Lakers Rap Review: Lonzo Ball’s “Born 2 Ball” underwhelms

What’s up, everybody! A lot of things have changed since I last wrote here: the national pride of the Philippines is now stuck in Cleveland, Magic Johnson got fined for tampering for the seventh time, and I am finally taller than someone on the Lakers.

If you haven’t seen it, I wrote about the Lakers and how a few of their players have attempted rapping. Shaq was great at it. Kobe wore a leopard print hat and was in a Destiny’s Child song. But we have a new development: Lonzo Ball released his rap album!

As Lakers Outsiders’ resident rap expert (we really need to diversify), I’m going to delve into the inner machinations of this album and talk about how none of it really works. I would say this is in jest (and if any of BBB rep reads this, then it definitely is) but I listened to this and four songs in I got a headache. (Editor’s Note: I can confirm. He texted me at 10 P.M. to let me know.)

After 30 minutes I decided to just take a walk around the block at 11 P.M. to just think about my life choices and what I ever did to deserve this.

Ready for some hateration and holleration in this dancery? (I have no idea what MJB meant when she said this and it still keeps me up at night). Let’s get into it.

First and foremost: this sounds like a mixtape your uber driver would play when you say you’re into rap and then gives you his Soundcloud after the ride is over.

Actually, another thing before we get into the content:

They. Photoshopped. A. BBB. Crayon. Onto. The. Album Cover.

I’m not going to get into all of the songs just due to the fact that I might end up with an aneurysm by the end of it. Also, it’s 17 tracks. In this economy? Give me like 12 and make it 40 minutes and I’ll be happy.

GRIND MODE

The first song, “Grind Mode” is the song version of every Instagram caption that every student-athlete has ever posted.

“You sleep 😴 😤 while i stay woke 💯 on my 💪🏼 grind. Romans⚔️ 25:13”

It’s standard “I have more money than you” rap but he says grind mode every 4 seconds or so.

Get to the bag, get to the paper
Get to the money (grind mode)
Get to the cash, I’ll see you later
Come in and run it (grind mode)
I get the bag, I get the paper
I get the money (grind mode)
I know that she fine, but a dollar worth more than a dime
I’m in (grind mode)

Zo also has a line where he says:

Diamonds too bright
Lookin like Sunny Delight

and I really wish he paid for a ghostwriter. It’s not even the worst part of the verse. He ends it with:

Out of my prime but I shine, Optimus Prime

The beat isn’t per se much to make a big deal about. It’s standard 2018 rap affair. Based on the energy and charisma he showed on Lip Sync Battle, I can imagine Zo standing stationary in the studio just muttering all the lyrics in the microphone while Lavar’s in the other room jumping around all uncoordinatedly like he always does.

PUTTIN’ IN WORK

I don’t know who Kenneth Paige or DC the Don is but one of them is trying their hardest to be Young Thug.  And another one is trying their hardest to be Lloyd. Unless it’s one of them trying their hardest to be a Lloyd AND Young Thug. Which is weird cause honestly if you’re going to emulate one of those people it’s gotta be Young Thug.

One of those two guys beat up a New Zealander at a playground and the other is Young Thug. Did you know that Young Thug doesn’t really eat much? On the third of every month, a doctor shows up to his spot and injects him with vitamins. He’s fascinating.

I’m doing everything I can to make sure I don’t have to talk about this album anymore.

Anyway, my main take away from this song is that whatever the title of each song from this album is going to be said an insane amount of times.

Everybody want the fame
They don’t wanna put in work
Everybody want a name
They don’t wanna put in work
Everybody sound the same
They don’t really put in work
We out here chasin’ them B’s
We out her puttin’ in work
Everybody want the fame
They don’t wanna put in work
Everybody want a name
They don’t wanna put in work
Everybody sound the same
They don’t really put in work
We out here chasin’ them B’s
We out her puttin’ in work

He says a variation of “put in work” eight times in a chorus. The chorus happens four times in the song.

By my math, that’s 32, which is about how many undeserved points Donovan Mitchell got at the dunk contest.

SUPER SAIYAN

Here is what Genius has to say about this track:

NBA Point Guard and Los Angeles Lakers’ rookie Lonzo Ball drops a track flexing his ability to turn up in an instant, just like a Super Saiyan does.

As an avid Dragonball Z fan (don’t talk to me about GT), I take offense to this. Do you know how hard it is to become a Super Saiyan? It took the death of one of Goku’s best friends for him to accomplish that form. Trunks went Super Saiyan after Gohan died fighting Androids 17 and 18.  How DARE you, Genius. You don’t know the struggle. YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT IT TAKES.

It would be nice for him to be able to turn up and rattle in points when the Lakers are only down single digits instead of trying to throw an outlet to Brook Lopez whose stride resembles that of an injured gazelle more than an actual basketball player.

At this point, I picked this up after listening to the album in full five times in total and I honestly have lost the same amount of brain cells as Kobe has missed shots.

BBB

So remember when I said he just picks the thing he says the most and makes that the title of the song? Lonzo says BBB 12 times.

I thought the Optimus prime line was going to be the low of this album and I thought “oh cool it won’t get worse than that”. I was wrong.

The brand is Popeye’s, but I never eat spinach

I cannot settle, I’m triple B General
Look to the left, you’ll see Lieutenant Gelo
Further in sight, and you’ll spot Major Melo
Big Ballers on me, and I like commando
We ready for war, and we ready for battle

^ I find this completely insensitive and offensive to the #Troops

Oh and here’s the kicker:

The booth is my kingdom, I feel like a lion
I’m killing these beats, I’m promoting the violence

I don’t know why my mind works like this but I immediately thought about how Chief Keef was promoting an album and said that it would raise the murder rate.

Don’t be violent. Also, don’t listen to this album.

LAVAR

Everyone’s favorite heel is the subject matter of this song. It’s very reminiscent of a slower Drake track. Had the same effect as a slower Drake on me as well. It’s really corny is what I’m saying. (Editor’s Note: God’s Plan is a banger though).

The track opens up with audio of Lavar’s “speak it into existence” rant about Lonzo going to the Lakers. This song is one-third “I love my family,” one-third “please buy BBB gear” and one-third really stupid bars.

Pops workin’ every week, doin’ different shows
Firin’ up the fans, firin’ up the foes
They’re just a bunch of candles

A. Bunch. Of. Candles.

And there’s another part of the first verse which is the most privileged line I’ve ever heard.

My brother sixteen in a Lambo
The other one shootin’ but ain’t trappin’ out the bando
He ain’t sell no white, pushin’ magic like Orlando
He just shoot the rock like he skippin’ in some shallows

“Anyway, here are words I’ve heard in rap songs but also let’s remind these broke bois we’re rich as hell”

VERDICT

I hate this album.

CONCLUSION

I’m all for athletes putting out music. Shaq put out some good stuff in the 90’s. Damian Lillard puts out a mixtape anytime anyone says he’s not a top three point guard. Victor Oladipo can sing. That dude has pipes. Check out his EP. It’s seven songs. 2 Chainz is on a track.

Kuzma makes a good point here. He is essentially a Kidz Bop rapper – if you needed a Kidz Bop rendition of a Migos song. There’s not an ounce of originality in this at all. Which is probably my biggest gripe about this album in the first place.

The rap genre is currently plagued by rappers trying their hardest to sound like they’re from Atlanta. This is gonna be an album that’ll be a footnote in Lonzo’s career cause it literally sounds like everything else out there.

There’s a lot of good music out there. Just don’t settle for this cause he plays on your favorite basketball team. I don’t know. Go out and listen to a car alarm for 54 minutes. It probably has more rhythm than Lonzo does.

 

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