Matt Barnes: Just Tupac

If you approach a headphone-wearing Matt Barnes in the locker room before Lakers games, you might not be able to guess exactly what song he’s listening to … but there is a quick way to narrow it down, because it’s definitely a track by Tupac Shakur.

“I’ve got about 400 Tupac songs on my iPod,” revealed Barnes. “And I just rotate.”

While chatting with Barnes about the video scouting reports he studies to prep for literally any player that he might guard throughout a game — from point guards to power forwards — I noticed one of my personal favorite songs from Tupac’s “All Eyez on Me” album (“Heartz of Men”) blaring out of his headphones. I told Barnes that happened to be my first hip hop album, and that in fact, I played the CD so often on my Discman it became so scratched that I had to purchase many of the songs on iTunes.

Barnes, who was listening to Tupac growing up in Sacramento in the 1990′s while I was doing the same in Minneapolis, understood exactly what was so appealing.

“Tupac paints a picture for you,” he said. “He really makes you understand what’s going on in his life … I always keep it on ‘Pac.”

His favorite album is also “All Eyez On Me,” though he’s also partial to “Makaveli – The 7 Day Theory.”

In 2pac conclusion, Barnes also gave us his five favorite tracks right now, a list that changes periodically:

1) “Letter 2 My Unborn”
2) “Secretzs of War”
3) “Against All Odds”
4) “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted”
5) “Who Do You Believe In?”