We are by no means a music blog. But when an NBA player drops a mixtape, it’s well within our duty as sports reporters to tell you just how important it is that they don’t quit their day jobs.
TRACK 1: SMOKE
“My shoes on you be boots.”
True Iman, very true. Bit of a clichéd start as Shump sings the hook and raps. Deep bass and drops gives the song some personality and darkness. Lyrically, nothing to write home about. Hard to see the seemingly quiet Iman saying some of the trap things he says, but he delivers them well. Could’ve been pulled off a high schooler’s mixtape and you wouldn’t have fooled me. Nonetheless, not the worst start to a mixtape.
TRACK 2: LIKE THAT FT. DC YOUNG FLY
“I been with the homies all night, rolling dice, the league wouldn’t like that.”
Shump tries his best to drop a dabbing beat to talk about his history and the state of rap. Midway through a seemingly slow start, Iman hits you with a Dreams and Nightmares switch up. Start to understand the real Iman. Develops a rapping personality. Not sure who DC Young Fly is, but I’m not much of a fan. GIVE ME IMAN AND ONLY IMAN.
TRACK 3: SHUMPMAN
“They said Shumpman stick to hooping, why you rapping.”
*BANGER ALERT* Even I could’ve predicted that Shump would’ve rapped over the Jumpan beat, cleverly renaming it Shumpan after himself. Delivers probably his best set of lines midway through the song:
They said Shumpman stick to hooping, why you rapping
Same way we told Drizzy Drake to stick to acting
Same way we told Future Hendricks clean his image
Now they heavy boppin’, man these n***** trippin”!
After that, things continue in an absolute fire track. Shump references his trend-setter status in terms of the high-top and its ensuing clothing line, started by him and his brother. Midway through the tape, Shump’s solidified who he is, and what he’s here to do with the tape.
Listen to “Shumpman” below
TRACK 4: BUILD EM’ (TETRIS)
“People will move like chameleons when the millions involved.”
Never been a fan of songs that don’t say their first word until 20 seconds in, but I rode out the storm for the sake of the Crossover Report. “Building” isn’t the word that you want to, well, build your song about. In a span of 6 seconds, Shump says it 5 times in a tough cadence. I’m shooting in the dark when I say the song’s about figuring out how to stack all of his money, like tetris (although I’m sure his checks are direct deposit, amirite?). He references “Tough Tony”, which I can only assume is a shout out to noted member of Iman’s entourage, Tony the Tiger. The reason I don’t like songs that take 20 seconds to say their first word are the same reason teachers don’t like “fluff” in essays: it’s a waste of intellectual space. Not your best effort, Shump.
Track 5: EYES CLOSED FT. CRAZE COLON
“I still kick it on my porch, that s*** dope”
First off, as a student in a health field, I’d recommend getting a “crazed colon” checked out immediately. Very basic beat that Shump may have stolen from YouTube. Waaay too many things going on. Craze Colon murders this song in the first minute, in the worst way possible. Shump’s verse attempts to resurrect this nonsense, but to no avail. Somebody decided it’d be a good idea to loop Iman saying “Say hello to the bad guy, baby ahhhh” for the final 35 seconds. Once again, “fluff” to take it over 3 minutes.
TRACK 6: MY WAY
“I’ve had my back stabbed and my wounds salted with a full wallet.”
Shump reeeally slows it down for the conclusion. Front to end, a ballad of his life. Iman discusses growing up in a 4-brother household with “no tolerance for mediocre”. Very important for rappers or any singers to discuss the “Why” of their story during an autobiographical track like this one. He discusses “selling CDs instead of trees” to get money, but not risk the jail time that comes with running dope. Shump’s always found himself as an entrepreneur and self-made man, even after he’s essentially “made it” in the NBA. In the eyes, of Iman, there’s always something more to do.
Not as bad as we’ve seen from other NBA players (everyone who played between 1998 and 2004 made a tape or two). Shump’s day job seems to be fitting him well, but there could be a less successful career in rap if he wants it. The only thing left to do is get him and Damian Lillard on a track together.
Download the rest of the tape here
And finally, listen to Shump’s “Hotline Bling (Remix)” below
(Golden State’s name-dropped)