BY AARON TAYLOR | Defensive Back | Ball State Football
Influence from the mainstream media is nothing new in athletics. Today more than ever Hip Hop culture is transcending the lines of the athletic playing fields.
Cam Newton and Lebron James “dabbing” after a big play ignite the arenas they play in.
The Migos, a popular rap group out of Atlanta, made the Dab famous in 2015 and continue to ride the wave into 2016. They are continuously releasing new music featuring the dab lingo in songs like “Look At My Dab” and “Pipe It Up”.
All of which can be heard at any professional sporting event. The two have been inseparable for the past two decades. Hip Hop culture has rapidly invaded sports and it’s safe to say it is here to stay.
In the past, the “Fab Five” of the University of Michigan wore baggy shorts. Every other team was still wearing short shorts. In the years to follow teams started adopting this baggy style.
Michigan is making headlines again promoting this culture by having hot artists speak at their recent National Signing Day. Being hip to what youth are into attracts a younger generation of recruits that will become the life blood of the program.
Dabo Swinney is even seen “dabbing” and dancing in the locker room after a big win to send Clemson to the National Championship game. Rap is used extensively in the recruiting arms race to procure top performing high school athletes.
The media world fuels this invasion by adopting rap lingo onto ESPN broadcasts. The video game industry contributes as well, with the majority of music on 2K and Madden playlists from rap hits. Games like NBA street paved the way for a budding rap industry attempting to land a permanent role in mainstream culture.
In addition, fashion of highly visible professional athletes and gaudy rappers are one and the same. Seen everywhere are pictures of athletes dressed in designer gear. Names like Balmain, Loubotin and Givenchy. Names often heard in rap lyrics emphasizing prominence and wealth.
Pregame NBA broadcasts feature classic Jay- Z, as well as contemporary music from artists like 2 Chainz. Highly visible Hip Hop icons flock to the court side of NBA teams and NFL sidelines. Cam Newton, Young Jeezy and Future are seen posing for a picture after winning the NFC championship game.
Rap has successfully infiltrated the main stream market and is reaping the rewards.