Back in February 2015, Damian Lillard made a memorable appearance on SiriusXM’s Shade 45 show Sway in the Morning and raised some eyebrows with the freestyle he delivered. Prior to that, people knew that he was rapping thanks to his "Four Bar Friday" campaign on Instagram, but after Sway referred to him as "the best rapper in the NBA," people really took notice and started to take Lillard’s second career more seriously.
Lillard continued dropping songs throughout the remainder of 2015 and into 2016 following his Sway co-sign, and by October of this year, he felt comfortable enough to put out his own full-length project. He dropped his debut album, The Letter O, and convinced all those people who were still sleeping on him that he was, at the very least, worth a listen. He’s definitely not your average NBA player-turned-rapper, and it’s become clear that Lillard, who goes by the rap name Dame D.O.L.L.A., is going to continue to pursue music whenever he gets a break from playing basketball.
Lillard is so serious about making music that he just launched his own label Front Page Music, and to announce it, he made his return to Sway in the Morning on Monday after helping the Trail Blazers beat the Nets in Brooklyn on Sunday. On the show, Lillard talked about his new label, his debut album, the support he has received from the NBA with regards to his rap career, some of the lyrics he has used on his most recent songs, and his list of the top five rappers in the game right now, which includes, to the surprise of no one, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and Chance the Rapper.
Lillard also dropped another freestyle for Sway, and once again, he impressed all those in the studio. Randomly, that included Gary Busey, who was scheduled to appear on Sway in the Morning after Lillard and showed up just in time to hear Lillard grab the mic. In the clip above, you can hear Lillard go in—and you can also hear Busey lose his mind after Lillard is finished.
"My, my, my, my!" Busey yelled. "Listen, I heard you and I felt you in my heart. I heard you in my soul, and you’re a beautiful man with a great talent in many areas. And God bless you for being a motivation and an inspiration to the younger kids, the middle kids, the older kids, and the older folks like me. God bless you!"
Need we say more?!
Sway doubled down on his thoughts on Lillard's skills after hearing him freestyle for a second time:
If you somehow missed Lillard’s first trip to Sway in the Morning, you can go back and re-live that freestyle here:
You can also check out Lillard’s debut album here.