7 NBA Players With Serious Musical Talent

  • Kevin Durant
    Kevin Durant

    Durant is known for being an elite scorer, but he’s also an excellent rapper. During his second year in the NBA, he fell in love with rapping and producing tracks after his veteran teammate Joe Smith introduced him to it. He would go to Smith’s house and rap with him, and then bought his own recording equipment. He now has a studio in his home where he records and produces songs, and he has made a number of tracks that showcase his rapping. Some of his tracks are original, whereas others are remixes of his favorite songs.

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  • Stephen Jackson

    On the basketball court, he is Stephen Jackson. In the studio, he is Stak5. Jackson is currently unsigned after playing in Los Angeles last year, but he continues to pursue a rap career in addition to hooping. He has released a number of tracks over the years, covering hot topics like the league’s lockout and Donald Sterling’s controversial comments. He has traveled to a number of cities for live performances and has recruited notable rappers like T.I. and Young Jeezy to jump on his tracks. He has released several mixtapes including What’s A Lockout? and Jack of All Trades.

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  • Iman Shumpert

    Many players have tried to rap, but few are as talented as Shumpert. He started rapping as a kid with his friends and never stopped. He was making songs and writing lyrics long before his basketball career took off, so he wanted to continue recording tracks after being drafted. In 2012, he released a mixtape titled Th3 #Post90s, and he has put out several singles that he promoted over social media. Shumpert is one of several players who will be on the upcoming album Full Court Press Vol. 1, which will feature notable basketball players and well-known rappers on tracks.

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  • Jerry Stackhouse

    Stackhouse is a very good singer, and he has put his talent on display by singing the national anthem prior to several games during his lengthy NBA career. Stackhouse was first tapped to perform the national anthem when he was heard singing at media day and his team’s PR staff had the idea of signing him up to sing before a game. Stackhouse’s father was a singer, and he fell in love with singing at a young age as part of his church’s choir. In addition to performing in front of packed arenas, the veteran player has also recorded a number of tracks.

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  • Lou Williams

    Williams has released a number of tracks and worked with notable rappers. When rapping, Williams goes by the moniker ”LouWill” and he has actually gained some popularity in his second career. He had a verse on Meek Mill’s song “I Want It All,” which has nearly two million views on YouTube. He has also covered a number of popular songs (such as Meek Mill’s track “Imma Boss”), recording the videos and uploading them for his fans to see. Like Iman Shumpert, Williams will be featured on the upcoming album Full Court Press Vol. 1.

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  • Metta World Peace

    Of all of the players on this list, World Peace’s musical endeavors are probably the most well-known. Ten years ago, he released a rap album and made headlines for asking his team for time off during the season to promote it. Then, he launched Tru Warier Records and shaved the label’s logo onto his head. In 2010, he founded the Artest Media Group and in addition to releasing his own songs, he signed a number of up-and-coming artists and producers and promoted their work. World Peace has had some success, recording tracks with a number of big-name rappers and having one of his songs appear in the video game NBA 2K13. He recently signed a contract with a basketball team in China, but is expected to resume his career in the U.S. later this season.

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  • Carlos Arroyo

    Arroyo is currently a free agent who last played in Turkey, but he has had more success than most athletes who make the transition from playing to performing. While Arroyo only works on his music during the offseason so that he can focus on basketball during the season, he has done well for himself as a musician. He has his own studio as well as an independent record label called Arroyo Hit Music. His 2010 single “Se Va Conmigo” became popular, reaching No. 45 on the Billboard Latin Digital Songs chart, No. 26 on the Billboard Latin Rhythm Airplay chart, and No. 13 on the Billboard Latin Rhythm Digital Songs chart. His songs have received radio play in his native Puerto Rico, where he has a huge fan base.

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  • Kevin Durant
  • Iman Shumpert
  • Jerry Stackhouse
  • Lou Williams
  • Metta World Peace

Being a professional basketball player opens many doors away from the court. Some athletes spend their free time getting involved in side projects like business, fashion as Russell Westbrook is doing, or acting, where we’ve seen them star in classic movies like He Got Game. But one of the most popular activities for players is dabbling in music. Some are serious about it, hoping to launch a career in the music industry, while others just do it for fun. Over the years, many notable players have shared their musical talent with the world.

Take Kevin Durant, for example. He is probably never going to release an album, probably won’t even ever release a mixtape, but on his few features throughout the last few years, the NBA’s reigning MVP has shown he has legit skills on the mic. The first time we ever heard him get behind the mic, his talent actually shocked us. The last time a player of his caliber could actually dabble in music and more than hold his own was probably Shaquille O’Neal. That was nearly 20 years ago.

On the other end, there’s the late Wayman Tisdale, who became a jazz bassist after he retired from professional basketball. His 2001 album Face to Face topped Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Chart. David Robinson loved playing the alto saxophone and piano, and often spoke about how playing the instruments allowed him to relax and express his creativity.

These players are both retired, but there are many current (or near current) players who are just as gifted when it comes to music. None of these guys can approach Shaq in terms of musical status, but here are 7 NBA Players With Serious Musical Talent.

Follow Alex on Twitter at @AlexKennedyNBA

image via Skullcandy