The history of basketball players trying their hand at music is littered with mistake after disaster after embarrassment. Basically, only the late Wayman Tisdale made a significant impact on music at large, when his "Face to Face" went to No. 1 album on the contemporary jazz chart in 2001. Other than that, it's been bad rap from the likes of Shaquille O'Neal(notes), Kobe Bryant(notes) and Allen Iverson(notes). (Note: "Shoot, Pass, Slam" remains as funny as ever.)
But journeyman shooting guard Kareem Rush(notes) is hoping to change all of that. No, he's not rapping now — he's singing. And as he told ESPN's Matthew Glenesk, he's not worried about the failures of past NBA musicians.
Not at all. I believe in myself more than anybody. If I think I can do it, and I'm OK with putting myself out there and seeing what I can do, yeah I'm fine with that. I don't look at other people's music. I'm my own musician. I have my own style, and I think my music is genuine.
I'm not a gimmick. I'm not out here playing. I take this as seriously as I take basketball. As much of a passion as I have for basketball, I have for music. So this is not a game to me. "Oh, I'm an NBA guy with a bunch of money, so let me play this music thing." This is an actual business. This is a career for me that I plan on having after I retire and sing for 20 years. This is my second career. So I take this very, very seriously.
Even though he's only been professionally singing since his season ended prematurely after a knee injury, Rush has already enjoyed a fair amount of success with his first single "Hold You Down" (listen below). The song is being played on R&B stations nationwide, and if you're into that sort of thing, it's pretty good. Kind of a Boyz II Men meets Usher sort of vibe, I guess.
And let it never be said that Kareem Rush is humorless, because that would be a dirty lie. He's named his debut album "Rehabbing R&B" because he made it while rehabbing his knee. Nice.
Kareem Rush - "Hold You Down"