The 5 worst athlete songs of all time
February, 7, 2013
By D'Arcy Maine | ESPN The Magazine
David Livingston/Getty ImagesWhen we saw Manny Pacquiao sing on "Jimmy Kimmel," we thought he was joking. He wasn't.Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.
The following list proves this very point. Sure, most athletes have the money to finance the recording and production of an album -- but that definitely doesn’t make it a good idea.
While there are (sadly) hundreds of options for the worst-ever songs performed by athletes, we were somehow able to whittle down the list to five records -- records that we hope are one day broken, literally.
Here, then, are the worst of the worst.
5. “Must Be the Money” by Deion Sanders (1994)
Must be the money indeed that got anyone to put their name on this track. Perhaps because Prime Time found success on both the football and baseball field, he mistakenly believed he was good at everything.
Someone seemed to have forgotten to clue in Sanders that it’s called a rhyme because it um, rhymes. The track opens with the puzzling quatrain: "You know ever since I turned pro in 1989, when I signed the dotted line/People's strange, cause things change for the better and for the worse/So I called my momma and she said ‘Baby, must be the money.’" And the self-indulgent lyrics continue. As you can imagine, the video only makes this track worse by adding bad suits, awkward dancing and, of course, MC Hammer’s living room and house. Before it was sent in foreclosure, that is. Must be the money.
4. “Sometimes When We Touch” by Manny Pacquiao (2011)
We’re not sure what would be more painful -- taking a punch in the face from Manny Pacquaio or listening to this song in its entirety. His voice is so off-tune, upon initial hearing of his performance on Jimmy Kimmel’s show, we thought he was joking. Sadly, the joke is on us and whoever else has to listen to this. We would share some lyrics with you but we really can’t hear anything but squawks and off-pitch yelling.
3. "Shoot Pass Slam" by Shaquille O’Neal (1993)
It was hard to choose just one Shaq song to appear on this list but we finally settled on the grammatically challenged “Shoot Pass Slam" from his platinum (seriously) debut album, “Shaq Diesel.” The chorus cheerfully asks, "Do you want me to shoot it? No! Do you want me to pass it? No! Do you want me to slam it? Yeah!”. We’re just glad he knew better than to even ask if we wanted him to shoot free throws.
And while the chorus is bad enough, it was the following lyric that ultimately sold us on the inclusion of this song: “Do me a favor, look up ‘Shaq’ in the dictionary/I’m sure you’ll see a picture of me, brother." Um, yeah. One would think so.
2. "K.O.B.E." by Kobe Bryant featuring Tyra Banks (2000)
What happens when you combine an NBA superstar with an internationally known supermodel? Not much, as we learn on this track from 2000. With a spoken-word intro featuring the lyric, “Kobe, how many girls have said 'I love you?'/Not like, 'I love you Kobe!' like a fan but like, for real, like, 'Baby, marry me, I love you'?” this song cements its status as a train wreck before it ever truly begins. And when Kobe awkwardly tells us he lives for, “basketball, beats and broads," it’s game over. Kobe and Tyra prove that no one can be good at everything. Originally planned to be the lead-off single from a full-length album, Kobe’s ego miraculously did us all a favor and scrapped the release. We’ll never know what other gems were recorded but we’ll always have "K.O.B.E." Unfortunately.
1. "Break It Up" by Carl Lewis (1987)
We think the former Olympian is asking in song for the whole world to form some sort of human chain, which sounds like a logistical nightmare to us. Lewis sings, “Let’s all work together/you can’t win on your own -- no." Oddly enough, Lewis won multiple medals on his own in various individual track events. But, eh, whatever. The only thing more embarrassing than this song is the video. The Jane Fonda-inspired visuals feature Lewis lifting weights wearing something that can only be described as a belted leotard while someone blows bubbles at him. Footage of his track career is interspersed in the video, perhaps as a reminder of how he was able to fund such an abomination.
• “I Found It” by John Daly (2010). We have no idea what he was searching for but we’re guessing it involved a recording studio in a heavily stocked bar. Mission accomplished!
• “Untitled” by Serena Williams (2012). If Missy Elliot, Will.I.Am. and William Hung combined to have some sort of musical offspring, it would probably sound like Serena Williams.