In the words of Drake, “I swear sports and music are so synonymous/Cause we want to be them, and they want to be us.”
Sports and music are like the brothers and sisters of entertainment–they go hand in hand. Athletes and rappers have a long history of becoming friends and even going into business together.
So for athletes, who are often told that they’re great at everything, what happens when they’ve conquered every aspect of their athletic career?
LeBron James may have his own eye on the hip-hop throne as well, since he recently released a freestyle over Jay Z’s hit ‘FuckWitMeYouKnowIGotIt.’
Fortunately in this day and age, there are no prerequisites to become a chart-topping rapper.
Check out our list of jocks who’ve tried to rock – with varying degrees of success.
1. Kobe Bryant
The Kobe Bryant and Tyra Banks mash-up “K.O.B.E” left many people scratching their heads. Bryant teamed up with music exec Steve Stoute back in 1998 to create a slew of rap hits, but luckily kept his day job as one of the best NBA players of all time.
2. John Cena
John Cena’s 2005 hit “The Time Is Now” helped his record peak at #3 on the Billboard Rap Albums chart.
3. Roy Jones Jr.
Roy Jones started his rap music career in 2001 with his Round One: The Album and the debut single, “You All Must’ve Forgot.” In 2004, Jones formed a group ‘Body Head Bangerz’ and released an album. The album featured hip-hop heavyweights like Juvenile, Bun B of UGK, Petey Pablo, Lil’ Flip and Mike Jones.
4. Chris Johnson
NBA stars aren’t the only athletes to try their hand in the rap game. Tennessee Titan running back Chris Johnson debuted his single “Act On Deck” via Twitter back in 2011. He also dropped a verse on a song by rap group Elite Squad, who hail from Johnson’s hometown of Orlando.
5. Steve Francis
After a long hiatus from the spotlight, Steve Francis returned in 2012, but this time he had a rap video to promote. In his video “Finer Things,” Francis lets us into his life as he showers a girl with gifts and shows her the finer things in life.
6. Chris Webber
Chris Webber‘s introduction to the music business came when he produced two of Nas’ albums. The production credits must’ve not been enough, because Webber went on to become a rapper himself.
In 1998, Webber released his first single “Gangsta, Gangsta (How U Do It)” which landed him in the top 10 of the rap charts.
7. Desean Jackson
During the 2013 off-season, Desean Jackson was in talks with Roc Nation to sign with their sports agency. Although that didn’t happen, Jackson found another way to be part of hip-hop elite.
Jackson launched his own record label in 2013, and released his first single “Diamonds On My Neck,” featuring the legendary Snoop Dogg.
8. Clint Dempsey
Clint Dempsey has often stated that one of his many loves outside of soccer is hip-hop. Dempsey used the alias name ‘Deuce’ as his hip-hop alter ego.
He, along with fellow Texas rappers XO and the late Houston rapper Big Hawk from the Screwed Up Click, are featured rapping the song “Don’t Tread” in a Nike soccer advertising campaign for the 2006 World Cup.
9. Lamar Odom
We don’t know if this was Lamar Odom‘s attempt at a rap career, or an outlet for everything that’s been going on with him. Either way, he seems very confident in his freestyling skills.
10. Serena Williams
At the Italian Open press conference, Williams said:
“Well, I was in the studio with friends and I wanted to do something and so they said – do this and it was for me. The next thing I know — that was one or two years ago and then I read online that I was a rapper and so my backstabbing friends did that to me and so if I see them, I will act like a rapper — if you can get my drift.”
11. Tony Parker
Back in 2007, San Antonio Spurs star Tony Parker decided to prove that he was more than just an athlete.
Parker released a French hip-hop album titled TP, along with his single “Balance Toi,” which debuted at #1 on the French charts.
12. Shaquille O’Neal
Shaquille O’Neal has the tendency to become one of the best to do it in any field he tries his hand in.
In 1993, Shaq tested that theory by entering the rap game and dropping his first album Shaq Diesel, which eventually went gold.
13. Ron Artest (Metta World Peace)
Metta World Peace is known for going out on a limb, and this time was no different. In 2006, World Peace released a rap album entitled My World, which features artists like P. Diddy and Juvenile.
14. Allen Iverson
After his retirement earlier this year, many people reminisced about A.I.’s skills on the court, but what about his music career?
In summer of 2000, Iverson released his single “40 Bars” under the alias ‘Jewelz.’ After being criticized for its controversial lyrics, Iverson was unable to release an official album.
15. Floyd Mayweather
The undisputed boxing champ is not just confident in the ring, he took his skills to the studio as well. Back in 2007, Mayweather dropped his single “Yep,” which he used as his entrance music at two WWE events.
16. Deion Sanders
Kids today may know Sanders as a former football player turned reality star, but many may not know that he was also a rapper.
In 1993, Sanders released his debut album Prime Time, which peaked at #70 on the US Hip-Hop charts.
17. Macho Man Randy Savage
The late Randy Savage was more than just a WWE All Star, he had bars. In 2003, Savage released a rap album titled Be a Man.
It includes a tribute to fellow wrestler Curt Hennig, who died of a drug overdose, as well as a diss track aimed at Hulk Hogan.
PHOTO CREDIT: Wenn, YouTube