Ever wonder who your favorite rapper’s NFL counterpart might be? Is Jay Z the Tom Brady of rap? Or is he more like Peyton Manning? Has anyone gone more Beast Mode than Drake over the past year and change? Or is Odell Beckham, Jr. a better comparison? As the 2016 NFL Draft approaches and teams prepare to (hopefully) land a franchise saving superstar, DX contributor Jake Crates takes a stab at matching Hip Hop heavyweights with titans of the gridiron. Feel free to comment and add your comparisons below. This was all in fun, no harm no flag.
Wiz Khalifa & Antonio Brown
Both Wiz Khalifa and Antonio Brown are leading their respective squads while they rep the ‘Burgh. This season Antonio went off for almost 300 yards and Wiz went big with Cabin Fever 3 and a billion and a half views on Youtube. Both guys clearly had zero problems putting up numbers. Off all of the positions on the field, wide receiver makes the most sense for Wiz Khalifa. He’s tall, wiry, quick to get lifted…er…lifts-off quickly. Snagging one-handed grabs in the corner of the end zone would be as easy as rolling an ez-wider.
Slim Jesus & Colin Kaepernick
Watching these two in 2015 was like watching a car wreck full of car wrecks. At times it seemed as if both Kap and Slim Jesus led their respective leagues in awfulness while simultaneously languishing in controversy. Kap got benched midseason and probably won’t make it through draft weekend as a San Francisco 49er. Slim Jesus got meme’d to death, mistaken for Game of Thrones’ putrid King Joffrey and had his mic snatched while performing “Drill Time” in Canada. Both came 40 yards short of earning respect last season. Unless they make major changes in 2016, both may be sitting on their 14th minute of fame.
Chief Keef & Jay Cutler
Sosa and Cutler both rep the Windy City and have had inconsistent careers. From getting dropped by Interscope to signing a reported seven album 360 deal with FilmOnTV then having his BMW repossessed by FilmOn capo, Alki David, Chief Keef has all of Chicago (and the Internet) questioning his decision making. Jay Cutler has been levied with similar criticism since entering the NFL. Sure, he put up a 92.3 QB rating last year, the best of his career. He also lead his squad to a tubular 6-10 record and another missed postseason. If these two could ever put it all together (or in Keef’s case, hold it all together), sky is truly the limit.
The Game & Steve Smith, Sr.
Few come more controversial than The Game and Steve Smith, Sr. They are both easily incite reaction. Neither feels the need to turn down the opportunity to enjoy a good conflict. They both assembled super scrappy careers. Both are Hall of Fame talents without question while repping L.A. to the fullest; both give back to their communities in major ways. And neither are afraid to fight a teammate. We’re looking at you Ken Lucas… and 40 Glocc.
Kanye West & Tom Brady
Yeezy and T. Breezy make history every season. But their influence supersedes simply balling and rhyming. Both ooze style and left indelible imprints in the world of fashion. With all the GQ covers Brady has graced, he has got to be the most fashionable quarterback in the league. How much their fashionista counterparts have juiced their careers is still TBD, but neither are afraid to be hated. Despite his greatness, Brady’s reputation has been marred by “Deflate Gate” and “Spy Gate,” much like Ye’s Taylor Swift hijack and his frequent, now expected, public tantrums. Much of the messiness falls to the wayside when considering the pile of hardware each has amassed in the new millennium. As far as rings and trophies, these guys sit at the top of the heap. GRAMMYs and Super Bowl Rings, MVP’s and AMAs and Billboard Awards—few are more decorated than these two pillars of success.
Jay Z & Peyton Manning
People said Peyton Manning couldn’t put up numbers at age 38. But as Jay Z’s old adage goes, 30 is the new 20. Manning’s rivalry with Tom Brady is akin to Hov and Ye’s competitiveness. Both redefined their position while leading the league longer than most to come before them. And if you’re looking for the perfect corporate pitchman, where else do you turn? Peyton somehow made insurance commercials cool, just like Jay Z was critical in positioning Samsung ahead of the iPhone. This one was tough but still the right fit.
Master P & Drew Brees
If New Orleans could somehow start its own currency, Master P and Drew Brees would each grace their own bill. P’s pinnacle is a marvel in music history, he’s NO all day and he clearly knows how to run a team having sold over 75 million records. His raucous “Make Em Say Uh” chants still hype crowds on command and Drew Brees pre-game chants hyped to Saints to a Super Bowl ring. You don’t think of New Orleans without either of these guys. Drew Brees brought home the gold, and we can say that Master P has earned his share of ice over the years, just take a look at all those Pen & Pixel No Limit covers.
Puff Daddy & Eli Manning
These two long-time NYC representers have both lead their respective teams to “Victory” (pun intended) at unexpected times. Manning has two championships championships despite a penchant for tossing interceptions. Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz and Odell Beckham, Jr. have been his top targets throughout his career, sure. But largely, Peyton’s younger brother accomplished major wins with less than major wideouts. Diddy delivered Biggie to the world, along with Ma$e, 112 (and several other Golden Era standouts) and recently MGK and French Montana have kept the movement progressing. But largely his success has come through a host of unpopular players and yet somehow he still wins. Puffy and Manning both have a knack for willing their teams to victory, against all odds.
Dave East & Odell Beckham Jr.
There hasn’t been a bigger breakout star out of NYC in recent years than Dave East. There arguably hasn’t been a bigger breakout wide out in recent years than Odell Beckham Jr. We’ve been astounded by unbelievable snags and boundless bars from both of these new wave warriors. Who could forget ODB’s “the catch?” Who could forget those Sway in the Morning and Funk Flex Freestyle where Dave East blacked out and massacred the mic. Both swim in a sea of hope pouring out of the big city.
Drake & Marshawn Lynch
Drizzy bulked up for Summer 16. Over the past 18 months, he’s seemed to live in a perpetual “Beast Mode.” Coupled with his well-documented love for The Bay, Marshawn Lynch is the perfect parallel. Marshawn is widely popular, but he only speaks when he wants, just like Drake who stayed away from the media throughout the Meek Mill beef while still dominating Billboard charts all year. Apparently his Seahawks fandom was revealed during a recent visit to the team’s practice facility. “I’m such a fan—Golden (Tate), (Marshawn) Lynch, (Richard) Sherman and obviously Russ (Wilson), he said according to Seahawks.com. “So it’s just so great to come out and see them in person, especially at practice.”