Making the perfect basketball mixtape is a very delicate process… some
might go as far as calling it an art. Back in the day, I was *always*
responsible for making our basketball mixtapes. In 7th thru 9th grade,
it was as easy as throwing in whatever Jock Jams cd was popular at the
time. Once I got into 10th grade, I bought a "device" that could
"interact" with a little invention called the "recordable cd." Yes… in
10th grade, I learned how to burn cd's on my new cd burner. It was nice
beause you could just go into Napster and type in "radio edit" and I
didn't have to bother manually editing out the cuss words. The only
time our basketball team didn't warm up to a Brent Hanson produced
mixtape at that point was in 11th grade on varsity. The seniors were
classic rock fans so we had to listen to "You Shook Me All Night Long"
and various other songs that should only be played in football locker
rooms and at 20 yeah high school reunions.
Anyways, the secret to a great mixtape is to mix just that. Mix it up a
bit! People don't like hearing the same song over and again. I chose
about 7 songs from my four pre-determined categories. You don't have to
have the same four categories. However, don't expect your tape to be
ultimate like mine…
House of Pain – Jump Around – Everyone knows this tune and I'd be
willing to bet most people love it. It's a good pump up song, plus it's
a crowd pleaser. Who doesn't love a drunken Irish whiteboy rapper?
DJ Kool – Let Me Clear My Throat – The key hear is crowd participation.
When he tells all the brothers in the house to wave their hands if
they've got more than a dollar in their pocket, the peeps just went
nuts. Eh-huh eh-huh…
Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock- It Takes Two – This is a very Jock Jams-era
tune. I could've also choosen Joy & Pain by the same group, but
this tune has more of a basketball feel. Whenever I think of this song,
I think of waking up early to watch Willow Bay look hot and Ahmad
Rashad kiss MJ's butt every Saturday on Inside Stuff.
Onyx – Slam – This is a very basketball song. Partially because it has
the word "Slam" in the title and partially because Onyx is one of the
most underrated pump-up groups of all-time. At halftime of the B-squad
games, I used to always go to the lockerroom and listen to "Throw Ya
Gunz" by Onyx and "Hit Em Up" by 2pac.
Young MC – Bust A Move – All I have to hear is the words "Bust it…" at
the beginning of the song and I'm instantly in a good mood. I think I
still remember the lyrics to the whole song and I usually end up
singing it. I remember being in 2nd grade, going over to a friends
house to play Nintendo and singing "…she's dressed in yellow/she says
hello/come sit next to me, ya fine fellow…" over and over and over
Skee-Lo – I Wish – This is one of those tunes that people who don't
even like rap get into. I honestly challenge you to find a person who
hates this song.
Sugarhill Gang – Apache – Rapper's Delight is their more popular song,
but this is the one that seals the deal for me. Ever since I saw Will
& Carlton dancing to it on the Fresh Prince, I've loved this tune.
Young Gunz – Can't Stop, Won't Stop – This is a laid back song, but it
has a very cool beat. You can't go too many laid back songs in a row,
but a few is alright.
Snoop/Pharrel – Drop It Like It's Hot – Again, this is a laid back
song, but it's one of the hottest rap songs out right now. I've always
been a Snoop fan and I'll admit he's not as good as he used to be, but
this song is still worth of making the mix.
Terror Squad – Lean Back – This one is questionable. It's definitely
overplayed and it's borderline "too old" to be listed as a new song. I
still like it, though, and it'd make my mix. Probably more towards the
end, but it's still on there.
Fabolous – Breathe – This is a slow, but kind of intense song. Again, a
little old, not quite so overplayed. Towards the end of the list, but
Talib Kweli – Going Hard – I kind of like the message of this song.
When I was still playing basketball, I most definitely had a part to
play and I also most definitely did it the harder way and the smarter
TI – Bring Em Out – While most of this song is mostly "hard talk" about
guns and such, I love the beat plus I love the "bring em out… bring em
out" chants in the chours. This one just screams to be included on the
Del the Funkee Homosapien – Catch All This – This is a great basketball
tune that absolutely nobody knows about. It's got a real upbeat sound.
I dunno… I run to this song all time time and it's absolutely great for
running. I always think it'd be a good basketball song, too.
Beastie Boys – Sure Shot – I just love the saying "cuz you can't, you
won't, and you don't stop…" It seems like a very sport-y thing to say.
The beat is nice plus the Beastie Boys really get me going.
Jay-Z – Excuse Me Miss Again – This could almost be filed under the
rock category. Anyways, the remix to the song is a bit harder. Plus,
most young'ns would recognize the lyrics from the ever popular Excuse
Heavy D & Biggie Smalls – Jam Session – People don't know this song
because it was only released on the NBA Jam Session soundtrack. You've
got a Biggie classic verse "Rebounding, Outstanding, no one
surrounding/I'm screwing and doing like I was Ewing/The only one
soaring and scoring is Jordan (Ah heh ah heh)/He must of had his
wheaties this morning" and a surprising classic from Heavy D –
"This time it ain't the shoes, it ain't the shoes, I swear it's me/(Who
that?) The H to the E to the A or Y Vesty/I slam a dunk bunk I make a
funky feel the funk /I don't know what it is but I got blue funk inside
my dunk." Classic…
Lost Tribe Of Boodah – On the Blacktop – This has a very mid-90's (aka
when rap was good!) sound to it. The lyrics aren't bad and it most
definitely has a basketball vibe. This is the second of three warm up
tunes that came of the NBA Jam Session disc.
Wells – Out of Control – Again, this one just screams NBA in the
mid-90's. The song references my boy Dominique Wilkins. How can I not
love a song that references THE single most underrated basketball
player of all time?
Jay-Z/Linkin Park – Jigga What/Faint – I actually was thinking of going
with one of the Jay-Z mash-ups off the Grey Album just because the old
peeps would love hearing a Beatles song, but this one is just too good.
Faint has a great warm-up sound to it, plus Jigga just rides both beats
and makes it an incredible song.
Public Enemy/Anthrax – Bring the Noise – To me, this was the first
rap/rock collabo song that actually worked. I still love this song to
this day. I never really realized the guy from Anthrax actually sang a
verse until I saw I Love the 90's Part Deux a couple weeks ago, though.
Green Day – Longview – This is a great warmup song because it varies
between laid back and very intense. It's old enough that most people
recognize it from somewhere, plus what's not to love about Green Day.
Osymyso – Intro Inspection – This almost isn't even a warmup song. In
case you've never heard it, I added a link. It's from the actual
artist's website, so it's legit. Anyways, it features at least 200
songs that I can recognize. It would be a great song to put on about 45
minutes before the game for shootaround.
N.E.R.D. – Jump – This is almost not a rock song. In fact, it's
probably not, but it's close enough. I love the "jump" chants in the
chorus. This would be another great song to play during shoot around
just because it's kind of a fun song.
Bubba Sparxx – Back in the Mud – Madden fans will remember this song. It's another tune that could be
a rap song. It's got a real uptempo rock sound, but it still has a bit of Timberland in it.
Beastie Boys – No Sleep Til Brooklyn – This is almost old enough to be
a classic. It's got that rock beat with the Beasties rhyming over it.
Anyone who thinks this wouldn't be a great warmup song is a certifiable
If you're out on your bike tonight, do wear white,