The NBA marries its culture and game better than any other league in sports. On Sunday night, Charlotte became the number one city for hip-hop in the country as rappers flew in, partied and in the case of Meek Mill and J. Cole, performed in the marquee event of All-Star Weekend — the All-Star Game.
Meek opened up for player intros, running through a medley of hits from 2018’s “Intro” to “Dreams And Nightmares,” “Going Bad,” “Uptown Vibes” and others. I’m pretty sure Team LeBron getting the “Dreams And Nightmares” intro for player introductions was a cheat code as they came back from 20-down to win the game.
Meanwhile, Cole repped for classic Starter jackets and ’90s fashion before checking off a number of current hits and items from both KOD and 2014 Forest Hills Drive. He even teased his verse from “a lot,” telling 21 Savage, “We love you,” during the broadcast. Even Team LeBron had to get in on the action as they asked head coach Mike Malone if they could head out from the locker room to watch Cole perform “ATM” and “Middle Child.”
But the biggest Carolina win, from an old school perspective came from Anthony Hamilton who delivered a little soul and passion to his rendition of the National Anthem. It’s not Marvin Gaye circa 1983 but it was far better than what Fergie gave us last year in Los Angeles.