Despite a long-lasting lockout that vivisected this season, hockey is hotter than ever as this year's Stanley Cup Finals have become the highest rated games in history. In anticipation of tonight's game six between the Boston Bruins and the Chicago Blackhawks, we've assembled the five most memorable moments of hip-hop and hockey intersecting. From the trend of hockey jerseys in rap videos to 50 Cent's first video appearance from a penalty box, rappers have hit the ice in some fantastic ways. Here's our picks for Hip-Hop's Greatest Hockey Moments.
5) Nelly Debuts with his St. Louis Roots
The beauty of rap being a regional-based genre of music, is how distinctly each of its artists sound with their lineage of influences easily traceable to their surroundings. When Nelly brought the St. Louis sound to a national audience in 2000, he made sure there was no confusion about where he was from. Along with a Cardinals jersey, Nelly proudly rocks hockey team St. Louis Blues' jersey. When you rep your city enough to rock several teams' jerseys in your debut video, you know you've done your hometown proud.
4) UGK and the Quack Attack is Back, and They're Supposed to Bubble
When it came time to take promotional photos for Texas legends UGK's hugely under-appreciated sophomore album Super Tight, the late Pimp C decided to rock a Mighty Ducks jersey. Years before they were forced to become the Anaheim Ducks, the Disney-owned California team captured the magic of the movie in their on-ice attire. Super Tight came out the same year as the film's sequel D2: The Mighty Ducks, but unfortunately the chance for the trillest cross-promotion in history was sadly never taken.
3) Tupac Spits in a Detroit Redwings Jersey
While no-one's denying the badassery of the Motor City, there's something particularly rugged about the way Pac handles a flood of reporters while rocking a Detroit Redwings jersey in this infamous clip. Beginning with him elevating the jersey as if he's actively promoting it, things turns sour quick as Pac beings literally spitting (not rapping, actually projecting his saliva) at a group of observing reporters. At least he wishes them to "have a good summer” before driving off. Man, Pac was complex.
2) Snoop Doggy Dogg Begins the Hockey Jersey Trend with "Gin and Juice”
Before he dropped the "Doggy” and long before he became a "Lion,” 19-year-old Snoop Doggy Dogg was set from the start of his career to be one of the most influential figures in all of hip-hop. While his innovations are too many to mention here, one that Snoop proudly takes credit for is being the first to rock a hockey jersey in a rap video. Proudly clad in the Pittsburgh Penguins' black-and-yellow years before Wiz Khalifa even thought about picking up a mic, it would set off a chain reaction that would find everyone from Craig Mack to Smif-N-Wessun repping teams that had nothing to do with where they were actually from.
1) Onyx releases "React” music video
If Slap Shot's Hanson Brothers were a rap group, they would probably be Onyx. After years encouraging listeners to "Throw Ya Gunz” and "Slam,” the group decided to set-off their third album by taking to the ice in the video for their single "React.” Along with some really cool shots, the Director X directed clip introduced the world to a hungry newcomer named 50 Cent. Years prior to being shot, he was serving rhymes out the penalty box. Our favorite image from the video is Sticky Fingaz's rapping-while-sliding across the ice. If anyone manages to rap a full verse while doing the same this evening, we at the Weekly will buy them a soda after the game.