You’ve kind of become this role model to a lot of kids in Buffalo. First, for football, but also for your involvement with hip-hop. Let’s start things off by talking about your cooking dance. Why did you choose that particular dance?
The cooking dance actually came from back home in the Bay Area. My friend, he’s also a rapper, his name’s Lil B [Ed. Note—Yup, we're familiar]. He began doing the whole cooking dance, the whole swag cook and all that stuff. I just wanted to bring it out here to Buffalo. It’s something fun. It’s something easy and I think a lot of people would take a liking to it. Everybody wanna have swag or be around something with swag. So I just took it to the end zone and made it something fun out here for the Buffalo fans.
I’m probably one of the most based athletes in the NFL.
Would you say that you’re a “based athlete” then?
Most definitely. I’m probably one of the most based athletes in the NFL.
Who are some of the other based athletes?
Besides myself, I’m gonna keep it in Buffalo. My guy, Leodis McKelvin, he’s out there doing the special teams, but he's out there getting hyped with me. He’s so based. Once we hear the music, we turn it up. I feed off his energy and I love it. That’s what it’s supposed to be about. He’s having fun and I’m trying to have fun. That’s what we’re trying to do, we’re trying to bring that energy here in Buffalo.
Lil B just tried out for the Golden State Warriors D-League team. What do you think would happen if he tried out for the Bills?
I don’t think he would make it but I think he’d definitely bring some positive swag to the team. It’s still gonna be on us to make things happen. This is the NFL, it’s a tough game. It might look easy watching it, but it ain’t peaches ‘n' cream when you get on that field.
Tell us about "The Yeevie," there's a clip on WGRZ of you briefly explaining it. Is that something beyond the cooking dance?
Just a little dance, something simple. It’s basically like my split personality. Everybody on my team calls me “Yeevie” when I’m on the field. I’m real cool but I got a fiery style to me also. That’s what they also say, “Hey man, you turned into that Yeevie.” So I just do a little dance.
There's also a video of you and Game when you were in the studio together. You were talking about how music and sports are synonymous. You even quoted Drake. How did you get into making music?
First of all, I was introduced to music by my stepdad so I’ve always been around it. I’ve never written lyrics at all, but me being an athlete, we always listen to music. My cousin, Ya Boy, is also a rapper. He sat down and wrote my first rhyme, and I was just captivated how he was just fixing bars. When I was working with Game, I definitely quoted that Drake lyric like, “Damn, I swear sports and music are so synonymous/Cause we want to be them, and they want to be us.” I think it’s true because most athletes, they live the lifestyle that the rappers rap about.
It’s just a game of similarities, as far as athletes and musicians, they talk about a lot of things that not only football players, but basketball players, baseball players—we live. I think that kind of brings us together. When I was talking about Lil B, that’s just an example. Every musician pretty much can play basketball. We all grew up playing basketball, football, baseball, something. We just jumped into our own lanes. Lil B's is music, but he’s still got a love for sports and he tried out for the team. I don’t know how far he’s gonna get with it, but at the same time, it just shows the similarities. There’s natural things that we all come up with.
Very true. Who are some of your most influential artists?
My first one, was Nelly, Country Grammar, that was the first CD that I ever bought. I like listening to Adele’s music, too. She’s got some solid music, just the way she changed her whole negative situation and just shared it with the world. I think that’s pretty sweet how she put that out there. Right now, I’m listening to The Weeknd. All three of his mixtapes are pretty fire. I’ve listened to that a lot.
My cousin, Ya Boy, I’ve listened to his mixtape, The Fillmore Renaissance Story. It’s telling his whole story, I think it’s tight telling the story how he came up. I’m listening to A$AP Rocky, that LiveLoveA$AP mixtape. Definitely listening to Drake, he's got a way with words. Big Sean is ill, and Kanye too. I haven’t really listened to too many Kanye albums, but whenever there’s a song that I come across with Kanye, I always listen to it. You never know what he’s got to say. It’s something that’s wild, but it teaches something. It’s a different character. The G.O.O.D. Music Cruel Summer tape, I'm listening to that. And 2Pac, his emotion, the beliefs that he had.