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Worst Songs by Professional Athletes

Music, Sports | By The Top 13 on March 22, 2010

Last week, pound-for-pound boxing champ Manny Pacquiao was forced to cancel a concert planned for Hawaii because of meager ticket sales. Pacquiao's bizarre foray into singing isn't surprising; for years, star athletes have tried to make it in the music business. While most are unsuccessful, some of the failures have been spectacular. Pacquiao is said to be readying his debut U.S. album. To tide you over while you wait for that guaranteed masterpiece, we took a look at the many songs released by professional athletes. We ranked the songs based on a combination of just how bad the music is and just how good the athlete is. In other words, number one should be the worst song by the best athlete. Also, we only considered songs from athletes who released, or at least had plans to release, a full album. Without further ado, here are the Top 13 Worst Songs by Professional Athletes.

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Carl Lewis - Break It Up

1

Carl Lewis - Break It Up

1987

In between winning four gold medals at the 1984 Olympics and two more in Seoul four years later, Lewis - with his band as Carl Lewis and the Electric Storm - released this masterpiece. The only thing as embarrassing as this reggae infused track is the accompanying video, which shows Sports Illustrated's Olympian of the Century hitting the weight room and puzzlingly carousing with a bubble blowing elderly woman. Though Lewis later scrapped plans to record a full album, he has had roles in several movies since retiring from track and field.

Deion Sanders - Must Be the Money

2

Deion Sanders - Must Be the Money

1994

A six-time All-Pro selection in the NFL, Sanders was a dominant cornerback and kick returner. As a Major League baseball player, he was a better than serviceable outfielder with blazing speed. So perhaps we shouldn't blame Neon Deion for thinking he could make it in the music business, too. In 1994, Sanders' buddy MC Hammer released the two-sport star's self-indulgent debut album Prime Time on his Capitol Records imprint. The cheesy, new jack-tinged "Must Be the Money" was the album's first and, thankfully, last single.

Kobe Bryant - K.O.B.E.

3

Kobe Bryant - K.O.B.E.

2000

We want you to know that Kobe lives for "basketball, beats and broads," and that "from Italy to the U.S., yes, it's raw." What we can't tell you is why Kobe, just as he was turning into one of the NBA's best players, felt the need to record a hip hop album. Fortunately for us, he decided not to release the full album, but we were treated to a couple of leaked songs, including "K.O.B.E.," which features a hook from Tyra Banks and Kobe's terribly awkward rhymes about his search for a woman he can trust.

Roy Jones, Jr. - Ya'll Must've Forgot

4

Roy Jones, Jr. - Ya'll Must've Forgot

2001

At the time Jones released his debut single in 2001, he was the undisputed light heavyweight champion, a fixture on HBO, and, by nearly all accounts, the pound-for-pound best boxer in the world. Nevertheless, Jones thought we all needed a reminder, and he gave us one with "Y'all Must've Forgot." This absurd hip hop track, in which Jones simply raps about the ways in which he won his biggest fights ("Stopped Virgil Hill with a body shot / Y'all must've forgot"), was included on the first of Jones' two completely forgettable albums, both released by his own record label.

Chris Webber - 2 Much Drama

5

Chris Webber - 2 Much Drama

1999

Webber raps like he has marbles in his mouth on this track from his debut album of the same name, released without much notice in 1999. The biggest problem with this song, though, is that it's hard for most people to relate to Webber. A member of the vaunted Michigan Fab Five and one of the best passing forwards in NBA history, Webber's made millions and dated starlets like Tyra Banks. So when he raps about people judging him and all the drama in his life, it doesn't resonate. Plus, the lyrics are full of hip hop clichés ("It's like I'm fighting life with a gun with no clip"). Now, you can pick up this album for just $0.01 on Amazon.

Manny Pacquiao - Sometimes When We Touch

6

Manny Pacquiao - Sometimes When We Touch

2009

The second of three boxers on this Top 13, we'd like to believe that Pac-Man's foray into the music business was tongue-in-cheek. Unfortunately, we know otherwise; the current boxing pound-for-pound king has two platinum albums in his native Philippines and he’s said to be working on an English album for release in the U.S. In the meantime, Pacquiao has taken to mangling various cover songs, as he did in Las Vegas earlier this month after his last fight, and as he has done several times on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, including in the painful video below.

Allen Iverson - 40 Bars

7

Allen Iverson - 40 Bars

2001

It's no surprise that the player most responsible for bringing the hip hop lifestyle to the NBA has himself dabbled in rap music. Under the moniker Jewels, Iverson recorded an album and released this single, which sounds like an ill-conceived Mobb Deep rip-off (even if Iverson has a far better flow than Kobe or Webber). The song's violent and homophobic lyrics ("Come to me with faggot tendencies / You'll be sleepin' where the maggots be") led to pressure from NBA commissioner David Stern, and Iverson ultimately shelved the project.

Tony Parker - Balance-toi

8

Tony Parker - Balance-toi

2007

This dance/hip hop song off Parker's eponymous debut album was a serious hit on French music charts when it was released in 2007, hitting number one and lingering in the top 10 for a month. Though we really can't tell you what Parker is rapping about, the Spurs point guard projects a smoother and harder image than you might expect. Nevertheless, the mere presence of the little boy on the chorus and in the derivative club video makes "Balance-toi" pretty amusing. Look out for a cameo in the video from Parker's wife, Eva Longoria.

Bob and Mike Bryan - Autograph

9

Bob and Mike Bryan - Autograph

2009

Though Bob and Mike Bryan might not be as well known as some of the names on this Top 13, they are most definitely highly successful athletes; these identical twins make up the number one ranked doubles team in tennis. This upbeat song about signing autographs - from their 2009 debut album Let it Rip - features a falsetto chorus by the brothers and awkward guest rap verses from top singles players Novak Djokovic (who calls himself "the Joker") and Andy Murray that really couldn't be worse.

Ron Artest - Fever

10

Ron Artest - Fever

2006

Artest, best known as an instigator of the Pistons-Pacers 2004 brawl and one of the fiercest defensive players in the NBA, grew up in Queensbridge, home to rappers like Nas and Mobb Deep. So while basketball was his first love, he had long indicated that hip hop was a close second. After forming his own record label, TruWarier, Artest released My World in 2006. Though Artest's flow could be far worse, this single and its accompanying video offer a fairly flat take on the braggadocio and materialism that's unfortunately all-to-common in hip hop.

Oscar De La Hoya - Run to Me

11

Oscar De La Hoya - Run to Me

2000

The third and final boxer on this Top 13, Oscar De La Hoya – like Jones and Pacquiao – was among the very best fighters around. But also like the other boxers on this list, De La Hoya's music chops leave much to be desired. Though his 2000 Latin pop eponymous debut album was actually nominated for a Grammy, the thirteen love songs (in both English and Spanish) couldn't be any cheesier, as demonstrated by "Run to Me," which was originally recorded by the pre-disco Bee Gees. And De La Hoya did nothing to help his pretty boy image with the accompanying video below.

Bronson Arroyo - Slide

12

Bronson Arroyo - Slide

2005

Arroyo, now a pitcher on the Cincinnati Reds, released his debut album Covering the Bases in 2005 to capitalize on the Red Sox first World Series win in decades. The former cornrowed BoSox hurler's album is nothing more than a collection of bar band caliber covers of songs from grunge bands like Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam and radio rock bands such as Vertical Horizon, Incubus, and, yes, the Goo Goo Dolls. Demonstrating his musical abilities, Arroyo actually performs the Goo Goo Dolls' "Slide" twice in the video below after he messes it up the first time.

Shaquille O'Neal - (I Know I Got) Skillz

13

Shaquille O'Neal - (I Know I Got) Skillz

1993

Unlike most of the athletes on this Top 13, Shaq, who also might be the biggest star on this list, can actually rap. Indeed, the four-time NBA champion has released five albums, including his platinum debut Shaq Diesel that spawned this single, his only Billboard top 40 hit. Still, watching the 7'1'' giant rap always seems a bit absurd. "(I Know I Got) Skillz" is standard Shaq, featuring his typical tongue twisters and braggadocio. Though his albums have received some critical acclaim, Shaq's best known rap these days is this hysterical Kobe diss rhyme.

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Comments Leave a comment

KungFuJay ★★

I will assume you didn't include "Grab Them Cakes" because it is actually an amazing song.

8:22 AM   Mar 22, 2010

TheTop13 

We're saving it for the Top 13 BEST Songs by Professional Wrestlers list.

8:25 AM   Mar 22, 2010

KungFuJay ★★

Then it better be #1.

10:25 AM   Mar 22, 2010

eeezoe 

Is that Grace Jones in the Carl Lewis video or does he just look like her??

12:41 PM   Mar 22, 2010

brian 

I thought the same thing when I first saw it. Sadly, it is him.

12:47 PM   Mar 22, 2010

PulpAffliction ★★

Oh, man. He looks JUST like Grace Jones in that video. Wow.

2:08 PM   Mar 22, 2010

PulpAffliction ★★

You should have included the fact that Pacquiao is currently running for office (and will probably win) in the Philippines. Because that makes it even better.

2:10 PM   Mar 22, 2010

johndoeaa 

Where's Hulk Hogan on this?

7:09 PM   Mar 23, 2010

tloveisready ★★

Oh man, that carl lewis video is Priceless

6:25 AM   Mar 26, 2010

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