We often look at stars of the hip-hop scene past and present and think they appear to have it all. They are lyrical geniuses, savvy business people, promoters, and have a great way of communicating with everyone from the press to fans. Some names from our favorite music genre have been truly blessed, touched by the heavens, and given a gift to bring joy to the world through music. But as anyone with even the slightest interest in hip-hop and the music business knows, that’s only half the story.

When you buy your favorite artist’s latest song release or purchase a ticket to see them live in concert at a major venue that was sold out in seconds by an adoring audience, you see only the tip of the iceberg. When they perform under the bright lights, that’s the result of years of hard work, dedication, sacrifice, and more than a few knocks along the way. Performing before a global audience and attracting plaudits is the payment for a life of commitment to their craft, similar to what you might see with an NFL player, professional boxer, or NBA legend.

Musicians share many similarities with talented athletes and even the best-performing teams. You can even wager on your chosen hip-hop personality to clean up at an awards ceremony, just like you’d back an NFL team to win the Super Bowl. Check the best sportsbook reviews to find an app that covers music betting and supports your favorites using your smartphone.

Mix and match

Many musicians share the same dedication to their craft as professional athletes, but there are a chosen few who take it to the next level. We’re talking about the hip-hop royalty that’s also supremely talented at sports. More names fall into that category than you might think. Many famous faces have a knack for playing basketball or even have a flair for boxing. Rumors suggest there’s more than one hip-hop artist who could’ve made it in pro sports if they hadn’t picked up the mic all those years ago.

Regular visitors to our pages know we leave no stone unturned when it comes to giving readers the most in-depth and reliable coverage of the hip-hop scene. We present the latest news from the biggest-selling artists to provide you with a list of the top names emerging from the pack, the contenders to be the next big thing. But now and again, we like to break from the normal and give readers something a little different.

Keep reading as we list some of the most famous hip-hop artists who have a talent for sport. Some of the names on our list won’t surprise you as their abilities are well-documented, but we tried to throw in a few curveballs, adding hip-hop artists who have so much focus on their music you may not have realized they’re so much more than a one-trick pony.

Please read through our list, pick your favorites, and do a little more digging. If any of the names on this page inspire you to find out more, you’ll find lots of information online regarding the sporting talents of these hip-hop stars. If you enjoyed the article, we’d love to find out more, and if you believe we missed a name that should be on the list, feel free to let us know, as we may consider it for our next article.

Check the best sportsbook reviews to find an app that covers music betting and support your favorites using your smartphone.

Master P

Few have exemplified the intersection of hip-hop and sports like Master P, whose basketball aspirations led him to the NBA. Despite a late start in professional basketball, Master P, known offstage as Percy Miller, showcased his dedication, earning a spot on the Charlotte Hornets and later the Toronto Raptors during the preseason. 

While his NBA career was brief, his determination to pursue his love for the sport remains an inspirational tale within the hip-hop community. Master P deserves full credit for not only his dedication to music but also for being brave enough to pursue a professional basketball career. Many of his colleagues in music are happy to live off suggestions they are decent at sports, but he was willing to place his neck on the chopping board.

Damian Lillard

A standout in both the rap game and on the basketball court, Damian Lillard, known by his stage name Dame DOLLA, has made waves not only as an NBA All-Star for the Portland Trail Blazers but also as a respected hip-hop artist. 

His lyrical talent is matched by his basketball prowess, making him a rare double-threat in both arenas. Damian wasn’t happy setting standards in the rap game and understood you could perform in music to a high degree for many years. But in sports, the window to showcase your talents is painfully brief. We admire Lillard for grabbing the bull by the horns and enjoying his sports career.

Allen Iverson

While Allen Iverson, a basketball icon, isn’t primarily known for his rap career, his impact on hip-hop culture is undeniable. His swagger, rebellious spirit, and influence on fashion resonated deeply within the hip-hop community. 

Iverson’s crossover appeal extended beyond the court, earning him respect and admiration from hip-hop artists who admired his tenacity and authenticity. It shows rap and sport are more closely linked than you might think.

Shaquille O’Neal

One of the most dominant players in NBA history, Shaquille O’Neal, known as Shaq, ventured into the world of rap, releasing several albums during his basketball career. His larger-than-life persona and charismatic presence on the mic garnered attention in the music industry. 

Despite criticism, Shaq’s love for hip-hop and his ability to juggle both basketball and music highlighted his multifaceted talents.

Metta World Peace

Renowned for his tenacious defense on the basketball court, Metta World Peace (formerly known as Ron Artest) delved into the world of hip-hop, releasing tracks that mirrored his bold and unapologetic persona. 

His transition from NBA champion to rapper showcased his creative versatility beyond the confines of basketball.