Ever since I can remember, there has been a marriage between hip hop culture and sports. Whether through fashion (like in the early 2000’s when it was a silent competition among rappers about who would rock the hardest throwback jersey), or music (who could forget when Shaquille O’Neil took the world by storm in 1993 with his platinum selling album Shaq Diesel), or on the court (y’all do know Master P had two different NBA contracts in the late 1990’s, including one with the Charlotte Hornets?) – the relationship between hip hop and sports has only gotten stronger with time. So what better way to pay homage to this union than by comparing your favorite Carolina Panthers players to your favorite rappers.
Cam Newton as Sean “P Diddy” Combs:
“You can spot up out of town by the way that we walk, the way that we talk, cocky, the state of New York.” – Same Damn Time Remix
Cam Newton may not have the longevity (yet) that P Diddy has had, but he certainly hits it head on with all the other qualities. Carolina’s fashionable, fun loving, cocky, dabbing MVP is the perfect match for one of the MVP’s of music.
Julius Peppers as Jay Z:
“I gave you prophecy on my first joint, and y’all lamed out. Didn’t really appreciate it, ’til the second one came out. So I stretched the game out, etched your name out. Put Jigga on top, and drop albums non-stop.” – Hard Knock Life
Jay Z has been a staple in the rap game since his “Reasonable Doubt” debut in 1996 and much like him, Julius Peppers continues wow fans with his staying power and continued ability to remain a force among a sea of younger, ever-evolving talent.
Christian McCaffrey as Lil Uzi Vert:
“They know I’m the one so it’s no way they can stop it/Tried to run off with the swag I put ’em in pocket” – Two
Lil Uzi Vert burst onto the hip hop scene with his mixtapes in 2015 and much like Christian McCaffrey does it all on the field, Lil Uzi Vert does it all on the track. But the jury is still out on both of them. Will they be around for a while or quickly fizzle out?
Charles Johnson as Rick Ross:
“My ambition to win, just to get me some ends. Help me pay my little rent, maybe sit in a Benz.” – Ambition
Rick Ross, the self proclaimed Boss, has not only made waves in the music industry, but also in business with the growth of his Wingstop franchises. Much like him, Johnson has not only been a boss on the field, but through the ownership of several successful businesses, has proven he’s one off of it too.
Luke Kuechly as Kendrick Lamar:
“I can put a rapper on life support. Guarantee that’s something none of you want. Ten homies down and they all serving life. What is it like twenty-five hundred a month? What if I empty my bank out and stunt? What if I certified all of these ones? B*tch I get buck, I’m as real as they come.” – Untitled 02
You won’t find videos of Kendrick Lamar making it rain in the strip club or wearing flashy chains, but hand that man a mic and there’s no question he’s one of the best rappers out right now. You won’t find Luke Kuechly talking trash to the media about opponents or running down his impressive resume, but on game day, there’s no question about his skill and that he’s one of the best linebackers in the league.
Thomas Davis as Ludacris:
“So how can I advance if you don’t give me no opponents? How can you see the future if you livin for the moment?” – Last of a Dying Breed
Ludacris has been in the game a long time, and will go down has one of hip-hop’s best one-liners, but what goes unmentioned are his vast philanthropic efforts. His Ludacris Foundation helps inspire youth and foster community economic development. Remind you of anyone? You’ll be hard pressed to find a player in the league more devoted to giving back to the community than former Walter Payton man of the Year Thomas Davis.
Greg Olsen as Eminem:
“Now who’s the king of these rude, ludicrous, lucrative lyrics? Who could inherit the title, put the youth in hysterics? Usin’ his music to steer it, sharin’ his views and his merits?” – Renegade
Eminem may be up there in age, but don’t sleep, he can still drop a hot verse. Want your song to get spins? Put Em on it. Need a guy to make a big-time catch with the game on the line? Throw it to Olsen.