You’d be surprised with what you find…
By Jonathan Santiago / @ITSjonsantiago
Ron Artest is the latest NBA star to break into the rap game. But he’s certainly not the first.
Allen Iverson, Chris Webber, Shaquille O’Neal and even his current Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant have all dabbled in music in the past.
But Hakeem Olajuwon?
Stop by Records on K St. in Sacramento and you’ll be amazed at the rare selection of vinyl they have. One of the gems I found while crate-digging their supply happened to be this 1987 single featuring Olajuwon on a track titled “The Unbeatable Dream.”
The song credits rapper Hurt ‘em Bad as the writer and feature performer on the track. If you’re not too familiar with him, here’s a little info on the man who penned the record.
“In the early 1980′s, 30-year old George W. Luster of Las Vegas put together one of the earliest west coast rap crews. San Bernardino’s Groove Time Records pressed a single in 1982 when Hurt ‘Em Bad released what would be the very first hip-hop record out of the “Inland Empire”: “N.B.A. Rap”, was a tribute to the basketball league’s best players. Hurt ‘Em Bad’s record also caught the attention of hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons and led him to sign the group on Profile Records as the label’s second hip-hop artist. The group became known as “Hurt ‘Em Bad and the Soul Connection Band” and released several sports-related singles for Simmons from 1982-83. After their third single, the group left Profile but they remained in the hip-hop scene as Luster started his independent label Las Vegas Records. The group worked, recorded and produced additional music during the mid-80′s including a rap record with NBA star Hakeem Olajuwon.”
If you were paying attention, the song is obviously a three and a half minute commercial jingle for Olajuwon’s Etonics kicks. With the resurgence of retro gear in popularity, I wonder if there’s any room for Dream’s shoes to make a comeback. I’d add them to my obscure kicks wish-list, which already includes his pair of mid-nineties Spaldings and Karl Malone’s APEXs. Classic.
The following thumbnails link to full-size images:
Jonathan Santiago also co-hosts the weekly Davis Sports Deli Podcast, which can be found here.