When it comes to rap stars and sports, in the US they tend to lean towards the NBA rather the NFL. However, there are some towns and cities around the US that are so football mad that rappers cannot help but get involved, especially if there is a beef with a fellow NFL fan/rapper from a rival city.
As rappers like Sean Combs and Jay-Z have taken their brands to stratospheric levels, they now find themselves in a position not only to support a team but to bankroll one too, adding stakes in NFL franchises to their portfolios as so many already have for teams from other sports leagues such as the NBA.
With major leagues like the NFL generating billions each year, it’s easy to say why so many rap stars try to get involved. And that’s why you can almost certainly be sure that sports betting is in high demand. In countries like the US, where the market for bookmakers has matured considerably, there is often a lot of competition between betting sites, leading to most offering odds for this season’s MVP candidates and some other offers to new customers when they first sign up.
So here are some rappers who are huge NFL fans, and who choose to either sing about their favorite players and teams, or even acquire them in multi-million-dollar deals.
Beyonce’s side piece is known more for his business acumen than his rapping ability these days, with his Roc Nation enterprise making him a billionaire.
The worry is that this has turned him into something of a sellout, a worry that became apparent when he struck a deal with the NFL to organize Super Bowl half-time shows as well as to help update the league’s antiquated image.
This did not go down well with longtime friend and ostracized player Colin Kaepernick, who thought the move was designed to bury him.
Jay-Z apparently tried to heal the rift via a phone call but was strongly rebuffed by the star quarterback.
All that said, the ruthless businessman in Jay-Z has also mooted interest in buying a stake in an NFL franchise, although exactly which one remains a mystery.
He already owns a minority stake in his local Brooklyn Nets, so perhaps he could be in the running to make a play for some Jets or Giants stock. With a heavy-hitting CEO like Jay-Z on their team, Jets and Giants fans would happily start including their own teams in their NFL parlay bets again, without the worry of being let down by one of their own.
The real Slim Shady has always been an advocate of any sports team that represents the great city of Detroit, and the Lions are no different.
The rapper is regularly seen at home games and was even made the team’s honorary captain on Monday Night Football, with the crowd going wild as soon as his hooded head appeared on the stadium’s big screen.
Perhaps more intriguingly, Eminem has also shown some interest in pop-up American Football leagues such as the AAF and XFL, both of which he has asked to bring a franchise to Detroit so that the rapper can have even more football to feast his eyes on whilst in his home town.
The response from the AAF was positive, with its management suggesting that Eminem himself could even become a franchise owner. As with Jay-Z, time will tell if Eminem actually makes the leap and buys into a team to call his own.
Like Eminem, Nelly is nothing if not territorial, so when he has a local team to support he takes them to heart, and when they get wrested away to another city it hits him hard.
That is certainly how he felt when the Rams upped sticks and moved back to their spiritual home of LA. Of course, Nelly did not quite see it that way and has even gone on record saying that, as far as he is concerned, the team are merely on loan to Los Angeles football fans.
When you are born and bred in New Orleans it does not make much sense to go supporting a team based all the way up north in Wisconsin, but that is exactly what Lil Wayne did, obsessed as he was by some random Packers merchandise that his father brought home for him one day.
It is unclear why the merchandise engendered such a feeling of belonging for the then young musical talent, but he has stayed loyal ever since, even hyping the Lambeau Field before they launched into a rendition of Roll Out The Barrel before a big NFL game.
If all this was not enough, he even made Green Bay’s greatest ever dedication song. The chorus is the unrivaled king of catchy NFL songs, “green and yellow, green and yellow, green and yellow, green and yellow!”
To show how universally loved Lil Wayne is by NFL fans in general, a poll carried out by Billboard magazine in 2014 found that, despite him abandoning the team, New Orleans Saints fans still view Lil Wayne as one of their own, voting him their favorite recording artist.
Any Steelers fan reading the previous section will have been hollering the fact that Lil Wayne ripped the melody and lyrics for his Green and Yellow song from the Black and Yellow original that was Wiz Khalifa’s ode to the Pittsburgh NFL franchise.
With half a billion hits on YouTube it is fair to say that when it comes to songs, Steelers followers will always own the bragging rights.
Not only did the rapper big up his team in the song but he also brought along rap gods such as Snoop Dog for the ride, meaning this is arguably the best NFL inspired song of all time.
Of course, rappers are not just huge fans of their local NFL teams, but also love to get involved with their regional college sides.
In the case of Ludacris, the fact he is an alumni of Georgia State means that he is a tried and tested Panther, both on the mic and in the bleachers.
Something that has made Ludacris an even bigger Panthers fan is the fact that Georgia State made him their artist in residence in late 2019, so perhaps the Panther faithful can expect a track dedicated to their team sometime soon.