Which of your favorite rap artists are also high rollers in social games?
Most artists in the industry of hip hop music like to play hard, live large, and go all-in with every aspect of their lives. Since this is the case, it isn’t surprising to know that some of these superstars like to play casino games like poker to unwind. Some of them even participate in tournaments such as the World Series of Poker and the World Poker Tour. Let’s take a look at some of these card sharks.
Having won a Grammy Award twice, Nelly is a recognized name when it comes to hip hop. Cornell Iral Haynes, Jr. also plays a mean game of poker, making headlines in 2007 when he tried his skills at the WSOP. After that event ended, he still appears at major social gaming tournaments. Nelly recently released his 7th studio album named “M.O.” based on a mixtape he called “O.E.M.O.”
Shawn Corey Carter, better known as Jay-Z, is another rap artist who has been known to profess his love for poker. He regularly roams the casinos of Las Vegas, and has even mixed it up with the big boys during a tournament at the Bellagio. He once lost a million dollars in just one hand. Jay-Z is presently completing a Blueprint 3 follow-up, as well as other projects.
Bruno Lopes (Kool Shen to his fans) is a French producer and rapper who used to perform with the hip hop group NTM. He was victorious at the 2012 WPT National Series Cannes, bringing home a pot worth $134,957 and a spot at the partypoker.com supported WPT Grand prix de Paris.
Finally, Artis Leon Ivey Jr. a.k.a. Coolio is an actor, hip hop performer, and poker player all in one. He believes that rap artists must learn to recognize opportunities and hone their street smarts, never showing weakness in times of hardship. Using this belief, he proved his card skills to the world when he appeared in “Celebrity Poker Showdown”.
These individuals give a new meaning to the slang phrase “baller”.
Whether or not you follow Ground Up closely, it’s been hard to miss them during their busy last month in the press. Starting off the new year, Ground Up was featured in a full-length article by the Huffington Post and a focal point in the Post’s emerging artists to watch list of 2014. Last week, the seemingly ever-present hip hop trio was interviewed by Sway and the Lox on MTV Jams, as well as being written-up in various hip hop and entertainment blogs… In addition, Ground Up’s song “No Thanks” was featured by Nitro Circus in Travis Pastrana’s web series Pastranaland, and Transworld Snowboard included Ground Up tracks in their latest videos that dropped worldwide.
Despite the busy schedules, the Ground Up house (which is more like a factory) is continuing to produce content and material with the same high-energy, collaborative atmosphere that has become one of the trademark aspects of this dynamic group’s identity in the industry. In addition to all the press, Ground Up successfully dropped a new clothing line (MDCCXI) that debuted with a sell-out and is already making its presence known in local fashion communities.
And that’s all without mentioning their highly anticipated upcoming album titled MEGA. Ground Up released the first single from MEGA, a track featuring Oakland rapper G Eazy, last month. MEGA, the group says, is a project that centers around a social philosophy of individual empowerment through harnessing our own creative production.
To some this may seem like their plate is full, but it’s precisely this type of multi-faceted productivity that has made Ground Up a respected group of artists, and although many critics say their best is yet to come, established rappers that have been watching Ground Up from the beginning strongly acknowledge their presence; like Jadakiss said to them last week, “You guys are in there now,”.
Despite the high-octane movement, the Ground Up team is far from slowing down. In fact, keep an eye out for more media in the upcoming weeks, including songs, interviews and videos. At the pace they’re moving lately, don’t look away for a second or you might miss something huge, better yet… something MEGA.
Written by Jake Sandler / @Youngjuchitan
Stoked to announce we’ll be hopping on a few shows with the homie G-Eazy in March. Catch us in Philly, New York, and Springfield VA. Head to our Shows page to grab tickets!
We are proud to announce we will be releasing our first full-length album entitled: Mega, in 2014. Hope y’all are ready… Singles and Videos coming soon.