Much like the new wave of lyrical archetypes in Hip Hop, there is a movement of “Gs” that have earned staying power in the NBA. Through their dominance in the regular season and perceived supremacy in the 2013 NBA playoffs, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, and Lebron James are the new Gods of the NBA. One of these ballers will hold up that NBA Finals MVP trophy this June, and it will be with the confidence and swag comparable to a Hip Hop legend Kool G Rap. Who better to explain the characteristics and skill set of these players through than G Rap?
A founding father of a super lyrical rap style, G rap is credited for being one of the lyricist to assemble multisyllabic verses that would eventually influence a lyrical revolution in the rap world through emcees like Nas, Biggie, Big Pun, RZA, and Jay-z. G Rap has been able to recreate himself with the constant redefinition of his “G” status. He expounds with a moniker that allows him to display different perspectives. He identifies himself as “G” “the Genius,” the Gangster,” or “Giancana.” Considering his body of work, it wouldn’t be that far off to add another label to this rhyme-sayer’s identity as “G” this time meaning lyrical god. These four NBA players sit at the top of the 2013 playoffs like gods, and are dropping buckets like G Rap dropped rhymes.
G Rap delivered most of his perspective from the vantage point of Corona, Queens. Corona suffered from the hardships of poverty and crime of the 80’s similar to many other African American communities in New York City at the time. After experiencing a life of crime and hustling, G Rap decided to set his sights on a career that would be more fulfilling. He was determined to use his strength and savvy to incapsulate his hardships into stories he performed, and make money in a less dangerous way. Lebron shares this grit and spirit. Although much of his abilities appear to be natural, his rise from Akron, Ohio captured a skill set that grew from practicing and studying a range of players like Magic, Malone, Jordan, and even Kobe. Although the Heat didn’t finished with the best record in the NBA, Lebron’s presence is intimidating. Most of the NBA rosters have been reshaped to adjust to the super talents of a 6’9” all purpose player. Similar to G Rap’s affect on the rap game, NBA teams have cultivated their style of play around the Heat and Lebron’s assortment of skills.
G Rap redirected his energy and enlisted the help of a neighborhood friend DJ Eric B. G Rap began to receive a lot promotion within his neighborhood, and soon after he developed a relationship with the legendary producer Marley Marl who later introduced him to DJ Polo. These two eventually gelled and formed the group: Kool G Rap and DJ Polo. They later became affiliated with the Juice Crew, and created a dominant rap brotherhood that consisted of Big Daddy Kane, Roxanne Shante, and Biz Markie. Although he made a notable mark in the Juices Crew’s compilation “Symphony,” G Rap separated himself from other rappers after releasing two singles “It’s a Demo” and “I’m Fly.” Kevin Durant used a similar finesse in his career to become one of the most dominant players in the NBA. Although he was always a dominant scorer he didn’t receive much recognition until great changes and additions were made to his team. After his team moved from Seattle to Oklahoma and signed a handful of other talented young players Durant became more noticeable.
Last season OKC didn’t have enough to defeat the Heat in the NBA Finals, and this task may prove to be even more difficult with a knee injury to super guard Russell Westbrook and early season trade of James Harden to the Rockets. Nevertheless, Durant dominance lead the Thunder pass the Rockets in the first round of the playoffs adding to his legacy similar to G Rap’s historic appearance in “Symphony” which highlighted his unique still amongst some of the best rappers of the time.
Although G Rap contributed to artistry of modern lyricism with Big Daddy Kane and Rakim, his flow is one of a kind and easily recognizable. His powerful breath control allowed delivery of a message wrapped in gritty syntax. His rhyme speed is seen in artist such as Big Pun and Biggie. Black Thought recognizes G Rap’s contribution to the rap game and dedicates a verse in G Rap’s style in an effort to pay homage on“Boom” from the album The Tipping Point. Carmelo Anthony knows a thing or two about morphing styles. His spit fire jumps shots and wielding power in the post out matched all his opponents this season as he ran away with the NBA’s scoring title. He appears to be unrelenting everywhere on the court, and aspects of his game are consistently compared to Benard King. However, their are nuances of his game that can’t be compared to any other player in the league now or ever. Melo might go down as the player the brought back the attention to essential elements of basketball while combining superior efficiency in a way G Rap melded together playful perspective of life with years of dynamic lyrical flow.
True To The Game
G Rap has produce eight albums and is currently focused on his ninth, Hustla Bible, set to release some time this year. He has consistently delivered a mesh between hardcore inflections and unique metaphors that places an urban spirit on literary form in songs like Men At Work on The Road To Riches album where he uses the image of a construction site to display those interested the right way to build rap skills is with a foundation from the ground up. Although most of his lyrics may be somewhat guttural at times, he speaks from experience. G Rap has never changed up his voice for profit, and has somehow continued to stay relevant. Chris Paul shares this commitment to what is true. Paul’s game of shake, bake, and escape has lead the Los Angels Clippers to one of the best seasons they’ve ever had. His general-like demeanor directs his talented crew of stars. This may explain why Paul was the first of the new wave of Gs to be eliminated from the playoffs. In the final minutes of game 6 vs. the Memphis Grizzllies Paul was ejected from the game and left his team vulnerable. One might say similarly Hip Hop is without a general like G Rap which explains why many Hip Hop enthusiasts seem to focus more on the art of entertaining rather than lyricism.