NBA Hip Hop Lyric of the Week: Jay Z, Game 6

Image courtesy of Daniele Dalledonne/Flickr.

Image courtesy of Daniele Dalledonne/Flickr.

Considering Jay and ‘Ye once played “Ni**as In Parisa dozen times at a single show during the Watch the Throne tour, we thought they might be a little hurt if we didn’t include it on the list. Aside from the catchy as hell “ball so hard” refrain, which you’ve undoubtedly whispered to yourself after hitting a jumper, this triple-platinum hit also features the memorable Jay Z line:

“Psycho, I’m liable to go Michael / take your pick, Jackson, Tyson, Jordan Game 6.”

As we all know, Jay is referring to Game 6 of the 1998 Utah Jazz-Chicago Bulls NBA Finals, in which Jordan drained the iconic (burned into your brain by Gatorade commercials) game-winning shot over Bryon Russell to his secure his sixth and final ring.* What you may not know, however, is that this line is actually a nod to Biggie, who recorded a similar line on P-Diddy’s 1998 single “Victory”:

“Real sick, raw nights, I perform like Mike / Anyone—Tyson, Jordan, Jackson.”

This is one of many instances in which Jay has appropriated his big brother’s lyrics and, unsurprisingly, his practice has divided some hip-hop fans. But whether you side with the “Jay Z’s a biter” crowd or “Jay Z’s a writer” crowd, the one thing that’s clear is that the guy definitely knows his basketball history.

Keep Cano in pinstripes!

*My theory, although not proven, holds that this line may actually be a prediction for the 2013-14 NBA Finals, in which the New York Knicks (Tyson Chandler) will defeat the Golden State Warriors (Mark Jackson, Jordan Crawford) in six games.

A man can dream….

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Nick Greenberg

Nick Greenberg is a writer from New York City.

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