Jay Z’s sports ties are extensive. He has been a pioneer of meshing sport and Hip Hop cultures, from the jersey trend to opening his own Roc Nation sports agency.
ESPN took the time to count all of Hov’s athlete namedrops throughout his nearly 20-year career. The list spans 15 projects and says the Brooklyn rapper has named 79 athletes. Upon further review, HipHopDX counted 80 references on the list.
“Jay Z has name dropped more athlete names than any SportsCenter anchor on a good night,” the article says.
Michael Jordan is referenced 14 times, the most of any athlete. Basketball is the most represented sport, including name drops of Philadelphia 76ers guard Allen Iverson, Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James, Boston Celtics center Bill Russell and Los Angeles Lakers guard Magic Johnson.
Jay Z includes the usual football and baseball players including Deion Sanders and Ken Griffey, Jr. and plenty of boxers. Mike Tyson is referenced four times and Muhammad Ali is also mentioned four times including his given name, Cassius Clay.
Jay Z also names athletes from less prominent sports, such as golf (Tiger Woods) and Formula 1 (driver Michael Schumacher).
The album with the most sports references is Watch The Throne, a collaboration with Kanye West. Eleven athletes are named on that album.
On “Crown,” from his most recent album Magna Carta Holy Grail, Jay Z gives a shoutout to two of his Roc Nation Sports clients, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant and Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano.
For additional Jay Z coverage, watch the following DX Daily: