Damian Lillard Freestyles About His Real Life Hoop Dreams

Damian Lillard continues to be one of the all-time great double threats. With his tenth NBA season underway, the Portland Trailblazers’ franchise superstar hopes to bring the team its first championship since 1977. As an artist, Dame D.O.L.L.A recently released his latest album, Different On Levels The Lord Allowed. The self-released campaign features involvement from Q-Tip, Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, Raphael Saadiq, and Mozzy, among others. On his third LP, the Oakland, California native continues to prove that he is just as nice with the mic as he is the basketball.

Bars On I-95, one of the leading venues for freestyling MCs, traveled to Portland, Oregon to see Dame Lillard. The guest uses the moment like a press conference, confronting controversy and discussing his love of the game—J. Cole style. “Season 10 coming soon, I still don’t lack the passion / They wanted me to jump ship; Rip City back in action / Not me; I can’t jump around like a pogo / With Melo at the SoHo; still pullin’ from the logo / Fake-kick it, that’s a no-no / My ni**a, for real / Tried to keep him out the league, but we got him the deal,” Dame spits.

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Moments later, the MC continues, “I’m usually three deep, like when I make the treys / Bang, Mike Breen feel the energy / Back to the crowd, I’m leading the symphony,” he says of conducting cheers from fans in attendance. He then uses bars to check his critics: “Y’all can speak ’til y’all deceased, y’all not offending me / Just know that I’m defending you from those defending me / Ha, real mobstas on my roster / I see through these imposters, it’s in their posture / Don’t play the real-ni**a-card, just keep it real / Dame Dillard, DeMar DeRozan, Bradley Beal / Trill / Me not wanting to join a super team might be my Achilles heel.” The MC is referencing his choice to remain a Blazer in an era of free agency and chasing chips (both ways).

Notably, Lillard uses this moment to check those who speculated that he was demanding a trade away from PDX and reports that the Blazers were looking to lose their longtime star. “So f*ck-you to reporters thinkin’ my homie squealed /  That could never be / I ain’t connected to a ni**a that would leverage me / Y’all was tweeting information for the ecstasy / And it turns out that they were speaking recklessly / Just know that I’m a factor, ’cause I ain’t factory.

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In the closing 90 seconds of the freestyle, Damian retraces his steps to stardom. The MC looks at his passion for sports and recalls his hoop dreams. “Go check my resume / There’s many here today, but few of them is here to stay,” he asserts. “Pay me now or pay me later, know it’s gone’ be hell to pay / They gon’ want on my ship when the sh*t done sailed away / Let us pray / Father, thank you for seasoning me in favor of my seeds / Or feel the love from my friends when I grieve / My humility remains after all I achieved / Gave me a heart of gold, but still they dish sauce on my steez / I know that nothing come to stay, it all pass with the breeze / Became a man of few words so my actions could lead / Facts, this is what it look like when you going legend / They never sent for a ni**a they know is sent from Heaven / I knew my purpose; dropped the football when I turned 11 / I’m out the mud in my cleats / Thought I was Spud when I leaped / They showed me love, thought I peaked / I rose above, I’m elite / I couldn’t pass, had to sneak / I was in last now I eat / I couldn’t script it better / If I never made the league I still would get the cheddar / But here we are really living where the living’s better.

Dame then mentions marriage (referencing Dana Dane), believing that his son could be President, and why he moves in silence. With a new season kicking off for Damian Lillard, Dame D.O.L.L.A gives 2021 one of its best freestyles.

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#BonusBeat: Dame D.O.L.L.A. and Q-Tip’s new song “Meditate”: