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Rap Has a Long History of Reclaiming the Golf Course

On the heels of YBN Nahmir's NSFW golf-themed collab with City Girls and Tyga, we go deep on rap's relationship with the links.

by Kristin Corry
Jul 23 2019, 11:00am

Screenshot of "Fuck It Up"

Last week, YBN Nahmir released a visual for "Fuck It Up," an NSFW collaboration featuring City Girls and Tyga. Instead of the monstrous cars that often ornament rap videos, the 19-year-old whips a Hummer golf cart around a lush golf course. It doesn't take long before you realize there aren't many middle-aged men on Nahmir's course; he's making a point about who gets to take up space in a sport that traditionally favored white players. The trio uses the course to their advantage, making it rain on strippers (yes, they brought poles to the golf course) as they please. But "Fuck It Up" isn't rap's first foray into borrowing golf's aesthetics; the trend has been around for decades.

"Mo' Money, Mo' Problems" (1997)

Puff Daddy and Mase transform themselves into Mase Gumbel (after CBS announcer Bryant Gumbel) and Puffy Woods (after Tiger Woods, who months earlier had become the first and youngest Black golfer to win a Masters at the age of 21). Puffy and Mase's spin on Woods' historic 12-stroke win pokes fun at the controversy following the golfer's title, where veteran golfer Fuzzy Zoeller made comments like, "Tell him not to serve fried chicken… or collard greens or whatever the hell they serve," for Woods' celebration dinner. Puff and Mase, meanwhile, had their own observations on the golf community. "I think his pants are a little too tight, and he really has a wedgie," Mase jokes about Puff's golf attire.

"Bad Boys for Life" (2001)

Sean Combs must really love golf. Four years after Puffy Woods, Diddy and the tour bus of Bad Boy affiliates shake up his suburban neighbors in the star-studded "Bad Boys for Life" video. An impromptu putt on Diddy's roof breaks the window of his unlikely neighbor: Ben Stiller. The Zoolander star can't keep up with the many aliases of "Poppa Diddy Pop," but reminds the Harlem rapper to invite him to his next house party. "Shout me a holler, dun." Whatever that means.

Snoop Dogg in 'Starsky & Hutch' (2004)

Ben Stiller and Snoop Dogg meet again in the remake of the 70s original series Starsky & Hutch. The legendary California rapper plays the smooth-talking informant Huggy Bear, who finds himself helping his detective friends in a sting on a golf course. While Huggy Bear's portrayal as drug kingpin Reese Feldman (Vince Vaughn)'s caddy feels like a reflection of how Black people were largely relegated to assisting white men in the sport, his knowledge of the golf turf helps him provide critical insight on Reese's stroke. "You know a lot about golf," Reese says, to which Huggy Bear's response is, "I know even more about grass."

Maino, "Tiger Woods" (2009)

In 2009, Tiger Woods' legacy began to deteriorate after a cheating scandal tarnished his reputation as one of the best golfers of all time. Woods reportedly cheated with 120 women during his five-year marriage to Elin Nordegren, costing him endorsement deals valued at $22 million. The tabloid fodder changed what a Tiger Woods namedrop meant in rap; he went from being a metaphor for Black excellence to a punchline. Shortly after the scandal, Brooklyn rapper Maino crafted a song, "Tiger Woods (Get 'Em Tiger)," detailing his own inability to commit to a monogamous relationship. "Man, I'm just a dog / I'd be faithful if I could / But I'm Tiger Woods, I'm Tiger Woods," he raps on the hook.

Tyler, the Creator "Tamale" (2013)

The Wolf single follows Tyler, the Creator's streak of being completely unhinged; the golf scene in "Tamale" is complete chaos. Though the sport plays a minimal role in the eccentric video, Tyler makes its moment count. Their version of golf includes throwing golf clubs and carelessly jumping off golf carts. The Odd Future rapper takes the aesthetic a step further by naming his clothing line Golf Wang, a play on the phrase "Wolf Gang."

French Montana featuring Drake, "No Shopping" (2016)

Last year, Drake and French Montana joined forces on "No Stylist," which, in retrospect, feels like they improved on their 2016 collaboration "No Shopping." The video transports us to the Dominican Republic for El Coke Boys Clasico, a golf tournament that is more about Drake and French as sports commentators than it is about anyone getting a hole-in-one. The two boast fake mustaches and even faker accents before Drake tries his hand at the iron. We weren't sure if Drake could smoke weed, or work out, but golfing in flip flops is a dead giveaway that he's probably not the best at golf either.

Scarface Is The Most Golf Crazed Rapper on Earth (2016)

Scarface is revered in the rap game, and after a career spanning three decades, the Houston rapper is creating a lane for himself in golf. In a VICE Sports short film, Scarface shares how his love for golf keeps him centered. "I can cheat you, I can't cheat that golf course," he says. "Golf is the best game that you'll never learn how to play."

Gucci Mane, "Members Only" (2017)

Is Gucci good at golf? We can't be sure, but judging from his 100-pound weight loss, Guwop seems to be able to do anything he puts his mind to. On "Members Only," Gucci brings the trap to the manicured lawns of a country club, jogging through the premises with no shirt. He has zero reservations about whether the community feels he belongs there—and he shouldn't.

Rae Sremmurd, "Swang" (2017)

Sremm Life 2's "Swang" could be a candidate for the perfect party anthem. The Mississippi duo must think so too, because they make sure to bring the party to the golf course. Outfitted in enough argyle, polo shirts, and tied cardigans to fill a high school assembly, Rae Sremmurd's crew are more interested in keg stands, rolling blunts, and dance breaks than they are the sport.

50 Cent Thinks Jay-Z's 4:44 Is "Golf Music" (2017)

50 Cent has never been shy about his opinion on his peers in rap, and no one is exempt from his trolling. In a now-deleted Instagram post, the Queens rapper expressed that Jay-Z's highly anticipated return, 4:44, wasn't exactly his style. "I felt like I was supposed to be wearing glasses and shit, and tie a fucking sweater around my waist," he wrote. "Some of that shit was like golf course music."

ScHoolboy Q Talks Golf with GQ (2019)

If you've been following ScHoolboy Q on Instagram, his love for golf isn't exactly a secret. In a recent GQ interview, the west coast rapper revealed just how much he loves the sport. "But like I tell everyone, 'Bruh, golf is life." Q now frequents a Calabasas country club for the sport that he credits to helping him with his sobriety. "Golf taught me patience, and you need that in the music industry because this shit is evil."

Kristin Corry is a staff writer for VICE. Follow her on Twitter.