Stevie Johnson and His Rap Game

Updated: July 17, 2013

Welcome to DJ’s Chalk Talk: Offseason Week Four! This week’s a fun one! We take a look at top wide out Stevie Johnson and his game. By game, I mean his rap game!

SJ13 first put his pen to paper and began writing lyrics in high school, thanks to a little nudge from Ya Boy aka Rich Rocka.

“I don’t know [when I first started rapping,]” said Johnson. “I’ve been writing lyrics since about the 9th grade. My inspiration at the time was Ya Boy aka Rich Rocka. He put the pen in my hand in wood shop class.  Mind you he was cutting his class to come [mess] with me.”

And ever since high school, Johnson has been writing lyrics as often as he can. With a busy schedule it can take time for Johnson to put those lyrics to a microphone and record some tracks, but that doesn’t mean he’s not writing.

“I write constantly. In my notes in my phone I have plenty of stories that haven’t been recorded,” said Johnson. “I feel like I’ll get to record it when time is right. I’m a father, husband, brother, uncle, wide receiver, video game and fashion junky etc., etc. first, then I’ll get to recording. I love writing though.”

When Johnson got to college at the University of Kentucky, his rap game made it into his locker room by his senior year.  Stevie was urged by teammate Dicky Lyons to rap a pregame speech in front of his teammates before the Wildcats’ first game against Eastern Kentucky in 2007, Johnson’s senior season.

“My teammate and good friend Dicky Lyons is a bold personality type of guy,” said Johnson. “He knew that i can rap and he was like ‘Man, I’m sick of hearing the same [stuff] from the coaches before games.’ He kept nudging me saying ‘Do it, do it you pansy.’ So I said ‘[Screw] it’ and just did it.”

When the video of Johnson rapping in front of his teammates was posted on YouTube, fans started to wonder if Johnson did this before all games. Contrary to the general assumption, this was a one time deal. Johnson’s video of the speech on Kentucky Wildcats TV YouTube channel currently has over 750,000 views.

“That was a spur of the moment type deal,” said Johnson.

Through the years Johnson has accumulated a great deal of respect from the rap community. Last summer through TheNoc YouTube channel, Johnson met with Grammy-nominated rapper Jayceon Terrell Taylor (Game) to work  on the Bills wide receiver’s song “Run it Back.”

“I was sent a beat from a producer named Resource from BlackCardMusic and I made that track ‘Run it Back,’” said Johnson. “It was supposed to be me on all 3 verses and Game was supposed to just oversee me record the track.

“I was really just [messing around] through that entire song. I’d rather make a song with more substance than talking about ‘having sex with a girl for the second time.’ However, I spit a few bars for him and I’m guessing he was feeling the word play and the way I incorporated sports with a song in concerns with women and men interactions, along with the beat.’

Johnson gave shout outs to multiple Bills (at the time) including Shawne Merriman and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Not only did our Bills get a few nods, but other superstars did as well, including Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Nash.

Little did SJ13 know, Game liked what he heard and decided to hop on for a verse.

“He was like ‘I might have to throw a verse on this thang’ and I was like ‘What! Fuhsho!’, ” said Johnson. “Then he straight bodied the track. He didn’t even have to but he did. So I respect him for being 100 that day…  Two dudes getting money, handling biz and having fun.”

Since “Run it Back,” Johnson has been quiet when it came to recording music and releasing it to the public; until now. On Monday the only receiver in Bills history to record three consecutive 1,000 receiving yards seasons released his first single off of his upcoming EP “This Life;” “Hollywood.”

“That track was produced by a Buffalo born- Chicago raised guy, named Tim Kellner (AKA TK,)” said Johnson. “TK sent it to me with the beautiful Bre McClurklin singing on it and the words she was saying were amazing. The lyrics hit me soon as I heard it. I didn’t want to be basic though with how I created that track. I pretty much made “Hollywood” symbolize ‘success.’

“You know when people say ‘You went Hollywood?’ At the end of the day you’ve somehow succeeded to another level that they aren’t on anymore. Jealousy, envy, [and] hatred enters in most cases because you and them are no longer the same. Time doesn’t wait for nobody, you can either be stagnant worrying about how others view you, or you can say ‘[Screw it]‘ and be yourself and continually grow as a individual.”

Stevie reiterated his excitement to release his Tim Kellner produced EP to his fans and end the long wait for new music.

“I don’t feel like its ready but I’ve had my fans and friends waiting a long time so I’m excited to give this to y’all,” said Johnson. “I named the EP “This Life,” so I’m going to give them a piece of this life. The glitz, the glamour, ups, downs, what ifs, situations that I’ve seen while living in “This Life.”

Aside from the rap game, Johnson is itching to get back on the field with his team later this month.

“I’m hype for this upcoming season,” said Johnson. “It’s an entire new energy. With all that being said I’m hype for every new season even if we had the same squad from last year. I love playing football and playing with brothers is even more thrilling for me.”

In the eyes of an eager Johnson, the Bills’ time is finally here and success in Orchard Park and Ralph Wilson Stadium is on the horizon.

“I can feel that shift happening in our division. We have no reason to have a losing season from here on out,” said the rapper. “I can speak for a lot of the guys on the team, but me personally, I give my all to the fans, my teammates, coaches and the people of Buffalo. It’s not good 100% of the time but I’ll never give up on them as long as I’m in a Bills uniform, and as long as I can move and beat a defense, no matter how I feel; I’ll be suiting up on Sunday.”

Thanks Stevie for taking the time to sit down with DJ, and DJ (@ebstide52)  for putting such a great story together at Buddy Nixon!