The Effects of Hip-Hop on Football Performance

Music has been an inspiration to athletes of all ages since as long as we can remember.  While many genres of music inspire athletes, there are certain genres that fit certain sports better than others.  For instance, while some may like it, it’s doubtful that any Taylor Swift songs would have the same impact to a professional football player that hip-hop would have.


Both football and hip-hop are extremely influential in today’s culture. The hip-hop culture is instilled in kids at young ages. They can listen to a song and identify a feeling and replay events in their minds like it was yesterday. This creates a bond of manhood, ritual, and masculinity between football and hip-hop. Through this psychological bond, athletic performance in football is increased. However this bond is not the only factor. Hip-hop also has a positive physical and psychological effect on your body and mind that has been shown to have a positive impact on a football player’s performance.

Many football players grow up listening to hip-hop and rap throughout their sports careers. It can be seen throughout the sports world. Football players of all levels are seen walking to the stadium or listening to music before the game. In an interview of joe wilson, I asked my starting running back about his music choices before games. As well as the running back I also talked to many other players and got similar results. This shows you the huge effect hip-hop has on football performance.

Hip-hop has a major effect on performance for many reasons. First, hip-hop affects football performance because there is a common message that impacts and connects players psychologically. Many hip-hop songs talk about to standing up for where you’re from in their lyrics. This connects the player’s minds directly to the main idea of football. In the song “Put On” by Young Jeezy, he says, “I put on for my city.”

NFL and college players take this to heart, and they are inspired to perform the best they can in order to represent where they came from and how far they have come in their sports careers. For example, Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens talks about his high school, or where he came from in many tweets.This shows that he still cares deeply for where he started and wants to inspire people from his hometown to continue to work hard and improve their situations. Players have a sense of commitment to where they came from, so they play their best for that reason.

Hip-hop doesn’t only help psychologically, but it also has a major physical effect on football performance. According to Dr. Costas Karageorghis, a sports psychologist at Brunel University, music has helped increase endurance of athletes by about 15% ( And it also increased energy efficiency by about 1-3%. This means that someone can work that much harder on the same amount of oxygen ( Endurance isn’t the only thing that music helps. According to Karageorghis, Music, and specifically in relation to football, also acts as a mood altering catalyst. This means that if you are going into a practice or game, and an upbeat hip-hop song is played, the listener will begin to get pumped up and ready faster. Hip-hop is known for its loud upbeat music, which makes it the perfect type of music to get athletes, and specifically football players, pumped up. Finally, hip-hop also can have an affect on muscle memory. Muscle memory is the ability to have something so engrained into someone’s head that it becomes second nature. These are just a couple of the many physical effects that hip-hop music can have on performance.

Music, and hip-hop specifically, have made a major impact on sports of today. Particularly in football, the athletes seem to have a certain connection with hip-hop from their childhood. This connection helps them to be able to perform at higher levels. As well as the connection, hip-hop also has many positive physical effects that allow it to increase athletic performance. With these positive influences the genre brings, hip-hop is definitely a plus in the sports world.

Works Cited

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Johnson, Chris (ChrisJohnson28). “Download ‪@therealwoopwoop mixtape “Woop Nation” ‪ …” 2 Sept. 2013, 7:27 p.m. Tweet.

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Rice, Ray (RayRice27). “Big win New Ro…. Keep grinding! #NewRochellefootball.” 4 Oct. 2013, 9:07 p.m. Tweet.

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Never Be A Rapper.” Vibe., 11 June 2013. Web. 01 Dec. 2013.

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“Put On.” Rec. 3 June 2008. The Recession. Drumma Boy, 2008. MP3.


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