Hearing about the upcoming Full Court Press Vol 1 album with Stephen Jackson, Baron Davis, Big Baby Davis, Shawn Marion, Carlos Boozer, Lamar Odom, Trevor Ariza, Josh Smith & JUWAN HOWARD(!!) teaming up with rap heavyweights Rick Ross, The Game, Bun B, Trina, Birdman, Snoop and (not so heavyweight) Soulja Boy got me so excited, I had to pull out my copy of B-Ball’s Best Kept Secret from 1994.
BBBKS featured Orlando Magic players Shaq, Dennis Scott, Brian Shaw, Oakland’s Jason Kidd, Gary Payton, JR Rider and other NBA players Dana Barros, Cedric Ceballos, Chris Mills and the late Malik Sealy. Despite guest spots from respected people in hip hop like S&S, Bobbito, Sway and Tech and some hot 90s producers like Ant Banks, Warren G, DJ Slip, DJ Clark Kent and QDIII, nothing and I mean NOTHING could help a few of these guys.
Let’s start with Jason Kidd. Kidd is known for giving some boring interviews with his monotone voice but hearing him rap about “Rocky’s Momma” with that same voice is almost unbearable even with QDIII’s production and an assist from Digital Underground’s Money B.
Me and Gary Payton once had a good laugh joking about how bad Kidd was. GP said Kidd had to do each line one at a time because he couldn’t remember them or make them flow together.
Shaq is the only rapper on the CD that had a rap guest with a less successful career than the baller. It featured the not so respected duo of Ill Al Skratch (I did like the remix of Where My Homiez). I was actually surprised they used this track, which was also featured on Shaq’s 2nd album, which featured everybody from the Wu Tang Clan to Mobb Deep to Nas to Redman.
Cedric’s Warren G track “Flow On” actually got a cheap video with some classic 90s hip hop performance moves and comedian Ricky Harris.
Leave it to JR (before Isaiah) Rider to be the only baller to curse on the record. Rider never pursued a rap career but he probably could have and had more success than most of the ballers that tried to put out albums in the late 90s.
If you remember 3D from the NBA and not NBATV then you probably know he was a real “party animal” that was always rapping in interviews and in behind the scenes footage. His lyrics are pretty simple but it’s a decent track thanks to DJ Clark Kent’s production and some additional vocals by Sauce Money, who was rumored to have written a lot of lyrics for Shaq.
It’s obvious that GP wasn’t comfortable on the mic. He did an interview a few years ago where he said he didn’t want to do it but he told me he ended up having some fun and didn’t mind roasting everybody else on the album.
Chris Mill’s song is as about as exciting as Chris Mill’s game. If Jason Kidd wasn’t on this album, Mill’s might get the award for worst flow on this and that’s an achievement.
Brian Shaw has a song called “Anything Can Happen” which he should update to “Anything Can Happen if Jacque Vaughn can get a coaching gig in Orlando before me” The song has a nice Too Short reject beat from Ant Banks.
Dana Barros actually has rap skills but considering he wasn’t that known on the court he had very little hope of getting a full album made back then. But this was one of the better tracks on the record and even got a video. There’s also a decent remix out there by DJ Muggs.
Malik’s skills and track is pretty mediocre despite production by DJ Alamo of Brand Nubian fame.
I actually expect the new compilation album Full Court Press to be much better, not only because of higher hip hop star power but I think the ballers want to be on it as opposed to BBBKS, where half of the guys were pushed and coached through it. So i’m looking forward to hearing it and posting a Part 2 of this post.
(2015 Update: Part 2 never happened because the album never happened)