Although he’s not the first athlete to make a rap album — Shaquille O’ Neal’s early '90s foray into the genre, for example, was celebrated for its attempt more than the results — Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley might be the most unlikely to make a go at free-styling.
With the release of his full-length album, The Autobiography, Beasley is in that rarefied air. He’s no longer just No. 11 catching bullet passes from Dak Prescott. He’s been quoted by TMZ, making him somewhat of a crossover celebrity.
“I just get in the booth, and the music comes on and I do however I feel with it,” he said in a recent interview with the media outlet.
He’s also in the business of hosting red carpet release parties, like the one in his honor last week at Lava Cantina. Dez Bryant was there. So were Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Terrance Williams, Demarcus Lawrence and a slew of other players and team staff. It’s a testament to Beasley’s popularity among his teammates that so many of them showed up in support.
The Autobiography, produced by Plano musician Phazz Clark, is a true album with 13 songs and a 46-minute run time. The songs prove that Beasley views this as a true calling and less of an offseason vanity project. There’s Beasley on the cover, (looking a lot like Sturgill Simpson, by the way) solemnly staring at his reflection in a mirror as if he’s backstage transforming from a Dallas Cowboy to his music star alter ego.
Anchored by the lead single, “80 Stings,” the tracks showcase many of the hallmarks of successful rap: a healthy dose of charisma, a generous heaping of swag and shoutouts to those who supported Beasley's cause. He also offers some pretty impressive turns of phrase.
From “80 Stings”: "Labels all gonna want to sign me/ColdNation records first signed me/Independent label owned by me/So I'm taken like I'm Liam Neeson's daughter but by me."
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Motivational quotes are scattered throughout the lyrics, and Beasley has a penchant for sounding a bit too caught up in making sure you’re aware of his scrappy origins. True rap aficionados would likely pick the album apart, but it’s a pretty solid effort that took a huge amount of confidence to simply release and go about promoting.
Beasley is likely undaunted by any naysayers. After all, the 5-foot-8-inch receiver has been silencing doubters since his high school days. If an undrafted and undersized receiver out of Southern Methodist University can turn himself into one of the Cowboys’ most valuable assets, then who’s to say he can’t also be a major player in the rap scene.
Time will tell, but he’s well on his way. The Autobiography is available on Spotify and Apple Music and is for sale on iTunes. It’s also available for purchase at select area record stores. Beasley will begin training camp with the Dallas Cowboys in late July.