Hip-Hop

10 Athletes Who Tried to Break into the Rap Game

Shaq and Metta World Peace (then known as Ron Artest) have both tried their hand at making music.
Shaq and Metta World Peace (then known as Ron Artest) have both tried their hand at making music. Karen Struthers / Shutterstock.com

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John Cena
“The Time Is Now”

Because you already knew his debut album would be titled You Can’t See Me, it would be generous of us to end this blurb here to prevent your eyes from rolling back into your skull any further, but we’ll continue on. Professional wrestler John Cena began marketing his tunes to the WWE community in 2005, producing five of the wrestling company's theme songs, and of course appearing on the collective soundtrack. Between features on tracks by T-Boz, E-40, and Wiz Khalifa, we want to assume there’s some sort of cool factor to Cena, but we’re too distracted by his hand-in-face waving antics to notice.

Chris Webber
“Gangsta, Gangsta”

Twenty-one songs is a lot to feature on a debut album, especially one that people aren’t paying much attention to because they can’t get past how hilariously serious the art on the album cover is. Nonetheless, Chris Webber — or C. Webber as he was known in 1999 — pressed on with 2 Much Drama. The album chronicled his day-to-day life back then … you know, the typical money/haters/girls headaches. Luckily for Webber (and our ears), he moved past the scandals and the ill-fated rap career to focus on what he was best at: basketball.

Deion Sanders
“Must Be The Money”

Football, baseball ... what can’t Deion Sanders do? If you haven’t listened to the multifaceted athlete’s debut album, Prime Time, then do you're about to find out. Despite the record being flat-out panned by critics, it managed to chart on the Top 100 R&B/Hip-Hop albums. Sanders performed a slew of his songs for audience members while hosting a 1995 episode of Saturday Night Live, completely disregarding the fact that Bon Jovi was in attendance as the official musical guest. Despite it all, he did have a pretty stellar '90s album cover. Can we please bring back the suit vest with no undershirt look?

Allen Iverson
“40 Bars”

Post Malone might consider himself to be the “White Iverson,” but the original A.I. threw down a rhyme or two back in his heyday. Notice we said nothing about those rhymes being any good. Under the nickname Jewelz, Iverson released a song in 2000 called “40 Bars." It's riddled with homophobic, misogynistic, and violent lyrics. Although he tried releasing a cleaner version of the song, the damage had been done and the album never saw the light of day. Only a few years ago, Iverson admitted that his attempts at becoming a hardcore rapper were “embarrassing” and that he had no business trying to take on a art form or a lifestyle he knew nothing about. Hindsight is a beautiful thing.

Metta World Peace
“Michael Michael”

Say what you want about Metta World Peace, f.k.a. Ron Artest, but you can't say he’s boring. His 2006 album My World follows suit. The Lakers’ small forward infamously put his basketball career on hold to pursue rap stardom, enlisting the help of Diddy and Mike Jones to help. Though the album wasn’t a slam dunk, World Peace continued to release music, including 2013’s “Michael Michael,” in memory of the King of Pop. The basketballer used the recording booth as a confessional. Not only can you hear his pain, but you might find yourself in agony trying to remember why you hit the play button in the first place.
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