Damian Lillard Takes His Music Career So Seriously That He Started a Record Label

by Jeremy Spirogis
Lil Wayne performs with Damian Lillard in the 2020 NBA All-Star - AT&T Slam Dunk Contest during State Farm All-Star Saturday Night at the United Center

Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers could also be hesitant to take part within the NBA’s bubble experiment this summer season, however he’s nonetheless certainly one of its finest gamers on the court docket. Of course, Lillard has a number of areas through which he excels off the court docket as nicely. One of these is music. Lillard, like many NBA athletes earlier than him, has dabbled in a music profession. But in contrast to lots of these athletes earlier than him, Lillard may be very critical about it. Let’s take a deeper dive into Lillard’s music profession in addition to another athletes who tried it earlier than him. 

Damian Lillard’s basketball profession

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Right now, Lillard is among the NBA’s finest guards. He went professional in 2012 after a university profession enjoying for tiny Weber State. The Portland Trail Blazers drafted him with the sixth choose within the first spherical of the 2012 NBA Draft. Almost instantly, he made a significant impression. The NBA named Lillard their 2012-2013 Rookie of the Year. Lillard has been nothing in need of superb since then. He’s made a number of All-Star groups and averaged 28.9 factors per recreation this season previous to the COVID-19 shutdown of league play. 

If Lillard isn’t among the many league’s perfect gamers, he’s proper on the cusp. Any participant who averages practically 30 factors per recreation needs to be thought of elite. At solely 29 years previous, he nonetheless has loads of nice years left forward of him (presuming he stays wholesome).

But as famous, Lillard is understood for extra than simply basketball. He’s additionally received a burgeoning music profession. Not surprisingly, he isn’t the primary athlete to go down this path. 

A short historical past of athletes turned musicians

Lil Wayne performs with Damian Lillard in the 2020 NBA All-Star - AT&T Slam Dunk Contest during State Farm All-Star Saturday Night at the United Center
Damian Lillard (R) and Lil Wayne (L) | Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

It ought to come as no shock that some athletes have additionally launched into music careers. After all, music requires disposable revenue and the flexibility to commit time to play. With their comparatively giant salaries and months-long offseasons, athletes have loads of each. 

With this in thoughts, many athletes have made the foray into music. NBA stars like Chris Webber, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, and Allen Iverson have launched rap albums. Former New York Yankees’ centerfielder Bernie Williams is an completed guitar participant. Pitcher Jack McDowell was additionally in a band throughout his enjoying days. 

From time to time, it’s gone the opposite manner. Rapper Master P as soon as acquired an NBA tryout and truly performed in an exhibition recreation. One of the issues many athletes run into — and a probable motive they aren’t profitable over the lengthy haul, for essentially the most half — is that their deal with their sport will get in the best way. For Lillard, he’s been capable of juggle each thus far and take each critically. 

How Damian Lillard’s music profession differs from different athletes

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RELATED: Kobe Bryant and 4 Other NBA Players Who Tried To Release Rap Albums

Damian Lillard has launched into a rap profession, and in line with TMZ Sports, was approached by a number of labels who had been keen on signing him. Going by the identify “Dame Dolla,” certainly one of Lillard’s tracks acquired over 40,000 performs on-line. That’s {the marketplace} telling Lillard he has a expertise that many individuals discover compelling sufficient to hearken to. 

Lillard zigged the place each different athlete turned musician zagged, nonetheless: in line with NBC Sports Northwest, Lillard began his personal label referred to as Front Page Music. It’s a savvy transfer. Musicians have a tendency to make use of report labels to assist them construct their followings. It’s clear that Lillard doesn’t want any assist there. He’s a high of the road NBA participant who’s already confirmed he can put out hits on-line. 

Resisting the urge to go to a significant label reveals that past being only a nice athlete and rapper, Lillard’s additionally a wise businessman. 

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