Posts Tagged ‘NBA’

Damian Lillard Is Spitting Bars In The Offseason

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

The NBA off-season is a long and painful time for basketball fans everywhere. However, this year has easily been one of the most entertaining breaks we’ve seen in quite some time. There’s been more attention than ever paid to the summer league, and there’s no small amount of gossip about the trouble in paradise between Kyrie Irving and LeBron James. But not every NBA star is staying in the news for drama. Some of them are actually being productive in their time off by pursuing artistic endeavors.

Oaktown sensation, Damian Lillard surprised a lot of people last year when he dropped his debut album, The Letter O, to a healthy amount of critical acclaim. The album featured a ton of quality guest stars including the likes of Lil Wayne, Jamie Foxx, and Raphael Saadiq. He followed it up with another well-received record, B4td Reloaded. The verse he briefly dropped in the State Farm commercial belies his actual talent as a lyricist, and the more you hear from him, the more you have to recognize that he’s actually pretty good.

Lillard is hardly the first NBA star to make his own stab at a rap career. Shaquille O’Neal went platinum with his debut, Shaq Diesel, but that was more on the strength Shaq’s superstardom rather than his actual rapping abilities. And never forget that legendary 1994 compilation, B-Ball’s Best Kept Secret, which featured a host of NBA talent. The 1994 record was the apex of the crossover of hip-hop and basketball and featured the likes of Gary Payton, Jason Kidd, the late Malik Sealy (RIP), J.R. Rider, Cedric Ceballos, Dana Barros, Dennis Scott, and, of course, Shaq. It’s actually not bad at all and pairs the ballers with ’90s rap icons like Sadat X from Brand Nubian and Warren G at the height of his fame. It’s a fascinating time-capsule that’s well worth re-visiting if you’re looking for something nostalgic to bump on your way to the next pick-up game. Sadly, the idea of players having something to say on record would be sullied by the questionable musical efforts of Allen Iverson, Metta World Peace, and Kobe Bryant.

But unlike most ballers looking to moonlight in the rap game, Lillard actually has bars. It’s good to see him getting the recognition he deserves off the court in addition to the praise he gets for his play. If only they’d put him on an All-Star team. It’s become a trend to snub Lillard, who’s the first player to score more than 25 points a game and be overlooked in consecutive years since 1986. Anyone that’s listened to his track “They Sleep” knows that he doesn’t take this lightly. That mean’s he’s just going to play even harder when the season starts up. If anything, it’s plenty of material for another album, and we can’t wait to see what he does when the season starts back this fall.

The future is looking bright for both Lillard and for the Trailblazers. Last year many experts picked either Portland or the Utah Jazz to win the division, and the Northwest ended up sending three different teams to the playoffs. Of course, now that Utah has parted ways with star small forward Gordon Hayward, the only thing standing in Lillard’s way are the Oklahoma City Thunder. With Lillard looking to finally cement his place as a true All-Star in the NBA, the Blazers are a team to watch out for.

Dame will also be contributing some jams to NBA 2k18 to help lend even more authenticity to the already impeccably curated collection. The game will include “Wasatch Front,” a standout song from The Letter O, in addition to a new song called “Shot Clock” that you can unlock in the “My Player” mode. It’s a cool tribute by the best basketball simulation to the best rapper in the sport. NBA 2k18 will drop September 19 and we’re looking forward to balling out with Lillard to the tune of his own music.