When Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker, Tamba Hali is not on the football field trying to bring Kansas City the Super Bowl trophy, he's overseeing another team.
As the founder of Relumae Records (as well as an artist himself), Hali has become sort of a coach and mentor to his artists, which include MCs Gillie Da Kid and Starzz. But on his latest single, "Jodeci" the Liberian-born big man pays tribute to his own mentor, Joe Paterno, who coached Hali at Penn State University.
"Joe is the type of coach who was always around," remembered Hali. "We'd wake up in the morning for 6am runs and Joe was there watching us run and motivating us to run harder. He always made it feel like it was a family. There were always lessons and things he would teach you, not just one person but teach everybody. It really felt more like a family than a team," he added.
Paterno died in 2012, but as Hali has become has begun to cultivate young talent on his label, he's found that the coach's influence is still with him.
"I want great artists to sign with me and I want them to know that here they have an opportunity to realize their vision," noted Hali. "It's also important they know that they will always have individuals around that are willing to see something bigger than they are, and that's something I got from coach," he added.
As for the song, Hali (who's been rapping for years) stepped behind the mic to combine his two passions: Football and music, and to pay tribute to the late Coach Paterno.
"I wanted to display my talent for rap and at the same time, kinda create a concept around it and I thought it fit well because coach influenced me so much, not only as a player but as a man," said Hali. It felt good to share what a good dude Coach was with the world."
Click Here to listen to "Jodeci" by Tamba Hali.