Kobe Bryant And Kanye West Inspire Our Top Hip-Hop Sports Mashups

By D.L. Chandler

In a battle between two global icons in their own respective realms, rapper/producer Kayne West and NBA superstar Kobe Bryant square off in a new short film from Kobe’s shoe sponsor Nike titled The Black Mamba and the two are joined in the flick by stone-faced actors Bruce Willis and Danny Trejo in the Robert Rodriquez-directed short. Nike leaked two 30-second trailers of the film to the Internet, which shows Kanye playing the role of villain attempting to secure Kobe’s coveted sneakers for himself with the help of some goons.

The pairing of Kobe and Kanye isn’t the first between a music artist and athlete. In fact, it is in a long line of noteworthy cameos and collaborations over the years. Allen Iverson and Jadakiss linked for two commercials for Iverson’s A5 and A6 shoe line from Reebok, and the ball player who toyed with a rap career under the name Jewelz even dropped a few bars alongside the LOX rapper on the A6 spot. Boston Celtic big man Kevin Garnett and another LOX member Styles P joined together for an And 1 commercial back in 2006. Houston rap favorite Scarface was paired with then-Houston Rockets star Steve Francis over a Kayne West produced track.

However, shoe ads aren’t the only place high profile ballers have been paired alongside some of rap’s royalty. Videos have long been a place to witness how closely connected some of the sports world and hip hop’s elite are. Jay-Z’s “D.O.A.” (Death Of Auto-Tune) featured then-Cleveland Cavalier baller LeBron James in glowering fashion in a mock pickup game. Part-time rapper and full-time NBA enforcer Ron Artest showed love to his hometown of Queens by appearing in the QB’s Finest video “The Bridge 2001” featuring some of his hometown housing project Queensbridge’s most infamous figures such as Nas, Mobb Deep, Cormega, and MC Shan among others.

What is your favorite hip-hop sports mashup? Tell us or tweet us at @MTVRapFix.