New York Times Profiles Jason Kidd’s 20-Year-Old Struggle Rap Song [LISTEN]
Rap has come a long way in the past 20 years and that statement goes double for non-professional MCs.
Athletes have long had an infatuation and the means to become amateur rappers, and while some have proven to be fairly decent, others are lucky they’ve been blessed with the ability to lean on sports as a career.
Current Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd falls in the latter category, as his one attempt at being Jay Z is nothing more than an ear sore.
The New York Times recently revisited his 1994 song “What the Kidd Didd,” from the 1994 compilation B-Ball’s Best Kept Secret. Its premise was featuring then-star players such as Shaquille O’Neal, J.R. Rider and Dana Barros and pitting them with visible rappers like Warren G., Brand Nubian and Diamond D.
Via New York Times:
The album is out of print but remains available online — Amazon sells a used version for a penny and a new one for $1.96. It is a cultural artifact from another time that developed what could politely be called a cult fan base.
“That’s something on my bucket list that I can say I’ve done,” Kidd said recently, “because I’d never do it again.”
Kidd’s recording session that summer in Los Angeles was long and torturous. He agreed to the project on a lark after being approached by James Andrews and Hutson Miller, two men in their 20s who were trying to catch a break in the music industry. It was a heady time in hip-hop — the Notorious B.I.G. and Nas released debut albums that year. (Neither appeared on the basketball album — the biggest contributor from the rap world was Warren G, fresh off his hit “Regulate.”)
But Andrews and Miller thought they could capture some buzz by pairing athletes with musicians. Happy Walters, the founder of Immortal Records, gave them his enthusiastic backing and a big budget. “Happy basically said: ‘Here’s $300,000. Go make an album,’ ” Andrews said.
Kidd’s verse was penned by Digital Underground’s Money B., who also appeared on the track. The Nets coach admitted to being nervous, as heard on his shaky delivery. They reportedly combated the jitters with plenty of alcohol.
Nonetheless, Hip-Hop as a whole was a “best kept secret” in 1994, one that led fans to grab up everything within their grasp. The album sold 400,000 copies with little promotion outside of name recognition.
Jump over to the next page to relive Jason Kidd’s struggle bars.