Go U...Rap U?

When one thinks of Northwestern University, generally the first thing that comes to mind would probably not be "rap factory" contrary to what the theme of Sippin’ On Purple may suggest. However, every time I looked up, there was a new hip-hop artist rolling out a track in Evanston. From Mo Greene, to Jordan Looney, to 3D to Rotimi and everybody’s favorite Hanks' son, Chet Haze, you would think NU was Rap U. Now, former Northwestern Men’s Soccer player, Pat Gibson, er, P-Holla has added his name to the list dropping his first official music video (video after the jump).

There is actually a fairly decent precedent for rappers coming out of top academic institutions and "hittin’ blunts after hittin’ books" (not typecasting rappers, just am amused by that line from the aforementioned, Mr. Haze). John Legend took his talents to the recording studio en route to a very successful career out of the University of Pennsylvania. Recently, Hoodie Allen also graduated from UPenn turning his finance and marketing degree into Bagels and Beats. 2009 Dillo Day performer, Mike Posner, has blown up since graduating from Duke University in 2010. Talib Kweli of Warner Bros. Records attended New York University (that's a private school) while having two professors for parents and Talib’s parents probably have a real good marriage. Currently, Gibson is trying to become the next emcee with a good degree to make a name for himself.

Gibson traded in his cleats for a mic following the ‘Cats last soccer game in the Fall of 2010 after he battled through an injury-riddled soccer career at Northwestern, but now P-Holla’s rap game is healthy. P-Holla first made waves over at the lakeside campus for jokingly creating a Chet Haze diss track that nearly created a modern day Tupac v. Biggie rap war just months after Green had beef with Haze for allegedly stealing his material. P-Holla then collaborated with former Northwestern Football player Mike Bolden to produce a playful track turned moderately viral music video – The Seat Belt Dance.

P-Holla has now taken his game to the next level dropping two serious mix tapes and has earned the distinction of being the most searched "p-h" on Google worldwide. Last July, his first mix tape was released called The Introduction (real original, Pat) which featured the track, "I'm Fly" produced by current Men's Soccer sophomore, Jeff Rogers, who sampled the popular Kanye West beat. P-Holla has generated a strong fan base globally having been listened to in 150 countries and has performed live opening for the likes of Hoodie Allen and Time Flies. As mentioned, P-Holla recently released his first official music video of his popular single, "Who Cares" from The Sara Bareilles Project where he cleverly samples Bareilles’ track by speeding up the beat, spitting 32 bars on it and "kicking fat (w)raps like a Chipotle Burrito".

Gibson’s partner in crime, Bolden, is the main protagonist to P-Holla in the video while yours truly makes a 1.73 second cameo bumping P-Holla, but who cares. Bolden, now known as DJ BBD, has put in some work to become P-Holla's DJ when he performs live. NU Women’s Lacrosse is actually represented in the track as well as junior midfielder, Beatrice Conley, is the female voice over towards the end of the track which gives the song a championship pedigree. The overall music video is well done by JohnBach Productions with footage from Downtown Chicago and Wrigley Field, but the timing of the release was curious as Stevie Franchise arose from the dead and just dropped his first music video, "Finer Things" a couple days previous overshadowing P-Holla. Francis, the 3-time former NBA All-Star starter, most recently starred for the Beijing Ducks of the Chinese Basketball Association. When I say starred, I mean he lit it up for 0.5 points per game, but somehow did not get a statue built for him like another former NBA all-star who has seemingly gone off the deep end (See: Starbury, Stephon). While Francis' rap game is suspect, I kind of like him in a weird way as he reminds me a little of my all-time fav Ja Rule, albeit a homeless man's version. My dream is still for Ja Rule to re-unite with J-Lo for one last hurrah of "I'm Real" on Dillo Day, but it's not looking promising.

All in all, P-Holla and co. are on a fast track to remix NU into Rap U and are showing no signs of slowing down. If you have time after jammin’ to Francis’ "Finer Things" and reminiscing about Ja Rule and J-Lo, check out the student-athlete turned rapper's music video below.

P-Holla "Who Cares" Official Music Video (via phollamusic)


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