Back in mid-September, during the lull between Summer League and preseason, Damian Lillard started a weekly twitter/instagram challenge called “4 Bar Friday” to interact with fans. Participants would write a four bar rap (hence the name) for their 15 minutes of internet fame and validation from an NBA star. The trend caught fire and, soon enough, other NBA players joined in; most recently, reigning league MVP LeBron James.
Was dubbed “King James” before I even had a throne to sit on,
Mama knew I was a star before I had a bib to spit on,
Two young ones now, you know I can’t let ‘em down,
Striving for greatness ‘til all three of us wear a crown
Not exactly the stuff of legends, but it’s all in fun anyway. For all his talent on the basketball court, I don’t think LeBron suffers from any delusions of grandeur. He followed up his contribution with a humble tweet, explaining that he did it for Damian Lillard and the 4 Bar Friday movement as a whole. LeBron James’ video went out to 10.7 million followers on Twitter and 4.2 million on Instagram, extending the reach of Damian’s project.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) December 14, 2013
Other NBA players to play along include Golden State small forwards Harrison Barnes & Draymond Green, New York everyman Iman Shumpert, our very own rookie in waiting CJ McCollum, and Indiana superstar Paul George (whose first attempt was probably the best of the bunch, but stretched the boundaries of 4 bar criteria). I’ve yet to hear a jaw dropping verse from a professional athlete, but I like that they’re having fun.
In the immortal words of The Boss Rick Ross, “Rappers wanna be ballers, ballers wanna be rappers.” For more NBA athletes that have dabbled in word-smithing, please enjoy these links I’ve gathered for your amusement. There are a few diamonds in the rough, but I suspect the rubble to be just as entertaining, if not more.
“Top of the Game” – Fabolous ft. Tony Parker & Booba [explicit]
“No One’s Ready to Deal with Us” – Beatnuts ft. D. Stoudamire & R. Wallace
“Worried About Tomorrow” – Kevin Durant ft. Privaledge [explicit]
“So Right” – Milford Jerome*
“What the Kidd Did” – Jason Kidd ft. Money B
“40 Bars” – Allen Iverson [explicit]
“Winning Streak” – Twista ft. Carlos Boozer & Mario Winans
“K.O.B.E.” – Kobe Bryant ft. Tyra Banks
“Anything Can Happen” – Brian Shaw
“Anarchy” – Iman Shumpert ft. PhlyyB
“Champions” – Metta World Peace
“(I Know I Got) Skillz” – Shaquille Oneal ft. Def Jef
“All Gold Everything” – Mike Epps ft. George Hill
“Funk in the Trunk” – J.R. Rider [explicit]
“I Want it All” – Meek Mill ft. Lou Williams [explicit]
“Living Legal And Large” – Gary Payton
“Lost in the Sauce” – Malik Sealy
“Cars and Clothes” – Stephen Jackson ft. Messiah & Killa Kyleon
“Gangsta, Gangsta” – Chris Webber ft. Kurupt
“Sumptin to Groove To” – Chris Mills
* Okay, “So Right” isn’t actually performed by an NBA player, but it is still the humorous highlight of J.R. Smith’s career and worth a listen.