Dame D.O.L.L.A. may be someone you have not heard about before. But that is only because Damian Lillard, the superstar basketball player, has an alter ego as a musical artist.
Damian Lillard is unquestionably one of the NBA’s best players. He also happens to be the best rapper in the league, but Dame has made himself into more than just a rapper for clout. Dame D.O.L.L.A has become a legitimate artist.
As a side hustle, there is perhaps no current NBA player who excels in anything outside of the sport like Dame Dolla does in music. His rap brilliance certainly comes second-fiddle to ball, but he does not cut corners and play lazy at the rap game. Or lie about what he preaches.
Damian Lillard as an artist is a star.
Dame Dolla is just getting started as an artist
Dame Dolla has released three albums since 2016. He has songs with rap legends like Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz, giving Lillard a stamp of approval from some of the biggest names in rap. His albums have even charted on Billboard.
“He don’t talk about nothing fake, that’s what’s awesome,” said Lil Wayne in an ESPN article.
“When you cut on a song and you hear someone talking about something that’s true … Not fabricated, not this and that, not that and this, it’s truthful.”Lil Wayne
Dame originally began rapping in order to hang out with his older cousin in his car. He would have to rap from the backseat and it turns out he had a talent for it. He also started posting for 4BarFridays. What started off as a hobby became an outlet for Lillard to speak his mind.
Oakland-born and as real as it gets
Lillard makes it a point to rep his city Oakland every chance he gets. The zero he wears on the back of his jersey is actually the letter “O” and is his way of shouting out his city. His bars are often focused on his upbringing in Oakland. Even the title of his first album is in reference to Oakland.
Lillard has also made it a point not to curse in his raps, which is unusual for most rappers. He does so in an effort to protect his endorsement deals. Another huge part of it is that Lillard wants to have a positive impact on kids and is concerned about the impact profanity can have on them.
Lillard has found himself in recent NBA rap beefs. He’s gone back and forth with Marvin Bagley over who the better NBA rapper is. He then got into it with one the NBA’s original rappers, Shaquille O’Neal. Both rap beefs were done in good fun, but Lillard says he’s retired from them.
Dame D.O.L.L.A. stands for Different On Levels the Lord Allows.
It’s clear that he views his platform as an athlete and a rapper as one that can influence people. Whether Lillard is rapping or hooping, his talent and impact shine through.