There are two things we know about Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers: the Pro Bowler can, when healthy, shut down just about any opposing wide receiver in the NFL; and the 28-year-old can not, under any circumstances, rap.

On a recent afternoon, between injury rehab and football workouts, Flowers hopped on the jack with XXL to discuss his own lack of bars and his deep appreciation for other people’s. A native of Del Ray, Fla., Flowers has an affinity for fellow Floridan Rick Ross, as well as Nipsey Hu$$le and Lil Boosie. When he’s not getting loose for games by listening to those rappers, he’s often in attendance at live shows. Flowers shared all of that, plus his top five, dead or alive, a good Lil Wayne story and much more.—Tzvi Twersky

Chiefs brandon flowers

Photo Credit: Kansas City Chiefs

XXL: You a big fan of music?
Brandon Flowers: I’m a big, big fan of music, man. That’s what I thrive off of.

You listen before every game?
Every game, and on the way to the game. Every night, when I’m going to sleep, when I’m in the shower. I’m a music head. That’s what I love.

So what do you play to get yourself going?
I got to have that Rick Ross, that’s No. 1. Then, I like that Nipsey Hu$$le. I throw a little Boosie in there. It depends on how I’m feeling, too. Different vibes have different music. If I’m just riding clean and feeling good, I might throw in Nas and Jay Z. But before the games, it’s always Nipsey Hu$$le, Rick Ross and Boosie.

Who controls the speakers in the locker room?
Before the game, we obviously got Dwayne Bowe. He always had the locker room bumping with Migos before games last year. And then, everyone on the team gets to put requests in for what’s playing on the loudspeakers in the stadium while we’re warming up.

In certain parts of Florida, it almost seems like a rite of passage to be able to spit and freestyle. When you were coming up, did you rhyme at all?
Not too much. It’d happen here and there, like if me and my boys were leaving high school and were all in the car and feeling good and riding around. But I kind of stay in the football lane, and that’s it. My boys do that, but I stay in my lane.

Brandon Flowers

When rappers come through Kansas City for shows, do you try to make sure you get to them?
Anybody that comes out there, we go to their show. You know, it’s slow-paced. We don’t have the night life like Miami, Atlanta, Texas, so we hit every show. That’s why I think every rapper feels like Kansas City is one of their best shows, 'cause people come out and show love 'cause we appreciate them coming into town. So I’ve seen everybody that came through, like Rocko, Juicy J, Tyga. I don’t miss a concert out there.

Have you had the chance to meet any artists, just because of who you are and what you’ve done?
You know, it’s weird, because everybody has their own connections. When Lil Wayne performed here a few years back, I was actually able to meet and get on stage with Wayne. He brought Todd Haley out on stage, when Haley was our head coach. [Safety] Eric Berry has us backstage with T.I., Grand Hustle and those boys. Steve Breaston used to be one of our receivers, and he and Wiz Khalifa are from the same neighborhood, so when Wiz came to town we used to get up with him. So everybody has different connections to different rappers.

When I talk to rappers, a lot of them tell me how good they were at sports. Does it work the other way?
[Laughs] All the NFL players, man, you can’t tell them they can’t rap. They feel like they just chose football, and rappers feel the same way. I think it’s all because we’re from the same areas, we’re from the same neighborhoods, and a lot of guys do make it rapping or playing sports. That’s just how it goes.

You’re far from an old head at 28, but when the rookies come in with their new music, do you feel like you have to catch up at all?
Nah. I don’t have to catch up too much, because I’m always back to my city when the season ends and I’m pretty much caught up on everything by my boys. I always stay pretty much in the loop.

lil wayne

I have to ask you: Who are your top five rappers, dead or alive?
Whoo! I’ma go Ross; I’ma go Nipsey; I’ma go Jay; I like Boosie but I won’t put him in my top five. 'Pac and Biggie finish it up easily. But for alive only, I might even throw Drake in there. When he does his thing, he goes in. And for No. 5 alive, I always keep that open, because everyone has times when they’re just killing it and I just jump on the bandwagon for a little bit until the next one comes on.

In the off-season, do you hang out in Florida a lot?
Yeah, I’m always in Florida. I don’t move from South Florida, man, I love it. I come back home every chance I get.

I was gonna say, that’s where a lot of the hip-hop scene is located.
Yeah. You see them all the time in Miami. That’s where you see a lot of artists. They’re either at clubs or doing shows.

Last year, LeSean McCoy told me that his coach, Chip Kelly, was up on all of the latest artists and rappers. I’m guessing Coach Andy Reid isn’t up on it like that, right?
Nah, he’s not up on it. [Laughs] But I’m telling you what, Todd Haley might’ve been the biggest Lil Wayne fan ever. I mean, our whole playlists before game, when he was before Reid, was nothing but Wayne. Haley was singing all the songs before the game, man. The culture has expanded and it’s not just for the urban, inner city area anymore; everybody is catching into it.

It’s cool. It means you automatically have something in common with your coach, something to bond over.
Yeah. Good music is good music. I step out of the box now and I’ll listen to Lana Del Rey sometimes, or I might just go listen to old school “Hotel California,” by The Eagles. Whatever music makes me feel good, I just catch onto it.

So what young artist do you think we should be on the look out for?
There’s an artist in South Florida. He has a little buzz, a little DatPiff album here and there. His name is 1Hot. This dude, he can stand with anybody. He’s kind of like Nipsey when Nipsey first came out. All it takes is the right ear to hear his music. If that happens, it’s going to be all she wrote. He has that sound, and he’s lyrical, too. I think a lot of people can relate to him, so I can’t wait for the right person to hear his music. I’ve been hearing him for years down here, but once he gets out of Florida he’s going to take off.

Rick Ross Ryan Muir

Photo Credit: Ryan Muir

Previously: Portland Trailblazers Forward Dorrell Wright On His Love For West Coast Hip-Hop
Michael B. Jordan Names J. Cole And Drake Among His Favorite Rappers