Ron Artest raps A cappella, gets Dr. Dre's blessing to finally sleep

By now, you've perhaps heard Ron Artest's new single "Champion," (written last offseason) which has been making the YouTube and (I believe) radio rounds since its release last Saturday. A slickly produced bit of hip hop, to be certain. But have you wondered what this single would have sounded like A cappella? Au natural? The vocal stylings of Ron Artest "unplugged," if you will?

Well, wonder no more, because Land O' Lakers has the answer.

After today's parade, Artest held court with a number of media folks, talking topics ranging from winning a title his desire to stage dive into the parade crowd to his unusual hat's origins (homemade courtesy of his daughter Diamond). He also offered a snippet of "Champion" without the benefit of studio assistance:

By the way, Artest might be delirious right now (by his standards, if nothing else) were it not for a certain ex-N.W.A. legend. As Artest explained, right after the Lakers secured title number 16, Artest had the chance to take "Champion" into Dre's studio for some work. Unfortunately, the opportunity to collaborate with an icon coincided with the opportunity to immediately live it up a championship. The bad timing led to a candle burnt at both ends while using a blowtorch, as Artest shared with us:

"I finally got rest. Before, it was bad. I was not getting any rest. I slept a total of about 30-40 minutes within three days. I was really worn down. And I was working in a studio with Dr Dre. Right after the game, I went to eat dinner, to a club in my uniform, to the studio with Dr. Dre to work on "Champion," the record. I didn't want to tell him how tired I was. It's like, you get a chance to play with Kobe Bryant, you're not gonna tell Kobe Bryant that you're tired. Kobe is gonna tell you to get the hell out of there and never, ever come back. You know? So I waited up, and then I went to the studio again with Dr. Dre. The next day, I was up, I went to a club, [then the] studio with Dr. Dre again. And I was super-tired. And I didn't want to tell Dr. Dre I was tired. So finally, I told some other guy I was tired and then I told Dre I [had been up] a couple of days. He said, 'All right," go get some sleep. You need some sleep.'

That's how it's been. That was fun for me, because I love music so much. It's crazy because a couple of years ago, I wanted to take off basketball for music. Now, God was like, 'Play a season, win, then watch how big I make this song.' "

Philosophical question: Should the single catch fire, is this actually evidence God is a Lakers fan (as purple and gold loyalists often claim) or a hip hop fan? Discuss among yourselves.

More video from today's fiesta ASAP...