Damian Lillard Releasing Hip Hop Album; Believes He Can Go Platinum

03.19.14 5 years ago

Trail Blazers second-year point guard and 2014 all-star, Damian Lillard, has his sites set beyond his rising fame in the NBA. The progenitor of 4 Bar Friday, tells CSNNW.com he the hip hop album he’s working on will go platinum. Aside from Shaq Diesel, no NBA player has ever achieved platinum success with a hip hop album; although, besides Shaq, many others — Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Tony Parker — have tried with not much in the way of sales or praise from critics.

Here’s Lillard explaining to CSNNW.com what he’s hoping to accomplish with his rookie rap effort:

“If my profile continues to increase, I think I can go platinum with my music,” Lillard told CSNNW.com. “Not to knock anybody else who has done it, but I can actually rap. I have a story to tell. It’s not going to just be about basketball. I have more content than that. With the way I know I can get down, and the producers that I’ll align myself with, there’s no reason not to think I couldn’t go platinum. Shaq proved it’s possible.”

While we’d normally snort and giggle at such confidence before any album has been cut, Lillard has proven to be pretty adroit with the mic during his freestyles every Friday. Here are his last two:

“It’s something that comes easy to me,” Lillard says about his rap skills. “It’s another talent that I have.”

It really seems like he’s serious, and that’s different from just dabbling in the rap game, which is what a lot of players have done. Whether it’s to stroke the ego, or satiate some burning desire to become the rock star they’ve always wanted to be, athletes have attempted to bridge the gap to other entertainment mediums with very little in the way of success. Lillard, for his part, thinks he’s different, and says he’s not just doing it as an ego trip:

“I’ve been rapping for a long time and now I’m in a position to where I can help others get through their day with my music,” Lillard said. “[Dropping an album] is something that I’m excited about because I know a lot of people don’t expect much from me because they feel they’ve seen this before. But I’m not like the other players that have done it. They’ll see in time.”


“All the things I devote my time to are things that are important to me,” Lillard responded. “When it’s important to you, it’s not a hassle or a burden. Like I said, my music will be primarily to help others by telling them a little bit about my life. Plus, the fact that I think that I’m good at it is another reason.”

That’s not all Lillard aspires to do off the court. Like Shaq, who he already mentioned in terms of potential platinum success, Lillard wants to get into acting. Dame refers to Ray Allen‘s starring turn in Spike Lee‘s He Got Game as the type of role he envisions himself playing:

“I’m not an actor but I think it’s something that I can grow into if given time,” he acknowledged. “I would like to play a part like how Ray Allen played Jesus Shuttlesworth. That’s something I’m interested in among some other things.”

We think Lillard could be a successful emcee, at least within the narrow scope of NBA players-turned-rappers. Whether he’s capable of acting or getting roles like the one offered to Allen, remains to be seen. While it’s commendable that Lillard has set his sites so high, he should focus on basketball first and foremost, then maybe hip hop if it’s truly the creative outlet he claims.

If he continues to have success on the court, and the Blazers win, then maybe he can finish up that album. Only then should he start dipping his toes in the choppy Hollywood waters. A lot of people say that Shaq’s entrepreneurial zeal and off-the-court activities limited his ability on the court. We really hope that doesn’t become a caveat to Lillard’s still-young career.


Do you think Lillard can go platinum with his debut rap album?

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