2 Songs You Didn’t Know Baseball Legend Ken Griffey Jr. Rapped On

Baseball player Ken Griffey Jr. is known today for his sweet swing, a knack for hitting home runs, and his uncanny ability to track down fly balls in the outfield. Playing America’s National Pastime, Griffey was joyous in the field and at the plate.

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In Seattle, where he came up as a rookie, he remains beloved. He’s appeared at celebrity games, he’s hosting the first-ever Swingman HBCU Classic on July 6 ahead of this year’s All-Star Game on July 11. In other words, he’s an MLB icon.

But did you know that the athlete known as “The Kid” was musically inclined? Not only has he shown up in multi-million streamed rap videos for songs like Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Downtown,” but Griffey Jr., early in his career, rapped on a few tracks along with lyricist Kid Sensation.

1. “The Way I Swing,” Kid Sensation

In early July of 1990, Seattle rapper Kid Sensation released his debut LP, Rollin’ With Number One. The record came out on Nastymix, the same label that Sir Mix-a-Lot had long been signed to. Two years later, Kid Sensation released his follow-up record, The Power of Rhyme, also on the label. Griffey Jr. spit a verse on the album’s song, “The Way I Swing,” which was all about his status in the city, and prowess at the plate.

Later, Kid Sensation dropped the moniker and used his name Xola Malik, producing music for sports shows in Seattle, including for running back Shawn Alexander’s radio show. But on “The Way I Swing” with Griffey, the baseball player spits like a pro.

2. “Back Home,” Kid Sensation

The song, “Back Home,” is the title track off Kid Sensation’s 2009 album, his first record since his 1996 LP, A.K.A. Mista K-Sen. The song commemorates the moment that same year when Ken Griffey Jr. rejoined the Seattle Mariners after leaving the city after about a decade playing in his original hometown of Cincinnati. “The Kid” is back and so is, with the song, Kid Sensation. Check out the song featuring the two below. And check out Junior’s verse reused from the song above. The art of the sample is in full effect.

Photo by Daniel Shirey/WBCI/MLB Photos via Getty Images

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