“I swear sports and music are so synonymous Cause we want to be them, and they want to be us“
For some time now I have been wanting to write a piece on music and sports and how the two seem to be intertwined just as coffee is synonymous with caffein. Drake was right to use the word synonymous, take one away and you still have something great, but not quite right. The recent decision by Jay-Z to drop partial ownership in the Brooklyn Nets to pursue Roc Nation Sports, in which he will represent professional athletes. Hova will be great for his signees. Look what the man has done with the various artists signed to Roc-A-Fella Records. The man knows how to market.
Jay-Z however, only represents one major star to try his hand at sports ownership. It’s been widely known that Justin Timberlake has been after a part ownership of the Memphis Grizzlies for a while now, J-Lo and Marc Anthony are minority owners of the Miami Dolphins, and the Fresh Prince, Will Smith along with Jada Pinkett Smith have a share in the Philadelphia 76ers.
This street seems to be more of a one-way though. Often times I find athletes that try their hand in music are traveling the wrong way on that one way street. I am rarely impressed. That is why you rarely hear the names of Coco Crisp, Carlos Arroyo, and Oscar De La Hoya in the music industry, even though they have all tried. I commend them all for their efforts too. Honestly, one of the best must be Ron Artest. The man can actually throw down some lines as seen here:
The relativeness of it all is evident everywhere. 50 Cent had been hanging around Floyd Mayweather Jr. for a while and would accompany the boxer ring-side. Snoop Lion, formerly known as Snoop Dogg, can be seen roving the sidelines as the head coach of his son’s youth football team.
Where does it stop? It really doesn’t. Musicians constantly represent their hometown teams with apparel. Take a look at Wiz Khalifa’s music video for “Black and Yellow”:
There’s no doubt who Wiz roots for after seeing and listening to that video.
It’s not just rap either. The band Styx actually embraced the fact that the Pittsburgh Steelers use their song “Renegade” as a rally song during games. It started against the Browns, in which the Steelers came back from a 24-7 deficit to win after “Renegade” had got the crowd going.
More recently, during a Monday Night Pittsburgh-Baltimore rivalry in which I was present for, the game was changed when James Harrison strip sacked Joe Flacco, while Lamar Woodley returned the fumble for a touchdown. “Renegade” was present. For more on the “Renegade Lore” in Pittsburgh, read this article.
It’s not just songs for sports either; it’s songs about sports. Lil Wayne and Jay-Z are two rappers that come to mind when I think of sports wordplay in music. Lil Wayne spits lines like “Smoke weed, talk shit like Lane Kiffin” and “Roger Federer, there’s no competitors”. Lil Wayne has also taken an avid interest in skateboarding lately. Jay-Z, on the other hand, has been known to rap about his previous Nets ownership with lines like ““I would have brought the Nets to Brooklyn for free, except I made millions off of you [expletive] dweebs, I still own the building, I’m still keeping my seats. If you buy that [expletive], you better keep your receipts.”
So you see, music and sports go together like coffee and caffein. Sports lines from rappers continue to impress me, while most athletes may just want to stick to what they know. I think the two groups come together well though, feeding off each other’s energy, pulling inspiration from one another, and continuing to push that line. Showing up to a game without a rally song would be like the time my Grandma gave me caffein free coffee; It was all good until she mentioned it had no caffein in it.
I leave you with “Wings” by Ryan Lewis and Macklemore: