The hustle and grind of becoming a star musician and a top-notch athlete is similar. Perhaps that is why so many athlete-musician friendships and relationships exist. As the old saying goes, athletes want to be rappers and vice versa. Some, however, were gifted enough to excel in both games. Here’s a look at some famous musicians who were once top-notch athletes.
You may see him on the sideline of Atlanta Hawks game, but the defacto star of the rap group ‘Migos’ was once a star athlete back in the NAWF! Hailing from North Gwinnett in North Atlanta, Quavious Marshall was a tall (listed at 6’1″) and skinny high school spread QB. The lefty set a Georgia-state record in 2009 with 28 completions in a single game. He even led the county in passing in the same season! Quavo’s squad was trash, but not because of his QB play. And if you’ve seen this clip of the rapper, you knew there was some football talent hidden in there somewhere.
MMG was almost in the NBA. Well…sort of. The Ohio product was actually quite a fine basketball player growing up before he discovered his talents in hip-hop. Stalley earned himself a full scholarship to play for the Michigan Wolverines, despite openly being an open and avid Ohio State Buckeyes fan. He even talked about an experience playing against the best basketball player ever in high school. Stalley eventually suited up for Long Island University, but due to a foot injury, he put down his hoop dreams to pick up the microphone.
3. Wayman Tisdale
The late Wayman Tisdale might be the best example of someone who had an extremely impressive pro sports career before making his transition to music. Tisdale was a three-time Big Eight (Now Big 12) Player of the Year at Oklahoma and was taken as the No. 2 overall pick in the 1985 NBA Draft. Tisdale played 13 seasons in the NBA and averaged a little more than 15 points per game during his tenure. After a respectable pro career, Tisdale realized his love for jazz music and pursued a career in the genre. He released eight studio albums, with one, Face to Face, climbing to No. 1 on the contemporary jazz album charts. His success, however, wasn’t prolonged, as Tisdale died in 2009 due to complications from radiation treatments.
RAN OFF ON THE PLUG TWICE!
If you aren’t familiar with his dance craze, then I’m sorry for you. Plies not only put out hits as a rapper but coined one of the most famous rap phrases than translated to the football field. No, seriously, EVERYONE ran off on the plug after they scored. Before hip-hop, Plies had stints at Miami (OH) and Central Florida, before dropping out and eventually becoming a successful rapper and social media presence and since then, Saturday’s have never been the same!
5. 2 CHAAAAIIIINNNZZZZ
The Atlanta-based rapper is considered one of the best in the game right now. At 6’4″ and from the state that produces top basketball talent, you can assume the rapper was a beast on the hardwood. Well, Tity Boi is a reason why you don’t judge a book by its cover. Mr. Chainz was rumored to have a near-4.0 and attended Alabama State for a season before ending his basketball career to change the rap game with his patented one-liners.
The honorable mentions for this list HAVE to include Wale (football), Nelly (baseball), Rick Ross (football) and Romeo Miller (basketball), but the aforementioned five had the biggest impact on and off the field and in and out of the studio, with some still being prominent and the hottest figures in the game.