Hive Five: Our daily listicle of musical musings
Olympic fever is about to engulf the globe, with the 2012 London games kicking off in earnest today. So to soundtrack this weekend’s armchair watching session, may we suggest these five rap tracks that are packed with Olympian references in rap (minus the bajillion rappers who’ve ever compared their squad to the 1992 basketball Dream Team).
1. Jay-Z & Big L, “Stretch & Bobbito Freestyle”
A vintage mid-’90s New York rap moment, the sadly deceased Big L and a young and hungry Hova hit up Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Garcia’s radio show to freestyle for days. Jay shows he’s something of an amateur Olympic buff here, going back to the 1936 games to quip how “I be running the track like Jesse Owens.”
2. Kitty Pryde feat. Riff Raff, “Orion’s Belt”
When Riff Raff follows up a boast about how he could have played for the Toronto Raptors with the line “Olympic swimmers from Nigeria,” we can assume he’s showing his admiration for Yellow Yeiyah, who butterflied for his country in the 2008 Olympic games.
3. T.I. feat. Mac Boney, “Trap Muzik”
Showing an appreciation for the importance of properly stretching before you hit the track, T.I.’s boy Mac Boney notes how he keeps “the coke stretched out like Carl Lewis’ hamstrings.” Trust a trap boy to give out such sensible life advice!
4. Drake, “Juice”
“I’m still fly, you can’t float/ Run this shit … Usain Bolt.” Yup, it’s Drizzy getting his trademark hashtag rap on to compare his commercial dominance to Jamaican sprinter Bolt’s reign on the track.
5. Jean Grae, “Breathe Easy”
Many a rapper has boasted about how they flip on tracks like U.S. gymnast Dominque Dawes’ antics on the mat, but we’ll give the ultimate reference to Jean Grae’s “Breathe Easy.” Opening with the MC welcoming all to “the Rap Olympics,” she runs through many an Olympian reference, complete with talk about “flawless triple somersaults in the mat.” Elsewhere, J. Greazy also has “heads bouncing harder than Greg Louganis.” Ouch!