The 12 Best Dwyane Wade Rap References
"Pick a team, it's like I'm D Wade and you LeBron/I'm your partner, I just wanna see you with a ring"—CyHi the Prince
Image via Complex Original
Rap is a young man's genre. Much like the career of a professional athlete, a rapper emerges as a young adult, experiences excess and recession, and eventually becomes too old and un-cool for the big-time. Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade's 33rd birthday is today, and at this point he's logged over 32,000 NBA minutes. In the normal people world, 33 is quite a young age. I hope to have my shit "together," so to speak, when I'm 33, much less win three NBA titles.
But those 32,000 minutes, man oh man, have they been slowing the young-in-age Wade. He's now oft-injured and a generally groggier player, kind of like a middle aged man (in basketball terms). And yet, Wade knows that no matter what his actual age is or how much closer he is to retirement than another ring, he'll always have his place in history. His name has been checked by rappers like RiFF RAFF, Kendrick Lamar, and Kanye West. He's a culturally relevant baller, so to narrow down the finest instances of Wade's name within hip-hop lyricism, we ranked The 12 Best Dwyane Wade Rap References.
12. “I grab heat, I'm Dwayne Wade/I'm candy Hummer high school, LeBron James”—RiFF RAFF
Song: “Raiders vs. Hawks”
This is the only Dwyane Wade reference on this list where “heat” is used a double entendre for the Miami Heat and a gun. It's literally the most used reference in a D-Wade rap couplet. It's as unoriginal as “my life is like a movie” and as flat as “cole heating up like left over lasagna.” Let's stop with it. But before we dead the lyric, shoutout to RiFF RAFF for having the best version of “heat.” “I'm candy Hummer high school, LeBron James” not only is another neon notch in his belt, but also a dope reference to James' problematic Hummer that he drove in high school.
11. “Me and LeBron got the same whips/Me and Dwyane on the same strip”—Rick Ross
Song: “Party Heart”
Album: Savage Journey to the American Dream
Yeah, this kind of standard rich-guy Miami MO: Unless you're neighbors/party homies with either Pat Riley, Dwyane Wade, Rick Ross, or Pitbull, you're not as wealthy or as cool as you think you are. Ross planted his pear-sized flag on Miami's map in the best way possible with this line. Good job.
10. “To go hard in the paint like D. Wade or D. Rose/From the same streets that we rose”—Common
Song: “Blue Sky”
Album: The Dreamer, The Believer
Not only does Common refer to D-Wade's status as one of the best guards around the rim the NBA's ever seen, but he also nods to Wade's “In the Paint” Miami Art Basel debut. The paintings sucked, but at least they're for a charitable cause. Also, and this is very important: Wade's a Chi-Town kid like Common, so making that hometown blood connection earns him rapper points. They both made it out the neighborhood.
9. “Wasn’t Dwyane Wade but I was on my Jordan 3 move/Wasn’t Dwayne Wayne but had a broad like Keanu/And jealous bitches called her “kee low-low”, I see you HA!“—Skyzoo
Song: “Complicated Rhythm”
Album: The Great Debater
Skyzoo knocks in a cheeky reference to Wade's switch from Converse to Jordan brand in 2009. That's not the best part though. Any time a Dwyane Wade/Dwayne Wayne line can be rapped, you're listening to rap at its pinnacle. Not only because you might've read that sentence and seen “Dwyane Wade” twice, but because this picture also exists:
8. “Pick a team, it's like I'm D Wade and you LeBron/I'm your partner, I just wanna see you with a ring”—CyHi the Prince
Album: The Black Histori Project
Hahahahaha this line is just so CyHi that it's pathetically good. The concept for the song itself—using Coretta Scott King's love to MLK as a jumping off point to rap over an R&B beat about love–is pretty damn corny, especially when the verses include raps like, “Like a baby with his shoes untied, I didn't trip.” Although the song sucks, the imagery of D-Wade holding a weeping LeBron and dearfully whispering, “I'm your partner, I just wanna see you with a ring…Come to Miami,” is too powerful. Love this line.
7. “Me I got a plug Special Ed 'I Got It Made'/If Jeezy's paying LeBron, I'm paying Dwyane Wade”—Jay Z
Song: “Empire State of Mind”
Album: The Blueprint 3
One of the more clever coke dealer references made in a song full of them. Frankly, it's one of Jay's more lowkey stunts too. I mean, paying $3K (the number three being Dwyane Wade's number, of course) is ridiculously low, especially if Jeezy's paying $23K for a kilo. Hov flexes his superiority to Jeezy thru using Wade's jersey number as a step-stool. A purported $20,000 difference in price per kilo will do that (although prices have certainly kicked up since Shawn Carter was slinging crack).
6. “Peep Dwyane Wade, Lil Wayne, Will Smith, Swizz/You start to aim a chick with fame, that’s real shit, switch/But it ain’t all the same, you can be rich and find a girl that got a name and she end up being a bitch”—Sha Stimuli
Song: “The Mirror”
Album: Unsung Vol. 1: The Garden of Eden
Prolific Brooklyn MC Sha Stimuli brought some knowledge down with this line. Adding some context to the bars is important though. On “The Mirror,” Stimuli discusses how people change their relationship goals on the come up. “I look at all the stars that had wifeys when they was nothing/As soon as they got to something they left ‘em, it got me bugging,” he raps.
Naturally, Dwyane Wade had to be name-checked while Sha was on the topic. Wade began his NBA career married to his high school sweatheart and mother of his first two children, but coming off an NBA Championship in 2006, Wade filed for divorce in 2007. He began dating actress Gabrielle Union in 2009, but as we all know, that star-studded relationship has had its rocky patches. Wade and Union are happily married now, but they're also living examples of toxic celebrity-totempole climbing.
5. “I am Dwyane Wade of recording/You more like Kobe Bryant with no endorsements”—Kendrick Lamar
Song: “Blood Sport Freestyle”
Album: Training Day
Kendrick's “Blood Sport” nod to the best two-guard since Jordan in the 90s instantly draws a parallel to his own historical status: Kendrick's the best west coast rapper since Tupac, a rap GOAT. A version of Kobe Bean Bryant without endorsements can be explored further on this gross Wikipedia page.
4. “Popping bottles like I’m D. Wade, tell them send me like three spades”–The Game
Song: “Burn Remix”
Like Hov before him, Game's use of Wade's No. 3 jersey was a good look. The Miami Heat had just won their first Big Three Era title the summer The Game dropped this remix too. It was a title that brought an after party of a lifetime to Miami. When D-Wade came face-to-face with one of the biggest champagne bottles imaginable, you just knew he was already thinking about repeating.
3. “I ain't worryin 'bout shit, everything paid out/You could catch me courtside in Dwayne Wade house/With a high yellow thick bitch wit her legs out/Cash Money president, but we in a red house”–Lil Wayne
Song: “I Don't Like the Look of It”
Album: I Am Not A Human Being
Like Hov before him, Game's use of Wade's No. 3 jersey was a good look. The Miami Heat had just won their first Big Three Era title the summer The Grame dropped this remix too. It was a title that brought an afterparty of a lifetime to Miami. When D-Wade came face-to-face with one of the biggest champagne bottles imaginable, you just knew he was already thinking about repeating.
2. “They want that union, they want that D-Wade/I tell a ho, 'Just be happy they getting leeway'“—Nicki Minaj
Song: “Want Some More”
Album: The Pinkprint
Nicki Minaj was the best rapper of 2014. On “Want Some More,” Nicki used Gabrielle Union's name to push back against critics wanting her to just be be “Mixtape Nicki,” and then brought Union's husband into the mix while by using him as a washrag. Nicki doesn't want that D-Wade, because D-Wade is apparently washed and sooooo 2008.
1. “In two years Dwayne Wayne became Dwyane Wade”—Kanye West
Song: “The Glory”
College Dropout came in 2004, and Late Registration dropped in 2005. Back-to-back MVP seasons for Kanye had him thinking like the 2006 Finals MVP, Dwyane Wade.