The Utah Jazz are hosting the N.B.A. All-Star Game Weekend next month. With that in mind, here are some of the best Utah Jazz references in hip-hop.
The Notorious B.I.G. – ‘I Got a Story to Tell’
“I’m in his a** while he’s playing against the Utah Jazz.”
Released during the Malone/Stockton era of consistent relevancy, Biggie’s oblique reference requires a bit of digging. The “ass” in question is that of Anthony Mason’s girlfriend. According to Puff Daddy, The Notorious rapper had an affair with the New York Knick’s brooding power forward. Did the deed occur during regulation play? Were the Brooklyn rapper and the woman watching Anthony Mason mid-coitus? No one knows because that wasn’t the story Biggie was trying to tell.
Gucci Mane – ‘Hold that Thought’
“Stay loyal like the fans of the Utah Jazz/Like Dr. J shorts, my work real tight.”
The Atlanta rapper hadn’t yet cemented trap god status in 2006. Gucci kept grinding until he ultimately earned a Grammy. Various Jazz teams worked just as hard but ultimately failed to win their field’s top prize. It’s still hard to listen to that line and not think about the missed opportunity for the East Atlanta Santa to stay on theme. Like Dr. Julius Irving, John Stockton was well-known for his short shorts.
Westside Gunn, featuring Stove God Cooks” – ‘Ostertag’
“When they was scared to get it through the mail, man, I went Utah Jazz (Woo)”
Some play it safe, while others engage in risky behavior. Stove God chooses the latter as he opts to become Karl ‘The Mailman’ Malone for his illegal operation. The title refers to Greg Ostertag, former center for the Jazz.
Guilty Simpson – ‘The Future’
“I got a cousin that plays for the Utah Jazz/But I don’t have to run the two to shoot y’all ass/Peace to Ronnie Brewer, on the mic I’m the manure.”
Guilty Simpson has flown under the radar nationally, but he’s known as one of the best M.C.s to come out of Detroit. Unlike some of his more famous colleagues on this list, Guilty Simpson has a direct connection to Utah’s team. Ronnie Brewer, Simpsons’s cousin, played for Utah for four years until he was traded to Memphis in 2010.
Redman – ‘I Love Hip-Hop’
“The champion, when I talk that jazz Utah, tell Karl Malone I got a ring for him.”
When Redman wasn’t blowing blunts with Method Man, he could be quite the philanthropist, depending on the quality of the ring offered. Famously, Malone ranks among the greatest N.B.A. players to never have won a championship ring.
Lil B – “I Own Swag”
“I’m Karl Malone; I just dunk.”
Dumb, but fun could sum up Lil B and this line. The bay area rapper garnered a cult following while developing his take on the cloud rap movement. But, outsized bluster aside, the 5’6″ is not Karl, and there isn’t any evidence he can dunk.
This isn’t the BASEDGOD’s most notable foray into the N.B.A. While Kevin Durant played for the Oklahoma Thunder, Lil B famously beefed with the seven-foot M.V.P. Lil B even placed a curse that Durant would never win an N.B.A. championship. However, after Durant signed with the Golden State Warriors, Lil B’s hometown team, Lil B repealed said curse. The Warriors, with Durant, would immediately win a championship.
Mac Miller – ‘La Familia’
“These bitches is illiterate and this is some deliverance/No Bubba Sparks, talkin’ Karl Malone.”
The late Mac Miller makes a nice double entendre here regarding a Bubba Sparks album, Deliverance, and The Mailman always delivered.
Dame D.O.L.L.A. (AKA Damien Lillard) – ‘Wasatch Front’
“The Jazz up the road I wanna play for Jerry Sloan.”
N.B.A. superstar and part-time rapper Damien Lillard deserves an honorable mention for playing for Weber State. However, every Jazz fan wishes Dame played for us.
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