On Thursday, Toronto rappers C Black and and Mike Black dropped a song dedicated to their fellow Toronto native, and current San Antonio Spurs guard, Cory Joseph. The song, titled "Cory Jo", celebrates the 2014 Spurs title team, and praised Joseph's contributions. (Which included a sweet dunk over Serge Ibaka in garbage time, and some stellar work filing in for Tony Parker when his ankle forced him out of the second half of Game 6 of the WCF.) Cory Joseph even made a cameo in the video along with the Larry O'Brien trophy.
(As most news with the Spurs goes, it led to me getting on Twitter and talking about the video, and eventually remembering some other instances when members of the Spurs have ventured into the mystical world of rap. I tweeted some old favorites, and discovered some new videos I hadn't seen before. I ended up here, writing about the Spurs and rap, and right as I finish and start to proofread, I see Dan McCarney's post on the same idea at the Spurs Nation blog. I guess we were both on Twitter when the first story of the new song about Cory Joseph went up on Project Spurs, so it makes sense that we both had the same thinking process. )
2005-2007: Tony Parker's music career
In 2005, Tony Parker was a young, up-and-coming NBA star, winning NBA titles. So, what does a young baller, shooting up his career arc, and apparently feeling himself way too much do with his time? He launches a rap career, of course! For Parker, his career started in 2005 after the Spurs won their third championship. At the end of the championship parade in the Alamodome, Brent Barry convinced Parker to freestyle in French in front of the packed crowd. In the years that followed, Parker became more serious about his music. In 2007, he released his debut album, "TP". The album was mostly in French, and the bars were pretty weak anyways, and eventually the album became a stape of HEB bargain bins all around San Antonio. The music videos were still pretty entertaining, though. The gems of the album were "Top Of The Game", featuring Fabolous and Booba; and Premier Love. Please, trust me, click the links. You won't be disappointed.
2010: Autotuned DeJuan Blair
DeJuan Blair hopped on a track with his friends from growing up in Pittsburgh, P.O.P's Chicken and Young Meez, in a track dedicated to a follow friend. I don't want to be too critical, because the song comes from good intentions, but DeJuan Blair is not T-Pain. He sings about as well as he defends the pick-and-roll, and the autotune makes it all worse. That being said, the rapping is ok, and video production is cool.
2012-13: Stephen Jackson's musical career
As a member of the Milwaukee Bucks, Stephen Jackson released a mixtape under the name "Stack5" titled "What's A Lockout?" as the NBA's work stoppage ended in December of 2011. That year, Jackson was brought back to San Antonio through a trade, and became an important piece of a Spurs run to the 2012 Western Conference Finals, making love to pressure all the way. His rap career continued, as he put out banger after banger. Jackson's ability as a rapper is actually pretty good for an NBA player, and most of his work has that gritty, UGK type of sound you might expect from Jackson, given that the Texas rap duo and Jackson are both from Port Arthur. Jackson eventually got enough love that teammate Matt Bonner asked him to do a show at 2013's SXSW in Austin.
2012: The NBA BIG Commercial
This, by far, is the pinnacle of Spurs and rap mash-ups. The NBA released this commercial at the end of the 2012 season as a part of it's "BIG" campaign. The video features the Spurs' offense; set to the legendary, murderous instrumental for Mobb Deep's "Shook Ones Part II." Let's just let this one speak for itself.
In December of the 2012-2013 season, a video of an Israeli rap song about Gregg Popovich went viral. Considering how opposite Popovich and rap music are, one may not think a song about him would be entertaining. But trust me when I say this: IT. IS. MAGICAL. It also led to a story about Pop trolling the whole Spurs team with the video.
The Spurs and hip-hop have given us some gems already. Here's hoping there are plenty more to come in the future. If you know of any that I missed, please comment down below!