Newly acquired Hornets SG Lance Stephenson, “wants to do more than just play basketball,” writes the Charlotte Observer’s Jonathan Jones, pointing out that Stephenson’s cover of Bobby Shmurda’s “Hot Nigga” is not entirely faithful to the original :
Stephenson took the beat to the song and says in four hours he came up with his lyrics. He stripped Shmurda’s lyrics of misogyny and gun violence and replaced them with rhymes about his basketball talents, endorsements for his And 1 shoe company, reminiscing about watching Allen Iverson, his excitement to play with Hornets point guard Kemba Walker and more.
“Brooklyn-bred now I’m out in N.C.,” the end of the song’s first verse goes. “Me and Kemba in the backcourt n—as as dead meat/Pops held me, down kept me out the streets/They wonder how the rose grew up out the concrete…
“I’ve been ballin’ hard since like the fifth grade/Watching A.I. gettin’ 40 with the French braids/Love Indiana, I’m gonna miss some good days/Charlotte Hornet, M.J. that’s a new way.”
The song uses the N-word nine times, down 13 from the original song. Although the word is commonly used in rap as well as in many professional sports team’s locker rooms that are predominantly African-American, Stephenson said he was cognizant of the message it might send to kids who view him as a role model.
This week he released the music video, which includes him driving a Rolls Royce, wearing a retro Larry Johnson jersey and doing a dance he created called the Born Ready Dance. He blanked out the nine times he used the N-word, acknowleding its offense to others.