Athletes dabbling in rapping isn’t anything new. But Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman and NFL veteran, Bryant McKinnie, doesn’t want to rap. Instead, he wants to sign a talented roster of rhyme slingers and crooners. He’s already got started with his B Major Music Group record label. Here, McKinnie goes on one with XXLMag.com about why he chose to jump into the industry, his current roster of artists, Serena Williams rapping at his home studio, and what sets him apart from other athletes delving into music. Touchdown!
On what separates him from other professional athletes trying their hand in music:
I think a lot of them are interested in the music, but don’t have the ear for music. I be out and about and I actually listen to music. I’m out and about and I actually grew up playing different instruments. They like music, but I love music. I have a different passion for it. They get a little bit of money and try to help out their friends [who rap]. I look for people who are talented. There are a lot of barriers that I have to try to break through because people think I’m just another athlete trying to do music, but it’s not the case. So, you have to get them to listen or else it’s, ‘Their rappers are probably related to them.’
Current B Major Music Group artist roster:
You have an artist from Cali named Lace, a group that reminds me of a newer version of Field Mob…they’re called Fly Guy and they’re from South Carolina. Then there’s TyRell, a singer from Jacksonville.
What his teammates think about his musical aspirations:
My head coach and everybody know. They like it. They ask for mixtapes and everything like that. I have these B Major hoodies and a lot of my teammates have them and ask for them. I’ve heard a few of them freestyle.
That’s where I live in the offseason, anyway. I became friends with Luke and Trina and Jackie O at a young age. I new at some point, I would want to start my own label and look for my own artists.
Serena Williams recording in his home studio:
We were just in the studio, playing around. Just having fun. I don’t think she’s going to go that far [as to start her own rap career]. That record leaked about a year—a good eight months—after she did it. And only half leaked. The studio is inside my house and she came over to visit. She was like, ‘I want to record something. I want to record something.’ She did a remix for Nicki Minaj, “Right Thru Me.” That will never come out. She started like that and she was like, ‘Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian and all of these people are doing songs…I could probably do one.’ We were just joking with it, but she came out and did a few songs.
Ultimate goal in the music industry:
I just want to have some longevity and put some talented artists on. I want to bring that real R&B sound back.