I have to confess: I know little to nothing about basketball. For the longest time, I thought James Harden was the best defensive player in the NBA, and believed Michael Jackson and Michael Jordan were the same person till the former passed away. Yet despite my ignorance, when I heard that after a few years hiatus, rappers Andy Mineo and Wordsplayed would get off the bench and enter back into the rap game by releasing a joint basketball-themed project, I was intrigued. Basketball and hip-hop both thrive on competition and require collaboration, and while many rap songs have explored this connection, from J. Cole’s “I Got It” to Post Malone’s “White Iverson,” none have been able to do it quite like Mineo and Wordsplayed (John Itiola) have with Magic & Bird, a mixtape that is a pinnacle of basketball-hip-hop fusion. Incorporating ingenious wordplay over infectious trap beats, this fast-paced project is a tonal Valhalla.