By December 30, 2014June 18th, 2018No Comments


As the Bacon Sports resident rap guru, I feel obligated to weigh in on the Inside the NBA rap cypher that went down two weeks ago. Special guest Nicki Minaj and the crew of commentators passed the mic trading freestyles. Here is a break down of the good, the bad, and the atrocious from what hopefully becomes a recurring segment. And for the record, I’d take Bacon Sports freestyle specialist G-Hunt over any of them.



The Good

Shaq Diesel’s still got it. He delivered an energized freestyle that stole the show and affirmed his spot at the top of our Raplete Rankings. The only thing missing was a Kobe dis. Also worth noting, Shaq made a reference to himself being like Notorious B.I.G., which matches the Rapper Comparison that we attributed to him.

The surprise of the night was the participation of Ernie Johnson. After agreeing only to watch, EJ played the closer role spitting the final four bars. Sure, his freestyle sounded a bit like Barney in this Fruity Pebbles commercial, but that mic drop was hardcore.


The Bad

Kenny Smith kicked things off with some rhymes and a style that sounded a little dated. I know Inside the NBA is a basketball show and Kurtis Blow is known for his hit Basketball, but that doesn’t mean you have to rap like him in 2014. That said, Kenny kept on beat and was truly freestyling off the cuff.

Nicki Minaj is supposed to be the professional here, but when held to that standard, her freestyle kind of sucked. Then again, I’ve heard her music, so I had low expectations. First of all, hers was acapella, which makes any freestyle easier. The “Spur of the moment” phrase and Ginobili reference would have been hot if it were actually in the spur of the moment and not a repeated line. She did finish strong with this couplet, so it wasn’t a total loss:

I give zero F’s, ain’t got no chill / And I’m ridin’ the bassline like ‘Quille O’Neal

The Atrocious

Some of the best rappers are not good freestylers yet can write some of the most thought-provoking verses littered with word-play and punch lines that will make the listeners head spin. When G-Hill pulled out the piece of paper, I didn’t like it, but I was willing to let it slide if he came with a strong verse. But that is the best you could come up with? C’mon man! Not to mention the fact he couldn’t even stay on beat. Couldn’t they have done this on a day when C-Webb was on instead of G-Hill? Also, to leave Sir Charles out of this was a bit of a crime. I imagine it would have been something like this:

I’m world class, I’m world renowned / Like Nicki’s ass, they call me Round Mound
G-Hill’s raps are unbearable / The rest of you clowns are just turrible

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Jim Gruseck

Jim Gruseck

Jim is a life-long hoops junkie and fan of Pittsburgh sports. He can still be found in the Steel City pursuing creative endeavors in writing and music, when he's not traveling the world or stacking donkeys at the poker tables.