Basketball has always been deeply rooted with Hip Hop since the 1970s. With rappers and ballers coming from the same background and walk of life, the increasing similarities changed the Hip Hop scene to what it is now today.
Here are top ten songs that glorify the game of basketball all the while being fan favorites.
From being played in large stadiums to the cement courts of the suburbs, these songs are considered to be Ball Anthems.
In The Zone – PL
Can’t tell you how many times this song has been the backdrop of hoop mix tapes. Search any player’s motivational mix and you will find LeBron, Kobe, Steph and even Jordan pulling stunts to the drive of PL’s In The Zone.
Wings – Macklemore
Wings from Macklemore’s Heist is a very powerful song about how the youth are heavily driven to find their identity through the means of consumerism.
He talks about his childhood playing basketball and how the great Swoosh and Jordan kicks brought respect to anyone who wore them in the court.
However it gets heart wrenching when he reminds us about how kids are hunted by others and even killed for their shoes.
A song about staying true to the game and not falling for the mass consumerism in brands. Learning to fly.
We Already Won (The Miami Heat Song) – Flo Rida
This song is infamous for the 2011 Championship team, the Miami Heat.
Bringing in talent from the east coast with Flo Rida, Billy Blue, Brisco and Brianna, this song led the road that LeBron, Bosh and Wade rode through to the finals. Featuring the “Miami Heat Swag”, South Beach parties and Bikini Girls lining up that championship.
Jam – Michael Jackson
An iconic song by the King of Pop and featuring the All-time greatest Michael Jordan. Really there isn’t much to say when you mix these two Michaels for a fast-paced song.
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The music video is a catch too, Jackson teaches Jordan how to do the moonwalk and likewise Jordan teaches Jackson how to play hoops; all rather cringey until Jordan suggests they both stay with their own game.
All I Do is Win – DJ Khaled
A track from from DJ Khaled’s album Victory featuring the likes of Ludacris, Snoop Dogg and T-pain.
This song is a popular stadium anthem where many famous teams like the Cavs, Pacers, Blazers and many NHL teams play it proudly after a hard fought win.
It is a sound track in the 2K16 NBA game and is said to have elevated Khaled’s career to superstar.
Jump Around – House of Pain
This massive 90s hit was the party request song of 1992 with American Hip Hop group House of Pain bringing in the lyrics.
In the music video, the group dons the Boston Celtic’s jersey inside a bar with MC Everlast wearing #33 as a tribute to Larry Bird.
A hit with pop culture, Jump Around has been remixed and covered by many artists including Limp Bizkit and Busta Rhymes. This song definitely gets you pumped with its retro 90s beats.
Forever – Drake
Drake and Basketball are synonymous. The Canadian born star ‘Drizzy’ is the brand ambassador for the Toronto Raptors while recently hosting the NBA Awards three weeks ago.
Forever featured some of the heaviest names in rap and hip hop with Lil Wayne, Kanye West and Eminem alongside Drake rapping about greatness and fame while snippets of LeBron’s high school basketball reel played in the background.
Notably one of the most downloaded song of 2009, this song most definitely glorified LeBron and the game of basketball. You certainly don’t want to miss out on Eminem’s verse; Slim shady really killed it on this track.
Basketball – Kurtis Blow
Basketball is my favorite Sport. That’s how the first verse starts as it goes on to describe all the characteristics of the game of basketball by rhyming on a very 80s hip hop beat.
Sounds corny right? But it’s one of most popular basketball anthems ever and even featured as the title song for NBA 2K12.
Dropping some of the biggest names like Malone, Dr.J, Magic and Bird it’s a classic that will always be cherished by ballers.
Ni**as in Paris – Jay Z and Kanye West
Another song with the biggest rap artists in colab is Ni**as in Paris. A song about the fast paced times of Kanye and Jay Z, this song has a lot of references to basketball with the catch on phrase “Ball so hard muh****ers wanna fine me”.
Jay Z being an avid NBA fan who sits on the sidelines with the players during games refers to “Jordan, Game 6” in his verse to one of Jordan’s clutch games in his tri-peat era. Give this song a listen and you will definitely be in your ‘zone’.
(I Know I Got) Skillz – Shaquille O’neal
This is a legitimate basketball song, why? Because its Shaq “The Diesel, The Big Daddy” O’Neal who spinned it. The 7’1 Center displays his ghetto raps to the backdrop of “Its My Thing” sample putting him top 40s in the billboard in 1993 which certified gold.
After the Big Man retired, he had tried his luck in many mass media stunts like the video game called Shaq Fu and a movie called Steel that came out in 1997.
However, it was Skillz that cemented him as a genuine rapper amongst NBA players.