Before Cole Beasley publicly released his first rap album last spring, he instructed his producer to play it for people without mentioning who was dropping rhymes on the other side of the recording.
That meant no mentions of his profession (wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys) or background.
Beasley wanted the album, titled “The Autobiography,” judged without any preconceptions.
“We wanted to do that because I already knew the stigmas of being an athlete and rapping,” Beasley told Yahoo Sports expert Charles Robinson on the debut episode of the Yahoo Sports NFL Podcast. “Initially, we weren’t even going to use my name, we were just going to create an alias.”
Beasley later realized he’d have to spend a lot of marketing to even sniff the size of the platform given to him by the NFL so the album was released under his name and not an alias on May 12.
And while it has received a lot of good reviews and big traffic on streaming services like Spotify, he’s still aware that many rap fans won’t give him a chance simply because of what he does for a day job.
“I feel like the hardest part is getting people to look past me being an athlete,” Beasley said. “I feel like the people who have heard it, mostly everybody likes it. I feel like it’s hard to get the rest of the people to even get a chance. I still think pretty much everyone who hasn’t listened to it because [they think] ‘Oh hey, he’s an athlete. He’s in the NFL, it’s probably trash.'”
“I mean, I would think that way. So I understand it. But guys can do more than one thing.”
Beasley told Robinson he doesn’t let that ambivalence bother him. After growing up a rap fan influenced by musicians like Notorious B.I.G. and Eminem, he started rapping on his own, trying out rhymes and cadences for his friends. He enjoyed the outlet so much that he eventually decided to make an album of his own.
Now that his first effort is out there, Beasley has no plans on stopping.
“You can’t have fear of everything else that comes with doing something that you love,” Beasley said. “You have to do it because that’s your passion and it’s what you want to do. I was just like ‘screw everybody else, I just gotta do me.’ That was really a changing point in my life in general, not just music. I don’t give a damn about what anyone is saying any more.
“I’m just getting started.”
Beasley’s conversation on his unlikely side job isn’t the only thing going on in this week’s Yahoo Sports NFL Podcast, which features analysis and access from Terez Paylor and Robinson.
Listeners will also hear Paylor and Robinson’s insights from more than a dozen of the NFL training camps they’ve visited this month, takeaways from Week 1 of the preseason and tales of the NFL coaches and players they’ve warred with in their experience as two of the league’s top writers.
Here’s a taste of what you can expect:
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