Damian Lillard and Le’Veon Bell spotlight renowned athletes turned musical artists

Pro ballers and musical artists are some of the most influential and visible people on the planet – so what happens when they overlap?

Fans are finding out with a handful of current pro athletes, including Portland Trail Blazers superstar playmaker Damian Lillard and running back Le’Veon Bell, as Nick Wright pointed out in “First Things First”.

“The best sports rappers of the modern era: No.1 Damian Lillard, No.2 Le’Veon Bell,” Wright said.

While these two may be the most notable athletes running business at the mic right now, they are not alone, nor are they the first to do so.

Let’s take a look at a handful of professional ballers who have entered the booth to try their hand at another profession and have had some success.

Damien lillard

Lillard is the poster child of today’s athletes-turned-artists, taking his music career as seriously as his playing.

On August 20, Lillard released their fourth studio album, “Different On Levels The Lord Allowed”. He has collaborated with iconic hip-hop and R&B artists such as Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, Q-Tip and Jamie Foxx.

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Le’Veon Bell

Bell doesn’t have as extensive a catalog as Lillard, but he does have a studio album under his belt with its 2019 release, “Life’s a Gamble”.

Bell is currently a free agent on trial for the Baltimore Ravens, a team in desperate need of running back help after JK Dobbins suffered an ACL tear in the preseason.

Shaquille O’neal

If Lillard is the current gold standard of rapping athletes, Shaq has to be considered the tallest of all time in this area.

O’Neal’s larger-than-life figure and unprecedented charisma have been the driving force behind four studio albums, two of which have achieved RIAA certifications.

O’Neal’s 1993 debut album “Shaq Diesel” was certified platinum, and his follow-up, “Shaq-Fu: Da Return”, was certified gold.

His third studio album, “You Can’t Stop the Reign”, features appearances by Jay-Z, Mobb Deep, Bobby Brown and The Notorious BIG, who joined the iconic track “You Can’t Stop the Reign”.

Lonzo ball

Ball just signed an $ 84 million deal with the Chicago Bulls, thanks to his continuous improvement on the pitch, but he also has some skills in the cabin.

He has two projects under his belt: “Born 2 Ball” from 2018 and his 2020 effort, “BBA (Bounce Back Album)”. He also collaborated with his brother LiAngelo and former NBA player Lance Stephenson.

Roy Jones Jr.

One of the most talented and decorated boxers of all time, Jones Jr. doubled as a rapper even at the peak of his career.

In 2002, he released his only album, “Round One: The Album”, with the classic track “Y’all Must’ve Forgot”, which he followed by several singles in the following years.

Jones’s rap career is paltry compared to his career as a world champion in several weight classes, but there have been enough entertaining moments that his music career is worth remembering.

Deion Sanders

If Sanders was known for one thing during his playing years, it was his flamboyance.

He is one of the greatest players in NFL history, as evidenced by his induction into the Professional Football Hall of Fame, but his style and flair have made him one of the most entertaining athletes in the world. its time. And that same flair was brought to his music.

His 1994 album, “Prime Time” featured his most outstanding record, “Must Be The Money”, which perfectly summed up the Sanders experience.

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William N. Fernandez