As Gary Oldman reminded us all, athletes usually can't and shouldn't act, but I personally feel that the same argument can be said about Athletes and music. While there definitely are exceptions, more often than not, we see cases of sports legends riding a little too high on their egos and try to enter the music world with little to no success. In honor of the Olympic athletes competing in Rio, here are six examples of how not to achieve musical gold:
Out of the surprisingly large amount of NBA stars that have tried their hand at music, Shaquille O'Neal probably had the best and longest rap career to this day. Don't get me wrong, the music still sucks, but that's the nice thing about entering the rap game with a built-in fan base: You can put out whatever the hell you want, in this case sub-par Dr. Dre knockoff beats with Shaq trying his hardest to annunciate, and people will get behind you no matter what. Clearly, this fact worked out for Shaq, because he made not one, not two, but FOUR albums. AND a Greatest Hits album. Mistakes were made, people. No denying that.
Never one to be outdone by Shaq, former Lakers megastar Kobe Bryant gave rapping a shot by organizing an album release with Sony in 2000. The lead single, the humbly titled "K.O.B.E.," was universally hated when it premiered, probably due to the clunky verses, annoying beat, and the strange inclusion of supermodel Tyra Banks singing the vocal hook. Sony subsequently scrapped plans for the rest of the album and dropped Bryants recording contract, so I guess Laker fans preferred Shaq when it came to dropping rhymes.
Deion "This Is My House" Sanders is a two-time Superbowl Champion and one of the greats of American Football, but when people talk about his legacy, they seem to intentionally forget his 1994 album, Prime Time. With "timeless" classics like "Must Be the Money," "Y U NV ME," and "2 B ME," this album is the equivalent to a kid thinking they can drive a car because they played Mario Kart for a couple hours: The confidence is there, but there is no actual capability to speak of. Sanders definitely tried his earnest to make his music career work, performing two songs as the host on SNL despite not being the musical guest, but the music simply proved to be no good.
Oscar De La Hoya
This world-class boxer almost snagged a Grammy award to accompany his two Olympic gold medals, as he received a nomination for his self-titled album in 2000. However, like all-denim outfits, flip phones, and Myspace, not everything from the early 2000s has aged gracefully, and this album is no exception. Filled to the brim with cheesy, over-processed love ballads, this record really takes the intimidating factor away from De La Hoya, but granted, he can still probably beat you into next month, so probably shouldnt make too much fun of him.
The 1985 Chicago Bears
Another example of the benefits of a built-in fan base: Bears fans will tell you the "Super Bowl Shuffle" by the legendary 1985 team is an awesome anthem celebrating the team's Super Bowl win, literally everyone else will tell you both the song and the video are an absolute cringe-fest. The video straight up looks the team was forced to participate in their high-school talent show, from the stilted dancing to the fake instrument playing to the horrid rap verses. Maybe the fact the Bears haven't won another Super Bowl since '85 is the music gods' way of preventing the "Super Bowl Shuffle Pt. 2" from ever reaching the airwaves.
It's practically an American pastime to watch our favorite celebrities and idols completely crash and burn while attempting to sing the National Anthem, and this performance (I use that word very loosely) by the track-and-field star is too spectacularly awful not to mention. The cheetah-printed collared shirt should have already been an indication that something was going to go wrong, and my God, I think Lewis was even surprised by how hard he bombed. Being an Athlete is all about pushing your limits, so kudos to Lewis for trying, but even with all his victories and Olympic medals, its safe to say that as long as the Internet's a thing, he'll remember this performance for a long, long time.