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Looking at some of the Lakers' memorable rap performances

Had he not been gunned down in Las Vegas, rapper Tupac Shakur would've turned 40 today.

Many on the Lakers, and athletes from all sports, frequently listen to his songs during workouts and while sitting by their lockers. In the Lakers' case, many of them have plenty of connections to the hip-hop community. Kobe Bryant often shakes hands with Jay-Z anytime he sees him at an NBA game. Ron Artest can often be seen chatting up the likes of Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Interscope's Jimmy Iovine courtside at Staples Center. And plenty of the Lakers, including Artest, Matt Barnes and Shannon Brown, appeared in music videos. That ranges from the three kicking it with Snoop Dogg and Game for the "Purp & Yellow" video, as well as Brown appearing on "Love All Over Me."

But there have been a few memorable Laker rap singles, not always for the better. Below the jump are four  of them that stand out.

1. Ron Artest's "Champion"

Memorable lyric: "I love the fourth quarter; I love the ninth inning/I love Game 7; bring on the competition/'Cause in my heart, can't nobody do it better/can't slow me down, won't stop me never."

Take: The song itself is actually pretty decent. Dr. Dre's production brought the best out of Artest and many in the hip-hop community, including Master P and Romeo, immediately praised it.

The actual story behind the song proves more riveting. Artest first recorded it  immediately after signing with the Lakers in the 2009 off-season, but decided to hold off on the song since he hadn't actually won a ring. After his memorable Game 7 performance of the 2010 NBA Finals, Artest visited Dre, and finalized the song in the early hours of the morning. Its immediate release came at the height of Artest's popularity among Laker fans.

2. Shaquille O'Neal's "Can't Stop the Reign"

Memorable lyric: "You can't stop it, block it, when I drop it/ anytime I go rhyme for rhyme on a topic/You ain't even fit to step in Shaq's arena/I look into your mind and I see your shook demeanor"

Take: What, you thought I'd feature Shaq's obscenity-laced freestyle ripping Kobe Bryant after the Lakers lost in the 2008 NBA Finals? That one doesn't pass the censors with The Times and it was far from any lyrical poetry. No one's ever going to tout Shaq's five rap albums as actually good, even if his first CD, "Shaq Diesel" earned platinum status. His songs were often generic and cheesy. But this one single in particular passes the test because it features Notorious B.I.G. on it.

3. Kobe Bryant's "K.O.B.E"

Memorable lyric: "Real love last, now do you love me or my cash?/My name, fame, drop top, Benz or the wooden dash?/You know my stash, from Georgie cash platinum, U.S. express, no paper cash/Spend it all now, or kiss to be rich cash Hash, stocks and bonds, laugh when they crash"

Take: The only reason the above lyric is memorable is because it's horribly bad. The lack of flow and rhyming "cash" four separate times are reasons enough Laker fans are thankful Bryant never ventured his hip-hop interests past this song. Bryant has no need to fret, however. He's pretty good at his day job.

4. Lakers' "Just Say No to Drugs

Memorable lyric: "I'm Kareem, I'm the captain of the team/I don't need drugs, I got a higher theme/My sky hooks make the team look good/But there's a hook we gotta shake from the neighborhood."

Take: Ridiculously awful, funny and entertaining at the same time. Nothing is more amusing than seeing the 1987 Lakers perform a Sesame Street-type song with offbeat and cheesy lyrics.

RELATED:

Ron Artest striving to maintain balance with devotion to basketball and rap music

Ron Artest releases 'Go Loco' music video

Derrick Caracter and Devin Ebanks debate 2Pac versus Notorious B.I.G.

-- Mark Medina

Email the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

 
Comments () | Archives (25)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Yo Mark I like this thread ahaha

Had he not been gunned down in the Las Vegas strip, rapper Tupac Shakur would've turned 40 today.

The best Rapper in the world, even today... 2pac forever will be known as the best of the best...

Hearing that Tupac would be 40 today makes me feel very old :(

@Bay to La

Age has nothing to do with it, its just a number,
you are as young as you feel... this is true!

Bay to LA - Don't feel old. Feel fortunate that you're in good health!!

Bay to LA

Rumors on dwight may be just fantasy at this point but one can only surmise LA is his top destination.. He's been spotted hanging out in LA this summer. He's previously commented he would love to play with Kobe... Now his recent comments saying he will definitely become a free agent is just another nice way of saying I'm not returning so trade me NOW or get nothing for me. I mean what kind of championship pieces is orlando supposed to acquire by trading gilbert or jameer or hedo when their over the cap??

In other words he's already playing the melo card and is telling mgmt the clock is ticking! The way I see it is all up to Kupcakes..(Correction jim buss!) He better not blow this one!

And did u guys hear backup center ex maverick erika dampier was spotted celebrating toasting champagne with the mavs?? Hahaha.. Funny guy!

@ yellofever - hey wasn't he also the ex-heat? oops I mean cheat? ahaha

MM – bringing the hip hop flava…nice. (What’s up with the guy claiming he shot Pac?)

Anyway…of course we have to give the nod to anything featuring Biggie. But we can’t forget about Shaq talking about his move from the East conf. to the West conf. in “Strait Playin” ....hmmm maybe Superman #2 will be saying this...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRYtYOWJCpU

I like playing on the West side
Even If I miss playing on the Eastside

We can cut through the red tape
And bust through the fakers
Keep your eye on big Shaq
And put your money on the Lakers

LRob

"@Bay to La

Age has nothing to do with it, its just a number,
you are as young as you feel... this is true!


Posted by: Tech N9ne | June 16, 2011 at 01:33 PM

Bay to LA - Don't feel old. Feel fortunate that you're in good health!!

Posted by: Mark Medina | June 16, 2011 at 01:40 PM "

Thanks guys, I'd still be referred to as "youth" if the Lakers signed me but hearing Tupac is 40 definitely sets me back a little.

Maybe I should use this as motivation to go and realize my NBA dreams while there is still time.

@Bay to LA - can you liked the hoopdata info.


@Fever - I didn't hear that but I'm not surprised. Word was he stayed on the court and was hanging with the Mavs after the won the title. I guess its safe to say Riles won't be re-signing him.

On your Lebron post...I don't think you have to worry about going "soft" on him...lol.

@Tech - love Pac, but I'm still rolling with the Microphone Fiend as the GROAT.

LRob

Getting Dwight is not a fantasy. He is positively and absolutely in "play." The man made it clear that he "ain't" re-signing with Orlando unless they win a championship and we all know that they will not win. Orlando will not wait for that to happen and rest assured, they are listening to all offers with one caveat: Dwight will have to approve his new destination. He will play where he wants to play and all L.A. can hope for is that he wants to play for the Lakers. We have Bynum who is arguably the 2nd best Center in the league - when he's healthy! Hopefully, some other team can worry about his health.

One word on "Justa:" If you don't "know" her, don't knock her. She's as fun as can be in a chat room and she doesn't need anyone to defend her. That gal can hold her own so please don‘t think I‘m stepping in for her. I just want you guys to keep an open mind. That girl is pure “purple & gold.” Visit the RC one of these days and have a "virtual conversation" with her. She will have you "cracking up." Luv Ya "Justa!" People “fighting” on the blog is silly. No one here is going to punch anyone in the face just like in an NBA game. That stuff just “ain’t gonna” happen but don’t tell Rudy “T” that. Man, he really took one in the face, didn’t he? Embarrassing.

Yellow we're still back to the same old story. (remembering that I'm on the We Don't Need Howard bandwagon) To get Howard's contract the Lakers have to part with one or more of their over-inflated contracts. If you were a GM would you take Bynum's contract (even if Jimmy B was willing to part with it)? We're talking about a potential Greg Oden or a potential super big man. I'm not much of a gambler so I wouldn't touch him. OK maybe Gasol with something thrown in like LO. Would the Lakers part with both of their vet forwards (and don't get me started with anything like "they'll be fine with Artest")? Who else is there that would attract any trade attention?

That being said, I wouldn't boycott the Lakers if they managed to acquire Howard. In fact, I think they would put on a good show, but since Orlando is going to be looking to improve a team that is already a playoff team, I don't see how it can happen without gutting the lakers and taking them completely out of contention. Of course, I could be wrong as I often am.

JR

@Bay to LA - oops meant to say "glad" you liked the hoopdata.


LRob

Thanks guys, I'd still be referred to as "youth" if the Lakers signed me but hearing Tupac is 40 definitely sets me back a little.

Maybe I should use this as motivation to go and realize my NBA dreams while there is still time.

Posted by: Bay to La | June 16, 2011 at 02:23 PM

SEEE, it is true, now your thinking like a 21 year old ahahaha see it works, you are as young as you feel you are bottom line! Well luckely for you Tupac is dead! :( so you won't have to feel old..

who claimed that they shot pac? I never heard anything, and it was the Government that shot him down, the guy was getting to big and too powerful, he was moving East and West coast... he was getting out of hand, same with BIG, they both were too much so governement came in and said Enough is enough, lets finish this!!!

Tupacs mom and biggies mom got private detectives to work on their sons deaths, but every time they tried to get into the evidence locker the police, FBI, CIA, DOJ wouldn't let them, that tells you something... havn't you guys seen THS (true hollwyood story) beef between Pac and BIG...

Yo Lrob2 - ahaha nice

Yo, I was a fiend before I became a teen
I melted microphone instead of cones of ice cream
Music orientated so when hip-hop was originated
Fitted like pieces of puzzles, complicated
Shot grabbed the mic and try to say, yes y’all!
They tried to take it, and say that I’m too small
Cool, ’cause I don’t get upset
I kick a hole in the speaker, pull the plug, then I jet
Back to the lab ...without a mic to grab
So then I add all the rhymes I had
One after the another one, then I make another one
To dis the opposite then ask if the brother’s done
I get a craving like I fiend for nicotine
But I don’t need a cigarette, know what I mean?
I’m raging, ripping up the stage and
Don’t it sound amazing ’cause every rhyme is made and
Thought of, cuz it’s sort of...an addiction,
Magnatized by the mixing

hey man why is your handle like that google thing, nothing else works for Lrob? why not try with yahoo, it might work better!?

"SEEE, it is true, now your thinking like a 21 year old ahahaha see it works, you are as young as you feel you are bottom line! Well luckely for you Tupac is dead! :( so you won't have to feel old..

who claimed that they shot pac? I never heard anything, and it was the Government that shot him down, the guy was getting to big and too powerful, he was moving East and West coast... he was getting out of hand, same with BIG, they both were too much so governement came in and said Enough is enough, lets finish this!!!

Tupacs mom and biggies mom got private detectives to work on their sons deaths, but every time they tried to get into the evidence locker the police, FBI, CIA, DOJ wouldn't let them, that tells you something... havn't you guys seen THS (true hollwyood story) beef between Pac and BIG...

Posted by: Tech N9ne | June 16, 2011 at 02:34 PM "

I have wondered if the police are covering anything up or if they're just too scared for their own personal safety that they'd rather stay out of the case completely.

These were both such high profile cases that a lot of people would have to know who was responsible, yet no one is talking. Not even the friends-turned-enemies of the people involved. That says a lot right there. If they tell anyone what they know, there is probably a lot of bad things waiting for them and those close to them.

"@Bay to LA - oops meant to say "glad" you liked the hoopdata.


LRob

Posted by: www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawn4EQ5LBrg8co8TTwBuNxRn7nO-lqyuZYs | June 16, 2011 at 02:29 PM "

Yes definitely a good find. I had used that site in the past but forgot how to get to it. It's in the bookmarks now.

@ Bay to LA - you bet they are covering it up for sure, the police and FBI with it too. I have no doubt!

That very night in Vegas, is where it all happend! I honestly think that Shug Knight had something to do with Pac's death and the police covered it up!

I love 2pac to death and have every single song, album, cd, that he has, novels, movies, so Im a big 2pac fan, and one thing I noticed is how bad Death Row and Sug Knigh treated PAC... Sug was a active gangmember and so where most of the LAPD back then in the 90's so they used to do bodyguard work in the studio with pac and sug,

SUG was basically "taxing" 2pac... he wouldn't give Pac all the money he made selling CD's, he basically walked in and snatched Pac from working with Dr Dre and kicked him out!

you guys know DEATH ROW RECORDS?? well that used to belong to Dr Dre until Sug came in and litteraly stole the lable from Dr DRe and Dre went and made his own label, it got so bad, that Sug knight showed up to Dr Dres house with bunch of "thugs" with guns demanding that he hand over any beats made under DEATH ROW... and Dr Dre gave it up... so thats whwere this Dre and PAc beef started!

Sug knigh was way too hungry, all he cared about is feeding himself and his crew rather than, Pac and his rappers, I think he had something to do with Pac's death and Biggies...

Also cant leave out P Diddy out of all this, he was the reason BIG and pac started to fight!!!

Tech,

Microphone Fiend....luv it...luv it...luv it.

Re: Pac - They announced on the radio today that somebody came forwarded confessing to shooting Pac. I just googled it and this is what I found...see link below. (I thought he was saying he killed him, but it looks like he's talking about the time Pac was robbed).

I use google to post. The only time I have all the stuff under my name is on my login at work. I've tried to get rid of it to no avail. (sorry but I'm done trying to clean it up).


http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/2011/06/15/2011-06-15_i_shot_tupac_kapur_in_1994_robbery_on_orders_of_rap_manager_claims_convicted_mur.html


LRob

LRob - yeah man don't worry about it at all, I was just curious that is all, I know you always put your handle regardless, I say try opening a yahoo account, it might help, its real easy when you got time, try it...

Thanks for the link, I just read the article, and what I tought he was confessing was he shot pac in Vegas, but he was talking about the shooting that happend in manhatten in the recording studio in the elevator...

Pac called Biggie and said " hey man what you up to" biggie was like " were in the studio on this floor recoring come on up " as soon as the elevator doors opened and pac was getting in the elevator, couple of gang bangers, straight up shot him point blank range and robbed him...

when he was getting taken by the ambulance, 2pac shows the middle fingure, to show that what don't kill me make me stronger... from then on rest was history, 2pac said biggie set him up that day, but who knows, maybe he did maybe he didn't but I have a feeling it was more P Diddy than anything else, I think he sent those guys to kill pac because PAC and biggie were really close and he saw PAC as competition, so my guess is he gave the order since he was with Bad Boy records and wanted to sign biggie...

and as far as what that Issac guy claims might be false, because they say pac was shot multiple times by couple of different people, not just one, there was a group of them, couple of them fired at PAC and not just one!

Tech N9ne - Haha thanks man. It was fun to do. I couldn't believe how bad Kobe's rap song was. I had heard it when it first came out, but I quickly forgot about it. I'm glad I did

Rap music sucks.

The fact that people with zero musical ability can masquerade as "musicians" in Rap puts the genre just above Rebecca Black in terms of legitimacy.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!

Jon K - Glad to see the login now works for you. What happened?

Jon K - By the way, I think eventually I'll convert you into a rap fan

Are we gonna see the pickers and grinners of Laker fame next? I know Big Game James is a bass man and who could forget Jerry West and Conway Twitty's seminal blue grass band 'The Hair Speaks For Itself' with Gail Goodrich alternating between the jug and the wash board!? They had a sweet 13 minute jam into a cover of the Dead's Scarlett Begonia's. Bill Walton, of course, was on acid and thought he was witnessing the birth of John Travolta, again.

Not sure how this will post as it is connected to my FB, this is Jamie Sweet, over and out!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dko4bffP90A


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