new direction that may or may include an alter ego named Emily.

NFL

Oday Aboushi ready for increased role, and to…

Oday Aboushi might feel comfortable enough to engage in some trash talk the next time he is on the field.

NFL

Giants vs. Texans: 3 things to watch

The Giants host the surprising Texans (2-0) in what may already be a must-win game for Big Blue.

NFL

Eric Decker misses practice again, could miss Monday

Jets wide receiver Eric Decker missed practice Thursday as he continues to rehab a hamstring injury suffered last Sunday.

MLB

Derek Jeter still focused on baseball as final…

Derek Jeter has effectively hid his emotions for 20 years in the Bronx.

Parenting

A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.

Style

3 things we love from Day 1 of…

The highlights from Day 1 of Milan Fashion Week.

Sex

Why don't more couples use condoms?

  Call it the “condom moment.” That’s the name the authors of a new study have given to the pivotal conversation every couple should be…

Sex

Need an idea for a first date? Here's…

Picture your idea of a nice first date. Is it dinner and a movie? A visit to an interesting museum exhibit? Instead, an expert on…