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10 Worst Rappers in NBA History

Listen to hilarious verses from Shaq, Kobe, A.I. and more

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The long, troubled story of athletes trying to rap began with the Chicago Bears' 1985 classic "The Super Bowl Shuffle," but it really took off in the NBA. Not every baller is bad at rapping – some serious offenders keep quiet about their dismal lyrical prowess, while others rep their bad raps at any opportunity. Here's a rundown of the ten worst rappers in the history of professional basketball. —Jon Dolan

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Troy Hudson

The short, dreadlocked point guard's 2007 album Undrafted was a Southern rap affair that came out just as his NBA career was hitting the skids. Joined by Project Pat and Juicy on the album's single "Gangsta," he waves his "verbal 44" right up in your face with lines like, "I can teach it if you want it dog / I'm a gangsta and my only flaws really don't exist." Indeed, his flaws barely existed: Undrafted sold only 78 copies.

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Steve Francis

After being named the NBA's Rookie of the Year in 2000, Steve "Franchise" bounced from Houston to Orlando to New York before landing in the Chinese Basketball Association. With his hoops career fading, he started his own record label, Mazerati Music, and released the 2012 single "Finer Things," a no-talent ode to his lavish lifestyle featuring flat vocals that make Ja Rule look like Kendrick Lamar. Francis' rap career isn't going anywhere, but his music-related bad luck has continued apace; recently, fellow NBA journeyman Stephen Jackson choked him during an altercation in a club.

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Delonte West

There's a pathos to Delonte West's career that makes ridiculing his unlistenable music kind of depressing. West, who suffers from bipolar disorder, was traded off the LeBron-era Cleveland Cavaliers when rumors spread that he was having an affair with the King's mom, and off-court problems (including a 2009 gun possession charge) have marred his journeyman slide from Minnesota to Boston to Dallas to the D-League. In 2011, he recorded Lockout: The Album. You can preview it here, and if you can make it through the whole thing, we'll award you a purple heart for hip-hop soldiering.

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Ron Artest

While most jock-rap music careers seem like half-ass larks, Ron "Meta World Peace" Artest has always pursued music success with an embarrassing determination. He's tried his hand at artist management (the female R&B trio Allure) and record label ownership (his self-started imprint Tru Warrior) – he even applied for a job at Circuit City during his rookie season with the Bulls to take advantage of the employee discount. But if Artest's obsession often suggests a kind of rock-critic-y autism (upon joining the Lakers in 2009, he chose the #37 because it was the number of weeks Thriller stayed at number one), his actual music does not suggest talent. Check "Get Lo," the single from his 2006 album My World, where the Queensbridge, New York native presents his gangsta bona fides by bragging about how many technical fouls he's been hit with in his career, or "Haters," where he lashes out at the NBA commissioner himself: "David Stern! Damn, David Stern / I gotta teach you bout the ghetto there's some things you should learn." Ron Artest, edutainer extraordinaire.

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Charles Barkley

Sir Charles was a dominating player, but as a rapper, he's so bad it's kind of incredible. The fact that his only attempt at rapping is a Taco Bell ad suggests he clearly didn't care about being good at it, which is gangsta. But, still, wow: Championing the Bell's Five Buck Box, he rhymes, "The 5 buck box, it rocks, it rocks, It rocks for a meal with locks and locks, It rocks for a jock, It rocks for a fox, It rocks blockin' shots on guys with dreadlocks. What comes in this box, this box that rocks," a dry joyless drone that sounds like he's reading his kid a Dr. Seuss book and trying to make it just unlyrical enough that the kid will finally fall the fuck to sleep so Charles can go downstairs and have a beer. Such realism is often hard to find in even the realest hip-hop.