With Jay-Z retiring last year and Eminem looking to hang up his tracksuit, there just might be room in “da house” for Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich. Going by the name, CAPTAIN K.I.R.K., Hinrich hopes to follow in the footsteps of other great rap stars who began their careers as athletes, like Shaquille O’Neal and the ’85 Bears. But if Hinrich’s first effort is any indication, this gangster needs a little more “shizzle.”

Where most rap artists flash their “cred” with tales of the thug life, K.I.R.K. seems content to keep it on the court. His debut album, Kirkology, features songs like “Why Ain’t Nobody Fouled Me Yet?” and “Whoops, Missed Another” and the presumably ironic, “Three Point Gangsta.” In his most poignant track, “Backcourt Thuggin,” the captain lies on the floor contemplating some of the choices he’s made: “Hard wood on my back/ I been pushed to the floor/ Still can’t get to that line/ I’m a bad boy from Iowa, f’sho.”

But even that gem can’t save Kirkology from mediocrity. Bulls coach Scott Skiles, never afraid to offer a little constructive criticism, had this to say about Hinrich’s CD, “He could have been more aggressive. It seems like he didn’t really give it his best effort. I mean, ‘witchu, witchu, witchu, witchu, snap, baby.’ What is that supposed to mean?”

Teammates, however, seem excited to jump on CAPTAIN K.I.R.K.’s coattails for a ride in the glitzy world of rap and hip-hop. Due out next month is Luol Deng’s debut CD, Ding! Dang! Deng!

heckler editorial staff