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Published on February 13th, 2019 | by Lydia Brooks


13 Hip-Hop Stars You Didn’t Know Were Former Athletes (part 1)


It may be hard to imagine that some of your favorite artists once pursued the other dreams! But these Hip-Hop stars were planning a career in sports… Before the platinum albums, sold-out shows, and legendary back-catalogues, many of your favorite rappers had dreams of becoming professional athletes.

From baseball to basketball, we’ve assembled some of the most famous Hip-Hop stars who were former athletes in this list.


Nelly was actually a two-sport athlete before dominating 00’s Hip-Hop. The star impressed in both American football and baseball. So good at baseball, Nelly played in the St. Louis Amateur Baseball Association and won MVP of the league’s all-star game. He also was on the radar of an MLB teams’ couple as a prospect.

Kanye West

When being younger, Kanye reportedly played basketball during his years of high school then decided to focus on music as not being chosen to play any of his team’s games.


Quavo was a talented athlete and became a starting quarterback for the Berkmar High School. He was believed to have a promising future in basketball, soccer, and American football. But he chose Hip-Hop and never looked back.

The Game

He was a promising basketball player and even accepted a scholarship at the Washington State University, which was later taken away because of drug possession. Then he embraced the gang life and finally became a rapper.

SchoolBoy Q

Schoolboy Q, the TDE rapper, was an American football player who actually played various positions before playing at the West Los Angeles College. However, Q then decided to pursue a career in music.


Once upon a time, the rapper Wale played American football for both Virginia State and Robert Morris University. However, due to the problems with his coaches, he dropped out of school after the second transfer was held up.

J. Cole

J. Cole spent a lot of his childhood time to make the basketball teams. However, the rapper of ‘4 Your Eyez Only’ finally made the team as a senior at the Terry Sanford High School.


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