There’s a popular belief—backed up by countless songs and YouTube videos—that all athletes want to be rappers and all rappers want to be athletes. It’s true: The worlds of sport and hip-hop often collide. And during the late ’90s and early ’00s, throwback football jerseys were the norm in urban fashion. You couldn’t turn on MTV or BET without seeing the biggest rap acts in the world smothering your television screen with classic Mitchell & Ness throwbacks or unis from the NFL’s most popular players of the era. With that in mind, TDdaily will break down one such video per week as part of our #ThrowbackJerseyThursday series.
Xzibit wore a Cleveland Browns Tim Couch jersey in the video for his hit single “X”. Couch was born and raised in eastern Kentucky, played quarterback at the University of Kentucky, then managed a five-year NFL stint in Cleveland from ’99-03; a couple of comeback attempts followed after his time in Ohio sputtered out, but the 6-4 Couch would never return to the NFL gridiron after that initial run. Not exactly what the Browns had hoped for when they selected the quarterback No. 1 overall in the 1999 draft. The now-former QB has literally nothing in common with Xzibit, a born-in-Detroit, raised-in-New-Mexico, bred-in-California rapper with a still-strong hip-hop career, a handful of hits and a wildly successful reality TV show all under his belt. But, because of a single fashion decision made in the days (or hours, or, let’s be real, perhaps minutes) before the filming of the first scene of the “X” visual, the two will be linked forever.
Adam Figman is an associate editor at TD Magazine and SLAM Magazine. Follow him on Twitter @afigman.