By Helin Jung
March 27, 2007 at 12:00 PM EDT
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You may know that Tony Parker is the starting point guard for the San Antonio Spurs, or that he is engaged to Desperate Housewives‘ Eva Longoria, but did you know that he’s also broken into the (French) music biz? Seriously — his first rap album, Tony Parker, dropped yesterday in France. With it, Tony P. joins the likes of KOBE, Shaq Fu, and even Allen Iverson in becoming a professional basketball player with a side gig in pretending to flow. Can’t get enough of that fame, can they?

Not that there’s anything theoretically wrong with an athlete trying to rap, it’s just that, statistically, the efforts end up looking silly. Let’s put the first single off of Tony P.’s album, “Balance-Toi,” to the test, shall we? It’s got a mashup of familiar “club banger” elements, with heavy bass beats, vaguely exotic horns, and even a little kid accessory (“Tony P, wassup!!”). The lyrics are mostly in French, but consist of juvenile, repetitive language: “Check mon hip-hop/Toujour au top… Rap est mon job, Stop!/Jump et jump et jump hop!” You really think that would sound any better in English?.

You can check out another song,”Top of the Game,” that Tony P. cut with the American rapper Fabolousand the French Booba. (Stop snickering.) A few other songs areavailable on Tony’s official music blog.They include “Bienvenue Dans le Texas” (Welcome to Texas), “Pourquoi jerappe?” (Why do I rap?), and “Les clefs de la reussite.” That last onetranslates to “The keys to success.” For basketball pros? The key wouldbe to keep it on the court!

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