NBA stars have a history of embarrassing themselves trying to branch out into the hip-hop game. There’s a long list of ballers who made the mistake of attempting to rhyme — and many of them are guys you’ve heard of. Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Shaq, Ron “Tru Warier” Artest, Delonte West, and even Frenchman Tony Parker, among others, have proven themselves to be better suited for the court than the studio.
That’s why Orlando Magic superstar center Dwight Howard‘s choice not to take his upcoming album, Shoot for the Stars, seriously, is a smart one. Then again, it’s still hilarious. According to Prefix, Superman’s first album will be for the kids, and feature covers of all the songs you’d expect from an athlete: Black Eyed Peas’ ”Let’s Get it Started”, Smash Mouth’s “All Star”, and of course “Whoomp (Hoop) There it Is”, the Jock Jam Howard must have grown up with. Then there are some head-scratchers: “Day-O”, “ABC”, and “U Can’t Touch This (Howard Time)”. That last one is sure to become a standard TNT catchphrase. And the closing track, the title track, is the only original song, a motivational song about.. .well duh.
The album will feature several “All-Star” session musicians: Grammy winner Luis Conte (Eric Clapton, Santana), Abraham Laboriel (Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles), Leland Sklar (James Taylor, Phil Collins), and Tim Pierce (Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson). Every track will feature kids on backup vocals, and Howard’s cover of Michael Jackson’s “Will You Be There” will feature the support of none other than the Kidz Bop kids. Latin-Grammy-nominated producer Loren Harriet, who has previously worked with New York Yankee Bernie Williams, worked on Shoot for the Stars.
Howard, known for his superstar sense of humor, will also do impressions of celebrities including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, and of course “Sir” Charles Barkley.
According to a statement by his record label in a press release, “Dwight Howard is one of the best players in the NBA, but it’s his positive attitude, exuberance and sportsmanship both on and off the court that make him a real All-Star. Razor & Tie is proud to be releasing his debut album that we believe perfectly captures his humor and heart. We think that Shoot For The Stars will be a slam dunk hit with kids and fans.”
Howard shared the enthusiasm but not the terrible puns. “This record is a dream come true for me in so many ways,” he said. “Recording this album for me ranks with being the first pick in the NBA draft, my first NBA All-Star game and winning a gold medal at the Olympics. Razor & Tie and KIDZ BOP have been incredible and I hope everyone enjoys the album as much as I did recording it.”
The album, which will benefits the BETA Center, comes out October 26th on Razor & Tie/KIDZ BOP. Check out the tracklist below.
Shoot for the Stars Tracklist:
1. Let’s Get it Started
2. All Star
4. Will You Be There
5. U Can’t Touch This (Howard Time)
8. Get the Party Started
10. Whoomp (Hoop) There It Is
11. Shoot For The Stars