College Athlete-Rappers: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
Anyone who has ever watched college sports has seen more than their fair share of those NCAA commercials emphasizing the 'student-athletes who are going pro in something other than sports.' After all, they're shown during every single commercial break.
Courtesy of the University of Oklahoma They can't all be Malcom Kelly, freestyle champion.
So, I decided to look into some of the NCAA's student-athletes who have attempted (or are attempting) to go pro in the music industry - 'rapletes,' if you will.
Mike Stud, Duke University baseball player
As a relief pitch at Duke University, Michael Seander Jr., more commonly known by his stage name Mike Stud, earned a 1.61 ERA and 9 saves during his freshman year, which were some of the best stats in Duke baseball history. He was even named to the Freshman All-American team. He graduated from Duke with a 3.4 GPA, which landed him on the All-ACC Honor Roll (oh, and the guy has a graduate degree in sports management from Georgetown). But back to the music. When an injury left him unable to play in his 2009 season, he turned to music. At the end of 2010, Mike Stud released his first song "College Humor" on YouTube, which now has over 1.1 million views. Fast forward to last month, his debut studio album Relief hit #1 on the iTunes Hip-Hop albums chart. A remarkable success in seemingly everything he does, I think it's safe to say that even if his music career doesn't last, the dude's gonna be alright. While he's done records with French Montana, Riff Raff and even Scott Storch, I'll start you off with his breakout single "College Humor":
Malcolm Kelly, Oklahoma University football player
Let's hear some close-to-hometown love for Longview, Texas' Malcolm Kelly. The current NFL free agent only played three seasons for the Oklahoma Sooners. Still, the receiver was a Freshman All-American in 2005, First-team All-Big 12 in 2006 and 2007 and, on top of that, he has the second most receiving yardage and touchdown catches on the Sooner's all-time record list. But that's not important right now. After winning the 2006 Big 12 Championship game over Nebraska, the OU receiver busted a super dope freestyle in the locker room, complete with shout-outs to various players and coaches. Check it out:
TES, San Diego State University basketball player
TES, from his initials (Timothy Edward Shelton), stars in the surprisingly high quality (both the video and the song) "SDSU Aztec Motto," which uses Drake's "Motto" instrumental. The 6'7" forward from Fresno, California spits some impressive lyrics in the video while his teammates throw down dunks and the SDSU student section, known as "The Show," gets live. Complete with shout-outs to players, coaches and fans, Tim Shelton also brings the wit with lines like "getting buckets - leaky roofs." Shelton also dropped a nice mixtape, 10 (after his jersey number), but here's the jam that brought him the most attention:
J. Reall, (soon to be) University of Michigan football player
Alright, I cheated a little bit on this one; technically Jabrill Peppers isn't a college athlete just yet. However, Peppers, who was one of the most highly-touted prep cornerbacks of the class of 2014, has committed to play for the Michigan Wolverines.
The New Jersey high schooler (known in the rap game as J. Reall) dropped "Don't Take It Personal" last month with another rapper named Knew Era. Before you check out his highlight reel, listen to his flow:
Loggy, University of California, Berkeley football player
As unfortunate as the name is, his music, especially his more recent stuff, is enjoyable. While the Cali bro can be borderline too frat at times, the guy has a unique sound that's hard to define, and I mean that in a good way. He has improved a great deal since he got some attention during his time as a solo artist (which included a track with the previously mentioned Mike Stud). In 2011, Loggy teamed up with his fellow Golden Bear Michael Costanzo (aka DJ Big Red) and a New York musician named Josh Cocktail to create Radical Something, a group that blends hip hop and alternative rock. Take some time and relax to their smooth music video for "California":
Joel Bauman, University of Minnesota wrestler
Alright, let's be honest. It's a little cheesy. (I mean, c'mon, I found his lyrics on a website titled "Feel Good Songs.") I'll admit that 'good' might be an exaggeration, but 'bad' was just too harsh. Still, you have to admire the wrestling rapper and his certifiably decent music for using positive lyrics. Unfortunately, the NCAA is trying to block his shine, claiming that he's using his status as an athlete to promote his music, which is technically a commercial product. The fact that the NCAA is trying to screw yet another college athlete is just another reason to support Bauman. Here's his most-viewed single "Ones in the Sky":
The Bad and The Ugly are on the next page.