Top 50 Pregame Pump-Up Christian Hip-Hop Songs

David Daniels@TheRealDDanielsSenior Writer IOctober 21, 2012

Top 50 Pregame Pump-Up Christian Hip-Hop Songs

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    A pregame pump-up song doesn’t generate the same adrenaline rush for everyone.

    Music is scientifically proven to increase physical performance. But there’s a special genre of music that select athletes now listen to pregame that provides a little extra boost.

    The phrase “push the right buttons” has become clichéd in sports. But it’s true that, because athletes are individuals, each competitor is built with “buttons” that trigger different reactions when pressed.

    The goal of pushing the right button is to ignite passion. What is passion often attached to, not just in sports, but in life?

    Faith.

    Merriam-Webster defines faith as “allegiance to duty or a person.” Allegiance—loyalty—is a button that, if pressed, will ignite passion without fail.

    Today, religious athletes—or the focus of this list, Christian ones—are combining music and faith to get hyped.

    This past week, Jared Zwerling of ESPN sat down with Lecrae, a rapper and the face of what the music industry labels Christian hip-hop. Outspoken Christian athletes Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin have each claimed to be fans of the rapper. So in response to his growing popularity among athletes, Zwerling asked Lecrae why they relate so much to his music.

    He answered:

    I think a lot of players have foundations in their faith, and they really see that permeate in every other aspect of their lives. Music is just one of the areas, and I think a lot of guys love hip-hop or rap music, but they tend to not have hip-hop or rap music that kind of co-signs their views on life. So I think that's kind of what I provide them. Also, I just like to get guys amped up before games as well. Myself being athletically inclined, I like to have music that pumps me up, too. 

    On that note, here the top 50 pregame pump-up songs that athletes like Andrew McCutchen, Bubba Watson, Dwight Howard, Justin Forsett, Anthony Tolliver and Nolan Smith listen to—Christian hip-hop—to get amped.

    Special thanks to Rapzilla. Check out the online magazine for more Christian hip-hop music.

50. 'Nick of Time': Jin

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    “Guarantee you’re not stoppin’ me or blockin’ me. All I need is one shot promised, you’ll be shocked to see.”

    Why It's Worthy

    This song was inspired by a true story—one that was quite inspirational.

49. 'Way Hard': D-Maub

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    "It's hard to retire when you're still spitting fire about the One that gives sight to the blind, bro." 

    Why It's Worthy

    While this track is short, pound for pound, it's one of the hardest on the list.

48. 'Slingshot Strong': Yaves

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    "Ready for the war, Rambo with the ammo."

    Why It's Worthy

    David vs. Goliath is every athlete's favorite biblical story. And what weapon made the giant hit the deck?

47. 'Stronger': Derek Minor

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    "You send these trials to make me. But never let 'em break me." 

    Why It's Worthy

    There may not be a more inspirational motto of perseverance than, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger," and that's the hook.

46. 'High': Grits

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    “They box up they emotion, cause commotions. Beyond they act like big fishes in a pond, but really rocks in the ocean.”

    Why It's Worthy

    One of the two MCs that make up Grits just happens to be named Coffee. Isn't that enough?

45. 'Whatever It Takes': Jin

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    "If it's in His will, there's nothin' that can't be done
. They tried to pull me under, but I will overcome."

    Why It's Worthy

    This ex-battle rapper is coincidentally quite effective at making pre-battle tracks.

44. 'Fearless': Skrip

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    "Take your best shot—lock, load, then aim. This is my anthem—to die is gain."

    Why It's Worthy

    A scared competitor loses before the game begins.

43. 'Born to Shout': Gideonz Army

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    "Let's get 'em. I'm ready. Spiritually, I am deadly. Cut demons up like confetti while swinging this here machete."

    Why It's Worthy

    What sounds like the Christian hip-hop version of Lil Jon has the same effect.

42. 'Can't Break Us': DJ Morph

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    "You haters can't move me. Soldiers always win in the action movies."

    Why It's Worthy

    Why do athletes spend so much time in the weight room? So their opponents can't "break" them.

41. 'We Not Folding': Json

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    "Built the pressure on me, trying to break me, trying to block me. It won't budge me, it won't move me cause the Rock, I know he got me."

    Why It's Worthy

    Not folding, a.k.a. quitting, is No. 1 in the competitor's 10 commandments.

40. 'Ride': Reconcile

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    "Watch the throne, bro. Both eyes on the throne. Don't you disrespect the throne that my Father's sitting on."

    Why It's Worthy

    Reconcile is a former Rice linebacker—you tell him this song isn't top-50-worthy, because I sure won't.

39. 'Battle Song': Lecrae

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    “And they can kill us now, go get the yellow tape.  Hey put me six feet in the ground and watch a great escape.”

    Why It's Worthy

    Would you really rather listen to anything else before you go into battle than a song titled "Battle Song"?

38. 'Master P': Dee-1

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    "Hold back? Why? I got to shine till I die. Please don't listen to my music if your goals ain't high."

    Why It's Worthy

    This tribute to a hip-hop legend definitely makes 'em say unggggggh like the original.

37. 'Get Better': TheBREAX

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    "I eat competition when I'm hungry. Let's just say they lucky that He fed me..."

    Why It's Worthy

    If you aren't getting better, you're getting worse.

36. 'Survivor': Sean Slaughter

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    "My God's right there. No, He's not my crutch. But he's fourth quarter Peyton Manning, so clutch."

    Why It's Worthy

    In the world of sports today, athletes are idolized for playing through pain, fatigue and injury—for being survivors.

35. 'I Am': Son

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    "It's mortal combat. I'm in the streets till they finish me."

    Why It's Worthy

    The intro says it all.

34. 'I'm Gone': Canon

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    “This is big like Poppa. Notorious for his honor.”

    Why It's Worthy

    The Saw theme music couldn't be more perfect for an athlete with a fight-for-your-life mentality.

33. 'Authority': 116 Clique

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    “If you can’t follow you can’t never lead.  And you don’t run a thing until you run in to the King.”

    Why It's Worthy

    You say "Man up." The 116 Clique says "bow down" (of course, you'll see they that say "man up" too).

32. 'Momentum': Christon Gray

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    "Can't stop my momentum, I'm going to fast. Divine intervention controlling my path."

    Why It's Worthy

    Momentum is 100 percent mental. And after listening to this track, you'll have it.

31. 'I Won't Lose': D-Maub

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    "Can't nobody stop me, it's either do or die. I'm-a ride 24 seven three-six-five."

    Why It's Worthy

    The theme is kind of relevant to athletic competition. Just kind of.

30. 'Let Em Have It': Canon

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    "It's cool. I know that some don't even believe the homie. But like a pillow I love it when people sleeping on me."

    Why It's Worthy

    Speed kills.

29. 'Signed Up to Die': Thi'sl

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    "His killa walked up on him rollin' and looked him in the eye. He said, "Aren't you gonna beg?" "He said, "No. I signed up to die."

    Why It's Worthy

    Thi'sl's voice is tailor-made for a pump-up song and the whole go-hard-or-go-home theme complements it without fail.

28. 'Who We Are': Sean Slaughter

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    "Haters want to body me. I'm living in destiny. Your life is a lottery."

    Why It's Worthy

    The hook worked for the T.C. Williams Titans, didn't it?

27. 'Go': Tragic Hero

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    "Run faithful. Run consistent. Run aggressive and run with total commitment.

    Why It's Worthy

    Dear Nike: I found a song that would go well in your next running-shoe commercial.

26. 'Get Em': Son

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    "Heaven have mercy on the enemy who targets my way. I am lyrically proactive, I be all in your face."

    Why It's Worthy

    The instrumental sounds like something from the movie 300—and so does the hook with all that growling.

25. 'Sacrifice': Lecrae

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    "Well this is what the people lose they life for. And why they give up all they rights for. It ain't no church in the wild, huh? But tell me, who you think I write for?"

    Why It's Worthy

    To an instrumental you might recognize from the movie Ali, Lecrae stresses sacrifice—a necessity to obtain victory on the most competitive levels of competition.

24. 'Failure Ain't an Option': Dee-1

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    "I never accept no when the world say it. Only time I accept no is when a girl say it."

    Why It's Worthy

    If the title of this track doesn't say it all, then Mike McKenzie isn't feeling Dee-1's 'do.

23. 'Revolution': Lil Prophet

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    "First I had to change. Sin don't got me bound. It starts in my mind, a revolution now."

    Why It's Worthy

    There aren't many better terms to insert into a hype song than one that starts wars.

22. 'Shut Us Down': Sho Baraka

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    "Radio don't play us. Television mock us. The truth is still spreading, there's no way they can stop us."

    Why It's Worthy

    The theme of not getting shut down is easily linked to athletic competition—especially if a wideout is about to go toe to toe with Darrelle Revis.

21. 'Never Surrender': D-Maub

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    "Never play around because I find something greater. You want to try and stop me? I'll deal with you later."

    Why It's Worthy

    The effect that intense hook has directly following the Asian-sounding instrumental is what I like to call "flipping the switch."

20. 'Snap Off': Thi'sl

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    "I ain't got nothing to lose. I already done lost it. You see the life that I live now, but you don't know what this thing cost me."

    Why It's Worthy

    Having seen what happens when this song is performed firsthand, let's just say a listener would be ready to snap off...someone's head.

19. 'The Beautiful Rise': Swoope

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    “Am I losing? Hurt, feeling like the underdog. Dirt, what they put us under dog.”

    Why It's Worthy

    If the imagery isn't powerful enough, that underdog message will get your juices flowing.

18. 'Make It Happen': Corey Red

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    "In the city notorious, I'm victorious. Hard times and disappointments make warriors."

    Why It's Worthy

    It boasts the hook of something that's hung out on the Billboard Hot 100 for weeks.

17. 'Zone Out': KB

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    “Beat drop and I’m goin' in. Preach so hard that you know it’s Him. He fills me up and then He pours. This might go underneath yo skin.”

    Why It's Worthy

    KB is basically telling an athlete exactly what he or she is attempting to do by listening to music prior to competition—go off in the zone.

16. '10 Toes Deep': Canon

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    “So we hittin every block with a little pop like we got a glock. We hit em with the rock. Gotta given what they've been needing. We'll never stop.”

    Why It's Worthy

    If you didn't catch on, "10 Toes Deep" means that Canon is standing alone—and he's willing to "take gun shots."

15. 'You Don't Want Me': Lil Prophet

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    “You thought you had him Devil, but my God is slicker. You gon’ bring some goons, make sure that they bigger.”

    Why It's Worthy: I swear Lil Prophet stole this instrumental straight from the package Bill Conti prepared for Rocky.

14. '#High': High Society Collective

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    “We used to get stoned. Now we just stone Philistines.”

    Why It's Worthy

    This track single-handedly redefines what it means to get high.

13. 'Man Up': 116 Clique

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    “Being a man got nothing to do with age. You can be a boy till the day you lay in your grave.”

    Why It's Worthy

    Whether its existence is a positive one or not, the masculine stereotype attached to athletic competition has "man up" being an often-used battle cry in today's society.

12. 'Go Off': KB

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    "Bad attitude. Woulda coulda shoulda been shot dead. Always running my mouth. I'd rather die than be soft man. I've been slammed on my back just to prove that I'm not scared. Turn the other cheek? Stop playing."

    Why It's Worthy

    I hunted (chased) feral pigs in the jungles of southern Florida with this song stuck in my head, and trust me, it does the trick.

11. 'Fuego': Lecrae

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    "Look I'm of one life, but for Him I spend every cent, though. I know this life it comes with pain 
    But it's through our pain we win doe."

    Why It's Worthy: Fire is one of the most often-used metaphors in the world of sports, and Lecrae perfected its use on Fuego.

10. 'Off the Edge': Rhema Soul

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    “Never looking back I wave goodbye. Peace to fear, so long good night.”

    Why It's Worthy

    Every athlete answers 'fly' when he or she is asked "Would you rather fly or be invisible," right?

9. 'No Imposters': Swoope

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    “Destroying all rivals.  He’s over all idols. And I’m feeling like a winner cause He’s holding all titles. Feelin' good like I’m Pippen with Jordan in the Finals. Or like Fisher with Kobe by his side yo. Because no D can destroy the Triangle.” 

    Why It's Worthy

    As if the hook didn't hype you up enough, the sports puns are classic.

8. 'Man on Fire': Sean Slaughter

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    "I got my fans mobilized like the infantry, flipping tables of coke and smashing bottles of Hennessy."

    Why It's Worthy

    The dramatic movie-like instrumental practically makes this track worthy by itself.

7. 'R4': Viktory

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    “I’m relentless forever, never going away. You can watch me die, see me go in the grave, see my flesh decay, still I’m never gon’ fade, in the back of your mind, you gon’ still hear me say…”

    Why It's Worthy

    If, as a competitor, you pride yourself on intensity, this hook will become your motto. 

6. 'Make War': Tedashii

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    “Now we can start taking the lead just like the Dalai Lama and start going all out like suicide bomber.”

    Why It's Worthy

    There are those that will tell you a sporting event and a war are synonymous. 

5. 'Fight Music': Derek Minor

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    “This is 9-11 kamikaze inside my mortal body. Not like I'm fighting alone because the Lord got me.”

    Why It's Worthy

    There are those that will tell you a sporting event and a fight are synonymous.

4. 'Fighters': TheBREAX

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    "Want to be Big Meech? Larry Hoover? I want Manny Pac. Roy Jones Jr. Micky Ward. Stay ahead of my time. Knowing in my weakness is when I'm in my prime."

    Why It's Worthy

    Yes, this is a remake. And yes, Bruno Mars on the hook makes this song. But still.

3. 'I'm Good': Trip Lee

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    “I know that I’m a suffer, that’ll only make me tougher. Death is just a doorway to take me to my faithful lover. The lover of my souls with me, you can shake the brother. But you’ll never knock me down or take me under, bring the thunder.”

    Why It's Worthy

    Nothing is more dangerous than a competitor with nothing to lose—that's good.

2. 'Impossible': Da' T.R.U.T.H.

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    “God’s looking for faith man, look at Peter step out that boat I’m like whatever you say fam. Presses down and come out that smoke. Out the way cause it’s bout to blow. He can make the whole place freeze. And by the way if he can save me…”

    Why It's Worthy

    Adidas thinks this song should be No. 1.

1. 'Do It for the City': Viktory

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    “Black paint under my eye, gotta bulletproof vest in a black backpack with a .45 on my thigh, with a blade in my belt and my boots and a map and I’m still that same old guy, but a war’s going on so I gotta stay strapped so please don’t, please don’t try, because I will if I have to...”

    Why It's Worthy

    The whole thing is a war metaphor, for crying out loud.

    David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.