If you don’t know, the NBA Playoffs are in full effect! Since my team will likely be eliminated in the first round, I have found myself thinking about other things. Things such as: “when would it be a good time to drop a list of the best songs that have played going into or coming out of a commercial break during the NBA Playoffs?” The answer I came to was the same that you did, there is now better time than now. Nobody asked for this list but if you’re a fan of hip-hop or a fan of the NBA, here’s a list of the best NBA Playoffs songs.
Drake – What Next (2021 NBA Playoffs)
Let me start off by saying this right here is recency bias in full effect. I heard this song playing just before a commercial break and I wish it was some sort of positive foreshadowing for how my favourite NBA team would be doing in the playoffs (let me tell you it is not)…Anyways, this song slaps. It’s got that “God’s Plan single” kind of energy, but I personally enjoy it way more. If everything was open right now, this song would be on at almost every event so it makes sense that the league would use this song around commercial breaks.
Big Sean feat. Nipsey Hussle – Deep Reverence (2020 NBA Playoffs)
To me, “the bubble” playoffs will always be commemorated by this record. It was the song you heard at almost every possible commercial break. If we had a summer last year, this one would have been bumpin everywhere. You hear how Nip came through on this track? You hear Sean rappin’ rappin’? Did you even try to deny this beat (Hit-Boy does it again)? Why wouldn’t you play this to get people excited for a sporting event?
J. Cole – ATM (2018 NBA Playoffs)
This one not only played frequently but was also used as the “theme music” for the 2018 NBA playoffs. That doesn’t happen everyday and this is probably one of the few songs I enjoyed from “KOD” (fan of Cole, I just found his albums haven’t lived up to his potential till “Off Season”) . Good look by the NBA on this one.
Schoolboy Q – Hell of A Night (2013 NBA Playoffs)
If I remember correctly, this song premiered coming off a commercial break during the 2013 NBA Playoffs. I can’t find it on YouTube to confirm exactly how it went down but I remember it coming out back then and being very surprised by the song. We, the people had never heard Schoolboy on a beat like this before this song came out and for it to come out during the Playoffs was a great marketing (if that was the plan). Just one of the many big chunes* off that “Oxymoron” album.
Jack Harlow – What’s Poppin? (2020 NBA Playoffs)
I dunno how you guys feel about Jack Harlow but this man can rap and he never told you he was black (reference to the time when he dropped the “What’s Poppin?” music video and Black people on twitter realized he was white). In all seriousness though, another solid high energy song regardless of your background seen* .
Kendrick Lamar – Humble (2017 NBA Playoffs)
I’ll be honest here, this one mainly made this list because of how jokes the promo vid was. Everyone in this thing is trying to do their “serious model face” and they all look too similar to how I looked in some of my high school grad photos (they’re real extra*). I don’t have my grad photos to show you (as in I’ve elected not to share) but I did find the promo vid for the 2017 NBA Playoffs for you. Once you see it, you’ll know everything you need to know about my grad photos. Shoutout to Kendrick Lamar too, his song was a part of this iconic moment in history.
Chunes – tunes, songs
Seen – ok, understood
Extra – Excessive, over the top