Once you’ve reached the top of the mountain as an athlete, there seems to be an itch to discover if you have any other hidden talents. For some, it’s owning a restaurant. Others? Perhaps breaking into the fashion industry. Then, there’s hip-hop. Ah yes, the athlete-rapper. Nothing says “I’m a beast on the mic” like ghostwritten lyrics that have been carefully combed over by a PR staff and an agent to make sure there’s no possibility of anything remotely controversial. From Shaq all the way to Damian Lillard, athletes have been trying their skills on the beat for decades. While some show some actual talent, others.. Well, you’ll just see. Here is the 5 worst athlete-rappers of all time.
5. LeBron James
On the court, LeBron James is a beast. He just won his third NBA title, and he brought Cleveland their first title since your Grandma was selling girl-scout cookies. On the mic, however, he leaves a lot to be desired. The best way to describe LeBron’s rap style is a G-rated version of Cam’ron. It almost sounds like he wouldn’t be half bad if it wasn’t for the fact that he can’t say anything remotely controversial. The same censorship used in Kidz-Bop is basically what we’re looking at for LeBron James.
The highlight (if you want to call it that) of LeBron James’ rap career is definitely his remix of the 2013 Jay-Z joint “Fuckwithmeyouknowigotit”. Of course, actually swearing would be much too edgy (gasp), so LeBron raps “roll with us ’cause you know we got it”. However, he does have some harsh criticism for the haters on this one, saying “it’s a damn shame you ever doubted”. Wow. Don’t play this one with the kids around or they might need counseling. He continues to lay into the haters, rapping “say what you want about the king, got money, got cribs, got whips and oh yeah, got 2 rings!” Damn. He even said the 2 rings part like 2-Chainz says “Twooooo Chaiiiinz!” This man is not to be messed with. I bet if you saw him on the street, he might not even sign an autograph for you. Let’s just hope when he retires from basketball nobody is encouraging him to pick up a microphone again.
4: John Cena
You knew it was coming. Though I definitely have a soft-spot for “The Time is Now”, the fan-favorite trumpet blaring anthem, John Cena as a rapper is total garbage. Cena has lived the past year of his life in meme purgatory; word has it he’s staying in the same cell as Harambe and Ted Cruz.
The incriminating selection for John Cena is “All Day” a song that hilariously features Wiz Khalifa. This one is actually more recent, it was released back in 2014. What really does it in for Cena is having an actual rapper on the Saturday me song as him. When it’s just John Cena, it’s harder to realize how bad he actually is. What makes it worse is his flow. He sounds like a 7th grader with a reading problem who just got picked on to read aloud in front of the class. He sounds like the rapper version of the guy with the weird voice on the Arby’s commercial. I almost expected him to drop a “we have the meats” line somewhere in there. John Cena is a terrifying man, but it’s hard to take him seriously when he raps “I’m ’bout to go on trial… Murdering instrumentals”, and the killer closing line “I got four fingers, I’m giving you the middle one”. Whoa. Take it easy man. I don’t want any problems here.
3: Le’Veon Bell (aka Juice)
Le’Veon is the first person on this list to have actually crafted himself a rap name and release a mixtape. This isn’t that impressive, considering he probably has nothing else to do during his annual suspensions. In fact, one has to suspect that late nights in the studio with a little bit of creative smoke clouds probably led to these suspensions. One thing smoking a lot of weed didn’t do for Le’Veon bell is make him a better rapper.
His rap style sounds like he is trying to say something mean about someone across the room without raising his voice too loud. The monotone thing doesn’t really work out for Le’Veon, a.k.a Juice, and he should definitely stick to playing in the NFL.
In hindsight, this song is fucking hilarious because it basically predicts his suspension long before it happens. This song was released in early April, and it contains the following:
“They collectin’ all my piss like there is somethin’ in my system
I don’t feel ’em though, ask me do I get it, no
They want me off the field, I guess I kinda gotta feel ’em though”
Well. Juice is basically saying he doesn’t know why they keep making him pee in a cup. Maybe that’s why he was so reluctant to show up for his drug test. Not only is that lyric direct foreshadowing of his suspension, it’s also kinda gross. Name one other rapper that would rap about someone collecting their urine. I’m waiting. (Josh Gordon doesn’t rap)
2: Peyton and Eli Manning
Look. I know it’s a joke, but if there’s anyone that can make themselves look like a couple of assholes even when they’re joking, it’s the Manning brothers. I don’t understand what they were really going for. Peyton has a shaggy 80s creep haircut, and Eli looks like someone put Napoleon Dynamite in the microwave for 30 seconds and smushed his face in. I have to say, however, the best part of this video is when Peyton asks “what do you think Alexander Graham Bell would say if he saw you watching football on your phone?” and Eli busts through the painting with “who cares? Dude’s dead!” I feel like the Manning brothers may have comedic potential in the future, but definitely not a music career. Never again.
1: Serena Williams
Ok before I say anything else, this beat is fire. The person on the track? No. No. No. Pretty much the only good thing about this song is that it’s only 1:10 long. The best (or worst, depending on how you look at it) lyric here is definitely “Swag out this world, you should call me Venus. That’s my sister, I’m Serena”. Thanks for the introduction. I wasn’t sure. From the sounds of it, this track came to be while Serena was hanging out with some NFL linebacker. I just hope there isn’t more where this came from.