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Friday, February 8, 2013
The 5 worst athlete cameos in music videos

By D'Arcy Maine
ESPN The Magazine

MC Hammer
MC Hammer scouts the Atlanta Falcons sideline for video talent in 1991.
Many athletes dream of being rappers and singers. Thankfully, some of them spare us from listening to their voices on a track and limit their contributions to the music videos of real recording artists. And yet, even these appearances can leave us shaking our heads.

Believe it or not, it is actually possible to fail a music-video cameo. Still skeptical? Check out the five videos below.

5. Master P, “Make ‘Em Say Uhh!” (1998)
• Cameo: Shaquille O’Neal

While the platinum tank is undoubtedly the real star of this video, Shaq plays the mostly forgettable role of slam-dunk contest judge/enthusiastic fan. Master P, a wannabe baller who briefly played in the CBA, combines his love for the game with his rap career to bring us some sort of crazed, mascot-playing, ammo-flying halftime spectacular. For those too young to remember this video, it didn’t make sense at the time, either.

Why exactly did Master P want everyone to say, “uhh”? That remains one of life’s great mysteries.

4. Hootie and the Blowfish, “Only Wanna Be With You” (1995)
• Cameos: Dan Marino, Fred Couples, Alonzo Mourning, Muggsy Bogues, Alex English, Walt Williams, Charles Smith

As he shares in the song lyrics, the Dolphins make Hootie, er, Darius Rucker, cry. Therefore it’s only fitting that Dan Marino shows up in the video, right? Probably not. But that didn’t stop the then-Dolphins QB (along with a slew of other athletes and "SportsCenter" anchors) from partaking in the cheesy fun. We’ve watched this video at least 20 times and we still aren’t sure of the plot, but the sheer number of random athlete cameos made this one impossible to leave off this list.

Ultimately, we’re pretty sure this video was just an excuse for the band to hang out with some of its favorite athletes (and Alex English).

3. Jay-Z, “Show Me What You Got” (2006)
• Cameos: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Danica Patrick

Clearly looking to cash in on rap’s coveted NASCAR audience, Hova cast two of racing’s most popular drivers as … race car drivers. At least you can’t accuse Dale Jr. and Danica of not knowing their acting limits. Jay-Z is inexplicably riding shotgun with Dale Jr. around the streets of Monaco while Danica (we’re assuming she’s the “little mama” of the video) races next to them.

Unfortunately Dale Jr. and Danica don’t seem to have scored invites for the party at the end of the video. Which basically means that Dale’s role was a glorified chauffeur.

2. Michael Jackson, “Remember the Time” (1992)
• Cameo: Magic Johnson

In this video, Magic plays the role of an Egyptian guard of the pharaohs (Eddie Murphy and Iman, obviously). Get it? Guard? Because he was a point guard! We’ll stop now.

Perhaps we didn’t pay enough attention in history class, but we were unaware Egyptians spoke like they were announcing the next contestant on “The Price is Right” until we saw this clip. Magic brings a stiffness and nervousness to his lines that apparently whoever green-lit the ill-fated “Magic Hour” late-night show clearly never saw.

1. MC Hammer, “2 Legit 2 Quit” (1991)
• Cameos: Everyone (Deion Sanders, Jose Canseco, Isiah Thomas, David Robinson, Andre Rison, Kirby Puckett, Chris Mullin, Roger Clemens, Rickey Henderson, Jerry Rice, etc.)

This video was basically the “Who’s Who” of star athletes in 1991. Anyone who was anyone (and could hold up two fingers, followed by making the “L” hand sign) makes an appearance.

In an ironic turn of events, everyone who was in this video, including Hammer, has since, um, quit.