Elevating and supporting the creative dimensions of professional athletes.

“I Used to Be Afraid to Put My Music Out There”- Duke Riley

by | Jun 7, 2020 | Music

“I’m from Louisiana, where they’ll kill you for a bandana, they’ll kill you for some bad manners!” Louisiana’s own Duke Riley opened his #louisianabarchallenge verse with some real truth behind his city. The Philadelphia linebacker’s love for his hometown is unmatched. During the COVID-19 pandemic/quarantine Riley chose to stay in New Orleans for the remainder of the lockdown. He says, “Louisiana is where my heart is. My business is here, my closest friends and family are here. I know once football is over it’s gonna be my people at home that’s always gonna be here. So when P Town Moe put together the challenge it was only right I represent for my state.”

Music and rapping have always been a part of Riley’s life. The rich soul and culture of New Orleans runs in his blood—not to mention the laundry list of some of hip hop’s greatest rappers originated from the city. Riley tells us how music and football played a role growing up: “I remember in high school, our football team would make it to the state championship every year. One year at the pep rally me and my friend performed one of our songs in front of the whole school. We was hype! I focused on football full time cause I used to be afraid to really pursue it. I would think like damn, should I post this? But now I’m like who cares? I’ve been focusing on finding myself and now I don’t really care what other people think. Most people see a football player post about music and initially they don’t take me seriously. But when they listen to what I’m saying then they’ll have no other choice but to.”

Riley’s life experiences as a professional athlete and becoming a businessman are all key stories he expresses in his music. He says, “What I rap about is stuff I actually do. It’s positive. I talk about what it’s like being a pro athlete and the stuff we don’t talk about that happens everyday. It’s never been cool to me to talk about blowing money in the club or stuff like that. If I do talk about it I’ma be real and say how f****d up it was when I did it. It’s about building residual income, being a boss and building a business. That’s what needs to be said.”

In the midst of football, his fishing business and being a father, Riley plans to release more music in the near future. But his plans don’t just stop there. “I’ve always wanted to have my own music studio in New Orleans. A lot of the major rappers from here moved out of the city to produce their music. New Orleans is one of the most dangerous cities as far as crime in the country. But it’s important to me to create a safe space in the city to give back to the music that started here. I just want it to be somewhere that brings people together. Music, football and fishing are my three loves. All three bring people together. I just want to make people feel good.”

Check out Duke Riley’s “Glad I Wrote” video Ft. Jawuan below:


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