5 Rappers Who Are Actually Good Athletes

  • Wale

    This’ll probably be the most controversial inclusion on this list simply because of Wale’s performance in the 2014 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game. But, in reality, Wale is a decent basketball player. Having played against him at events during All-Star Weekend, he was good enough to standout among other celebrities and media members.

    But while his basketball skills are only so-so, apparently Wale was a great football player. As a running back at Robert Morris University, Wale redshirted and then got into trouble with the coach after running his mouth on a long touchdown play. Eventually, the duo’s issues forced him to transfer. In the end, he substituted the cleats for, yes, running his mouth, to become a rapper. Robert Morris isn’t the largest school in the country, but their football team competes in the Northeast Conference as Division I FCS. That’s still pretty impressive.

    Unfortunately, there isn’t much video proof, so you’ll have to get by with this. (We’d put up the Celebrity Game video but that wouldn’t be doing anything other than nullifying our opinion.)

    1 of 5
  • 2 Chainz

    Back before he was 2 Chainz, he was only Tauheed Epps. Epps starred for North Clayton High School in Atlanta, and actually played a season for Alabama State. In college, 2 Chainz didn’t get much run, but he at least saw action in 24 games.

    People might look at his 3.0 points per game average for Alabama State, as well as his horrific 12-for-31 free throw shooting that year – dude actually shot better from beyond the arc – but anyone styling in high school as 2 Chainz styled here can definitely play. Watch all the way through to the end to see him put down a nasty self-lob to finish off the game. The guy’s always been an entertainer.

    2 of 5
  • Nelly

    Always a huge St. Louis Cardinals fan, Nelly was a three-sport star in baseball, basketball, and football for University City High School. In the yearbook during his senior year, Cornell Haynes Jr. was praised as a spectacular receiver and a favorite target of starting quarterback, Terrance Wilkes.

    However, Nelly’s first passion was always baseball, and every once in a while still talks about his desire to go pro. It’s too late for him now, but he once earned training camp invites from the Atlanta Braves and Pittsburgh Pirates and won MVP of an All-Star Game in the St. Louis Amateur Baseball Association.

    Still, after watching this video, it’s clear he’s spent a lot more time in the studio than on the diamond lately.

    3 of 5
  • Stalley

    I can back this one up personally. I’ve played against Stalley during NBA All-Star Weekend open runs and he can play. He knows how to play, and he doesn’t think the show is about him. Trust me, that’s different than what you’ll see from most celebrities. When Stalley’s in the game, he’s just another guy, outside of the fact that he’s really, really good.

    Ironically, Stalley was once a star, earning a Michigan scholarship in basketball as a high schooler named Kyle Myricks. However, injuries cut short his time there and then eventually cut short his time at Long Island University too. Even still, if you earn a free ride to Michigan, then you can probably hold the fort at any YMCA in the country. There’s no creampuffs getting a spot with the Wolverines. As a youngster, Stalley also played against LeBron.

    4 of 5
  • Master P

    He’s not as big of a name as he used to be, back when No Limit Records was completely running the game, but Percy Miller was such a good basketball player that he got NBA training camp invites not once, but twice. That’s no fluke. Charlotte and Toronto weren’t in the business of giving away roster spots.

    Miller never truly made it in the NBA, but he did average 24 points per game with the ABA’s Las Vegas Rattlers in 2004.

    Miller’s son, Romeo, was also a pretty decent basketball player, the only difference with his career being that he gained a spot with USC almost exclusively because of his name rather than his game. It also didn’t hurt that his best buddy was top recruit DeMar DeRozan, now a star with the Raptors.

    But his pops? Yeah, he could hoop.

    5 of 5
  • Wale
  • 2 Chainz
  • Nelly
  • Stalley

You know the saying. Athletes want to be rappers and rappers want to be athletes. The two genres go hand-in-hand. Unfortunately, most ballplayers who try their hand at music don’t succeed, and that’s understating it. As for athletically gifted emcees, there are even fewer of those. But you can’t become a hip-hop icon without a little bit of revisionist history going on. It’s part of the territory when you’re spitting: you must talk your game up… how good of a rapper you are, how good of a dancer you are, and how good of an athlete you are.

Today we’re counting down five well-known rappers that can actually hang when it’s time to turn off the mic and hit the field. These videos might have you disagreeing, but trust us when we say these five had a decent “prime” at some point.

Follow Sean on Twitter at @seanesweeney