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Fans go wild over Drake dropping Antetokounmpo's name in new album

·Hockey writer
·3-min read
Giannis Antetokounmpo was honoured by Drake and Kanye in the same week. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Giannis Antetokounmpo was honoured by Drake and Kanye in the same week. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

It’s not uncommon for rappers to make sports references in their lyrics, but in “Certified Lover Boy,” Drake took it to a whole different level.

After the Milwaukee Bucks were crowned the 2021 NBA champions this summer, it was the season of Giannis Antetokounmpo, as he finally lifted that trophy after years of dominance.

With the glory also comes some recognition from Drake.

In one of the more immediately popular songs off his new release, “7AM On Bridle Path” — making a reference to his Toronto address — the Toronto Raptors megafan showed some recognition and skill by being able to drop a rhyme with the champion’s last name.

Don’t move like a puto / Could at least keep it a Buck like Antetokounmpo.”

The line most certainly references Antetokounmpo’s new contract signed before his championship, which will keep him in Milwaukee through the majority of his career, all while he could have gone and played for a bigger market under brighter lights.

Drake isn’t only including the two-time MVP in his lyrics, but Antetokounmpo’s nickname as the “Greek Freak” is popping up on Certified Lover Boy merch produced by Nike as well.

This total absorption of the 2021 NBA champion into the marketing and lyrical content of his highly anticipated album is causing fans to go wild on social media.

Of course, this is not the first time an athlete’s name has been dropped into a rap lyric — even Antetokounmpo earned a spot earlier this week in Kanye West’s new album “Donda.”

One of the biggest names to consistently do this is certainly Jay-Z.

The New York rapper went from referencing NBA legend Scottie Pippen in his 2011 track “Never Change” by saying "If we stay strong, we can get paper longer than Pippen's arms" to mentioning then Miami Heat teammates LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in “Empire State of Mind” and comparing their numbers: "If Jeezy's payin' LeBron, I'm payin' Dwyane Wade.”

According to Genius, there has been a total of 936 references to athletes in rap. Not basketball but professional wrestling leads all sports with a total of 226 — though basketball isn’t far behind with 218.

It’s certainly an old tactic, but there are no signs of the references slowing down. Especially if Drake is able to rhyme “Antetokounmpo” and raise that bar of difficulty for everyone.

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