Sacramento Kings

Damian Lillard and Kings’ Marvin Bagley start rap battle. NBA fans on Twitter go nuts

Kings’ Marvin Bagley III embattled in rap beef with Trailblazers’ Damian Lillard

Sacramento Kings' Marvin Bagley III is embattled in a rap beef with Portland Trailblazers star Damian Lillard, as the two went “bar for bar,” dropping diss tracks on social media June 20 and 21, 2019.
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Sacramento Kings' Marvin Bagley III is embattled in a rap beef with Portland Trailblazers star Damian Lillard, as the two went “bar for bar,” dropping diss tracks on social media June 20 and 21, 2019.

Sacramento Kings baller Marvin Bagley III is not-so-officially embattled in a rap beef with Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard, as the two went “bar for bar,” dropping diss tracks on social media into the wee hours of Friday morning.

After Bagley (“MB3FIVE” on Soundcloud) tweeted a link to a track titled “No Debate” Thursday afternoon, Lillard (aka Dame D.O.L.L.A.) responded later that evening with a pair of tracks: the first titled “MARVINNNNNN!!!???”, then another called “BYE BYE.”

Bagley wasn’t having it, so he released a rebuttal, “Checkmate,” at 3 a.m. on the West Coast (“Y’all still up?” he tweeted at 2 in the morning).

All of this started when Bagley appeared on ESPN’s “First Take” on Thursday morning, telling Max Kellerman he was the best MC in the NBA and that he’d be down to battle Lillard.

“I won’t be on first take... but if that’s what he want ... shoot,” Lillard tweeted Thursday morning.

Then, after releasing his first diss track, Lillard explained: “I was being quiet cuz I just rap and enjoy the music bra. But he keep mentioning my name.”

It’s a real rookie-vs.-veteran showdown. Lillard, 28, has for years been considered the NBA’s best rapper and is likely the league’s most prolific artist, with three full-length albums available on iTunes. Bagley, the 20-year-old former Duke star who was named to the 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie First Team, wants to show hip-hop fans that he’s no slouch.

(This all happened as the NBA Draft was going on, by the way.)

So, who won?

Glancing at the reaction by social media fans and active NBA players, as well as memes created at the speed of light, the answer is Lillard. But some said it was a tie, and most acknowledged that Bagley impressed with some solid bars. Others just enjoyed the show.

“Daaamn @Dame_Lillard don’t do that to em cuz,” former Kings point guard Isaiah Thomas tweeted.

“Bagley is pretty good, but Dame got him! Round 1 to the vet, Dame,” Fox Sports analyst Chris Broussard wrote.

“NBA diss track season>NBA playoffs,” another user tweeted.

You be the judge

You can listen to all four tracks (so far) on each NBA player’s Soundcloud page, or below.

Here are the tracks, as well as some of the most memorable lines spit by Bagley and Lillard.

(Note: the songs contain explicit language.)

Bagley

“I’m finna turn this Dame Dolla to chump change,” – on “Checkmate.”

“I ain’t rocking with them folks that thought it was over / I’m finna sign with State Farm and push you out of your stroller,” – on “Checkmate.”

Lillard

“How a King come to battle, knowing the kingdom worthless?” – on “MARVINNNNNN!!!???”.

“You a fan, put respect on my name or get disrespected / You in Sac and I’m from Oakland, a minute from getting hectic,” – on “MARVINNNNNN!!!???”.

“I hope the king learned his lesson, this a bad investment” – on “BYE BYE.”

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Michael McGough anchors The Sacramento Bee’s breaking news reporting team, covering public safety and other local stories. A Sacramento native and lifelong capital resident, he interned at The Bee while attending Sacramento State, where he earned a degree in journalism.
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