The Most Random Athletes Mentioned in Rap Songs
If there's one thing that'd be awesome about being a pro athlete—well, other than the fortune, fame and shot to play a sport for a living—it'd be hearing my name be called out in a hip hop song.
Now, admittedly, not every athlete referenced through song is always positive, but, more often than not, it's never a bad thing unless that player has beef with someone else.
While all-time greats like Michael Jordan and Derek Jeter are understandable to find in lyrics, there have been some athletes who are a little more random—and here are those players.
Song: "A Star Is Born"
Lyric: "Light the weed, coughing/I do it too often/Plus I got Henne (Henny) in the pocket like a Dolphin."
A former four-year starter for the Michigan Wolverines in college and a second-round Miami Dolphins draft pick in 2008, quarterback Chad Henne might be known to a lot of people as a decent backup, but getting referenced in a rap song is pretty absurd.
Of course, the artist of the song "A Star Is Born," STS, was referring to the drink Hennessey, but still, to add in the signal-caller's former team in there makes this strange.
Artist: Lil Wayne
Song: "Sure Thing"
Lyric: "I got a chopper and a trimmer/Shooting like Jimmer."
There was a time when Jimmer Fredette was the talk of the town, earning the AP Player of the Year Award in 2011 and becoming a fan favorite.
Given all that, it's understandable why he'd be referenced in some songs from a few years ago.
Looking back on things now, though, as Jimmer has bounced around between the NBA and the NBA's D-League makes any reference of him a little weird. Who knows, though, playing for the New York Knicks now, maybe he turns his hoops career around.
Artist: Mr. Lif
Song: "Post Mortem"
Lyric: "Watchin the Patriots win the Super Bowl/Grabbin' that fumble from Ricky Proehl."
A serviceable NFL wide receiver for 17 years, Ricky Proehl wasn't a star by any means, but some may remember him for a critical fumble he had during Super Bowl XXXVIII as a member of the Carolina Panthers, playing against the New England Patriots.
Given that Mr. Lif is from Boston, it's not surprising he pokes a little fun at Proehl's turnover coming against the Pats. Still, though, I'm sure the player never thought he would find himself in a rap song—but all bets are off, sometimes, Ricky.
Artist: J. Cole
Song: "Return of Simba"
Lyrics: "Ced said, look my n----s, we got a foot in/Being good is good, that'll get you Drew Gooden."
Drew Gooden, who was once a highly touted prospect when he entered the NBA in 2002 as the fourth overall pick, hasn't exactly had the career many expected him to have.
After listening to J. Cole's lyrics, mentioning Gooden, it almost makes zero sense. Like, why would the rapper even think to put the player in his song at all—especially since the name drop wasn't even a reference to anything.
Gooden once had crazy facial hair, so had that been the reference, I'd get it. But just to drop his name in there is bizarre, but whatever works.
Artist: Asher Roth
Song: "Maybe I Don't Wanna"
Lyric: "Shout out to Spencer Hawes, know him now as Chevy/From the state of Wash, where they smoke headies."
Spencer Hawes, who used to play for the Philadelphia 76ers, played for the Washington Huskies in college, so rapper Asher Roth's reference is understandable there.
Plus, Roth is a Sixers fan, so he, presumably, was just giving some love to one of his favorite players while Hawes played in Philly.
But for a guy who has career averages of 8.9 points and 5.9 rebounds per game, hearing his name in a rap song is just silly, no matter how much of a fan favorite he might be.
Artist: Jedi Mind Tricks
Song: "Put 'em in the Grave"
Lyric: "They pushing rocks here, in the dead of night/I take my Glock and I point god, point guard like Brevin Knight."
Of all the point guards who have played in NBA history, Jedi Mind Tricks goes with former baller Brevin Knight?
No offense to the former Stanford standout and 12-year NBA vet, but how the Philly rap duo landed on Knight is something I'll never understand. Like, they could have found something or someone to rhyme with the word "night" better than the player's last name, right?
Artist: Action Bronson
Song: "Rolling Thunder"
Lyric: "I stay in Flushing like I’m Dillon Gee/You ain't gotta open up the comic book to figure who the villain be."
You guys, before digging up some research for this article, I hadn't even heard of Dillon Gee, so when I found out the New York Mets pitcher was actually referenced in a rap song, my mind was completely blown.
Having a career record of 40-37 with a 4.03 ERA is decent to stick around the major leagues, I suppose, but it's also good enough to land in a rap song, too.
Flushing is the neighborhood in New York City where the Mets play their home games, but rapper Action Bronson—who's actually a Yankees fan—probably just should have gone with another Mets player people actually know.
Either way, it's cool for Gee and his street cred.
Song: "The Black and Gold"
Lyric: "I could change a broad's life in about an hour/I turn Ducks into Bucks, Luke Ridnour."
Remember during the NBA offseason last summer when point guard Luke Ridnour was with four freakin' teams in a manner of a week? That's about as much love and attention as the 12-year vet got in a long time.
Well, unless you count the time Wale actually name-dropped Ridnour in his song "The Black and Gold," which is both ironic and funny to me given the fact Ridnour sort of had an unspectacular NBA career.
However, the guard did play for both the Oregon Ducks in college and the Milwaukee Bucks in the Association, so, presumably, it makes sense.
What's even funnier to me is that Ridnour ended up just sitting out this season after all those transactions a few months ago.
Song: "Barry Sanders"
Lyric: "I got the passion to please, I will not gasp or fatigue/And the way I'm ballin, gimme a Grammy or Danny O'B."
What's funny about this reference is that, honestly, I think Wale just made a mistake and didn't even mean to drop Danny O'Brien's name, getting it confused with the Davey O'Brien Award—given annually to the best college quarterback each season.
Danny O'Brien was a signal-caller who transferred to three schools throughout his collegiate career, so I'm not sure if the rapper meant to associate himself with winning a Grammy and then with a guy who turned into a journeyman, but what do I know?
Song: "Swag on a Milli"
Lyric: "Well I'ma kick it off, Gramatica/I never do it by the book/No Britanica"
I totally get the fact Paz wanted to rhyme something with the word "Britanica" here, but, really, he went with a former NFL kicker who injured himself after knocking through a meaningless field goal at the end of a half once?
Even if the rapper was referencing one of Bill Gramatica's brothers, Martin or Santiago, he should still know better than to give a shout-out to a kicker!
Without a doubt, the Gramatica's are the most absurd athletes referenced in a rap song, and it's by a wide margin.