Damian Lillard: NBA All-Star for the Portland Trail Blazers and Rap Royalty?

Damian Lillard has accomplished outstanding achievements on the basketball court.

He is a 2-time NBA All-Star, was Rookie of the Year in 2012-2013, and 2nd team All-NBA last season. That is without mentioning he has led the Portland Trail Blazers to the NBA Playoffs in 3 of his 4 NBA seasons. Recently, Lillard has branched out into a completely different pursuit. (Warning: If you are looking for in-depth basketball information on Damian Lillard it is not coming in this article, so feel free to exit now and thank you for taking interest in my work.)

Damian Lillard is trying his hand at being a rapper. I know what you are thinking; he is not the first successful professional athlete to think they were going to be a rap superstar. Remember Kobe’s rap song featuring Tyra Banks?

I posted the video below, but I’ll warn you it is not good music and the language can be offensive to some.

Shaq did some rapping in his day too. Again the video is below, but I’ll strongly warn you against this one because it is worse and the language can be offensive too.

These are just two examples of countless professional athletes who believed they were going to be big-time rappers and let us just say that did not work out as planned. So, let us now examine some of Damian Lillard’s songs to see how he stacks up.

Dame D.O.L.L.A

Damian Lillard goes by the rap name Dame D.O.L.L.A when producing his beats. According to the Sporting News, D.O.L.L.A stands for “Different on Levels the Lord Allows”. I got to admit that is a pretty catching nickname and has some hidden meaning behind it, giving him a leg up on his fellow pro athletes turned rappers at that start.

Unlike many of his fellow athletes, this is not just a one-off song for Lillard. On his Sound Cloud page, he has 20 tracks you can listen to and enjoy. I am going to break down a few of the most popular tracks and give you my thoughts.

“Dead Presidents” Freestyle

In February 2015, Damian Lillard joined Sway in the Morning during NBA All-Star weekend and dropped this freestyle below.

I was blown away by this song. It is only a shade over a minute in length, but Lillard really brings some passion and intensity in this piece. I love the line, “And my clock was Forest Grump, it spent the long-time running”.

This I when I knew Lillard was different than the other athletes and actually had some talent on the microphone too.

“Soldier in the Game”

Later in 2015, Dame D.O.L.L.A. released his first full-length single titled “Soldier in the Game”. You can hear the track below.

The intro is a little long and drawn out for my taste, but once Dame starts dropping lines I am definitely impressed. He gives a shout out to Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook in the song. This is a really catchy song for me that I always sing along to when I hear it. I won’t shout out my favorite line because I think this song has quite a few really clever ones I enjoy.

“Bigger Than Us” featuring Paul Rey

“Bigger Than Us” featuring Paul Rey is the first song that comes up when you search “Dame Dolla” on Youtube. It has over 1 million views. Clearly a popular song, but if you haven’t heard it or just want to give it another listen the video is below.

I’d argue this is Dame D.O.L.L.A.’s best and most important track of his musical career. Really listen to the words and the message of the song. So many people are out there rapping about negative things and committing crimes, but Damian Lillard is trying to bring positivity and change to the world in this tune. It is a great song with a strong message and hopefully, this song made the world a slightly better place for all of us.

Dame D.O.L.L.A. Concert

On July 6th, 2016, Damian Lillard posted the following tweet.

The show was held on the night of Damian Lillard’s 26th Birthday and he was rocking the mic and bringing those heavy rhymes, as you can see in the video below.

I did not have the privilege to attend myself, but according to the website HipHopdx, the concert sold out in less than 24 hours. From the video, I gleaned that the house was packed and it was rocking, an impressive feat for a man who does this on the side and just for fun.

Summary

Damian Lillard is clearly an upper-echelon player in the NBA, but consider me impressed by his ability to the microphone too.

He creates some very enjoyable music that is clean, fun for the whole family, catchy, and the dude can really put a rhyme together. I put some of my favorite tracks in the piece but feel free to comment with tracks you like or to tell me I am crazy and Lillard is a terrible rapper. Trust me, Damian Lillard is dedicated to basketball and his NBA career, but he enjoys having fun and performing to give enjoyment and maybe a lesson to some different fans and consider me a fan of both of Mister Lillard’s works.


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