10 Rappers Who Unoriginally Referenced Spalding in Their Raps

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It’s common knowledge that many rappers use similar references in their music. I am 21 years old and I can honestly say my first exposure to Maybach, Bugatti, Rolex, and even the lifestyle in the Los Angeles hills were from rap music. One of the first things rappers like doing when they make money is to flaunt it. Makes sense. Eventually, certain brands become part of the culture and before you know it I feel like I know Jacob the Jeweler himself. However, there’s another reference that rappers use that’s gone under the radar and needs proper recognition in the genre: Spalding.

Spalding, a sporting goods company based in Kentucky has been getting shouted out in rap for years. Usually used to illustrate how rappers “ball,” I feel like I’ve been hearing lines revolving around the brand for years and every time I hear another reference, the more I cringe. I mean, really, can’t you rappers come up with another simile?

To illustrate, I’ve compiled 10 references to Spalding that are are equally as unoriginal as the next. Hopefully this gets to your next favorite rapper before he decides to use it in one of his lyrics.

10. BALLIN’ – CHIEF KEEF

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Cuz I am ballin’/I’m ballin like Spalding

The is a great first example by a great first rapper to use. Chief Keef isn’t too intelligible of a character, so I figured I’d use him first to kick it off. Now, I am not sure if he used the simile because he’s heard it so much or because he thought he came up with it himself. Either seem equally as plausible, which only proves how unoriginal the line is in the first place.

9. SING ABOUT ME, I’M DYING OF THIRST – KENDRICK LAMAR

kendrick lamar spalding

Dreams of ballin like Spalding/But only shotty bounce

This one hurt. This one really hurt. Not only because Kendrick is one of my favorite rappers but also because the song he used the reference in is fire. That being said, Kendrick could have used the reference because it’s already so popular in rap. If so, he gets a pass. If not, this is the only line in “Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst” that I actually don’t like.

8. SEAT DOWN LOW (TOP BACK REMIX) – LIL WAYNE

lil wayne

Yeah, baby, we ballin, like Rawlins and Spalding

Now, I gotta admit, this was the first time I personally heard Spalding used in a rap. You might have heard something prior, but this is where it all started for me. Da Drought 3 was one of my favorite mixtapes when it dropped, so I not only knew this line but also the rest of the song by heart. Wayne might have been the first person to use it, so I guess we can say he kicked it all off. Still not the most in depth simile but at least it was original back then.

7. STR8 LIKE DAT – MEEK MILL

meek mill

 Cause I’m ballin’, like Spalding

It’s unfortunate that Meek Mill is on this list seeing as his career this year is bad enough, but it is what it is. Funny how he called Drake out for stealing bars when he, too, can be unoriginal with his lyrics. Case. in. point.

6. IN THIS GAME – RICH GANG (YOUNG THUG)

young thug

I’ma ball like Spalding, nigga

I am not too surprised Young Thug is actually on this list. He’s been known to use pretty obvious metaphors and similes. It’s part of his charm. At least he changed the verb tense for this one (i.e.”I’ma ball” and not “I am ballin”). Still pretty wack but he might sort of get a pass because… you know… that’s just Young Thug.

5. BALLIN’ – FAT JOE

fat joe

Ballin’, bitch Im fuckin ballin’/You can call me Spalding

As previously stated, some people can sort of get away with this line. Fat Joe, on the other hand, can’t. He hasn’t been hot in a while. So, using cliché lyrics is not the way he’s going to get back on top. No disrespect to Fat Joe, I used to be a huge fan. But, it’s lines like these that remind me why I fell off listening.

4. WOOD WOULD – YOUNG THUG

young thug 2

Ballin’ like I’m spalding, bitch I’m only startin’

I just put this on here because, somehow, Young Thug thought it’d be a good idea to use this line twice. Yeah…

3. NO SMALL TALK – CHILDISH GAMBINO

gambino

Spendin’ money, make it bounce back like Spalding

This one isn’t even that bad. I more put this one in here to say that you can use Spalding as a reference without using the exact… same… line… That being said, it still made the list because Gambino ends up saying “Spalding” seven times in total, which is six times too many. Almost got away with it, Mr. Glover.

2. SOUTHSIDE – COMMON

common

You wouldn’t be ballin’ if your name was Spalding

Great verse, great song, great rapper, wack line. Common has always been one my favorite musicians, serving as a big inspiration for my own music when I started creating. But lines like this don’t keep the flame lit for his influence on me. Luckily, the song is tight as hell anyway. It’s still wack, but he might have gotten away with it seeing as it was surrounded by dopeness.

1. SO APPALLED – KANYE WEST

kanye west

I’m so appalled, Spalding ball

Rarely ever do I hear a line and claim it the worst line on an entire album, but I guess this line by Kanye West is an exception. After speaking with some of the other writers of AudioFrost, we all deemed this the wackest line on one of our favorite albums, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. As a matter of fact, the line pretty much inspired this entire post, making it the reason why it’s #1.

STATS

To illustrate how unoriginal this line is becoming, check out Genius.com’s stats for frequency of Spalding in rap music.

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This is becoming an epidemic, and we need to act quickly. Haha thanks for reading.

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