Rap Game & The Ballgame: A Unique Cocktail
In life we have our inseparable combinations, peanut butter & jelly, bees & honey, life & death, and a new one Michael Phelps & gold medals.
But there is one that a lot of people tend to forget about, Music & Sports.
If you’re an athlete, music goes hand and hand with whatever sport you play. You have your pre-game music, in-game music, post game music, and highlight reel music, but the best genre of music that fits and relates to the sports world has to be hip-hop.
Unlike other genres, rap is 90% competition. Hip-Hop's early beginnings in the boroughs of New York with two people battling each other on the mic, seeing who could rock the crowd the best which later transformed into who was the most lyrical. Since the beginnings of rap, we have seen some epic battles between great MCs, Kool Moe Dee vs. LL Cool J, KRS-1 vs. The whole Queens borough, B.I.G vs. Pac, and my favorite, Nas vs. Jay-Z. Nas won the battle of course with Ether but Jay-Z won the war career wise by taking the term “rapper” to a whole new level.
I stopped considering Jay-z as a rapper once I seen him on the cover of Forbes with mega-billionaire Warren Buffet. "Hov" is an entrepreneur and nothing short of it. He has his hands in all types of endeavors, clubs, cognac, clothes, record labels, even video games.
What I am most impressed with is how he is becoming a mogul in the sports world. Jay-Z is minority owner of the Brooklyn Nets and even though he has a “small” share of the team, he has an large influence in the franchise. When Jay-Z purchased shares of the Nets in 2004 with an investment of $1 million, according to Forbes, they were located in New Jersey. Eight years later, Jay-Z has manage to bring the Nets to his home town of Brooklyn and even designed the new jersey and logo, what’s more Hip-hop than that?
Even though he may not have been the major financial piece of the puzzle, his influence played an even major part.
Hov has his eyes set on a new goal, and it doesn’t involve the Nets. Recently, Hov introduced the world to his new sports endeavor, ROC Nation Sports.
RNS will be an agency that will represent the top athletes and they already have a client in Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees. Cano, in his final year of his $57 million contract with the Yankees, fired his agent Scott Boras -- baseball's biggest agent -- to be represented by Jay-Z and ROC Nation Sports.
Think about that.
Cano is a 4-time All-Star and has been the Yankees best player the last four seasons, dropped his agent who is known for getting players big bucks, for an agency that is brand new owned by the greatest "rapper" ever maybe.
Some may say it’s stupid on Cano's end but I beg the differ; everything Hov touches turns to GOLD.
Hov will not be representing Cano directly, ROC Nation Sports partnering with Creative Artist Agency -- already representing various athletes with contracts worth over $1 billion -- but he is certainly on the ROC Nation team. Here is the kicker, in order to get cleared by the MLBPA, and other league's player association, to represent players, Hov must sell his share of the Nets and he announced he will without hesitation.
Some Nets fans have been critical of Hov jumping ship only one season into the Brooklyn era, but to them I would say, be grateful there is a “Brooklyn era” because without him, it wouldn’t be one.
According to the New York Times, only worth Jay-Z shares of the Nets and Barclays Center, will reach a latter value of $2 million dollars.
This is a great move for the rap mogul, already with a strong network of big sports stars across every league such as Lebron James of the NBA and Victor Cruz of the NFL. It's not rare to see Hov courtside at various basketball games, behind home plate at the Yankees playoff games, and even on the Giants’ sideline at Metlife Stadium. In hindsight, it seems that he had this plan sketch out, he was just planting the seeds.
Cano's deal will be big for the ROC Nation creator. In Cano’s 8-year career, he has put up extraordinary numbers, a .308 average, 180 HRs, 1469 hits, and 722 RBIs, still in the prime of his career and arguably the best 2nd baseman in baseball.
The RNS agency will compare Cano’s numbers to the rest of the 2nd basemen in the MLB (and I’m sure he has the best), which will give them leverage to make a team, specifically the Yankees, kick that bread out. Cano is already seeing positives from signing with RNS because today I seen him in a commercial for the first time in his career. I’m not sure if that’s because of Hov but it’s a strong coincidence.
Other players like Lebron and Cruz will be watching how all of this play out because if Hov can get Cano some big bread and endorsement deals, they’ll come flocking to be a ROC Boy.