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Sunday, June 16, 2024
The Observer

NBA hip-hop remix: Western Conference

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LAUREN WELDON | The Observer

When the British Premier League kicked-off back in early August, Complex sports writer Julius Lasin wrote aninteresting piece on how to support a club based on your preference for hip-hop artists. It is undeniable that the NBA and hip-hop have a strong and historical relationship.  Thus, in honor of the NBA tipping off Monday, here is the second installment of your favorite NBA teams with a bit of a hip-hop twist. Tonight's the Western Conference's turn.  

Golden State Warriors — Drake 

The Warriors are the defending champions of basketball. They are the “new school NBA” personified. Replace both of the words “basketball” and “NBA” with “hip-hop” and that basically sums up Drake.

Los Angeles Clippers — Kendrick Lamar

It pains me to say it, but the Clippers have seized control of Los Angeles (specifically away from the Lakers), and have done so for awhile now. Kendrick Lamar has established himself in recent history as Los Angeles’ premiere rapper. The two reflect each other’s successful rises on the Pacific Coast.

Los Angeles Lakers — Jay Rock

While Kendrick Lamar used to be Jay Rock’s “little brother” in the hip-hop world, it didn’t take too long for Lamar to surpass Rock in popularity and success. So, that leaves Jay Rock (and, conversely, the Lakers) to pick up the pieces. Here’s to another year of rebuilding.

Phoenix Suns — Ace Hood

Way back when, Ace Hood once struck fear in oppositions’ hearts, with a loud bark to his rapping style. However, it didn’t take long to figure out that his music was more bark than bite — who knows whatever happened to his career. The Suns looked like they were going to contend in the West for years to come only two seasons ago, but have quickly devolved into a team trying to figure things out.

Sacramento Kings — Eminem

Yes, I feel bad for doing a repeat. But the Kings (specifically the idea of Rajon Rondo and DeMarcus Cousins, under Coach George Karl) seem to embody anger, and lots of it — so basically, Eminem’s rapping style in a nutshell.

Dallas Mavericks — Slim Thug 

While Slim Thug is a certified Texas legend, it just seems like his time in the spotlight is up, and has been for awhile now. Similarly, the Mavericks still prove to intimidate their opponents every night, but it just seems as if their window for contention in the playoffs has shut and has been shut for a few seasons now.

Houston Rockets — Travis Scott

The current face of Texas, Travis Scott has quickly gained respect from his hip-hop elders and established himself as a young force with an atypical sound. The Rockets parallel Scott with their relatively young nucleus that constantly feels like they are consistently knocking on the door to a championship, unafraid to go toe to toe with their experienced rivals in the San Antonio Spurs.

Memphis Grizzlies — Three 6 Mafia

The Grizzlies will always seem to embody that “grit and grind” mentality that they pride themselves on and with which they continue to defy the changing tides of the NBA. Similarly, Three 6 Mafia found a home with their “dirty” sound, and fans love every bit of it, even in an era dominated by auto-tune and pop influences.

New Orlean Pelicans — A$AP Mob

The Pelicans have a nucleus that are at times great and seem very formidable, but honestly, the team seems to really revolve around one or two players. Similarly, ask any casual fan how many members of the A$AP Mob they can name, and nine times out of 10 they are A$AP Rocky and A$AP Ferg.

San Antonio Spurs — Bun B

The Spurs are the “old” team that just never seems to go away and seemingly adapts and continues to thrive. Bun B is a Texan legend, and has been around since forever. However, he is still pretty relevant around hip-hop circles to this day, and it speaks to his ability to adapt to all the new and most popular music acts today.

Denver Nuggets — Wiz Khalifa

Both used to be on a higher level than their competition (take that as you will), but nowadays they seem more tame than formidable.

Minnesota Timberwolves — Chance the Rapper

Both the Timberwolves and Chance the Rapper seem like a sure thing for the same destiny, at least for the upcoming season: while neither seem ready to break out just yet for the mainstream, upper-echelon levels of their respective crafts, they both promise to provide excitement and a good time for their dedicated following.

Oklahoma City Thunder — Joe Budden

Here’s a team that is good, and should be great, but due to unfortunate circumstances (some arguably through their own fault — see: James Harden trade), they seemingly have relegated themselves to a second-tier team that is still trying to take that metaphorical “next step.” Joe Budden seems to hold weight in the hip-hop community, but always seem to metaphorically shoot himself in the foot with his own personal misgivings, only proving to hinder his professional career.

Portland Trail Blazers — Mac Miller

Once again, we have a team that seemed poised to take the “next step,” yet they seem to have become stagnant over the past year or two now. Mac Miller seemed to find a niche as the laid-back, mellow rapper from Pittsburgh but has never found that foothold in the music industry to really endear himself to mainstream listeners.

Utah Jazz — Weird Al Yankovich

Does anyone take the Jazz or Weird Al serious anymore? Or really, were they ever taken seriously?