“I swear sports and music are so synonymous / Cause we want to be them, and they want to be us."
That was a Drake line from his 2010 song “Thank me now.” After hearing that line, I think every rapper/athlete reference immediately popped into my head. Jay-Z stands out the most with his millions of Michael Jordan references, like the line, “When I come back like Jordan, wearing the 45,” from his 2003 “Encore” track. Jay-Z obviously came back to rap after retiring, thus emulating Jordan on the court.
I also thought about how happy rappers and athletes are while taking pictures with each other on Instagram and how often they give each other shout outs on Twitter. Some NBA guys even released rap albums. I spoke with Rapper J.Cole to find out who he thinks are the rapper versions of NBA players.