LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts after hitting a three-point basket against the Atlanta Hawks; Andre Drummond #3 of the Chicago Bulls celebrates a dunk against the Detroit Pistons; Lonzo Ball shoots the basketball at against the Minnesota Timberwolves game
Source: Getty Images

Crossover Kings: Pro NBA Players Who Put Down the Ball and Picked up the Pen

Hip-hop and basketball have an obvious history — but did you know that some of your favorite NBA players are rappers, too? Read for details!


Nov. 1 2023, Published 4:25 p.m. ET

Discover Proudly Amplifies Diverse Voices

Basketball and hip-hop have a long and well-documented history.

It is not uncommon for rappers to shout out their favorite athletes. Additionally, several NBA players have tried their hand at the rap game.

Article continues below advertisement

Read on for a few of the most popular professional basketball players who have dabbled in music at some point in their careers. You'll find that the athletes below are skilled both on the basketball court and in the booth.

Lonzo Ball

Lonzo Ball smiling and wearing a hoodie that says "Heartless."
Source: Photo by Rob Latour/Variety/Penske Media via Getty Images

Over the course of his five-year basketball career, Lonzo Ball has become one of the most recognized names in the NBA.

Since his rise to fame on the court, he has also dropped some impressive bars in the booth. While some of his older songs might need a little tightening here and there, the young baller definitely has his cadence and flow down pat.

Article continues below advertisement

Iman Shumpert

Iman Shumpert is arguably one of the most talented NBA-affiliated rappers on this list. His swag, creativity, and ability to fuse his rhymes precisely with the beat is unmatched.

With a flow that is just as compelling as it is complex, both basketball fans and hip-hop heads agree that Iman has a gift. Apparently, the man also writes his songs, which is a double win.

Article continues below advertisement

Lebron James

It is only right that the Lebron James is on this list, because if anyone is the pinnacle of the mesh of hip-hop and basketball — it's King James. Drake's shoutout to Lebron on his 2009 single "Forever" made this abundantly clear!

Although he is no Jay-Z or Rakim, the NBA icon definitely knows his way around a few punchlines and rhymes. His fellow NBA collaborator, Kevin Durant, dabbled in music for a minute, too.

Article continues below advertisement

Andre Drummond

Andre Drummond #0 of the Brooklyn Nets reacts during the second half of the Eastern Conference 2022 Play-In Tournament against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Source: Getty Images

Andre Drummond, who goes by the stage name Dre Drumm, brought a fresh perspective to the music industry. In a conversation with TMZ Sports, he stated that he wanted to make a collaborative hip-hop album featuring a lineup of pro ball players — including a couple of names on this list.

Article continues below advertisement

"Between myself, Iman Shumpert, Dame Lillard. You know Kevin Durant raps," Andre said of the names featured on the project. "Victor Oladipo is another artist that does music in the NBA too."

Now, that would be an NBA smash hit!

Article continues below advertisement

Damian Lillard

Outside of his versatility and impressive stats on the basketball court, Damian Lillard (who goes by the stage name Dame D.O.L.L.A.) also has the bars and versatility to flawlessly deliver punchlines in the booth.

Damian also freestyles; he flexed his skills when he was traded from the Portland Trail Blazers with a song called “Farewell." He also recently released a new studio album titled Don D.O.L.L.A.

Article continues below advertisement

Honorable mention: J. Cole

J. Cole performs at halftime during the 68th NBA All-Star Game at Spectrum Center
Source: Getty Images

J. Cole has always been vocal about his basketball dreams and he is deserving of an honorary mention on this list for a few reasons.

In 2021, the Cole World rapper had a stint with the Rwanda Patriots BBC as part of the playing team.

Article continues below advertisement

Although his time on the basketball court was short-lived, he definitely made an impression while he was a player. He has since bought a stake in his home team, the Charlotte Hornets!

The author’s content and opinions have not been pre-reviewed, approved or endorsed by Discover.

It’s not just a magazine. It’s a lifestyle!

Sign up for our newsletter for early access to content, special promotions and giveaways.

Dope content. No spam. We promise.

More from Bleu Mag

Opt-out of personalized ads

© Copyright 2024 Bleu Mag. Bleu Mag is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.