Rappers live the life. But deep down, they want to prove they can ball out on the court.
In turn, almost every NBA player fancies himself an MC. And though few have had any semblance of crossover success, some of them aren't half bad.
From our own King James to Metta World Peace, here are Crossfade's six favorite ballers turned beat boys.
See also: Five Signs You Might Be a Shitty Rapper
L.J. is killin' 'em courtside, but he's also got some freestyle game. When you hang out with as many rappers (e.g. Jay Z, Dr. Dre, Macklemore) as James, the skills must brush off. Do you think he helps the hip-hop community practice its dunks? Anyway, we are loving this #4BarsFriday. We hope it becomes a movement.
Metta World Peace
On the court, Mr. Peace currently plays forward for the New York Knicks. But on the beat, he isn't playing at all. Bro has a discography full of collabs with legends like Tech N9ne, Diddy, Mike Jones, and Juvenile. He released his first album, My World, in 2006, and the raps keep coming. We also really love him on Key and Peele, just sayin'.
See also: 20 Richest Rappers of 2013
On the real, ESPN's fifth-greatest shooting guard of all time got bars. At least 40 of them. On this track alone. He's working his Wu-Tang flow hard, and it's just the right mix of laid-back and attack-heavy to make a hip-hop head actually give a real nod. These days, Iverson is retired from the game (and basically broke), but we'd check it out if bro came through town to spit rhymes.
Oklahoma City's KD is an NBA all-star, and he ain't too shabby on the mic either. He's one of the newest ballers to attempt a crossover, having released his first official rhyme, "Tha Formula," last year. It wasn't a bad stab, although his flow played a little catch-up now and again. But even more than his gritty street style, we love his rap name: Sniper Jones.
See also: Five Reasons Today's Rappers Are Fakes
Money alert! Kobe Bryant has the bills to buy real production skills in the booth. He can even get Tyra Banks on the track, and that must be expensive, right? His flow is pretty on point, but doesn't he sound kind of like Will Smith? These days, Bryant seems content to leave the MC game alone, but we'll always have "Uh, what I live for? Basketball, beats, and broads."
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
Whatever to the rest of these ballers turned rappers... Whether they got mad skills or not, Shaq will always be our favorite b-ball beat boy. He released four full-length albums between '93 and '98, and then he won the game for life with this incredible Kobe-diss freestyle. It just never gets old. Shaq Fu for life.
Follow Kat Bein on Twitter @KatSaysKill.