Though Portland Trail Blazers All-NBA point guard Damian Lillard failed to add Carmelo Anthony to his team this year, the former Weber State star was able to assemble an all-star roster for his latest rap album.
Confirmed, released this week by Lillard under the moniker “Dame D.O.L.L.A”, features Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, and BJ The Chicago Kid, among others, as guests. A budding rapper while not on the court, Confirmed is Lillard’s second major album after 2016’s The Letter O, a title which represents both his jersey number and what he’s called the three most places in his life; Oakland, California; Ogden, Utah (where Weber State University is located); and Oregon, home of the Trail Blazers.
The addition of Wayne, who has suffered from seizures in recent years and whose next album, Tha Carter V, is on indefinite hiatus, is sure to please rap fans. Earlier this year, Wayne praised Lillard’s ability to remain true to himself while rapping rather than trying to “take on a persona other than themselves” in an interview with ESPN’s The Undefeated.
“When I heard Dame being that, that said a whole lot. He wasn’t talking about hanging on no corners. He wasn’t talking about homies that hang on corners. He was just being positive in a verse. And that’s hard to do these days. It’s hard to be positive! Dame’s verse wasn’t about ‘stop the violence,’ but it was a positive verse in a nowadays way. And I haven’t heard that from no one. I believe that’s actually him and it wasn’t because the song was positive.”
Earlier this week, Lillard released the album artwork, which pays homage to rap icons such as The Notorious B.I.G and Tupac, on Instagram.
Not unlike how The Letter O’s lead track was named after former Trail Blazers star and current ESPN analyst Bill Walton, Confirmed features a track named for current Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch.
Lillard’s first album, The Letter O, contained 12 songs and featured Jamie Foxx, Juvenile, and Lil Wayne among the more notable names as guests. Wayne’s record label, Cash Money Records, originally had an issue with the Grammy winner appearing on “Loyal to the Soil,” but shortly thereafter allowed the song to be released as intended.
The duo between the two on Confirmed is titled “Run It Up,” a reference to the sports term of continuously scoring on a defense. Lillard’s collaboration with 2 Chainz is titled “Anomaly” and sees the two-time All-Star seemingly take a shot at superteams.
“Five years in the league, to say the least, they’ve been eventful; the greatest teams assembled that ain’t really what I’m into,” Lillard raps on the song’s opening verse.
Lillard, 27, will look to help the Trail Blazers improve on a disappointing 41-41 2016-17 season that saw them barely sneak into the Western Conference Playoffs and get swept in the first round by the eventual champion Golden State Warriors. Playing in 75 games for the second straight year, Lillard averaged a career-high 27 points per game on 44 percent shooting from the field. Against the Utah Jazz on April 9, Lillard set a career-high and franchise-record with 59 points in a 101-86 win.
Portland will tip off their season on Wednesday, October 18 with a road game against the Phoenix Suns. The Blazers will not have their home opener until October 24 when they host the New Orleans Pelicans.
[Featured Image by Craig Mitchelldyer/AP Images]