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Does Lonzo Ball Have Bars?

The Lakers point guard is demonstrating his artistry off the court, too, with a song about his expensive shoe. But can he rap? We check in on the consensus on SoundCloud.

2017 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Lonzo Ball, preeminent Lakers savior, also does the rap thing. Because if you ever find yourself with a captive audience, you might as well inform them that you do be doing this rapping thing, too—balling in two sports, as it were. I don’t think we’ve fully acknowledged his artistic aspirations on the Ringer dot com before now. (Well, he told our Paolo Uggetti that if he weren’t playing basketball he’d be rapping, but whatever—plenty of athletes say that, often while they’re juggling both at the same time and being notably better at one than the other.)

Lonzo has a new single. It’s called “ZO2,” same as his $495 shoes, which he mentions 24 times in just under two-and-a-half minutes. It’s Lonzo’s first song since he released “Melo Ball 1,” a Trap&B-ish number about his brother LaMelo’s signature shoe, on which Lonzo, to his credit, doesn’t try to sing. (He left that to Kenneth Paige.) LiAngelo—the least trumpeted Ball—has neither a song nor a shoe yet, since he has his NCAA eligibility to worry about, but that’s not what we’re here to talk about.

We’re here to talk about paying respect and paying dues ... which are the same, but different, you know?

I could say the beat is bony and unimaginative. I could say that, while not super focused on rhyming words with different ones, in trap triplets, Lonzo broaches some really important topics like being verified on Twitter and Instagram, or being an “X-Men without the X.” I could tell you how long I spent thinking about which of the X-Men Lonzo would be (too long), or thinks he is (Gambit, both times) before realizing he meant “X” like the one you’re supposed to sign your name next to.

I could review Lonzo’s song. But that would be no fun, and Lonzo is obviously too advanced for me anyway, so I’ll defer to the SoundCloud commenters, the most reliable measure of whether anything—no matter what it is or how recently it was released—is [fire emoji] or [poop emoji]. As Lonzo said on “ZO2,” to me, personally, and to no one else: “Stay in yo lane.” (I still don’t know why I have to stay in mine while he gets to switch lanes, skrt, but I guess you do what you want when you’re 6-0 in training-camp scrimmages.)

“COLD,” 44-DRGZ said in all caps, at 0:00, before the song had even started. “TRASH,” concluded jackmac235, just over a minute in. “Lol this shit fire,” said rapper rekstizzy, contradicting 44-DRGZ in terms but not in spirit. “Is this the male version of bhad bhabie,” asked shrinkwrap lover, somewhat unfairly. But User 899927405 was maybe the most uncharitable:

And calvin./CHANCE summed it all up pretty capably at the very end: “Why? lol.”