The 20 Best Rap Sports References of 2011 (So Far)

From Lil Wayne to Pusha T, check out sports head MCs and our favorite lyrics of the year thus far.

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Complex Original

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Whether they come off like an MVP on the mic or more like a scrub on the practice squad, rappers love dropping slick sports analogies and metaphors in their rhymes, often comparing the candy paint on their whip to their favorite squad's colors or their ducktales of flipping bricks to a QB's passer rating. One of the most recent examples being Rick Ross' "Finals" track which drops just as the Miami Heat battle the Dallas Mavericks for the 2011 NBA championship. With all of the sports stories this year, MCs have had plenty of content to choose from. So, from Curren$y to Loso, check out the 20 Best Sports Rap References of 2011 (So Far)...

20. Short Dawg f/ Lil Wayne, “Money In My Pocket (Remix)”

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LYRIC: “Tunechi in this bitch, fresh watch me do it/Bitches know I ball, I go H.A.M., Cam Newton/Shorty on the pill, get this hoe some fluids/And if that bitch bad, I put her on my to-do list “ (Lil Wayne)
RELEASE DATE: 2/14/2011
COMPLEX SAYS: Fresh off winning the BCS national championship and Heisman trophy, Cam Newton's life featured all of the finer things, including lackluster shout-outs from rappers. Newton went first-overall in the 2011 Draft but this line was maybe a third-rounder—at best.


19. Pusha T, “Can I Live (Freestyle)”

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LYRIC: "Swim in the oasis of this drug dealer's Babylon/Three bitches, three different flights/Glad it was four sides at that Paul Williams fight/The Wynn, the Bellagio, the Palms, three nights"
RELEASE DATE: 3/21/2011
COMPLEX SAYS:  Juggling broads, sitting ringside at bouts in Vegas—you know, just the typical life of your favorite dealer/rapper, Pusha T. Only thing that pisses us off about this line is that it reminds us that the Mayweather v. Pacquiao still hasn't happened. Victor Ortiz? FOH, Floyd.


18. Yung Berg f/ Marvo, “Derrick Rose”

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LYRIC: Entire song. 
RELEASE DATE: 4/19/2011
COMPLEX SAYS: When it comes to songs dedicated to NBA players, this track isn't among the best—but for a Yung Berg track, it's actually tolerable. Throughout the song Berg likens his lifestyle to the play of the NBA's reigning MVP (but sadly it's lacking the obvious steals/chain snatching analogy). With all the Ls that Berg has taken, we can't blame him for shamelessly trying to align himself with D-Rose.


17. Curren$y, “Smoke Break”

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LYRIC: "A time machine, my lyrics/And the same things for my garage dawg/You see what I just put in it/We try'n to compete with them NASCARs/You noticing that the stylin' got switched up/'Cause the last one got bit up"
RELEASE DATE: 4/20/2011
COMPLEX SAYS: Anyone who peeped the #JetsGo video knows that Spitta is serious when it comes to his whip game. Comparing your rides to those in NASCAR is cool and all, but we'll give props to the first rapper to drop a "snuff you like that old dude did Busch" line. Topical sports fans >>> casual ones.


16. Fabolous, “That’s Not Love”

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LYRIC: "I see these haters in passing, yeah they ’round/I be on the way up, they be on the way down/Now I can sit and talk shit like Skip Bayless/You looking for these shoes baby you can skip Payless"
RELEASE DATE: 4/21/2011
COMPLEX SAYS: Many rappers claim to be sports heads, but only a few (e.g. Nelly and Weezy) have made it on to ESPN's First Take to debate the controversial Skip Bayless. Loso held his own, but we offer this advice to the producers: Never have Jay Crawford attempt to recite lyrics from Fabolous (or any rapper) ever again. Shit was anything but niiice.


15. Gucci Mane f/ Wale, “Pretty Bitches”

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LYRIC: “She ODs on Louboutin, she work at that nudie bar/Told her do it for the money, get your Cameron Newton on" (Wale)
RELEASE DATE: 3/15/2011
COMPLEX SAYS: No stranger to dropping sports references in his tracks, Wale slipped in a line about the Cam Newton pay-for-play scandal. Wale moved to Maybach Music and Newton joined the Panthers as the No. 1 overall pick. Both will get paid. The same can't be said for Terrelle Pryor, though. Damn, homie...(© 50 cent)

14. Rick Ross f/ Drake, "Made Men"

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LYRIC: “One of my baddest women ever, I call her Rihanna/But that's cause her name is Rihanna/I’m in the condo just posting watching Miami kill/I might just walk to the arena and watch it for real" (Drake)
RELEASE DATE: 1/4/2011
COMPLEX SAYS: Yeah, yeah, it's another simple rhyme from a member of the Young Money crew. But real talk: Haters can say what they want about Drake, one thing for sure is we would all trade our left testicle to do all of that. 


13. Childish Gambino, “Freaks and Geeks”

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LYRIC: "Love is a trip, but fuckin’ is a sport/Are there Asian girls here? Minority Report/Put your team on the map, Blake Griffin on the court/Niggas bitin’ on my tracks, need a knife and a fork" 
RELEASE DATE: 2/11/2011
COMPLEX SAYS: Prior to this season, many fans thought of the Clippers as L.A.'s forgotten team (and rightfully so) but the Blake Griffin came and gave them a couple hundred reasons to tune in. The Cali-born Community actor took notice and made reference to the Poster Child.


12. Wale f/ Rick Ross & Jadakiss, “600 Benz”

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LYRIC: "If I get pulled over, I know they gon' be on it/Cause it’s hot in here and I got no L like the ’72 Dolphins/Woooh, race my nigga, and I bet you never pass me like a safety nigga/I’m Polamalu" (Wale)
RELEASE DATE: 4/5/2011
COMPLEX SAYS: Mention of the only NFL team to complete the perfect season (sorry, Pats fans) and butchering the name of the greatest safety (to ever receive a shampoo endorsement)? Wale is notorious for his sports analogies but since linking with Ricky Rozay, they don't sound as groupie-ish. #justsayin'


11. N.O.R.E. f/ Curren$y & Ace Hood, “Stand Tall”

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LINE: "Homie I stand tall, so do the 7 tre/I'm talking Chris Johnson, skating on 28's" (Ace Hood)
RELEASE DATE: 4/15/2011
COMPLEX SAYS: OK, so here we have a slick line about the size (II) of the rims on Ace Hood's '73 whip matching Tennesee Titans running back Chris Johnson's jersey number. Nice bit of word play, though it's been done before. But what gets us is Ace Hoods' resemblance to the NFL rusher. That's it, Joe Budden MUST make a song about his twin Kenyon Martin now.


10. Slim Thug, “6 Foot 6 Inch”

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LINE: “Welcome back to Texas, yes it's Super Bowl Sunday/Next day ball like it's football Monday “
RELEASE DATE: 2/5/2011
COMPLEX SAYS: Slim Thug laying out the doormat for everybody just before the Super Bowl? Dope. Releasing the video a whole two months later after every rapper's already killed the beat? Not so much. #timingiseverything

9. Fabolous, “Riesling and Rolling Papers”

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LYRIC: "Mind of a hockey player: You could suck a D/I’ma reach my goal and you ain’t gon take this puck from me/Yeah, Coco Loso in my Stanley Cup"
RELEASE DATE: 4/21/2011
COMPLEX SAYS: OK, Fabolous is crafty enough to release a line like this during the NHL playoffs—nice! But we'd like this line even more if Fab still rocked throwbacks.

8. Big K.R.I.T f/ Bun B & Ludacris, “Country Shit (Remix)”

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LYRIC: "Let me tell you about these old school Chevys, Cadillac SS Impalas/If you smokin' then we got more sacks than Troy Polamalu/Your partners want some quarters, my partners want some keys/In Atlanta we get that paper can you haters say cheese" (Ludacris)
RELEASE DATE: 3/28/2011
COMPLEX SAYS: C'mon people, can't you reference some other NFL player? The whole "more sacks than Troy Polamalu" line just makes no sense. How about just saying that there are too many rappers on Troy Polamalu's sack? #keepit100


7. Nicki Minaj, “Tragedy Freestyle”

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LYRIC: "You was hot when Shaq teamed up with Penny/Man, you was magic/I mean, look at you now hoe, you just tragic"
RELEASE DATE: 4/2/2011
COMPLEX SAYS: It took Nicki less than two minutes to ether Lil Kim on this freestyle. It took the '95 Magic even less time to have an epic fail and ruin their chances at a title.


6. Pusha T, “Open Your Eyes”

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LYRIC: "W, double I, spelled so you could see it/Cause it’s way over their heads when I Ray Allen 3 it/I’m Rondo on the bongos, when giving you my convo/We ain’t been home since you was snatched out the Congo"
RELEASE DATE: 3/21/2011
COMPLEX SAYS: Pusha, an avid Celtics fan (just check out his Twitter account @PUSHA_T during playoff season), pays homage to the Celts on his most conscious song off the recent Fear of God mixtape. We're just glad he didn't hop on the Miami bandwagon. We see you, Drizzy.


5. Curren$y f/ Freddie Gibbs, “Scottie Pippen”

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LYRIC: "They running the rock just like I play quarterback for the Eagles/Randall, Donovan, or Michael/‘Fore I picked up this mic I was hitting licks with some Lords and did dirt with plenty Disciples" (Freddie Gibbs)
RELEASE DATE: 4/15/2011
COMPLEX SAYS: Associating black quarterbacks with drug sales and street gangs? Sounds like something from Rush Limbaugh but despite the played out sterotype, it made for a dope line.


4. Lil Wayne, “Green & Yellow”

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LYRIC: “Money green, yellow broad/Aaron Rodgers, MVP award/This is Green Bay, bitch we go hard/This is Packer Country, where ya green card?/Terrible towels, that shit’s borin’/We got the ball, you know we scoring”
RELEASE DATE: 2/3/2011
COMPLEX SAYS: Prior to Super Bowl XLV, Weezy dropped this track to rally his Green Bay Packers. Young Money went all in as Baby even bet a milli on the Packers. Good for them. Sidebar: If we never hear another rapper spit over the "Black & Yellow" beat, it'll be too soon. 



3. Pac Div, “Anti-Freeze”

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LYRIC: "Every verse I murder, I don't care what the topic is/Got a few mistresses down in Texas that I polly with/All of them is winners and I coach them like Popovich"
RELEASE DATE: 1/26/2011
COMPLEX SAYS: SMH, only in a Pac Div verse can Gregg Popovich's coaching of the most boring team in NBA history be compared to scooping up dimes down in Texas.


2. Lil Wayne, “I’m On One”

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LYRIC: "I walk around the club, fuck everybody/And all my niggas got that Heat; I feel like Pat Riley/Yeah, too much money, ain't enough money/You know the feds listening, nigga what money?" (Lil Wayne)
RELEASE DATE: 5/13/2011
COMPLEX SAYS:  The Miami Heat are the most hated team in the NBA and Young Money is one of rap's most hated on crews. So, it makes sense that Weezy couldn't help but make a reference to the South Beach squad. Now we're just waiting for Wayne to show up at the Heat celebration saying he "was always a fan." Don't front, we peeped your overnight Cheesehead transformation.


1. Joe Budden, “Ordinary Love Shit Part 3”

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LYRIC: "Said that you would be with Jennifer the whole time/But you probably didn’t think that I would call her/She said she ain’t seen you since you landed/And for days she been blowin' up your phone like a stalker/And all I could do is laugh at myself, as I thought 'Why is ol’girl sucking off Derrick Ward for?'"
RELEASE DATE: 5/3/2011
COMPLEX SAYS: Well-known for referencing sports and his relationships on tracks, here Joe Budden's talks about drama with his ex-girlfriend, Esther Baxter. Budden accuses the video vixen of that letting Texans running back Derrick Ward hit it while she was pregnant with Budden's baby. #yikes #shitjustgotreal


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