Top Five Athletes Turned Rappers


Design by Brittany Isdith We love athletes and we love rappers, but there's a special place in this world for those who can be both. These are the people who do it best.

Shaquille O’Neal

The Shaqtus, aka Shaq Diesel aka Superman is easily not only one of the best athletes, but one of the best athletes turned rapper. He has four albums under his belt, plus he's recorded with the King of Pop, the late Michael Jackson. Shaq has people throwing their hands up high every time he touches the microphone. He is witty, smart and most of all hilarious. His album Shaq Diesel went platinum in 1993 and Shaq Fu: Da Return went gold in 1994. Shaq established himself as one of the best entertainers of our generation, and honestly, his tracks are fire.

John Cena

From the ring to the recording studio… and to the big screen, John Cena has done it all. In 2005 the famed wrestler released his debut rap album, “You Can't See Me.” He later recorded his now infamous entrance theme song The Time is Now. From that album he also released Bad, Bad Man, which offers a full-fledged 80s inspired music video. The album debuted at #15 on the Billboard 200 charts with over 143,000 copies sold in the first week of its release. We’ve yet to see another album since, but Cena drops many tracks for WWE compilation albums every so often.

Deion Sanders

Deion Sanders defined swagger throughout the 1990s. He has been a trendsetter since his time at Florida State, where he made the infamous Seminole Rap. Neon Deion’s 1994 album “Prime Time” even made a wave in the billboard charts. His swag alone in the It Must be the Money makes him an obvious contender on this list. Who else can rock a 3 piece checkered suit or a neon pink suit without a shirt? He genuinely believes he is that cool.

Ron Artest aka Metta World Peace

Ron Artest hails from Queensbridge, New York, the same area as famed rapper Nas. After winning the NBA championship in 2010 he grabbed the microphone and gave a shout out Queensbridge. Beyond the court and on the mic, the NBA All-star was involved in a player-fan brawl, called “The Malice at the Palace,” has written a childrens’ book, and has admitted to drinking Hennessey at half-time during a game. In 2006 Ron Artest released the ill-fated album, “My World.” After winning a world championship with the LA Lakers in 2010, Artest came back to the rap game, with "Champions.” Since then he has been trying to hit the music game hard with songs and videos. He released a mixtape in February 2011, which features George Lopez, Nas, Ray J, Marques Houston, Game and Fat Joe. He hasn’t released anything lately, but with Ron you never know.

Iman Shumpert

The most active rapper on this list is Iman Shumpert. The shooting guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers has some serious rapping chops. He released a mixtape called “Th3 #Post90s” under the rap pseudonym “2wo 1ne.” He wrote the intro song to the ESPN show “First Take,” and continually is releasing freestyles on his Soundcloud page. He even wrote a song for the Cavaliers playoff run this past year.

Special shoutout to "Macho Man" Randy Savage, Allen Iverson, and JJ Reddick. Sorry guys, we can't all make the cut.

MusicJamie Zaslav1 Comment