Don’t let Bo Jackson or Deion Sanders fool you; there are few athletes that can play two professional sports, let alone excel in them. However, there’s another transition that’s even harder, going from athlete to artist. Yet for Kansas City Chief outside linebacker Tamba Hali, a childhood passion for music has only intensified as an adult.
Tamba took the time to speak about his own music career, his label and his future with the Chiefs:
AllHipHop: What prompted you to even venture into music?
Tamba: I’ve always been into music. I sang in the choir, I played the drums; it’s always been a passion of mine, I just happened to be kind of good at football and got drafted. (Laughs) I wasn’t turning down millions.
AllHipHop: Which one do you love more? Football or music?
Tamba: I have a well-paying job and love what I do, but if I hadn’t of been drafted I probably would have chosen music.
AllHipHop: You actually own Relumae Records which includes artists StarrZ and Gillie Da Kid; is there anything from your own artists that we should be looking forward to?
Tamba: Gillie is currently shooting a video for his “Ass Like That” single and has an album dropping April 7 while StarrZ is pushing his “Live Forever Die Dope” project. Not only am I an artist myself, I’m also a label head so it’s up to me to put these kids on the forefront.
AllHipHop: Does having your own label eliminate the chances of you potentially leaving the league to pursue music?
Tamba: I can do it while I’m still in league. I create songs here and there; I just can’t put out a full LP or tour because of my conflicting schedule with the team.
AllHipHop: As an artist how would you categorize yourself?
Tamba: I’m more of a lyricist, a backpack rapper.
AllHipHop: So where do you see your path leading to after you retire from the league?
Tamba: I’ve been into music since I was kid, leaving the league won’t change that. I’m still going to be heavily involved in music in some aspect.
AllHipHop: Which artists inspired you growing up and are there any current ones that you potentially like to collaborate with?
Tamba: I grew up listening to Biggie, Pac, Jay Z, Nas, etc. I’m not searching for people to work with me, but if they want to I’m all for it. Right now I’m focused on collaborating with one of my own; Gillie or StarrZ.
AllHipHop: In regards to football you’ve faced a lot of changes this season. How has the transition with new Quarterback Alex Smith been?
Tamba: Alex has definitely brought a new dynamic to our team. I think before, we were hoping to win with guys we really weren’t that confident in.