For Stevie Johnson, rap and football are synonymous—he even quotes Drake on "Thank Me Now"—and he's gained recognition in both realms thus far. He signed a five-year, $36 million contract with the Buffalo Bills in the offseason and the 26-year-old wide receiver also released his first mixtape last fall called Why So Serious? If his mixtape title doesn't ring a bell, it refers to The Dark Knight quote he wrote on his undershirt to insult Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens (both are leading candidates for the Struggle Man of the Year award) after he scored a touchdown on the Bengals in 2010.
Johnson is beloved by Buffalo Bills fans for his outrageous personality, on-field antics, and the excitement and production he brings to his team. The Bay area native spoke with Complex about this season's Buffalo Bills, his music career, being friends with Lil B, and whether he would rather be the greatest rapper alive or win the Super Bowl. Read on to find out more to find out why Johnson may be the most "based" athlete in the NFL.
Interview by Lauren Nostro (@LAURENcynthia)
What are your thoughts on the season so far?
The season is basically a tale of two halves. Either we’re playing well in the first half and then the second half is pretty bad but if we put it together, everything will be good. We still have to take care of taking the division and making the playoffs. It’s up in the air and that’s all we ask for.
What's the team chemistry like right now?
We still have work, we’re not there yet and we know that. We know what it takes. A few weeks ago in Arizona, I think it helped us out a lot by keeping us together, as far as once practice was over with, we all didn’t go our separate ways. We still were with each other. We were able to talk to each other and basically put a lot of things on the table, as far as emotions go and how people will respond to it. It was a good feeling for us and I think it should boost us for the rest of the season.
I don’t feel sorry for my guy Fitz, because there’s stress on everybody. If I make a mistake, they’ll be on my head just like that. We understand, and I’m pretty sure Fitz understands, that nobody’s gonna be perfect. Once he has a big game, everybody’s gonna love him again.
Ryan Fitzpatrick’s getting a lot of heat from everyone for throwing nine interceptions through Week 7. What are your thoughts the criticism he's been receiving?
I don’t feel sorry for my guy Fitz, because there’s stress on everybody. If I make a mistake, they’ll be on my head just like that. We understand, and I’m pretty sure Fitz understands, that nobody’s gonna be perfect. Once he has a big game, everybody’s gonna love him again. It’s a matter of time before everybody’s loving Ryan Fitzpatrick. I’m just gonna do my part to make sure that I can try to make that happen for him, each and every week. It’s just a phase right now, he’ll shake out of it though.
We heard you now have a show on WGR 550 Sports Radio. How’s that going?
It’s good. It gives me a chance to speak my mind on certain things. It gives the listeners a chance to know what goes on in the huddle. Not just saying the huddle on the field, but inside the locker room and what’s going on in the players’ minds.
I’m from Buffalo, so I know the emotional rollercoaster of being a Bills fan and how the team affects the entire community. What is your relationship like with the community of Buffalo overall?
It’s pretty cool. I’m happy. I’m not from here but the people basically took me in—my whole personality, the things I’ve done. There’s things I’ve done that weren’t good, and they still backed me. The relationship with the fans is sweet. Like I said, the fans will be on my head once I do something bad, but I know it’s for the best of us. They just want to see a winning team. Hopefully we can give that to them.