No, we’re not talking that remixed version of Pitbull’s “Timber” that has us all wondering what was wrong with a more generic NBA playoffs theme. These tracks were inspired by the real events that unfolded before us live and on television sets as 16 teams duked it out for a right to challenge for the championship title. Herein, five songs from pros and fans alike that set the tone for this year’s matchups.
Stephen Jackson’s Donald Sterling diss track
The Donald Sterling debacle was arguably the biggest controversy to hit the NBA during these playoffs, providing ripe material for a diss track. Former NBA Stephen Jackson did just that, penning a rap response to the former Clippers owner’s racist comments. Jackson released “America Da Beautiful (Letter to Mr. Sterling)” on Soundcloud under his rapper persona, Stak5. Notable lines include “is this a court or is this a cotton field?” and Jackson makes references to America’s civil rights struggle. Stak5 has a history of producing topical rap songs, including a mixtape under his belt entitled “What’s A Lockout?”
Mallory Edens gets a music video tribute
The NBA Draft Lottery saw something incredibly rare go down—no, not just the Cleveland Cavaliers drawing the number one pick, although that’s probably worth mentioning. Mallory Edens, daughter of Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Wesley Edens, was invited to draw the Bucks’ number. In the following hours, the pretty 18-year-old would turn into an internet sensation and gained several thousand new social media followers. One fan, Tim Crispy, would go on to pen this punk rock love anthem to Edens, entitled “We’re in Love with Mallory.” A little creepy, but definitely catchy.
Drake’s ‘0 To 100/The Catch Up’
The City of Toronto was hugely disappointed with the Raptors’ Game 7 loss against the Brooklyn Nets during round one of the playoffs, but no fan was more disappointed than superstar rapper Drake. He’s the global ambassador of the team, to which he makes a reference in his latest single, “0 To 100/The Catch Up” (recently released on SoundCloud), rapping “F— all that rap that pay your bills s—, I want some Raptors pay my bills s—.” Pulling a W would certainly help increase those chances. He also references Steph Curry (“Oh lord, I’m a rookie and a vet”) who headlined the Golden State Warriors’ veteran roster during their failed run against the Clippers.
Iman Shumpert is mad about not being in the playoffs, raps about it
Music is one way NBA players can channel their rage at not making the playoffs. Iman Shumpert of the New York Knicks recently launched a creepy music video of a tirade entitled “Chiraq Freestyle” that kicks off with a whole lot of frustration: “we ain’t in the office so I’m pissed off so you might not want to f— with me.” Then there’s the part when he decapitates a clown with a sword, watches a woman in a mouse mask twerk and sports ghost makeup. We’re not making this up.
‘Rollin’ Thunder,’ or why OKC blew it in the playoffs
Not all of these songs are destined to be chart toppers. This fan-made video is awful for all the best reasons, from Scooby Doo references to its prediction that OKC was actually up for a ring. Launched ahead of the Warriors’ ill-fated series against the San Antonio Spurs, we’re fairly certain that “Rollin’ Thunder” is one of the reasons OKC just couldn’t put up that win. Points for positivity, though.