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Lonzo Ball dives into the music industry head first

The Lakers point guard debut mixtape is not impressive, but a fun time.

Lonzo+Ball%27s+new+mixtape%2C+%22Born+2+Ball%2C%22+is+the+athlete%27s+first+move+toward+the+rap+game.
Lonzo Ball's new mixtape,

Lonzo Ball's new mixtape, "Born 2 Ball," is the athlete's first move toward the rap game.

Courtesy of SLAM

Courtesy of SLAM

Lonzo Ball's new mixtape, "Born 2 Ball," is the athlete's first move toward the rap game.

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The Los Angeles Lakers starting point guard, Lonzo Ball, has been sidelined with an injury since Jan. 15, making it the perfect opportunity for the 19-year-old to create a 17-track mixtape titled “Born 2 Ball,” which released Thursday night. Seventeen tracks for a first project is a bold move, but if anyone could do it, it would be Lonzo Ball.

Ball is not an actual musician, he’s an NBA player who decided to make a mixtape for fun. The mixtape can be streamed on both Spotify and Apple music.

Going into this project, no one should expect to be blown away by illustrious production quality or thought-provoking lyricism. It’s a fun project and if you look past the ridiculousness, you can just sit back and enjoy it.

His playful creativity is apparent from the jump, as Ball creates a double entendre using his last name and jersey number in the title of his album.

In his first track “Grind Mode” Ball says, “I know that she fine, but a dollar worth more than a dime.” My eyes opened immediately as I realized that he was right, a dollar is 90 cents more than a dime. You can expect these kind of groundbreaking lines throughout the rest of the mixtape; bars that are humorous and not deep in meaning.

The next two tracks include “Get off” and “Zo2” which were released as singles earlier this year. Both tracks are a lot more fast paced, but Ball’s monotone voice can leave you searching for more variety.

A lot of the mixtape focuses on the coming up of the whole Ball family. This is prevalent in tracks like “Putting in work,” “Day 1’s” and “Living Lavish.”

In the opening line of “Living Lavish” Ball says, “Started from the bottom only going up/Started with a bike but now I push a truck.” It’s a simple line, but he gets his point across of rising up.

Things get a little more intense further into the mixtape with tracks “Freestyle,” “Gotta Get it”  and “What is you doin,” where Ball praises himself for his hard work on and off the court. He has a much more aggressive tone to go with the uptempo harsh beats that he is presented with. These three tracks are a nice contrast to the more average tempo beats he raps on in the first half of the tape.

The last two tracks “BBB” and “LaVar” are a nice finish to the mixtape, in which Ball focuses on everything that he is appreciative of. The notorious Big Baller Brand is front and center in the first track, and one very insightful line was “The brand is Popeye’s, but I never eat spinach/Eggs in the morning, put syrup on biscuits.” This is the type of lyricism that is highlighted across the tape, but the final track “LaVar” takes a more serious tone.

As the track begins, we hear Lavar’s infamous line “I’ma speak it into existence,” followed by an audio recording of Ball getting drafted second overall by the Lakers. The track feels like a thank you letter as he gives shoutouts to his family and even namedrops his teammate Julius Randle. Ball takes his time to reflect on how fortunate he is to have a father who has been there for him and helped guide him to the top.

Comparing Ball to other NBA rappers such as Damian Lillard is not fair. Lillard is to Kendrick Lamar what Ball is to Lil Uzi Vert — they simply are not in the same league. The mixtape isn’t great, but it’s also not the worst thing you’ll listen to. This should go relatively unnoticed in the mainstream music world, but if you happen to listen, don’t take it too seriously. While Ball might have been “Born 2 Ball,” he definitely was not born 2 rap.

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