The hip-hop world is a less than sensible place -- lots of times, you're even required to clarify when bad means bad and when bad means good -- so once a week we're going to get with a rapper and ask them to explain things. Something you always wanted to ask a rapper? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Week's Rapper: Tha Centop
This Week's Prompt: Tuesday, we asked some rappers to predict which team was going to win the NBA Finals. Let's keep it sports-themed: What are your six favorite rap songs that make at least one mention of a sport in the lyrics? Got it? Great. Go.
Lloyd Banks, "Banks Victory"
"Now all the vehicles are long enough to stash the street sweeper / Cuz this shit can get uglier than a Master P sneaker"
Tha Centop: "This is hilarious to me and clever because that was around the time that rapper Master P made an NBA roster as, like, a 12th man for like a week. Creative, Banks; a low blow but creative. So that would make Master P a sports figure at the time, right?"
6. Ice Cube, "It Was a Good Day"
"Called up the homies and I'm asking ya'll / At which court are ya'll playing basketball/ Get me on the court and I'm trouble / Last week F'd around and got a triple double."
Tha Centop: "Classic bars from a classic song, even tho I don't think Ice Cube could really put up a triple double [laughs]."
5. Ludacris, "Madden 2000 Theme Song"
"Put your pride in the dirt, or put on a skirt / If you come on the field and don't wanna get hurt / bruised and beaten until you black and blue / And it's been like that since Madden '92'"
Tha Centop: "This was a song based on football that was just a get "krunk" song; made me actually wanna get up and play real football. But I never understood anyone that went on the field looking to get hurt, Luda, or am I just being a bit too cynical?"
4. Shaquille O'Neal, "S.P.S. (Shoot Pass Slam)"
"Do you want me to shoot it? (yeaah) Do you want me to pass it? (nooo) Do you want me to slam it? (yeeah)"
Tha Centop: "How can you have a sports-themed countdown and not mention Shaq? He has to be the tallest rapper ever to go platinum, and, hey, who would actually step to him and say he can't rap? Not that I'm saying that, Mr. O'Neal. Your talent matches your free-throw shooting ability. Just kidding. But Shaq actually had rhymes that were good."
3. Jay-Z, "Encore"
"As faith would have, Jay status seems to be at an all-time high / Perfect time to say goodbye / 'Til I come back like Jordan wearing the 45 / It's not to play games with you, it's to aim at you"
Tha Centop: "This is some slick wordplay at its finest, sports heads know what I mean. Real talk."
2. P. Diddy feat. Notorious B.I.G., "Victory"
"Raw nights, I perform like Mike; anyone: Tyson, Jordan, Jackson; Action, pack guns"
Tha Centop: "What can I say? It's the great Biggie, who, by the way, is still out-rapping some of these cats that sample his verses and put him on songs with him."
1. Kurtis Blow, "Basketball"
"Basketball is my favorite sport / I like the way they dribble up and down the court"
Tha Centop: "How do you not know this song if you have ears and have ever played basketball? It has to be number one. Period."
Follow Tha Centop on Twitter at @Tha_Centop.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.