United States forward Clint Dempsey, who is credited with the fifth-fastest goal in FIFA World Cup history with his score just 29 seconds into the match against Ghana on June 16, is slated to release a rap album, per The Wall Street Journal.
United States forward Clint Dempsey is slated to release a rap album.
"This is a big summer for U.S. soccer team captain Clint Dempsey. Not only is he leading the team in his third World Cup: he is releasing his debut album.
"Unbekown to his fans and teammates, the 31-year-old Mr. Dempsey spent two weeks in Los Angeles during the offseason recordig a 13-track album, 'The Redux,' which he and his friend, the rapper XO, plan to release in the months ahead.
"Using his artist name 'Deuce,' Major League Soccer's highest-paid player raps about going from rags to riches,'banging Gs' (scoring goals) and being 'Captain America.'
"'We were just having fun with it and it ended up being an album,' said Mr. Dempsey, who collaborated with rappers and producers from his hometown of Nacogdoches, Texas. One of them, Mike Chehade, said if nothing else, the record could help make the U.S. team seem a little more intimidating.
"'We're not known as a soccer powerhouse -- we're almost known for being soft. But Clint has the edge,' he said.
"Mr. Dempsey -- who scored the U.S.' fastest-ever World Cup goal Monday in the team's 2-1 victory against Ghana -- joins a small yet esteemed club of footballers who have tried their hands at singing and rapping. But most have only put one or two songs, tops.
"Brazi's Ronaldinho earlier this year released a single called 'Vai Na Fe' with his friend Edcity, belting out his part from a float at Brazil's raucous Carnival in March.
"France's Youri Djorkaeff released his rap single, 'Vivre Dans ta Lumiere,' two years after helping France win the World Cup in 1998, while British club Liverpool F.C. put out their comedic 'Anfield Rap' in 1988. That song reached No. 3 on the U.K.'s singles chart.
"But Mr. Dempsey's ambitions are more serious than most soccers stars.' Even as a child, friends said, Mr. Dempsey had a knack for rapping, and practiced constantly.
"'He'll just call you sometimes and start free-styling -- he doesn't even say hello,' said Mr. Chehade, who played on the same soccer team growing up as Mr. Dempsey's older brother, and went on to open a recording studio near their hometown.
"Music became a refuge for Mr. Dempsey, friends say, when he had to stop playing soccer temporarily while growing up due to his family's financial struggles. Mr. Dempsey returned to the field, playing for Furman University in Greenville, S.C. before being drafted by Major League Soccer's New England Revolution in 2004. He rapped everywhere he went."
Karp also adds Dempsey's sponsor, Nike, found out about Dempsey's talent for rapping, the company dropped by one of his practices one day to record him. Nike then uploaded Dempsey's song online which was given good feedback by many.
Because of this, Nike asked Dempsey to compose his own song. With Chehade's help, they wrote "Don't Tread" which features Big Hawk and XO. The song was a big hit, becoming an anthem for the World Cup in Germany eight years ago, per The Wall Street Journal update.
Karp says Chehade persuaded Dempsey into recording some songs for two weeks in Los Angeles before the 2014 MLS season kicked off. This lit a fire in Dempsey even more, and now he wants to record another World Cup soundtrack.
In a related development, USA Today's Micah Peters reports former Detroit Pistons guard Richard "Rip" Hamilton will go to Brazil to convince Dempsey to wear a face mask. Dempsey broke his nose while trying to regain possessio for the ball aginst Ghana's John Boye on June 16:
"In the United States' World Cup opener, Clint Dempsey broke his nose in a wild aerial challenge with Ghana's John Boye.
"He returned to the game without missing a beat, but Rip Hamilton is out to convince Clint of the medical (and perhaps magical?) benefits of wearing a face mask.
"Hamilton began wearing a mask in 2002 and kept wearing it long after he needed to -- you might say it marked his transition from Richard to 'Rip.'"
Hamilton wrote his sentiments on Instagram, saying, "On my way to Brazil to watch @clint_dempsey and Team USA at World Cup. @clint_dempsey if you need to borrow my mask I'm bringing them in my carry on bag."
The United States will next take on Portugal in the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 22 at 6 p.m. EST.