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Drafting the Top 5 Ball Playing Rappers into the NBA

posted by Alejandro Hernandez June 22, 2017

Tonight was the NBA draft, which might be the most exciting day in the NBA off-season. It’s the night that essentially sets the tone for the upcoming year, with all types of franchise altering decisions happening, from once-in-a-generation talent being picked, to major trades that can completely make or break your team’s upcoming season (see: The Chicago Bulls).

Tonight was a showcase of a fairly talented draft class, with the top 5 pick being Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, Jayson Tatum, Josh Jackson and De’Aaron Fox. It got me thinking though. What would happen if we were drafting rappers instead of college athletes?

Hip-hop and basketball go almost hand in hand, from Kurtis Blow’s iconic ode to the game and Lil Bow Wow’s early 2000s interpolation, to popular hip-hop songs often serving as the soundtrack to the NBA season, with ‘Magnolia’ and ‘DNA.’ being the main songs used during this year’s NBA Finals promos, so it makes sense that many rappers partake in the game itself.

Many of today’s most popular rappers play during their free time, but who would be the ones dressed up for draft night had they decided to pursue basketball instead of music? This list attempts to answer that question. So without any further ado, here are your top 5 NBA draft picks if we were picking rappers:

1. Romeo

The consensus number 1, Romeo actually played D-I basketball at the University of South California where he was teammates with close friend and NBA All-Star DeMar Derozan, which automatically makes him the most overqualified prospect in this hypothetical draft. Romeo is also a regular at the Celebrity All-star game and he’s clearly sits in the top tier of celebrity players. Also, the fact that his father is rap legend and former NBA pro (for like 3 preseason games) Master P, the two would easily rival Lonzo and Lavar Ball has the most iconic father-son duo in today’s NBA.

 

2. 2 Chainz

Below is the only known footage of 2 Chainz playing in an organized game (numbered 21), and it shows him smacking a three and dunking like his name is Kevin Durant. The artist formerly known as Tity Boi was good enough to play basketball at a D-I school, albeit a smaller program in Alabama State University, but he left after his freshman year (like a true NBA prospect). He’s also 39, which is pretty old in basketball years, but despite his age, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest he has gas in the tank. From beating fellow Atlanta legend and Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins in a game of ‘HORSE’ to babying former Defensive Player of the Year and NBA Champion Kevin Garnett in the post, it’s as clear as day that the College Park native can still ball.

 

3. Cam’ron

Killa Cam wasn’t just wrecking dudes in the rap game, but he was really outchea breaking ankles on the court too. The basketball career of Cameron Giles was short-lived, but it sure was accomplished. During his high school career, Cam’ron established himself as one of the best players in New York, and while teamed up with fellow rap legend, Ma$e, he actually led his high school squad to the Public Schools Athletic Class A championship. He was even tasked with shooting the final game-winning shot, but unfortunately, he just didn’t have that shooter’s touch. However, he not only beat Stephon Marbury’s squad to get to the title game, but according to the Diplomat rapper himself, he dominated the former NBA pro/Chinese basketball league legend, which is actually a really dope/wild thing to have on your resume. (Skip to 1:55 for highlights)

4. J. Cole

The Fayetteville rapper’s love of basketball is well documented. With each of his first three mixtape covers featuring an overt basketball theme and North Carolina Tar Heel games being one of the few public events he’s willing to go out of hiding for, it’s clear that the sport is more than a game to Cole. His basketball career is that of an underdog though. He got cut twice by his high school team, but like a true Rudy Ruettiger, he came back again and eventually made the team in his senior year, showing his commitment to the grind of refining one’s skills. He also played in the 2012 Celebrity All-Star game where he displayed his athleticism by dunking on national television, which is possibly the second most impressive accomplishment anyone on this list has (nothing will ever beat the image of Cam’ron breaking Stephon Marbury’s ankles).

5. Quavo

God bless and protect Quavious Keyate Marshall, for there is nothing he cannot do well. Not only is the Migos rapper one of the hottest names in all of hip-hop, but he might be the best athlete. Unlike the other names on this list, there is no known evidence of Quavo playing in any organized league, which is the reason he’s not number 1, but recent videos floating around the internet show that he is no stranger to the game by any means. He’s essentially the equivalent to that raw European player that no one in America knows about, but there’s hella highlight reels of him outmatching the hell of his competition (see: Kristaps Porzingis). Earlier this year, the hook god was seen outlasting fellow Migos member Offset, Indiana Pacers big man Myles Turner, and Chance The Rapper in a game of knockout, he embarrassed Tory Lanez in one-on-one, he’s showed off his handles in a team pickup game, and now just this past week, he was seen balling up with Arizona prospect and son of Shaquille O’Neal, Shareef O’Neal. He might be the biggest risk since he does not necessarily have the same experience as everyone on this list, but I think it’s safe to say he has the most upside in this draft class.

 

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POD Photos: Jessie Reyez at Schubas 6/14

posted by Alberto June 15, 2017


Jessie Reyez made her tour stop at Chicago’s legendary venue Schubas last night and it sure was a memorable night. The Toronto native got to celebrate her birthday with the sold-out crowd that was very anxious to see her hit the stage. The entire venue erupted once Jessie walked on stage and opened up her set with “Shutter Island.” Jessie continued to run through her entire Kiddo EP and even threw in a few covers of Chance The Rapper, Jay Z and ScHoolboy Q songs.

Jessie came out for an encore to perform her song “Blue Ribbon” and the energy was at its highest point for the night. Be sure to catch her on tour in a city near you. Check out a few photos I captured at the show below.  Continue Reading

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Video: See Our Exclusive Interview with Rainsford

posted by Oscar June 11, 2017

Today we’re sharing another one of our interviews, one of the last ones, conducted in Austin. The young artist opened up about some of the goals she’s looking to achieve in her musical career, the kind of things she’d do if she could extend her youth, and what it’s like finally making music for which she actually feels passion.

Check it out above.

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POD Giveaway: Win Two 2-Day Passes to Mamby On The Beach 2017

posted by Alberto June 7, 2017

React’s Mamby On The Beach festival is coming back to Oakwood Beach later this month and we are happy to announce that we are giving away a pair of passes to the two day festival. There are lots of POD faves on the lineup this year including Saba, Raury, Thundercat, BJ The Chicago Kid, Marian Hill, Sir The Baptist, Ravyn Lenae and more, so this is a can’t miss event. For more info on how to win passes, check out the simple contest instructions below. Tickets for the fest are also still available HERE.

Follow POD on Instagram

Follow Mamby on Instagram

Once you follow both accounts, send editor@pursuitofdopeness.com an email letting us know which one act on the lineup you are looking forward to seeing perform live for the first time.

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Recap: Our Favorite Moments From Soundset 2017

posted by Alberto June 2, 2017

The POD team is back in Chicago after some very good times in the Twin Cities. Soundset is something we look forward to every and this year once again didn’t disappoint. Despite lineup changes before and during Sunday’s festivities, the show went on without any major setbacks. Below you can find POD’s favorite moments written by Alex and I.  Continue Reading

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Video: See Our Exclusive Interview with KAMI

posted by Oscar May 28, 2017

Take a look at our interview with SaveMoney’s own KAMI, held down at SXSW 2017. The artist formerly known as Kami De Chukwu talked about the name, adopting the New Wave sound, and his production partnership with Knox Fortune.

In our “Speed Round” he let us know about the first album he bought, his favorite music video of all time, and his latest favorite food spot in Chicago makes him look like a basic thot. Peep that below. Continue Reading

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POD Photos: Kehlani & Her ‘SweetSexySavage Tour’ in Austin, TX

posted by Ruben May 26, 2017

It had been 1 year since I last saw Kehlani perform during “The SXSW Takeover” in 2016. After that show, I was really able to see how “Baelani” has grown such a strong fan base. She is not only an incredible performer, but she also loves spreading positive messages that show how much she really does care about the happiness of others. This is why as soon as I found out she was coming to Austin for her #SSSTour, I knew I had to go see her.

The concert took place at Emo’s, a venue she thanks for being a part of her success since it was one of the venues that saw her perform in her very first tour. Reminiscing on that previous concert, Kehlani painted a picture to the audience describing how small her show was then versus this sold-out night where her fans know every single word of her lyrics. This tour didn’t just come with new music from her Sweet Sexy Savage album, but it also came with a purpose.

For this tour, Kehlani started a “We Need Us” drive that pairs up with local organizations and/or shelters in the cities that are part of the tour. At the concert, she had drop-off boxes for people that come out to donate items such as clothes or hygiene products. Donating wasn’t the full message though, Kehlani wants to help inspire her fans to take initiative in helping their own community. Kehlani teased her Austin fans by saying she would move to Austin someday, and I honestly can’t wait to see her be a part of the ATX community.

See the show’s photo highlights below. Continue Reading

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Recap: PIQNIQ 2017 feat. Jimmy Eat World, Bleachers, Highly Suspect, Sum 41

posted by Oscar May 26, 2017

This past weekend we were able to attend the 2017 edition of 101WKQX’s all-day concert event, PIQNIQ. The lineup was stacked, as per usual, rounding up acts like Highly Suspect, Sum 41, Stabbing Westward, Jimmy Eat World, Bleachers, and headlined by The 1975. We were lucky enough to be in attendance and see what our favorite Alternative station had in store for us this year, and even better, we got to shoot photography throughout the day to encapsulate some of the best moments. Continue Reading