The game of basketball and hip-hop are intertwined by roots that come from the streets and the raw energy they both give off. With the NBA All-Star weekend in town, many hip-hop heavyweights are expected to be in Houston and hip-hop is the genre of choice for most of the Rockets to get hyped up to.
NBA stars, just like rappers, have that larger-than-life mentality with some having a little bit of swagger as well, and the mass appeal of hip-hop culture to hoops stretches all around the globe. Donatas Motiejunas,a 7’0 Lithuanian center, is a big fan of new generation American hip-hop. Motiejunas listens to artists like Kanye West, Lil’ Wayne and 2 Chainz.
“(Hip-hop) songs just have really good meanings (and) are just nice to listen to,” said Motiejunas.
Some of Patrick Patterson’s favorites are Meek Mill, Ludacris, J. Cole and Drake, but he also likes to mix things up with some rock.
“I can even take it out of the hip-hop range with Korn, Nickleback and Limp Bizkit,” Patterson said.
Marcus Morris is a self-professed “low-key type of guy” and his pre-game ritual usually includes calling his mother and grandmother. But when it comes to music he looks to his hometown of Philadelphia.
“For music, I go to Meek Mill, “Morris said. “ He gets me going and he’s from the same city as me, so that helps me out.”
Music in general is a great tool to hype up athletes before the adrenaline rush of the actual game. While most like hip-hop as the default jam before the big game, some take a mellower route. James Anderson likes a “little bit of everything” and sometimes listens to gospel and R&B to chill out, which is all reflective of his mood.
“Slow jams relax my mind a little bit, “Anderson said. “ It just depends on the day or time with me.”
Most of the Rockets gravitate to hip-hop, while some mix it up with rock and R&B here and there, but one player opts for another option. Patrick Beverly is in the minority when it comes to pre-game music, because he does something entirely different to get his mind right.
“ I don’t listen to music before the game,” Beverly said. “ For me as a point guard, you are trying to do the Xs and Os and all that bang-bang stuff. All that music would probably mess me up and I wouldn’t think straight if I went out there.”