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Pro's prose?

Times staff writer John C. Cotey breaks down athletes' rap efforts:

By JOHN C. COTEY, Times Staff Writer
Published September 25, 2005

DEION SANDERS, NFL/BASEBALL

CD TITLE: Prime Time.

AMAZON SALES RANK: No. 152,341.

NOTABLE TRACK: Must Be the Money.

NOTABLE LYRIC: "Flashing lights, on the dance floor; DJ says my name as I make my intro."

AVERAGE AMAZON RATING: 5/5 stars, but just one very sarcastic reviewer.

OUR FAVORITE AMAZON REVIEW: "He is very humble and seems to be grounded even being as famous as he is. What I am trying to figure out is why the guy played sports when it is very clear he could have made Motown the label again by churning out soul classic after soul classic."

COTEY'S REVIEW: Awful. Sounds like he's trying to do Morris Day. Bonus points for not doing a second CD. The first one might be the greatest gag gift of all time.

* * *

ROY JONES JR., BOXING

CD TITLE: Round One, the Album.

AMAZON SALES RANK: No. 76,391.

NOTABLE TRACK: Ya'll Must've Forgot.

NOTABLE LYRIC: "When I beat Bernard Hopkins and won the IBF, the right was hurt; beat him with the left."

AVERAGE AMAZON RATING: 3/5 stars, 16 reviews.

OUR FAVORITE AMAZON REVIEW: "He appeared on MTV's FANatic back in 2000 and explained that rap really gets him going. Well, this album will get everyone going . . . to another room."

COTEY'S REVIEW: So-so. Bonus points for rhyming "Seoul, Korea" with "whole career." He also has had a minor rap war with Fat Joe, who dissed him in a song for getting knocked out twice but then apologized when Jones confronted him. East Coast, babeeeee.

* * *

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL, NBA

CD TITLE: Shaq Diesel.

AMAZON SALES RANK: No. 79,494.

NOTABLE TRACK: (I Know I Got) Skillz.

NOTABLE LYRIC: "Don't need the drink crooked, I juice to get loose, my favorite cartoon is Bullwinkle the Moose, I'm 'bout to sting you like rubbing alcohol, yes yes y'all call me Ed Jones cause I'm too tall."

AVERAGE AMAZON RATING: 2.5/5 stars, 26 reviews.

OUR FAVORITE AMAZON REVIEW: "Shaq is talented. He is an incredible basketball player - clearly the most dominant in the league - a savvy businessman, not a bad writer and a decent entertainer, but I cannot in good conscience give his music much acclaim."

COTEY'S REVIEW: The William Shatner of rap. Funny and bad. But Skillz and I'm Outstanding are catchy; just ignore the lyrics. And bonus points for putting out three other CDs and a greatest hits CD. I wish I was kidding.

* * *

ALLEN IVERSON, NBA

CD TITLE: 40 Bars.

AMAZON SALES RANK: n/a.

NOTABLE TRACK: 40 Bars.

NOTABLE LYRIC: "Man enough to pull a gun, be man enough to squeeze it."

AVERAGE AMAZON RATING: n/a

OUR FAVORITE AMAZON REVIEW: n/a

COTEY'S REVIEW: Based on the single, bonus points for scrapping this project. NBA commissioner David Stern said the lyrics were "coarse, offensive, and antisocial."' He forgot "bad."

* * *

OSCAR DE LA HOYA, BOXING

CD TITLE: Oscar De La Hoya.

AMAZON SALES RANK: No. 108,900.

NOTABLE TRACK: Run to Me.

NOTABLE LYRIC: "If ever you got rain in your heart, someone has hurt you, and torn you apart; Am I unwise to open up your eyes, to love me?"

AVERAGE AMAZON RATING: 3.5/5 stars, 29 reviews.

OUR FAVORITE AMAZON REVIEW: "His voice is like nails on a chalkboard and after listening to this CD my IQ fell 100 points. My dog who is clinically deaf ran from the room whimpering and brought back David Hasselhoff's hit CD Party on the Beach, which I do recommend."

COTEY'S REVIEW: Wretched. Bonus points for remaking a Bee Gees song. But I'd rather listen to Enya and Yanni do a duet.

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