More than any other sport, hip-hop is almost intrinsically entwined with basketball, so it’s not a surprise that many players want to try their hand at crossing over from the hardwood to the studio.
Oakland native Damian Lillard, an All-Star with the Portland Trail Blazers and last season’s Rookie of the Year, is the latest to express that desire.
“If my profile continues to increase, I think I can go platinum with my music,” Lillard told CSNNW.com. “Not to knock anybody else who has done it, but I can actually rap. I have a story to tell. It’s not going to just be about basketball. I have more content than that. With the way I know I can get down and the producers that I’ll align myself with, there’s no reason not to think I couldn’t go platinum. Shaq proved it’s possible.”
Lillard said he plans to release a 10-track mixtape sometime this year in advance of releasing his debut album.
“I’ve been rapping for a long time and now I’m in a position where I can help others get through their day with my music,” Lillard said. “[Dropping an album] is something that I’m excited about because I know a lot of people don’t expect much from me because they feel they’ve seen this before. But I’m not like the other players that have done it. They’ll see in time.”
Many players have tried their hand on the mic, but only Shaquille O’Neal was able to realize any commercial success. His debut album “Shaq Diesel” went platinum in 1994 and he has dropped five albums altogether.