Columns / Sports

Sports & Rap

Story by Taylor Hodges, Sports Editor
Photo courtesy of MTV.com

“Four goals in four games, two game winners, was All-American bound to All-American finished.” If you’re not a fan of rap music, you probably have no idea who uttered these words in his song The Comeback. More importantly, if you’ve never heard of Sammy Adams, you would be guessing for the rest of your life.

Sports and rap are more common than you think. Yes, it is used by many athletes, and people in general, to pump them up before a game; or take for example an interview with someone from Costa Rica which my roommate is currently doing. What’s up Chris. There’s been a lot of former athletes who’ve tried their hand at rap, with some being successful and others not so much.

Take for example Shaquille O’Neal. Most of you know that Shaq was an outstanding basketball player, winning multiple NBA Championships, but I bet you didn’t know that he also released four solo albums, of which one went platinum in the U.S. Shaq also collaborated with Biggie Smalls, which is no easy task.

For you soccer fans out there, back in 2006 U.S. Men’s National Team member Clint Dempsey collaborated with Nike to release a track that would help get fans excited for the World Cup. Since Dempsey’s song hit the internet, it has compiled over 1.75 million views.

Now, let’s go to the guys who actually transitioned from sports to music and have done quite well doing so. Two of the most notable rappers making the transition from sports to music are Mike Stud and Sammy Adams. Sammy Adams, also known by his real name Samuel Wisner, began doing music seriously after sustaining a season ending injury during his soccer career at Trinity College. While Sammy dabbled with music in high school, as evidenced by lyrics in The Comeback, he never received any recognition for it until he released I Hate College, a remix to Asher Roth’s I Love College, after finding himself wondering what to do with all of his free time. Since releasing the viral hit, Sammy has put out multiple collections of music and even collaborated with Enrique Iglesias. Although, he still hasn’t collabed with Envision despite following him on Twitter (hit me up Sammy).

One of the more recent guys to transition from sports to music, and when I say recent, I mean starting to really break out, is Mike Stud. Most of you have probably heard a song by Mike Stud or gone to a show in which you quickly realized is a huge party. Sidenote: two years ago I went with my roommate to one of his shows in Ann Arbor and Mitch McGary, Spike Albrecht, and numerous other Michigan Basketball players were in attendance. And yes, a lot of wild things happened that night. Anyway, back to Mike. Mike, also known by his real name Mike Seander, was a standout baseball and basketball player in his state of Rhode Island before making the transition to play baseball at Duke University. At Duke, Mike was named the closer during his freshman season and was eventually named an All-American after breaking numerous records. Mike was destined for the MLB before having to get Tommy John surgery. He attempted to make a comeback during his graduate year at Georgetown, but like most pitchers who have Tommy John surgery, never felt 100% back to normal. As a joke, Mike recorded his now famous song College Humor and subsequently shot a music video for it. That video went viral and Mike found himself an opportunity to make a career out of music. Five years later and Mike Stud has released two albums, two mixtapes, toured all over the country and Europe, and released numerous songs through his SundayStudDay campaign.

Being a part of a sport for so long, you get accustomed to being in a routine and after being in that routine for most of your life, it can be difficult to figure out what to do when it’s suddenly taken away. Rap is more than just a medium to get an athlete pumped before a big game. For some of these guys, it was a way to figure out what the next step was. While there are plenty of athletes who dabbled in music during sports, take Mac Bennett for example who now plays for the Montreal Canadiens, most of us are just trying to figure out what to do with all of this free-time and maybe one day, become recording artists of of our own.

About the Writer…

10301416_10155109711375080_5312500598063418902_nTaylor Hodges is a senior majoring in Sport Management/ Business Administration. He is the sports editor for The Saint and interns with the public relations department for the Grand Rapids Griffins. He hopes to one day break into the hockey business as a General Manager, but until then, encourages you to follow him on Twitter and download his mixtape.

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