Justin Durant Talks Music
The NFL isn’t just full of muscle headed jocks. If you take a closer look at the players, there are plenty of guys in the league who are doing more than tackling. One of those players is Justin Durant, starting linebacker for the Detroit Lions. Although he’s known on the field for his ferocious hits to any player who crosses his path, off the field he’s known for something entirely different. In the last year or so, Justin has taken his lifelong love of music and turned it into something he can share with the Detroit community. Thanks to his long-term role as a contributor for the Metro Times, he gets the chance to write about music, one of his biggest passions outside of football.
He took the opportunity to talk with sojones.com about how it all got started and a few of his favorite things happening in music right now.
How did the whole writing thing come about for you?
“My publicist, Eddie, has been doing some real good work for me. I just kind of put out some ideas that I had and things that I like to do and let it be known up around here, and they were one of the first people to jump at the idea of me doing the reviews and the blogging thing that I ended up doing up there.”
Did they make you go through the whole process of turning in a resume and doing writing samples first? How was the initial process?
“No, I didn’t have no resume, and I’m not a writer. I haven’t done that as a job or anything like that. It’s just that I love music and find it entertaining.”
You’ve been doing it since around 2011, so would you consider yourself a professional writer now?
No, I’m really not. I got too much respect for the people and the craft and what they do. I think I’m just more of somebody who had the opportunity to do something out there because I play football really. I don’t really consider myself to be that.”
Right now you’re a football player, but further on down the line, is writing something you would consider doing full time when your playing days are over?
“Definitely. You can’t really be mad at a job where it’s something that you love. You wouldn’t really consider it a job, just like I don’t really consider football a job like that. Most definitely, I’m getting a lot of opportunities with the thing that I’m doing, and, hopefully, something else can come out of it.”
Because you’re obviously a huge music fan, who would you consider your top 5 hottest artists out right now?
“Right now, I would say Rick Ross. Of course, Kanye, probably 2 Chainz, Future, and Drake.”
What album are you really looking forward to hearing?
“This live from the underground Big K.R.I.T. album, that’s on my radar, and what I’m really looking forward to listening to. Also Wiz’s second album is supposed to be coming out pretty soon, and Rick Ross is dropping in July, I think, so I’m waiting for that. I’m trying to get into Meek Mill.”
So aside from who’s hot now, if we were to ask you what is always playing on your iPod, what type of stuff would you say?
“Well, I’m a traditional 90s kind of hip hop guy, so I listen to the old Jay-Z, Nas, and stuff like that.”
Since you’re a fan of that era of hip hop, would you compare it to today’s music?
“I don’t really think it’s a comparison, man. People are trying to get back to the essence of it and just having fun and being honest while making music for themselves and not really putting it out just for commercial stuff and having to do stuff for a record label, but there was so much quality back then, it’s really embarrassing. There’s some good stuff coming out, but it’s hard to compare anything to that 90s rhyme.”
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