If I know four things in this world, they are breathing, fine-dining, sports and analyzing rappers. For now, let’s just focus on the last two. We here at What the Sports recognize how intertwined sports are with music, specifically hip-hop. In June, we put out a video of some of our favorite rap lyrics about sports that you can find here:
As the mastermind, and arguably star of that video, I figured I’d explore this intersection a little more. I have long compared Drake to Kevin Durant for some of the reasons listed in that video, and I wanted to find other comparisons. Here is my attempt. Let me know how wrong, or more likely right, I am.
J.Cole – LeBron James
It is pretty much a fact no matter who you ask, J. Cole is one of the best out there. Similar to LeBron, Cole has random haters who hope to attract attention by saying they think he stinks. They are both transcendentally great, have an eye on social issues and are creating some of their best work as they age.
Pusha T – Jalen Ramsey
Talk about smack talkers. Pusha recently dropped this, which just ripped Drake to shreds:
And Jalen Ramsey is the best there is at getting in opponents’ heads, most notably making the incredibly level-headed AJ Green do this:
And above all else, they are both really good. The main difference is age; Pusha could be Jalen’s father.
Kid Cudi – Russell Westbrook
These guys both have absolute cult followings. There are people that will tell you Russell Westbrook is the best player (wrong), and others will say Kid Cudi is the best artist (right). There has also been a lot of talk surrounding their mental states and relationships with others. Cudi is notorious for getting in arguments with other rappers, most notably with mega-star Kanye West. Westbrook is no different, with a lot of people not wanting to play with him – mainly Kevin Durant.
Russ – Steph Curry
A lot of people love and hate Russ. A lot of people also love and hate Steph Curry. Both are very cocky. Both are small for what they do. Russ is tiny in any setting, while Steph is just small for an NBA player. They are both very soft and have a very distinguishable style. Russ has a similar beat pattern in a lot of his songs, comprised of nearly identical artwork and a unique, raspy voice. And Steph is a shooter through and through, probably the greatest ever.
Kendrick Lamar – Mike Trout
Simply the best. Both of these respected men may be the greatest of all time. They are so focused on their craft and are not talked about as much as one would think considering their talent levels. Trout has no personality and Kendrick stays low-key other than when he drops music. Also, they both are mainly associated with the greater Los Angeles area, with Kendrick proudly being a Compton native and Trout playing in Anaheim.
Dame Lillard – Quavo
These two are some of the swaggiest out there. They are smooth and good at what they do, but have something else major in common – not only do they both dabble in the others’ line of work, but they do it well. Just check out some Quavo highlights and clips of Dame rapping.
Lil Uzi Vert – Javier Baez
This one came out of left field. Neither of these stars are tall, but they are absolutely electric. Perhaps no baseball player is more fun to watch than Baez, and Lil Uzi Vert is a treat to watch perform. Also, both are at the best they have ever been currently, with Uzi dropping “Luv is Rage 2,” and being featured on “Watch” this year, while Javier Baez is starting the All-Star game.
Meek Mill – Cam Newton
The biggest moment of both of their careers has been a total flop. Cam Newton didn’t dive for a fumble in the Super Bowl and his team lost. Meek Mill got flamed by the softest rapper out there, Drake, in their rap battle a few years back. Both of these gents are inconsistent, but when they are on, they are among the best in their respective fields. Cam is a former MVP, who has also had some awful moments and stretches. Meek has had his fair share of misses, but also has some incredible hits. Meek and Cam are both so hype: Meek makes music to work out to and Cam can make any fan stop what they are doing and get excited to watch him.
Kyle – Francisco Lindor
This is my favorite comparison. And look no further than their nicknames. Francisco Lindor is called “Mr. Smile,” and Kyle not only dropped a great album called ‘Smyle,’ but he has called himself the “Happy Rapper.” These guys love life and just exude all things positivity, while still being both insanely talented and wildly underrated. Frankie is the best shortstop in baseball but nobody outside of Clevelanders, or stat nerds, knows that. Kyle has dropped three incredible albums in a row, including the recently-released “Light of Mine,” which is an incredible journey through his mind in a very average-joe type of way while still having his patented fun beats. If you can’t tell, I love both of these guys. One more similarity: these guys really bursted onto the scene in 2016; Kyle with his hit song “iSpy,” which was the first time a lot of people heard of him, and Lindor in his incredible first full season, leading his team to extra innings in Game 7 of the World Series. While they were popular then, 2018 is when we really have figured out who they are. Lindor has transformed into a power hitter, a far cry from his 2016 self; and Kyle, as previously mentioned, released a new type of music, changing his fans’ view of him.