Carlos Boozer tries his hand at rapping

May, 22, 2011
5/22/11
3:26
PM CT
Greenberg By Jon Greenberg
ESPNChicago.com
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MIAMI -- Ronnie Brewer is one of the more media-friendly players in the Chicago Bulls locker room.

But he clammed up when he was hit with this hardball question: What did you think about Carlos Boozer’s rap debut?

“No comment,” Brewer said, laughing. “I’m not commenting on that, man. C’mon, I’m not answering that question.”

[+] EnlargeCarlos Boozer
Andy Lyons/Getty ImagesWill Carlos Boozer's rap debut on "Winning Streak" fire up the Bulls?
Unlike Brewer, Boozer’s newfound musical side was news to Derrick Rose.

“What are you talking about, rap debut?” Rose said. “Are you serious? No, are you serious?”

Yes.

In the new song “Winning Streak” (Bulls Anthem), Boozer raps the introductory bars before R&B singer Mario Winans starts a somewhat-catchy chorus and Chicago rap legend Twista takes over with a Bulls-themed rap that namedrops most of the team.

The song was first played at the United Center before Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals and went viral the next day.

It is believed to be the first rap song that mentions Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau.

Boozer’s Twitter critics were not kind with the immediate reaction. Andrew Barber, the proprietor of the Chicago-based rap blog “Fake Shore Drive,” started a Twitter contest (#boozerbars) to see who could produce the funniest lyrics that related to Boozer’s up-and-down play.

Boozer, however, never lacks for confidence, on or off the court. He is very pleased with his brief foray into the hip-hop game.

“It was great,” he said. “I’ve been getting great response from it. I did my part maybe three months ago. I think Twista did his part maybe two months after that. Mario Winans came in and shut it down like a few weeks ago.”

Boozer, who signed a five-year, $80-million deal with Chicago before the season, said he isn’t looking for a second career. Critics of his recent play might be disappointed to hear that.

“No, no, no,” he said. “I’m just having fun with it. I just listen to music.”

Chicago rapper Jabari "Naledge" Evans of the duo Kidz in the Hall put a nice spin on Boozer’s performance.

“Judging against other athletes, he’s not as corny as I expected,” he wrote in an e-mail.

While it’s easy to pick apart Boozer’s lyrical skills, the song is for a good cause. It's part of a forthcoming compilation called “Full Court Press,” produced by Shannon “Slam” Lawrence, the former Director of A&R at Bad Boy Entertainment. The album will feature songs by popular artists and basketball players.

Boozer is “the ambassador” of the project, Lawrence said. He met Boozer through his associate in this project, celebrity real estate broker Katrina Campins.

Lawrence made it clear this isn’t a vanity project, like the widely-panned 1994 record, “B-ball’s Best Kept Secret,” which starred Shaquille O’Neal, Jason Kidd, Gary Payton and Cedric Ceballos.

The proceeds of "Full Court Press" are going to be used to help train and educate people interested in the music business. There will be no cursing on the record, which is aimed at delivering a positive message.

Lawrence is in the process of arranging the record, and he said he has some big names lined up. He plans to release this album when the 2011-12 NBA season tips off.

Until then, he's hoping for a real Bulls' "winning streak," so this record takes off.

Jon Greenberg

Columnist, ESPNChicago.com
Jon Greenberg is a columnist for ESPNChicago.com. He has lived and worked in Chicago since 2003, and is a graduate of Ohio University and the University of Chicago.

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Jimmy Butler
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OTHER LEADERS
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