The Ball family headed by patriarch LaVar is rightfully known as a basketball family. Eldest brother Lonzo is beginning his NBA career as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers after being taken No. 2 overall in the NBA draft this past June. Middle son LiAngelo Ball is headed to UCLA on a basketball scholarship and youngest son LaMelo will be following in his footsteps in a few years when he graduates from high school. But the family clearly has another passion that has garnered headlines as well: Music.
Lonzo has dropped a few rap songs, and seemingly every time he opens his mouth about rap it goes viral and creates a firestorm. The Lakers rookie spoke to XXL about music, basketball, family and everything else, and it was there he said that Lil Wayne was his favorite rapper, but he also revealed that it was LaVar who instilled that passion for basketball and music on the family.
When asked who got him listening to rap, Lonzo revealed “It was definitely my dad who put me on.” He added that he remembered “going to pre-school, you know, rolling out in the Suburban and my dad bumping all types of rap, so he introduced me to it and from there I just loved it ever since.” As for what LaVar was listening to, it appears his rotation was full of all the favorites you’d expect from a Los Angeles Native who came of age in the ’80s and ’90s. “My dad listens to a lot of 2Pac, Ice Cube and WC. That’s what he was listening to a lot when we were growing up. He’s always been a fan of hip-hop.”
For most, Tupac and Cube make a ton of sense, but you might need a background reared in the west coast to truly understand the affinity for WC, and since Lonzo mentioned him by name rather than another big name artist, it’s clear that WC was a big part of the Ball family soundtrack. Most remember WC as a member of the group Westside Connection, which featured Cube and Mack 10, but WC is about as well known for his Crip Walk as he is for his career, and you can see why.
Knowing who his favorites are, it’s easy to see why LaVar was so excited to duke it out with Cube in the 4-point shootout when the Big 3 made its way to Staples Center this summer, and why despite all his new-school sensibilities Lonzo still found a place for Tupac in his much-debated top five rappers ever list.