The best basketball hype-up songs

Photo courtesy of the Boston Celtics
Henry St. Pierre

Connector Staff

The term “hype” nowadays refers to a feeling of rising adrenaline when a song’s beat, rhythm and lyrics fuse within a mere mortal’s soul and create a heart-racing sensation, making said mortal want to run around, shout, or sprint down the court and finish with a slam dunk.

Sports arenas across the world seem to possess a canon of arena music. These songs are commonplace classic rock tunes or ultra-popular dance/hip-hop cross-overs. The songs are played to increase the energy levels of every human in attendance. However, arena music can be different from the best basketball hype-up songs of today. Classic rock appeals to the fan demographic, perhaps; however, for the player, how many young players can truly get hyped from your dad’s favorite rock song?

This list is purely arbitrary with no statistical or factual basis to back anything up. However, each song in the list does its part to get its listener’s blood flowing, whether it is minutes before tip-off for an NBA player, or a couple of hours before some teenager plays “NBA 2K16” online in the dark against a stranger. Basketball is an energetic game. Its players must be energized.

5. “Till I Collapse” feat. Nate Dogg, by Eminem

Close your eyes. The opening seconds of one of Eminem’s most popular songs begins to boil your blood. About 30 seconds in, it is that Marine’s chant in the background. This is WAR! It is time to take down the opponent. Eminem is playing the role of your coach in this song. He is quite inspirational, really. Until you collapse, you are not spilling your raps, but you are getting your buckets! Nate Dogg, may he rest in peace, delivers one of the most talk-along-to-the-chorus choruses ever. The beat’s kick-kick-clap pattern is so basic and widespread throughout music that it is cliché, but this song makes you want to wrestle a crocodile so it does not even matter. Any good hype-up song should give you the confidence and strength necessary to wrestle a crocodile. And win. Go win that game, soldier.

4. “Yeah!” feat. Lil Jon and Ludacris, by Usher

The synthesizer makes your limbs spaz out and do random motions. You are not in the club, you are getting hyped for your game. You are waiting for it… then it comes. YEAH! Yeah? YEAH! Not only does this song have the best song title of any song ever sung, it also has the best feature from any artist ever. All Lil Jon says in this song is a combination of “yeah,” “okay,” “hey” and “let’s go,” and it is amazing. He does the best ad-libs. And he, Usher and Ludacris do a tremendous job of hyping up the listener.

3. “Remember the Name” by Fort Minor

If you were to say you have never gotten hyped to this song before in your life, you are lying. The chorus is as close to perfection as anything could ever be. The average human being wishes they could be one percent as perfect as the chorus. 10% luck, 20% skill, yes, yes, yes, give me more statistics. A necessary shout out is now given to Mike Shinoda for making one of the most toxic and inspirational earworms of all-time, one with which basketball-playing seventh graders stay hyped.

2. A TIE! “Jumpman” by Drake and Future / “Forever” feat. Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Eminem, by Drake

“Jumpman” is an extremely recent song but what Drake, Future and Metro Boomin crafted with sonic sizzle. The trap beat is so simple and pleasuring, and Drake and Future’s smooth deliveries elevate the song to the same level as the basketball gods. The song is composed so that essentially any dance of 2015 can go along to it. That is either an example of complete simplicity in a watered-down culture of artistic parity, or it is pure genius. The latter is the winner in this case.

“Forever” is one of Drizzy Drake’s first big hits. Somehow, the then 23-year-old Canadian was able to get three hip-hop goliaths on his song, and this song was made especially for LeBron James. It pays to have a silky voice like Drake’s. Drake’s opening lines in the track are now deeply immersed in pop culture. “Last name ever, first name greatest. Like a sprained ankle, boy, I ain’t nothing to play with.” Absolute fire. It is no wonder why he is a superstar now.

1. “H.A.M” by Kanye West and Jay Z

Honestly, the chorus says it all. “H.A.M” is, by far, the best acronym of all-time. Think about all of your favorite acronyms. “H.A.M” is better than all of those. The godly-sounding instrumentals only enhance the super-egos of both Kanye and Young Hov. If you have never listened to this song, please do, right now. However, when the chorus arrives, do not think you are suddenly a good-enough baller to play in the NBA.

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