I been thinking about doing this list for a couple of months now, ever since a certain Eagles wide receiver dropped a new single featuring Snoop Dogg. And this list pretty much became a foregone conclusion when the Manning Brothers dropped their own (satirical) rap video last month. However, I decided it didn’t make much sense to do it in the summer. Back then, the NFL season seemed so far away that a football list would just make the pain of not having football to watch that much more acute. (Sorry, CFL.)
Now, however, the NFL is back. That means football topics are back on the agenda, and today I can finally bring you this list of NFL players and teams who tried their hands at rapping.
Yes, it is awful. Yes, it is hilarious. And yes, you should check it out right now.
Obviously, we have to kick things off with the first, the original rapping football team—the 1985 Chicago Bears.
The Bears were the Super Bowl favorites that year and would indeed go on to win the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Even before that victory, however, the hype around the team grew to a fever pitch in Chicago, which at the time was a city that had long forgotten what it feels like to win major sports championships. That hype led to this song, recorded and released three months before the Bears' victory over the Patriots in Super Bowl XX.
The "Super Bowl Shuffle" was so popular that it started a major trend in the NFL...
15. 1985 Chicago Bears Super Bowl Shuffle
After their success with the rest of their '85 Bears teammates, the late great Walter Payton and William "Refrigerator" Perry struck out on their own with a little side project in 1986.
Were they any good? At all? Nope. But at least they had a positive message that they state right up front.
14. Walter Payton & Refrigerator Perry
After the "huge success" of the Chicago Bears' "Super Bowl Shuffle," every NFL team wanted to make a rap video. Probably the best one of the bunch—i.e., the one that has the least terrible rapping—came from the 49ers. If you can actually make it past the 40 second instrumental instrumental, you'll discover that running back Roger Craig is actually like a young, DJ Jazzy Jeff-era Will Smith.
13. San Francisco 49ers
The Los Angeles Rams also came out with a rap song and video in 1986. It was called "Ram It," and while is was neither as skillful as the Niners rap nor as hilarious as "Super Bowl Shuffle," it did surpass both in lyrical genius.
"Ram it! Do you knoooow how to Ram it!"
12. Los Angeles Rams
Hey, remember when Los Angeles, the second-biggest city in America, had two NFL teams instead of zero, and both of them made rap videos? Yep, those were the days.
The Raiders song was called "Silver and Black Attack," and yes, that certainly is Hall of Famer and Fox analyst Howie Long. He busts some pretty sweet rhymes, doesn't he?
11. Los Angeles Raiders
Believe it or not, children, once upon a time the Cincinnati Bengals were really good. They even made it to the Super Bowl a couple of times...but lost to the 49ers on both occasions.
Still, the Bengals of the 1980s had some team pride (probably because they weren't all convicted felons), so in 1988, prior to their second loss to the Niners, they recorded a new version of the Bengals' theme song, "Who Dey." It was glorious.
10. Cincinnati Bengals
When the Miami Dolphins decided to get in on the NFL rapping trend, they decided to do something different...by copying someone else.
You see, while all the other rapping NFL teams created original beats and songs, the Dolphins were like, f that, let's just pick the two most popular rap songs of the day and combine them.
The result was this parody (or tribute?) of MC Hammer's "Can't Touch This", mixed with a few lines of "Mama Said Knock You Out" by LL Cool J.
9. Miami Dolphins
The trend of rapping NFL teams died out in the early 90s. Fortunately, today there are still plenty of NFLers trying to make it big as solo acts.
Aaron Maybin is one of these guys. Of course, judging by the fact that he has been released by both the Jets and the Bengals within the last calendar year, I would say Maybin should probably spend more time training and less time making really terrible rap songs. This one is called "Maybin Mayhem," and it is the worst.
8. Aaron Maybin
Up next we have another "free agent" whom nobody seems to want anymore. Brandon Lloyd had a respectable NFL career, recording 385 catches, 5,695 yards, and 35 touchdowns. But now he's over the hill (for a replacement level receiver) at the age of 32.
On the bright side, he'll have more time to focus on his music. This song, "Heavy," was recorded in 2010, and is one of 150 songs he's written. It's not great, but it's not terrible, either.
Now, the next NFL rapper...he is terrible.
7. Brandon Lloyd - Heavy
Yes, the fastest player in the NFL also fancies himself a rapper. Unfortunately, if you can somehow manage to ignore the awful busy "off the hook" beat of this song, "Act on Deck," you'll hear that Johnson is simply terrible at rapping.
6. Chris Johnson
Ahh yes. DeSean Jackson. When we told you about his new song, "Diamonds on My Neck," back in July, we said it wasn't that bad compared to the rap efforts of other athletes, and that is still true. However, I should reiterate that this song is also very not good. You kind of get the feeling that Snoop Dogg is only there to collect a paycheck (which is almost certainly true), and that video is just one giant cliche.
5. DeSean Jackson
Of all the rapping NFL players on this list, Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson is without a doubt the best. The beat is pretty weak, but he's actually solid on the mic.
4. Stevie Johnson
Of course, it was Neon Deion Sanders who really blazed the trail for would-be rapping NFL solo acts. Sure, he was really terrible at rapping, but the man had swagger. This 1994 classic is called "Must Be the Money," in case you want to go buy it on iTunes. (I'm serious. You can buy this song on iTunes.)
3. Deion Sanders
The top two spots on the list? Yep, they're occupied by parody raps, which really are the only kind of raps NFL players should be making.
Up first is the classic Manning Brothers song, "Football on Your Phone."
How is this not number one on the list, you ask? Because Spice Adams. That's how.
2. Peyton & Eli Manning
Rack City by Tyga is possibly the stupidest song of the decade (after anything by Ke$ha) so it was pretty ripe for parody. However, who knew that we would get such an incredible parody from retired DT Anthony "Spice" Adams? The guy was never a major star in the NFL, and he never showed any interest in a rap career while playing. Yet here he is, rapping about ribs on YouTube.