Shawn Carter, better known as Jay-Z, is sometimes called the King of Rap, but he may say this is not the most accurate description of his success.

He prefers to go by "The Mike Jordan of recording" and his albums top the charts like "Bill Russell rings." He is the same guy who "made the Yankee hat more famous than a Yankee can" even though he is still wearing his "23's."

Jay-Z's rap success brings him into the world of business, politics, philanthropy and sports. Sports are a particular love of HOVA. The guy owned a piece of an NBA team for eight years and traveled down the Canyon of Heroes with a World Series championship team.

Jay-Z's newest album, "Magna Carta Holy Grail," is set for release on July 4. It will have at least two sports references. Both relate to his foray into the agent business:

From the song "La Familia" ...

"NFL investigations/Oh don't make me laugh/FBI investigation/We stood up to that"

From the song "Crown" ...

"Scott Boras, you over baby/Robinson Cano, you coming with me"

Here are the previous sports-related lines from the rapper's career:

Jay-Z's Sports Lyrics Slideshow


'Izzo (H.O.V.A.)' -Jay-Z, 2001

Lyric: Was servin’ em in the home of the Terrapins, got it dirt cheap for them Plus if they was short with cheese I would work for them Analysis: No, this has nothing to do with Tom Izzo. Gary Williams, on the other hand…Jay-Z alludes to his old stomping grounds in the Maryland/Virginia area, where he sold drugs during his pre-rap days. The "home of the Terrapins" is a reference to the Maryland mascot. According to Rap Genius, HOVA also claims to have sold drugs to Maryland basketball players.


'Izzo (H.O.V.A.)' -Jay-Z, 2001

Lyric: Cracks in my palm, watching the long arm of the law So you know I seen it all before I've seen Hoop Dreams deflate like a true fiend’s weight. Analysis: Although Jay-Z tends to defend his drug-dealing days, saying he needed to make money, some guilt is sensed here. The rapper recalls prospective basketball stars crushed by the use of drugs. It is unclear if HOVA's drugs are the reason for any of the shattered hopes. Also, Hoop Dreams is a 1994 documentary that follows two high school basketball stars in Chicago.


'Heart of the City (Ain't No Love)' - Jay-Z, 2001

Lyric: I scramble like Randall with his Cunningham but the only thing running is numbers fam Analysis: Using all five syllables of the former NFL quarterback’s name, Jay-Z fits him into the rap. Cunningham is known as one of the most mobile quarterbacks of all time, and HOVA claims they are both scramblers. While Cunningham ran from tacklers, Jay-Z is not running from others. The only thing running up is the number of fans to his name.


'Encore' - Jay-Z, 2003

Lyric: From Marcy to Madison Square To the only thing that matters in just a matter of years As fate would have it, Jay’s status appears To be at an all-time high, perfect time to say goodbye When I come back like Jordan, wearing the 4-5 It ain’t to play games with you, it’s to aim you, probably maim you Analysis: HOVA grew up in the Marcy projects of Brooklyn, but as a rapper, he performs concerts at Madison Square Garden. This is a rags to riches tale for a New Yorker. Jay-Z continues the basketball topic by saying he is at his peak, and he could retire like Michael Jordan did in his prime after winning three titles. Jay-Z says when he comes out of retirement, he would be wearing number 45, the number Michael Jordan wore when he initially came back from his 1993-1995 retirement. After "The Black Album," Jay-Z took three years before releasing another album.


'Dirt Off Your Shoulder' - Jay-Z, 2003

Lyric: At the 40/40 club, ESPN on the screen I paid a grip for the jeans, plus the slippers is clean Analysis: Jay-Z owns the 40/40 sports bar and lounges chain. The chain’s name was derived from the baseball term in which a player hits 40 home runs and steals 40 bases in a season. For the lyric, Jay-Z decides to mention ESPN being played on the television. The newest 40/40 club opened about one year ago at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.


'Public Service Announcement (Interlude)' - Jay-Z, 2003

Lyric: Check out my hat yo, peep the way I wear it Check out my swag' yo, I walk like a ballplayer Analysis: The ballplayer reference has two meanings here. As hinted at by the word "swag," Jay-Z connects the way he carries himself to the demeanor of highly-paid professional athletes. The meaning can also be interpreted as Jay-Z "walking" as if he was given four balls at the plate. Like walks in baseball, Jay-Z has many free passes in life.


'Crazy in Love' - Beyonce Featuring Jay-Z, 2003

Lyric: "The ROC handle like Van Exel I shake phonies man you can’t get next to" Analysis: Nick Van Exel had career averages of 14.4 points and 6.6 assists, but it was his ball-handling that got him into a Jay-Z verse. Jay-Z and Beyonce started their romance around the time of the recording. HOVA uses the opportunity to talk about how flashy his ROC-A-Fella Records label is by comparing it to Van Exel crossovers.


'Never Let Me Down' - Kanye West Featuring Jay-Z and J-Ivy, 2004

Analysis: Many of Jay-Z's albums come out in the back end of the year, usually during the fall. As Jordan did in the clutch, HOVA likes to make his move with the clock ticking. Although 'Magna Carta Holy Grail' is coming out in the summer, Jay-Z waited until just a few weeks before the release to make an announcement.


'Show Me What You Got' - Jay-Z, 2006

Lyrics: "Shots of Patron, now she in the zone I ain’t talking bout the 2-3 Mami in the zone like the homie two-three Jordan or James, makes no difference We all ballin the same N****, I am the Mike Jordan of recording N****, you might want to fall back from recording" Analysis: Yes, Jay-Z makes a zone defense reference. He mentions the 2-3 zone, and he also says Michael Jordan, LeBron James and he are all in the same “zone.” The 2-3 is a reference to the number 23, which Jordan wore for most of his career and James wore with the Cavaliers. HOVA refers to himself as the Jordan of rap because “Show Me What You Got” is on the “Kingdom Come” album, which came out after a three-year hiatus by Jay-Z (Jordan won three titles after his own short retirement).


'Hello Brooklyn 2.0' - Jay-Z Featuring Lil Wayne, 2007

Lyric: "Iller than Albee Square Mall in the 9-0 My fine ho we got some victims to catch So in a couple years baby I’mma bring you some Nets" Analysis: Earlier in the track, HOVA says if he had a daughter, he would name her Brooklyn Carter. He lied. Her name is Blue Ivy. But Jay-Z did not lie about the Nets. Five years after the 2007 release of “American Gangster,” the Nets arrived in Brooklyn.


Brooklyn Go Hard' -Jay-Z, 2008

Lyric: “I father, I Brooklyn Dodger them I jack, I rob, I sin Aww man, I’m Jackie Robinson ‘Cept when I run base, I dodge the pen Lucky me, luckily, the didn’t get me How when I bring the Nets, I’m the black Branch Rickey Analysis: There is a lot of Brooklyn pride in this lyric. Jay-Z pays tribute to Jackie Robinson, who broke baseball’s color barrier in Brooklyn. He also compares Robinson’s ability to steal bases for the Dodgers (Dodger can mean criminal) to his ability to avoid prison ("the pen"), while selling cocaine. In a more recent sense, Jay-Z speaks on the pending Nets move to Brooklyn. Branch Rickey was the white Dodgers owner who brought Robinson to Brooklyn. Jay-Z became the first black owner of a pro sports team when the Nets moved to Brooklyn with his minority stake. The song was also played in a trailer for “42: The True Story of an American Legend.”


'Empire State of Mind' -Jay-Z Featuring Alicia Keys, 2009

Lyric: 'Say what up to Ty Ty, still sipping mai tais Sitting courtside Knicks and Nets give me high fives N**** I be Spiked out, I can trip a referee Tell by my attitude that I most definitely from' Analysis: Ty Ty is a reference to Jay-Z’s good friend Tyran Smith, a frequent attendee of basketball games with HOVA. Jay-Z and Smith can be found most consistently at the Barclays Center and Madison Square Garden, but HOVA makes his rounds across the nation. In this lyric, he praises Knicks superfan Spike Lee. Like the famed director, Jay-Z's intense fandom can influences the game.


'Empire State of Mind' - Jay-Z Featuring Alicia Keys, 2009

Lyric: "Catch me at the X with OG at a Yankee game S***, I made the Yankee hat more famous than a Yankee can You should know I bleed Blue" Analysis: Again, Jay-Z gives a shout out to a friend, this time Juan “OG” Perez. The ‘X’ is a reference to the Bronx, the borough of Yankee Stadium. Although HOVA has worked a Nets hat into his repertoire lately, the Yankee hat still remains a staple of Jay-Z’s attire. Some deem the line cocky, but Jay-Z shows consistent respect for the Yankees franchise. He played “Empire State of Mind” before Game 2 of the 2009 World Series at Yankee Stadium and joined in the parade after the Bombers won the series.


“Empire State of Mind”-Jay-Z Featuring Alicia Keys, 2009

Lyric: “Me I gotta plug Special Ed ‘I got it made’ If Jeezy’s paying LeBron, I’m paying Dwyane Wade 3 dice Cee-lo, 3 card Marley” Analysis: This line is a lot more interesting now than it was upon its release date in 2009. According to Rap Genius, the original meaning of the line had to doing with buying cocaine. In “24-23” by Young Jeezy, the rapper says “I used to pay Kobe, now I pay LeBron,” a reference to his price for buying coke dipping from 24K (Kobe Bryant’s number) to 23K (LeBron James’ Cavaliers’ number). Jay-Z is mocking him by saying he pays 3K (Dwyane Wade’s number). Off the topic of drugs, the 2009-2010 season was also the final season before James and Wade became free agents, as well as Chris Bosh, Amar’e Stoudemire and others in what was predicted to be one of the most exciting off-seasons in basketball history. HOVA was hoping the Nets could land James or Wade, as the two were arguably the top two free agents on the market. This lyric is now laughed at, as both James and Wade were paid by the same team, the Miami Heat.


“Already Home”-Jay-Z Featuring Kid Cudi, 2009

Lyric: “And really the fact is, we not in the same bracket Not in the same league Don’t shoot at the same baskets Don’t pay the same taxes” Analysis: This needs a two-part definition. First, Jay-Z mocks others for not being worthy enough to play in the same game as him, thus not being allowed to play on the same court and shoot at the same hoops. The “bracket” line is a reference to a basketball tournament such as the NCAA Tournament, but it also alludes to others not being in the same high tax bracket as him.


“On to the Next One”-Jay-Z Featuring Swizz Beatz, 2009

Lyric: “F*** a throwback jersey cause we on to the next one And f*** that Auto-Tune cause we onnnnn And n***** don’t be mad cause it’s all about progression” Analysis: Jay-Z uses “The Blueprint III” to symbolize his maturity from his early days of drug-dealing and rapping. Throwback jerseys represent the past, which Jay-Z wants to progress from. He expresses distaste toward modern auto-tune, although the word ‘on’ is auto-tuned in the song.


“Mr. Nice Watch”-J. Cole Featuring Jay-Z, 2011

Lyric: “I got a Hublot, I call it Tebow, I strap that b**** with a gator band Y’all n***** ball half-time, y’all n***** like the Gator band.” Analysis: Even Jay-Z joined in on Tebowmania during fall 2011. HOVA refers to wearing a Hublot, a brand of watch. Unlike an ordinary watch, Jay-Z’s Hublot is made of alligator skin. It has a “gator band,” which Jay-Z calls “Tebow,” as Tim Tebow played college football for the Florida Gators. Jay-Z mocks others who are only half the man he is, comparing them to the Florida “Gator band” (with a capital G), who only get to perform at halftime. Tebow, on the other hand, balls all game. The phrase “Tebow time” sums up this lyric.


“N***** in Paris”-Jay-Z and Kanye West, 2011

Lyric: “(Ball so hard) This s*** crazy, y’all don’t know that don’t s*** don’t faze me The Nets could go 0 for 82 and I’d look at you like this s*** gravy” Analysis: Maybe one of HOVA’s more cocky sports-related lines. He says fame and money do not affect him, but then brings the Nets into it. Just a few months after the Nets finished an abysmal 12-70, Jay-Z claims he would not care all that much if the Nets went 0-82. However, another way to interpret this would be to encompass the ongoing NBA lockout during the song’s release. Maybe HOVA was saying if the Nets (or any team) did not win a game during the 2011-2012 season because of the lockout, he would think it was nonsense.


'N***** in Paris' -Jay-Z and Kanye West, 2011

Lyric: “Psycho: I’m liable to go Michael, take your pick Jackson, Tyson, Jordan, Game 6” Analysis: Psycho with a capital P and the name Michael are connected by Michael Myers, the character in the “Halloween” film series. HOVA then brings up three legendary Michaels who were psycho in their own way. Michael Jackson went from King of Pop to Neverland. Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield’s ear and was known for his antics inside and outside the ring. Jordan went psycho in his skill, especially with his last second shot in Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals to win the title. Jordan famously never needed a Game 7 in his six Finals appearances.


'N***** in Paris' - Jay-Z and Kanye West, 2011

Lyric: “B****, behave, just might might let you meet ‘Ye Chi town’s D Rose, I’m moving the Nets to BK” Analysis: Jay-Z tells women if they do not act out of line, he will let them meet his co-vocalist, Kanye West. HOVA compares West to Derrick Rose, the reigning NBA MVP at the time and West’s fellow Chicagoan. Jay-Z says he is taking the Nets from New Jersey to Brooklyn, although BK is also the initials of Jay-Z’s wife, Beyonce Knowles, so he could be moving the Nets closer to their New York home.


“Gotta Have It”-Jay-Z and Kanye West, 2011

Lyric: "Sorry I'm in pajamas but I just off the PJ And last party we had, they shut down Prive (Ain’t that where the Heat play? N***** hate ballas these days) Yep! Ain’t that like LeBron James? (Ain't that just like D.Wade? Wait)" Analysis: Club Prive is a club with multiple locations. Shortly West partied at the Miami venue, the club closed. Jay-Z connects Prive’s location to the city’s basketball team, the Miami Heat. “Gotta Have It” came out a few months after the Heat lost to the Mavericks in the 2011 NBA Finals. Before James and Wade won a title together, they were the target of many NBA fans’ boos and criticisms for joining forces in Miami.


“Primetime”-Jay-Z and Kanye West, 2011

Lyric: “Primetime, beat by Dion” Analysis: The first line of Jay-Z’s first verse spells Dion with no ‘e.’ This is not a mistake. HOVA tosses a tribute to Dion Wilson (better known as No I.D.), the song’s producer. Jay-Z also recognizes “Primetime,” the name of the track, is also NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders’ nickname.


“Primetime”-Jay-Z and Kanye West, 2011

Lyric: “Still wearing my 23’s, they can’t f*** with the boy Far as them 16’s, I’m 23 of it all” Analysis: Throughout all that goes on in his rap and business career, Jay-Z still wears his Air Jordan sneakers. This links HOVA and Michael Jordan. Jordan was the greatest basketball player of his time, and now, Jay-Z is the greatest rapper (16’s are verses).


“Lift Off”-Jay-Z and Kanye West Featuring Beyonce, 2011

Lyric: “When you Earnhart as me eventually you hit a big wall” Analysis: Jay-Z mixes the phrase “earn hard,” as in making money, with NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Dale Earnhardt. Earnhardt died when he crashed into the wall in the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500.


“Illest Motherf***** Alive”-Jay-Z and Kanye West, 2011

Lyrics: “King Hov, I’m exactly what the f*** you think 11 in a row, Bill Russell rings Michael Jordan swag, y’all think Michael Jordan bad N**** I got 5 more rings than Michael Jordan had” Analysis: Jay-Z’s latest album before “Watch the Throne,” “The Blueprint III,” became his 11th consecutive album to reach number one on the billboard charts. The feat surpassed Elvis Presley’s 10 albums and left him behind only The Beatles. Jay-Z compares himself to the NBA’s all-time champion, Bill Russell, who had 11 titles as a player (not in a row). HOVA then calls himself an even more bad version of Michael Jordan, who has just six titles.


“Clique”-Kanye West Featuring Big Sean & Jay-Z, 2012

Lyric: “It’s the Dream Team meets the Supreme Team” Jay-Z’s verse is about his personal “clique” and the people he surrounds himself with. Before this line, HOVA declares West, Rihanna, Beyonce and LeBron James parts of his clique. He calls himself G.O.O.D. Music’s (West’s label) “drug-dealing cousin.” Jay-Z says his clique is somewhere between the Dream Team and the Supreme Team. The Dream Team was the 1992 U.S. Olympic gold medal basketball team that featured Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and eight other Hall of Famers. The Supreme Team was a 1980s African-American cocaine gang in Queens, N.Y. that was headed by Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff.

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-- Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.