Walk into any basketball locker room in the country and you’ll most likely hear the same music. Kanye West, Drake, Kendrick Lamar… all of them get consistent play within the sports community. That’s somewhat surprising too, given all of the different backgrounds, especially in international-flavored leagues like the NBA.
In that sense, you could say Bradley Beal is a product of his environment. We caught up with Beal recently to talk about what’s playing in his headphones right now and how his style has changed since he was a youngster.
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What music are you listening to right now?
Bradley Beal: I’m on a Wiz fix right now. His 28 Grams mixtape. I’m a big Wiz fan.
During the season, what role does music play for you in your preparation?
BB: Music is huge, man. I feel like if I don’t have music before a game then I might kill somebody. I gotta have some joints in my head before the game. They help keep me in a rhythm.
Do you have a specific playlist you stick to?
BB: It switches up. It’s not always the same. It’s not always specific songs. It depends what mood I’m in. If I haven’t heard a song in a long time, I’ll play it but sometimes I could be superstitious. If I play well one game, I try to listen to the same songs again, so it’s kind of a mix between those two.
Which artists were you listening to this past year?
BB: Wiz still. Rich Homie Quan. Wale. Young Jeezy.
What about your boy Nelly, do you have any favorites from him? [Eds. note: Beal and Nelly have been acquainted since Bradley was in grammar school.]
BB: Ah man, all his old albums. Country Grammar. Nellyville. I still got them on my iPhone too.
You’ve known him for a long time right?
BB: Yeah, my mom met him in high school. Whenever he came back and visited, he walked me across the street to my elementary school a few times.
Being from the Midwest, does that affect your taste in music? Does geography play a role at all in what you like?
BB: I think so. I think it definitely does. People always start saying we’re country so I guess I like mellow rap and guys from Chicago and St. Louis, around this area. Atlanta, St. Louis, Memphis, and Chicago are the main cities I listen to.
Who has the best taste in music on your team? Who has the worst?
BB: I would say I have the best taste… either me or John [Wall]. John has good taste. John has good taste. But I think the worst taste has to be [Marcin] Gortat. That guy listens to techno 24/7. I’ve never seen a guy who could just listen to techno before a game, after a game, on the road, after practice… he listens to techno nonstop.
You guys make fun of him for that?
BB: Yeah, we do. He blasts it through the locker room so when you try to say something to him, he blocks it out so he can’t hear you because it’s playing so loud. He’s a character, though.
You ever get in the booth yourself?
BB: No way. No way I will ever get in the booth.
Does anyone on your team have any musical talent at all?
BB: Some claim they do, but they are all horrible. Nobody can rap. Nobody can sing. I sing a little bit, but yeah I’m not that talented when it comes to that.
How do you think your taste has changed over the years? Was there anything you liked it high school that you can’t listen to now?
BB: Not really. It’s kind of been the same. I probably listen to more r&b now than I used to which is kind of weird, but my taste has stayed pretty much the same since high school.
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