When Damian Lillard isn't running the Portland Trail Blazers' offense, the All-Star point guard is pursuing a second career in music.
It is a goal that countless NBA players before him have coveted. Lillard plans on releasing a rap mixtape in the future.
"It will probably be after the season," he said, "It will be my story; I want to tell my story. Probably 8-10 songs."
Lillard would join a long list of current and former NBA players who have dabbled in music, such as Allen Iverson, Chris Webber and Shaquille O’Neal.
But there is something that may set Lillard apart from his fellow players: He’s good, experts say.
“He has the talent, he has to concentrate on the record, Hip Hop/R&B Record Producer Chucky Thompson said, “I heard his writing and it sounded clever, that is what I look for. I worked with Nas and Biggie, those are the things people listen to them for, how they put situations together.”
Fans got a taste of Lillard’s storytelling abilities during the creation of #4BarFriday. Every Friday, he would film himself rapping four lines, or bars, and then post it on Instagram. The hashtag grew in popularity so much that other NBA players like Paul George and LeBron James joined in on the fun. Lillard decided to take it up a notch by doing 16 bars on Sirius XM radio during All-Star Weekend in New York in February.
Whether Lillard can go as far as O'Neal once did, though, is another story. "Shaq Diesel," O'Neal's 1994 album, went platinum.
"It really helps that I have a platform as Shaq did as a basketball player," Lillard said. "The better I can be as a player, the bigger platform, the bigger following, the bigger support for my album."
The goal is within reach and if Lillard places the same work ethic that he has on the court into the studio, he said he thinks anything is possible.
“He still lacks certain things as far as a MC but given the right record, he can be good. Every rap is one record away,” Thompson said.
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