Our 25 Favorite Michael Jordan Rap References

A belated birthday gift to His Airness: our countdown of the ultimate MJ lyrical moments, rapped by everyone from Jay-Z to Biggie to A Tribe Called Quest.

Michael Jordan 1988

Michael Jordan in 1988. Image via Getty

Michael Jordan 1988

As the G.O.A.T. NBA player (we ain’t arguing, sorry), Michael Jordan is undoubtedly the most lyrically referenced baller ever. Of course, not all MJ shout-outs are created equal, which is why we dug through the archives to isolate—and rank—what we consider to be the 25 best Michael Jordan rap references. (Keep in mind, we looked only at rhymes about Jordan, the person, and excluded those about Jordans, the shoes.) Remember, Complex is the MJ of this blog ish!

25. Lil B, "Pretty Boy" (2010)

lil b made in america

24. Drake, "Barry Bonds Freestyle" (2008)


23. Fabolous, "Throwback" (2003)

rappers with moms fabolous

22. Phife Dawg, "Lyrics to Go" (1993)

phife dawg

21. Beanie Sigel, "Raw & Uncut" (2000)

Beanie Sigel

20. T.I. with Jay-Z feat. Kanye West & Lil Wayne, "Swagga Like Us" (2008)

jay z kanye west

19. Lil Wayne, "Show Me What You Got Freestyle" (2006)

Lil Wayne

18. Big Daddy Kane feat. Scoob Lover, Sauce Money, Shyheim, ODB & Jay-Z "Show & Prove" (1994)

big daddy kane

17. R. Kelly & Jay-Z, "The Best of Both Worlds" (2002)

jay z

16. Jadakiss, "What If?" (2009)


15. Pete Rock, "Don't Be Mad" (2008)

This is a photo of Pete Rock.

14. Ice Cube, "When Will They Shoot?" (1992)

Ice Cube

13. 2Pac, "Tha Lunatic" (1991)

Tupac Shakur 2Pac

12. Jay-Z, "The Return" (2004)

JAY Z Venture Capitalist

11. Joe Budden, "Pump It Up Freestyle" (2003)

joe budden cyn santana engaged

10. A Tribe Called Quest, "Baby Phife's Return" (1996)

Tribe Called Quest 1990

9. Group Home, "Livin' Proof" (1995)

complex image not available

8. Heavy D, Biggie, & Tru Kula "Jam Session" (1994)


7. Jay-Z, "Hova Song (Intro)" (1999)

jay z

6. Big L, "Let 'Em Have It L" (1995)

big l

5. Ice Cube "It Was a Good Day" (1992)

Ice Cube 1992

4. Biggie, "Victory" (1997)

Biggie performs.

3. J. Cole, "I Got It" (2010)

J. Cole

2. Jay-Z, "Encore" (2003)


1. Big Pun, "The Dream Shatterer" (1998)

Big Pun

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